Wealthy in Love

Today my sweet sisters in Christ Jesus I want to explore with you Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi found in Philippians 2:1-11.  The church was experiencing many of the same challenges you and I face as believers.  Conflict, unforgiveness, pride, selfish ambition, vain conceit, dislike, and false teaching had found it way into the church. 

Paul opens his letter in this way… “Therefore, if there is any encouragement and comfort in Christ as there certainly is in abundance, if there is any consolation, comfort, support of love, if there is any fellowship that we share in the Spirit, if there is any great depth of tenderness, affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, having the same love toward one another, knit together in spirit, intent on one purpose and living a life that reflects your faith and spreads the gospel—the good news regarding salvation through faith in Christ.” Verses 1-2 personalized  Paul is pleading with them to resolve the tension and seek to heal any brokenness found.  He says if that can be accomplished it will make his joy complete (verse 2).

Paul further describes the condition of the church with these words “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit through factional motives, or strife, but with an attitude of humility being neither arrogant nor self-righteous, regard others as more important than yourselves.  Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”( verses 3-4) 

Put simply you cannot claim to love God and dislike, hold bitterness for others.  The question arises “Why do people do the things they do?”  I believe that we have not fully comprehended the suffering and sacrifice Christ made for us…that day on the cross in which supernatural love was poured out for us…Loving others is so costly only Jesus’s costly love for us can move us to bear the cost.  Jesus has a radical love for us! This love is so profound, so expense…it is a mystery so deep we can only know it in our spirit!  If we can grab hold of this love, we will be so rich in love we will be forever changed, unable to dislike or hold bitterness.  In our humanness…our mind and body cannot ever understand!  This love is spiritual and supernatural! When we step into this love it is spiritually supercharged.

I want to try and bridge our lack of understanding by helping you and I to understand exactly what Jesus did that day.  Most of us can easily say these words “Jesus suffered and died on the cross for me” however that is so limited.  The depth of Jesus’s love for us is revealed on the cross not so much in the physical suffering but in how society looked at this form of death.  What does it cost for God to love us? We know He sent His only Son to earth for the purpose of leading us in knowing God and restoring his relationship with us, revealing who we really are and redeeming us through Jesus’s death.  Philippians 2:6-8TPT says “He existed in the form of God, yet he gave no thought to seizing equality with God as his supreme prize.   Instead he emptied himself of his outward glory by reducing himself to the form of a lowly servant to be exploited. He became human!  He humbled himself and became vulnerable, choosing to be revealed as a man and was obedient.  He was a perfect example, even in his death—a criminal’s death by crucifixion!”

The cross was consider to be the most degrading form of death, the people of Jesus time saw crucifixion differently; the Jews saw it as being cursed by God, ultimate insult, shunned;  the Romans used it much like the Mexican cartels today who hang their victims in a public place as if to say “don’t mess with us”;  the Greeks saw it as humiliating, scandalous, disgraceful, further evidence that God could care less about humanity; to all it was an abomination, degradation, torture fit only for a slave. There is no other death in which the individual’s life could be destroyed that has the same impact and yet Jesus took the weight of the world, the sin and suffered this for you and me.  I don’t know about you but just writing these words is making me nauseas and tearful.

What great love…I will never fully comprehend while I walk this earth.  This is where love is revealed…we must let this revelation lead us into understanding how much we are loved and redeemed by a risen Lord.  And for this reason alone…verse 9-11TPT says “Because of that obedience, God exalted him and multiplied his greatness! He has now been given the greatest of all names!  The authority of the name of Jesus causes every knee to bow in reverence! Everything and everyone will one day submit to this name—in the heavenly realm, in the earthly realm, and in the demonic realm. And every tongue will proclaim in every language: “Jesus Christ is Lord Yahweh,” bringing glory and honor to God, his Father!”

You see, the Father, the Creator of us all acknowledges what Jesus has done for love!  We are rich in love!  And so now I leave you with this question can you love as He did?  Philippians 2:5 leaves us with these words…”And consider the example that Jesus, the Anointed One, has set before us. Let his mindset become your motivation.”

Blessings, Sister Laurie

This writing came to me after watching a teaching on Real Love by Pastor Akshay Rajkumar the lead Pastor of Redeemer Church in New Delphi, India.  It is available on RightNow Media.com

Friendship

Friendship is a precious part of life. Real joy comes from friendships established with Jesus Christ at the center.  Much like marriage God has a plan for true friendship.  God put it on Pau’s heart to l write to us in Philippians about the significance of God centered relationships. Our friendships should be a reflection of our relationship with Christ.

Today, social media has changed the face of relationships, instead of personal interaction…sharing a coffee or meal, watching a movie, taking a walk or just quietly sitting together enjoying someone company our relationships have been reduced to how many likes our post, tweet, photo receive.  Social media is a platform to create a fantasy, a false you.  How many of you have observed someone creating an untrue image, an exaggerated condition, even a totally made-up situation to gain attention. People are using social media to hide what’s really happening, they filter their photos so that people can’t see their true self.  Suicide has risen because people have become isolated using social media to express some of what they are feeling yet those responding somehow are unable to decipher their true desperation, their feelings of hopelessness. We answer with an “I Care” emoji, or even “I’m praying for you” these empty responses are so swallow without any true cost.  Texting is causing indifference and further isolation.  There is a price in godly relationships…time, comfort, even financial at times. What if when that distressing tweet, post, text came to your attention you got in your car and showed up?  It is in our nature to gather, have physical contact, true affection, pray together, share our sorrow…this is friendship.

Before we take a look at Paul’s opening words in his letter to the Philippians let me share a little background about this intimate letter of love and friendship.  Paul wrote this letter to the Philippians while he was in prison, he had visited and established a church in Philippi among the gentiles which within itself is one of God’s miracles, Paul was a Pharisee before coming to Christ and the people in Philippi were gentiles so a relationship between these two was very unlikely in fact gentiles where seen as unclean. Yet God’s love and truth broke the social barrier creating a deep love for these people in Paul.  True friendship and love between believers cannot been attached to a worldly perspective.

1-2 Paul and Timothy, both of us committed servants of Christ Jesus, write this letter to all the followers of Jesus in Philippi, pastors and ministers included. We greet you with the grace and peace that comes from God our Father and our Master, Jesus Christ.

3-6 Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God’s Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.

