In speaking to different people about their prayer habits and prayer life, I noticed a common theme: Their prayer life is a direct reflection of their daily life. What I notice is a lot of people do not persevere until they get results. Many people with dire needs and circumstances may go to God in prayer but when their needs aren’t met in their timeframe they give up and stop praying. They do not push through until the end. It is the same method they use in their daily lives. They may start a project, task or goal but when they do not see satisfactory results they easily give up. The problem is this pattern of behavior becomes habitual. The person’s thinking is more focused on the task not working as opposed to their own belief system, stamina and endurance. They do not realize that the fault lies in their perseverance instead of the task.
First, before pursuing any assignment or goal one must be passionate about it. If you’re not passionate about it it’s not going to propel you to stick with it long enough to see the desired end. As well, prayer; one cannot go to God half-heartedly and expect results. No you must pray passionately about what you are expecting God to do for you. You must pray with intent and strong will, and earnestly believe that your situation will change. Now here comes the hard part: It’s easy to believe in prayer when a request is answered quickly or in a relatively short period of time, but it’s those prayer requests that may take months or years that you need perseverance for. Beloved, I have continually prayed for things that literally took y-e-a-r-s to come to pass. But nonetheless I kept praying because God promises us in Matthew 21:22, that “…whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” I hold onto that and other verses like that because God is a God who does not lie!
In prayer and in life you have to learn how to be a closer — complete what you start until you get a finished result. God will not always give you exactly what you pray for because He knows what is best for you. Sometimes people pray for things that are not in God’s will for their life. God does not grant many prayer requests because He knows it will harm you or it is not in your best interests. In the above mentioned times, God will reveal to you why He chose not to answer specific prayers but you must have a personal relationship with Him and spend time in His presence to receive these revelations. Prayer requires reciprocity. Before you say prayer does not work, are you asking and then spending enough time with the Father to receive His answer, and not the answer you want to hear? It is hard to ask for something not knowing when or if you will ever get it. But if you do not at least keep asking and persevering in prayer, you will give in to failure and defeat. You will stop praying and allow despair and sorrow to overtake your mind. Beloved, be determined, be persistent, and persevere in prayer until you get an answer from God!
Beloved, sometimes we are overcome with a certain emotion or feeling regarding things we may want, circumstances in our lives, or a decision that needs to be made. But how do we know it’s from God, or are we being mislead? A fervent Christian will pray, read the Bible and fast in order to better understand what God may be speaking. But, what if you have done all of that, waited a sufficient amount of time, and still haven’t received an answer? What do you do?
When praying, reading your Bible, and fasting isn’t good enough.
Beloved, the action you take thereafter is critical to the outcome. The problem many people face today is being mislead by their emotions, but thinking that God told them to act. That’s what I want to talk to you about today. What I have observed is, many claim to hear God’s voice, but do not wait on His hand. I’ll amen myself to that! Thank you! If a leading in your spirit is indeed from God, He will give you concrete evidence to confirm what He has told you without a shadow of a doubt! James 1: 17 says:
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
That means when God gives it to you, there will be no desperation, no questioning, no gray areas, and no confusion! What I’m noticing is the problem lies in the waiting. Many people feel in their spirit that “God said” that this was from Him; the key word is feel, and that’s where a lot of people get confused. They act on feelings as opposed to waiting on God. They are mislead because this situation is what they want, and in their own strength, they try to force God to agree with their decision, so they move prematurely. They then swear it was God’s leading, and when a disastrous end is the result, they blame God and are angry at God.
“God, how could you let this happen, you told me this was from You! How could you let me go through this so long if this wasn’t sent from you? Or, how could this be impressed so heavily upon my heart if it’s not from you?”
Sound familiar? Here’s the answer to why most people fail in hearing God’s voice:
You act on your feelings instead of waiting on God to reveal if indeed what you felt in your spirit came from Him!
The hard part is waiting. Beloved, the enemy is a machiavellian, he is manipulative, crafty, and cunning. That’s why the Bible says in Matthew 24:24:
“For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.
That’s why God admonishes us to diligently trust Him and not our emotions.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not depend on your own understanding (ISV).
As you have read, even pious Christians can be greatly mislead. If there’s doubt: wait! If something doesn’t seem right: wait! If there’s confusion, don’t make excuses: wait! Don’t take action, but wait and at the divine time God will lift the veil and reveal everything! You know, sometimes God allows you to go through these things in order to sharpen your spiritual weapons. He’s teaching you how to categorically discern His voice from the enemy’s voice. The answer to your situation may take years, but don’t allow your emotions to cause you to make a wrong move; wait for God to confirm what you think He has told you.
If you are willing to wait until you get a clear answer, it will show up!; either through a person, a revelation, a dream, or God will reveal it to you in front of your very own eyes! Beloved, before you make a devastating mistake that may take years to recover; wait for God to emphatically reveal His will before you take action.
O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.
