Tag Archives: Scripture

The Battle For Your Mind – Satan The Deceiver

Photo by Samantha Sophia on Unsplash

Photo by Samantha Sophia on Unsplash

Finally, I’m back.

I have something to share with you all. The deception of binding and rebuking! *insert weird music here*.

You know what is floating around in the Christian world these days and I have been guilty of it in the past: ” Satan, I rebuke you.” or ” I bind you Satan.”

Seriously, It’s hard for me to keep from laughing but I was talking to someone recently and after taking inventory of all my bible knowledge, I came to the startling realization that Satan is truly a deceiver.

OK, so let me break this down for you guys. Spiritual warfare is real but not how you were taught.  We don’t bind and rebuke Satan. We don’t even need to rebuke or bind spirits. Satan’s main function is to deceive. You see, the battle is in our minds and hearts. Satan attacks our belief about God. Ever wonder how Satan never comes to tempt an unbeliever. Let’s get this straight, an unbeliever serves their flesh. There are three forces in this world : God, human flesh and Satan/demons. Sometimes we blame Satan for our own fleshly desires.

In the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were given instructions. God had established something in their lives. Satan’s main duty was to come and challenge what God told them.

He works by:

1. Getting people to doubt God. 

2: Getting people to turn away from God.

3. And ultimately getting people to sin. 

But he starts with challenging our belief system. 

Genesis 4 : 3-7(NIV)

In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord.And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

In the case with Cain, Satan wasn’t in the picture. In this case, this was Cain’s own heart. He was jealous. He had a heart condition and our loving God even warned him to get it right.

Matthew 4:1-11 (NIV)

Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a]by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’[b]” Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’[c]” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’[d]” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’[e]” 11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

Now, In order to defend ourselves from Satan’s lies, we must know the Word of God. Jesus gives us the perfect example when He fasted for 40 days in the desert. He threw so many” it is written” like a Samurai sword! Seriously, don’t mess with Jesus. *laughs* But the interesting part was how Satan also threw back scripture. However, Jesus knew the word deeply, for he was the word but with the help of the Holy Spirit, we too can wield our weapons of faith and scripture. 

Here, we see all three forces in action :

1. Jesus’s flesh – He was hungry

2. Satan – The Ultimate Liar

3. God’s Word 

Here we see that Jesus conquered his flesh with the power of God’s word when Satan tried to get him to go against the fast that God had established. Jesus had faith in God, the written word and also his destiny. He knew what he was here for and who he was living for.

The battle is for your mind. 

2 Corinthians 10:5 (NLT)

We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

BINGO! Capturing rebellious thoughts and TEACHING THEM THROUGH GOD’S WORD to obey Christ. Don’t chant these words, believe them and apply them.

If you fall, get back up and keep applying. Like a seedling in the ground, allow God’s word to grow in your life. When he gives you a word, or whenever you read his word, cherish it like the most important thing in your life. God’s word will save your life!

John 8:44 (NLT)

44 For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.

 

Sanctification Is A Slow Process

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Photo by Marcelo Silva on Unsplash

Sanctification is a slow process. You don’t just wake up one day and all your bad habits are gone. That’s why there is this concept called the “renewing of your mind”. We are also encouraged to guard our hearts. The parable of the sower – the good soil – waits patiently, diligently working on the seed that was planted, until it grew big and strong and produced good fruit.

What made that good soil different from the others was perseverance. Nothing stopped them. Healthy trees need pruning. Healthy trees still get bugs on them. Healthy trees still need maintenance, and a sick tree can be made healthy again, when tended to.

On this journey towards sanctification : DO NOT GIVE UP. Heart break, disappointment, confusion or even sin, cling to Jesus! Sanctification is a life long process of pruning. The goal is to make us more Christ-like – producing the FRUIT of the HOLY SPIRIT- bearing good fruit. The goal of this fruit is to be loving and kind to those around us, just like He is to us.

Quick Glossary:

Pruning– trim (a tree, shrub, or bush) by cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems, especially to increase fruitfulness and growth.

Vinedresser– a person who prunes, trains, and cultivates vines.

John 15(NKJV) 1-17

The True Vine

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.  If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

Love and Joy Perfected

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.  If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.  No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.  These things I command you, that you love one another.

Let me break this down for you: First we must know that we serve a Loving God. All my problems flow from a belief of an unloving, unfair God. Here, Jesus tells us to abide in God’s love. Once we take our eyes off of our loving savior, like Peter, we begin to sink.

