“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!”