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Sneaky Idols and False Teaching

bible

I recently received a message from a young woman who asked me how to effectively war in the spirit.

I asked two essential answers, “Have you been baptized in the name of Jesus?”

She answered, “Yes.”

I asked, “Have you received the baptism of the Holy Ghost?”

She answered, “I feel like I have the Holy Ghost but I have not spoken in other tongues.”

I gently and lovingly explained that, according to scripture, if she has not spoken in other tongues then she has not received the Holy Ghost. I went on to explain that it sounds like she may be close, but often we hinder our own infilling. I then sent her a link to my own testimony of how I received the Holy Ghost and how I hindered myself but overcame it. You can read it here.

She blocked me.

The only logical reason that I can surmise she reacted this way is because I told her that scripture tells us, shows us, that when a person is truly filled with the Holy Ghost they will speak in other tongues (Acts 2:1-4, Acts 10:44-46, Acts 19:6).

She held to the false teaching that you can have the Holy Ghost and not speak in tongues – that is not true. It is one of hell’s lies to keep believers from the Kingdom.

This begs the question, what pastor is teaching baptism in Jesus’ name but not that speaking in other tongues is the only evidence of being filled with the Holy Ghost? Even if they believe it but aren’t actively teaching it, they are doing their congregation a great disservice and not teaching the truth of scripture as all saints are commanded. My guess is, they are afraid of losing people.

Many people don’t want to hear that if they haven’t spoken in tongues they haven’t received the Holy Ghost and they reject scripture because it doesn’t line up with what they want to believe and what they’ve been told to believe by man.

I can see that fear, but it isn’t an excuse. When pastors and teachers fail to teach the full scripture and the whole truth, they are effectively sending people to hell.

It allows false teachings to remain a stronghold and invites those spirits into the church that close people’s ears to truth and perpetuates false teaching. It encourages people to cling to the teaching of man. There is great danger in valuing the word of man over the word of God.

This experience reminded me of the story of the Rich Young Ruler in Matthew 19:16-22. He said he wanted to have eternal life and Jesus told him to sell all he owns, give it to the poor, and follow Him.

The young man hung his head and turned away from the word (Jesus is the word – John 1:14).

Yes, this is about material possessions, but in truth, it is about anything that we put above God, those are the idols in our lives. This can be material wealth, but there are also what I call “sneaky idols” which include people (family, children, spouse, friends), perceived security in things, even clinging to false teaching instead of being obedient to the word of God.

His command to sell all he had and give it to the poor is both literal and symbolic.

Once he sold all that he had, he was to give the profits to the poor.

When he rid himself of his idolatry and cleaved unto the word of God, he was to give those profits (teach the gospel) to the poor in spirit and the lost. His primary focus in life was to become a soul winner.

ALL believers are called to be soul winners.

However, he was not willing to put aside his idolatry and he walked away like so many do when they feel the cost is too great. They don’t want to give up their beliefs, their material wealth, the people in their lives that they put above God.

Let me remind you that God said we are not to put anything before him. NOTHING comes before God- ever.

Following Christ is not a negotiation, it is all or nothing. Lukewarm Christians will be spewed from God’s mouth – He wants ALL of us.

Following Christ means that we must get rid of all the idols in our lives and turn away from any teaching that is contradictory to the word of God.

The truth is, salvation requires the infilling of the Holy Ghost which is evidenced by speaking in other tongues. There is no other way. It is in scripture, over and over. You can’t get around it, talk your way out of it, or negotiate it away. Holy Ghost baptism and speaking in other tongues is required.

So like the Rich Young Ruler, the young woman turned away from the word, rejected scripture, and returned to her idols.

Are you clinging to any sneaky false idols today?

Jesus is calling you to make a choice. What is your answer?

31 Days of Praise for Depression

31-days-of-praise-cover1I have completed my latest book, 31 Days of Praise for Depression: Interactive Devotionals for Spiritual Healing. I hope you will check it out.

Book Description:

Praise is a powerful weapon against depression but many people don’t know it or don’t know how to apply it effectively. This interactive devotional will guide you through learning and understanding the power of praise by giving you Bible verses that you can read, study, and incorporate into your own prayers.

