31. August 2017 · Comments Off on DON’T ALLOW PEOPLE CAUSE YOU TO DOUBT WHO YOU ARE · Categories: Identity, Jesus Christ

The Lord said to satan, “Have you considered and reflected on My servant Job? For there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God [with reverence] and abstains from and turns away from evil [because he honors God].” (Job 1:8 AMP)

Beloved, we know the story of Job who after the calamity that befell him, his friends had something to say. So, they took it in turns to let him have it. They tried to make out that the predicament that he was in was his fault. They said it was because of his sin. One in particular called Bildad had this to say about Job as Job tried to defend his innocence. He said… “If you would [diligently] seek God And implore the compassion and favor of the Almighty, Then, if you are pure and upright, Surely now He will awaken for you And restore your righteous place (Job 8:5‭-‬6 AMP)‎.

IF YOU ARE PURE AND UPRIGHT…

Beloved, the thing to note about this as we’ve read in our feature text is that this was actually the way God described Job when satan came like a roaring Lion looking for who to devour. The Lord said…‎ Have you considered My servant Job? For there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man‎.

The Lord repeated this again the second time satan came to ask for more… The Lord said to satan, “Have you considered and reflected on My servant Job? For there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God [with reverence] and abstains from and turns away from evil [because he honors God]. And still he maintains and holds tightly to his integrity, although you incited Me against him to destroy him without cause.” (Job 2:3 AMP)

However, we see his friend trying to convince him otherwise because people would always have something to say and they would want to prove that they know what’s up‎.

Bildad was not alone. Jobs other friend, Elihu also said… ‘Job ought to be tried to the limit because he answers like wicked men! ‘For he adds rebellion [in his unsubmissive, defiant attitude toward God] to his [unacknowledged] sin; He claps his hands among us [in open mockery and contempt of God], And he multiplies his words [of accusation] against God.’” (Job 34:36‭-‬37 AMP)

HIS UNSUBMISSIVE, DEFIANT ATTITUDE TOWARD GOD…

But didn’t God tell satan that Job was… one who fears God [with reverence] and abstains from and turns away from evil [because he honors God].”

Beloved, people would always make assumptions about you but their assumptions are not always a reflection of how God sees you. The Lord knows who you truly are and what is in your heart ‎so this isn’t the time to spend all your energy or lose sleep trying to defend who you are. Remember… when a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him (Proverbs 16:7 NKJV).

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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30. August 2017 · Comments Off on THE LORD IS WATCHING · Categories: Fruit of the Spirit, God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Relationship, Spiritual Growth

“But He knows the way that I take [and He pays attention to it]. When He has tried me, I will come forth as [refined] gold [pure and luminous] (Job 23:10 AMP).

Beloved, using yesterday’s message as a backdrop, I was telling someone recently that the Lord watches us to see how we respond to things and situations. In our feature text, we hear Job say… He knows the way that I take and He pays attention to it… which means God is watching everything; how you will respond to those people that have been sent to prune you… everything.

The Message translation says… “But He knows where I am and what I’ve done. He can cross-examine me all He wants, and I’ll pass the test with HONORS.

I WILL PASS THE TEST WITH HONORS…

Beloved, that’s a question for you. Would you pass the test with HONORS? Yes, people are throwing stones at you but are you allowing the Lord use them to build a solid foundation for you; one which is offense-free, one which is free of bitterness and anger or are you throwing those stones back to the sender?

Beloved, the Bible says… Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are HONORABLE. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone… never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord. Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.” Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good (Romans 12:17‭-‬21 NLT).

Yes, people may have treated you unfairly. They may have cheated you. They may have lied against you… whatever the case may be but please know that it’s not really about them. It’s about what the Lord wants to do in and with you.

Remember what Joseph told his brothers?

…Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? [Vengeance is His, not mine.] As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present outcome, that many people would be kept alive [as they are this day] (Genesis 50:19‭-‬20 AMP).

Beloved, the Lord knows people would always be people but He is also God and He does not change. However, He wants to change you and He is watching you. So, are you going to pass the test with HONORS?

