Poetry, Portfolio

Untitled Poem, Decision, August-September 2005 Issue

I just found the August-September 2005 Issue of Decision Magazine that published a short, untitled poem I wrote way back when.

It’s the middle poem on the right column that begins…“I am in Christ and He is in me; therefore…”

In light of the state of the church, this nation, and its people so desperately in need of Jesus, the words He blessed me with in that poem moved me to tears.

Truly, we are in a season where God is separating the wheat from the tares. The difference between the two groups becoming more chasm-like by the day.

The Lord has been doing a sanctifying work in many of His people. Those willing to submit and bend their wills to His. So, “If you hear His voice today, harden not your heart,” (Hebrews 3:15).

The Lord wants His people to rise up and boldly speak His truth and use their authority to destroy the works of the devil in the earth in His name – for the saving of the lost, healing of the sick, casting out of demons, and the raising of the dead.

Too long have the called of God been passive. When the Word says we are His ambassadors, His royal priesthood, His Holy Spirit-filled representatives in the earth.

Right now, the Lord is looking for those like the prophet Micaiah who said, “As the Lord lives, whatever the Lord says to me, that I will speak,” (1 Kings 22:14). I know the Lord led me to find this poem to bring this verse to my remembrance. Thanks, Abba Father.

Aug-Sep 2005, Cover of Decision Magazine

Thanks for stopping by. God bless you and yours.

Do you need a Holy Spirit surrendered, Christian Freelance writer? Check out my home page for my services and feel free to contact me with any questions.
Faith, Portfolio

How to Have Victorious Faith that Marvels God and Receives His Promises

Recently, I received a prayer request with the same cry for help I’ve heard many times: “Please pray for our faith and minds. We need provision. We are overwhelmed and afraid.” (P.S. The day after we prayed, he received a job offer from a place they had God’s peace about. And with excellent pay. Glory to God!)

There’s nothing wrong with feeling afraid, of course. Life is a lot sometimes. But our good Father wants so much more for His children.

His will for you is to enter His rest, cast all your cares upon Him, and be anxious for nothing. That His peace always guards your heart and mind.

Wow! Imagine what it would feel like to walk with Him this way. You don’t have to imagine. It’s His will for you. Do you want to learn how you can partner with God and His Word to have victorious faith that marvels Him?

Seems like a tall order, right? Something for the greats of the faith you only read about in the Word? Nope. And nope. He inspired people just like you to write words to teach you exactly how to have great, victorious faith.

8 Things You Need for Victorious God-marveling Faith that Receives His Promises

Can something like victorious faith be boiled down to a simple, blog post checklist? Why yes. Yes, it can. God’s Word provides us with checklists giving us perfect pictures of faith.

The Word says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work,” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Let’s see how the Lord uses His Word to instruct you on victorious faith to equip you for every good work.

1. Hear the Word daily

“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God,” (Romans 10:17).

If you want victorious faith, you must keep hearing it. Get the Word deeply rooted by hearing it often. If not, then you’re vulnerable to it being stolen from your heart (Matthew 13).

When life’s circumstances easily shake our faith, it’s a sign we need more of it. More Word. More faith. Our good Father laid it all out for us simply and clearly in His Instruction Book.

2. Be the navigator of your own faith

You need firsthand knowledge of the Word. It’s not enough to rely on pastors or teachers to spoon it to you. If you’re not feasting on the Word yourself and getting a personal revelation of it, then you won’t ever realize regular, victorious faith.

For example, have you ever arrived at your destination using a GPS and couldn’t remember how you got there? Barely remembered driving even? I have many times. One day, the Lord used it to teach me about firsthand and secondhand faith.

As usual, I arrived at my destination and couldn’t remember one street or turn I took. And the Lord said to me, “You are so dependent on your GPS, you didn’t have to think or learn the way for yourself. And think of all the times your GPS led you astray – either on a convoluted path that took much longer than necessary or the wrong way entirely. This is My people who never bother to learn the Word for themselves. Easily led astray. Taking much longer than I desire for them to make it to their destinations. Sometimes, never making it there at all.”

Wow! How profound is God! Best Teacher ever. You can’t depend on others to get you to where God wants to take you Himself.

