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Posts Tagged ‘The devil is a liar’

Usually I don’t like posting other people’s posts like this, because it makes me feel lazy and I feel it’s unfair towards to original author, but this Dai.ly Gra.ce In.spiration from Jo.seph Prin.ce on 2 July was just so good I had to share:

Romans 8:33
Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.

The book of Job tells us that Satan came to God’s throne and complained about Job. (Job 1:6–12) God’s throne is the most holy place. So why did God allow Satan to come before Him? 
Satan could come before God because Adam had given up his place when he bowed his knee to Satan in the garden of Eden. (Genesis 3) So Satan had the right to take Adam’s place and come before God. 
But praise God, Jesus, the last Adam, has come! And the sprinkling of His blood has cleansed the things of heaven. (Hebrews 9:22–24) His blood has cleansed and redeemed the unclean place where Satan walked and stood before God. There remains, therefore, no place in heaven for Satan. He cannot come before God any more to accuse you. 
Who then, is in God’s presence today? Jesus! He is there for us. (Hebrews 9:24) And since He is for us, “Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.” (Romans 8:34) 
So what happened to Job cannot happen to you. Job longed for a mediator, but he had none. (Job 9:33) His dream is our reality. Today, we have Jesus as our Mediator making intercession for us! (1 Timothy 2:5) 
However, since the devil cannot come before God any more, he comes to you on earth and accuses you in your conscience. His greatest tool is deception because he has no real power. (Colossians 2:15) He has to deceive you into thinking that God is against you, that He is angry with you because you have failed Him, or that your sickness or poverty is God’s punishment for your sins. 
My friend, don’t fall for the devil’s lies. If it is God who justifies you, no one can bring a charge against you! Satan cannot come before God to accuse you. Instead, you have free access to God’s throne of grace to “obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need”. (Hebrews 4:16) Jesus’ holy blood has given you perfect standing in the presence of God!”

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Hosea 4:6 (NIV):  6 my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge…” 

It has become so evident to me lately that most people have a completely wrong perception of God and what He can do for us.   The problem is that most people and especially Christians are so convinced of what they believe that they are not really open to hearing the truth.  I cannot really blame them, because I was also one of those people for so many years, and a lot of the time they believe something from experiences in their own lives that they cannot help but believe what they believe.  Let me give an example:

About three weeks ago I spoke to my friend “G” about his cancer, and he said that he truly believes God can heal him, but he doesn’t think that in his specific case that it is Gods will to heal him.  Why did he say that?  Because he has believed for so long, and yet he is still not healed.  The problem is he doesn’t know everything about healing, and he doesn’t believe in the laying on of hands, as a friend of his went to a healing service and she did not get healed – she passed away as a matter of fact.  So he is not open to discussions like that at all and he doesn’t believe that God can do miraculous acts of healing because he hasn’t seen it.   But he is a Christian and he loves the Lord with his whole heart, and he wants to help others in pain.   He doesn’t know the full truth and he just doesn’t want to listen to anything I have to say about  healing.  That saddens me, so much – I have tried everything from talking to him, to giving him books to read and CD’s to listen to, but I know he hasn’t done any of that because he still  believes that it is not God’s will to heal him.  I can only pray that the Holy Spirit will show me or him a way where he can learn the truth and be healed…  So I want to write this for those who don’t know the truth yet, and I hope that at least one person will be helped with this.

The fact is that Jesus is the key to our healing.   John 14:6 (NIV):  6Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life…” and John 10:10 (NIV):  10 …I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  I think one of the reasons I could accept the teachings about healing so easily was because I wondered so many times about all the healing Jesus and even his disciples did in the New Testament and why it doesn’t happen today anymore.  And those teachings that I studied explained it so well – we aren’t doing it right today, we don’t know what Jesus did for us, and we are not following Jesus’ example.

Just look at what we do when we hear that someone is ill or has a physical problem – we start to pray to God and ask Him to heal that person in Jesus’ name, or if it’s for yourself or someone really close to us we might resort to begging God to please, please heal us or our loved ones.  I think that is the most common approach isn’t it?  I know that is what I used to do!  Then we wait for God to heal that person – we might even pray many times, but is that what Jesus did?  No!

Jesus told his disciples in Mark 11:23 (NIV):  23I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw  yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.”  Jesus told them to speak to their problem – not to God, and what they say will happen, OK they have to believe too, that is also very important.  If you look at the healings Jesus did – what did He do? Let me give you a few examples:

Matthew 8:1-4 (NIV):  “The Man With Leprosy. 1When he came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him.  2 A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.  3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. I am willing, he said. Be clean!  Immediately he was cured of his leprosy.  4 Then Jesus said to him, See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.

Matthew 8:5-13 (NIV):  “The Faith of the Centurion.  5When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 Lord, he said, my servant lies at home paralysed and in terrible suffering.  7 Jesus said to him, I will go and heal him.  8 The centurion replied, Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it. 10 When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.  11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.  12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, Go! It will be done just as you believed it would. And his servant was healed at that very hour.

Matthew 8:14-16 (NIV):  “Jesus Heals Many.  14When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever.  15 He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.  16 When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick.

Matthew 8:28-34 (NIV):  “The Healing of Two Demon-possessed Men.  28 When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no-one could pass that way.  29 What do you want with us, Son of God? they shouted. Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?  30 Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding.  31The demons begged Jesus, If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.  32 He said to them, Go! So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water.  33 Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men.  34 Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.”

Matthew 9:1-7 (NIV):  “Jesus Heals a Paralytic.  1 Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town.  2 Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven. 3 At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, This fellow is blaspheming!  4 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts?  5 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?  6 But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. . . . Then he said to the paralytic, Get up, take your mat and go home.  7 And the man got up and went home.”

