September 28 2015

Knowledge Is Not Power

knowledge“Knowledge is power”. This famous quote from Francis Bacon in 1597, has given many men inspiration over the centuries. When I look around our world today, I can see the influence this saying has had. We truly believe knowledge is power. We believe that we gain the most important things out of life through knowledge. We spend most of our childhood attending schools and then pursue higher education as an adult to advance our knowledge. Our knowledge leads us to higher ways of thinking and understanding the world around us and ourselves. It has birthed great philosophers and teachers into this world. We feel accomplished and important the more education we receive. We send our children to learn from the best teachers and schools we can possibly afford. We take out huge loans so we can attend this prestigious schools, causing us to go into debt for years. All because “knowledge is power”.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 1:7

Where does knowledge come from? Let’s go all the way back to the Creation of man. God created Adam from the dust and breathed His life into him. God also gave Adam all of the Garden of Eden to take charge over and care for. In the middle of the Garden was a tree – the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. God’s only command was to not eat of the fruit of this one tree. We cannot be sure how long Adam and Eve lived in the Garden before they tasted of this forbidden fruit, but we do know that while they lived there they walked and talked with God daily. How amazing this must have been for them. What a wonderful relationship, to be so close to our Creator, Our Father, in a way many people have not known, but long for!

Yet the day came when the desire for knowledge became greater than this wonderful relationship with God and the security of the beautiful garden, and the desire for knowledge overtook them. Satan was there with just right words to help Adam and Eve make the decision to ignore God’s heeding to not eat the fruit of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Was it all Satan’s fault? No, he just had great timing. He already knew that in their heart’s. Adam and Eve were longing for knowledge because secretly they felt it would make them better. In their hearts, they felt they were missing out on something – something that God was keeping from them.

“For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Genesis 3:5

The blame cannot be laid solely on Adam or solely on Eve. Together both Adam and Eve ate of the fruit. Each of them had this hidden desire for more knowledge. And with this pursuit of knowledge came death in their relationship with God the Father. Somewhere in the hearts they began to believe God was not enough anymore, and that knowledge would bring them power. Satan is the great tempter, but he did not cause them to make this decision. Once Adam and Eve gave in to their temptation their whole world began spinning out of control. The knowledge that they believed would give them great power – that would indeed make them like God; instead gave them fear, confusion, pain and a separation from God. How deeply they must have regretted that decision. And we all have been paying the price for this sin ever since. Yet we have not learned how dangerous the belief that knowledge equals power is.

Don’t we all desire knowledge and believe that it can somehow advance us in our lives? Knowledge of what the future will bring, knowledge of how to handle problems at work or in a relationship, knowledge of technology so we can make our lives easier, and on and on. Yet we fail to see how knowledge in this world can become another temptation to be like God. Knowledge can become an idol. We crave more and more of it. We seek after it constantly, hoping it will bring power and fame and fortune. We seek to follow our own path, only to find that after years of pursuing it we have completely failed at it. That is because it was not the path God put us on.

After spending a long life in the dark, I have come to understand one vital fact. Knowledge of God is the only knowledge that has ever advanced me in this life. I did not know God, but in fact rejected Him. I embraced the knowledge of many other things however. Knowledge of many other religions, gods, knowledge of the world and of man, knowledge from my education full of facts and theories. All this knowledge never gave me Truth, nor did it give me joy or hope. I was completely lost in all this knowledge. I was confused, and constantly searching because I knew something much greater than myself was missing from my life.

God is the creator of and originator of knowledge. Knowledge is not about how much you know, how long you have studied, where you went to school, etc. Knowledge is about knowing God, our Creator. God who created the entire universe and everything in it will give you the knowledge of everything that you will ever need. How often do we spend countless hours seeking knowledge which only complicates our lives? Or confuses us? We were not made to know everything there is to know. We were made to know God. God has given us the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is our one true source of power. The power that God gives is not like the power of the world. It is true power – divine in nature, full of love and hope, healing and joyous. We were made to walk and live in power, but not the power that comes from worldly knowledge.

For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.

