Learning to Love Yourself

We are often taught at a very young age we are not good enough, or we are taught that we are strange and not “normal.”  We waste time in life trying to be good enough and wearing masks trying to prove we fit in.

One of the young ladies that I coach recently had to face the fact that she so desired to be “normal” that she found a matronly woman in the community who fit her definition of “normal.”  She put the matron on a pedestal and steered her life in the direction of this woman.

It caused her to walk down the wrong path as she matured in Christ.  Her tree was growing crooked because she was bending to this woman was instead of becoming who God created her to be.  She had to take this “normal” woman off her pedestal and repent for hating her own life.

The woman I coach was rejecting her own path because she wasn’t trusting that God had written a good story for her life.  Friends – no one on earth is the epitome of normal.

In fact, there is no normal on earth, because heaven should be our normal.  Instead of striving to be “normal,” we should strive to be authentic.

We will be free from pressure and free from insecurity when we become ALL that God has created us to be. We will never be happy pursuing someone else’s life.  This is a counterfeit path that requires us to pretend to be someone we’re not.  We spin our wheels and never become our authentic self because we are pursuing an inferior and human definition of “normal.”

God doesn’t use cookie cutters.  He uses a potter’s wheel when creating us.

You are unique and you are loved just the way you are.  Ask God to show you who He created you to be.

Ask Him to take off the masks and to uproot the lies that you aren’t good enough.  One of the most overlooked aspects to love – is learning to love yourself!

Don’t be normal.  Be you!

Prophecy: "Misfits" are rising up in the Kingdom of God!

A WORD FROM THE LORD ABOUT "MISFITS" IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD:

I am calling all "misfits" to My throne, for now is the day of the "misfits."

Those of you who have been discarded by society because you didn't fit into their paradigm.  Those of you who think a little outside of the box and have been shunned as weird or odd.  Those of you who can never seem to fit inside the cookie cutter that the Pharisees have demanded you conform to, I am calling you to Myself.

I never demanded that anyone fit inside a preformed mold.  I created each and every soul differently... and I like it that way!

You are not misfits-you are Mine!!

There is a place for you inside My heart.  Right in the center! There is a plan that I have for those that the world deems misfits.  My plan is to take you and turn the world upside down. My plan is to use My misfits and set My people on fire! My plan is to use those the world and the church have discarded for My glory!

If you have been labeled a misfit - rejoice for that is exactly what I was!  I did not fit in.  I did not conform. I didn't care what anyone thought of me, I only cared what My Heavenly Father thought!

Do you remember that I used a host of "misfits" to plant My Kingdom?

Remember the parable of Rudolph and the Misfit Toys?  They all ended up saving the day.

There is going to be a day when those who have discarded you will have great need of you.  Keep your heart right with Me. Forgive those who rejected you and refused you... they did the same with Me.

Keep your eyes and your mind focused on Me!  The best is yet to come!

I Am Your Creator and I made you perfectly!

Come and listen to My thoughts about who you are.  Get yourself ready!

Dwell in the perfect love of My heart. This is where you belong!!!

The Most Important Thing a Parent Can Give Their Child

My family is in the midst of a seasonal change in life.  My eldest is spreading his wings and going his own way.  We had supper with him the other night before he left for his summer job which is 4.5 hours away. 

Even though I know my job as a mother is not finished, my role will be changing and it’s time to turn the page.

As we were driving to the restaurant, I posed a question to the Lord.  It was probably due to my melancholy state of mind as my first son was moving to a new phase. 

I said, “Lord what is the most important thing a parent could give their child?  And did I do it?”

I didn’t know what He would say.  Would the answer be helping him to know God’s voice or giving Him an understanding in His Word.  Was the most important thing humility or trusting that God’s will was always better than my son’s will?

I had so many things on my list of what the most important thing could be…

Father God’s answer to me was a bit of a surprise, “The most important thing you have given your sons was an identity rooted in Me.”

As I pondered God’s answer, it made a lot of sense to me.

If my sons have an identity rooted in their Heavenly Father, they will never be orphans.   If my husband or myself is taken from this world earlier in life – my sons will always have their Heavenly Father.

They know Who created them and that He has a purpose for them in this life, because they are rooted in the family of God.

My sons can have peace because they KNOW that they are perfectly loved by their Heavenly Father.  No matter who rejects them in this earthly life – their peace can never be taken from them because they know Whose opinion really matters.

They will never need to be worried about being provided for or protected.  Their Father in Heaven knows their every need, all they need to do is ask.

They have assurance that no matter what life brings them, they are sons of the Most High.  Their identity rests in the knowledge that they are co-heirs with Christ.

If their identity is truly rooted in the Heavenly Father – nothing will be impossible for them, nothing is ever truly lost, they will never be powerless, they will always have Someone watching over them to help them achieve greatness.

If you have not helped your children to understand that they have a great big Heavenly Daddy who loves them more than anything, then today is the day to give them the most important thing a parent can give them.

Tell them their Dad in Heaven is watching over them, that He is FOR them, and that nothing shall be impossible as long as they seek His will FIRST!

God's Word says… You have permission to like yourself

Sometimes we get caught up in the do's and the don'ts of God's Word.  But truthfully, if we would take a longer look, there's a lot more freedom in the Word than you may have been led to believe.

Jesus came to set you FREE from the law and free from your shame.

Use every freedom His cross has afforded you!  The blood of Jesus paid for your freedom.  There is LIBERTY in being in Christ.

The Word of God says…

You have permission to like yourself.

You have permission consider yourself a winner/champion.

You have permission to think you are beautiful (handsome).

You have permission to consider yourself royalty.

You have permission to be who God created you to be instead of who others have told you to be.

You have permission to think of yourself as God’s favorite.

You have permission to run the race like you are going to win!

You have permission to fully embrace the call of God in your life without feeling prideful.

You have permission to fail and not get mad at yourself.

You have permission to lay down past shame.

You have permission to raise your head and straighten your spine no matter what your past sins have been.

You have permission to have a sad day here and there.

You have permission to rejoice even during your worst day.

You have permission to fail forward.

You have permission to pour out your complaint to God.

You have permission to walk away from negative people.

You have permission to draw boundaries with people.

You have permission to tell people NO.

You have permission to not agree with everyone.

You have permission to get angry when people sin.

You have permission to be hated.

You have permission to tell God YES even if people try to convince you otherwise.

You have permission to speak openly about what God has done for you.

You have permission to speak the truth even if it hurts another person’s feelings.

You have permission to reach out to the “undesirables.”

You have permission to step out on the water, even if you sink.

You have permission to be a bright and shining lamp that fills an entire room.

You have permission to take some time for yourself and rest.

You have permission to eat dessert.

You have permission to be single and still whole.

You have permission to not have children and still be whole.

You have permission to not apologize for being you.

You have permission to dance while you worship.

You have permission to enjoy your life.

You have permission to believe in yourself and who God created you to be!

Dealing with Trauma Between the Layers of Our Soul

When my mother died from breast cancer, I was a mere four years old. I don’t have many memories of her that I can recall. I remember going to get her a blanket. I remember making a cake with her for my fourth birthday party. I remember my aunt and dad telling me she had died. At four years old, my cognizance wasn’t quite developed yet. I didn’t understand.

While my mind wasn’t able to hold onto those early days of my life nor to the trauma of my mother’s departure…my soul remembers all of it.

My soul remembers questioning “Where’s mama?” My soul remembers questioning “Why is grandma crying?” My soul remembers everyone being so sad and people feeling sorry for me. My soul remembers the words that people spoke over me. “Poor Tisha.” My soul remembers every detail, every lie, every pain and every sorrow.

The problem is my soul remembers…but my mind doesn’t.

Later my dad remarried and then divorced when I was eight. It was again traumatic and I got caught up in an emotional storm that was not my fault. Emotions and reactions and selfish motives by adults sent me spiraling once again into a feeling of powerlessness that hid itself in the pages of my soul.

I tried to eat to comfort myself and gained weight. I couldn’t process my pain – so I reached for comfort. I didn’t know that Jesus could hold me or that I could go to Him with my pain. So I turned to an idol of food instead. An idol that stayed with me for many more years. But it was an idol that betrayed me (as they all do).

A secret comforter found its way into the layers of my soul. Food was my friend, only that’s what the devil deceived me into believing. My idolatry had consequences. My dad told me I was getting fat… more rejection, more darkness planted in the recesses of my soul.

I was sent to live on a farm with distant family members who lived a completely different lifestyle than I was used to. It didn’t make sense to me. I had no words to explain my emotions. I never fit in, even though I tried, the farm just never made sense to me.

I was adopted into a family who already had three girls. I ended up to be a dethroned first child. Self-pity was a thick layer in the foundation of my soul. Poor Tisha.