A good reminder here to be wise like the Bereans: “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so,” (Acts 17:11).

3. Faith is a choice

“Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven,” (Matthew 18:2-4).

These verses are about what it takes to have great faith. Faith is a choice that requires humbling yourself as a little child. Simple faith that simply believes God. No matter what it looks, feels, or sounds like.

humble verb – to lower in condition, importance, or dignity; to destroy the independence, power, or will of; to make meek: to humble one’s heart.

Lord, I choose to destroy my independence and will to believe You over man in all things. I desire victorious faith that receives Your promises and marvels You. Not only for myself, but so I may lay co-labor with You to heal the sick, raise the dead, and set captives free in Your name. I am willing to look foolish, even undignified, to the world for Your sake in Jesus’ name, amen.

4. Faith works by love

“Faith works by love,” (Galatians 5:6).

That means, for your faith to work, you need a revelation of God’s love for you. If you don’t understand God loves you no matter what you do or don’t do, then it will be difficult for your faith to work for you or through you for others.

If your faith is more often shaken than not, you may need to study the love of God for yourself as well as your worth in Christ. These topics alone could fill a book, so I will leave you with a few verses here to bless your faith:

  • “See what love the Father has given you, that you should be called His child. That is what you are,” (1 John 3:1).
  • “So you have known and believe the love that God has for you. God is Love. So Love is your permanent home. And You are God’s permanent home,” (1 John 4:16, paraphrased).
  • “Because you are in Christ, your righteousness is equal to God’s,” (2 Corinthians 5:21, paraphrased).
  • “Because you are in Christ, the Father is only at peace with you and sees you as holy, blameless, and above reproach,” (Colossians 1:20; 22, paraphrased).

When you were born again, you became a part of Jesus’ body, and He became a part of yours. Forever tucked safely inside Jesus. Him forever in your heart. Fully loved. Brimming over with Jesus’ worth.

5. Believe and receive. Doubt and do without. Because God is Love, He won’t violate your free will.

“But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him,” (Luke 7:30).

“Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief,” (Matthew 13:58).

“And He marveled because of their unbelief,” (Mark 6:6).

“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord,” (James 1:6-7).

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Matthew 23:37).

Without the love of God as part of this faith equation, it makes Him seem harsh. But not when we imagine these principles applied to human relationships.

If you love someone, would you force them to love you back? To trust you? To make them believe your words? Or force them to accept your gifts? Never.

To have the satisfaction of experiencing true love, you’d want them to choose these things with their own free wills.

So it is with God. He wants the satisfaction of experiencing your true love and trust. He won’t violate your free will. We can choose Jesus. Or reject Him. Take God for His Word and receive His will and promises by faith. Or reject them through unbelief.

6. Find pictures of victorious faith in the Word and model your faith after them

“For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us,” (2 Corinthians 1:20).

Find the promises you need for victorious faith for your situation. Then, model your faith after CHECKLISTS like the one found in Romans 4:

  1. Romans 4:13 – God promised Abraham he would be the heir of the world, the father of many nations. A promise is a “yes” answer to prayer from God.
  2. Romans 4:17 – Consider a promise of God as already done. You are free to boldly, “call those things that are not as though they already are.”
  3. Romans 4:18, 19: No matter how hopeless or impossible your situation looks, do not even consider the “deadness” of it. The Promise Keeper’s name is also Resurrection and Life (John 11:25).
  4. Romans 4:20, 21 – “Don’t waver at the promise of God through unbelief. Stay strong in your faith. Give glory to God, being fully convinced, that what He promised you, He will also perform.” After many years of waiting, Abraham and Sarah received what God promised – their son, Isaac.

Or this CHECKLIST in Joshua:

  1. Joshua 1:3 – God’s promise, “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you.” Have given you. Likewise, every promise of God to you is already yours. His answer is already “yes” and “amen.”
  2. Joshua 1:11 – Joshua said to the children of Israel, “Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you will cross over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess.” The condition of God’s promise, “every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon.” By faith, being fully persuaded in the promise of God that the land was already theirs, they prepared for the journey.
  3. Joshua 2 to 20 – The children of Israel went into many cities. They had much opposition and many fierce battles. But they possessed the land knowing victory was theirs because God promised. They divided the Promised Land among the tribes as God commanded.
  4. Joshua 21:43, 45 – “So the Lord gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it. The Lord gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.