2 Corinthians 4:20

Have you ever considered that our endless pursuit for knowledge and power has been a distraction of the enemy? While we are so busy seeking to further ourselves in this world, we are falling further away from the work to be done for God’s Kingdom. We are to walk in the power and authority of Christ, heal people, bring life and hope into hearts, cast out and fear and depression, and live a life where miracles and wonders are not the exception, but the expected. How can we have time to live a life like that, a life that truly looks like Christ, when we are too distracted to give time to those that are hurting around us. How many times have you seen a prayer request and just ignored it because you knew you didn’t have time to pray for that person. Or maybe you just didn’t want to put the energy into it because there was something else on your mind? Distractions are everywhere in this world, and they are keeping you from the real power that you are desperately seeking.

rainbowOnce you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are given the glorious gift of the Holy Spirit. When you have God living inside of you, you are walking with all the knowledge and power that you could ever hope to tape in to. Stop living life by searching through books and questioning teachers, and start living life learning from the greatest teacher you will ever know! The Holy Spirit is there to lead us in wisdom and guide us in Truth. There is no other Truth outside of the Bible and God. Man will always have his interpretation of how he understands God and the world, but that will always just be man’s interpretation. Seek ye the Kingdom of God first, and all these things will be given to you!

“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
    or the strong boast of their strength
    or the rich boast of their riches,
24 but let the one who boasts boast about this:
    that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
    justice and righteousness on earth,
    for in these I delight,”
declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 9:23-24

 

 

 

September 21 2015

All Consuming Love of God

love of godHave you ever felt alone? Unloved? Unworthy? I know I have. I have many moments in life when I felt I was not only unloved, but unlovable. I wanted to be loved, but never felt that I could measure up to being good enough to be loved. I wanted desperately to feel approval from my parents, but never did. I wanted to know that I was valuable and important to someone, but no matter how many times my husband told me I was, I could never believe it. I wanted to look in the mirror and see someone beautiful and worth loving, but I could not even love myself.

I think many of us struggle with feelings of being unlovable and unworthy. Does that make it normal or OK? No, it does not. It is a lie straight from hell, and I am here to tell you so. If you feel that you are unloved, not worth love or unimportant, you are believing one of the most told lies in the history of the world. The originator of that lie is Satan himself. I am here to tell you about something absolutely amazing, something that is so important that it could change the way you live your life from this moment forward. God loves you with an all-consuming love.

“The Lord your God is with you,
    the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
    in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
    but will rejoice over you with singing.”

Zephaniah 3:17

Let that just soak in for a moment as truth. I pray in Jesus name right now that this truth would become your new identity. It is very easy to hear the words “God loves you” and not feel any meaning to them. Or to hear about the love of God and not really understand it. Love is much more than a word or even a feeling. It is an act. The love of God has been pouring out on you since the moment you were conceived in your mother’s womb. Why? Because you are His child, and you were worth paying the price of blood for.

Even when I began to grasp the concept of the love of God, it seemed to hover just far away enough to be out of my grasp. No matter how much I wanted to know the love of God, it seemed still a difficult concept for me. I mean, why would the love of God be so strong that He would actually want to die for me? I am nothing but a mere mortal, not worthy of the attention of affection of God. And even as I began to intellectually understand the love of God, still on a deeper level I could not grasp the true meaning of it. I came to a point where I could say “yes, I know God loves me”, but that was just all in my head. It was a knowledge, not an experience, not a true understanding. It struck me one day that if I did not love myself, then how could I even began to see how great and deep and wide the love of God for me was. My own self-hatred was like a filter in which I was seeing God through. In my mind God loved me, but still saw me as unworthy and tarnished. Oh how very wrong I was. Yet another lie straight from the pit of hell.

Will our human minds ever truly comprehend the vastness of the love of God? I sincerely doubt it. I do however believe our spirit can know far more of the love of God than our minds can. God is not something we experience with worldly knowledge and intelligence. The love of God is something with come to know and experience as we begin to surrender to Him. One thing needs to be very clear though – there is nothing you can do ever, that will make God love you less, or look down on you. No matter how much you mess up, no matter what sin you commit, no matter how hard you rebel against God, His love is still an all-consuming fire for you.

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

1 John 4:9-10

I  have done a lot of bad things in my life. I have done drugs, had promiscuous sex, gotten tattoos, practiced witch craft, hurt those I love, yelled at my kids and said horrible things to them. In my mind most of  these things qualified me for not being good enough for the love of God. Once I was saved and redeemed there were many things I let go of. I felt truly forgiven and was able to move on. Ironically from what I would consider some of the “worse” sins, drugs, sex, witchcraft. It was the things that I still struggled with like yelling at my kids or having tattoos of things from my past life that I could not move on from. I would look at my tattoo of a pentagram and see shame that would never leave me. How could the love of God penetrate even that? How could the love of God over look my inability to stop yelling at my kids and be patient and kind. Those are really important things in the Bible! Things I just could not do.

