Know Your Enemy

It is important to know your enemy and the tactics he uses. The evil one is so cunning that you have to pay close attention to his every move.   Believe me he will use anyone and everyone you know to deceive you. Christian, be on guard don’t let yourself be fooled by the evil one!

Not only do you need to know your enemy but you need to know your friends as well.  Of course, you already know them because they’re your friends, right? Well, more importantly you need to know their character.  Jesus knew Peter’s character and this is why Peter was chosen to be the rock to build his church on.

Matthew 16:13-19

13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

14 “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”

15 Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. 18 Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”

 If you read a little bit further in Matthew you see Jesus telling his disciples about his upcoming death and you see Peter’s response below.

Matthew 16:22-23;

22 But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. “Heaven forbid, Lord,” he said. “This will never happen to you!”

23 Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”

 Can you see how Jesus is showing us just how devious the enemy can and will be.  If we go back and look at verses 18-19, Jesus states Peter is the rock in which he will build his church. And shortly after that  Jesus rebuked the enemy with the same authority that he  gave to us.

Luke 10:19 says;

19 Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you.

Satan is so conniving that he will use your closest friends to get your focus off of God and onto your circumstances. He will try to drive a wedge in your closest relationships especially those with other Christians. Be on alert at all times, Christian!

Satan can and will use anyone to fulfill his plans and in his mind no one is off limits to him. He may use your sister, brother, mother, father, friends, and even your pastor to create havoc in your life. Knowing your family, friends, and your pastor’s character puts you at an advantage over the evil one because he’s probably betting on that you don’t know them that well. There may be occasions when he is right but don’t give him any ammunition.

Know your friends’ characters so when, not if,  but when the evil one attempts to separate you from God you will be ready for him. Prepare for battle every morning by putting on the full armor of God before you step one foot out your door.

This is not our battle it is the Lord’s now that is worth celebrating! It is so awesome to know as Christians the war has been won in the Heavenly realms and VICTORY is ours! Amen!

The most powerful ammunition you can have is the sword of the Spirit in your heart!

 

 

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The Power of Forgiveness

God commands us to forgive and so we must forgive.

Matthew 6:14-15 NKJV

        14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

How many times do we say the words yet our hearts are not quite ready to forgive? I always thought if I said it then one day I would truly believe it in my heart. Well, for this girl no such luck there were still things I needed to forgive. I didn’t realize I was holding on to unforgiveness until someone pointed it out to me and, oh boy, was that a big ouch.

My last post was about Daniel and his perseverance with prayer. I have been praying for years that my son’s seizures would stop and when they didn’t I would tell myself that it’s just not time yet. You know God’s timing is perfect, right?

During my inner healing prayer sessions I was able to surrender my unforgiveness with God’s help. This was when I truly let go and forgave as well as asking God to forgive my stubbornness. I’m not saying that all unanswered prayer has to do with unforgiveness because sometimes it could be that what we are asking for is just not in His will.

In hindsight, I believe my unforgiveness was actually holding up my son’s healing of his seizures. I say this because it is God’s will that we all be healed whether it be on this side or on the other side of Heaven. Unforgiveness, is an open door to the enemy. The enemy can deafen one’s ears to the truth especially when it is God’s will you are waiting for.

Long story short my son no longer has seizures and we are tapering him off of his seizure meds. My son’s seizures have stopped and I thank my God for His healing touch on my son. The power of forgiveness is life changing.

Don’t let unforgiveness hinder your prayer life.

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Perseverance

I have been reading the book of Daniel and “perseverance” has popped into my head quite a few times throughout the reading of this book. Daniel was a persistent and faithful man. He prayed three times a day since he was a young child.

Now there were some officials that were jealous of Daniel and they could not find any faults with him. So they devised a plan that would definitely make some trouble in Daniel’s life. These men figured the only way they could trap Daniel was by tricking the King into signing a decree against anyone who worshipped any other god besides the King- (King Darius).

So what was the first thing Daniel did after gaining knowledge of the signing of the decree, a decree condemning all who prayed to or worshipped any other god besides the King would be thrown into the lion’s den.

Daniel 6:10 (NKJV) states;  

  Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.

God wants us to persevere in our prayer life just like Daniel no matter the troubles that swarm around us. Daniel knew that praying to any other god would land him in the lion’s den but that did not deter him from being faithful in his prayer time to the Most High God three times a day just as he had always done.   I mean really, how many people do you know that would have done the same having full knowledge of the dire consequences? Daniel never wavered from his faithfulness to the Most High God not even when sentenced to death.

