Recently, I had to counsel and pray with some young men who are taking marihuana. Their lives are scattered. Their minds are confused. They hear (religious) voices. The devil keeps them in bondage. The cage is very strong. Without help from God, they cannot recover. I write these lines with pain and anger in my heart. I hate the devil! I hate these drugs! I write these words as a doctor, pastor, mother and grandmother. It is not a subject I like to think about. But I cannot ignore it! I had to re-examine the terrible effects these illegal drugs have on the people, especially the youths. Many are true Christians and come to church. They love the Lord and want to serve Him. They want to have a good life, to go to school, marry and live well. But the addiction to this poison hinders them to live well and live long.
The most common and the cheapest addiction that the devil offers here in Nigeria is ‘marihuana’. The young men smoke it or drink the tea made from its dry leaves. Marijuana (Cannabis, Hemp, Hashish) is a plant used by many all over the world as an illegal pleasure drug. The word ‘marijuana’ is related with a Spanish word which is translated ‘prisoner’. (Attention: the devil wants to make you his prisoner thru this plant that God has created!!!). More and more young people try it and become addicted to it. It is a deception to think that marihuana is a harmless drug. It has great potential of destroying your health and your future. Marijuana, like other drugs of abuse, can result in addiction. During intoxication, marijuana can interfere with the cognitive function of the brain (ex. memory and perception of time) and the motor function (e.g., coordination). These effects can have detrimental consequences (ex. traffic accidents). The people who use marijuana have a higher risk of developing depression, anxiety and other more serious psychiatric sicknesses. Repeated marijuana use during adolescence may result in long-lasting changes in brain function that can jeopardize educational, professional, and social achievements. Most people who smoke marihuana drop out from school and get involved in other crimes.
Dear young man! Dear young woman! You who takes illegal drugs: If you read these words, it means that God is talking to you! God wants to help you, to deliver you from the demons associated with them. God loves you! Give your life to Christ! Start reading the Bible and pray. Go to a good church. Let your pastor pray for you. Deliver yourself! At the name of Jesus every knee will bow! One with God is majority! God is able and more than able to deliver you, to heal you and give you a good future.
This is God’s Promise to you:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity…” (Jer 29:11-14)
Let’s pray: “Dear Heavenly Father I come to You on behalf of Your people who desire deliverance from drug addiction, especially marihuana. Have mercy Oh, Lord. Nobody can help them except You. Do for them what money cannot buy and man cannot give. I take authority against the wicked demon of drug addiction, against fear, anxiety, depression, madness, restlessness, poverty, suicide, hopelessness, deception and confusion! I bind you! I silence you! Leave God’s people alone and go away! In the name of Jesus! I destroy every spell that the devil has placed on them! I destroy the spiritual cage of addiction! Holy Spirit please take control. Let the miracle of freedom happen! Let freedom be real! Revel to them the power and the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ! Let their body reject the desire to go back to drugs! I plead the Blood of Jesus over you! I declare that their minds are sound, that their hearts are filled with peace and joy! Father God, it is all to Your Glory! In Jesus’ name I pray, amen!”
“Test all spirits for not are from God!” (1Jn 4:1)
Look well at this insect in the picture. It looks like a bee but it is not. It is called Volucella. This is an insect that has a strong resemblance to the humble bee. They are ‘co-workers’. They too eat the nectar of flowers. They are ‘friends’. But the Volucella deceive and exploit the bees. They abuse this resemblance to introduce themselves fraudulently into the bee nests, and they deposit their eggs there. The bees do not seem to identify this foreign insect. It looks like they trust them, for they meet on top of flowers, eating the same nectar and making friends there. When the Volucella’s eggs have hatched, their larvae, which have two strong mandibles, devour the larvae of their hosts, the bees. This wickedness is the ‘reward’ they give to the bees for the hospitality they have received!
What is the lesson? In the church you encounter true and false believers. Spiritually these are called sheep and goats. They resemble in many ways. But the difference is seen, sooner or later. The false believers are not born again. They are the devil’s ‘plantation’ to squeeze the life out of the true believers. If you are a true believer surrounded by the false believers, you will not be able to breath well; you shall remain weak and unfruitful (spiritually). Be careful with false brethren, false prophets and deceivers! They take advantage of your hospitality and come to parasite your home, changing its atmosphere and bringing strange, poisonous ideas. Pray before you make friends with anybody. Pray before you open your heart to other ‘brethren’. Blessed are you if you are surrounded by true believers who love you, pray and counsel you well.
“You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you… I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is… it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you … In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.…” (Gal 5:7-10; 2 Thess 1:6; Rom 8:37)
Child of God, you are a champion because God has made you so! The Holy Spirit is your teacher, coach and encourager. He is training you daily. He expects you to run according to the rules of the game. Though you are a child of God, the Holy Spirit will not accept bribes or manipulations to bend the rules. He trains you to be a real champion in your mind, emotions, will, body and spirit! This marathon race is hard work. But you are looking for your reward in the future. The promise of reward helps you overcome the difficulties. The gold crown or the gold medal you shall receive is a gift you want to place at the feet of Jesus Christ, your Savior and Lord.
One of the ways satan tempts the children of God is to bring one of his people by your side as you run the race of faith. The Accuser of the brethren sends an athlete alongside you. You have never seen this strange man training in any stadium around. You don’t know his coach. You do not know his past achievements. All you know is that he is huge, with big muscles and strong voice. He is confident and he is boasting of victory. He is placed to run next to you. Suddenly, he whispers words of mockery and discouragement to you, saying: ‘you call yourself a Christian, you are a fool… you can never finish this race… this race is too hard for you… I am the best athlete in the world… you are a ‘nobody’… there is no need to run… just go away and rest… leave the stadium and go home… nobody in your family is a champion… it is not in your DNA… just go away…if not, I will push you aside, and wound you, and kill you… the director of the stadium is my friend… nobody will help you… don’t you see how insignificant you are?’
