Friday, March 30, 2012

In The Face Of Injustice

It is one thing to overlook injustice because of ignorance of a problem; it is quite another to know of a problem and be in a position to do something about it then fail to act.  We live in an age when people demand their right to live selfishly. Selfishness, lust, covetousness and greed are the driving force in our society. We speak of freedom, tolerance and equal rights, but these pursuits breed co-conspirators to evil. It desensitizes people to injustice, promotes a spirit of lawlessness and rebellion towards God, and allows wickedness to prosper. People that once had conviction towards wrongdoing,  immorality and social injustice begin to stand by and do nothing, their excuses getting in the way of action. Enabling persecutors to make prey of others is to sin by silence.

Injustice is allowed to victimize others when a person that knows about wrongdoing has the ability to affect change, but chooses not to act. The person may feel they are too small to impact a situation, or perhaps they fear the reprisal of making an enemy, but fear of rocking the boat is not an excuse that carries weight with God or men.God did not give His people a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. It is not a small thing to overlook injustice. God gives good men position, ability and influence then places them where injustice is, waiting for them to do something about it. To protect self interests rather than stand up for those who are wrongfully abused, mistreated or taken advantage of is just plain wrong.  When people overlook injustice it allows wrongdoing to be perceived as acceptable behavior, consciences dulled, hearts hardened to sin and rebellion ingrained in the will of those that succumb to it. Those that use force and intimidation impose unreasonable demands upon others, holding them to unquestionable compliance or rewarding their silence with praise, the perceived feeling of importance or other perks. People should be in covenant because of choice, not because others conspire to lord over them. Overlooking injustice allows evil to go unchallenged and evil to multiply. Like leaven, it will quickly permeate whatever group of people it affects and grow uncontrollably until someone stands up and says, “STOP!”

Today I challenge each of you to look around and see the injustice - where you live, work, socialize and conduct your daily affairs. It may be the way an elderly person is given negligent care in a nursing home. It might be a child abused by someone they trust, or someone bullying them. It might be a teenage girl being manipulated by someone looking to make prey of her, or a young man harassed by someone at school. It may be a woman being beaten or abused by their spouse. It could be someone in power or authority misusing that position for selfish gain. It might be the plight of the homeless, an orphan, an animal, even, that is being mistreated, neglected or abused. It could be human trafficking victims, forced into sex slavery or prostitution. It could be the silent cry of children aborted before they have a chance to be born. There are many, many social justice issues that need our attention and intervention. We each have a responsibility to challenge injustice and wrongdoing within the sphere of our influence or when we know that it is occurring right in front of us. Do you stand by and let your neighbor get beaten? Do you stand by and let your neighbor get robbed? Do you stand by and let your neighbor be deceived, bribed into silence, or watch as someone else makes a victim out of him for sport? No! Would you want someone to stand idly by while when they knew they could prevent you from getting hurt? Who is the good Samaritan? Will it be you, or someone else? You may have to face your fears. Then do it afraid. The presence of fear does not mean there is not still the presence of courage! God can make you courageous! You may feel like you are like David going up against Goliath. So be it. Greater is the God inside of you than the arrogant pride that mocks your attempt to stop the wrongdoing. Pride goes before a fall, and we must trust that GOD will set the stage for those giants to fall. We have a voice. We have a great God! Standing up against injustice causes others to gain the courage to do the same. Stand up and use what God has given you. It’s time to say, “NO MORE. THIS MUST STOP!”

If we glory in anything, it cannot be the name or reputation we try to hold onto for ourselves. It cannot be the kingdom we try to make or preserve to bring glory to our own name. No, these are only imitation cloaks of man-made glory. Let us glory in the fact that we truly understand what God requires of us; that we know Him, and exercise His heart towards others. He looks for us to demonstrate lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. These are the things He delights in! (See Jer. 9:23-24) We should love the Lord with all our heart, mind and strength, and love our neighbor as ourselves. 

Dear Lord Jesus,

Help us not to turn a blind eye away from social justice issues that you want us to address. Help us to know our level of involvement, and what you would have us to do. Guide us to the places where injustice is, and give us the courage to do whatever You may ask us to do. Father, injustice is like a plague in our society and it must be stopped. Please give us wisdom to know what battles you want us to fight, and which ones to stay out of. Give us wisdom from Your Holy Spirit to understand YOUR course of action in any given situation. I ask for the wisdom that will outwit the enemy and the answer that our adversaries cannot contradict nor resist, according to Your promise in Luke 21:15. You have also promised that if I would open my mouth wide, You would fill it. So I thank You for Your words in Your timing, in Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

An Appointed Time For Change

Every season has an appointed time for change. Opportunities for change present themselves by situations in our lives making us aware of a need to make a change, and a choice.

When God wants to change our nature, He presents a struggle. These “struggles” often appear with personality conflicts, power struggles and other situations. It could be within a family, on the job, a place where “politics” arise in the community, at the PTA, or in the church. Far too many people succumb to trying to please others and in the process, wrestle with dominion issues. This is a no-win situation for everyone concerned. T  The question is, “How long does it need to continue?” and “What do I do about it?”

God allows people to learn from oppressive or uncomfortable environments in order to perfect their character. He allows them to encounter people and situations that challenge them personally so as to reveal their true character. Often these encounters occur in places that we can't easily escape from, such as on the job, in our church family or even within our own family.  Tests evaluate a person’s character, inspects their morals, and tests their integrity. Sometimes the changes that take place are more of an internal restlessness. You might experience dissatisfaction, frustration and a yearning to break free into something new, even if you do not yet understand what that "new" thing is. God puts that restlessness there so that people will be ready for change when He is ready to produce it! When the door finally opens sometimes it is comfortable and other times not, but people have to be ready to move when that appointed time arrives. At some point, the season becomes ripe for change and decisions must be made that will affect the direction of the person’s future and set the course ahead. If you seek Him, He will let you know step by step what you should do as your response, and He will help extract you from where you're sitting between a rock and a hard place (Smile!) - when it is time. It may get messy and it may get uncomfortable, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t Him in the middle of your situation. He opens doors and He closes doors as He sees fit. Even though some of our life events may seem random or unexpected at times, God is all about making things happen in "at the appointed time!"

It is interesting how quite unexpectedly a situation can suddenly elevate into a crisis mode where people are called to make difficult choices. Freedom is rarely ever achieved by doing nothing at all. Waiting it out or hoping things will change may be optimistic but that hope is misplaced if a person thinks that it will happen without making some sort of a decision and taking action. Faith requires action, and action requires confidence towards God.

With every test, God has an appointed time for it to come to an end. God increases discernment, prophetic gifting and spiritual strength through the process of wrestling and struggle. Sometimes the decisions that we must make involve employment, where we are going to live, or other practical decisions. At other times, the tests and decisions we encounter deal more with integrity, character and moral decisions. Stay true to what you know is GOD's heart and His will. If you aren't sure, ask Him to show You in His word, but don't get caught up in allowing other people to manipulate you with negative things such as guilt, condemnation, and manipulation When others try to yoke you with intimidation, inferiority, fear and insecurity…the person must wrestle with all of these things until they make a decision for change.

Jacob wrestled with his brother to break the yoke of domination, but he wrestled with God until his nature was changed. God changed his nature and revelation began to flow. (Read Genesis 28).

Rachel wrestled with her sister in order to become fruitful.

Joseph wrestled with his brothers, with slavery and with oppression in order to keep a dream alive.

Sampson wrestled with lions, with his wife (Delilah), and with the harness put on him by the Philistines - until he broke free. Although Sampson was responsible for his choices and some of his choices weakened his strength, it was while he was bound and harnessed that his spiritual sight was restored and his strength grew back. Think of it! Sampson became blind in the natural as a result of his sin, but in the process recovered his ability to see his problem with spiritual clarity. That clarity produced a righteous desire to pull down the house of the enemy! God granted the desires of his heart!

In every person’s life they will inevitably encounter someone that wants to strip them of spiritual strength and vitality. People wonder why some relationships are such a struggle. It might just be that certain relationships are not ordained for your life. If a relationship drains you of spiritual strength and vitality, it's time to let go! Those that place yokes of oppression, guilt, condemnation or manipulation on others do so in order to pull others down into their own narrow perspective, and yoke them to their own beliefs, values or ideals. This is a harness God never asks us to wear if it also harnesses our faith, ability to love or walk in freedom. False yokes only produce bitterness, resentment, unbelief, and irritation. If you're weary of wearing the false yoke, take it off. It’s the enemy’s plan to remove your garments of authority and royalty and replace them with reproach. Reproach comes when people submit to wearing false yokes that God did not place on them, and the longer people wear those false yokes, the more they succumb to re-writing their belief system and identity in Christ. The testing, the wrestling, and the struggle to be truly free of oppression is what God uses to change a person's nature.

When you are changed to the point where your loyalties can’t be bought, bribed, manipulated or yoked to the wrong influences, that’s when you become a person God can use for His greater purposes. He will always present a test, and with that test, a choice. Will we fear man, or God? Who is really on the Lord’s side? Where you place your loyalties, and who is allowed to be a voice of influence in your life determines much more about our future course than one might stop to think about.

“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” (2 Chron. 16:9)

When kings of men oppress the servants of the Lord it is an attempt to reproach the living God, and He will allow the stage to be set that causes the proud and arrogant person to fall by their own sword. (See 2 Kings 19:7 and also the story of King Saul in 1 Sam. 31:4).

