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Archive for July, 2015

The blessing

from JO’s sermon tonight:

as parents, we have the ability to impact our children like no one else can.  while the mother’s role, nurturing, caring, is vitally important, without the father’s approval and validation, the child will feel a void. every person needs the blessing from their father. many adults still struggle today, with low self-esteem, working all the time, trying to prove that they’re good enough, all because of their father’s lack of affirmation. their father never told them, “I’m proud of you,” he never made them feel approved, so they’re still trying to measure up, gain this approval that can only come from a father. fathers, we have something to give our children that nobody else can give.  other people can tell them how great they are, how special they are, but when you tell them, it carries a whole new weight.

as the father, you have the God-given authority to bless your child. every time you say, “I’m proud of you, I love you, you’re beautiful,” God releases strength into your child, value, confidence, security. those are not just nice words, it’s what the scripture calls, “the blessing”; you are propelling your child toward their destiny. we’re all busy, it’s easy to get sidetracked, or even at odds with our children, “they’re not doing right, when they straighten up I’ll be nicer, when I’m not so busy I’ll spend more time with them” or, “they know I’m proud of them, I told them 14 years ago when we brought them home from the hospital.”  no, they need to hear it again and again; you’re the father, you carry the blessing. don’t withhold your love, your affection, your approval.

you may not have received this blessing from your father; he wasn’t around growing up, or maybe he was there but all he did was correct you, tell you what you were doing wrong, didn’t show affection, make you feel valuable. don’t let that negative cycle get passed to the next generation; you can be the difference-maker, you can set a new standard. start blessing your children, start calling out their seeds of greatness, telling them what they can become, prophesying their future. let them know you’re their #1 fan. when you see them in the morning, give them a hug; don’t let them pass by without showing your affection. sometimes, we were raised to think, “we’re men, we don’t express our feelings, we don’t hug, we don’t say nice things, that would make us look weak.” it’s just the opposite; when you show your feelings, you’re strong. real men hug their children. real men show affection, make their children feel valuable.  real men go out of their way to approve, validate, encourage.

fathers, our children have been given to us as a gift;  do you know how many people would love to have kids? they’re going through infertility treatments, spending thousands of dollars, enduring pain, suffering; they’d do anything to have children like ours.  God has entrusted you with His most prized possession; He’s counting on you as the father to give them the blessing. your approval, love, affirmation, carries more weight than any other man’s. without your blessing, your children will struggle in areas that they did not have to struggle in.  there’s a reason people are insecure, angry, overly competitive, promiscuous; many times, the root cause can be traced back to they never got the blessing from their father. 

what a difference it would make if the father would just pick up the phone and say, “Son, have I told you how proud I am of you, how I think you’re amazing, how you mean the world to me?” it seems so simple, yet it carries so much weight; it fills a void that only the father can fill, something we were all born with. even as little children on the playground, there can be 20 other adults, people that we know, but we’re constantly saying, “look at me Daddy, watch me run, jump, watch how fast I am”; we long for our daddy to watch us, to say, “that’s good, you’re strong, you can run really fast.” we can have our babysitter watch us, our cousin watch us, our neighbor watch us, but when it’s our dad, it takes on a whole new meaning. this longing for our father’s approval was put in us by our Creator. 

your children may be 50 years old, but deep down, they’re still saying, “watch me, Daddy, look at what I’m doing, look at how I’m raising my children, excelling in my career.” they still long for your approval. fathers, here’s the good news; it’s never too late to bless your children. you may not have done it while your kids were growing up, that’s not the way you were raised, but I wonder what would happen if you picked up the phone, called your son, daughter, they may be 30, 40 years old, you hadn’t spoken to them in a while, but you call and say, “I just want to tell you how proud I am of you, how much I love you, how I think you’re amazing.” your approval, even later in life, can be a turning point for them. your validation of their family, their success, their accomplishments, can put an end to issues they’ve been struggling with, can bring healing and wholeness, set them on a whole new path. 