7-8 It’s not at all fanciful for me to think this way about you. My prayers and hopes have deep roots in reality. You have, after all, stuck with me all the way from the time I was thrown in jail, put on trial, and came out of it in one piece. All along you have experienced with me the most generous help from God. He knows how much I love and miss you these days. Sometimes I think I feel as strongly about you as Christ does! Philippians 1:1-8MSG

Paul understands the value of friendship, he recognizes how the relationship he has with God and the tangible friendships…better said love and affection he shares for those dear friends in Philippi have sustained him during his imprisonment and trial.  Our love for Jesus should be reflected in our friendships.  This is why, it is so important to gather and fellowship with other believers only they can fill the need for friendship as God designed.  When we have a friendship with someone which is like minded in their belief in Jesus, it deepens our relationship with God and allows our true beauty and purpose to emerge.

It saddens me greatly when I see bitterness and misunderstanding between believers, how can we possible say we love God and yet hold grudges, offense and jealousy in our hearts.  The answer is we cannot.  I urge you my sister to seek out broken friendships and mend them.  Start praying that God might lead you and if a softening is needed that the Holy Spirit would work in both of you.

Sometimes guilt or shame is holding you back from forgiveness.  These are two very different feelings; guilt is focused on something we have done, while shame focuses on the person…self.  Shame says something is wrong with me.  As women shame is fed by a misconception or confusion tied to our identity.  It is a constant feeling that we are not good enough.  This is bound to a worldly perspective, a lie of the enemy, an experience.  Shame is an epidemic effecting everyone…it is everywhere, every nation, every culture it is related to addiction, depression, violence, homosexuality, bullying, aggression, eating disorders, suicide and more.

The righteousness we find through Jesus Christ is the antidote for shame.  Shame is the opposite of righteousness. Look at what shame did for Adam and Eve, filled with shame they, hide from God, covered their bodies, they felt they had to protect themselves from God.  This is Satan’s trap, a weapon shrewdly used.  Shame has destroyed the beauty God intended for friendship, fellowship, intimacy with God and people. BUT God has given us the fruit of righteousness that is to be “right with God”.  Isaiah 32:17-18 says “And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness will be quietness and confident trust forever.  Then my people will live in a peaceful surrounding, and in secure dwellings and in undisturbed resting places.”  This kind of life and friendship is available to us right now.

Now think of your relationship with God…If your relationship with Him is fractured how can you fully embrace and receive what He did for you on the cross? How can He help you mend and restore broken relationships?  How can you love and sustain godly friendships? Right now, go before your Heavenly Father and ask Him to forgive you and reveal hidden shame that is affect your ability to love as He loves you.  Speak with confidence and proclaim who you are in Jesus, immerse yourself in godly music, fellowship, study, and prayer.  Give the enemy no room to corrupt who God says you are.

Dear Sisters…Paul prayed this prayer for his friends, his brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus and now I pray it for you my dear sisters in Christ Jesus…”So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-11MSG

Blessings, Sister Laurie

This writing came to me after watching a teaching on Real Friendship by Pastor Akshay Rajkumar the lead Pastor of Redeemer Church in New Delphi, India.  It is available on RightNow Media.com

Encounters with Jesus


When we spend time in God’s Word we begin to understand God’s Character. The book of John is a great place to meet Jesus. We gain an inmate look at His nature and love for us. It is a call for all people to come into a lasting relationship with Him. It is in John that we journey with Jesus…who He is, what He did and what He taught.
I am back at school to finish the classes required for full ordination with the Assemblies of God and the current class is taking me through the book of John. I have a fresh look at why God inspired John to tell of Jesus’ miracles (signs). My prayer is that through my eyes you will encounter the goodness and nature of God in a deeper way, may this encourage you to get into God’s Word and discover how He wants to speak to you right where you are in your life, take the journey with Him.
Today, I want to share seven different encounters with Jesus and how they lead us into knowing Jesus is the reflect of God (God incarnate) who came to earth to live among us, bringing the Truth of God to all who would believe, He went to the cross and conquered death to repair the broken relationship we have with God through sin. (John 3:16)

Let us get going…


John 2:1-11 The wedding in Canaan. This first miracle reveals His glory, it shows that Jesus is God in the flesh. His disciples were there and so for them this is the first opportunity to believe in who He is. Jesus turned water into wine, not just any wine but the finest wine. Are you someone who lives with the 90% rule? Let me give you an example; when you rake leaves are you satisfied to leave some so you can “get the job done”? God demonstrates through Jesus that He is a God who only creates, heals, loves above and beyond 100% excellence. He is a God of quality over quantity…you and I cannot even fathom this. It is through God’s ultimate excellence we see His righteousness revealed as well. Look at all of God’s creation, everything God does is done with such care and detail, all His work blends together to make our world mind blowing. Think now of yourself, you are His creation, made for His glory and pleasure. In God’s eyes you are perfect. The apple of His eye! Nothing about you is a mistake or just so-so. Right now, take a moment to thank God for who you are and the opportunity you have to serve a loving Father, who never creates something less than.


John 4:43-54 The healing of the official’s son, Jesus knew He would face rejection as written in John 4:44, those who discard Jesus’ Truth miss God’s blessings, but those who welcome Him receive good things John 4:45, 47 and 54. Jesus goes the distance to bring salvation and truth to all of us. The message and Truth of Jesus is still moving in power and strength today, we as believers have the opportunity to share the Truth and so the message is ongoing crossing the boundaries culture, ethnicity and gender. Today, we celebrate around the world the Truth of Jesus Christ the One True God and His message of salvation. There is no comfort zone for God, He goes into the darkest places bringing His light to expose sin and the devils attempt to destroy God’s most precious creation, you and I. (John 10:10) Do you have a comfort zone? Do you find yourself saying “Well, I am willing to bring a covered dish to the church potluck or help a fellow Christian mow their lawn but….I’m not confident to share God’s goodness and Truth with that single mom who is struggling with addiction.”

Yep, right there you put limits on the distance you are willing to go. You will never have all the answers, it is not with persuasive words people come to Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:1-5) You see the Holy Spirit will give you everything you need to bring God’s Truth in every opportunity God puts before you. In fact, ask God to show you more clearly whenever there is a situation, an encounter, that you can share the love of Jesus with an individual in need. You are more than able to go the distance, it is the gift of the Holy Spirit in you, Jesus went the distance for you, take time right now to praise Him, Jesus never gave up and He is willing to go the distance for you still.