God causes the occasion for defeat. (See 2 Chron. 22:6,7).

God causes people to meddle with trouble so that they fall. (See 2 Kings 14:10).

God will harden people’s heart in their own sin, so that their pride and arrogance causes them to think they are unable to be defeated. (Exodus 14:17,18).

People may try to hide their true motives for what they do, but God sees through every disguise. (See 2 Chron. 18:29-19:2).

God is able to help or to overthrow as He sees fit. (See 2 Chron. 25:8).

The reality is, when the struggle has produced a new nature inside of a person, a situation will suddenly arise that escalates into a confrontation. God knows just the right button to push that hits a person deep in their convictions. The enemy seeks more and more control, always trying to bring people close enough to throw another yoke on them, but God uses that “hot button” to cause something inside of the person to rise up and say, “Enough.” “ I have tried to accomodate you in everything else, but that thing you are asking now I just can’t go along with.” This is where the oppressor gets hit hard in their blind spot, and pride causes them to lose the battle. They felt unable to be defeated, and God saw every motive for the things they have done. In that instant, the yoke gets broken, for greater is the God inside of a person than the oppression of the enemy around them. The anointing breaks the yoke!  That situation that may feel so overwhelming and uncomfortable is designed to bring issues to a tipping point. Decisions must be made. A course of action must be decided. Put your trust in the Lord. The presence of the Lord is there to lead people out into freedom. Some, of course, could make the choice to be free but fear keeps them immobilized and a slave to an oppressive environment. Oppression will either make slaves or drive you out of the land of oppression. God leaves the choice up to us whom we will serve.

"And it shall come to pass, when you become restless, that you shall break his yoke from your neck." Gen. 27:40

The same God who set Israel free is in your midst to give you that same choice. Angel's stand by awaiting instructions. It’s a time of decision making. It’s a time of God's mercy. Jesus gives every person the opportunity to say, "Today is the day of salvation," to remember that Jesus came to release to all who would seek Him - the power to have their sins forgiven and partake of the power of His resurrection. A time to set a new course or stay the old one. Let God arise and His enemies be scattered, I declare over you today, the yoke is BROKEN in Jesus name!

When God changes the nature of his servant, He also changes their wineskin. He cannot put new wine in an old wineskin. It just won’t hold it. He looks for those who are willing to be changed, radically overhauled so that they fear no man yet walk humbly in a spirit of grace and love. A person’s belief system must be changed; their faith must be purified to challenge what they truly believe, and to choose who will be Lord of their life. When the person is changed from within, they are given a new heart and a new message. God is changing His people radically and bringing them out of the chains of slavery and raising them up as deliverers. He is putting a new message of liberty within them! He is putting His cry of deliverance to come forth from those that hate to see His people oppressed. The Lion of the Tribe of Judah is roaring for His people to come out and be separate from those that seek to make prey of them!

Father God,

I thank You for showing me the reasons why I have encountered opposition. I thank You for truly bringing about my freedom. Holy Spirit, take things out of my hands so that I don’t try to control things out of fear or insecurity, or even a lack of understanding of your purpose. Do what You know needs to be done. Give me strength to make difficult choices if and when they arise, but help me make the right choices with integrity, demonstrating honor and respect towards others. Override my natural responses and give me Yours, Lord, so that whatever I say or do is full of grace, love and a humble yet firm response. Help me speak truth in love and not be double minded. Help me to stand firm in what I know to be right. Give me Your conviction so that I will not be persuaded by fear, reason or manipulation. I thank You for opening new doors and opportunities and granting me Your favor in every circumstance of my life. Let Your favor lead me into divine connections, give me appointments with people of influence and grant me favor with others. Bring me into the place you have already prepared for me. In Jesus name, amen.



Tuesday, March 27, 2012

When God Separates

There are many reasons why relationships end. Some people grow apart, finding that they really don’t have enough in common to sustain a relationship. Others die a painful death that can be much more complex or difficult to process. This article is written to help people understand that there are times when God just wants you to know it’s ok to let go. As TD Jakes would say, “If a person’s going to walk out of your life, let them walk!“ “Don’t beg them to stay, don’t try to convince someone to love you…let them walk, because they are not a part of your destiny!” This is so true. Some people are not a part of the bigger picture; they are there for a reason or a purpose but when that is fulfilled, often that is when things may begin to fall apart. Some people also don’t understand the quality of loyalty. They are loyal to themselves above all others, often viewing others as expendable. This too is ok. You don’t really want or need that type of person in your life. If they don't value you for who you are, let them go. Sometimes the situations that occur in our lives that end up breaking relationships are for the best, and even if we can’t realize it at the time, often we do later on.

There are also times when God pulls people apart because the relationship(s) are unhealthy for our spiritual growth and will actually turn people away from Him if those relationships are left together. You cannot be yoked to dead weight and expect to move forward with the Lord. Toxic, destructive relationships will damage people’s spiritual walk with God and injure their faith. It is my hope and desire that this article will help shed some light on things that may have occurred in your life that have left you with unanswered questions and unhealed wounds.

So many people struggle with “church” hurt, disappointment from people they expected more from, or broken loyalties that leave people feel completely rejected, abandoned, abused and an outcast. God does not abandon His children, but He will separate and allow offense to burn the bridges behind people so that they cannot go back to unhealthy, toxic relationships. It’s painful, but necessary. Some people might say otherwise, that we are to make amends and try to patch things up, but that is not always what God has in mind. Yes, we can try to make amends, but what I’ve noticed is that not everyone wants to make amends and put things under the blood; they just want the satisfaction of trying to continue to place guilt, shame, condemnation or other yokes upon people that God has not approved. Jesus came to set us free, not keep us unequally yoked to others that insist on dominating people and making victims out of others, even to the point of oppression and bondage. God separates because not all people are ready or willing to grow spiritually. Those that do will probably find themselves facing some turmoil as God prunes certain relationships from their lives. Some have even bought into a toxic faith system that keeps them loyal to the wrong people, relationships and elements of contaminated faith that actually works as a thief in their life, robbing the individual of self esteem, genuine faith, and they end up placing their loyalties in the wrong camp. A toxic faith system is made up of perpetrators, co-conspirators, enablers, victims and outcasts.

Here are some behaviors and character traits to help you recognize the various roles: (these are taken from the book “Toxic Faith” by Stephen Arterburn and Jack Felton).

Characteristics of the Persecutor:

* Frequently defends own problems
* Feels the need to embellish the truth
* Feels the need to be in control
* Speaks boldly about sinful behaviors, even when involved in that same behavior
* Projects own wrongs onto other people
* Has an attitude of superiority
* Feels they are owed something
* Was probably born into an abusive or neglectful home that appeared wonderful to those outside the family
* Is extremely self centered
* Contorts God’s word to fit own beliefs
* Surrounds self with people who are insecure and easily swayed
* Manipulates others using guilt, shame and remorse
* Attempts to make others accept responsibility for own mistakes
* Is very angry
* Is compulsive
* Blames others for own failures
* Feels disappointment in God, self and others
* Fears not measuring up or losing image
* Refuses accountability
* Possesses an observable compulsion such as hard work that appears admirable to the outside world

The Role of the Co-Conspirator

* Assumes the role of the ultimate team player
* Feeds the persecutor’s ego
* Keeps things going within the toxic faith system
* Typically is a small person that feels big when in on the action
* Ensures that everything is taken care of responsibly
* Willingly deceives to maintain the persecutor’s power
* Is good at lying
* Enjoys being rewarded for willingness to distort the truth
* Usually felt inferior as a child
* Is viewed by outsiders as trustworthy, conscientious, competent, mature and reliable
* Protects sense of self worth by protecting the persecutor
* Is sincerely deluded
* Lives to be appreciated and recognized by the persecutor
* Ties person feelings of value to another person rather than to God
* Addicted to the caretaking of the persecutor

Characteristics of the Enabler:

* Allows victimization rather than promotes it
* Supports victimization with silence
* Is dedicated to not rocking the boat
* Does not trust God enough to allow family turmoil or destruction of a ministry
* Appears powerless
* Receives praise for sainthood in being able to survive under severe persecution
* Can be perceived by co-conspirators as the enemy or a threat to the co-conspirator’s position
* Allows the persecutor to be in denial
* Covers up the harm done to the family or the organization
* As a persecutor beings to lose credibility, will start to develop other skills, such as obtain degree in counseling, knowing the system and the family may fall apart
* Feels very little self worth
* Goes along with group consensus
* Is addicted to the persecutor and the system
* Becomes a caretaker of the persecutor
* Has the primary goal of maintaining peace and the status quo
* Inwardly is angry at living an unfulfilled life
* Outwardly appears loving and supportive of the persecutor
* Has great difficulty thinking for oneself
* Needs someone to intervene

Characteristics of the Victim:

* Makes tremendous sacrifices out of a combination of a desire to serve God and a very low self esteem.
* Wants to feel a valuable part of something important.
* Was often victimized as a child
* Is easily manipulated by persecutors and co-conspirators
* Feels victimized when the truth about toxic faith ministry is revealed
* Is often threatened by co-conspirators and persecutors to keep the victimization a secret
* Often abandons spiritual journey upon discovery of abuse by an exploitative leader or parent
* Bears the pain of existing in a world of lies and deception
* Refuses to doubt questionable activities; instead rationalizes why exploitative things would be necessary for the ministries survival
* Often has a martyr complex
* Sacrifices a wonderful family for the sake of a toxic leader
* Though astute in business and other affairs, naively practices a blind faith
* Resolves to protect and defend the toxic leadership and ministry
* Sometimes leaves one toxic faith ministry and goes to another
* Looks for someone to make salvation easy
* Becomes isolated and lonely once disillusioned about a ministry or family
* Is reluctant to stop the victimization for fear of looking foolish
* Often is involved with a toxic faith ministry out of a desire to be or look important
* Willingly pays a high price for acceptance

I would mention that although there are various roles and characteristics of each participant, in the end, all are victims. The enemy plays to win souls and damage as many people as possible through his various tactics; none are without the high cost of emotional pain and trauma. How often those that are victims eventually transform from victim to persecutor and even that of a predator. The enemy continues to reproduce the cycle of pain and the toxic beliefs into anyone that is none-the-wiser to his course of action.