I have found it is very easy to walk in guilt and shame. As a matter of fact, I have been conditioned to walk in guilt and shame for the better part of my life. And no, I am not saying I blame my parents for the way they raised me. I blame the real enemy – the one who has been out to get me from day one. Some may say that sounds paranoid, some may say that you shouldn’t give the devil too much attention, but I say when you see a bully trying to keep you down, to call him out. Stop letting the enemy convince you that the sins you are committing right now are causing the love of God to fall just beyond your reach. It is time for it to stop, right here right now.

This is what God says to you: you are beautiful and dearly loved by your Father. The One who created you has always loved you, and nothing will ever cause me to stop loving you. Not one thing. I have been waiting for this very moment that you would draw near to me, and see how beloved you are to me. You are perfect to me. You came from love and were created by Perfection. Never forget where you came from. Draw near to me, dear child, and know YOU ARE LOVED.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:17b-19

Stop dissecting every area of your life where you feel you have made mistakes. Stop looking at your past and seeing how you have failed. You are human, and you will make mistakes. That does not keep the love of God from your life. Nothing can. You can try to shut it out, and believe that you are unimportant. You can walk in shame and let the pain run over you until you are numb. You can believe all the lies that say you are no good. Yet just outside the wall you have built, the love of God is there. Waiting to consume you completely.

Crucifixion-of-Jesus1920I have to say that there have many times in my life that I was abused, usually by someone I cared for or trusted. There were many moments when I cried out “why me?” because I could not understand why I was to suffer so much. And worse yet, why God would let me suffer so much. As I have gone through many inner healing sessions over the past months there is one thing that has become very clear to me. Jesus has always been there, even when I did not see Him, He was there. He did not leave me alone to endure pain or hardship. He did not abandon me because I was making horrible mistakes. No. He was right there, with His angels, doing everything in His power to keep me out of harms way. Unfortunately we have free will and He cannot control that. And the love of God has more than redeemed my pain and my mistakes and indeed made me into a new creation.

So I beg you, stop looking at yourself as sinful and shameful, and start seeing yourself as you truly are – covered by the redeeming blood of Christ Jesus. Bought and paid for with the price of His sacrifice. You are a child of the One True King. You are amazing and special in the sight of your Father. Now tell the enemy to stop lying to you in Jesus name, and seek the face of the One who has died to be with you eternally. Let the love of God consume you, and open yourself to the life He has to offer you. Freedom and love in abundance!

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39

September 14 2015

Signs of Spiritual Attack

spiritual attackDo you find yourself struggling with your life? Maybe it’s just little things like chronic headaches or pains, or being unable to keep up with your bills. Or maybe it is bigger things such as losing your house or your job. Or maybe you have just come to believe life in general is a struggle and there is nothing you can do about. Well that is exactly what the devil wants you to believe. It is true that we will face trials and problems in this world, but it is also true that we have an enemy who is bent on the total destruction of our lives.

Yes that old serpent Satan hates us with such a passion he has made it his life’s purpose to steal our joy and destroy our relationship with God. This my dear friend is spiritual attack. Spiritual attack is designed to throw problems into your life that will bring you down and cause you to lose hope and faith in God. Spiritual attack is also meant to completely stop you or detour you from the purpose that God has placed on your life. You were designed to do great and wonderful things for the Kingdom of God, and whatever the enemy can do to stop you, he will. Even if that means trying to kill you.

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

For some people this may sound a little extreme. I can understand that. I lived for the most part of my life in a world where demons and the devil did not even exist. It was as fake as the horror movies I watched on a regular basis. As a believer in Jesus Christ the reality of spiritual attack became painful true for me. Accepting Jesus as my Savior opened up a whole new world of freedom for me – freedom from addiction, depression, being overweight, and generally miserable. But it seemed that every time I really started to get a taste of that freedom things in my life would go horribly wrong. I mean I would start to see real growth in my prayer life and my learning the Word, but then I would sink into a depression or something bad would happen to me. Or even worse, I would lose all desire to pray or even read the Bible at all. I couldn’t understand why. Then despair would creep in because once you experience the awesome love of God in your life, not connecting with it is even worse than not ever knowing Him.

