Anything that feeds you controls you!
The enemy is always presenting things before us, and unknowingly sometimes we fall prey into his schemes and distractions.
The key is to:
In Proverbs 4: 11-13 (NKJV) Solomon speaks to his son, "I have taught you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in right paths. 12When you walk, your steps will not be hindered, And when you run, you will not stumble. 13Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; Keep her, for she is your life."
I have been thinking and pondering about many things that are happening around the country and I ask myself sometimes why am I not moved to respond the way others have?
My whole life, I have heard my dad telling my brothers and me, when it comes to government and politics, never asked what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. I never realized how important this statement was until I was much older.
Growing up we were not rich, but I wouldn't say we were poor either because we always had what we needed and never went to bed hungry unless we chose to (that was usually me because I always wanted junk to eat). One thing I can say that I really questioned about my father was, how is it that whenever there was a crisis in the community he would know just the right person to go to seeking help for those in need? For instance, I remember in 1988 after Hurricane Gilbert devastated Jamaica and our community was hit hard, he knew who to talk with so his friends and others could get assistance from the government, but he himself though half our house was destroyed by the hurricane never asked for assistance. In the grand scheme of things, I thought my daddy was a fool for not getting help when it was available to him.
The last couple of days I have thought about a lot of the things he has taught me about politics and government and it dawned on me, "anything that feeds you controls you." This is so true in many aspects of our lives.
Our belief system is fed by the things we see and hear. What we see and hear dictates our behavior, and our behavior forms the patterns for our life. Therefore, it is vital for us to be cognizant of what we allow to feed us. We can feed on things that bring life (positive production and progress) or produce death (hinder growth and destruction). What we need to understand is this, anything that does not produce life is a hindrance to growth and produces death.
Now with this knowledge, take the time to think about what you are feeding on to see if it is producing life or death within and around you.
It is not God's desire that any man should perish, therefore He has given us the means to life through Jesus Christ. What are you doing with the life He has given you?
As believers in Jesus, we are agents of change, we are given the power to produce life even in the midst of death and destruction. It is up to us however, to use the power God has given us in a way that will bring glory to Him, rather than being an agent of death.
I leave you with the words of the Apostle Paul as he admonishes Titus; we are to remain steady in every situation, endure suffering, do the work that a proclaimer of the Good News should, and do everything your service to God requires. 2 Timothy 4:5 (CJB).
As I thought about what is happening around us I felt the Lord saying to me, It may seem dark but a new day is dawning. Then I remembered the beginning of the early church. The early church was birthed in what seemed like a time of darkness for the disciples because their Teacher was about to leave them, but Jesus had told them to go to Jerusalem and wait for the promise of the Holy Spirit (Read Acts 1:4-5). The Bible tells us that on the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit came upon them with power, Acts chapter 2.
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2:1-4
In our Christian culture, we acknowledge the traditions of man instead of observing the Feast Days appointed by God. Because of this practice, our Christian faith has become lopsided, rather out of alignment with the Biblical practices. The beauty of Torah cannot be realized if we don’t look at the picture as a whole to acknowledge and celebrate God in the affairs of man.
We are one week away from celebrating Pentecost, and the Lord is saying, the time seems dark but after Pentecost, there will be a rebirth of the church. The church will go forth once more with power and authority.
You may ask, what am I talking about? As New Testament believers many of us do not understand that Pentecost was not a one-time occurrence when the Holy Spirit came and empowered the disciples as mentioned in the book of Acts. Pentecost as we know it is the “Feast of Weeks” also known as (Shavu’ot), which is the celebration of the Spring harvest and the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.
22 “And you shall observe the Feast of Weeks, of the first fruits of wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the year’s end.
23 “Three times in the year all your men shall appear before the Lord, the Lord God of Israel. Exodus 34:22-23
The Feast of Weeks/Pentecost occurs fifty days after Passover and the feast of Unleavened Bread. Pentecost is one of the three feast days that were appointed by God which the men in Israel were to appear before Him. (Read Leviticus 23:15-23).
Here is what I want you to see. Tradition has taught us to celebrate Easter, Lent, and Christmas all of which have absolutely no biblical foundation for our faith and therefore cannot provide us with the promises and blessings that are associated with God’s appointed times of celebration. Those who celebrate the tradition of Easter have nothing to look forward to except the return of the Lord. However, for those who observe Passover as it was command by God, we can look forward to Pentecost where we can anticipate an outpouring, a time of refreshing, and renewal as we acknowledge God as the giver of all things.
