Let me start off by saying that I do not claim or pretend to know what everyone in the world is going through, but by general observation and the events of my own life I have come to a conclusion that there is a big lie that the enemy is attempting to hang over our heads… if we do not recognize it as a lie. This lie is that out of all of the concerning, bad, uncomfortable, and outright miserable things happening in our lives corporately and personally, that we just have to brace ourselves and prepare for impact. The enemy is saying that there is no escape for the evil that has been hatched by his workers of iniquity and we (you and I, and the rest of the world) just have to deal with it. Acts of violent cruelty, devastating natural disasters, corruption at all leadership levels, growing racial/ethnic division, and a plague of illness that this world has likely never known before all blatantly attempt to shake, rattle, and indoctrinate everyone (believer and unbeliever alike) into fear, intimidation, crippling doubt, and rambunctious anxiety. The message from all sides is that it’s really bad, and there is not much that you can do about it. Yes we can vote and prayerfully that will remove some of the corruption from the political leadership, but even that is in jeopardy at the moment.
So what are we to do? Many of us are not working, or have really unpreferable working conditions, all while illness is lurking around every corner and noncompliance of opposing forces tell you that your health, livelihood, and overall well being is of no concern to them. What are you supposed to do when food security, financial security, national and personal security are all at risk? There is no government bailout that is going to save you. There is no public program that can fix it. There is no leader that is squelching the fear of the future, but only reinforcing the fear and danger ahead. There is no external help or comfort to be found, so the only place of escape, or refuge is in. Proverbs 18:10 says that: “ The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run to it and are safe.” Could it be that all the help, peace, protection, and security that we need is not to be found outward in the institutions made by mankind, but rather in the Name of the Lord which is a strong tower? If this message sounds too simple and too common to be helpful to you, maybe you have never really applied this concept to your life in full faith and surrender to God to know that this is true. Not to condemn or criticize, but merely pointing out the fact that there is a tendency to dismiss applying simple wisdom in the wake of unfamiliar situations. For example, why so many people refuse to follow protocol to protect themselves from COVID-19, i.e. – wearing face masks in public, social distancing, and other simple things that while seem insignificant, can not only protect self and others. Can you think of a time when you ignored a simple instruction or advice and ended up with adverse consequences because of that oversight? I would imagine that most people can relate to at least one or more instances of this, but as Christians and members of society, it is easy to get distracted and carried away with expressing our stand on certain issues without maintaining the relationship with the One whom we say that we are doing all of this for. Is God still God if the policy that we want passed is not voted in? Is God any less powerful if a leader who does not share your ideals and fundamentals of faith gets voted in? Will God’s throne crumble and pass away if things change beyond what we have recognized and known our whole lives? When you are depending on God for the next, whatever that may be, like Noah, Abraham, and Moses did you can answer those questions affirming your faith and trust in God because He is the One who is responsible not only for your future, but for your today as well!Continue reading “When the Way Out is In…”
Greetings Intercessors and Prophetic Worshippers! These are strange times that we are living in, but our God is still Mighty to Save! Have you been feeling alone out in the wilderness, like you are crying out to God but desert and drought is staring back at you unfazed? Have you broken through yet and still remain unquenchable and longing for greater? If this was happening in any other season, there might be cause for concern, however we can equate these experiences to “growing pains” during environmental duress. The mandate and vision of God is propelling you forward even though it seems like nothing is changing, or even getting worse. Believe it or not this is exactly where we are supposed to be. It may seem contrary to ideal growing conditions, but this is exactly what we need for the coming seasons and to keep up with the momentum of the Kingdom.
See all of this makes sense when we take into account that we are part of the “True Vine” as described in John 15:1-17. According to Wikipedia, one of the purposes of a vine is to use its environment, rocks, other plants, etc. to help it reach sunlight without expending all of the plants’ energy. The Bible states that Jesus is the True Vine and through His sacrifice of His life at Calvary all of us have been grafted into His Kingdom and redemptive work in the earth as part of His body. Notice that vines use rocky, hard places, and diverse ecology to sustain itself. The environment is not changing as rapidly as the Vine is growing!