I want you to see that I took the first few examples of Jesus’ healing in the New Testament – I didn’t pick some specific cases because of the wording – it’s not necessary.  You can go through the whole New Testament and read up on all of Jesus’ healings and you will see that He did not pray to God in for people to get healed.  Jesus just said, “be clean,” to the man with leprosy and he was healed.  Jesus just told the centurion, “Go!  It would be done just as you believed it would.”  He touched the hand of Peter’s mother- in- law, no mention of any word said, and the demon possessed were healed with a word in Matt 8:16.  The other demons were driven out with one word, “Go!” and the paralytic man was healed with the words, “Get up, take your mat and go home.”   In this last case Jesus gave the paralytic man an instruction and in that way He required some act of faith from the paralytic man.

Why was Jesus able to do this? Because He had the authority to do it, just like the centurion explained.  The good news is that we also have that same authority now, because (a) Jesus paid for it when he was whipped at the whipping post and with His sacrifice on the cross (Isaiah 53:4-5 (NIV):  “4Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.    5But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”  And 1 Peter 2:24 (NIV):  24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”), but not only that, (b) His last instruction to His disciples was in Mark 16:15-18 (NIV):  15He said to them, Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.  16 Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.  17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

It is Jesus’ will for all to be healed – He told us to heal all!  Look at the man with leprosy – He asked Jesus to heal him if it was Jesus will and Jesus answered him, “I am willing.”  Look at all the other instances in the Bible where Jesus healed people – nowhere does it say that Jesus did not want to heal any person that came to him.  There are many instances where it is mentioned that “all were healed,” like in Matt 8:16 above.

Now some might say that Jesus did not heal all because of what is written in Matthew 13:54-59 (NIV):  54Coming to his home town, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? they asked.  55 Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?  56Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?  57 And they took offence at him. But Jesus said to them, Only in his home town and in his own house is a prophet without honour.  58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.” 

It says here that Jesus did not do many miracles because of the lack of faith of the people in His hometown.  It never says that Jesus did not want to heal them.  These people could not believe that Jesus was the Messiah because they saw Him grow up between them – they thought He was just another ordinary human being like the rest of them and that is why they could not believe.   I also think we can assume that some miracles were done in Jesus’ home town, because the above verse says, “not many miracles were done,” that does not mean that there were no miracles, just not many.  There was definitely one and that was the paralytic man because Matthew 9:1 (NIV) says:  “Jesus Heals a Paralytic.  1Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town.”

I want to challenge those that still believe that it’s not God’s will to heal everybody to give me a New Testament scripture (because of the New Covenant – if you don’t understand that, please read this post) that proves that God does not want to heal all.  It is so important that we start to question our beliefs and cross check it with scripture – there are so many sacred cows that we just mindlessly believe in without ever questioning it, and I really hope that every single person who reads this will start do just that if they haven’t already!

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Very often when I speak to people I realize that most people including Christians don’t know God at all.  They have no idea what God’s will is and how it impacts them.  They believe lies about God, mostly because that is what they heard in church and from other Christians. 

So often I hear people say: “God is tempting me,” or “teaching me a lesson,” or “maybe it’s not God’s will for us not to be healed/not to have a baby,” or “God allowed it,” or stuff like that and I get so sad, because then I know that that person does not know God’s character. 

I have said this many times, and I guess I’ll have to say it many more times, but God does not punish us with sickness or infertility.  God does not give it to us to teach us a lesson, read this post if you’re not convinced by this post.  Yes, most often we do learn lessons from it, but that is us, not God doing it.   Most Christians still live under the old Covenant, and have no idea that they have a new Covenant with God or what that new Covenant entails – if you haven’t read it you can read more about it here.

To prove who God is I’m going to quote a bit from And.rew Wom.mack’s teaching:   Don’t limit God.

1.   God’s sovereignty:

“The normal doctrine in the church today is that God is almighty that He is sovereign and that nobody can limit God.  I’ll agree that God is sovereign if you would use the word sovereign the way that the dictionary defines it.  The dictionary says sovereign is first in rank, order or authority.  It would be like saying he is at the top of the food chain.  If you want to say that about God I agree 100%.  God is almighty, He is first in command, but to say that God chooses everything, controls everything and if your life is a mess God willed it – that is wrong. 

It always amazes me when I go to funerals.  People get up and say, “Well, we don’t know why God took this person.”  They just automatically make an assumption that when you die it’s because your number is up, and you can’t die unless it’s God’s will.  That is not so!  That is absolutely untrue!

Genesis 2:16-17 (NIV):  16 And the LORD God commanded the man, You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”

God does not want us to die!  He told us not to do it!  We ate from the tree and we were the ones who ushered in death! 

Hebrews 2:14-15 (NIV):  14Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death— that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”

Jesus came to destroy him who had power over death and that is the devil.  It’s Satan who kills people!  Satan comes only to steal and kill and destroy! (John 10:10 (NIV)) But Jesus said, I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  God doesn’t control every person when they die!  God doesn’t control if babies are born deformed and things like that!  God isn’t the author of evil!  God is a good God! 

In the Old Testament there are examples of the wrath of God, but praise God the Bible makes it very clear that under the new Covenant we have been redeemed from the curse and Jesus is not the one who is putting problems on you!  It says in James 1:13-14 (NIV):  13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.”  God is not the author of evil, God is not doing these things and yet the church is saying this. 

God does not sovereignly rule your life like a chess piece and just determine what’s happening – you cannot blame God for the failures in your life.  God has a perfect plan for every single person’s life and if you are not seeing that plan fulfilled, if your life isn’t very exciting it’s not God’s fault.  If your life is not supernatural, your life is superficial.  If your life is not going good it’s not because God doesn’t have a plan for you, it’s because you are not co-operating.  You haven’t found out that plan, but I’m telling you that God doesn’t just sovereignly control your life and make it work out.  You have to pursue the things of God in order to receive it.

One of the reason people teach the doctrine of sovereignty is so that they can dodge all responsibility.  For ministers it’s really a convenient theology – You can pray for a person and if they die, well then, “Que sera, sera, what will be, will be.  “Well you don’t know why God took them; it must have been God’s will…”  You know what?  It saves you from having to deal with problems and reality and failure, so that is the reason it’s convenient. 

