Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Broken Vows

There are some situations in life that won't go away and people cannot figure out why. Illness, poverty, marital difficulties, addictions, dissatisfaction, irritations and more - seem almost like they are there to unravel a person's peace and joy. They are always for our growth, of course, but sometimes those things are there to remind a person that the life they're living is not the one God has in mind for them. They are not living in their true identity. God is calling for the prodigals to come home.

Did you make a commitment to the Lord some time in the past only to go back into the world and forget about Him? Did you get baptized as a statement of your good intention to fulfill the desire to turn over a new leaf, then walk away from your conviction when temptation got the better of you? Or perhaps a deep disappointment, failed relationship, fear of the future, insecurity at being alone or any number of things caused you to change your convictions in order to justify a lifestyle of living by self-will and keeping God at a distance. After all, if you're not close, you can't really hear what He's saying, right?

Or, how many times have we all said at one time or another, "Oh God, if you get me out of this, I will change! I will live right! I will never be so foolish again!" You were sincere at the time you spoke those words, yet loyalty to Christ was short lived. Perhaps that is you today. Friend, we have all failed our own good intentions at some point, and God is faithful even when people are not, but vows made to Him are still expected to be fulfilled. Grace is not an excuse to just do what we want and expect God to be ok with it. He doesn't let us off the hook! God tries to get people's attention in the little things before He uses the bigger things. 

Do you feel a deep frustration down in your soul?
Do you feel regret that you've been wasting time living the wrong life?
Do you feel dissatisfied with life as you know it?
Do you feel tired and hopeless with the direction of your life?

If you answered yes to any of those questions then please don't run from the conviction you may be feeling. Conviction is there as a means of pleading with your conscience to do what is right. Your heart knows when you have guilt that needs to be cleansed away, and only confession and true repentance will wash it away. Repentance is getting up from where you've been and making new choices, taking a new direction. Please come back to the Lord. I promise you, He is SAFE! He is waiting with open arms! I ask you to consider whether or not you have been directing your own life, or allowed the Lord to direct your life. Did you make a vow to Him that you need to honor? Until you make that choice, the life that you truly desire will continue to be out of reach.

I pray that today is the day that people will remember their vows to the Lord and commit to keeping them. Start the new year off right. Turn back to the Lord and honor the commitment to Him that you made. Bring yourself back into good graces and under the canopy of His protective care. 

"I am obligated by vows to You, God; I will make my thank offerings to You. " Psalm 56:12

Saturday, December 27, 2014

How to Demoralize the Enemy

So many people have found themselves struggling against hopelessness for a long season. I told the Lord I wanted prayers and insight how to leave the enemy hopeless. It's time to return the favor, don't you think? My request was to see what the enemy was up to, and what his assignment was against us. The other night, God opened my eyes, out of a dead sleep, to see a demon with the utmost clarity. I even knew its assignment. I knew exactly what to pray for. How awesome is that?

Would you like to demoralize the enemy and send him off howling with disappointment that his plans have been foiled? Pray what I did and ask the Lord to open your eyes.

Lord, I ask that you open my eyes and open the eyes of my family members as well, to see into the unseen realm. Show us exactly what the enemy is doing and what his assignment is against us so that we know how to pray. Give us specific knowledge so that nothing catches us off guard. In addition, I ask also for prophetic gifting, the seer anointing, and the gifts of the Spirit including dream interpretation that will enable us to understand the spirit realm with clarity. Bless us and fill us with the fullness of your Holy Spirit. Baptize us in the Holy Spirit and let a fresh new anointing be given to me and all my family members. Help us to outwit the enemy at every turn and leave the kingdom of darkness hopeless and demoralized that every one of their plans are ruined. In Jesus name, amen.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Martha's Miracle

As I was reading the word today, my eyes fell upon the scriptures in John 11:17 regarding the story of Lazarus. You are probably a bit familiar with the story, and I won’t go into all the details of it because it’s always great to read it for yourself. Something caught my attention today much differently than when I’ve read it in times past, and that’s what I’d like to share.
I’ve always had this negative perspective of Martha, probably because that’s pretty much how I’ve heard messages preached. Mary was the sweet, attentive and devoted sister that sat at Jesus’ feet, worshipping and paying attention to his teachings. Martha, on the other hand, always got kind of a bad rap. She was the fussy, complaining, overly busy and controlling sister that wanted Jesus to get others to do what she wanted. That’s how I always saw her. Until today.

The scripture says that Lazarus had died and everyone was mourning his death. Jesus had deliberately stayed in Jerusalem when he could have easily made it back before Lazarus died. It was only a couple of miles. So there was a lot of misunderstanding and feeling of disappointment surrounding Lazarus’ death. No one questioned Jesus’ identity at that point. Many, including Lazarus’ own family members, believed Jesus was exactly who He said He was; it was His timing they questioned. Because they didn’t understand His purpose, they felt incredibly let down. They knew He could have intervened before it was too late, but God himself allowed their deep disappointment at events that didn’t turn out the way they had hoped. Have you ever experienced that?

When Martha got word that Jesus was on his way, she was moved to action. Jesus was on the way but she was compelled to go find him before he even got into town! When she met him, the first thing she said was, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now, I know that whatever You ask of God, He will give you.”

I have always looked at that as though Martha was saying it accusingly.[My translation]… “Gosh, Lord, why’d you wait so long? You could have healed Lazarus and he wouldn’t have died. Why did you let me down?” In other words, “Don’t you care about us anymore??” But you know what? I didn’t see it that way as I read it today. Today what I saw was Martha’s faith in action. Her confession that Jesus was the Son of God, and with Him, nothing would be impossible. She was the one, not Mary, to get up and go in search of the One who held the power to change the circumstance. It was Martha that put a demand on the anointing when she said, “But even now…even now that everything looks hopeless and it’s way past time when we had watched and waited for you to show up…even now, Lord, I know that whatever You ask Your Father for, He will give You.” The unspoken please was hanging like a heavy weight in the atmosphere. Please, Jesus. You have the power to change our sorrow to joy. Please.

All the times when Martha was busy cooking, serving, and fussing in the background while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet, she was still listening. Her faith was growing. That little seed was being watered by all the testimonies of people being healed. That little mustard seed of faith was a pure seed. There was no mixture of doubt or double mindedness. No false teaching. No spiritual error. No confusion about who Jesus was or what He came to do. Martha didn’t doubt His will to heal and restore. Though the scriptures don't state it directly, I believe Martha was close enough to Jesus to witness the miracles. Jesus was close to her family, so it makes sense that she too would be around to witness a great deal of Jesus in action. She knew He healed those who seemed worthy of the blessing and she saw him save, heal and deliver the demoniacs, too. His love wasn't a matter of who deserved it and who didn't. She remembered a troubled woman who once approached Jesus on behalf of her demon possessed daughter. She did not go to Him based on her own merit. Her need drove her to appeal to Jesus' mercy, and He responded to her faith. (see  Matthew 15:26). Martha also remembered Jesus’ words when He said, “If you’ve seen Me, then You’ve seen the Father.” God was inherently good. Martha wasn't a perfect woman by any means, and none of us are, but it didn't stop her from getting up from where she'd been to go seek out the One who had all authority and power to help her. While Mary sat at home in her grief, Martha was driven to action. Martha was determined to ask even though the circumstances looked impossible. Jesus freely gave to those that had faith to come to Him! There was no fear in asking for the desire of her heart. She asked only for Lazarus’ life to be given back to him, and God agreed.

