THE ENEMY HAS FAILED

This is a letter from a brother who attends our church. All glory to God for his salvation and new life in Christ! Be encouraged as you read his testimony! The enemy has failed and will continue to fail! In Jesus name, amen!

“Dear Malia, Today is my birthday, I really want to thank the Lord for his mercies and grace in my life and also in the life of my family. I just want to share this testimony to the glory of God and to the shame of satan. As you know, I was born into a strong Muslim home. My father was strongly involved in the affairs of the Muslim community here in Warri. One faithful day my dad took me and my elder brother to see an Alfa (I call them a sorcerer), for protection. When he got to my turn the man shouted ‘is this your son’? My dad says ‘yes’. He then told my dad that in the future I will deviate from Islam. My dad was furious. He told my dad that he can change my mind. He did some concoction and gave it to me. I drank it. Then he gave me another thing, something for me to swallow and I swallowed it.

But today I am in Christ Jesus! I am a child of God! I have the assurance of salvation! I am a member of the general assembly of Jesus Christ! I thank God that my enemies could not stop my salvation because it is by the grace of God and not what man can do or not do! They can’t stop me for serving my God. I love you Jesus….. According to Romans 8: 29-30, He conformed me into the image of His son and now I am a partaker of His divine Kingdom, I love You Jesus… I love You Jesus…”

THANK GOD HE CAME

 

 

“Your gentleness has made me great” (Ps 18:35)

We had a wonderful prayer meeting this evening. I had a great expectation since morning. Today was my birthday. I already told my children, natural and spiritual, that I want to have a quiet day of meditation and thanksgiving. No rice, no cake… Thank God they obeyed. I read my Bible. I prayed. I wanted to focus on what God wants from me today and in the days ahead. Tomorrow our church will be 16 years (not old, but) eternal. The presence of God was so strong. This is my heart’s desire: to host the King of kings in our midst, to welcome the Person of God the Holy Spirit. If He comes, that is success for me. If He does not come, I am sad and I need to repent. Thank God He came…

 

We prayed for more zeal for God. We rejected the evil spirit of lukewarm religion. Then the praises started. It was not just singing. It was praise warfare. The demons were ‘sleeping’, confident that the chains around our ankles are still strong and the padlocks still locked. But the praises were too ‘hot’ and woke them up. They all ran away. Thank You Jesus! Then we pushed the chairs to the side so that we can dance like David danced. We praised and we worshipped for almost two hours. We did not feel tired. We all felt good and happy. The King of kings was in our midst and He was blessing each person, the adults and the children. Tomorrow will be the official Thanksgiving Day. There shall be many visitors and well-wishers. Thank God for that! But this evening the Lord came ‘unofficially’ to bless His children, His servants and faithful friends with His intimate touch. His Spirit is gentle and strong in the same time. We declared that the sick are healed, the troubled are delivered, the weak are strong and the poor are now rich. All these blessings came because of what the Father has done thru His Son! Glory!

 

Then there was a prophetic word: “God will give you ‘Grace Money’. It is not ‘bank money’. It is called ‘Grace Money’. It is not Naira or Dollars. It is ‘Grace Money’. It does not smell like money. It has the fragrance of Christ. You shall use it to pay all your bills and debts. With it, you shall start a new business. The business shall succeed. It is not a small business. Receive this Word. You do not need money. You do not need capital. But you need faith to believe that this word is true. It shall come to pass and you shall testify…”   To God be all the glory!

HOPE IN PERILOUS TIMES

 

HAPPY WITH CHURCH TONIGHT
We have just ended our women’s fellowship. We shared testimonies of God’s goodness and grace. We praised God with songs. We prayed. The Word was to expose the evil spirit of deception. We have made many mistakes in teh past. But in the Word of God there is hope for the hopeless!
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money… from such people turn away” (2Timothy 3)

As you see in the scriptures above, there is a peculiar attack upon the women in the church. There are religious men who ‘creep’ into homes and take the women ‘captive’. This is the work of the devil, trying to repeat the strategy used in the Garden of Eve, when the woman was deceived first. The aim of the deception in the home is to divide that home. These women read the Bible but are not able to locate and retain the truth, the Gospel of Christ Crucified. These women are called ‘gullible’. To be gullible it means to be foolish, silly, easily deceived and cheated.

Some say that by nature, the women are more easily deceived than the men. They quote this scripture:
“And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression” (1Tim 2:14). They say that because Eve was deceived and not Adam, it means that all women all over the world and to the end of time are more easily deceived than men. They say that is the reason why they should keep silent in the churches and they should not have positions of leadership in the church. It is a pity, but there are many denominations that forbid women to preach the Word of God. What can we say to this? It is true that the man was created first before the woman. It is true that the devil was crafty enough to attack the woman first and he deceived her to sin. But it is not correct to generalize that all women are more gullible than men. In the history of the church, most leaders of cults were men. Most of the warnings in the Bible against deception are given to men. Our Lord warns all believers, men and women, against religious deception. Paul, John and Peter do the same. They do not warn men against the deception coming from the women but from the religious evil spirits. This is a spiritual matter. All over the world, the unbelieving men discriminate the women and they have succeeded in keeping them quiet even when they should speak. A smart man who is married to a foolish woman is foolish too!

