Tag Archives: Spiritual Warfare

Laying our burdens down

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So I had an amazing experience with The Lord and just thought I’d share it in case you wanted to give it a shot.
As I was spending time with Him, I had worship music on. The words to the song were, ” and I lay every burden down, at the foot of the cross,” next thing I know, I find myself drawing the cross, on a hill, and above it writing words that describe what I receive from His sacrifice and who He is to me. Then I proceeded to to write down all of the things that were burdening me. After doing that, it was like I knew they were no longer in my hands, but in the hands of the only One who could work them together for good. After this exchange, I was able to hear and focus on what He wanted to share with me, to encourage me in, and to lead me to pray about. It was powerful for me, and I just thought it may be for you too! Be blessed!

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Overcoming even in the Wilderness

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Can you take a minute to read Luke 4 before going on?
Something that stood out to me today as I read in chapter four was that satan waited until Jesus was really really hungry, probably almost desperate to eat, probably feeling very weak before he started to tempt Him.
It said that Jesus had been in The wilderness for 40 days and had not eaten a thing before satan started to tempt him.
I have personally had this type of experience with the tempter, aka accuser. I have had many times where I was beaten down, at the end of my rope, overwhelmed with fear of the unknown, and just plain desperate and that is when I would get kicked the hardest. I have had many “wilderness” experiences where I felt all alone, and even sometimes separated from God. Satan loves to kick us while we are down. He loves to tempt us when we are desperately fighting, and he especially loves to tempt us with what we are desperate for.
I strongly believe we were given this example because Jesus showed us how to handle every type of temptation we would be faced with. He showed us there is NOTHING satan can throw at us that cannot be defeated by the TRUTH in the Word of God. He showed us that in order to deny satan from defeating us, we will constantly have to deny our flesh, meaning our physical needs, our pride, our need to prove God to others, any desire we have that does not line up with the plans of The Lord on our lives. He showed us that the only strategy needed to live in victory is to be in relationship with the Word, JESUS! It’s serious. He came to give us a perfect example of living a human life completely dependent on The Lord and this was His only and very specific strategy for overcoming every temptation. What an awesome example.
So how can you really apply what Jesus was teaching us? Here is something I try to do. I pray this scripture: Psalm 139:23-24
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
When I deliberately ask for this, He does reveal any offensive way in me. Often times, it would be something I would never otherwise have paid attention too. But mostly, if they would be left in the darkness to grow, it would take root and be much more painful to rip up and out. So although it is painful to see it at all, I’m grateful when it is revealed to me at just the beginning.
So next I have to make a choice to agree with God and line my heart up with His will. I have free will, so this is my responsibility. I have to choose to say, “Yes Lord, I recognize that is not from You, what are we going to do about it?” Often times, I don’t want to say that, but because I know Him, and I know He is FOR ME, I trust that He is saving me from future pain by revealing it to me. Then as I search the scriptures, He gives me truth to defeat the lie attached to the offensive way. So now that The Lord has made me aware of this thing, I’m hyper sensitive to it. I can now recognize the ploy and I have the specific strategy from The Lord, the specific scripture(s) to defeat the enemy. Together with The Lord’s help, with Jesus alive in me, I can overcome! Praise The Lord!
Lord Jesus, thank you for providing everything. Thank you for being the Truth! Teach me in your ways. Deepen my desire for holiness and continue to make me aware of every offensive thing in me. Cleanse me, purify me, make me more like you! Oh Lord, that is the deepest desire of my heart! I love you and it in in your name, Jesus, I pray. Amen!

Ask! ASK! AAASSSKKK!

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Ask ask ask! The Lord keeps reminding me, ASK SPECIFICALLY. He shares with me a message to give to someone, “Stop settling for what you can see, I have more for you than that, but you have to ASK.”

I feel led to send a friend a  picture text with a word of encouragement about her gifting and talents from the Lord. She replies, “Thank you! This is an answer the a very specific prayer.”

At the leading of the Lord, I have been asking Him much more specifically when I am in prayer, and He is answering specifically. I almost feel like He is showing off. =) All kidding aside, this is for us. This grows our faith. Everything He does is because He loves us and has our best in mind. He is always for us!

So, when He first said, ASK SPECIFICALLY, I got a little nervous. I almost felt like I would have more opportunity to be let down. Once I realized I was believing this very sad lie, I started seeking the Lord as to why I initially felt this way. Basically, the root is fear. I was afraid of really believing God for miracles because I didn’t want to give Him the chance to hurt me, let me down, or make me feel really stupid for believing with all of my heart. I begin wondering who else do I have this attitude towards, but that’s a story for a whole other entry! =)

Why are there times when we ask, ask, ask and it seems like none of our prayers are being answered? Or maybe the opposite of what we have asked for is what happens? I believe what the Lord has showed me is how He is God and we are not. There are times when we will have to surrender the need to understand why something happened, or didn’t happen, and recognize that there is a bigger picture and all things will be worked together for our good. It is also important to realize the effect of sin. We do have free will, and so does everyone we love and pray for. There are consequences for sin, and we need to be careful not to blame God when sin is the cause of destruction. He is way bigger than sin, but we have to come to Him, and ask for forgiveness, turn to God and away from sin, be redeemed by the blood, to walk in His Will for our lives.