John 5:1-15 Healing the man at the sheep gate pool in Jerusalem. In Hebrew is called Bethesda, having five porticoes in other words entrances. Here we read that this man was ill and crippled for 38 years. In verse 6, we see Jesus knew he had been like “this” for a long-time. This healing shows us several things about Jesus, first, we learn…this healing demonstrates that Jesus is equal with God in nature, power, and authority. You must understand that healing touch you or others need where the spiritual and physical meet is all about timing. This man had allowed bitterness and hatred to grow within his spirit, the devil had repeatedly lied to him verse 7 says when he attempted to reach the water someone always stepped down before him. If you notice there was not only one entrance into the pool yet somehow this man continued to miss his opportunity. The devil used this circumstance to build resentment in him. The “if only” became the man’s excuse for staying just as he was, convinced he would never reach the water. Let us call this what it was a pity party. I am confident God is always working in us, even before we know Him, He is there intervening, positioning us so that in His perfect time we will be ready. Many of us call this “coming to the end of one’s self”. That attitude or behavior, say it now out loud, my “sin” that I am stilling holding on to or hiding is keeping me from receiving the full immersion of living water Jesus brings. Right here I need to point out that nothing is hidden from God, you maybe fooling yourself or others but not God. God’s timing is perfect in every situation, He is patience and His love steadfast. It is different for everyone, there is no exact formula, what I will say, you will reach that point, the end and God will call. Respond do not delay, He will call again however why miss out even one more moment of all God has for you. Remember, Jesus is always on time.


John 6:1-15 Feeding the five thousand. I love this example of how good God is, how patience, how big, there is always enough of Him for everyone. Such a teaching moment for all of us. I know the disciples where scratching their heads, nodding back and forth, whispering to one another “no way, we have 2 fish and 5 loaves, look at all these people??!!” BUT God always provides enough…Jesus says in verse 35 “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” You and I can never have to much Jesus, we must never become tired of church, prayer, or worship. In fact, if your relationship is limited to Sunday there is no way you are experiencing all God has for you. You will never cross the barrier Satan has constructed between you and God if you do not invest the best part of yourself in Jesus. God demonstrates that He is more than enough, there is plenty of Him to go around, He is calling each one of us to Him. It is His desire that “not one would perish”, His Word is our food and when you fall in love with Jesus believe me, you can not get enough. Think of your favorite food or TV show that you binge on, come on we all do. You know like fresh baked bread with delicious fresh butter melting over it…yum…you keep going back for alittle more and then alittle more, you just can not stop! That is what your relationship with Jesus should be like…fall in love with your Creator. In fact, there is enough for you to share with those around you. I call God, My Forever Father. He is waiting, calling you and He is a God who is more than enough and always provides.


John 6:16-21 Walking on the water. After feeding the 5,000 Jesus perceives there is a mob forming to make Him King right there and then. It was not His time or His way there was still much to do, as we well know. So, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone. Meanwhile, the disciples went down to the sea and started to make their way across. The scriptures say, “Jesus had not yet come to them.” Every occurrence in the Bible happens for a reason, nothing was or is a surprise to God. We see here that Jesus is going to use the boat, the sea, some wind, and the disciples to demonstrate something new. Jesus reveals His power over circumstances. When He is with you, you have nothing to fear. In verse 20 Jesus tells us “It is I; do not be afraid.” As I read through these scriptures again, my eyes latch on to these words in verse 21 “So they (the disciples) were willing to receive Him into the boat.” Look at those words, “they were willing” this is so key, Jesus is such a gentlemen, He never forces us to believe, if He did then our free will to decide, to embrace Him can be thrown out the window. They asked Jesus into the boat and immediately their circumstance changed “the boat was at the land which they were going.” Safe, through the wind, possible storm, rescued…the power of Jesus in your life. This is what happens when we become a believer, the storm may still be raging based on your decisions and associations, but God is there at once positioning you…providing the strength to see it through. Your part is to be “willing to receive”, “to allow”, “to surrender”. It is a process, a change in thinking and the best part is one day you will open your eyes and declare “How did I get here?!” Well, long story short you decided to follow Jesus and that life once destroyed has been not only restored but even more than you could ever dream about. If you are there take a moment right now and praise God, thank Him that you are loved and not forsaken. God has promise to do a good work in you until it is completed, and it is happening right now! Remember, Jesus is bigger than any circumstance!


John 9:1-34 Healing the blind man. This healing brings two God Truths. First, blame is done! Just stop blaming yourself or others! It is just time to seek the Truth of God, the Truth of why Jesus came, walked among us and how we now have the Holy Spirit to help us. Jesus clearly tells us that we need to stop looking back and trying to figure out why this or that happened and who was responsible. You will never be free as long as you hold on to the dead things in your life. Jesus warns us that we must not turn our hurt, our offense into bitterness and hate…DO NOT romance the trauma, the addiction, the abuse, the sin. He wants us to wash the mud away and put our eyes on Him, to see clearly that a time is coming when everyone will be held accountable. God has set Jesus as the judge and He will take care of the locust in our life. Second, this healing of the blind man is a warning to the believer, the doubter, and the unbeliever alike. When you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior you are the blind man healed with Jesus’ spit and alittle dirt.

Your salvation and relationship with God is not about you, yep that’s what I said “IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU!” Ouch, you see this new person you are becoming is the miracle of Jesus and as such your transformation becomes a light of hope into a dark world. In verse 8 and 9 the man’s neighbors do not recognize this changed man, a discussion breaks out because those around him cannot believe their eyes. Now that is a true example of God working in someone life…darkness to light. The man declares Jesus, shares God’s Truth you see it is not about his transformation but about the One who transformed him JESUS! Now the “they” in verse 13 take the man to the Pharisees. Here again, God uses what is happening to plainly bring more Truth…some will have a hard shell, a religious spirit, the devil has spoken lie after lie cleverly sometimes even wrapped in God’s Word to deceive. In this instance there was a law in the old testament that one could not work on the Sabbath. Sadly, these pharisee’s would rather see a man remain blind, (lost to God’s Truth) because Jesus “wasn’t doing it right.” Jesus warns us in verse 39 “For Judgement I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” The Pharisee’s and some of the neighbors had developed their own sight and so they became blind to the Truth. Jesus is calling us to reflect His Light to those around us, to stand firm…full of His Love to the lost, the hurting and leave judgement to Him. Jesus is the only one who can truly bring sight to the blind!


