August 29 2016

Yoga and The Occult

yogaWhen I was in my late teens, early twenties, I was very interested in learning more about connecting with myself and finding myself. I wanted to find out about deeper and higher levels of consciousness, so I could connect with who I truly was. I wanted to connect with the universe and the power that it held. I knew it was a part of who I was and that through this connection I could find the answers to life’s greatest questions: Who am I? Why am I here? Why was I born?

During this time I did a lot of searching through eastern religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, etc. I learned about meditation, chakras, channeling energy, using crystals to bring healing and alignment within the body, yoga and more. I practiced all of these things on a regular basis in hopes to reach enlightenment and to become a better person. I wanted very much to be a good person and it seemed these were things that were going to help me bring that out.

I was very open to the eastern religions as I studied them, because they were the polar opposite of what I knew and believed about God. I believed God was a far away guy up in the sky, who looked down on people and judged them harshly. In eastern religions there are many different gods, and they all hold important roles in life. These religions offered to help you cut through the limitations of the human mind and body to move closer to a god like status yourself.

Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused.

Romans 1:21

I would often spend time in meditation trying to “empty” my mind. I wanted to get to that god consciousness. I would then spend time with my crystals and gemstones, each one serving a specific purpose. Sometimes I would hold the gemstones to meditate on it’s qualities (such as love or peace) and sometimes I would place it on my chakras to help bring that good and healing energy into my body. I spent a lot of time with the crystals and gemstones in order to put my own energy into them, and then bring the positive energy out of it.

I would then practice various yoga poses that I learned from a book I had, that taught all about higher consciousness and Hinduism. I wanted to awaken my mind, body and third eye. The third eye is related to one of the Hindu gods and is the gate to your higher power. I loved doing yoga and even taught my boyfriend all about it. I felt great doing it and made a point to make it a part of my daily routine as often as possible.

At one time I even ventured to a Buddhist temple to learn more about the religion. I found it very interesting, but I was not going to be bound to any one religion. I enjoyed the freedom to pick and choose from different religions so I could find what worked best for me. Yoga was practiced at this Buddhist temple along with meditation time. At that time yoga was not as popular as it is now, and was not considered a form of stretching only, but a form of meditation and spiritual discipline.

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;  to be made new in the attitude of your minds;  and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Ephesians 4:22-24

As my life moved forward and changed drastically, I no longer had leisure time to meditate or spend hours reading books on eastern religions or do the witchcraft I was so fond of. I let go of a lot of the practices, but yoga was one of the things I held on to because it was relaxing. And as our culture progressed yoga began to become more and more popular, to where it was easy to pick up a dvd of yoga and pop it in a few times a week.

I continued that practice on and off for years, even when I became a Christian. As far as I understood, there was nothing wrong with yoga. It was good for the body, mind and soul, and it also felt good all over. It took me some time to realize that I had always used it for a spiritual practice, and that spirituality was not compatible with the One and True God of the Universe. As I grew in my relationship with Jesus Christ, I began to realize that you cannot disconnect from the spiritual nature of the practice of yoga.

Eastern religions have always been popular because of their claims to reach higher levels of consciousness along with the exotic world of colors, the beautiful artwork, the statues of gods, and the positive feeling that seems to permeate it. It seems to be able to morph with the times, giving freedom to the hippies of the sixties, and health and well being to people today.  What is not understood. is that each one of these religions is based around spiritual principles aligned with the many gods and goddesses, or the teacher who is like a great leader and prophet of sorts, who is worshiped like a god.

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

James 1:27

Practices such as yoga, meditation, channeling energy, tai chi, kung fu, karate, acupuncture, mantras, mandalas, reiki and feng shui are all based on these spiritual teachings or principles that incorporate the gods and goddesses or the channeling of energy. All gods and goddesses are false gods aka demons. There is only one God, and He is the One who created the heavens and the earth. Any other “god” is like Satan; looking to become like god in order to gain power and control over humanity.

Channeling energy is an age old occult practice. Demons use energy as one of the ways they can move from place to place. They use this energy movement to transfer from person to person, person to object, etc. It is a form of witchcraft and it is not a practice that brings a person into alignment with the Spirit of God. Even meditation is a form of moving energy, as you are trying to move your energy into a certain direction, thought pattern, or process in order to gain something. That is witchcraft.