I never really connected with my adopted dad. He was a good provider, but I wasn’t really his daughter and we both knew it. The layers of darkness that the enemy continued to compound into the pages of my soul were being deposited there and I didn’t even know it.

Lie after lie was being planted into my story.

“I’m not good enough.”

“I’ll never be normal.”

“Why can’t I just belong?”

“No one really wants me.”

“I’m a burden.”

“Life will always be a string of suffering circumstances.”

“I’ll never be beautiful.”

“God wants me to suffer.”

“I’m being rebellious if I speak up.”

“I’ll be just like my birth father if I’m not careful.”

“Poor Tisha.”

“I’m powerless to change anything.”

Most of these lies I didn’t even realize were being planted… but my soul knew.

This twisting of my identity was exactly what the devil wanted. He wanted to confuse me about who I was in the Lord. He was trying to steal my God-given purpose and render me ineffective.

I pushed the rejection and lies into a corner of my mind and shut the door to them in order to function. But I dealt with pretty steep bouts of depression. I didn’t realize it but I was in a deep dark prison in my soul. I didn’t understand how the devil had a foothold – or more than that – how to get free from the bondage I was in.

When our minds don’t recall a specific trauma or lie, we are unable to process it, grieve it, find the truth and ultimately let it go.

One of the main reasons I could not process my trauma was because I was too young and didn’t remember. Another reason was because I was in denial and had put the trauma on lockdown in my heart. Denial is a coping mechanism that is part of the grieving process. But if we deny there’s been trauma for a long period of time there is no way to truly address it. Ultimately, we must acknowledge that there are hidden things in the pages of our soul that need to be loosed from it in order to be set free. It is the truth that sets us free. It is the denial of truth that keeps us in bondage.

I’ve met people who were violently raped – who had no way to process their pain – so they stuck it in the dark recesses of their mind trying to forget it.

But denying and forgetting the pain doesn’t work.

It must be processed. Just as if you had been shot by a bullet. The bullet of the trauma must be removed if healing is going to happen. If the bullet remains inside the body, the wound will never heal right.

But if the bullet is extracted the wound can be addressed and true healing can begin. Think about this… the bullet itself is not the wound. The bullet causes the wound but then lodges itself into our hearts. The bullet is a lie or sin inside of the wound that keeps us in constant suffering.

The devil is not stupid. He is cunning, and he has been around thousands of years to know what it takes to paralyze God’s people. There are many ways to get us to feel powerless against him. Lies, fear, witchcraft, generational curses, soul ties, idolatry, bitterness, jealousy and so on and so on.

One of the ways the devil incapacitates us is to wound us when we are young. Then he uses the opportunity while we are wounded to plant a weed in our hearts.

Until the weeds are uprooted we remain injured, and that injury can cause all kinds of havoc in our lives and to those closest to us.

In the midst of suffering, we can become bitter and full of rage. We can even rage at the Lord for allowing the suffering. The enemy knows exactly how to get us all twisted up in our souls.

He even knows how to separate our minds from our souls so we can’t seem to find out what it is we’re mad about. It’s like he’s able to put us in a prison of pain through legal footholds he has gained through sin and lies. And then he covers up the prison with a veil over our minds making us feel powerless to get free.

One of the biggest lies that the enemy has planted in our hearts is that getting free from trauma and sin has to take a long period of time. This is not true.

We can be delivered.

We can be healed and made whole.

The cross paid for it.

But we must BELIEVE it!

Steps to Wholeness:

The first step to healing from the trauma in our soul is to pray for deliverance.

You can pray the Psalm 143 to the Lord. Ask Him to find the weeds of darkness between the layers of your soul and deliver you from any weeds that are planted there.

Psalm 143  (ESV)

My Soul Thirsts for You

A Psalm of David.

Hear my prayer, O Lord;

give ear to my pleas for mercy!

In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness!

2 Enter not into judgment with your servant,

for no one living is righteous before you.

3 For the enemy has pursued my soul;

he has crushed my life to the ground;

he has made me sit in darkness like those long dead.

4 Therefore my spirit faints within me;

my heart within me is appalled.

5 I remember the days of old;

I meditate on all that you have done;

I ponder the work of your hands.

6 I stretch out my hands to you;

my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah

7 Answer me quickly, O Lord!

My spirit fails!

Hide not your face from me,

lest I be like those who go down to the pit.

8 Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,

for in you I trust.

Make me know the way I should go,

for to you I lift up my soul.

9 Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord!

I have fled to you for refuge.

10 Teach me to do your will,

for you are my God!

Let your good Spirit lead me

on level ground!

11 For your name's sake, O Lord, preserve my life!

In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble!

12 And in your steadfast love you will cut off my enemies,

and you will destroy all the adversaries of my soul, for I am your servant.

Becoming Bapticostal – Understanding Deliverance

I have written before about my journey in becoming a spirit filled Baptist. 

You can read more about that by clicking HERE.

I grew up mostly in the American Baptist church and I had a fabulous foundation in the Word of God and in the power of prayer.  But the Holy Spirit was largely a mystery to me – especially the ‘scary’ part of the Holy Spirit.  The weirdness of speaking in tongues, the interpretation of tongues, deliverance from demons and the more dramatic display of God’s character was never part of my upbringing.

However, when I was about 28, I experienced my first deliverance.  The sweetest woman could see that my heart and mind were all tied up in knots because my birth father had abandoned me at the age of eight.  She invited me to her home to pray with me.  I had no idea that what she was really going to do was to deliver me from the trauma and lies that surrounded a deeply painful time in my life.

I did not understand at the time that the enemy was playing havoc with my emotions because of some darkness and lies he had planted in the layers of my soul.  The devil used the trauma to cause me to question my identity and even more – he caused me to question the goodness of God.

As the Holy Spirit worked in my spirit and through my friend that day, He brought a picture to the front of my mind.  I was a confused little golden princess in the middle of a pig pen and I was covered with slop.  This is why my identity was never clear to me.  I didn’t understand who I was.  

My question to the Lord was this:  If I was a golden princess – why was I covered with ‘slop’ that other people threw on me?

As I continued in watching the vision, the slop began to fall from the little golden princess.  Underneath all of that mud – she was still golden.  Then the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said, “The mud only sticks if you let it.”

I cried so hard.  I had been letting the opinion of other people influence my identity and who I was.  This was not the truth.  The truth was that I was a princess and my Father is the King.  It doesn’t matter what people say or what circumstances come my way – none of it changes the fact that I am a daughter of the King.

Now – because the lie was uprooted – the truth could make its way into my heart.  Having the truth rooted in my heart caused me to be DELIVERED from a spirit of self-pity.  I felt so much lighter and my spirit soared on the way home.  The darkness that had lodged itself between the layers of my soul was removed and I was free!

It was such an awesome experience and I felt so much better after being delivered that I just HAD to find out more about it.  I had been quite mistaken about what deliverance really was.  Because deliverance is not someone shaking on the floor and having demons come out of them.

Deliverance is being set free from the prisons in our own hearts and minds.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a spiritual warfare side to deliverance where we actually get delivered from demons – but demons don’t have to “manifest” in the natural in order to be delivered from them.

What I came to understand is that wherever I am in sin or in agreement with the devil, his demons have a right to torment me.  Every time I repent from my own sin or the sins of my ancestors, I take away a loophole that the enemy can use to negatively influence me through.  Every time I refuse to agree with his lies, I am delivered into the truth and the enemy has no grounds to torment me with his demonic records playing over and over in my mind.

Being delivered from our enemy is simply learning to untangle ourselves from the kingdom of darkness.  When we sanctify ourselves, by repenting of sins and uprooting lies in our hearts, the Kingdom of God grows a little more inside of us.

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins

.  Colossians 1:13-14

Since understanding deliverance, I have been able to help many people be “DELIVERED” from the kingdom of darkness and into the Kingdom of God’s beloved Son.

May the Lord help us to not be afraid of deliverance!  In the hundreds and hundreds of people that I have prayed deliverance prayers with – I have never seen an outright manifestation of a demon.  This is because we have authority over them and command them not to manifest.

The Body of Christ doesn’t know it – but we are desperate for deliverance!  We are tolerating the enemy’s tormenting lies.  We are tolerating depression and self-pity and anxiety because we don’t understand how deliverance works.  We need to become better equipped to pull down strongholds.

For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.

2 Corinthians 10:4

Deliverance is not scary… it’s necessary!

Let us continue to bridge the Baptist / Charismatic divide and ask the Lord to equip us for DELIVERANCE!

Believers: Are You Willing to be Crucified for This?

