“Go to Hell, In the Name of Jesus!”

victory mountain

This past weekend, I was blessed to serve on a women’s spiritual retreat.  I attended this retreat 13 years ago and it was life changing for me.  Unfortunately, I was under the delusion that this was the end of my spiritual troubles.  I truly believed that I had left my baggage at the foot of the cross and now Satan had to leave me alone.  I had experienced God in such real and amazing ways that weekend and being young in my faith, expected smooth sailing once leaving that mountain top.  Little did I know that my enemy knew where I had been and was waiting to pull the rug out from under me, when I least expected it.  Over the years I’ve found that after mountain top experiences, often come the lowest valleys.

This weekend, as we were in the chapel, I was praying for the ladies that were experiencing this weekend for the first time.  I was praying for them to really let go and let God have control of their lives.  I was praying for release of those things that were hindering their walk with Christ.  During that time of prayer, I was reminded of the struggles I had when I returned home from my weekend all those years ago.  I had returned unwarned and totally unprepared to deal with the attacks of the enemy.

So, as I sat and prayed, I felt impressed by the Spirit to share the reminder and give a warning to those leaving this weekend on a spiritual high.  I wasn’t quite sure who the message was intended for, so I shared it with the girl sitting beside me.  She agreed and said she had experienced that before as well.  After the service, I mentioned my thoughts to the pastors.  To which one replied, “So when do you want to share about it?  God gave the message to you, not me.”  I was not expecting to share with everyone, I was simply asking if it was going to be addressed before the weekend concluded.  Next thing I knew they were lining up a time for me to share the thoughts that the Spirit had impressed upon me.  It would be the following morning.

That night, long after everyone else was in bed, I was praying and writing the words the Spirit laid upon my heart.  I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to turn out, but figured if the Spirit spoke, I should listen and obey.  The next morning, when the time came I was shaking from head to toe, totally scared out of my mind, but confident that God was in control.  As I began to speak, the Spirit took over.  This is the message He gave me…maybe not word for word, but something like this.

“Ladies, we have had an amazing weekend thus far.  I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’ve spent the weekend in the lap of Jesus, my Savior.  We have be truly blessed.  We serve a wonderful God and this weekend, I believe we have walked on Holy ground.  There is still more to come, but soon we must leave this sacred place.  We will leave this cocoon and return to our worlds.  I don’t know what you are returning home to.  You may be returning to family, friends, work, school… life, but we are also returning to the adversary of our Lord.  Trust me…he knows where you’ve been.  He knows what you have done and he’s not happy about it.  He knows what you’ve learned and the power you have been given, but I guarantee he is banking on you not using it.

1 Peter 5:8 says, “Stay alert!  Watch out for your great enemy, the devil.  He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.  Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.”

There is power in knowing our enemy.  He knows us, he knows our weaknesses and he will exploit them.  But guess what girls…our God is bigger!  He’s greater and He wins!!!  And the same power He used to raise Jesus from the dead is in us!!!

In Luke 10, Jesus and his disciples had been traveling and spreading the gospel.  He appointed 72 other disciples to go two by two ahead of Him into every town and place he was about to go.  In verses 17-20 it says, ‘The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”  He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.  I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.  However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

Girls, He’s given us the authority to trample on snakes and scorpions.  Use it!  When Satan brings up your old junk that you dealt with here and left at the feet of Jesus…Use it!  When Satan stirs up dissention in your marriage and family…Use It!!  When Satan tries to steal your joy, ’cause you know he will…Use It!!  Get ready for the battle ladies.  It will come.  He loves to try to knock us off the top of that mountain.  Some of my biggest trials, temptations, and personal defeats have come shortly after a mountain top experience, such as a BWOC weekend.

But when that time comes and Satan tries to do what he does best…you have the authority to get all up in his business and in the name of Jesus tell him, “Get out of my house!  Get out of my marriage!  Get out of my job and get out of my head!!!  I am the daughter of The King!  Your time is short and I know the end of the story!  MY GOD WINS!!!!”

And all God’s people said, “Amen!”