the father holds a blessing that is a strategic piece to our puzzle.  maybe you haven’t been there for your children, they’ve had struggles and issues, and now you think, “my children don’t need anything from me, I’ve made a lot of poor choices, they’re doing better than I am”;  no, they still need your approval. don’t withhold your blessing. sometimes we think, “they know I love them, they know I’m proud of them, I don’t need to tell them”;  no, a blessing is not a blessing until it’s spoken. people don’t know what you’re thinking; they can’t read your mind. even though it may seem minor to you, as a father, when you tell your children you’re proud of them, it can do something major in their life. the blessing of the father carries so much weight, it can help release them to a new level of their destiny.  there’s a reason that people are secure, confident, feel valuable; it has a lot to do with the blessing from their father.

maybe you’re a father in a single parent situation; you don’t have your children with you all the time. that’s ok; you can still give them your blessing. don’t take the easy way out and make the mother do everything; your children need your love, guidance, support, mentorship. if a young lady doesn’t get the approval from her father, many times she’ll try to get that approval from other men; she’ll go from relationship to relationship, not valuing who she is, because she has not been valued by the most important male in her life, her father. your daughter, as a little girl, she looks up to you as her hero;  she admires you, she thinks you can do anything. she’s not going to feel good about herself until she knows you think she’s the greatest thing in the world. you’re teaching your daughter how other men should treat her; she’s learning from you what love is. she’s felt her mother’s love, but you are her first male love, you are her first boyfriend. it all starts with you. it’s going to be compared to the love that you show her. 

that’s why it’s so important, fathers, not only to treat your wife with honor and respect, but to treat your daughter like she’s a queen; you’re setting the tone for how she will allow other people to treat her.  if you’re harsh, rude, condescending, don’t have time for her, you’re teaching her, “that’s how men treat women, that’s ok, find somebody like that.” but when you treat her with respect and kindness, value her, make her feel loved, important, honored, that’s the standard she’s going to set.  a father sets the standard. don’t be harsh on your children.  don’t be too busy for them. if you don’t tell your daughter how beautiful she is, don’t be surprised if she finds a young man to tell her how beautiful she is. if you don’t make your children feel special, they’ll go out and try to fill that void with something or someone, a void that you can fill as a father.  let’s set a high standard.  this is your legacy, what you’re passing down. more than your money, success, accomplishments, values, principles, what you believe in, that’s what’s going to live on.  I’m asking you to model excellence, integrity; give your children the blessing. let them know that they’re made in the image of God, that they’re extremely valuable, that they have seeds of greatness on the inside. 

in the scripture, there was a father named Jesse; he had 8 sons. when the prophet Samuel came to his house to choose one of those sons as the next king, Jesse’s youngest son, David, was out in the shepherd’s fields. Jesse didn’t even invite David in;  he thought, “he doesn’t have a chance, he’s too young, inexperienced.”  when Samuel looked at the other seven boys:

1 Samuel 16:10-12 (NIV)

10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11 So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.”

Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”

12 So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features.

Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”

Jesse had a king in his house and he didn’t recognize it; he had one of the greatest men that would ever live, but he didn’t see it. he just looked on the outside;  he saw his size, ability, experience. he couldn’t see the seeds of greatness on the inside. he didn’t see the giant killer, the army general, the skilled musician, the history-maker. don’t do like Jesse, and have a king, a queen, in your house, and not recognize it. you don’t know the gifts that God has put in your children; you could be raising the next giant killer, army general, David, history-maker. all they need is your blessing, encouragement, to know that you believe in them, that you’re cheering them on, that you’re their #1 fan.  fathers, when your children know you’re watching them, you believe in them, you’re cheering them on, that’s going to give them an extra boost to rise higher, go further, accomplish things they never thought they could accomplish.

I realize, not everybody got this blessing from their father. some people lost their father early in life.  half of the children today are being raised in fatherless homes. maybe your dad was around, but he wasn’t a good influence, he made it harder on you; notice, with David, even though his father didn’t believe in him, that didn’t change David’s destiny. what God had planned for David’s life, could not be stopped by how his father raised him. don’t use this as an excuse; “I didn’t get the blessing, now I know why I’m stuck, can’t accomplish my dreams.” no, what you did or did not get is not a surprise to God. you may not have had a father involved in your life growing up, but God said:

Psalm 68:5 (TLB)

