The keys to the Treasure House

This weekend, I was humbled to be part of a women’s conference with the theme ‘bringing out the jewel in you’ amidst some powerful women of God who shared so many valuable nuggets on the process of becoming a jewel in Christ. As someone that serves the body of Christ by leading people to freedom from spiritual oppression, I shared my perspective on how you become a jewel.

Many of you know deep within that you are supposed to be more than what your life represents at the moment. You know there is more for you and you want more. You have done all you know to do to get to that next level but there seems to be no change. You have fasted, prayed, been to conferences but you are still experiencing stagnation in your life, or maybe even a declining stance in life. This is an experience that I have personally been through and it can be extremely frustrating. So what is the missing link?

There is an unseen agent that does not want us to become that jewel. As I shared at the conference, I believe that the secret lies in Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” God himself is speaking here and letting us in on a key to our freedom from bondage. This sounds like warfare to me and although the church tends to shy away from addressing and teaching on this, spiritual warfare is a fact of life. You see the enemy is in a war with the woman and her seed, whether the woman acknowledges it or not. Christ came to help us win this war. 1 John 3:8 … For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

Bringing out the jewel involves spiritual warfare! There must be a victorious battle in every oyster for the jewel to be brought out. If you are going to birth your destiny and walk in your purpose, you will have to learn how to take a hold of the legal certificate of freedom Jesus gave us and use that to posses your freedom. If I am a homeless person living under a bridge and someone gives me a title to a luxurious fully paid for 4000 sq ft house with my name on it, if I return to sleeping under the bridge, my condition will not change. I must understand what the title means for my life and how I can use it to get the keys to my new home in order to possess and occupy my new home.

Thank God for Jesus! We don’t have to loose this battle. We can learn how to crush the head of the enemy. Psalm 144:1 says Blessed be the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight. Remember that Christ has won the battle for you and I, he has given us the title to the treasure house. Colossians 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
Use your title today and demand your rights to occupy, poses your possessions in Jesus name!

My shameful secrets

If you do not have things in your life that you have kept secret because you feel ashamed or embarrassed,  please stand up. I need to meet you! I know that there are many people in this part of the world with the name Jesus but your last name is certainly in Spanish and definitely not in Greek as in the anointed one. Jesus Christ is the only one who never sinned. As for you and I, and even that sweet grandma next door, we all have had skeletons in our closet. As you read this you may still have hidden secrets that cause you to have sleepless nights at the thought of anyone finding out. Maybe that envious friend is trying hard to drag your skeletons out of the closet into the exhibition hall downtown so the world can see that you are not as good as you have led people to think you are.

Truth is, we have all done some things in our lives that made us feel really ashamed, then we prayed hard that we would not be exposed and disgraced. Sometimes the errors we made were things that could have cost us a  job, a marriage or a valued friendship. Most often those around us are only too eager to gossip about our weaknesses and mistakes. Because we don’t want to be ridiculed, we have learnt how to keep those secrets in the darkest closets.

Today I want to encourage you to stop hiding.  The Bible says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Even those friends who are mocking you have sinned, yes even the church folk! Those who look like they are perfect have sinned. The friends on Facebook and Whatsapp having a party about your shame have sinned. Your parents, teacher, pastor and this writer have sinned! In fact many who appear faultless have probably just mastered the art of keeping their own shameful secrets well tucked away.

The devil loves it when we hide things because when we hide we will not be able to get the help we desperately need. After Adam and Eve sinned in the garden by eating the fruit, what happened? You guessed right, they became ashamed and hid from God. This is how the devil deceives us. There is nothing that God does not see. The good news is, there is nothing too shameful that Jesus cannot forgive if we come to him rather than hide. There is no mistake that His blood cannot wash. 1 John 1:7 says that Jesus is the light and his blood cleanses us from all sin. Isaiah 1:18 says ‘though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow’. Allow the light of Christ to shine in every dark place in your life. Let his light come into every dark closet and the Holy Spirit will help you to move past your shameful past or present. So what if people laugh at you or look at you differently because they found out about something you did? When the woman was caught in adultery in John 8:1-11, Jesus asked anyone who had never sinned to cast the first stone at her and we all know that not even one person could do so. All Jesus is asking of you is that you go and sin no more.