John 11:1-44 Raising Lazarus from the dead. Soon Jesus will be facing death, the cross. When Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead we see what is coming. The gravity of what is coming alludes the disciples, Mary and Martha and Jesus’ followers, I think they are still waiting for Jesus to take the throne, wear the crown here on earth. We see in this final example of who God is, why Jesus came revealed. Jesus waits for the perfect time, he waits for Lazarus to die, verse 17 says Lazarus was in the tomb for 4 days. This is done intentionally; the world must see that not even death is final…eternity awaits everyone. Martha rushes out to meet Jesus and declares “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Then she perceives Truth, “Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” So much power, over every circumstance even death. Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. DO YOU BELIEVE THIS?” Here it is, salvation revealed…Jesus is going to the cross, He will defeat death and His earthly ministry will be finished…our relationship with God restored because Jesus takes the sin of the world upon Himself. There are two Truths made clear to me here, first though our flesh dies, our spirit will live (verse 11:25) even for those who do not believe. Are you confused? This is God’s Truth…you can live with Him, forgiven and loved or suffer in the fire of hell for eternity. Do not shoot the messenger…God clearly states this in His Word. We all are spiritual beings’ believer, doubter, and unbeliever. Second, Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension all have eternal weight. His death carries our sin past, present and future. His resurrection declares our relationship with God has been restored and we can walk here on earth in that Truth…price paid, atonement made,sacrifice done; spiritual death (separation from God) conquered. Finally, His ascension means we have an advocate that sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. How glorious this is! The icing on the cake is, Jesus tells us that He has sent a helper the Holy Spirit and through the power of the Holy Spirit we will represent Him.


Wow! Spend time in the Book of John, there is so much there! I pray these words minister to you and that they challenge you to a deeper relationship with God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Blessing,
Sister Laurie

The Hope Killer – John 10:10

Without hope we become sick. Heartsick…Sick physically, mentally, and spiritually. This sickness leads to depression and in this fallen world we live many times leads to suicide.  Satan is the hope killer.  He is out to steal, kill and destroy God’s most precious creation US.  This is a tough blog to write because recently a young, beautiful mother of three that I had prayed with and shared Christ with took her own life. Satan stole this young woman’s life…the lies he had been telling her finally took her life. 

My heart is broken that those around her, me included did not see the signs.  Did not see the urgency that for her tomorrow will never come here on earth.  I can only speak from a peripheral view, I know that the system failed her, the church failed her and yes friends, family, and those of us who said “I’m here for you” failed her. Ouch! Yep! That is right….we all blew it!  We are in a battle, a spiritual one and until Jesus returns, we must arm ourselves and have a battle plan to help those lost and even ourselves.

Her death by suicide left me crying out to God for help.  Why? How? What are the signs? When does someone reach that point of isolation that they no longer have the will to live?  Here is what God has spoken to me. I know this is just the beginning of understanding and there will be a lot more revelation.   I wanted to share this with you…please reach out! Please be watching those in your circle of influence…God loves ALL His children equally, believer, non-believer we all belong to Him.

I want to talk about what Satan did…maybe it will help us the next time. Did you know that in the Bible there are seven instances of suicide?  I have always said that every life circumstance is in God’s Word and the way out is there too.

King Saul (1 Samuel 31:3-5)

Saul’s Armor-bearer (1 Samuel 31:5)

Samson (Judges 16:25-30)

Abimelech (Judges 9:50-55)

Ahithophel (2 Samuel 17:23)

Zimri (1 Kings 16:15-20)

Judas (Matthew 27:3-5)

“Nowhere in these seven instances, or anywhere else in the Bible, does it indicate that the act of suicide is an unforgivable or unpardonable sin.”

The most well-known Biblical suicide was Judas. After he betrayed Jesus the Bible says in different versions of Matthew 27:3-5, he repented himself (KJV), he was seized with remorse (NIV), he felt remorse (NASB) and he was gripped with remorse (AMP) one might say he (Judas) was full of despair and so he chose to end his own life.

“Despair” is a complete loss of hope. It is defined as “the complete loss or absence of hope, or desperation; a state of despair, typically one which results in rash or extreme behavior, or anguish; severe mental or physical pain or suffering, or desolation; a state of complete emptiness or destruction.”  When we breakdown “despair” we find “emptiness”, “isolation” or “destruction.”

It is in that emptiness; the devil has isolated us from hope and from God’s Truth.  The devil’s lie become our truth.  This is how Satan operates and when possible he pushes us to self-destruction.

“Isolation” is separation, loneliness, sadness because one has no friends or company. Feelings of depression, despondency, a state of low spirits caused by loss of hope or courage, unpopular, forsakenness, rejected, abandoned, or deserted. This isolation causes us to stop seeking friendship, to stop reaching out, cut the ties of accountability.

While Satan is busy building his lie within us, he spreads out and starts to build walls, systems, wrong attitudes, and approaches in those who are supposed to help.  This young woman I am speaking of life was filling up with rejection, programs that did not work, expectations and conditions, like a circus animal jumping through never ending hoops for a “well then maybe”.

I must say right here that I do not have the answers, know how to fix the broken legal systems, social services, and all the other agencies that are supposed to work at helping. 

Where is the church in all this?  Biblically we are called to help those who are lost…help without condemnation. I do know we fail here.  Why is it that the drug addict does not feel comfortable in every church? Why does not every church host meetings and Bible studies which focus on breaking substance addiction, fighting depression and anxiety as well as teaching life skills.   Statics tell us that the best recovery and sobriety successes are happening in meetings and programs that are Christ centered.

Sorry for the soap box preaching right there…let us get back to ways we can fight the hope killer, Satan.

Scripture has quite a bit to say about Satan, yet most Christians are ignorant about him. God has given us warnings about our enemy, and we need to have an understanding of Satan’s plan. Christians as well as unbelievers are under constant attack by him but have no idea of the battle they are in. They think their lack of joy, broken relationships, and failures in life originate with them, “It’s my fault, I deserve this” when in reality their troubles are because they are following the voice of the enemy, they have listened and believed his lies for so long they have become their truth.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10 NASB

The thief here is Satan; 1 Peter 5:8  tells us that we must “Be of sober spirit (watch carefully, diligently) , be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

The devil is jealous of us, his only desire is to destroy God’s most valuable, cherished and loved creation us, His children. Here in John 10:10 God reveals how the devil operates.

Steal: in the Greek “klepto” meaning without permission, sneak, surreptitiously, secretively; the devil takes our hope, steals the gift, the process of destruction begins here.  He speaks lies, tearing down little by little in a very subtle way. At first this “klepto” is undetectable. This stealing extends to how we see, it inhibits us from reaching out either in our own despair or when we see others suffering.

Remember who the devil  is, he was cast out of heaven and is driven to destroy all God has created, he is a “kleptomaniac” because he is driven in his actions and cannot stop. His actions are uncontrollable, his intention is to cause emotional pain, and he uses our need for love, acceptance, and attention (pride) to start this process of death. He is the hope thief.

