Time With God

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It’s 3:00 in the morning The kids are in bed and the usual hustle and bustle of the world is now quiet. I should be sleeping, yet here I lie. I am wide awake not thinking about my list of wha…

Source: Time With God

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Overcoming the Enemy

Many have asked for more direction on how to overcome the enemy so I have put together this post to help. 

The deliverance ministry is overwhelming at times since everyone thinks that only a certain few can accomplish it, but this can be done by every believer for our God is the same in me as he is in you if you follow what the Word of God tells us. In the book it talks about giving Satan a foothold which can be done is so many ways which I will address later in this post.

The first step is to accepted Christ as your Savior. This is the first step in getting rid of demons. You must ask for forgiveness of your sins and if you mean it God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. There is a prayer in our book that you can recite if you need. Once you have asked for forgiveness and accepted Jesus as Savior if you sin again you need to ask forgiveness for those specific sins. 

The next step is to forgive others. This is another foothold the devil can have in your life that he can use to attack you. This is an act of obedience. Your prayer may look something like this: Dear God, I forgive_____________ for hurting me out of obedience to you. You have forgiven me for so much and in the same way I forgive _________________ for hurting me. In the name of Jesus I will no longer hold this unforgiveness in my heart against ___________.

The next step is to find things in your past that have to do with the occult. Satan really gets a foothold in these areas and they encompass so much. If you have had any involvement in the areas below you will need to renounce them in the name of Jesus. 

Ouija boards, fortune telling, tarot cards, palm readings, yoga, hypnotism, karate, seances, tea leaves, spirit guides, crystal balls, necromancy, horoscopes, conjurations, water witching, life or reincarnation readings, watching psychic or witchcraft movies or TV shows or reading books about psychics, spiritual mediums or witches, charms, rabbits foots, levitation, mind readings, ESP, mind science religions, transcendental meditation, astral projections, involvement is secret lodges, listening to rock music with hidden cult messages and drug abuse. You can pray this prayer: I renounce__(each one you have been involved in)__________ in the name of Jesus. You can go over this several times and God may reveal more to you as you listen to him about what you have done in your past that has opened a door to demons. 

Once you have closed these doors to the past get rid of all of the possessions you have in the occult area and any area that causes you to sin; music, books, charms, etc must be destroyed. This goes for any area of your life that you know causes you to sin. If you have books or other objects in your house that disobey God’s word get rid of it. Any idols such as Buddhas, voodoo dolls or other objects such as frogs, snakes and owls that are associated with the occult. 

You will likely feel a lot of rebellion during this time. You must give everything to Jesus and be 100% committed to him. To be victorious over Satan you must renounce any and all pleasures of this world and be totally committed to God’s Word. God will continue to show you if you have other areas that you need to deal with such as emotional problems, mental problems, religious spirits, an uncontrolled tongue, addictions or illness. However, as a child of God you have his protection through the blood of Jesus. Resist the devil and he must flee. James 4:7. Your authority is from Jesus and your weapon is the Word of God. 

There are many in the book, my blog and on the website.

So first pray the prayers of forgiveness for yourself and others. 

Renounce issues of the past through the occult. 

Believe and receive the power and authority of God’s word. Next when you know you are sure that you have totally committed your life to God say out loud, “Satan I bind you in the Name of Jesus. I am a child of God and you have no authority in my life anymore. For whatever is bound on earth shall be bound in heaven. Matt 16:19. If God gives you the name of the demon spirit that is harassing you you can call it out by name. Boldly take authority over you house and life by telling the spirits to leave in the name of Jesus. Such as in the Name of Jesus, spirit of fear I command you to leave my life and my house. Or you can just do an overall generic one if specific ones come to mind. I often do not ask for its name just command it to leave. Quote scriptures (there are many examples in our book). You have to do this daily especially when demons attack. Just remember Jesus has overcome the world and if you are a child of God you have this same power to drive out demons. Admit and even say out loud that you are free. And ask for the filling of the Holy Spirit. Listen to gospel music and read scripture when you start hearing voices. Take authority over them saying in the name of Jesus be quiet or leave my house. Let me tell you this is a never ending process. Demons can get in all the time from movies, book, impure thoughts, visitors and even going out to public places where they follow you home. We and other strong Christians pray all the time over our houses when we feel these spirits arrive. One night while sitting on the couch Michael saw a demon peak around the corner of our staircase. Immediately we started to pray and it left. 