Time, feelings, battles, opposition, or what you currently see never negate His promises. Stay fully persuaded in the promises of God that they are in fact already yours, so you may receive them.

7. Get your violent faith on

This is difficult for many of God’s children because we don’t want to hurt people’s feelings. Saying this as gently as possible. You need to get over it, “because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking to whom he may devour,” (1 Peter 5:8). But it doesn’t have to be you.

What does violent faith look like? It looks like answering every attack of the enemy on your mind and heart with the Word. This prevents him from stealing it from your heart and sowing lies in its place.

You may find this uncomfortable at first, but it’s usually necessary.

Your fight is not against flesh and blood. The devil knows this and uses people, including ignorant believers, to try to plant seeds of unbelief into your heart. Lies that exalt themselves against God’s Word.

For example, if a man is sick with a certain illness, the enemy may use someone to say something like, “I knew a few people who had that. They all died within a few months. Every doctor gave them less than a 10% survival rate.” The thief’s goal? To sow seeds of fear and unbelief into his heart to choke out the Word. To convince him to reject God’s will for himself through unbelief. God’s will in this case: “By Jesus’ stripes, he was healed,” (1 Peter 2:24).

In a situation like this, do as Jesus did. Immediately answer the devil’s attack with the Word to condemn and refuse his lies. Unless you want him to succeed in devouring you.

Oh, and remember to direct your anger at the devil when this happens. Not the person. That snake’s other motive is to cause strife and division. And unforgiveness in you.

“And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force,” (Matthew 11:12). Satan’s sole modus operandi is violent assaults. Your counterattacks must be likewise. Use the sword of the Word to destroy his evil works.

“No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment YOU shall condemn. This is your heritage as a servant of the Lord,” (Isaiah 54:17).

I’ve watched hundreds of victorious healing testimonies. Do you know what they all had in common? They knew the Word, their heritage in Christ, and boldly condemned every bad report with the Word. No matter who spoke it – doctors, friends, or family.

Yep. Many of them offended people. Were seen as crazy. But they also knew the devil only plays dirty in every spiritual battle. That they couldn’t play nice and keep their faith intact at the same time. Their reward? Victorious faith that marveled God and received the promise, “By Jesus’ stripes, they were healed.” Hallelujah!

Who can forget Jesus’ words to Peter when he contradicted the will of God? “Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men,'” (Matthew 16:23).

Some battles are life and death ones. Other people’s feelings don’t get a say.

8. Remember the path of faith is narrow

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it,” (Matthew 7:13-14).

Maybe you’ve discovered you’re alone in taking God for His Word where you are or in your church? You’re believing God’s promises for total healing for yourself or a loved one from a sickness doctors say there’s no cure for.

You’ve gained firsthand revelation that the atonement includes physical healing. Paid for in full for all by Jesus’ stripes. But must be received by faith.

You’re fully persuaded you or your loved one was healed,” (1 Peter 2:24). But you also know healing can be progressive. That there’s a war in the spiritual realm fighting against it. And an enemy hoping you’ll give up before you “possess the land” and forfeit your inheritance in Christ to him.

Remembering Jesus warned us most wouldn’t walk the narrow path of faith with Him will help you reject the unbelief of the majority.

This way, you:

  • only allow His Word to determine your faith.
  • don’t compare the future outcome of your circumstance to the past, negative outcomes of others who, according to God’s stats, may have been in unbelief.
  • never put your faith in manmade doctrines or traditions of man which make the Word of God ineffective for those who put their faith in them (Mark 7:13). Wow! This point is way too important not to highlight. Meaning, God’s people can receive what they use their free will to put their faith in. Even if it’s a lie. And doing so voids God’s promises for them. For example, most Christians in America believe the “doctrine” of medical professionals over God’s Word. Put the entire weight of their faith into man’s stats and survival rates. Then, receive what they put their faith in. This too is unbelief.
  • stay fully persuaded in what His promises say, not waver at them through unbelief.
  • finally realize the victorious faith and receive the promises that “your joy may be full,” (John 16:24).