Your reading each day consists of a scripture that demonstrates praise and worship, followed by a brief devotional. From there you are guided through four interactive activities:

  • Thank God for: Helps teach you to find joy in your life, express gratitude to God, and combat your depression with positivity.
  • Count Your Blessings: Just one simple question to get you thinking about God’s blessings in your life.
  • Actionable Positivity: Showing kindness to others take the focus off of ourselves and creates a more positive environment. Practice them regularly and make it a habit.
  • Prayer for Today: A brief prayer of praise and gratitude that coincides with the scripture for the day.

31 Days of Praise for Depression will teach you how to praise God and develop a spirit of gratitude. It brings you into the presence of God – and that is life changing.

View it on Amazon.com

The Bible Forbids “Christianizing” Pagan Traditions

Easter Egg Meme

The holiday called easter is this Sunday. Christians claim that they make it about Jesus, but at its roots it is a pagan holiday. It is about Ishtar, the goddess of fertility. Without getting too far into all of that, it is basically about sexuality and fertility, that is where the rabbits and eggs come from. They have NOTHING to do with christianity but they have EVERYTHING to do with paganism and false gods.

What’s really messed up is the Christians who blatantly call the day easter, celebrating with easter egg hunts, chocolate bunnies, and all the traditional easter symbols – symbols of sexuality and fertility. And they thrust their children into the midst of pagan false god worship, normalizing it, normalizing the false god worship, the pagan traditions.

Very messed up.

Another group of Christians choose to celebrate the pagan holiday easter by trying to make it about Jesus. They call it Resurrection Sunday or something similar.

Sorry, that is still not biblical. In fact, the Bible PROHIBITS this practice. The Bible expressly forbids celebrating holidays that are or were held by pagans. In other words, the BIBLE says we can NOT “christianize” the pagan holidays. It is addressed in Deuteronomy 12:29-31.

29 When the Lord thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land;
30 Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.
31 Thou shalt not do so unto the Lord thy God: for every abomination to the Lord, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.
Deuteronomy 12:29-31

It is important to understand that this scripture is NOT dealing  with the worship of other gods. It is a warning that we, as Christians, are not adopt CUSTOMS used to worship or honor other gods in order to serve and worship the true God.

Some counter that easter is mentioned in the Bible – and that is true. It is mentioned ONCE in the King James Version of the Bible (Acts 12:3-4). The context? The pagan king, Herod celebrated easter. It was not mistranslated; it was not a mistake. Easter was named and it was named as a pagan tradition. Some versions of the Bible will change that word easter to Passover, but that is not accurate. It was not talking about the Christian holiday of Passover, but the pagan tradition of easter.

The Bible tells us to celebrate Passover, not easter.

Christians who follow the easter tradition, whether they outright call it easter or christianize it by using some other name, are preaching another gospel – another Jesus.

For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
2 Corinthians 11:2-4

See, Jesus did not die on that Friday and did not rise on that Sunday. The timeline is completely off. That lie was created by the Roman Catholic church.  It was the Roman Catholic church changed the truth, placing Jesus in the pagan festivals like easter and christmas.

We only have to go to scripture to see that the timeline is off. The Bible tells us that Jesus was in the heart of the Earth for three days and three nights. It is what we call Wednesday through Saturday. The Jews actually number the days (even the days of the week are pagan – Sunday is worship of the sun god – THAT is how ingrained paganism is in our society).

Jesus is our PASSOVER. Jesus is NOT easter!

There is so much confusion because people are so rooted in tradition and they never question those traditions. However, we are required, as Christians, to line everything up according to the Bible. We are commanded to worship Jesus in spirit and in truth.

Unfortunately, we are moving farther and farther away from truth.

This Sunday Christians all over the world will be celebrating easter and they will call it good. The Bible says otherwise though.

“Do not worship God like the pagans worship their idols.” Deuteronomy 12:4

Modern Christians may have tried to do away with this law, but the Bible never did. We should not be worshiping Jesus the way the pagans worship their idols. We should not be trying to christianize the pagan traditions.