For a time you listen to these wicked words. Fear of failure, of disgrace, of untimely death… is trying to enter your heart. A strange weakness squeezes your soul. You breathe hard… You start to doubt your faith… You almost stumble and fall… Then you remember that the Holy Spirit is running by your side… ‘What a relief!’- you tell yourself… Then you whisper to the Holy Spirit… ‘Did you see this great champion running by my side? He says he will take my crown… What shall I do?’ Then the Holy Spirit speaks: ‘My child, fear not! Resist him and he will run away from you! He is a fake athlete. The enemy has sent him to tempt you, to give up your crown. He is already disqualified because he has tested positive for illegal drugs. He is a liar! Do not listen to him! Focus your gaze on Me, the Author and the Finisher of your faith! You are the true champion! I am always by your side! Let’s move on!”
Suddenly, my eyes got opened to see the King of glory seated on His throne! Truth sets me free! I now remember who I am in Christ! I am complete in Him! My Lord has never lost a battle! In Him I too can never lose! I am more than an overcomer thru Him who loved me and died for me! I am a champion! Nobody can take my crown! You devil, get out! Go away before I crush you underfoot! Nonsense liar! Defeated foe! Disgraced thief! Yeye athlete! Holy Spirit is my guide, even to the end! I receive power as the Holy Ghost comes upon me! Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace to men on whom His grace abides! Halleluiah!
HAPPY WITH CHURCH TONIGHT
“So he said, “Go and see where he is, that I may send and get him.” And it was told him, saying, “Surely he is in Dothan.” Therefore he sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city. And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (2Kg 6:13-17)
The Saturday evening prophetic prayer meeting was wonderful. We entered God’s courts with praises! There was an anointing of acceleration. Faith was revived! We quickly ran before the throne of grace. Drops of glory were falling on us. Our heads were anointed with the oil of joy. Our cup overflows… We took this to be an encouragement from above. In God’s presence there is fullness of joy. It is in God’s presence that we truly belong.
We have entered a season called Shalom. In Hebrew, it means peace, prosperity, health and wealth, favor and friends. By faith we claim them all! Prophetically, we identify with Joseph and with his journey. He suffered great pain but God vindicated him at last! His reward was greater than his sorrow! He was betrayed by his brothers and sold as a slave at a place called Dothan (Gen 37:17). The word means ‘Two wells’ or ‘Double blessings’. Dothan, the place of tragedy and loss becomes a wonderful place of divine intervention and victory during the time of Elisha. Please read the story how Elisha uses his prophetic gift to defeat the Syrians to the glory of Jehovah (2Kg 6:8-23). In this story we identify with Elisha and his servant. Therefore, according to the Word of God, prophetically, in Christ, we declare:
*God is with us! Our victory is sure!
*The ‘heart of our enemies is greatly troubled’. In the camp of our enemies there is great confusion. They are suspicious of one another! They blame one another. They are very anxious! They are failing and they don’t know why! For God is with us!
*Like the king of Syria, who knowing that Elisha listens to his bedroom conversation, is foolish enough to send an army to arrest the man of God… so our enemies are becoming more and more foolish, doing things that they shall regret!
*Just few years previously, Elisha healed the great commander of the Syrian army called Naaman. He did not charge him money. The king of Syria is ungrateful for the good gift he has received from the prophet. He wants to fight the man of God. He can never win this battle! Our ungrateful enemies can never win the battle against us!
*Our enemy is totally defeated because he uses natural weapons (horses and chariots) to fight the spiritual weapons of the Holy Spirit (heavenly angels; fire horses and chariots)! Sickness, poverty, oppression has failed!
*God shall use this crisis to open our eyes. Our vision of God shall be purified. We shall be delivered from all fears! We shall see in the Spirit’ realm and move led by the Holy Spirit! No army can defeat us! No weapon formed against us shall prosper! Every tongue that rises against us shall be condemned! This is our heritage as servants of God! Religion, rejection, mockery has failed!
*There is a reversal of blessings! Our eyes become open; in the same time, our enemies shall become spiritually blind. This strange blindness will have effect upon their lives from now on: They shall easily stumble and fall; they shall make mistakes; they shall become sluggish as they try to make progress; they shall become overly anxious; they shall (over) depend on men to move. These ‘helpers’ will take advantage of them. They are men who will lead them into trouble. When a blind man leads a blind man, both shall fall into the ditch. The ditches will be crowded with foolish proud stubborn blind men! Their only hope is to repent and give their lives to Christ!
*We declare that the ones with us a more than the ones with them. The angels surround us because we fear God!
*Our Dothan of pain has become our Dothan of praise! We shall celebrate our victory with a great feast of the Holy Ghost singing and dancing! Many shall hear the rejoicing in the camp of the righteous and shall give their lives to Christ! Our God is omnipotent! He reigns forever! Power belongs to God! He is over-generous with His blessings. The heavens are opened over us. We have no other option than to shout unto the Lord with a shout of triumph! To God be all the glory! In Jesus name we pray, amen! Halleluiah!
HAPPY WITH CHURCH TONIGHT
“And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called… So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you whole.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road” (Mk 10:46-52)
The Women’s Fellowship was very good. We praised God with singing and dancing. Then it was time for testimonies! These are some of them: Sister A said that she and her husband came back from a trip in Greece, following in the footsteps of Apostle Paul. She now appreciates how committed the Apostle was to preach the Gospel. It was not easy to go from city to city. Sister R said that her son was always over active. That was the reason why he did not do well in school. She prayed and cried to God for a miracle. This year, to everybody’s surprise, he did so well, that he took a most desired reward. Sister D is a teacher. She teaches the students in primary one (first grade). One day, she received a call from a teacher who works in the same school. This teacher forgot her phone in the class. The Holy Spirit was prompting her to go and look for her phone. The only two people who have the key to the school were Sister D and the security man. This teacher got the key and entered the class looking for her phone. This was in the evening. To her surprise, she found a child sleeping there in the darkness. He has been there since the class closed at about 1pm. Sister D was grateful that the Holy Spirit led her colleague to go back and look for her phone and so, find this ‘lost’ child. Sister B is 43. She is pregnant with her first child. Her husband has epilepsy for more than twenty years. They both prayed and asked God for a miracle of healing. The last time he had an attack was June 2017. After that she got pregnant. The baby will be coming any time from now. We all gave thanks to God for His grace, mercy and goodness to us!