I have learnt to use my mistakes, weaknesses and shameful secrets to testify when I am ministering to others. When you have repented of your previous ways, every skeleton changes from a thing of shame to a source of power to transform another life by the finished work on the cross through the blood of Jesus. Let those who want to laugh at you have their fun at your expense, when Jesus is done with you, they will come to you for help. Like Job’s friends, they will one day need you to pray for them. Can the dry bones live again? I dare say yes, every skeleton that encounters Jesus, when the wind of the Holy Ghost blows on it, it will have new life and  become a mighty soldier in the army of the most high God. As for me, I’m trading my shame, I’m  laying them down for the joy of the Lord!

 

 

Easter: Biblical or pagan godess?

My Bible teaches me that I will know the truth and the truth shall set me free. This is why I believe that truth heals me. If I profess to be Christian and accept that the Bible is the word of God, if I use the Bible as my standard for truth, then anything contrary to Biblical truth is suspect. As much as we all grew up with various Christian traditions which have become a part of our lives, we must be open to examine everything we do under the guise of Christianity with the Bible as the yardstick. This is the only way we will walk in the light of His word.

Easter in one of those cute little traditions that we have so fallen in love with, especially in the west, where we celebrate with Easter bunnies and all these awesomely colorful eggs. Don’t we just love to see that sweet little toddler all dressed up in spring patterns and colors racing alongside her counterparts in an attempt at gathering the most eggs for her lovely basket? If you are like me, you too got carried away with the apparent beauty of this tradition but as Christians, have we stopped to ask why we do this? Is the word Easter in the Bible? If it is, please help a sister out here. Did we see the apostles or any of the prophets with baskets gathering eggs? I know there were 5 loaves and 2 fishes but I don’t remember that there were some eggs in the mix, do you? Can you imagine the apostle Paul dressed as an Easter bunny as a way of celebrating Christ’s resurrection?

You may be thinking, why not let sleeping dogs lie. Ok, I get it, let’s not rock the boat and upset the status quo after all this is ratified by the Christian establishment. I know that it is easier to go with the flow of things the way our parents, pastors and priests have always done it but is this not how the Pharisees and Sadducees held unto traditions to a point where the truth stood before them in the person of Jesus the Christ and they rejected and crucified him?

Let me leave you with some food for thought. If you really want to continue celebrating Easter, please do your own research and find out more on the following:

  • Easter is derived from the word Eastre, a goddess of spring in ancient pagan religion
  • Both the rabbit and the eggs are symbols of fertility in ancient Babylonian tradition

How do we end up with a pagan goddess and 2 Babylonian symbols of fertility for the celebration of Christ’s death and resurrection? How does this end up being more about the sales of bunnies, baskets and eggs, and about the branding and commercialization of the term “Easter” by business people who are not promoting Christ. All of this leaves the church behind the scenes sounding like an afterthought and struggling to remind us that we are really celebrating Jesus. Could we have used terms such as “Resurrection Day” “Passover” or any other terms that retain the true meaning of what we are celebrating? It is time we Christians stand up for the truth and stop allowing the devil to run the show. Like you, I am learning to identify truth daily. I pray for boldness in you and me to stand for truth once we know it. Let’s take back those things which mean so much to our faith. Why are we christianizing pagan holidays and traditions? God warns us about this in Deuteronomy 12:4 “Do not worship God like the pagans worship their idols.”  Let us be like the Bereans who “received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:10-11) Rather than just go along with the world’s christianization of pagan traditions, let’s always check how the things we do measure against Biblical truth before joining the party!

 

 

 

 

Purify Me – Lyrics, listen, loot the store!

Many have requested the lyrics for this heaven inspired song. Straight from the deep, stirred up in the secret place, meditate on these words as you enjoy the sweet presence of the lover of your soul. Remember to bare all before the King, for in his presence, there is no pretense, he sees everything and still loves you so!

