Pruning our Branches to Bear Greater Fruits
Jesus has asked me repeatedly during my devotionals to write about the need for purification and personal holiness during the times ahead as practicing personal holiness and repentance draws us closer to the heart of God.
Repentance is an integral part of cleaning up our houses and something we should always be striving for. Striving for holiness does not mean that we are immune to temptation or even falling into sin. Rather, striving for holiness means that when we do sin, we need to recognize it, repent and turn from it. We then need to renounce it and break the ties that we have to it. Doing so will allow us to walk in greater authority just like the disciples did.
Unfortunately, most skip verses 12 and 13 in Romans 8, but these are important instructions for our walk: “Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation, but it is not to the flesh and to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.”
In other words, we must understand that we need to put off the things of our flesh that hinder our closer communion with the Lord. Peter in Acts specifically told people to repent and that we must not live by the flesh and our flesh sins.
When I am broken before the Lord, I weep and lay down everything that I am guilty of doing, including my vain ambitions, my lack of forgiveness at times and so much more. Then when I do this, as I try to do every morning, then I can hear clearer from Him again and I receive the miracles from Him.
When I am on my knees in prayer, this is where His power takes over mine via the Holy Spirit. I believe that after Jesus left the disciples that they were so moved by Him that they personally recognized that they had a purpose and a call for all of them to aspire for personal holiness.
This striving for personal holiness then allowed the disciples to walk in the miracles that Jesus said they would later have that came during Pentecost as per the Book of Acts. However, I strongly believe that we can also walk in these same miracles today.
What is best for us? To those whom much is given, much more will be required. So what is required of us? We are to give Jesus our heart, crucify our fleshly desires and wait and see what the Lord does with us. Why not at least try it? For me personally, this is where I began to see miracles in my life.
Major Pruning: Cutting Vines Down Almost to the Roots
At one point, I made a commitment to go through these steps faithfully for forty full days. During this time, I was tested and tormented so severely by the enemy that I almost gave up. Just before I quit, I finally fell on my knees in prayer destroyed, emptied and willing.
In this state, I cried in anguish, “Lord, please use me now since I have kept my heart toward You and I have done the best I can with what I have been given. Although I am imperfect, I love You. Can I not somehow be of use to You? Is there nothing you can do with me? Lord, if there is nothing You can use me for, then please just take me Home now!”
I shouted this to Him at the top of my lungs, along with “Help, Jesus!” However, my pleas were met with nothing but silence for an entire week. After this torturous week of silence, then suddenly and unexpectedly the dreams began and I heard from Him.
However, this was just the beginning and I struggled until the Lord showed me a pattern. I would hear from Him a little at first and then this would slowly increase. However, when I was disobedient, then I would hear from Him less and less. Then when I would repent for any disobedience, I would hear from Him more again. This went on and on and on until I realized I needed to improve even more in the area of obedience to God.
Now do not get me wrong here; while I have matured more in these areas over this time, I still make a ton of mistakes. Nonetheless, I have grown in Christ Jesus by leaps and bounds just by spending so much time with Him both in prayer and now in person.
Through this slow learning process, I now realize that I would stand for Him and by Him no matter what. I just know that I would die for Him in persecution. Not only would I not have a problem with dying for Him, but it would be my honor.
I soon came to realize that we need to fully understand that if we are to be witnesses and lead people to Christ, then we also have to prepare our fields, the flesh. We need to do this with a tiller and plant the seeds on good soil by make our soil ready for seed using ‘holy fertilizer’.
Once we have done all of this and strive to walk in holiness, then we have to wait in faith for God to provide the rain and the sun in order to grow our crop. This is all necessary so that we might point those to Him in the process.
To bear Good Fruit, a Vine must be Cut Back
It is important to note here that the purpose for me writing all of this is NOT for you to feel condemned as this is from the enemy. The true purpose here is to answer questions on how my personal journey evolved to where I am today in Christ. In no way do I feel better than anyone or privileged as I fully acknowledge that, if I do, all of this will be gone in a heartbeat as God hates a haughty eye.
Now, before I outline the steps to repentance as I understand them, I would like to first respond to those who question whether these steps are Scriptural. For those who question this, all I can say is that I was exactly where you are as I too was taught that, once we are born again, our sins are forgiven.
While this is correct and we are a new creation in Christ, we still war against our flesh and against the things of this world. We also have a new enemy and his minions hate us simply because we love Jesus. We are at war and the entire Bible speaks of all of the people of God who have battled against these forces of evil.