Pure faith is so powerful, it only takes one little seed. I liken it to the example of a drop of essential oils. Do you know anything about essential oils? They are so potent, even billions of molecules are contained in just one drop. They are super concentrated. That’s what faith is like and it’s what Jesus meant in the whole parable about the mustard seed. When your faith is pure, then it's potent, and all you need is the tiniest seed of faith to move a mountain. Nothing shall be impossible for you! What did Jesus say? Tell that mountain to go throw itself into the sea. It will never bother you again. 

Friend, what would restore your joy? What do you need to restore you to your purpose? Perhaps there is someone on your heart that desperately requires a meeting with God to deliver them or heal them. What is the need that is crying out for God's intervention? If you have even a mustard seed of faith then all things become possible.

I know that there are many people in a waiting mode right now, and hearts have grown heavy. I think there are many people that don’t understand what is taking so long. As with Lazarus, we know it’s not a question of God’s power. It’s His timing we don’t always understand, but sometimes the delay is purposeful in order to show God's glory. He waits so that everyone knows when something happens that could only be His doing. Friend, don’t lose hope while you’re waiting. The promise is on the way. Jesus is on the way to your house, but take that little mustard seed of faith and get up from where you’re at. Get up out of hopelessness and despair. Get up out of depression. Get up and stop talking yourself out of your miracle. If you make it all about you, then maybe you're focused on the wrong thing. I don't know what you're waiting for, but miracles and breakthrough are often about others. Remember who He is! Go find Him. In worship, in prayer, go find Him. Pay attention to your dreams, for God often gives clues to what remains to be resolved through your dreams. Come into agreement with Him in your asking, not just for what you want, but for what needs to occur before the promise can be birthed. When you do, put a demand on the anointing. Ask again. Ask Jesus to ask His Father to release your promise. Whatever it is you have been waiting on. You can move that mountain out of the way with your faith!

Jesus was moved with compassion and wept over Mary’s grief, but I believe He was moved to action over Martha’s confession of faith. Martha, the one who always seemed to be looked down upon in scripture, got up and went to find the Lord and lay claim to the miracle that Lazarus needed. It wasn’t specifically for her. She went to God on behalf of her brother, and her faith helped move that stone away from the tomb. Jesus wasn't the only one to come out of the tomb, you know. And that's a testimony for all of us to lay hold of. No matter how deep the pit, how lost or forgotten we may feel, how alone, how dead our dreams may appear...GOD IS ABLE to resurrect them all and bring our promises out of the grave! Jesus did many things to display the power of God, but He also asked a question, “When the Son of God comes, will He find faith in the earth?” My friend, I ask you, “Will Jesus find the kind of faith He is looking for – unwaivering faith - in you?”

You know the rest of the story. He went to the tomb and commanded the stone be rolled away and Lazarus to come out. And so he did. The grave clothes were stripped away and Lazarus became a living testimony of God’s resurrection power. He was a living witness to Jesus’ ministry. His testimony was so powerful that many people became filled with fear and tried to kill him! The fear of the Lord is a powerful thing. It can snap sense into people in a hurry and restore a healthy awe and respect towards the Lord. We need that again. God wants to restore the fear of the Lord so that many will be saved.

Every time I have felt I have prayed everything that there is to pray and I’ve exhausted every angle of prayer, God eventually reveals something else that needs to be prayed through. I know that transition and delivery can be exhausting, but don’t stop now! God’s delay is not an indicator that His promise is not going to be fulfilled. It may mean that there are some details that are still in need of attention, and perhaps you need to pray in agreement with Him to take care of those loose ends before your miracle can come forth. Or, like Martha, perhaps you need to pray for someone else to receive their miracle…their resurrection…or someone else’s restoration before you can receive your own. Breakthrough is often like that. God often requires us to consider the needs of others above our own, and enlists the aid of others to pray in various parts of the many breakthroughs on His agenda. Ask the Lord to raise up intercessors to pray for your needs as you give your attention and prayers to those of others. He will do it! There are breakthroughs that cause a ripple effect throughout the body of Christ, families and communities. Today, stop praying for what you desire. God already knows what you need and what you hope for! Instead, pray for someone else’s miracle. Ask Him to send spiritual doctors and midwives. Sometimes, the thing that represents the spiritual baby’s head gets stuck. Remember, we are all a part of one body. Christ represents the head. We are His body. Each one of us represents a part of the function of His body. The baby must be in proper position. A lowered head represents humility and readiness to come out of the birth canal. Ask Holy Spirit to deliver the head so the rest of the baby can come forth and the birth can be a safe one. Far too often there are dreams and promises that are either stillborn or abort prematurely simply because God requires a great deal of prayer. He looks to and fro to find intercessors to birth the plans of God and bring forth the promises for us all. Ask God to send angels of breakthrough. PUSH! Pray Until Something Happens. It’s time to deliver the promise!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

But, God! God Wants to Drive Your Doubts Out of Town!

Have you ever looked at the enormity of a situation and said, "Impossible. That will never happen?" We talk ourselves out of believing it can happen and then hopelessness sets in. When we agree with all the negativity, then we receive exactly what we believe for: Nothing. BUT, GOD! Today, all of a sudden, I looked at the same situation and said, "You know, that's not so impossible." Suddenly, out of nowhere, God had given me a fresh faith-filled perspective on an old situation. I recognized Faith had shown up out of nowhere so I thanked God that with Him all things ARE possible, and then invited Him into that particular area to go to work.

Listen Friends, sometimes God just shows up out of nowhere and presents a fresh perspective that has faith in the equation. You know it's real because your attitude isn't one of defeat and doesn't waiver at the promise of God. When God presents the faith you need to see the situation change, it's important to act on it right away before the enemy can come in to try to steal that seed away again. Take a moment to invite God into all of YOUR impossible situations...the one's that frustrate you, zap you of your strength and energy...the ones you've looked at for years and always said, Nope. Not happening." Today is the day to act. Come into agreement with my testimony and realize that what God does for one person He is willing to do for others, they must simply seize the moment and agree with the Spirit of Faith!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Love Leaves the Door Open

         I barely saw her sitting there in the shadows, until I noticed movement. Night after night I would catch glimpses of her tiny silhouette sitting there in the dark, hoping. Waiting. She glanced up from time to time, looking up at the weathered gray wood trim. The loyalty she showed was undeserved. “They’re not there anymore, little one,” I whispered. My heart broke for her, because no one deserved to be treated with such casual disregard. She didn't ask to be left fending for herself, homeless and alone. Still, night after night, there she sat in front of the door marked #101.        

            Months passed, and she grew and ran wild. She was certain of it now; she had been abandoned and no longer trusted anyone. Her sleek black frame no longer darkened the doorstep of apartment 101. I would see her at a distance and call to her, and tell her it was safe to venture closer. Every once in a while I would catch her watching me from a distance before she darted away, but I never expected her to make the first move.

            Hunger drove her, I'm sure, but kindness drew her to a new door. My door. I opened the door one day to see this little black and white visitor watching and…waiting. “Well, hello there, Mittens. Are you hungry?" I returned a few moments later with some food. My husband had started calling her Mittens months before because she looks just like the kitty from the movie, Bolt.

            After she ate, she just sat there, so I left the door open a bit to see what she would do. I went back to doing the dishes. It wasn’t long before a little inquisitive face peered into the house. And so it began.

