Was it the devil?


For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 

Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)

All of us go through difficulties in life. Some people think that every kind of struggle they endure is the result of some devil attacking their lives. Honestly, I think the devil gets blamed for so many things that is not even remotely his doing. He obviously likes it because he is like a naughty child seeking attention. But let’s look at this in a bit more detail.

Four reasons for difficulties


Just like any good father or coach, you would want to develop the potential of your children to its maximum.  The principle in this regard is resistance. You cannot develop stronger muscle without resistance.

God will oftentimes design tough situations for you to deal with.  The aim of the struggle is not to succeed per se, but to develop.  Even though we might often think we have failed miserably, God looks at the strength that was developed and is pleased with our progress.

Another reason God might place us in a predicament is, He might see a character flaw in our lives that He wants to Father.  He will then construct a situation for you to be confronted with your pain or immaturity. By His Grace, He will help you to deal with this inner brokenness.  The purpose of this will be to bring healing and maturity.

In many cases, people will resist this training by God and attribute the difficult time to the devil.  They refuse to acknowledge God’s Sovereign hand and Love in their lives and start rebuking the devil and fighting an enemy that doesn’t exist in this case. Which brings us to the second reason for difficulties in our lives:

Bad Character

One of the ways you know someone has a bad character in their lives is by giving them loving correction.  We all have character flaws that result in situations going haywire in our lives. The problem is, we don’t like to admit it.

There is a very big difference between being teachable and learning something. I know a lot of people who love learning new things. They have a wealth of knowledge about either a specific topic or even a wide variety of subjects, but they are not teachable at all.  With knowledge comes pride. This is why we need to stay teachable.

To be teachable means you are willing to acknowledge your own flaws and work on them. The Biblical term will be repentance.  Giving someone loving correction about blind spots or character flaws in their lives will reveal whether they are simply smart vs teachable and repentant.  

Again, those who are unteachable in this situation will rebuke the devil and fight an enemy that is supposed to be overcome by humility and repentance, not pride in spiritual warfare.

Sin in the world

Another reason why people might experience tough times is simply that we are living in a fallen world.  I am currently sitting in my bed with bad head-cold. Eyes and nose running, feeling really sorry for myself.  It is fast approaching man-flu.  I am not sitting blaming the devil for this.  Nor am I thinking God is trying to teach me something.  I don’t think it is a result of unrepentant sin or bad character. It is part of life.

I know there will be no flu in heaven one day.  But, we are not in heaven yet.  So while I am down here I need to eat healthily and keep my immune system pumped up.  And, while I am now feeling sick, I must just as well use the opportunity to rest and take advantage of everyone serving me in bed (or just dream about it I guess).

The Devil

Then we also have an enemy.  Yes, there is a real devil with minions that hate you and wants to destroy your faith.  He will do whatever he can to make you either stop believing in God or stop growing in your faith.

In order to do this, he can use multiple tactics.  

Here are a few examples:

  • He can cloud your discernment about God teaching you.  Instead of embracing God’s discipline, you start blaming God for not making you feel comfortable.  This will increase your fear of the devil and decrease your faith in God.  A very effective way to get people to live in fear.

  • The devil will make you blame other people for your troubles.  We cannot take responsibility for other people’s behaviour, only our own.  Yet the devil would try to convince you that you are the victim and you are entitled to have things easier.  This will lead to a lack of repentance and becoming unteachable.

  • He could also make you give too much attention to him.  The devil is very small in comparison to God. Yet, when we focus on him, we don’t see this great God we serve.  The devil loves attention and would not mind you beating him up and even defeating multiplied minions under his command.  As long as you are fighting him you are not worshipping God. The devil is not always trying to win.  Oftentimes he is just aiming to distract.  The very fact that you are fighting him is a win for him.

  • Then, in seeming contrast to the previous point, failing to discern the enemy and resisting him.  When the devil does attack to destroy, we sometimes do not recognise his schemes. By failing to discern his plan, he will then hide so you cannot notice him.  

When are you under attack?

I will give you three reasons whyI think anyone might be under a demonic attack. Let me use a war analogy.

  1. Target of opportunity

  2. Planned targeted attack

  3. Living in warzone

Target of opportunity

Imagine you are in a war.  You are supposed to stay in a safe zone and hide in the bunker.  Above your head is a fighter jet looking for someone to shoot. He is not looking for someone specific, but just someone who is in the wrong place at the wrong time - a target of opportunity.

This does not mean he WILLattack. It means he COULD.  He might not attack immediately.  He might wait for others to think it is ok and safe and in that way lure them out of hiding as well.  This passive aggressive behaviour is to create an opportunity to shoot all of them.

The Bible gives us various analogies of hiding under His wings and running into a strong tower.  Within this safe place, the devil cannot strike you. But then, you might wonder out in the open field through taking offence in someone.  Now you are an open target.

Let me give you a classic example that I deal with often in our context over here.  Because families are so heavily broken here, children struggle to honour their parents.  The command that says you have to honour your parents has a promise of long life attached to it.  By implication, it means you open yourself up to premature death if you don’t honour your parents.

Now, as I said, not everyone dishonouringtheir parents will die prematurelybecause you MIGHTget shot, not you WILL.  It might also not mean that you will die prematurely, but that this spirit of death might only touch certain areas of your life like your finances, health or relationships.  

This is deceptive and a tactic to numb your conscience.  Not always attacking, but only when the opportunity is favourable, lulls you into a deception that your sin has no effect on your life. For this reason, God wants us to obey His commands and his principles. It keeps you safe from being a target of opportunity.

Planned targeted attack

Another reason you might end up getting fired at is simply that of your calling.  You have a target on your head.  This means the devil knows you are a threat and will plan an attack against anything you are involved.  This is strategic and intentional.

This can come in various ways against you.  For the sake of not turning this email into an e-book, I will mention only one.  During our time in Belgium, we had the occult send undercover christiansinto the church to intentionally bring division.

One of the ways out of an attack like thisis by going on the offence.  Your biggest mistake would be to become passive. You need to intentionally stand on the Word, intentionally trust God, intentionally live holy and intentionally resist the devil and his schemes.

When you are busy with God’s work, you are a threat to the devil.  He will plan to take you out somehow.

Living in a warzone

The third reason might simply be that you are living in a place of heightened spiritual activity.  I remember years ago God showed me a prophetic picture for a good friend of mine being in a tough spot.  The picture was of a bunch of ants climbing onto his legs while he is walking through the field.  He was living in South Africa at the time.

I told him that he is being bitten by ants simply because he is in a place where there are a lot of ants.  Ants are not a problem we have in Belgium.  I don’t think I have ever seen any ants over here.  This means I do not have to be prepared to fight them.  Every area has its own unique battles and struggles. You need to be aware of your spiritual geography.