During this Easter season the Lord kept pointing to a new revelation.  It wasn’t really new.  It’s always been there. But it was new to me and I’m so glad He pointed it out to me.

My life verse is Philippians 3:10-11 

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

It is my deepest desire that I might know Jesus in His sufferings.  Every time I go through a trial or tribulation I ask the Lord to help me to know Him in His sufferings.  How did He feel when people mocked Him?  How did He feel when He was falsely accused?  How did He feel when one of His best friends denied Him?

If I can understand His sufferings, then I can know Him.  I don’t want to know about Him – I want to know His ways and His character so that I can become like Him.

So I constantly pursue to know Him in His death.

This Easter season He made a revelation plain to me.

There was only one reason that they crucified Jesus.  It was because He refused to give up His identity.

As I read over the crucifixion story in the different gospels, I kept seeing it over and over again.  “Who are you?”  “Who do you think you are?”  “Where does your authority come from?”  Are you the king of the Jews?” “Are you the Son of God?”  “Aren’t you the Christ?  Save yourself!”

Jesus did not fear them.  He was humble and stood boldly.  He did not back away from who He was. He did not deny Himself.  He let them mock.  He let them spit.  He let them beat Him.  He let them nail Him to a tree.  But He would not submit to their demands that He deny who He was.

Jesus refused to bow His soul to the Pharisees and to the worldly government that had him crucified.

If you want to know Christ in His death and become like Him… you will have to be willing to be crucified rather than giving up your identity as a child of the Most High.

Are you willing to live as a martyr every day?

Are you willing to take the beating and the mocking and the spitting in your face as you fulfill the purpose God has you here for?

Mark 8:34-38 If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it

. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? 

For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Jesus was willing to let them crucify Him, rather than giving up His soul.  If He would have bowed down to them and let them bully Him out of His identity – He would have failed in His purpose.

Are you letting other people tell you who you are?

Are you letting people bully you out of your identity?

Are you afraid of what men will do to you if you refuse to bow your soul to their demands?

My friends, it is time reclaim our souls that we have forfeited to the world.  It is time to reclaim our souls from the Pharisees who have demanded our compliance in order to be accepted.

We are sons and daughters of the Most High God!  We are proud of the central figure of our faith. We are not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Rise up people of God.  Let them crucify you if they want… but never, NEVER, NEVER bow your soul to them!!

Know who you are in Christ.  Then hang onto it with everything you’ve got.  Your identity in Christ is the most important thing you own, don’t give it away!

Knowing God as Mr. Miyagi

It is incredibly important to know the character of the God we serve.  We can get frustrated really quickly with our Heavenly Father if we do not understand his M.O.  His Mode of Operation is pertinent in understanding our place as His children.

When we don’t understand what the Father is doing or how His character is being played out in our lives, we can make stupid decisions or worse we can become disobedient because we misunderstand Him.

Unfortunately, I speak from a wealth of experiences of poorly made decisions and even disobedience because I have not understood the time or season God was using to build me up to accomplish my purpose.

Sometimes in our seasons of discipline, God is a lot like Mr. Miyagi from the movie “The Karate Kid.”

In the movie, Daniel, a teenager, wants to learn Karate.  He asks Mr. Miyagi to train him, but Mr. Miyagi begins to ask Daniel to do strange things like waxing his car, sanding the floor, painting the fence and painting the house.  This makes Daniel furious because he feels like a free laborer for Mr. Miyagi.  He almost quits and walks away.

If you want a little nostalgic video – CLICK HERE!!

What Daniel doesn’t understand is that Mr. Miyagi wasn’t really using Daniel for his own purposes.  He was using the opportunity to train Daniel in defensive Karate moves.  Daniel became very strong in these moves because he did them over and over and over again.

I have had times in my life when I felt “abused” by God because He was asking me to do something over and over again that seemingly was getting me nowhere.

I worked at a food pantry handing out groceries to the poor for four years.  And while it was satisfying to help the needy, it became monotonous.  Anybody who has spent some time in a nonprofit organization like this can understand that constantly handing out food to a group of people who are somewhat ungrateful can grate on your nerves.  (Not everyone was ungrateful – but those who are can easily make you lose your compassion if you don’t constantly check your heart!  Jesus was kind to the wicked and ungrateful. Luke 6:35)

I didn’t know at the time that I needed to understand this group of people because God wanted me to help them out of poverty.  I didn’t understand that handing out groceries three times a week would help me to empathize with people in poverty and realize the mindset that keeps them in chains to it.  I can now minister to the poor because of the monotonous motion of handing out groceries! 

(Read more by clicking HERE.)

God was being like Mr. Miyagi to me.  He was giving me a skill that I did not know I needed.  I had some self-pity about it while “waxing the car,” but I am really glad that God made me do it and that I did not quit too soon!

God was like Mr. Miyagi to several people in the Word as well.

God made David stay in the palace with King Saul.  Saul wanted to kill David and even threw spears at him.  God was training David in the midst of a very hard season.  David learned not to throw spears back.  And he learned how NOT to be a king.

God did the same thing with Joseph.  Even though Joseph was sold into slavery and then unjustly into prison, God was Mr. Miyagi to him because He taught Joseph how to be an administrator in the seemingly mundane circumstances.  None of Joseph’s trials were wasted – He rose up to save an entire nation from famine…all because God made him “wax the car.”

Maybe God has you in a place right now that seems like you aren’t going anywhere.  Maybe the people around you hate you or you have been placed in a really difficult circumstance where you have to constantly keep your love on.

Perhaps God is using His Mr. Miyagi trick on you?  Perhaps He is training you in all the right places. You may be gaining muscles in the very area needed in order to fulfill your purpose. 

Trust the Lord in the narrow place.  Obey Him if He asks you to wax the car, sand the floor, or paint the house. 

Nothing is wasted in the Kingdom of God.  Ask the Lord to open your eyes to what He might be doing and whatever you do …. DON’T QUIT!!!

Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

Why Women of God Need to Transition from Princess to Queen

I remember a few years ago when the Holy Spirit was calling me higher into maturity.  One of the things that I had to overcome was my mindset of being a Princess.

During this season the Lord gave me a picture of a chess board.  He kept pointing to the Queen and said, “I need for you to be this!  The Queen is the most versatile piece on the chess board.  You are not living up to your authority.  You have more power in the game than you realize.”

I desired to be Deborah.  I desired to be Esther.  I desired to be a bold Prophet.  But I had no idea how far away from truly being a Queen that I was. 

In my mind, in my heart – I was a Princess.

…but I was not a Queen.

To climb higher I had to allow the Lord to shift me from feeling helpless to being powerful.  I had to shift from the one being saved to the one doing the saving.

Before God called me higher, I thought of myself a bold and strong and certainly not helpless.  But I came to the conclusion that I felt way more “helpless” than I realized.

The Lord began to deal with the lies in my mind.  They sounded something like this:

Lie #1:  As a woman, I am weak and it is a man’s job to save me.

Truth:  The whole word of God is applicable to women too.  God warns us that we will stand before synagogue rulers and authorities, He will give us what to say. (Luke 12:11)  We are called to confront sin, even sin that is committed by men.  We are called to be Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers and Evangelists – this means we LEAD!  We are also called to business like Lydia (Acts 16:14) or the Proverbs 31 woman.  We cannot always expect the men to do the leading.  Women are also called to lead.

Lie #2  I need permission from people to be strong and powerful.

Truth:  As a Queen in God’s kingdom, I do not need another human’s permission to be strong, powerful, or to lead.  My King is Christ.  I obey only Him.  Of course, we never undermine God’s established authority unless we are given the directive by God to so.  God ALWAYS trumps earthly authority, we must simply know with certainty that He is calling us to exert His authority. 

When our power or authority is not received from others, we do not throw a fit, we do not control the situation, we do not demand anything – we simply speak the truth and if it is not received we wipe the dust from our feet and rest in the truth of where our authority comes from.  A Princess feels rejected but a Queen does not get offended.

Lie #3  I must be concerned with my reputation.

A Princess is focused on “me.”  A Queen is focused on those she leads and their welfare, even if her reputation takes a hit when making noble decisions.  A Queen is not a people pleaser and is OK with saying “no” to people.

Lie #4   I need the praise and recognition for my accomplishments.

A Princess compares herself with others, having a need to be better than other women.  Therefore, she lives on the praise of others.  But a Queen knows who she is, a child of the Most High.  She is not spoiled in any way and receives praise with elegance and humility.  A Queen never needs recognition.  Any recognition she does receive is immediately put in her King’s account.

The women in the Body of Christ must make the shift from Princess to Queen.  The Body of Christ has great need of you daughter of the Most High!  We need for you to carry a scepter of authority in the spiritual realm and the natural realm.

 Ask the Lord if you are believing any lies?