The book goes on to say ( and I quote), “Of the five roles in the toxic faith system, only one is not a religious addict or bound by toxic faith. In most toxic systems, someone can usually see the problem and confront it. Unwilling to play the games of the persecutors and co-conspirators, the person becomes an outcast.”

“These people who stand up for what is right and challenge the system lose their jobs, friends, and church. They become lone voices in the wilderness, crying out for change that will not come as long as the persecutor dictates power, the co-conspirators manipulate the system, the enablers allow it to continue, and the victims fall in line with blind faith. When outcasts surface, they are identified as troublemakers and pushed out of the system as soon as possible.”

… “Outcasts who challenge the delusion of the system are discredited immediately. The toxic faith system creates a lose-lose situation where the outcasts must give up perception of reality or be willing to face complete rejection. Abandonment becomes the reward for trying to correct the ministry (or leader).”

“Outcasts can interpret reality for themselves. Even when their perception of reality contradicts that of hundreds or thousands of followers, they can clearly see the problems and press for solutions to those problems. Outcasts are unimpressed by position or personhood. They love God and want to protect his people and his institutions from spiritual fraud.”

“Those who are so dedicated to God have little difficulty seeing others’ dedication to egos and empires. Yet they are forced to suffer for what they see because they refuse to watch people live a lie and abuse others. No toxic faith system can handle this keen insight and dedication to truth. They must place their jobs and the church they love on the altar of sacrifice as they are forced to move on to a place free of toxic faith.”

Characteristics of the Outcast:

* Is not a religious addict.
* Does not possess a toxic faith
* Willingly stands alone
* Stands up for what is right
* Is willing to be rejected by others in the toxic faith system
* Can discern right from wrong
* Commits to leaders having integrity
* Refuses to be victimized by false teaching and a lack of integrity
* Speaks out for truth
* Usually loses a job within a toxic organization over concern for it
* Suffers rejection by friends after challenging the leadership of those in the toxic faith system
* Often is treated like a leper
* Sees the truth and acts on it even if it produces great personal pain
* Is motivated to protect people from spiritual fraud
* Endures shame for actions
* Interprets reality for self
* Others respect them for their courage

“Toxic faith exists within an unhealthy family or system of people trapped in roles that addict them and destroy their relationships with God. …Where toxic faith exists, everyone is affected. Everyone is hurt by the counterfeiting of faith in an all powerful, loving God.”

These are some powerful excerpts from the book “Toxic Faith,” and this is a very well written book about breaking free from the unhealthy, co-dependent roles that support and keep a toxic faith system alive. Many people question things enough to know that something isn’t right, but don’t have the courage to confront it and make the changes that are necessary so that they can get into a place where the Lord can heal them from toxic relationships. If this article has spoken to your heart, I pray that you seek the Lord further on this matter, and I highly recommend this book so that you can read it for yourself. God wants to shine His light on those things in each of our lives that hinder our faith from growing and maturing, but until we are willing to confront certain things with truth, until we are ready to allow God to show us things in our own belief system that don’t line up with truth, we are not ready for change. We have to be willing to surrender all that chokes out our faith, and allow God to make those crooked places in our understanding straight again. I pray that this is your day for salvation! The Lord is standing at the gate, waiting to lead you out into green pasture. He is waiting to lead you out into an open field where your faith can flourish. The question is, “Do you want your future more than where you are at right now?” “Will you take Him by the hand and allow Him to guide you into the truth that will set you free?” You are stronger than you think. It’s time to stand up for what you know is right and not be a victim any longer. It’s time to overthrow the enemy’s yoke of oppression and come into the life God has for you!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Honor Principle

More and more I realize that the important issues of life comes down to honor. Honor towards ourselves, others, and most importantly, towards the Holy Spirit. Once you start seeing your actions through the eyes of whether or not you display honor or dishonor, it has the power to convict you of sin you never realized was there.

The truest trademark of those that treat others with dishonor are those that view themselves and others with inferiority. Feelings of inferiority will shape a person's thoughts, feelings and behavior in a negative perspective towards ourselves and others. Dishonor is the result of those that struggle with toxic feelings, low self esteem and identity issues. Guilt tries to deflect blame using tactics of rejection, belittlement or treating others with insignificance. It demonstrates a lack of honor towards self, others and God. If we allow God to transform our mind, however, He will show us that we, His children, are indeed of royal lineage. (I have received the gift of righteousness and reign as a king in life by Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:17; I am a joint heir with Christ according to Rom. 8:17) We have been birthed into a kingdom with royal privileges, a divine inheritance, and our Father treats us with the utmost respect and honor. The problem between how people act and what they are is simply the heartfelt understanding of the truth: He has covered our sin, removed our shame, cleansed the records of our wrongs, and deemed us royalty. See Col. 1:14, 2 Cor. 5:17, Col. 3:12, Rom. 8:1, 2 Peter 1:4) We need never again bear the reproach that causes people to treat themselves or others with disrespect and dishonor.  

Every day we are faced with choices, and we can either choose to show honor, or dishonor. Every day we choose whether or not we will honor or dishonor the Lord and His Holy Spirit. It makes all the difference between whether or not we sense the reassurance of His presence. Remember, your words have the power to bless or to wound, to release life, or death. If you've spoken the wrong things, it's not too late to turn it around. Apologize, if necessary. Leave room for others to save face. Overlook offense. Demonstrate grace, kindness and love. Freely forgive, for God has offered His forgiveness to you. Demonstrate what it means to live by the conviction of honoring others, for they, too, have just as much right to become heirs of His kingdom. Many are, although they may yet need to discover their true identity. When they have this revelation, they too will walk in the newness of this revelation, which has the power to transform them from the inside out. "Honor is one of the greatest attributes in the entire Bible. When the kingdom is present inside of us, honorable behavior comes naturally to us. We give honor to all men not just because they deserve it, but also because we are honorable citizens of the King. When we walk in our royal call, our behavior is not determined by our temporal environment but by the eternal environment that lies inside of us.”

“Whenever we treat people honorably even if they refuse to honor us, we demonstrate that we have a standard within us that isn’t determined by the people around us. We don’t just honor people because they are honorable, but we honor people because we are honorable. For a Christian, honor is a condition of the heart, not just the product of a good environment. Honor doesn’t mean we agree with the people we are honoring: it simply means we value them as people who have been created in the image and likeness of God.” …  “Honor is the cornerstone of an empowering culture that eliminates the need for control. The presence of honor creates order through dignity instead of the fear of punishment. Order, when it is fostered by honor, results in empowerment; order enforced through fear results in control. If we were to take negative consequences out of an environment where the people don’t have honor in their hearts for one another, disorder and chaos would surely develop.” - Bill Johnson, The Supernatural Ways of Royalty.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Breaking the Yoke

When you're wearing a yoke, you are not free. You are bound to whatever is holding you. God wants to break out within you before He can break out in your circumstances. He wants to give you a revelation that will cause something on the inside of you to get set free.

There are many people right now that feel so far away from God; perhaps even people that have known Him and wondered, "Why am I finding it so hard to hear your voice?"  I want to reassure you that God hears you and knows exactly what is on your mind. When people feel that God is silent is a time when they become most vulnerable to attacks on their mind. For a time, we must learn to endure. Sometimes it is simply to understand the tactics of the enemy and build compassion for others that are struggling with similar issues, but the time comes when God releases the answer to your need and revelation that will set you free.

I hear the Lord saying, "My love never fails; it never gives up...My love never runs out and you can have complete assurance that it is not by your obedience, your determination, or your own efforts that secure My love for you. I chose you! I birthed you! How could I ever give you up?"

"You started off well, but what happened? What you have tried by self effort and sheer determination to make work, now receive My grace." I sense that He wants to restore the joy of your salvation and bring you back to a time when you first discovered the joy at knowing your sins were forgiven. It wasn't and still isn't about your ability to prove yourself, but about His grace and the blood of Christ that covers all of our sins.

I hear Him saying to you, "Today I break the yoke of the past, the yoke of your own false perceptions. I am breaking off the yoke of oppression! I am breaking off the yoke of shame! I am breaking off the yoke others have tried to put on you! Look! I am dancing on the false yoke that others have tried to yoke you is under My feet! The Lord is saying to you, "Look at Me dance, it's under My feet - and if it's under My feet, it's under yours as well!" "The yoke I break," says the Lord, "no one has the authority to put back on you. It's just an illusion, a lie. Don't wear it again. Don't try to put it back on. The yoke is broken!"

