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Tag: SATAN

Is Every Struggle the Devil?

(THE KIMBERLY JOY SHOW: In All Things Persevere)

IS EVERY STRUGGLE THE DEVIL?

As believers in Christ, the Bible encourages us to persevere.

To persevere is “to never give up, continue, carry on, keep going, be persistent, be determined, press on, stand firm, go the distance, stay the course—even in the face of suffering.” In fact, a believer may suffer as a result of persecution. II Timothy 3:12 (New International Version) says,

“….Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted…”

As the verse states, Christians will be persecuted just as Jesus was persecuted, by Satan, his demons, and those who choose to walk in darkness, rather than in the light of God. However, I want to make something very clear. Not every hardship is from the devil. He doesn’t have that much power!

IS YOUR STRUGGLE PERSECUTION OR A CONSEQUENCE OF BAD BEHAVIOR?

Perhaps a struggle you are facing is the result of bad behavior on your part.

Colossians 3:25 (New Living Translation) says,

“But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done. For God has no favorites.”

Let’s consider King David of Israel who, at a young age, was chosen by God and anointed by Samuel to be the next king (I Samuel 16). In II Samuel 11, late one afternoon while walking on the rooftop, King David noticed a woman nearby taking a bath. He was immediately drawn to her. When he inquired about her identity, his servants informed him that she was Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, one of David’s soldiers. Although he now knew she was married, with lust in his heart, David still summoned her. As a result of their adulterous act, Bathsheba became pregnant.

When David learned of the pregnancy, he did everything in his power to cover up his wrongdoing. First, he had Uriah removed from the battlefield and sent home in hopes that he would sleep with his wife and, in turn, think he was the father of the unborn child. However, Uriah was a man of integrity and devoted soldier who remained abstinent during battle. Feeling he had no other choice, King David then ordered Uriah to be placed on the frontlines in battle, where he knew Uriah would more than likely be killed. Once Uriah was out of the picture, King David married Bathsheba thinking he was now in the clear. However, God wasn’t going to let David get away with what he did simply because he was king!

After Bathsheba gave birth to their son, the Lord sent the prophet Nathan to confront David about his sin. He prophesied that because of his sin, his household would suffer death. In that moment, David didn’t run away or hide. Instead, he owned up to what he had done and repented. In Psalms 51:1-12 (NLT), David prayed:

“1 Have mercy on me, O God,
because of Your unfailing love.
Because of Your great compassion,
blot out the stain of my sins.
2 Wash me clean from my guilt.
Purify me from my sin.
3 For I recognize my rebellion;
it haunts me day and night.
4 Against You, and You alone, have I sinned;
I have done what is evil in Your sight.
You will be proved right in what You say,
and Your judgment against me is just.
5 For I was born a sinner—
yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
6 But You desire honesty from the womb,
teaching me wisdom even there.

7 Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Oh, give me back my joy again;
You have broken me—
now let me rejoice.
9 Don’t keep looking at my sins.
Remove the stain of my guilt.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
11 Do not banish me from Your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
and make me willing to obey You…..”

Although David sincerely repented of his sins and God forgave him, he still had to suffer the consequences. David didn’t die, but their infant son did.

Like King David, if you have done something you know was wrong, confess to God, repent, and persevere through the consequences.

You persevere by learning from your mistakes, moving forward, and making better choices. As Gospel singer Martha Munizzi sings, “Your latter will be greater than your past.” David and Bathsheba may have lost their first son, but God blessed them with Solomon, who later became king of Israel and the one to fulfill his father’s dream of building the temple in Jerusalem.

IS YOUR STRUGGLE PERSECUTION OR A TEST FROM GOD?

Your current struggle may be a test from God. O yes! God takes us through tests every now and then. However, I don’t think the test is as much for God as it is for us. A test is designed to measure your growth, to see how far you’ve come and how far you still need to go. For example, in Genesis 22, God tested Abraham when He instructed him to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac. This particular commandment had to be very trying for Abraham considering how many years he had waited to receive his promised heir. Nevertheless, Abraham obeyed the voice of God and, in turn, passed the test! In verse 12, an angel of the Lord stopped Abraham just when he was about to sacrifice Isaac and said,

“…now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from Me even your son, your only son.”