2 Chronicles 20:12
This was the cry of the people of Judah who soon learned that they would be attacked by an alliance of the Ammonites, Moabites, and Menuites. Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, out of great fear, sought the Lord for help and proclaimed a fast throughout all of Judah.Beloved, though this story happened in Biblical times, it still rings true to what the people of God are experiencing today.
Those spiritually attuned can sense a more diabolical presence of evil in these last days. Sometimes it may feel as if you are being smothered by spiritual attacks on all sides: in relationships, on the job, commuting, and even in your own home; like the land of Judah, in 2 Chronicles 20:1, when word went out that Judah was under attack by surrounding neighbors.
Sometimes the warfare can seem so intense that the first thing we do when we face an attack is reach out to a spouse, relative or friend first. And, most of the time you go away just as you came: still distressed, frazzled, and confused. Most people will listen but aren’t really qualified to help you. Why is God always our last resort? Because we want immediate answers. We want to be soothed and comforted in that moment. We want a word now! More, oftentimes in these situations God seems silent and we need immediate answers.
In 2 Chronicles 20:3, the Bible says the first thing Jehoshaphat did was SEEK THE LORD and proclaim a fast. How often do we forget simply to seek God first and not let emotions get the best of us. The second thing we do is seek spiritual guidance or desperately try to get answers from a person whom we may feel hears from the Lord. Saints if you are to ever grow spiritually and eat the solid food of Christianity as Paul says in Corinthians, you must learn to seek God’s face yourself. Wait to hear His voice, wait for His leading, wait until you get direction from Him before you move. Wait before consulting others. Many people put their faith in other people as opposed to God, or worst they put more faith in the problem than in God. More, you don’t trust God but you trust others’ fallible opinion. No, you must believe that you too can hear from God. That’s the only way you will mature in spiritual warfare. You must learn to fight your own battles. We must have faith in God and stand firm on His word as the people of Judah:
‘If disaster comes upon us, the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before you—for your name is in this house—and cry out to you in our affliction, and you will hear and save.’
2 Chronicles 20:9
Most of you are running around in panic and sheer terror regarding this evil trial that is facing you. You are stressing yourself out when God is simply telling you to give it to Him. This battle really is between evil and righteousness. Darkness and light. Demonic forces are sent out to try to frustrate God’s plans for your life. But what God has written in stone shall be fulfilled no matter what forces try to oppose it.
Thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.’
2 Chronicles 20:15
But here’s where you drop the ball. In the midst of the trial, what are you thinking? Are you thinking defeated thoughts? You are believing the enemy’s lies that you aren’t gonna get through this situation; to give up; there’s no hope. So you neglect to read your Bible, neglect to fast and hope the situation will just go away. You’ve given up on the inside. Therefore, you are already defeated. If you can just muster up a mustard seed of faith and open your mouth and believe. That’s all it takes, and proclaim the goodness and mercy of God over your situation and it WILL change! PRAISE HIM! Beloved, your worship determines your victory!
And when they began to sing and praise, the LORD set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed.
2 Chronicles 20:22
Beloved, sometimes you just have to praise your way out of persecution, trials, attacks. God goes to war to the command of praise!
In continuation from the last post, I would like to futher explore what I feel God is speaking to singles this year; as well as those that are separated from a spouse or those who feel isolated within a marriage.
I am a girl’s girl! I love having friendships and bonding with my fellow sisters. I love that women can come together in times of need to edify, encourage, and uplift one another. I love that my friends and I don’t take for granted the need to bond and break bread together. Oftentimes when we come together we cry, laugh, and share anecdotes of embarrassing moments, mistakes, regrets, courting and of course men! It is out of some of these very intimate conversations that I feel led to write on the subject regarding singles. While this post isn’t entirely for women, there are many men that may identify with and learn from this text.
It seems as if dating and sex are the elephants in the room at many churches. There, I said it! Often there are ministries devoted to couples, single moms, youth, seniors, even prison ministries but a consensus that I find that is often lacking in many churches is a ministry devoted strictly to middle aged singles. Yes, there are some churches with singles’ ministries but sadly many of them are simply singles’ retreats that don’t address the underlying issues many single people face: dating, lust, and sex!
Many singles are struggling in this area and sadly are resorting to fornication, pornography, lust, and masturbation while singing in the choir, ushering, and working in ministry because they feel their specific concerns aren’t being met corporately within the church. This is the most common area where many women secretly confide in me for answers. One woman told me she had been single for years and was simply tired of waiting on God! Sadly, she started a sexual relationship with a young man and it ended horribly. Beloved, God knows best! Wait on His timing! It seems as if this subject is taboo in church, which should not be. If there are any clergy reading this post, I admonish you in your prayer time to ask God how to incorporate a singles’ ministry into your church or if there is a singles’ ministry, ask God how to get to know the needs and concerns of its members and restructure a plan to meet their needs.
First off, let me start by saying, according to the Bible, I believe single people should not have sex until marriage. But because of underlying root problems many singles are forgoing this belief whether because of agnosticism, pop culture, loneliness, peer pressure, or a need to feel loved and accepted. And that is what I would like to address today.
