Prosperity Gospel: Prostituting the gospel?

Is the prosperity gospel a promise or a snare? I believe that God blesses his children with financial prosperity. We see this in the lives of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We see this in the lives of countless men and women of God that were elevated to enjoy affluence such as David, Solomon, Esther, Ruth and so on. I am however opposed to the modern extreme we see coming from our pulpits today where the unbalanced prosperity gospel is used as a bait to bring people to Christ. The balanced gospel is sufficient in itself to win souls for Christ without the help of a false illusion that draws people to Christ because they want to become prosperous. For every example of a prosperous child of God in the Bible, there are many examples of those who God allowed to go through tremendous suffering and lack. God’s decision to introduce baby Jesus to the world in extreme lowly conditions is testament to the fact that a believer will sometimes be left to walk in abject poverty even while carrying a mighty divine purpose for mankind. Job was rich but was not only stripped of all prosperity but also suffered in sickness. The partial truth of wealth and health as a must for believers as taught by many preachers today, especially while disregarding the more important aspects of intimacy with God and the development of godly character is a trap from hell! God’s will is not always for his children to be wealthy. On the contrary, God sometimes requires that we give up wealth because it can be a stumbling block in the life of a believer. Believers who come in expecting wealth and health will likely not stay with God in the absence of wealth and health. They will end up angry and bitter with God in their wilderness seasons. Like Job’s wife, they will curse God and die in their disappointment with his failure to deliver to their expectations.

Many preachers quote 3 John 2:1-3 as evidence that God wants His children to have wealth and health.  “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.’The Greek word for “prosper” is ‘eudow’ meaning to be successful on your journey. It does not refer to financial prosperity as many imply. John wishes that all things will go well for Gaius. Verse 3 shows that John was specifically addressing the report from others about how Gaius was walking in the truth of the Lord. This passage is not a get rich quick tool nor a ‘name it claim it’ wand to be applied with disregard to how healthy our relationship with Christ is. It was a blessing over a believer whose emphasis was not on financial prosperity but rather on growing and walking in the truth of the word.

Prosperity gospel preachers today have conveniently ignored those parts of the Bible that also caution us about the dangers of loving riches. Although we are taught that it is a believers right to claim prosperity, we see in the case of the rich young ruler in Matthew 19 that even when you have kept all of God’s commandments, prosperity can be a snare. How many are willing to give up all they have acquired materially for the sake of Christ? Rather than use our status as obedient believers to claim a right to prosperity, Matthew 19:20-24 stands as a caution that even when we think we are believers in good standing, our attachment to riches can cause us to lose the Kingdom.

“The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?”. Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. With God All Things Are Possible. Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

Why are many charismatic believers so infatuated with the prosperity gospel being dished out of many pulpits today when Jesus clearly warns us about how hard it will be for a rich man to make it into heaven?

We are born to worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). God is seeking for true worshippers, not those who want Him for what He can give them. True worship has nothing to do with what God has done for us but rather who he is regardless of whether we walk in financial prosperity and good health. Wealth and health are simply tools sometimes given to believers by God to enable the spread of the gospel. It is entrusted to us to facilitate kingdom purpose. When we place undue emphasis on prosperity and make it the main reason why people should give their lives to Jesus, we embark on a slippery slope that will only lead to the creation of a generation of self seeking and greedy believers who are only in Church for what they can get from God. No wonder our pews are filled with many who have been saved for years but do not know Christ nor carry the anointing to chase a fly. No wonder we have believers who are continuously being taken for a ride by Pastors and Prophets who require the sewing of a seed to receive the blessings that Christ has freely given us. No wonder many are driven into abject poverty in their pursuit of prosperity by expecting that by simply shouting amen to prophetic declarations, their day of affluence will come. If we believe Jesus’ words in Matthew 19:23, many of us on the prosperity band wagon may just be enriching ourselves on the way to hell. The rich young man was sad when Jesus asked him to give up his riches and went away sad. He chose to leave Jesus because of riches. How many of us will give up the pursuit of prosperity to follow Jesus? Jesus tells the rich man in verse 21 to give up his riches before he can follow Him. How many preachers teach believers today that we may need to give up prosperity in order to build treasure in heaven and follow Christ? It is high time we learn to place our eyes on Jesus and He alone as our raison d’etre for being a part of His church. As we pursue Christ alone and seek first the Kingdom, all other things will be added on to us (Matthew 6:33).

Is every promotion from God?

 

It is not every promotion that comes from God.  Every Pastor or Prophet who rises is not from God. There are many who rise in our midst looking very blessed, be it at work, in the family or in ministry causing some to wonder why God is not blessing them in the same way, yet this ascension to the top may not be from God.