5 He is a father to the fatherless

God will be your father. He will watch over you in a special way. He’ll get you to where you’re supposed to be.  many single mothers are doing an incredible job raising their children without the help of a man; God said He will be your husband, He will help you raise your children, He will give you wisdom, He will provide for your needs, He will take care of you and your children.  a lot of people today grew up without fathers; I wish that were not so, but if that’s you, let me tell you; your father is Almighty God. He’s chosen you, called you, set you apart; you didn’t get here by accident, you didn’t just happen to show up, God breathed His life into you.  you have a destiny to fulfill, an assignment only you can accomplish. 

maybe your father has not been involved in your life as much as he should have; you feel a void on the inside, a longing for that approval. I believe right now, that void is being filled: healing is taking place, wholeness, value, confidence. your heavenly Father is giving you the blessing; He’s saying, “I’m proud of you, you’re amazing, valuable, you’re going to do great things in life. some of you have a father who is no longer with us, he’s in heaven; you hear people say, “I wish my dad could see me now.” even when we lose our fathers, deep down there’s still a part of us saying, “watch me, Dad, look at what I’m doing.” the scripture talks about:

Hebrews 12:1 (CEB)

12 … we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us

people that have gone before us, that are cheering us on. in the grandstands of heaven right now, looking down, watching you closely, is your father, fathers that have gone before us.  you know what they’re saying? “look at my son, my daughter; look at how amazing they are. look what they’re accomplishing.” they may not be here in person, but you can rest assured, they’re proud of you, they still think you’re amazing, they still give you their approval.  we can look up and say, “watch me, Dad.” we’re just getting started; there are a lot of great things still to come. life is short;  make sure you give your children the blessing. it’s never too late; you can pick up the phone, call a son or daughter, tell them how proud you are of them.  if you didn’t get the blessing, your earthly father wasn’t around, God is your Father;  He put his blessing on you. because of that blessing, you’re going to rise higher, you’re going to accomplish your dreams, you’re going to set a new standard for your family, your children are going to be mighty in the land.

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from JO’s sermon tonight:

there are genes locked up in your genetic code right now, not from your physical relatives, but from your heavenly Father. before you were formed in your mother’s womb, God not only knew you, but He put in you these destiny genes. the apostle Paul says: 

Ephesians 2:10 (AMP)

10 … living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live

God has already preprogrammed in your DNA: gifts, talents, favor, opportunity. those genes are lying there dormant; you might not even know that they’re in you. the scripture says:

1 Corinthians 2:9 (TLB)

9 … no mere man has ever seen, heard, or even imagined what wonderful things God has ready for those who love the Lord.

there are seeds of greatness locked up in your DNA; ideas, inventions, books, songs, movies, businesses, contracts. when that preprogrammed time comes, set by the Creator of the universe, nothing can stop it:  people can’t stop it, how you were raised can’t stop it, a bad break, an addiction, poverty, lack, nothing can stop what’s the most high God has already put in your DNA.  don’t just look at it in the natural, what you don’t have, “I don’t have the connections, I don’t have the resources, my family, we’ve always had these addictions.” no,  you need to get ready; they are destiny genes about to open up in your life. what God has locked up in your DNA is about to kick in and thrust you to a new level.  suddenly: you get promoted, a good break, the business takes off, your health improves, you break the addiction. you didn’t see it coming, you didn’t even know it was in you. what was that? a destiny gene.

you may not see how you could ever get out of debt, ever get well, ever accomplish a dream.  what you can’t see is what’s already in your DNA, what’s already been preprogrammed to open up: favor genes, idea genes, abundance genes, health genes. if you will keep honoring God, helping others, expecting good things, at the right time, you’ll step into your moment; suddenly, it will come to pass. there are destiny genes in your future that are going to open up and thrust you to a new level. you’re going to discover talent that you didn’t know you had. you’re going to find yourself doing things you never thought you could do: writing, inventing, singing, developing, exceeding your expectations, living bigger, more generous, more fulfilled than you ever imagined.

“this sounds good, but I think you’ve got the wrong person: I’m not that talented, I never get any good breaks,, I come from the wrong family.” no, you come from the right family; your heavenly Father, the One who spoke worlds into existence, the One who flung stars into space, He not only breathed life into you, He put a part of himself in you. you have the DNA of Almighty God. He didn’t create you to be average, mediocre, to endure, just get by, He created you to excel, prosper, set a new standard for your family, leave your mark on this generation. you are not limited by your environment, by what family you come from, by what you did or didn’t get; your destiny genes will override every negative circumstance.  you may have had some unfair situations, disappointments; before anyone could put a curse on you, God put a blessing on you. before you were born, before you showed up on planet Earth, God put in your DNA these destiny genes.