Abraham proved his faith, faithfulness and obedience to God! Consequently, God also informed him that He would bless him with innumerable descendants and that they would all be greatly blessed. Like Abraham, God wants to give us more, but we have to be ready to receive. So, whenever God takes you through a test, recognize that it’s designed to make you better, stronger and wiser. Therefore, persevere through it! Greater is coming!

IS YOUR STRUGGLE PERSECUTION OR JUST A PART OF LIFE?

Are you familiar with the phrase “Stuff happens?” The phrase is an acknowledgement that life here on earth is not perfect and unpredictable events will occur. For instance, consider that everything seems to be going well for you financially. Your bills are paid on time every month. You’re able to keep groceries in the refrigerator, gas in the tank, clothes on your back and shoes on your feet. You even have some money left over in the bank. Life is wonderful! Unfortunately, one day your car breaks down, your furnace goes out, and the dentist informs you that your child needs braces. The costs of what you need is more than what your salary will cover. Now, you’re frustrated, confused and scared.

However, in the midst of this overwhelming situation, you must persevere! I Peter 5:7 (NLT) says,

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.”

You may have family and friends who truly care about you and are willing to help you any way they can. Nonetheless, no one cares about you more than God, the Creator, the one who owns everything! Therefore, He should always be the first one you consult when you find yourself in a tough situation. He will provide you with what you need. You just have to trust Him totally.

DON’T LET IT DESTROY YOU!

Whatever challenges you may be facing for whatever reasons, as Philippians 4:13 states, know that through Christ, you can do all things! What you’re going through right now doesn’t have to kill you, unless you let it. YES! Unless YOU let it! So, don’t let it destroy you! Rather stand tall in God! For instance, even though Job had lost everything, in Job 23:10 (King James Version) he declared,

“But [God] knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION

If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be free! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

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Child of God, You Are FREE!!!

(The Kimberly Joy Show: God Says, “You Are FREE!!!” Part 2)

CHILD OF GOD, YOU ARE FREE
Knowing who you and I are in God, being who we are with no apologies, and loving who we are wholeheartedly involves recognizing that we were set free the moment we accepted Jesus into our hearts! As I discussed in the previous article, “You Are FREE!!!”, God recently reminded me that every child of God is free!

When we lack knowledge and understanding of this truth, it makes it easier for Satan to fool us into thinking we are still under his control. He’s able to convince us that we are still messed up. Thus, we worry that we’ll never get beyond our past. We continue to believe the negative things people have said and may still say about us. Essentially, we still feel bound!

WHAT DOES GOD SAY?
When we believe such lies over God’s Truth, we are more inclined to surrender to the devil’s suggestions. Therefore, we need the Bible, which is the Word of God or God’s Voice. The scriptures tell us who we are in Him. What does GOD say?

Romans 8:37 (King James Version) says:

“…We are more than conquerors…”

Philippians 4:13 (New King James Version) says:

“[We] can do all things through Christ…”

Why?

“…[He] strengthens [us].”

John 8:36 (New International Version) assures us that:

“…If [Jesus] sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

Indeed means “without any question, truly, undeniably”. So, once we surrender to Jesus, He sets us free from sin and everything attached to it. It’s settled…..a done deal! We can move forward in Him and not look back.

Consider ex-convicts. Although many are released from prison once they serve their time, some eventually return. Why? Mentally they are still in prison! In other words, they still view themselves as criminals and convicts. They have difficulty seeing themselves as people who are now free to live as productive citizens in society. So, does this mean they can’t learn? Absolutely not! They CAN learn! They can develop new mindsets with the right guidance, education, and tools. Basically, their minds have to be changed!