If you feel like you need someone else to pray with you also I suggest finding a Pentecostal church in your area for they are the ones with the knowledge and acceptance of these demon attacks. Cleansing Stream is good program that helps you address many areas like the ones I mentioned above and helps you cleanse your life of these sinful areas. I know they even have scholarships for those in need. They usually have people trained who can pray for you and know how to handle demons. 
You’ve read the book and know the Bible verses that talk about the battle between good and evil that every person must face. Ephesians 6:12, I Peter 5:8, I Timothy 4:1 etc. Get into a church that you can attend with support behind you. The devil wants to isolate you so you believe his attacks. The devil hates us with a passion and will do everything to destroy us but keep your eyes, mind, and heart on God everyday and he will not accomplish his goal. Praise Jesus!

God is in Control

Psalm 23

New King James Version (NKJV)

A Psalm of David.

The LORD is my shepherd;

I shall not want.

2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside the still waters.

3 He restores my soul;

He leads me in the paths of righteousness

For His name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil;

For You are with me;

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

You anoint my head with oil;

My cup runs over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

All the days of my life;

And I will dwell in the house of the LORD

Forever.

I have been going through a rather tough week where the enemy has tried to steal territory from me and I allowed it to steal my joy, but God gave me this passage from the 23rd Psalm. I am trying to understand how not to be a Christian doormat, speak the truth, and yet still let God be in control of every situation. When I first started out in life I thought that I would like to be in the business world but one thing that bothered me was the back biting, back stabbing and deceitfulness that goes into getting ahead and it made me think twice. Yet I have found that we encounter the same kinds of situations in our everyday lives and how we handle it can really show how Jesus is working in our lives and how we are different from the world.

Conflict is another area that has been in the forefront of what God is teaching me this week. How we handle conflict is very important. God told us how in his word in Matt. 18:15 where it first says we should go and talk to our brother and if he does not listen then take two or more with you as witnesses and if that doesn’t work then tell the church. So many go and tell others of the problem seeking to find a solution where they are right instead of facing the problem head on with the person for what it is and talking it through. Is it necessary for us to hurt our brother or try to usurp what is not ours to for whatever reason even if we think it is valid? But God in his still small voice whispers to me that it will all work out. I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you a hope and a future. I know that God is bigger than my problem. The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want. God knows the heart of the perpetrator and will prepare a table in the presence of my enemies. He will take care of me even when my fellow man may not. I look at Joseph and how he suffered under unfair jealousy of his brothers, but through the hard times he held on and God, not Joseph, prepared the way. Joseph’s part was to be faithful and trust. I think about chapel today and how it was voiced that this world promises all the riches and happiness if you only do this or have this. But in the light of eternity, what is truly important? Is it our job, being right, our possessions or our fellow man? When we stop to evaluate our motives and how they affect others we can pattern our responses after Jesus and not self. Jesus will lead me in the path of righteousness, by still waters, restoring my soul. My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will go and live in the house of the Lord forever. 

By Candy Vietzke

Committed to Christ No Matter What the Culture 

As I lay awake in the early morning light questioning how I should conduct myself as a Christian in the changing cultural climate I asked God to give me a scriptural reference for the day. This was before I knew of the Supreme Court decision that was handed down today.God gave me Jeremiah 3:19 “I myself said, “‘How gladly would I treat you like my children and give you a pleasant land, the most beautiful inheritance of any nation.’ I thought you would call me ‘Father’ and not turn away from following me.”

