Resist the devil and he will flee

One of the strongest attacks from the enemy (also known as Satan) is the constant condemnation and accusation he brings to  your life. Whether you’re a Christian or not, Satan doesn’t discriminate, he’s always ready to accuse you. Thankfully there is a way to stop these thoughts. Jesus has set us free through the redemption of His perfect sacrifice on the cross. Due to this, we now have the power through Jesus to cover ourselves with His precious blood. “Now there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who not not after the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” – Romans 8:1

There is a grave danger when we allow ourselves to dwell in the past, our uncertain future, or on what could have been. These are tactics the enemy uses to ensure that you don’t move forward. The devil gets a foothold if we give it to him. Don’t allow yourself to be manipulated nor taunted by the devil. Propose it to yourself to not allow Satan to play with your emotions, you’re not his puppet. I believe that part of the reason why we allow these thoughts of condemnation to filter through our mind and spirit, is the lack of self-dominion. We do not know how to stop these thoughts and we entertain them. We have the Holy Spirit talking to us, but instead, we choose to ignore that still small voice. So how do we choose to stop these thoughts? Below are a few tips on how to do this effectively.

#1 Remember that you’re in control. God’s word says, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and sound mind.” – 2 Tim 1:7.  This means you have the fruits of the Holy Spirit and one of those fruits is self-control. Believe that you are equipped to stop those fiery darts with the shield of faith. You can lift that shield and cover your mind with the word of God. This will counter those lying words.

#2 You have been set free. The word of God says that “Whom the Son sets free is free indeed.” – John 8:36. You’ve been forgiven, redeemed, and purchased at a price. Nothing that you did in the past is unforgivable, Jesus already paid the price for your sins. Your past is “finished” and so are you sins. You’re no longer a slave to sin, but a slave to Christ. Proverbs 28:13 says, “Whoever conceals their sin does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” That word gives me a lot of hope. To know that if you’ve sincerely repented to God about what you’ve done…mercy is sure to follow. God’s mercy is indeed new every morning. Let your soul and your mind rest in the Spirit of the Lord. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom!

#3 Look ahead. The greatest weapon you have against the enemy is the present and the plans that God has for you. While we shouldn’t boast about tomorrow, God is the one who decides where we go, if we do this and that. Those days are filled with hope and desire…days of prosperity. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” Don’t look behind, the past is considered garbage, whether good or bad, you’ve gained Christ now. Have hope in your heart that all will be well and God does not remember your sin. He’s that kind and generous. His desire for you is to move forward in Him, remain in Him, and He will make His home in you.

God bless.

Being prudent will preserve your life

Pause. Pausing is perhaps the best and wisest thing to do as a Christian when being prudent. There is wisdom behind this action, being a prudent Christian can actually save your life. You’re probably thinking I’m exaggerating, but in this article I want you to consider the benefits of becoming a prudent person and why it is important. If you recall, God’s word says that every idle word will be judged. “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.” – Matthew 12:36. If that doesn’t scare you, then I don’t know what will. There is an incredible benefit that comes with the art of being prudent – you keep your soul out of trouble and you guard the hearts of others too.

Below are a few tips to consider:

#1. Measure your words. Before you speak, allow the Lord to minister to you about the situation or circumstance. Every word you utter matters, it can literally light up a forest and cause unnecessary offense, or spread offense among the body of Christ. Always question yourself, is it necessary to say this and will it edify or tear down? Sometimes words can be excessive and where there is a multitude of words, sin can abound. Proverbs 10:19 – “Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues.” However, if the situation calls for it and the Lord has given you permission to counsel someone, by all means do it, but with precaution. Proverbs 10:11 – “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life.” 

#2. Discretion keeps you. We’ve all made mistakes in the past. Perhaps you’ve divulged information about someone you shouldn’t have. Or perhaps you were put in a precarious situation where you didn’t know how to act or what to say, but instead you opted to sharing it with someone. Whatever your situation, it’s important to note that discretion will always preserve your integrity and you automatically exempt yourself from ensnaring yourself into a trap the enemy has for you. The enemy is very astute in this area, he will brew a set of circumstances to make you stumble. The prudent person foresees this and carefully analyzes the possible outcomes and consequences of opening their mouths or entertaining gossip. Proverbs 2:11 – Discretion will watch over you, and understanding will guard you, 12to deliver you from the way of evil, from the man who speaks perversity.”