God saw every disappointment, every unfair situation; He didn’t say, “too bad, look what they’re going to go through, no use Me putting anything good in their future.” just the opposite; God saw the bad break and said, “I’m going to put something special right there. I’m going to make the enemy pay for bringing that trouble.” God saw the unfair situation, the lack, poverty; God said, “I’m going to put a destiny gene of increase, of favor. I’m going to take them to a new level.” maybe you struggle with an addiction, something that’s been passed down, been in your family for a long time; God saw that. He’s already put a destiny gene of freedom, wholeness, a breakthrough.

nothing you’re facing is a surprise to God; you may have had a setback, but stay in faith, a comeback is on the way. it’s just a matter of time before that destiny gene that’s already in your DNA opens up and takes you to a new level. you may be in an environment that feels limited, you don’t think you could ever get out; what you can’t see are the destiny genes that are put on the inside of you.  you probably can’t see right now:  a professional golfer, successful businessperson, entrepreneur, doctor, lawyer, teacher. those genes are lying dormant, but don’t be fooled; at the right time, they will activate and take you where you could not go on your own. Ecclesiastes says:

Ecclesiastes 9:11 (NCV)

11 …Time and chance happen to everyone

that means, there are moments of favor, increase, blessing, that are already in your future. good breaks, the right people, ideas, healing. against all odds, you’ll rise out of where you are, and go places you never thought possible. God has already lined up your good breaks, the right people to help you; those moments of favor have already been established.  quit worrying about how it’s going to happen, that’s not your job;  your job is to believe. all through the day, “Lord, I want to thank You that You put destiny genes in me. where I am is not where I’m staying. I may not see how it can happen, but I believe You have it all figured out.” one touch of God’s favor can put you 50 years down the road. one destiny gene opening up, and you’ll pay your house off, break the addiction, get healthy again, accomplish those dreams.

some of those destiny genes that have already been preprogrammed to take you to the next level, they’re about to be released in your life. you’re about to see divine connections, people with opportunity and influence to help you go further.  what you couldn’t make happen on your own is going to suddenly fall into place. you’re going to discover gifts you didn’t know you had, ability to do things you never thought you could do: starting your own company, running that business, building an orphanage, paying your house off.  what happened? a destiny gene opened up.  it was already in your DNA, but you stepped into your moment; time and chance came together. you may feel like you’re blessed, God’s been good to you, but what God is about to do, when this next destiny gene opens up, is going to far supersede anything you’ve seen in the past.  God said in Exodus:

Exodus 34:10 (GNT)

10 … I will do great things such as have never been done anywhere on earth among any of the nations. All the people will see what great things I, the Lord, can do, because I am going to do an awesome thing for you.

you know what’s in your destiny? you know what’s in your future, already preprogrammed to come to pass? something awesome, something that you’ve never seen. don’t believe those lies; “you’re stuck, you’ve reached your limits, not talented enough, not smart enough.”  no, when your next destiny gene opens up, you’re going to see new ability, talent, strength, friendships, a new level of your destiny. you may wonder why, when you hear this, something comes alive on the inside; your head may tell you, “it’s never going to happen,” but in your heart, something is saying, “yes, this is for me. I know something amazing is in my future.” you can feel an excitement, an expectancy; that’s your spirit coming into agreement with what God put in you. that’s your destiny genes beginning to activate.  if you will live with this expectancy, your faith can cause those genes open up.  God has already put in your DNA these destiny genes;  He has amazing things waiting to open up.

but, if you go around with the wrong attitude, in the wrong environment, thinking that it’s never going to happen, even though those genes are in you, you are deactivating them, you’re turning them off.  the way you turn on your destiny genes is to get in a good environment, surround yourself with people of faith, joy, victory.   when you hear me tell you each week that you’re strong, talented, prosperous, blessed, anointed, that you can do all things through Christ, that you’re more than a conqueror, that you are history maker, a world changer, one-of-a-kind, a masterpiece, I’m not just saying that to make you feel good, I’m calling out your seeds of greatness, speaking to those destiny genes put in you by your Creator, activating what’s already in your DNA.

