VISION: AN ANGELIC VISITATION TEACHES ME THE HIGH COST OF DISCIPLESHIP

The process of being conformed to the image of God’s son, Jesus Christ, and being transformed into His nature is certainly not for everyone.

Following Jesus Christ does not come without many sacrifices made and high costs being paid. Only those who are truly desperate for a deeper, more powerful relationship with God are willing to go through all that is required to weather them, mature them and purify them.

Only those who are willing to allow God to stretch them will encounter what transcends our wildest imagination. Only those will experience the most amazing and rewarding relationship made available to mankind.

Many are not willing to pay the price required to achieve God’s definition of righteousness. The fear of man labeling them a self-righteous, overly religious fanatic is too much for most to bear. Many also fear the supernatural and feel that submerging themselves into the depths of the unknown is far too intimidating.

Mature Christians have discovered that their level of spiritual gain is based on their degree of fleshly loss. We must be willing to die to self and we must be willing to lose all that we believe gives us life here on this Earth to truly live for Jesus Christ. Anything that does not draw you closer to the Lord, draws you further away from Him and keeps you from experiencing the most intimate relationship with God made possible on this side of Heaven.

Child of God, you must know that for you to go deeper with God, you must be willing to reach further beyond the basic Christian requirement of reconciliation with the Father. Allowing God to have His way with you so that He can purge your flesh, your soul and your spirit, will hasten your sanctification. And why do you need to go through this?

In order to progress in your walk with the Lord, God needs to purge your flesh of sin and carnality. He needs to purge your soul so that He can cleanse your mind of unrighteous thoughts and emotions. This includes your stubborn nature and all of your false self-assurances. He needs to purge your spirit of your self-righteousness and your self-sufficiency. All this is necessary for you to be move to a level of spiritual maturity where you can receive the fullness of all God has for you.

The Lord was in the process of purging me of a stronghold that was hindering my spiritual growth, as well as my ministry, at the time that I received the following vision. I would not have believed this about myself if the Lord had not allowed me to have this experience.

In the early part of 2016, I lay in bed one night wide awake for I was restless and could not sleep. My husband, who slept through this entire experience, was laying next to me sound asleep.

in the distance I heard the sound of what I can only describe as a whirlwind. I did not see the whirlwind itself but, I could hear it. As it came closer to me, it’s sound became louder and stronger and intensity. At the same time, I saw a small, bright light appear and grow, widening and spreading, until it consumed my bedroom. I could see nothing around me but a brilliant light. It was brighter than anything I had ever seen. I was not frightened for knew that it had come from the Lord. In fact, I lifted my head up off my pillow and struggled to hear what I hoped would be God’s Voice through the sound of the whirlwind which was getting louder and stronger.

You see, in the summer of 2001, I heard the Lord audibly call out my first name. The night that it happened also found me in bed. When I heard the Lord’s voice, I was frightened. All I could do was cover my head with my bed sheet, and I did not respond. As I lay there, I listened intently waiting to hear something else but, the Lord did not say another word. The next morning after recovering from the shock of the experience  and explaining everything to my husband, I prayed and ask God why He didn’t say more to me. I did not get a response at that time. I came to the conclusion that God did not speak further because I did not respond to Him. So I made a promise to God that if He ever saw fit to speak to me again, I would most definitely respond. 

So as the light in my room  grew brighter and the whirlwind grew stronger, I struggled to listen for the sound of the Lord’s voice hoping that He would speak to me again – however He did not.

The brilliant light in my bedroom consumed everything, and although I could see nothing around me I could still move around as I lay on my back in my bed. Then out of the corner of my right eye I saw a figure. The bodily figure stood to my right and was even brighter than the brilliant light that had consumed my room. As my eyes focused on the form, I saw it lean over and place its arms under my body. Then I felt my body begin to lift up off the bed.

Within a split second, many thoughts began to flood my mind. I was reminded of a prophecy that was spoken over me, also in 2001, by a woman of God who told me that the Lord had spoken to her about me. She said that He had instructed her to anoint my feet for I would walk on Holy Ground. I also had thoughts of my four-year-old grandson growing up without me. I remembered my son whom I have not seen in over 10 years, my two daughters whom I love dearly as well as the lives of my four sisters. Finally, I remembered the plans my husband and I had made for our future.

Then suddenly, a different thought occurred to me. “What if the Lord is taking me away and I am not able to return.” I then thought to myself, “I am not ready.” So I reached out my left hand to feel for my husband, who was laying next to me, and I grabbed his pajamas. Within an instant after grabbing ahold of my husbands pajamas, everything disappeared. The sound of the whirlwind stopped, the brilliant light vanished and the Angelic vision was gone. I immediately woke up my husband and told him everything that had happened.

Later that morning, after praying to God about my experience, the Lord spoke to my spirit. He explained to me that He allowed me to experience the vision so that I could learn a few things about myself. He wanted me to know that He has called me for a work but, until I am willing to break the ties that are binding me, He would not be able to use me to the extent that He desires.

Jesus said, ” If any man come to Me and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yae, and his own life also he cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:26

Reading and understanding the scripture above in its context, we know that this statement is a metaphor. Jesus, in essence, was saying that we must count the cost of discipleship and be willing to pay it to follow Him. He is also saying that we must also understand that if we desire to be His disciple we must be willing to give up everything for Him. Jesus sacrificed everything He had to give for our salvation. The question He asks His Church is just how much are we willing to give up for Him?

This message is for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.

VISION: MY ANGELIC VISITATION & THE HIGH COST OF DISCIPLESHIP

Being conformed to the image of God’s son, Jesus Christ, and being transformed into His nature is not for everyone. It does not come without many sacrifices made and high costs being paid. Only those who are truly desperate for a deeper, more powerful relationship with God are willing to go through what weathers, matures and purifies them. Only those who are willing to be stretched to uncommon depths will encounter what lies beyond our imaginations. Only those will have access to life’s most amazing and rewarding experience made available to mankind.

Many are not willing to pay the price that is required for God’s definition of righteousness. The fear of man labeling them a self-righteous, over-religious fanatic is too much for them to bare. Many also fear the supernatural and feel that submerging themselves into the depths of the unknown is far too intimidating for them to fatham.

Mature Christians have discovered that the level of our spiritual gain is based on our degree of fleshly loss. We must be willing to die to self and we must be willing to lose all that we believe gives us life here on this Earth to truly live for Jesus Christ. For anything that does not draw you closer to Him draws you further away from Him and keeps you from experiencing the most amazing, most intimate relationship that is possible to have with God on this side of Heaven.

Child of God, you must know that for you to go deeper with our Lord, you must be willing to reach further beyond the basic Christian requirement of reconciliation with the Father. Allowing God to have His way with you so that He may purge your flesh, your soul and your spirit will hasten your sanctification. And why do you need to go through this? In order to progress in your walk with the Lord, God needs to purge your flesh of sin and carnality. He needs to purge your soul to cleanse your mind of unrighteous thoughts and emotions including your stubborn nature and your false self-assurances. He needs to purge your spirit of self-righteousness and self-sufficiency. All of this is necessary for you to move up to the level of calling that is on your life and so that you will receive all that God has for you.

The Lord was in the process of purging me of a stronghold during the time that I received the following vision. I didn’t realize it at the time and would not have believed it about myself if the Lord had not shown me. What was hindering my growth, as well as my ministry, was my strong attachment to the things of this world that are dear to me. This stronghold was preventing me from walking in the fullness of the call God has on my life.

In 2016, I lay in my bed one night wide awake for I was restless and could not sleep. My husband, who slept through this entire experience, was sound asleep next to me. In the distance, I heard the sound of what I can only describe as a whirlwind. It’s sound became stronger in intensity as it drew closer to me. At the same time a bright light began to envelop the entire room. It started as a small circle of light and began to widen and spread until it consumed the entire bedroom. I could see nothing around me but light. It was brighter than anything I had ever seen. I was not frightened for I immediately knew it had come from the Lord. In fact, I lifted my head up off my pillow and struggled to hear what I hoped wold be His voice through the sound of the wind which was loud and strong.

You see, in the summer of 2001, I heard the Lord audibly call out my first name. I was in bed then too the night that it happened. However, although I knew it was the Lord, (I don’t know how I knew, but I did) I was so frightened that all I could do was shake from fear so I covered my head with my bed sheet and was afraid to respond. That night, the Lord didn’t say anything more to me. He only called out my name. Ever since then, I have always regretted not responding to Him and wondered if that may have been the reason why He didn’t say more. After I recovered from the shock of the experience, I prayed and told the Lord that if He ever saw fit to speak to me again, I promised Him I would respond. So as the light grew brighter and the wind grew stronger and both drew closer to me, I struggled to listen for the sound of the Lord’s voice hoping that He would speak to me again. However, that evening He did not.

The bright light in my bedroom had consumed everything. Although I could see nothing but light, I could still feel myself laying on my back in my bed. Then out of the corner of my right eye, I saw a figure. The figure was in the shape of a human body and was brighter than the light that was in my room. I could not make out any features for all I saw was a brilliantly bright bodily form. As my eyes began to focus on the form, I saw it lean over me to place its arms under my body and I felt my body begin to lift up off the bed.

Within a split second, many thoughts began to go through my mind. I was reminded of a prophecy that was spoken over me also in 2001 – a week or so before I heard the Lord call my name. A woman of God told to me that the Lord had spoken to her about me. She said that He instructed her to annoint my feet for I would walk on Holy Ground. Thoughts of seeing my four-year old grandson, Prince, grow up also came to my mind. As well as thoughts of my son whom I have not seen in over 10 years, my two daughters whom I love dearly and my sisters. Finally, I had thoughts of the plans my husband and I had for our future.

Then, suddenly a different thought occurred to me. “What if the Lord is taking me away and I am not able to return?” Quickly, I thought to myself, “I’m not ready.” So I reached out my left hand to feel for my husband who was laying next to me and I grabbed his pajamas as I was not ready to go. Within an instant after grabbing my husband’s pajamas, everything was gone. The sound of the wind and it became quiet, the bright light disappeared and the Angelic vision left me. I then woke my husband and told him what happened.

Later, after praying to God about my experience, the Lord spoke to my spirit. He explained to me that He allowed me to go through that experience for there was something I needed to understand about myself. He wanted me to know that He has called me for a work, but until I am willing to break the ties that are binding me here on this Earth, He will not be able to use me to the full extent of His plans.

Jesus said, “If any man come to Me and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yae, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:26

Reading and understanding this scripture in its context, we know that this statement is a metaphor. Jesus, in essence, was saying that we must count the cost of discipleship and be willing to pay it. We must also understand that if we desire to be His disciple, we must be willing to give up EVERYTHING. Jesus gave everything He had to give for us. The question He has for His Church is, just how much are we willing to give up for Him?