#3. You avoid unnecessary “frenemies.” There is nothing worse than to get new “frenemies” because of your lack of discretion. People will distance themselves from you when they see you like to divulge the private conversations you’ve had with other brothers and sisters in Christ. Or if you decide to share your unedifying thoughts to someone because you are impulsive. Being impulsive and led by the flesh gives you the  perfect recipe for a new “frenemie.” Notice how I said, “frenemies,” because that’s exactly what happens within the body of Christ. You become a hypocrite to that brother or sister in Christ because of your lack of forgiveness and lack of addressing the person in private. Distancing yourself from a brother or sister in Christ does not solve the problem, it only makes it worse. Omitting an offense to someone and allowing it to grow a root of bitterness is also a sin. This is why the Lord says, “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.”-Matthew 18:15. Brothers and sisters – be wise. When you’re discreet you avoid creating new problems with people. Not all Christians are equal. Not every Christian is spiritually mature enough to understand or have compassion about your concern; not every Christian cares about your problems, and not every Christian will be discreet. Be wise with whom you speak to. If the Holy Spirit has not allowed you to be fully open with someone, then learn to listen to instructions.

#4. When you’re prudent, you choose your battles. Not every battle is meant to be fought. Some people will speak ill about you and it will reach your ears. Whether it is criticism, false witnessing, or hate speech, you will need to exercise self-control. Some things are meant to be confronted and other times, you will have to let the Lord fight your battles. Some battles are simply meant to be ignored. Your soul will be more at peace when you let the Lord take revenge and not you. His justice is perfect and righteous. “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.” – Isaiah 54:17

God bless you brethren and remember this verse whenever you’re about to open your mouth… Matthew 10:16 – “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”

 

The processing matters more than the promotion.

   In the church today, we have many Christians who desire position and recognition, but many don’t have the maturity to sustain such calling. Having a high regarded position and sustaining it are two different things. When God calls us to do something great, He will first make sure that you’re put through the fire, to test the authenticity of our faith.  If you recall in the story of the young shepherd boy David, before he actually became king of Israel, he was heavily persecuted by king Saul. David had to defeat many giants before he sat on the throne. If you’ve been called to a great position in ministry, prepare to endure the cost of it.  The good news is that if God called you to it, He will bring you through it.

So why is going through “the process” before receiving a position so important? Like anything in this life, we must first be tested with small things to see if we can handle the big things. If we don’t go through the process, we will not have the grace to maintain what God has entrusted us with. Below are three key points why you must go through the process to see the glory of God manifested in that calling or promise.

#1 Your motives are tested and so is your character. Jesus prays for you and wants you to stand firm throughout the process. God would rather permit trials in your life, than to see you remain lukewarm or stagnant in an area of your life that was never worked or tested. If you succeed against all temptations, you will also strengthen your  brothers and sisters in Christ to be faithful to God. Luke 22:32 says, “But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

#2 Embrace the challenges. God does not give anyone something so delicate like a kingdom to someone, if He knows they don’t have the courage to face challenges head on or defeat temptations. Behind every giant there is a great blessing, but behind every challenge, there is another giant already lined up. If you allow yourself to be processed, God will help you defeat that Goliath. This Goliath could represent your ministry, criticism, hate, envy, gossip, strongholds, fear, or persecution . Whatever the giant, God has equipped you to fight it. 1 Samuel 17:40 says, “Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.”

#3 God’s anointing qualifies you, but the process prepares you. God can anoint you to fulfill a task or a promise, but this does not mean the promotion will be immediate. It is much better that you are processed than to be thrown into the fire without preparation or covering from the Lord. Many people confuse the anointing with immediate promotion. Just because you’re not there yet, does not mean the promise has not been fulfilled. The anointing gives you the grace to sustain the position and the burden that comes with what God has assigned you to do.  Isaiah 4:3 – “A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”

Today, I tell you the truth. If you’re more concerned about what God has said, rather than what God is doing in you, you will miss out on the blessing. Remain focused on the things at hand, what has God entrusted you with now. Perhaps it may seem small and insignificant in your eyes, but sometimes it those very tasks that will bring you great glory and destiny. “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin,” says the Lord. I leave you with this verse, “From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded”- Luke 12:48.

Let God do the processing in you and you will be thankful when you see the maturity you’ve gained to sustain the position. God bless!