We can miss God’s will.  Now God can take anything and work it for good (Romans 8:28 (NIV):  28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”), but God didn’t cause it, God doesn’t do it and yet God can work something awesome out of anything negative that the devil throws at you.

2.   God respects your free will:

God gave you a free will and he respects your free will. God is not going to force you to do anything.  You have to stir yourself up or you will sink to the bottom.  You’ll find that when Jesus came to the earth he said, “I’m meek and lovely.”  He had to be invited even when His disciples were drowning in Matt 14.

Matthew 14:25-32 (NIV):  25 During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.   26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. It’s a ghost, they said, and cried out in fear.   27 But Jesus immediately said to them: Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.  28 Lord, if it’s you, Peter replied, tell me to come to you on the water.  29 Come, he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came towards Jesus.  30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, Lord, save me!  31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. You of little faith, he said, why did you doubt?  32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.”

Jesus came walking on the water, you know the reason He was walking on the water was to save His disciples, but He made as though He would have walked past them.  He went and showed Himself to His disciples in the midst of the Sea of Galilee while they were drowning, and He didn’t come running up and say, “Hold on!  I’m coming,” and then saved them.  He came, showed Himself and they had to cry out and ask Him for help. 

Luke 24:28-29 (NIV):  28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going further.   29 But they urged him strongly, Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over. So he went in to stay with them.”

It’s the same when Jesus met the two on the road to Emmaus.  They had to invite Jesus to come in.    God wants you to invite Him in, that’s just the way He is – He doesn’t force Himself.  You’ve got the right to go to hell and He will defend your right – nobody can force you to choose God.  You have to invite Him in – you have to open up the door.

3.   God works through people:

Ephesians 3:20 (NIV):  20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,”

If you don’t have any power, any faith stirred up in the inside of you, if you aren’t believing God for anything then God cannot do exceedingly, abundantly above all you ask or think.  God has to flow through somebody.  God always uses a person; see again this goes against the whole teaching of the sovereignty of God.  That God just sovereignly moves.  There is no such thing as God moving independently of people.  God moves through people.  God always has to have a man or a woman, there has to be some person that God speaks through.  That’s why God raised up Moses – He had to speak through him. 

God gave authority over this earth to physical human beings and when God did that, it limited what God could do, because God Himself is a Spirit (John 4:24 (NIV):  24 God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth.”)  God gave control of this physical earth to people with physical bodies (Genesis 1:26 (NIV):  26 Then God said, Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”)  

That is the reason Jesus had to become a man, to come down here and deal with the devil.  He had to become a physical human being and Jesus allowed God to flow through Him in a way that put Satan in his place.  Now Satan is a de-fanged foe, he cannot do anything except gum you to death.  All he does is lie to us and intimidate us and Satan can’t do anything to you without your consent and co-operation.  The problem is we have been consenting and co-operating more than we should…

Some of you might be frustrated and think, “Well I sought the Lord and things didn’t work out.”  Well we have an enemy that comes against us.  We live in a fallen world.  This is going to be swimming upstream.  This is going to take more effort than floating downstream.  But I can promise you God is for you and if you co-operate God will reach you!”

We have to stop being passive and hope God will reach out to us and fix everything for us.  We have to take responsibility for our actions, we need to stop putting the blame on others and start acting upon God’s word and live according to His will.  The only way we can do that is to read the Bible and learn who God is, what He wants for us and what our responsibility is.  That is going to take work.  It is going to be more effort than just going to church once a week and being spoon-fed.  It takes time, but I have found so many rewards in doing this.  God has given me hope, He has given me a reason to live and He has healed me of many problems.  It is worth it, believe me!

I can also recommend that you read one more post I’ve written about who God is.

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I found these videos on Yo.u Tu.be and I found it absolutely awesome.  It confirmed some things which I’ve been learning and thinking about and basically it is about how we as Christians need to turn our ways around to become empowered.

Please do yourself a favour and watch it, I know its 6 videos, but it will take less than an hour of your time:

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Let’s look at the last part of Joy.ce’s message on authority and power:

“Well, what about temptation?  It would be just so nice if we didn’t have temptation, wouldn’t it?  It would be just so great, but the Bible says, “Temptation must come.”  It must come, that’s why we have faith.  There would be no need for faith if you’re never tempted.  We need to learn how to respond quickly to temptation.  We need to recognize that it’s just the devil trying to work through that person or situation, and instead of getting mad at the person, or getting all frustrated about the situation you need to just take authority over the devil, and say, “you’re not getting me rattled.  You are not going to win.  Just go ahead and wear yourself out, but when you’re done I’ll still be here.  And I’ll still be here trusting God.”

You know it’s interesting when I take these missions trips because, I mean I go to places where witchcraft is prevalent and maybe people just stopped eating each other a few years ago.  Voodoo and just a lot of weird stuff, and you’re going in there taking the light into these dark places, and you’ve got to understand how much the devil despises that.  Well, one country that I remember coming out of, actually it was Rwanda where they had a genocide many years ago, and we were taking the truth in there and preaching the message of forgiveness and letting go of the past and had some real victories.  When I came out of there and got on the plane, a mosquito bit me on the eye, which I didn’t think too much about at the time, but the next morning when I woke up, my eye was swollen up.  I was on my way to another country to preach and my throat was so sore, it felt like a piece of raw meat, and something was wrong with my tongue, it was burning like fire…  Well, when I came out of Papua New Guinea, I got on the plane and went to sleep, I woke up sick to my stomach, throwing up – I had a horrible 18 hours.  I told Da.ve, “How long do you think it is going to take the devil to understand that I’m not going to quit?”