The lust of the eyes will cause many in these last days to reach for the top through ungodly means and compromises just so that they can quickly attain what they perceive God to be slow in delivering. For some, the pride of life will cause them to desire things out of God’s timing. Although God has a plan to bless each of His children, we sometimes go ahead of this plan because the process within Gods plan calls for much humility, patience, perseverance causing us to look like we are a failure compared to others. Comparison is a weapon fashioned by the enemy to push believers out of God’s perfect plan and timing. We seek certain achievements because of what we see that others have and our motives become corrupted as we are no longer driven by Godly purpose but by satanic desire to overtake others and be seen at the top. This was the same thing that Lucifer desired, where God planted him was not sufficient, he saw it as too small and acted on his desire to get to the top through unscrupulous means. He believed he could be like the most high God and was blinded to the truth of the beautiful plan God had for him. (Isaiah 14:14)

I have observed that many in the body of Christ get absorbed by this luciferian spirit and driven by the satanic desire to seize what may either be out of God’s timing or completely out of His plan for them. This spirit attacks the order that God has ordained for us to follow in reaching our divine purpose. It reveals the corruption in our hearts and while we may be the envy of many and appear to be attaining great blessings, the power behind this all may be the devil himself.

Everything that looks like a blessing is not a blessing. Everyone that appears to be blessed may not blessed. If the road to your “blessing” is riddled with ungodly methods, disobedience, pride, theft and other sinful acts, then it may be a sign that your promotion is not from God but rather from the devil. Yes, the devil promotes. He is looking for as many as possible to follow in his footsteps in disobedience to God’s divine plan. If you have the wrong desire in your heart (James 1:14), he will use it to lure you into ungodly promotion and if you fall for this, you would have just worshiped the devil. It is an old trick in his books which many believers don’t realize. He offered Eve the opportunity to be like God (Gen 3:5) and she fell for this bringing down all of mankind. He will offer you the world. He even tried to promote Jesus Christ. (Matthew 4:8-9) Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

Many times, the challenges you face and the time it is taking to achieve your goals may be a sign that you are actually on God’s timetable. You are being processed in order to have the maturity needed to handle the blessing from God at the right time. The enemy will raise you up with less obstacles than what it sometimes takes to remain in the plan of God. His intention is to raise you quickly to that pinnacle from which he can bring you down to a fall. Let us watch against this subtle deception by the enemy to attain higher heights at all cost. Let us rather respond to this temptation like Jesus did in Matthew 4:10 by first of all recognizing where this desire is coming from and secondly by saying “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” Keep serving God diligently and  in His perfect time, He will raise you to a place of true blessing. (Eccl 3:11)In His time He makes all things beautiful!

The God who shuts doors

With this being a deliverance ministry, we are used to spiritual warfare, commanding the enemy to take his hands off our stuff. There is a place for spiritual warfare when regular prayers have not yielded the results we expect. But did you know that many things we scream at the devil for are doors that God has shut? As a child of God, He will shut doors in our lives. He will delay some things and deny others because your steps are ordered by the Lord (psalms 37:23) to prepare you for your destiny. God knows best what He has planned for us and exactly what our journey of life must be like in order for us to arrive at our destination. Each one of us will experience different challenges according to where God is taking us. The material pleasures of life are nice to have but those things are not the reason we were created. If we are to fulfill purpose, the road will be one that prepares us for our destiny. Many times we are very earthly minded and seek God in prayer for the comfort of our flesh. And even when we are spiritually minded, we blame the devil for depriving us from things that God has withheld for a good reason. If having that job, that child, that money will lead you away from your destiny, God will shut that door. If having that thing will prevent you from developing the character needed to carry your destiny, God will shut that door. He will shut doors to teach you to travail, to teach you to wait, to teach you to dive deeper in His presence. He will shut doors to teach you that no one else is your God, not your Mama, not your best friend, not your Pastor, not that Prophet, not your spouse but He alone. He is your only source, the only one who can turn that situation around. What doors has God shut in your life? If you mean business with God, if you are serious about living for Him and fulfilling His purpose for your life, you will go through seasons when you are denied many things no matter how much you pray and fast. If you are in this place today, ask God to show you the truth about your situation. Turn your attention from everyone else and look to God alone. In due season, He will open new doors, not just doors that you think are good for you, but those doors that He knows will bless you. He will open those doors that will truly lead you to your destiny.

They shall cast out devils (A biographical account)

Some years ago, after battling many personal and family challenges, the Lord began to stir my heart in a new direction and rather than read the Bible simply as a story book or as a collection of wise words,  I began to truly meditate on what I was reading. Prior to that, even as a Christian, my reading was very superficial and sometimes done out of habit. I was a gospel singer who was starting to gain recognition in the community I lived in and even internationally.  Singing for Christ was cool and something bigger than my usual sense of direction had convinced me that I needed to stick to gospel music and not do other genres of music. Years later, it would become clear to me and those around me what God was starting to do in my life.

