There is a fierce battle taking place in the heavenly realm. As battles take place in the supernatural they also occur in the natural. But we must remember our struggle is with the “spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). I have encountered intense spiritual attack lately, but God has my back as he always has. We have the power and authority over those evil spirits when we call out to Jesus for help and when we speak in tongues. The word usurp is coming to my mind. Usurp means to “take a position of power or importance illegally or by force” (Oxford Dictionary). The devil wants to usurp his authority over the church or body of Christ. Don’t worry because God will protect the church as a whole.
God still has plans on this earth for many of us in the body of Christ. I have had too many visions and dreams that have not come to pass in my life to believe the end of my life is near. God bless those who are martyred for their faith. They are the first in Heaven and there is no greater honor than to die for our Lord. That may be a blog post for another day but for this post I am focusing on the struggle and blessing while we are still here. God protects us while we are here on this earth for his purpose to come to pass in our lives. He protects us during our opposition both in the spiritual and natural realm. As I mentioned in my last two blog posts there will be a great awakening, but with every movement of God, there will be opposition.
We are seated together in Heavenly places with Christ Jesus.Ephesians 2:6
I mentioned the dichotomy that occurred during the great awakening in the post Step into the New: Great Awakening. Please read it if you haven’t already. While people were being awakened to the power and love of Jesus there was a movement occurring in opposition to the gospel called the enlightenment movement, whereby people sought the knowledge of this world separate from our creator. We are now seeing resistance this day with the COVID-19 issue, violent special interest groups, loss of certain freedoms, and political and social division. The devil will always provide resistance to us but we have the choice to push through and become stronger than ever. The devil did not stop the Great Awakening back then and he will not stop it now. In fact, the devil is so stupid because I guess he doesn’t realize he is actually setting up and enhancing the move of God. Although the devil is trying to usurp his authority over the church, he will fail because he fails to consider how we “sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6).
Jesus is allowing the devil to injure us so that we can grow in our authority. Hard times often bring out our character and hard times can also expose some of the devil’s schemes. As people wake up to the reality of the evil in this world they will have to choose either God ways or the world’s ways. We are not supposed to be “conformed to this world” (Romans 12:2). This world is cursed and the devil rules over it. That is why the devil offered Jesus the world if he followed him (Matthew 4:4). Thank you Jesus for not accepting. We don’t have to accept or be a part of it either. People will have a choice to follow God or satan’s world as there is a dividing line. I’m hoping that in these times most follow God. Even if most do not, there will be people turning to God because they will have no one else to turn to. Hey I have been there myself. I had to sink pretty low so that I would allow God to lift me up. I had to cry out for help which is what many people all over the world are doing. Just look at the people of India and Brazil praying to Jesus in the streets.
There will also be a great move of God in many churches. Why else would the devil try to keep everyone out? Why else would he want to muzzle people in the church? He doesn’t want their voice to be heard. Perhaps the devil fears the great move of God soon to occur. The devil has muzzled my singing voice. But if I wouldn’t have been muzzled I wouldn’t have started this blog. I wouldn’t be as strong as I am and I wouldn’t be able to forgive and love as much as I do. I will be singing again some day and when I do I will sing with all my heart for the Lord and I will injure satan as much as possible. The devil may get us down for a bit but as I said the devil is stupid and will only add to an increase of souls being won to the kingdom of God. The devil tried to take me out but God allowed me to go through pain so I would have an even more intimate relationship with him.
Pain can either make us or break us. I strongly believe God has been changing and healing many people’s hearts for the Great Awakening soon to occur. Many of us have been waiting on promises and destiny soon to arrive. God has to bless some of us so that we have the provision to serve him on a wider scale. The devil knows this and that is why he has stagnated many in the body of Christ. It seems like to me the devil is scaring people and telling them we are at the end. He is trying to usurp his authority but he can only do what God allows and God knows it’s not the end yet. The devil wants us to think it’s all over, but the devil is a liar. He is the father of lies (John 8:44). There will be a great move of God and big blessings for the body of Christ. The devil knows that it will be dangerous for people to see God’s people blessed and working in amazing ways for the Lord. That is why he has caused many of us to go through so much pain and disappointment. A prime example of someone who faced pain was Job. If you would like to read the story of Job you can find it in the Bible starting in Job.
Job was the greatest in the land in relation to his wealth and status. Things were going great for him. Then something happened he didn’t expect. Many of us go through things we didn’t expect. I think most of us have went through at least some trouble from the COVID issue. Job was offering burnt sacrifices for his children in case they sinned as he did regularly. Just a thought and maybe a different blog post but maybe us parents should ask God for forgiveness for our children. Thank God we can ask instead of sacrificing animals. For those of you who don’t know back then people sacrificed animals to the Lord because the blood of Jesus was not shed on earth yet. The Bible takes us from explaining Job’s sacrifice to a certain conversation in Heaven. There was a meeting in the heavenly court whereby satan was present. God provoked satan by asking him if he had considered his son Job. God explained how Job was a “blameless an upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil” (Job 1:8). The devil told the Lord that if he removed the hedge of protection from Job and touched all he had then Job would curse him to his face. So God took him up on that offer and told satan to go ahead and take what Job had.