Kill: in the Greek “thuo” to rush, breathe hard (deny air), to rush, attack, without warning, rapid, aggressive, violent, you are unable to cope, brutal, he attacks indiscriminately anyone one who is vulnerable, susceptible, spiritually weak, they are easy prey, exposed.  Satan’s movements are quick, once he has you believing there is no hope he is quick to cut off your air supply “God’s truth”.  The devil is an assassin, a killer who has a well thought out plan, he is set on a course of action.

Remember who Satan is and how he works.  He suffocates us with his lies. Pushing you to a place where hope dies.  He is the hope killer.

Destroy: in the Greek “apollumi” to put an end to the existence, perish, destroy completely, complete separation, rejection, broken covenant, suffering, punish, death, the devil set out and succeeds at attacking you emotionally and spiritually, he obliterates with darkness the goodness of God, moving you to a place discarded and broken…this is where the devil takes your life. Violently separating you from God’s truth to the point of death. Hopeless, desperate, reckless, uncontrolled decision and actions live here.  Our thoughts move into darkness where madness, irresponsibility, recklessness, and perversity dwell, yes, death is here, suicide, murder, homicide, assassination.  

Remember who the devil is and how he is intent on destruction. His lies and this fallen world pushes us to the point of death physically and spiritually. He is the hope destroyer.

Satan is a liar and murderer. This part of him comes from his true nature, which, according to the Bible, consists of arrogance, vanity, envy, and selfish ambition. When we act in such a manner, we align ourselves with Satan as enemies of God. This is why the mark of a child of God is humility and absolute surrender to our Lord.

We have to know our enemy in order to destroy him, God has given us a directive, a plan and the authority to bind and cast out every ploy the devil may try, God’s Word has every answer, every weapon we need to fight and win the battle. This truth is found in the second half of the verse it says “ I (Jesus) came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

Abundant life is ours when we put on the armor of God and heed God’s warnings about this world and the work of Satan.  Ephesians 6: 10-18 says “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.”

The apostle Paul had plenty of opportunities to feel despair, yet he did not. He says in 2 Corinthians 4:8, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing.” NASB  What was Paul’s secret? His hope was not based on his earthly circumstances. He held firmly onto the knowledge that God is in control and that his afflictions had meaning for all eternity (2 Corinthians 4:17).

Romans 12:1-2 says “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

God also gives us clear instructions that we cannot live without the help of fellow believers…

Matthew 18:20 “ For where two of three have gathered together in My name, I am there is their midst.”  The devil lurks in darkness and in the places you feel isolated.  We must reach out for help from our fellow believers. If the devil can get you isolated he can take you down, he will keep you thinking; I can’t share, no one will understand, it’s embarrassing, awkward, humiliating (you see God tells us to live in humility, but the devil tells us that humility make us look weak, vulnerable and uncomfortable) God loves weakness because it is in your weakness Jesus can come in and arm you with His righteousness to fight.  God wants to be your defender, that lie we believe that we do not need help is one of the biggest lies satan tells.

James 5:14-16 clearly tells us to reach out for help and the sickness spoke of here is not just physical but mentally and spiritually, “Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”

Finally, if we look at verse John 10:9, yes the one just before God’s warning concerning the devil we see…” I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” Jesus is promising to keep us safe, the word pasture here means “the provision of truth or spiritual food for us to grow in knowledge of God and become disciples who have been given authority as spoken in Matthew 10:1 “Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.” We are an extension of those twelve and we must walk in the fullness of that truth while we live here on earth. 

I am here, please reach out if you find yourself going down that dark alley of despair and isolation.  You can contact me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JesusTruthForever or at Jesustruthbeliever@gmail.com.

Be Blessed,

Laurie

It’s Just TIME to Stop!

I know and understand…taking responsibility…WOW! Stop walking in a state of being offended, blaming, using excuses to justify your thoughts and actions.  We all have those hidden agendas, desires to be right, control the situation, impress others.  Ladies, what God thinks is all that really matters. It takes time to totally drink in what is being offered.  I get that…for me I still am seeking, still learning, still asking God to forgive and reveal. Guess what God answers back…He declares who I am “His Daughter, Valued and Loved!” and with that knowledge it is getting so much easier.  I will offer this…when I started this journey of knowing God the victories were small and sometimes hard to even see. Then one day while reading my Bible I realized I loved God’s Word more than anything else, I love God more than anyone or anything.  In this journey many changes are still happening some exceedingly small and some huge…God remains right there guiding even when I said “Ugh! Really? But?!” He continues to stand right next to me when all I can get out is the simplest praise “Yes God!”  Today Ladies, drink in the goodness of your Savior, continue the journey to know and love Him for He is your Forever Father.

“Set up signposts to mark your trip home, Get a good map, (God’s Holy Word) Study the road conditions. The road out is the road back…Come back!…Dear Daughter, come back to the Lord your God…How long will you flit here and there, indecisive?  How long before you make up your fickle mind?  God will create a new thing in you…A transformed woman will embrace the transforming God!”   Jeremiah 31.:21 MSG (paraphrased and personalized)

Give up your need to BE RIGHT!

Give up you need to CONTROL EVERYTHING!  Let the Holy Spirit be in control.

Give up on LAYING BLAME!

Give up YOURSELF DEFEATING TALK!  You will get lost if you try to direct your own path, seek God’s face.

Give up COMPLAINING!  Stop complaining and start BLESSING  OTHERS.  Don’t hang out with complainers!

Give up your need to IMPRESS OTHERS. 

Give up YOUR EXCUSES!  Examine yourself and surrender to GOD!

Give up YOUR PAST!  Do not let the past determine your future!

Give up your RESISTENCE TO TRUTH…GOD IS ON YOUR SIDE!

Walk in the freshness of TODAY!  You are the daughter of the Most High KING! Find your TRUE IDENTITY IN HIM!