LET’S EXPLORE THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM
Beloved, many singles, even though some sit under sound doctrine at church are fornicating Saturday night but are Holier than thou on Sunday morning. Because of these dalliances babies are born out of wedlock, some are committing adultery, some are contracting STD’s and sadly, some are aborting babies to hide their sin. All for what? Love, loneliness, a need to feel wanted, a feeling of rejection? All of these key factors play an important role in this behavior, but the most important I believe, is rejection! Let’s delve exactly what rejection is and the ramifications caused by it. Rejection is a feeling of unacceptance and exclusion by another party or parties. In the spirit realm, it manifests as a spirit that attaches itself to people and if not recognized and cast out can cause many to live unfulfilled and loveless lives. Some people carry a spirit of rejection because of many different factors:
▪️Rejection in the womb.
Some people were rejected in the womb at birth. Some women who got pregnant didn’t want the child therefore spoke a curse of rejection over their child’s life, either verbally or emotionally. Some women tried to abort a child, but for whatever reason had the child. Some women put their child up for adoption. Many adoptees, even though some have been raised by a loving family, desperately search for birth parents because they still feel unloved and unattached–spirit of rejection. Beloved, rejection in the womb is a spirit projected onto a person from birth that if not cast out will cause a person to go through their whole life, unbeknownst to them, desperately looking for someone to love them.
▪️Rejection as a child.
Some children were rejected by parents, relatives, or peers and it left an indelible mark on their emotional state. Some people felt rejected by their parents because the parents perhaps worked more on their jobs than spending time with them. Some people, their parents were in the home but only talked to them when scolding or beating them; or their presence was in the home physically but not emotionally–they didn’t communicate with the child. These parents never told their kids they loved them or showed them any type of affection. In continuation, many people were told that they were not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough and that led to very low self-esteem. Some people were called names or teased by relatives or peers because of a birth trait, or physical trait that left them feeling insecure, indifferent or unworthy. Beloved, the spirit behind these hurtful words told them that they were not good enough. Therefore many have spent their lives trying to be accepted, trying to measure up, trying to seek the approval of people who’re often unworthy of them.
Beloved, many curse themselves with their own mouth because of what they believe about themselves. Because of bullying by peers as mentioned above, some will carry the insulting words in their mind well into adult hood, look into the mirror and pick themselves apart: I’m not pretty enough to get the mate I want, I’m not smart enough, I’m too fat among other self-hating thoughts that people tell themselves daily. Beloved, if you believe these things about yourself you will believe others share this same view about you and it is simply not the truth! There is a spirit of vanity in today’s culture that is causing many to measure themselves up against celebrity standards. Contrarily, some people fall on the opposite side of the spectrum. Rejection has caused some to exhibit a false sense of pride. No man or woman is good enough for them. They may be very attractive and have everything going for them, but this spirit of rejection drives potential suitors away because internally they really don’t accept themselves. It’s a spirit of perfection. How you see you is how others will see you, despite appearance. Beauty comes from within. People gravitate towards a beautiful spirit. Work on yourself internally first. Study what God’s word says about you. Psalms 139. Begin to speak life over yourself, not death. Proverbs 18:21. You have to learn how to accept yourself before anyone else will. Until you rebuke this spirit of rejection and accept yourself, you’ll never attract your divine mate because this spirit of rejection will chase them away. I also advise you to seek out deliverance ministries and allow men of God to lay hands, anoint with oil and pray for you concerning this area.
▪️Many feel God has rejected them.
Beloved, I have talked to people who strongly feel that God rejected them because parents abandoned them as children, they lost a loved one or a spouse cheated on, abused them and/or walked out on them. In their minds they think God is their enemy, that He has cursed them, or rejected them. That cannot be further from the truth. In this life we all have our share of heartache and pain, but many internalize theirs with a narrow-minded subjective view. Let this type of thinking go. God loves you and wants the best for you! Recognize who the real enemy is: satan. The Bible says he comes to rob, steal and kill. John 10:10. Some people refuse to believe that satan or a devil exists. He does, and sadly he is destroying many lives, some because of choices made or doors left open to sin, yet God is still getting the blame! Beloved, God gives us free will to choose. Some choose wrongly then blame God. God is speaking restoration this year. Restore your relationship with Him. Let go of the anger and animosity you feel towards God and allow Him to heal you!
GOD LOVES YOU
Beloved this spirit of rejection has destroyed many of lives. The need to be accepted has caused many women to turn to prostitution, the sex industry, drugs, and live lascivious lifestyles all because they have not dealt with the root cause of their problem. As well, men by trying to find love through money, status, wrong relationships and many sexual partners, but to name but a few.
GOD IS RESTORING SINGLES
God wants you to know that you are worthy! He loves you! He wants to restore you in this season. Get behind the root of your behavior; whether it’s low self-worth, loneliness, abandonment, or rejection. Find out why it is you behave the way you do in regards to relationships. When you do I guarantee God will meet you where you are and the healing will begin. You can’t take this word nonchalantly but run with it! Help him heal you to be able to love the way He created you to love: in honesty, purity, truth, and transparently.