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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29. August 2017 · Comments Off on WORKING ON YOUR FOUNDATION · Categories: Endurance, Fruit of the Spirit, God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Joy, Offense, Patience, Relationship, Spiritual Growth

Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing (James 1:2-4 AMP).

Beloved, I remember talking to someone a while back about all the things we experience in life. We were talking about some of the things we have to go through in the hands of people but then they said: “the stones people throw at you… God will use them to build your foundation”.

‘THE STONES PEOPLE THROW AT YOU, GOD WILL USE THEM TO BUILD YOUR FOUNDATION‎’…

Interesting! Many times, we cry out to the Lord… Can’t you see how they are troubling me? Can’t you see how they are gossiping about me? Can’t you see how they’ve treated me unfairly? Can’t you see‎ how they are plotting evil against me? Can’t you see? Can’t you see? Can’t you see?

But the Lord would just stay… Be still and know that I am God… The trials or should I say stones that they are throwing your way is performing a duty in your life. Some people come your way to test your faith but this is building your foundation. It is only a proving of your faith to bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience‎ in you; because you are going to need these virtues to sustain you later on in life.

We know the story of Hannah. Peninnah threw some large stones at Hannah that turned her into a prayer warrior (1 Samuel 1).

Beloved, when the Lord is working on your foundation, and your character in particular, He would allow people to do and say all sorts about you and the question is are you going to spend your precious time responding to them? How many people are you going to respond to anyway? Don’t allow everything faze you. In the past, I would ponder over things people did or said to me until I can feel bile in my stomach and then offence would kick in big time but‎ I’ve been surprised at how I’m able to easily shake things off. That’s because the Lord has made me endure things from people. The Lord has been working and is still working on my foundation… perfecting and fully developing me… with no defects, to be lacking in nothing. People are bound to say more stuff and if you get offended over everything everyone says, you would be a mess.

Beloved, our feature text is probably referring to trials and temptations more serious than our so-called situations but it’s worth recognising how the Lord uses every stone thrown your way to develop a better you.

Consider it wholly joyful… so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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28. August 2017 · Comments Off on NO SHORTCUTS · Categories: God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Patience, Power and Authority

He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. THEREFORE, GOD ELEVATED HIM TO THE PLACE OF HIGHEST HONOR and gave Him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:8-11 NLT).

Beloved, have you ever found yourself taking a shortcut when driving just so you could reach your destination early only to find out that the shortcut wasn’t so short after all? Most times when stuck in traffic, I used to admire drivers that turn around to take an alternative route, but after getting lost so many times or ending up in an even greater traffic, I learnt from experience to just stick to my original route.

Satan wants us to take shortcuts that lead to destruction. He tried it with Jesus. He… led Him up to a high place and showed Him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to Him, “I WILL GIVE YOU ALL THEIR AUTHORITY AND SPLENDOR; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If You worship me, it will all be yours.” (Luke 4:5-7 NIV)

Apart from wanting Jesus to worship him, this temptation was for Jesus to excuse Himself from the God chosen path that lies ahead of Him. Jesus’ mission was to take back the keys of the kingdom from satan but He was to do it via the cross. Here, Jesus was offered a shortcut to leave His cross behind for quick access to power but Jesus chose to receive from His Father what is His Fathers to give.

Beloved, satan has not stopped his tricks. He only packages them in different wrappings and offers them to us but this is only an attempt to get us off the track the Lord has chosen for us. However, choosing to go satan’s way is not the way to gain anything but to lose it. He gives with one hand and takes with ten.

There are so many things that the Lord has promised you but perhaps you are getting very impatient. You want to take shortcuts. Satan told Jesus that I WILL GIVE YOU ALL THEIR AUTHORITY AND SPLENDOUR. However, what authority? Jesus had that authority and our feature text tells us how He got it.

Beloved, there’s always the tendency to want to take the easy path to growth and success without putting in the hard work. We don’t always like to sweat but sometimes opting for shortcuts means selling our soul to satan. The Lord desires to give you your heart desires but to submit to satan’s way of getting what you desire is to lose something greater. So, please WATCH OUT FOR SHORTCUTS THAT ARE NOT REALLY SHORTCUTS.