Second, abiding in the Greek – G3306- menō means –

  1. to remain, abide

    1. in reference to place

      1. to sojourn, tarry

      2. not to depart

        1. to continue to be present

        2. to be held, kept, continually

    2. in reference to time

      1. to continue to be, not to perish, to last, endure

        1. of persons, to survive, live

    3. in reference to state or condition

      1. to remain as one, not to become another or different

  2. to wait for, await one

Therefore, never give up on God or your salvation! Sanctification is a long process of pruning with the goal of love. Your requirements are to stand under the grace of God and to obey Christ’s command of loving one another. When you abide or stay close to Christ, renewing your mind with his word and letting His Spirit work in you; you become loving, kind, patient etc. Evil things that once gave you pleasure and satisfaction, no longer do.

Don’t give up. God loves you with all your faults, sins and preconceived notions. He will hold up a mirror to your face and show you what’s in your heart. At first it will be painful, you will be kicking and screaming. You will question God, get angry with people, sin and be tempted to leave the faith, but don’t. Hold on tight to Christ, even when you do not feel joy in your heart. God is faithful to comfort you, expose you and heal you where you are. The reward is renewed strength, peace and ultimately joy- that is your strength. Pain and hardships humbles us, softens us and makes us compassionate towards others.

God Bless,

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Establish My Way , Oh Mighty God

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Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

Established definition: having been in existence for a long time and therefore recognized and generally accepted.

When God establishes a thing, it means it was already predetermined by Him and will come to pass.

I am faced with a great decision, one that has left me a bit tired and overwhelmed. I was asking various people for advice, input and record of experiences, conducted research and even listened to negative comments, just to glean any sort of direction.

However, I had to go back to my christian roots and pray to Almighty God, who, I should’ve consulted first with more fervency. I took a deep breath and google searched Bible scriptures on making choices. The ones that stood out to me were:

Psalms 16:9– The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

and

Genesis 41:32 -And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.

The first scripture led me to the second one. It was the second one that my eyes opened wide and I realized what God is trying to show me.

I can stress, I can worry. I can be logical and plan out everything. I can consult people and I can ask for as much advice as needed. I can even make a decision and believe it’s right for me, but in the end, whatever Almighty God had established, will come to pass regardless of what decisions I make. When a sentence has a “but” in it, it means one thing is doing something, BUT another is doing something else. So while we are living our lives and making daily choices, God knows exactly where He wants us to go. For those of us that believe and trust in God this is his promise to us:

Proverbs 3:5-12 (MSG)  

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
    don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
    he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.
    Run to God! Run from evil!
Your body will glow with health,
    your very bones will vibrate with life!
Honor God with everything you own;
    give him the first and the best.
Your barns will burst,
    your wine vats will brim over.
But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline;
    don’t sulk under his loving correction.
It’s the child he loves that God corrects;
    a father’s delight is behind all this.

Let’s be real for a moment. You’re asking the big question ” SO HOW DO WE KNOW God’s VOICE?”

The Bible doesn’t have answers flying out at us like a personalized oracle. However, I remember there were times I’d hear a loud and firm NO in my spirit when I’m about to do something or go somewhere God doesn’t want me to go. Other times, I’d have reoccurring nightmares or dreams. Sometimes it’s a strong urge or leading.

Hearing God’s voice and walking in His established ways requires an ongoing relationship with Him. If you spend time with Him and talk to Him about your issues and choices, He will answer you in due season. Sometimes He will be require us to wait.

God is very real and is not limited to a page in a book. Wisdom requires us to take what we have read, and implement them in our lives. In the Bible, the Holy Spirit speaks and has a tangible voice : whether it’s through his disciples or prophets. The Holy Spirit also speaks to us. Do you believe that God still speaks to us today? Why must we run to anyone else but God himself. If Jesus is our model for prayer, did he not hear the Lord for himself? Did he not make time to be with God in the mountains? Reading the Apostles’ journeys with God, did they not rely on the Holy Spirit as well? God said he will pour out His Spirit on all of humanity and He will live inside of us. So why must we look to other people for what God can do for us? God might send people, but that’s what He will do : SEND.

What I’m trying to say is, as hard as it is, seek God first, and allow him to have the final say in your decisions. We may consult others for input and that’s fine, but ultimately, we must submit our plans and decisions to the Lord and trust that He will get us to where we need to be. We all have our preconceived notions on who we are and what we need to do to get there, but God’s infinite wisdom knows best, always.

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Never Thirst Again!

Photo by: Qang Jaka on Unsplash.

During my time in worship, I was led to read John 4 starting from verse 4 – the story of the Samaritan woman at the well.

How many of us use people, things, everything and anything to fill up the void in our hearts? In essence, humans were made to worship. We were created for that. However, Jesus points out to us the kind of worship he is looking for, reading from the MSG translation:

(background verses) 21-23 “Believe me, woman, the time is coming when you Samaritans will worship the Father neither here at this mountain nor there in Jerusalem. You worship guessing in the dark; we Jews worship in the clear light of day. God’s way of salvation is made available through the Jews. But the time is coming—it has, in fact, come—when what you’re called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter.