            I would put food out, and Mittens came to breakfast and dinner. I left the door open, so she could poke her head in and take a look around. Little by little, she allowed me to come closer, but she always darted away as soon as I got within inches of touching her shiny black fur. I sat down on the concrete. She sat down and watched me. I laid down and reached out a hand, assuring her it was ok to trust again. Mittens took a step. Then, she laid down on the concrete and reached out an arm, again, pulling it back just before I could touch her. Perhaps it was the faint memory of a touch from long ago that broke through the fear, but she worked up the courage to let me pet her – and when I did, she finally gave in to letting herself feel something she hadn’t felt in a very long time. Love.

            She rubbed against my hand, arched her back and came back for more. She grabbed my hand with hers. She seems to love to just hold my hand and close her eyes, savoring the feeling of love soothing her fears away. Her little arms paw and wave in mid air like she's swimming, reaching for more love. Mittens comes in for visits, and has met the rest of the family. She hides under the couch and waits for someone to stick in a hand and give her a friendly scratch. Eventually she ventures out and explores a bit, flopping on the floor and purring contentedly, tentatively waiting for someone to reach down and give her a scratch. She plays with the ornaments hanging from the Christmas tree and I think how love is such a huge reason for this season. I am grateful for this little visitor who warms my heart.

            I think what surprised me the most is how quickly she turned from a timid, unsure wanderer, to a bold, protective warrior.  The previous encounters with our other animals proved uneventful. The cats retreated into other rooms and the dog was just curious. Then suddenly one night Mittens positioned herself between one of our cats and the dog, who had come into the room. Mittens didn't want them to come near me. She hissed and swatted them away as if to say, “Get back! That’s my Mama!”

            “Did you see that?” I asked my husband. She has adopted me! She thinks I am her Mama!”

            “How fierce you are, little one,” I said. “I am flattered that you love me so. You are jealous for me, aren’t you?” I whispered, as I pronounced a kiss upon her little pink and white kitty nose. “I love you, too, Mittens.” She rubbed her face against mine and purred.

            Yet, even in the midst of the many assurances of our love and kindness, Mittens felt compelled to go out, the wild not yet out of her system. She needed to know the door was open, that she could leave whenever she wanted, and I wouldn't try to cage her in. When the door was closed, it spooked her. She felt trapped, panicked and immediately wanted to run away. My impatience to try to keep her safe made me try to keep her close where I could keep an eye on her, but that independent spirit wasn't ready to be broken yet. Mittens was still learning this new found relationship, and testing it to see if it really was ‘safe.’ As with any relationship, trust has to be earned, and it doesn't happen overnight. 

            Another amazing thing that happened is the effect new kitty had upon our other cat, Bebe. Bebe is the most beautiful, spoiled house cat, that wants for nothing. She has always treated me with careless disregard, and in typical cat fashion, treats me like her servant.  I am there to serve her at her pleasure. The things that Bebe takes for granted and often acts finicky about, Mittens appreciates wholeheartedly. Until Mittens wandered into the household, Bebe could have cared less about me. Suddenly, she wants me to notice her, pet her, and remember that she is a member of the family, too. Funny how the cat that had it all didn't seem to care until she noticed someone else receiving my affections! Jealousy is a funny thing, is it not?

            As I petted her one day, I thought of my son’s little friend who recently became homeless. In one day I fed both the homeless child and the homeless cat. I was sad for both. The Lord can speak through anything, and one of the things He reminded me of through all this is how compassionate He feels towards the orphans, the outcasts, those who are disconnected from His body – and disconnected from Him. They’re everywhere. They’re lonely, hurting and many feel very uncomfortable with the church. 

            Perhaps their hunger or another need will be a reason for them to seek out the those who offer help, but need alone is not enough to make them want to stick around and we should not feel miffed if they don't feel obligated. If love is truly unconditional, then when we help others it should not have strings attached either. The moment one person tries to cage someone in and call it love, trust is broken. Relationships can't be rushed. Love gives people space to grow and in the process, loyalty and commitment will grow as well. People must be given the opportunity to discover God’s love on their own, as He demonstrates His gentleness through us. God’s love is not harsh. It’s the kindness of God that leads men to repentance, to have that change of heart that draws them into fellowship with others so that love can heal them. Love leaves the door open so that people can find their way home again. No one has to feel awkward or uncomfortable. They should never have to feel disgraced or ashamed at coming home. There’s grace enough for everyone at God’s table. Just remember to leave the door open.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Healing the Family Tree

I saw something in a dream recently that I want to share with you. I believe it gives us all some much needed strategy against the works of the enemy.

What I saw was that the enemy had put a mark on those that he was claiming as his, whether saved or unsaved. The mark was also indicative of those the enemy wanted to curse to keep from coming into their destiny. The mark itself looked like a black raven and it was on the head. I also heard the Lord say, "Pray for healing of the family tree," and as I was praying about all this several things came to mind.

First, the 'bird' reminded me of the scriptures of the birds of the air that come to eat up the good seeds of truth that come from the Word of God. The enemy is snatching up those words because he knows they are full of power to save, heal and deliver those that hear. I asked God to send His angels to clear out the airwaves from those demonic spirits so that they cannot snatch the good seed away from those that are speaking and those that are hearing. The mark is also a word curse that carries judgments, slander and attempts to destroy the opportunities, new doors and good plans of the Lord so that people cannot enter into what is appointed for them. The birds of the air pick up the words laced with death and destruction that negatively influence others, and they take those words from one person to another in the form of gossip and evil speaking. These things are intended to keep people from salvation, keep them from their deliverance, and also prevent them from entering into the new day God has intended for them. He needs our cooperation to pray His plans into the earth, and He gives us prayer strategies to insure that His plans will be carried out. 

Secondly, I asked God to give people everywhere the desire to be cleansed from generational sin so that their family tree can be healed. I think that we often do not realize the impact of even one person's sin that can affect others in the generational line. Let me give you an example. Have you ever seen a child born into a family and maybe this child doesn't look anything like the other kids or family members. Maybe they have a different color hair or features that seem very different from everyone else. Then you pull out the old family picture album and find a picture of great aunt Sally or great, great grandfather so-and-so and you think, "Oh, so this is where those genes came from!" Something in the gene pool from way, way back got carried forward and was reproduced. Well, that is exactly how things get pulled out of the spiritual gene pool also, but sometimes it can be like a dead man's pool. A spiritual gene pool, if I may use that illustration, can have both good and bad. If a person is saved, then there are gifts, talents, callings, mantles and spiritual inheritances that can be a tremendous blessing because they come from God. But, there are also things that can come out that has poverty, death and destruction attached to them. Those things come from the enemy. We want to break the curses that travel in family lines. It's like playing Russian Roulette with our spiritual health and future because we just don't know what other people in the generational line opened a door to. There can still be open doors to the enemy that they never took care of, even in the most dedicated Christian families. Sometimes people just don't realize they need to take care of something or don't have the revelation of it, but each year we should recover more spiritual truth and walk in a greater understanding than we have in the past. Demonic spirits look for legal loopholes to entitle them to rob, steal and destroy your family's blessings. They feel entitled to hang around and will wait for an opportune time to rebirth generational sin and iniquitous patterns. They don't just go away. We have to send them away through prayers of renouncement and genuine repentance which results in changed behavior. This is why we should take great care to heal our family tree as soon as we are blessed with this understanding.