What is ironic is that the majority of today’s Christians claim that they are not under Rome. However, every time a Roman holiday rolls around, like christmas, easter, valentines day, and new year (among others), they are right there, celebrating like the pagans.

How did we travel so far away from scripture? If we are truly seeking after God and trying to live according to His Word, then we must be all in. We have to be completely sold out to God or we’ll find ourselves sold out to the world. You can’t serve two masters. There is NOTHING about these pagan traditions that is holy or of God, no matter how you wrap it up.

The true origin of Easter and its symbols are deeply rooted in the worship of false gods. There is no Biblical basis to it at all. Those who celebrate the holiday and consider themselves Christians need to take a prayerful look at what they are doing.

This is yet another “way of the heathen” that we are warned in scripture not to learn.

Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
Jeremiah 10:2

It doesn’t matter what our intentions are, God’s word makes it clear. You can’t turn a pagan holiday that is rooted in evil into something about God. That’s not me talking, that’s what SCRIPTURE says.

My husband and I do not recognize easter or the nonbiblical attempts to “christianize” the pagan tradition. This year Passover is April 22-30, 2016. We will be celebrating it for that is the TRUE CHRISTIAN HOLY DAY.

 

Where’s the Church? When Church People air their Pain on Social Media

 

As soul winners we know that as much as social media can be a mission field, it can also be a cesspool.  Then again, look at some of the places where Jesus ventured in order to reach the lost.

I’ve seen many “church people” airing their pain and frustration on social media and many Christians admonish them for doing so – I myself have been guilty. Recently, though, the Lord has been working on me about this, showing me things, and I believe it is time to share them with you.

While you see a lot of people – A LOT – telling folks they should not air their “dirty laundry” on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram – or whatever – you don’t see them reaching out to that person.

See, that behavior it not the problem; it is the symptom of a problem.

Consider this: People who are in a committed, stable relationship with Christ and are grounded in a supportive, loving church family don’t have a need to attention seek.

Yes, the relationship with Christ should be enough, but for many people it simply isn’t. I wholly believe that that is part of what Hebrews 10:25 means. It is talking about more than just “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together” – going to church to worship and learn about God (what most of us have heard our entire lives that that is what church is supposed to be).

We often forget the second part, but exhorting one another – encouraging one another, all the more faithfully as we see the day approaching. See, the closer we get to Christ’s return, the more painful and vile the world will become. Because we have been called out of the world by Christ, we often will find it all the more painful.

So when you look at an “attention seeking” post on Facebook, two questions should immediately come to mind. 1) Where’s the church? Is this person a part of a church? Why isn’t their church family supporting them? And 2) What can be done to get the plugged into a supportive, loving church family?

It is our responsibility as Christians to support our brothers and sisters in Christ. That is the mark of a unified body – people feel that they have a safe place to go, where they can find Godly counsel, people aren’t too busy with their own lives to offer support and hope.

Wake up pew warmers! Your pastor can’t do it all! And he shouldn’t. When we pick up our cross and follow Christ, when we separate from the world, we are a ROYAL PRIESTHOOD (1 Peter 2:9). We are a chosen generation. We have a responsibility to reach the lost, but sometimes the lost exist within our own congregational family!

Consider this. On the average, people go to church on Sunday morning, attend a mid-week service, and some have an evening of prayer. That’s roughly 5 hours a week that they are in church and spending time with their church family. If the church has an evening service, add another 2 hours. Now, there are 168 hours in a week which means that even the most consistent Christians are only in church about 3% of the week.

Now, if you only gave your family 3% of your time each week, how close do you think you would be? If you only gave your spouse 3% of your time each week, how long do you think your marriage would last?

The problem is not that people are seeking attention on social media. The problem is that people are hurting and feel that they have nowhere to go.

Reaching a lost and hurting world, sharing the Gospel, and showing others the love of Christ is not an option if you have committed your life to Christ – it is mandated by the word of God.

That requires our time, our attention, our sacrifice – and it’s that last part that Christians really seem to struggle with.

So you can beat them up all you want about the things they post, but what are you doing about it? Instead of admonishing them for what they post, have you tried reaching out to them?

