How Firm is Your Faith?

“…Unless your faith is firm I cannot make you stand firm.”-Isaiah 7:9

This was God’s response to King Ahaz in light of the threats that had gone out against Jerusalem. For the sake of time allow me to paraphrase the story. The word on the street was that King Rezin of Syria and King Pekah of Israel were plotting to attack Jerusalem. Fear began to consume the hearts of the people and the king of Jerusalem because of what they knew about the two forces that were coming against them. But God sent the prophet Isaiah to give a word to the king. This is what he says in Isaiah 7:4, “Tell him to stop worrying. Tell him he doesn’t need to fear the fierce anger of those two burned-out-embers, King Rezin of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah…” God then shares his plans for both of those nations, and he concludes his words to King Ahaz by telling him, “Unless your faith is firm. I cannot make you stand firm.”

In other words, this is my promise to you, but I cannot make you believe it. You now have the option of living in fear because of what “they” said or in faith because of what God said. When the Alpha and Omega declares to you,” Do not worry about your enemies;” you should make it your business not to worry about your enemies. God knows they appear stronger in your sight, but He is greater than those who stand against you.

I also want us to take a moment to consider where the king of Jerusalem was standing when he received the word of the Lord from the prophet Isaiah. Isaiah 7:3 says,”…you will find him at the end of the aqueduct that feeds water into the upper pool near the road leading to the field where the cloth is washed.” In other words, he was near the royal laundry mat which was symbolic of the enemies he was being threatened by. They were washed up! They were useless. God called them “two burned-out-embers.” They possessed no real power to bring harm to Jerusalem, and their threats were in fact harmless.

Please hear me loud and clear if God has given you a word concerning the defeat of those who rise up against you, BELIEVE IT. If God has given you a word concerning healing, restoration, deliverance, and etc., BELIEVE IT! You can be certain of these two things that God  upholds us in our integrity, and he fights for us. You cannot lose with a word from God, but you can wear yourself out by living in doubt and in fear. Today I pray you  choose faith, stand firm, and rest in the truth of God’s word concerning your life. You win!

 

 

 

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Freedom Friday: Dealing with Demonic Oppression

               He told them, This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.-Mark 9:29

I will never forget the day I was delivered from Demonic Oppression during my junior year of college. I was attending a Spiritual Encounter conference at Greenwood Christian Center in Tulsa, OK. We were doing some intense spiritual exercises such as renouncing generational curses, writing out and burning our confessions of sins, and etc. I had been fasting the whole weekend, and I was feeling great until the Sunday Morning service. I started feeling horrible knots in my stomach, and I knew it was not hunger pains from fasting. I took the extreme discomfort as a confirmation for me to make my way to the service.

I made it to church, and I was still feeling sick. The minister in charge of the conference was up sharing pics and highlights of the weekend. The church went up in high praise. He quickly silenced the people, as he felt led to make one last Altar Call for those of us who attended that weekend. He said, “Is there anyone who feels that they didn’t receive all they needed this weekend? If that is you make your way to the altar.” I could not get there fast enough because I knew something inside of me was not right, and the way I was being attacked was not natural!

A few people made their way to the altar quicker than I did, and I waited patiently praying quietly as the ministers were praying for other people. Everything was fine until the minister came to me. Before he could lay hands on me I let out a hellacious scream, and I tried to attack him. In that moment I acquired Incredible Hulk strength, and it took three people to restrain me (keep in mind, I was 4’11 and 115 pounds at the time). I remember wanting to stop myself, but that spirit had manifested itself. When we arrived to the area that they did Deliverance Ministry, I had to be pinned down because I would strike or kick at the people. A lady started praying for me. She casted out the spirits of Anger and Rage, and I immediately calmed down. The people were able to place me in a chair.

As the Holy Spirit gave her discernment, she named out a few other things. My eyes would not open during this time. I remember the voices that came from me and the way my body would convulse or contort as she prayed. It was the weirdest experience because I was aware of what was happening, but I had no control over what was taking place. The last spirit she addressed was the spirit of rejection, and I remember sounding like a toddler talking to her. As she commanded the spirit to leave, the child voice turned into an angry man. He explained, “he had permission to be there!” There was finally a breakthrough, and I came to myself. I began to weep joyously. I left knowing that I had been set free. I felt so light, and I was not ashamed because my freedom mattered most.

I felt I needed to share this story because I am tired of Christians suffering in silence. I was an intercessor, choir member, and chaplain at the time that I  was bound by Demonic oppression. I was afraid to go to sleep with the light off because I would wake up with scratches and bruises the next day. I was having suicidal thoughts. I was being tormented in my mind, and I knew this was not God’s best for me. I was either going to get delivered or be found dead on a Christian University campus. I opted for deliverance!

I sought out a place that was not afraid of Spiritual Warfare, and I stayed until I was no longer bound. I wanted to be delivered, and I was going to obtain it at any cost. Soon after going through Deliverance ministry, I sought out a Holy Spirit filled therapist. She helped “fill the house” (Matthew 12:43-45) with the word of God and counseling techniques to help me truly enjoy the freedom I obtained. It was one of the best decisions of my life.

Some will read this and argue, “Christians cannot be oppressed by demons.” I pray you never have to experience such torture. But to those of us who know differently, allow FREEDOM to be your pursuit. If your church is not equipped to handle Spiritual matters beyond Salvation, find a place that does. Do not continue to sit in torment when Freedom is available to you. Like the woman with the demon-possessed daughter (Matthew 15:22-28), go get what belongs to you. You’re in my prayers, and I dare you to live FREE!