This is not just about our personal family tree, but the family tree that represents God's entire family. His desire is for each one of our family trees to become a tree of life. When the spiritual roots are healed, the family tree can become a tree of life that releases healing to others, also, because you then have the knowledge of how to help others heal their family trees. Revelation becomes widespread and affects more than just your generation! I also prayed and asked that the Lord would heal the root system of people's family tree so that those trees would be trees of healing that bear good fruit. The healing and cleansing come from renouncing generational sin and unhealthy learned patterns that are passed down from one family member to another. People cannot hope to overcome their flesh if there is demonic attachments that they cannot see. It will remain there to trip people up, time after time, reproducing and re-birthing the same patterns of behavior that cause people to experience loss, poverty, sorrow, broken relationships, addictions, divorce, mental illness and much more. This is how the enemy perpetuates certain weaknesses of sin that run in family lines. Generational curses can come to an end and a new destiny for entire families is possible. (See our Breakthrough Prayer).

Sometimes we don't know what to ask for, but I believe God gave a strategy through the dream. There is not one family on earth that is cannot benefit of a more intimate walk with God, healing for their family, and deeper revelation. Lord, help us not to think that we are 'good enough' as we are, but to seek You for continued growth! When relationships are fractured there will always be differences of opinion. Many times those differences of opinion lead to stubborness and attitudes of self-righteousness that become stumbling blocks to healing and restoring the relationship. Judgments, pride and other things become elevated above love and humility, which are needed to be able to make reconciliation a possibility. God wants us to lay down our judgments, criticisms and religious attitudes that look down on others as if they are unworthy of grace and restoration. If relationships are to be healed, and if Christ be our head, then we must find it within ourselves to surrender to His will, and His will requires humility on everyone's part. He levels the ground and puts us all on equal footing, secure in the knowledge that we are all just sinners saved by a loving God. None better, none worse than anyone else. All sin requires forgiveness, and a Savior.

I also saw that many people feel like they are stuck or waiting but they don't know why. God has called a divine delay in some people's circumstances because there is something specific He wants them to pray before they can be released into His greater purposes. God wants to plant good trees and reap good fruit. A good tree does not produce bad fruit because the seed comes from Christ. It's time we cleanse the remnants of death, decay and corruption from the spiritual gene pool. Religion has corruption and death attached to it. Scripture tells us the letter of the law releases death but the Spirit is life, according to 2 Cor. 3:6. God does not want to birth more religion; He wants to birth a tree of life. Bitterness, selfish ambition, envy and other things also have death and corruption attached to them. Study the scriptures and you will see. These are all things that God wants to cleanse from us so that when the birth of the promise comes, it is all Him. The promise should speak of the supernatural. It should look like God and represent Him in every way, not our flesh. We must cooperate in our own healing and deliverance so that we are ready for the next new thing God has planned. Sometimes doors won't open until all things have been made ready. Will you make yourself ready? I also saw that when I prayed what God told me concerning the healing of family trees, that spiritual births would come quickly and without delay. So many people are much closer to their breakthrough than they realize. If you have been asking God what is taking so long, perhaps there is something specific you need to pray. When you pray what God has asked, the birth will occur. God wants a pure birth, a birth that is full of power, anointing and can move with Him in the Spirit. Ask Him for a prayer strategy specific for you and your situation. When we pray, the delay is moved out of the way!

Father God,

In the name and authority of Jesus Christ I come to you and ask that you give people everywhere the desire to heal their family tree. Give them a heart to search for the right answers and faith to take the appropriate actions that make that possible. Let family trees be healed, in Jesus name. Let the family tree that represents the family of God be healed as well.

Let eyes blinded by pride, prejudice, offense and accusation be opened now in Jesus name, to see beyond those barriers. Let correct spiritual vision be restored to them now. Let ears that have been closed to truth be opened now, in Jesus name. 

Let your angels be released to anoint the ears to hear what Your Spirit is saying. Let hearts be softened and anointed to receive the truth. I declare and decree there shall be no rejection of spiritual truth but people will know it is the truth and submit and surrender to the truth. I ask for the Spirit of Understanding and the Spirit of Truth to reveal that which will make people free, in Jesus name. Let the good seed fall on good ground and let there be no delay in the seed bearing fruit.

Father, let what has been broken through hurt, betrayal, anger, offense, jealousy and divorce be healed. Take those relationships that have been divorced from one another and make them whole again. Whether it be family members, children or church members, heal and restore that which has been wounded and broken. Pour in Your love, grace, forgiveness and mercy. Pour a new foundation and restore the bonds of loyalty, trust and respect in Jesus name.

Lord, heal us from our harshness and prejudices. Heal us from self righteous convictions that are not from you but tend to keep us from fully accepting and being able to love others. Help us to let go of pride and other attitudes that makes us feel that others are not worthy of our acceptance, loyalty or commitment to love. 

Lord, heal our memories. The enemy would try to rob us from the good memories and leave us remembering only the offenses. Restore to us the happy memories that give people a desire to see relationships healed.

Let anyone that feels stubborn or resistant to healing have a sudden change of heart. Give them a willing desire to reconcile the relationships YOU want healed and restored. Let all stumbling blocks be supernaturally removed now, in Jesus name.

Take what was once broken and heal those fractured areas. Cement hearts together in covenant bonds that cannot be broken. Let Your Holy Spirit be the threefold cord binding hearts and lives together that are by the appointment and design of God, in Jesus name.

I declare and decree that the birds of the air, all demonic lying spirits, thieving spirits, and those that come to block the ears of those who hear, must be removed immediately. Let Your angels come and gather those ungodly spirits, chain them and send them back to the abyss that was created for them. I bind them from any and all interference in the salvation and deliverance of those marked for the kingdom of God in Jesus name.

I declare and decree in the mighty name of Jesus Christ that the mark the enemy has placed upon the heads of your children must be supernaturally removed now. Let Your angels be released to remove those marks. Let every word curse be cancelled and those words of death be condemned according to Your promise in Isaiah 54:17. Let every judgment be removed and let truth prevail, in Jesus name. I ask You to send out Your words and let Your angels carry the words of heaven to speak over those that have been targeted for destruction. Let their true identity as sons and daughters of the Most High be spoken about them. Let all lying cease according to your promise in Ps. 63:11, and the mouths of liars be silenced in Jesus name.

I thank You Father for hearing my prayer declaration and sending out help from the sanctuaries of heaven and earth. May Your servants prosper in all that you have put in their hand to do, and may the family trees be healed according to Your desire, in Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Spiritual Truth, or Deception?

The enemy does not want us to be delivered. I think we can all agree on that, but Satan understands the word of God quite well and he understands us quite well, too. He knows that in order to deceive a believer, then he must find a way to block their understanding of truth. The spirit of accusation can be subtle. Not only does it look for ways to accuse, but it looks for ways to discredit. It all starts with a judgment, and then that judgment takes over in order to accomplish a goal that Satan has put in place. Did you know that a spirit of accusation will look to discredit not just people, but the Word of God? If the enemy can discredit certain areas of teaching, he can also prevent people from believing in the truth that will make them free and healed.

One thing I have recognized, and I admit, have been guilty of it myself in times past, is to think that something is biblically unsound when the reality is, I simply lacked the revelation of it in my own life. I had yet to grow in certain areas - and, truth be told - was in need of deliverance in certain areas of my own thinking, (mainly my own pride) for there were strongholds in my own life that were in need of being torn down.  Those strongholds prevented truth from getting in because the enemy was protecting blind spots that were designed to resist my healing and deliverance. How often people persecute the Word of God when it is simply their flesh resisting a truth that can make them free. The Bible tells us that our hearts are deceitfully wicked and we cannot know what is even in our own heart. This means that our hearts will deceive us. We will be prone to misdiagnosis of our own heart and life. We will be prone to missing our own blind spots. We will be predisposed to protect and defend the areas of our life where we may be in sin, and yet, not realize we are we are in fact, in need of repentance in some area.