As a new Christian I didn’t really know what spiritual attack was. It was a term not often used in the church I attend, or by the people who I talked to. I began to learn of spiritual attack through my research and study of the Bible. When I started to see the term spiritual attack online while doing research, it resonated within me. Somehow I knew that spiritual attack was a problem I was dealing with. I just wasn’t sure. I had dealt with a life full of problems before. How could I be sure that this wasn’t just normal life happening to me? It was becoming increasingly difficult for me to believe that Jesus brought me out of my past and into a future of more misery. I had began to experience the depth of the love He had for me, and there was no way Jesus died to save me so I could continue to suffer.

So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty. Zechariah 4:6

The Bible is full of promises from God on how He will deliver us, protect us, be our strength, and fight our battles for us. It also tells us of God’s great love for us, and how He will take care of us, and give us hope and a future. How I could read these amazing promises from God and continue to believe that my current state of suffering was right? So I began to research more on spiritual attack. What was it and why in the world was it happening to me? I mean, I am nobody important, right? So why would Satan want to bother with little old me? Just a stay at home mom, living out a new life as a Christian. Wrong! There is not such thing as a nobody to God! All of His children are valuable and loved. And that is exactly what makes the devil sick, sick, sick. Stop believing the lie that you aren’t worth his time – if you are reading this right now it is for a reason.

Once I realized I was indeed under spiritual attack, I wanted to stop it. I figured God would help me and save me. I would sit in times of despair and cry out to Jesus, but nothing would happen. I wouldn’t feel any better. Things that were constant problems weren’t really changing. Why would God just let these things happen to me? I began to have great doubt that God even loved me at all. How could He stand by and watch me suffer and not even help me? Didn’t He have the power to make it all stop?? And here I was, in the midst of a great spiritual battle, and completely unaware because I was so caught up in my personal experience of it.

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:3-4

God does not ever leave us or forsake us. God also does not control us or our actions. He gave us free will for a reason. That means we have to make choices. In moments of trial and despair we need to choose to trust in God, no matter what is happening. Just like the disciples in the boat who were upset with Jesus for sleeping in the middle of the storm. “Don’t you even care?” they cried. Jesus was right there and yet they still couldn’t have peace in the midst of the storm. Did Jesus have the power to calm the storm? Absolutely. Does that mean Jesus should always calm the storm? No. Jesus did not come to save us from every storm, but instead to teach us how to conquer and command the storm, just as He does.

It took months and months in this journey to learn that I too have the power to stand against spiritual attack. The devil does not have to have his way with me. It takes training to learn to see when you are under spiritual attack. Once you realize you are under spiritual attack there are tools that God has given us to help us fight against it. The number one tool that God has given us as a weapon in spiritual attack is Himself. We must trust Him and believe that He is there for us when we ask Him to help us, even if we don’t see a change in that moment. We must walk by faith with Him to know that ultimately God is in control, and we are dearly and deeply loved by our Father, who sees us and hears our cries.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. Hebrews 11:1-2

Once you begin to recognize spiritual attack remember that Jesus has given you all power and authority to trample of snakes and serpents. Ask for God to send angels to protect you. Put on your armor and learn how to use it against spiritual attack. Fill yourself with the Truth of the Word. Jesus Himself used scripture to fight the lies of Satan! Ask others to pray for you, even if it feels weird or foolish. We were made to do this together, not alone. If the enemy can get one sheep separated from the flock, they are more vulnerable. Pray against spiritual attack to break and bind whatever is coming against you. Tell the enemy to leave you in Jesus name. You have the power of the Holy Spirit inside of you! Every knee will bow to Jesus one day, because He is Lord of all, and even the demons know this. They must obey God, and you have God living inside of you. That means when you command demons to leave or stop what they or doing, with faith, they have to obey.

Count it as pure joy when you recognize you are under spiritual attack, because this is a time to learn and grow in your relationship with your Father. He wants to teach you how to fight the spiritual attack of the devil and show you what a victorious life in Christ looks like. You may be thinking that you will never experience that point in your life – that the spiritual attack you are under is so great and so strong you just can’t fight it. I implore you to seek out help from experienced prayer warriors and deliverance ministers who can help you in this walk. The day will come when you will see spiritual attack coming at you and not even blink an eye as you cast it off like a dirty pair of shoes.