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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27. August 2017 · Comments Off on BE ENCOURAGED IN THE LORD · Categories: Depression, Jesus Christ, Rejection, Trusting God

And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: BUT DAVID ENCOURAGED HIMSELF IN THE LORD HIS GOD (1 Samuel 30:6 KJV).

Beloved, Scripture says… to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more (Luke 12:48 NKJV).

This often comes with some great burdens attached to it and there are times when it may seem like you have been abandoned by the people you thought you could rely on. Perhaps, like David in our feature text, all the people that look up to you now turn against you because they no longer have faith in you? They are very distressed but you too are also distressed. Times like that can be overwhelming but it’s not the time to give up. Rather, it’s the time to turn to the Lord.

David had just been sent back home, rejected from going to battle with the Philistines, only to find out that they had been raided. Their town was burned to the ground, and their wives and children taken as prisoners. David and his men wept until they were exhausted. Out of frustration, his men turned on him. It’s your fault David. They were about to stone him to death. Maybe it would make them feel better. But David didn’t say his last prayer. NO. He turned to God.

The Amplified Bible says …DAVID ENCOURAGED AND STRENGTHENED HIMSELF IN THE LORD HIS GOD. He must have remembered all the promises God had made to him and knowing that they still had to be fulfilled, he determined in his heart that this can’t be the end. He asked God for strength, reaffirmation and direction.

Beloved, David prayed to God, “Shall I go after these raiders? Can I catch them?” The answer came, “Go after them! Yes, you’ll catch them! Yes, you’ll make the rescue!” (1 Samuel 30:7-8 MSG)

David found renewed strength. He went after that devil… David pounced. He fought them from before sunrise until evening of the next day. None got away except for four hundred of the younger men who escaped by riding off on camels. David rescued everything the Amalekites had taken. And he rescued his two wives! Nothing and no one was missing—young or old, son or daughter, plunder or whatever. David recovered the whole lot. He herded the sheep and cattle before them, and they all shouted, “David’s plunder!” (1 Samuel 30:17-20 MSG)

Beloved, that’s how the story ends. Had David given up, he would have lost everything… What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31 NKJV). Don’t think of quitting. Find strength in the Lord. Blank out everything and turn to His word. He will tell you how ‘He will never leave nor forsake you’. He will tell you that ‘you are more than a conqueror’. He will show you the way out. He will surely tell you about the victory that is ahead of you.

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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26. August 2017 · Comments Off on WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? · Categories: Depression, God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Trusting God

There he came to a cave, where he spent the night. But the Lord said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:9 NLT)

Beloved, are you in a position where to everyone else it looks like things are going great? Everyone sees your great achievements. They look up to you as a great inspiration but as for you, you are just as confused, disappointed or afraid as ever.

Well, that’s because after every great achievement, you are probably worn or burnt out and that’s when the devil comes after you like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. That’s when he starts feeding you with all sorts of lies and threats.

We know of the great Prophet Elijah who had just finished one of the greatest achievements of his life. He called down fire from heaven to consume a very, very wet sacrifice and then killed 450 prophets of Baal all in one day, only to find himself asking God to end his life the next minute.

I remember attending an event only to get there to find the host overburdened, overwhelmed and in tears. This was before people started turning up for the event but when the time came for the event to start, they went on as normal with tears hidden under all that makeup. Nobody had a clue. God did what He wanted to do and we all went home. But then after the event, I called the host and the tears continued for about an hour. She was in deep anguish. “I wish it could all end”, she cried out.

Beloved, unfortunately, I have noticed that some of the people that encourage people are one of the loneliest and discouraged people you can find and just like someone said; people leave encouraged while you leave discouraged because you’ve poured out all your courage into them and now you are just empty and you just want to give up”.

It is to all these people that the Lord is asking this question… “What are you doing here? Why are you so discouraged? Why are so depressed? Why do you feel like giving up?” The enemy has been feeding you lies. You are not alone on this journey… I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him (1 Kings 19:18 KJV).

