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God is Releasing Boldness to Confront the Powers of Darkness by Dr. Sandie Freed

God is Releasing Boldness to Confront the Powers of Darkness by Dr. Sandie Freed
By Sandie Freed

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Dear Believer, I want to write to you today to encourage and impart to you courage for this season.   Though we face what seems to be increased darkness, we must be reminded that we are the light that drives away darkness and the powers of darkness.  However, as we continue to serve Christ, we are faced with increased persecution. The other day I heard the Lord speak to me concerning our season of favor.  He reminded me of Isaiah 49:8 (RSV) which says, “Thus says the LORD: In a time of favor I have answered you, in a day of salvation I have helped you.”  I knew immediately that God was speaking to me about entering into a new season of favor and that in that season He was going to reveal hidden mysteries and give answers (revelation) to those mysteries.  So, therefore, we can expect to hear from God and receive answers to prayers! Believer, just be assured that God is releasing not only great favor right now, but also a divine boldness to confront powers of darkness.

Persecution

Webster’s defines persecution as “the systematic mistreatment of an individual or group by another group.”  Webster’s goes on to say that one of the most common forms is “religious persecution.”  This involves, according to Webster as an inflicting of “suffering, harassment, isolation, imprisonment, fear and/or pain.” I can relate to persecution from our enemy, Satan, as I am positive that you can also.  Our enemy is seeking ways to imprison us with fear and bondage.  However, when we refer to “religious persecution,” we must conclude that this harassment can come not only from Satan and his cohorts, but also from a religious system or a religious belief system that persecutes us as we continue to advance the kingdom of God.  In this article, I will address both types of persecution- religious persecution from a religious system and the persecution that occurs when a Jezebel spirit is active within a church, organization or a family.

Demonstrating the Kingdom

Dear ones, there is not a single one of us that enjoys persecution.  However, if we are determined to demonstrate the power of the Kingdom of God on earth, we will definitely confront powers of darkness.  Let’s just be real a moment and admit that there have been times that we have been challenged with a lack of courage and boldness when we attempt to do as Jesus commissioned; heal the sick, raise the dead, and cast out devils (to name a few).

However, I recently read how Peter, while under serious scrutiny from the Pharisees, prayed not to be delivered from persecution, but rather receive increased boldness to stir things up even more!

Healing the Lame Beggar

If you will recall the account in John chapter 3, Peter and John were on their way to prayer and passed by a lame man who was carried daily to the gate called Beautiful to beg for alms.  Rather than donate to his beggar’s cup, they healed him!

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. Acts 3:6-10 (NIV)

The Gate Called Beautiful

This gate referred to as Beautiful is translated in Greek as not only being beautiful, but interestingly also means “belonging to the right hour or season (being timely)” and “flourishing.”  I feel it is safe to say that it is a beautiful thing that happened that day when Peter and John demonstrated God’s heart to heal the lame beggar.  In fact, it was his “time and season” for a miracle.  Dear ones, I believe we are in that same season. The Spirit of God desires for us to flourish also- He wants to touch us with His beautiful expression of  grace and His divine love through demonstrating His power on earth.

When the people around noticed this miracle, they followed Peter and John to Solomon’s Colonade.  It was as if they could not believe their eyes, they actually witnessed a miracle from God!  Yet, Peter addressed the crowd and addressed their doubt and unbelief.  He reminded them that Jesus had just been among them and demonstrated heaven on earth with signs, wonders and miracles.  Yet, they disowned Him and killed the author of life. Peter explained that Christ had been resurrected and that it was not by their own power that they were able to heal, but by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Power of God Stirs Up Religious Spirits and Legalism

Acts 4 picks up with the leaders and the Sadducees who approach John and Peter as they boldly addressed the crowd.  These religious leaders and teachers of the Law were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching about Christ’s resurrection and demonstrating resurrection power and then seized them and put them in jail until the next day.  Persecution comes with demonstration, doesn’t it? And when we demonstrate the grace and love of God it stirs up legalistic spirits. Yet, we must remember to focus on the fruit of demonstration rather than the persecution that is coupled with demonstrating God’s power on earth.  Scripture says that many saw what happened and heard the message and the number of men grew to five thousand!  Wow, now that is a sign flourishing, isn’t it? It truly is the love and grace of God that brings people to repentance.   Yet, we must make note that there was boldness in operation when the apostles were demonstrating power and pointing to the life Jesus was offering His people.

