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RECOGNIZE YOUR ENEMY!

By Mary (Lulu) Rivera

Ever wonder why you seem to be getting attacked constantly?  Why don’t things seem to work out for you?  Most of the times they are demonic forces working through the people around you that are doing these things to you.  The real enemy may be Satan.   He and his demons are working overtime to destroy the believers.  Satan has his set of objectives, but we as believers have our own.

According to John 10:10 and I Peter 5:8, Satan’s objective is to STEAL, KILL, DESTROY, and DEVOUR:

STEAL:  According to Luke 8:12 the devil steals the seed that is planted in us.  The seed is the Word of God because he knows it saves us.  He will also steal your focus, your time, your energy, God’s blessings, and our joy (by keeping us frustrated). He will cause us to be so distracted that we can’t be effective in what we’ve been called to do.  

KILL:  The enemy wants to kill us through life-threatening diseases, and/or accidents.  He will try to kill our loved ones too because that would devastate us.

DESTROY:  The enemy wants to destroy our marriages, our relationships, our finances, our health, our faith in God, and our destiny!

DEVOUR:  I Peter 5:8 says he (the devil) seeks whom he may devour.  He wants to destroy us completely by trying to affect every part of our lives and those around us.  Many people have become so weary that they stop serving God because they don’t see the use if all they do is suffer.

The believer’s objectives [as commanded by Jesus]:  

  • Matthew 28:19-20 tells us to make disciples of all the nations, baptize them, teach them, heal the sick, and expel demons.
  • Mark 16:17 says that in Jesus’ name we will cast out demons, will speak with new tongues, lay hands on the sick and they will recover.
  • Matthew 10:1 says, “He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.”
  • Luke 10:19 tells us that Jesus gave us the authority over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall by any means hurt us!

Distinguish where the attack is coming from:

  • The devil’s most effective methods are deception and offenses.  Try your best not to be offended; be aware that it is a tactic of the enemy.
  • We should not be so quick to run to psychiatrists and be put on medications when it’s just sadness or discouragement.  We need to run to God, His Word, and to those God placed over us and around us to help us through attacks.  See James 5:13-18.
  • Get the focus off yourself.  Don’t take things personally.  Look beyond the flesh.  (Eph. 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood…).  Deal with the pain but don’t stay in it!  Otherwise, it turns to bitterness and unforgiveness and the enemy succeeds in keeping you ineffective.
  • Don’t open a door to the enemy.  Keep your heart clean from sin.  James 1:14-15 says, “But each one is tempted when he is drawn by his own desires and enticed.  Then when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, brings forth death.”

How to protect yourself:

  • James 4:7:  Therefore submit to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
  • I Peter 5:8:  Be sober, be vigilant.
  • Memorize the scriptures and use them as a weapon at any given time.  
  • Eph. 6:11:  Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
  • I Peter 5:9:  “Resist him (Satan), steadfast (strong, firm, immovable) in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”
  • Avoid bitterness.  It is like poison and it springs up trouble (Eph. 4:31; Acts 8:23; Heb. 12:15).
  • Repentance and forgiveness are necessary (See Luke 17:3 and Matt. 18:15-19).

Most importantly, “Test all things!  Hold fast to what is good.”(I Thess. 5:21).  Do no give place to Satan.  Live a consecrated life.  You have been given the Word, power and authority as weapons to fight against the enemy.  In the end, you will be victorious.

Mentoring Women

Are the women in your organization/church being mentored? Do you have a program/system in place for doing so? Are you producing results? How do you measure your results?

Many churches today are not mentoring women the Biblical way. Sadly, the church suffers from the same problems as those outside the church. These problems are ripping families apart. The church has shifted their focus away from mentoring and discipleship to motivational messages. Families are suffering greatly. The church must get back to its foundations. It must be effective again in strengthening families, teaching men to be productive and effective as the head of the household. Women must once again be taught to be Godly women, effective helpmates and mothers.