This message is for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.

AUTHOR OF LIFE POETIC INSPIRATIONS: DIVINELY INSPIRED PSALMS & POEMS

Author Of Life: Poetic Inspirations Coffee Table Book

In the fall of 2001, and not long before what was to become the most devastating period in my life, I began receiving beautiful, Holy Spirit-inspired psalms and poems that continued over a period of fifteen years. Unaware of the trials that were to befall me, I was surprised to find this poetic work ministering to me through it all. Over the years, my husband often urged me to share these gifts, however my personal ties to them would not allow me to do so. Only after seeing them minister to a few family members and friends, did I have a change of heart.

In 2012, I began to prayerfully design a coffee table book with plans to publish it early in 2013. I entitled it Author Of Life: Poetic Inspirations. However, I postponed the book due to personal trials and the illness and death of both my parents. As the years passed, I began to feel a gentle urging from the Lord prompting me to finish my book but I always managed to put it on hold.

In the summer of 2016, the urging from the Lord became stronger. This prompted me to put everything else on hold and I finally committed to finishing my book. Needless to say, these wonderful psalms and poems are precious to me as they represent a testimony of love through personal accounts of God’s never-ending provision in my life.

This powerful collection of literary art is inspiring and alive as each piece loudly proclaims the wonders and sovereignty of God. This is poetry that helps you look through the eyes of God. Poetry that bears witness to the faith and the hope we have in Jesus Christ. It warms the heart with a smile and brings tears to our eyes with its cries. It speaks loudly of our sin and our conviction then softly of His forgiveness and His mercy. It ushers us into the Secret Place. It clothes us in the fashions of righteousness. It demonstrates the comforting love of a mother and the restorative call of a father. It offers the promises of marriage and the joys of a child. It comforts us through heartaches, trials and travail and walks with us through loss, death and mourning. Author Of Life: Poetic Inspirations takes you by the hand and leads you on a journey through life’s most universal experiences.

To experience a sampling of the coffee table book, Author Of Life: Poetic Inspirations, click here to be taken to a blog devoted to it’s ministry. I ask that you help me to further this work by supporting my ministry in any way you can. Your prayers are also greatly appreciated. Updates on the progress of my upcoming book will be posted…

WHY DOES GOD ALLOW CHRISTIANS TO SUFFER?

pixabay-sunbeamFirst, we must understand that God is almighty. He is self-determining and self-governing. He is Creator of all things and is in complete control of the heavens above us, the universe surrounding us, the world we live in as well as everything and everyone within it all – this includes Satan and all the powers of darkness. Nothing catches God by surprise. He either causes  or allows everything that happens to happen. With all the suffering that goes on in this world, this may be a difficult message for many of us to understand. However, we still must remember that God IS God, He has a plan and He includes you in it.

This Is Far Above Our Pay Grade

In Isaiah 55:8-9, God boldly reminds us that when we attempt to apply the limited amount of understanding – that He has given us – to anything that takes place in this world and beyond, we are trying to operate in things that are far above our pay grade. As God says: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the Heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

In the beginning, God caused what was perfect to exist in this world and within mankind. Thus He created the heavens, the earth and Adam and Eve, and yet He allowed sin to take place. God had the authority and the ability to stop it all, however it was His decision not to. For reasons only known to God, He has also chosen not to fully disclose all of the details to us. What He has given for us to know is that everything God does is for the purpose of establishing His good and perfect plan.

When Adam and Eve rebelled, their actions set into motion an invasion of evil that God did not cause, but yet He allowed. Out of the influx of this evil, much was manifested in the world that affected mankind in more ways than we will ever understand. These manifestations include death, corruption and deterioration to our bodies, our soul and the world around us. Out of this evil comes sin, disease, illness, worldly disasters and struggles of all kind. As created beings with a limited amount of understanding, all of this is complex to us. No one has all the answers except God. However, He does allow us to know this: God, who controls all things, also uses all things for His sovereign plan and purpose, and at the heart of all things is the Savior of the world, His precious and mighty son, Yeshua (Jesus, the Christ.)

We See Little Picture, God Sees Big

God uses everything for the purpose of glorifying and exalting His Holy name. Unfortunately, our limited vantage point does not allow us the privilege of seeing ‘the big picture’ that is God’s plan. But God knows what we don’t know and God sees what we don’t see. Our ‘blindness’ only allows for us to see what is within our limited peripheral vision when God has an aerial view of everything.

I’m sure you can think of many circumstances where you were not privy to all the details in a situation that caused you grief and pain. Not having all the missing pieces may have tempted you to come to a wrong or even inappropriate conclusion. When this happens, these wrong assumptions can cause you to operate in misunderstandings, bad decisions and even a loss of faith in God, if not careful. We’ve all been there. However, since we are not omniscient and omnipresent beings, we simply cannot always have all the details that are necessary for us to see things as they truly are. This is where our faith in Jesus Christ comes into play. When we know God loves us and cares about us, we can trust Him with ALL the circumstances that come into our lives even when they hurt and we don’t have all the answers.

It’s Not About Us – It’s All About God

Jesus healed all kinds of illnesses, infirmities and diseases – all for the purpose of giving glory and honor to God. He even raised Lazarus from the dead – whom He dearly loved and yet was allowed to die – for the sole purpose of giving glory and honor to God. The struggles we must endure in our lives are no different. Although God may not choose to keep all of them from us, He uses all of them for us just the same. You must also realize that in His love for us and by His grace, He does spare us from more than we will ever know – again, all for His glory and honor.

Just as God can, and will, allow illness, infirmity, disease and even death for the purpose of His glory and perfect plan, He also can, and will, allow the same as discipline and judgment for sin. There are plenty of references in Scripture that attest to this as well. To keep things in its proper perspective, we must remember that although God has the ability to intervene, He has given us all free will. This freedom also includes those who are intent on doing evil in this world. If you add to this mix a defective world, defective bodies and lifestyle choices, it is easy to see how so much can and does go wrong around us.

Why Me?

To Holy Spirit-filled followers of Jesus Christ who are asking the question, “Why me?” or to those who do not fully understand why you are struggling in life or to those who are battling illness and disease, I say, “Be encouraged and be of good cheer.” For as you go about your day making decisions and talking to people, you must know that God has chosen you to glorify and honor His name in the midst of your trials and circumstances. What a powerful witness you are! For when we love, honor and glorify God even through the very hard things, without ever saying a word, we are loudly and boldly giving a mighty and strong testimony to the world about the mighty and strong God that we serve.

You may never know the ‘big picture’ surrounding all of your circumstances and why God chose to allow the pain and struggles you have had to endure in your life. However, one day you will go before Him. Then you will have the opportunity to ask Him why and have all your questions answered. Only, I have a feeling that when that inevitable day comes, you will be so overjoyed to be in the presence of your Savior surrounded by the glory of God and the loved ones who have gone before you, that everything you overcame on this side of Heaven will have been more than worth it, and I doubt that you will even care as to why things had to be as they were. So praise God today regardless of where you are and what you are going through, and make it known that all the glory and honor is His!

IS GOD CALLING YOU?

pixabay-the-callIt was a hard pill for me to swallow when I came to the understanding that not everyone will go to Heaven when their time comes to die. Likewise, I had a difficult time with the fact that although there are many who actually believe that there is a God as well as acknowledge the existence of Jesus Christ, they too will NOT come into a ‘saving knowledge’ of Him. What does all this mean, you may ask? It means that only through the drawing of God and through special revelation given to us – by the power of the Holy Spirit – is it even possible for any of us to come to Jesus Christ and thereby receive salvation…

Does God Call Everyone Or Only Some?

God is loving and just. He sends out an ‘invitation’ to know Him to EVERYONE and He does this in several different ways. There is the ‘universal call’ which is a declaration of God’s eternal power and divine nature addressed to all mankind through what is seen in the heavens, on the earth and in the life thereof. There is an ‘invitational call’ of the gospel – given by God to mankind through men – inviting them to receive salvation in Jesus Christ. Finally, there is the ‘call to the elect’ which comes only to those who have already made the conversion to Jesus Christ.

The Universal Call

According to God’s word, EVERYONE will have equal opportunity to know God and to acknowledge Him. When all is said and done, no one will have an excuse for not for all will be ‘told’ that the true and living God is the Author of life and the creator of the universe. How so? Well, Scripture tells us that the Heavens declare His glory and the sky demonstrates His handiwork to EVERYONE. Day after day, the Heavens and the sky above us utters His speech and night after night, the Heavens and the sky above us reveals His knowledge. No one can deny what is already there for our natural eyes to see. There is no place on this earth, with no language being the exception, where God’s voice cannot, and will not, be heard for all that the Heavens and the sky reveal speak forth God’s indisputable words of His eternal power and divine nature throughout the earth and to the end of the world. (Psalm 19:1-4)

The General Call Of The Gospel

In His Great Commission, Jesus told His disciples and the church body to: “Go and make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19) This command is considered the general call of the gospel. Jesus Christ came to address all mankind commanding repentance, faith, holiness and obedience to Him in order to be saved. “Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” (Isa. 45:22).

According to Jesus, this gospel message of the Kingdom – a call to all mankind – must be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations BEFORE the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14) 

The Call Of The Elect

Jesus states, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matt. 22:14). The ‘elect’ come to know God the same way as does everyone else. However, these people receive an additional call that is made to them only after their conversion to Jesus Christ. This is considered the ‘effectual’ call in which they are effectually given power from the Holy Spirit that moves them into action according to God’s will for their lives. All who are effectually called – and who maintain obedience to God for the remainder of their life on this earth – are saved. Scripture describes the elect as follows: “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” (Rom. 8:29-30)

However, in spite of all these revelations, there are, and will be, those who still refuse to see and hear the voice of God, as He reveals it. These are those whose hearts are hard and whose minds are darkened. These are people who have no desire for God’s truth. God considers these people His enemies. This is explained in the Scripture below:

“For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God IS manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man — and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.” Romans 1:20

The people who do not have the Holy Spirit directing them have the corruption of sin ruling them instead, therefore it is impossible for them to understand the things of God much less have the ability to make the decision to follow Him. This explains why Jesus tells us that no man can come to God unless He draws them to Him: “And He (Jesus) said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.” ( John 6:65).

It is only by the gracious and merciful call and drawing of God that we are all saved. We cannot accomplish this without Him doing so. For in His drawing, God supernaturally opens up our minds giving it understanding that inclines the soul to move towards Him. The apostle Paul explains this in Ephesians 1:15-21:

“Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.”