Scripture tells us that all unbelief is sin. Unbelief in any area of our life produces a rejection of the truth and separation from God on some level. S-i-n. Boy oh boy, that itty bitty word sure does have the power to get people upset. It's human nature to not want to think we are in sin, because that would mean that we are in the wrong. Yet, the Bible tells us that if we say we have no sin then then we are self deceived and the truth is not in us, according to 1 John 1:8. Self-deception in any area of our thought life is usually held in place by pride. It is judging ourselves by our own standard rather than by God's revealed truth. Sin, as much as we may hate that little word, is the result of unbelief. Maybe not in every area of our life, but concerning certain areas we may not have the victory just yet. All unbelief produces separation between ourselves and God, or us and others. It is the root of every fear and sin. Unbelief makes room for spiritual, emotional and physical weakness. Why? Because Truth is not reigning in that place. Uncovering the area of unbelief that we've taken in to our belief system is our job. Jesus provided the salvation, but it's our job to appropriate the victory in every area of our life. If we fail to understand, then the error is not with God, it is with us. Hosea 4:6 tells us "My people perish for lack of knowledge..." It is also written in Proverbs 29:18 "Where there is no revelation people cast off all restraint, but blessed is he who keeps wisdom's instruction." Revelation is important. It can keep us healthy and well, free and victorious. But where revelation is lacking, people live by their own thoughts and imaginations and reject the wisdom of God. That is why revelation is so important. Revelation comes as a result of relationship with Holy Spirit. One cannot come by revelation except by God's Holy Spirit. It does not come by the flesh or spirit of man; it is divinely given. It is the glory of kings (that's us!) to search out a matter so that we recover the truth that will release empowerment, healing and restoration. Friends, if we were all walking in perfect harmony and agreement with scripture, we would be perfectly aligned with God. We would have no weakness in our bodies. We would be walking in miracles, signs and wonders everywhere we went because we would be full of resurrection power. We would be victorious overcomers in every sense of the word, but there is not one person on earth that has achieved complete perfection. Not yet. We all need work! The price for our sin has been paid, but there is still the work of sanctification. This is not a forgiveness issue; it's an enlightenment issue in our understanding that allows us to enter into deeper relationship with God and his Holy Spirit. Every time we displace an area of sin, deception and darkness, we gain more depth in our relationship with our God. Truth sets us free because TRUTH IS A PERSON. It's all about relationship with Him. Light displaces darkness. When lies are displaced, the natural response should be a conviction that leads us to change our heart and mind about what we previously believed. It SHOULD lead to repentance. Repentance means to change our mind about something we once believee and then adjust our thought life and behavior accordingly so that what we now believe is more reflective of God's truth in our life. We OUGHT to feel compelled to revel in thankfulness to God for showing us a truth we weren't able to walk in before we had that nugget of pure gold revelation. When darkness is displaced, then the light and glory of God fills the place that was once weakened and darkened through unbelief. Areas of our heart, mind, body and soul that were once blocked off and damaged, diseased or wounded can begin to receive resurrection power.

What people often lack is either revelation or experience in a particular area that gives them greater understanding. Remember the Pharisees? They knew the scriptures better than just about everyone else, but they completely missed the Word of God when He was standing among them, simply because their judgments clouded their ability to see correctly. They knew what the scriptures said but they didn't know the heart of God. If we don't understand the heart of God to know His ways, we will miss God in the midst of us. Hardened by their own pride, they could not receive Truth. Judgments made them spiritually blind to recognizing the truth that was sent to heal them.

Friends, God will often send us people with both experience and revelation that can help heal us. At the same time, God may also test us as to whether we will discount the truth based on the packaging of His messenger, or He may test our ability to recognize his Holy Spirit within an ordinary vessel. I have had to learn to receive from many unlikely messengers. Sometimes they were my children and sometimes they were strangers. One time God used a prophetess on a bicycle that I met on the boardwalk by the beach. A couple of days later she called and had a very strong word for me that made my flesh rear up in defensiveness. Keep in mind this was a woman I did not know personally but I did recognize the spirit within her and the gift of the Holy Spirit working through her. Even so, immediately I wanted to reject her because I felt such conviction of what had been spoken. God didn't care about preserving my pride! He wanted to bless me with a deeper level of healing, but when it snuck up on me and caught me by surprise I had to choose whether or not I would let my pride get the better of me. That woman was doing her job. She told me exactly what I needed to hear to get delivered. She wasn't hurtful but she didn't mince any words about it, either. Although I didn't care for the process, I also realized she was speaking the truth. That was the Holy Spirit bearing witness to the message. Listen friends, God is not about to coddle us when we're in sin. It might not be something we consider a big deal. But to God, it's all a big deal because our thought life determines who we become and how much of His "BIG PLAN" we are able to accomplish. Holy Spirit is relentless to bring us truth, teaching and revelation that is intended to set us free and lead to deeper levels of our restoration. God has even used homeless people to speak profound truths. There can be a lot of wisdom in unusual packages, if we will just have ears to hear and take the time to listen. If I had discounted some of God's messengers I never could have received the truth that led me into freedom. There are times when hearing the truth made me angry and defensive, but that alone did not negate the truth; it simply meant the enemy was guarding a stronghold and I had to choose whether or not to submit to the truth or continue on in captivity. The next time you hear an area of teaching, instruction or read something that makes you question whether or not it is from God, consider asking Holy Spirit to show you the difference between what your thoughts are telling you, what you think you know about scripture, and what is truth. Don't assume to know. When ever I have asked the Lord to show me what is really true, He leads me to the scriptures and shows me very clearly. He has also used other things that are not necessarily scripture, but medically based on the workings of the human body and then drawn a line of understanding between the two. God can use many things to show us truth! The Bible tells us to test the spirits, but the evidence of any teaching and also in the life of the one who teaches, is the fruit. Jesus said we would know the false from the genuine by testing the fruit. The fruit of the Spirit is mentioned in Galatians 5:22. Servants of the Lord should walk in love, joy, peace, forbearance kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. The fruit of the Spirit in the believer (and the one who teaches) is the test which determines whether or not their life and teaching produces good fruit.

Does what is being taught lead a person closer to God, or away from Him? Does it magnify God, or someone else?
Does it lead a person into repentance, a changed heart, and a desire to trust God?
Does what is being taught come from revelation from Holy Spirit?
Does it open the spiritual eyes so that more truth can be received?
Does the teaching result in deliverance from some lie the person has believed and a greater sense of victory?
Does what is taught exalt the name of Jesus, the Word of God, and empower the person to overcome the enemy?
Does it result in physical or emotional healing?
Are there testimonies of healing and deliverance that come from the teaching? These are all indicators of good fruit, for the testimonies of what that teaching produces cannot be negated. Testimonies are the result of truth displacing darkness and Jesus being elevated in that person's life.

False teaching, however, will produce bad fruit. Jesus said that bad fruit came from bad trees. Good fruit came from good trees.