Acts 4 goes on to discuss even more persecution.  More leaders approached Peter and asked, “By whom and in whose name are you doing these things?” (My words). And again, the Holy Spirit fell upon Peter and he spoke with even more boldness. Peter and John were on trial because they healed someone.  How ridiculous is that?  Just to imagine that when the apostles healed people from diseases, lepers and spirits of death, etc., that it upset the religious leaders.  Rather than rejoicing, there was persecution.

Yet, Peter and John did not ask to be delivered from this persecution, but as noted in acts 4:29, they prayed for more boldness!   They asked for the Lord to continue to use them to demonstrate His miraculous power- regardless of the persecution.

Acts 4:31 (NIV) After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

Please take some quality time and read through the entirety of Acts 3 and 4.  Your faith for boldness will arise and you will become even more empowered to demonstrated God’s’ kingdom on this earth!

Confronting Jezebe l – A Demonic Power of Intimidation

In my travels, I come across many believers who claim they are intimidated by a spirit of Jezebel.  When we are intimidated, our boldness to do great exploits for God is dwarfed.   I have written two books on this evil spirit.  The first book, Breaking the Threefold Demonic Cord: Exposing the Seductions of Jezebel, Athaliah and Delilah will empower you to understand the power of a demonic threefold cord the enemy still uses against us today.  The most recent book, The Jezebel Yoke, discusses how easily we’re yoked with the deceptions of Jezebel.  If we are in agreement with doubt and unbelief, we are easily yoked with the deceptions of an evil Jezebel spirit.

It is important to understand that the Jezebel spirit operates strongly through a spirit of religion (religious spirits) and legalism, Religion hinders the demonstration and power of God.  Elijah confronted Jezebel and her false gods.  As a result, she sent an evil messenger with words saying that she was going to kill him for what he had done.   Actually, Elijah “saw that” which she was prophesying.  Jezebel will always send a false message to us that causes our imaginations to picture utter defeat- even death!  This evil messenger sent Elijah running off and ending up in a cave! Elijah was persecuted for standing up to Jezebel and her false gods.  We also will be persecuted when we confront Jezebel.  However, we must not cower down and run away from confrontation- we must become as Peter and pray for even more boldness.

I believe that if we will pray for boldness, God will bring a shaking and fill us with even more boldness and power just as He did in the books of Acts.

We must be on guard and remain aware of how Jezebel easily slips a yoke upon us:

  1. Idolatry:  Don’t allow anything or anyone to take the place of God in your life. When the “Ultimate thing” is no longer the “ultimate thing,” you are easily yoked with idolatry.
  2. Examine your spiritual thermometer.  Have you lost your passion?  Jezebel steals godly passion and replaces it with religious works.  Examine your heart and ask yourself “why” you are working for God- is it out of love or out of fear?  God will always give grace to do as he directs.  If there is no grace, then you may be involved in religious works.  Jezebel loves that!
  3. Is your life in chaos?  A Jezebel spirit brings with it confusion and chaos.  In local churches and ministries, there will be control issues and the need to have power (not true delegated authority).  When Jezebel is active, the local church will experience the fear of church splits and confusion along with major disunity.
  4. Check for a pattern of illness and infirmity.  Jezebel will drain the life from you.  Especially, if you are a counselor or leader, Jezebel attempts to wear you down with her control issues and by spreading lies of disunity.
  5. Are you discouraged?  Jezebel robs us of courage.  She is known in Rev 2 as a false prophetess.  Today, this spirit falsely prophesies to us concerning our destiny.  This evil voice sounds like this:
  • You’re not strong enough to be a leader.
  • You’re not smart enough for God to use you.
  • You will never fulfill destiny.
  • God doesn’t care about you.
  • God might heal others, but you’re not good enough for Him to heal you.
  1. Jezebel is legalistic and demands religious performance.  Remember, we are no longer under the Law.  We are under the New Covenant of God’s grace. We are righteous in Christ Jesus, not because of what we “do” for God (speaking of religious dead works.).  More evil messages that come from her influence sound like:
  • You’re not “doing” enough to please God
  • You must perform for God to love you
  • You are righteous only because of your performance for God

These are only a few examples of how Jezebel operates and attempts to rob us of boldness and courage. Remember, if God asks you do demonstrate His power, He will give you to grace  and the boldness to do it.   I have many other examples in the books I have written that may help you break off any influence of Jezebel.

Dear one, I believe that it is our season for beautiful and timely things to occur.  It is our season to flourish.   Have faith today in His divine grace to equip and empower you to do whatever He has instructed for you to accomplish as you advance His kingdom. God is going to shake things and fill us to overflowing with power and boldness.  Just as He encouraged Joshua to be bold and to be strong (see Joshua 1), God is saying the same to us today!  Let’s cross over into our promises- with divine power and demonstration!

Allow me to pray for you:

Father, I pray for every reader that you led to read this article.  They are reading this by divine appointment.  It is their season of favor.  It is also their season to receive divine revelation and answered prayer.  I pray for the spirit of Might to be upon each reader and for a supernatural boldness to confront evil powers that are opposing their breakthroughs.  Father God, I thank you for the finished work of the Cross and the shed blood of Jesus that was the ultimate sacrifice for our victory over the enemy.  Lord, I thank You for Your grace which will empower us today with greater boldness to confront and defeat spirits of darkness- especially a Jezebel spirit!  And, I also thank You for a divine impartation of boldness today as well as an anointing of power and demonstration for every reader.  In the mighty name of Jesus Christ, I pray.  Amen.

Sandie Freed

zionministries1@sbcglobal.net


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Becoming a People of Mercy by Francis Frangipane

Becoming a People of Mercy by Francis Frangipane
By Francis Frangipane

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Throughout His life, Jesus reached to those rejected by others. He loved the outcasts, those who were despised, scorned, and excluded. Yet His practice of dining with known evildoers offended the Pharisees, and they confronted Jesus’ disciples with this question: “Why is your Teacher eating with the tax-gatherers and sinners?” (Matt. 9:11)

When Jesus heard their question, He answered, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means, ‘I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matt. 9:12-13)

Jesus told the religious Pharisees to go and learn what our heavenly Father meant when He said, “I desire compassion [mercy], and not sacrifice.” So many today are religious without being compassionate. Compassion in the Greek language means a “yearning in the bowels.” It is something that cannot be easily ignored.

You see, a religion without love is an abomination to God. The church needs to learn that God desires love and compassion, not merely an adherence to ritual and sacrifice.

It is right that we should be troubled by the sins of our nation. But we must remember, all nations sin. All cultures have seasons of moral decline and spiritual malaise. Yet these periods can become turning points if, in times of distress, leaders and intercessors cry to the Lord for mercy. Thus, Christ-like prayer brings redemption out of disaster.

Mercy, Not Wrath

The church was created not to fulfill God’s wrath, but to complete His mercy. True prayer is born of love and comes in the midst of sin and need. It comes not to condemn, but to cover.

Jesus said His Father’s house would be a “house of prayer for all the nations” (Mark 11:17). Consider passionately this phrase: “prayer for.” Jesus taught His disciples to “pray for” those who would persecute or mistreat them (Matt. 5:44). When Job “prayed for” his friends (Job 42:10), God fully restored him. We are to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Ps. 122:6), and “pray for” each other so that we may be healed (James 5:16). Paul wrote that God “desires all men to be saved” (1 Tim. 2:4). Therefore, he urged “that entreaties and prayers be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority.” (vv. 1-2)

The nature of our calling is to pray for people in difficulty, in sin, in sickness, and in need of God.

Conformed to the Lamb of God

 

Consider this: the only being in all the universe worthy to “open the book” and release God’s wrath on sin is the very One in all the universe least likely to do so. His commitment to man’s redemption was a total sacrifice, an offering that abides eternally at God’s throne. Yes, He is the lion of the tribe of Judah, but He is also the Lamb slain for men’s sins. He is the only One to whom authority is given to open the book of divine wrath (see Rev. 5).

Because Christ paid the highest price for redemption, we can be confident that He will not release divine fury until He fully exhausts divine mercy. Even then, when His judgments finally come, they will continue to be guided by His motive of mercy, giving time for sinners to repent.

God’s Word tells us plainly: “As He is, so also are we in this world.” (1 John 4:17) Our pattern is the Lamb. Our goal is not merely the exposure of sin, but also the unveiling of the sacrifice for sin. Our great commission is to bring healing and the message of God’s mercy to the nations. Until Christ breaks the seals that ultimately will lead to wrath, we must stand in intercession before God as ambassadors of the Lamb.

May the Lord give us a clear vision of this truth: intercession is the essence of Christ’s life. Not only is He now at the right hand of the Father interceding for us (Rom. 8:34), but His coming to earth and dying for sins was one extended act of intercession. Jesus beheld the depravity of mankind’s sin. He examined it carefully in all of its offensiveness, perversity, and repulsiveness. Yes, He rebuked it when necessary, but the wonder of the Gospel is that, in spite of mankind’s sin, God so deeply loved the world that He sent His Son to die for us (John 3:16-17).

We are called to follow this same amazing pattern of mercy.

We are not minimizing sin when we maximize Christ’s mercy. There is a difference between whitewashing sin and blood washing it. The reality that compels God’s heart—that is an underlying principle of life – is “mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13). To live a life of mercy corresponds perfectly with God’s heart. Mercy precisely fulfills the divine purpose: to transform man into the Redeemer’s image.

Francis Frangipane

www.frangipane.org


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Don’t Let Delays Defeat You by Lee Grady

Don’t Let Delays Defeat You by Lee Grady
By Lee Grady

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A breakthrough is waiting for those who persevere. If you have stopped praying, receive fresh grace to pray again.

George Mueller, the great 19th-century British evangelist, prayed in more than $7 million during his lifetime to feed the thousands of orphans in his care. He didn’t believe in telling people about his financial needs, yet he always had enough to pay his enormous grocery bill because God supernaturally provided.

But Mueller’s faith was stretched in other ways. He prayed regularly over a list of five people he wanted to see converted to faith in Jesus. The first man was saved after five years. The second and third men converted to Christ after 10 years. The fourth man was saved after 25 years of consistent prayer.

“Sometimes construction crews in my city erect large flashing signs along the highway near my house. All drivers groan when they see the message: ‘EXPECT DELAYS.’ Life is littered with these signs, and Jesus said they are part of our training process.”

But here’s the clincher: Mueller prayed for the fifth man’s conversion for a whopping 52 years. The friend made a profession of faith in Christ a few months after Mueller’s funeral!

This story challenges me to the core because I’m so impatient. I’m guilty of revving my engine at stoplights and tapping my foot when my Internet connection is slow. Technology is a blessing, but it has also spoiled me into thinking I can get spiritual results as fast as I want them.

Praying for 52 Years?

Would you pray about something consistently for 52 years if there was no sign an answer was coming? I started praying about some big requests three years ago, and I realized recently that I had grown weary of the process. Prayer had become painful. Doubts began smothering my dreams. I felt like giving up, but God spoke three simple truths to my heart. They might help you:

  1. God never said this would be easy. Jesus gave us many wonderful, rosy promises, but He also said: “In the world you have tribulation.” (John 16:33, NASB) That’s not a Scripture you will find embroidered on a pillow or inscribed on a flowery greeting card. But it’s a guarantee. Anybody who attempts something great for God will face difficulties.

Sometimes construction crews in my city erect large flashing signs along the highway near my house. All drivers groan when they see the message: “EXPECT DELAYS.” Life is littered with these signs, and Jesus said they are part of our training process. If Abraham and Sarah had to wait 25 years for the birth of their promised heir, why do we think our answers should be instant?

  1. You must persevere if you want to receive. Perseverance is one of those archaic words we’ve stripped from our vocabulary. Waiting is a weird concept for people in the 21st century who have movies-on-demand. If someone tells us to wait, we just find an app on our phone to speed up the process.

But there is no shortcut when it comes to receiving God’s answers. The definition of perseverance is “steady persistence in a course of action or purpose, especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles or discouragement.” Faith is painful because God is stretching our spiritual capacity to receive. Press through the pain! There is gain on the other side.

Speaking of prayer, Jesus said: “Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you.” (Matt. 7:7, AMP) In other words, don’t stop praying no matter how long the answer takes.

  1. The end result of faith is a larger territory. When Isaac sojourned in the land of Gerar, the Bible says he re-dug the wells of his father and then dug new wells. After he dug the first two, the Philistines quarreled with Isaac and tried to claim ownership of the water. But when Isaac dug a third time, the fighting stopped and he named the new well “Rehoboth,” which means “a broad place” (see Gen. 26:18-24).

Isaac could have become discouraged after the first well-digging fiasco. Many people back off at the first sign of a fight, but Isaac didn’t let the quarrels stop him. He dug a second time and hit yet another roadblock. But he kept on digging. When the breakthrough occurred, Isaac declared: “At last the Lord has made room for us, and we will be fruitful in the land.” (26:22, NASB)

Keep on Believing

The lesson Isaac learned is still part of our faith curriculum today. There is no getting around it. We must keep on believing when circumstances tell us to quit. We must stretch our faith when it feels like we have no more stretch left. We must pray beyond the delay.

George Mueller said: “God delights to increase the faith of His children. We ought, instead of wanting no trials before victory, no exercise for patience, to be willing to take them from God’s hands as a means. Trials, obstacles, difficulties and sometimes defeats, are the very food of faith.”

If you have grown weary, or even if you have quit believing, receive fresh grace to pray again. Let patience have its perfect work. God will fortify your faith and empower you to receive a miraculous breakthrough.

Lee Grady

www.fireinmybones.com