Posts Tagged ‘arguments’

Raging from Within

Recently a reader; who shall remain nameless, sent me a request for help in what they called “their struggle to believe God”. The brokenness they felt every time they tried to trust His Biblical Truths seemed to become overwhelming… in fact they said that it felt like their heart was “raging from within”. I want to thank the “reader” for their honest transparency, because I do not believe they are alone in this struggle. The desire to know what steps to take toward freedom is a huge leap in the right direction! We all must learn and understand these spiritual principles, if we are to grow in faith as Christ’s disciples.

What most people do not understand is that they need to be free from Demonic Strongholds!

Immediately, you might draw back and feel shocked at this statement. You may even say, “I am not lead by the devil!” Let me first tell you that this issue is a spiritual battle and there is no way to be free from our past unless we admit that the past might still have a hold on our life. We will never be free from old ways except by faith in the wisdom of God and agreement with the Word of God. The Holy Spirit will watch over God’s Word and make it powerful and effective in judging the intents of our heart (Heb 4:12)… if we are willing to receive.

The value of spiritual weapons… (2 Cor. 10:3-6).

“The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for the pulling down of spiritual strongholds, arguments and human reasoning that war against the Truth and the knowledge of Christ.”

I want to define a stronghold for you… it is a house made of thoughts.

This house made of thoughts is built upon a foundation of lies and deceptions that rule us emotionally, because we have had experiences that overwhelm our ability to believe the Truth. We cannot identify with what we have no ability to believe. What happens is that we make “emotional Covenants”… agreement with Darkness. Covenant agreement is a powerful spiritual force that either works for us or against us. Repentance and forgiveness are the beginning of freedom and all it requires is confession of our sin, but freedom costs us our emotional safety net. Remind yourself that this safety is fear based and not safe at all… its actually a deception. We must surrender our behavior in order to be free (John 8:30-36). Sinful behaviors are connected to the “orphan heart” that wants to be loved and embraced. What happens is that we often confuse legitimate needs with illegitimate behavior (Rom. 1:18-25).

We must do several things to break free.

  • 1st Renounce the Emotional Covenants with Darkness… confess the sin and begin to destroy the yoke associated with the thinking and feeling that sin brings. Isaiah 10:27 says the anointing breaks yokes around our neck… claim that strength for yourself and destroy the yoke.
  • 2nd Ask the Holy Spirit to begin to reveal to you what it is that this sin feeds in your heart. You will be able to hear in your heart immediately when you ask… God will answer and you will know. I find it helps to write a simple paragraph to God asking Him to reveal where your heart was broken and why. You might even want to ask Him where He was in the midst of your pain. You may need to go back into your heart and examine trauma or painful experiences that have caused you to make bitter judgments toward others, your parents or God. Quickly forgive them and the burden will lift, guilt and shame will leave quickly. That is where the Covenant was given its attachment to your heart. That is the easy part.
  • 3rd You must exchange the lies for the Truth of God and begin to identify areas where you are being “fathered” by emotional pain rather than God. Your Father loves you and has always been available to you. His thoughts toward you are all good (Psalm 139:17-18)(Jeremiah 29:11).

You may find many broken places where lies are hiding in your life… expose them and make them come into obedience to the Word of God. Take authority over shame and tell yourself what God has said about you… lies will bow a knee to Truth as you stand firm in Christ!

The Garment of Praise

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD has anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;  To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:1-3)

The answer against a “spirit of heaviness” is to put on the ”garment of praise.”

Satan hates praise:

Praise exalts Jesus no matter what the circumstances may look like. It engages our trust in God and activates our faith like nothing else can do. You see, praise introduces light and supernatural life into our circumstances. It is the ultimate release of spiritual freedom. Just listen to the following verses and let something click inside.

(2 Cor 3:17) “The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

(Gal 5:1) ” Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”

(Jn 8:36) ” Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”

Praise is Agreement with God!

Praising the Lord and agreement with the truth of God’s Word, renews the mind and lifts the spirit of heaviness off your shoulders. Notice the Prophet Isaiah says that your life is designed to reflect your calling as “trees of righteousness”. Its your destiny to become the “planting of the Lord”. As you praise Him daily, you will release the stature of Christ within you… “that He may be glorified”, seen and celebrated as your Deliverer! Nothing so clearly displays the power of God like our freedom in the spirit.