Beloved, this burden has been on my heart for a few days now. Don’t be an easy prey for the enemy… Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are. In His kindness God called you to share in His eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation (1 Peter 5:8-10 NLT).

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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25. August 2017 · Comments Off on HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW YOUR GOD? · Categories: Jesus Christ, Power and Authority, Relationship, Supernatural, Trusting God

…but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits (Daniel 11:32 KJV).

Beloved, do you know that it is how well you really know God that would determine how you respond to situations? We hear that in obedience, Abraham brought his son for sacrifice to the Lord but there was some reasoning behind his obedience. We are told that… It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him. Abraham, who had received God’s promises, was ready to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, even though God had told him, “Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted.” Abraham REASONED that if Isaac died, GOD WAS ABLE TO BRING HIM BACK TO LIFE AGAIN. And in a sense, Abraham did receive his son back from the dead (Hebrews 11:17-20 NLT).

Abraham reasoned that ‘MY GOD IS ABLE’. The same was the case with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They dared King Nebuchadnezzar and again there was the same reasoning behind it which was that ‘OUR GOD IS ABLE’… Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, THE GOD WHOM WE SERVE IS ABLE TO SAVE US. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty (Daniel 3:16-17 NLT).

Beloved, we also see this in the case of Daniel when he was thrown into the lion’s den for refusing to stop praying to his God but then the king could not sleep… Very early the next morning, the king got up and hurried out to the lions’ den. When he got there, he called out in anguish, “Daniel, servant of the living God! Was your God, whom you serve so faithfully, ABLE TO RESCUE YOU FROM THE LIONS?” Daniel answered, “Long live the king! My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in his sight. And I have not wronged you, Your Majesty.” (Daniel 6:19-22 NLT)

These people were able to convince the king that our God is able. Elijah showed off the mighty power of His God and converted people to God. He said… O Lord, answer me! Answer me so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God and that you have brought them back to yourself.” Immediately the fire of the Lord flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the trench! And when all the people saw it, they fell face down on the ground and cried out, “THE LORD—HE IS GOD! YES, THE LORD IS GOD!” (1 Kings 18:33-39 NLT)

Beloved, God is the same, yesterday, today and forever. The people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits but the question is… HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW YOUR GOD?

The world is waiting for us (Romans 8:19). It’s time to give room for God to start doing the supernatural in our lives.

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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24. August 2017 · Comments Off on THE LORD HAS NOT ABANDONED YOU · Categories: God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Trusting God, Understanding

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you. (Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT)

Beloved, there are things we go through in life were like Apostle Paul said, we get… burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life (2 Corinthians 1:8 NKJV). At such times, we have the tendency to think that the Lord is nowhere to be found but that’s not true at all. I was reading the story of Job yesterday who got to a point where he could no longer bear what he was going through. So, he wished that the Lord would just end his life. He said… Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant my desire. I wish He would crush me. I wish He would reach out his hand and kill me (Job 6:8-9 NLT).

Well, the irony of this, according to my Bible notes is that “Job thought it would be better to die than to endure all the pain and suffering that resulted from the tragedies he had experienced. He could not know that the fact that he was alive was actually because God had protected him”.

Beloved, isn’t that interesting? When satan presented his request to afflict Job before the Lord,… the Lord said to satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person”… (Job 1:12 NKJV). We see this again in Job 2:6 (NKJV)… And the Lord said to satan, “Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life.”

Job had no idea that it was the Lord that preserved his life. He thought the Lord was out to get him but he had no clue. My Bible notes went on to say that “This prayer should be of great comfort to believers. We cannot always see God’s hedge of protection in a traumatic situation. We can cry out for relief, when God wants us to endure. He knows far more about our situation than we do, and we can trust Him, even as we anguish over unanswered prayer”.

Beloved, I was sharing with someone recently that the book of Job is one of those books we just don’t like to read but unfortunately, we can’t get rid of it. Things we may never be able to explain happen and while I may not know what you may be going through right now, please know that the Lord is right there with you. King David said… Even though I walk through the [sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me (Psalm 23:4 AMP).

You may not have answers right now but all you can do is… Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own insight or understanding (Proverbs 3:5 AMP).