The next question I had was, “How do I know what to ask for?” There is scripture that deals with asking according to His will. then also, there is the one about delighting myself in Him, and then He will give me the desires of my heart. He is teaching me to ask Him to show me what He is up to, before I begin asking for what I think I want, in any given circumstance. It may go something like this:

Lord Jesus, thank you for so and so. Lord I know you created them fearfully and wonderfully. I know you have a plan and purpose for their life. Lord I know you love them. Would you show me what you see when you look at them? Would you show me your will for their life? Would you teach me how to pray for them? How to love them? What is Heaven’s heartbeat over so and so?

Usually, after I ask this way (and often this prayer is about myself and my circumstances) He totally changes my perspective. Most of the time there is at least a sliver of judgement in my heart, and He totally undoes that by humbling me with His incredible love for each person (including me) that I pray for. There is power in agreement, and this shift in my prayers has allowed me to come into agreement with the Father’s heart. It is when I come from this place, that I do not feel afraid to ask specifically, because I feel confident that whatever He wants for whomever is totally possible.

So today, I want to encourage you to allow Him to upgrade your relationship with Him. Allow Him access to the part of you that you have been saying, “I’m not ready to go there yet.” If He is prompting you, it will be worth it. ASK ASK ASK. Do not be afraid. Find out what His will is, what His perspective is, and come into agreement with His heartbeat. You are about to see specific answers to specific prayers that is going to grow your faith like crazy!

P.S. I wanted to share a bunch of scripture on asking, but felt led to take them off because He was telling me that He wanted you to dig for them. Have fun excavating the truth! There is a treasure to be found for sure!

Nothing to be afraid of!

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Recently I went through the Lord asking me to surrender my business back to Him. At first I felt a little sad, but then relief set in, which led to guilt. Why did I feel relieved from doing what I felt God was asking me to? He is sooooo good, because the book I was reading at the time was all about being, “pruned”.

John 15 (NLT)

15 “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.

There was a chart which describes how we know the difference between being pruned and disciplined. At the emotional level on this chart, the author described the emotion directly related to being pruned at relief. As soon I read this, I knew that I was bearing fruit, but God has more fruit in mind. With this truth now in front of me I went from guilt and feeling like a failure, to excitement to see what God has in store.

I’m sharing this to show you just how much we cannot trust our feelings alone. God did create us with feelings and they shouldn’t be ignored, however, we must check them according to the truth of His word! Sometimes our feelings are out of our flesh, and if we “follow our heart” instead of striving to be “in step with the Holy Spirit,” we will end up way out of the will of God for our lives.

Galatians 5:25 (NLT)

25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.

He has good plans for each of us. It may not always make sense to us at the time, but we know that He loves us and is for us. We also know He is trustworthy and faithful. He gave up everything for us before we ever even thought about sacrificing anything for Him. This is a love that is worth following and investing in.

I also just want to touch on “fear of failure.” One thing I did ask of the Lord when He asked me to surrender my business, was to walk me through every memory and teach me every lesson I could possibly learn out of this experience. I made many mistakes being this was my first time trying, and I wanted them to be beneficial to everything else I will be called to do in my lifetime on Earth.

Before embarking in this business, I suffered terribly with “fear of failure.” The Lord spoke to me through the account in Numbers 13-14 where the Israelites were about to take the Promised Land, and Moses sent spies into the land to scout it out. The reports came back where all but two spies cried out in fear, “There are giants in the Land, we will surely die!” But two spies said, “There are giants in the Land, but GOD has promised us this Land so we should enter into it!” After hearing this account, the Lord spoke to me and said, ” Right now you echo in perfect harmony with the majority, but I think you are one of the two!” Just knowing God believed in me, made me want to believe in myself, that together with Him nothing is impossible, so really what is there to be afraid of?

Matthew 19:26 (MSG)

  26Jesus looked hard at them and said, “No chance at all if you think you can pull it off yourself. Every chance in the world if you trust God to do it.”