 

Satan doesn’t want you physically & spiritually active!!

I know this sounds peculiar, perhaps even ridiculous… but I’m here to expose the truth of Satan’s schemes. While this may seem like yet another Christian pointing the blame at Satan for something that we should be doing; God has been revealing to me why Satan puts so many obstacles for us to be physically and spiritually active. During my walk with Christ, I always notice that Satan attacks me in the area of my health. Whenever I am fully committed to working out, suddenly I get stricken with a really bad flu and my energy is gone. Thus, if you don’t have strength, it causes you to pause your fasting and pretty much everything else follows.

Enough is enough. If you’re a Christian, by no means should we be complacent or negligent with our health and prayer life. We cannot be sedentary and think that our health will always remain. Satan really is looking to destroy us, one way or the other. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” If we’re distracted by our busy schedule, we can easily not find time to exercise.

Here are some of the schemes Satan uses:

#1 Distraction – This is probably one of Satan’s favorite strategies. We’re not ignorant to His schemes, we just need to be alert. If we allow distraction to take over our lives, we lose focus and forget our priorities in life. If our time with God suffers, everything else will be out of order. The same with our physical activity, we cannot let our bodies perish.  “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” 1 Corinth 6:19

#2 Complacency – If we remain complacent about where we are…we don’t grow. Neither do we grow physically nor mentally. Satan loves to keep us from the vision. This is why God says in Habakkuk 2:2 – “Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.”

#3 Negligence – If you’re not alert, you’re not protecting what is yours. If you allow yourself to be negligent, Satan will easily turn this around and accuse you of being negligent. This is where the self-condemnation begins. Sometimes all of this begins with you and it’s important that we have the mind of Christ and that we renew our minds daily. If you don’t pray, you become numb to God’s voice and you won’t recognize it. Your relationship with Him will suffer. The same is with exercise, if you don’t exercise, a slew of diseases will come and apathy will take over your spiritual life.

The human body needs a certain amount of physical movement to remain healthy. The same is with our spiritual health. The sedentary Christian will never know God if he or she does not seek His face. 1 Timothy 4:8 – “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” Don’t get this confused, Paul is not saying that exercise is not important… he’s just referencing the importance of keeping your spiritual life up to par. Romans 12:11 – Don’t let your zeal subside; keep your spiritual fervor.”

The physical and the spiritual are interconnected. We cannot neglect one and expect to be strong in the other. If we neglect the spiritual, our bodies reap the consequences. Depression sets in, lack of identity, disorder, lack of spiritual discernment, zeal, self-condemnation, and the list goes on. If we neglect the physical, we are easily wearied and lose heart. We won’t have discipline in our lives and everything else will be affected by that lack of discipline.

Remember – “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and need like a bandit.” – Proverbs 24:34 

I’ve taken this message to heart and I thank God for it. Be wise and keep a balance in your life. I hope it motivates you to crush the enemy in his face. God bless!

The gift of forgiveness

As a Christian, it’s almost a given that you are supposed to forgive. We shouldn’t be told that we need to forgive, but believe it or not, sometimes Christians need that extra nudge or rebuke for not forgiving. I used to believe that unforgiveness was something that could be taken care of overnight, with a single prayer, or even declaring that you’ve forgiven that person…the issue would be gone. Turns out that is not the case, God knows our heart and He will reveal to you if you have truly forgiven or not. How do I know this? Simple, God will cause you to dream about the people you have not forgiven. It has happened to me countless times and my spirit immediately recognizes what God is saying to me. Gosh, I love God, He is so patient with us. There is nothing God overlooks, even your partial forgiveness does not go unnoticed.

A prime example of forgiveness is Jesus himself. After all, he did die on the cross for us and forgave us for our past, present and future sins. He said, “Forgive them for they don’t know what they do.” I don’t believe Jesus was only referring to those mocking Him at that moment, but to all of humanity. Truly we don’t know what we are doing when we live without Christ, we don’t realize that we sin against God when we don’t receive Jesus in our hearts. Simply the rejection of Christ is a sin. So why is forgiveness a gift? Forgiveness is something that we don’t deserve and it is given freely, without a cost. It is a gift because not only are we grateful that God has given us forgiveness but because of that we too forgive others. It’s a special kind of gift that only you can give to yourself and to the person that hurt you. It’s not a fabricated gift, it’s a tailored gift. And God is pleased with you when you have a heart that is quick to forgive.