Doing these eastern spiritual practices is aligning yourself with the kingdom of darkness. It is practicing inviting the demonic into your being and into your life. It can cause great harm to your physical being, as well as your spiritual being. Once you bring these practices into your life, you are also inviting these demonic entities into your home and your family. Yoga in particular is very dangerous, because of the momentum it has gained in our world today, even within the Christian church.

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

Colossians 2:8

As I grew in my relationship with Jesus Christ I understood that yoga was a spiritual practice to invite demons in. What I did not realize was that I was taught to use yoga to channel demons into my being during satanic rituals as a child. During one of my inner healing sessions that I have weekly, the Holy Spirit revealed to me how yoga was used in satanic rituals. Each specific yoga pose has a purpose in opening you up to the alignment of your spirit and soul with different deities. It is channeling the kundalini spirit through your spine, said to be the lifeline of your body.

prayer-on-my-kneesThe kundalini spirit is harnessed by the power of the goddess Shakti from Hinduism. It was that particular energy that I was to ask into my body while doing a series of specific yoga poses to channel it inside of me, so that I could align myself with the goddess power she offered. I had no conscious memory of this event until the Holy Spirit revealed it to me, because during extremely traumatic events a child’s mind has ways of fragmenting these terrible memories into places where the conscious mind cannot access them. Without this ability a human could never endure this great of a trauma and survive to function normally.

There are many other individuals who have devoted large portions of their lives over to the philosophy and lifestyle of yoga and eastern religion who have now come forward and stated what the Holy Spirit has revealed to them. Yoga is a new age deception to bring innocent people into alignment with the kingdom of darkness and channel demonic spirits into their beings. It is dangerous and has consequences beyond our understanding.

Now if you faithfully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow all His commands I am giving you today, the Lord your God will put you far above all the nations of the earth.

Deuteronomy 28:1

If you have participated in yoga of any sort, I urge you to take time off from the practice as you devote yourself to prayer in asking God to reveal His truth to you. We must bring everything before the Lord Jesus Christ to see things from the perspective that is far higher than our own. He is beyond time and space and knows all things, and it is that wisdom that we need to seek in order to have clarity and discernment in a world full of darkness and lies.

God does not hate anyone who has done or is doing yoga. He loves every single person period. He understands the hearts and minds of people and knows why we choose to do the things we do. He wants us to have freedom from our bondage so we can have an even deeper revelation of His Spirit. It is only through this freedom that we can truly experience and know God’s heart and His love for us. The devil wants to steal that from us by convincing us his dark arts are actually healthy and good.

We are on the brink of the promised land. Unless we are to step out in faith and take the hand of the One who loves us most, we are never going to taste the fruits that He has planted there for us. We do not need to listen to the lies of the world, full of empty promises in order to find hope and peace. We need only look to the Author and Perfecter of our faith to know these things. Jesus Christ is hope and peace, and so much more. Your Father loves you more than you can even imagine. Step out and let Him show you.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

Matthew 5:6

 

August 22 2016

Occult Hidden In The Church

occult hiddenWhen I first started to go to church just over three years ago, I had a very distinct idea of what church was. It was a place where the good people go. The people who are perfect and don’t do any wrong. People quite the opposite of me: drug addict, tattooed, ex witch, etc. I knew that everyone was certainly nice and kind and loving. No one had any serious problems because once you became Christian you became perfect. Wrong.

It didn’t take long to realize those were all completely fabricated lies that I learned while growing up. There is no perfect person, in church or elsewhere. And being Christian doesn’t mean you have come to a place of a trouble free life; although there are certainly individuals who would have you believe otherwise. I saw my share of people drama at church and realized that I was actually no different than anyone else there. Messed up.

I still had the idea that no evil could ever reside in church. It was a place the devil was banned from; like in the movies. You know those movies where an evil being is chasing someone and they run into a Catholic church and the evil being can not get in? That’s what I believed it was like. So when I was sitting in church and I heard Satan tell me as clear as day that he was never going to let me go, I was confounded. How could the devil be in church?

Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat,  but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

Luke 22:31-32

Well the devil was in church because the devil had gained access to me years before I ever became a Christian. I was opened up to demonic entities during satanic rituals as a child and taught to do witchcraft. These are things that do not just disappear from a person when they accept Jesus Christ as Savior. Demons do not flee because a person is saved, they have rights that you have given them and they are not going to leave until you revoke the specific rights they have to be there.