1 John 4:18 (MSG)

 17-18God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.
So once He dealt with my fear of failure, I was more open to His leading. And now, I am leaving this business which I can plainly tell you there have been parts of that I failed at. And guess what? I’m failing forward! I’m in process, and I’m learning. Failing is NOTHING to be afraid of because in fact it makes you smarter and stronger. It definitely has not destroyed me, which is what I always thought it would do! If this would be the only lesson I received out of this business venture I would feel satisfied, but it’s not, there have been so many more!
Can I encourage you today, if you are dealing with the paralyzing fear of failure, read the account of the spies. Then seek the Lord and ask Him to identify the root of the fear.  Write out what you are really afraid of and then seek the scriptures to find truth to override the authority of your feelings. God planted greatness in the very core of you when He knit you together in your mother’s womb. Please do not allow a fake giant of fear to keep your greatness, your unique expression of Christ in you, from being illuminated to this world. Face your giants, and if you have to, do it afraid!

Jeremiah 29:11(NLT)

 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Colossians 1:27 (NLT)

 27 For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.

Deuteronomy 31:6 (MSG)

 6 “Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.”

He Makes it ALL worth it!

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Today I can’t help but think about this scripture out of Romans.

Romans 8:28 NLT

28 And we know that God causes everything to work together[a] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

I keep finding myself saying a breath prayer of, “Thank You, thank you…” for this promise. Have you ever taken a moment to consider how inclusive the word “everything” is. That is an amazing promise. This means that even when the suffering is great, it will still be worked together for good, and that means we never have to suffer in vain. I’m not sure about you but I believe this promise is a key to how we could even consider the command found in James 1.

James 1:2-4 NLT

Dear brothers and sisters,[a] when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

I believe they only way we can consider trials as an opportunity for joy is when we know the truth that even the suffering will be worked together for good. For me, it makes the trial, though difficult and painful at times, a blessing  because I can consider that on the other side of this I will be stronger,and have more testimony to share which is what makes us OVERCOMERS!

Revelation 12:11 (AMP)

11 And they have overcome (conquered) him by means of the blood of the Lamb and by the utterance of their testimony

I am really learning this year that to be positioned as an overcomer in Christ, it is absolutely imperative that I trust the Lord.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.

He has really shown me that when I lay my understanding down at His feet and I seek Him for what He is up to, that is when I will be in step with the Holy Spirit with my very thoughts and actions in agreement with the Father’s Heart. It is in this place I can ask and receive according to His will. It is in this place I will find that all things are possible.

When we have surrendered our understanding and placed all of our trust in Him,  admitting our total dependance upon Him, we are positioned to take authority and start overcoming as a co-laborer with Christ anything that is holding us or our loved ones back from everything God created us for!

James 4:10 NLT

10 When you bow down before the Lord and admit your dependence on him, he will lift you up and give you honor.

See all of this came by simply thinking upon one promise in His Word that I have hidden in my heart. This is the kind of rabbit-trail I’m thankful for! Would you please consider joining me in memorizing scripture verses so we all can be having more of these divinely inspired rabbit-trailing thought patterns? I would love to hear yours!

Psalm 119:11 NLT

11 I have hidden your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.

Lord Jesus, I love you! Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for your Love and how constant everything about You is. I know I can trust You. So I declare right now, I trust You with my life: my present, my past, and my future. Lord, thank You that You will work everything together for good.  Thank You that I can overcome anything with You. Thank You for continuing to expand my testimony of Your goodness, kindness, faithfulness, and gentleness upon me. You are worthy of ALL glory, honor, and praise FOREVER! I love You Lord! It is in Jesus’ name I pray! Amen!

Coming up Higher!

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The other day the Lord spoke to me about something which seemed to come out of nowhere because it was not something I was particularly dealing with or thinking about. Then it dawned on me, it’s not all about me. =) LIGHTBULB…..It is good to remember that He speaks to us not just for us, but often times to share with others. To add to that thought, what usually ends up happening, is something the Lord speaks to me for someone else, I usually end up needing soon thereafter. What can I say? It’s a process, so keep track and pay attention to everything you hear from Him.

I’m also being taught not to add anything to what God has spoken. Lately, He has been renewing my mind by showing me how I had made assumptions to what He shared with me. He is teaching me how those assumptions led to expectations I have placed upon myself which have actually been distracting me from His Will. He has even been showing me how we all tend to read His Word from our perspective instead of His, which then makes it hard to believe and even recognize it manifest in our reality. We tend to be looking for the wrong thing because we are expecting God to show up in the way we understood the written or spoken word.

I would like to share a revelation I had a few years ago with you to further illustrate what He is still trying to teach me. =)

Ephesians 2:4-6 NLT 4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much,that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.

A few years ago I read this scripture and the word, “seated” was like jumping off of the page to me. Seated, as in present tense??? I was so confused and a little angry. I began asking the Lord,  “How in the world am I suppose to believe I am presently seated in the heavenly realms when I am SO OBVIOUSLY here on earth!!!!!!!!!!” I told Him, “I believe your Word is true and that you selected EVERY WORD carefully. I cannot see that the tense of this verb could be a mistake, but I have never experienced Heaven even though I am in Christ!” I begged Him, “Lord, please teach me how this is true. Please show me how I can be in two places at once.”