One underlying cause of racism is abuse of power, specifically the abuse of power that pervaded the whole Trans Atlantic slavery system of the past. Many people have been taught and therefore assume that “chattel” human slavery was introduced during the Trans Atlantic slave trade of Africans to the Americas, however this notion is incorrect. Slavery, the act of owning another person as property and / or for forced labor, sexual favors, or servitude has been going on since ancient times. Another popular belief is that since the end of the Trans Atlantic slave trade’s abolishment, that slavery is no longer being practiced anywhere in the world. Of course most people have heard of the child labor sweat shops, or human trafficking of women for sex/ prostitution & pimping, since stories about these topics have made national and international news. However, in today’s culture of fake news and intentional misdirection of attention to petty topics, what is not reported is usually the most important thing to learn about.
What I submit to be considered regarding the topics of racism, abuse of power, victimization, and inequality, is that the institution of slavery has been one of the sources for these attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and systemic oppression. Let’s take a look at abuse of power- Even the most well treated slaves would still probably admit to having suffered the pain of having someone else harming them through the position of power that they held over them. While the images of police brutality is likely to come to mind regarding abuse of power, it is not always that overt and easy to be detected. Abuse of power has more to do with decision making and enforcement of harsh rules more than the violent brutality and cruelty that it is characterized by. A simple example of abuse of power is Cinderella’s evil step mother refusing to let her go to the ball, ordering her to clean up after her step sisters, all while mocking and belittling her. The position that the step mother held as caregiver for Cinderella was unchallenged, because her biological parents had passed away (in some versions of the story). So Cinderella had no advocate. She had no defense against the person who was providing food and shelter for her…. hmmm this sounds a lot like slavery right? While this is a simple example from a children’s fairytale, it clearly describes how this spirit works. Abuse of power occurs when a person in a position of power decides to use that power to harm, exploit, deny access, or oppress a person/people who are dependent upon them in some way.
This is an ancient problem that never went away….. In the Bible, there is a part of a story that always disturbs me when I read it. It is the story of the aftermath of Hagar having Abraham’s child at the urging of Sarah. When Hagar finally conceived and birthed her son Ishmael, and began to lose respect for Sarah as her mistress. As a result Sarah mistreated Hagar, her handmaiden/slave, so harshly that Hagar fled (Genesis 16:1-6). It’s true that Hagar did act disrespectfully towards Sarah, however Sarah used her position to harm, exploit, and severely distress Hagar to the point that she ran away. We see something similar when Joseph was accused by the Potiphar’s wife. Potiphar’s wife used her position as leverage to have Joseph put in jail. Another biblical example of abuse of power is Haman’s decree to kill the Jews.
I used to wonder why people in positions of leadership who were being cruel, oppressive, and harsh enforcers of the rules were always promoted or received awards for this wicked behavior. It bothered me that corporate espionage (on fellow co-workers/subordinates), writing up certain employees for the smallest infractions of the rules (while other employees were able to do as they wished with no question or inspection), and always highlighting the flaws and shortcomings of people rather than also celebrating the good things that people did was the norm. If you can’t tell from the way this is being phrased and written, I definitely feel like I have experienced the unfavorable treatment of this type of oppressive system. While I was definitely not a perfect person in the past, and still am not perfect now (because no one is perfect), I am finally realizing why I felt like I was dealing with slave masters and overseers (employed by slave masters) rather than true leaders that I could admire and respect. Not every leader that I have encountered fits into this category, and there are people that I highly respect because I value their example, so I do not apply this categorization to all leaders. However, it is quite ironic that all of the sentiment and “jokes” about being on the plantation actually hit home, because that slavery system is really where all of this evil oppressive leadership style is rooted from. On a slave plantation masters and overseers can be as cruel and abusive as they see fit as a means to and end to accomplish their goals for production or just to “keep slaves in line.” Out in the field there is no higher authority (as far as law enforcement goes) than the master or overseer and since it’s the master’s property he is free to do as he pleases. So oppressive rules, lack of provision, neglect, abusive treatment, and harsh punishment can be justifiable in the heart and mind of a wicked person who is not only using/exploiting other human beings for gain, but feels like they have the right to do so, since they paid to have those humans on their property. What little they provide in terms of housing, clothes, food, and possibly medical care is not enough to warrant such nasty and vile treatment, and to take away/ forbid, and suppress the basic human rights of another human being. Not only were these slaves exploited for forced labor, many of them (male and female) were raped, publicly embarrassed by selling them naked in open air markets like a sheep or goat, and always treated with suspicion -like they were the criminals when all the while terrible crimes and injustices were being committed against them. Slaves have to “walk on eggshells” around the overseers and masters (and their respective family members) as not to offend or slight because the retribution for such offenses were often brutal, public, and of the harshest nature: think whippings and lynchings.Men and women of color that were previously free were enslaved, or had property stolen/destroyed and every attempt for economic advancement was sabotaged (think black wall street, Seneca Village, Black Miami, and many other communities) even after slavery wa abolished to keep people of color in a disadvantage economically. Is this still not happening in modern society, in the United States of America and beyond? It is a known fact that while people of color are the minority as in the proportion of the population, that they are in the majority in the prison system, in generational poverty cycles, and holding minimum wage jobs that do not lead to economic security. Yes it is true, people of color have overcome many obstacles, obtained high positions of leadership, are becoming more educated and skilled as a whole, and many are doing well economically, but please do not base the success of the few as a measurement for the whole. Many people are still systematically oppressed and caught in cycles that were instituted when their ancestors were brought to their country of residence (because this is happening all over the world).