Then the Word of God came. This is the story of Bartimaeus, a blind man healed by Jesus! He was a beggar. He was in great need. He knew that no man can help him. The people around were more than useless. They had no faith in prayer or in the God that answers prayers. Job calls them ‘miserable comforters’ (Job 16:2). They not only refuse to help, but they hinder help. They ‘warned him to be quiet’. They discouraged him to pray or trust God for a miracle. They have sight and they tell a blind man to remain blind. This was their attitude: ‘Man, rest in peace! Accept your cross! Stay blind! Beg for food! This is your life! God has forgotten you!’ Recognize the voice of doubt and failure. Bartimaeus lived in bondage to this familiar lying spirit for many years. But that day, as he heard that Jesus of Nazareth was ‘passing by’ him, something happened in his spirit. For the first time in his life he decided to pray for a miracle, for something new, for something better. He dared to believe in a new life! He made the decision to resist and reject the wicked counsel of fear, doubt and defeat. He chose to trust God with all his heart! He decided to pray aloud and to ‘cry out all the more’. He chose to believe that his cry will be heard by Jesus who alone can heal him. As faith rose up in his spirit, so his strength and courage to shout unto God increased! Thru faith he touched the Throne of mercy and grace and ‘found grace in his time of need’ (Heb 4:16). Hallelujah!
Observe what happens next! His cry for mercy made Jesus to ‘stand still’. In Greek, these words also mean to stand up, to stand by, to abide, to bring (a gift), to continue in that position without interruptions or to establish the covenant. Jesus stopped for Bartimaeus, waiting calmly for him to come closer. Immediately, Bartimaeus ‘got the message’. This was his moment. It is called ‘destiny changing moment’. It is an open door in the Spirit. You use it or you lose it. He was blind but he was not a fool. Now observe the changing of the tune at the background. The same men that told him to stop seeking for a miracle, they now encourage him to go to Jesus! As you pray to be more sensitive with the leading of the Holy Spirit, this is a great lesson: Once you sense that ‘the men’s choir’ change their song, from the minor key of doubting to one of encouragement, then you should act by faith and run to Jesus! Bartimaeus was the Lord’s sheep. He did not see the road ahead but he heard the voice of his shepherd. That was all he needed to move on. Jesus said: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (Jn 10:27). He ‘threw aside his garment’. This old dirty garment tagged him as a useless man, a blind beggar. The garment was designed for him as a symbol of rejection, failure and loss. But things change… In the presence of God, the garment was heaviness is needed no more. By faith, he put on the new garment of praise given to those who believe in God. As ‘busy’ as Jesus was, He stopped His work to attend to one simple man. Jesus waited. Bartimaues ran to Jesus! A discussion started. Jesus was not in a hurry to move on. The Lord gave him His full attention. The blessings released at the Cross benefited this needy man. The Blood of Jesus spoke on his behalf. Jesus gave him eyes to see! This is how the miracle happened. Glory!
By faith, Bartimaeus received not only his sight, but he received life! Eternal life! He received the miracle of a new beginning, a glorious testimony that the only living God has made him whole. This man’s cry touched the heart of God! He prayed in such a way that Jesus was ‘moved’. When His friend Lazarus died we are told that “Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb” (Jn 11:38). When Jesus saw the people, confused and lonely, He was moved in His heart. “When He saw the crowds, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Mt 9:36).
It is very important that we should know the truth about the Person of Jesus Christ. Child of God, Jesus loves you. Your pain ‘moves’ the Lord! He sees your tears! He wants to help you. Jesus is now in heaven. He is our High Priest. He listens to our prayers and to our praises. He is moved by them. That is why we have confidence in prayer and during worship (Heb 4:14, 15). May the faith of Bartimaeus challenge and inspire you today! May we do the same! When in need, run to Jesus! Run to the mercy seat! Nothing is impossible for God! May God grant you a new beginning! Be healed! Be delivered! Praise God forever!
In Christ I declare:
I am a child of God!
I throw aside my garment of sin, shame, doubt, guilt, poverty, heaviness, fear, failure and loss!
I put on the righteousness of Christ, His garment of light, love and hope of glory!
My miracle has come! I move on! My life will never be the same again! I am healed! I am made whole!
To the glory of God! In Jesus’ name! Amen!
“To everything there is a season; a time for every purpose under heaven” (Ecc 3:1)
God is eternal. He created time for us who live on earth. God’s time is always different than ours. When trials come, He seems too fast. When we need help, He seems too slow. Therefore, God’s time is mysterious. None can totally explain it. But God’s time is perfect. Looking back, you see the fruit of God’s timing in blessing us! You agree that ‘all things work together for our good’ in God’s time.
In His Word, God gives us wonderful promises. But He does not tell us when they shall be fulfilled. He wants us to trust Him for the fulfillment of these promises. He wants us to leave in His hands the timing of the visible manifestation of that invisible faith.
After the Lord Jesus died and resurrected, the disciples asked Him some questions about the future. They knew the promises of Jesus but they also wanted to know the time of their fulfillment. But Jesus did not tell them when the promises shall manifest. He said that timing is under the authority of God the Father. “Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Ac 1:6-8)
Most of us are behaving the same. We want to know ‘when’ we shall experience that healing, that breakthrough we have been praying for. We complain: ‘God, when?’ But God does not tell us ‘when’. Then we get discouraged… The devil will torment us with lies: ‘God has forgotten about you…God is too busy to attend to your case…’ We must reject these lies and trust God!