False teaching produces double-mindedness and confusion.
False teaching does not produce righteousness; it leaves people feeling guilty and condemned.
False teaching can also teach a wrong perspective of grace. One of the greatest errors in teaching is not radical grace. It is the teaching that repentance is unnecessary.
False teaching produces a sense of never measuring up and the inability to please God.
False teaching places people in bondage rather than leading them into freedom.

False teachers do not live by what they teach to others. Many live for themselves and live according to self rule. Self rule discards the truth and conviction necessary to produce genuine repentance and change.
False teachers demonstrate a lack of love for others.
False teachers will place others in bondage and leave others feeling hurt, confused, angry or bitter, which is the result of bad fruit in their life.
False teachers often insistent and unyielding. They have an unyielding nature that does not produce righteousness.
False teachers are proud and resistant to truth.
False teachers often do not live in the revelation that they have. Their life is marked by compromise.
False teachers do not walk in revelation. They speak as natural people but not by the Spirit. They teach as natural men or women but not as spiritual. (Revelation is the mark of those chosen by God with spiritual authority).

Man uses many things to determine whether or not something is from God, but not all of those things are profitable nor are they biblical standards of measuring truth. Opinions are a dime a dozen  depending on who you may be talking to, and subject to error but truth will stand up to scrutiny. Good fruit and sound teaching will stand up to scrutiny. I hope this article has been helpful. Friend, guard yourselves from those that may attempt to persuade you to believe like them by the use of persuasive words or empty philosophies. Jesus is known to have asked His disciple, Peter, 'Who do you say I am?' in Mark 8:29. Peter received the revelation that Jesus was indeed the Son of God and therefore could answer, 'You are the Christ.' Truth bore witness. The Spirit of Jesus lives in those that are HIS. Bought and paid for, sealed with the Holy Spirit. JESUS is not confused about what is truly from His Spirit. Jesus in us will testify to what is truth and what is error. Test all things according to God's word, but also by His Spirit. John 14:17 reminds us that the world cannot receive the Spirit of Truth because they do not know Him; BUT, we have Holy Spirit as a witness and His presence WILL WITNESS as to whether something is from God, or not. These three things agree: 6This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7For there are three that testify: 8the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement." 1 John 5:6-8

Sunday, October 19, 2014

When Relationships End

           Recently I was a bit discouraged over someone that just sort of walked out of my life without notice. I found myself going over and over in my head if I had said or done anything that could have been misconstrued. Going in circles in your mind always ends up back in the same place. Unanswered questions.

            I realized though, on a late night dog walk, (that’s when I do most of my heart-to-heart conversations with God and prayer time), that I, too, have been guilty of walking out on some relationships at times, and no doubt have left others with the same unanswered questions. Conviction set in and suddenly my understanding took on a whole new level that resulted in grace rather than feeling hurt. The Holy Spirit is great at bringing us to a level of compassion we didn’t have before.

            As I reflected upon past events of my life, I understood my own reasons for backing up on some relationships and making that quiet departure. Sometimes, because I no longer felt the relationship was mutually beneficial; at other times simply because we were not going in the same direction spiritually, but most often simply because I didn’t really know the best way to handle the communication end of things. There are some things best left unsaid at times because it carries the potential to do more harm than good. The quiet departure is the only way to give God time to work in both sides of relationships, but even when people think they are being careful not to bring discouragement, the lack of answers that they fail to provide to others, and the fact that someone has walked away from the relationship does bring discouragement anyway. In those cases, all we can do is give people space and time to work through whatever is causing them to feel that they need to withdraw, and at the same time, also ask the Lord if there is something He wants us to understand.

            There are the obvious reasons for doors closing in relationships. People move, or they grow apart, or perhaps there is serious issue that causes the relationship to break apart, for example. We need to accept the fact that some relationships run their course and just run out of steam to carry them further. Many relationships end due to offense. But I’m not here to state the obvious. Some of the less obvious reasons are worth reflection. Sometimes people are in your life for a specific reason, and a specific season. You’ve probably heard that before, but it’s true. Perhaps they were a lesson, a message or a messenger.

            The lesson: God uses people to show us something about ourselves, or perhaps we are there to show them something about themselves that He is working on in their life. Perhaps they are there as sandpaper to smooth out some rough edges in our lives. The friction we encounter in relational problems is there to teach us to have Christlike responses when our flesh doesn't want to! There are times when we may hear a person talking and know exactly how they are feeling when they are expressing themselves because we have gone through something similar. That's when we can help one another through an issue with Biblical counsel and our own testimonies, but don't just sympathize. Sympathy gives people encouragement to get wrapped up in self-pity and rehearsing their pain and problems. Also, I've noticed that when you have more than a few things in common with someone else, you might want to question whether or not that person is there to teach you something about yourself. When we are not listening to God or somehow cannot seem to grasp what He wants us to understand, we should examine our relationships for often there is a powerful spiritual reality in someone’s life that serves as a mirror into our own life.

            Years ago I became friends with a woman and we simply hit it off right from the start. We had so much in common we could have been sisters. We quickly became very close. Oddly enough, our lives began to mirror one another’s in some very strange ‘coincidences.’ Nothing is coincidental, of course. The reality is, we had the same demonic spirits working in both our lives. I couldn’t see my own faults because they were my blindspots, so God sent me someone that was literally living some of the same realities in order to show me things I couldn’t or wouldn’t recognize any other way. I didn’t like everything I saw, but the light came on and I knew, this woman wasn’t a healthy person to have in my life. Actually, none of the common friends we shared were healthy, and when I lost her, I lost several other friends at the same time. I did what I could to apologize for areas of wrong on my part, and I know she thought the relationship was mended and we could be friends again. I’m sure it probably hurt and confused her when I no longer picked up the phone or returned her calls. It was a lonely time in my life, but the reality is, the demons in her life and the demons in mine were keeping me stuck and unhealthy, and she just wasn’t at a place to understand without the truth causing an even greater offense. Was I sad? Yes. I felt like I lost a sister. But had that relationship remained, I would have continued to allow those demonic spirits to be active in my life rather than realizing that relationship was there to serve as a mirror so that I could recognize truth about my own life. I needed deliverance and I needed to spend more time with the Lord to heal and get free. I simply couldn’t allow that relationship to hinder me further.

            There have been other relationships, too, that I’ve had to let go of over the years. Some people are not willing or ready to change and grow with God, and I value my future, my family and my calling greater than I value a person that isn’t willing to grow with God. There is a deeper reality for all of us in that we should never allow ourselves to be unequally yoked with those that don’t have the same spirit. Relationships are not just friendships; they act as a compass. Show me your relationships and I can tell which direction you’re going. Or not.

            The message: There are times when others are introduced into our lives because they are there to deliver a message that we need to hear. God brings us those people because of His love for us. It is His desire to help us learn and correct something that He sees has the potential to do great harm to our future. We don’t always understand that people have been sent by God to give us a message. A long term friendship may not be God’s purpose for some relationships, and that’s ok. I think we need to accept that and not hold it against someone else if that was God’s assignment for them. Though it can be disappointing to lose people out of our life, and though we don’t usually understand until later that that seemed to be the important aspect of that relationship, learn not to hold the departure against someone else.