I want you to know that the Lord is dancing over the yoke He has broken from your neck. Whatever you felt bound to; you are released. You are free. The Lord says, "Tell my people to come out from everything that is unclean, unhealthy and designed to keep you focused on self effort."I AM the God who sets you free!

#Breaktheyoke, #Breakeranointing, #Theanointingbreakstheyoke

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Prayer and Declaration for the United States of America

With the many rumors of war and another apparent, imminent standoff in the middle east, I thought I would re-post a declaration my husband and I wrote last year in memory of 9/11. It calls for  healing for our nation, but it also declares angelic sentries and Divine intervention to "hold the lines of our inheritance and secure our borders." I feel this is the right time to once again, lift our shield of faith and ask for Divine Providence to provide safety and protection to those in the United States of America. Please join me in making the following declaration.

Prayer And Declaration Of Healing For Our Nation. 

Dear Heavenly Father,

Our founding fathers believed in prayer. Our nation was birthed out of prayer. We have prospered because of prayer. We have maintained our strength on prayer and  by God’s Divine Providence and Will, our nation will be healed and restored by prayer. We call upon You and ask You for favor, not because we deserve it, but because You are gracious and willing to grant it. You alone are holy, full of wisdom, and know all things. We ask that Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Father, You said in Your Word, in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” We come before You today to remember our sins and ask Your forgiveness. Many of our forefathers did not remember to ask You for forgiveness. Please forgive the generations of people that have not given You the honor that is due to You. Grant us Your mercy. For Your namesake, O God, we ask that You remember the sacrifice Jesus paid on our behalf and deliver us from the hand of our enemies. Deliver us from evil we pray and hear our petition. We acknowledge You, Lord Jesus, as the One who can forgive us our sins, grant us eternal life and give us victory over our enemies. Father God, we ask that You bless us with Your favor  - on land, in the water, and in the airwaves. Help us to advance from victory to victory, crush the wickedness and oppression of our enemies,  and establish Your justice among men and among nations. Therefore,

We decree:

The Lord has set the lines of our inheritance and we have a good inheritance. We declare the enemy shall have no memorial nor any right of inheritance in the United States of America. Let angelic sentries be established over every boundary line, secure our borders, patrol our cities and hold the line of defense. We ask for safety over every place where people gather: in their homes, in the workplace, shopping malls, stadiums, events, and public venues. We declare safety and divine protection throughout our public transit systems, trains, airports and air transportation, schools and universities. We include all police, special forces and military personnel and their families, as well as every private citizen to be covered by this prayer and declaration. We declare that “no weapon formed against us shall prosper and every tongue that rises against us in judgment shall be condemned,” according to Your word in Isaiah 54:17.

We decree:

A release of wisdom, foresight, knowledge and understanding; a release of courage and confidence to our military personnel in every branch of military service. We bless our civil servants, and all those that work diligently to provide safety, protection and service to American citizens. Let their teamwork produce effective, efficient results to achieve their goals.

We decree:

A release of interdiction into the enemy’s camp that will delay, disrupt, and destroy enemy forces, supplies, finances, and communication en route to the enemy’s targeted battle areas. We declare the enemy’s tactical operations are immediately halted and are unraveling now, in Jesus name. We declare fear, confusion, and disruption into the enemy’s camp and we ask that You, O God, drive the enemy out of hiding. Rout the enemy, Lord, and compel him to go where You know the Your enemies will be exposed and caught. We declare the enemy shall be brought to justice. Lord, we ask that You would cause the enemy to reveal what he has planned in secret and expose the things that have been plotted to do harm to the United States and its citizens. Cause the enemy to stumble over his own tongue and create a breach in the enemy’s camp. We declare the enemy’s plans shall not be executed.

We decree:

A release of the glory of the Lord to be our rear guard. Protect us in our blind spots, Lord. Show us the enemy's plans before they can be executed and give us the wisdom to know what to do. We ask that Your counsel would direct our military in their judgments, actions and directions given to the rest of our military men and women. We pray for Your blessing over all their families. Give them strength when they are weary, hope when they need hope, and practical answers to the concerns of their daily lives.

We decree:

The United States of America is the gate of righteousness, the gate of the Lord. We lift our voice to praise You, O Lord, and thank You for mercy, forgiveness, safety and protection. We choose to stand with You, Lord, rather than be divided and fall at the hands of our enemies. You have given Your people dominion to exercise Your judgments in the earth according to Psalm 150:6-9. We bind all the power of the enemy and declare an overwhelming victory over the works of evil. We declare that we will not be controlled by a spirit of fear and terrorism. We release a spirit of faith and courage to every citizen in America. God, you are for your people. The Lord is our light and our salvation; we shall not fear!

We decree:

A release of the government of God, according to Isaiah 9:6. We declare that You, O God, have broken the yoke of the oppressor and the power of ungodly authority as Your word states in Isaiah 9:4. We release the government of the Lord Jesus Christ and of His kingdom to increase upon the earth. We bless our government leaders. We bless our city leaders, our governors, and those that work diligently to keep order, safety and protection that so often go unnoticed. We bless President Obama, members of Congress, our Senators, and members in the House of Representatives. We bless the leadership You have given us, and we ask that You endow them with wisdom and understanding to govern Your people well. We pray for unity and decisive leadership among them. We call all things into alignment to bring order and establish the judgments and justice of God from this time forward, and we ask that the power of Your Holy Spirit will accomplish this.

We decree:

We decree a release of the Prince of Peace over our families, our cities, states and throughout our nation. You, O God, have a heart for these people and it is Your desire to heal and restore this nation. Your grace is here to transform us. Your love is here to restore us. Your love surrounds us and Your power is setting us free. We release a spirit of liberty to move throughout our nation. We declare we will not be afraid to stand up for what is right in Your eyes. Give us courage, boldness, strength and unwavering commitment to stand with You.

We decree:

A release of the spirit of reconciliation. We declare a release of forgiveness;  we will not retain the sins of others and cause bitterness to grow in our hearts. We forgive those that have sinned against us, caused offense and wounded us. Let love overcome hatred, and good overcome evil. We refuse to let pain turn us into the likeness of the enemy of our soul. We refuse to become like those that have tried to make us like them. Give people a revelation of who You are, Father. Turn the tables on the enemy and draw people to You that they might be saved. We bind up the spirits of death and hell and forbid them from advancing against us in Jesus name. Let Your Holy Spirit release the power to heal and restore the people of this nation, O God. Let the joy of the Lord be our strength. We do not bless the actions of our enemies, Lord, but we bless them to know You - the One that can set them free, heal them and save their souls from an eternity of suffering.

Thank You, Father, for hearing our prayer and establishing our decree. You said in Job 22 that if we would return to You good would come to us, and in verses 27 and 28, “You will make your prayer to Him, and He will hear you. You will also declare a thing and it will be established for you, and light will shine on your ways.” You said that purity would deliver those that are not innocent. Lord, we believe that as we have prayed and made these decrees in faith, You will answer. We believe You will guard us, protect us, and deliver Your people from evil and we thank You for it. Thank you for salvation for our loved ones, deliverance from our enemies, healing for our nation, and blessing to overflow. In Jesus name we pray, amen.

#Prayforyournation, #PrayerforUnitedStatesofAmerica, #DecreehealingforAmerica, #Healourland, #Prayerforsecureborders

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Virtuous Wife

A Virtuous Wife

“Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her, so he will have no lack of gain.” Prov. 31:10,11

Trust in a marriage is what holds the bond of covenant together. It’s not the marriage license. It’s not the ring, the kids or even the law. It’s the power of covenant that is built on mutual trust and loyalty to one another.

A wise woman builds up her house. She fosters an environment in the home that makes for peace, love and respect. She demonstrates respect and honor towards her husband which nurtures trust and encourages communication.A foolish woman tears down her house by sowing seeds of destruction. You might think, "What woman would dare do that?" Yet, it can be easier than you might think. Every time you give your mouth over to gossip or slander, you sow seeds of discord, and those seeds will reap a harvest at some point in the future. Every time you share the weaknesses of your spouse with your friends, you sow seeds of disloyalty and distrust. When a wife uncovers the sins of her husband and willingly ruins his reputation to others, those are actions of a traitor. Love covers a multitude of sins. Treacherous actions such as these will undermines a man's ability to effectively lead his household, and it makes room for anger and strife. Every time you judge relationships of others or gossip about them, you plant seeds of judgement that can boomerang back into your own life. No one can plant these kinds of toxic seeds and have the heart of her husband safely trust her. He sees this lack of character and integrity. It may take a long time, but whatever you plant in your garden will grow. Plant wisely. Plants seeds of faith. Faith treats others as though they are already the finished work of Christ, walking in that transformed character. Faith believes that what is unseen will come forth, and love never fails. Build others up by sowing seeds of positive affirmation, honest communication, love and demonstrating good character.