This is exactly what God is calling us to do in these last days. Can’t you hear Him calling you to a much deeper walk? A walk so deep that others will want to follow in your footsteps and as Christians it is our job to be the salt of the earth declaring the Most High God is The WAY, The TRUTH, and The LIFE!

John 14:6 (NKJV) states;

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.  

So let me ask you this, are you ready to persevere for His Glory no matter the cost?

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Blessed Beyond Blessed!

Disclaimer: I, Deb Maciorowski, am the Vice President to the Special Touch R.E.A.C.H. New England Chapter and the postings on this site are my own and don’t represent Special Touch Ministry’s positions, strategies or opinions in any way.

 Blessed Beyond Blessed!

My son (Tom) and I, as well as my niece and twin sister had the pleasure of being part of this year’s Special Touch Northeast Region Get Away at Eisner Camp in Great Barrington, Massachusetts in the first part of this month.  For those who do not know what Special Touch Ministry, Inc. is about it is a non-profit, faith-based organization that strives  to ease and enrich the lives of people impacted by disability.”

When the Special Touch R.E.A.C.H. New England Chapter started last December my son absolutely did not want to go to the meeting.  Tom and I made a deal that he had to try at least one meeting and if he didn’t like it, well then, that would be that.

He was fine right up until we had to go in, in fact, he cried and was quite angry with me.  Yes, I admit it I resorted to bribing in order to get him in the door.  He so did not want to go in; it took him about 20-30 minutes to get in the door.  As soon as he was in he was under the table playing his iPod with his green lawnmower headphones to help block the noise around him.   I prayed that God would bring some other kids to the meeting so Tom could have someone to play with.   I just knew in my heart of hearts if he could just make this transition into the Special Touch R.E.A.C.H. New England Chapter meeting he would be accepted for who he is.   God is oh, so good!   Guess what happened?  Yup, you guessed it there were two other children at the meeting that day and Tom really connected with one of them . Hallelujah!  On the way home Tom told me;

“I’m only going to one more meeting, Mom, and then that’s it.  I mean it, no more!”  After a brief pause he continued, “Only one more, Mom I mean it.”

Then I asked what about the bowl-a-thon?

“Okay, then I’ll stop right after I bowl with my friends.  Did you hear me, Mom?” (Special Touch has their annual National Special Touch Bowl Across America fundraiser every March)

I told him I heard him meanwhile my insides were doing a “Hallelujah, dance”!

Float -the -Boat fundraiser for the Northeast Region Get Away.

He was given the Captain's wheel!
He was given the Captain’s wheel!
Tom's cousin Janee our little "spider girl"!

Tom’s cousin Janee our little “spider girl”!

Tom made it to just about 35 feet.

Tom made it to just about 35 feet.

IMG_20140314_160107

Mom and Tom enjoying morning chapel service.

Mom and Tom enjoying morning chapel service.

REACH NE Chapter Bowling event March 15, 2014

REACH NE Chapter Bowling event March 15, 2014

That one meeting really made an impression on his heart as well as on mine! I tell you all of this because the transformation I saw in my son at the Special Touch Northeast Region Get Away  truly blessed me and I mean for a lifetime.  I have been blessed beyond blessed!  My son has never entered a room and started talking never mind talking to strangers. The first day at the Get Away the atmosphere was so anointed with the Holy Spirit it felt like the very first time I walked into Cornerstone Church, I knew I  had finally found my church family.  I personally did not know a lot of the people but somehow it felt like I knew them already.  The most important thing is Tom felt comfortable.  When you are accepted just as you are; you are then free to be who God made you to be!

Normally, Tom is a very picky eater so I was worried that he would lose even more weight and he really could not afford to lose any more weight.  We have been trying for several months to get Tom to eat more so he could gain back some of the 10 pounds he lost over the past year.  The chef at Eisner’s Camp was absolutely wonderful!  When people ask Tom what he liked most about the Get Away he says,

“The food! The Chef was awesome.”

So a great big THANK YOU! to Chef Paul out at Eisner Camp in Great Barrington, MA.

I joke and say Tom is the Special Touch R.E.A.C.H. New England Chapter’s ambassador.  In essence, he is because no matter where we go people are hearing about the Special Touch Northeast Region Get Away. He tells everyone how wonderful it was and he is 100% right!

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My Strength

This psalm has been resonating in my heart for the past week especially this part of verse twenty-six;God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever.