Blessing, Laurie

JesusTruthBeliever 6/16/2020

The Weight of Unforgiveness

I struggle with forgiveness how about you?  For years I not only could not forgive my parents as well as others in my life that I suffered physical and mental abuse from but I could not forgive myself.  My self-esteem (identity) was held captive behind a stronghold of unforgiveness and bitterness not only for them but for myself.  I want to blame them for everything that I had experienced without taking any responsibility for my decisions and consequences. It also destroyed my ability to have a healthy relationship with anyone. I was carrying daily an incredibly heavy backpack full of bitterness and hate. If you are suffering under this spirit of wrong thinking come before your God and ask Him to help you forgive yourself and those who hurt you.  Ask God to reveal your part and the wrong thinking that is holding you captive.  It may be painful, but you have a Savior that loves you and is right there beside you to walk through the painful memories and wash you clean in His blood.  That is just the beginning because He also has lifted you up with Him to sit at the Father’s side and use the authority given you to cast down those spirits of wrong thinking!  You see, Jesus’ resurrection and position at the right hand of the father is full of power “Dunamis Power”  to heal your brokenness and forever heal you.  2 Timothy 1:7 tells us “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity (lack of courage or confidence), but of power and love and discipline(self-control).”  The Greek word “Dunamis” is where the English word “dynamite” came from, Paul wanted Timothy to know that God had given him the dynamite ability to stand strong in the faith.  This is just as true today; God wants you to know that we have the power over our wrong thinking and the spirits that try to control our mind. Matthew 10:1 also tells us we have this power, “Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.”  Yes, GOD! Thank you for giving us the authority to “cast them out”.  Today, God is speaking to you…forgive those who have hurt you and forgive yourself! Ask God to forgive the people who have hurt you and then forgive them…Jesus last word on the cross reflects the strength and power in forgiveness “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34  Let the gift of “Dunamis” power fill you and give you the strength and courage to step forward in your relationship with your Forever Father and His Son. Who in your life needs your forgiveness?  Do you believe you are forgiven? Finally, unforgiveness in us creates bitterness which in turn creates a hard shell over your soul, how can the Father’s Love reach it with that hard shell upon it?

Dear Sisters, here are a few scriptures on Forgiveness to meditate on:

But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.”  Luke 23:34 NASB

“Watch over your heart with all diligence,  For from it flow the springs of life.”  Proverbs 4:23

“Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.”  Mark 11:25 NASB

 “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. “  Ephesians 4:31-32 NASB

“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly  Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. “  Matthew 6:14-15 NASB

“Bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.”  Colossians 3:13 NASB

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”  Luke 6:37-38 NASB

“Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”  Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”  Matthew 18:21-22 NASB

Blessing, Laurie

Cooperate with God’s Refinement

Hebrews 12:10b says, “He disciplines us for our good so that we may share in His Holiness.”

Correction in scripture is sometimes described as troubles, tribulations, hardship, or discipline. I do want to make it truly clear that God does not bring hardship upon you.  You live in a fallen world, trials and tribulation as spoke of in the Bible will come despite all your efforts to avoid them.

God uses your life circumstances to refine you.  Do you ever find yourself asking God why me?  Many times, these circumstances are because of something you have done, our choices, behavior, wrong thinking, selfish desires and motives.

Read Isaiah 53:2-5  written hundreds of years before our Savior Jesus would be born…God reveals His plan.  He knew all along that it would take a Savior Jesus Christ, His very Son to save you from yourself.

“The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling, a scrubby plant in a parched field.  There was nothing attractive about him, nothing to cause us to take a second look.  He was looked down on and passed over, a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.  One look at him and people turned away.  We looked down on him, thought he was scum.  But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.  We thought he brought it on himself,  that God was punishing him for his own failures.  But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!  He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed.  We’re all like sheep who have wandered off and gotten lost.  We have all done our own thing, gone our own way.  And God has piled all our sins, everything we have done wrong, on Him, on Him.  (Isaiah 52:2–5 MSG)

What is God’s purpose in discipline?  What blessings can you expect when you surrender to it?

Hebrews 12:5-10 says tell you what you need to complete the tasks He has for you.  He is preparing you for something better more valuable to Him!

“In this all-out match against sin, others have suffered far worse than you, to say nothing of what Jesus went through—all that bloodshed! So, do not feel sorry for yourselves. Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children? My dear child, do not shrug off God’s discipline, but do not be crushed by it either.  It is the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects.

God is educating you; that is why you must never drop out. He is treating you as dear children. This trouble you are in is not punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best. At the time, discipline is not much fun. It always feels like it is going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.” (MSG)

Hebrews 12:13 says that your behavior must be refined by Him for His work to be completed in you…”make straight paths (obedience and love) for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint (lacking self-control), but rather be healed (controlled through obedience to God’s Holy Word).

Now let us visit Romans 8:26-39 (paraphrases are my revealed understanding)

26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; (1. The Holy Spirit strengthens you.)

27 He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.  (2. He teaches  you to pray accurately.  3. He prays perfect prayers through and for you.)

28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (4. All things work for your good as you pray, love God, and desire His will)

29-30 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. (5. You are destined to be like Christ…living here and now a resurrected life.)

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? (6. Since God is for you, who can be against you or ultimately do harm to you? What do you need to overcome?  What lie must be broken and truth revealed?)

32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? (7. God provides everything you need.)

33-34 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. (8. God, the Holy Spirit will show you where you have made a mistake, but He does not and will not continue to beat you up…repent and receive that freedom…stop remembering, let go.  Speak the Word of God out loud…the devil is a liar!)

35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (9. God loves you! He desires a personal relationship with you!)

 36-39 Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (10. Nothing can separate you from His love! You are His child loved and valued above all of God’s creation. Your past, your freedom comes through Him conquered through Him because of His love for you. 11. Nothing can separate you from His love!  You are deeply rooted and grounded by His love!)

These days have an air of uncertainty however, my sisters in Jesus Christ you should know without a doubt who you belong to and that nothing can separate you from God! Praise and Worship your SAVIOR TODAY WITHOUT HESITATION! Do not let the devil distract you from your purpose and God’s will for you!

Blessing, Laurie

God’s Glory Manifested in You

Doug and I have been watching Derek Prince’s “The Roman Pilgrimage” on YouTube.  As the title suggests it is a study of the Book of Romans. Romans gives way to spiritual truth, it is our guide which compels us to persevere in our journey of knowing God and receiving all that He intended for us. God has been speaking so clearly through this study to me.  Confirming His love and purpose for us. Chapters 1-7 confirms our position of righteousness and defines God’s Love for us.

Let us look at Romans 4:1-25, Paul is speaking about Abraham, who is the perfect example of our relationship with God.  He was a man who believed God’s promise by faith alone without evidence.  As you remember he and Sarah were childless and of an elderly age, yet God had promised him descendants as many as the stars in the sky.  The key here is there was no physical evidence, Abraham believed in God and His Promise. Now let me say at this point which is a bit of a rabbit trail. Sarah talked Abraham into taking matters into their own hands which was out of the will of God. (Romans 4:1-5) That is a discussion for another day. I will say Abraham’s mistakes did not keep God from fulfilling the promise He made to him. Abraham’s sin came through doing more than what God asked him to do. This is a question we must ask ourselves daily…are you allowing God to go before you or are you moving and then asking God to get behind your decisions?