You may not have just returned from a spiritual retreat or been on a mountain top experience, but our enemy is the same.  He comes only to steal, kill and destroy.  You too have the power and the authority to tell him where to go.  Use it!  Don’t let him steal your joy.  Our God is greater!  It’s high time we as Christians and children of The King, stop living in defeat!  It’s time to tell Satan to “Go to hell, in the Name of Jesus!”  The battle has already been won!  Praise Jesus!  Let’s start living victorious!!

Living in Victory,

Praying Your Journey

Prayer ONe

I recently had a conversation with a group of teen girls who said that they have a hard time focusing when they pray.  They begin praying and then their minds take them off on rabbit trails.  I can so relate to that problem.  My mind has a mind of it’s own, and rarely are they going the same place.  It can be extremely frustrating to begin praying and ten minute later come back to your senses and realize that your prayer took an unexpected turn about ten seconds in, and you’ve traveled through a ten year time span of memories and thoughts in the ten minutes your mind was wondering, and non of it had anything to do with the prayer you started with.  Phew!  That wore me out just typing it!  Often that’s how I feel when I pray…completely exhausted and unattached from praying in run-on sentences.

Since becoming a Christian back in 2001, I have kept a journal.  I’m not consistent, but I wish I was.  I enjoy going back and reading the past journal entries, even if sometimes they are difficult to read.  But the most meaningful entries, are the ones where I cry out to God.  They aren’t just posts about what I did that day, but the cries of my heart to God.  Often times, I have forgotten what I had been praying about at a particular time in my life, but when I read through my journal it is so evident how God walked me through those times.  I see answered prayers and threads of things I still struggle with, but see that God has made improvements.

“Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me.  I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue.  If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer.  Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me.”  Ps. 66:16-20

Journaling has been the single most important way for me to track my relationship with Christ.  It keeps me focused when I’m praying, because I am writing my prayers down.  It also gives me a record of God’s goodness and faithfulness through the different times and trials of life.  Rereading the entries gives me a chance to thank God for the many answered prayers that I have taken for granted.  Because our prayers are often not answered in the time frame we expect or the way we desire, I have found that the journaling of my prayers helps me see the hand of God more clearly at work in my life.

“I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.  Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.”  Ps. 116:1-2

Back in 2006, I began a journey.  I was given the book “David” in the “Personal Reflection Series,” by Beth Moore.  It started me on a path I did not expect.  The study really spoke to me.  It wasn’t just Beth’s personal insight into the life of David, but it was my personal reflection throughout that was specifically impacting for me.  At the end of each day’s lesson, Beth has you write a prayer about the topic of that day.  She begins the prayer with some scripture and you are to finish it.  I wrote daily from the cries of my heart, but it wasn’t until later, when I reread those verses that I truly saw the value of them and the power of God at work in me.  I have since done the “Paul” and currently the “John” studies by Beth Moore.  It is still the power of the prayers that have moved me to share this.

When I began my blog, I had a tab included Prayer Journal.  It has been on my heart to share some of these prayers with you.  I have shared them personally with a few people and the feedback was very positive.  I’m hoping that you will be inspired by the words God placed on my heart and that you too may start a prayer journal of your own.  I’m hoping to make this a regular part of my postings here at “Groomed by God,” so please let me know what you think.  If these posts help you or inspire you, I’d love to hear about it!  As I bear my heart, I hope it touches yours.

Today’s prayer is still significant to me in this time of my life, even though it was written nearly 8 years ago. As I seek to serve in ministry as God calls me, I don’t exactly know what it looks like, but I want to get rid of anything that would hinder me from following where He leads.  Maybe you can relate, so pray with me…

“Lord, give me things to accomplish for You, and allow me to “put-off” those things that are hindering me and making progress for Satan and not Your Kingdom.  Help me to recognize the things in my life that are stumbling blocks and that keep me from growing in You.  Purge those things for good and keep me from returning to them.  Give me Your strength and Your will to accomplish what You have planned for me and those that I love.  In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.”

Praying God gives you good works to accomplish today and that you too may be inspired to write them down!