Psalm 73:23-28 (NLT)

23 Yet I still belong to You;  You hold my right hand. 24 You guide me with Your counsel,  leading me to a glorious destiny. 25 Whom have I in heaven but You?   I desire You more than anything on earth. 26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,  but God remains the strength of my heart;     He is mine forever.

27 Those who desert Him will perish,  for You destroy those who abandon You. 28 But as for me, how good it is to be near God!  I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter,  and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things You do.

When walking through difficult trials oh, how we wish there was a path in which someone didn’t have to get hurt but that is hardly ever the case, is it? Then the next hurdle we face is which path to choose? How do you choose? So we pray for God’s will to be done in our lives and that we have the strength to be obedient to His will.

God works all things together good for those that love Him and sometimes that is hard to see through the torrential rains in the midst of our storms. But how amazing it is to know that we are His children and nothing can separate us from His love.

Romans 8:39 says,

39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

He is the strength of my heart and how privileged it is to know He is mine forever!

      Lord Jesus, help me to accept Your will in my life no matter what.  Father, help me be obedient to Your will knowing that someone may get hurt in the action of that will.  Jesus, I thank You for loving me and being the strength of my heart in the midst of my storms.  Lord Jesus, give me revelation through Your word to grow spiritually from the storms in my life. Father God, thank You for never leaving my side and I am forever grateful knowing that nothing can separate me from Your love! Amen and Amen!

 

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A Season of Shaking

The last couple of weeks God has brought up the subject of trust. As I was meditating on ‘trust’ all I kept hearing was “Trust Me, Trust Me”. My first thoughts were, of course, I trust you, God!  In fact, I trust You with everything.  As I went about my week it seemed liked everything I picked up to read or listen to was all about trust some way or another.

Sometimes it takes me a little while to catch on, hence my blog title, be still and listen. lol  I’m like, okay God I’m hearing You and You want me to concentrate on trusting You.  In the stillness and quietness of my prayer closet God spoke to me and said;

“You need to Trust Me and dig your feet in for a season of shaking.”

I believe that season is rapidly approaching, if it’s not here already? The word “trust” is mentioned 220 times (Old Testament 161 times; New Testament 59 times) in the bible (NLT) but that will have to be a series for another date and time. We all know that if something is mentioned that many times in the bible it must be important, right? God tells us over and over in His word that He is trust worthy.

Psalm 62:5-8 (NLT) says;

Let all that I am wait quietly before God,  for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. My victory and honor come from God alone.  He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. O my people, Trust in him at all times.   Pour out your heart to him,  for God is our refuge. Interlude

These are important days and I really need to be cemented in His word lest I lose my footing. The enemy will try to convince me that I don’t trust God enough, that I don’t know enough of His word, and that I don’t have enough faith to sustain me through a season of shaking. As a Christian, I need to take every thought captive so that the enemy will not gain any ground. The evil one wants me to doubt God’s promises that way he can try to chip away at my faith. What he doesn’t know is that VICTORY is mine and my hope remains in my Lord Jesus Christ, now and forever. Amen!

5Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; 6in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your living word and that You are trust worthy. Lord Jesus, help me to always keep my eyes on You no matter if I’m in a season of shaking or not. Father God, I pray that Your word remains cemented upon my heart, now and forever. Amen!

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Where Is Your Focus?

There have been so many times I’ve said, ‘Thank you, God!’ when things seem to not be going so good mainly because I know Jesus is coming soon. Well, the other night my sister was watching some program on TV and I overheard a comment that shot straight to my heart.  This was the comment;

 I’m sick and tired of Christians rejoicing of Jesus’ return because we should be more sorrowful for the lost that will be left behind rather than celebrating for ourselves.

 Instantly, I’m like whoa, wait a minute why can’t I be happy about Jesus’ return? I am a child of God why shouldn’t I be excited about the return of my Lord and Savior especially since we are living in the end-times, right?  Getting to meet Jesus face to face will be so amazing and wonderful somehow rejoicing just doesn’t seem to be enough! No way was I going to let the enemy still my joy!

While pondering on the latter part of the comment my heart was succumbed by such sadness at the thought of how many souls are lost in this world.  I started questioning my own heart, am I showing enough of God’s love to others?  Am I speaking the gospel as much as I should or could be? Could I be just a little bit, too, focused on going Home to be with Jesus instead of reaching the lost?

I guess when I think of it from God’s point of view I really need to be showing more of God’s love because it is His will that none should perish.