            The messenger: We are there to be the messenger and deliver a message that God wants someone else to hear. We may be sent to release a word of knowledge or a prophetic word, or simply to pray for that person. My husband and I find that is how God seems to work in us. It might be with an individual or even a church. Prophetic people are often just God’s messengers sent on an errand with an assignment. Sometimes the messenger doesn’t even realize he is being used that way, until suddenly, they know very clearly that their time in a certain place or with a certain person is over. It doesn’t mean the relationship has to end completely, but it is not as close as previously. The mission has been completed and the message delivered. Then it’s time to go. It often occurs quite abruptly but we are getting used to Him using us this way. God does not always want the messengers in the way. Elijah was one such messenger that delivered a message and was told to get away to a safe place away from the king whom he made angry once the word was delivered. Messengers also come with words intended to bring correction of something that is causing a person pain, heartache or something that will continue to trip them up if they don’t adjust their behavior. Sometimes a person is not ready to receive that word, or perhaps they are convicted and embarrassed and end up putting distance between themselves and the messenger because they do not know how to handle their emotions. How others respond to God’s messenger determines whether or not they will reap the reward or blessing He has in mind for them, or continue on in their behavior and reap a different kind of response from God. If a person is not open to receiving the words of the messenger, or has received the message but is not open to change, then God will tell the messenger to step back or remove themselves while He continues to work in the situation.  I am going to throw in one other factor to consider as well. Toxic relationships. Those are faith strippers and dream killers. You must know how to pull the plug on those, and if you can't, often times God will. Sometimes God needs to shut the door to relationships, especially if they may be hazardous to our spiritual and emotional health.

            There are times when relationships end due to no fault of our own. It's just that people complete whatever they need to do for that particular season with the relationships God gave them for that season. When that season is over, it's time to go because God needs them somewhere else. These are all cycles that everyone goes through, and we must learn to have mature responses that love people and at the same time, release them to God. We don't own them, after all. God has lessons, assignments, messages to deliver and messengers to deliver them, and He moves us all around like pieces on a chess board as needed.

         Sometimes we will never understand what we might have been spared from had particular people stayed in our life. God’s protection works in a variety of ways and closing doors is one of them. The closed door can sometimes be a blessing in disguise. Even though we may feel disappointed, let’s resist the urge to feel offended. We never know what someone else is going through. Perhaps they are feeling convicted of something going on in their own life and they don’t feel comfortable disclosing it. Perhaps they just need space while God is at work preparing their heart and life for change. There have been times when we have needed space, too. Sometimes we may never know why another person is just suddenly unavailable, or unwilling to open up to us like they used to, or just plain absent from our life altogether. Just because we are the one feeling rejected doesn’t necessarily mean that we are the one at fault. What it does mean is that one or both of the parties in that relationship are in need of transformation and healing, so extend grace. Revelation precedes transformation. God’s processes take time, and can only move as fast as people allow themselves to be ready for change. You never know when that door might swing open again. The same God that closes doors is the same God that opens them, too. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Entering His Rest

In as much as we need to be delivered from our past, the old mindsets, failures and moral weaknesses; we also need to be delivered from our successes. Successes are wonderful, but when God is looking for someone to promote He empties them of themselves. Only when we are completely empty of self can we be filled. We must rest from our works, lay down our accomplishments, and be emptied of the desire to boast upon ourselves. Humility and trust attract the Holy Spirit to overshadow those whose heart belongs to God.

And when we do, when we really truly let go of all the striving, frustration and unrest in our soul, what we will encounter is revelation. And rest. Understanding comes, that all our efforts are in vain when God isn't after us just to be busy doing stuff for Him. He's after our heart. He doesn't want to just give us orders or promote us when it might jeopardize losing our love and affection to Him in the process. In His grace, He waits until we settle down and realize there truly is a big difference between service in order to fulfill something in us, and service out of love for Him.

I pray you understand the difference, and take the time to just be with Him today. Take time to recover anything that's been lost, or love grown cold, just between you and Jesus. When you do, you'll find that peace settles into your heart and joy comes like a flood into your weary soul. Beloved, you cannot birth the promise. Only God can, because it's His baby, His promise. If you don't get off that crazy merry-go-round you'll make yourself sick. REST in His love, and know that the birth of what you've prayed for is all in His hands. It will come at the appointed time just as surely as the sun comes up in the morning. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Leaving the Valley of Disappointment

Welcome to disappointment. Don't stay too long! In times of change, we must examine ourselves for anything that can prevent us from moving forward with the Lord. I feel that there are many people in the valley of discouragement and disappointment. Friend, the Holy Spirit is going to work through this article and lead you out of that wilderness you've been in. It's been a valley of weeping, stretching and tiredness, but God is leading the way and you're about to exit the wilderness season of your life. I feel that there are a lot of people that have wrestled with their hope deferred for so long that the enemy has taken advantage of people's disappointment and seduced them into believing lies that just aren't true. Hope deferred has made many sick, weak, and unprepared to cross over into their promise land. They feel spiritually weak and unable to regain their strength, but many don't even understand how they got there. Perhaps you feel that you have no strength to fight. Many people have felt as if even the desire to do anything new has left them. There is barely even the desire to pray or read the word and they feel worn out just from daily life. To try and muster up the faith to do more feels exhausting. They simply have nothing left to give. They are STUCK. Often times, the enemy is quite aware of upcoming seasons of change and he works to release stealth weapons that people may not identify as anything other than their own thoughts. These are the things that have actually led to people feeling so depleted, weak and unprepared for the new. It is our job to recognize those weapons and take authority over them so that nothing stands in our way and we are free to move when God opens a new door of opportunity.

            When people are disappointed that something didn't turn out the way they hoped they are at their most vulnerable. This is when the enemy strikes. He may wait for years until he launches his most cunning plan of attack. If the enemy can't take a person out through accusation, slander, or other typical warfare, he will switch tactics. The enemy’s weapons often feel like frustration, regret, disappointment, shame, judgments (whether against ourselves or others), and things that negatively attach themselves to our emotions. The enemy is very patient and will take his time to wear a person down. Python is a spirit that is attracted to our weaknesses in our flesh. It gets a stranglehold on someone and then proceeds to squeeze the very life and breath out of them. Every one of the enemy’s weapons are intended to take people’s hearts and minds into captivity so that they break faith with God and accept the lie (whatever that lie might be for you) – for when they do - they then rationalize a different outcome and accept a different plan for their life. Friend, don’t let yourself get on the road that detours you from the good plan God has intended for you! If you’re on that road now, learn to recognize it.

            What affects our emotional state is often designed to separate us from God. The enemy’s lies will always serve to separate us from our destiny in one form or another, and Satan does this by creating strongholds in our thinking. The strongholds serve to elevate the lie, the disappointment, and emotions that feed unbelief rather than the truth. Emotions are not truth and they are not an accurate indicator of what God has in mind for the future, yet people often use emotions as a barometer to gauge whether or not they feel their lives are going according to God’s plan. Impatience causes people to feel that their lives are not moving forward fast enough. Impatience can also cause people to grow tired of waiting and make themselves an idol or something else that they can serve. They may tell themselves they are waiting on God, yet, often times, they are really looking for something else to believe in. When people feel a sense of loss, or just plain lost, it can be so easy to put more and more energy, time and attention into something else because it satisfies a need to be busy doing something that gives them a sense of importance or validation. Hope deferred can cause people to eventually believe something that isn't true. They may tell themselves that they missed God somewhere, or that they must have misunderstood something about His plan for their future. They may even tell themselves that they are somehow disqualified from God’s best and that they should discard their hope in lieu of something else.  All of these things are often the furthest from the truth. It's simply the voice of discouragement that comes from the enemy sent to derail us from our future. Satan knows that disappointment disconnects us from our destiny. Sometimes we don’t even realize that is what has happened. That is why it is so important to pay attention to dreams, thoughts, and the things we dwell on. The things we meditate on will instantly tell us whether or not we are aligned with an attitude of faith and trust in God, or if we have, through some form of disappointment, regret or unbelief, formed a plan of our own that is taking us away from building the kingdom of God. What captures your time, attention and focus? Where is most of your energy focused? Knowing the difference is key to understanding whether or not we are in correct alignment with God.