23-24 “It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.”

The Samaritan woman had 5 husbands and currently living with a man she wasn’t married to. Sounds familiar? Sounds exactly like our world today. It’s a small section of the passage but it is very important.

Jesus presented himself as the cure to her sin. He didn’t condemn her, he simply implied: drink from my well and you will never have to settle for anything that is not good for you.

Like I mentioned in all my previous posts, don’t hide from God like Adam and Eve in the garden! Run and fall down before God and pour out your whole heart, everything to him. He is not judging you. He already knows! The Samaritan woman thought Jesus was a prophet because he knew she had 5 husbands and living with a man. Point proven, God knows ALL.

Go to him believing He is the solution and cure for all your deficiencies! You don’t need to go to a church building, or a temple. If you look for him, you will find him right where you are.

Let him quench your thirst forever. Drink from the well of his Spirit. He is the source of life. He IS LIFE. He came to give us LIFE.

Be free to be yourself. You do not have to play church, know church doctrine, know every bible verse. Be free! Just have an open heart before JESUS.

God is truly intentional. In my time of waiting on him, he gave me the answer I was looking for. God is in the business of healing deep wounds. He has his timing but when he is ready, he doesn’t care what you are doing and where you are. He will bring it all up to the surface. He will shine his operation light on all of your wounds and disease. He will draw them out with his loving power. He will give you a new heart …look here…

Ezekiel 36:26-28(MSG)

24-28 “‘For here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to take you out of these countries, gather you from all over, and bring you back to your own land. I’ll pour pure water over you and scrub you clean. I’ll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I’ll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that’s God-willed, not self-willed. I’ll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands. You’ll once again live in the land I gave your ancestors. You’ll be my people! I’ll be your God!

Jesus fulfilled the words of the prophets of old. Jesus is the word, every word from the prophets were fulfilled in the person of Christ. Find him and you will find life.

Be Well,

How to Find The Joy You Once Had

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Photo by Pablo Orcaray on Unsplash

Do you want to know the secret of regaining your joy? Let your light shine! No preaching, no teaching, no need to nag or complain.

Don’t stay angry, and don’t bottle up your feelings because it will come out some where else.

Just let your light shine. God made you wonderful and beautiful. He placed hidden gems inside of you and as you allow God to reveal and cultivate them, you will be sharing your beauty with others.

The time spent trying to fix others, fix yourself, or even beating yourself up for not being perfect, could be spent doing all the things you enjoy and using it as a means to point to Christ.

Pray for those that hurt you. People WILL hurt you. It’s inevitable. It doesn’t mean you are weak, just human. Give all your feelings of hurt, shame etc, to Christ because he truly cares for you.

And He will give you peace that surpasses all understanding. I trust in this promise. More than anything, peace and joy matters! With these two , that work so closely together, you can accomplish anything.

Wait on God. His timing is true. We are not required to understand but to trust. Let Him be sovereign and let us be obedient.

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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Matthew 5:13-16 (MSG)

Salt and Light

13 “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.

14-16 “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

 

The Seed Is the WORD OF GOD

The seed of faith is the word of God not money. There is a lot of deception floating around about money being a seed. A lot of well meaning people fall into this farce but plain and simple the seed of faith is the word of God and it is planted in our hearts and produces the harvest of the fruit of the Spirit.

The greatest scheme of the enemy is to get us to distort the word of God because the word of God is what produces our harvest. We are to store treasures in heaven not bribe God with money to get a blessing. I hold on to this truth because it is the word of God that will bring my deliverance in all areas of life.

It’s not good works, it’s not going to church every Sunday, it’s not looking the part and saying the right things, but diligently depositing the word of God into the temple and believing that God will produce the increase!

Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV) “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Wholeness is what God wants for us. He wants to make us whole! This means producing fruit in all areas of our lives. Whether it be self-control or showing love towards self and others, or having peace despite all circumstances, etc. These are the things God wants for us.

Another point I want to make is, we must work on ourselves before we can ever minister to others. We must allow the Holy Spirit to minister to us in this way first, being kind to ourselves first before we can ever do so for others. Sometimes God will enable us to help others along the way, but ultimately a relationship with God comes before ministry!

I am at a place where I am allowing God to minster to me. To bring me to a place of wholeness in Him and to rely solely on his Word alone.

This means more to me than any material goals I have. It means more to me than any other relationship I have. Because true peace comes from inside of us not the outside.

No one and no thing can fill the void in our hearts like God can. It is truly the Word of God that sets us free, every single day, step by step. A process we go through every day of our lives.