Here are three reasons why you should impart the gift of forgiveness:

#1 Bitterness in your heart is removed: Bitterness halts our progress in our spiritual life. We must have a spirit of gratitude, despite our situation. When we let go, the root of bitterness is literally rooted out of our spirit and we can move on.

#2 God wants you to have a pure heart: The word of God says that those who have a pure heart shall see God. Don’t you want to hear from God? God doesn’t listen to sinners and He also resists the proud. Yes, that means you need to let go of pride.

#3 You’re able to sow in others when you forgive: Yes, instead of preoccupying our focus on the situation or keeping records of wrongs, we must let go and focus your energy in sowing generously in others. Love does not keep records of wrongs. You cannot invest in others nor minister to others with resentment in your heart.  Invest in people, build relationships, and minister to others and move past the offenses. 2 Corinthians 9:6 says, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”

Last but not least, there is something quite special that God sees from you when you forgive and let go. And this is what He says… Proverbs 19:11 – “The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.” Can you believe that? God says it is to your glory for overlooking a transgression! Can you imagine what incredible blessings will come when you let go of those emotions that are hurting you? Remember that Jesus said, “Woe to the world because of offenses. For offenses will inevitably come, but woe to that person by whom the offense comes” (Matthew 18:7). Yes, you will be tempted to sin because someone has offended you, the sin comes when you open the door to an offense. Shut the door to an offense and believe that God will honor you for having a heart that forgives, a heart like HIS. God bless you!

 

It’s time to soar, you’re called for more!

     Since the moment I gave my life to Christ, I remember hearing that the prosperity gospel was something to stay away from. While I completely understand why they warned you from it, as Christians, we’re not called either to the poor mentality gospel either. The prosperity gospel concerns itself with self-gratification and your spiritual condition is placed on the back burner. However, due to this extreme, Christians tend to run towards the other end of the spectrum and lack the motivation to be financially free or wealthy. When Jesus came to this Earth, He specifically said He came to give us life more abundantly. I think he was referring to both, physical and spiritual abundance. A lot of times I see the church is not prospering because we’re too complacent in the jobs we have and we slave away.  So many churches and ministries don’t prosper to their full potential because Christians either don’t tithe or give offerings like we ought to or would like to. Imagine if every church member actually tithe? Where would the gospel be now? How many people could we bless?

There is an incredible eye-opening verse in the Bible that truly stuck out to me when I read it, this is in the parable of the shrewd manager. This verse shifted my poor mentality of being stagnant and complacent. I encourage you to read it in its entirety. Essentially Jesus tells the story of a dishonest manager who was not taking care of the dealings of his master. Because this man had never done any hard labor and didn’t want to be homeless, he thought up a great idea. He decided to charge the people who owed his master and cut their bills down, essentially paying his master back something, rather than nothing. Jesus goes on to explain that the master commended the man for his cleverness and how he used his resources.

Luke 16:8 – “For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.”

After reading this, I realized that people of this world who don’t have Christ are probably more astute than people from the Kingdom of God. (Come on, seriously people!) Later if you look at the verse, Jesus said that if we use worldly wealth here on Earth and bless others, once it is gone, at least it will have eternal repercussions. For instance, if you sow in a radio station and hundreds get saved, it is very likely that you will meet them in heaven and they will thank you. So the moral of the story is that Jesus wants us to be successful and excel in finances to bless others here and eternally. God doesn’t want us to love money and make it a god, but He does want us to be good stewards of it.

If you’re a wealthy Christian, God has blessed you with riches to bless others. Like the word says, to whom much is given, much is required. And for my fellow believers who are striving for more, Jesus can definitely bless you with more. God wants you to be a good steward of your finances now, even if it is not a lot. Show Him that you can be trusted with little.

Continuing on in the parable, Jesus later says, “So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” Brothers and sisters, we need to learn how to handle worldly wealth and stop fearing money. We have the keys to the Kingdom and what we bind here on Earth, we will bind in heaven. It’s time to leave Eygpt and head to the promised land!

God says….”But you are a CHOSEN people, a ROYAL priesthood, a HOLY nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9) Amen and amen. Let us rise together, unite together, and bring the gospel of Christ to others. Let’s use the resources God has given us now to bless others and not waste time wishing we could.