As Christians we cannot stray from what the Bible clearly defines as sin. I think of Daniel and his refusal to stop praying which was against God and he was thrown into the lions den. Or what about Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego who would not bow down to another god and were thrown into the fiery furnace. We have to be the light in the darkening world, not give in to whatever pressure is being brought against us. we have to keep ourselves Holy and set apart. We have been lucky just as the Jews were that we had a Godly nation for so long but now we may have to face persecution at the hands of our beliefs. We have made a commitment to the living God no matter the cost and now we will find out who is wholly committed and who will bow to the current god of this world. Everyone says God does not have to be defended but I’m not defending God I am acknowledging Him before man. God says that if you acknowledge me before man I will acknowledge you before my Father. I think of the movie Gods Not Dead and how one young man stood before a giant in the intellectual world to acknowledge that in fact God is not dead and neither is His Words or commands.

God sent many judges and prophets to warn Israel over and over if they did not follow the laws of God that punishment would surely follow. Our pride has shut our ears to the truth creating our own truth instead of God’s truth. We can love the sinner but never the sin. we can never change his Holy laws to fit into our lifestyle. God said to follow the law of the 

land as long as it does not interfere with Gods laws and this surely is against God’s Holy Law. Let me assure you I do not hate anyone nor do I fear anyone who sins. I am concerned for each and every soul that Jesus loves and died for to know the truth for the truth will set us free. I have made a commitment to follow Jesus and His laws and I cannot deviate from that path due to current society pressure.

I pray for our nation for God also said if we repent of our ways God will surely forgive us. God please forgive us from turning from your Holy ways. Help me to be your light in dark places. Give me strength for the days and trials to come. Give me wisdom to be a light for the lost and the saved during this time. Amen.
Candice Vietzke

Wisdom for Pastors and Spiritual Leaders

First of all let me say that I applaud your decision to seek wisdom so that you may grow as a pastor or spiritual leader. To ask advice from anyone is hard especially when you are in a leadership position. Some in leadership positions do not feel as if they can ask for advice. They feel that in their position they are suppose to be the leader and not appear to be weak by asking how they can do better in their positions. The older I get the more I realize how much I don’t know. Reading through the material you may gain insights to weaknesses that you have that I would have missed. Having said that and knowing that you are very busy I will let you in on the pearls of wisdom that I personally gleaned from these books.

Communication seems to be the key word in chapter seven of Finzels’s book. To communicate effectively one must “never assume that anyone knows anything.” (p. 128.). Lack of communication usually has everyone assuming things that are not true. “When left in the dark, people tend to dream up wild rumors.” (Finzel, p. 127). Don’t let others fill in the blanks that you leave behind. If you do people will fill them in with their own assumptions and what you will get in a skewed version of the truth and uncontrolled rumors. This will be true for both your staff and your congregation. Don’t leave anyone in the dark. Build appropriate lines of communications so people will talk positively and effectively.

Communication can also change with time as your ministry grows. What once worked many not work in the future. You should understand that when changes are made that everyone that is affected be notified right away (Finzel, p. 134). Also as your ministry grows it will mature from oral, informal, and spontaneous to written, formal and planned so that everyone can be on the same page. (Finzel, p. 130). This gives clear direction on where the ministry is going. Do not be afraid to over communicate. This is especially true for new leaders “People need to know what to expect of their new leader. If you are that person, make sure you over-communicate as an obsession.” (Finzel, p. 135). People in ministries who are well informed tend to thrive and understand how they fit in with its purpose and success. (Finzel, p. 131). Both your staff and your congregation will not understand or know how you lead if you do not communicate effectively your own goals and visions. “Declaring the purpose and core values of an organization is one of the essential jobs of a leader.” (Finzel, p. 140). This can be especially true for young ministers, especially when older congregation members think that they know more or have more experience than the pastor. Knowing that you have a clear plan and where they fit into that plan can help stop the rumors and the uncertainty that these members feel.