In summary, the Bible is our greatest war manual for battle of any book in existence and is our very weapon in the war and our sword. Therefore we have to take off our old sin nature of our own life and put on a new skin. To help us, we now also have the Holy Spirit now residing in us.
Now, do you still continue to sin? Of course as we all do, no matter how great our intentions may be. However, when you sin, do you sin with the belief that you are saved by grace and therefore no longer have to obey the Laws of God? Many ‘seasoned’ Christians around me believed this and I had unintentionally fell into this trap as well for a while.
Indeed, I spent several years as a Christian wondering why I was constantly under attack and why my prayers or other’s prayers for me were not being answered. The answer, for me anyway, turned out to be that I had not confessed to the sin in my life. Once I became a Christian, I had opened a door and a legal right for the enemy to come in and have access to me and test me for any sin not confessed.
God allows this because we need to learn how to hear from Him and go to Him with our sins and repent of them. I had to learn to listen, hear and obey the Holy Spirit with regards to dealing with this sin, whether these sins were blatant or non-intentional.
Quite simply, when we open our doors to sin, we take authority away from Christ Jesus and give it to the enemy. When we do this, the enemy is allowed to go through these access points and reopen old wounds. We must close these doors off again and seal off our houses. It is the same concept of anointing the thresholds of our homes with oil.
We war not against physical powers, but against spiritual forces. When battling the unseen, we must put on our whole armor of God. In addition to my personal battles, I also learned these steps from several seasoned deliverance pastors and missionaries to foreign countries.
By the way, I have also tried slow conventional systems in removing these strongholds, but none seemed effective and there was still trouble. However, when I used the following simple guidelines that are truly Biblical, while trouble still comes, God now takes me through it in the manner He sees fit and no longer by my will (which is always a disaster).
A great way I remember how we are to confess our sins is to use the acronym ‘R2B2’! Yes, this sounds like the Star Wars character of R2D2 on purpose, but it is a handy way to remember this. R2B2 equals R, R, B and B as follows:
- R: Repent of sin
- R: Renounce the evil spirits
- B: Break any ties with evil entity(s)
- B: Bless
Once I followed this ‘R2B2’ process, I found that I could then walk in even greater freedom and authority in the Name of Jesus.
R as in Repent of Sin
Jesus spoke strongly about the requirement for repentance of our sins in the following Scriptures, though there are many more in the Bible:
Matthew 3:8; Matthew 4:17; Matthew 21:23; Mark 1:4; Acts 2:38; Acts 3:19; Romans 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9; Revelation 2:5 and Revelation 3:3
R as in Renounce the Evil Spirits
Refer to Ephesians 6:10-18 and 1 Peter 5:8-9
B as in Break Any Ties with Evil Entity(s)
One of the ways I break any ties with any evil entities is through the mostly lost ‘art of clapping’. A common misconception is that clapping is only used in praise and worship. However, clapping is also symbolically used in Jewish culture to smite against evil as derived from the Hebrew word, ‘Saphog’. In turn, this Hebrew word has in its root the strong disapproval of wicked men.
The following Scriptures support the breaking of our ties with the enemy by the use of clapping:
Job 27:23; Nahum 3:19; Ezekiel 25:6 and Lamentations 2:15
Therefore, remember when clapping that this is to mean the strong disapproval of ‘wicked men and spirits’.
B as in Bless
Blessing should always be done with everyone that is the Lord’s. Indeed, you should even bless those who curse you. If you do not feel you want to bless those who curse you, then we certainly have something in common. However, to walk in the full authority of Christ Jesus, this is a necessity. We need to do this in order to clean up our house so that we can be a more effective warrior in the battle that rages all around us. This essentially removes you as ‘playing god’ and allows God to deal with all of this in His perfect Will and timing.
Jesus has asked me several times to write on this, but I have been disobedient by procrastinating on this as I know that I could easily lose friends over this. Indeed, I believe that many people will run the other way after reading this as I too had thought that our life after accepting Christ would just be easy instead of even more difficult.
Imagine my surprise when a long-time spiritual warfare expert told me quite some time ago that becoming a Christian would actually mean ramped up attacks not less attacks, but to still trust that God knows what He is doing in our lives. When I heard this, I was skeptical and disappointed as it contradicted what so many long-time Christians had told me. When I later went to the Lord on this, He strongly confirmed that this was correct in my Holy Spirit.