In the book, “Purposed for Womanhood,” Author Lulu Rivera focuses on teaching women how to be effective helpmates, moms, and women. She challenges women to do life God’s way so that their families can survive against the cultural depravity that exists. The author bases her book on the mandates given in Titus 2:3-5. I encourage every church to purchase the book and use it as a Bible study tool for their women’s ministries. The book is available as an e-book and paperback on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, etc.

Be Relentless!

To be relentless is to be steady and persistent.  We have to be relentless in our pursuit of God, in being men of valor, and in being watchman over our families.  If we neglect to be relentless, we allow attacks to come our way that could’ve been prevented.  We can’t shrink back or else we will be defeated.  Stay vigilant at all times.  Men must come together to encourage one another and hold each other up.  Let’s be relentless!

As leaders, our finances must be in order if we expect God to enlarge our territory and bless us.  We cannot preach to others what we don’t practice ourselves.  Are you in debt?  Are you spending foolishly?  Are you living above your means?  Take time to carefully go over your finances.  Create a financial plan for you and your family.  Create an effective system for paying monthly bills, tracking your debt, how it will be paid, and saving for the future.  As leaders we must be people of integrity and live what we preach.

When no one is watching, when no one is listening.
This is who we really are. Let us surrender all of the unresolved issues, circumstances and sinful habits of entertaining the world and the flesh redeeming the time. Jesus is soon to return.
We will all give an account for every idle word spoken against our neighbors or a brother or even our enemies.
Matthew 12:36
But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.
Please let us examine what we say and how we say it and with our conduct shine like the sun.

In this hour says the Lord I will anoint and bless those who are humble and contrite; I will bless with a fresh wind of my spirit and open doors for my people in the midst of darkness and chaos. I will be the order in the midst of a sinful and disobedient generation.  I will call out my remnant that has not been defiled with sin and idol worship, that has separated herself from partaking and indulging in witchcraft.
I will protect and provide and do a great work in this last hour.
From the Southeast toward the West a great fire of my spirit will come and cause multitudes to repent and turn from sin. For I the Lord am faithful to my word, many shall hear and be healed of their diseases. The blind shall see, the lame shall walk, and the dead shall be brought back to life! For nothing is impossible for God! Let it be so Lord Jesus. I will cause my spirit to cover the Earth for where there is sin my grace shall abound even greater. You shall see it with your eyes says the Lord and the ear shall ring aloud; my glory is everlasting and my spirit is pure. Worship the Lord.
The year of the Lord’s favor. Amen let us praise and glorify his Holy Name, Amen
by Pastor Sam Rivera

What is leadership?

Leadership is influence, the ability of one person to influence others to follow his or her lead. It is the capacity and will to rally men and women to a common purpose, and the character which inspires confidence. A leader is a man or woman who knows the road, who can keep ahead, and who pulls others after him. You must walk so others can follow. (Taken from Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders)

Watch your words!

As ministers, we must be careful not to speak ill against other ministers and/or organizations. We will have to give an account of every deed and every word we spoke. Therefore, be slow to speak, quick to listen (but not to gossip)!

As we begin a new year, we ought to ask ourselves what we can do to improve ourselves, our relationships, our ministry, and our walk with God.  This is a great time to evaluate yourself and those who are in your sphere of influence.  Are there things you need to remove in your life that affect you negatively?  Are there people in your life that are toxic and need to be removed?  Are there things you need to improve upon so that you can be more effective in all you do?  Are you whole or is there a part of your life that is unbalanced?  Now is the time to examine yourself, take it to God and with His help make an effort to bring healthy changes to your life.

Up and coming leaders

The scripture teaches those that choose to grow and have a desire to lead must be clothed in humility. 1st Peter 5:5 states You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. I am encouraging all of the young Ministers and even our Fathers of the faith to clothe their lives with humility as a living testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ. In doing so you have have Gods blessing and endorsement.