 

As I come in your presence

I lay down my guard

There is no pretense

As to who I am

So I lay on the altar

My shame and my pain

Intimacy is what I want

 

Oooh you are my lover ooh oh oh

Oooh ooh you are my keeper

The Lover of my soul

I give you my heart

Oooh ooh I give you my life

 

Chorus:

Purify me, sanctify me take me to a higher place

Justify me, elevate me take me on a holy chase

Rectify me, beautify me take me on a higher plain

Satisfy me, edify me now I got a brand new name

 

Humbled in your presence

I stand here in awe

I can see you in your glory

I know now my need

How I hunger for your healing

Stripped off my pride

I know you’re my

Only ho ho ho ho hope!

 

Purify me, oh

Sanctify me, yay

Justify me eh eh eh

Elevate me oh

Rectify me ahemn

Beautify me eh eh

Satisfy me edify me now I got a brand new name

 

Listen: And now for your listening pleasure:

https://soundcloud.com/anita-etta/purify-me

Take a copy of this song home along with 11 other anointed songs by purchasing a copy here:

http://anitaetta.com/?product=purify-me

PurifyMe-600x600

 

I thought she was intelligent – she became born again?

If you are still standing on the sidelines and wondering why every now and then you see another seemingly intelligent friend or family member join the “born again movement”, let me talk to you today. You thought he or she was more intelligent than that, how could they join those strange acting people and subject themselves to”brainwashing”? Now your friend or  family member is acting “fanatical” and they behave as if something very exciting is always happening in their lives. As if that was not enough, they are also paying tithes and giving all their money to the church or to that Pastor who you believe is the master brain washer. You have contemplated this whole situation and you have concluded that you will try and tolerate your friend if this makes them happy; different strokes for different folk! At least your friend seems to have suddenly found some type of peace after all the frustration they were previously experiencing in their life, you say to yourself. So when all is said and done, many have concluded that being born again is for frustrated people who had too many issues going on or possibly for weak people who cannot think for themselves and need a so called man or woman of God to control them and abuse their finances.

I would like to debunk that thinking by asking you to simply examine the facts around you. Born again believers are from all walks and social levels in life. Have you noticed that some of the born again believers you know may have been even more intelligent than you at school? While there are many struggling people who become born again, there are also many who are very successful in their careers, marriages and overall standing in life. Ask yourself what would make a very intelligent and career driven person suddenly profess their faith in Christ and submit under the authority of a Pastor who becomes a vehicle for the transformation of this person’s life? We have all seen too many powerful people including world leaders and famous people do this so there must be something to this. When it gets you, it is like a bug that you cannot shake off! It is a phenomenon that causes everyone around the newly born again person to be intrigued. The song says “There is something that makes me come into your presence my, helper”. Aaah … the Jesus Factor!

Consider these facts:

  • Life is tough no matter who you are and trials and tragedy do not discriminate. We all need help at some point to navigate through life. If you disagree with this, you have not lived long enough, keep living!
  • No matter how rich, intelligent or well connected you are, there are some problems you simply cannot solve.
  • When sickness hits you, no matter how handsome or beautiful you are, it can reduce you to nothing.
  • Ultimately, death will come knocking at everyone’s door and no human has the power to resist death.

Today I present to you the premise that those who chose to become born again and follow Jesus passionately have discovered a secret. They have understood that you can either battle your way through life with your limited human ability or you can be honest with yourself and accept that you need God to assist you. Many come to Jesus for this reason but let me indulge your mind for a minute with another hypothesis:

You did not create yourself right? Ok so we agree on this. The one who made us must have had a reason for doing so. We come into this world and generally  begin by doing our own thing until one day it dawns on us that there must be more to life. It cannot just be about eating, sleeping, having fun, working and so on. When a manufacturer makes a product, they always have a purpose for that product. A knife is made to cut stuff, if you use it to put food in your mouth, it will cut you and cause you to bleed. When you bleed, depending on how badly cut you are, it may lead to infection and maybe even death. Maybe you survive the cut but you go through a lot of pain before it heals; that is exactly how life is. If you do not find out and live the purpose for which you were made, you may be trying to live a life that was not what you were designed for thus creating a lot of wounds and pain in your life. Kinda like a square peg in a round hole! Being born again simply means you have gone back to submit to your manufacturer and ask him to use you for the purpose he made you. You change from living a life in which you experienced a lot of self inflicted pain through sin to a life of true purpose.