What can we do? How can we protect ourselves from deception? The first lesson is to identify these deceivers and to ‘keep away from them’. In Greek it means to avoid them, to turn away and take another path; to deliberately withdraw from these dangerous religious deceivers. This is not an easy command to obey. There is something attractive, magnetic about a hypocrite. The deceivers are more entertaining than the honest people. If you want fun in this life, if you are not born again and filled with the Holy Spirit these wicked and skillful deceivers shall surely lead you astray. But if you desire to live for Jesus, you have to separate yourself from the world and come to the Cross. Then you are safe!

The second advice is to protect yourself against deception by knowing the truth. That means know sound doctrine! That is why the husband is told to teach his ignorant wife at home sound doctrine, so that she will not be easily deceived by false teachers (1Cor 14:35). You need to aggressively ‘preach the Word’! Be known as a serious ‘violent-take-it-by-force’ Christian! Preach the Word of God in season and out of season. That means you preach the Word all the time! When you feel like it or not, in sickness and in health, to people who rejoice and to them who mourn! You preach it to one person or to a thousand. It does not matter. To successfully do this, you need to study the Bible until it becomes part of you.

The last weapon against deception is self-control. It is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Be filled with the Spirit!

A YOUNG MAN’S DREAM

PRAYER REQUEST
I received a letter from a young man who started attending our church. Please pray and counsel. I shall forward your kind words to him. God bless all the faithful intercessors in Christ!
“When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations: “The Lord has done great things for them. The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad” (Ps 126:1-3)

“Dear Malia, I am a young man in my late twenties. I come from a very poor family. No one in our family is educated. Most of my life I lived with richer relatives. I always felt like a house boy. When I became a teenager I gave my life to Christ. I prayed that God will help me to break the vicious circle of poverty and backwardness. I attended a church for more than ten years. I was a member of the choir. I love to sing. God gave me the gift of music. I am so grateful for that. My childhood dream was to be the first graduate in our family. I finished secondary school with good grades. In 2000 I passed JAMB and I was given admission in the University to read music. It was the happiest day of my life. I filled the forms and prepared myself. But I could not pay the school fees. I had to withdraw. When my school mates celebrated their first day in school, I wept like a baby. Then I tried to forget about it. I am now working in a factory. I pay my rent and my bills. I saved some money. I re-dedicated myself to Christ when I came to Father’s House. I love your church. I feel free to worship. You may not know me, that is why I decided to write this letter. I so am happy now… Please ma, I want to ask an advice. Someone said that I should go to Abuja, that there is a private institute of music there. I have gathered the money for the first semester. It is not a real university, but it is better than nothing. Ma, what do you advise me to do? I appreciate your counsel and your time. Your son in the church…”

My advice to him: “Dear…, thank you for your letter. I am sorry for your pain as a child and for the disappointment with your school. I see that you are a born again Christian. That is wonderful! You can never be a loser!
As for the school … I believe that in 2000, if you were more patient and had more faith, God could have provided the money. Anyway, all things work together for good for them that love God. My counsel is not to go to Abuja. Stay where you are. Serve God the best you can! Wait for God to open the real door that no man can shut! I think that going to that institute is a waste of time and resources. It is only to please men. Better please God and your conscience! You wanted to be a real graduate of a university. You prayed about it as a child. God heard you! It is not too late. You are still young. You can still do it! Stay faithful to your original dream! That is the only way your spirit shall be satisfied! Some things cannot be sold and cannot be killed. Do not compromise your vision. You are now more mature. Your faith is greater. You are more stable spiritually and financially. I pray that God will open your eyes to see the hope alive ahead of you! Go back to the university! Start afresh! I see your name on that list over there! God has not finished with you! Have faith! With God nothing is impossible! Love in Christ alone, Malia”

SHEEP AND GOATS

He will separate them “as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left” (Mt 25:32, 33)
In the Book of Matthew 25 you read the Parable of the sheep and the goats. The sheep represent the true born again believers and the goats are symbols of religious unbelievers. Our Lord says that when He will come back, He will judge men according to the way they behaved towards Him. The sheep were kind and generous but the goats are selfish and proud. Salvation is not by works but by grace. These works are the fruits of their hearts. The true believers symbolized by the sheep are blessed; they shall be rewarded and will go to heaven. The religious unbelievers are cursed and shall go to hell.

The following are some facts about sheep and goats:
The sheep and the goats resemble in many ways but each is a distinct specie (the sheep have 54 chromosomes and the goats have 60). They rarely mate with one another and their hybrids are barren. When they are young, it is hard to differentiate the sheep and the goats. With time, the difference becomes clearer. The goat’s tails are up and the sheep’s tails are down. (Spiritually it speaks of the sexual lust and pride of the unbelievers and the humility of the believers). The goats are very intelligent but the sheep are foolish. A goat can survive without human help but a sheep will die without a shepherd. The goats are very agile and walk long distances to find food. They are natural browsers and can eat anything. They stand on their hind legs to eat the top of the branches. But the sheep are grazers, always satisfied with the same grass; they never stand on their hind legs.