That is the first thing that you need to say when the devil comes against you, “Devil, you just don’t get it!  Throw your best shot but I’m not going to quit!”  I can tell you one thing, if you just make a decision today, “I don’t care what happens, I don’t care how long what I’m going through goes on, I am not going to quit!”  Because you know, the devil just sits on your shoulder and whispers things like, “I just can’t take this much more, I just can’t take this much more…”  “well, God if I don’t get a breakthrough this weekend…”  Some of you came here, “Now God I’m going to go to that, but if I don’t get a breakthrough this weekend, then I just think that I’m just going to have to quit!”  O, give me a break, you’re not going to quit!  Threatening God does not do you one bit of good. 

Well, I tell you Jesus didn’t put up with it!

Matthew 16:21 (Amp):  21From that time forth Jesus began [clearly] to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders and the high priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised from death.”

Mmmm, what good news… “Hey guys, let me tell you something.  We are going here in this town and they are going to beat me and crucify me, and I’m going to die.”  You know, right away they are thinking, “Yeah, and we are with you.”  So Peter, and I just love Peter because I’m really a lot like Peter, then Peter took Jesus aside, “hey, Jesus, you are a little confused about this?  Come on, You’re the King and we’ve got the victory.  There are going to be no beatings and hanging on crosses – we are going to rule!”  Amen? 

Matthew 16:22-23 (Amp):  22Then Peter took Him aside to speak to Him privately and began to reprove and charge Him sharply, saying, God forbid, Lord! This must never happen to You!  23But Jesus turned away from Peter and said to him, Get behind Me, Satan! You are in My way [an offense and a hindrance and a snare to Me]; for you are minding what partakes not of the nature and quality of God, but of men.”

I have to tell you that Peter was more interested in himself and what was going to happen to him than he was Jesus.  But Jesus turned away from Peter, first of all He knew, He knew immediately, that it really wasn’t Peter, but that it was Satan speaking through a weakness that Peter had. 

Has anybody ever noticed that if you finally get to the point where the devil can’t get to you, that he will come through the weakest link around you?  Most of our problems are people problems.  They are the things that people say, the things they do, the things they don’t do, the way they behave… 

And so here Peter is one of Jesus’ closest disciples and yet the devil is going to use Peter’s fear to try to keep Jesus from the will of God.  “23But Jesus turned away from Peter and said to him, Get behind Me, Satan!  You are in My way [an offense and a hindrance and a snare to Me]; for you are minding what partakes not of the nature and quality of God, but of men.”

This is what I mean about resisting temptation.  First of all the Bible says that you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood, and when you’re going through things that are difficult and you’re trying to get out of some bondage or break some addiction or even go on a diet, you know we just think we’re going to die if we get hungry.  Amen?  We’ve got to learn that it’s not all that bad to be a little uncomfortable for a little while, so we can have the right kind of comfort later on.   

A girl with many problems told Joy.ce that she realized that her thinking was keeping her in bondage after reading her “Bat.tlefie.ld of the mi.nd” book.  “As a man thinks” – that’s why it’s so important for you to understand that the promises of God are already yours…  You’re not fighting for victory, you’re fighting from victory.  Do you understand that?  You’ve already got the victory.  Paul prayed for the Christians in Ephesus that they would know the unlimited, immeasurable, unsurpassing greatness of God’s power to and for them who were believers.  Paul was praying the same thing I’m praying for you today.  You’ve got it!  I want you to know that you’ve got it!  Authority is not automatic.  You have to take that authority; you have to walk in that authority and you won’t walk in that authority if you don’t know you have it.  You won’t resist temptation if you don’t know that you can resist temptation.  Come on, if we can’t even be hungry for a day…

Another girl told me (Joy.ce) that just to show the devil that she meant business, she would bow down in front of the toilet that had been taking her life where she’d been throwing up, and she would put that Bible on that toilet and read it out loud to the devil…

Come on are you going to fight or not!  Or are you just going to keep sitting around and saying, “Well I can’t, it’s too hard!  It’s the devil; the devil won’t leave me alone!  I didn’t have a good start in life…”  Or are you going to say, “Listen, I am a child of God.  I have been redeemed, I have been bought back from the devil, and I am none of his business, none of his affair.  I am going over!  I’m not going under!  I’m the head and not the tail!  Above and not beneath!”  Today you need to draw a line in the sand and say, “I’m making an announcement!  It’s over!  I’ve got the victory and I’ve got it right now!”  Not tomorrow not someday, “I’ve got it right now!  And I’m going to start applying it in my life!”  Greater is He that is in me than is he that is in the world.

God, I pray that you would fill us with your power afresh every day.  It’s in us but let it come out into our souls and our minds and out into our lives.  Let us be ever filled with your Spirit, o God.  Let us know who we are, Who we belong to, that You have all authority and all power and you’ve given it to us.  The devil is under Your feet and therefore he is under our feet.  He may come against us one way, but he has to flee before us many ways.  Thank you for the gifts of the Spirit, thank you for the supernatural, wonderful gifts of the Spirit that cause us to be able to live a supernatural life.  I thank you God that we can endure whatever comes with good temper and we may get angry, but we don’t have to let the sun go down on our anger.  We can get over it.  We can come to your side and say, “I’ve got the power to bind this thing here on earth.  I’m going to have in my life what heaven says I can have.  I’m not going to quit, I’m not going to give up.  I know that there is going to be a battle, I know that I’m in a war, but I am more than a conqueror.  You see I have already won the battle before it ever begins.  All I’ve got to do is walk it out.”  Amen

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Yesterday I wanted to write a post on something else completely, but I had no inspiration…  So I looked for some other message to encourage me, and was I glad I found this one!  It’s a long message from Joy.ce Me.yer again, so I think I must break it up into a few posts… 

“Today I want to talk to you about the authority and the power that you have as a believer in Jesus Christ.  You know we can all go to church and look religious with one another but that does not mean it’s working behind closed doors at home.  I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not but the Bible says we are supposed to live in victory.  Like have joy, peace, have a good relationship with God, good relationships with people, and have our needs met, have energy, feel good, have creativity…

You are not supposed to be under anything.  He is your glory and the lifter of your head.  We according to the Bible are the head and not the tail, above and not beneath, (Deuteronomy 28:13) and somehow or another when you talk to people, they are always under something…  “How are you?”  “I’m under attack…”,“I’m under depression…”, “I am under a burden…”,“I am under, under, under….”