Your maker knows what you need in order to navigate through this complex world. He alone knows why he made you. You really will never experience true fulfillment until you are walking in your divine purpose. This is why those friends and family of yours suddenly become very excited, very happy, this is why they want to give all of themselves including their finances for godly purposes. This is why they cannot be silent and they want to tell everyone they know and all they meet about their Jesus. Isaiah 43:21 says “the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise”. We were made to praise God and show forth his  glory. Isaiah 43:7 “everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made”. Until you experience this, you will never understand what you are missing. Your friend or family member is not crazy, neither are they brainwashed, they have simply found their raison d’etre! You can find yours too in Christ. It does not matter what church you go to or what your academic or financial standing in life is, your true purpose is waiting to embrace you and when you find it, you will never be the same again. When you find it, you too will want to shout it from the mountain tops.

Your creator did not make you to struggle through life on  your own, he wants to  make things better for you but will not force himself on you.When all is said and done this is what your creator himself requires: John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. I implore you to be open to this quest and you will be pleased with what you will find. If you need help to work through this, holla at me or at any one of those friends and family you thought had lost their minds. There is just something about the man called Jesus! Oh taste and see that the Lord, he is good!

 

 

 

 

Lies on the pulpit

As I go through my study of the call on the life of the prophet Jeremiah this month, I stand convicted of times in my life when l have been a spiritual prostitute. The word of God is a powerful mirror that will always show us what we look like. We really cannot deny what we see in the mirror.  The big question is “Are we paying attention to what the mirror is showing?”  More so for those of us who stand on the pulpit, do we ever look in the mirror or do we only hold the mirror so that our audiences should see themselves? As I grow in ministry, I pray for a continual posture of humility before the mirror of God’s word and today I pray this for every believer, especially those in positions of spiritual authority.
It is my firm belief that sometimes, as a leader not only are your people a reflection of you, but you are also a reflection of your people. So what  does this mean for us church folk? If we are feeling frustrated with what we  see in our congregations, let us begin by asking ourselves what we have put into them.  Have we fed them the truth or have we manipulated them to suit our fleshly desires? When things don’t go our way, have we trusted God in prayer to change the hearts of our people or have we prophesied lies to  force their hands? Jer 5:30-31 says  “A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land:The prophets prophesy lies,the priests rule by their own authority,and my people love it this way.But what will you do in the end? Earlier in verse 5, we see God turning to the leaders and what He finds leaves a lot to be desired “So I will go to the leaders and speak to them; surely they know the way of the Lordthe requirements of their God.” But with one accord they too had broken off the yoke and torn off the bonds.
You see, we will only get what we put into our people. If we show them that church is a place where we play games for our own purposes, they will never take us seriously as leaders. If we show them that we desire to truly serve God with honesty and integrity, with humility and obedience to the word, even though we may fall sometimes, then our people will begin to honor the priesthood. When our people see that their leaders fear God, when they see us as true servants who are surrendered and simply obedient to our Master Jesus, when they see a greater desire in  us to build them up to their divine destiny rather than tearing them down  in an attempt to fuel our own self aggrandizement, then maybe, just maybe, we will begin to see the change we so crave to see in our people.  Manipulation and control through lies on the pulpit is demonic! Jezebel is on the loose on our pulpits and  we must arrest her in Jesus’ name! Many of us ministers of the gospel need deliverance in order to be the type of leaders God has called us to be. Before we destroy the people God has entrusted in our hands, let us look in that mirror and do the following:
– Repent of our ministerial errors
– Go for deliverance
– Complete our season of ministerial training to mature our spiritual gifting and leadership skills. Many of us rushed out of training the moment we realized we were called, the moment we could prophecy or cast a demon.
– Submit to a Godly authority who can help keep us accountable such as a spiritual father or mother, a council of apostolic church elders etc.
– Go back to out prayer closets with fasting and learn how to have true fear and reverence of the God we serve, learn how to value our congregations the way God values them.
They say uneasy lies the head that wears the crown, I know it is very difficult to lead the people of God, just ask Moses! But I encourage you today to do what king Solomon did, ask the God who called you for the wisdom you need to do right. 2 Chronicles 1:10 Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
And if you are a believer thinking, I have had enough of my pastor’s manipulating and controlling ways, I encourage you to also look in that mirror. Jeremiah 5:31 says “…and my  people love it this way”. Does your pastor lie to you because you do not want to hear the truth? If the word of God came through your pastor to convict and correct you would you receive it or would you leave the church?
God will hold us accountable for every believer he sent our way and what we did with them.The Lord says in Jeremiah 14:14 The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds. And in Zach 10:3 God says “My anger burns against the shepherds, and I will punish the leaders; for the LORD Almighty will care for his flock, the people of Judah, and make them like a proud horse in battle”.
My fellow ministers, we have all made mistakes on this journey but it is time we wake up and stop violating the bride of Christ. As challenging as it is, my heart ‘s cry is to be on a train of continual change and  growth to become more Christlike in the way I lead God’s people. I pray you will join me on this train so that we can be shepherds after God’s heart. Jer 3:15 Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.