So we have addressed the fact that abuse of power and slavery is not a new concept, but an ancient one, and that regardless of the progression and advancement of some people of color, as a whole many are still living in the effects of an oppressive systemic unjust racial prejudice. Now add to this that slavery is still alive and well in western countries (USA, UK, etc.), and other places in the world: China, India, Africa, Brazil and throughout the Middle East. Every type of human exploitation from sex trafficking to forced labor is beinginflicted on people that are poor and have no means to protect themselves. Militant groups kidnap people and force them into either joining them or becoming slaves. In other cases unsuspecting people are lured to far away countries with the prospect of a new job and better income to provide for the future of their loved ones. Children in India and Africa work dangerous jobs without proper supervision, equipment and protective gear mining ore or other tasks for pennies compared to what an adult person at a reputable company would make. Industries that we do not commonly associate with slavery could be hiding slaves in plain sight of the average person who purchases a service such as a car wash, manicure/pedicure, landscaping, etc. In the industry that I work in, travel customer service, we are trained to identify or question the behavior of person(s) that may be a victim of trafficking. The main obstacle with this training is that cultural norms like the man answering for a woman, or women/children not making direct eye contact can make it difficult to determine whether or not a person is being trafficked or not. As Christians, especially intercessors, this is where discernment is most needed. I must be honest, it is easier to pray for people in this predicament than it is to recognize it happening around us, but we must be vigilant and alert, while praying without ceasing.
I want things to change. I want to see a move of God that frees the oppressed and truly sets the captive free. Not just on a spiritual level, but in the natural, physical sense as well. Could it be that the Church has been so spiritually minded regarding slavery and oppression that we have been numbed to its existence and its effects on the people around us? Could it be that we want to believe that slavery, racism, and the abusive residue of both have been put to rest so that we don’t have to take responsibility for making sure that it does not happen to others? Is it possible that the church at large has drank the Kool-Aid of the abolishment of slavery as a law, while not checking to see if those laws were actually being enforced? A short book in the New Testament- Philemon, is a letter from Paul to a wealthy friend Philemon, who was a supporter and philanthropist to the early church, to forgive and restore (essentially set free) his slave Onesimus who ran away and ended up getting into trouble which led to him being imprisoned next to Paul. I think it is so ironic that all of the commentary that I read concerning this very short book of the Bible, make a point to say that the message of the book is not about abolishing slavery, but about forgiveness, acceptance, and receiving converted slaves as brothers in Christ, when Paul’s instruction to Philemon was to not take Onesimus back as a slave but to set him free as a brother in Christ so that he could pursue his purpose in life as a Christian minister- who eventually became a Bishop who introduced salvation to many. I understand that the primary message is not about abolishing slavery, however it is undeniable that if Onesimus had remained a slave he would not have had the opportunity to do what God was calling him to do. He would have been denied the fulfillment of destiny and purpose in life that was designed for him before the creation of time. This proves that slavery is not only a crime against humanity, it is a crime against the advancement of the Kingdom of God. The minimizing of potential of a person reduces the amount of contribution that they can offer to their family, community, and ultimately the world. Let’s get real: Does a book in the Bible have to say specifically that slavery is wrong and an evil practice that does not give glory to God in order for us to agree that it needs to be ended and not inflicted on another human being? Do we need a commandment to say “Thou shalt not make a person your slave,” to enforce the laws that have already been created to prevent and abolish slavery? Would committing to the cause to end slavery of every kind impact our economic system as we know it? Of course it would, but that is the price to pay for the centuries of ignoring the suffering of others for our gain, comfort, or to just not “get involved” with a socially taboo issue that is affecting the lives of many people. If it is wrong, why does God allow it, or even uses it as punishment for serving idols in the Old Testament. In my personal opinion, and I will study more on this topic, however it occurs to me that slavery is not necessaily a “punishment” for idolatry and sin, but more like a consequence of it. Serving