The Bible shows us that Jesus spent a lot of time casting out devils and healing the sick but I never thought much about what this meant for my own life as a Christian. Many believers will identify with me here.  If I was to truly be a follower of Christ, would I be able to do the things Jesus did? Back then, with  no spiritual power myself,  it occurred to me that if a demon possessed person showed up in front of me, I would probably duck for cover.  Something was wrong with this picture, after all Jesus himself said in Mark 16:17-18 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Wow! The very first thing Jesus said believers would be able to do was to cast out Devils and then He went on to list other miracles we would be able to do. So I began to ask myself why I did not see the miracles Jesus did in my own life and in the lives of most of my fellow Christians today. The Lord was starting to get my attention in a deep way but I still could not see how that would be possible in my own life.

Fast forward 10 or so years into the future, after some near death pregnancy experiences, the Lord brings some divine connections my way which started me on the spiritual journey of my life. Like an onion, the spiritual layers of my life began to uncover and deep levels of generational bondage were peeled away one layer at a time. Through out this escapade, I had to learn spiritual warfare for my own survival. I had to learn how to partner with the servants of God who had been divinely assigned to walk with me in a new season of self discovery and lead me into a new dawn were purpose was beckoning me to answer the call of my life. Was the same Jesus who had set free the man of the Gadarenes from legions calling my name? Could it possibly be true that as a believer, one of the signs that would follow me was going to be the grace to cast out devils? As I began to meditate more on Mark 16:17-18, I realized that every believer could cast out devils; I did not have to be a Pastor, I did not need to attend Bible College, I did not need to have special powers, I was not perfect but I was qualified to be used by God to cast out devils because in Jesus’ own words, I had already believed!

Today many spirit filled believers are living in bondage and not experiencing the abundant life that Jesus paid for. On the other hand, many unbelievers appear to be thriving and enjoying the good things of life. Many believers spend countless hours praying and believing God for the manifestation of the many promises in the Bible which never seem to materialize. If you are honest with yourself, you may recognize that there is a disconnect between your own life and the life God promises His children. Poverty, sickness, stagnation and many other demonic setbacks have stood as a mountain between you and your destiny. The church is paying a price for turning its back on the ministry of casting out devils. This is a missing piece in the puzzle of life that must regain its place in the line up of Mark 16:17-18 if the Church is to walk in freedom. For many, just like it was for me, the wake up call will come only after years of bondage causing their backs to be on the ground. At his juncture, spiritual warfare becomes a necessity for survival! When this sign follows you as a believer, not only will you tread on the serpents and scorpions in your own life, but you will be a true reflection of the love and power of Christ to others in a suffering world.

 

 

 

Shun all offense

Many times in our lives the enemy will use offense to cause us to be separated from the divine helpers that God has ordained to help us on the road of destiny towards our promise land. The enemy will only attack those relationships that are meant to bless us, those relationships without which our climb to destiny will be so much harder or even impossible. Suddenly you find that everything your pastor, spouse, your sister, your friend does makes you feel mad, hurt, rejected. 

There are some seemingly unanswered prayers in our lives not because God has not answered but because we have allowed the devil to separate us from our destiny helpers, we have fought with and rejected our destiny helpers, we have minimized and underestimated our destiny helpers. We must learn to recognize those people that God positioned in our lives to meet a need, fill a gap, provide an answer and honor those people no matter what. Sometimes we are the ones who have been ordained to assist another person but we allowed an offense to take root and we don’t feel like helping and loving that person. When the enemy brings a reason to despise someone who is meant to be a blessing in our lives, or someone we are instructed to assist, let us quickly discern and refuse to fall in that trap.

Acts 24:16 “And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.” 

 I pray that all our Kingdom ordained relationships will be restored and that we will eat of the goodness of the land which our helpers are carrying for us. 
Ephesians 4:2 “With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;” 

Loving you all on this beautiful Tuesday afternoon💕.

Anita

Feeling betrayed?

Are you feeling broken from a betrayal by a friend or family? Maybe you loved that person so much, gave so much of yourself to them, invested your time and energy but in the end they left you hanging. They lied about you, sided with your enemies and like Judas even plotted to harm you. Betrayal in all its forms can be very devastating. It cuts right through the heart leaving you wounded. But betrayal is also a powerful driver that can lead you into a pit or into the arms of a loving Heavenly Father. Betrayal presents us with a choice to forgive or to keep grudges: to nurture hurt or to pass a spiritual test and move on to another level in Christ.
Ever wondered why Jesus still allowed Judas in his inner circle even though He knew Judas would betray Him? You see our enemies and those who betray us have a divine purpose in our lives. No matter how much they think they have you where they can destroy you, Gods plan for you will prevail if you remain in obedience to God. We have a God who is master at working ALL things for our good. (Romans 8:28) Judas’ betrayal led to the greatest display of love that mankind had ever seen. Jesus could have focused on the betrayal but instead He focused on the big picture, He understood that He had to pass the test and die for all sinners, for all betrayers including Judas. 
If you are facing betrayal today, it is normal to feel hurt but do not dwell on the hurt. Do not let the hurt sew seeds of unforgiveness and birth a root of bitterness in your soul. God will use your betrayal to pull you closer to himself, He will use it to teach you lessons that will equip you for your next assignment. As you focus on growing in love and forgiveness, you will pass your test. How you respond to this betrayal will determine your next level. Your promotion is around the conner waiting for your test results.