When I moved to Belgium in 2010, I prepared as much as I could to get ready for life here.  But there are simply things I could not have been prepared for.  The atmosphere threw a whole bunch of curveballs our way that we simply did not anticipate.  This was not because of a target of opportunity or because my life was targeted.  It was simply because the spiritual climate here has its own flavour.

When you are in a situation like this, you need to do one of two things.  You either move away or you learn to engage your spiritual warzone. Toughen up or move out.  It’s as simple as that.

How do you know if it is the devil?

One of the simplest and easiest ways to know whether it is the devil or not is by looking at the frequency and intensity of the situation.  When something is abnormally intense and/orlast longer than it should in the usualsetting, you should consider the fact that his might have a spiritual origin.  When it is of the devil it has a heaviness to it that is recognisable.

I am definitely not one that blames the devil for everything.  I hate giving him any attention at all. He is not worthy of my attention. I do not live in reaction to the devil but in response to the Holy Spirit’s direction and guidance. So, when something is not right, I do not immediately turn my attention to the devil. I only do it when God places my attention on it or when I realise this is something out of the norm.

I do not live in fear of spiritual attack nor the devil's plans.  My life is in God’s hands and plans. The discernment comes when you are fully immersed in God’s Kingdom.  You will know and have a sense of something that simply “smells” off.  When you spend time with God, your spiritual radar will become sensitive enough to pick up on that what comes from another camp.

I want to encourage you today to live for God, obey His commands with everything in you and be open to the fact that not everything bad is devil’s fault.  But, when he shows up, deal with it swiftly.

Why Coaching?

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The greatest tragedy in life is not death, but a life without a purpose.

It doesn’t take much to bump into a coach nowadays.  Seems like it is a new craze and everyone does it.  There are coaches for everything from eating, exercise, business, anything really.  But what is this craze all about?

I absolutely love the discipline of coaching. One of the mentors in the John Maxwell Team, Paul Martinelli explains that “If you can tell me where you are going, I can help you get there.  This is the biggest problem in so many people's lives.  They have no idea where they are going.

Not being clear of your direction and purpose is like going on holiday and having no destination.  Myles Munroe often said, “The greatest tragedy in life is not death, but a life without a purpose.

This is where the big difference in coaching lies.  I will try to explain coaching by first telling you what it is not.  

There are four major disciplines when helping people grow and develop: Teaching, Counselling, Mentoring and Coaching.  Understanding the difference between these four approaches will help you to realise the importance of having a coach in your life.



According to theCambridge Dictionary, to teach means “to give someone knowledge or to train someone; to instruct”  

Teaching can happen from a distance in a very impersonal way.  I have had teachers who have imparted knowledge to me whom I have never met before.  In fact, it is exactly what I am doing now by means of this writing. I am imparting knowledge and perhaps a certain level of skill without even being close to you.

Even though teaching is one of the most important disciplines we need in our lives, it can happen without relationship and impartation of character and values.

Teaching is simply "mindfacts" that can be learned without ever changing the type of person you are.  Though we know this is not always the case, it is quite often what we find in people who are very knowledgeable but lack character.


Teachers give knowledge.



TheCambridge Dictionarystates that to mentor is “to help and give advice to a younger or less experienced person, especially in a job or at school".

The main aspect of mentoring is helping someone develop a skill. This means I have to be in closer proximity to the mentor in order for the skill to be taught and assessed.  Like a carpenter who is training his apprentice to work with wood, the trainee will do everything that the mentor teaches him and then, after the work has been done, evaluate and correct the mistakes.  This is what makes mentoring, in my opinion, a better option than mere teaching.

There is a constant evaluation of your skill and impartation from a more experienced “father” in the trade. You do not simply gain knowledge, you improve your abilities to apply knowledge.

Mentors give wisdom



TheCambridge dictionarydefines counselling as “the activity of a trained person listening to someone who has a problem and giving them advice on how to deal with it”.

This discipline is particularly focused on past hurts and pain and helping people to overcome mental and emotional struggle.  This will involve some form of teaching, could involve some mentoring to help a person gain the right skills to deal with emotions, etc. but is mainly focused on giving an individual the tools to help them cope with mental health and past trauma.

This is a skill that should be done by trained professionals.  I have seen some people who give themselves out as counsellors that do more damage than good.  Just because you have compassion for brokenness and some experience in giving advice to friends, you cannot call yourself a therapist.

Counselling focusses on inner healing



The dictionary defines coaching only as a trainer for sports and a type of long bus.  The term coach seems to be so ambiguous that anyone can call themselves a coach and not do any coaching at all.

According to our training at the John Maxwell Team “You cannot lead unless you can Coach. Coaching is the art of influence that underpins leadership in the 21st century. If you’re to be a credible teacher of leadership, you have to know how to Coach.

Coaching is both an art and a science.  There are certain tools and skills that you can learn and master, but a large part relies on intuition. Therefore the purpose of coaching needs to be understood before any skill can be mastered.

When you teach, mentor or counsel a person, you help them with WHATto think.  In coaching the aim is helping people HOWto think. A coach will help you to develop the self-awareness to be able to dig out the golden treasures that God has placed inside of you. One of the starting assumptions of a coach is “You already have all the resources for your success inside of you.”

This process does not involve teaching information but asking open-endedquestions in such a way that you become aware of that design that God created in you.  In many senses, people will develop a codependent relationship upon a teacher, mentor or counsellor. The aim of a coach is to help a person become independent from their coach and interdependent upon those who can create networks of success and progress.

A coach does not determine the agenda of a meeting, but will simply help you to reflect deeply upon the purpose you have and help you achieve the goals you set for yourself.  Therefore you need to be aware of where you are going before the coach can help you get there. The coach, unlike a teacher, mentor or counsellor, will not determine the end goal of the coaching journey.  Unless you know where you are going and what you want to achieve, you will not be coachable.

This is why we would first assess whether a person is coachable or not. To be coachable means you are fully aware of the responsibility you have as a person to live out your God-givenpurpose.  You take ownership of your own life and will not blame others for your failures. This mindset will make you a perfect candidate for a coach.

A successful coaching relationship will develop the maturityof character and self-awareness in a person to achieve success in their own purpose and design.Coaching bridges the gap between what a person knows and what a person does.  This happens on such a fundamentally deep level, that the person being coached will know the depth of their God-given design and purpose.

So why would I need a coach?

One of the most important aspects of leadership is self-development.  If you are serious about developing yourself, you will also be serious about allowing someone to reveal your blind spots to you.

A coach will help you to overcome the not-so-obvious hurdles in your life that will hinder you from further movement and growth.

If you are serious about leadership, get a coach to help you develop.