Worse, have you see one of these posts and just passed it on by? If someone is posting their personal issues on such a public forum, that isn’t attention seeking, that’s help seeking. Now, granted, some people don’t want the type of help that they need and they will reject it. Still, we have to establish a support system for each other, to support each other and to be there for each other because, folks, it isn’t going to get easier to live for God – it’s going to get continually harder and we are all going to be subject to attacks by the enemy.

When is a lamb most vulnerable? When it is separated from the herd. That could be it wandered off, perhaps it was grazing and didn’t realize how far it went. It doesn’t really matter how the lamb was separated; what’s important is that it is found and brought back into the fold.

Every day I hear people, Christians, talking about feeling that they don’t belong in their church, like they don’t fit in. What’s really bad is that when someone struggles with personal issues such as illness or tragedy, that can cause them to separate from the body – out of sight, out of mind.

Whatever happened to visiting shut ins and reaching out to those whose church attendance has fallen away? Then again, how bonded to the church and body can they really get when they are only exposed to it 3% of the week? That’s one of the biggest reasons we don’t have unity in the church?

Where’s the church? YOU are the church, whether you preach from the pulpit, sign in the choir, or sit on a pew. As Holy Ghost filled, Jesus name baptized Christians, you are of a royal priesthood. I am of a royal priesthood. It is what we are ultimately called to be but most of us aren’t anywhere near to living it.

I’m preaching to myself here too. We talk about “having church” but church isn’t a verb – and it means a whole lot more than what most think. Revisit Hebrews 10:25 – the whole verse. It speaks volumes. Yes, it is a place to go worship and touch God, but I can worship and touch God in my own living room. That tells me that there’s more to it and when you read the entire verse you can see what it is.

So the next time you see someone, especially someone from your church, airing their pain on social media, don’t rebuke them – especially not in public. Don’t like the post, don’t comment, but do send a private message to them, reach out, encourage them. Better yet, give them a call, go visit them, or go to lunch with them.

Sometimes a person will choose to comment on the post, writing words of encouragement and love. Unfortunately, that is often lost in the wave of negativity that the original post initiates. If you really want to reach them, do it privately.

Now, this does not mean that you have to succumb to their despair. The saying that misery loves company is very true. What it does mean is that sometimes when a person is in the pit of despair they just need someone to throw them a rope – and sometimes they will slip into it again and again.

That’s just human nature – and even Christians have it.

Don’t let them suck you in or bring you down, but don’t leave them there to wither and die either.

 

Photo Credit:  Salvatore Vuono at freedigitalphotos.net

The Truth of Tradition

Tradition

Colossians 2:8
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Tradition can be the glue that keeps people in unity and give them familiar footing in an ever changing, increasingly sinful world, but it can also be a tool that hell employs to stunt Christian growth and prevent those who truly want to serve God from understanding scriptural guidance that separates them further from the world. Tradition can quickly become a cancer that spreads through a congregation, keeping them rooted in the familiar – because “that’s the way it’s always been done.”

I once heard a pastor talk about a woman who was preparing a family dinner. She was cooking a ham and before putting it in the oven she cut it in half. Curious, her husband asked her why she did that. She replied, “That’s the way my mother always did it.”

This made the husband even more curious. “Why did she do it?” He asked.

“I don’t really know.” The wife answered.

The husband decided to call his mother-in-law to get to the bottom of the mystery. When asked, the mother-in-law answered, “Well, that’s the way my mother always did it.”

Intrigued even further (and the wife was getting curious at this point too) the couple decided to call the wife’s grandmother. Once on the phone, the wife asked, “Grandmother, why did you always cut your ham in half before cooking it?”

The grandmother replied, “Well, my pan wasn’t big enough to hold an entire ham so I could only cook half at a time.”

Sometimes traditions are not what they seem – or even necessary.

Sometimes though the way it’s always been done isn’t the right way at all – or the way God is calling you to do it now. Christian growth is a constant process of shedding old things, putting them away so that we can grow more in Him – and that means putting many traditions behind us.