Communication is a two way street. Getting your message across is great, but the door swings both ways. “Effective listening is active rather than passive.’ (Robbins, p. 132). Robbins goes on to explain that as an active listener requires you to understand what the person is saying, not “what you want to understand.” (Robbins, p. 132). This can be especially difficult between men and women since they tend to use communication for different purposes. Truth 36 states: “Men tend to use talk to emphasize status, while women generally use it to create connection.” (Robbins, p. 140). Truth 34 is about the difference between hearing and listening. It provides eight behaviors that are associated with active listening including making eye contact, nodding your head or other appropriate affirmative actions, avoiding distracting gestures, asking questions, paraphrasing what the other person is saying, not interrupting, and taking turns talking with smooth transitions. (Robbins, pp. 132-133. Listening is a skill that most leaders do not possess or give up thinking that over time they have gained so much knowledge that they do not need to listen to others. (Finzel, p. 136). “The more people you lead, the more you must listen.” (Finzel, p. 136). Leaders tend to live outside what is really happening in the organization and must learn first hand from others who are actually performing the day to day operations of the ministry. Have you ever watched the Undercover Boss TV series? These bosses that go out in the workforce and try to do these jobs get an eye opening look at how their policies are really effecting the job or the people in those jobs. Its also quite funny when they do not understand or can’t even perform the job duties. What is the price of a leaders isolation? A disconnect and a loss of respect from those whom he is leading. Invest in those who follow you. We have started a conversation in our own staff meetings about being able to correct those around us when they need correcting. As one of my co-workers put it can’t we just go back to loving everyone and not confront those issues that need confronting? She was uncomfortable on both sides of the coin, she didn’t want to confront or be confronted. Building relationships with co-workers or those whom you lead is important to that need of confronting in love. When they know that you have their best interests at heart they will not be as defensive. They know your heart and your intentions of making them better people, not criticizing who they are.

Finzel describes four basic areas in which a leader should be clear. The first is to outline the vision and the values of your ministry. The second is to clearly establish a chain of command. Third, make an organizational chart so everyone will know how your ministry is organized and just where they fit into the picture. And lastly, make sure everyone has a job description. This is critical for you to establish your own job duties also so that you can invest in the lives of your congregation and your staff. Make sure everyone knows that they are important.

Finally make sure that your actions line up with your words. Truth 37 talks about when people are forced to choose between what a person does and what he says tend to believe actions over words. “Contradictions between words and actions can be most damaging to a manager’s attempt to build trust with his or her employees.” (Robbins, p. 145). As Christians we should follow the example of Christ so not only are we preaching the Word, but we are doing the Word which will definitely point men to Christ and make disciples which we are all called to do as stated in Matthew 28:19-20: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” But also be forgiving of others and yourself for we are all human and prone to mistakes. No leader will ever be perfect and learning how to treat others when they make mistakes as well as ourselves will also set an example. Just remember we reap what we sow and sowing good seeds will produces good crops in ourselves, our staff and our congregation. I hope you can use some of this advice to help you grow as a leader and as a Christian. May God bless you in all that you do.

Five Aspects of God’s Will

Everyone seems to be searching for God’s will in their lives. Many believe they will have some divine revelation like Moses and the burning bush or Paul (formerly Saul) on the road to Damascus but most of us do not receive such a sign. So where do we go to find out what God wants from our lives. John Macarthur in his book Found: God’s Will believes that God wants us to know His will for our lives and clearly communicates it in the Bible. He has come up with a list of the Five Aspects of the Will of God all starting with an s: saved, Spirit-filled, sanctified, submissive and suffering.

The first step is being saved. One must accept Christ as their savior so that he can lead you where He wants you to go in life. Macarthur states: “God has no reason to reveal to you anything particular about your life because you have not met qualification number one: salvation.” (p. 13). I have had so many people ask from what are they suppose to be saved? I tell them saved from sin, saved from eternal death, and saved from eternal separation from God. John 3:16 tells us that God so loved the people in the world that He sent His one and only Son to die on a cross so that whoever believed in Him would not perish but have eternal life. The will of God is simple “Above all it is that you know Christ and then that your neighbors hear about Christ. That is His will.” (p. 18).