How Do You Know If God Is Drawing You?

During a time in my life when I began to question the direction in which I was moving, I clearly felt God drawing me to Him. The decisions I had made up to that point had left me remorseful, unhappy, empty and unfulfilled. Like many, I was following the world’s ways and my pursuits were leading me into a place I realized later I did not want to go. I needed answers and yet I was not finding them in the way that I was going. It was only then that I began to question and consider the things of God and He provided me with all that I needed and had been searching for.

The call of God is unmistakable. It will be evident to you when you begin to notice changes much like the ones that took place inside of me twenty eight years ago:

  • You will begin to be convicted of your sin and recognize your need for a Savior from the penalty of sin, which is death. This will lead you to Jesus Christ. After making the decision to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you will be indwelled by the Holy Spirit.
  • God will awaken within you an interest in things that are spiritual. He will give you a desire for spiritual things that you did not have before.
  • You will begin to desire God’s word as well as understand it in a way that had not been made clear to you before. This will move your heart closer to His. The understanding you gain through His word will give you a new excitement and fascination for everything concerning Him.
  • Your spirit will begin to discern deep spiritual truths that had not been given to you to understand before. God will continue a process of revealing more and more of His secrets to you as His will for your life dictates.
  • Finally, you will begin to have new desires for what is Holy and a new distaste for the old sinful ones. This will be evidence of the new heart God will have placed inside of you. This new heart will desire to know Him more, obey Him more and walk closer with Him.

Through God’s calling – and by your answering His call – you will be able to experience  the “newness of life” God has promised: “…do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:3-4 )

Keep in mind that this new life does not promise an easy life. However, Jesus promises that He will send the Holy Spirit as your Helper and guide. If you allow Him, He will direct you along the way. Jesus, Himself, also promises that He will be with you always. (Matthew 28:20)

THE WHEAT & THE WEEDS (THE GODLY & THE GODLESS GROWING UP TOGETHER)

wheat-weedsIn the day of Christ, as well as in today’s society, the livelihood and success of a wheat farmer depended greatly upon the quality of their crops. If someone wanted to sabotage a farmer’s business, one way to do it would be to maliciously sow seeds of destructive weeds in among the wheat as this would affect the integrity of their crop. In the Parable of The Wheat & The Tares (Weeds), Jesus explains to a multitude of people how this principle compares to the Kingdom of Heaven:

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares (weeds) among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares (weeds) also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares (weeds)?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares (weeds) you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares (weeds) and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’” Matthew 13:24-30

Jesus later gave the interpretation of this Parable to His disciples as it is explained below:

“Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares (weeds) of the field.” He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man (Jesus). The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the Kingdom, but the tares (weeds) are the sons of the wicked one (Satan). The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares (weeds) are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His Kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” Matthew 13: 36-43

The enemy in this world, as in Jesus’ Parable, is still Satan. His age-old goal is, and always has been, to oppose and defeat Jesus Christ. One of his most successful tactics is to try and destroy Christ’s work by ‘planting’ false believers and teachers in the world for the purpose of deceiving and leading as many astray as he possibly can. There are many examples around us of people claiming to be “Christians” but whose actions only serve to taint and discredit the name of Jesus Christ. This has made it very difficult to know who is truly for Christ and who is against Him. This is why the burden is on each and every individual to develop a personal relationship with Jesus so that they can come to know Him based on His own merit and not what is seen by the actions of others.

As a true follower, we must be careful and tread lightly in the area of judgment for it is not the responsibility of a true follower of Christ to ‘separate’ by determining who they believe represent true believers and false ones. No one is qualified to make that determination but God. That crucial decision is reserved for God alone. The Holy Scripture tells us: “for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. “ Matthew 5:45. If true believers are obeying the word of God, which is evidence of their love for Jesus, by default alone, the true will automatically separate from the false. For as the Holy Scripture also says: “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” Amos 3:3

You may ask: “Why does God allow the evil to prosper with the good?” According to His Parable, Jesus chose to allow the false to remain with the true – only for a time – so as not to uproot the immature Christians in the process. For the immature require time to be nurtured and this happens as they grow among the nurturing of the mature.

Certain weeds, especially in the early stages of growth, look very similar to wheat. Therefore, through the analogy of wheat and weeds growing in a field together, Jesus warns that what we may perceive as a false believer may in fact be an immature believer. Only God can see into the heart of a person. Only He, and those who exist in the spirit realm, know who is carrying His mark. It is not always easy for us to determine who belongs to God and who does not. God knows this. Therefore, for our own protection as we interact with the people in this world, He gives us the following criteria to guide us: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.  By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.” 1 John 4:1-3

Further proof of a true follower of Christ is evident by their fruit. This means that before engage in a relationship (business or personal) with anyone, you are to take the time to observe the life of a person, not just listen to what they have to say. The Lord gives us more criteria to guide us concerning this: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.Matthew 7:15-20

At the time of Christ’s return, it has been appointed to the angels to ‘gather’ together the ‘weeds’ of this world and they will cast them away into a fiery destruction. This walk we have with Christ is not an easy walk. The process of being transformed into the image of Christ requires discipline and time. It also requires going through some things that God allows for the purpose of re-shaping and molding us. Being that people come to the Lord at different ages and stages, it is impossible for us to determine where they are in that process and what God is doing in their lives.

Our job, as true followers, is simply to share the love of Jesus Christ with everyone, to share our testimony of the wonderful things He has done for us and to speak the words of life – in love. This, in essence, makes you a farmer of sorts for in doing these things, you are planting Holy seed. It is given for some to plant and for some to water but only God can cause the growth and, ultimately, only God will reap the harvest.

THE KEYS OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN: THE AUTHORITY TO BIND (Forbid) & LOOSE (Permit)

the-keys-to-the-kingdomTo followers of Yeshua (Jesus Christ), do you know that you have been given the authority to bind (forbid) negative forces working against you and the authority to loose (permit) positive forces to work on your behalf, in His name?

THE PRINCIPLES OF BINDING & LOOSING

The principles of “binding and loosing” are taught in the Bible. Jesus said, “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades (Hell) shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in Heaven.” (Matthew 16:18-19).

Jesus Christ, in Heaven, approves and authorizes what is done concerning all things (according to the leading of the Holy Spirit) in His name and in obedience to His Word while we are here on earth. In essence, we as Spirit-filled Christians are endowed by Christ with the power to bind and to loose. We have the God-given right to bind anything or anyone that comes against us by the power and authority of Jesus Christ. Likewise, we also have the God-given right to loose what is bound from blessing and benefiting us, as well as blessing and benefiting others, by the power and authority of Jesus Christ. Are you operating within this authority? If not, you are refusing to receive the God-given victories you are entitled to. This is very much like discovering you have vast riches at your disposal but instead choose to live as a pauper.

THE POWER BEHIND THE SPOKEN WORD

When my son was very small and learning to speak, I had a difficult time getting him to tell me what it was that he wanted. He would point to an object if he wanted it or maybe he would say a word or two to communicate his desires. It would frustrate me because he was very intelligent and I knew that he was more than capable of using the excellent verbal skills he possessed. So I would constantly say to him, “You are an excellent communicator. Use your words. Speak up and say what it is that you want.” One day, in my frustration, I decided not to respond to him unless he properly used his words to speak out what it was that he wanted. It didn’t take long for him to understand that the only way he was going to get what he wanted was to ask for it. And it worked.

Understanding the principles, and the importance, of properly using (and even misusing) our words are vital for this wisdom gives us the keys that open doors to powerful, effective prayers. This understanding also keeps us from self-pronouncing curses upon ourselves, as well others, by carelessly speaking negativity into existence. Proverbs 18:20-21 tells us that “A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; from the produce of his lips he shall be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

In 2016, my call to the office of a prophet was revealed to me. Many things that I have experienced over the years (dreams, visions, etc.) that I did not understand are only now beginning to make sense to me. For years, the Lord has been taking me through a period of training, if you will, as He does all of us according to His divine will in our lives. I am in a continuous state of awe and amazement by all that God does, all that He has created, His laws that govern the Heavens and the earth as well as His extravagant love for us – as demonstrated through the sacrifice of His son, Jesus Christ. His magnificence becomes more and more evident to me as He reveals more and more of His imprint on both this so-called natural world we live in and the supernatural, spiritual world that is beyond.

My eyes (both naturally and spiritually) were truly opened when it was revealed to me that what exists beyond this world in the supernatural, spiritual realm is actually the true state of reality – not what we see in the facade we exist in on this earth.  Last year (2016), the Lord gave me a vision that demonstrated to me my authority, through Jesus Christ, and the relevance of speaking forth our words with true power and meaning. He showed me a group of rods bound together tightly with a red band. He then showed me speaking, and when I spoke I saw the red band change to white and that which was bound became loosed. God has given me the authority, through Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior, to speak action into my life, into the lives of others as well as into the world around me. Through belief in and obedience to Jesus Christ, He has given you that very same power.

Prayer has always been a very important and very powerful part of my life. However, the Lord was showing me that I was not utilizing the extent of that power. Now that He has shown me a more powerful way to pray, the responsibility is on me to use it. Consequently, if I choose not to operate within this principle, I am also choosing not to fully operate in the call He has placed on my life. This would be considered disobedience. Through the vision He gave me, I now understand that my words have tremendous power, and so do yours. Our words are more powerful than you can ever imagine and it is foolishness to not utilize this gift.

USING YOUR AUTHORITY TO BIND & LOOSE

Are you content with your effectiveness in your life as well as in the lives of others, as a Spirit-filled Christian? I can honestly say that before this principle was shared with me, I was not. If you want to experience the fullness of the power of Jesus Christ, it is necessary for you to use your words and operate within the principles He has given to you that govern binding and ‘loosing’.

When you pray about a situation that is affecting you and yours negatively, take authority, given to you by Christ, over that situation by boldly speaking forth action by the leading of the Holy Spirit – and through your words – by binding whatever is trying to come against you. Likewise, to edify, assist, intervene and intercede for yourself and others, speak forth action – through your words – and loose according  to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

SUPERNATURAL, UNCOMMON PRAYER

Recently, I had a conversation with a friend who is a strong, Spirit-filled Christian. He shared with me an incident that happened to him and his family years ago. His son, who was living in California, had a home that was in the path of a wildfire that was raging out of control. When my friend and his family found out about the fast emerging situation, they decided to pray for the safety of his son and his home. However, they decided to not just pray but to pray an extraordinary prayer. They fully utilized their faith, their authority through Jesus Christ and the power of their words and took action. Allow me to explain… Air contains oxygen and fire requires oxygen to burn. So my friend and his family decided to pray to bind the oxygen that surrounded the fire and loose the chemical formation of H2O, which is water, in its place. Miraculously, in the air surrounding the wildfire, it began to rain and snow and the fire was put out. Needless to say, my friend’s son as well as his son’s home was saved. Is that not exciting! God honored the prayers of His people who honored Him by taking the authority given to them to affect their circumstances. Praise God! You can do the same.