the true God leads to freedom and blessing, not necessarily free from all hardship, but much better than the life of a slave. Whereas serving idols which are demonically exalted is only going to lead to enslavement which is the equivalent to dead works. It seems like a punishment because the reality of it is so harsh and unfavorable, but after all of the opportunities the people had to repent it actually is a just outcome. Remember God is love, He is holy, but He is also just. He will not go back on His word, so He has to allow the repercussions of idolatry so that His people can recognize the difference of what is like serving a holy and righteous God, versus serving an evil and perverted demigod. So God gave humanity free will, and with that free will humankind fell into sin. Abuse of power, oppression, slavery, etc. are all effects of sin on the human soul. If we stop here it would make sense for these evil practices to continue, but God also sent His Son Jesus to redeem humankind back to unrestricted access and fellowship with God. The work of the Cross makes slavery, especially modern slavery, something that we can resist supporting, or ignoring. The anointing is not just to set the captives free spiritually, although there is great constellation in that, the anointing was given for people to be free physically and relationally as well. Where is the proof of this? Well Onisemus has already been discussed from the book of Philemon, but what about all of the miracles Jesus released while He was in the flesh? When he gave Blind Bartimaeus his sight, was this an ability to see in the spirit or to see in the natural? When he told the man by the pool of Bethesda to take up his bed and walk, was he proposing this man mentally or emotionally do this, or to physically get up with the bed and walk? When Jesus delivered the man possessed by the Legion, everything about this man changed. His sanity was restored and life as he had been living was completely over! Yes he was set free from spiritual oppression, but everything in his natural life was affected as well. So why minimize what freedom and deliverance means in regards to Christianity? Of course many businesses, corporations, enterprises etc. would go out of business if we actually began to care about the people who are being exploited to make our goods, but if these businesses are illegally using and mistreating people, especially children, for profit then they need to go out of business anyway.
It will take a lot of work to change these oppressive systems that are the foundation for capitalism in modern society, but someone is waiting, praying, and desperately in need of help. So you are not “called ” to missions or advocacy, that’s fine, can you pray regularly for the release and blessing of these people caught up in such a terrible situation? Can you contribute funds to organizations that specialize in rescuing and reestablishing people who have been ensnared by human trafficking? Can you be observant to your surroundings and sensitive to the cues and indicators of human trafficking and report it immediately? Yes, doing these things: praying, giving, being observant and sensitive are all things that stretch us, but are we not chosen for such a time as this? I admit, as a person who tends to be introverted, I enjoy being in “my own world,” but I desire to serve God in whatever capacity He offers, so I commit to make myself available to His leadership. I do not always get this right, but I am willing. How about you?
Let’s pray: Father God thank you for all of the liberties and freedom that I am blessed to enjoy. Lord I recognize that this freedom came at a very high price. You sent your only Son to die and take the death penalty for me. As a result I can be free in every area of my life, Lord thank you for this. Thank you for all that we take for granted, being able to come and go as we please, opportunities to learn at school and work towards a career, and even for the option to retire later in life. Lord, we know that not everyone is experiencing this level of freedom. Some are being held against their will in abusive, dangerous and neglectful environments. Some are forced physically and/or economically to do things that are shameful, harmful, or exhausting, Lord please step into their situation and rescue them. Lord anoint those ministries, nonprofits, and those chosen citizens of the Kingdom to be positioned with resources and proper channels to effectively deliver any human caught in trafficking, slavery, and abusive situations. Lord You trust us to be Your body in the earth, give us your heart for the suffering, Your arms for the broken, and Your mind for solutions and strategies in the mighty name of Jesus. Lord let this evil system be completely eradicated with Your Kingdom taking over in its place. Lord truly let Your will be done in earth as it is in Heaven concerning this in Jesus name Amen!
Thank you for reading, as always use this post to share with and inform those you love.
During times of massive change and transition, intercessory prayer is vital to bring Godly order in to being. Who will cry out?