However, it still took many years after this to really understand what it meant to ‘R2B2’. However, once I understood and painstakingly did this, I began to see and walk in greater miracles ever since.
At first, I was upset and felt robbed that the Christian church did not tell me earlier about the power of repentance. Through proper repentance, we are literally taking power from the enemy and putting it back in the hands of Jesus. By the very command of renouncing evil and breaking the legal ties, we are free to be blessed with the good things of the Lord and His gifts.
I believe that even the disciples that walked with Jesus were constantly attacked by evil spirits that used people to do their ‘dirty work’. Paul spoke about his ‘afflictions’ and many believe that these were the evil spirits that hounded him in all he did. However, I believe that all of the disciples were persecuted by evil spirits simply because they stood for a Holy God, Christ Jesus.
In conclusion, Jesus loves a repentant heart! In contrast to us, Jesus was and is without sin and He is perfect. Jesus performed miracles so quickly and it is easy to know why. Since Jesus is sinless and is completely free from the spirit of pride and bitterness, His divine love allows Him to do all of this by His very own authority.
Jesus said in Scripture to ‘go and sin no more.’ However, what happens when we still sin, as we all do? I believe that what I have written outlines what one should do should they fall in the enemy’s trap or the desires of their flesh. While Jesus can still use anyone at any given time, I believe that this is all worth trying.
Even if I am wrong, then what is the worst that can happen? Is it so hard to believe that if you repent, renounce the evil, bind it and send it away in the Name of Jesus that God would honor this? Can anyone argue that the Lord does not love a repentant and empty heart as a viable vessel so that He can become the water and wine to pour out on those who are thirsty so they may drink in HIs love and truth?
In conclusion, I send out to all of you a ‘sparrow challenge’. This challenge is a call to purification and a striving for holiness by those who want to be used of Jesus in miraculous ways in the coming season. Should you take this challenge, I pray that the Lord uses you mightily and guides you in all that you do for His glory.
Blessings and love to you all, Erin
Copyright© 2012-2018 SparrowCloud9; Erin Aleshire (All rights reserved, copies only allowed as per written permission)
BREAKING DOWN STRONGHOLDS
You own 10 acres. A homeless man comes to you. To be kind, you let him live on 1 acre in the middle of your 10 acres. Within a short time his loud music drives you crazy. You drive past and see his garbage scattered across the 1 acre. Then over time his garbage is blowing all over your 10 acres. You ask him to leave. He refuses. He says he has a legal right to the 1 acre because you invited him in.
This is what happens to us when we let the devil into a small area of our life. The devil quickly gains a stronghold. “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds”. (2 Corinthians 10:4). Stronghold means ‘fortress’.
The devil builds a strong fortress in our life because we gave place to him in a small area, that 1 acre.
Satan may not possess us but he does dominates us with a favorite sin to which we have given him legal right. We can’t get rid of it, even after endless cycles of confession and forgiveness. Satan’s fortress in us must be broken down.
Satan begins with our mind. After conversion the devil knows we now belong to Christ so he tries the next best thing – to rob our joy, to keep us depressed and frustrated. The devil starts with a thought he brings to our mind. When we linger with that thought and allow it to grow in our thinking, we have given the devil an acre and he quickly expands out to more of us, because we have given him the legal right to do it. That’s why 2 Corinthians 10: 5 says “we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
So a “stronghold” is a fortress Satan occupies in an area of our mind that should’ve been given over to the Holy Spirit.
HOW SATAN operates
A really vile thought comes into our mind. Where does it come from? It comes from Satan. It’s a fiery dart. When it happens we only have a split second to say “No! I won’t entertain that! You have no legal right! God help me with my thought life.”
Permission leads to progression. If we don’t stop the fiery dart Satan fires into our mind, it quickly leads to a choice. If we don’t take the thought captive, it very quickly leads to a choice to entertain it further. A mistake repeated more than once is a decision. The choice we make leads to repetitive behavior. Spiritual war is now underway in our mind. We lose the war the moment we entertain the thought. We are no match for Satan. If the behavior is repeated it allows Satan to create a stronghold.
So here’s the pattern: an initial thought is allowed to linger, which leads to a choice, which leads to behavior, which leads to repeated behavior, which leads to a stronghold. For a Christian common strongholds Satan builds in the mind are repetitive behaviors such as criticism, gossiping, vanity, judging others and pride. At the extreme end are addictions such as porn, alcohol, drugs, gambling and violent computer games.