HOW ARE SOME BELIEVERS STILL HELD CAPTIVE?
As believers in Christ, I believe much of our “captivity” is mental! It’s only in the mind! We often give Satan more credit than he deserves. What do I mean? The devil plays mind games. When we’re not sure about who we really are in Christ, we fall for his lies. John 8:44 (New Living Translation) says:

“[Satan] has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Satan and his demons are liars. They’re incapable of telling the truth. For instance, in Genesis 3, the serpent, who was Satan in disguise, deceived Adam and Eve into disobeying God. In Genesis 3:1 (NLT), the serpent approached Eve and said:

“Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”

The serpent asked Eve this particular question to plant a seed of doubt in her mind. Then he said in verses 4-5:

“4 You won’t die…..5 God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”

Despite the fact that the serpent told a blatant lie, Eve was still convinced and ate the fruit, along with her husband Adam, who was also present. They may not have expired that day, but they did eventually lose their lives, although they were originally created to live forever. The only reason the serpent was able to deceive Adam and Eve is because they doubted God. They doubted what they had been told and what had already been placed inside of them.

As believers, we are deceived or Satan is able to play mind games with us when we doubt what God has told us OR when we don’t know what God has said—–when we don’t know His Word. Consider Jesus! After fasting in the wilderness for forty days and nights, Jesus was presented with temptations from Satan himself (Matthew 4:1-11). In other words, the devil was trying to play with His MIND. However, because Jesus knew who He was—–a man free from sin—–He didn’t yield to the devil’s suggestions. Nor did he run away and hide. Instead, He stood on God’s Word with undeniable confidence! Matthew 4:8-11 (NLT) say:

“8 Next the devil took [Jesus] to the peak of a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.

9 ‘I will give it all to you,’ the devil said, ‘if you will kneel down and worship me.’

10 Jesus then said, ‘Get out of here, Satan! For the Scriptures say, You must worship the Lord your God and serve only Him.’

11 Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.”

Satan left Jesus alone because he realized he couldn’t play with His MIND.

WHAT IS THE KEY TO A BELIEVER BEING HEALED?

It’s so important that we as believers know we are free! Not only has Jesus set us free from sin, but He has set us free from sickness and disease. There are stories in the Bible, particularly the ones involving Jesus and the apostles, about people who were healed. Those stories weren’t included to serve as fairy tales, but to let us know that we can and should experience the same. Truth be told, we should all be healed!

IMAGINE……….

What if we were never sick?

What if the illnesses and diseases, which tried to attack our bodies, left as quickly as they came by us just speaking a word of healing?

What if we saw healings and miracles in every church all around the globe?

What if the hospitals were virtually empty and the pharmaceutical companies went out of business all because of our faith?

I want to see that! How about you?

I believe there will be an increase in healings and miracles as we grow in our faith recognizing that we are free. Furthermore, Jesus said it’s going to happen. In John 14:12 (NLT), He said:

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in Me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works…”

The key word in the above verse is BELIEVE! You have to believe. I have to believe. We have to believe that Jesus has set us free and live like people who are free from sin, sickness, and disease. We are now free to be what God has called each of us to be as He orders our footsteps and gets the glory out of our lives.

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be free! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

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P.U.S.H. Chapter Three

P.U.S.H. PRAY UNTIL SOMETHING HAPPENS
As Christians, we are to P.U.S.H. or pray until something happens. We are to pray to God continually. Ephesians 6 tells us that prayer is one of our weapons against the enemy. Notice what I said….ONE of our weapons! So, we have more than one weapon, and they each play a significant role in our lives as believers in Christ.

I shared in my previous blog post “P.U.S.H. Chapter Two,” how God had to show me the importance of approaching Him the right way. I was in the habit of sometimes praying out of my emotions instead of praying in faith. The prayers I prayed out of fear, worry or frustration were not being very effective. For instance, there were times when I would just complain or vent to God, rather than really praying. In those moments I didn’t feel like praying. I only felt like complaining. And for years, God allowed that behavior from me. However, recently, God has revealed to me that it’s time for me to mature. Why? I now know God well enough to know that He will always come through for me. Regardless of how the situation looks, God ALWAYS comes through.