I’m helping us to turn off the defeat genes;  we’re turning on the victory genes.  we’re turning off the lack, poverty, not-enough genes; we’re turning on the abundance, overflow, more than enough genes. we’re turning off the self-pity, “I’ve been hurt too badly” genes;  we’re turning on the beauty for ashes genes, the favor genes, the “something good is going to happen to us” genes. the external environment will impact the internal genes; that’s why you can’t hang out your whole life with people who are negative and critical, and expect your destiny genes to activate. if you have people always pushing you down, telling you what you can’t become, “you’ll never get out of debt, you’ll never break that addiction, you’ll never get well,” you won’t reach your highest potential; you’re turning the gene off. you have to get in an environment of faith, so those destiny genes can activate. 

when Mary the mother of Christ was pregnant with Jesus, she went to visit her cousin Elizabeth, who was pregnant with John the Baptist. when Elizabeth answered the door and saw Mary:

Luke 1:41 (NIV)

41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit

something came alive on the inside. when you get around people who are pregnant with destiny, people who are filled with vision, excellence, integrity, the destiny genes in them will help activate the destiny genes in you. get around people who make your baby leap, not people who put your baby to sleep. sometimes, we don’t want to hurt people’s feelings, “I know they’re not good for me, they pull me down, they’re negative, but we’ve been eating lunch together every day for the last 30 years at the office, I don’t want to rock the boat”; that boat’s already sinking. you need to see it in a new light; that is deactivating your destiny genes, turning off the amazing future God has in store. life is too short, your destiny too great, your assignment too important, to spend it with people that always pull you down. 

it’s not only affecting you, it’s affecting the next generation. God is counting on you to set a new standard, raise the bar; make sure you surround yourself with people of faith, hope, and victory. we all have to be around people that are negative and critical, God will give us the grace for that, I’m talking about when you do have a choice. all through the day, feed your spirit, your mind with good things: put on uplifting music, not something that’s going to drag you down, something that’s going to inspire you and build you up. at your house, at the office, put up scripture verses, inspirational sayings, things that motivate you. the environment you’re creating around you is either activating or deactivating your destiny genes. 

maybe because of a limited environment, people pushing you down, wrong thinking, your destiny genes are still locked up in your DNA. the good news is, those genes are still alive; it’s not too late to be activated. you can still become who you were created to be. one good break can make up for all the bad breaks. one moment of favor can thrust you to a new level. do your part; get in the right environment, not only physically, but in your mind. put on a new attitude, start dwelling on thoughts of faith, favor, hope, victory, vision. there are destiny genes in you that have not yet opened up; they’re still waiting to be activated.  

there are destiny genes locked up in you right now; my challenge today is, don’t die with the music still in you. don’t let people talk you out of it, don’t let circumstances convince you that it’s never going to happen. God has already preprogrammed it; He has the final say. get in agreement with God; all through the day, “Lord, I to want to thank you that the destiny genes You placed in me will come to pass, that I will become everything You’ve created me to be.” if you’ll keep activating the right genes, staying in the right environment, both physically and mentally, destiny genes are about to open up for you. God is going to take you further than you imagined. you’re going to discover talent that you didn’t know you had. something awesome is coming your way.

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(No new sermon again this week, but there WILL be one for next week.)

As one might reasonably expect, part of taking a healing class within the church requires the student to do some healings, and that is the latest thing that I have been doing. I should make clear that it is the Holy Spirit who does the healing, not me or any other human being, and that ANY believer can ask the Holy Spirit to come and heal someone, whether or not you have taken a class; Jesus says multiple times in the New Testament that we would be able to do everything he had done, and the center of his ministry was healing.  

The difference between what we do in my class and what most people do, which is just praying for people to get better, may seem small, but it clearly makes all the difference in the world; instead of praying in general that God will heal someone, what we do is pray for the Holy Spirit to come RIGHT NOW and heal the person we are currently laying hands on.  This may sound far-out to some of you, but we serve a far-out God; it WORKS. 