After you have dealt with the root of your problem, you have to know what you want, you cannot be double minded. One minute you want to be married the next minute you don’t because of past hurts or fear. Whatever you want, be firm in that position and pray for God to bless you! God says make up your mind then I will bless you! Because of anger, resentment, pain, and past hurts, (some decades old) many people’s relationships have been stunted, wombs have been closed, hopes, dreams have died and weddings have been put on hold. Deal with the root of your problem, only then can God grow holy, pure, beautiful, loving relationships in 2016.
There are a few things that God put on my heart for this year that I would like to share with you. Though the text may be quite long, please bookmark this post and reference it when time allows.
First, let’s start off with Psalm 85, which I feel captures the heart of what God wants to do in 2016. Psalm 85 speaks about restoration. The Psalm is a testament, by the sons of Korah, to God’s faithfulness and restoration of Jacob’s heritage. In the Old Testament in the book of Numbers, the Bible speaks about Korah who was a malcontent and along with a group of rebels, challenged the voice of God speaking through Moses. Korah arrogantly suggested that God chose him and his misguided group to lead the people in the wilderness in Israel. Moses then spoke a decree from God to the children of Israel that if Korah and his men aren’t truly sent by God the earth will open up and swallow them and everything that belongs to them. The earth opened its mouth and swallowed the men, along with their households and all their followers who were standing with them, and everything they owned. Numbers 16:28-32
Even though the Lord destroyed Korah and his posse, God spared Korah’s children. Numbers 26:9–11. God restored Korah’s linage despite his wickedness. He even blessed Korah’s linage by raising up the prophet Samuel through this blood line. Ancestors of Korah: Heman, Asaph, Ethan and Jeuthdan became talented leaders in choral and orchestra music in the tabernacle under king David, hence the writing of an estimated 25 Psalms. These Psalms express humility and thankfulness towards God. A stark contrast from distant relative Korah who had a spirit of pride and arrogance.
Psalm 85:1 says, Lord you were favorable to your land; you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
Beloved, even though your land may have been perceivably damaged by your lineage: parents, grand parents, ancestors, God is saying if you, in this season, will cry out to Him he will RESTORE in this season.
Restore us again, O God of our salvation, and put away your indignation toward us!
▪️God is saying that there are some who are secretly desiring Christ but because of social status, job status, image are not proclaiming Him publicly for fear of loss or backlash. God is saying those who are luke warm He will spit out of His mouth. He’s saying choose this day whom you will serve.
▪️There are some like Korah, who are prideful, arrogant, and judgmental. Those who believe Christ followers are weak and too religious. God is calling for repentance. God is going to open up your spiritual eyes this season.
▪️There are some Christians that have been struggling for years in your spiritual walk, this year God is saying cry out to Him! Believe for your deliverance, get serious with God! Although you’ve been struggling for many years, He’s going to give you the strength to overcome this year.
▪️God is going to bring some of you into different careers this year; careers that glorify Him and fulfill His call of the Great Commission.
▪️God is calling many of you to get serious in your prayer life and study time because you are going to face difficult situations this year. You will face some things that you could of never have imagined happening to you.
▪️Lastly, God has put a burden on my heart for singles. The rest of this post is dedicated to what I feel God wants to speak to singles or those who are single within relationships. God has heard your cries. This year God is tearing down, rebuilding, restoring, and performing miracles in this area. Singles that never thought that they would be married will marry this year. Barren wombs are going to conceive this year. Husbands are returning to wives this year. Restoration!
I will conclude this post here for the sake of length, and will continue on this subject in the next post.
I was made a servant of the gospel by God’s special gift, which He gave me through the working of His power. Ephesian 3:7
The above verse is commentary from Apostle Paul, mentioning his implantation in God’s kingdom as a disciple of the most high. Paul says in the aforementioned verse, I was “ made a servant” of the gospel of Jesus Christ, not that he went in his own volition or was a follower of Jesus. Quite the opposite! Many who are familiar with Paul’s story knows that before his conversion from Saul, he was a diabolical opponent of Jesus’ teachings and followers of Christ. Paul persecuted and killed those who followed Christ and deemed to eradicate the movement of the gospel. It was on the road to Damascus that Jesus appeared to Paul and reprimanded him for persecuting him, closed his eyes of darkness and thus gave him the gift to see (Acts 9:4-15).
So what does this so called “gift” have to do with loneliness and isolation? In Ephesians 4:7, Paul says that each one of us has received a special gift in proportion to what Christ has given. You see beloved, God didn’t just strike Paul blind, I believe the blindness was a metaphor for Paul’s spiritual darkness. Paul thought he was doing a noble, lawful thing by persecuting followers of Christ. He thought he was preserving the current religious laws of the land. God shut paul’s eyes to show him the evil, wicked, and immoral life he was living through pride, self-righteousness, and murder. And God, through Ananias, revealed to Paul that the only way His eyes could be truly opened to the spirit realm and receive true sight is to be touched by God! (Acts 9:12). Even Ananias pleaded with the Lord that this man was too wicked and evil! But I love how the Lord says in Acts 9:15, “Go your way, for he is my chosen vessel to bear my name before nations and kings, and the children of Israel.