It takes faith to trust in the Lord and do things His way, but the strength of any marriage is dependent upon the weakest place where the two are joined together. If trust is broken or shaky, the marriage lacks strength. It’s like a shaky leg on a table; if trust is broken you don’t have a leg to stand on. Trust is the very foundation of covenant. This is true whether it is in a marriage between a man and a woman, or the relationship between ourselves and God. Obedience to the law alone does not put us in covenant. Anyone can have a contract that states they are “married,” but if the heart is not in the marriage, then it lacks the very elements of love, respect, honor and loyalty upon which covenant is made.

Real strength in a marriage is built by trust and truth. The enemy will bring a variety of temptations to either spouse but it’s important to keep in mind that often it’s not so much about the actual “temptation” to do the wrong thing as it is about secretly working to destroy the foundation of trust between two people in a covenant relationship. When trust is eroded, offense is created and all things become suspect. Satan’s temptations are to undermine that loyalty, trust, and mutual submission one to another. Loyalty is the bond by which the covenant is held together.

The power of two in agreement is something the enemy absolutely hates, because he knows the multiplied power it brings into a couple’s prayers. When God finds two in agreement with His will, nothing can stop the prayer from coming to pass. That is why the enemy tries very hard to undermine trust and loyalty; without it, prayers lack strength.

It was the witness of ‘two’ or more in the Old Testament that testified to guilt or innocence in legal proceedings (Deut. 19:15);

Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their labor and can withstand an enemy (Eccl. 4:9-12);

Where two or three are gathered in the name of Jesus, He is there, and He has said “Again, I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.” (Matt. 18:20)

God made marriage to take two individuals and bind them so tightly to each other that they actually become “one.”

Commitment to being a woman of virtue is not an easy thing. There are many challenges along the way. But the rewards are worth it. The Bible gives each person a responsibility in marriage. Read 1 Peter 3:1-12. Again go back and re-read the portion of scripture in Prov.31:10 & 11. There is a promise there. When the heart of a husband safely trusts his wife, he will have no lack of gain.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Where is God When Life Falls Apart?

Problems? Trouble on the road ahead? Sometimes it feels like problems the size of boulders are pummeling us on every side. It seems like so many people are just trying to hold on and make it through life. The struggle to survive can be overwhelming. People have lost jobs, homes, stability, and some have even lost family members. They feel overwhelmed just trying to keep their head above water. Many feel like they are drowning in despair as heaviness keeps trying to pull them down.

We’ve been there, too. It’s hard to hold on to your faith when you’re starting to believe the lie that God has abandoned you. It’s hard to hold on to your resolve to do the right thing when the devil is whispering everything he can think of to get you to cast away your confidence in God. It’s hard to stay true to your convictions when you feel that your convictions haven’t produced any rewards. It’s hard to keep yourself motivated when you feel like tossing in the towel and staying in bed. It’s hard to believe in God’s promises when you’ve lost sight of dreams, ambitions and haven’t heard His voice in a long, long time. It’s hard to get anything out of His word when you don’t feel the desire to read it, and when you do, you find yourself looking at black words on a white page, reading and re-reading the same sentence several times and …nothing. You close the book in frustration and walk away.

“Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint…but happy is he who keeps the law.” (Prov. 29:18)  In other words, when people lose sight of God and have no vision for their future, they will eventually return to their old ways of life. There is a fine line between being truly free from a religious spirit and not succumbing to the pull of the world which draws a person into apathy and departing from the Lord. It is a constant tension that must be maintained.

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6)

You feel dry. Empty. Discouraged. Where is God???

Where is God when you are hurting, feeling hopeless, and have no answers for the problems that seem beyond your ability to overcome?

God sees your struggle to live and He is there. Even when we feel like He has left us in a field to die and just walked away. Ezekiel 16:5-14 tells a story of a newborn infant that was despised and loathed at it’s birth and thrown into an open field to die. God saw and said, “When I passed by you and saw you struggling in your own blood, I said to you in your blood, “Live!’ Yes, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I made you thrive like a plant in the field and you grew, matured, and became very beautiful.” 

Notice how God reaffirmed His word twice. He wants us to feel assured that He is watching over us and is willing to step in to help! He knows that we need a place to not just barely survive, but to thrive. Will you trust Him today to take you to that place? Will you trust Him today to show you what you need to know to get beyond your own personal limitations and enter into a place where you can experience more of His loving care? God is much more loving and gracious than we know. Every time we feel we have discovered an aspect of His grace and mercy, God comes to do something new, different and reveal another dimension of Himself that we have not yet encountered. He is infinitely so large we cannot comprehend His vastness, His love, and His tremendous commitment to our lives! God does this so that people will continue to experience more of His goodness, more of His grace, and through their experiences, come to know His ways. When we learn God’s ways, He succeeds in unraveling the devil’s lies, false doctrine and ideas that give people an incorrect perspective of His nature and character. Unraveling is God’s technique to teach us real truth.

The truth is, He sees everything. He knows that in order to get free from religious thinking, hypocrisy, pride, zeal,selfish ambition and other undesirable qualities, He must bring us to a place where it's literally 'waiting it out.' We cry out, we seek Him, implore Him for answers, a visitation, something...He is quiet. He tests our responses and maturity level. He allows temptations to come to see if we will hold on to the promises in His word or cast off our confidence. He knows when we have nothing left and are barely holding on - but it doesn't mean He has left us. It simply means we can't sense what He is doing or His presence. God knows our struggles and our pain. He knows our thoughts and feelings, and He knows everything that has happened in our lives that have developed a false belief system in our thinking. He knows that pain, disappointment and discouragement often manifest as pride, anger and resistance towards Him. But He loves us too much to leave us feeling abandoned.

Sometimes life is just hard. It doesn't seem fair. Life happens to the just and the unjust. Good things happen to wicked people and good things happen to good people. The same with the bad. We have to learn to hold on to what God has said when we can't hear in the moment we're in. His heart hasn't changed. His thoughts for us haven't changed. Like any tough place in life, this too shall pass. You will get through it, even if that is not the way it feels right now. So hold on. It's a valley you're passing through but He will walk you out on the other side.

Sometimes though, the answers we need to resolve our problems elude us because we are so conditioned to struggling. Sometimes it’s that sense of fighting to survive that allows a person to get through very demanding circumstances. It’s understandable, but at the same time, that struggle to live in less in a less than healthy or safe environment can cause people to develop an independent spirit towards God. It can cause a person to set up a shield of self protection around their heart, but the wall of defense that is intended to shield a person from more emotional pain also serves as a wall of resistance towards being yielded and submitted to God. And that’s a lot of the problem. God simply can’t get through our wall of defenses. It’s like an invisible force field of pride, insecurity, fear and brokenness. All of our trust issues are covered up with a masquerade of pretense, false faith, and an outward display of “togetherness” that gives ourselves and others a false impression of who we are and what we really feel. The thing is though, as hard as it may be to admit, that is what hypocrisy is. It's play acting.

When a person is struggling it's usually about this time that the devil will make sure to send someone across your path with a religious answer. People can have a variety of opinions about why others are going through certain things, but it doesn‘t necessarily mean they‘re correct in their assumption. Jesus made a powerful statement in Matthew 7:5 by declaring that hypocrisy blinds a person to seeing clearly. It works both ways, blinding both those that judge others, and blindness in how we see ourselves. So the best possible answer is found in Matthew 7:1. Don't judge, period. You know how I sum it up? If you haven’t walked in another person’s shoes, refrain from judgment. You can’t possibly know what someone else is going through and they certainly don’t need a religious answer. A religious answer is from someone that thinks they know biblical truth about a matter when in fact they have never personally walked through the same type of situation and had to live that truth through their own experience. There is a big difference between zeal for the things of God, and knowledge with understanding. There is a big difference between knowing what a scripture says, and having it worked into your life through experience. One without the other can lead to spiritual error and false judgments. I used to think I had a lot of answers for others, but that was just pride speaking. God had to take me through a lot of learning experiences (produced by pain and hardship, I might add), because truth be told, I didn't really have the answers I thought I did. That's a painful truth to admit, but I'm being brutally honest and transparent here. I wanted to help but my efforts reeked of spiritual pride and self righteousness. I wanted to spare people from pain and hardship, and in an effort to try to help, I gave them answers they weren’t ready to receive. I guess I thought they just needed a scripture and well meaning advice, but I missed the mark so many times. It makes me cringe to admit those mistakes, but you know, we all make them. My husband has always told me, “You can’t give a person an answer to a question they haven’t asked yet.“ It’s true. Well meaning people think they are being helpful when in fact they may only be causing more offense; a tactic used by the enemy to keep a person in that state of resistance towards God. People need answers, that’s true, but they also need a friend. Take the time to develop a relationship and you will have a better chance of being heard when you do have something important to say. Unless God has sent you to a particular person with a word from Him, or unless they ask and seem willing to receive what you have to say, odds are you are casting your pearls of wisdom before people that will only trample all over them. It’s better to wait until their hearts are made ready and they can see value in what you have to say. And maybe God will send someone else into their life to speak to them. Either way you can be assured that He loves them enough to help them when the time is right. It doesn’t necessarily have to come from you.