What traditions are you holding on to that are holding you back from all that God has for you? What traditions are you holding on to that you are infecting others with, thus stunting their spiritual growth as well? Every thing we do, every thing we say affects someone else, whether it’s family, friends, people we work with, people we go to church with – and people we aren’t even aware are watching us.

Don’t believe that what you do in your own walk with God does not affect someone else – that is a lie straight from hell.

Today I challenge you to break free from tradition. Pray for new eyes as you examine your traditions and ask the Lord to give you wisdom as you put things behind you – and pick new things up. Ask for understanding as you study scripture, that God speak to you and guide you to where He wants you to be. Ask for His thoughts to be yours, His words to be yours, and let your actions reflect it.

Ask for strength as you break free from the bonds of tradition. You will encounter resistance in yourself and those influenced by you. We are called to be lovers of truth though and we must seek it, hunger for it, teach it. Yes, some will turn away but Jesus Himself warned us of this. We may lose friends, family members, congregations (2 Timothy 4:2-4), but for each one who walks away from you God will reward your obedience by replacing it with a hungry soul.

We are called to love God first and foremost but the second greatest commandment – to love your neighbor as yourself – is equally important. See, it isn’t just about loving others enough to reach out, help them, and feed them. It is about loving them enough to lead them to Christ and His beautiful, wonderful truth. You love yourself enough to work out your own salvation but do you truly love others as you love yourself? Do you love them enough to share the gospel with them, to teach them not just scripture but scriptural truth that may challenge some of their closely held traditions?

It is time to be bold in your faith. It is time to lay down human traditions and follow God. In Matthew 15:1-20 Jesus has a lot to say about tradition. Every tradition should be held up to scripture with prayer for understanding and wisdom (and a submissive spirit). Then as God’s convictions lead to the laying down of traditions obedience is essential.

I ask again, what traditions are you holding on to that are holding you back from all that God has for you? What traditions are you holding on to that you are infecting others with, thus stunting their spiritual growth?

Faithless America

Prayer_for_USA

My husband and I have often wondered how this issue of homosexual marriage and similar agendas were getting so much leverage when that is, in fact, that portion of our society is very small (about 1 percent). Don’t get me wrong, we love the souls but the sin is condemned vehemently in the Bible in both the Old and New Testament. In Romans 1:26-28 we read that God sees homosexuality as the result of a debased mind, it is a dishonorable passion. The Bible also specifically says that homosexuals will not inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Homosexuality is contrary to sound doctrine (1 Timothy 1:10). That is tragic.

I have seen many people who claim to be Christians stand on the side of homosexuality, supporting it, condoning it and I’ve often wondered how can they profess to love God and condone a sin that He abhors (Leviticus 20:13)? How can they claim to live for God yet support laws that directly violate His word?

I have determined that there are a handful of reasons that this occurs:

They have not studied to show themselves approved. They don’t get into the Word, study it, know it, and live by it.

They have been deceived by the world to believe that God should only be present in your personal life but has no place in the world – the recent Kim Davis (KY clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples) debates are an excellent illustration of this.

They have been deceived by the world to believe that homosexuals are born gay. This theory was disproven in 2008 and there is absolutely no scientific evidence to confirm that anyone is born gay. Situations can occur in a person’s life that can set the stage for homosexual tendencies very early on, but no one is born that way. Plus, the thought that God would create a person to be what He condemns is just ludicrous.

They have been deceived by an anti-Christ platform. This makes a great deal of sense and I have recently seen it in action.

Faithful America is a self-proclaimed “Christian” organization that boasts more than 300,000 members. It runs “campaigns” that supposedly right the wrongs that those who are serving God allegedly commit. It paints Bible believing Christians to be religious zealots who are hateful bigots. It is designed to discredit the true Christians who are serving the Lord and make them a minority in our country. And it does it all in the name of God.

This “Faithful America” is a vicious cult that warps the minds of people who love God and want to serve Him but perhaps have a weak foundation or are new to the faith. It uses powerful pathos but no scriptural references to sway its followers turning them into emotionally led, religious zombies who with every step are taken further away from the Word of God.