Beloved, God chose Paul as his disciple, opened his eyes to a deeper understanding of the things of God that most Christ followers at that time couldn’t comprehend, and gave him many spiritual gifts. One being a gift of deliverance (or exorcism), when he cast out a spirit of divination in a girl in the village whom merchants were using for profit. (Acts 16:18). But the irony is that with these spiritual gifts will come loneliness and isolation! Even on Paul’s spiritual journey there were moments of loneliness and isolation. Recall when Mark deserted Paul and Barnabas when they were spreading the gospel in Pamphylia, which later caused contention between Paul and his cohort Barnabas and they too would eventually part ways.
It was He who gave gifts to mankind; he appointed some to be pastors and teachers. (12) He did this to prepare all God’s people for the work of Christian service, in order to build up the body of Christ. (GNB).
How many of you God has given a gift and you denied it because of your own personal dreams, goals, or worldly ambitions. Or, how many of you have denied His gift because you feel like you aren’t qualified to represent God like Paul, or do not have your life together. But does not God say in 1 Corinthians 1:27, that He uses things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful (NLT). More, some even deny the gift because of concern with pleasing spouse or family. 1 Corinthians 7:33 says, a married man concerns himself with worldly matters, because he wants to please his wife; and he is pulled in two directions. And more — this part many women do not want to hear: 1 Corinthians 7:34, says an unmarried woman or a virgin concerns herself with the Lord’s work, because she wants to be dedicated both body and spirit. There are so many woman who are depressed and feel alone because they want to get married and feel like God does not favor them because He has not given them a husband. I speak to many of these women and a common consensus, I find, is a lack of Biblical study, or even spending time with the Lord. Many, men and women, do not spend intimate personal time with Christ to learn His heart, His leading, His direction for finding a mate. They have a void within themselves, an emptiness that they think only a man or woman can fill when Jesus is already waiting at the altar; He already fell in love with you, but you’re trying to fill that love outside of Him! I wonder if women and men would concern themselves with the Lord’s work and be dedicated to Him in body and spirit first, how many would attract mates who are drawn to them because of their worship of Christ – because they are operating in their gift! Amen!
More, I find that the people God does truly call or give a spiritual gift, often do not want to go! It’s the ones that God does not call that are the ones that are happy to let you know with titles of a Dr., prophet, prophetess, a preacher a pastor etc. before their names. Sadly, some go to push their own agenda, or propaganda. But those that are truly called to proclaim the gospel, there can be, in the beginning, an inward struggle. It takes a letting go of the person’s plans, goals and ambitions; laying down of their life to follow Christ. Beloved that is not an easy task! The Bible says in 2 Timothy 3:12, that everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted! Who in their natural mind would want to sign up to be persecuted? That’s why it is a struggle for some! Beloved, the spirits that operate in this world are wicked and evil, you are going to be persecuted anyway, so why not for Christ? The devil will only give you temporary satisfaction. The devil makes deals. Whatever he gives you he wants to collect something else for it in return!
Romans 11:29 says,
For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable!
Amen! That means that when God gives it to you, He expects nothing in return! The “gifts” of God are irrevocable! Many people want to be in control of their own lives and the lives of others, so they turn to dealing in the occult to get gifts from the devil. You best believe whatever satan gives you he wants a return on his investment! Why do you think you read about so many people involved in these types of practices who commit suicide or murder, or perform other bizarre behaviors that are incomprehensible? Beloved, there is a spiritual realm and it is real! Granted, when a person submits to God’s call, as 2 Timothy 3:12 says, will suffer persecution because the devil will do everything he can to stop the Gospel of Jesus Christ; that will involve times of loneliness, rejection and isolation. Some people will simply think you have become too religious, some will now feel uncomfortable around you; feeling like they can no longer do things around you that they used to do in fear of judgement, and other times God will allow periods of being alone to teach you how to hear His voice; to teach you how to love Him, and to perfect your gifts.
Beloved, that’s why we must constantly do our part and work on our personal relationship with Christ. Work on learning His heart, what pleases Him, and learning His ways. If not, we will turn inward and blame Christ and develop and angry attitude towards Him simply because we don’t understand with our limited thinking. We will begin to blame God for our mishaps when the enemy is simply the devil, and not God!
As people called in Christ, God has given us a gift. In Ephesians 3:3, Paul says that God revealed to him the “Secret plan.” I love that verse because those die-hard followers of Christ know this secret! No matter how much they are persecuted by satan and his cohorts, they keep fighting because God has opened their eyes in the spirit realm. Like gifts, anyone can obtain the secret but some are too busy with the world’s system: money, recognition, power, wealth. More, some are just too busy with the ordinary day-to-day goings on of life to get His secrets or gifts to defeat the enemies in their lives! It has to be a strong desire to live holy and righteous and to want to know the truth of God to really receive this gift. Paul says in Ephesians 3:5, that God has revealed this secret by the spirit to His Holy apostles and prophets. Sadly, some people in church don’t have the gifts, though they sit Sunday after Sunday in their designated church pews only socializing with their inner church circles, while new converts are often isolated and lost in a new environment to eventually stop attending church altogether. Some are even so concerned about recognition within the church that they neglect their own family’s needs and do not even call or check on sick family members or neighbors in their neighborhood outside of their church, outside of their church ministry or without receiving recognition. Sadly, these have not yet received the gift! I say yet because beloved, I have been on both sides of the fence. I am so thankful to God that He has lifted the veil, and opened my eyes like Paul, and it is only because of deep prayer, and wanting God’s heart that He gave me true vision!
It is truly a gift to be sensitive to others’ needs. You never know what people are going through or if one day they may decide to take their lives because they feel like no one cares. Even if people may slight our greetings or invitations we must put our own feelings aside and not let a spirit of rejection enter our hearts and become embittered or angry. We must keep reaching out to God’s people, despite rejection. And this I will tell you takes much patience and diligent prayer. Somehow, we have turned into a me me generation. What are people doing for me, or how can this benefit me. I will be the first to vouch for this because I was this way for years. But what I had noticed was it was a generational curse passed down my lineage. It was a spirit of pride operating in my family and I was determined to break the cycle!
Moreover, sometimes God will allow loneliness and isolation so you have no other choice but to go to Him; so you have no choice but to cry out to Him! When God is ready to elevate you to the next level in your spiritual growth, He will remove the cushion of family, friends, and sometimes church members! It will seem like in the physical everyone is acting up or abandoning you, but in the spirit God is pulling up the weeds, planting new soil, killing the infestation of dead religion! — creating new fruit in you! A servant that is going to be used by God must first learn how to serve. Nowadays, everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame, everyone wants to be in the spotlight without first learning humility; how to cater to their brothers and sisters’ needs first. Sadly, with the resources of social media, I believe it is exacerbating selfishness, self-marketing and self-promotion. As humans we are so driven by our ego and the constant need of validation, recognition to prove ourselves, our worth or talent. Hard we may try, we still fall victim to the world’s propaganda and ideologies, when God calls us to be the exact opposite: to validate others, build up others’ self-esteem; help others to recognize their gifts and help nurture it! We look at shepherds as leading the flock, but in essence shepherds serve their flock: nurturing, caring for, and feeding each and everyone.
If you are to be a shepherd for Christ, you must grasp this lesson. Get it! Ingrain it! If we are to be used of Christ, we must put ourselves aside; our egos, and serve God’s people! I’m not just talking about in church, but in everyday life. Serve your family first: call your family, check in with them if you haven’t heard from them in a while – not text or email, but be a compassionate voice on the other end of the line. Serve at your job by being a listening ear to a despondent co-worker. Serve a person on the bus by giving up your seat, and showing the love and generosity of Christ. Serve your neighbors by introducing yourself, and letting them know you are available should they ever need anything. Beloved, that’s showing the heart of God and using your gifts! Serve from a place of humility, lowliness, not self-validation, recognition; putting others before ourselves, their needs, wants – most, putting God’s love before our own need for love. It was once said, “whatever you need, give it away.” Beloved, that’s how you truly overcome loneliness and isolation. Give yours away! It’s hard, I know because we all want to feel loved and needed, but for some of us, God has made us self-sustainers and has given us his self-sustaining love that we grasp stronger than most. These that understand this love in a deeper more profound way, He calls to spread that love to others who feel lonely and unloved; those who are weaker in the faith.
The problem is we began to get jealous of God’s love for others and turn inward and ask, “what about me, Lord?” When God has equipped us with all the love we will ever need in Him! We just have to learn how to tap into it!
So today I look at my Christian walk through new eyes, a new perspective. God calls us to go out and feed His sheep, only then will we cure our own loneliness!
Give ear and hear my voice, listen and hear my speech…This also comes from the Lord of hosts, Who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance. Isaiah 28:23, 29
There may be moments when you are on fire for God, anointed and filled with the spirit. A fasting master so disciplined, you make monks look fat! Then there are times when you are struggling to even pray, experiencing intense spiritual attacks, feeling like you aren’t hearing from God, and feeling isolated.
I’ve been a Christian long enough to know that this walk will be weathered with different seasons. Yes…there shall be peaks, valleys, mountian-tops, and let’s face it: the floor! There you will find yourself time and time again, mercilessly crying out to God–drowning in tears and wiping away mucous dripping down your face. Oh yeah! It gets ugly!
Praying, meditating, and communicating with God requires obedience, discipline, listening, and being open to where He is trying to lead you in your worship time.