I confess before you today that I have purposely avoided watching and reading about the news and current local, national, and global events. I avoided it because it is disturbing to see all of the negative things that are happening, to have to sift between “fake news” and “shocking click-bait” to get to the truth. Another reason that I have been avoiding it, is as an intercessor, I am pretty sensitive to the suffering of others and it is very disturbing to learn of what people are going through. I am realizing that while I do not prefer to always “be in the know” about certain news and current events, it is pertinent as an intercessor to stay engaged enough to pray effectively and be able to encourage and express empathy appropriately. I have to admit, ignorance can be bliss, however, choosing ignorance is a set up for a rude awakening when reality sets in.
If you are like me, you may be tempted to retreat into the “secret place” and insulate yourself from the outside world. Myself, being on furlough right now, I am surprised at how easy it is to stay completely unaware of what is going on in the world. Unfortunately, this truth has caused me to reevaluate my prayer strategy and what I feel is important to pray about on a daily basis. Now, for many people, taking a “news” or “social media” break is a necessary and healthy thing to do from time to time. Especially when there is a lot going on in one’s personal life, pressures from career or school, or even just to have some quality “alone time” with God. So this healthy break from the news and current events is not what I am referring to. What I am talking about is becoming oblivious to anything happening of importance that as Christian intercessors we have the mandate to put before God and invite His will concerning the matter to be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
*Disclaimer – this article is not about Freud’s theory, the term “ego” is used to refer to a mindset not a theory.
As a lifelong learner, I often enjoy watching documentaries and learning about various people and events that happened throughout history. Two documentaries that I never seem to tire of and are so relevant to the times that we are currently living in are “The Spies of Mississippi” and “Chisholm ‘72 – Unbought and Unbossed.” I really notice a similar theme in both documentaries that bring up concerns about how our current law enforcement, justice system (courts), and governments (globally) are managing change as well as trying to keep in place the often unjust and corrupt systems that only favor the elite few. These concerns are not really focused on race relations, although that is where these unjust practices can be clearly seen. I suggest that the tactics that are described and documented in both documentaries unfortunately could be used in any scenario that a elitist group wants to “stay in control.” The truth is, regardless of how many people, of any race, religion, or financial status are behind the implementation of social justice agendas, there will always be some “push back” from the people who hold positions of power. From this truth we can now immediately discern ego vs equality struggles that are happening and pray accordingly.
By observing the stance of protest that most of the world has taken regarding the recent racially motivated murders of George Floyd and many countless others in the US, UK, South Africa, and other parts of the world. Many of the flaws in our Law Enforcement and Judicial systems are now re-exposed and the truth of the injustice and cruelty that has prevaded into what could have been a fair and just system into corruption and inhumane practices. As an intercessor, there aren’t enough tears, cries, or even prayers to assuage the grief, disgust, and anger that many people are experiencing right now. This is not to say that God is not capable of answering, comforting, or establishing peace, this is just saying that the wound runs deep and it will not be fixed with a “band aid” quick fix type of solution. It seems like history is repeating itself once again, and what was not addressed during the black lives matter movement that broke out just a few years ago, has to be addressed now… There is no more misdirection, or condescending chiding that can put to rest the issues of not only racial injustice, prejudice, racial profiling, and targeting, but also the gross abuse of power, improper enforcement of the law, and protecting corrupt and lawless actions of officers that cross the line. The tactic of just saying things aren’t as bad as they appear, is not going to work for this. It didn’t work for COVID -19 and it’s not going to work for this issue either.
Looking back to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s, what made that movement effective? What was the glue that helped people to “stick with it” and not be discouraged when facing systematic opposition?
They trained and prepared for the worse. They went out, knowing that they might not come that night, they might end up in jail, beaten down on the street, or worse.. Dead. They took it very seriously, and while lots of anger and emotion was displayed, they were focused and intentional about reaching their ultimate goal which was to demand justice. This was a strategic undertaking, it was designed and many months of meetings and planning went into it. This is why the communication of what they wanted to achieve was so clear. Anybody that joined in had to get on the same page and agree that the protests would be peaceful, unified, and for the sole purpose of tearing down the unjust system thus recovering the rights of people of color throughout the USA.
This was a move of God. They committed their protests and outcries unto the Lord. While secular people certainly join in, the undercurrent that kept the Civil Rights Movement flowing was prayer, and biblical teaching. It was not only the influence of previous peaceful protesters such as Gandhi that inspired the manner in which they conducted themselves during the protests, it was biblical teaching, expressions of the love of Christ that was displayed. Divine love of our God is the only force that can not be denied. Even in the anger, the passion for change, and the willingness to die for what we believe, there has to be love. If there is no love in the movement, it is the equivalent to what 1 Corinthians 13:1 describes as clanging symbols. Love is furious. Love is mighty. Love never fails (i Corinthians 13:8).