They run “campaigns” on their website encouraging their members and visitors to sign petitions to support their causes. One such “campaign” that is currently up is to reinstate a pastor who was “forced out” of his church for being gay.

If you read your Bible and actually try to apply what is in the book to your life then you know that homosexuality is considered a sin in God’s eyes. Yes, He loves the soul – all Christians do. But the sin is not acceptable to Him and anyone living in sin on a daily basis cannot effectively pastor a church and should not pastor a church.

Now this is not to say that someone living the homosexual lifestyle cannot be forgiven of that sin. In order for that to happen though, they must repent. And some of them do – the first part anyway where they ask for forgiveness of their sins. They completely omit the second part of repentance though – to go forth and sin no more.

Once they repent they have to stop living that sinful life.

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. ~Proverbs 28:13

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. ~Acts 3:19

But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. ~Ezekiel 18:21

A person cannot live in sin, repent, then return to their sinful ways. That is not how it works. If someone hit you, said they were sorry, and you forgave them how would you feel if they turned around and purposely hit you again? It would make that apology invalid, wouldn’t it? They weren’t sincerely apologizing because they had no intention of stopping what they were doing. That is what happens when people “repent” then willfully return to their sin especially when they repent yet have every intention of returning to their sin.

People who are living the homosexual lifestyle can be delivered from that sin – and many have.

However, Faithful America would have you believe that this unnatural perversion that God Himself has called an abomination is perfectly natural and that those who practice the lifestyle are not in sin and can continue in it without fear of judgment by God. That is tragically false teaching.

This organization is really pushing the gay agenda right now. It is perverting the Christian faith to deceive Christians into carrying out its anti-Christ mission. It is a tool of the enemy to create a population of lukewarm Christians that God will spew from His mouth at judgment (Revelation 3:15-16).

If you are not with Jesus then you are against Him (Matthew 12:30).

Faithful America is perverting true, Bible based Christian values. In a recent email where they referred to Kim Davis as a “bigot” and called those who stood with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins (who spoke out against homosexuality) “religious-right extremists.” They also boasted that under their direction, Faithful American members had inundated CBS with complaints about Perkins calling for his removal.

These “Christians” are being called into the world under the guise of a fabricated God who tolerates sin and looks the other way when people violate His holy word.

That is not the nature of the one, true God.

If you have fallen into the snare of the enemy called Faithful American then what you are doing is not the will of God. It is not scriptural and it is supporting sin. Your association with this organization and, worse, your support, is directly harming true Bible believing Christians.

As Christians we are called out of the world (John 15:19), to be separate and apart. The Bible tells us that we are not to love the world or the things of the world. If we love the world (or follow the world) then we do not love God (1 John 2:15-17).

Faithful America is a tool of the enemy to destroy the Christian faith, pervert it, and send souls to hell. It is setting the stage for the rule and reign of the anti-christ by twisting the minds of Christians, turning them away from their Bibles, and numbing them to sin so they will accept it as good.

God has so much for you than what this deceitful organization offers. If you truly desire to serve God then there is no room in your life for the organization Faithful America – or anything else like it.

Wake up!

The Victim

No-Victim2

I recently had a pretty scary experience.

I was experiencing pain in my body, an achiness that did not come from overexertion or stress to that area. I started investigation and discovered a mass. I don’t have health insurance so I began searching for a clinic I could go to so I could get checked out. Every place I called told me that, based on the symptoms I was describing, that I needed to be seen ASAP. Yet they all either had no available appointments or their available appointments were months away. I even had a doctor from one of the clinics call me and apologize for not being able to get me in but stressed that I definitely needed to be seen quickly.

After several days I did get an appointment – a month away. The woman who scheduled it told me to keep trying to get in earlier because my symptoms indicated that I should not wait. The next morning my husband told me to find a doctor and we would just pay out of pocket. He would move some of our expenses around. We really couldn’t afford it, but we had faith.

I got into a clinic and saw the doctor a day or so later – it was a Thursday. I will never forget her solemn face, even her eyes looked serious, as she said, and “This doesn’t look good. I would be very concerned.” She had found a mass, an uneven mass along with visibly swollen lymph nodes near the area. She sent me for diagnostic testing, telling me that I needed to do it as soon as possible.