Well, God told me one time if you stay on the attack, you won’t be under attack!  When you know who you are, really know who you are, and what God has given you…  I mean the promises that He has given us and what He says He will do, not only for us but through us…  See everything from God is to you and through you.  It’s not just to you so you can feel happy and have a nice little life, but it’s so something can go through you to heal and repair another life so the same thing can happen there, and as it goes on and on and on, that’s how the Gospel is spread.

So I had all these years of just being a mess at home behind closed doors and back in the 70’s I cried out to God.  I said:  “God, you got to do something in my life.  Something is missing.”  It’s amazing sometimes that we run to people to find our answers and we don’t get them, but when you go to God, God might give you an answer that is a little bit surprising to you.  Well, God touched my life that day in 1976 in February in my car.  There was a great movement of God going on at the time.  People were being filled with His Spirit all over the earth in every denomination and the Gifts of the Spirit were experiencing a real revival.  You may or may not know anything about the Gifts of the Spirit in the Bible, but I’ll talk to you just a little bit about them today. 

God has provided a way for us to live supernaturally.  Not just naturally but supernaturally.  We can live ordinary, everyday life and be so happy that we can hardly stand it.  We can be fruitful, we can be powerful, and we can overcome anything in our past through Christ who strengthens us. 

Well, God worked in my life and I started to learn about the power of God and I started to learn about my authority as a believer.  But in those early days there was a lot of teaching about faith and about spiritual warfare and it – whether I heard it wrong or it came across wrong, I’m not sure, but I think a lot of people had the same opinion than I had, that to have authority over the devil meant that you should never have any problems.  That anytime you had a problem, you should be able to resist that, rebuke it, and get rid of it.  Well I said, “I rebuke you devil,” until I just completely wore my rebuker out.  I didn’t have one more rebuke left in me and I still had all the problems.

So exercising authority over Satan is not just yelling at the devil, and learning certain spiritual warfare principles…  It’s about learning how you can be victorious right in the middle of situations.  How you can have what would be a very difficult situation and yet live above it.  The Bible never promises us no problems, as a matter of fact it promises us the opposite.  Jesus said in John 16:33,   “in the world you will have tribulation – cheer up.  I have overcome the world.”  The Amplified says, “I have deprived it of the power to harm you.”  Something may be around you but it can’t get in you.  And it’s really not what goes on around us that’s our problem, it’s what gets in us.  It’s our attitude toward it and whether or not we let it defeat us spiritually.  It’s so important that you stay strong spiritually.  I’m so proud of you for taking this time to come and set aside this time to be with God and to hear the word, because the Bible says, “the strong spirit of a man sustains him in bodily pain and trouble.”  I don’t know what’s coming up in my life next week.  You don’t either.  We get surprises, some of them are nice, we enjoy them, and some of them are things we wish would never happen.  But I know one thing:  I can’t wait until I have a problem to get prepared.  I have to stay strong and be ready for whatever comes, because the Bible says I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  It doesn’t matter what it is.  Romans 8 says, “we are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us.”

Well what does it mean to be more than a conqueror?  I mean, I think just being a conqueror would be pretty cool.  But what does it mean to be more than a conqueror?  I think it means that before the trouble ever starts I already know I’ve got the victory.  I think it means that I don’t have to live afraid of what’s going to happen or afraid of bad news or afraid of what going on in the world.  Everybody today is just talking about the world is such a mess and what’s going on in the world and we don’t know what’s going to happen, and that’s true, we don’t.  The world is a mess; we don’t know what’s going to happen.  Things look bad.  But you know what my response is every time?  It’s not that I’m sticking my head in the sand and ignoring it, I know what’s going on but my answer is, “I’m going to stay happy.”  I am going to stay happy, I’m not going to let it get in me, I’m going to do my part, I’m going to do what I need to do, but the joy of the Lord is our strength.  And if we give that up we have no strength to do anything.  Amen?  You can’t let it get in you.

Paul prayed a wonderful thing in Philippians 3:10.  He said, “I am determined to know Him, and the power of His resurrection.”  Power.  It just makes me so mad and sad to think that I was in Church for 10 years, working in church, busy at church, going to everything at church and nobody ever told me I had any power.  Nobody ever told me that God would be powerful through me.   I heard some about the power of God, but I didn’t know that I had any.  So many people live weak, pathetic, pitiful, little bitty, beat up, beat down lives because nobody has told them that through God they have power and they have authority.  Well, I’m telling you today that you are the head and not the tail, that you are above and not beneath, you’re in Christ and He has been given all authority and everything is under His feet.  And if it’s under His feet then it’s under your feet.

You need to know who you are and you need to start walking in the authority that you have and exercising the power that has been given to you.  Everything God has given you is released through believing it.  I don’t care what your life is like right now, I don’t care how bad it is or how long you’ve had your problem – You have power!  And all you have to do is to be taught how to use it.  And when you look around it, you’re a mess and you don’t let it defeat you, you say, “I don’t care what it looks like, I know that God is faithful.  I’m not going to quit and I’m not going to give up because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  I will get over my past and I will get out of debt, and I will get healthy and well, and I will not give my kids to the devil because greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.”

See here is the truth:  In Christ you have already overcome it.  You’re just learning it.  See you’ve already got the victory; somebody just needs to tell you that you’ve got it.  And somebody just needs to remind you that you’ve got it, and you need to stand up for it and say, “Devil it’s mine and you ain’t taking it.”

There is an anger that we should not have but an anger that we should have.  And I think we need to have a little holy anger.  You need to know who you are in Christ, and I’ll tell you one thing – if you’re not going to stand up for your rights, nobody else is going to.  Satan is a liar, a thief and an accuser.  He’ll kill everything good that God wants to give you if you let him.