We need to walk by faith. We need to exercise patience to see the promises fulfilled. Practice faith and patience in little things. Then it is easier to practice it in bigger things. In my experience, faith is easier to achieve than patience, but we need both. Pride and rebellion will push you to insist knowing the timing of future events. Therefore, pray for the grace of waiting quietly! Pray that God will increase your strength to endure from the moment the promise is given until the visible manifestation comes. In the meantime pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Then ‘power will come upon you’! Continue to witness to others about Jesus. This is the best way to use your time until the miracle comes. For in God’s time it will surely come! I promise you!
“The Lord is my Shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul…” (Ps 23:1-3)
A sheep that has rolled over on its back is called a “cast sheep’. It can’t get up because its center of gravity is off, sometimes because it’s pregnant or simply because it has a full fleece. Once fallen, a cast sheep tries to restore itself back on its feet. But it is not easy. The sheep then panics, cries and waste more energy. The gasses start to build up in the abdomen and it can die in a matter of hours. A wild animal can come and kill the defenseless sheep. Most of the times, the sheep is not be able to get up without assistance. That is why the shepherd has to be very observant to know when a sheep is missing. It is the shepherd or his trained dogs that can turn a cast sheep back on its feet. The process seems rough but it saves the sheep’s life. Once the sheep stands, she still needs to be supported for few minutes. The shepherd holds it between his legs until it stops shaking, until the fear is gone and it is balanced again. After that, the sheep is free!
David was a shepherd. He knew the danger of staying downcast, spiritually ‘upside down’ for too long, just like a cast sheep… “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Ps 43:5).
The word ‘downcast’ describes a cast sheep. His soul is upside down, helpless, depressed, anxious, sinking down in despair. The danger for a sheep to lose its balance and to overturn is especially when it is pregnant or the fleece is too heavy. Spiritually speaking, our soul is in danger of backsliding when we become fruitful or too comfortable in our blessings. The devil attacks in both situations especially with an evil spirit of pride. “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (PV 16:18)
Pride is extremely difficult to detect. God allows us to fall a little, to expose the hidden pride. We need to repent and become humble servants. Pride leads to backsliding. This is my testimony: when I become proud, I start falling spiritually. Suddenly, my life becomes upside down. Just like a cast sheep, I panic, trying to save myself. My soul becomes ‘disturbed within’. This word means trouble, war, noisy voices and arguments inside my soul. I lose my peace and spiritual balance. I feel hopeless and my world is upside down. The more I struggle to restore myself back on my feet, the worse things become, inside and outside. That is when I have to exercise self-control. I have to stop this crazy, frantic, lonely struggle…I have to remind myself that I am not alone. I belong to Somebody! I have a Shepherd! Elohim, the Creator of the Heavens and the earth is my God! Jesus is my Shepherd! I shall not want…There is hope!!I I shall praise God again in the sanctuary…I cannot die as a backslider…God forbid! I claim God’s promise: God will “restore my soul”…I shall humble myself and wait on God…He knows all things…He knows that I am missing from the fold…He said that He will leave 99 sheep to look for me alone…He shall find me and bring me back to His flock where I belong…I encourage myself thru the Word of God! This encouragement has never failed me! Praise the Lord!
My prayer: “I need You Lord Jesus…I trust in You, Savior…I humble myself…Forgive me for my foolish pride…Please come to help me…I cannot live alone…Nothing else can satisfy but You…No one else can restore my soul, except You…I love You more than any human on earth, more than my own life…I promise never to go astray…Holy Spirit fill me afresh…Thank You Jesus… Thank You my Lord…All the glory goes to You alone!”
In Christ I declare:
The Lord is my Shepherd!
I shall not want!
My soul is restored!
My health is restored!
My marriage is restored!
My ministry if restored!
My finances are restored!
My peace and joy are restored!
To the glory of God!
In Jesus’ name
HAPPY WITH CHURCH TONIGHT
THE ENEMY SANK LIKE LEAD IN THE MIGHTY WATERS!
“The enemy said, ‘I will pursue,
I will overtake,
I will divide the spoil;
My desire shall be satisfied on them.
I will draw my sword,
My hand shall destroy them.’
But God, You blew with Your wind
The sea covered them
They sank like lead in the mighty waters.
“Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods, who is like You, glorious in holiness, Fearful in praises, doing wonders” (Ex 15:8-11)
We just finished our Saturday evening prophetic prayer meeting. It was very good. The anointing of victory was upon us. Holy courage was imparted in us. What I mean by ‘very good’ is that from the beginning to the end the Holy Spirit was in charge, directing our path, encouraging us to believe for grater things and to move forward. In the presence of the Holy Spirit there is fullness of joy and an unending supply of supernatural encouragement. We started praying and praising God. Suddenly my eyes opened in the Spirit and I saw a vision connected with us. We were a group of believers running. Another group of people, mean looking, like ‘area boys’ or gang men, were pursuing us with weapons, like machetes. We the believers were running together. Then all of us arrived at a airport and a plane was waiting for us. We all entered the plane. The engine was on. After the last brother entered in, the pilot closed the doors. The plane started moving towards the runway to take off. Suddenly, the evil men invaded the airport trying to stop the plane. But they failed. They were totally disappointed and defeated.They started fighting against one other. Then some cursed us and did some incantations to their gods to crash the plane.
In the plane we started singing praises to God for the mighty deliverance. But as the plane was going higher it suddenly entered a thick black cloud. The plane was shaking badly. Our praises stopped. Fear started to creep among the brethren. Some began thinking about going back. Doubt about the journey started rising in some hearts. But if we go back, we shall fall into the trap of the wicked men. We had a choice to make. We needed to be together in this for the plane cannot stop for some few. The unity of the Spirit was necessary for the deliverance of all.