The Effect of a Spirit of Heaviness:

It darkens our countenance. Our hearts are down cast. This spirit brings a “heaviness” over us and dims our vision, robs our hope and crushes our sense of purpose. There are testimonies I’ve heard from people who say “when this spirit comes it even makes the room feel darker”. It brings a heavy and oppressive atmosphere that restricts and quenches our perception. It may come like a cloud hanging over you or your location, but the most difficult part to deal with is that it causes isolation. The devil’s goal is to remove you from the atmosphere of love and approval. Think about it, if Satan can get you isolated, then he can break your spirit and remove your source of inspiration and hope.

Recognize it:

This is the first step. You are a Child of God! This is not God’s will for you!  “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Rom 8:31) Don’t believe the lies… Praise God instead! Accept no criticism and carry no extra baggage. You must learn the art of selective hearing, so that you choose the things you ignore and the things that come from the Throne of Heaven. We destroy arguments and pull down strongholds, so that every thought is made captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor 10:5). That means I am actively discerning where my thoughts are coming from and believe me… I can rule over them with praise!

Put on the Garment of Praise!

This literally means to be “wrapped up in praise”. God has given it to be worn and provide insulation. So put it on like a jacket every single day. Take a few moments each morning and every time there is a battle raging, to put it on like armor on a soldier. You will watch your enemy run for cover with his tail between his legs… like a whipped puppy. That’s right, praise is your most effective tool in magnifying God and shrinking the influence of the devil. Get loud, get aggressive and set your heart on spiritual freedom!

It is the anointing that breaks the yoke! (Isa 10:27)

Loose the Heavens

“And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven”  (Matthew 16:19a)

This morning I spoke to the leaders about “keys”... keys to unlocking gates, offer access and loose the heavens!

Once God opens the heavens, there is wonderful Kingdom influence. There will be “arguments” that Satan has set up to keep you from moving forward. One example is forgiveness. Forgiving someone opens up many doors, its a key to the Kingdom of Heaven! But there will be arguments in your mind… “why should I forgive? That person does not deserve forgiveness?” So once you go through a door God has opened, be very aware of the arguments, the enemy will set up. Your freedom is just beyond the threshold where Christ has made a way for you to break into new territory.

A Season in Kenya where the heavens were loosed!

There had been awesome times of worship in the morning where I could “see” the heavens open… the veil was thin and our hearts abiding in the glory of God. So many had been to the altar weeping and receiving healing for their heart. And I was calling the pastors and leadership forward to share testimonies of the great things God was doing. I still remember one African pastor’s testimony as to what he could “see” in the spiritual realm. He got up and said that he saw “heaven shaking things all over the earth”.

“Therefore since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.  For our God is a consuming fire.”   (Hebrews 12:28)

One pastor calls me “the man who brings rain”- wafula – in Swahili.  This is because the day I arrived in Kenya it began to rain.  The interesting thing is that it only rains during the morning, and afternoon… and stops for the evening crusades. God is so good, when the heavens are open. As soon as everyone is packed up and leaving, the rain comes again!!  Strange things happen when you hold the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven in your hands. Thank you Lord for the “former and the latter rain”.

Breakthrough Comes:

I recall an evening meeting that brought in another 400 people, so there were about 1000 men, women and children crowded around the small platform… another 800 along the shops and toward the back of the meeting place (the African village courtyard). There was so much mud due to all the rain!! I spoke of God’s desire to set them completely free… that freedom was the reward of our surrendered lives in Christ! This same Jesus, who brought freedom to the oppressed came to break off chains and any bondage of the enemy. It was the story of Paul and Silas… angels opening the door of their prison cell… and how praise gets God’s ear every time. Breakthrough came like a rushing river. Praise broke out and many experienced the touch of heaven as the Holy Spirit moved in their midst. Signs and wonders were easy and many found themselves healed and saved in those precious moments.

Freedom in an African Courtyard!

I remember calling up the musicians and telling them “it’s times to dance, and give God something to inhabit”. The children immediately began to dance and then dancing broke out everywhere. As we quieted everyone down and began call people forward to receive the joy that only Jesus can bring… at least 150 more people ran forward to receive Christ. After that they all began to dance once more!!

Freedom is the sight – when heaven is loosed!