“Well, I’m praying for God to help me.”  God has already helped you.  What you need to do now is walk in it.  “Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have already given it unto you.”  (Joshua 1:3)  All you have to do is take the victory.

Romans 5:17 says that we are to reign as kings in life through Jesus Christ.  Wow!  Do you feel that you’re reigning as a king in life?  Or do you feel that all your circumstances and situations are reigning over you?  Who has authority in your life?  Is it your circumstances?  Are other people manipulating or controlling you?  Is your past still in authority?  Is the devil ruling you?  Or are you reigning as a king in life through Jesus Christ? 

Let’s look at Matthew 28:18:  “Jesus approached and, breaking the silence, said to them, All authority (all power and rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”  Jesus said, “all authority has been given unto me” and the inference here is that He is giving it to us because He says, now you go in my power and do whatever I’ve asked you to do.  There is nothing that you cannot do that God has asked you to do.  Let me tell you something, if you‘re in a marriage that is difficult, you might be married to the worst rascal in the state, but you’re going to tell me, “I believe God told me to stay with him, I believe God told me to stick it out,” then I don’t want to hear you complaining, I don’t want to hear you murmuring, I don’t even want to hear you tell me how hard it’s all the time.  What I want to hear you say is:  “I can do this, because God has asked me to do it, and I can do it with victory.  I can do it with a good attitude, and I’m going to win this thing in Jesus name.”

You say:  “But the devil’s got so much power over me and I just wish he would leave me alone.”  Well, he ain’t going to leave you alone.  Get over it.  I’m convinced the devil hates me. I’m totally convinced, but we are even because I hate him too, and I hate evil, and I hate what he does to people and you see that I know that greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.  “He can come against me one way, but he is going to flee before me seven ways.”  (Deuteronomy 28:7)

Luke 10:19 (Amp):  19Behold! I have given you authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and [physical and mental strength and ability] over all the power that the enemy [possesses]; and nothing shall in any way harm you.”

Yes, the devil’s got power, but you’ve got more power than he does!”

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I have mentioned guilt and condemnation in the last few posts of mine.  It’s been something that I have been struggling with.  So as always, that is what you are going to hear about, whatever has been on my mind lately. Now you might wonder what that has to do with the title of this post.  Trust me they are related, keep on reading and you will soon see the connection. 

I have mentioned that DH was away – for a whole week, so on Saturday I didn’t really have much to do so I decided to rent the DVD of the Pas.sion of the Chr.ist.  I know it’s a movie that’s been out a long time already, but we have never seen it.  Why?  I thought that I knew and appreciated the big sacrifice Jesus made for us and as I cannot really watch any medical TV series, because I cannot stand the sight of blood and guts, I thought it best not to watch the movie.  But for some reason on Friday I thought that I need to see for myself graphically how terrible the suffering of Jesus was.  As I was alone at home I could watch it without feeling self conscious about crying, because I knew I was going to cry a lot.

The movie starts in the garden of Gethsemane when Jesus was praying moments before Judas would betray him and he would be arrested.  The devil is whispering things to Him.  Things like:  “Do you really believe that one man can bear the full burden of sin?”, and “No one man can carry this burden, I tell you, it’s far too heavy.  Saving their souls is too costly,” etc.  What did Jesus do?  He continued in prayer, in anguish, but he continued and ignored the devil. He asked for help from the Father.  There is this snake that comes from under the robe of the devil and slithers over to Jesus.  I think they wanted to symbolize the temptation, but when Jesus gets up from His knees he crushes that snake under His foot. 

I got such a revelation from watching this!  It sounded just like the stuff that goes through my mind a lot.  (I know I cannot compare my situation to that one of Jesus, but I’m talking about those same type of thoughts) “You are crazy to think that Shumi will be healed!  Look at him!  Why do you think you will be healed and get pregnant naturally?  Why would things change now?  Stop wasting time and go see your FS – maybe he has some ideas to help you.”  On and on, and I realized that although those things go through my mind, I don’t have to accept them.  It becomes doubt only when I act on it.  If I turn to God just like Jesus did, it is not a sin!  I don’t have to feel guilty!  I don’t have to be condemned!  It’s not me that thinks those thoughts; it’s the devil trying to tempt me! 

Now today I read again from “The batt.lefie.ld of the mi.nd and Joy.ce Me.yer explains the terms doubt and unbelief so nicely, so I want to share that with you.

“… O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”  Matthew 14:31

“And He marvelled because of their unbelief…”  Mark 6:6

“We usually talk about doubt and unbelief together as if they are one and the same.  Actually although they can be connected, the two are very different things.

Vine’s An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words partially defines doubt in the verb form as “… to stand in two ways … implying uncertainty which way to take,… said of believers who’s faith is small… being anxious, through a distracted state of mind, of wavering between hope and fear…”

The same dictionary notes that one of the two Greek words translated as unbelief “is always rendered ‘disobedience’ in the R.V” (the Revised Version of the King James translation.)

As we look at these two powerful tools of the enemy, we see that doubt causes a person to waver between two opinions, whereas unbelief leads to disobedience. 

I think it’s going to be helpful to be able to recognize exactly what the devil is trying to attack us with.  Are we dealing with doubt or unbelief?

Doubt

“… How long will you halt and limp between two opinions?…”  1 Kings 18:21

I heard a story that will shed some light on doubt. 

There was a man who was sick and who was confessing the Word over his body, quoting healing Scriptures and believing for his healing to manifest.  While doing so, he was intermittently attacked with thoughts of doubt.

After he had one through a hard time and was beginning to get discouraged, God opened his eyes to the spirit world.  This is what he saw:  a demon speaking lies to him, telling him that he was not going to get healed and that confessing the Word was not going to work.  But he also saw that each time he confessed the Word, light would come out of his mouth like a sword, and the demon would cower and fall backward.

As God showed him this vision, the man then understood why it was so important to keep speaking the word.  He saw that he did have faith, which is why the demon was attacking him with doubt.