MY PRAYER FOR YOU

By the authority given to me by Jesus Christ, my Lord, I bind all the powers of Satan that are trying to bring doubt and inhibitions to hinder and keep all who are reading this post from boldly and obediently following the Lord. I also loose a relentless and powerful faith to well up inside of them causing them to boldly go out and speak forth words of abundance, productivity and fruitfulness that will surely come to past in their lives and in the lives of those they pray for, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Child of God, I encourage you to faithfully and obediently pray with power. Use your words carefully and deliberately to effectively make a difference in the world around you!

WHY NARROW IS THE GATE?

narrow gate.jpegJesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to Life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

Have you ever wondered why a loving God doesn’t make it easier for everyone to get saved and make it into Heaven? I mean, wouldn’t that be the most loving thing to do? Well, actually, He went far above and beyond to do just that…

There are conditions for everything in this life, wouldn’t you agree? Does Harvard, Princeton and Yale grant admission to just anyone and everyone who applies? Can just anyone decide on a whim to skip the arduous education and training to become a gifted brain surgeon? Would you marry just anyone and allow them to move into your house and make decisions for you and your family? Of course not. There are qualifiers for everything… this also holds true for God.

Jesus also said: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7) The path to eternal life is open to everyone – however, everyone must meet the qualifications, as difficult (and as unfair as some may think) as it may be, first.
God is God. He, alone, is ruler of the universe – all by Himself. He is Holy. He is just. Therefore He retains all rights to set the standards for what qualifies as sin and righteousness, what determines good and evil, and who will make it into Heaven because He created it all. Thus, the requirements to receive His many blessings, including entrance into His glorious world, are all set according to His terms.
So, what are the qualifying requirements? They are simple and yet they are challenging at the same time. WE ARE REQUIRED TO HAVE FAITH IN AS WELL AS LIVE IN OBEDIENCE TO JESUS CHRIST. God has given all authority and all power to Him for He, alone, is worthy. Salvation and eternal life can only come to those who seek it through Jesus Christ, alone. There are no exceptions.
Yes, this requirement may be considered unfair, annoying, inconvenient and narrow-minded (as thought of by many). It also makes for a very “narrow” gate into Heaven. However, the less restricting “wide” road, also referred to by Jesus, is another way to go. In fact, this is the path most people prefer to travel. It is much more populated (you can’t get lonely there), it allows you to embrace everyone’s different beliefs (because it’s the open-minded thing to do) and there you can participate in all the things this world has to offer that represents comfort, convenience and pleasure without any limitations or accountability placed on you – all of which goes against everything Jesus tells us is good and acceptable according to God. Granted, the “narrow” path IS a much more unpopular way to go. It is inconvenient, it creates conflict and, at times, it can often be a very lonely path to travel. It’s definitely not a walk for the faint-hearted. But wait, isn’t this the way to go to achieve anything considered truly honorable, uncommon and exceptional? (Sigh) Yes, it is.

 

Jesus warned us that the road that leads to the “narrow” gate will be hard and rocky. Meaning to walk this road guarantees that we will encounter sacrifices, hardships and difficult decisions along the way. Walking by faith and not by sight, enduring trials with Christ-like patience and denying our fleshly desires is extremely challenging, especially while living in a world that encourages and thrives on doing the opposite. Not many are WILLING to do it. And, unfortunately, because of this not many will meet God’s requirements nor will they make it into Heaven. This includes many people who call themselves Christians. They are the ones Jesus refers to when He said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” They will also be disqualified.
Our flesh will always gravitate to what is easier and to what gives us pleasure which is why Jesus tells us “difficult is the way which leads to Life, and there are few who find it.”

Before Christ came to endure an indescribable sacrifice for us, sin was the roadblock that kept us from getting to God. But through His death on the cross and the shedding of His blood, Jesus destroyed that barrier and paved a way for us. After raising from the dead, He took His place at the right hand of His Father and received victory over death and sin. His victory is now our victory! Although God has paved a road for us to travel, Satan and the powers of darkness, who rule the world we live in, are determined to make it as difficult as they possibly can for us to walk it. Even still, we must come the way God has made for us. We cannot create our own way for only His good and perfect way is acceptable to Him.

So, do we blame God because He has raised the bar high and given us clear, uncompromising terms to strive for? Is it God’s fault IF we choose to not meet the requirements He has set for us – or is it ours? It is unacceptable and, frankly, impossible for a Holy and just God to allow just anyone and everyone to do as they please, to violate and dishonor His Son and the sacrifice He made for us and still qualify to receive the most highest honor given to mankind. This very simply will not happen. God freely offers salvation and the gift of eternal life spent in Heaven with Him to everyone who chooses to accept it however, they must meet the requirements, as challenging as they may be.
So, do you have what it takes to enter the “narrow” gate? Is it worth it to you to step away from the wide road? Or will you take the path of least resistance? There are two very important lessons in life that I urge you to learn today, if you haven’t already learned them. They are the R’chelle’s principles to What Is Truly Valuable:
1. “Nothing worth having is ever easy to get yet always worth the sacrifice you must make to obtain it.”
2. “Always look closely and test what sparkles and glitters, for most of the time you will find it’s not gold.”

 

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE

reachingYou’ve never known a Love like this…

This is truly an unconditional Love. This Love is an every day kind of Love, an every night kind of Love, an every moment kind of Love, always… This Love never leaves you all alone and never forgets its own. This Love takes you in and lifts you up… This Love opens your eyes, opens your ears, opens your arms, opens your heart… This Love walks with you, talks with you, always wants to be with you… This Love doesn’t see your past, He forgives it and He forgets it… This Love can open any door, casts out darkness, cancels fear, helps you forgive, gives you peace and lifts your head… In this love, He gives you faith, gives you hope, takes you in and lifts you up above it all so you can fear no more, so you can run real fast, so you can stand real firm, so you can be real strong, so you can hurt no more, so you can feel His joy! This Love rules the wind, this Love rules the waves, this Love rules the world!

There is true freedom in this Love for there is no shame this Love can’t take, there is no chain this Love can’t break. This Love is oh so sweet. This Love is oh so Jesus. Oh, if you could only truly know Him. Come taste and see…

TO THE HANDS THAT ROCK THE CRADLE…

godly-parenting-family-article-witicles-olabisi-ajayiYou may have heard the saying: “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.” What does this mean? Parents, the influence you have over your children is not one to be taken lightly. It reminds me of yet another phrase: “The fruit never falls far from the tree.”

Godly parents, beware! Those who are serving the Lord and have been given the immense responsibility of raising, training and guiding children, you are, and will be, held accountable to God. Do not become stumbling blocks for your child.

Teach your children what it means to know and follow God’s word at a very young age so that their feet will be firmly planted on the rock, which is Yeshua (Jesus Christ). As Satan and the powers of darkness are committed to stealing, killing and destroying all God has for them in this evil, sinful world that they live in.

Teach your children to be leaders instead of followers. Teach them to measure their thoughts and their deeds against the word of God. Teach them that right and wrong is not subjective – as many today believe – but instead, is absolute according to the absolutely Holy and righteous word of God. Teach your children as they follow your example. Teach your children… while you still can.

There is an age of accountability for each child – which God alone will determine. He knows the heart of us all, young and old, and each child will come into the knowledge and understanding of what is truly good and what is truly evil on an individual basis. At that designated age, they will then become accountable to God for their own actions.

God commands His people to commit yourself wholeheartedly to knowing and obeying His word. He then tells us to teach His word to our children. He tells us to talk about His word when we are at home, when we are on the road, when we rise in the morning and when we retire at night. He tells us that we must do this as long as the sky remains above the earth so that we, and our children, will flourish in the land… (Deuteronomy 11:18-21).

God commands His people to teach His word to our children so that each following generation – even those who are yet to be born – will come to know Him and His word so that we will set our hope anew on Him and not forget His glorious miracles, all in obedience to Him. (Psalm 78:5-7).

If we will obey these commands, God gives a promise. He tells us that if we teach our children about Yeshua (Jesus Christ), if we teach them to obey His word, if we train them up according to His ways and His wisdom, and if we direct them onto the straight and narrow path that leads them to Him – when they are OLDER, they will not depart from these things. This promise gives hope to many parents of children who have (temporarily) strayed away from this path.

For godly parents, raising godly children should be a sobering responsibility not to be taken lightly – but prayerfully, obediently and in full submission to almighty God.

godlyparenting

 

A HEAVINESS IN MY SPIRIT

On Monday, November 7, 2016, I awoke with an unusually heavy spirit. It lasted all day and I could not shake it. I cannot recall ever feeling what I felt that day. The best way to describe it would be to say it was “a heaviness, a deep sadness or even a darkness hovering.” As I began to cry, I remember telling my husband that I felt like something was very wrong, but I didn’t understand why. The next morning, the feeling lifted and I felt like myself again. Later, the Lord revealed to me that on that day, there was a shift or a movement that had taken place in the spiritual realm.

This morning, while in prayer, the Lord reminded me of that experience. He also reminded me of the dream He had given me on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at 2:30AM. This dream was one of many I have had however, it was the first one I believe God had given me permission to share publicly, which I did here on this blog. You may read the dream by clicking here.

Today, I feel moved to share the following message with you:

Over the years, you have heard it said that Jesus is coming back soon. I am telling you that Jesus is not only coming back soon, He is already at the door. His return is not only eminent, it is at hand. This is not a time for Christians to be asleep at the wheel. Wake up! To those who have bought into the lie that God knows your heart and will look the other way as you continue to live in your sin, you are gravely mistaken.

God tells us “for it is written: “Be Holy, because I am Holy.” 1 Peter 1:16. His standards are high and He will lower them for no one. You must repent! You must repent as often as necessary! You must turn away from your sins! For if you do not, you, the Church, are in danger of judgment! When Jesus steps on the scene, it will be too late for you. Call yourself a Christian if you will, but labels and titles (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, rabbis, ministers, reverends, bishops, elders, deacons, leaders, followers, etc.) will not save you when you go before the true and living God. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” Matthew 7:21-23 Only those who have presented themselves blameless, spotless and Holy before the Lord will be accepted.

Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14

The scripture above is a warning. It is telling us that only a very few will find salvation and enter into Heaven. Will you be among them? The climb is not for everyone for not everyone will choose to make the climb. The road that leads into Heaven is not an easy one. It takes more than reciting a simple prayer to ask Jesus into your heart. The asking is a preliminary requirement however you are still required to walk it out, and walk it out you must.

Do you know that Christians are held to a higher account for they are expected to know and obey God’s word:

And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has. But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more. Luke 12: 42-48.”

For those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, take care and take heed…

THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: A DIVINE SETUP

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Followers of Jesus Christ, CONCERNING YOUR DECISION IN THE UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, as well as every other decision you are responsible for making in this world, be mindful to FIRST SEEK GOD with all your heart – then be obedient and do as the Spirit leads you. Vote or don’t vote, as you feel you should, but KNOW THAT HARD TIMES ARE COMING. It is unavoidable. Be diligent and prepare. Unless the Lord calls you home beforehand, there will be no escaping it. However, you should also KNOW that those who FOLLOW the Lord and DO NOT TURN AWAY FROM HIM (for there will be a great falling away of believers in the last days) during the up and coming time of tribulation will be fine.

Remember that nothing catches God by surprise. He knows the end of the story. Not only does He know what is to come, He is orchestrating (and allowing) things to happen in this world – as well as in your life – exactly as His will dictates. It is all a divine setup. However, if you know the Lord, be at peace. If you don’t, there is no time like the present to REPENT and SEEK GOD (JESUS CHRIST) with all your heart before it is too late.

TRUTH BE TOLD

The anti-Christ is alive in the earth today awaiting his time of unveiling… Judgment is upon the nations… God’s wrath will soon be unleashed… You can see it and you can feel it all around you as you observe world events and even people who are – and will be – coming onto the scene… Do not be alarmed. These things represent the birthing pains of what is sure to come – and what must come – before our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, can and will return.

However, you – true follower of Jesus Christ – be at peace. God has made and will make provision for you. Stay faithful and unwavering in your walk. Listen for the Holy Spirit to speak and obey His every word. Now, be encouraged for though rough times are ahead, your God – He who is greater than he who is in this world – is still very much in control of it all.

WHO ARE YOU WEARING?

A model presents a creation by Italian-Swedish designer Marco Zanini for Rochas during the Fall/Winter 2012-2013 ready-to-wear collection show, on February 29, 2012 in Paris. AFP PHOTO/ALEXANDER KLEIN

THE FASHION SHOW & THE MESSAGE

A fashion show is an event put on by a designer to showcase their line of fashions. Models are employed to walk the catwalk dressed in the apparel that is created by the designer as all is illuminated on the runway for everyone to see. All are drawn in to the show by the beautiful sights and the alluring sounds. However, what meets the eye does not represent the full picture – there is always another agenda. In the show, the order of models that are presented is planned in advance. The show is choreographed around the message the designer wishes to communicate. Truly, the fashion show is really all about the underlying message. It is then up to the audience to interpret, if they can, what the designer is really trying to say.

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The Message

There is a message behind everything we see and hear in this world. There is a message behind everything we learn and are taught in this world. There is also a message behind everything we do and say in this world. Do you know what message you are communicating? Don’t be deceived. Know that everything that takes place in the natural, and in the supernatural, has an ulterior motive. Nothing – and no one – happens by chance.

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The Evil Designer

Satan is no exception. His evil and corrupt agenda and motives began many, many years ago. We have learned that here on earth he, temporarily at best, rules his wicked kingdom of demons in an organized plan to corrupt mankind. He uses sin as his weapons and through the corruption it causes, he will, in fact, take as many as he can with him to Hell after Jesus returns to destroy him. As the official designer of this world, Satan’s goal has always been to deceive – which he does very well by using deception and lies. He takes full advantage of his audience (the world) and their weaknesses. He knows that people are easily fooled and are easily distracted by the sights and the sounds of the show which is this world. He counts on this weakness to cause people to fall into the traps he has laid for them.

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Why Does God Allow It?

We know that Satan is, temporarily at best, being allowed to rule in this world that we live in. The Bible even goes as far as saying that he is the god of this world. This is clearly evident by the state of affairs going on all around us. As a Christian, you are not to worry though. God is allowing it as part of His master plan. Yes, I said allowed. Remember, God is still, and always will be, in control. Satan, a God-created being, is on a short leash which is being held, and controlled, by God. He can only do what the Lord has allowed him to do within the time-frame He has allowed him to do it in. Why does God allow it, you may ask? God has given Satan a job to do. Through his existence, we know the difference – and choose – between what is right and wrong, what is good and evil, what is holy and sin. It is necessary for all of us to be tested and tried so that those who are called of God can come through the trials victorious and be counted as worthy. Those who choose to not be, will be counted as unworthy. The Bible explains this in the parable of the wheat and the weeds below.

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“Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew. “The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’ “‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed. “‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked. “‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.’” Matthew 13:24-30

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The Devil Is Defeated

Nothing happens by chance. There is a reason for everything. And those reasons are not always revealed to us by God. Thankfully, there is also a beginning and an end to everything. There are many things that we will not be able to understand in this life. We are not to get caught up in those things. Subjects surrounding life, death, Heaven and Hell will bring up many questions that only God, alone, can answer. Remember, God’s ways are always higher than our ways and His thoughts are always higher than our thoughts. When we are devoid of answers, we must trust Him in all things.

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When Satan’s time is up, he will not longer be free in this world to torment and corrupt. The Bible tells us: “Then the devil, who had deceived them, was thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur; joining the beast and the false prophet. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” Revelation 20:10

Rejoice, for Jesus is returning soon!

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The Truth Behind Happiness & Success

Before I answered my own call from the Lord twenty seven years ago, I was living a life of deception. I believed the lie Satan tells us about what is required to achieve happiness and success in this world. Many have been fooled into thinking that we must exalt ourselves through the pursuit of money, status and pleasure, at all cost. Always remember that Satan is evil and is a master counterfeiter. He works very hard to mock God by copying and distorting everything God does. He takes what is Holy, godly and true and tries to destroy it. He does this by deceiving the world into thinking the opposite of God’s truth. The Holy Bible tells us that “Those who are in the flesh (self) cannot please God.” (Romans 8:8). Therefore we are not to exalt ourselves. No one but Jesus Christ, alone, shall be lifted up. It also tells us: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21).

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Deception In This World

Jesus gives His followers the necessary discernment and wisdom we need to live in this world and we must use it to survive. “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” (Matthew 10;16).

Those who do not believe, will be deceived into believing Satan’s lies and, unfortunately, they will be destroyed in the end. “For this lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the one who is holding it back steps out of the way. Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, but the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of His mouth and destroy him by the splendor of His coming This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the Truth that would save them. So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies. Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the Truth.” 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12

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Satan has corrupted this world by using the media, entertainment and people for his evil purpose. He puts on a very attractive show that entices and lures people into sin and corruption. He is truly the designer of this world and his models are his puppets who work together, knowingly and unknowingly, to promote his evil agenda.

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So, Who Are You Wearing?

I tell you the truth. You, as a Christian, are to model Jesus Christ in this world. Just by living your life every day, you are promoting the fashions of either Jesus Christ or Satan. You can only follow one. You cannot do both because one cancels out the other. As you go about your life, you become a walking, talking message that impacts the world, either for good or for evil.

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Do you know what message you are communicating to the people you meet every day? Those who choose to follow Jesus Christ are speaking eternal life, they are sharing the gift of salvation and they are furthering the Kingdom of God. Those who are not serving Jesus, are considered, by God and by default, to be a follower of Satan. This means they are speaking death, they are promoting sin and they are encouraging and leading others to follow them to Hell.

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You will be held accountable for the choices that you make. So, who are you wearing?

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Let’s talk about it…

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POEM: HIGH FASHIONED MODELS FOR CHRIST

ziongirlz-imageYou, stepping high and looking quite fine,

The world is your runway as you keep in time.

All eyes are upon you – your beauty, your style.

You’re walking that walk and you’re flashing that smile.

As God gives you favor and doors open wide,

Be careful to guard against arrogant pride.

For the Lord has exalted many a man.

Yet, He’s humbled the same – yes, it is all in His hand.

 

The path that you follow is not meant for all

As many are chosen but few here are called.

The enemy’s watching. He comes in disguise

With those who are waiting for your compromise.

An assignment’s been given and it fits only you.

His reflection upon you looks great from this view!

He’s standing beside you and cheering you on.

No greater reward has been placed there upon.

 

Walk straight down that path custom made for your feet

For the catwalks of life lead to those you will meet.

Be strong and be ready, He directs whom He’ll choose

To place there before you to spread the good news!

You, who aspiring young girls look up to,

We’ll see who you are as we watch what they do.

As you model a temple that the Lord dwells within,

You’ll model an image well covered from sin.

 

We’re held to account for all that we do.

Don’t cause one to stumble as they follow you.

Before all the glamor and pearls that you don,

Explain why God’s ARMOR is first to put on.

With grace and with poise, take His SHIELD in your hand.

Position a faith that allows you to stand.

Let the HAT OF SALVATION envelop your mind,

With the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT (the Word), Sin you will bind.

 

Model that snug BELT OF TRUTH ’round your waste

With the BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS there in its place.

Step high in those heels for the GOSPEL OF PEACE.

Then PRAY to Him always. No, don’t ever cease.

Stay alert and endure as you pray for the saints.

In all, be forgiving. In all, no complaints.

Your heart will be covered from Satan’s attacks,

His lies and his doubts because God’s got your back !

 

Then highlight your secrets to life every day:

Teach them to worship as you kneel to pray.

Tell them to ask God for boldness in word.

Now, go share your witness so He will be heard.

You, birthed in Zion, go conquer the world!

You’re a virtuous woman; you’re God’s ‘Covered Girl.’

A High Fashioned Model for Christ you shall be.

So fashion an image of what He will see

 

The world’s waiting for you – be bold, stand your ground.

Keep your eyes looking to Him and never look down.

Take your place on life’s stage for His light on you shows.

Sachet into action – go ahead, strike a pose!

Then make way for Jesus, for He’s coming through

With designs to transform you and make you brand new.

Look up all you Fendis and Versaces, too.

You Guccis and Laurens, He’s high over you.

 

For He is the One who we call on to save

From our sin, from ourselves, and yes, even the grave.

There is none, great or small, who can dare make this claim.

So we humbly and reverently call on His name.

Take a bow, my Lord Jesus, for the honor is Yours.

We’re all here to praise You and raise You. Encore!

 

May His Veil Be Upon You, May His Grace Shine Down On You.