After I had finished my passionate ranting, the Lord quieted my spirit and asked me, “Are you finished?” I was and finally he showed me a giraffe. A giraffe? That’s all He had to say???? “Lord, can you please explain?”

Finally, I got the revelation that the way we can be in two places at once, on earth and in heaven simultaneously, is that our minds are to be in heavenly places ( think of the giraffe’s long neck and mind way up high) while our bodies are on earth(the giraffe’s feet are on the ground). So I started to seek Him as to how our minds can be in heaven. How do we enter that place?
Psalms 100:4 MSG

4 Enter with the password: “Thank you!”
Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
Thank him. Worship him.

This is what I am still learning. When we come before the Lord, we first praise and thank Him. We do this because of who He has been to us, which means we do this by remembering His faithfulness. As we remember His faithfulness, our faith begins to swell. We are making an exchange. A transaction of worry for faith, fear for trust, hopelessness for peace, is taking place when we choose to magnify the Lord over anything else.

Once we have spent time worshipping Him for who He is, we have been lifted up higher. It is beautiful. We come to a higher place in His presence, where we see from His perspective. We can see what He sees, what He is up to, and then supernaturally we can come into agreement with His plans and purposes even though we still may not understand them.

Can I encourage you today to spend time praising and worshipping the Lord? Spend some time remembering His faithfulness, goodness, kindness, and LOVE upon you. Rejoice over answered prayers of days past and miracles that have no other explanation than God. Ask Him to bring you up higher, to show you His perspective. He will usher you into an intimate place and lavish you with Himself. If you then choose to open your Bible, you will see things you have never seen before. If you choose to open your spiritual ears, you will hear things you have never heard before.  You will never be the same.

(P.S. I would strongly encourage you to have a pad of paper and pen in hand so if He has anything to share with you, so you are prepared so you can remember later, ask Him more about it, and check it according to scripture.)

 

 

I will not be silenced!

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Writing a blog on Facebook has been amazing, but I have been feeling led to make a change. I’ve enjoyed the comments posted, and the comments shared personally have blown my mind. I’m so thankful that my journey can somehow touch other people’s lives. My hope is that by changing the format of where I write, now people who are not on Facebook will have an opportunity to engage in this journey I’m on.

It is only by the grace of God that there is hope for me. I would love for you to become part of my journey of living a life of freedom in a world where, at every turn, is an opportunity to become a slave to something. As I venture through this life, my goal is to be real, to be vulnerable, and to glorify my King.

Right now all I can think about it how amazing it is to be plugged in with friends who you can fight for and who are willing to fight for you.

Today I was praying for my friend’s son, who is amazing and satan hates and is attacking him to try to ruin the call on his life. I was also interceding for a family who I believe is going to make it although right now all signs point to impending divorce.

I was feeding my son as I was praying and fighting, by claiming scripture, asking God for His perspective and agreeing with Him, and praising God for who HE IS, when all of a sudden I heard in my spirit, “If you don’t stop, you have no idea what I can do to him.” This was the voice of our enemy. He was trying to scare me off and fill me with fear so I would not pray for God’s best for these treasured friends of mine.

I’m so grateful that lately the Lord has been speaking to me all about His protection. Currently, I’m reading a book all about Psalm 91. This has been bringing me amazing revelation about God’s protection and how to access it. Also, the Lord has been highlighting a ton of scripture that defines His protection over my family and I. It was only because of how saturated in this truth I am that in the face of this attack, I was able to boldly make declarations of God’s protection.
I stated things like:
If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Romans 8:31
No weapon formed against you shall prosper… Isaiah 54:17
Because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world -1 John
Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. … 2 Kings 6:16
I also claimed as in Psalm 91, that the Lord has sent His angels to have charge over my family. I remembered that I prayed on and was protected by the complete armor of God, and the fiery darts of the enemy could not penetrate.
As I claimed all of this truth, my confidence in the Lord swelled, and I began to pray with a renewed energy and resolve. I WILL NOT BE SILENCED BY FEAR! I will continue on until these loved ones walk into the victory God has for them.
So, why do I share this? I share this to encourage you, Do not be afraid of a created being, when you serve the Creator! Do not allow fear stop you from fighting if it’s a fight God has asked of you. Find rest, strength, power, and authority in Christ. In His victory, by His Spirit, all things are possible. Trust in the promises in His Word, spend time meditating on them, memorize them, experience them. You will be set free from terror and fear, and your enemy will not be able to defeat the Christ in you,the hope of Glory!
Be encouraged Mighty Warrior!