In my case I had no idea I had demons within my being, let alone that I had given them rights. So even though I had renounced witchcraft and all my involvement in it (from what I remembered at that time), I still had a connection with darkness within me from my childhood. Yet because I had no conscious memory of these events, the demons were allowed to stay inside of me and torment me without my knowledge.

There are many people who have opened themselves up to demonic entities during their lifetime, either knowingly or unknowingly. Many people fall prey to the deceptive and seductive ways of the occult. It is hidden everywhere in our society, and it masks itself as good and helpful. It is hidden in things like movies, television, yoga, certain healing methods, and many other ways. When you allow the occult or witchcraft into your life through any of these means, then you are also giving it permission to come into your being.

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. 2 Thessalonians 2:10

That means if you have allowed demonic entities into your person, you are now capable of doing witchcraft. Witchcraft is, simply put, a person’s intent combined with their strong emotion, being carried out by the harnessed energy of the demonic inside of them. It doesn’t take doing spells or rituals at an altar to do witchcraft. It only takes being angry at a person and wishing them ill will and having a demonic entity inside of you willing to use that against that person.

There are many people in our world right now who are doing witchcraft and have no idea. Often times people do not realize they have allowed any darkness into themselves, or they think because they renounced their past mistakes of witchcraft, they are free from it. The demons are very happy to keep you ignorant so they can continue to use you for their evil purposes. That is why it is so important to become aware of what witchcraft is and how it works. So you can gain freedom for your soul in this world as you learn who you are in Christ Jesus.

The devil loves to masquerade as an angel of light. After all, he was created as a beautiful being who glorified God Almighty. Yet when Satan decided he would rather be god than serve God, he fell from grace and from heaven. He hates people because we are created in God’s image, and remind him of his failure to be god. Therefore his highest goal in this world is to trick every one of us into falling for his lies and believing he indeed is god, or better than God. If he can’t turn us from God and to his kingdom, he rather see us dead.

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

John 16:13

If Satan can lure people into the trap that his ways are good and right and pure, then he can trick many people into doing his dirty work for him without realizing it. One of his favorite ways to do that is to bring the occult in to the Christian church. I have read articles where some believe that the Charismatic Movement is actually witchcraft, but that is far from the truth. The real occult in our modern day church is hidden in plain sight.

The church brings the occult in by having yoga classes, Halloween festivities, meditation sessions, bringing in movies filled with the occult to teach Sunday School lessons, such as Star Wars, and more. This are just the obvious examples that stand out in my mind. Yet the occult is not something that is going to infiltrate the church in an obvious way. The meaning of occult according to dictionary.com is:

occult:  1) of or relating to magic, astrology, or any system claiming use or knowledge of secret or supernatural powers or agencies. 2) beyond the range of ordinary knowledge or understanding; mysterious. 3) secret; disclosed or communicated only to the initiated. 4) hidden from view.

So while the occult is going to come in to the church in the obvious ways of yoga classes, which many people believe are just good healthy stretching exercises, it is also going to come in to the church in ways most people will never even guess. Satan is very clever, and he is going to use Christians themselves to bring the occult into the very place we believe we are safe from his devices.

But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Matthew 16:23

Adam and Eve believed the very same lie we are believing today: we can find a place where Satan cannot infiltrate. Yet he was there in God’s garden, in disguise as one of the animals that Adam and Eve had charge over. They loved the animals and would never have thought that one would cause them any harm. Why else would they have taken the advice of one? (Which bears the fact that they must have been talking to animals in the first place if it wasn’t strange to talk to a snake in the first place).

There are many people in this world that have already connected with darkness in one way or another. Whether it be from past dalliances with witchcraft as I have, or just being drawn in through the likes of Star Wars or other such main stream avenues, the demonic have made a presence in Christians today. Leaders of our churches are as human as we are, and have the same temptations to fall prey to the darkness of this world. They are the ones who are making decisions on our behalves and implementing programs such as yoga or bringing movies about witchcraft into children’s programs.

We can be angry that this is even a real issue, but the truth is, human anger never produces the righteousness God desires. (James 1:20). This is not a battle we can fight against each other, but instead with love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness. This is not a battle between flesh and blood, but against rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12) We are not going to win going head to head with church officials or even the world at large. We are going to win on our knees.