There you have it. A checklist for victorious faith based on firsthand revelation of what our good Father taught me. As a body, we are called to share revelations He teaches us from our prayerful studies of His Word. I pray these Spirit-led words were living water to you.

P.S. Never forget, sin in our lives can grant satan legal access to us. It can rob us of God’s promises. Why? It’s a form of unbelief: “Did God really say?” (Genesis 3:1) In choosing the sin we choose the lie over His truth and allow the thief to ensnare us. In essence, we’ve put out our wrists and asked him to shackle us. If this is you, simply ask God for help getting free from sin. “Submit to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you,” (James 4:7). This may be a battle depending on whether a stronghold has taken place, but fear not, God will help you. He’s angrier at the devil than you are about him tricking and trapping you. “Come boldly to His throne of grace that you may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need,” (Hebrews 4:16).

Did this post bless your faith? Like, share, and let me know in the comments. Thanks! God bless you and yours.

Portfolio, Prayers, Prayers for the Lost, Prayers for the Unsaved

How to Pray for Prodigals (Even When They Love Their Sins)

Are you in anguish over a prodigal son or daughter? Far from the Lord in his/her heart? Maybe far from home as well? Even boasting in his/her sins and sinful lifestyle?

There’s nothing like a heart broken over a child. One who is far away from God, choosing destruction over blessings. Unable to do anything in your strength to change him/her. Know your good Father loves him/her more than you do. Look to Him and the promises in His Word you can stand on. There’s no pit too dark or deep that the Lord’s mighty right hand cannot pull your child from in an instant and into the Light.

The enemy’s goal is the defeat of you and your loved ones. How? He keeps your eyes on the situation and off Jesus’ Word, might, and power. Don’t fall for that snake’s traps to get you to magnify what you see above the Word of God. It may look hopeless. Like your son or daughter may never turn to or back to the Lord. Oh, but your prayers of faith as a momma or papa in Christ are powerful and mighty for the pulling down of strongholds in your child’s life.

Powerful Testimony of Answered Prayer

Without violating this loved one’s (LO) privacy with the details, I was in a situation where LO boasted repeatedly about a sin. LO stated how they loved this sin and would never stop it.

At first, I responded in anger, got short with LO, and behaved in unloving ways towards them. This happened for months until I wised up and handed the entire situation over to the Lord (with His leading and help).

Yes, I prayed during that time but hadn’t cast my care upon Him about it. Evidence being continued anger towards LO every time I saw the sin. The weight of it so oppressive, it felt like death. Because it was not for me to carry. But God’s.

From the beginning, I should have directed my anger at satan. The one who had LO captive. Engaged in spiritual warfare on LO’s behalf while loving them as Jesus would. Not condoning the sin of course.

Before I did it God’s way, I lost my peace trying to convince LO to turn from their ways. My words fell only on deaf ears each time. Even worse, because I couldn’t “keep my mouth off of” LO about it, the enemy used LO to repeatedly taunt me saying, “I love this sin. I will never stop it.” In my agony, Holy Spirit said, “That’s the enemy using him to taunt you. Don’t take the bait. Ignore it, love LO, and use your authority.” Those were the words He used to shake me awake and give it to Him. I was ticked! But this time my anger redirected towards the devil.

When anger towards LO tried to creep in again, I humbled myself under His mighty hand, resisted the devil, and he fled from me. The enemy will often use others, especially those you love most, to taunt and hurt you. His goal: division, anger, and arguments. Then ultimately utter destruction of the relationship. Don’t fall for those traps.

To be continued…

What the Lord Equipped Me With So I Could Battle His Way

So, I shut my mouth, opened my ears, and listened to the Lord. He reminded me that:

  1. People are, “hardened through the deceitfulness of sin,” (Hebrews 3:13).
  2. The minds of people in sin and the lost are, “blinded by satan,” in some way, and “the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” is unable to shine on them. (2 Corinthians 4:4).
  3. My fight was not against LO but directly against the devil and the powers of darkness. This helped me love LO and solely direct my anger where it belonged – satan. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places,” (Ephesians 6:12).
  4. I needed to use my blood-bought authority. “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
  5. I needed to stay laser-focused on Jesus and His Word no matter what I saw or heard. Let Him be the Author and Finisher of my faith (Hebrews 12:2). Not the enemy who only seeks to kill, steal, and destroy – including the Word from our hearts (Matthew 13:18-23).
  6. Again. The entire battle is a spiritual one. “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts. What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain; and he shall bring out the top stone amid shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!’” (Zechariah 4:6-7)
  7. I needed to see LO through Jesus’ eyes. In the gospels, we see Him moved with compassion towards sinners and those afflicted with sickness and disease. Why? He saw them with both natural and spiritual eyes. See your child like Jesus sees him/her. In chains. A captive of satan. Mind blinded by that snake. Ears deaf to His truth. In darkness. The Light of the gospel unable to shine on him/her. Except by your fervent prayers and spiritual warfare. When the Lord caused me to see LO in chains, mind blinded and wrapped in a demonic prison, I could only be moved with love, mercy, and compassion for LO. All my anger towards LO. Gone. All my anger about how LO’s sin also hurt me. Gone.

With these words sown deeply in my heart, a love like Jesus’ burned for LO which fueled my fervent, effective prayers as well as my rage towards the powers of darkness.

The Joy of Answered Prayer

Suddenly! After over four years of praying, LO’s eyes opened. Seemingly out of nowhere. LO not only stopped the grievous sin. LO hated it. Couldn’t believe they ever did it. Never wanted to do it again. Clearly saw the problems and consequences it caused. Hasn’t done it since. Through prayer and spiritual warfare, this battle was officially won through Jesus Christ our Victory!

Hallelujah! He deserves more praise: I praise You, Lord. I praise Your Holy name. You are worthy to receive all glory and honor. I love You. Thank You for this victory.

What happened? In the spirit realm, demonic strongholds were pulled down, broken off LO’s mind, and destroyed. Whatever satan used to keep LO blinded and captive was removed through Word-based prayer and warfare in Jesus’ name. Then LO saw the sin as it was and chose life. Praise God! All based on the finished work of the cross two-thousand years ago. He already won victory over that sin, but I had to do my part and pray and believe in order to receive it. Yes, it took time, but I never gave up. You shouldn’t either.

A Prayer for Your Prodigal Child

Father, thank You for Your powerful Word, name, and blood I can use to destroy the works of the devil in the earth as Your co-laborer and joint-heir. Including for my child.

I rebuke the devil and pull down every stronghold, trap, deception, and confusion that thief is using against [child’s name]. I command his/her blinded mind to be set free in the name of Jesus. That the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ may shine on him/her in its fulness. That he/she may see sin as You see it, so he/she turns from it and towards You.

I stand in the gap for [child’s name] and pull down strongholds, casting down arguments, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. And bring every thought, every lie of satan, into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

Your Word says the deceitfulness of sin hardens people, so, I pray You take away [child’s name]’s stony heart and give him/her a heart of flesh that it receive You and become Your dwelling place.

I speak to every sin [name sins] and say: What are you, O great mountain? You shall become a plain and be no more in [child’s name]’s life in the name of Jesus.

O God, I thank You for Your mighty Word and for the great victories in [child’s name]’s life I will see happen before my eyes.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

Important Closing Thoughts to Encourage You to Not Give Up

The Lord also reminds me to say to you. You are in a war for your child. Not merely a battle. A war is made of multiple battles. I don’t know how long the war will be on behalf of your child, but don’t focus on time and lose heart. Pray and use love as warfare and win your child over to the Lord one battle at a time. Praise Him and thank Him for every battle you win no matter how big or small. Thank Him in advance for winning the war for your child. Those who are for you are greater than those who are against you and your child. Only believe!

Focus on the Good Shepherd, Jesus, who is seeking after your child day and night. Because of your relentless, faith-filled prayers, the Lord is pursuing him/her at every turn because it is His will that none perish but that all come to the knowledge of His love and saving grace. He desires that your child fulfill all the purposes and plans He has for him/her.

Fear not. Faint not. Don’t lose heart. Eyes on the One whose name is Faithful and True. I love you. God loves you and is on the case.

If you’d like me to pray in agreement with you for your child, please use my Contact page on the navigation Menu above, and send me your request. It would be an honor to pray for him/her.