A Balanced Life


People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall.

Proverbs 10:9 (NLT)

According to the online dictionary, integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.  I simply say that integrity is doing the right thing even while nobody is watching.  

This is easier said than done.  Many people, without knowing it, still live with a high degree of approval addiction.  We want people to recognise us and see what we do. This desire for approval can easily bring us to a point of compromise.  

Compromise is like a bad smell.  It bothers you in the beginning, but you soon get so used to it that you don’t notice it anymore.  Then you will walk around with this really bad smell stuck to you and can’t figure out why “clean” people avoid you.  It is time to take a shower and get your integrity back in place.

Here is an exercise I regularly do with those I coach. Take the five main areas of your life: Spirit, soul, body, relationships and finances.  For each area, give yourself a mark out of 10 for how you FEEL about it. Do not rate it based upon the fruit you see, but how satisfied you currently feel about it.

With 0 being “can’t get any worse” and 10 being “Even God can’t be happier about it” rate each area with the following in mind.

Is this balanced and healthy.? Living healthy physically will involve rest, exercise and healthy eating.  We can use this same analogy for all the different areas.  What does your diet look like, your practice and yoursabbath? You list could look something like this

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I’m not giving this list as a prescription, but an example.

Now take this list and rate yourself according to how you feel you are doing.  The reason you need to rate the feeling and not the success is simple. You might do well according to others’ opinions, but you might be functioning completely outside of your designed purpose from God.  You might be a very successful entrepreneur but unfulfilled in your business.  You might be the employee of the month in your department, but you were actually called to be a missionary.  This will rate you as successful, but leave you feeling unfulfilled.

When you rate yourself based on success, you will keep other people's’ opinions in mind.  There is nothing in life that can derail you from God’s purpose in your life than fearing the opinions of others.  So, be honest in your rating according to your feeling of satisfaction.

Now transfer your rating to a wheel.  Draw a circle with pizza slices. Each slice represents an area of your life.  Your wheel can have only the five slices of the main areas, or you can choose to have an individual slice for each of the portions in the table.

WOL Circles.png

Then, with the centre of the wheel being 0 and the circumference 10, colour each area with your rating.  It should look something like this image.

Now ask yourself the question: “If this is the wheel of my life, how smooth is my life going?”  I’m pretty sure that you will be able to say that the part of the circle which is the smallest, is where you usually get stuck.  This should be the first place where you need to get some help. No, not where you should work on, but get some help.

To get an outside opinion and coaching on the area of your smallest rating is important.  If you are going to be honest with yourself, you need to acknowledge that you don’t know how to make this work for you.  If you did, the score would not be so low.

Integrity will help you to be honest.  Do not deceive yourself. Do the right thing.  Get help in this area of your life and get your life in balance.

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Intentional living

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Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15 (NLT)

If I can use one word to describe our current generation it is DISTRACTED.  We live with more distractions today than we’ve ever had before. Children today have so many things to keep them busy that they are losing their ability to come up with creative toys themselves.

One big result of this distraction is the fact that few people are focused on intentional personal development.  For those who are committed to growth, there is a temptation to do it without human interaction. It is so easy with our current virtual world to find online information for whatever problem you are trying to solve.

This might work well to get the information you need, but there is no way to get connected with people.  We were created for relationship. The very fuel that makes the engine of our lives work is love, not information.  

When Jesus said we need to make disciples, I do not think he had FaceBook in mind.  Even this email you are reading now is not the primary way to get your life connected to God.  God wants us to be in relationships.

This is the reason we find so many people today who are highly informed but struggling with mental health problems.  Our struggles are not going to be solved by reading another great blog or book (as important as it is to live informed).  We have to get to the place where we realise that it is relationship first.

Paul told Timothy in this verse above to “Work hard”.  We can stop right there and say that hard work is what makes you successful.  The thing that Timothy had to work hard in was his relationship with God and to make sure that he can present truth to people without being ashamed.  

This hard work means we have to grow ourselves not only in knowledge, but in character.  We cannot present the truth of God’s Word without the proper character. It is easy to write something online and people never know your character.  It is also easy to read something online and feel like you have done your dues because you are informed.

But, to be able to present truth with Godly character, we need to be intentional to get into relationships.  Those tough relationships that will help you grow. Those relationships that will ask you the difficult questions and challenge your thinking and behaviour.  People who can ask you the tough questions and listen to your heart.

It seems that intentional personal development can easily be put aside nowadays because of the deception of online virtual discipleship.

Get out of your isolation.  Be intentional. Get discipled and grow.

Ahab & Jezebel


“Ahab did more to provoke the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him”

(1 Kings 16:33)

“Ahab did more to provoke the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him” (1 Kings 16:33).

A lot has been said and written about Jezebel in the last three decades.  Some good, some not so good and some downright wrong. There has been some who have gone so far as to suggest that any woman who with a remotely strong personality or distinguished leadership skills can be called a ‘Jezebel’ in Christian circles.

I would like to bring clarity around this issue from my studies and experience here in Belgium over the last eight years.  What I will say might shock some and inform others, but I believe that it is necessary to bring clarity to this topic.

Even though I do not believe that there is a particular demonic spirit, stronghold or entity with the name ‘Jezebel’, I too use the name Jezebel to describe the behavioral characteristics of certain people or demonic entities.  This is simply derived from the name we get in scripture given to a very evil and manipulative Queen, Jezebel.  So, in referring to a person or spirit, it does not mean they carry the name, it is a reference to behavior or characteristics. 

From my experience, so much energy has gone into fearing Jezebel or trying to predict or dissolve her schemes and tactics, but that should not be our attention.  The solution is much simpler. The way we respond is of most importance.  Jezebel is simply not as big as many make her out to be. The big devil behind it all is Ahab.  Once Ahab is dealt with, Jezebel will not be a problem at all.  

Ahab was the King.  In all understanding of the way a monarchy works, the king is the higher authority.  Unless the King dies or, like in this case, is extremely passive, the queen would need to submit under the authority of the king.

The biggest empowerment behind Jezebel is passive leadership.  Jezebel does not usurp the authority of the king, but uses it to manipulate and so achieve personal gain.  Without the passivity of Ahab, Jezebel cannot function. 

When a leader is standing on principle and acts out his delegated authority, there will be no room for the manipulation to take place.  Once a leader is insecure and does not stand for what is right, there is a vacuum of authorityjust waiting to be taken in. This is the space which Jezebel steps into and takes the lead.

The biggest enemy in this equation is not Jezebel, but passive leaders, i.e. Ahab!