And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Colossians 3:14

godsloveOnly God’s love has the ability to transform any person’s heart. We can condemn people for their beliefs or unrealized alliances with the occult, or try to force change in our churches, but that is exactly what the devil would love. That is not the way love moves. Love does not use fear or hate or anger to bring people into righteousness. Love uses forgiveness to allow people grace, and mercy to allow people freedom from their bondage, because that is what the occult brings: bondage.

I was afraid to come to a church because I believed I was going to be condemned and looked down upon for the way I had been living my life. Yet Jesus Christ welcomed me with open arms. He was not angry at me because I was aligned with darkness; He loved me right where I was because He saw my heart. He sees each one of our hearts and knows that there are many people who have made wrong choices, but that does not make them evil.

Yes there are absolutely evil people in this world, and I do believe we even have some evil people running churches, but that does not change the facts. God is sovereign over all and He has a divine plan in place that will not be wavered by any evil, ever. We need to not walk in fear in light of this truth, but instead surrender ourselves continually over to God. Each one of us has to begin to be responsible for our own selves and our own hearts. That means stop pointing fingers at everyone around us and start allowing God in to show us where we need to come into submission.

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

1 Peter 4:8

We are always going to have parts of ourselves that we need to surrender. We are sinners and constantly wrestle with the flesh. There is always going to be temptation and evil around us. We may not be able to avoid it, but we can begin to learn how to walk with Jesus Christ and allow Him to lead and guide us through this world. That means beginning to find new depths into a relationship with Jesus. Allow Him in, allow Him to show you who He really is. We have so much to learn about God. We can never know all of Him in this world. There will always be more of Him to know and love.

Once we begin to know more of God, we can learn to trust Him more. And with that trust we will begin to feel safe in allowing Him into these dark places in our hearts and minds that we have clung to so tightly. He will bring His light and truth into those places, and then we will begin to truly experience the freedom that He desires for us to have. We will begin to live out of a place of knowing who we are in Christ, not who the world has tried to shape us to be.

I invite you to allow Jesus in right now, to help you in how to digest these truths. We must bring everything before the throne of God for His truths and how He sees them. It is there we will find love, and it is that love that we desperately need to bring into this world. It is love we need to fight with and it is love that we need to bring anyone else into the light. Without love, we are only making noises that no one wants to hear. Once God reigns in your heart, you can bring His Kingdom into this world.

 

Then Jesus said to his disciples, Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their lifef will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”

Matthew 16:24

August 15 2016

A Day In The Life Of An Occult Survivor

occult survivor

It is Monday morning. The kids are out of school for the summer, so I do not have an alarm set. I open my eyes and it’s already after 8. I can barely see as I am so exhausted and don’t feel like I can pull myself out of bed. I have already slept 8 hours, but instead of feeling rested I feel like I have been beat up all night long. I close my eyes for just a moment and when I open them again it’s after 9. I jump out of bed, consumed with guilt because my two youngest sons will already be up. I drag myself down stairs to find them watching a show on the Roku.

They are not the least bit upset I slept in. For them it means more TV time. I grab my usual quart of water and sit on the couch with them. I stare mindlessly at the television. I hate every single show they opt to watch, because I can see how the occult leaks in to everything. It drives me crazy. Yet I know I can’t hide them from it, and frankly, I am already feeling like hell. I have no alternative to offer my children at this moment. I try not to spend time telling myself what a terrible mother I am and focus on surviving the day.

Monday is the day my new blog posts come out. By revelation of the Lord, I know the extreme attack that is coming at me as I walk in the call God has placed on my life. There are many groups of people that want me to stop this blog. I have astral rituals and witchcraft coming at me all day long. The fact that I was born into the occult does not help the attack, because it leaves me more susceptible to feeling it’s affects than others. You cannot just walk away from the occult and be free from it. They never stop coming after you, and because I know all their secrets, I am dangerous.

After I have my coffee I am still not feeling any better. My head feels like it is in a fog. I can’t think straight and my emotions are like a roller coaster. I sway from sad to angry to unhinged. Today I am feeling the effects of processing my reality. The reality that I grew up in the occult and was terribly abused, but was unable to remember until Jesus Christ showed me is a haunting fact. It is painful. It is unreal at times. It is horrifying. It is my life.