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. John 14:12

angel-645591_1280Finally after feeling like I was fighting a loosing battle with so much spiritual attack coming at me, I can now easily see it’s effects and call on the power of the Holy Spirit to command it to leave and ask God to send me protection. But most importantly I take a great step of faith in believing in my Daddy to show up when I ask Him too. I have grown with great leaps and bounds, and trust me my dear friend, you will too. God has made you for such a time as this!

For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. Colossians 1:16

 

 

September 7 2015

Your Testimony – The Pearl of Great Price

If you have ever read my testimony, you know that I was once a practicing witch, a drug addict, sexually promiscuous, and completely rebelled against God. As a matter of fact, I used Jesus name as a swear word. I have been told I have an amazing testimony, and have been thanked many times for sharing it. I really love to share my testimony, because it glorifies God and magnifies His wonderful love and commitment to us. I have also been told by other Christians, that they wished they had a “better testimony”. That their testimony was very boring and uninteresting. Well let me tell you right now, that is a lie straight from the devil.

And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 1 John 5:11

Every believer in Jesus Christ has a testimony, and every testimony is valuable and important for the Kingdom of God. It does not matter whether or not you grew up in church, or came to Christ as an adult. It does not matter if you went to church and fell completely away and came back again, or if you have always had a faithful and steady relationship with Jesus. It doesn’t matter if you have been faithful, but completely caught up in sin and been imprisoned and miserable because of it, or if you have had somewhat of a perfect and blessed life. This is your testimony, your story, and it is by this testimony that you have the most wonderful gift you can ever give. Your testimony is the pearl of great price.

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. Matthew 13:44-46

Your testimony did not end the day that you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior. No, my dear, that was only the beginning of the wonderful work that God began to do in your life! It was that pivotal moment that was to be the launching point for many other amazing works that God has and will do through and for you! And it is those stories, that testimony, that you must dare to uncover for the world to hear. Do not leave this treasure to remain hidden in the field! Leave it open for all to see, because through it you do not know who will find great value in it. Value enough to sell everything and give themselves over to the King who first gave this gift to you.

“Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him. 2 Timothy 1:18

We are here on this earth to usher in the Kingdom of God. Within us lies a storehouse of treasures to be shared and freely given to the world. Love, joy, hope, peace, and our testimony. Do you freely share your testimony of what God has done for you? Do you let your life be an open book, to show the good works of our Heavenly Father? Or are you ashamed of your life? Afraid of what people will know of you? Of what they may think? Jesus hung on the cross two thousand years ago open and exposed before the world, humiliated and laughed at, and He did it for you. He let go of His own will, His own shame and pain, there on that cross, and He did it because He knew ultimately it would glorify our Father. Do not let the enemy continue to lie to you and fill your head and heart with shame and guilt. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus! Guilt is not from God, but from the enemy. He has come to steal, kill, and destroy you! Do not let him steal the glory of God’s mighty work in your life.

And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Revelation 12:1

So I ask you this, dear brothers and sisters, what has God done for you? Has He freed you from a particular sin? Or blessed you with a wonderful family? Or bestowed you with great gifts such as a job, a house, a car? Has He worked miracles in your life, saving you when you were desperate? There is so much to sing praises about for our wonderful God! We must rejoice in all He has done for us, because there in our praises lies power! Power to move forward into the work Jesus has for us in His Kingdom!

I will shout from the rooftops and proclaim the good favor that Jesus has given me, all the days of my life! Maybe your testimony does not seem as radical or life altering as mine – or maybe it is. Whatever it may be, I urge you, no I plead with you, share it! When we share the testimony that God has given us it is a mighty weapon against the enemy! He cannot stand for us to glorify God, and it takes away the power of the enemy and releases the Kingdom of God, right here on earth. What a wonderful joy that is!

testimonyYou may be asking, how do I share my testimony? Just be open and willing, and let the Holy Spirit guide you. You do not need to do anything special to share your testimony, other than to ask God to help you do so. He will bring the right people into your life at the perfect time. He will help guide you in the perfect words to say for each individual situation He places you in. Your testimony may sound a little different every time you tell it. I have told my testimony many times and I felt like a horrible failure! I just knew I sounded awful or ridiculous, but that was another lie! God works amazing things through our testimony, and I promise you that you will greatly bless others by sharing it.

My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge. With the mighty deeds of the Lord God I will come; I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone. O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come. Psalm 71:15-18

Category: Christian Life, My Salvation | Comments Off on Your Testimony – The Pearl of Great Price