In this time and season God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power love and of a sound mind. He wants His children to heed His commands and not conform to the religious practices of the tradition of man. Just as there was an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost when the early church was birthed and there was a harvest of three thousand souls, there awaits an outpouring for the church today, but only those who are waiting with expectation will receive of the Spirit of the Lord. God once again will use His people to turn the world up-side-down.
Are you ready for the outpouring?
I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Ezekiel 36:27
In our Christian culture, we often believe what is being taught from the Bible without question or seek the Lord for an understanding of what is being taught, which sometimes causes us to go down a path that God didn't intend for us to travel. As the Bible tells us do not believe every spirit but we should test every spirit to see whether if it is of God, 1 John 4:1. As you read what I am about to share with you, my prayer is that you do more than just merely read but also ask the Holy Spirit to reveal truth to you.
In a conversation before He was crucified Jesus spoke to Simon, Peter, saying "Simon, Simon! Indeed Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren. 33But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” 34Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.” Luke 22:31-34NKJV
Most times when we hear a message from this passage of Scripture the focus is on Satan's desire to sift Simon as wheat, and the emphasis is placed on Peter's denying Jesus, but I believe that wasn't the point of this conversation Jesus was having with Peter.
In this passage, Jesus’ emphasis was not on Satan’s desire or Peter denying Him; the emphasis was on Peter’s faith and ministry.
There are a few principles that we can glean from this passage. The first principle is that “prayer strengthens faith.” Jesus told Peter, though Satan asked for you that he may sift you as wheat, “I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail you, and when you return to Me, strengthen your brethren.”
Jesus reassured Simon (Peter) that in spite what Satan desire was, his faith is what will bring him back to Jesus. It didn’t matter what Satan wanted to do to him. It didn't matter what Peter was about to say or do, it was about his "faith." It was about his confidence in knowing who Jesus was and his love for Him. Regardless of what he was about to experience, his survival was dependent upon the strength of his faith.
Secondly, Jesus told Peter, "When you return to me strengthen your brethren." Peter's responsibility after his experience was to strengthen those around him. It was his duty to share with others how his faith in Jesus brought him through his experience. Through his life experiences, Peter experienced the grace of God.
Thirdly, Jesus taught Peter that He cannot rely on his own strength. Peter had the best of intentions when he told Jesus, "Lord, I am ready to go with You both to prison and to death. His best of intention was not the source of Peter's strength.
It was from these principles that Peter's ministry was established by Jesus. After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to Peter by the sea three times He asked Peter, "Do you love me," Peter responded, "Lord, You know I do." Jesus told him "Feed my sheep." John 21:15-17NKJV
Peter, himself warns us of the desire of Satan toward us as believers, in 1 Peter 5:8-9(NKJV) he warns us; "Be sober, be vigilant, because the adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9Resist him, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by the brotherhood in the world."
With this knowledge and experience, Peter also prayed for his fellow brethren as Jesus prayed for him, "But may the God of all grace who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you." 1Peter 5:10
How do we make the word of God applicable to our lives today?
As Jesus said to Peter when you return to me strengthen your brethren; even so, He requires us to do the same. There is no doubt that as believers we will suffer in this world, but how we deal with it will establish if we are capable to strengthen our brethren. We can either depend on our own strength or turn to the God of our faith for strength. If our faith is strong in Him, we will not fail. Revelation 12:11(CJB) tells us, "They (believers) defeated him (Satan) by the Lamb's blood and because of the message of their witness. Even when facing death they did not cling to life."
Let us not be selfish in our witness of God’s grace and love towards us. What are the lessons you have learned from your life’s experiences which you know without a doubt if it had not been for your faith in God and His grace you would have not made it through? Bear in mind you are not the only one who is suffering or has suffered in this world. Your brothers and sisters need to know that God is as faithful today as He was in the life of Peter and all those who chose to follow Him.
Will you strengthen your brethren today?
Natalee Henry- Minister, Motivational Speaker, Publisher, Author, Founder and C.E.O. of Season Destiny, a ministry designed to "empower you to make right decisions in life." Her goal is to “empower you to make the right decisions in life” through the teaching of the Word of God. Her mission is to Educate, Motivate, and Transform lives for the Kingdom of God.