Many people cannot fully comprehend what an occult survivor goes through on a daily basis. They cannot fathom the spiritual aspects of the life that a survivor has to live through. Especially when your family is the one that brought you in to the occult, which is what happens in most cases. It can be extremely lonely. People are always well meaning, but the fact is the damage that runs through a soul broken by this level of abuse is incomprehensible. Even to me.

I remind myself I need to pray against witchcraft and try to connect with God. It is difficult because my brain feels like it’s been lost at sea. I am trying to navigate through a storm without a map or compass. I pray and pray and try to fend off the attack I was vulnerable too in the night, and try to find a center on God. On this particular day, it is nearly impossible. I love God with all my heart, but the enormity of the attack, combined with the overwhelming pain of my life, is more than I can bear at all. It’s like torment on my soul.

I am determined to make the best of my day though. I eat breakfast and get dressed so I can take the kids to an indoor playground. There is a cafe there, so I bring a coloring book with me. Doing things that can help engage my left brain are supposed to bring me out of a place of emotional trauma. There are many things in my life that are what are called trauma triggers. That is, something that reminds a person of the trauma from their past and causes an upheaval of emotional pain and torment.

Trauma triggers can happen anywhere and anytime. It can be as simple as seeing a cartoon  of Paul the Apostle chained in a dungeon. Before I know it I feel upset and unstable at a little innocent cartoon that should have nothing to do with causing me pain. But it does. Because at one time, that was me. It can also be something like almost running over a cat that ran out in the road. It should be a little upsetting at best, but for me it causes  me hyperventilate. Because for me, seeing death come to innocent life is very real.

At the playground the kids are having a blast. I am so thankful for the peace I have while coloring, even in a place filled with the noise of playing children. I am still not together though. I have been stumbling through the day and have made one mistake after another. Things like forgetting to pick up my son from his math tutor (I was only 15 minutes late thankfully!) or throwing away the cap to the creamer. It may seem like little things, but they happen all day long. A sign that my brain is not able to engage.

The microwave in the cafe frequently beeps in a surprisingly loud tone that startles me every time. I am so on edge already that the noise causes me to want to rise up and scream ‘shut up!’, but I am able to contain myself. The grace of God saves me in a lot of instances, but not always. Sometimes I am living in a place of emotional trauma, even though there is none obvious before me. And because of this I take it out of my loved ones. The part of me that is living in trauma cannot separate the past reality of abuse from my current reality, and I react to little things like my children talking back by screaming at them. It’s a survival instinct at that point.

When you spend years of your life with no control over what is being done to you, you begin to have control issues. Add in the fact that what is being done to you in heinous torture that I would not describe her, and you have the making of crazy really. I should be in a psychiatric hospital knowing what I know, but God is so good. He is helping me to live even in the midst of all this pain and helping me to find purpose in the trauma. I could be dealing with horrible flashbacks that send me into a corner crying, but God in His mercy protects me in so many ways.

After a few hours the kids are finally ready to leave. My 8 year old is very upset by some things that have happened, and I am able to calmly talk to him about it. I am not sure how much it actually helps him, but I feel the grace of God around me. I feel like it’s one small victory in a day full of failures. I feel so ashamed of the kind of mother I am, but I feel helpless to be the kind of mother I imagine I should be. It is actually a miracle that I even had children, because of the abuse that was done to me should have stripped that possibility from my life.

When we get home I know that either I talk to the person who helps me with my inner healing, or I completely loose my sanity and potentially hurt someone. I am so far emotionally gone that it scares me. Over the phone we talk and pray and I talk to the Lord about what is going on and what has caused such intense trauma in me. It turns out there has been a vicious spiritual attack reaming me since the night before. I do the work to release myself from the torment and immediately feel the pressure ease up. I take some ibuprofen for my pounding head and within an hour feel half way decent.

Spiritual attack is indeed the norm for most Christians, but when you have lived a life in the occult, you come to understand attack on a whole new level. The devil will always have his schemes, but for someone who has been inducted into darkness, the attack rarely lets up. It’s not just attack because you naturally have an enemy: it’s also attack because the devil has already had you in his camp and isn’t ready to just let you go. He wants you to believe you can never get away.

The devil is a liar, but there is also some truth to this threat. He is not going to stop coming after me just because I am gaining freedom from what he has done to me. He wants to stop me from doing exactly what I am doing: writing the simple truth about my life. Because through my life Jesus Christ has worked a miracle to bring me freedom. Where there was no hope, Jesus saw otherwise. The devil did a good job holding me captive for a long time. But I am an adult now, and can choose freely for myself.