Before I started doing this myself, I saw some impressive healings take place, and I don’t just mean situations where people had pain and might have psyched themselves out of the pain, but the medically-verified restoration of sight and hearing as well.  And now, I myself have been able to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit and see people that I was praying for receive healing.

Here’s the really freaky part; remember how I reported a spiritual attack a few weeks ago, and God showed me how to eject an afflicting spirit in the name of Jesus?  There was an even better reason for that than I realized at the time;  each of the people I have prayed for so far has also had an afflicting spirit (this can be identified by the pain moving within the body and/or getting WORSE when it is prayed for, and is often the problem when the Holy Spirit is clearly present but the pain is not getting better as well). No one was more surprised than me, believe me.  What I’ve personally witnessed, both with myself and with them, is that the afflicting spirits DO leave when they are ordered to in Jesus’ name, and whatever suffering they were causing goes with them.

To many of you, especially those who attend conservative churches, I’m well aware that this will sound vaguely insane; if I had not personally experienced these things, and had read about them on a blog, I would’ve rolled my eyes and shaken my head, I freely admit it.  These sorts of miracles can seem like something from Biblical times only, but nowhere in the scripture does it say that the miracles were ever going to end, and in fact the miracles have NOT ended, it’s just that we have ceased to expect them, and God meets us at the level of our expectation. 

I know that discussing this sort of thing might drive some people off, but when God asked me to start this blog over half a decade ago, it was with the intention that I would give readers a clear and accurate picture of my spiritual experiences, so that people who were looking for information about God would know what was out there, so that people who have experienced similar things would know that they were not alone, and so that people who were yearning for more would see that the more was there waiting for them.  I’m not just preaching to the converted here; I’m pushing out of my comfort zone, and doing my best to push YOU out of YOUR comfort zone, so that we can all see that there is more to believing in God than sitting in church for an hour every Sunday, saying a few prayers, reading a few scriptures, and feeling like we’ve got all the bases covered. Jesus did not sit around just doing those things, he was a man of ACTION, and as Christians we need to be people of action as well.

I’m not for a minute suggesting that you give up church, although if your total church experience is actually just that one hour per week, I respectfully suggest that you find a more impassioned church with prayer meetings and such, a church that will keep you involved with God throughout the week, not just on Sundays.  If there is a church in your area that is healing people, check it out. If not, there is nothing stopping you from pursuing it on your own. I’m not trying to put money in anyone’s pocket, so I won’t recommend any specific resources, but if you do a search on Google, you can easily discover the names of the people who are best known in the Christian world for healing, and if you go on YouTube there are many videos of these people talking about healing and even performing healings so you can see how it works.  These people have also written books, which you can find on Amazon, and possibly in your local bookstore as well.  If anyone is seriously interested in this, and seriously stuck for how to get started, leave me a comment saying so and I’ll give you some more concrete information; I’m not trying to make it hard for you, I’m just trying to avoid the appearance of promoting any specific people, products, or methods. 

It is utterly astounding how much my life has improved in the past half-year; the most astounding part is, my life continues to increase and expand, rather than plateauing like you’d expect it to have done by now.  This healing thing, and my official entrance into ministry that it represents, will be the biggest thing EVER… but I guarantee you, God is not done yet. It was prophesied over me that I would have restoration × 7 this year, and as mind-blowing as my current life is, by the end of the year what I have right now will look like a foundation, not the high point that it currently is. Stay tuned!!

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Spiritual attack

(No new sermon this week)

In the very early AM of 6-25, as you might’ve guessed from the title of this post, I experienced a spiritual attack. It sounds so bizarre to say that; I’d certainly heard people talking about it, both in my church and on a Christian forum, but any descriptions I had ever heard always sounded like someone just having the sort of bad time that everybody has periodically in their lives, and dramatizing it by calling a spiritual attack, not like something that could actually happen because there were actually spirits or demons of some sort that exist and act on humans.

Yes, the Bible talks about Jesus casting spirits and demons out of people, which is excellent evidence for them being real, but it’s one of those things that modern churches pretty much ignore, which I think leads to most people, myself certainly included, believing that this was something that was real in Biblical times but no longer exists. The thing is, most people and churches believe exactly that about speaking in tongues, and I discovered that that was a real thing when I suddenly started doing it myself at a prayer meeting, so I SHOULD have at least started giving some credence to the idea of spiritual attacks, on the grounds that if one thing clearly described in the Bible but denied by modern churches was real, so might another such thing… but I didn’t.