I learned something important. Sin can be conquered, Jesus told us he already did that. We do not fight sin as believers but TEMPTATION. There is a different. Sin leads to death and is a state. After we are delivered from a sin or a lifestyle/habit of disobedience, we are now walking in obedience and righteousness. We must now preserve this righteous state by resisting the devil aka temptation through prayer and feeding the spirit with God’s word. This is the example that Jesus gave is in the desert. He didn’t allow circumstances : being hungry and tired, deter him from his state of righteousness. He didn’t give into his flesh: literally his natural needs. We too can be like Christ because this he promised us! Cling to the promises of Christ! All that he has done, is freely given to us! What a mighty God we serve!

Money and the lust of the flesh will lead us astray if we put our confidence in that and twist the word for own selfish gain. Being a christian is rewarding, freeing and truly life changing but it comes with a price. It means we give up everything we once knew and take up the cross of Jesus. It means not always having our own way but submitting to a holy God. In time, this becomes our own nature. We feel joy in the things of God and are disgusted by things that God hates. But we must be willing to crucify, kill, destroy, annihilate the flesh. We must resurrect Godly boundaries and walk in humility and God given authority to speak, confess and believe what God promised. We will offend many because we no longer please the world but please God. They will never understand but we must be like Jesus and say ” I’m about my Father’s business.”

Source: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Galatians+5%3A22-23

Obedience is Better than Sacrifice

Sometimes I have to remind myself who I am and who God is! Everything I do should be for God’s glory. Wisdom comes from God, my skills and talents and gifts comes from HIM .

 

I’ve reached a place in my life where “obedience is better than sacrifice” rings  true. Just because I do something considered right or good doesn’t mean it’s what God wanted for a specific situation. Honestly I believe and hold it in my heart, that God still talks to us today just like he did with those in biblical times. Why are we so reliant on our own personal understanding? God is personally here with us! His word is the standard we base everything on BUT what about our daily life choices? Is God just leaving us to interpret the scriptures and apply biblical prophecies where ever we see fit? No, the bible promises that we will know his voice, those that truly walk with HIM.

 

How many times I could have chosen to do something because it seemed right but not what God wanted for me at the time! Obedience is better than sacrifice and everything we do should give glory to God.

My prayer is that I become ever the more sensitive to the voice of God and his direction. That I will not depend on my own reasoning but wait on HIM! To God be all the glory now and forever!

 

But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.

1 Samuel 15:22 NLT

http://biblehub.com/1_samuel/15-22.htm

STOP COMPLAINING!

I decided that I don’t want to sit around having a round table discussion about my problems. Neither do I want to participate in listening. I’m not trying to be selfish or anything but it really solves NOTHING when we sit around and  discuss how horrible life is. I find myself participating in things that drain my spirit: leaving me hollow, tired, and sad. I depend on the joy of God but if I’m feeding my soul with negativity, how can I be a productive christian? We can discuss our problems all day until we are blue in the face but what are we going to do about it? I’m making a conscious decision to walk away from every negative conversation. If I have a problem I will pray. When I am sad, I will speak the truth of God’s word over my circumstances. This cycle of complaining needs to end.

 

Sadly, I will have to put in great effort to stay away from people who love to complain. Who only see the negative in every situation. Who let their feelings cloud their judgement and chose not to let God work in their lives. You become just like the company you keep. It doesn’t matter how much you love someone, you cannot fix them. If this person is you, you are in control over your actions. YOU CHOOSE whether or not you want to trust in God. You choose whether or not you will listen to good advice. You CHOOSE!

So don’t blame anyone for the problems in your life. We all have struggles: from the rich to the poor, Black, White and those in between, Christians and Non-Believers. We are all suffering in this world of sin and we need to realize that. Pity-party and complaining will get us no where.

For those that believe in Christ we have hope. There is a bigger responsibility for us to depend on God and wait and trust in him. It is our responsibility to chase after him. We have a greater responsibility to be a joyful example of God’s grace.

Throw away fear. Throw away insecurity. Throw away negativity. Throw away pity-party and pride and chase after Jesus.

There are TONS of scripture about complaining, negativity, etc.

Here’s a link to give you a head start.

When We Have Cloudy Days

1/25/2013

Two bad days so far, but I decided that pity-party is counter productive and not my style. I did a lot of bad things today from my thoughts, to my attitude, and my actions. However, these promises I rest on:

1.        God’s grace is sufficient to cover all my defects.

  • And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

2.    If I seek him everyday for renewal and guidance, he will reply.

  • And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.( Jeremiah 29:13)
  • Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. (Matthew 7:7)

3.    All my burdens, Jesus will freely take.

  • Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

4.    I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

5.    God is healer, provider, and his Spirit sanctifies.

  • But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you. (John 14:26)
  • Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (Romans 8:26)

So bad days are meant to remind us that we are human and need God always.