I asked them: ‘Brethren, what do we do? If we tell the pilot to turn back we shall fall into the hands of our human enemies. They have no mercy on us. But if we trust God to pass thru this darkness, to defeat this spiritual enemy, then we shall arrive safely to the other side, the place of breakthrough and victory. Is anybody here ready to go back? Do you want to go back to sickness, to poverty and to oppression? Do you want to betray your success? If your answer is yes, put up your hand’ … Nobody did so… ‘But if you are ready to trust God this evening to carry us on Eagles’ wings, to the other side of the darkness, where the sun shines and there is no storm at all, to the place of shalom and victory, stand up and pray!’
Everybody, adults and children stood up and prayed. We rejected the demons of fear, of backsliding, of doubt, of empty religion, of confusion and of failure! We asked the Holy Spirit to fill us afresh. We started confessing by faith that victory and breakthrough in Christ is ours! We started praising God for the mighty deliverance from both human and spiritual enemies! We praised God even for the trial, for the dark cloud, for because of it, when looking back, we did not see the enemies again! As we were praising God with singing and dancing, a strong smell of burnt wire came into the hall. Some brethren looked for the source of the smell but they were not sure from where it was coming from. I asked them: ‘This is a smell of burning. We do not know from where it is coming from. What do we do? Shall will stop the prayer meeting and run away or continue to praise God! Everybody said we shall praise God even more! The praises increased! We declared that our enemies, both physical and spiritual, have been totally defeated! They fell into the sea of judgment like heavy lead! There is no peace for the wicked! God is with us! Jesus has never failed any battle! Inside the ‘plane of the Holy Ghost’ like the Ark of Noah, there is rejoicing and overflowing praise! Glory!
It is always wonderful to be in the presence of our God. I pity the Christians who only attend Sunday services. Congregational prayer and intercession is always very healthy and uplifting to the soul. To pray is hard, I know. But the reward is much greater than the labor! The gain cannot be described. The spiritual profit multiplies itself. You learn more in one hour under the anointing of the Holy Spirit than one year of going to Bible school (I am not condemning Bible schools, please…). This evening we declare that in Christ, trouble became testimony! Fear became faith! Doubt melted and became dancing for God!
At the end, the Holy Spirit eagle softly deposited us on the platform of greater grace. We landed to earth loaded with great spiritual benefits and blessings untold. Overwhelmed by the goodness of God, we knelt down and thanked God the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit for making these things real to us, for the progress, for the protection, for the privilege to partake in His victory and for the manifested gain of the Cross in our lives! Hallelujah Hosanna! Thank You Father, Son and Holy Ghost!
“But others mocking said: “They are filled with new wine.” (Ac 2:13)
This is the definition of mocking:
*To treat others with ridicule, contempt; malicious belittling;
*To imitate, to mimic as to resemble a clown, just for fun
*To frustrate another’s hopes or efforts; to cause another to appear irrelevant, ineffectual, or impossible
This is my testimony: As an unbeliever I ignorantly practiced wickedness. I somehow learned the terrible skill of mocking others. I praised myself to be a good actress. I will imitate their voice, their accent and their style of walking. My friends and I will laugh and laugh… I did not see this activity as sinful. By ridiculing them I will try to present myself as better than them. This was a game of pride. In particular, I use to mimic the religious people, the born again Spirit filled Christians. To me, they look crazy, weird, clownish, stupid and confused. They were an easy prey. They could not defend themselves well. When I ask them why do they pray so loud, why do they weep, why do they sing off key like the drunkards? They will say that it is because the Holy Spirit ‘pushes’ them to do so. That was very funny to me and the mocking continued…
This was my life until I became saved. I repented of my sins. I came to the Cross and I gave my life to Christ. Then the Holy Spirit filled me. From that moment on, I became ‘worst’ than the people I use to mock in the past. Right now I am technically drunk in the Holy Ghost. You may mock my religion, my accent, my fashion style, my body or my singing. I understand… I do not judge you… But try to look beyond my ‘foolishness’ and see the reality of my Savior who indeed has changed my life. Since Christ has come into my heart and filled me with His Spirit I lost all my fears, all my inferiority complexes, all my doubts and all my wicked ‘social skills’. I am now at peace with God, with myself and with others. The wine of the Holy Spirit is sweet to my soul. I forgot the taste of bitter poisonous pride and struggle for fame. I know for sure that I have eternal life. The mockery of others does not disturb me. It cannot frustrate my hope for the future, for it is rooted in eternal glory. It cannot hinder my efforts to worship, to minister to the Lord or to preach to sinners. Mocking me shall fail for I cannot be discouraged by men or devils anymore. This is my secret power. I am filled with the Holy Ghost! Today, I share my secret with you not to mock me, but to join me in this holy adventure. For the pleasures of God are real, pure, sweet and strong! They are more precious than this whole world! Come to Jesus! Be filled with the Holy Spirit! Jesus is Lord!
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand” (Jn 10:27, 28)
I am a child of God. I am also a pastor. Many Christians struggle with the doctrine called ‘the assurance of salvation’. The argue and quarrel about it. They think it is their duty to live in doubt and fear. The evil spirit of religion is the wicked author of this confusion. They assume that spiritual confidence is pride and holy assurance is empty boasting. If they are truly saved, in spite of their doubts and fears, they will go to heaven. But they will not enjoy their journey on earth. What a pity…
This is the truth of the Gospel: we are all born sinners. We need a Savior. Jesus Christ is the only Savior of mankind. You are saved, not because of what you did or did not do. You are saved because Jesus Christ died on the Cross on your behalf. He died so that you can live! Fear not the future! God knows the future. He knows your weaknesses. God is the Author of the plan of salvation. No man could have thought of such a great salvation! Jesus said that He will not lose you. Believe that promise! Stop arguing! Just meditate upon the Word of God and settle your heart about what it says. Man’s opinions do not matter. It is God’s opinion that matters. Fast and pray to receive not just salvation, but the Spirit, the peace, the joy and the assurance of it! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!