Next is being Spirit-filled. What exactly does that mean? Macarthur answers the question of what a spirit filled life “It is being saturated with the things of Christ-with His Word, His person. (p. 33). The Holy Spirit lives in you the minute you are saved. You have all the power to do what Jesus clearly laid out for us to do in the Bible. The disciples had this power while Jesus was on earth teaching them to do exactly what He could do, but it didn’t change when He ascended into heaven. Why? “When Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit, he had the same power as when he was standing next to Jesus Christ!” (p.30). Jesus gives us all that we need, we just need to learn how to tap into that power and ask for wisdom on where God wants us to use it.

The third aspect of God’s will is to be sanctified. I liked the way John Macarthur uses the word purity for sanctification. It is being set apart from worldly ways. Paul gave four principals in 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 for us to stay pure: 1. abstain from fornication. 2. control the body. 3. subdue your passion. 4. treat others fairly. Macarthur states: “You can be blessed by God only so long as you are controlling what you do for His honor.” (p.39). “Nothing that gratifies the body to the dishonoring of God can have a place in the will of God.” (p.40). To do God’s will is to be pure and holy in all of our ways to reflect on the person of Christ himself as he is pure and holy.

The fourth aspect of God’s will is to be submissive. Why is this so important? Macarthur quotes 1 Peter 2:15 “For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.” Macarthur says: “Do you know what the critics of Christ look for in Christians? Faults.” (p,47). He goes on to say that we need to eliminate the faults and live in a way that makes you the best possible citizen in the society in which you live. People need to see that we are different and the reason why we are different is because of Christ.

The last aspect is not popular especially today and that one is suffering. The world does not like Christ. “But you cannot be accepted by the world and be effective for the Lord.” (p. 63). We will be shunned, put down, falsely accused, bullied and so many other negative actions for our belief. “We are to suffer, not because we have failed to be the right kind of person when we were younger, not because we are antagonistic, grumpy, grouchy, or out of whack somewhere, but we should suffer for doing what is right.” (p. 53). This is not our home. We are just passing through on our way to our eternal home. “The Bible never sees a Christian at any time who doesn’t suffer-because anybody who lives a godly life in the world will get the flak that the world throws back.” (p. 55). But we must fulfill the other parts of God’s will including telling others about salvation and for that the world and Satan will always try to destroy us, like they tried to destroy Christ. We have to be willing to stand up and be counted for Christ just as he stood up for us when he died for our sins.

The question of “Are you in the will of God right now?” is a tricky question. I would like to say that I am 100% perfect but no one on earth is perfect. Have I been saved? Yes, I was when I was seven, but have I sinned now and again over the years? Yes, I have. I have asked for forgiveness for those sins and he has forgiven me again and again. I strive everyday to do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord.

Have I been spirit-filled? Yes, I have learned more and more over the years on how to use power of the Holy Spirit to lead others to Christ, to pray for healing, to cast out demons and so much more. I feel His presence as if he were standing right next to me. Someone asked me the question of what the difference of suddenly being caught up in the air in the rapture of dying and seeing Christ. I said the only difference is that now I could physically see him instead of just feeling his presence. I went to see Heaven is For Real the movie on Sunday and the scene where the little boy met Jesus gave me goose bumps. It is like the song I Can Only Imagine when you get to heaven and see the one who died for you, your best friend, your savior face to face what will you do? I think it depends on your personality. I want a hug and He knows it! He is not some stand offish God reigning down his laws and justice on us he is a friend, a brother and waits for us to accomplish all in this life so we can come and be with Him for eternity.

Number three is difficult and I do strive to keep my fleshly desires (such as overeating or overspending) under control, but I will not say it is not without struggles. It is a daily tug of war but God gives us the power to overcome this area in my life and I continue to strive daily for that purity. Galatians 5:16-18 states: “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. ”

As for submission, I have always driven the speed limit and been laughed at by others when I told them that the Bible says to obey the laws of the land. Am I perfect? No. I get distracted or in a hurry, but if I realize what I am doing I go right back to the speed limit. I have never gotten a ticket when everyone says it is normal to be pulled over for speeding. This is just one example. In other areas I do struggle. I want to do what is right but find myself in difficult situations that are hard to get out of especially in finances when one faces the loss of a job, a reduction in hours, sickness, or death. But God continues to mold this piece of clay for his glory and even in adversity He can use it for good and help me grow.

I know a lot about suffering and have suffered for what is right. I stood up for the weak, and for my faith and have suffered many consequences for it. I decided as a teenager I would rather work for Christ than have millions of dollars working for myself. I wanted to stay home and teach my children rather than send them off to learn from the world. I can tell you that I do want to please people so it is hard sometimes to fly in the face of adversity and confront those who are dying in their sin. I obeyed God by telling both family and friends about God’s will of salvation and lost the bonds of those relationships because of it. Would I do it again? Yes, because I do want to do God’s will no matter what the cost. To accomplish this I read the Bible, go to church, seek wise counsel, pray and read books on about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as well as listen to Him and obey when he instructs me to do something. So while I am not perfect I am striving toward the goal of all of these to do God’s will in every situation with the talents he has given me which I use daily to expand His Kingdom and give him the glory!

Finding Balance Between Peoplework and Paperwork

The question posed is how does a minister balance the task of peoplework verses paperwork. Although every situation is different and has very different circumstances I believe that every minister can and should find the time to invest in both.

In a task-oriented driven society is it difficult to track the progression of what you do to influence people as easily as it is to show what you do through the progression of paperwork. “The problem is, we have subtly made task orientation more desirable in our leader selection process.” (Finzel, p. 47) However our role in leadership is to influence people and not to push paperwork. Finzel states: “When all is said and done, the crowns of my achievement will not be the systems I managed, the things I wrote, or the buildings I build, but the people I personally, permanently influenced through direct contact.” (p. 55).

I personally like the practical list of “How to Push the Paper Aside” including the suggestions of getting away from work for lunch, spending time with your friends, coworkers, children and spouse, exercise with coworkers, changing locations to be out around people, manage by wandering around and my favorite delegate more! (Finzel, p.54). Which leads me to what Powers says that “each minister must accept personal responsibility for their ministry by taking the initiative in purposefully directing one’s life as much as possible rather than simply allowing it to be determined by past and present pressures.” (p. 283). Delegation can help a minister be proactive instead of reactive. In 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 talks about gifts that were given to Christians to build up the church. I believe we should seek those out who have strengths where we are weak so that all may use the gifts and talents given to them to help build the church. We do not have to do it all by ourselves and we shouldn’t. Leaders are to help those with talents use them not bury them as in Romans 12:5-8. By spending time with other to help them develop and use the talents God gave them it builds our peoplework skills and our paperwork duty.

I also like what Powers said about peoples expectations of the role and duties of the minister. “Staff ministers quickly become aware that the expectations held by church members, other staff members, and they themselves about their role and function are numerous, varied, and often conflicting.” (p.278) Maybe we are expecting more from ourselves than those around us. Or maybe we are filling roles that people don’t expect us to fill that is eating up our time. Jesus our ultimate example showed us how to shepherd the people and it was not by pushing paperwork. Our goal is to “see peoples lives change into Christ’s likeness.” (Finzel, p.50). Jesus went out and personally touched the lives of others.

Finzel in chapter three talks about how people need affirmation. “Organizational researchers have been telling us for years that affirmation motivates people much more than financial incentives.” (Finzel, p. 60). What better way to reach out when you are buried in paperwork than to praise those who are doing great work around you. Encouraging people with a card, or a personal visit is a great way to add the human element into your daily routine. “The whole business of affirming those who work with and for us is very simple: Do it!” (Finzel, p. 65).
Peoplework doesn’t have to be as complicated as it sounds. Be on the lookout for the simplest peoplework things that take very little time and you will find that you can find balance between people and paperwork.