Doubt is not something that God puts in us.  The Bible says that God gives every man a “… measure of faith” (Romans 12:3).  God has placed faith in our heart, but the devil tries to negate our faith by attacking us with doubt.

Doubt comes in the form of thoughts that are in opposition to the word of God.  This is why it’s so important for us to know the word of God.  If we know the word, then we can recognize when the devil is lying to us.  Be assured that he lies to us in order to steal what Jesus purchased for us through his death and resurrection.

Doubt and Unbelief

18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, So shall your offspring be.  19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead— since he was about a hundred years old— and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.  20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.”  Romans 4:18-21

When I am in a battle, knowing that God has promised and yet being attacked with doubt and unbelief, I like to read or meditate on this passage.

Abraham had been given a promise by God that He would cause him to have an heir from his own body.   Many years had come and gone and still there was no child as a result of Abraham and Sarah’s relationship.  Abraham was still standing in faith, believing what God had said would come to pass.  As he stood, he was being attacked with thoughts of doubt, and the spirit of unbelief was pressing him to disobey God.

Disobedience in a situation like this can simply be to give up when God is prompting us to press on.  Disobedience is disregarding the voice of the Lord, or whatever God is speaking to us personally, not just transgressing the Ten Commandments.

Abraham continued to be steadfast.  He kept praising and giving glory to God.  The Bible states that as he did so, he grew strong in faith.

You see, when God tells us something or asks us to do something, the faith to believe it or to do it comes with the Word from God.  It would be ridiculous for God to expect us to do something and not give us the ability to believe that we can do it.  Satan knows how dangerous we will be with a heart full of faith, so he attacks us with doubt and unbelief.

It’s not that we don’t have faith, it’s just that Satan is trying to destroy our faith through lies.

Faith is a product of the spirit; it’s a spiritual force.  The enemy doesn’t want you and me to get our mind in agreement with our spirit.  He knows that if God places faith in us to do a thing and we get positive and start to consistently believing that we can actually do it, then we will do considerable damage to his kingdom.”

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I haven’t posted in a while because we were incredibly busy.  DH left last night for a work conference and there was so much we had to do to get ready.  So much to organize and very little time to do it in, so blogging had to take a back seat, but now I’m alone at home, except for the 3 dogs of course, for about a week and I can concentrate on blogging again. 

Last night when I was lying exhausted in bed, awake at about 2h00 in the morning (Shumi woke me up), I realized that we have been under attack again.  The devil is so sly – he uses your circumstances to make you weak and then he tries to attack with full might!  He has well laid out plans and he is quite patient in executing those plans! 

Let me explain:  Last week, about Friday I noticed that one of the folds on Shumi’s nose was bigger than it used to be and that the area around his left eye is much more swollen than around his right eye.  Now the left hand side of his face is where the tumour was diagnosed.  It has also always been the side where the snot and blood used to come out of his nose until that nostril got blocked and since then it’s coming out of his left eye.  Ever since Saturday night Shumi has had trouble breathing at night, and he has been gasping for air at times so loud that he wakes us.  Yesterday his nose started bleeding again, but this time the blood came out of his right nostril.  So it seems like he is getting worse again, and it seems that he is at a new worse off stage, a stage he has never been at before…

The devil used our busy circumstances and lack of sleep, and pain to try and weaken us.  (I have had a terrible back pain, and pain in my left shoulder for the last few days too.)  I started hearing those horrible lies he likes to tell us again yesterday, but I brushed them off, refusing to listen to them.  But when I came home after dropping DH off at the airport last night and I had finally a chance to relax, I could hear the lies much louder.  “What if Shumi does not get healed?  What if he dies soon?  What if he is suffering – maybe it would be better to let him go…” 

Let me tell you it is incredibly hard to keep your faith and trust in God, when circumstances around you either don’t change or change for the worse.  I keep looking for encouragement and hope to keep me going, and most of the resources I’ve read do not mention how hard it is to endure when your circumstances don’t seem to change.  I don’t want to lie to you all – and that’s why I’m telling all this like it is.  It always sounds so easy – Just keep trusting in God, keep your faith.  Let me tell you I have felt like a failure when I was not able to do that!

Ephesians 6:12-17 (NIV):   “12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  13 Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

I have heard quite a lot of messages about spiritual warfare and on the above verses from Joy.ce Me.yer, but never consciously realised that I was already engaged in warfare and wielding those weapons, until last night. 

The belt of truth:   I’ve learnt a lot lately – especially the truth about God – who He really is and what He wants for us and from us.  It’s becoming second nature to me now.  I recognise a lot of lies immediately for what they are.  And I thought a year ago I knew what the truth was – I have learnt so much recently and it amazes me.  But I’m sure there is still a lot more to learn!

The breastplate of righteousness:  I never really understood the word righteousness, until Joy.ce Me.yer explained it properly in one of her teachings.  It means to be in right standing with God.  On our own we will never be able to be in right standing with God, but through His mercy and the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus paid for us, we are put into right standing.  It was something that I thought I never deserved – it took a long time for that to sink in and accept – that I have righteousness before God, through Jesus Christ.  I always thought I was not worthy, because of my sinful nature.

The shoes of peace:  This one was really hard to achieve and is even harder to maintain.  But it helps if you know the truth, and if you trust in God, completely.  I think that is 2 keys you really need to achieve peace.  It is also one of the fruits of the spirit, and therefore I think only possible with the help of the Holy Spirit…

The Shield of faith:  Faith is also incredibly hard to maintain as time goes by and you do not see continued improvement.  As a matter of fact if you see the complete opposite like us with Shumi, where it seems like he is getting worse, then it is a hard thing, to stay strong in your faith. 

The helmet of salvation: This one was one of the first that I could accept – that I have achieved salvation through the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.  It is also something that must really sink in and become a revelation – I have been saved by Jesus Christ! Once you realise that you have been saved then it easier to accept that you are a new covenant son of God, and all that comes with it.  I realised that I can use the name of Jesus Christ with authority, because of my relationship, my salvation and my right standing with God.  That revelation came a lot later than the one of salvation though!

