Is Jesus alone enough for you?

Many Christians experience strong emotions during salvation, and they continue to experience strong emotions years into their walk with God. However, there often comes a time when God allows the emotions and feelings to die away and let the believer simply be left with God’s word and Himself.

The coming to the end of yourself often entails not only extreme suffering, but also the absence of positive feelings.

This is the time to determine you do not need feelings to confirm God’s presence and truths. When the Apostle Paul was persecuted physically and thrown in prison many times, he still found joy in the Lord in all circumstances simply because of Jesus. No matter what was taken from him, Paul was always satisfied because no one could take away Jesus from him. Even if all material things and physical/mental health is taken away from you, you are still rich because you have Jesus and He will never leave you. May Jesus be your treasure and hope.

Are you deceived?

Majority of the population are being deceived by a group of beings they don’t believe exist.

Some legitimate, Bible reading Christians are being deceived by following their feelings and rationalizing over the guidance of the Holy Spirit and His word.

You may believe demons exist, but do you understand they are actively working against you with a deep hatred?

“…Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…” – John 10:10

“…he is a liar and the father of lies.” – John 8:44

The difficulty of being deceived is that we do not realize it. Our best line of defense against deception is to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any deception in our lives and deal with it for us. But, before we ask, we must humble ourselves before God and be okay with whatever He reveals… even if it goes against our opinions or feelings.

This is a part of spiritual warfare, and there is much at stake. Don’t just go with the flow.

There is nothing good in us

I am convinced it is impossible for us not to be selfish and make life about ourselves; no matter how hard we try… even the most severe self deprivation, discipline, and humiliation are useless. This is true for non-Christians and Christians alike.

“For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. – Romans 7:18

“All our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.” – Isaiah 64:6

Therefore our only hope is Jesus.

“Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” – Romans 7:24-25

Jesus did not only come to save us from hell, but also to save us from ourselves. He knew we could not live the life He desires us to live, so He came to live it for us; through us.

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” – John 3:30

We must fade away, and Christ must become our life in thought, word, and deed.
You may ask, how can this be? The answer is the cross.

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20

We must ask the Holy Spirit to bring this understanding and truth from head to heart. He must illuminate this truth to us; there is no other way.

And we can have full confidence when we ask because…

“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” – Romans 8:32

“No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.” – Psalm 84:11

Saints, Christ is our life.

Surrender to be Free and Useful

Total surrender to God means freedom and usefulness. Too many Christians fear completely surrendering their life over to God and trusting Him with it. They often think, “what if God wants me to [fill in the blank]. And so they are afraid to surrender their all. Yes, He may lead you down a difficult road, but don’t you realize it is for your best? He sees your beginning and end and is sovereign over all. So, why would you trust anyone or anything else?

So, why is it so important to totally surrender to live a life of freedom and to be useful to God? Why can’t you surrender all, except a couple of things you want to hold onto? That’s because there is no middle ground with the Lord. He spits the lukewarm out of His mouth. If you want to go in with God, you have to go all in. You can’t hold anything back. Don’t try and just sacrifice your left toe into the waters, but dive in head first. Offer your entire body to God as a living sacrifice for Him to do as He pleases with you.

When you seriously commit to surrender to the Lord, the Lord often takes you into the deep waters of affliction. There you are painfully stripped of your self reliance and crutches and you are forced to acknowledge you are helpless and you finally surrender. Then you will find yourself sitting in pitch darkness struggling for air with nothing but Jesus. It’s just you and Him. And this is where you must answer this question: is Jesus alone really enough for me? In the dark waters of hopelessness, that is where Jesus extends His hands to you. You grab a hold of His hands by choosing to trust in His promises as written in the Bible. And it is by your faith in His Word alone you are lifted up out of the waters and brought onto dry land.

Through this time of refinement, you have learned to deny yourself, carry your cross, and follow Him. You have learned to find freedom through surrender. And now you have been made usable by the Lord by being emptied of yourself, so that He may live His life in and through you.

You have one life to live. Use it well.

A Child of God and the Covid-19

When hardships come, know this: God uses all things for our good (Romans 8:28). This is not only true for the Coronavirus, but in all things. Don’t forget who you are. You are a co-heir/co-heiress with Jesus to the Great I Am; the Alpha and Omega. He is your Father, and He loves you beyond what you can comprehend. With that, He is sovereign over all. Not just over the cosmos, but also at the molecular level. He has everything under control. These facts alone should give you comfort and joy.

As children of God still on this earth, He has a plan and purpose for our lives. One of the main purposes He has for us is to make us more like Jesus, which requires suffering at times. So don’t be afraid or surprised when you suffer… Jesus told us ahead of time:

“In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

How can you be of good cheer when the world is panicked and in tribulation?

Look at the Apostle Paul as an example: he was brutally flogged, beat with rods 3 times, stoned and left for dead, shipped wrecked and left out at sea for a night and a day, tired, sleep deprived, hungry, cold, and naked. Yet, this is what he said after talking about his sufferings:

“as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.” – 2 Corinthians 6:10

The Apostle Paul was able to think and feel this way because he put his hope in Jesus alone. We can too if we put our hope in Jesus alone. This is the key element of living the victorious Christian life, which is really Jesus living His life in and through you. You just need to surrender, and let Him have full control over your life.