Persecution of the Prophet

If God has given you a mighty assignment and you are manifesting His glory in your calling, you must surely have haters. You will have persecution from people. You will have many who don’t understand you and think you are too much, too proud, too confident, too bold, too loud. You will have people who think you must be silenced by any means. Sometimes your haters will be strangers but sometimes they will be posing as friends, family or your Christian brethren. Some just misunderstand your calling while others are being used as agents of the devil.
David was hated
Joseph was hated

Moses was hated 

John the Baptist was hated

Paul was hated

Even Jesus was hated
These people were not just hated but attempts were made to kill them.

If you are called into the office of the Prophet God will give you bold assignments, he will ask you to do uncommon things. This will make you a candidate for gossip and murmuring. If you are not hated, but loved by most, you just may not be legit. If people always like your messages, something may not be right. True prophets are bold in declaring the truth from God, they are not people pleasers.
Luke 11:49 Because of this, God in his wisdom said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute.’ 
Today I pray for every true prophet called of God who is misunderstood, facing hatred or persecuted. I pray for protection from your haters, I pray for grace to stand for and boldly declare the truth without fear. I pray that you will not take offense at family, friends and brethren who think ill of you because you are different in style of ministry. I pray that your haters will not succeed in derailing you from your assignment. I pray that you will not place acceptance above your call but that even in those lonely moments, you will stay true to your assignment. 
God knows what you are going through and will reward you for your obedience. Do not be discouraged. Do not run from your calling but embrace it with joy. 

My year of “the Lord is enough”

My year of “the Lord is enough”. This is what the Lord gave me for 2017. What does this mean?
– With Christ I can do all things Phil 4:13
– With Christ I can pursue and overtake. 1 Sam 30:8 Pursue them,” he answered. “You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue.”
-It does not matter who accepts or rejects me because God’s love will be sufficient. Psalms 27:10 Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.
– It does not matter how many demons from hell stand against me because with God I have a mighty army. Many are those for us than those against us 2 Kings 6:16
– I will not try to keep anyone who is not fully with me because they are not part of my destiny. Matt 12:30 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
– I will shake off anything that weighs me down because God will plug that gap in my life. Heb 12:1 let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.
– In my marriage, finances, business, God will meet all my needs and fight all my battles. 1 Sam 1:3 He is my Jehovah Sabaoth, the Lord of armies!
– God will be my “I AM” meaning whatever I need to fulfill my destiny He will be. God will be my source. Exod 3:14

This word has been an on time word for me. Because there will still be battles to fight in 2017,  I am excited to wear my attitude of “The Lord is enough” into the new year. This word can bless you too, if it speaks to you, please receive it in your spirit and walk with Godly assurance and confidence into this new year. With God you can take on anything that comes your way!

A people in trouble

When we face impossible situations in our lives, in our families and in our nation, interesting how almost everyone becomes a Christian and asks God why he is not fixing the situation speedily. Suddenly we recognize that God is Lord above all and we cry out to him for help. My people God has been crying for us to return to him, God wants our families and our nation to return to Him. God has given us a manual – the Bible, to teach us how to live lives that will not open us to so much suffering. God has sent us his servants in the community, everyday people who serve God and preach to us. God has given us true Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers and Evangelists to edify us but we mock them and continually judge and reject them when they bring a message of correction and repentance. We use the excuse of false prophets to reject even the true word and message of God.
Every time God’s people are in trouble, He sends a prophet with a directive and a solution. Problem is, do we recognize the prophet of this season sent for this issue or would we reject our true prophets like Jesus was rejected and crucified? The answer we want from God may not be what the prophet brings to us from God, Jesus was not the type of king or Messiah they expected and yet in Him was the answer to their desperate condition. 
Are we willing to repent in order for change to come? I have said this many times and I say it again, WE MUST REPENT AND OBEY GOD’S COMMANDS in order to be delivered from our woes. A change starts with you and me doing some introspection. Time to stop blaming others or each other or even our leaders and Pastors/prophets. Time to stop treating God as a candy machine that we only come to when we need help. Even candy has a price, have you paid the price God requires of you? Or are you looking for free handouts from God? What sacrifice are you willing to put on the altar? 
Jeremiah 11:11,14

11. Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them. 14. Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble.