The 3 P’s of 2017: Purpose, Passion and Plight. 

First off, HAPPY NEW YEAR! This past year the enemy may have taken away a job, home, dream, loved ones or material possessions. But the one thing that you are in control of that he can’t take away is your joy! But it depends on you. You have to make up your mind; make up you mind to succeed, to push on, to fight every step of the way this new year. Even though some days it may have looked like you were down for the count, wounded in the battle of life, or are still trying to recover from a crash landing.
It’s disconcerting that people take addictions seriously but often take emotional well being for granted. The same rule must apply: ONE DAY AT A TIME! The fight starts and begins in your mind before it ever reaches your will and your flesh. As children of the Most high God, we all are given different tasks, assignments, and jobs to do in this life. Many will be assigned a visible platform, but most often, the hardest assisgnments are the ones that are being fought behind the scenes; in our families, on our jobs, and in our communities. That’s where the real work takes place: face to face, hand to hand, and heart to heart. But we must and can only do what we are equipped to do at any given time in life. When we think we have so much to give is often the time we most fall. But we mustn’t remain, we must get back up learn more about ourselves, behavior, character and strive to improve…to do better, be better. We must allow ourselves to make mistakes, mess up, fail. Beloved, that’s the only way a child of God truly moves more towards God’s light. Most, we must allow others that same right to learn as they go and make mistakes without holding them in judgement or unforgiveness. For we all have fought a grave battle, and some are striving daily to heal severe wounds.

We are all on life’s rollercoaster, gallantly reaching high points but yet falling as fast at the same time because we live in this frail body called flesh. We must find out what God has called us to do and do it to the best of our abilities, though we are like mere babes learning how to walk this life while constantly falling…learning as we go. ln 2017, allow yourself to fall without criticism, harsh words, judgment or guilt, but with patience with yourself, encouraging yourself, and most importantly, loving you every step of the way. 

I don’t know about you but I’m so glad God is so gentle and loving through each trial that He teaches me valuable lessons that I’m more than willing to learn while being patient with myself and finding the strength to keep going, to keep fighting the good fight of faith…likewise we all should grant the same right to everyone else who may cause us offense. Sometimes we forget who the real enemy is. Though Christians, we aren’t excluded from spiritual skirmishes. God is teaching me that the real victory comes from choosing to choose love in spite of…not letting life’s situations cause us to become bitter or unforgiving. For I believe everything, every situation and even every heartache has a purpose though the finite mind can hardly understand. This new year, take the time to mend combat wounds then go into your prayer closet and await further instructions.

We are all in this confusing, twisting, binding enigma called life that will never be fully explained perhaps until we go to our final resting home. So with that I leave you…love, laugh, forgive, celebrate and most importantly, cherish family. And as goes that old Southern hymn…hold on old soldier…You can make it…You can win!

Psalms 37:23

The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the LORD upholds his hand.

Puah Neiel

If you don’t know who you are the devil will steal your identity! 

When we think of temptation we may relate to the anecdote of satan, a physical presence in the form of a snake, tempting Eve to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden. Eve is enticed and tempted by the captivating fruit that she desires, but in which God told her was forbidden.

I want to talk to you today about a not so obvious temptation; one that is hidden but its bite is as viscous as a snake’s. It’s very subtle, often times catching you off guard and causing you to act out of character.What I’m talking about is emotional temptation. It’s a type of temptation that the devil uses to break your peace. It is when he assigns demons, thru people, to harass and entice you to react negatively or cause you to lose control.

Satan knows your weaknesses. Most temptations are physical: lust, adultery, stealing, alcohol, drugs. e.t.c. But what I’m speaking about in this text are inward temptations: fear, doubt, anger, rage, vanity — to name a few. Temptation that deals with your emotions. Satan often sends his messengers through people to break your confidence, question your looks or abilities, aggravate you, get you flustered and frustrated; which causes you to deflect. By theory you’re a nice person but you have been so severely tormented and harassed by satan’s tempters, it causes you to forget who you are. It causes you to forget your inner beauty, good manners, compassion and dignity.

Some of you don’t even know who you are anymore. You’ve been hijacked by the devil! You used to be loving, kind, and gentle, but because of the circumstances of this life, you’ve turned inward: feeling victimized, feeling sorry for yourself, and letting bitterness take hold, in which you then give back to the world.

If you don’t know who you are the devil will steal your identity! Emotional temptation by the enemy causes you to momentarily be used by the devil by losing your temper, retaliating, and seeking vengeance. After the damage has been done the end result is embarrassment and degradation, then satan leaves just as quickly as he came and you’re left wondering what just happened. You were a pawn to do satan’s work. If you are not wise you will fall into his trap every time, causing destruction upon yourself. If this is your weakness you must be very mindful and prayerful regarding this area of your spiritual walk. Ask God to give you discernment and give you wisdom every time you’re provoked emotionally, not to let satan use you.

Beloved, we have to use common sense as well. If it doesn’t look right, sound right or true, if it doesn’t feel right, it’s sent from the enemy! Walk away! Or if you are in an environment where you can’t walk away, remain silent or try to ignore the offense. Resist the urge to respond, argue, fight. If God leads you to speak on the situation, do so tactfully and kindly then leave the rest to God. Resist the urge to retaliate or seek vengeance. Vengeance is the Lord’s.

Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. Romans 12:19

He will take care of the person. You may feel violated, taken advantage of or victimized. Resist the urge to defend yourself from emotional temptation, otherwise you’re walking into the fire. It will take disciplining and training yourself in order to not be provoked by condemning or confronting situations.

Through subjective life experiences, you have learned to respond to situations a certain way; whether good or bad. Pray that God breaks the bad habits. Further develop your good habits.

Signs you’re dealing with emotional temptation:

-Easily agitated

-Defensive

-Always angry, upset

-Holding a grudge

-Closed off from people

-Withholding love

-Used to give freely now holding back

Ask God to remind you who you are, then ask Him to remind you of your first love: Him! If you don’t have a personal relationship with God ask Him to show you how to love like Him; if you do, ask God to help you fall in love with Him again, only then can you love people despite the devil working through them. We must be reminded how the Bible says we should love:

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV)

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

Print this out! Hang it on your mirror, refrigerator, dresser. Get these verses into your spirit, Beloved. Live it, don’t just simply read it! Only then will you be able to look contempt in its face, walk away with peace in your heart and let God fight your battles.

-Puah Neiel

A FORK IN THE ROAD

A Parable…

Two men were headed down a road. The first man, his road was rocky, dusty, hilly and the landscape was barren. Unsure that he was traveling on the proper road, he periodically checked his road map and sure enough he was always on the right road. The days were long and cold. He was often famished and went days without food until he found a rest stop along the way. Whenever fear encroached his mind, he screamed out in despair, ‘this journey is too long and difficult, I can’t make it!’ As he wept, thoughts of his long awaited love comforted his mind. That was the strength that kept him going.

The second man, his road was paved with a white line to follow, for he did not have his directions. He was told that he was supposed to travel a straight and narrow road. Along this man’s journey he was upbeat and optimistic that he would arrive at his appointed time. He even whistled while he walked. Along the way, kind hearted strangers stopped alongside the road and gave him food to eat and water to drink. But like the first man, there were long stretches of time when he didn’t have any food to eat. This was grueling for the second man, for he loved to eat! Nonetheless, the second man kept on his journey. It seemed as if the miles were getting longer and longer. The second man had walked so much he had worn holes in his shoes. He began to complain, ‘surely there must be a better way, this journey is too difficult to travel.‘ Nonetheless, he continued on. As day turned into night, the temperature dropped to below freezing. The man tried to sleep under a tree that he saw along the desolate highway but he could not rest because he was shivering uncontrollably. Out of anger, he cursed the road! He cursed the weather! He cursed his shoes for failing him! He even cursed God! He exclaimed that he was going to make it no matter what! He endured that bitter cold night and was back walking on the road early the next morning. The second man walked and walked.

Both men came to a fork in the road on their respective journeys. There were two signs posted.

One sign read:

The terrain on this road will get rockier, there will be hills on this road and there will be stretches of darkness and bitter cold weather. But rest assured, you will reach your destination sooner and arrive at a most beautiful and peaceful place! 

The second sign read: 

This road will take you a round about way to your destination. It avoids the pitfalls of the first road. This road is safer to travel than the first road. This road will eventually expand into a wider more comfortable road, with smoother terrain to walk on and it has beautiful idyllic scenery. However, traveler beware: YOU ARE TRAVELING AT YOUR OWN RISK!

The first man was given specific directions on which way to go, he did not want to get lost so he chose the first road, though he feared what was to come ahead. 

The second man was given the exact same directions. As he reached the fork in the road, he was exhausted and panting for breath. Looking up, he stood paralyzed contemplating the signs. This journey was long-g-g. He was famished, tired and exhausted. After much thought, he decided to take the easier road. Though it may take longer to get to his destination, he surmised he had walked long enough already and needed a break. He decided to take this road to ease his pain, heartache, setbacks and despair. It was going to take longer to arrive at his destination, but he was excited about the beautiful description of the roads’ idyllic scenery and eagerly awaited when he would be able to smell fresh flowers, see green flourishing trees and drink fresh water from glistening springs. So the second road he chose.

The first man started down his road of seeming despair. The second man sprinted down his road with ease. The first man had indeed experienced all that the sign read. With cries, tears, restless nights and dark days, somehow he managed to continue on. For he knew that his Beloved was with him in Spirit. In his mind’s eye he envisioned seeing his lovely GRACE.

The second man, on his journey down the road, was so in awe of the ambiance and beautiful landscape. He stopped many times to pick flowers, eat of the earth’s fruit and bathe in its waters. He enjoyed this road so much that as it got broader and broader; as the sign dictated, he got lost along the way. That was ok for him because he could not believe how beautiful the path was that he had taken and often congratulated himself for choosing the right road. He excitedly proclaimed, ‘I could walk along this road forever!’ forgetting the promise that he had made to the Love of his life. He was enamored with what he saw, what came to him freely and because of the ease and comfortability on this road, he felt as if he could live here forever. The more he walked, the more he lost track of time. He was in a different world and he ate of its fruit. He picked berries off trees, he feasted on wild mushrooms, he ate sap from the maple tree. ‘This is heaven,’ so he thought. As he trotted on, he began to notice that things were subtly changing; more and more down the road, dramatically changing. The grass began to wither, the flowers began to die, the birds were no more chirping. The beautiful sun shifted to the dark of night. He knew he had gotten lost but he did not think that he was that lost. ‘I’ll find my way back on that beautiful road,’ he said to himself. He had been walking for days and days. A chill would shiver his bones and the night would blind his eyes. He began to worry that he may never find that road again and more so, frightened that he was too far away from reaching his destination. But he kept reiterating to himself that he had plenty of time and had strong confidence in HIMSELF.

As he furthered along, vicious, growling wolves leaped out from behind a set of bushes! The second man was terrified that he would be their next meal. Fearing for his life, he ran as fast as he could in sheer terror. He found a tree and climbed it as the wolves blindly ran by. Further along as he was walking, he fell into a shallow covered hole in the ground. Struggling to free himself, he grabbed hold of a broken tree branch and pulled himself out. As he sat there, blood drawn scratches burning his body and covered in mud, he cried. ‘If only I could have chosen the first road surely I would have reached my destination by now!’ The man begrudgingly got up and continued on his journey. Nearing a wooded area, he was chased by a bear! The bear clawing him almost in two, he wrestled with the bear and miraculously escaped from its grip. Now he was bloody, bruised, scratched up, muddy, and fighting for his life! His strength was faint. He realized he was not as strong, smart, and wise as he first thought. He realized he was in a living HELL!

The road was so beautiful in the beginning he thought, so sound, so pristine. ‘I have been deceived!’ he screamed, ‘Now I’m never going to get out of here!’ As he continued down a side road, he finally reached a sign. ‘Thank God!’ He excitedly yelled! The sign read: No Man’s Land. The second man’s excitement quickly turned into despair. Head hung low, the second man continued walking throughout eternity.

By Puja Nagual

Beloved, this parable was written to warn you of all the trappings of this world: success, fame, money, recognition and power. While it’s not wrong to want to be accomplished in life, one must not allow these things to become idols. The world will entice you with its beauty, extravagance, jewels and excess, but if you do not realize that you were born to serve God you will be greatly misguided in life.

Our souls desire God; our flesh craves the world. It’s when we replace God’s love with things, people, status that we get lost on life’s journey. If you choose to take the first road it will undoubtably be excruciating, painful and hard. You will cry a lot, you will face doubt, fear, anger, even rage but you must keep going; for there is a great reward at the end! The man that chose the second road only had confidence in himself and his own abilities. How many of us are like that? He felt that he did not need God or guidance for that matter, and thought that he could make it through life on his own. He started off well, but all that he had accomplished was taken away from him. That second man was worse off than when he first started.

I Admonish you, serve Christ first then all these things will be added to you; there will be peace that comes along with your blessings that no enemy can take away from you. I love you and God bless you all!

This parable is dedicated to my dear friend and future minister in Christ, Sierra Shields. For she wholeheartedly chose to walk the first road. 

New Year 2016 Prophecy Part 2

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.  

▪️Self rejection

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.

-Puah Neiel

New Year 2016 Prophecy

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.

Psalm 85:4 

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.

Stay tuned…

Overcoming Loneliness and Isolation

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.

Ephesians 4:11

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!

-Puah Neiel

A Friend who sticks closer than a brother

An acquaintance had been asking me to hang out recently. With my full schedule, and the holidays fast approaching, I was searching deep within myself to find a reason not to go. I’m just not going! I said to myself. I just don’t have time, besides this isn’t one of my close friends, I retorted. Right then, I felt a tugging in my spirit to go. Geeze…ok I’ll go!

So I let my friend know I’d take her up on her offer. The day of, we greeted one another and immediately I felt a sadness in her spirit. She hugged me as if she had won the lottery and I had showed up to give her a million dollar check! Ok…I thought, this is odd. On we went about our day, my friend garrulously chatting the whole way. Maybe I was wrong, I surmised, she sure has a lot to talk about! Throughout the day I would continue to take on the role as the attentive listening friend. As we finally ended the evening with a late night dinner, it was there that I saw it! The look in her eyes, it was confirmation! I know that look all too well! I have been to that place before! A place of lonliness, sadness, and despair!

I listened intently, albeit curiously as her face lit up brightly like ornaments on a Christmas tree as she reminisced about her childhood; how excited she would get toward the approaching of the holiday season: The house lit aglow with holiday decorations, the aroma of gingerbread cookies baking in the oven, and the enjoyment and fulfillment she would have sharing stories with her family around the dinner table!

That excitement soon turned to doom as the expression on her face began to parallel the emptiness in her heart. She began to say how times have changed. How as adults we are consumed with work, bills, worry, and problems. She also shared how the emotional turmoil of a bad marriage left her hopeless, angry, and depressed. By evening’s end, she thanked me profusely for taking the time out of my “busy schedule” to hangout with her.

Wow! That was a wake up call for me! Here I am concerned about my day-to-day activities, and here is a life that, quite simply, needed a friend. At the least someone to just listen! How often do we miss the opportunity to share the love of Christ because we are too busy, have our own agenda, or are simply not compassionate. I admit this was a time of repentance and humbling for me. How glad I was that I heeded that voice in my spirit! Oh how we as Christians tarnish the Gospel because we are busy doing and not being. Being transparent. Being Light.

Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:15, 16

Beloved, we as humans can only appease a person’s pain but for a moment. But, Matthew 5:15 says your light will give light to all in the house! We need to let our light shine before others in patience, giving of time, in longsuffering, so they are to know WHO it is that illuminates our spirit! Who’s the candle that lights our fire! Who guides us through the perils and pitfalls of darkness! Jesus Christ! Amen!

Point being that they may give glory to “your” Father in Heaven! That they may in turn seek His face, as to know who is the One who is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him! Hebrews 11:6. That they can therefore experience the fruits of His merciful spirit for themselves!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness Galatians 5:22

Beloved, we often forget that the holiday season is a time of darkness, depression, and oppression for many. Whether it’s grief over a lost loved one, a divorce, kids having left the nest, singleness, etc. Perhaps you are a person that has found yourself in the grips of hell this holiday season. There is a way out: Jesus Christ! Many who have come to God are experiencing a life of freedom from torment and despair! Personally speaking, I am one of them! If you don’t have a personal relationship with God, get down on your knees and ask God to come into your life today! (Romans 10:9). If you do have a relationship with Christ, seek God diligently and expect your deliverance! Or perhaps God has laid a person on your heart whom you simply can’t get out of your mind? It’s a prompting of the Holy Spirit. Reach out to someone today, be the light in their dark place; introduce them to a person who sticketh closer than a brother!