It takes a lot of patience to teach truth to the people of God. May the Holy Spirit open your eyes to see the truth and to enjoy your Christian life! In Jesus name, amen!
“The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes,..So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Rom 13:12)
My name is Silvia Lia Leigh. I am 64. I was born in Romania. I was an atheist all my life. This is until I met the Lord Jesus and thru a crisis conversion became saved. That was in 1986. I still remember the joy of enrolling in the army of the Lord. The first time I tried the armor, it was too big and too heavy for me. I was surprised because I knew that The Holy Spirit is the greatest Designer of all. Can God make mistakes? No! Then I prayed asking… ‘My Father God, why is the belt of truth too wide for me? Why is the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God too long for me? Why is the shield of faith to heavy for me…’
The answer came swiftly. “My Daughter, you are not ready for battle yet. You are too much entangled in the civilian pursuits. That is why you are slow and weak. You need to be free from intellectual confusion. You need to have eyes for Me alone. You need to put on some weight of glory! You need to build up some muscle of holy courage! Your faith needs to be stronger! Your vision needs to be purified! You need the training of the Spirit. Take your cross and follow Me. Trust and obey Me! That is your training. Soon you shall be able to stand and fight, for My glory and for your reward!”
I confess that I loved God’s design of my destiny-dress so much that I was ready to pass every test He gave me! The Cross on my back was heavy, but with time it became less so. I just wanted to be able to put on the armor of light and follow others who fight the forces of darkness. Victory in Jesus became my one desire. My designer dress fits me now! Praise the Lord!
“Thank You Lord for your patience with me, for your loving-kindness and grace! I love you now and forever!”
(I took this picture from the internet. I like it very much. God bless the author of it!)
“If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom 10:9)
I am sure that you have been following the dramatic rescue of twelve boys and their coach, trapped in a cave in Thailand for more than two weeks. My husband and I prayed for them daily. We held to the prophetic word that supernaturally, ‘the iron will float’ (2 Kg 6:6). The story became tragic when we heard that one of the professional divers drowned. He was carrying Oxygen to the boys when himself ran out of oxygen and died. That was sad indeed. It was also a proof of the dangers down bellow. He stands as a symbol for the Lord Jesus who laid down His life to save others.
We just heard ‘breaking news’ that all the boys and their coach have been rescued. Praise the Lord! I believe that the Holy Spirit is using this story to preach the Gospel of Christ Crucified and Resurrected. We visited Thailand last year. Their main religion is Buddhism. They may try to give the glory to Buddha for the successful story. But the Holy Spirit will re-direct their hearts towards the Lord Jesus Christ who is Lord, the Judge of all men and the Savior of those who believe in Him!
As for my husband and I, we give all the glory to God Almighty, the only Living God, the God who invented and answers prayers, the God who saved Jonah from the belly of the whale, the God who raised the Lord Jesus Christ from the grave! “Thank you Father, Son and Holy Spirit! To You alone be all the glory!”
“So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” So HE CRIED OUT TO THE LORD, and THE LORD SHOWED HIM A TREE. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made SWEET.
There He made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there HE TESTED THEM, and said, “If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. FOR I AM THE LORD WHO HEALS YOU!” Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees; so they camped there by the waters” (Ex 15:22-27)
The revelation of Jehovah Rapha, God my Healer, has changed my life and revolutionized my faith. It has helped me to trust God for healing when I was sick and to walk in divine health for many years. I am free from fears of contamination, infection or old age diseases. Child of God, I know that Facebook is filled with trash material but I pray that you find the treasure of God’s Word, even if it lying down in the mud of bitter waters. Honor the Word of God when it comes to you, even thru this unusual platform and you shall be blessed. Pray to have the revelation of God, as your Healer. It is more precious than gold, more useful than the best hospital in the world and more durable than time itself.
The first time Jehovah God introduces Himself as The Healer (Jehovah Rapha) is in this passage, in the Book of Exodus 15. He calls His name: I Am the Lord who heals you. In Hebrew it says: Jehovah Rapha. The Word ‘Jehovah’ means I AM. He is the covenant keeping God. The word Rapha means Healer. The picture is that of a surgeon, stitching the wound at the end of a successful operation, one stich at a time. This is the first lesson: Once Jehovah Rapha manifests in your case, the sickness is finished! Even if it takes some time for the healing to manifest, it must surely come! Hallelujah!
Please read the whole passage in Exodus 15. This is the background story: After 430 years of slavery, the people of God, under the leadership of Moses, have come out from the furnace of Egypt. They crossed the Red Sea thru a miracle. Their enemy, the Egyptians, drowned in the same waters. Lesson: God’s grace saves the believers and completely separates them from their enemies! On the other side of the Sea, they praise their God for this mighty deliverance. There is singing, dancing and national celebration. Then they start moving thru the desert, towards their Promised Land. Just three days later (note this: just 3 days!!!) they start complaining against Moses that there is no water. This complaining is a lie because, after just three days, they still had some little water in their bottles. Thirsty and angry, they see a pool of water. They push one another, running to reach the water… they drink it… but the water is bitter!!! What? This is a serious disappointment for them. The anger and the loud complaining increase to the point of rebellion.
What does Moses do? Moses ‘cries to the Lord’! Second lesson: when you meet disappointments in life, do not follow the crowd in doing bad (Ex 23:2). Do not complain against your leaders (parents, pastors, teachers or even God). Cry to God! Pray!!! God hears and answers prayers! If you are the only one praying, God will answer you alone! Another lesson: During crisis, the godly leadership emerges. How does God answer the prayer? He points a tree to Moses. He tells him to cut it down and throw it into the waters. It takes faith to obey such a command especially under the pressure of rejection. But Moses obeyed. Lesson: Trust and obey for there is no other way! Immediately the tree touched the water, its bitterness disappeared and the waters became sweet, fresh and good to drink. Lesson: big problems that accumulate for years are solved in a moment by our God. What we need is a revelation Word from His mouth. His Word is the key to unlock all caged treasures. God’s ways are different than our ways. In the natural, the contact of any tree or piece of wood with a body of water does not change the chemistry of the water. It does not remove the bitter poison to make it sweet. Lesson: God’s Word needs faith to be activated! God’s power and our faith combined always produce miraculous results!!!