A few of Job’s servants came and told Job that all his possessions and all his children were taken away. I can’t imagine the intense grief he felt, especially since his children died. He obviously loved his children dearly. The Bible says that even after this happened Job “fell to the ground and worshiped God” (Job 1:20). In verse 1:22 it goes on to say that “in all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.” As if all this pain wasn’t enough the devil was then allowed to cause Job to have painful sores all over his body to be tested again. These sores were so bad that Job said his skin was cracked and full of worms. He was in such intense grief and agony that he didn’t speak for seven days. Job’s friends sat there with him for seven days not saying a word because they knew he was in extreme pain. Their intentions were good but they messed up a little. Galatians 6:2 tells us to “bear one another’s burdens, and they did do that by grieving with Job, but they messed up by chastising him. They told him it was his fault God inflicted him. They said God is just and that he was punishing Job. Job explained how he was innocent and how no man can really be righteous before God anyway.
I hope most of you reading this are not so quick to judge people and put them down when they are in painful circumstances. Job’s friends may have had good intentions but they were proud and viewed God as a distant being who worked in the ways they thought he should work. I’m not trying to bash Job’s friends. I’m just making the point that some people need to repent for telling others God is not blessing them or that God is punishing them because God does not approve of them for some reason. Please if you do hurt someone in this way just tell God you are sorry and possibly the person you did this to and then change. You may have had good intentions like Job’s friends. I am not trying to bash them. Job’s friends wept when they saw the condition of Job. They mourned with Job for several days. God forgave them for the mistakes they made. They probably just thought God would operate in an all or none or concrete way in the way he handled matters. I believe they also failed to see that God is more near to our hearts than they thought. They probably didn’t know they could have a close relationship with the Lord and that the Lord was more merciful than they thought.
“God is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit”Psalm 34:18
Now Job wasn’t entirely innocent during the conversations he had with his friends. He seemed like he was trying to make sense of it all. He couldn’t understand why God would allow him to be inflicted. God chastised Job for speaking empty words. Job was bitter and he complained about his conditions. He said that he loathed his life and that he wanted to die. He also accused God of hating him and for being unjust. Oh I’m sure some of us had said things like this a time or two. Good thing God understands. God knows we get emotional when we are upset. As it says in Psalm 34:18 “God is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit”. He knows how we feel and he is merciful. Sometimes when we are in pain we feel like God is distant from us. Job didn’t think God was listening to him and maybe this is partly because he felt some pain that didn’t just go away right away. But it’s probably mostly because he thought God was too big and he was too small for God to hear him or care about the pain he went through. Job thought God was pouring his wrath out on him because he thought he was an enemy to the Lord. Job didn’t realize God had a purpose for his pain.
I’m not sure but maybe Job didn’t realize he could have a close relationship with the Lord. He talked more about God than talking to God. After he heard from God he went on to say that he had heard about God but now he sees with his own eyes. Job also repented for not recognizing that God does have a purpose for his actions. The pain helped Job realize God is more near than he thought. Job was brought closer to the Lord so we can see his pain did have a purpose. God humbles us and changes us to bring us closer. I don’t think he knew that God cared enough about him to communicate with him. He didn’t know he could have a relationship with the Lord. As I mentioned in Step into the New: Great Awakening one of the reasons for the Great Awakening was to teach people they could have a relationship with God. God’s people or the saved need to show people God cares. At the end of the conversations between Job and others God showed Job he cared by communicating with him. He also chastised Job’s friends for being wrong about Job. As I mentioned Job’s friends thought Job was just being punished. They thought he was sinning and needed to turn to God. They were being proud and wise in their own eyes and they were wrong about Job being punished because God said Job shunned evil. They didn’t realize that instead of being cursed Job was really prosperous and blessed because God cared enough about Job to take the time to test him.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers them out of them allPsalm 34:19
I don’t care what it looks like. If you are in a time of testing you are blessed and favored by God. OK well let’s say you are being punished. If you are rejoice! God punishes those he loves the most (Hebrews 12:6). Trust God that he will bring you out of it. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers them out of them all (Psalm 34:19). We can trust God because we know he loves us and his love never fails, even when he is punishing us. The good thing about punishment is that God uses it to discipline us so that we can have a better life because he loves us. God wants us to have a better life to glorify him through it. God uses both punishment and testing to bring us closer to him. If you don’t know whether you are being punished or whether you are being tested it’s alright. It could be both. But it would be good for you to trust God. You don’t have to know all the details other than what God tells you. You can ask God but you can trust him when you don’t hear an answer. You don’t have to have it all figured out.