The reason it is so difficult to see this is simply because the one who makes the most noise gets the most attention.  For so many years we have tried to fight Jezebel. The characteristics of this type of spirit or behavior are just everywhere today.  Over the last eight years, we have seen many Jezebelic characters trying to get their way in our ministry. I can now spot them a mile away.  The reason this attitude has not been able to take over the lead is that we learned to simply refuse to get into a fight with Jezebel. Instead, we focussed our efforts on addressing an ‘Ahab’ attitude.  We refused to be passive in our leadership. We did not compromise on our values and principles but instead, we stood for righteousness and truth.

You don't overcome Jezebel by confronting this, but by pro-actively and strongly refuse to compromise on holiness.  Let me give an example.  When a Jezebel will make you angry, this will open the door for her to take the upper hand.  You need to refuse to let go of your love walk and keep God's great commandment as the highest priority.  Do not be manipulated by the tactics and fall into the trap.  Seek holiness, not revenge.  On the other hand, do not tolerate the sin issue, but speak out against it in love.

On many occasions, we were presented with the opportunity to not address sin issues.  We all know how messy those confrontations can be.  It’s definitely something we all wish we don’t have to deal with. In one case we were even pushed by manipulative parties to stay quiet about gross sin in leadership circles.  But we had decided to honor God instead of allowing sin to dominate. Jezebel surely did not like her sin to get exposed, but also had no foothold to stand on and had to leave.

Jezebel can only function where passive leadership allows sin to stay hidden.  Jezebel cannot function in a holy and righteous environment.This is why this verse quoted above is focused on the sin of Ahab, and not the queen.

Even in the book of Revelation, it does not say that Jezebel was the problem, but the fact that the church TOLERATED her.

Revelation 2:20 (NASB) But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.

Whatever you tolerate will dominate.  If you tolerate sin in your leadership, Jezebel will have a foothold to manipulate you. The moment you stand strong in your relationship with God and lead according to righteousness, you remove all of Jezebel’s power.  

The real problem comes in when Jezebel is tolerated and gives birth to Athalia.  Athalia was Jezebel's daughter.

I’ll explain this evil spirit next week.  In the meantime - do not be an Ahab who tolerates sin.

Bless the world

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Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

Romans 12:14 (NASB)

Human beings are the only creatures in existence that have the ability to live in the spiritual realm and the physical realm simultaneously, 100% of the time.  We are created in God’s image. We are spiritual beings living in a physical world. Everything physical is temporary, by every means of the word.

What is the significance of this?  God created us as His image bearers and placed us in this physical world to rule and influence this physical world with His Creative power.  One of the most effective ways to do this is by blessings your world and the people around you.

This world has been cursed by sin and the effects of sin are destroying everything.  Relationships are being destroyed; land, time, everything God created is negatively influenced by sin.  God called us to bring His Kingdom of redemption and sanctification into a world that is in desperate need of healing.

This is why God wants us to bless everything.  By blessing things and people around you, you become a water faucet that sprinkles God’s glory and life onto a dying world.  You bring that what is in the heavens into the physical and you bring God’s Kingdom into this world.

More than that, you become a hose that acts as a channel for His Spirit to flow through.  Whenever you bless something, you open yourself up to become the hose which God can flow through.  No blessing can flow through you without influencing you directly.

The same with cursing.  You become the channel of the curse and you end up being cursed yourself.  But when you bless, you end up being blessed.

You are a powerful force in this world, created by God to destroy evil and spread His Glory.  

Learn the language of blessing.

Be anxious for nothing

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Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Philippians 4:6 (NASB)

I love the first four words of this verse, “be anxious for nothing”.  This verse talks about prayer and the effect and power of it. The conclusion I want to draw is simply this: prayer removes anxiety.

Paul explains to us here that you should not be anxious about anything but that you should pray.  Prayer is one of the most powerful things anyone can ever do. This is the way to connect heaven and earth.  Prayer brings God’s Kingdom into the earth in a way that no other action or behavior can do.

A few years ago I faced a situation that was extremely difficult.   It involved a lot of conflict with an individual who wanted to destroy the church.  Sin infiltrated on leadership level and I faced what felt like a “do or die” decision.  The church wasn’t even two years old then.

I realised that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 (NASB).  So I contacted an advisor and received great counsel on the way I should pray against this particular spiritual force which was coming against the church. With my wife and one other person, we prayed and did a prophetic act to remove the stronghold from our church.  We were very careful to direct everything against the spiritual realm, and not against any person as praying against people is nothing but witchcraft.

We prayed a very specific and intentional prophetic prayer against this stronghold and within two days, that grueling season which lasted for nearly a year was diffused.  Now, seven years on, the situation has never come up again in that same manner.

No matter what you are facing at the moment.  You have a  power in you that is greater than that what you are facing at moment.  God gave you His resurrection power that destroyed death, hell, and the grave.  So, get up and take back that what is yours in Jesus' Name.

Living a sanctified life

Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14 (NASB)

In my last mail, I wrote about the destructive nature of passivity.  This often results in a manipulative spirit taking control that is commonly referred to as Jezebel.

When we study Scripture to see the result of passive-aggressive behaviour, we see that the authority of a leader is often given over to evil forces due to the sin of omission (not doing the right thing).  When this kind of manipulation is tolerated and Jezebel gets a foothold in your life, work or ministry, the result that follows is often much worse. We can see this in the “offspring” from Jezebel.  She was called Athalia.

Athaliah was the generational seed of Jezebel and Ahab (see 2 Kings 8:18, 26). Some theologians believe she was their biological child and Omri's granddaughter. Others believe she was the daughter of Omri, and therefore the sister to Ahab, and that Ahab took her and became her father. The Hebrew word daughter used in 2 Kings 18:26 means "a daughter in the wide sense, and in terms of relationships, a branch, or company."1

Athaliah was far more wicked than her mother Jezebel.  Unlike Jezebel who used the king's authority to get what she wanted, Athaliah killed all of the male heirs to the throne in order to position herself as the final authority.

The main difference between Jezebel and Athaliah is simply that Jezebel used the king’s power to get what she wanted, while Athaliah wanted the power for herself.  The story portrays how one kind of evil progressed into an even worse kind of evil, from one generation to the following. This is often the same in leadership. Once you tolerate the evil that comes against you in one situation, it will escalate in a later season. Unfortunately, sin does not go away by turning a blind eye to it.

When you do not live in holiness as the Bible instructs us to do, you will create a breeding ground for parasites.  Where something has died, you will find flies. You cannot just leave the dead thing there and expect the flies to go away.  Eventually, the flies will have larvae and diseases will start to spread. You have to remove the corpse in order to deal with the flies.

When you tolerate Jezebel, you will not only be manipulated and controlled by evil but ‘she’ will eventually steal your authority from you.  Where you see great men and women of God fall into sin, it is often linked back to a time where manipulation was tolerated and that then resulted in a compromise in behaviour in that leader.  When giving in to this in the beginning it might look as though all is well on the surface with no imminent threat. But eventually, it will have “offspring” and the sin will increase to the point of causing total destruction.