God has a way of preparing people to receive truth. Truth is not always easy to hear, and when a person has a hard time hearing and applying the truth He wants them to understand, God will allow circumstances to communicate a spiritual reality. He does it in such a way as to make repentance look more desirable than their current state of circumstances. Sometimes that is why they encounter hardship, loss, trials and tumultuous situations. God wears down people's resistance. He dismantles their walls of defense, and finds ways to penetrate their shield of self protection. He sends arrows of truth to find their way between the plates of armor, so that truth will hit home and understanding will come. This is His way of preparing the hearts of those that have become so self reliant that they are afraid to trust God and put their lives in His hands. The reality is, God is for them, not against them, but the enemy has twisted things around so much in their minds that they’ve got it backwards. It’s the enemy that brings destruction, poverty, loss, and robs people's lives. When people go through troubles, sometimes it is God allowing it for the purposes of refinement. But more often than not, what many people experience is the result of an open door to the enemy that allows a curse to operate in their life to rob and plunder them. Jesus said He came into the world so that those who did not see would receive their sight. (John 9:39) He wants to give sight to those that have not understood the root cause of their problems. He also said that it’s the thief  that only comes to steal, to kill and destroy. (John 10:10)

Don’t let the enemy lie and present the truth backwards. That’s His scheme. God is trustworthy, all the time. God is for you, not against you. But He wants people to get to a place where they stop struggling and start living. He knows your every need and I guarantee you, He has a plan to put your life together in a good way. (Jer. 29:10,11). He has an answer for a place to live, provision, a new job, healing from illness, or whatever it is that you need. I know, because I’ve walked through it -more than once. I’ve been at that place where I’ve had no other option but Him. He is faithful, but He is looking for a response of faith in those that seek Him. Faith and obedience - returning to what we know is right in His eyes - unlocks provision. Humility and repentance unlock revelation. A heart that is quiet and teachable is ready to receive from the Lord, and it is in that place where we will hear Him speak.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

God Works in the Unexpected

One of the most difficult things to grasp is the relationship between what we’ve prayed for and the answer to the prayer. We can see the result of something simple, such as praying for a check to come, for instance, and the tangible result of it making it into our hands. It’s not difficult to see that God just answered our prayer.

The hard part is when we’ve prayed for something that is a bit more complicated and then suddenly something happens that doesn’t look like God at all. God works best in the unexpected. He uses divine strategy to use the element of surprise and catch the enemy (and people) off guard, and He launches a situation for which no one seems prepared. Out of no where the situation gets even more complex and frustrating, maybe even enough to scare the wits out of you, and it looks like things are getting worse instead of better. People often blame the devil for causing trouble (and believe me, he does look for opportunity where he can find it!) but the reality may well be that the complexity of the situation is God bringing the answer to your prayers. Be careful not to add to the problem by fighting against His chosen methods. If He is going to change a situation then He must rearrange the situation altogether, right?

I have experienced situations that seemed like it could not be God, yet it was. Sometimes we can’t see it while we’re in the middle of it, but after the fact we recognize that even though God’s methods might not agree with our own, it was still Him answering the prayer and fulfilling a need for change.

When things turn upside down God can still be very much in control. He orchestrates certain events that we may feel uncomfortable with, but often God has to pull things apart in order to expose the need for change - before He puts things back in order. The middle of the storm is never fun though.

I know of a church that was praying for revival, only to have the pastor and leadership be exposed for wrongdoing. Talk about a mess. But in the midst of it, you know what happened? People got concerned about their own lives being exposed and they started to get right with God. After repentance comes a revived heart and renewed passion for God. So, did God answer? Yes, even though it wasn’t what others may have had in mind when they started praying!

I’ve known of people that have prayed for a loved one to get saved or delivered from something, only to have a heartbreaking situation occur that they had not anticipated. Those things hurt, and we wouldn’t wish them on anyone, but sometimes those heartbreaking situations are needed in order to prepare a person for truly getting set free, healed or delivered. I remember a time when I was praying for someone and even getting “clues” in my dreams about situations. Then the day came when we got some bad news and suddenly I knew who and what those dreams had been about. Had I known, I probably would not have prayed the way I did, because if I had known, I would have wanted to spare that person pain. But you see, God knows this too, and sometimes He doesn’t tell us the individual on purpose. He just wants us to pray objectively, not trying to impose our will into a situation, and pray the best way we know how for His perfect will to come forth.

There was another time when I was praying for someone’s family to have a breakthrough and the Lord was very clear it would occur in a certain amount of time. I prayed, and waited, and on the very day when God said it would happen, someone in that particular family died. It’s shocking to think that these are some of the unexpected ways in which God can work to set others free or bring a change in a situation. But we have to trust that He knows best. We have to trust that God knows and understands things from a much higher perspective than what we can see from our natural understanding.

I hear of people every day where it would seem that they are going backwards. They encounter financial difficulty and have to move in with family, for instance. But in one situation recently I had an opportunity to encourage a young couple and help them see a different side of their situation that hadn’t occurred to them. “God is healing families,” I said. “Perhaps there is a bigger reason for you going home to live. Maybe someone there is going to need you. Maybe God is in the midst of another situation you haven’t thought about.” That answer seemed to bring peace to their troubled thoughts. One way for God to heal relationships is by bringing people together. Things that people tend to see as negative situations can be opportunities in disguise. We just have to look for God’s purpose. Are you looking at your situation with eyes of faith, or fear and frustration?

Many answers to prayer bring great joy and celebration. And some do, just not at first, because there are times when people can’t discern that God is in the midst of them doing something quite important. Jesus is known to have told His disciples, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.“ (John 13:7. Keep in mind, Jesus often works in ways we do not understand. Some things are only understood after the chaos has ended and the bigger picture has been fulfilled.

God is in your midst changing and rearranging situations that you have prayed for. We also have to remember that just because something hurts or feels uncomfortable, doesn’t mean it’s always the devil. Many times it’s God. We don’t like it when He works outside of our understanding, do we? Fear and insecurities rise up and will try to make people resist God and try to control a situation. Just take your hands off and stand back. Let God be God. He is big enough to handle whatever it is! The problem is, often times what we want and decide is best is not God’s will. It’s not God’s best for us, and because it’s not, as a loving Father, He will make decisions that are in our best interests. He chooses His particular instruments to fulfill particular tasks. He chooses the least likely candidate to fulfill His purpose, even if you or I can‘t see the purpose He is working out. He takes the very thing that others see as weak, unprepared, inadequate, inexperienced and too small to do the job at hand. He might even choose someone that offends you. “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty, and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things that are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.” (1 Cor. 1:27-29)

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” 1 Cor. 1:19

He uses the small to confront the proud. Remember how David, a young shepherd boy, confronted the proud Philistine giant? In the eyes of the giant, David was nothing. Humility (smallness) allows a person to get close enough to the giant to slay it. God will use a child to do a man’s job if that child is humble and compliant in the Master’s hand.

He used a donkey to talk sense into a self willed prophet. That's pretty crazy even for God, don't you think?

He used a man named Gideon who was so caught up in his insecurities that he was hiding from the problem.
He can use what you don’t expect to answer your prayer, so trust Him.

God uses what is small and insignificant in the eyes of others to take down giants, topple kingdoms, and rearrange situations so that God can achieve His plan and purpose.

God’s will of what He wants to fulfill, and how He chooses to interpret what we pray may look a whole lot different by the time it works itself out. We pray what we think is His will, yet somewhere between heaven and earth, things may change. By the time the prayer gets to the throne room, we have to trust Holy Spirit has edited the prayer so that it brings about God’s perfect will for that particular situation. If we don’t let go of our preconceived ideas of how we think God should answer prayer, it can cause a lot of hurt feelings, discouragement, false accusation, slander, and much much more. God is big enough to handle whatever situations may occur. He might just call your name the next time He is looking for the right person for the job - but remember, He looks for those that are small.

Prayer for Financial Blessing & Restoration

Life happens. Sometimes it's the loss of a job, unexpected events, illness or other things that people face that affect them financially. People everywhere want their finances blessed, and below is a prayer on this subject. Before we get to that however, please let me mention that aside from the normal occurrences of life, there are also many spiritual reasons why people experience financial difficulty. I won't list all of them, but here are a few things to keep in mind and pray about as well.

1) Nothing seems to prosper, and provision is meager. Consider perhaps that you are not in the right "field." Sometimes we need a shift in location, relationship alignments or something else in order to find the place where we will truly prosper. You might be in the wrong geographic location or wrong city. We experienced this on a number of occasions. When we made the shift from one city to another, which was only about 30 miles difference, all of a sudden more work and opportunities opened up. You wouldn't think it would have made that much of a difference, but it did. The Lord also had us let go of a business associate my husband was working with at the time. He professed to be Christian but he was full of anger and living a very compromised life. We had been making money that was owed to us, but it seemed like it was pulling teeth to get it to come into our hands. This continued for months. The day we let go of this person, 3 checks were in our mailbox on the same day! Consider who you are aligned with and ask God if you need to make any changes relationally.

2) Sometimes God is trying to teach a spiritual principle of sowing before you can reap. Sow a seed - donate your time, talents, or find a way to bless someone in the area where you desire to reap - without expecting them to repay you. What is your need? Sow a seed. Don't worry about the size. What seems inadequate or even silly to you is still large enough for God to bless. Remember the little boy with the loaves and fishes! God never overlooks sacrificial giving.When you've sown a seed in faith, God blesses and returns the blessing.

3) Is something preventing you from receiving blessing? Is God is trying to get your attention? The Lord is our shepherd and His promise is that we will not lack, but if we open the door to sin or have open doors somewhere, it can allow the enemy to rob and plunder our provision. Sometimes He also uses wilderness rations in order to teach us how to trust Him. Pray and ask the right questions. Is He trying to teach you something?What does He want you to learn?

4) There is an unbroken curse in effect that is robbing you. When cars repeatedly break down, your finances seem to vanish in thin air, or other things continually drain your pocketbook, those things are not always from natural causes or just "life." I do not believe in prosperity preaching or wrong use of scripture to mislead people, but at the same time we have to recognize that poverty is a curse. Spirits of death and hell will try to take the blessings right out of your hand. The thief comes only to kill, steal and destroy. (The prayer below will address some of that, but if you want to be very thorough, go to the other articles and look for Breakthrough Prayer.)

5) Are you holding unforgiveness or bitterness against someone? Unforgiveness is the #1 reason why blessings are withheld.

Every person's life is different, and there are no pat answers. I'm not going to get religious on you and try to tell you what you have to do. But if you ask the Lord to reveal any just reason why financial blessings are being withheld, or reasons why you're going through some things you're going through, God will show you. Obedience, repentance (which is simply changing your mind about what you think, and the way you think about God) and generosity towards others unlocks His hand.

I will give you a nugget of wisdom God shared with me, and every time I've practiced it, it releases breakthrough. God told me that when we do something kind for someone else that cannot repay us, He becomes Lord of the Breakthrough to us. Especially if it is an act of humility and sacrifice! I have so many testimonies of sowing into homeless people, people that were dying, others that a serious need of some kind, and what I gave was always on the practical level of things like food, finances, clothes, etc. EVERY SINGLE TIME God responded with blessing. It's not always financial, sometimes it's an answer to another prayer, but God is ever so faithful to return the act of generosity. Try it yourself, you'll see, it's a principle that works!

With all that being said, here is the prayer for financial release.

Father God,

I thank You that finances are not a big deal for You, but You use financial matters to encourage us to pray according to Your will. You want us to prosper, but You also want our souls to prosper. You want us to pray on behalf of what others need, too. So I come to You and I ask for wisdom. I ask for Your counsel and understanding so that I do not suffer from a lack of knowledge.

I also repent for any wrong attitudes and actions that demonstrate selfishness, worry, fear, complaining or doubt. I know that those things do not please you and they do not demonstrate faith. I am grateful, Lord, for my home, my family, and all that you have given to bless my life. I am grateful for You, Lord Jesus. I may not always show it, but I want You to know that I do value You, and how much You have already done for me. Thank you for being my Savior. Thank you for your love and acceptance and the forgiveness of my sins. I choose to forgive anyone that has offended or hurt me. I release them . I ask You to forgive the sins of my generational line, too. Forgive me and those in my generational line for the sins of idolatry, rebellion, and self will that resisted Your ways. Forgive us if there has been any involvement in the occult and for allowing other influences to govern our ways. I renounce all unholy alliances and ungodly covenants that have been made knowingly or unknowingly. I don’t know everything that others have done, but please let the blood of Jesus cover those sins, and let a blessing come to others in my family, too. I pray they would receive You and receive Your help. For those that need jobs, please help them get hired at a good job. For those that need their health restored, please heal them. For those that need specific things, please meet their needs over and above what they need. Let them be very blessed, and if anyone is holding unforgiveness towards anyone, please help them to forgive so that You can forgive their sins, too.

Father, as a child of God, I submit to You and resist the works of the devil. I resist the spirit of poverty, death and destruction that comes from the evil one. I reject all of his ways. I now take authority over the spirit of Python which constricts. I bind it up in the name of Jesus and I forbid it from restricting my ability to prosper. I also take authority over  poverty and death, and forbid these thieving spirits of death and hell from advancing against me, my family and my livelihood.  I tell them all, "Be bound, In Jesus name.” According to what Jesus has already done on the cross, I command you to be silent, impotent, and void of any and all power. Leave me now, in Jesus name.

I release the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, to show me any areas of my life that may be hindering me from receiving increase in blessing and prosperity. If I need to be realigned in some way, show me. If there are relational changes that need to take place, show me. Let Your divine connections come forth now, I pray. I speak a release of  Prosperity, Promotion, Favor, Blessing and Increase. Forgive me, Lord, for areas of selfishness and greed. I know that I am blessed to be a blessing. Let the work of my hands be blessed. Let fruitfulness and increase be released in my family.

I command all illegal encroachers, both in the natural and spiritual to be removed from that which concerns me and my family. Please let angelic assistance be released to help remove any spiritual hindrances to breakthrough. I declare all curses are broken. Let  blessing and favor be released over each family member, our employment, business contacts and finances. I command the enemy to restore everything he has taken, according to Proverbs 6:31, and with a 7-fold increase. I call for inheritances to come forth, both spiritual and natural, and I speak release over myself and entire family. I speak the word of RELEASE over the people in my city. I command all mountains of resistance to be removed, every gate unlocked, and every door that is connected to Your opportunities to be opened. I speak a release of Your grace, favor, love and restoration to everyone that is in need of Your touch, and Your assistance. In Jesus name, Amen.

#Prayerforfinancialblessing, #Prayerforfinancialrestoration, #Takeauthorityoveryourfinancesandyourfuture, #BreakthepowerofPython

Prayer to Be Healed from Sexual Abuse

Father God,

You know the things that I have gone through in my life, and the things that were done to me against my will. I would like to be healed from my past. I understand that I must forgive ______ (speak the names of those that have sinned against you) so that I can also have my own sins forgiven, and I ask You to empower me to do so. As a matter of my will, I choose to forgive them and ask that You, Father, give me grace and strength to not take this offense back into my heart. I ask that You heal those that have perpetrated sins against me, and set them free from the perversity and sin that has them bound.

I loose myself from all shame, resentment, fear, insecurity and feelings of inferiority that have come upon me as a result of sexual molestation. I reject and refuse all lying spirits, familiar spirits, incubus and succubus spirits and command them to go in Jesus name.

I reject, refuse, renounce and divorce all unclean demonic spirits of perversity, pedophilia, voyeurism, domination, brutality, homosexuality, confusion, gender confusion, mischievous and troublemaking spirits, spirits of double-mindedness, unbelief, sodomy, rape, anger, rage, bitterness, unforgiveness, witchcraft, lust, idolatry, hard heartedness, accusation, familiar and familial spirits, pride, rebellion, and death. I renounce the spirit of Pan, the god of sexual stimulation. I renounce Lilith, and all spirits known as incubus and succubus. I repent for any ways that I have knowingly or unknowingly come into agreement with these spirits, and I humbly submit myself to the Lord Jesus Christ and the authority of His Holy Spirit. Father, please forgive my sin and adopt me as Your child. Lord Jesus, I pray that Your blood would wash over my mind, my body and my spirit and make me clean. Renew in me a pure thought life.

I command the enemy to flee from me and take everything he has put on me, everything he has brought into my life, and every seed that he has implanted into my belief system. I reject every seed of distrust, fear, anger, rebellion, accusation, bitterness, spiritual adultery, lust, idolatry, and perversity and command them to die immediately, in Jesus name.

I receive by faith the healing for my mind, my emotions, my body and spirit. I receive by faith the mind of Christ, and I choose this day to pull up the root of bitterness and replace it with the love of God. I ask You Lord to plant forgiveness in place of bitterness.

I receive by faith healing for my emotions, belief system, and perspective towards others. I pull up fear, anger, rebellion, lust, pride, and idolatry. I ask You Lord to plant faith, love and joy.

I thank you, Lord Jesus, for being my healer, restorer, redeemer and protector. I thank you for replacing every lie in my belief system with the truth that will set me free. Thank You, Holy Spirit for releasing revelation as to my true identity in Christ.Thank you for giving me a revelation of my heavenly Father's love that will displace the lies from the enemy and fill my heart with peace. I thank You for establishing and settling me in faith and truth, in Jesus name.

Help me, Lord Jesus, to identify and break free from any relationships that are unhealthy and undesirable in Your eyes. Help me to honor Your word, Your will and Your wishes. You know my weaknesses; I pray for strength to overcome them. For those things that You know I cannot or will not be able to overcome in my own strength, I pray that You would take them out of my hand and let it be done according to Your will for my life and for the benefit of Your will carried out in the lives of others, too. Lord, replace those relationships with better ones that will strengthen me in my walk with you, and fill the void for love, relationship and friendship.

Father God, I thank You for overcoming victory. Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit and empower me to live for You. Forgive me for the ways in which I have not been honest with myself, others, or You. Help me to live a life that honors You and brings You glory. In Jesus name, Amen.