 

Written by R’chelle Cyrus-Hughes

Copyright protected. All rights reserved.

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WHO DOES GOD SEE WHEN HE LOOKS AT YOU?

Pic walking-in-holiness

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“Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in Heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:48

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Don’t Allow What You See To Conflict With What God Sees

We all come from many different backgrounds and with many different experiences in tow. Some have suffered very little in life compared to others who have endured an unusual amount of heartache and pain. Sometimes our life, including all that we strive to overcome, has a tendency to blind us to God’s truth and God’s plan for our lives. Satan uses everything at his disposal to try and keep us from seeing what God sees when He looks at us. Although life may feel overwhelming at times, we must remember that God has EVERYTHING under control. Reminding ourselves of this helps us to keep things in their proper perspective.

We must remember that God truly does have a plan for us. We must also remember that Satan has a plan for us as well. The two plans counteract which make living in this world, with all of its sin and distractions, a great challenge to say the least. The goal is to remain focused on the real reason we are here which is to honor Jesus Christ in everything we do.

How Does The World See You?

Many people in your life have helped to form the identity you have of yourself today. This identity is based on who you represent to them and who they represent to you. You have been taught by your teachers how to make the grade and you comply because you want to prove that you are more than capable (according to the world’s standards). You have been trained by your employers on how to excel and progress in your choice of profession and you comply because you want to be a success (according to the world’s standards). You have been conditioned by your friends to conduct yourself in a way that makes them happy and you comply because you need acceptance (according to the world’s standards). You have been programmed by this world to chase after people and things and you comply because you want to be happy (according to the world’s standards).

How Does God See You?

God is the creator of all things and all people. He desires to be in relationship with those He has called unto Himself. He also desires to, one day, bring His children home to live in His Kingdom and be reconciled unto Him. However, because He is sovereign and Holy, there are requirements that we must all meet. God cannot violate His own laws. This includes the law of sin which carries with it the penalty of death. Therefore, knowing that none of us were capable of living a sinless life, God made the ultimate sacrifice and sent His Son – who is Jesus Christ, God-personified – to live among the people of this world for the purpose of sacrificing His life on the cross as an atonement for our sins thus allowing us to be in right standing with God. That is, IF we choose to believe in Jesus Christ and follow Him. “For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (New Living Translation).

God does all of this for you because He loves you. He has no ulterior motive. He ‘sets you up’ so that He can bless you. Do you agree?

How Do You See God?

When we follow Jesus Christ, nothing on this earth should take precedence. NOTHING. There are no relationships, no establishments and no pursuits that should take priority in your life and be more important than your relationship with Jesus Christ. Anything you pursue above, or in opposition with, Jesus will lead you into a life of disobedience. God will then be forced to reject you, cut you off from His blessings and you will have no inheritance with Him. How do you see God in your life? The decisions you make every day reflects how you truly see Him. If you are placing the demands of this world over God’s demands, you will be lost to Him. If you desire to be the person God has created you to be, you must repent from your sins, turn away from the lifestyle that displeases God and live for Jesus. This is the only way to be accepted by Him.

The Bible explains: “A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, “If you want to be My disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison – your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters – yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be My disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow Me, you cannot be My disciple. But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’ Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. So you cannot become My disciple without giving up everything you own. Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? Flavorless salt is good neither for the soil nor for the manure pile. It is thrown away. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!” Luke 14:25-34 (New Living Translation).

See Truth, See Life

The decision to follow Jesus Christ must be a sober and reverent one. It should not just represent a simple prayer that you pray to ask Jesus to come into your life, as many are teaching. The decision to follow Jesus Christ is a worthy and rewarding cause. Those who take it seriously receive much from God therefore much is required of them by God.

Commonly taught today is the belief that once you have been saved, you will always be saved. This teaching is a deception and a very dangerous lie. You make a decision every day to pick up your cross and follow Jesus. At any given point, you can renounce His covering over you simply by rejecting Him and His word. People who believe and teach this lie will only accomplish three things in life. 1) They will prevent themselves, Christians who believe this lie and those who are truly searching for truth from seeing the true power of Jesus Christ. 2) They allow Satan to gain access into their lives and the lives of others. 3) Their destination will be Hell when they die. When you chose Truth, which is Jesus, you truly do choose life.

Who Does God See When He Sees You?

Regardless of the image you see when you look in a mirror, it is not the image God sees. When you look in God’s Mirror, He sees only two images. One image is a vision of Holiness. This is the vision of Jesus… Are you seeing what He sees when you see the world? Are you hearing what He hears when others speak to you? Are you speaking the powerful words of Jesus into the lives of those around you? Are your arms reaching out to heal the sick and mend the broken in the name of Jesus Christ? Are your feet walking towards others eager to share the gospel good news of Jesus Christ? If Jesus is not the image God sees when He looks at you, He sees the other.

The other is the reflection of Hell.

Let’s talk about it…

 

 

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POEM: GOD’S MIRROR

Take a look in the mirror. Tell me, what do you see
As you gaze at the image that reflects off of me?
As you look for a moment and you pause for a stare,
Are you sure that your likeness is all you see there?

The one in this mirror, though he fits like a glove,
Is made in the image of the One up above.
Do the eyes of your Savior peer out from your face
Or a look that condemns those whom He’s given grace?

Do you hear with your ears when one cries out in pain
Or is silence abound when retreat turns in vain?
Do your lips speak out boldly as you tell of His plan
Or do they condemn as you make your demands?

Do your your arms reach for those who are hurting inside
Or do you fold them and hold them while floundering in pride?
Do your hands touch the lives He has asked you to serve
Or do they hold firmly to what you deserve?

Do your feet walk in mercy? Are they moved to rescind?
Do they stand with resentment? Do they race to offend?
Does the fruit in your life reflect all that you’ve learned?
Is your field dry and barren? Does it yield a return?

On the day of your judgment, once again, you will stand.
But the view you will see will be lost to your hand.
Are you called to attest that through Jesus you live
Or will penalty’s price be what you must give?

God’s mirror reflects what our eyes cannot see.
As you stand here before me, how now do you plea?

 

Written by R’chelle Cyrus-Hughes

Copyright protected. All rights reserved.

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WALKING IN THE FULL ARMOR OF GOD

warriorIn the physical world, flesh and blood wars are fought on earth by man according to their limited, natural abilities. In the spirit world however, an everyday war is being fought by supernatural means. Winning this war will require so much more than the natural man will ever be able to do on his own.

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Satan is your enemy and he has plans to keep you in a place of perpetual struggle continuously fighting a battle that you, alone, are ill-equipped to win.

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As a Christian, you are expected to take up arms. Not against your fleshly foes, but against spiritual slaughterers. Your only chance of winning will come by equipping yourself with the full armor of God. Though the fight will prove to be a daunting endeavor, be encouraged for Jesus has already won. Even still, YOU have a part to play in that victory.

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In the Bible, we read how God gave territory over to the Israelites when they were led out of Egypt. Although the land of milk and honey was theirs, it was theirs for the taking. Yes, God gave them the victory but they were still required to fight for it. Always remember that anything worth having will always be worth fighting for. Now, it’s time to suit up!

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“Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the Belt of Truth and the Body Armor of God’s Righteousness. For Shoes, put on the Peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the Shield of Faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on Salvation as your Helmet, and take the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your Prayers for all believers everywhere.” Ephesians 6:13-18 (NLT)

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Belt of Truth (1st Piece of Armor)

FIGHTING IN THE FLESH: In biblical days, soldiers wore belts made of thick leather straps that were bound around their waist. Strips of leather hung from these belts to protect the lower part of the body. A belt was a very crucial part of the body armor for not only was it used for protection purposes, it secured other parts of the armor including the sheath that held the all-important sword.

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FIGHTING IN THE SPIRIT: To fight with Truth is to wield a powerful tool… Truth extinguishes Satan’s fiery darts of lies and deception.

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Is there really such a thing as absolute truth? There are many who believe there is not. They believe truth to be a subjective state of mind reduced to someone’s opinion. When you take a look at the world we live in today, you will agree that it clearly reflects this.

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Well, Jesus says that if we are faithful to obey His teachings, we will know truth and truth will set us free (John 8:32). When the Holy Spirit speaks, He speaks for the purpose of Truth. He speaks to reveal what is to come as it concerns Jesus Christ, to glorify Jesus Christ, to proclaim Jesus Christ and to declare all that belongs to Jesus Christ. Clearly, Jesus Christ is the embodiment of truth. (John 16:13-15).

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Breastplate of Righteousness (2nd Piece of Armor)

FIGHTING IN THE FLESH: In biblical days, soldiers wore breastplates made of bronze or iron plates weighing close to forty pounds or more. The breastplate provided coverage for the largest part of the body which is the upper torso including the shoulders, the chest and vital organs such as the heart and lungs.

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FIGHTING IN THE SPIRIT: To live by the righteousness of God is to wield a powerful tool… When you are pursuing the righteousness of God, you are pursuing what pleases Him and not what pleases the flesh. Turning away from the desires of this world disarms Satan and renders his attacks of temptation powerless.

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Shoes of the Gospel of Peace (3rd Piece of Armor)

FIGHTING IN THE FLESH: In biblical days, soldiers wore sandals made with thick leather soles and straps that laced up- the ankles. These shoes were crafted to endure long journeys made over rough terrain. Preparing these shoes for better traction on unstable ground was necessity. Often soldiers would embed bits of rocks into the soles of these sandals to maintain firm footing which helped them succeed in battle.

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FIGHTING IN THE SPIRIT: A commitment to endure even the roughest ‘terrains’ of life while sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ is a powerful tool… Satan uses everything he can to make rocky the roads on which you travel in hopes that you will relent and retreat. However, the Bible tells us that Satan is conquered by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony, for we loved not our lives even unto death. (Revelation 12:11) As God brings the people, prepare yourself to bring the Word.

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Shield of Faith (4th Piece of Armor)

FIGHTING IN THE FLESH: In biblical days, a soldier’s shield measured about four feet tall by two feet wide and was made from curved wood. It was designed to shield the soldier’s entire body from danger that could come from any direction. This shield was different compared to the other pieces of body armor. Instead of wearing the shield, the soldier was required to take a firm grip on it while raising it up against the attack.

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FIGHTING IN THE SPIRIT: Holding on to and grasping strong faith in God is a powerful tool… Satan will try everything he can to weaken your faith. However, the Bible tells us that nothing is impossible if you hoold onto your faith in God (Mark 11:22-24).