Mutually Encouraged

“I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you– that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.” (Rom. 1:11-12)

Wow- my son Zach and I just returned from a powerful trip to Uganda! Our primary reason for going was the opening of our second year of classes in the Apostolic Training Center in the Lake Victoria region. It was two and a half weeks of ministry and bonding. Yet before we purchased our flights, God was speaking to me about spiritual impartation and mutual encouragement. I truly believe these were goals we saw daily being fulfilled in the ministry and personally between my son and myself. It was a rich time to be together and God has done more in this trip than I may ever know.

Power of Connectivity:

The Apostle Paul longed to see the Romans for the impartation of spiritual gifts and mutual encouragement. There is energy that flows between people who value connectivity. The power shared in being together is worth the effort! There is no way to duplicate seeing people face to face and having the opportunity to rub elbows, communicate ideas and look into one another’s eyes. While electronic communication has a role in keeping in touch, there is a warmth that can only be translated when people connect.

The meetings in Uganda were exciting and my time with Zach was a “once in a lifetime” experience. We wrestled through flight delays and cold showers, saw lives transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit and laughed as we talked about some of the most embarrassing moments of the past.

Imparting Spiritual Gifts:

What I noticed; we must avoid giving empty words… there is no substance to them! No one feeds on empty words. Smart quotes may amuse, arguments may impress and sermons may make us feel better, but only the Words of God can release life. Only the Word of God can shape a relationship that honors our history and our memories… without guilt or shame.

The verse I quoted above speaks of mutual encouragement. When we come together, I find it is very important to keep our eyes and ears open. I may be the leader, father or maybe even the son, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t learn from one another. The more I pour myself out to encourage others, the more I grow in my understanding of myself and my anointing! There’s a freshness that comes from heaven… and its true of being a father as much as its true of being a spiritual son. This is the power of the Holy Spirit that works constantly in us to produce a mutually encouraged life… both in ministry and in our personal lives.

Thanks Son… for the impartation!

Inner Voices

Lion of Judah

Break forth into your freedom!

“No weapon formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue which rises against you in judgment - you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the Servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is from Me, says the LORD.”  (Isaiah 54:17)

Attempts to destroy you come as encounters aimed at your identity more than your eternity. As your life’s journey unfolds, it carries its real purpose in the perceptions you have in every experience. God’s Word reminds us that no weapon formed against you is to carry any real authority in your battle. The same verse speaks of “tongues that rise in judgment against us – we shall condemn”. 

Weapons – External Voices: 

Enemies arise to rob our future through their voice. It might be impossible to stop criticism and accusations, which wound and tear into our emotional life like daggers, but God has not left us defenseless. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, arguments and high things that exalt themselves above the knowledge of God. We bring every thought into captivity and make every voice bow its knee to Christ as Lord (2 Cor. 10:3-6).

Giving Up or Breaking Through:

It really is up to you. External voices which challenge the choices you make are connected to thoughts and can position you at the brink of giving up or breaking through. What must be understood about these voices is that there is a spirit behind their influence. Perhaps nothing can be done about the words themselves, but we can silence the effect upon us by releasing them to God and calling them into obedience.

Enemy Strongholds:

Satan’s goal is to turn external voices into internal voices through “demonic strongholds”. These demonic strongholds are simply houses of thought and perceptions ruled or governed by demons. Inner voices create internal dialogue that condemn and confuse our identity. We have limited knowledge as to whether the devil can read our minds, but we do know he can watch our activity and plant temptation and destructive experiences before us. Painful voices from yesterday’s experience often remain etched upon our minds and continually echo in our thoughts. These inner voices aim to destroy our identity and confidence in Christ, as well as undermine our faith in God’s Word.

An Established Heritage:

Take hold of your heritage as a Servant of God! You can silence the inner voices by drawing authority from the Word of God and your personal testimony as a believer (Rev. 12:11). Strength will arise and shut down the effectiveness of those demonic thought patterns within your mind. You are a re-created being with supernatural power in your spirit man. Destroying the residue of inner voices releases you from their control. Hear only the voice of God (1 Cor 2:9-16). Learn to live from the inside out. You can have a new beginning with a liberty to discover the person God created you to be! Celebrate hearing His voice as your new freedom begins to emerge!

  • One of my favorite praise songs…

No weapon formed against me shall prosper! All those who rise up against me shall fall! I will not fear what the devil may bring me… I am a Servant of God! Oh, I am a Servant of God!