Do you Treat God like a house help?

  I bet you have never thought of the Almighty God as your “houseboy”! The mere thought of this is sickening and sacrilegious to say the least. We will all agree though that God is our helper and there are many beautiful songs in which we acknowledge and thank God for being our ‘helper in time of need’. So what is it that causes us to cringe when I equate God to a house help? The image of a house help is not exactly one of an almighty all powerful helper whom we honor and worship but rather a picture of a near second class citizen who we control with the aim of using to satisfy our needs. The house help is not exactly a friend or family member whose company we cherish, definitely not someone we serve but more like someone we tolerate because they are needed to do all the menial tasks for us. Many times,  we treat God like a house help whom we are barely tolerating because we need him to do all our chores for us. He does those things that no one else will do for us. Somehow we know deep in our spirit that no matter how badly we treat God, if we are in trouble and call him, he will come. So what do we do? We ignore him for the most part until a need arises that only He can handle. We command him; fix me this, give me that! You better show up when I call and do so fast! We won’t let him rest from our endless list of demands. 

We pay the house help minimum wage, the least we can pay them and get away with, kinda like the $2 bill or coins we throw in the offering bowl. If the house help asks for more money it is sacrilege, it’s time to get a different house help because this one is greedy. Yes we will leave that church because how dare they ask me to give a tithe or ask for offerings above and beyond the tithe? Doesn’t God know that the $2 are sufficient for his false prophet of a pastor? The minimum wage is sufficient for the house help because they only live with the bare necessities and no luxuries. The house of God is fine with the basics, the pastor should be content driving an old car that can barely get him to church because a Mercedes means that he is wasting money which could be put to better use. After all there are many poor and suffering people out in the parish who could use that extra money instead of the man of God. I recall that Jesus rebuked Judas when he pretended to care more about the poor in John 12:4-5 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages. How many times have you caught yourself talking like Judas the betrayer?

You see the house help is treated like they have no emotions, just do as I tell you and shut up. No time spent getting to really know the house help and the things that matter to them. Pleasing them is the last thing we think of, they are pretty much a second class being. While you are in this house you are only here to work for me, do not correct me on anything, see nothing, say nothing! If I curse at my family members, if I cheat on my wife, steal from the neighbors, I don’t need your opinion! Likewise, God is only allowed to come into our homes only to give us miracles, he must answer our prayers exactly as we requested otherwise he is not considered worthy of our worship. We get angry and blame God for all the things going wrong in the world. We will not obey or worship God because if he was a good house help he would have done as we asked! Oops did I really call God a house help? That must surely be blasphemous! Well that is exactly how we treat our Lord and savior many times. I for one have been guilty of that.