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Attacks from the enemy will come from places you least expect and hit you where you are most vulnerable. These trials can include death, illness, divorce, loss of a job, etc. They are challenges one can never be prepared for. If you do not have a firm grip on your faith, these surprises can easily knock you down and even make difficult the ability to get back up again. The shield of faith guards you against the surprise attacks of the enemy.

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Helmet of Salvation (5th Piece of Armor)

FIGHTING IN THE NATURAL: In biblical days, the helmet was a molded piece of iron that fit snugly over the soldier’s head. The helmet served as protection for the face, ears and neck as well as guarded the mind.

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FIGHTING IN THE SPIRIT: Your salvation in Jesus Christ is a powerful tool… For when you believe in Him, He completely transforms your mind.

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Satan is always ready to attack the mind which is the devil’s playground. His plan is to gain entry into the mind where he can attempt to destroy your hope. We find our strength in hope. Hope gives us permission to expect something better in spite of what we see going on around us. Without hope, the mind will wilt and succumb to the discouragement and despair that is found in this world. When this happens, people become easy targets for the enemy for they become vulnerable. Then Satan baits and traps them with various poisons to numb the emptiness and lack that they feel.

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The transformation brought on by Jesus brings with it the promise of salvation which gives you a hope that transcends anything in this world. Cover and guard your mind against the tricks of the enemy with the promise of a glorious eternity.

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Sword of the Spirit (6th Piece of Armor)

FIGHTING IN THE NATURAL: In Biblical days, the Roman soldier’s sword was known as the gladius that “conquered the world.” When sharpened, its dual edges wreaked havoc on unarmored foes while its tapered point could pierce through even the heaviest of metal armor. The sword is a weapon unlike all the others because of its ability to be used both in the defensive and offensive. In its defensive function, the sword can block the swing of an enemy’s weapon while at the same time offensively cut, stab, injure and kill.

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FIGHTING IN THE SPIRIT: The sword of the Spirit is a most powerful tool… For the sword of the spirit is the Word of God. Like the soldier’s sword, the Word of God has a double edge and cuts the reader and the hearer at the same time.

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God’s Word transmits power whenever we speak it. When spoken, the Word of God is a potent reminder to Satan that he has lost everything because of the cross and this forces him to flee. The all-powerful sword of the living God is able to cut through every defense our enemy can raise against us, even down to the very division of bone and marrow. When wielded by a servant of God, nothing can withstand its ability to cut to the core and uncover the Truth.

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Pray Without Ceasing (7th Piece of Armor)

Last, but not least, the 7th tool in our arsenal is prayer which is by all means a most powerful tool…. For the prayers of a righteous person has great power indeed.

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The Bible tells us that we are to confess our sins to one another in order to be in right standing with God and to have our prayers heard. Then we are to be persistent and pray at all times for all believers everywhere. “Then if My people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

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Let’s talk about it…

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WALKING AMONG THE HATERS: SPIRITUAL WARFARE BETWEEN THE KINGDOMS OF GOD & SATAN

being-different

When I entered into a relationship with Jesus Christ twenty seven years ago, like many brand new Christians, I was naive about many things concerning God. Quite simply, I thought, “Now that I am a Christian, God will wave an invisible ‘magic wand’ over me and my life will become ‘blessed’.” Which to me meant my life would instantly become easier and I would instantly become happier. When this didn’t happen, I was alarmed and disappointed. In fact, after my conversion to Christianity, my life became even more challenging and I could not understand why God was allowing it.

 

Many years later, I came to realize that I was partly responsible for the problem. See, I was not studying my bible. Had I been diligent instead of negligent, I would have come to learn sooner that once you become a child of God, you simultaneously become an enemy of Satan’s. I also came to see that this information, for the most part, was not being discussed or taught in the churches I was attending. Ignorance is not bliss. Christians should make more of an effort to disciple new believers as well as not so new believers. The key to living God’s word is knowing God’s word.

 

I am speaking of the spiritual warfare that we cannot see with our physical eyes yet, in the spiritual realm, actively takes place all around us. This war is between two kingdoms – the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. To live in this world, especially as a Christian, and not acknowledge this reality is to live at a severe disadvantage to say the least. The truth is, regardless of whether you are a Christian or not, all are enlisted in this war and it is a battle that is being fought to the death.

 

The Kingdom of Satan

Spiritual warfare is a battle that cannot be won in the natural. It can only be fought in the spirit. Before we go any further, everyone must know that Satan does have a kingdom. When Lucifer was cast out of Heaven many, many years ago, he took with him one third of the angels, which today are called demons or fallen angels. Lucifer became Satan and set up his kingdom in the lower heavens located above the earth but beneath the Heaven where God dwells. Satan, who is a counterfeit and the master of deception, set up a highly organized, structured kingdom modeled after the Kingdom of God. Satan’s dominion is very well run complete with principalities (princes, kings, etc.) that govern over countries, states, cities, neighborhoods, nationalities and even individual people.

 

Now, here we have two invisible kingdoms, run by spiritual beings called angels and demons, operating all around us. The angels are sent out, by God, to fight for us and demons are dispersed, by Satan, to fight against us. Evil uses evil to kill, steal and destroy everyone and everything that represents God. These beings are not playing and are deadly serious. We, as Christians, have Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the use of powerful spiritual weapons, as well as the angels in our defense, to fight back. If we are not aware of, not to mention using, these weapons, we will lose the battle on an individual basis.

 

We all carry on us spiritual marks that are seen, and fully recognized, by those who dwell in the spiritual realm. Though we, as human beings, may not be able to physically distinguish the difference between a true Christian and a non-believer, those who dwell in the spiritual realm know exactly who we are. And as Christians, we are the prime target for both sides. This explains why the heat is turned up on our lives when we make a decision to follow Jesus Christ. As a Christian, you can absolutely expect that things will get a little tougher, but likewise you, as a Christian, should be prepared to fight.

 

Why Don’t We Fight?

Beloved, we ARE at war. Every day, we are engaging in spiritual warfare with spiritual beings that most people cannot see, refuse to acknowledge and even believe exists. Satan’s demons/evil spirits, and even the people on this earth who serve him, are fully committed to helping him accomplish his evil plans. However we, as Christians, know the truth about how this war will end. Jesus Christ has already defeated Satan’s kingdom, and it is our job to stand ground until He returns.

 

When followers of Jesus take a stand and properly utilize the tools God has given us to fight this war, we will impact this world in a most powerful way. Yet, the tragedy here is that most Christians do not fight. Those who won’t fight don’t either because they are not aware of the spiritual battle going on or they refuse to believe the truth.

 

In this postmodern world that we live in today, people believe that truth consists of what makes sense to the natural mind. Yet, the natural mind is limited. There is so much more to life than what is seen physically, taught intellectually and felt emotionally. Unfortunately, people thinking themselves educated and wise have been deceived and Satan counts on this deception. It is all a part of his master plan. God tells us that His ways and our ways do not compare. We cannot continue to cripple ourselves by limiting ourselves. “”For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.” Isaiah 55:8

 

When We Limit Ourselves, We Limit God

When we believe only what we are capable of experiencing in the natural, we render ourselves dysfunctional as Christians. When we do this, not only are we limiting ourselves, we are limiting God for the Lord moves within us only according to our faith. Disbelief is just another way, among many, that Satan counts on to trap and trick God’s people so that they will act accordingly which will cause them to end up losing their salvation and right standing Jesus Christ.

 

In fact, what dwells in the invisible spiritual realm is actually more real than the tangible facade we live in on this earth. It is by design that people are kept in the dark. They are being fooled into believing that what is actually truth, is a lie when what is a lie, in reality, is actually truth. Regardless of what the world believes, as a Christian you must understand that truth is not subjective and based on one’s own personal perspective. There is an absolute Truth and it stands according to the word of God.

 

How Do I Fight In A Spiritual War?

Yes, spiritual warfare is taking place not just all around us but even within some of us. The bible tells us that those who do not choose to follow Jesus will lose this battle, plain and simple. Unfortunately, there are believers who will also be defeated. Satan will win their souls as well. How can this be, you may ask? Christians who are living according to their own customized version of Christianity and not according to the word of God are at risk. To win the fight in this spiritual battle, you must fight God’s way. The Bible tells us that we must put on the whole armor of God in order to withstand the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:11). “Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepare. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” Ephesians 6:14-18

 

Satan Does His Homework

I implore you to read and study your bible. Regardless of what church you may attend. You cannot trust anyone else to do this for you. You are responsible for every step you take in your own walk. You are also responsible for doing your homework. You can be sure that Satan has done his. Rest assured that he and his demons know all about you, your strengths and your weaknesses. In fact, they count on your every flaw and they will not hesitate to use all of them against you in their pursuit to steal, kill and destroy you and your family.

 

God Has A Plan For You

Now that you have been given this information, you will be held accountable and responsible for operating in it. Jesus Christ has a plan for you and you specifically. Spend time with Him so that you may discover all the ways He desires to fulfill His will for your life.

 

Only God Can Give True Revelation & Understanding

The Lord, alone, gives revelation and insight through His word and also through His people. I am so very grateful for all the faithful people and ministries that have helped me gain a deeper understanding into God’s word. I name the following ministries such as Derek Prince and Mark Farley’s The Fuel Project to name a few. These and others have been very instrumental to me.

 

We Are The Only Enemy Of Satan

We, the Church body, are responsible for encouraging, supporting and edifying the members of the Church for the furthering of God’s Kingdom. For the Church, alone, is the only entity powerful enough to defeat Satan and his kingdom. No one on this earth has the ability to do this but the Church as long as it is operating in the power given to us by Jesus Christ through His word and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Christians have been given the mantle to occupy until the return of Jesus (Luke 19:13). If we do not stand up and fight, who else will?

 

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WILL YOU RECEIVE THE GIFT?

Jesus Christ is a gift. He is the most extravagant gift you will ever be offered. To follow Him is not to follow a religion. To follow Him is to enter into a personal relationship with God Himself. Though there are many faiths and many religions in this world, I ask you to consider this: Who among them can say that they are the one and only virgin-born Son of the almighty God? Who among them can say that they have walked this earth and lived a perfect and sinless life? Who among them can say that they have made the blind to see, the deaf to hear and the mute to speak? Who among them can say they have healed the sick and cast out demons? Who among them can say they gave of themselves for others to be brutally abused and crucified on a cross? Who among them can say that though they were dead, they rose again to receive victory over sin and death for you and me? Who among them can say that they ascended into Heaven and is alive today and rules at the right hand of God, His Heavenly Father? Who among them can say that they will return very soon to ransom their Bride who is the Church? Who among them can say they have overcome Satan, his demons and all the evil in this world? Only One can make these claims. Only One. His name is Jesus Christ.