In Hebrew, the word ‘tree’ in this passage is also translated wood or carpenter. Who is the One they called ‘Carpenter’? His name is Jesus!!! (Mk 6:3). God opens the eyes of Moses to see the Cross of Christ in that tree. By cutting down the tree, (The Carpenter) died. Jesus died for you! His Blood touched the bitter waters of sin and the grace of God was released instantly. The death of the Son of God destroyed the poison of sin. And the water of life became available to the thirsty sinners. Lesson: pray that the Holy Spirit reveals to you the mystery of the Cross, the power of the Blood of Jesus! You can’t have this by the study of the Bible alone. You need the deep personal work of the Holy Spirit in your heart. Do not be satisfied as a superficial Christian. You will be disappointed often, for the pearls of great value lie down at the bottom of a pool of bitter waters. If you are born again, and if you want to walk in victory, then you should know that there is a price to pay for that testimony! Pay it! You will never regret it! The reward is always greater than the suffering you have experienced!
Please note that the tree was planted by the bitter waters. It was not far in the desert (or in the bush, as we say here in Nigeria). Jesus came to earth as a Man living among men. Jesus is closer to you than your sickness is. The solution is ‘planted’ by God next to your problem. Most people panic during trials and they look too far for a solution. God says that when the sickness comes, or the trial comes, it is for a testing of your faith. You need to hear God’s voice and obey. When you are sick, before praying for healing, pray that you hear God’s voice, His express Word, and that you obey it. This obedience signifies that you have passed the test. The healing follows immediately. Lesson: When sick, pray for wisdom before praying for healing. In the midst of the trial, God provides us with an ‘exit door’, a way of escape that we may be free (1 Cor 10:13). Never forget that the solution is planted by the shore of the trial!
At last, they moved forward a bit and arrive at a good place to camp called Elim. There were twelve springs or water and palm trees for shadow and rest. Lesson: The trial of faith is rewarded by God with rest from labor and a settled home. Glory to God!
“Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice” (PV 23:25)
Recently, I was thinking about the past and all… I thank God for the journey of my life. It is very different than the way I planed it. But I know that God knows the best! As a little girl I had many dreams, read books and prepared myself mentally to be ‘a princess bride’. I so much wanted to get married to a Prince. I finally did it (my husband and I are married for 44 years). But I prepared less for my work as a mother. I made many mistakes. For many years, I was overanxious to be ‘a perfect mother’ to our three children. I was too worried for them, for their future. I was always upset when people criticize them. I could not relax and enjoy the journey of life, God’s gift to me to be a mother.
After our children grew up and left the house, I had to deal with many painful memories and inferiority complexes about my achievements as a mother. I wished I could have done it better…I wished I prayed for them more, thought them the Word of God better, take them to church…They were grown up when I became saved… I had a slow start as a spiritual mother…But late is better than not at all…
Thank God that our children are all doing well. They are married now and they too are parents. Can you imagine that I am a grand mother? Thank God! I enjoy this season so much more. There is nothing to prove to anybody. Just enjoy life and thank God for it!
I want to say thank You to God Almighty for washing the dust on the frame of my memories, for extending grace to me when I fell short of God’s glory as a mother. When you are young, you do not appreciate God’s grace enough. Now that I am older, I remember how God saved, healed, delivered, protected, guided and comforted our children so many times. I now appreciate God’s grace so much more…
This evening, I declare that God is soo good to me! Thank You Father God! To You alone be all the glory for every drop of success found in me and my family! From the top of the roof I declare that You are good Lord Jesus! All the time! Now and forever! Hallelujah!
(In the picture, my husband, I and our children, in Warri Nigeria, about 1985)
“Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price.
Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And let your soul delight itself in abundance” (Is 55:1, 2)
The Saturday evening prophetic prayer meeting was very good. When humble faithful believers come together, in the unity of the Spirit, ready to become vulnerable, prepared to have their deepest wounds exposed so that they can be healed, miracles surely happen! I have seen it again and again. God is inviting us to come to the Waters of life. He is inviting us to the ancient never failing overflowing satisfying menu on the banqueting table. The only qualification is hunger for God and thirst for His miraculous power. Fear not! In this mighty hall of grace, there is no need for money in the pocket. As we prayed, I turned my pockets upside down so that the people see that I do not have any cash with me. In the natural, empty pockets cause anxiety. If I leave my house without money I will go back and take some. But God says: ‘There is no need to go back. Forget money! Forget how much money you have or you don’t have! Come as you are!’ As I heard His generous invitation, for a moment I felt like a fool. Is God talking to me? How can I enter the store of God with my empty pockets? I have great and many needs. I need healing, deliverance, provision and a breakthrough. His promises are too great for someone like me… I am a tenant but God said that I will own a house. I fear God… If I calculate how much I should pay the doctor to heal me, the lawyer to take me out of this mess, the agent to show me a good piece of property, the teacher to pay the school fees for my children… all these and more… all these my intimidating needs… I need money… Or God does not know that in Nigeria without money you are called a mad man? I fear God this evening… He said ‘buy without money’… My brain works over-time… If I do a quick calculation, I need millions of Naira to pay for a social upgrade in my life…
But God says: ‘I know your needs. Stop calculating! I am the only Living destiny changer God! I am not mathematics. I am Jehovah God. I am that I am. My greatness is unsearchable. Don’t forget. I am God! I am calling you to come to Me and eat without money… Buy good gifts without cash…’ Can I believe these words? For a moment I panic again… Can I ever forget about money? Can I ever stop worrying about the cares of life? Can I ever buy property without caring what the price is, what is the tag attached to it? I am used to worry so much that if I stop worrying, I will worry the more… I never knew I was addicted to anxiety, doubt and greed. I repent Father…
But God says: ‘Open your heart to Me! Taste and see that I am good. I created you and I will carry you, to the place of no return, of no backsliding and of no doubts. My food goes deep into your soul and you shall know the delight of My Word! This season I fine-tune your vision. I clarify your understanding of Me. I give you strength to stand and to rejoice. You shall know no lack for in My kingdom grace begets grace…’
This evening I drank from the wine of the Spirit… I forgot how sweet it tasted… It is true… there was no money transaction… Just faith and more faith… Right now, I feel dizzy with happiness… I feel free because joy is fermenting power in my lungs… I breathe hard and long and I rest in these ever green pastures, among the sleepy lambs… I am still surprised at the treasure I found… The rich and the poor are equal in this holy palace… for the proud stronghold of Mammon totally collapsed this evening… money became useless for the glory of the Lamb is revealed… Holy Spirit come… Faith is my currency… I can buy anything thru faith… After a long famine of the Word of God, my soul delights itself once more in Your abundance… Lord Jesus, Your name if Wonderful… Singing at last: ‘What a beautiful name it is, Nothing compares with this, What a beautiful name it is, the name of Jesus!’