Time to stop and think about how we treat the God who gives us everything we have, the God who has all power, the one who can stop our sorry lives any minute if it wasn’t for his grace and mercy. My friends, God loves you and I and He wants to do more than just follow our orders, he wants a relationship with you and I. While he is the ultimate Helper, he is not our houseboy!

Think for a minute next time you need God to answer your prayer whether you have given any love to your maker lately. What seeds of prayer, fasting, tithing, offerings, relationship, obedience have you sown for that miracle you are seeking? Next time you want God’s best, have you given him your best? 

Video version:

http://youtu.be/PFxDYWzIgMY

Running after miracles, crusades and Prophets

Let me begin by saying no matter how surrendered to Christ we may be, because we are still human, we make mistakes daily. Although I do everything in my power and by his grace not to live a lifestyle of sin, every now and then, I realize I need to repent for lying, gossiping, gluttony and so forth. This is the life of the average believer, or at least so it should be! The life of a Pastor, Prophet, Evangelist or anyone called into the fivefold ministry should be even purer. Or is it really? In our miracle seeking world today, I see believers putting ministers of the gospel on a pedestal and then get very disappointed when the minister falls in sin. I see some believers who do not even care whether the fruits of the spirit can be seen in the minister’s life as long as they can get a miracle from the minister. The man or woman of God becomes a miracle factory in our eyes and so we run from crusade to crusade looking for miracles. We pay huge sums of money to sew seeds that should grow our miracles, we spend valuable time on the road from city to city, church to church and we tell everyone how we are believing God for something. Sometimes our miracle comes and we become the official PR of the miracle factory. We tell everyone about how our new god is wonderful. After a while we find ourselves back in a rot and the PR machine starts to sing a different tune; the prophet is now considered fake, all he wanted was our money. We suddenly realize that the prophet is a womanizer, he lacks integrity, he has been using Church money for personal pleasure. Hmmm, what just happened here? Let’s get a few things straight:
– the minister is human just like you and I, he is not a god and never will be no matter how many miracles he performs. Do not pursue miracles, seek Jesus!
– To err is human therefore the fact that you discover a ministers faults does not make them fake. We fall and get back up again by God’s grace. Does the minister reflect the fruits of the spirit in their lives and are they truly repentant when they sin?
– Yes, some ministers are indeed Charlatans, the devil goes to Bible School, gets ordained and preaches in Church every Sunday or holds miracle crusades from city to city. This is why you need discernment. Matt 7:20 says: ‘Therefore by their fruits you will know them’. Miracles are not fruits, they are signs and wonders.
– The sons of Sceva tried to perform signs and wonders without Jesus. Acts 19:14-15 Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?”
So if you are thinking about the next crusade to attend or  the next Prophet to follow, ask yourself these questions:
– what are you really after?
– Could you be spending money running around from crusade to crusade to buy a miracle from a prophet who may not be a true servant of God? Do you see the fruits of the spirit in the Prophet?
– What are your true motives?
– If the devil were giving handouts at a mall near you, would you show up and receive it just because it meets your needs or satisfies your desires?
– If all a true Prophet of God had to offer was the word of God would you spend the same time, energy and money to seek after the word of God?
– Do you realize how much you would grow in Christ if you spent all this time drawing nearer to God? Your anointing would increase and God himself would answer your prayers.

– Rather than run after miracles, have you thought about what you can contribute to that crusade or to that Prophet’s ministry? Can you give so others can benefit too rather than just take?

I want to encourage you to start running after Jesus and He will give you all you are looking for. Don’t get me wrong, nothing wrong with attending crusades and honoring powerful men and women of God but the prophet cannot solve all your problems. Also, the prophet is not fake just because you did not get your miracle from them. And if you don’t get your miracle this side of heaven, if you seek Jesus, you will have eternal life. Salvation through Christ and subsequently eternal life is the greatest miracle you can ever pursue! The Bible says in Matt 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.