You know that saying about how the best trick the devil ever pulled was to convince us that he doesn’t exist? You can’t fight against something, or more to the point you DON’T fight against something, if you don’t believe it exists. I think the same thing may go for these spirits. Certainly, if I had believed that they existed, they couldn’t have gotten to me as badly as they did… but I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s what happened:

I was slogging through some homework, and negative thoughts started creeping in. They started out small, stuff like who in my church might not like me, or might not have faith in my ability to do things, and then how this might lead to my not being ALLOWED to do things, realizations that there are things going on in the church that I’m not privy to or included in, which is 100% appropriate since there are people that have been there for many years and I’ve only been there for 6 months, certainly, but it was tying into my previous understanding that, unlike in some churches where they’re begging for volunteers to do things, my church has an embarrassment of riches in that area, meaning that there were no openings for a new person to step into, and if anything new did come up the pastors would naturally default to the people they had already worked with for years… you see, how it started with what one might call unfortunate facts, in other words facts that were not to my benefit, that would tend to work against my accomplishing anything within this church, and then started connecting the dots and building from there? And boy howdy, did it BUILD; 3 hours later, 3 hours of nonstop, relentless expansion, my mind was full of thoughts about how one of the pastors hated me, and would prevent me from ever doing anything, and so I needed to leave the church and find one where I could participate in ministry!! I kid you not. It sounds crazy, but I think everyone has experienced times when your mind focuses on some trivial things for long enough that they build up into catastrophes. I would have assumed, once my head cleared, that that was all this was, BUT:

Something somehow in the back of my mind understood that there was more to it than just that. I found myself saying, for the first time ever when thoughts or circumstances had upset me, “Father, whatever this is, please take it from me!!” I paused, to see what was going to happen, and something totally unexpected did; from out of my mouth, with no premeditation whatsoever on my part, came the following:

“Spirit of oppression, in Jesus’ name, I CAST YOU OUT!!”

INSTANTLY, I felt that heavy mass of misery drop off of me; not just vanish, but it felt like it dropped DOWN and off of me.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know it sounds crazy, believe me I do, but those are the simple facts. It wasn’t until AFTER this happened that I belatedly realized that I must have been undergoing a spiritual attack, literally not until AFTER I drove the spirit out. Where did I get that line from, how did I know what to say? All I can conclude is that when I asked God for help, He gave it to me; He put the “magic line” into my mind and prompted me to use it. He could have removed the spirit Himself, obviously, but if He had, I would not have understood what had happened to me, and more to the point, I would not have understood that I could handle it myself, much less HOW to handle it. As always, God did the best possible thing; He taught me how to take care of myself.

Later that day, I described what I had experienced to the most spiritually mature person in my church; she immediately identified it as a spiritual attack.

The pastor that the spirit had been trying to convince me hated me, who I saw that evening, was unusually friendly, and even threw out, apropos of nothing, an extravagant group compliment to me and 2 other women, and we were just standing around talking, and hadn’t done anything praiseworthy that day. I’m guessing that God prompted this odd display in order to demonstrate that what the spirit had said to me was a lie… which agrees with what the spiritually mature person I had spoken to said, that everything that any such spirit would say to me would always be a lie, that revelations of the truth would only come from God.

And a final interesting tidbit: All of this happened BEFORE I reached the point in my reading where, it turns out, afflicting spirits are discussed. It’s as if the spirits realized that I was just about to learn about them, and wanted to be sure they got at me while I was still at my most vulnerable. Well, they got me alright, but as I always say, evil is at its base stupid; their best strategy would’ve been to NOT push me to the point where I turned to God for help, which would have allowed them to potentially plague me a bunch more times, because it could’ve taken a while for me to make the connection between what I had read and what I was experiencing. Instead, they overplayed their hand, and now, although they will very likely TRY to do this to me again, they will not succeed a second time.

If various people in my church are to be believed, there are many other kinds of spiritual attacks that could occur; time will tell. Whatever it might be, this time I’ll be ready for them.

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