If you are serious about living a life that is Christlike, it is important for you to be sanctified in your spirit, soul, and body.  As it is stated in the opening verse, we need to “pursue” sanctification.  It does not come by itself but we need to be intentional and seek after it.  Only when you are proactive in your pursuit of holiness will you be able to live in the authority you have as a child of God.

God wants us to live in the fullness of His grace.  His Holy Spirit is a gift to us. Therefore we should “not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption”,  Ephesians 4:30 (NASB).  In everything you do in word, action or thought, live for the glory of God and seek to please Him.  

Remember, you were made to serve many and please One.  Do not live to serve One and please many.

Spiritual Health Check

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. Galatians 5:16-17 (NASB)

I am constantly intrigued by our Godly design.  We are truly fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalms 134:19).  We are created in God’s image, i.e. we are first of all designed as a spirit.  We were designed to function primarily in the spirit realm.

When God initially created us, we were in full relationship with Him.  Spirit to spirit communication and flow was as natural and life-sustaining as breathing air.  But then the biggest tragedy that ever happened entered this world! SIN. Spiritual death became a reality and we got separated from God in this intimate relationship.  

Jesus thankfully came to restore this tragedy.  He destroyed sin on the cross and gave us a newborn spirit through His resurrection.  Voila - redemption and restoration! Good news right! It’s called the Gospel.

Now, this is supposed to be the solution to all the problems in the world, yet we still see so much evil around.  Why is that?

This verse above explains the reality of the life of so many bus-driver who are born again and call Jesus Lord.  Unfortunate they have to admit that Jesus is not really Lord of their lives. Their flesh is lord. According to this verse abovethere is a constant struggle between the “desire” of your flesh and the desire of your spirit.  They are in constant “opposition to one another”.

The result of living from the flesh is, “you may not do the things that you please”.  Your spirit has a desire to commune with God and your flesh has a desire to sleep and watch tv.  It is important that we understand how to discern whether we’re living in the spirit or in the flesh.  Any person who is serious about their own spiritual growth and journey, will regularly take time to assess their own spiritual health.

I once heard a preacher say that whenever he goes two weeks without crying before God about something, he knows his heart is becoming hard and he needs to spend more time with the Holy Spirit to soften himself up.  

Do you have a checkpoint like this to warn you when you are stepping into the flesh and out of the spirit?  Is the little red light on your dashboard flashing? Do you even know where the little light is?

This portion of scripture in Galatians gives us a checklist of attributes that you can see whether your character is being influenced by the Spirit of God in your new-born spirit, or whether you are being led by your flesh.

If you are serious about living a life that reflects God and grows in Him continually, this might be a good exercise for you to do.

Rate yourself from 0-10 on each of the fruit of the spirit in Galatians 5:22: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

Take love as example, the first on the list.  If you would be honest with yourself, how much do you act in love on a daily basis?  Are you easily irritated and upset by small things or do you have the ability to love unconditionally and forgive instantly?  Even the bus-driver in London traffic?

Or maybe the last on the list; self-control.  How good are you to say “no” to your fleshly desires and follow your spiritual disciplines?

Many think these are characteristics of successful people who are born with great personalities and naturally good habits.  The truth is, these are supernatural virtues that can be obtained by exercising your spiritual muscle. These fruit are not aspects of your soul but of your spirit.  This means it cannot be obtained by thinking differently, but by spending time with the One who fills you with these abilities.

This is why they are so opposite from the desires of the flesh.  How many would not rather want to say something nasty to the driver that cuts you off in traffic than bless him with God’s love?  If your flesh is still running your life, then it’s time that you take some time out and refresh your spirit.

Be honest with yourself.  Are you living from your spirit or living from your flesh?  I am not asking if you are a christian. I am asking whether your life is ruled and directed by God’s Grace and power, or whether you are submitting to your fleshly desires.

Just remember, if you think you can’t be deceived you already are deceived.  So don’t dismiss this too quickly. Do the exercise honestly and rate yourself objectively.  Do you need to soften your heart in God’s presence? Do it today!

Over the next few weeks, I’ll focus on the characteristics of the fruit of the spirit.  Join me on this growth journey.

The Gospel

"even when we were dead in our transgressions,
made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)"

Ephesians 2:5 (NASB)

The more I spend time with Christians helping them to deal with life's difficulties, I realise that very few people actually have a revelation of the Gospel.  They not only struggle to put it into words but have no idea how to apply it to their lives. Many people want some kind of experience that will instantly set them free from their pain, instead of letting the Gospel minister to them.  And when they don’t have this ‘instant’ experience, they often start doubting.  Not only doubting God's goodness but also question the Gospel itself. 

The Gospel is the hook on which every truth in Scripture hangs. Unless you understand the Gospel in its fullness, nothing else in Scripture will have the power you think it has.  You don’t only respond to it when you first become a Christian, but it is very important to let the Gospel minister to you every day.

The problem is that the pure foundation of the Gospel is not clearly understood.  

So exactly what is the Gospel?

Let me try to explain it with five simple words today:  DEAD in SINMADEALIVE in CHRIST.

Imagine you went skiing and lost your gloves way up on the glacier.  You came down and one of your fingers froze solid; it has turned black and blue with gangrene.  It has no life whatsoever and your finger’s tissue is beyond the point of healing. IT IS DEAD!  There is nothing you can do to make it better.  No effort on your side will bring a cure or be able to repair this.  It is a hopeless situation.

This is the state of a person’s spirit before they are born again.  There is nothing you can do out of your own to obtain life. You cannot be coached by a professional nor develop disciplines to remove the gangrene from your spirit. You do not need a cure or a set of exercises, you need to be MADE ALIVE!

DEATH is not solved by discipline or good living.  The gangrene can only be reversed by being MADE ALIVE.  This means life does not come through your effort, but by the one who MADE the finger in the first place.  You are not becoming more ALIVE as you obey the tasks given to you.  You are MADEALIVE by your Creator.  Nothing and no one else can deal with DEATH.  

You either need a miracle, administered through your Creator, to give you life, or you will lose your finger forever (eternal death).  

This is the result of SIN.

I believe with everything in me sin is one of the most misunderstood theologies in the Christian world. If sin is properly understood, you will undoubtedly cry out for a Saviour.  The reason we do not understand sin is because we want to call it something else; a problem, brokenness, difficulty, a mistake, etc.  

When you call it a problem, then you need to deal with it yourself.  God doesn’t deal with your problems, He deals with your SIN.  In our analogy above with the gangrenous finger, sin can be compared to the snow storm.  