The prayer meeting is over. Excited, I run home to tell my family that I am hungry no more. That I am restless no more… Shalom has fed me tonight! Two hours ago I came to God’s banqueting table and His freshly painted glory banner over me read: LOVE! Right now, let nobody disturb me! I am full to overflow with the Spirit of Him who quickens all flesh. From this very moment, I promise myself, that I shall believe the impossible. I shall not doubt again. Doubt is a luxury I cannot afford! This evening my eyes saw the King in His beauty! I shall never forget what I saw! I shall be obedient to the vision I released on high. The air I inhaled on the mountain of transfiguration has delivered my spirit from the heavy dust of religion found in the lower valleys of sin. I am free to make others free. Father, Son and Holy Ghost, ‘How can I say thanks for the things You have done for me? To God be the glory!’
The Women’ Fellowship in our church was very good. We praised God and prayed to Him. We also shared testimonies of His goodness. Then the Word of God came. It was a challenge to be like Sarah of old!
“For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror… then you will not need to fear offending your husbands… without fear of what your husbands might do” (1 Pet 3:5-6; NKJ, TLB; NLT)
Apostle Peter says that the godly wife should imitate Sarah. She was a good wife to Abraham, who was called ‘the friend of God’ (Jam 2:23). What can we learn from Sister Sarah? She was a holy woman of God. She trusted in God. She invested in her spiritual growth. She became a mature woman of God of a gentle and quiet spirit, very precious to God. This spiritual maturity became her wisdom and beauty, approved and blessed by God. Abraham and Sarah lived long and fruitful lives. They were not perfect. They were sinners saved by grace. But they are a great inspiration to us, not only individually, but also as a godly couple who struggled in life but they overcame at last. (They are buried together in Hebron. My husband and I saw their burial sites during our trip to Israel.)
Sarah was both submissive and obedient to her husband. Submission is an internal attitude, a heart thing. Obedience is the external manifestation of a humble heart. This obedience shows especially thru her actions. Just think of this… Sarah followed Abraham in all his journeys of life. She traveled with him from their native town, Ur of the Chaldees, to the Promised Land, then to Egypt and back. It is easier for a man to travel. Men generally love adventure. It is more difficult for women to travel because they love comfort and a stable home. But Sarah obeyed Abraham and was a helper to him until she died. They both made mistakes along the way. For example, she shared in his sin of doubt, adultery, cowardice and lying. But the grace of God ‘abounded much more’ in their lives. As a wife and friend, Sarah stayed faithful to her husband to the end; both in poverty and riches, in good times and bad. This is a wonderful testimony of a married couple!
The word ‘fear’ used in 1 Peter 3:6 appears only here in the New Testament. In Greek it means to be alarmed or to be terrorized by another. It is a fear that will make you fall, fail or run away. King James calls this fear ‘amazement’. You should not be amazed by any man, not even by your husband. Only God should amaze you because He is God! To be amazed it means to be shocked by something so strange, something that you can’t believe is happening to you. The lesson here is that we should pray to understand our husbands. This understanding is based on the Word of God and the revelation of the Holy Spirit. To be a good helper to your husband, you must understand his weaknesses and his strengths. This understanding is wisdom and makes your marriage happy, safe and peaceful.
Finally, let me say this: it was not easy for me to write this letter. I trust the Holy Spirit reveals the truth to you, who to fear and who not to fear! These are spiritual words describing spiritual realities. If you are not saved, you will not understand what I am trying to say. In no way at all I am encouraging rebellion, pride or stubbornness in marriage! Dear sisters in Christ, godly wives and mothers, let us be virtuous women, bold like lionesses, following the Lion of Judah, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, walking in the power of the Holy Ghost! “Those who know their God shall be strong and do mighty exploits… will take action, show strength and prevail” (Dan 11:32). May your marriages be blessed! Be filled with the Holy Spirit! Be a blessing to your generation! Let testimonies abound! Glory to God!
(After the fellowship we all went to celebrate the birthday of one of our sisters in the church. She is 50 years today. The husband spoke so lovingly about her. We were all touched. He said that she has been with him in the valleys and mountaintops of life for more than 30 years. She never complained about any hardship. She was always encouraging him. She saw ‘something good in him’ even when he saw nothing good in himself. God has blessed them with true love, peace and happiness in their home. God has also blessed them materially beyond what they can say. Their children are all good and obedient to the parents. The testimony of this godly couple is a very good example to other couples in the church. The celebration ended a wonderful day in the presence of God. As Pastor Leigh was praying for them, they knelt down and worshiped God. I took a picture of them at that holy moment. To God be all the glory!)