Sword of the spirit – God’s Word:  This I’ve blogged a lot about, but what I never realized was that it doesn’t help to just say the verses.  We must meditate on them.  They must become real to us.  We must get a revelation on those scriptures.  We must know in our heart that those scriptures are true.  To have no more doubts about them.  So that when we hear a lie, we can without a moment’s hesitation refute the lie with a scripture to prove it wrong. 

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (Amp):  4For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, 5[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasoning’s and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One),”

What are strongholds?  Well years ago cities were strongholds.  They were built atop a hill or a mountain, often enclosed with walls, and they were very difficult to defeat by their enemies.  In the Bible it means a lie that the devil tells us which we believe so much that we cannot envisage it not being true.  We are held captive or are incapacitated by that lie.  There are so many strongholds that have been exposed to me recently – and I have been actively trying to share it with as many people as possible.  But strongholds can also differ from person to person – on your circumstances and what you’ve learnt through your life.  For example:  a lot of infertile people just don’t believe that they can get pregnant – they want to believe it, but deep down they think it’s impossible, because their circumstances have told them that so far it’s been impossible.  That kind of stronghold is very difficult to recognize as a stronghold and to break free from that is also incredibly difficult.  Believe me – that was definitely one of my strongholds…

Except for the above weapons what else do I do?  I praise God, I worship God and I keep expecting good things to happen, especially in those times when our circumstances point to the opposite.  I make a point of doing all of it when I feel I’m under attack, and it’s starting to become second nature to me.  I don’t think I need to tell you here that my time spent with God is getting more and more lately, because that is the only time I can keep up and keep on without giving up!  It a conscious effort that I have to make, and I have to make time for all this which in itself is not always easy!

I’m finding comfort in the following scriptures because they tell me that God is with me in this difficult time and that in the end it will be worth it if I don’t give up. 

Isaiah 43:2 (NIV):  2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

Galatians 6:9 (NIV):  9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” 

I don’t want to hammer just on the negative.  Let me just add that there have been small victories and those also help to keep me going.  Remember the big lump on Shumi’s back?  It’s completely gone – no sign of it anymore.  I don’t know what it was, but it was rock hard and big and now it’s gone.  I believe God healed that!  There were some specific times where things looked really bad with Shumi, and then suddenly he was much better again, especially when we kept going without doubting, confessing scriptures, laying hands on him and rebuking the devil.  I have also seen some results from praising God and expecting good things.  At times when Shumi had trouble breathing at night for instance – If I kept at it for 15 minutes to about half an hour his breathing would get much better and calmer and I think for that very reason Shumi is following me around everywhere lately.  Usually he wants to be outside most of the day, but lately he is not far from me, and when he is not feeling well he comes to me and wants me to touch him.  I am praising God for those small victories and I believe that soon those victories will become bigger and bigger!   All thanks to God off course!

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We had a visiting preacher at our church again yesterday – I’ll call him JS, as I’m sure I’ll talk about him again – he comes to preach at our church regularly and we make a point to go to his specific services because his messages are so good and funny.  Yesterday he said a few truths that I think is very necessary to share. 

He talked about how it is very important that we as believers or Christians be rooted in God’s Kingdom and not in this world.  We tend to trust in worldly stuff and not in God.  We like to put our trust in money, security, a home of our own, our jobs, ourselves, medical science, you name it, but by doing so we do not trust in God!  We do not believe that God will provide whatever we will need!  We want to be in control of everything, and these things help us with that.  We take our eyes off Jesus and focus on the wrong stuff.  He said that we need to uproot ourselves from the worldly and get rooted in God’s Kingdom! 

Colossians 2:20 (NIV):  20 Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules:”

He mentioned that the main reason we do this is because we believe the lies the devil tell us.  The devil is a master manipulator and liar.  He is so good at this that it is very difficult to discern the between the truth and his lies.  Most people don’t really think of the devil a lot, or don’t really believe in him, and that is another ploy from the devil.  When we are not aware of his tricks, it is easier to fall for it!  Some people say we give the devil power, by talking about him or thinking about him, but that is not true!  We have to be vigilant!  We have to be aware!  The devil likes to take advantage of our weak points, and attack us there – why?  Because he doesn’t like to lose and he doesn’t like to waste his time and effort.  What do have to be alert for?   For temptation and sin and the lies the devil likes to tell us…

John 8:42-47 (NIV):  The Children of the Devil 42 Jesus said to them, If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me.  43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say.  44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.  45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!  46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me?  47 He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”

1 Peter 5:8-9 (NIV):  8Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” 

Even though the devil is like a lion, we do not have to fear him, because he is a caged lion.  He is caged because Jesus defeated him and put him in that cage.  The only time we have to fear him is when we get into that cage with him.  When do we get into that cage? When we step away from Jesus, when we try to do things on our own without trusting in Him.  As long as we stay close to Jesus we are safe, because the victory is His!

This preacher told us the most common lies we like to believe is that when we go through hard times, we think that God is not there with us, that He is not in control, that he caused it, maybe to punish us, or that He allowed it to happen to us.  Some people even think that when things are bad, things are bad with God too.  NONE OF THIS IS TRUE!  STOP BELIEVING NONSENSE LIKE THIS!  IT’S ALL LIES FROM THE DEVIL!

That is why so many people have a problem with God, why they waiver in their faith, why they give up on God all together.  The only way we can discern the truth from fiction is by knowing God, His Word and His Will.  Another good clue is when you have any thoughts that blame God or when you have negative thoughts about God – you can be guaranteed that the devil is behind it!

But there is good news!  Like I said:  “The devil has been defeated!  When we stand with Jesus, he cannot hurt us.”

Luke 10:19 (NIV):  19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”

Colossians 2:15 (NIV):  15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”

Romans 16:20 (NIV):  20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.”

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