We are living in a world fallen, in sin.  Unless you are clothed with CHRIST, you will be affected by the SIN in this world.  SIN results in DEATH, not problems.  So do not talk about your bad self-image as a result of your lack of fathering.  If you do this, it might just get you to look for the cure at some counselor. If you get to a counselor who thinks he can reverse the death caused by a father wound, you need to leave his office right away.  He is not your Messiah.

A Godly counselor will help you to understand you are not suffering from a bad self-image.  You are suffering from DEATH caused by the SIN in this world.  When you are alive in CHRIST, you will be far less concerned about your own image.

SIN is not simply something you do wrong.  It is the complete and utter state of eternal separation from God that this world finds itself in.  Because it is separated from its Creator, there is nothing it can give you that will bring you back into life.  Life comes from God alone and not from any other source.


To be MADE alive is done by someone outside of yourself.  It is not an inside effort on your part. Someone else needs to MAKE you alive. Unless you understand this, you will always think that through your own efforts you can earn your stripes with God.  

Let Him MAKE you alive.  Being made ALIVE is the result of the Author of Life and the very Giver of Life giving His Nature to you.

In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.

John 1:4 (NASB)

All things came into being through Him,

and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

John 1:3 (NASB)

Being MADE ALIVE in CHRIST is the only one single solution to the death that you carry in your soul.  The opening verse says that we were MADE ALIVE together with CHRIST. The reason Jesus had to die on the cross is to deal with SIN.  The result of SIN was DEATH.  For this reason He destroyed death by taking it upon Himself so that we do not have to.  He became gangrenous on the cross.

Jesus was raised from the dead so we can be MADE ALIVE in HIM.  Every restoration in your life will happen in direct connection with the Resurrection of Christ.

If you have unforgiveness, you need a resurgence of love.  When you repent of your unforgiveness by bringing it to the cross, the resurrection of Christ will heal your heart.

Unless you allow the cross and resurrection to deal with sin in your life, even after you’ve become a Christian, you will never see God’s resurrection power touch you with His life.

The Gospel is the solution to all the death caused by sin.  

Unfortunately, I have dealt with quite a few divorces over the last few years.  In every case, I realised that the decision to divorce was not something that came up overnight for that couple.  It was a gangrenous finger that got neglected, way back somewhere. This death in one part of the soul slowly started killing the rest of the soul.  Eventually, there was no more turnaround.

The biggest problem is not even the fact that the death spread throughout everything.  The biggest problem is the fact that, very deceptively, the dead finger way back then, was never called sin.  The fact that there was never any repentance for those initial unhealthy thought patterns or half-truths, caused the spouse to get to a place where they have no faith that Jesus can resurrect the marriage anymore.

The truth is, Jesus can give life to everything and anything.  Unfortunately, the faith is not there for the big issue because there was never repentance for the small one.  The small “problem” was soaked in death and it killed everything around it. The result? A dead marriage.


What dead fingers do you have?  Let the Gospel minister to your sin today.  Call it SIN. Realise it causes death. Let the cross of Jesus destroy the sin.  Let His resurrection bring life and live in Christ.

The Holy Spirit

You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

Acts 10:38 (NASB)

I want to tell you a story of the time my dad asked me to go pray for a baby in a hospital once.  This was many years ago. On the way to the hospital my dad told me how he sensed that God was up to something big.  I was a teenager at the time, so I just agreed to what my dad said. That day I saw one of the saddest things I had ever seen.  A baby, just a few days old, with arms and legs all blue and black with gangrene.

Somehow a bacterial infection invaded this little boy’s body and slowly started killing off each of his limbs.  When me and my dad entered the room, the doctor just informed the parents that their little boy would most probably be dead within two or three hours.  The gangrene was spreading at such a rapid rate that amputation was no solution. The shock we all felt was something I still remember to this day.

My dad turned to the parents and asked them, “do you believe God can do a miracle for you?”  They were honest enough to admit that they didn’t believe that but my dad continued and said that he believes in God and offered to pray for their son.

I remember it so well. I stood on the one side of the hospital crib and my dad on the other.  We couldn’t lay our hands on the baby because he was full of wires and tubes. So I just put my two index fingers on him, following my dad’s example.  My dad prayed, what felt to me as a very insignificantly, short prayer. We turned to the parents and my dad also prayed a very simple prayer.

We drove home in complete silence.

The next morning at around 5am the phone rang.  This was before mobile phones with mute buttons.  It was one of those wired home telephones that would wake up the whole house.  My dad picked up, had a short conversation with someone and ran into my room to give me the news.  The doctors had no idea what happened, but the gangrene simply disappeared an hour or two after we left and the baby was doing fine.

A month or so later the family came to church to dedicate their son the Lord.  It was truly a God moment.

This incident taught me so much.  It is not the size of the faith or the length of the prayer that made any difference.  It is the power of the Holy Spirit. Just like our opening verse states, not even Jesus did anything significant until He was baptised in the Holy Spirit.  But when He was Baptised in the Spirit, He did marvelous things.

We need the power of the Holy Spirit more than we need anything else to be able to succeed in God’s Kingdom.  Without the Holy Spirit, we are truly like rotten wood floating down a stream going wherever the current takes us.

Without the Holy Spirit our:

  • Praise and worship songs are just music,

  • Sermons are simply prideful information shared

  • Prayers are feel good gestures of false hope

  • Services are acts of meaningless waste of energy

But when we are empowered by the Holy Spirit, a very simple prayer can turn death around in its tracks.   Every song you sing will penetrate a heart, sermon you preach will save a soul and act of kindness will raise a Godly leader.  

How much of what you currently do is out of the flesh vs. out of the Spirit of God?  

A couple of weeks ago I challenged you to rate yourself based on the fruit of the spirit.  Today I want to make a similar challenge: rate your life based on the gifts of the Spirit.

How often, when at work, do you open your heart to receive a word of wisdom to give you a supernatural answer to the problem you are facing?  

Do you believe God for a gift of faith to reach your goals and supersede all expectations?  

Have you ever trusted God to give you discernment with a client to know where things are going?   

Are you involving the Gifts of the Spirit to help you with your PhD research?

Do you believe God can heal, restore and set free?  

Do you believe God can use you to do it?

Often times when we fail to answer yes to these questions, it is because we lack the baptism in the Holy Spirit. We think it is through ability of our own we need to be able to pray a good enough prayer with enough faith to get things moving forward.

My dad did not pray a death defying prayer that got rid of gangrene in a baby’s body.  He prayed a Holy Spirit empowered prayer that needs only one word of faith to be released.

Are you baptised in the Holy Spirit?