It helps to know how Satan operates. It helps us to be able to at least understand what’s going on.
VICTORY OVER SATAN
To break down strongholds Satan has created in our mind, we do this:
1. We don’t resist the Holy Spirit. He has revealed we have strongholds that need breaking down. We now know it. We believe the Holy Spirit has the power to lead us to victory.
2. We choose to repent. We allow the Holy Spirit to lead us to a point where we are brutally honest with God and tell Him about the strongholds in our lives. We call them what they are: gossip, criticism, porn, pride, power seeking, gambling, drinking, vindictiveness, envy, lying etc.
There’s no value in saying “I’m sorry and I won’t do it again” because within a day or so we’ll be at it again. We let the Holy Spirit bring us to a deep, deep level of repentance. The Holy Spirit gives us deep repentance if we don’t resist Him and if we linger in the prayer room.
3. We now ask God to cast out the evil spirit of gossip, criticism, lust in the name of Jesus and to break down Satan’s strongholds. By doing this we remove the past legal right to our lives that we had given Satan by lingering on his territory.
4. After repenting we’ll still be inundated with continuing evil thoughts from Satan. He won’t give up. Fueled up in the power of the Holy Spirit we instantly dismiss them and renounce them. We don’t try to argue with Satan or to out-smart him. We bring Jesus to Satan and Satan will flee.
The key to all of this is to first be clean (by repenting) and then giving Jesus the master key to all the rooms in our lives. When Satan comes knocking we let Jesus answer the door. This is not sanctified fantasy. It is real. Until you see what a demon-possessed person looks like, you will not treat this subject with the utmost seriousness. It is very real.
Think it through: when we entertain a sinful thought we give Satan the legal right to gain a foothold in our mind. It quickly grows into a stronghold because we gave him the legal right to do that. When we repent we REVERSE this. We remove the legal right we gave him. By repenting we are saying “legal right removed” and allow Jesus to break the stronghold.
“Nations await the rising of the Lord’s army. We can defeat strongholds – individual by individual, then by groups, cities, regions and nations. We must neither quail at the enormity of the task nor rush foolishly in where the Holy Spirit has not led. We must develop more discipline and corporateness than we have ever known. Self-disciplined behavior must replace our personal desires.”
It is now time that we, as intercessors, pray and believe that God will touch entire cities and nations by His mighty power. God has given us the authority to do this in prayer. Remember that earth is the Lords and everything in it. God’s army of intercessors must arise. There are essential keys to apply personally and corporately in order to see major strongholds broken.
What are these keys in seeing the strongholds broken over cities and regions?
There is much satanic counterattack when you war against corporate strongholds. You must first know how to deal with strongholds in your own life and in others. The satanic attack comes through your own personal strongholds. You must give the enemy no open doors. If God is calling you to enter into spiritual warfare on this level, you must answer the question, “What are corporate and regional strongholds? Here is a good definition by John Sandford: “Corporate mental strongholds – the devil’s most cogent and frequently employed device for controlling every kind of nation – are practiced ways of thinking, feeling or acting that we share with a larger group, or with mankind as a whole.”
“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8).
People develop in the mentality they share with others, and these form strongholds over nations. They are extremely powerful. We have been in many nations where these corporate strongholds rule. We have seen difficulties in the missionaries working there. These difficulties manifest in relational problems, depression, discouragement, hopelessness, and many other things. We can feel the heaviness of these spirits almost immediately entering a country. We must realize that principalities and powers are controlling these areas of the world, and that these corporate strongholds are much more powerful than personal strongholds. We read in Ephesians 6:12:
“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”
The world forces of darkness rule multitudes through corporate mental strongholds. They use all the demonic lies found in personal strongholds, but they have much more power. We can see the reality of this power whenever we see groups of people doing violent things that an individual would not do alone. For example, a youth gang will rape or kill a woman where an individual would not. World demonic rulers will kill and destroy homes because of ethnic hatred. Hitler and his men killed millions of Jews without any guilt. Corporate strongholds can destroy guilt. The stronghold of homosexuality has deceived multitudes of people into thinking that being gay is alright.
“Whenever people begin to think in wrong ways, the enemy moves strongholds over their minds, clamps them into place like a helmet and takes them captive to do all manner of evils that none of them in their rightful minds would ever have allowed.”