As I mentioned Job repented because he failed to see that he didn’t have to have it all figured out. After Job’s conversations with friends God explained to Job how Job is not all knowing like God and how Job cannot know exactly how God operates. God explained to Job how he does not know all the mysteries of God including how God makes the universe operate. Sometimes certain things about our circumstances are beyond our comprehension, at least during a time of testing or preparation. We have to have a childlike faith and trust that our father has it all figured out. This reminds me of when we were young children and our parents might have said we couldn’t do something and we dared to ask why. Many of us sometimes got the response “because I told you so.” Maybe this relates to how God operates sometimes.
The Lord can use our opposition to position us for His glory!
God knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). He doesn’t always want us to know every detail or we would might mess up our God given destiny. We have to trust that God told us so because it is for our good. It’s not bad to ask why but we have to be OK if God doesn’t answer and trust that God has the answer. We have the tendency to want to control every detail of our circumstances but we have to let go and give some of the details to God. We give Jesus our burdens and rest in him. It can be very frustrating and we can become extremely anxious, if we don’t trust God. The Lord can use our opposition to position us for His glory! In his intense grief and pain Job didn’t know he was being positioned for greatness. By greatness I mean God gave him double for what he lost. He did this after Job prayed for his friend’s forgiveness.
What is it about us praying for those who have wronged us that ignites the Lord’s favor upon us? Praying for our enemies is more than forgiveness. It is walking a step higher as the heart must be in good condition to be able to sincerely pray for those who have wronged us. Notice it didn’t say enemies. God didn’t see job’s friends as enemies. Far too often we think of friends as enemies when they are just friends who have sinned. As I mentioned the devil is the real enemy anyway. If you have not already please read Wisdom for Breakthrough: Friendship. My last blog post Self Awakening: The Heart touched upon this subject as well. God ordained friendships are crucial in this hour. God wants his body to work together with whom he chooses. Not always whom we choose but who he chooses.
It is heartbreaking when a friend or loved one hurts you and you may think it would be impossible to work with them. But God can heal our hearts. God can give us the strength to forgive. The best thing we can do is pray for them. Like God did for Job, he will restore our losses. After job was restored his family ate with him. It may not have been easy for job to forgive his family who betrayed him, especially his wife who rejected him. As I mentioned Job’s friends hurt him too. He told them they were miserable comforters. He tried to convince them he was blameless and they didn’t listen. But Job forgave them even though they caused him pain when he was down.
It may seem strange that God wanted the devil to inflict pain upon Job in the first place. God knew when he approached satan with questions about Job that the devil would respond the way he did. God clearly gave the devil permission and it seems as though in a way he provoked it. But God knew Job would learn that God cared about him. As I mentioned God probably wanted a closer relationship with Job and he probably wanted to test Job so that he could bless Job. When we are humbled by God we should allow the circumstances to bring us closer to him. We may not know all the reasons why God allowed Job to be inflicted just as we may be confused as to why he is allowing the church to be afflicted.
It may seem perplexing that God allowed the church to be injured by the devil but he allowed it. You know the devil only does what God allows. Maybe God needed to injure church as we know it so that a change can take place. Perhaps more of a five-fold ministry will be restored in the churches so that we will see God’s glory on a greater scale. This will be another blog post for another day but for now I will say Jesus said there is the office of the apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11). Perhaps pastors and teachers are lumped together for a reason. I suppose most pastors teach too. If you look back through my earlier blog posts last year you will see I thought the five-fold concept was important then and I still believe that for now. Leaders of ministry need to know what their calling is so that they can do what God wants them to do to reach people and so that they step into their God given destiny. If you are called to a five-fold office God will let you know which one it is.
There are many examples of how people operated through these ministry offices throughout the new testament so if you like you can look up more about it. I have found a lot of information on the offices on YouTube but please be careful to make sure that what is on YouTube lines up with scripture. I didn’t know I was called to be a teacher until last year. God told me I was a teacher when I didn’t even know about the five-fold ministry concept. Now I am teaching through this blog and writing books. Well with having toddlers and a teenager the books may take several years but slowly but surely. I am also called to be on a worship team which I believe is a teaching position as well. Songs can teach people about the love and hope of God and reach many people’s hearts. I believe the Lord is upset about many churches not doing all they can to reach people’s hearts.
A few days ago I saw a vision of a giant sword going into the church. I felt like God was telling me he was injuring the church so that it can operate the way he wants it to. Jesus did not come to bring peace but a sword (Matthew 10:34). Sure he gives us peace that surpasses understanding but the sword divides the wheat from the tares. He wants to see if you are ready for the Great Awakening. Just as he tested Job he is testing the church. Which side are you on? Do you listen to and obey the voice of the Lord? Are you really ready to serve the Lord? Are you ready for the promises as well? If you are you must past the test God gives you. There is always a test before the breakthrough. Are you passing the test? If you don’t know just ask God. Ask him if there are any changes you need to make. Please know that I don’t mean for you to ask if you are passing the test in the past tense, but rather in the present and future tense. If you failed get back up and try again. I know I have failed tests but I keep trying. The testing may not be easy but just like God used it to position Job for greatness He can use it to position you if you allow Him to. Are you living a lifestyle of sin or a lifestyle that represents following the Lord? Are you a coward or are you full of courage and authority from the Lord? How about this one: Is your heart right?
God tests our heart. His greatest commandment is to love. As I wrote in Step into the New: Great Awakening God told me love is in the midst of a great awakening. He also said His treasures are in our hearts. Maybe God is testing our capacity to love and to see if we are walking in love. While people look at the outward appearance, God looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). Job’s friends looked at Job’s outward appearance. As I mentioned they didn’t know Job was being positioned. Some people feel like they have been knocked out of position. That’s OK. That means it’s either time to fight for it or time for a new direction in your life which may include a change of heart. Your life can be even better than what you lost. Just like God did for Job he can give you double for your trouble. Many of us are in a waiting season and we must be strong during this time.
God can cause everything pertaining to our destiny to line up in the right way at the right time.
Please be patient and hold on because as I mentioned God will work all things for good if you love him. Everything will fall into place as he wills. Everything will be revealed at the right time for the right purpose. God knows how to cause everything pertaining to our destiny to line up in the right way at the right time. Little did Job know that in his greatest despair he was passing the test. He didn’t know his blessing was right around the corner. I hope you let yourself be optimistic during hard times. The hosts of heaven are anticipating our breakthroughs. As I said I know it’s hard to wait for these breakthroughs.
Like i said in Desire the New: Waiting on God it can be frustrating when we don’t see our promises coming to pass in our present circumstances. In his anguish and grief Job had a difficult time seeing the blessings awaiting him. I know it may seem like I keep repeating myself but I want to help those who are having a difficult time waiting on promises. Waiting is easier when we know we are in a season of preparation so we can be ready to display His glory! Don’t worry God is right on time. When I look forward to promises it gives me hope but I must also have joy in the journey. Similar to Job we may not find our present circumstances to be pleasant but we can be grateful for the good in our lives. We are told to focus on the good things (Philllipians 4:8). We can focus on the good in the now which helps us have a better time waiting. I’m sure you can find things to be grateful for. Be grateful for the blessings God gives you now as you look forward to blessings on the way. When we have an attitude of gratitude we are more likely to have the joy of the Lord as we walk with the Holy Spirit.
As you walk with the Holy Spirit you will find more blessings to be thankful for. The Holy Spirit gives us joy. Are you walking with the Holy Spirit? I hope you do because He helps you turn away from intentional sin and helps you make wise choices so that you can have a better life. Believe me I am not perfect. I realized lately how satan has operated through me even here lately. I am repenting for the bad that I did and I’m changing my perspective to be more in line with God’s. Ask God for his perspective if you haven’t already. If you are confused about anything please ask God. The most important thing you can do if you have not already is to ask Jesus into your heart and into your life.
If you accept Jesus as your savior you will spend an eternity with him rather than in hell. People go to hell when they don’t trust that Jesus is their Lord and savior because Jesus is the sacrifice for our sins. Without him our sins are not forgiven. Heaven is like a court system and that’s just the way it works. The fact that Jesus is our sacrifice is why Jesus said that no one can reach the father except through him (John 14:6). If you don’t understand the trinity concept of Father, Son and Holy Spirit please do research. God is the father, Jesus is the son, and the Holy Spirit or God’s spirit lives in us when we are saved. They are three distinct entities but they are also one. Along with being saved God wants you to have an amazing life while you are here. Let me tell you life is so much more amazing when we have a relationship with Jesus. We are never lonely with Jesus by our side. As I mentioned God was after a closer relationship with Job. We have a relationship with the Lord after we invite the Holy Spirit into our lives and into our hearts. Please say this to the Lord: Father thank you for sending your son Jesus to die on the cross for my sins. Thank you Jesus for coming to earth and dying on the cross for my sins. I confess that you became the ultimate sacrifice because you died on the cross and you rose on the third day. I invite your Holy Spirit into my life so that I can be one with you. If you said that and believe it in your heart you are being positioned to someday spend eternity with the Lord and your brothers and sisters in Christ. Welcome to the family.