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!