So, let us get back to my original thought.  There are 5 points here in scripture that Paul shares about Abraham’s relationship with God.  These should be our guide to a personal relationship with God as well.

Receiving the promise as Abraham did depends on walking in faith. (Romans 4:13-22)

1.         As believers we accept God’s promise by faith alone without evidence.  We must live by faith no matter what the world or our circumstances look like.  This belief gives us the position of righteousness in God.

2.         We must recognize that this position of righteousness is NOT obtained by works or religious ritual.  We are incapable of producing the promised result on our own.

3.         When we focus on the promise without wavering, we step into God’s given righteousness. This righteousness is not based on our actions it is freely given by God and through His grace and mercy.

4.         Physical and spirit truth will manifest in us supernaturally and uniquely.  This supernatural power comes to us through the Holy Spirit living in us.  We share a common thread in this that God’s love belongs to each of us. 

5.         When God’s promise is fulfilled in us, God is glorified.

God is always moving us forward by challenging us to live and make every decision by faith and allowing God’s grace to cover us.  Let us  talk about grace briefly…Grace begins where human ability ends, it is received only by faith Ephesians 2:8 AMP says it so well…”For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God.” and the result always glorifies God.

“He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.” Ephesians 1:5-6 NASB

“In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14 NASB

What does this word righteousness really mean? Not according to the world but God? Simply said “we are accepted before God with no condemnation.” The believer and non-believer alike hunger for righteousness “moral character” “acceptance” this position can be found in the world and when we seek righteousness in the world sooner or later, we compromise everything God created us to be.

Romans 14:7 says “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

In closing this righteousness God’s speaks of is not connected to anything we do here on earth.  Righteousness comes through faith, offered to ALL those who believe…there is no distinction.  It has no social status, ethnic origin, educational degree, financial credit rating, position within the Christian community or most importantly where you lay your head at night.  Righteousness comes to those who believe in faith, seek only God’s truth, live humbly knowing that we can do nothing without God.  We must find our identity daily in His Word and through His grace.

Blessings, Laurie

How to Destroy the Spirits of Worry and Anxiety


These spirits act purposefully to destroy and distract us, they are inhibiting our faith so that we cannot rise up and live in victory.
Are you addicted to worry? When you don’t have something to worry about do you take on the worries of someone else?
It is impossible to live in worry and live in peace at the same time…Worry is the root of anxiety. It brings physical manifestation…. illness such as hives and disease. I have been witness to divine healing over many of these manifestations when women caught in the devil’s grip are set free. Instantly, they have received freedom physically, mentally and spiritually.

The King James Version of the Bible doesn’t use the word “worry” so let’s be clear about who and what this spirit is…
Fret – In the Hebrew this means a snare, violently agitated, to grieve, be angry, burn, be hot or provoked – in the Webster Dictionary it is defined as uneasy, distressed or troubled, anxious; to be tormented with distributing thoughts.
Matthew 6:25 is a warning to “take no thought” or don’t let your mind rest in negative thought
Philippians 4:6 tells us to “be careful for nothing” KJV or in the NASB “be anxious for nothing”


Worry does not make anything better…
The devil uses the spirit of worry to torment us!


A description of worry would be “To seize by the throat with teeth and shake or mangle, as one animal does to another or to harass by repeated biting and snapping”
After a few hours of worry do you feel beaten up? Worn out? All those destructive thoughts going around and around in your head? Continually exaggerating and building, more and more until…
Matthew 6:25 – 27 puts it like this in the AMP version “Therefore I tell you, stop being worried or anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted) about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, as to what you will wear. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the harvest] nor gather [the crops] into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by worrying can add one hour to the length of life.”

John 10:10 give us a clear picture of the devil and how he works however, it also gives us the promise of our Savior Jesus Christ! “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”


Let me break it down for you….
Peace is not something you can do for yourself in Galatians 5 the Bible says it is a gift of the fruit of the Spirit…Holy Spirit meaning only by abiding in Jesus Christ will we have peace. John 15:4 says “abide in me and I will Abide in you.”
No amount of self-control will bring you peace or break your anxiety. Drugs, anti-depressants, anxiety medication, sleeping aids only “Dumb you down” interfering and clouding your ability to hear from God or receiving His healing, supernatural power.


So what is this abiding Jesus is speaking of?
First, it is a union we are actively pursuing to understand because the work was already done at the cross our part is to be in a personal intimate relationship with Jesus. We are united to Jesus by faith by believing Jesus has cleansed us by paying the price through the whipping post and cross. He then went to hell and claimed the keys to God’s Kingdom here on earth to give us authority over the devil. Are you getting the whole picture?


Second, this relationship is built on our obedience and pursuit of Jesus. John 17:7 says “If you abide in me and my Word, I will abide in you.” Colossians 3:36 says “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.” Ephesians 5:18 tells us “be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
You MUST allow His Word to fill out minds, surrender our will to His Will for us…our relationship to Jesus is intimately connected to what we do with our Bibles.
As God’s Word dwells in us and the Spirit fills us, we are transformed, our prayers change – your prayers become God’s Will – truth and revelation will open your eyes!


Third and last…Abide in My Love John 15:9 says “Just as the Father has loved Me, I also loved you; abide in My love.” You MUST rest in this love, the love of Jesus Christ in verse 13-16 says “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. ”Peace is not something you can do for yourself in Galatians 5 the Bible says it is a gift of the fruit of the Spirit…Holy Spirit meaning only by abiding in Jesus Christ will we have peace. John 15:4 abide in me and I will Abide in you…


Fourth, that authority I spoke of early…we have the authority to cast out this spirit…Jesus told us he would send a helper so that we could act in authority, just as the Acts church did so can we! Nothing has changed…the Holy Spirit is within you as a believer! Make you stand TODAY! In the name of Jesus reclaim what you have lost…declare and decree that the devil will not hold you captive through worry or anxiety!

Finally, I leave you with this… Romans 8:14 says “live by the Holy Spirit” Through the Holy Spirit we are transformed bringing our flesh into obedience. We must continue to allow the Holy Spirit to change us. Today, Claim your position as daughters and sons of the Most High King Jesus!

Your Sister in Jesus Christ, Laurie

Apostle Paul’s Thorn in His Side

About 2 years ago God gave me a revelation regarding the Apostle Paul and how he suffered in his spirit as spoken of in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, Paul says, “Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

The question, however, is: was Paul talking about a sickness? A physical injury? Was he speaking of the physical injury he had suffered at the hands of his jailers or possibly those who had beaten him? And God never healed him of that sickness or physical wound? I think not.