Being an occult survivor means control. You have never had any control over your life. Others have had control over you, and have made sure to scar you to the point where you are to afraid to try to take much control for yourself. Instead you live out of what you know: and what you know is the occult and the trauma that is have bound you too. Yet Jesus sees past all that. He sees past someone fighting with witchcraft and hate and gives you the choice. Love. Love is something I have never really known until I met Jesus Christ. He is my salvation.

Every day is a struggle for me to balance who I am with who I was told I will always be. Between God’s truth and the devils lies that were planted in me. And every day I do my best to choose God, because I know He is the only one that has been there with me, through all the hard and painful times of my life. Whether I knew He was there or not, He was always there. Some days I am swallowed up in pain from the reality of my life, and some days I am able to find strength and joy in the midst of it.

Not matter what I will continue to walk down this healing path. Because with out it I have nothing. I can’t go back to what I had before: a life of pain and suffering for no apparent reason. Before I knew Jesus Christ, and before I started inner healing, my life was the same: I felt like hell, I had a hard time functioning, and I flew of the handle easily. I took it for granted that this was just normal life for so many years that it wasn’t until I met Jesus Christ that I realized this was definitely not normal.

hopeIf I stop now I can never expect to move forward in my life. I would be stuck in limbo: halfway into healing and never progressing. I want more of Jesus Christ in me and in my life. It is a constant battle, accepting the reality of my life, and trying my best to fight for my freedom daily. To believe that Jesus is near when I feel like I’m drowning, and to pursuing healing even though it opens up deep wounds.

Some people will never understand why I am doing inner healing, and some people will never understand the depths of the struggle my life is. No matter the cost I have found one thing to be true: Jesus Christ is worth it all. I am not whining or complaining about my life, but inviting you in with one simple goal; to bring you hope. If I can face my past, my fears, my pain, my trauma, and come out on the other side as the victor, than so can you.

My life is not exactly like yours, but it’s not quite so different either. The devil has a vendetta against us all. And we can continue to walk through life with our heads bowed down and make the best of what we have, or we can take the chance to look up and see the One who loves us more than we can ever dare to imagine. It is through that love that we will truly find our lives. Not the lives we think we have been handed or the lives we believe we have made; but the lives God has died and for for us to have.

Every life is worth living, no matter the struggle or the battle. It just comes down to one thing; will you love your life unto death, so that Jesus can bring you resurrection from it? It is a choice with great consequences, but even far greater rewards.

 

August 1 2016

Learning To Follow Jesus

follow Jesus

Ever since I came into a relationship with Jesus Christ, I have been very concerned about following what He wants me to do. I have made it a point to always pray before making any big decisions, or even any decisions that were going to have any real impact on my life. As a matter of fact, I was even afraid of making wrong decisions because I didn’t want to either make God mad, or make a wrong move that would allow hardship to enter my life. I wanted to fully rely on God to the best of my ability and follow Jesus.

As we all know, learning to follow Jesus is no easy task. It requires a level of submission that seems basically impossible. Surrender to God is a process that takes time, and for some it can be a life long work. However, as bad as we might be at following Jesus, it never angers Him or causes Him to look down on us. He loves us unconditionally, and that is something that will never, never change.

As I have been walking through the healing process I have learned so much more about God and who He is. It has been absolutely amazing. Through the darkness and depths of hell I have had to go to in this healing, I have been rewarded with unimaginable depths of a relationship with my Father. That is why I cannot quite walking through this process, as painful and difficult as it is. There is nothing to compare to the love of God, and the beginning of knowing truly knowing Him.

And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39

It has only been because I have been slowly laying down myself before Him in healing that I can even begin to know Him more.  I have had to navigate through times of realizing I was very angry at God, or even hated Him. And that even then, He was not mad at me. What an absolute revelation! God knows me and knows my heart, and knows that my anger and pain lashing out against Him is a result of severe abuse, not because I am wicked.

I have also had to navigate through so much attack against me that there are days I can’t even see straight. I am absolutely flattened by what is coming at me, and have wanted to just give up many times. It is those moments where I cannot even hear from the Lord and life is just too difficult. How can I follow a God that I can be so disconnected from in the midst of war? Yet what I have realized is that as much as I would like to follow Jesus, there are still so many ways I have been holding back.