Ask Him to make you bold and to help you rise up to your full potential as a Queen!

Steps to Wholeness:

My prayer for the women of God…

Father God I ask You to shift your daughters from being Princesses to being Queens.  I pray that every lie that is keeping them from rising up in their authority would be uprooted from their minds.  Renew their minds to be strong and bold and courageous.  I pray that Deborah’s would rise up and bring righteous judgment to the earth.  I pray for Esther’s to rise up and save her people from evil.  I pray for Lydia’s to rise up in the business world and to impact the world through wisdom and understanding.  I pray for the true understanding of the boldness and fearlessness of the Proverbs 31 woman.  May all of your daughters fully embrace the call to rule and reign!

Stop letting what other people think of you control your life!

I know it’s a process.  But there comes a point in Christian maturity when we must learn to only be concerned with what our Creator thinks of us.

We must be able to throw aside the opinion of other people and stand on the solid Rock of the words of Christ.

Man’s opinion about who you and how valuable you are is like building your foundation on the sand.

God’s opinion about who you and believing that His Word is true is building your foundation on the rock.

Matthew 7:24-27 - The Wise and Foolish Builders

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

The SHIFTING SAND of man’s opinion says:

You have worth if you are a winner.

We want to be your friend as long as you add something to our lives.

If John or Jane Doe Superstar thinks that you have value then you are valuable.

If you have a boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse/children/job then you have value.

If you look outwardly beautiful or handsome, you are valuable.

If you get a certain number of Instagram/Facebook likes/friends you are valuable.

If you have a certain amount of money or a certain lifestyle then you have value.

Basing your life on these opinions are like building your life on the shifting sand.  When the storms of life come and your circumstances change because of the storm – your feet will have nowhere to stand. 

However, if you REALLY believe the Word of God then you put His words into practice and build your life on God’s Truth (or opinion).

The ROCK of God’s opinion says:

There’s absolutely NOTHING in the world that can separate us from God’s love.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

We are loved perfectly by our creator!

For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)  Perfect love casts out fear. (1 John 4:18)

God didn’t “get stuck” with us; He chose us.

Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. (Ephesians 1:4)

For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:20)

God has a plan for us.  And no matter what happens in our lives, God can and will use it for good.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

For I know the plans I have for you… plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.  (Jeremiah 29:11)

We have direct access to God, which we can approach with freedom and confidence.

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

Jesus strengthens us in every single circumstance so that we can accomplish His will.

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

If you build your life on the sand… which is the world which is what people say about you.  If your foundation is built on people instead of God – when the rain comes… you will have nowhere to stand.

If you build your life on the Word of God and BELIEVE what it says about you – that no matter what comes against you – you are safe and you have value because of Jesus Christ.

Steps to Wholeness:

Father God forgive me for standing on the shifting sand of the world.  I want to stand on the Rock of Jesus Christ and The Word of God.  I repent for being concerned with man’s opinion.  I kick out the pedestal I have put their opinion on and I ask You to sit on the throne of my life in every way.  Thank You for loving me so completely.  If I know that You love me and have the best plans for my life – I will be firmly planted on the Rock and no person or storm can steal that from me!

Grant me Overcoming GRACE to stand on the Rock instead of the sand!

Be Real. Because Fake is Exhausting.

As I have reached middle age, I find that I have much greater peace about who God created me to be.

I like me. 

I’m okay with me.  And I don’t mind what others think or how I come across to them.  I am the authentic me.  What you see is what you get.  Some people are going to like the authentic me.  Some people are not going to like the authentic me.  But God loves me.  He created me to be His. 

I’m a little quirky, a lot bold and definitely bull headed.  But if all of those things are sanctified through His cleansing process – then they can all be used for His glory.   I like the me that God created.

It’s a great place to be.  Because it hasn’t always been that way.

In elementary school and high school, I tried to be what my classmates were.  I tried to be cool.  I tried to fit in.  But I never seemed to crack the code on what “cool” really was.  As I look back now, there were actually only two people who were “cool” the rest of us just tried to be like them every day.  That gets exhausting!  Trying to be someone else is draining! 

Trying to figure out what to wear and how to act and being educated about the latest sports/entertainment news in order to fit in was a bit comical at times.  Eventually, I got tired of being fake and simply decided to be me.

I decided my own taste in clothing.  I decided what I wanted to say.  I decided what I wanted to be entertained by.  I found the real me and that was good – but it was an unsanctified me.

As I grew in the Lord, I submitted who I was to Him.  I let Him sand me off.  I let Him set boundaries for me (and my bold mouth).  I let Him show me where my mind was not lining up with His (which is an ongoing process).  Instead of being me, I wanted to be Him.   My desire to become like Him became insatiable.  I wanted my words to be His.  I wanted my tone to be His.  I wanted to think like Jesus.

Part of that sanctification process becomes difficult when you realize how far away from His image you really are.  But once you are on your knees and willing to accept the truth about His ways, it becomes addicting. 

Becoming like Christ is the hardest and most satisfying experience of all.  And what you realize is that you didn’t really know Him as well as you thought you did. Because He is more loving, more holy, more fearsome, more patient than you could have ever known.

I like the sanctified me.

I don’t care if other church people think I’m too bold.  I don’t care if they think I’m a little too fierce. I don't care if the world thinks I'm too religious.  I am authentic.  I am His child.  I only answer to One.

The same is true of you.  God’s people don’t get to define who you are.  The world does not get to define who you are.  Only your Creator gets to do that.  No one can tell you the box that you have to fit into.  We're not created to be cookie cutters.

The you God created is perfect.  You don’t have to pretend.  You don’t have to be cool.  You just have to be His.

It’s high time we all took our masks off and learned to become like Jesus.

Be real.  Because fake is exhausting.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  Psalm 139:14

Steps to Wholeness:

Father God help me to become who You created me to be.  Let the opinions of men fall to the ground.  I want to be a sanctified me.  I want to become like You in every way.  I kneel before Your throne for the sanctification process.  Make me Yours.

I Dreamed that Donald Trump Was My Father – But It’s Not What You Think

The Dream

I had a dream that it came to light that I was actually a child of Donald Trump.  There was a file of DNA records and a photo confirming that my biological father was Donald Trump.

When the evidence was presented to the Trump family. They welcomed me with open arms.  They were incredibly nice.  About six months of time passed by in the dream.  The family just loved me and accepted me as one of their own.

I was able to watch how he did business and watch how he did the election.  I felt safe.  He was a VERY good father.   He ALWAYS hugged me every time I saw him – he was very genuine. I got to be with “my father” every Saturday for breakfast.

One day I remember that I hadn’t seen him in a while.  The whole family was getting ready to have breakfast together.  Donald, his wife, kids, and grandkids. It was quite enjoyable and there was no sibling rivalry – just love. I remember that he and his wife didn’t hold anything back from the kids (even as adults) they didn’t leave the room to talk about anything private.  It was all out front.  Everything was done in the open.

There was a great sense of peace and safety.  I felt secure and I felt deeply loved.  He was flawed but he was a REAL father.  He received me simply for who I was – no glass ceiling.  No limits.  He was also a good coach and wouldn’t let me settle for less.  He told me if he thought I wasn’t performing to my potential.

I remember in the dream standing in the middle of Trump tower.  And it dawned on me that all of my dreams were going to come true.  Being the daughter of Donald Trump gave me great advantages.

I now had a familial foundation under me that was solid and generations thick.  I also had a structure over me that would help me to accomplish everything I had hoped to in my life.  I had help with finances, taxes or investments because of the structure that “my father” had built.  If I wanted to write a book or a song – “my father’s” structure would have exactly the people who could help me to accomplish it.  Nothing would be impossible for me or my children ever again.  END OF DREAM

My Dilemma

This Trump dream really wrecked me.  Because there is something in me that knows I will never have that kind of father.  I was abandoned by my birth father at 8 years old and I was adopted by an uncle who was a good provider but I was never close to him.

I’ve always felt like an orphan.  I had a pretty deep wound of fatherlessness from my childhood.  God has been gracious to me and lovingly restored health to my heart.  I have come to the place that I know I can completely trust the heavenly Father.  I know I am loved unconditionally and that He takes care of me from heaven – watching over me and my family.  I know I am safe and have value because He created me.  However, it was obvious from my reaction to this dream that I had another layer of healing that was necessary.

When I woke up from this dream it felt so real that I was actually angry at God.  I felt that it was almost cruel, because He had shown me what it would be like to have a true family who for the most part “had it all together” and then I woke up to the reality that this was not true.  I believed it would be true in heaven. But Donald Trump was not my father on earth – so none of these advantages were available to me.