Goats are naturally curious and independent, while sheep tend to be more distant and aloof. Goats like to stay in a family but do not like to live as a flock. Sheep have strong flocking instinct and become very agitated if they are separated from the rest of the flock. It is easier to keep sheep inside a fence than goats. Most goats have hair coats that do not require shearing or combing. The sheep grow woolly coats that need to be sheared at least annually. Male goats have glands beneath their tail. They develop a strong odor as they grow in sexual maturity and especially during the mating season. Sheep have face or tear glands beneath their eyes. Sometimes sheep look like they weep. The goats never ‘weep’.

A male sheep is called a ram. A male goat is called a buck. As a general rule, goats are bolder and typically more aggressive than sheep. The goat is a ‘trouble-maker’ and much more persistent than the ram. The ram fights only to protect his flock. The ram is heavier than the buck. In a fight, a ram will back up and charge to butt heads. A goat will rear up on his hind legs and come down forcibly to butt heads. During such a confrontation, such fighting behavior favors the ram.

sheep

What are the spiritual lessons? The danger is that the sheep will become deceived by the goat. In other words, the believer may be deceived by the religious unbeliever. You need to pray to receive the gift of discernment of spirits. Do not look at the surface of things. Do not look at the gifts of men, the beauty of women, the strength of their voices or their business in the church. Look for the fruits of the Holy Spirit! The first slice of that fruit is love and the last slice is self-control (Gal 5: 22, 23). A true believer loves and in case of temptation to sin, he controls himself. The true believer is humble, kind, generous, patient, wise and loving. He keeps close to the Shepherd who is the Lord Jesus Christ. The unbeliever is basically wicked, manipulative, seducing, lustful, covetous, wild, wasteful and undisciplined.

 

Beatiful goat

Finally, this is the most important question: Are you a sheep or a goat? Are you born again or not?

(In the first picture you see humble sheep staying together, listening to the voice of their shepherd. In the second picture you see an independent beautiful goat with its horns like an expansive hairdo. But do not be deceived… as beautiful as you see it, she is still a goat!!!)

YOUR VICTORY IS SURE

“The magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils that were on them and on all the Egyptians” (Ex 9:11)
Your enemies who fight against you and your ministry shall fall. They will not be able ‘to stand’ before you because of the ‘boils’ on them. They shall be in pain and the only thing they will think about is how to stop their frustration. Panadol will not work. Their prayer will not work. They will have no more strength to fight you. Except they repent and confess their sins to God and to you, they shall have no peace! Wickedness cannot make progress forever! Trust God! He knows His job!
As for you little flock, have peace! God is fighting your battles! Your victory is sure! Jesus is Lord!

A GLIMPSE FROM MY LIFE STORY

 
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life” (PV 13:12)

This is a wonderful Cinderella type of story. Misty Copeland is an African American girl who is now a famous ballerina. She was born in a poor home to a single mother. When she was 13, a lady, who was a ballet teacher,’discovered’ that her body is very flexible and balanced. The lady helped her. She introduced her to the world of classical ballet. She was discriminated because of her color. She was rejected by many schools because of her body type. But against all odds she persevered. She was given full scholarship to the best ballet school in New York. She is now famous and rich, She is the only ‘black prima ballerina’ in America. She is an inspiration for many colored girls that they can achieve their dreams. I am happy for her that she rejected the rejection. I pray that she will know Jesus Christ one day. Then she will understand her life better!

Misty Copeland

Her story touched me this evening. I can identify with her struggles. As a child, I wanted to be a ballerina too. My parents sent me to Ballet school. I did very well. For about 5 years we traveled with our ballet group and competed with others. I loved my ballet teacher, an old woman full of elegant skills. But when I was about 12 or 13 I was told that I can never be a professional ballerina because of my ‘body type’. I was too ‘fat and short’. Something broke in my heart that day. My hope to be a ballerina died. My dream was rejected and died. My heart got sick…
Because of that rejection, for many years I struggled with negative body image. I tried to compensate with high performance in school. I became top of the class. I chose to be a medical doctor. I knew that even if you are ‘fat and short’ you can be a doctor. My ‘secondary’ dreams were all fulfilled.
I am now a retired medical doctor, a happy wife, blessed mother, grand mother and a pastor. I can say that my greatest ‘achievement’ is to give my life to Christ, to become a child of God! Nothing else matters!
I testify that Christ freed me from all my inferiority complexes. In His eyes I am beautiful! I dance in my spirit… I dance when I worship. I am now a very happy woman. My childhood dream died but Jesus gave me His own dreams! They are the best! To serve my King forever is my dream now. Old age, fatness or weakness of the body can never stop the eternal seed!
Be encouraged! When one door shuts, God will open another! A better one! No regrets! Only praises! To God be all the glory!

(In the picture is Misty Copeland dancing in the Swan Lake)