The devil takes people captive. He wants to imprison whole nations and people groups. The Holy Spirit wants to set people free. The more we are aware of how the enemy controls whole groups of peoples and even nations, the more we can be used by God to demolish principalities. It is the strength of God that will do it and not our own human ability. It is important to realize that we can never destroy these corporate strongholds alone. They are too powerful.
“Individuals fight individuals. Armies fight armies. When warring against a principality and the strongholds it employs, we are battling not only the principality but multitudes of demons as well – hundreds or thousands of them. No individual believer, nor even an entire army, will be able to eradicate such a stronghold as drugs or homosexuality or ethnic hatred. These are too ancient, too powerful and too entrenched in the minds and hearts of many. We may deliver many from a stronghold, but we can’t defeat strongholds over regions until entire masses of people hate it, repent, forgive and ask for forgiveness, and bring it to death on the cross.”
Rules of Warfare in Breaking Strongholds over Cities and Nations
“Let the godly ones exult in glory; let them sing for joy on their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and two-edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples; to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron, to execute on them the judgment written; this is an honor for all His godly ones. Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 149:5-9)
- The Holy Spirit must guide you – Make sure that the Holy Spirit is calling you to this level of warfare. God’s army must be well trained and mature spiritually. Ask yourself several questions: Is God asking you to help break an individual stronghold or a group, region, or even a national stronghold? If it is more than an individual, who are you to do it with? What prayer groups have the same vision? Are you supposed to set individuals or groups free from homosexuality, drugs, alcohol, etc.? Is it your church or several prayers groups in your city? Is the group you are praying with united and mature spiritually? Are you sure that God is calling you?“They charge like warriors; they scale walls like soldiers. They all march in line, not swerving from their course. They do not jostle each other; each marches straight ahead. They plunge through defenses without breaking rank” (Joel 2:7-8).
- Make sure you have enough prayer warriors – Breaking strongholds in cities, regions and nations require armies to match the size of the battle. “I hope the day comes, however, when sufficient numbers of Christians have been trained and united to tackle and ring down strongholds and their wielders, and to set entire regions free. Can you imagine an army one hundred thousand strong, or even hundreds of thousands strong, standing in determination to bring down the stronghold of homosexuality over our nations? Or abortion, or radial prejudice, or the rights movement that corrupts our court system, or opportunism in politics, or the sexual revolution?”“What king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand?” (Luke 14:31)
- Seek God’s strategy – Seek the Lord’s guidance many times before taking action. Make sure that there is persistent prayer and that you have good strong leadership. Watch carefully for strongholds in your own life that might surface. Deal with them quickly when they arise. Know your identity in Christ. Satan will often accuse you of the same problem and tap into your personal strongholds. Find out about the history of a person, group, or nation under the control of a stronghold. Wars are won by battle plans. It is essential to know your plan of action.“But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations” (Psalm 33:11).
- Saturate the region with worship, praise and thanksgiving – Understand the power of worship and thanksgiving in defeating the enemy. When going to a nation, I often spend much time in worship and praise. I often bring praise music with me. I will worship God on the balcony, traveling by train, riding in the car or prayerwalking. I know that this is one of my greatest weapons of war and so I try to cultivate it whenever I can.“He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.” (Psalm 50:23).
- Exercise discernment and persist in prayer – There needs to be a lot of spirit-led prayer and intercession throughout the whole process of breaking strongholds. Timing is important. The devil will try to maintain his hold over nations and cities. Listen to Him for guidance. Proceed carefully at His direction. Ask God to give your group a spirit of wisdom and revelation.“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened” (Ephesians 1:17-18).
- Pray God’s Word over the territory – God’s Word is powerful in breaking the hold of the enemy over the land. Bathing the region in intercession through strategically praying the Word erodes the power of the enemy and defeats him. Remember that Jesus came against the enemy by quoting the Word of God. God’s Word is like fire that shatters the deep-seated strongholds of the enemy.“‘Is not my word like fire’, declares the Lords, ‘and like a hammer that breaks a rock to pieces?’” (Jeremiah 23:29)
- Prepare for the devil’s counterattack – Walk in holiness, and maintain a close relationship with the Lord. Have no unconfessed sin. Realize that the devil looks for an area in your life that he can attack. Maintain balance in your life in Sabbath, rest, fellowship and exercise. Fill your life with worship and praise.“Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength’ seek his face always” (Psalm 105:2-4).