John 3:16 (NKJV)

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

As a Christian I’m in a win, win situation. I mean if I died today I would be with Jesus and if I remain living I still have Jesus so you see I win no matter what.  So I got to thinking do I really act, too excited when someone talks about Jesus’ return, well, maybe just a little bit?  I mean really, how can you not be excited if you are a born-again Christian?  It’s not that I don’t have deep sorrow in my heart for the lost because I do especially for the lost loved ones in my family.  But, maybe I need to be a little more excited about being God’s hands and feet in spreading the gospel and sharing His love to the lost rather than going Home to be with Him because no matter what I win.

Romans 5:8 (NKJV)

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

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Shining Through Brokenness

I have always had a burden for the lost and more recently there is this heaviness weighing on my heart of just knowing that if they do not choose the light they will forever be in darkness.  Some days I feel His pain so deeply, my heart aches with such sorrow and tears begin to flow.  There are so many broken souls out there that need Him. Sometimes its in our brokenness that God shines the brightest.  God can and will use your brokenness  to reach the Lost.

   We had such a great start to our missions convention this past Sunday the house was on fire! This missionary told us how broken he was when he found the Lord and I believe it is through that brokenness that God birthed such a great passion for the Lost. The fire in this man’s soul was absolutely, AMAZING!  If everyone was on fire for the Lord like he was and had a burden for the lost like him we all would be going home with Jesus right now. Honestly, there would be no more lost souls to save because they all would have been reached by now.

As the body of Christ we need to pray that God burdens our hearts for the Lost.  The Lost are not just nameless people but they are our co-workers, friends, and family members as well.  His desire is that none should perish.

John 3:16,17   16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave[g] his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

   The days ahead of us are not getting any better, only worse and so many people don’t want to hear those words.  If we don’t think about it, it might not happen.  We need to have the passion this missionary had and it needs to be contagious and I mean now.

Dear Father in Heaven, hear me as I pray today.  Lord, show me Your heart for the Lost and burden my heart.  Jesus, use my brokenness to reach the Lost and let Your light shine brighter today than ever before. Let me be Your beacon of Light to the Lost.   Lord, I know nothing can compare to the sorrow of losing Your Son but to lose the ones He died for would be, unbearable!  Shine through me and help me to become contagious like this missionary.   Amen and Amen!

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Joke or Judgment?

Joke or Judgment?

Is your joke really a judgment?  What is the fine line between a joke and a judgment?  In my opinion, I would say it is when someone gets hurt at the cost of your laughter.  The issue may appear very funny on the surface but in actuality when uncovered it really is not funny at all.

How do you get people to stop judging even after the person has made a desperate cry for help?  Sometimes the underlying cause has nothing to do with what your eyes compute to be the problem.  There is only one judge and He is the Great I AM!

God’s word says;

 10 You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written:

“ ‘As surely as I live, ’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’ ”

 12 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.

13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.

19  Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.  Romans 14:10-13, 19 (FB-NIV)

 A joke in your mind may be funny at the time but it may be a judgment in another’s mind.  I admit, I am then guilty of judging because what I thought seemed to be kind of funny was actually a much more serious issue than I ever thought.  Thankfully, by the grace of God my loved one has forgiven me.  God is so gracious.

Knowing what I know now makes it quite difficult to watch this loved one walk through this storm that only they can clear up.  We don’t always know the reason behind the storm, nor do we really need to; but what we do need is to remember that God makes good of all things for those that love Him! And this person most certainly loves Him.  God can and will always use you if you are a willing vessel.  You can listen to, and pray for that person throughout the storm, right?

I just read a blog post from Oh So Simple Truth and I recommend that you read, Satan wants you in church…, it is quite powerful.  I mention it because the only way I can possibly help this loved one is through prayer and by listening non-judgmentally.  Oh, how the enemy hates it when we use prayer to fight him because there is such great power in prayer. Amen!

I close with this, so what may appear to be quite funny could be extremely hurtful to someone else.  You just never know exactly what someone else is walking through, do you?

Father, help me to have discernment to others’ issues and help me to be sensitive to their needs.  Please Lord, help me to always think before I speak and speak with love through my words as well as in my tone.   Remind me of WWJD or in this case WWJS-what would Jesus say!  Amen and Amen!!!

 

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People’s Choice Contest Entry: Better Eyes by Deb Maciorowski

debbestillandlisten:

It’s about seeing with “Better Eyes”.

Originally posted on Rose Hall Media Company:

Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 1.43.44 PM

Each Friday for 5 weeks we are posting the top 5 entries in our “Vision Contest.” Readers can cast their vote for the People’s Choice Award from August 29th – September 4, 2014. These week’s entry is called Better Eyes by Deb Maciorowski (to visit Deb’s blog, click here). 

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