They watched out for each other. Please hear me, if you plan on taking a group of people out to protest, please assume responsibility for each one. Anything can happen, from police brutality, shooting, or just simply becoming separated from the group and getting lost. Have a plan of communicating and periodic roll calls to make sure that all the people in your care are safe and accounted for. Make a plan for where to meet or how to contact each other if something crazy breaks out. Please do go to protest, if that is what God is calling you to do, just ask Him for the Shepherd’s and Watchman’s anointing while you are managing the group that you take, or even other protesters that you meet along the way.
They not only chanted, clapped, and shouted, during protests, they sang together. They used the same mechanism that African slaves used in the fields to encourage themselves, send messages, and create solidarity. They sang songs of freedom. They sang songs of overcoming, They sang songs that penetrated the hearts and minds of their fiercest opposition. They sang their way into the promised land. They sang songs that have now become embedded in the fabric of our government and culture. What did the Israelites do at Jericho’s wall? They strategically worshipped and the walls came down. What did Jehoshaphat do when their enemies were advancing against them? In 2 Chronicles 20:18-26 we see that the army went out singing and worshipping God and a mighty victory was won, without them ever having to go into battle. What did Paul and Silas do when they were imprisoned for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ? “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed” (Acts 16:25-26). Singing in itself does not necessarily have any special power, however singing, worshipping, and joining in to sing the song of the Lord about freedom, overcoming, justice, love, and mercy is always powerful.
My charge to everyone that reads this, especially to those that plan on or already are protesting is that you invite the Spirit of the Lord into your protests. For where the Spirit of the Lord is there is Liberty, Freedom, Justice, and most importantly Love (2 Corinthians 3:17).
Let us pray: Father God, thank You for Your careful watch over all those that are protesting peacefully. Lord You see it all, and the untimely deaths of Your precious ones have gone unnoticed by You. Lord God You see, and You respond. You hear our cries, understand our outrage, and You show up. You do want racial injustice or oppression of any of Your people to prevail, but because You granted humankind with freewill it happens in this fallen world. We lift up to you the memories of those who suffered at the hands of a violent, cruel, and evil foe. Lord You know the pain and torment, because You suffered it Yourself on cross at Calvary. You know what it’s like to be taunted and reviled while trying to hang to your breaths. Lord God You know the grief, the pain, and the anger of losing a Son too soon. When Adam sinned you felt the pain, and yet still showed compassion for us. Lord please do it again. Just like You responded to the cries of the oppressed and sent Moses to deliver them out of Egypt do it again. Respond how You want to Lord, have Your way! Please strengthen the freedom fighters, the activists, the protesters, and the ones within the legal, law enforcement, and government systems who are executing Your will in the earth. Lord let it be known that You reign over injustice, Your rule will be enacted Sovereignly from on High in the name of Jesus. Lord we welcome You into the protest, let Your name be lifted high and Your ways be exalted in the name of Jesus. Lord let those who were purposeless, aimlessly existing find their purpose in life and choose to live righteously for You. Lord let those who show up to loot, riot, and stir up illegal activity and violence be overtaken by the love that flows from the songs of freedom in the name of Jesus. Lord let those that come to provoke and instigate racially charged violence be swept away by the rhythms of praise, worship, and celebration in the mighty name of Jesus. Lord let the sound of triumph, victory, and unity be heard around the world. Let freedom ring in the Mighty name of Jesus! AMEN.
As always, thank you for reading this blog post. Please share, pray, and sing together for freedom!
There are some times that I am really inspired to write and to share a thought, insight, or revelation concerning intercession or praise and worship. Some times I feel impressed to encourage others in the way that I would want to be encouraged if I was feeling down, or facing uncertainty in life. But there are those moments when the message comes forth that I had not expected at all! The following message was supposed to be a homework assignment for one of my classes and in the midst of writing and putting down ideas to answer the homework questions there was a SHIFT! If you are curious as to what the final message ended up being, continue reading below.