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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23. August 2017 · Comments Off on GIVING YOUR HEART · Categories: Decision making, Jesus Christ, Obedience, Relationship, Sacrifice, Worship

Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship (Romans 12:1 AMP).

Beloved, hopefully, you are familiar with the popular worship song titled “All Heaven Declares” where the lyrics of the chorus says… Forever You will be the Lamb upon the throne. I GLADLY BOW MY KNEES and I worship You alone…

I GLADLY BOW MY KNEES…

Well, some say ‘THE KNEE’ but the million-dollar question is: what about your heart? I remember someone saying you can be on your knees in worship… you can even lie flat on your stomach in worship while your heart is standing tall. How? Let’s take a look at two examples in the Bible…

We know of King Saul who disobeyed God but still had a thanksgiving service at church to thank the Lord for what He had done. He said… my troops BROUGHT IN THE BEST of the sheep, goats, cattle, and plunder to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.” But Samuel replied, “WHAT IS MORE PLEASING TO THE LORD: YOUR BURNT OFFERINGS AND SACRIFICES OR YOUR OBEDIENCE TO HIS VOICE? Listen! OBEDIENCE IS BETTER THAN SACRIFICE, and SUBMISSION IS BETTER THAN OFFERING the fat of rams (1 Samuel 15:21-22 NLT).

On the other hand, we have Abraham. The Lord said… Abraham, go on… sacrifice your son to Me and please make no mistakes about it; I mean… Isaac, whom you love so much (Genesis 22:2 NLT).

OK, Sir… I’ll do as You say. Abraham referred to it as worship. He told his servants… “The boy and I will travel a little farther. WE WILL WORSHIP THERE, and then we will come right back.” (Genesis 22:5 NLT)

Beloved, the Lord was not for one bit interested in him sacrificing Isaac but He allowed Abraham go through the whole ceremony to see what was in his heart… Abraham built an altar… tied his son, Isaac, and laid him on the altar… Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice. At that moment the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!… Don’t lay a hand on the boy!… “Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.” (Genesis 22:9-12 NLT)

Beloved, the Lord is not interested in what’s in our hands or our outward display of worship but what’s in our heart. OBEDIENCE… SUBMISSION… these are the things the Lord looks at when we come to Him in worship. Abraham gave his heart to the Lord. Are you struggling in the area of obedience? Are you giving your heart?

Remember… and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul (life), and with all your mind (thought, understanding), and with all your strength.’ (Mark 12:30 AMP)

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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22. August 2017 · Comments Off on BUILDING WITH YOUR SWORD · Categories: Jesus Christ, Prayer, Salvation, Words

Every builder had his sword secured at his side as he built. And the one who sounded the trumpet [to summon the troops] stood at my side (Nehemiah 4:18 AMP)

Beloved, our feature text is about Nehemiah and his team who were rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem but because of the strong opposition from their enemies, they had to build with their sword secured at their side. Today, we know the sword represents the word of God and it just gives a picture of how if you don’t hold on firmly to the word of God in a season when you are building, you may lose sight of what you set out to do in the face of strong opposition. Except you have the word of God in one hand, when the enemy comes to attack, it may shake you off balance. It could be a word of prophecy spoken over your life, whatever it is, you have got to remember and hold onto what the Lord said and speak it over and over again until you see its fulfillment.

Apostle Paul said to Timothy… Timothy, my son, here are my instructions for you, based on the prophetic words spoken about you earlier. May they help you fight well in the Lord’s battles (1 Timothy 1:18 NLT). The Amplified Bible says… This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, so that [inspired and aided] by them you may fight the good fight…

Concerning Nehemiah and his team, Nehemiah went on to say… So neither I, my brothers (relatives), my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us took off our clothes; each took his weapon [even] to the water (Nehemiah 4:23 AMP)

This gives a picture of what we have been commanded to do as Christians which is to put on the whole armour of God.

Apostle Paul said… Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere (Ephesians 6:13-18 NLT).

Beloved, don’t go weary. Rather, equip yourself. You can’t do it unequipped. Remember… Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain (Psalm 127:1 AMP).

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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