In my pain, I prayed for an interpretation to my dream.  It felt like God wanted to show me something but He was speaking a foreign language.  It felt like He wanted me to stop being self-reliant and learn to lean into Him more – but it just wasn’t resonating with me. 

So by faith, I repented from self-reliance and asked God to heal me.  But I could not fathom how God could meet my needs on earth.

God’s Answer

The next morning I woke up with a song in my heart and a revelation that absolutely changed my whole world.

As I awakened I could hear the Holy Spirit sing to me

♫ I’m no longer a slave to fear… I am a child of God. ♫

I heard Him say… “You know the feeling that you had in the dream about Donald Trump.  There was a structure over you and a foundation under you.  You felt safe.  You felt like all of your dreams would come true.  You would be challenged.  You would become all that you were meant to be…” 

“If Donald Trump, a mere man, can do that for his kids – why couldn’t I do that for you?  As your Heavenly Father, I have a better system set up than he does.  I’m not around only for breakfast on Saturdays – I’m constantly with you.  My structure and foundation are much better than his.  The feeling you had in the dream of being completely supported and protected are available by simply believing that you can have that with Me.”

“I have people to help you with your finances.  I can open the doors to the perfect book publisher or song artist.  I can give you better wisdom than any man on earth.  You must simply believe that you have full access to Me.  You must fully believe that you are a Child of God – then you will have nothing to fear and all of your dreams will come true."

Mind Blown!!!!!

I had this picture of standing outside of Trump Tower and then a picture of standing inside of Trump Tower.  Father God said, “This is the difference.  You’ve been standing outside of My Kingdom and shouting at me to fix your life instead of believing that you belong inside of My Kingdom (Trump Tower) and simply asking Me to help you with your life.”

That made sense to me.  I had just assumed that I would never have a real father again so there were several things that were not available to me – or I couldn’t comprehend how my Heavenly Father could take care of me in the natural.  It really comes down to faith... and BELIEVING that I belong in “Trump Tower” not outside of it.  In believing this truth, I have absolutely no fear... because I am a child of God.

I have a better Dad than Donald Trump.

To All of the Little Girls Who Never Had a Real Father…

I have a secret to share with all of the little girls who never had a real father.  Or maybe your dad was an absent dad and didn’t know how to give you what you needed.  Possibly your dad was a GREAT dad and he has died and is no longer around… I have a secret that you need to know!

Every little girl needs to be told she’s beautiful by her daddy.  Every little girl needs to feel protected and provided for by a father who is trustworthy.

The Kingdom of God was structured on the foundation of family.  When part of our foundation is missing, it causes us to feel insecure and inferior.

I felt like this.  I was insecure and inferior after my dad abandoned my brother and me.  I felt like I had no identity. 

Did you know that our identity is established by our fathers?  (Read more here)

I lived for many years with my feet on the sand.  I didn’t really know who I was and I didn’t feel safe.  I had no value.  It’s really hard to stand tall in shifting sand.  The enemy would whisper in my ear, and it would knock me off balance.  He would whisper, “God’s going to leave you at any moment.  God is cold and distant.  He’s too busy for you.”

These lies made me feel that God was not trustworthy.  He was not dependable.  But I was vulnerable to believing these lies because of the sins that my father committed against me.

You see, I found a secret.

The secret is this:  Our Heavenly Father is a much better father than our earthly one.

We must renounce all lies that Father God is like our earthly father… because He is not.  He is not cold and distant.  He is not harsh.  He will never leave us or forsake us.  He has unlimited money, unlimited time and He is the biggest dad on the block!

Even if you think your dad was perfect and gave you everything you need.  You still have a better Father in God.

Think of the most perfect father you can imagine.  A dad who loved you with every fiber of his being.  He was always around when you needed him.  He provided you with whatever you needed - money, a roof over your head, a shoulder to cry on, wise counsel to help with decisions.  He gave you verbal affirmation.  He called you beautiful and meant it.  The perfect father was always patient, and his love was unconditional, but he always insisted on you doing your best.

If you can imagine the perfect earthly father how much better can our perfect Heavenly Father be?

He actually knows what we need before we need it.  He is a better provider than any earthly provider.  He is unconditional in His love for us but also disciplines us when we need it.  He is more patient than any earthly father could be.  He knows you inside and out because He created you.  He knows your past, and He knows your future.  He knows exactly what makes you tick!

Your Heavenly Father is available to you 24 hours a day 7 days a week!  No earthly father can compete with that.

When I started to turn my eyes towards my Heavenly Father to meet my every need, there was a deep hole in my soul that began to be filled.  When I needed a hug, I would ask Him for one.  God would answer that prayer by sometimes having another person unexpectedly give me a hug – or sometimes He would fulfill my request by letting me feel the heaviness of His presence.

When I began to turn toward my Heavenly Father for my identity instead of looking elsewhere for it, I began to feel more secure.  He told me I was beautiful.  He said that He was pleased.  He told me that I had great value to Him and that He wanted me to obey Him so that I could complete the story He had written for my life.  He told me that no one could take away my identity unless I allowed them to.

When I turned toward my Heavenly Father for provision, I started to feel a much deeper peace because my GREAT BIG God was in charge of my finances.  He sees everything and knows what I need and what I want.  He is a generous Father and wants to spoil me sometimes.

When I stopped believing the lies that the enemy was whispering in my ears and started believing that my Heavenly Father could be a better dad to me than my earthly one, it was then that my feet were planted on the Rock.

When my feet were on the sand, I was a slave to fear and anxiety.  There is no need to feel this fear because I am a child of God and He is the Rock.

When my foundation is secure in this truth, I can straighten my crown and BELIEVE that my Dad is the King and I am His Princess!

Steps to Wholeness:

1)  Forgive your earthly father for everything you can think of.  Specifically forgive him for not giving you identity, provision, or protection.

2)  Then renounce this lie:  I renounce the lie that You Father God are like my earthly father.

3)  Pray:  Father God are there any lies I’m believing about You?  (listen quietly for the voice of the Lord.)

4)  Renounce the lie by saying out loud:  I renounce the lie that ________.

For example:

“I renounce the lie that You Father God are cold and distant.”

5)  Ask: Father God what is Your truth?

6)  Declare the truth out loud.

For example:

 I declare the truth that You love me and want to hold me like a father holds his child.

7)  Repeat steps 3 through 6 until there are no more lies you are believing.

RECORD this conversation on paper so that you can go back and review it later.  After getting a revelation of the truth you’ll need to go back and begin renewing your mind with this new truth! 

Ready for a Reformation? This Is the First Step

THIS IS MY MONTHLY ARTICLE CINDY JACOBS MINISTRY GENERALS INTERNATIONAL

Forgiveness is one of the most powerful weapons that we are given in the word of God. God has given us the power to ask Him to forgive someone else’s sins in 1 John 5:16: 

If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life.

When we ask for God’s forgiveness over a person, it clears up the darkness around them, and they can hear the Lord for themselves. By asking forgiveness for a person, the sin has no more right to separate a person from God. It brings them enough “life,” so that they can see and hear clearly to repent to the Lord.

Using this Kingdom principle can bring about reformation in the life of an individual.

Jesus' Example

On the cross, Jesus said “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” The people who were crucifying him were guilty of great sin. There was a veil over their hearts and minds as they crucified the very One sent to save them. When Jesus asked the Father to forgive them for what they were doing, the veil was taken away because the Father forgave their sin.

We can see the fruit from Jesus’s forgiveness when the centurion and his friends “saw the earthquake and all that happened.” They repented and said, “Surely this was the Son of God.” (Matthew 27:54)

When Jesus asked for their forgiveness, He lifted the veil of darkness that was around them, enabling the Centurion and his friends to see Jesus for who He really was—the giver of Life.

Moses and Aaron

The same thing happened when Aaron sinned against God by building a golden calf. God was so angry that He wanted to destroy Aaron (Deut. 9:20).  Moses asked forgiveness on behalf of his brother, and Aaron repented. God was then able to use Aaron to establish the priesthood as He set up His Kingdom.

Moses essentially said, “Lord, forgive Aaron, for he doesn’t know what he is doing.” Then

life

 was given to Aaron and his sons. Because Aaron and his sons were given life, Israel had a reformation of the priesthood that had been warped by years of slavery in Egypt.

Reforming Lives Through Forgiveness

God wants everyone to have abundant life. Sin separates us from Him and creates a veil over our hearts. We cannot receive His life if.....

(Click HERE to go to Generals.org for the rest of the article)

The Common Denominator of America's Idolatry

America has been in decline since the 60s.  We’ve never been the perfect nation.  But something happened in the early 60s that caused our nation to turn a hard corner into a downward spiral of significant idolatry.