Strategic thinking and foresight is not just for governments and business organizations, any organization especially churches can benefit from strategic planning and implementation. Ten years ago there were very few churches who offered live streaming or even taped recordings of their services to encourage participation from members of the fellowship, and nonmembers to join in with the worship and learn from the sermons preached. Many leaders and experts really could not fathom the actual need for live streams or the online video archives. The tradition of attending church service in person was perceivably being challenged and many people did not like it. However there were many people who could see the value in streaming services live, creating church social media accounts, and investing in video archives for recorded services and events. As more churches adopted the technology used to reach people and keep them engaged with church, more people opted to view the live streams instead of attending in person, and more people were introduced to churches all over the world that they would not have been able to access in person. In the midst of a global pandemic such as the current COVID-19, churches are responsibly deciding not to assemble in person and many ministries are resorting to online communications, worship services, gospel concerts, and encouraging biblical messages on social media. The next dilemma is how to “shepherd God’s sheep” via technology, because meeting in person is not recommended? Are “life groups” and discipleship meetings still going to have the same success rate of participation and completion as when they were allowed to meet in person? After the crisis is over, are the online options going to be removed to encourage people back into the pews of the church?Continue reading “Unexpected Revelations: Intercession”
Lately I keep sensing that God is drawing closer to the Body of Christ as we are drawing nearer to Him. For many people this is the point where they are being transformed from causal, or even servant Christians (who only see God as a powerful “boss”) to friends of God (where God invites His people to participate in what He is doing). A few days ago, the phrase “Co-Conspirator with Christ” was ringing and reverberating in my spirit. It wasn’t like a rebuke or command, it was kind of like the feeling when you are planning a good surprise for someone you love. Like, for example, when the decorations are in place, all of the guests have arrived and everything is in place and that moment comes right before the guest of honor comes in and everyone yells, “SURPRISE!!!!” It’s a sense of participation, anticipation, and the satisfaction of the stage being set for God’s great performance.
One of the late night comedy and entertainment shows that I indulge in viewing from time to time, will spontaneously perform a scene from a popular musical right in the middle of a busy intersection and film the reactions of the innocent passersbys who have no idea what is going on. It’s not hard to imagine the Kingdom of God working something like that at times. God and His team of angels, heavenly beings, and Saints are all working together to fulfill His wonderful will in the earth as it is in heaven, and when a lot of people encounter it (believers and unbelievers alike) have no idea what is going on. They don’t know if they should welcome the change and interruption of their “normal” routines or if they should just go with it. Some people are immediately angry and confused because something out side of their control is interfering with them getting what they want. The people who just accept that something wonderful is happening and stay in the moment are the ones who are able to be enriched and come away from the situation full of joy, excitement, and appreciation for what has unexpectedly taken place in their lives. In the Kingdom of God the second attitude to gratitude and wonder is what pleases God and allows Him to invite us to participate with Him more often.
Another thing to consider about being a “Co-Conspirator with Christ” is that our part could be he big or small, the grandness of the position we take is unimportant, the fact that we ARE taking a position is the more important thing to consider. It’s like a relay race, regardless of who competes first, second, third, or last, if the team wins that race, everyone on the team wins! It is time to stop being distracted by what other people are doing or not doing for the body of Christ. It is time for us to focus and take OUR position and play Our part regardless of what it looks like. This is going to require trust, this is going to require not knowing all of the details for the mission but fulfilling what we know needs to be done to the best of our ability until the rest is revealed.
So here is the reality check: Being a “Co-Conspirator with Christ” is not only going to involve us knowing His ways, and playing our position, it is also going to attract opposition and warfare. Remember those people who become incensed and agitated at change, even when it is a good and beneficial change….. well… there is that to deal with, and also the enemy himself, who will do everything in his power to thwart your mission or have you quit right before the breakthrough. Don’t worry, just change your paradigm on how spiritual warfare works in the Kingdom. Most of us, especially intercessors, usually view spiritual warfare like a boxing ring, we are in one corner and the enemy is in the opposite one. We strive, persist, endure, and even after getting knocked around a bit, black out and get revived just in time, then try to deliver that final KO to the enemy, after finally submitting to Jesus and asking for help. If we realize that the enemy is just too strong and that a KO is unrealistic, we resort to at least staying in the ring for all twelve rounds. Hey, if we make it to the end we give a “how I got over” shout and end up going right back into the ring again…. What spiritual warfare is really like in the Kingdom is us in one corner with Father God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit as part of one team facing off against the enemy, and his minions. The fight is truly not fair! Because not only do we have the Holy Trinity on the team, but also the angelic armies are on the sidelines just waiting for orders to jump in with an assist. On top of that, every time the enemy gets too close the referee (who is also on our side), He enforces the Blood of Jesus over our lives. So we can always win, even in the midst of warfare, because we can turn the fight over to our “Divine Dream Team” and let them handle the fight in their power.