“When will great numbers of men arise in prayer, and in righteous fury, bring down the strongholds of aggression that kill and maim men and women and children? Someday it will happen. Scriptural prophecy will not be denied. How long will our Lord have to wait patiently while we dilly-dally in our own petty concerns. I pray that God’s men and women will arise and learn the arts of warfare that will heal the nations!” Quotes by John Sandford
By Debbie Olujobi
It’s absolutely amazing to me to find that deep inside ourselves is the one place we will never look for answers. Quite a lot of people are terrified to look within for answers, they find it easier to blame the environment, their parents, bad luck or even their situations, and anybody but them is the source of all discontent and failure. We like to follow the path of least resistance, taking on suggestions and established truths of others so we don’t have to dig for our own inner truths! Once upon a time, it was an established truth that the earth was flat; the man who thought it round was considered a heretic; so founding our lives on established truths is tricky as truth changes ground once new information is available! There is much talk of the five proven senses; almost everyone is sold on the senses of taste, touch, sight, smell etc. I am a firm believer in multisensory perception and believe strongly in the continuum of the senses; I appreciate the things I see, touch taste etc but I don’t dismiss those that I can’t. A continuum is something that doesn’t have an end or beginning; that’s what knowledge is. A good example is the television; the waves that transmit the pictures may not be visible to the naked eye but they are there as evidenced by pictures we see; they are still in the room when you turn off the television; pretending they are not there doesn’t not invalidate their existence.
Strongholds are the end products of fear, of suggestions that have been planted into our minds that we are less than we can be. Simply put if you believe you can’t, you can’t!! So many people have been told repeatedly that they can’t; that they themselves have accepted that they can’t! It’s almost like being programmed for failure by auto suggestions (fear induced suggestions} and heterosuggestions (derogatory name calling and suggestions by others; mostly loved ones!)I came across the terms as a teenager( a story for another day) when I started acquiring books on hypnotherapy and Telekinesis a long time ago so I know for certain how pliable the human mind is. The mind is like a very fertile garden; the seeds you plant will grow! If parents affirm that their children will grow up to be vagabonds, it is almost certain that they will be! If the adult doesn’t counter with powerful and positive suggestions to uproot the evil seeds the damage is most times irreparable! The beauty however is the pliable nature of the mind, it can be reprogrammed to turn fear into faith and negativity into optimism, and it all depends on the individual! A simple set of questions is key.
Do you want more?
Do you truly believe that you deserve more?
Are you willing to look within for the answers?
The first step is to start believing that you can and answering a resounding YES to all three questions! There are certainly challenges that have nothing to do with our minds that we face in this perilous times. The dangers of terrorism and Ebola are not strongholds my mind has made up, they are very clear and present dangers that we all face. My mind is however in control of how I let those things affect me and it will certainly navigate the way I balance the real danger against the natural fear we all feel.
I attended the birthday of a friend, brother, pastor a while back and I marvelled at a mind that had broken free of strongholds and all vain limitations and vanities. Pastor Kunle Ajayi is a gift of God not only to Pastor Enoch Adeboye, who calls him son and minstrel, he is a gift of beautiful, soul lifting music to the rest of the world and long before I became his sister and friend I was a fan! At a small and intimate celebration with friends over lunch last sunday to celebrate his 50th, he gave a thank you speech that was a message and a rhema to all that were present. He told a story of a life that was almost truncated by ill health and gave God the glory for a career in music that has defied medical explanations. “If I die now, I have lived well” he said and he brushed all our protestations aside. He could say that because there were no more strongholds left. His mind was not limited by fear, rather he had no fear, even of the ultimate end, whenever and however that was! His focus was on the prize that awaits all of those who live for Christ.
Whatever may come, I am personally persuaded that fear is not the answer, I refuse to demonise any tribe,religion or region of Nigeria, I remain a Nigerian who loves Nigeria and Nigerians and I will not let fear erect strongholds in my mind. Truth is that I will live the best life possible and leave all else to God who is the ultimate decider of my fate. I want more, I believe I deserve more and I am willing to look inside of me for more.
I started tearing down strongholds built in my mind by negativity of others a long time ago and I am actively working hard to rid my mind of fears that are a result of the dangers now so present all around. Like Pastor Kunle I want to build my mind up to a level where even death holds no fear for me and I will take no thought for tomorrow, that’s God’s responsibility. I can only encourage others to not give in to hate and reprisals; hate is not defeated by hate, love and moderation should be our objective to rescue our beloved country!