For the purpose of understanding let’s look at other examples of similar uses of “thorns” that carry an element of suffering in God’s Word.


“But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall come about that those whom you let remain of them will become as pricks in your eyes and as thorns in your sides, and they will trouble you in the land in which you live.” Numbers 33:55


We find in Joshua 23:13, “Know with certainty that the Lord your God will not continue to drive these nations out from before you; but they will be a snare and a trap to you, and a whip on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good land which the Lord your God has given you.”

A thorn in your eyes or sides is a thorn in the flesh. In both Numbers and Joshua God was referring to a group of people, not infirmities or an actual physical wound. These were godless people that the Israelites had to deal with once they entered their promised land of Canaan.


In the book of Judges, once again the Israelites had disobeyed the Lord’s command to destroy all the altars of the foreign gods in the land. Because of their disregard for God’s commend, He allowed the Israelites to again be corrupted and fall into Satan’s trap. God warned them because He knew they would no be able to resist the lifestyle of these ungodly people and they would fall to their ways. Destroying their altars would drive any remaining foreign people from the land. Judges 2:3, “Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.”


“And there will be no more for the house of Israel a prickling brier or a painful thorn from any round about them who scorned them; then they will know that I am the Lord God.” Ezekiel 28:24, here the prophet Ezekiel speaks of how God’s protection will break the torment spiritually and mentally the children of Israel have been under.


Now, let us return to the New Testament, 2 Corinthians 12, where Paul was talking about the “thorn in the flesh”, and the “messenger of Satan” that tormented him. The King James Version uses the word “buffet” meaning to continually strike. How did this demonic force continually strike Paul?

Traditionally it has been taught that it was with sickness, and the thing that made many accept that is the use of the words “weakness” and “infirmity” in verses 9 and 10. Infirmity definitely does mean sickness when it is used that way in 1 Timothy 5:23, but that is not the only meaning of the word. The number two definition is any lack or inadequacy. For instance, Romans 8:26 says, “the Spirit also helps us in our weakness (KJV-infirmities).” In this case, the context makes it clear that it is not speaking of sicknesses but rather not knowing what to pray for. Our finite minds are an infirmity, or an inadequacy. It is in our minds that we are continually tormented by Satan with our own battle with selfish desire or our history before knowing Christ. Our past sin, our memories play a huge part in how the devil brings his brand of torment which is spiritually suffocating. It is here that revelation came.

Paul’s life before Jesus transformed him supernaturally was one of righteous violence. He was Hebrew, studied in the synagogue, a pharisee who with the permission of the religious leaders fervently sought out followers of Jesus, he personally beat, killed or imprisoned them. This is part of Paul’s spiritual battle, his torment described as a “thorn in the flesh”.


James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” We must resist, or actively fight against, the devil and the things he brings, to see them flee.


Paul’s ministry was amazing, the churches he started, the people whose lives were changed forever because of his sharing of the gospel, disciples trained and sent out, Paul personal transformation set the stage for an all-out attack from the devil. Now even imprisoned Paul’s faith and perseverance grows. I do not believe that Paul had an issue of pride, I believe his past life and the truth of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice kept him humble. Paul leans into God and everything God has promised to his believers.

Paul’s words at the end of 2 Corinthians 12:7. He writes, “to keep me from exalting myself.” The words “exalted above measure” written at the beginning of verse 7 are taken from the Greek word huperairo, a compound of the words huper and airo. These two Greek words are compounded to form the word huperairo, it speaks of a person who has been supremely exalted. This is a person who has been magnified, increased, and lifted up to a place of great prestige and influence. Although huperairo could be used to express the idea of a person who has haughtily exalted himself, this is not the idea Paul has in mind when he writes this verse. Rather, this is a person who has been greatly honored and recognized due to something he has written, done, or achieved. Paul knows that there are many people looking to him for encouragement and direction, yet he stays humble…knowing that God is who has orchestrated all that is happening.


To bring the meaning into these often spoken and interpreted scriptures…Paul makes this simple, yet profound statement found in verse 9 “And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”


God’s GRACE is ENOUGH…His forgiveness will see you through when you can not forgive yourself. Paul struggled with his past, yet Jesus gently offered him peace and forgiveness. This how Paul was able to continue, he understood the truth of Jesus Christ, the cross and resurrection.

Verse 10 adds yet another tactic of the devil, “Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” Paul had many who thought to destroy his reputation if not the person. Think about these opponents, most definitely some were believers and others Jewish leaders that knew Paul before his transformation, in their eyes how could they trust him. As the devil used Paul’s past to offend, people reacted. Paul also mentions difficulties; all you need to do is read Paul’s prison epistles to see that these young churches were being attacked spiritually as well. These precious letters speak truth about how the devil will use our offenses, ego, and pride to tear down the truth of Christ and bring discord into the church.

If you survey the types of ordeals Paul endured, you will see that many of them were orchestrated by these people who wanted to get rid of him. The Jewish leaders sought to discredit him, they hated him because he was once one of them, now they fiercely opposed Paul, the gospel and the truth of Jesus Christ. Do not be fooled, the devil was using their actions as a constant irritant that he had to deal with on an almost daily basis.


You see, Paul’s thorn in the flesh wasn’t sickness or epilepsy or any other physical malady; it was the people. Paul never complained of physical injury or his conditions in the jail as anything more than an opportunity. The devil thought by using people again and again, he could keep Paul so distracted with spiritual pain, HOWEVER, Paul knew better! He knew “God’s GRACE is SUFFICIANT!

This is the revelation clearly imparted to me. I identify with Paul, sometimes we have a past only God can forgive, only the saving Blood of Jesus can wash clean, only when we daily claim His GRACE…can we pursue Jesus unhindered, taking each thought captive and obedient to His TRUTH! 2 Corinthians 10:5 Don’t let the “thorns” satan would place in your flesh impede you! Join me today and let God’s GRACE be SUFFICIENT!


The word “revelations” is from the Greek word apokalupsis. It refers to something that has been veiled or hidden for a long time and then suddenly, almost instantaneously, becomes clear and visible to the mind or eye. It is like pulling the curtains out of the way so you can see what has always been just outside your window. The scene was always there for you to enjoy, but the curtains blocked your ability to see the real picture. But when the curtains are drawn apart, you can suddenly see what has been hidden from your view. The moment you see beyond the curtain for the first time and observe what has been there all along but not evident to you — that is what the Bible calls a “revelation.”


A special thanks to Phillip Chidavaenzi, Andrew Wommack, Frank Viola and Rick Renner for their insights during the writing of this article.