The following day, Friday, I called and got an appointment for Monday afternoon. The woman I spoke to agreed that I needed to be seen ASAP because of my symptoms. This left me to wait the entire weekend not knowing anything.

I had been praying since the moment I discovered the mass. I prayed for God to take it away. I prayed for Him to help me, strengthen me. For a few hours I even gave in to fear.

But fear is a choice and I choose to trust God.

Sadness, fear, anxiety, those things are easy – they are only surrender. It is also easy for them to creep up on you and take hold. But God did not give us a spirit of fear. Therefore it is not natural to us. Fear is not a part of God’s plan for us. We can choose to fear or we can choose to trust God. We always have a choice.

That Sunday as I sat in church I began hurting. I couldn’t sit still. It almost drove me out of the sanctuary. But I said, “NO. I won’t leave. I am going to stay right here.” And I sat, fidgeting in pain.

At altar call I began to pray for healing, tears streaming down my face, but then something came over me. I got just plain mad. I realized I don’t have to just sit and take this while waiting to be rescued. I have been baptized in the NAME of Jesus which means I have been baptized into His authority. I have all of His power and authority.

I began speaking to the infirmity, cursing it, rebuking it. I told it that my body isn’t even mine, it is a temple for God’s spirit. I reminded it that I have been baptized in the NAME of Jesus so I come in His authority. I have the power and this mess in my body does not. I told it that it had to leave in the name of Jesus.

I felt a warmth over the area of the pain and where the mass was, like a heating pad covered me. Then the pain went away and did not come back.

The following day the technician had to ask me to show her where the mass was because it was so small she couldn’t find it. The tests showed NO swelling in my lymph nodes and the mass that had been uneven and lumpy was now perfectly smooth and much smaller.

When the doctor came in to tell me that I was find and the “lump” was nothing to concern me, I told him of the swelling. He looked confused, stumbled over his words a bit as he said, “I don’t know what to tell you, but there is no swelling or inflammation at all now.”

I walked out of there so relieved and happy.

But there was still a tiny lump, a cyst they said. It was no longer grape sized, more like pebble sized. It was still there – but it was no longer a concern. Praise God!

The next day I was getting dressed and it hit me, pray against what is left in your body. So I began warring again. I told the enemy that I was not even giving him a toehold on me, that he had to leave completely and immediately.

By the end of the day even I couldn’t’ find the lump.

As I prayed this morning, Jesus opened understanding for me in all of this. See, over the last year or so I have been pretty beat up by people and events. I have been really, really hurt by people I trusted.

I forgave them and began working to restore the relationships. I went on as if nothing had happened. But there was still a vestige of the hurt that was left behind, much like this “pebble” inside me now.. It was still very easy for me to say, “They hurt me” and I could still feel a spark or remnant of that forgotten pain.

Like that mass in my body, I had gotten rid of the really dangerous part – or what I believed to be the dangerous part. However, what was left was what was really dangerous – the little toehold that the enemy had on me reminding me that the hurt is still there, the tiny lump is still there. And I knew I was not completely healed – physically, emotionally, or spiritually.

I still had a victim mentality even after the good news I had received, even after restoring the relationships. I was still a victim because I still felt the tiny lump, still felt the memory of the hurt those people caused.

God did not create us to be victims and He has given us the tools to free ourselves from the bondage of victimhood. Even though I had forgiven and moved on – or so I thought – still being able to say, “They hurt me” was leaving a door open for the enemy to slip in. I had to close that door and curse those memories, those thoughts, that old pain. I had to get rid of that emotional pebble that was creating a spiritual pebble.

It’s all or nothing with God. We are either all in or all out. I claimed to be all in, but how could I be when I was still clinging to those memories and that pain. And just how much had I really forgiven those people if I still remembered, was still able to say, They hurt me?

I had to let it go, fully, completely, and without reservation; exactly as I am supposed to be living for God.

Are you still clinging to old hurts? Does the enemy have a toehold on your life? Do you need to break the bonds of victimhood? Maybe it is time to go to war!