When you go to God in worship and prayer, you cannot have your mind so set on what you want to pray, write, or do for that matter, that you’re not sensitive to God’s voice. You must worship with an open heart and a willing mind to be lead wherever the spirit wants to take you!
For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26
I remember a time when I awoke bright-eyed and bushy tailed, eagerly anticipating my devotion time; pen, paper in hand, Bible open and ready to write! O.K! nothing’s coming… Umm…doodle, doodle do. Hello, God I’m here, ready to write!…urgh! Ten minutes later I’m staring at a blank piece of paper. Frustrated, I turned on praise/worship music, and song after song that played touched my spirit in a most intimate way! Each song’s message was to just worship God, just lift up His name! At that time, God just simply wanted me to worship Him! I began to weep like a baby!
Other times during devotion, I would commence to pray about something that may have been heavy on my heart, and God would often lead me to pray in another direction. Whether it was for a country, a group, family, or an individual person. I remember one time saying, no I don’t want to pray for him, I don’t even like him! But, God gently kept leading me back to His will! Lol!
Beloved, there were also many times I have gone to the prayer closet, and simply could not pray! Empty, nothing, nada! When you can’t pray you go into panic mode! Lord, is there any sin in my life, have I been disobedient, have you taken your spirit away from me? No! Not at all! God may simply be nudging you in a different direction.
A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9.
Beloved, there was one time I was so burdened I could’t pray! Feeling abandoned and like God wasn’t answering me, I asked God if He even cared about what I was going though? I was so upset, I went running. Trying to juggle my phone while in motion, I tried to turn on music and instead hit the podcast button. There was a pastor preaching an exact word on what I was going through! The pastor was speaking scarily into my situation! I stopped running, and began to weep! How much God loves us so that He attends to our deepest needs!
Beloved, God has various ways to communicate with us! Let us not be so focused on our agenda when we go into the prayer closet that we miss what The Father is trying to relate to us!
What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding…
I Corinthians 14:15
The story that broke this week regarding Jason Collins/Tim Tebow was a shocking reminder that the world is on a formidable mission to nullify God and His word! There is an agenda to desensitize everything that is against God’s word.
In today’s world things are taking a drastic turn for the worst. Men and women who take a stand for God to remain pure until marriage are ostracized and looked upon as weird, overzealous or too religious, while countless others are choosing to live in sin, cohabitate, and forbidding to marry; many are having children out of wedlock –some with different partners–are celebrated. Blended families is the new term; boldly declaring marriage antiquated! While those that may be single with no children are often ridiculed and pressured by family to get married and have children.
We are now living in a time where everyone has movements, causes, civil rights–but the Christian! If Christians rescind support of something against the word of God, we’re deemed not loving, if we speak out in support of the Bible against sin, we’re considered hateful. If we don’t support doctrine that does not line up with GOD’s word we’re considered heretics! Everyone is allowed to express opinion, but the Christian must be quieted, silenced! I have personally been attacked on several occasions because of my beliefs! The table has indeed turned where the Christian is becoming the anomaly!
Beloved, these are the days we’re living in. If you are a Christian, I admonish you to continue standing for God, no matter what pressure you are facing from the world! Continue holding fast to the word, continue praying, continue proclaiming what the word of God says, continue seeking God for His guidance!
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. James 4:8
Continue to remain pure knowing that your home is not of the earth, but a far greater kingdom!
For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
2 Corinthians 5:1
Beloved, I would be the first to tell you, it is not easy. You will be talked about, lied on, isolated, even attacked! But hold on, keep going, the Lord is on your side! The most beautiful thing to me is the more I’m estranged from the world, the deeper, more intimate my relationship is with God! In my most trying times, God always shows His faithfulness. If we keep our ears to the spirit realm we most always will get a word from God that directly pertains to the situation we are going through. It always brings me to tears because it ever reminds me how God sincerely loves us and is aware of our present circumstances. He has given me soothing comfort in the midst of the most trying times in my life. That’s what God’s grace is about: peace, lasting joy and happiness you can only get from the Father!
The world may have joy, but oftentimes it’s temporary and comes with conditions. Serving God solidifies an inner knowing that you are going to be O.K. wherever life may find you! It’s that peace that keeps you and radiates around you! Looking from the outside in, I always thought it was the person, situation, or circumstance in my life that caused me misery or pain. I always chose to ignore, avoid or run away whenever I experienced uneasiness, discomfort or exacerbation. It wasn’t until walking with God that I learned that we experience life from the inside out, not the opposite! The one constant in every situation or relationship in your life is you! You are the determining factor on what type of life experience you will have! Your mindset, attitude, and spiritual maturity determines the way you will view life. To be a successful Christian and withstand the world’s dogma, it is imperative that you build up your spiritual man, therefore you will not be so easily deterred by outside influences. More importantly, if you haven’t fully trusted Christ with your life and allowed Him full control of your circumstances, you are always going to react according to the flesh.