Know The Father

As a child I always had the idea that God designed everything perfectly and then something went wrong.  Somehow He had to come up with plan B. This plan B was never intended as the original idea, but He had to fix what went wrong. Imagine that; Jesus being plan B?  Well, I honestly thought this was the case.

Until one day God showed me a truth I’ve never seen before in Ephesians 1:4-5, “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.”

Even before God made the world He had it in mind to adopt us as sons through Jesus.  This plan never changed.  Before the Garden of Eden His plan was to adopt us as sons through Jesus.  After the fall of man into sin the plan never changed.  He wanted sons and daughters and the plan still remained the same.  Jesus is God’s predestined and chosen way for people to come into relationship with Him.

It has always been God’s desire to be a Father to us.  The idea has always been to be in covenant with Him through Jesus.  Sin just changed the way it happened a little, but the original plan has and always will be God’s idea.

To know God as Father has always been God’s first and foremost priority with us.  This kind of relationship with us is God’s primary motivation for doing everything He desires to do.  He loves us and will give anything for His children.

I have heard many teachers say that the ultimate revelation to obtain is to know the Father.  I disagree; it is the first. Nothing you do in God’s Kingdom should come from any other motive than relationship.  We cannot earn His love.  It is given unconditionally like only a Father can.

If you are functioning in your Christian walk and doing things for people and God without a deep understanding of the Father Heart of God, then you are not working from a place of rest, love or grace.  You are working from a place of law trying to do the right thing in order to gain acceptance. Your are serving from an orphaned heart.

Your motive should be love, having fully understood that you are part of His family. God is not a slave driver but a Father.  This is the Gospel. Jesus came to reconcile us to the Father. The Gospel is not that Jesus gave us power to serve in a Kingdom of slaves.  The unfortunate reality is that so many people look to God through the lenses of their own fatherly experiences as a child.

Before we can grow in our spiritual journey and mature in God, we need to get the father wound in our lives healed and understand that God is a loving Father.  

This is the first thing God wants us to understand.

It's time to grow up

In my book It’s time to grow up, I show how different people relate to God in different ways.  There are various factors influencing this of course, but the one I focus on in my book is the different levels of spiritual maturity we all find ourselves in.  A teenage boy will relate differently to his parents than his toddler sister, and so too the parents will expect different things from their children.

Although 1 John 2:12-14 mentions three different growth stages in our spiritual walk, it does show us seven different stepping stones we have to grow through in order to live in a fully mature relationship with God.

  1. Knowing the Father

  2. Having your sins forgiven

  3. Overcoming the enemy

  4. Becoming strong in your faith

  5. Living through the Word

  6. Knowing God’s purpose for your life

  7. Living fully in His Kingdom

These seven growth blocks are vital in every person's journey of faith. Too many people try to compare themselves with someone that is living in number 7 while they themselves are still at number 3, trying to learn how to identify and overcome the enemy.  This might cause them to feel very intimidated by a mature believer’s relationship with God.

This will lead to a lot of frustration and disillusionment and eventually to a person feeling very frustrated with God.  It is important for you to know yourself in order to grow in your potential. God will not expect you to overcome the devil if you cannot even overcome offense.  This is why He will be patient with you as you grow into that place of maturity so that you can live in the abundant life He has promised us.

Over the next few weeks I will take you through these seven stages and explain them individually.  It would be good for you to identify where you are and what it would take for you to grow to the next step in your own life.


Let’s look at some big theological words today and see why it is important to get them right.  

Justification and sanctification.

According to the Easton’s Bible Dictionary, “justification declares that all the claims of the law are satisfied in respect of the justified”.  This is what Jesus obtained for us on the cross.  Romans 5:1 states, “therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

When you are justified by faith you are no longer guilty of sin but set free through the blood of Jesus from the curse of sin.  You are justified. Justification is the first step into God’s Kingdom.  You get justified when you acknowledge the fact that you are a sinner in need of a saviour.  Then, according to Romans 10: 9, you are saved when you “confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead”.

Salvation is made possible by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ.  You are then called a child of God. The next step is to grow up.

That process is called sanctification.

Easton’s Bible Dictionary reads, “sanctification is the carrying on to perfection the work begun in regeneration, and it extends to the whole man”.  This means, to be justified by the blood of Jesus from sin will make you a child of God, but will not make you live a Christ-like life without the ongoing empowerment and work of the Holy Spirit in your life.

Therefore it is important to understand that calling Jesus your Saviour is not enough to make you be fruitful.  You need to make Him Lord of your life and obey Him in order to live a life of blessing and fruitfulness.

We need to get this order right.  You first need to be justified by the blood of Jesus before you can be sanctified by the Holy Spirit.  So often, as Christians, we expect those who are not yet justified to be sanctified. We judge people who live immoral lives and argue with them about what is right and wrong.  Those who are not justified by the blood of Jesus cannot live lives that are sanctified.

This is the main reason it’s so difficult to argue about issues like abortion and sexual immorality with those who have not accepted Jesus as their Redeemer from sin.   As Christians, we should always live lives that are continuously being sanctified, yet love those who are not yet justified. We should never put sanctification before justification.  In every conversation it should always be Jesus first, and morality second.

We should love like Jesus loved.  

Romans 5:8 reads, “but God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Next week we will start looking in more detail at the sanctification process we all need to embrace in our lives.

Thank you Jesus.


Romans 5:10 (NLT)  For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 

Do you get what this verse is really saying?  Because of the death of Jesus, you are restored to a relationship with God.  This is great news. This is the GOSPEL!

I recently asked a few people what the Gospel meant to them.  I was honestly shocked to see how familiar people have become with the greatest news we have ever received.  As Christians, we have come to a point where that which happened on the cross of Jesus has become more of a story and a familiar history to us, instead of it being “the power of God” (Rom 1:16) that brings salvation.

Jesus explained it well in Luke 6 when He said that your life will be like a house built on sand if you give attention to all kinds of revelation from Scripture, yet the foundation is not strong on the essentials.  I have seen many people who once had a very impressive faith life, but who’s faith got shipwrecked during intensely dramatic life struggles.

Because their faith was built upon revelations about things that are good, but not essential, they suddenly lost sight of the important things in life.  They lost sight of the person of Jesus and who He was to them.

If you can teach about prophecy and authority, the gifts of the Spirit, the kings of the Bible, financial wealth, or any other biblical truth, but you are not well acquainted with and truly live out the truth of the Gospel, your beautiful house of knowledge built on sand will eventually be flattened by a storm of life.  All revelation from Scripture has to be founded upon the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ.

When the Gospel is the foundation, then all other truths will be able to stand the test of trials.

Do you fully understand what it means to be a Christian?


Take a few moments and meditate on this:


Thank you Jesus.

Clean your land

Did you know that your struggles might be because of someone else's sin?