            Perhaps the most difficult area to diagnose is our own heart. If we look into scripture, the Israelites were told in various places in the word to prepare their hearts and sanctify themselves so that they could cross over into the promise land. God knew they would be up against giants. Those giants were experienced at warfare, and they would be looking for any way possible to overcome this large army coming into their land. We may brace ourselves for the obvious forms of spiritual warfare but completely fail to recognize the lies that sound like our own thoughts, spoken in our heart and mind towards ourselves. In all reality, those ARE the real giants. We know them. They are the familiar voices that speak to us every day and help form our belief system.

            The enemy knows where we are most vulnerable to believing a lie, and that is where he launches his weapons. We also might completely miss the fact that GOD considers it idolatry and spiritual adultery when we have intimate communion with the wrong spirits. There is a path the enemy leads people down that has nothing to do with lust, pornography or sexual sin in the natural, yet it is still spiritual adultery. It’s the path of the thought life that begins to reject the truth and accept a lie, so that over the course of time that lie is so imbedded in a person’s belief system they have actually made a covenant with a demonic spirit. When a person rejects the truth, they begin to guard the lie, rehearse it in the mind or thought life, and they allow that lie to influence their loyalties. They make an ungodly peace treaty, or covenant, with the spirit speaking through the lie. Instead of drawing closer to God, they begin to withdraw and make excuses for allowing their relationship with the Lord to take a lesser priority in their life. The enemy knows just how to get people overly busy, distracted, over committed, and tired so that their strength is depleted. When spiritual strength is depleted, so is the person’s resolve to making God their first priority. And this, my friend, is how the spirit of witchcraft operates to pull a person away from God, ever-so-slowly into rebellion. It’s the proverbial frog in the pot. The frog doesn’t even realize it’s being cooked until it’s too late. This is how the curse operates. It causes people to join themselves to some lie (and the spirit behind it) so that they are giving permission for a different spirit to minister to their soul and spirit. These become, in the spiritual reality, a lover or a spouse. They are, for all intensive purposes, pagan wives, which is exactly the enemy’s intent, because biblically speaking, every reference to pagan wives or polygamy always led to the downfall of great men.

            An interesting point to consider is found in Numbers 22-24 where an enemy of Israel, King Balak of Moab, desperately tried to curse God’s people through a word curse from the prophet Baalam. Baalam was restrained by God and found it impossible to do so, even though he was willing to sell out his prophetic gift in exchange for money. This frustrated King Balak because he was intent on finding a way to sabotage Israel on their way into the promise land. Seeing as how Baalam was unable to curse God’s people, he incited Balak to form a different plan. He suggested the people be enticed with prostitutes and food sacrificed to idols to allow them to bring a curse upon themselves, and so they did. Because the people willingly cooperated with the enemy, the curse was upon them and that hindered them from being able to take their promise land. Instead of being positioned for blessing, they had positioned themselves for judgment. Numbers 25 describes how Israel engaged in sexual immorality and thus brought judgment in the form of a plague upon themselves.  What Balak and the Moabite men could not do, the women were able to accomplish. They invited the Israelites to a party. They ate at their feasts, then bowed to the Moabite gods. False worship opened the door to more compromise. The women enticed Israelite men into sexual immorality. The Moabites were descendants of Lot and his incestuous offspring from both his daughters, (see Gen. 19:36). The result was a spiritual mixture that God considered unclean, idolatrous and broke the covenant between Israel and God. They were to have ‘no other Gods,’ nor worship other gods, according to Exodus.20:3,4. They were also forbidden from the act of adultery, Exodus 20:14.

            You will notice in scripture that God often made reference to a powerful descriptive metaphor by saying that His people ‘played the harlot’ with various idols. This always described Israel’s unfaithfulness to God, but the end result was that because of the people’s sin, they were delivered into the hands of those that plundered them and took all their spoils. Spiritual poverty is not always what one might think. It isn’t always connected to finances. It may show up more as a state of mind that continues to tell someone they are a failure, inadequate or unqualified for the good plans that God wants to produce in their life. It could show up as someone that has made their own path and their own plan because they simply stopped believing God was going to do something new in their life. Self-deception is very difficult to recognize because the enemy targets people’s blind spots and the vulnerable places in their heart. He goes straight for their Achilles heel. If you feel this article could be speaking to you, then perhaps it would be well worth it to ask Holy Spirit to show you anything you need to understand about how the enemy is choosing to attack your weaknesses. Where have you allowed disappointment or hope deferred to form a stronghold in your heart? That is where you will find other lovers ministering to your soul.

            There are other examples I could give as references to sexual immorality in scripture. Remember that Old Testament examples serve as a type and shadow of spiritual realities. Sexual immorality, adultery and other forms of sexual sin all reference the reality of spiritual compromise and joining ourselves to other lovers. While Jesus did come to pay the price for our sin and offer us grace, we cannot also expect to leave the door open to the enemy through spiritual compromise. These things are an offense to God because we are not to prostitute ourselves with demonic spirits. Unbelief is an unholy minister to our soul and it will have a tremendous negative consequence on our faith. Our conscience will testify against us if we are in sin even if we might not know it, because sin causes us to waiver in unbelief. Sin causes us to doubt God’s good intention towards us and it produces double mindedness and confusion, among other things. Spiritual compromise is a mixture we cannot afford for it weakens our faith. A double minded man receives nothing from the Lord, according to James 1:7.

            Jesus is our bridegroom. He alone is our spiritual husband, spouse and lover. If we have taken pagan wives (or husbands) such as disappointment, anger, regret, unbelief, rebellion, shame, self-pity, or other things, then we have allowed those spirits to minister to our soul. If we allow the wrong voices to whisper their sweet nothings in our ear they will lead us away from God and cause darkness and unbelief to make us break faith with God. Breaking faith with God is serious. This is the same sin that kept Moses out of the promise land! Unbelief in any form must be challenged. I pray you find yourself challenged today. What do you believe? Do not let the disappointment of hope deferred tell you that you missed your opportunity to do something great. God’s plans for you have not changed. You do not need to qualify yourself by any human standards. Jesus’ blood has already qualified you, and that is all you need to know! I pray that you allow and ASK Holy Spirit to uncover and unravel any lie that needs to go! We must renounce those ungodly covenants and spiritual lovers. It is the only way to properly prepare ourselves for what lies in the future.  The future could be as soon as tomorrow, you just never know. Are YOU ready to cross over?

Note: To break the power of python, worship is key. Worship and prayers of renouncement to break agreement with the spirits of disappointment, regret, unbelief, double-mindedness, spiritual adultery and idolatry are important. Worship and make your declarations from a place of victory. You are not cast off or disqualified! Jesus has qualified you by His blood. You are accepted in the beloved and though God's plan may have taken longer than you thought, it is still going to come through for you. Believe and receive your promise! You have been tested but you are coming out as pure gold. God is leading you out of the valley of disappointment and discouragement and turning it into a new door of hope for your future. God has great things in store for you!