I get a lot of spiritual attack because of my blog, my Youtube videos, and well for just being me. Since I started my blog I have been very open about inviting people to reach out to me, but it is that very thing that has brought me so much devastating attack. I have longed to connect with people, yet in my willingness to open myself up, I am also opening myself up to being attacked by witchcraft and much worse. It comes from all sides.

no weapon forged against you will prevail,
    and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
    and this is their vindication from me,”
declares the Lord.

Isaiah 54:17

Finally, through prayer, I began to really listen to what the Lord was saying His will was for me in answering emails or viewing comments on my videos or FB page. I was making decisions for my every day doing what I thought I should be doing. Answering emails, etc. I was not listening to what God had for me that day. And day in and day out I was being broken by attack, sometimes barely able to function.

I was the one who was making decision for my life, which means I was the one I was really following. I felt obligated to put others first who were contacting me as if I were doing it for God. It was for my ministry, but that doesn’t make it God’s will. So all the while I was running my life out of feelings of guilt and obligation and pressure, God was waiting patiently for me to come to the end of my rope and come to Him.

It is then that He told me that I was doing myself more harm than good by allowing the wrong motives and desires to drive me. It is very easy to get caught up in life and just go alone with the path we have laid out for ourselves. Especially when it looks like were doing good, or like were doing it for God. But until we stop every morning and give ourselves over to God to see where He will take us, we are still following ourselves, and not Jesus Christ.

The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.

Psalm 103:8

God is never mad at us for any of this. He understands the reasons we make the choices we make. He is lovely and kind and patient with us. He will never harbor anger or resentment towards us because we are not completely following Him or surrendering to Him. Ultimately it is we who suffer, no matter what we want to tell ourselves. Because all this time of being led astray by myself and the enemy I was the one paying the price for it, not God.

That is why God was gently trying to correct me in my ways. Not because He is some sort of tyrant who is controlling and judgmental, but because He truly sees and knows everything, and knows what the results of our choices are going to be. He would prefer to gently lead us along into the plan He has had for us all along, to keep us from some of these painful circumstances we are choosing daily. But He will allow us to make any choices we want, because He has given us free will. And that means the free will to follow our own desires and not Jesus Christ.

Today as I opened up the Word a single verse stood out to me.  Instead, his delight is in the LORD’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. Psalm 1:2 And it struck me: I can delight in the instruction of the Lord, instead of taking it for granted or resenting it. I have spent time feeling confined by His instruction, instead of freed by it. I have thought it too controlling when I heard the Lord tell me not to do certain things, but I could have found joy in it. He cares about me. He could have left me to my own devices to suffer, but He cares enough to give me that instruction.

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4

followjesusThere is always going to be pressure in this world to follow other things besides God. And there is always going to be temptation to pursue those things. We are never going to reach perfection and come to a place where we are 100% following Jesus on this earth. That is not why God made us and brought us here. He chose us because He wanted us: just the way we are. There are not conditions are rules set upon God choosing us. He knew what He was doing when He made humans. He knew they would make mistakes and by giving them free will they may very well turn against the hand that created them. Yet He loves us despite all of that. That is true humility. Loving someone when they may never love you back, choosing someone who may turn on you completely.

I am so thankful for a God that wants to be my father. A God that wants to guide me and help me in this life. Life can be difficult enough on it’s own, so why add more troubles to it? I have lived long enough pushing God away because I believed He hurt me and hated me, why continue to live my life as if that were still true. I know God’s love. I have seen the face of the One who loves me most. And there is nothing more in this life that I could ever gain or that could ever satisfy except Him.

I know everyone struggles as I do. It is perfectly normal. But today I invite you to nestle in a little deeper into the Father’s love and see what He has to say to you. If you have grown weary from this world, then just know you were never meant to take it on alone. You have done the best you can with what you have, but today there is a sweet and tender love that is beckoning to you. That love is so full of mercy and grace that it can sweep away every wrong move you have ever made and transform it into something for your good.

So step out friends. Take His hand. He has so much more to offer you in this life. More than any games, television show, friends, family, or anything else can ever offer you. He can give you exactly what you need. He can show you who He created you to be. One step at a time. Trust Him. God is trustworthy. And He is worth it all, even paying the highest price for.

I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
    I have no good apart from you.”

Psalm 16:2