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

Christians in the church consulting psychics

You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he? (1 Corinthians 10:21, 22)

When I first met *Tina she seemed very eager and hungry for the word of God. She was promptly at every church service, Bible study and workshop; Bible in hand, ears as alert as a dog anxiously awaiting its masters command. I must say I was quite impressed with her fervor to know the word of the Lord. Tina was very humble, and personable and her joy for the Lord easily led to our fellowshipping after church. Being a “babe” in Christ, as time went on I found myself offering counsel to Tina in areas of her life that she was struggling with. Some of those areas we covered meticulously in the word and prayer; others fasting was suggested and scripture was given to study. But for some reason Tina was not getting a breakthrough. One night Tina started talking about problems concerning her health, and went on to say that it was spoken to her that she would suffer years of sickness. Baffled, asked her to elaborate. She then confided in me that she had sought out psychics earlier on in her life. I reassured her with the word of God then told her that there is no condemnation regarding mistakes she made in her past, reiterating Romans 8:1. She was still unsettled. Her anxiousness emanated from across the table as that of a child needing to tell a bad secret. “Ya know, I have been seeing psychics up until recently she said firmly, and they all tell me the same thing: that I’m destined to a life of sickness and suffering.” I shouted, “don’t believe it! That’s a lie from the enemy!” He comes to lie, kill and steal! But she kept saying if it’s not true how can they possibly all tell me the same thing? I said because even though you are seeing a physical person, it is the same spirit operating from person to person; the spirit of death sent from satan himself to try to convince you to believe you are going to die. And he is doing that by confirmation. My heart went out to Tina. All these years she was believing this lie. Saints, sometimes we can worry ourselves sick albeit we are perfectly healthy, because of a word of death spoken over our lives. Don’t believe it! Who’s report will you believe, God’s or satan’s? I was so overwhelmed with Tina’s story I felt compelled to write her a visual guide, lined up with the word of God, to study whenever she starts to think that way. Furthermore, I reprimanded her to cease immediately from consulting any form of psychics or soothsayers. I reminded her of the commandment God gave to Moses regarding the Israelites In Leviticus 19:31 “Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.” I advised Lisa to study Romans 8:1-6, and the following is an outline that was given:

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

**When we came to Christ all our sins were washed away by His blood! Moreover, the packs/curses that were made against our life were broken. Hallelujah! God does not condemn us with guilt, that’s satan’s tactic. Furthermore, God would never speak damnation over our life .

2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

**Through the death of Jesus Christ who was crucified on the cross we have been delivered from the former sins (in this case consulting psychics) that condemned us and that was leading us to death. Through Jesus’ death we are no longer under the curse of the law; worldly laws as well as religious laws. The only requirement for a believer is to accept His grace by Faith! He has freed our spirits from all demonic, generational curses and from death perpetuated by the enemy. (Satan’s lies of sickness, disease, physical death). However, we have to apply this FAITH and really believe we are free and we MUST speak it over our life!

3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh,

**Worldy law cannot appease the spirit man. When we operate in worldly law and follow after/worship its idols we are left with feelings of emptiness, desperation and hopelessness. Worldly law operates in the flesh. In contrast, spiritual law operates in the supernatural realm, edifying the soul.

4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

**When we give our life to GOD He determines His will for us. Therefore satan’s ordered plans and assignments on our life are null and void! Hallelujah! Its God who has the ultimate say over our life and breaks the curse of darkness! That His kingdom work will be carried out through us. We must walk according to what God & His word says, not according to satan’s cunning lies and the workers of his kingdom whom he uses to deliver his messages. He is the ultimate deceiver! Anything that doesn’t come from God/Bible/Christian Kingdom, DO NOT BELIEVE IT! DO NOT ACCEPT IT/ENTERTAIN IT IN YOUR SPIRIT! It is all lies from the master of darkness. He assigns the same spirits to different workers in his kingdom to try to make you believe it’s the truth because it’s the same message, but always remember what source it’s coming from! His goal is to slowly weaken God’s people to destroy their faith with lies so he can wipe out God’s servants

5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.

**When you are in the flesh, because of fear, impatience, despair you consult psychics/fortune tellers. We have to repent of our sins and pray and ask God to deliver us from dependence on man and carnal ways of thinking. We have to pray and ask God for an intimate relationship with Him. Our minds have to be renewed in His spirit! Amen! God speaks directly to us, we do not have to go to any out side source!

6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
**Seeking after fortune tellers brings death: spiritual, emotional, and even financial death. Many people spend thousands of dollars seeking out these mediums often leaving more disturbed then when they first arrived. It’s a spirit of torment and restlessness, and you are entering into soul ties with the powers of darkness. You are dancing with the devil, allowing him to pour forth any lie to you that he wants. It’s not your future that’s being predicted, it’s his lie that he is trying to get you to believe. Unfortunately many people believe it and accept it as truth, even some christians! It’s a scheme, a hoax designed by the enemy to keep you coming back, spending more and more money while bankrupting your soul! Only God can give us the fruits of the spirit which are love, joy, peace.
*Name changed to protect identity