You can see it in our history.  We became complacent and allowed a few people to take prayer out of the schools.  It was followed by a sexual revolution – and then abortion.  The increase of sin in our nation since then is markedly different.  The idolatry of sex, greed, power, control, food, drugs, racism and so on permeates our society.  Whenever anyone challenges someone’s idolatry there is a vitriolic response rooted in selfishness.  “This idol makes me happy!  So leave me alone!  Who are you to judge?”

Idols are the things we worship.

Every single person alive on the planet worships something.  We were created to be worshipers.  Even if we don’t worship God – we worship something.  We can worship ourselves.  We can worship sex.  We worship our family.  We worship control.  Whatever it is that we draw our strength from – whatever it is that makes us feel better about ourselves.

If we are not getting our strength and identity and comfort from our Creator – then we are getting it from something that is created. 

You see – there is actually a common denominator in all of our idol worship.  It all comes down to one reason that we turn from God and toward idols. 

We worship idols because we are looking for something other than God to comfort our emotions.

Ever since the very first sin in the Garden of Eden – we have had a need to be saved from our emotional pain.

The truth is that our Heavenly Father IS the answer to our pain.  He is a good Father.  He helps us with our pain and shows us how to live in the midst of a broken world.  He sent His son Jesus to show us how to walk through this world without bowing to our emotions.

How would you like it if your children constantly looked elsewhere for their comfort?  How would it feel to you if every time your child got a boo boo they went to the refrigerator for food to make them feel better?  How would you like it if your teenager went to pornography or drugs every time they were hurting instead of coming to you?  How would you feel if your children looked to self-help gurus in the midst of their fear instead of asking you for help?

This is how it feels to the Heavenly Father when we constantly look for other things to comfort our emotions.  It is His truth and unconditional love that sets us free… not idolatry.  Idols only numb your pain for a moment – and then they make you pay for it.

Exodus 20:3-5

You shall have no other gods before me.

You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God

No matter how much you are engulfed in fear or how much your emotions hurt… make up your mind to only bow to the Lord.

When you are in pain run to the Lord.  Don’t run to sex.  Don’t run to food.  Don’t run to control.  This is idolatry.  And it is the way that Babylon behaves – not the children of God.

When your emotions rise up and you need them comforted – go to the Lord to comfort them.  Call upon the Holy Spirit who is the Comforter.  Turn on worship music.  Open your bible.  And pray…

This is how we turn from our idol worship and serve the Lord.

We must no longer sin because of our emotions – we must obey in spite of them!

The Lord showed me that in the valley that this nation is about to experience – it is His goal to kill our idol of comfort.  The coming tribulation to this nation is meant to be severe mercy. 

God loves every person in the world, but He will not bend His Truth to make people more comfortable in their sin. - Michael Youssef

If this nation is going to turn around, we must turn from our wicked ways.  We must turn from our idol of comfort and begin to pick up our crosses and follow the Lord – no matter how much we hurt.  

We must learn to obey His truth in spite of our fear and pain.

Jesus endured much pain on this earth.  He did not endure it so that you could FEEL good.  He came as an example of how to endure pain in this life.  He could have called upon twelve legions of angels to help him and COMFORT his pain (Mt 26:53) – but He obeyed His Father instead.

We must become like Him in His suffering. (Phil 3:10)

It is suffering that is about to come upon our nation.  We are going to experience quite a bit of pain in

this Valley of Death

– but God means it for our good.

He’s killing our idols.  He’s killing our comfort.  He’s destroying Babylon within us.  He’s turning our nation back to Him through a time of discipline.

It’s time to lay down our idols and preach the word of God – no matter how much pain it brings.

James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Prayer:

God forgive me for turning to idols to comfort my emotions.  I am sorry that I have bowed to created things in order to make myself feel better.  You are the answer to my pain and I am willing to suffer for your Name.  Help me to only seek You in the midst of suffering.  I don’t want to be double minded any longer.  I ask for the grace of God to help me turn away from the idols in my life.  I ask You to burn the ways of Babylon out of my heart.  In the mighty name of Jesus, AMEN.

Would You Survive if Your Church Crumbled?

At the age of 28, the church I worked at crumbled.   There were lots of reasons.  There was plenty of blame to go around.  After seeking the Lord, my husband and I made the difficult decision to leave.

My church completely melted down… and so did I.

I lost my job, my income, my church, and my friends.  It was devastating.  It sent me into the deepest Dark Night of the Soul.

But it was in this dark season of being purged of my flesh that I came to understand that my identity had been wrapped up in the church I was serving instead of the God who I claimed to be serving.

My identity was intertwined in a building and a group of people who attended weekly meetings at the same location.

Even though my life was turned upside down and it took me years to walk out of the hole I had fallen into.  The foundation of my life had been set upon the church instead of Christ.  And even though the journey to freedom was long and arduous and the most painful process I had ever experienced - it was completely worth it!

Because in the journey out of the Dark Night of the Soul – I found my true identity.  I found that I didn’t need to belong to a group of people not did I need their approval to have worth… I belonged to Someone who paid a great price for me because I was worth so much.

I learned that I had been part of a group of people who weren’t REALLY following the Lord as much as they were following a desire to be a community country club.  My identity had also been wrapped up in this country club vision.

Somehow I had come to the place of getting my safety and value from the church I belonged to.  Belonging to this church allowed me to feel important – like I was on a pedestal along with the rest of the group of people who met weekly at the same location.

Our God is a jealous God.  He doesn’t like it when we get our identity from created things – rather than from our Creator.   He doesn’t appreciate it when our attention is focused on worldly pursuits rather than Him.  His Church was never meant to be a country club, it was meant to be a soup kitchen, an emergency room, a hospital, and a training facility. 

Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."  Mark 2:17

I am so glad that my church crumbled and that God set me free from getting my identity from a local church.  I am safe, and I have value no matter what church I attend.  I am free now to move where the Lord tells me to move.  I am free from the opinions of men because I am only looking to please One person.

I have learned to truly seek FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.  I no longer seek the kingdom of men for my safety and value.  I am who God says I am.  I am not who the church says I am.

Do you belong to the Kingdom of God?  Or do you belong to the local church?

It is a question that begs to be answered by all Believers. 

If your church crumbled – would you?

I implore you to begin to ask the Lord where your identity lies.  There is a great peace in belonging to God’s Kingdom.  In these last days…it’s an absolute necessity!

If Your Life is a Painting… Who’s Holding the Paintbrush?

Recently in Indiana we have had the most beautiful sunsets.  It is like every evening God dips His paintbrush in the most lovely of colors and sweeps it across our sky leaving us with His breathtaking art of nature.

His unique style with each sunset is a testament to His character as The Creator.  He is a diverse Master Painter with many different styles.

He also uses His paintbrush as He is painting the story of our lives.  He paints each one of us differently. 

Renaissance

The Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo

Some of us are Sistine Chapels.  He takes His time to draw each detail on the walls of our hearts.  He weaves a story that flows into a glorious finish.

Baroque

The Taking of Christ by Caravaggio

Some of us are Baroque paintings.  God paints us with a love for realism.  His character is articulated through the expression of truth.  God desires to express discernment between light and dark shadows.

Impressionist

Water Lilies by Monet

Some of us are Water Lillies.

He uses a texture in our souls that exude peace.

This peace is imparted to others who are in need.

Expressionist

Starry Night by Van Gogh

Some of us are Starry Nights.  God uses His paintbrush to express emotion through our lives.  We are intense and we are passionate.  God uses us to be sparks of life in the lives of others.

What is God painting in your story?

Or have you handed Him the paintbrush yet?

You see  -  He DOES have a plan and a purpose for our lives.  But He can’t get started on it until we stop trying to paint on the canvas of our lives and turn it over to Him.

We also can’t confine Him to one area of our life.  He must have the paintbrush full time if He is going to create the masterpiece He created us to be.

Some of us have handed the paintbrush to other people in your lives.  If we are people pleasers, we are letting others decide what our lives will look like.  If we continue to bow to the controlling pressure around us to dictate who we are and the choices we make – we have handed the paintbrush of our life over to those we are trying to please.

Adam and Eve handed the paintbrush to Satan.  And he made a MESS of things…

God gave His son for us in order to redeem the painting of our life.  The Master Painter has bought back the right to hold the paintbrush.

But the amazing thing about the Master Painter is that He doesn’t demand that we hand Him the paintbrush… the choice is always ours.

If you have never handed over the paintbrush of your life – I encourage you to do it now.  It will be the best decision you ever make.

If you have only given God permission to paint on part of your canvas – now is the time to turn it all over to Him.

He will paint the most beautiful picture of your life.  He can redeem any black marks or even holes in your canvas.  He redeems.  He restores.  He transforms.

All you have to do is hand the paintbrush over to Him and trust the Master Painter.