It reminds me one of my favorite Tye Tribbett songs. In the song he says:

“Please be encouraged. This is not the first storm you’ve been through. You’ve been through worse. You didn’t come this far just to lose. He knows your needs, so take no thoughts on what you lost.
God will restore, and this is how I’m sure. If He did it before, He can do it again. Same God right now, same God back then.”

James 1:17 says:

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, Who does not change like shifting shadows.”

So, God our Father, our Creator, never changes. He is our Deliverer, Healer, Restorer, Teacher, Protector, Provider! God is EVERYTHING we need! Because we are human, sometimes we have to remind ourselves of that truth! I know I do!

QUESTION:
Have you ever been in a situation where it looked like it was never going to get better? I know I have! But, guess what? It eventually got better! I got what I needed…..my healing…..my breakthrough…..my deliverance…..my answers…..my instructions!

MY WEAPON OF PRAYER
As I was saying before, recently God told me that whenever I’m faced with a difficult situation, that’s not the time to get in my feelings. Rather, that’s the time to pick up my weapon of prayer!

God instructs me to pray HIS way. What does that mean? I am to pray His Word and His will, not my opinion or someone else’s opinion. To pray God’s way also means to pray in the Holy Spirit. For those who have been empowered to speak in tongues, that gift should be used as often as possible during prayer. Ephesians 6:11-12 say:

“11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.
12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”

In other words, we are faced with Satan and his demons. I Peter 5:8 lets us know that the enemy is always on the prowl trying to destroy everyone he can. So, it’s a must that we stay prayed up.

Ephesians 6:18 says:

“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”

As the verse says, we are to always pray in the Holy Spirit and to pray for each other as believers in Christ. To take it a step further, we are to pray for ourselves, our families, our friends, our neighbors, our co-workers, our leaders (inside and outside of the church), our communities, our country, the WORLD!

WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY
According to I Timothy 2:1-4, we are to pray for all people because God wants everyone to know the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be saved. That’s right! God wants to see EVERYONE saved! So, as people of God, we have a responsibility to tell others about Jesus and to share our testimonies of what He’s done for us personally. Testimonies can be very impactful. In some instances, sharing your personal testimony is more effective than just telling a Bible story. Your testimony helps those to whom you’re witnessing to really connect with the message.

We, as believers, also have a responsibility to let our lights shine and, again, to pray! When we don’t know what else to do, we can always pray. A perfect example is my own mother Geraldine Banks. Although I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior at a young age, I haven’t always gotten things right. However, what has helped me in my spiritual walk has been my mother. It wasn’t because she always got everything right. She wasn’t supermom (if there’s even such a thing). She didn’t have a manual for “How To Be the Perfect Parent”. What she did have was her relationship with God, the Bible, and a strong prayer life. My mother prayed (and still prays) for my brother and me.

And when I say she prayed for us, I’m not referring to her silent, private prayers. Rather, I’m talking about the prayers I was blessed to hear in the middle of the night. There’s nothing like hearing my mom pray for me. Hearing her walk up and down the hallway, calling out our names, speaking in tongues and interceding for us just reaffirmed her love for us. Her prayers helped me to want to do better and live right.

Again, God is commissioning us to pray, not complain, not worry, but PRAY! I know from personal experience that satan does everything he possibly can to try to convince us not to pray. Why is that? Even he knows that prayer still works! Therefore, we can’t allow ourselves to be fooled by him anymore.

I want to urge you to really use your weapon of prayer, even when you don’t feel like it. That’s why I appreciate being able to pray in the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:26 says that, even when we don’t know what to pray for, the Holy Spirit knows.

If you don’t currently speak in tongues, that’s okay! God still hears your prayers! However, I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to empower you to speak in tongues, and He will! Again, praying in the Holy Spirit is a powerful weapon against the enemy. Besides, when we speak in tongues, Satan and his demons have no idea what we’re saying. Remember, unlike God, Satan is not omnipresent or all-knowing.

I believe God is ready to do greater things in our lives and in the lives of those around us. Therefore, children of God, we must continue to P.U.S.H!

(“The Kimberly Joy Show: P.U.S.H Pray Until Something Happens Part 3”)

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