It’s our patiently waiting on, and trusting God that gives us peace in any situation we will face. If you have that peace, circumstances won’t easily upset you, people’s opinion of you won’t matter like it used to. You will be firmly planted, you will stop wanting to run every time a trial comes. You will have patience and confidence in knowing that God will supply whatever it is that you may need: a job, husband/wife, child, healing, because you will have the utmost confidence that everything is going to work out for your good! That’s maturing spiritually.
Walk by faith, not by sight, God knows the end. His ways are not our ways and His thoughts our thoughts. Isaiah 55:9, that in the end it all works out for our good! Albeit, it may not always be the way we want it to be, but rest assured beloved, it is for our good!
Continue to stand!
If you are living according to the mandates of the Holy Bible and are being persecuted it’s because you are an effective witness for the Lord Jesus Christ. Contrarily, if you are sitting comfortable in the Lord satan doesn’t want to bother you. He see’s you sitting perched high on your religious chair–not ministering to anybody, not praying…let alone praying for anybody else, not reading your Bible, not serving in a ministry. Your ministry is your lip service, “God is good all the time!” Or, “I’m blessed, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Ghost!” Oh, satan’s going to leave that one alone. When you are complacent you are doing his work for him, matter-of-fact he’s going to pamper you, make every thing go right for you, and build you up in false pride. He’s going to get you real comfortable so he can get you to a place of compromise. He whets your appetite by dangling the worldly carrot in front of your eyes, “sure, you can still have, fame, fortune, material prosperity, act like the world, dress like the world, talk like the world, watch what the world watches, party, drink, smoke, have sex; even with somebody’s else’s husband or wife and then tell yourself, “we are in love.” Oh, satan will have you so comfortable in him, until you start believing his lies!!! You will begin to ration in your mind, “we get along so well, God must have put us together.” In your heart you remember the Word, but out of compromise you let satan lead you by your emotions, by your wants, lusts, and the desires of this wicked world. Slowly he’s pulling you back on his side. But you know what’s the best part about it for him? Not only has he snatched you out of God’s hands, He now has you calling yourself a “Christian,” sitting up in the church doing his will! He’s now using you as his protegé to blind, destroy, deteriorate souls that God is trying to save, by your lifestyle. They look at you and say, ‘they’re just like me; they do the same things I do, say the same things that I say, and go to the same night clubs I go to, why should I follow God’? Some others will say ok well it looks like I don’t have to give up anything to become a Christian, so “sign me up!” When you compromise you are leading souls into darkness! You are telling the world a spiritual lie that you can have the world and God at the same time!!! 2 Corinthians 6:17 warns us to,”come out from among them, and be you separate, said the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” And you wonder why you don’t have any power or authority in your Christian walk so you blaspheme the person who is on fire for the Lord. Talking about them, ridiculing them. “Oh they think they are Paul, with all of that preaching and ministering! It don’t take all of that!” You wonder why God is not using you! You become jealous of their power and try to speak against what God is doing in their life! But I tell ya, to get that power you gotta suffer, you gotta go through some things, you gotta know what it feels like to be so hungry that your stomach feels like it’s eating your insides! I tell you, you gotta know what it’s like to go in the prayer closet in the morning and don’t come out until late at night. And you’re talking about this person, “if they were living right and doing God’s will they wouldn’t be persecuted. They must not be living right because they are always going through something.” But you just don’t know God has to bring them t-h-r-o-u-g-h before they can get a BREAKTHROUGH! “They are always suffering.” That’s because they are not compromising! They are a threat to satan! They are PRAYING souls out of his hand. Their ministry is breaking the shackles of sin, loosing the bonds of wickedness, feeding the bread of life to a starving and hungry generation. And you wonder why they are being persecuted. They are a threat to the kingdom of darkness! Satan is hot on their trails because they are a formidable opponent to his kingdom. He’s trying to stop the mouth of God with attacks, tribulation, war, and suffering but the more he attacks, the more he’s helping to further spread the gospel. This Christianity was built on the blood of persecution. Need a refresher course? Read the book of Mark. God will allow it for every Christian that desires to know His will for their lives in order to establish a deeper relationship with Him. Because every time they’re attacked, guess what? It’s going to drive them to their knees to seek the heart of God. Oh but when they get back up~ Isaiah 40:31 says but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint…so satan’s attacks are only creating testimonies, bringing resistant souls to Christ by the miracles that’s being done in the spirit realm , and creating a “fire” in that person that you complain about is too zealous for the Lord. God commands us in Mark 16:16 to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Complacency should not be commonplace in the kingdom of God. If you are lukewarm I ask you to reexamine your relationship with Christ. Ask Him to give you a fresh outpouring, a new anointing of the spirit. So many people have been hurt and turned away by the so-called “church.” Beloved, there are souls that are desperate, and hungry for the pure word of God, they are seeking Christians that will walk upright, and in integrity in the things of God. They are tired of being mislead. They seek a people who will speak the truth according to the Holy Bible and live according to its doctrine. Beloved, you are the only Bible some people will ever read. Let your life serve as light on a high tower, beaming ever so brightly to those who are perishing in darkness.
By Puah NeielNagual