If He can paint a nightly sunset as beautiful as this… just think what He can create when we trust Him with the canvas of our lives.

Steps to Wholeness:

Father God, I am sorry I have not handed You the paintbrush of my life.  I want to fully trust You to make something beautiful of my life.  Thank You for Jesus who bought back the right to have the paintbrush. I confess to You that I have made a mess.  I ask Your forgiveness for my sins. Thank You for redeeming my life from sin and darkness. 

I remove the paintbrush from other people’s hands.  I only want to please You. Please take the paintbrush from my hand and have Your way in my life.  I will follow Your lead.  I will obey You.  You are now the Master Painter of my life… and I surrender.

In Jesus name,  AMEN

The Wisdom of Breaking Ungodly Soul Ties With Your Parents

This might seem like a strange idea to some, but I want to show you the wisdom behind breaking ungodly soul ties with your parents.

Each and every person on the planet has soul ties with our parents.  It doesn’t matter if they were birth parents, step parents, adoptive parents or even foster parents.  (You can include parental figures in this as well.)  Our souls are “tied” to those who gave us life and those who raised us.

A soul tie is a spiritual connection with another human being.  A soul tie can be healthy or unhealthy.  There are certainly healthy, Godly soul ties we have with those who gave us life and raised us.  And I am not addressing these good spiritual connections.

However since none of us are perfect, you can be sure that somewhere along the way there have been some unhealthy/ungodly soul ties between parents and children.

I remember a “sermonette” one of my friends gave at her son’s wedding.  She used handcuffs as a prophetic picture.  She said when her son was a baby she was handcuffed to him to meet his needs like keeping him fed and changing his diapers.  When he was a child – he would wander away in the store or he would maybe want to run in a parking lot and she said her relationship with him was like handcuffing him to her to keep him safe.  It was the same way when he became older.  She put handcuffs on him as a teenager to keep him safe, maybe those handcuffs were cell phone monitoring or a curfew on weekends.  But she said, now that he is getting married she was taking off the handcuffs and handing them over to the two of them – to her son and his wife-- because now they were to cleave to each other.

This is a loose picture of what soul ties are.  There are healthy ones that keep us safe.  But the unhealthy ones are intrusive.  The soul ties my friend had with her son would have become unhealthy if she tried to have a say in her son’s marriage.

When praying with adults and having them break ungodly soul ties with their parents, one of the things I find is that men feel freer to be ONE with their wives.  It’s like cutting off the unhealthy soul ties with their parents gives men permission to cleave to their wife.  It edges the parents out of the decision making and allows the proper relationship between husband and wife to flow.

When women break ungodly soul ties with their parents, I have seen them blossom into confident women who don’t feel that they have to measure up to the rules and regulations that the mother has set forth for them.  I am not talking about the godly soul ties.  I am not talking about the Godly wisdom given from their mothers… I am talking about the soul ties where women feel controlled by the previous generation and are expected to “measure up.”

My sons are teenagers and I have had them break off ungodly soul ties with my husband and myself.  After I took my oldest son through the prayer for “Breaking Ungodly Soul Ties” he said that some “fog” in his mind cleared up.  I felt that the result of him breaking these soul ties with us cleared up some “confusion” we had caused him.  As a first child, I am sure we created some confusion in him as we stumbled through those first few years of being parents and communicating where the boundary lines were for him.

My second son said that after he prayed the prayer that he felt lighter.  I would assume too, that we had put some undue pressure on him and breaking off those ungodly soul ties with us allowed him to set aside some of the “expectations” he felt from us.

Try praying through this prayer for yourself.  Remember you are not doing any harm. You are not addressing any healthy soul ties – only the ungodly ones.  By praying this way, you can let the Lord decide which soul ties are healthy and which are not.  See if you don’t feel some relief yourself…

Steps to Wholeness:

1.  Lord I forgive my parents.

2.  I sever ungodly influence and ungodly soul ties from them.

3.  I give back to my parents the things that belong to them.

4.  I take back the things that belong to me.

5.  I wash them in the blood of Jesus.

6.  I pray that You would remove all faulty wiring from my mind.

7.  I ask You to replace it with the wiring of the Holy Spirit according to the Kingdom of Heaven.

8.  I ask You God to give me my soul back in the name of Jesus.

(Further Steps:  You can break ungodly soul ties with anyone in your past.  Here are a few more that might be helpful: 

Girlfriends/Boyfriends

Siblings

Friends

Pastors

Teachers

Ex-spouse

Boss

Anyone you had a sexual relationship with

Since breaking soul ties is essentially doing spiritual warfare – I suggest praying the sealing up prayer afterwards to make sure there is no spiritual backlash. 

You can find that prayer by clicking HERE.

The Day I Stopped Finding My Value From My Post-It Notes: Guest Post by Jessica Julson


Jessica Julson is a Team Member of Tisha Sledd Ministries.  I know that her testimony will touch many out there.  Where are you finding your value?

As I was preparing dinner the other night, I went to get the plates out of the cabinet to serve the food on.  When I opened up the cabinet (just like I had a thousand times before) my attention was drawn to the inside panels of both doors. 

I had a sinking feeling in my stomach as I saw all the post-it-notes with goals to reach, ideas to pursue, to-do lists to complete, books to read, house work to do, shopping to get done, people to call, bills to pay, deadlines to meet, prayers to pray, weight to lose, ways to become a better me/wife/mother, and the list just goes on and on.

I had become numb to the fact that they were there and as I took it all in, I became so overwhelmed as a wave of failure flooded over me.

Some of these notes had been up for over 3 years. Day after day, these post-it-notes were glaring down on my soul, telling me that I was not enough and that I needed to do more and be more. I had  strategically placed these notes in this spot because I knew I would see them over and over each day. 

Throughout the years I have accomplished some of those goals, but it didn’t make a dent. I stood there, broken, when I felt the Lord say, “Remove them and throw them away.”

With tears in my eyes, my hand reached up and pull the first note off.  As I continued removing them, I felt a heavy burden begin to lift.  I had no idea how much pressure I was putting upon my soul as I continued to remind myself daily of how much I was missing it and how I was not enough. 

After I threw all the notes away I began processing with the Lord about what was really behind all the goal setting and life planning. And I came to realize that most, if not all, my “self-betterment” goals were coming from a place of self-rejection. The lie I believed was that I would not be acceptable or have worth until I reached the goals I set forth for myself.  Only then could I finally find peace with myself.

The problem with my plan was that I was only working towards the goals that I thought everyone else had for me.  I was reaching for what society said I should look like, and who the church said I should be.  But I was not focusing on who God had already made me to be.

In the end, I rejected who I was created to be and tried to fit the molds of those around me. I was letting whether or not I reached a goal dictate how I viewed and felt about myself. However, I found that when I reached a goal, even a significant one, I would only have a momentary release of happiness. Reaching a goal never brought me peace and in fact it only ever brought to light more things that I should be doing and achieving.

I was trying to achieve these goals in my own strength with an illusion of what I thought life was supposed to be. But the truth is that God, the creator of the universe, already has a plan for my life. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11(NIV) 

I'm already valuable in His sight, I don't have to figure it out. My future isn't some elusive mystery that can't be solved without immense struggle. I don't have to “make” it happen.

Proverbs 16:3 says,Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” (NIV) He will establish, not me! However, I do have to commit my ways to Him. Committing your ways to the Lord is like accepting what He has for you and in essence accepting who He already made you to be and then submitting to the process of walking that out with Him. Knowing that He will complete what He started in you.

It is not you going about your own way, setting your own goals and saying “This is what I'm going to do or be!”, then slapping a prayer on it and expecting God to bless it, even if you’re doing it “in” His name.

As I walk closely with the Lord, I begin to know His heart and understand who He really is, while simultaneously unveiling my true self. I've found that the things I  once though so important have no bearing on who I already am in Him.

My plans are starting to take shape around His heart and not on fleshly misguided expectations. My spirit already desires what the Father desires and it wants to be where the Father is. It is continually pulling me to run after Him, to seek him and to dwell in his presence. It is here that I find peace, it is here in the exchange of love between Father and daughter, spirit to spirit and heart to heart that life has meaning and purpose.

It is here, in the shedding of my flesh, completely baring my soul and truly allowing the Father to have full access to every part of my heart that I really find myself.

After the clutter and debris are gone from all the expectations and all the illusions, this… this is where I being to breathe.

I now find peace, not in who I am, but in who He is.  I walk in confidence of who He has created me to be and in His ability to establish me.

Steps to Wholeness:

In a time of prayer – ask the Holy Spirit to reveal where you are getting your value from.  Is your value and identity rooted in your Creator or in your ability to meet self-ascribed goals?