Not trying to paint an idealistic picture of what it means to be a disciple, persecution, opposition, and even hardship does sometimes find its way into the situation but remember that God is working everything together for our good and in the end He alone will be glorified!
Please do not let this message pass you by, especially if you are going through a trying time. My truth concerning this message is that right when I was getting ready to post this message, in AUGUST 2019…. I was hit by an unexpected blow from the enemy. Satan truly HATES this message! I know that a lot of the hardship that I have facing concerning an area of my life recently, only started to get worse right when I was planning on posting this. Regardless of the strategy of the enemy to try to stifle and surpress this message, I still choose to be a Co-conspirator with Christ! This is what victory looks like some times. agreeing with Christ means defying the control of the enemy. Agreeing to participate with Christ even when times are discouraging means thwarting the plans of the enemy to get you to quit in the middle of your mission. While it is trying and difficult, do not give up! Just continue to agree to participate with Christ until the breakthrough comes. I admit this is not easy to walk out in our lives, but ALL things are possible with Christ! Take a moment and seek the Lord about what He wants you to participate with Him about. Ask Him to reveal to you where He is working, and how you can be apart of it. When He shows you, exercise your faith and agree, take a step, take some action, and expect Him to bring it to fruition. This is the way that I want to walk with Jesus and I pray that we all go beyond the common existence and agree to be a Co-conspirator with Christ! Also, take the limits off! It may not be a “religious” or “worshipful” thing that God wants you to do, so be led by the Spirit and have some adventures in Kingdom building!
As always, I want to thank you for reading this post. If it has touched your life or sparked some inspiration, please share with others who might appreciate it. Thank you again for reading and embarking on this journey with me!
Hello Precious Reader! I wrote this (now) article below originally as an assignment for one of my classes of Spring 2019. The main text comes from the story of the Woman washing Jesus’ feet with her tears in Luke 7:36-50. I honestly think that I was drawn to this passage because it has become a source of comfort to me pertaining to some of the unfortunate situations I have been in with fellow Believers. This story helped me to see Jesus’ heart for rejected “known” sinners, and for women with sorted pasts. As you may already know, if you are familiar with this story, what Jesus did was groundbreaking – even revolutionary for His day and time and for the religious and cultural expectations Jewish men were to follow. I could go on, and on about how Jesus consistently challenged the religious and sociopolitical norms of His time all while revealing the love, compassion, and mercy of the Father… But instead, I present a message from Luke 7:36-50 – Reclining at the Table!
Today’s message is going to be coming from Luke 7:36-50, it’s a story that many of us know very well. This passage is about the sinful woman who anointed Jesus with expensive oil and washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and the response from the onlookers. Now I know that many of you might have heard this story or even read it for yourself many times. But before your mind goes into auto pilot mode, let’s see if we can find a fresh approach to this text. Now let’s read Luke 7:36:
“36 One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, and He went into the Pharisee’s house [in the region of Galilee] and reclined at the table.”
Now the emphasis that the Amplified Bible places on this verse is on the last words “at the table.” However, the word that stood out to me in the text was the word “reclined.” Now picture this: A Pharisee named Simon had invited Jesus to have dinner at his house. Continue reading “Reclining at the Table (WWJD)”
Today I want to talk about a subject that many of you will either relate to, or will hope to never have to relate to. Today’s message explores how to deal recognize enemies. Now before you get lost in reviewing the list of enemies that you have had to fight off throughout your life, please consider this: There is really only one enemy. Yup… that’s right, there is only one true enemy. Now please do not take this the wrong way, I am not trying to invalidate the encounters that you have had with maleficent personalities, or workers of iniquity who have worked tirelessly towards your downfall and demise. I am not even talking about those who have betrayed your trust, taken advantage of your kindness, or muddied you reputation through gossip and character assassination. Yes those are terrible situations, involving nefarious schemes, but can you really say that those people are true enemies? Could there be misinformation, darkened perspectives, and unhealed wounds motivating the unscrupulous actions of those who seem to be formed against you? Sometimes it is a personal attack, and the situations are unfair, but is your total destruction really the expected outcome from the people that are coming against you? Continue reading “There is Only 1”