Jeremiah 3:1
God says, “If a husband divorces his wife
And she goes from him
And belongs to another man,
Will he still return to her?
Will not that land be completely polluted?

When someone sins on a land, the land itself becomes defiled or polluted. So, when the next person steps onto that land, the pollution of that land will influence them negatively; unless they clean it up.

I have prayed for many houses and physical land.  It is remarkable to see the difference in both the land and the people after the land has been cleansed from previous pollution.  

A friend once asked me to pray for her house.  She was living with a few friends in shared accommodation in London, England.  While we prayed, I sensed that there were occult activities taking place there in previous years in specifically the garage of the house.  After we prayed to break the curses and cleanse the land, my friend reported the next few days that things drastically changed around the house.  The relationships between the housemates improved and even the plumbing issues were resolved; something no plumber could fix despite months of investigation.  

Jesus did not only give us fire insurance.  We are not just simply saved from an eternity in hell.  Jesus became flesh so that He could also redeem creation.  This is the Gospel. All of creation got set free from the power of sin.  

The Gospel is not just a feel good story of hope for heaven.  It is the power of God that brings salvation and restoration to people and creation.  In many instances in Scripture we see God always doing miraculous things on the same piece of land but over multiple generations.  This is because that land has the ability to absorb spiritual power.

This power actively influences the people that live and move on that land. The land itself cannot decide what power it absorbs, e.g. good or evil. This is determined by the people living on that land.  What is important to understand is that your words and actions carry tremendous spiritual power and have a direct influence on the land you occupy.  Pray over your house, land and property regularly and bless it in the Name of Jesus.

God has redeemed creation and gave us full authority over it.  It is time that we start to take back the land that is not yet in possession of the Kingdom.

If there are things happening in your life that you know might be out of character for you, then consider that the land you are living on, working on or even just stepped on to might be the source.  Take Joshua’s approach and claim every place your feet walk on for the Kingdom of God.

Inform vs Transform

Romans 12:2 (NASB) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Last week I was in Nashville with our Every Nation Assessment centre to help assess the suitability of some couples to plant new churches.  One of the gentlemen on our team is currently busy with a Doctorate programme and he said something that stuck with me.  He quoted one of his lecturers, saying “those who don’t write, don’t think”.

This statement has echoed in my mind for the last few days.  Ignorance is not something I would want to be known for.  I love to think about things.  I want to seek truth in everything I do.  But more than that, I desire my life to be transformed for the better.

This verse in Romans states clearly that we should not be INFORMED in our minds but TRANSFORMED.  There is a pretty big difference.  Most of us who just read but not write, ends up being informed and not transformed.  It is only through teaching others that you really challenge yourself to make statements of truth and conviction.  Being somewhere in the middle with a lot of knowledge will make no difference to you or anyone else.

Recently I have had to deal with a pretty challenging pastoral situation with someone who confesses to be a Christian but whose life is not at all bearing the fruit.  The person shows no remorse or repentance for any hurt caused to people, or for the sinful behaviour which caused everything, for that matter.  Yet, in our conversations, I could recognise an amazing insight into the Bible, but there was no conviction of truth.

This means there is information through knowledge but no transformation through a relationship with Jesus.

I tend to find this in many who confess to be Christian.  They have knowledge about forgiveness, yet carry deep offences against their parents and others.  

We need to be transformed by Christ, not informed by books.

When you read and gain new knowledge but your behaviour stays the same, you will only have gained information but no transformation.  New knowledge that results in new behaviour is equal to the transformation this verse refers to.  This seldom happens unless you actually start teaching and discipling others.  Therefore, “those who don’t write don’t think”. 

This is why I believe it is important to make disciples.  When I have to duplicate myself into someone else, I need to pass on who I am, not just what I know.  We need to be able to reflect Christ in everything we do and be able to pass on His nature, not our own brokenness. 

I believe that love is the greatest commandment, exactly for this very reason.  We cannot influence anyone with the Gospel if we are not transformed by Love ourselves.  This starts by forgiving (unconditionally) those who have done us wrong.  

Make a commitment today that you will not just be informed, but transformed. 

Own your space

Have you ever walked into a room and it felt like something crawled up your back?  It feels as though the hair on your neck are standing up straight! Or maybe you experience the exact opposite? You go to visit a friend and as you walk through the doors your heart sighs as it feels as though you have stepped into a haven of indescribable peace?

God designed us with a mandate to rule over creation.  The basic elements of creation are time, space and matter.  It is easy to explain the authority that we have over matter (next week I’ll explain the power of physical land) but we are seldom taught that time and space are also under our jurisdiction.  

We have to remember that the devil is called the prince of the power of the air in Eph 2:2.  The best way to influence people and the earth is to take control of the atmosphere that surrounds them.  That way you can have a direct influence on every person's mind and the physical matter inside that space.   

To take authority in the Name of Jesus over the spiritual realm is hugely powerful but that is also true for the space that physical matter occupies.  The physical world and the spiritual world are so closely linked together that it takes very little to step from the one into the other. In fact, I believe you cannot really separate them.  If you understand the power of “space” you will know that everything you say and do have a direct influence on the spiritual realm. The spiritual realm that occupies all space will then in turn have a direct effect upon your immediate physical world.  

This is the reason people who live in the same residential area are usually subjected to the same behaviour and thought patterns.  The atmosphere is saturated with a spiritual principality that influences their thoughts. When Jesus destroyed the enemy, He took back the authority from the prince of the power of the air.  This means that the Gospel can change the atmosphere you live in.

The Gospel is simple but profound.  The four simple ingredients of the Gospel are so easy to understand, yet we overcomplicate it and therefore miss its power.

  1. God created everything.  He created us to have relationship with Him.

  2. We rebelled against God and sin destroyed both the planet and our relationship with God.

  3. God became man in Jesus and lived the life we should have lived.  He then died the death we should have died in order to redeem us from sin.

  4. In the resurrection, everything got restored.  

When this simple but profound truth settles in your heart, you will realise that you can bring the salvation of the cross into your physical world and change the atmosphere of any place you step into.  When the atmosphere is filled with God's Glory, then even those who do not believe in God will starting thinking and acting according to His Kingdom, because it is occupying the space around them.

The two most profound ways to change your atmosphere are through words and actions.  You need to speak out the promises of God. Do not strengthen that which already exists by speaking that which already is.  Speak and act in the opposite to what is around you and speak and act according to God’s Word, regardless of how you feel. Your life has authority in Christ Jesus.  Become the agent of change for your household and community!

Romans 8:19 (ESV)  For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. Creation is waiting for the redemption of the cross, but we are the ones to minister redemption to creation.   

Next week I’ll explain some aspects around the power of land.  This will put everything into context. Time, space and matter.  We need to live like sons.