Repent from finding your value by checking off a to-do list.

Allow the Lord to show you any lies you are believing by following this emotional healing tool:

Uprooting LIES

Matthew 15:13
He replied, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots.

When you come across lies that the participant is believing there is a very simple method for uprooting these weeds.

Method:
1) Ask Father God if you are believing a lie   ______.

2) Renounce the lie out loud:  I renounce the lie that ________.
For example: “I renounce the lie that You Father God are cold and distant.”

3) Then ask:  Father God what is Your truth? (Be still and listen quietly for the still small voice of the Lord.)

4) When you hear the truth from the Holy Spirit - Declare the truth out loud.
For example:  I declare the truth that You love me and want to hold me like a father holds his child.

5) RECORD this conversation on paper so you can go back and review it later.  After getting a revelation of the truth we MUST go back and begin renewing our minds with this new truth! 


This kind of praying loosens the enemy away from you – so it is important to seal up any kind of prayers.  Use the Sealing Up Prayer found by clicking here.



Jessica leads worship for our events at Tisha Sledd Ministries. She and her husband Jonathan have two young children, Joshua and Juliet.  Jessica seeks to awaken people to the love of God and to facilitate a response to that love through worship. She writes her own music and performs at community events as well. To invite Jessica to sing or lead worship for you contact her here. jessjulson@gmail.com Jessica is also a talented photographer and you can find her website here.www.unseenbeautyphotography.com

How the Sin of Mastery Affects Us All

Cain thought he was better than Abel.

Cain thought his very purpose on earth was to rescue his family so they could return to the Garden of Eden.  He was raised to believe that he was the one who would crush the head of the serpent because he was their first seed.  Cain was their ticket to a better life. He saw his little brother as a smaller person than he was.  Cain believed he had more importance than his brother Abel did. 

It angered him that God rejected his offering.  Suddenly there was an outward judgment that Cain was not better than Abel. 

The Lord was trying to get Cain to step down from his throne.  He was attempting to help Cain understand that he was not superior to his brother.

Genesis 3:6-7

Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."

God was saying this:  Son you have no reason to be angry.  You have no reason to be depressed. If you do what is right – if you step down from your throne of superiority – all will be made right.  This pressure you feel will subside.  But now that I’ve revealed to you that you are believing a lie, sin is ready to seize you.  Now that you know the truth – you have a choice.  Be the master over sin but not the master over your brother.

Cain chose rebellion.  He chose to put his beliefs over Gods.  Instead of mastering his sin, he chose to make himself the master over his brother and killed him.  In Cain’s anger and depression, he refused God’s invitation to step off of the throne -- and Cain became a bully.

Cain didn’t want the identity that God was giving him.  He didn’t want his true birthright of the firstborn of creation.  He wanted to be the savior of creation, like he was led to believe.  In Cain’s mind, he didn’t have value unless he was on the throne and superior to his brother.  He wanted to be exalted.  If no one else would worship him as the savior, he would take matters into his own hands and manipulate the situation.  Instead of humbling himself, he mastered over his brother and murdered him.

Cain takes the exact opposite stance that Christ did.  When the world would not accept Christ as the Savior, Christ gave himself up and took on the nature of a servant.

Philippians 3:3-8

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!

In humility, the King of Kings became our servant.  Jesus did not try to be equal to God the way Cain did.  He made himself nothing, and even allowed others to murder him.

Cain refused to consider others better than himself.  He rebelled against the birthright that God had given him.  He wanted to be served, instead of serving others.  He wanted to be the Master.

This revelation, though it seems simplistic, is the root of so many issues in today’s society.  It is the sin of Mastery. 

The sin of Mastery is the way of Cain.  Considering yourself better than others is the same as considering yourself the Master of another.  Wanting to be considered the savior and be seated on a throne, is the sin of Mastery.

No human that God has created is better than another.  No human being is the Master of another.

We are not better if we are rich.  We are not better if we are poor.  We are not better because we live in a specific country.  We are not better if we wear certain clothes.  We are not better if we have more knowledge about the Kingdom of God.

One gender is not above the other.  One race is not above another.  One brother is not above another.

The sin of Mastery is the root of all wars.  Mastery is the root of racism, slavery, misogyny, hatred, murder, rape, classism, nationalism and religion-ism.

Not accepting one’s birthright identity is the beginning of the sin of Mastery.

Acts 17: 26

From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.

When we do not accept this verse as truth, we are rebelling against God.  When we do not receive the identity that God gives us, we are telling Him that His plans are not good enough.

Even people born within the most terrible conditions have been determined by God.  Every single person has the power to pursue freedom.  I have known and mentored people from extraordinarily grim pasts.  Many of these people question God about why He placed them in such a dark family.  The answer I have seen the Spirit of God give to them is that He placed them to be missionaries for Christ inside a generational line that needed His salvation.

Ishmael was someone who was not happy with his birthright.  He did not want to accept the fact that he was born according to the flesh.  If Ishmael and his mother had accepted his birthright, they would have never been cast away from Abraham’s community.  When Isaac, the son of the promise was weaned and celebrated, Hagar began to mock him. (Gen. 21:8-9)  To allow this mocking to continue would have affected the birthright of Isaac.

So God had to deliver Ishmael away from Abraham and Isaac.  Ishmael was led to believe for a period of time that he was the promised child.  When it was revealed that Ishmael was given a wrong identity, Hagar began to mock the plan of God. 

The lie Hagar believed was that having her son as the “savior” gave her value.  The truth is that she had value in the eyes of God because she was His creation.  Being content with the identity that God gives you is the first step toward peace with God. It is the command that God gave to Cain - “do what is right.” (Genesis 3:6)  Be who I created you to be. 

Cain could have led humanity into a glorious future.  If he would have stepped down off the throne and chosen humility and accepted his birthright he would have been exalted in the eyes of humanity as the First Born.  Instead wanted to become equal with God by determining his own identity. 

Isaiah 29:16 (NIV)

You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, "You did not make me"? Can the pot say to the potter, "You know nothing"?

Isaiah 45:9 (MSG)

But doom to you who fight your Maker - you're a pot at odds with the potter! Does clay talk back to the potter: 'What are you doing? What clumsy fingers!'

Ishmael and Hagar could have had a fortunate life if they had submitted to the birthright Ishmael was given.  He could have been brothers with Isaac and two nations could have been friends instead of enemies.  The sons of Ishmael are still at war with the sons of Isaac because the Ishmaelites will STILL not accept their birthright.

Isaac was not “better” than Ishmael.  Ishmael was not a “lesser” human being to his Creator.  He simply was not the one through whom the covenant would come.  God actually had to preserve a generational line to bring Christ the Messiah through.  Isaac had his purpose in the fabric of history.  The Lord also had a purpose for Ishmael, he became the father of a great nation.

Isaac’s purpose would eventually lead to Ishmael’s salvation.  When Christ came he broke down the dividing wall between Jew and Gentile creating one new man. (Eph. 2)

Part of Isaac’s purpose was to protect the generational line that would lead to the fulfillment of the very first prophecy ever given.  Jesus, the seed of woman, came to crush the head of the serpent once and for all.  Not just for the Jews but for all of humanity.

Ishmael, like Cain, could not see how his part in the fabric of history would play out. Instead of making the decision to be content with who God created them to be – they rebelled against their God-given identity.

Romans 9:21-22

Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, “Why did you make me like this?” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

Noble and common uses do not play into our identity.  A king and a washerwoman have the same value to God.  They each simply need to play out their God-given purpose on earth.  The reward in heaven will not be more for the king than it will be for the washerwoman.  We will be rewarded according to how much we loved.  A washerwoman’s eternal reward could surpass that of a king if she was more faithful with the talent she was given.

A lawyer and a janitor have the same value to God.  A general and a private are both necessary to form an army.  A shepherd is nothing without sheep.  A king is nothing without a kingdom of people.  If our purpose is one of nobility, we will be measured by our love.  If our purpose is one of common use, we will be measured by our love. We must become content with our birthright.

Rebelling and considering ourselves the master of others will only bring pain and suffering both here on earth and when we stand before the Lord on Judgment Day.

Steps to Wholeness:

If you recognize that you are not at peace with the birthright that God has given you, ask the Lord for His mercy and grace to begin to lay down the rebellion you are experiencing.

Pray this prayer:  God I want the fullness of the birthright you have given me.  I ask forgiveness for rebelling against who you created me to be.  Forgive me for the sin of mastery.  You are my Master and I submit to your choices for my life.  I ask for help to overcome the generational sins in my blood line.  Help me to deprogram from the lies I have bought from the enemy.

You are the potter.  I am the clay.  Mold me and fashion me as You see fit.

In Jesus Name, AMEN