#Prayerforhealingfromsexualabuse, #Prayerforhealingemotions, #Breakfreefromthepast, #Healingfromtrauma

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Prayer Against Self Hatred and Rejection

If there is one thing that I know people struggle with, and I am estimating women probably more so than men, is self worth. Identity and self esteem issues are huge, and the people that tune in to read this post prove it. It is by far one of the most popular articles, so what does that tell you about the issues people are carrying with them every day? Self hatred and rejection issues often occur in childhood and remains with a person their entire life, unless they do something on purpose to deal with it.There can be many things and various life situations that leave a person dealing with emotional pain,anger, bitterness, regret,  feelings of guilt, shame or remorse. All of these things, when left unhealed, can be internalized and turn into self rejection. Not all are listed here, but know that our God is incredibly loving and merciful. He can forgive any sin we bring to him, and 1 John 1:9 tells us that He is faithful and just to forgive our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

How it manifests physically:

Self rejection, self hatred, shame, insecurity, and identity issues are at the heart of depression, weight issues, and many forms of physical disease. Did you know that things such as diabetes, addictions, migranes, lupus, MS, and many forms of stomach and digestive system disorders such as Crohn’s disease and other physical issues have been traced back to spiritually rooted issues? It's true. Issues such as self rejection, self hatred, and inner emotional conflict all contribute to them. Every addiction is tied to a direct connection with a need to feel loved. Even homosexuality is directly related to a need to feel loved and accepted, but the need is filed with an illegitimate means. The root of rejection comes most often from a lack of parental love, acceptance and validation. But, the good news is, even when that is lacking from a natural parent, we have a heavenly Father that can fill that emptiness and fulfill that deep longing. The void in our hearts is designed by our Creator to be filled with Himself. Without Him, we are lost. When a person does not feel loved, they begin to reject themselves. Rejection of self and a failure to love oneself. Many physical illnesses and disease have their roots in spirits of self-rejection, self-hatred, guilt, low self esteem issues and other negative self talk that comes from a spirit of rejection, abandonment and lack of fatherly/parental love. When a person attacks themselves through self hatred and self rejection, the body eventually begins to come into agreement with what is going on spiritually and begins to attack itself. This is where a lot of autoimmune disease comes from. When a person doesn't love themselves, the body comes into agreement with a spirit of infirmity which then begins to manifest the poison of a person's words. The person has spoken words of agreement with a spirit of death rather than life. They have rejected what God has said about them which brings them into agreement with unbelief rather than faith. The longer it continues, the more fear, anxiety, illness and other spirits grow stronger, eventually weakening a person so much they often cannot recover. Repentance and breaking agreement with those negative words are the only way to turn the situation around so that the body can begin to heal.

A common block to healing - unforgiveness:

One thing that can hinder a person's ability to be healed (both emotionally and physically) is holding on to long term unforgiveness. When we judge others, we place ourselves in the place of God. Often people are so hurt that they are not done being angry about whatever caused that hurt and offense. But the Bible is clear that when we do not forgive, our own sins are not forgiven either. When we choose not to forgive, we are turned over to demonic tormenters as punishment. A spirit of fear brings tormenting thoughts. Torment causes condemnation which results in feelings of rejection. Forgiveness is such a big deal with God that He cannot overlook it. Jesus gave his very life and forgave us before we even asked. He offered His grace before we changed our ways or made amends. We simply need to receive it. If we choose to retain unforgiveness, it blocks our prayers, blocks our ability to be received into heaven, and torments our thought life. We continue to dwell on painful thoughts and memories and are chained to our past until we realize our faults, confess them to God and choose to forgive those that have hurt us. When we do, the prison door opens and our hearts and minds are free. There is a great deal of injustice in this world, but nothing is worth the surrender of peace with ourselves and God. Nothing is worth sacrificing eternal life because we are too stubborn to let go of hurt and offense. You must forgive. Please read another article on this subject,

When conflicting beliefs withstand healing:

Another thing that causes feelings of rejection is the inner conflict a person has in their belief system when it comes to feeling safe and secure in their relationship with God. This is a huge struggle for many, many people. Most people land in one of two camps. Either their beliefs about God are tied to a fear of rejection (not being good enough, struggling with sin issues, violating one's conscience in regards to sin, or feeling judged or disapproved because of it); or, they embrace the joy of knowing they are loved and accepted by God and their approval rating has nothing to do with them, but all about what Jesus has done through His shed blood, cross and resurrection. Let me give you some good news! God does not reject the vessel whom His Spirit inhabits. It is also completely impossible to both love and reject simultaneously. Beloved, God is not schizophrenic. His love and acceptance are not based on our performance rating. His love and acceptance are based on the fact that the Spirit of His Son lives in us (if we have received Jesus Christ as our Savior). And, since He has told us that nothing created can separate us from the love of God, and He has promised that He will never leave us or forsake us, our confidence should remain steadfast towards Him. Settle it in your heart and discard those uncertain, double minded thoughts! Sometimes the very things we struggle with are there because God is shaking our belief system to weed out the lies and misconceptions about what He has said in His word. A person will feel very unstable and perhaps struggle with self worth issues until they finally make the decision that the enemy is a liar and God's word is truth. When the matter is settled, so is your faith, and your feelings of self doubt and rejection will leave. Hallelujah! Take heart. Even the Apostle Paul lamented that the thing he willed to do, he found himself struggling to continuously live the life he wanted to do; and the sin he didn't want to do, he found himself struggling with. Yet, we can all take comfort in the fact that BECAUSE God's Spirit dwells in us, we are 'in Christ.' And if we are in Christ, we are 'in the Spirit' because His Spirit is in us; therefore, there is therefore no condemnation - even when we wrestle to keep doing the right thing and fail.(Read Romans again with new eyes!). If our approval or our righteousness can be attained through our own efforts, then we do not need Christ. Friend, do not let the enemy, well meaning ministers or even your own thoughts accuse you to yourself. Don't be led you astray when it comes to the gospel. It is called the gospel of grace for a reason. But if our thoughts condemn us, then ask yourself where is it coming from? Because it is not coming from God. It is either from the enemy, yourself, or a human spirit - all of which will try to produce self rejection, self loathing and more because you have focused on not measuring up rather than focusing on how good God is and what He has made available to you! Get out of that trap! "You have not received the bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption..." Rom. 8:13.  All rejection is tied to fear which is not from God! The wonderful encouragement for us all is found in Hebrew 10:17-23. "Their sins and lawless deeds I will remember no more." What good news! God does not remember our sins and therefore does not hold them against us. And, if you keep reading, you will discover that the blood of Jesus is powerful enough to cleanse our conscience of guilt, regret, shame, and many other unprofitable thoughts that lead to self rejection, condemnation and other negative feelings. When you search the scriptures for yourself it becomes YOUR truth, and nothing can take it from you.

These things follow people around unless they decide to take authority over the spiritual root issues. You can choose to stop it! I hope I have clarified that rejection always comes from fear, and fear is not of God. (Read 2 Tim. 1:7) Life is short and we need to take care of ourselves. Whatever occurred in our life that caused us to be wounded, abused, neglected, or turn feelings of rejection inward upon ourselves can stop, and we can come back into agreement with God so that He can heal us - inside and out. Here is a prayer written specifically for these issues. But remember, if there is some specific issue that is troubling your conscience, or perhaps someone you need to forgive (including yourself), talk to God about that first, confess it, then take this prayer to Him as an act of faith towards your healing. Pray it out loud, don't just read or meditate on it. Be blessed today, and know that God is FOR YOU. He is waiting to answer your prayer!

Dear Heavenly Father,

Today I come to you to acknowledge that I have sinned against myself by believing lies instead of what Your word says about me. I renounce unbelief! I have let the pain of disappointment or feeling like a disappointment to others influence my thoughts and feelings. Your word tells me I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Ps. 139). Your word tells me I am not rejected, but I am accepted in the beloved. (Eph. 1:6). Your word says I am blessed and not cursed. I am the apple of Your eye. I have worth. I have value. For a long time I have had a hard time believing that. Today I break any and all agreements with myself and Satan that have allowed spirits of rejection, self hatred, a spirit of abandonment, fear, insecurity, inferiority, shame, bitterness, self pity and unforgiveness to manifest. I renounce all of them and I command them to leave me at once. Help me to shut my ears to the enemy's unloving thoughts. They are not my own thoughts but his. Father, I repent for allowing these things a place in my life. I thank You for forgiveness. I thank You, Lord Jesus, for taking my pain, my sin and shame upon Yourself so that I don’t have to bear these things. I thank You that Your blood and Your word cleanse my conscience from unprofitable thoughts and renew my mind. Holy Spirit, forgive me for grieving You and not allowing Your Spirit to influence my thought life and actions. Please come heal my mind, my emotions, my spirit and my physical body. Heal my disappointments, my hope and my faith. Heal my ability to love myself and others. Help me see myself through Your eyes and to walk in my true identity. Father, give me Your love for others but also to help me love myself and to appreciate myself in a healthy way. I come into agreement with God. I declare that I AM fearfully and wonderfully made. I am loved, accepted, and I am blessed by the Lord. I am surrounded with favor and grace. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Blessings are chasing me down to put themselves into my hands. I am a confident person because you have made me whole and complete. I lack nothing because the Lord is my shepherd and I do not lack. Therefore, I am in want of nothing. Everything that is available to Christ is available to me, because I am a child of God. I have nothing to fear! Fear no longer has permission to bring torment. I embrace the grace You have provided through Your sacrifice, Lord Jesus, and Your love and acceptance for me. Holy Spirit, I thank You for giving me the fruit of self control in my thought life and I ask You to empower me to live for God. Fill me with Your fullness. I ask You for supernatural assistance to overcome negative self talk, and I give YOU authority over my mouth and my actions. Help me overcome the areas of struggle in my life. You know what they are. I thank You for victory. In Jesus name, amen.

#Healingfromselfhatred, #Prayerforhealingfromrejection, #Findingtruelovestartswithyou, #Knowyourtrueidentity, #Healedfromapainfulpast, #IdentityinChrist