 

Following Jesus Is NOT Easy

I want to be honest here. Following Jesus Christ is not easy, and yet entering into this amazing relationship will be the most challenging, most rewarding experience you will ever encounter in your life. To know Him and to love Him is life-changing to say the least. Everything about you will be transformed. Over a period of time, you will begin to notice a change in the way you talk, in the way you think and in the way you see the people around you. Your perspective of life, and death, will take on a whole new meaning. In reality, the old you will die and a brand new you will be born. You will never be the same again. God will draw you closer to Him. He will speak to you and manifest Himself to you in many ways. The closer you get to Jesus, the more you will develop a distaste for the evil and the sin that is in this world. This newfound relationship will create conflict with those who do not share your beliefs and passion. You will experience painful persecution from the people in your family as well as the people who are in the world.  These experiences will challenge you to your core and you will be tested. How much you are willing to endure for Jesus Christ, your Lord and Savior, will continue to be an open show for all the world to see as well as your decision to remain faithful to the end.

 

Jesus endured much for us. We are likewise required to endure much for Him which we do by continuing to honor Him as we live in this world that is openly hostile to Christianity and the principles Jesus teaches us to live by. The Bible says it better: “Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad – for these trials make you partners with Christ (Jesus) in His suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing His glory when it is revealed to all the world. If you are insulted because you bear the name of Christ, you will be blessed, for the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you. If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs. But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by His name! For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News? And also, “If the righteous are barely saved, what will happen to Godless sinners?  So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for He will never fail you.” 1 Peter 4:12-19

 

Jesus Desires A Personal Relationship With You

Did you know that even before you were born, God personally chose you to be His very own? He desires nothing more than to have a loving, personal relationship with you. Jesus Christ went through all that He suffered to make that possible. For this reason, it is an honor for you and I to serve Him. For this reason, you and I were given life. God sanctified a covenant between Himself and all who will commit their lives to serving His Son. If you are among those who have made Jesus your Lord and Savior, your sin debt is paid by Him and by God’s grace, you have been redeemed. Who wouldn’t desire to have a close and personal relationship with the one and only true God who loves you so much that He gave His life for you?

 

Twenty seven years ago, I was introduced to Jesus through a Bible that was given to me as a gift. The more I discovered about Jesus, the Man, the more I learned about Jesus, the God. Entering into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ was THE best decision I have ever made in my life. I can testify to the fact that God’s word is true. He does exactly what He promises He will do if we will accept His invitation to enter into a relationship with Him. “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” Revelation 3:20.

 

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IF THERE IS A GOD, WHY WON’T HE STOP ALL THE EVIL IN THIS WORLD?

The Question: “IF THERE IS A GOD, WHY WON’T HE STOP ALL THE EVIL IN THIS WORLD?”

The Answer: “HE IS…”

why-does-god-allow-suffering-and-evil…And that day is coming very, very soon.

And when Jesus returns, not only will He put a stop to ALL the evil in this world, He will put a stop to ALL who commits the evil in this world. This will include ALL of those who lie, who cheat, who steal, who murder, who covet, who lust, who are sexually immoral, who commit fornication, who commit adultery, who deceive, who slander (smears one’s name), who envy, who are lascivious (who arouse and cause inappropriate sexual desire), who are wicked, who are prideful, who are foolish, who are impure, who practice idolatry (to worship something or someone and make like their god), who practice witchcraft (and all of its forms), who cause hostility, who cause strife, who are jealous, who have fits of anger, who cause rivalry, who cause conflict, who cause division, who envy, who commit drunkenness , who are selfish, who are greedy, who are arrogant, who are abusive (all forms), who are disobedient to parents, who are ungrateful, who are unholy, who are merciless, who are slanderous, who have no self-control, who are brutal, who do not love good, who are treacherous, who are reckless, who are conceited, who are godless, etc. This also includes those who deny that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Are you ready for that day? Are all of your loved ones ready? Do you believe we are all truly ready for God to put a stop to everyone who commits the evil in this world right now?

You see, God is tarrying for you. He has been holding back His judgment, and His wrath, to give you and others time to repent, turn from their sins and turn to Him. For when He signals the return of His son, Jesus Christ will come and finally and eternally put an end to it all.

Unfortunately, the same delay God is allowing to give us time to repent unfortunately, also allows time for evil to be committed. God is a just God. He allows the wheat and the weeds to grow up together until His appointed time of harvest. When that time comes, what is of Him will be gathered, the rest will be thrown in the fire. God is righteous, Holy and sovereign. “…He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:45. Yet, there will come that day when righteous and evil will be separated:

“Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew. The farmer’s workers went to him and said, “Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?” “An enemy has done this!” the farmer exclaimed. “Should we pull out the weeds?” they asked. “No,” he replied, “you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.” Matthew 13:24-30 (NLT)

So, the question for you to consider is not, “Is there a God?” or even, “Is God a good God?“ Look around you. The answer is clearly, unequivocally, “Yes.” The real question for you to ponder is, “Are you ready?” Jesus is coming very, very soon and He WILL put an end to it all.

Jesus said, “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” Matthew 24:42

WHAT’S NEXT, NOW THAT I’VE BECOME A BRAND NEW CHRISTIAN?

WHAT’S NEXT, NOW THAT I’VE BECOME A BRAND NEW CHRISTIAN?

stages-300x300This was the question I asked myself twenty nine years ago when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Honestly, I felt completely lost. Although I looked forward to moving full speed ahead into my new life in the Lord, I knew absolutely nothing about the things of God. Yet, through God’s grace, alone, I stumbled along. Even though there was much trial and error, I made it through. However, there is an easier way.

Now before you read on, allow me to be completely honest with you. Following Jesus Christ, in spirit and in truth, will be the most difficult, as well as the most rewarding, experience you will ever encounter in your life. Not everyone will be able to see it through to the end. As the Holy Scripture tells us: “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to Hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life (Heaven) is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” Matthew 7:13-14 (NLT).

Because of this fact, I highly recommend that you pray for the resolve to stay the course and never give up, no matter what. If you will do this, you will be on your way towards an exciting, fruitful and supernatural relationship with the one and only living God. Pray this, in Jesus’ name.

STEP 1 – GET BAPTIZED
Jesus tells us: “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” John 3:5 (NLTV). Baptism represents the partaking of the burial and the raising of Jesus Christ so that we, too, may walk in the newness of life. It is for this reason, we are told to repent AND be baptized in His name for the forgiveness of our sins. We are also told that the baptism will allow us to “receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38), who is our Helper.

The first thing Jesus did before He began His ministry was to be baptized, (Luke 3:21-22). Where do you go to get baptized? Any true follower of Jesus Christ (believer) is authorized, according to Jesus Christ, to baptize. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.” Matthew 28:19-20 (NKJV).

Baptism can be done in a Jesus-following church or even in a bathtub within the home of a true believer. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to follow His example. So regardless of where you get baptized, get baptized as soon as you can!

STEP 2: BEGIN READING YOUR BIBLE
You cannot truly follow Jesus Christ if you do not know who He is and His word. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NKJV).

There is no substitute for reading your bible every day. Begin immediately. There are many translations available. Find one that is most faithful to the original text. I recommend beginning with the King James Version. If you are sincere in seeking Him, God will open up His word to you and give you understanding (discernment). Do not allow yourself to become too busy to read God’s word. This is a tactic of Satan who is your worst enemy. Set aside time when and where you can meditate on Him without being interrupted. The quantity of time you spend reading your Word is not as important as the quality of time you spend with the Lord as you read. If you allow yourself time to listen to Him, He will speak to you through His word.

STEP 3: PRAY OFTEN
As a follower of Jesus Christ, you are to pray always without ceasing. Prayer, very simply, is talking to Jesus. Talk to Him about everything. He cares about everything that concerns you. There is nothing too small or seemingly too insignificant that you can’t share with Him, no differently than you would share with a very dear friend. Speak to Him for Jesus has now become your dearest friend. Through prayer, you are developing a very real relationship with the true and living God.

I suggest that you begin by praying every morning before you start your day and every evening before you go to bed. Pray, also throughout the day. Begin by thanking Him for all He has done for you. Pray for others as well as yourself. Commit decisions you have to make to God by asking Him to lead you according to His will. If you find it difficult to find the words to say, ask the Holy Spirit to guide your thoughts as you pray. “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” Matthew 6:6(NKJV).

STEP 4: BUILD FRIENDSHIPS WITH OTHER TRUE CHRISTIANS (FOLLOWERS OF JESUS CHRIST)
The Christian life is not an easy life. As a true follower of Jesus Christ, you will be under constant attack and scrutiny from your enemies who will come by way of Satan and his demons. Not only is it good to fellowship with like-minded Christians for times of enjoyment, it is also wise to fellowship with those you trust for encouragement as well as admonishment (correction), during life’s challenges and struggles. “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting (encouraging) one another, and so much the more as you see the Day (the day of Jesus’ return) approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25 (NKJV).

Also be mindful that we, as Christians, are warned to not be unequally yoked with non-believers “Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” 1 Corinthians 15:33 (NKJV).

STEP 5: OFFER YOUR GIFTS & SERVICES FOR GOD’S PURPOSE
As a new Christian, the Lord will begin a miraculous new work in you. You will go through a process that will transform you from the old to the new for the purpose of transforming you into the spiritual image of Jesus Christ. The new Spirit that is now alive in you will cause you to have a newfound love for all that is godly. Go for it!

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV).

STEP 6: ALWAYS LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITIES TO SHARE YOUR FAITH & YOUR TESTIMONY WITH OTHERS
Through Jesus Christ, your Lord and Savior, you have received salvation. You can now stand alongside of Him and claim your inheritance to the Kingdom of God. Through Him, you also have access to the power of healing and deliverance as well as access to the throne of the one and only living God. There is much for you to be excited about! So, share your excitement whenever you have the opportunity.

It is through your testimony, and the testimony of others, that Jesus Christ will be shared with the world. You also share in His victory of overcoming Satan and the evil that is in this world. “And they (Christians) overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” Revelation 12:11(NKJV).

As you continue in your faith and your walk, remember that there is nothing you have done that was deserving of the wonderful and mighty blessings you have received through Jesus Christ. You have been saved by grace alone. Even still, God has started a work in you and His promise is to finish it. “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;” Philippians 1:6 (NKJV).

STEP 7: PRAY FOR GOD TO LEAD YOU INTO YOUR DESTINY
Only God knows the plans He has for you. Pray for the leading of the Holy Spirit. Pray for spiritual sensitivity to hear Him and obey His every word.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11

To God be all the glory!