So, how do you apply this during this viral pandemic? Do what you know God wants you to do, like taking reasonable measures to provide for and protect yourself and your family from the virus, but leave worry out of it. How do you not worry? Because Jesus is your life and He is working all things for your good. You don’t need to understand how He can use it all for your good in order for God to be telling the truth: He IS working all things for your good right now because He promised. What you need to do is stay surrendered, trusting, and obedient to Jesus, while leaving all the consequences to God. He will take care of everything; guaranteed. If you learn to trust in Him with the Coronavirus, you will be able to trust in Him with more; thus, becoming more like Jesus. This is one obvious blessing that could come from this virus.

In the good times and under tribulation: God is good!

Only Two Options On How to Live

Option 1) Depend on God. Option 2) Don’t depend on God.

Non-believers have no choice but to live by option 2. Once one is born again, option 1 becomes available, but it is not automatic. When a believer is able to and chooses to depend on God in all things as a way of life (option 1), that is referred to as the Christ Life, The Abundant Life, and The Exchanged Life to name a few references. This is the way to true peace, fruitfulness, joy, and all the fruit of the Spirit for our time in the mortal body. But, no one can achieve option 1 on their own, God must lead them into the darkness to find the abundant life. To the best of my knowledge, the way to option 1 is to ask God for it, and really mean it. If the Holy Spirit answers yes to your prayer, He will break you, lead you to total surrender, will teach you to trust in Him, and then finally teach you to rest in Him. This journey will be extremely difficult and I don’t know what kind of hardship it will be or how long it will last, but as long as you don’t give up you will eventually come out of the fire having learned to depend on the life of Christ in you.

If you are tired of your life, done with it, cannot handle it, or even hate it, I say you are blessed since it will be easier for you to forfeit your life as opposed to someone who is comfortable. First count the cost in losing your life and be determined to go all the way with Jesus, then ask God to exchange your life for His. I promise, it is worth it.

Finding Satisfaction

Is not the great I Am sovereign? Did He not prove to you His majesty, glory, sovereignty, and power by creating the universe and everything in it? Did He not prove His love to you by laying His life down for you even on a cross? Did He not purpose you to enjoy Him, be completely satisfied in Him, and fellowship with Him for all eternity? Yet we look at everything but Him for our satisfaction and happiness. We worry. We want to be in charge, and do not want to be told what to do.

If you are honest with yourself, you realize the things of this world cannot satisfy. You look for happiness in things, status, or other people, but you are ALWAYS let down. It’s like chasing a mirage. So you keep moving onto the next mirage that promises happiness and satisfaction, and the tiring cycle repeats.

When you are in charge, it is your responsibility to fix all issues in your life and the lives of your loved ones. Yet, your power to fix is inadequate. If someone comes and steals your belongings/money you worked so hard for, what can you do? If yours or a loved ones health deteriorates and doctors cannot help, what can you do? Since you are in charge, you must fix it! You want to fix it so bad, but you simply cannot. So you have internal temper tantrums which ushers in horrid monsters like depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. This is reality with you being in charge. Is there another way? Yes, but only one.

Before Adam ate that forbidden fruit, our Creator had a plan for us. While the Spirit of the Lord was hovering over the formless earth at the beginning, He knew us. His sovereignty not only controls the galaxies across the universe, the timing of the tides in the oceans, and when the mountain lion gives birth, but He is sovereign over the smallest details of your life as well; and here is a glimpse of the power of His sovereignty: He uses it ALL for your good. If you would let go of the control you thought you had and hand over your life without restrictions over to the Lord, He then becomes in charge of you. Now, if someone robs you, you lose your health, or whatever, it’s not your problem to fix. God is in charge and He is able and willing! He promised He has plans to give you hope and a future, that His grace would sustain you at all times, that He is using all things for your good, that He would uphold you with His righteous hand, that He would help you and strengthen you, and many more irreversible promises.

So, to make it simple, look no further for that elusive true satisfaction and happiness, but live a life surrendered to Jesus. Trust in Him and wear His promises at all times. Then there will be nothing left to do but fellowship, enjoy, and rest in the Him; the way to true, lasting satisfaction and happiness… the way we were designed to exist.

From Despair to a Living Hope

In June of 2017, I was plunged into agonizing suffering involving insomnia, depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. In the span of three months, I did everything I could to get better. I read a self-help psychology book, I prayed to God for help, read a lot of the Bible, researched like crazy on the internet for help, was prescribed 6 different drugs, and was even admitted into a mental hospital for suicidal patients for 2 weeks. All the help the world had to offer mysteriously had the opposite effect on me; instead of getting better, I grew worse. Towards the end of the third month, I lost 15 pounds and felt hopeless. My depression was so thick and dark that I felt as though I was a dead body walking around. My mind was constantly tortured with overwhelming fears, which increased my anxiety and panic attacks producing chest pains bringing me to my knees in tears throughout the day. Seeing no way out, I reviewed my life insurance plan and thought to end myself, but I was scared before God and my heart broke whenever I thought about leaving my family without a dad and husband. Then at the end of three months, not knowing what to do, I simply gave up and stopped trying. God brought me to the absolute end of myself. By the grace of God, the next day my depression lifted. But the fearful thoughts, panic attacks, insomnia, and suicidal thoughts still remained.

Then, it was at this time the Lord used my dad to give me a book called, The Handbook to Happiness, by Dr. Charles Solomon. This book miraculously explained what I was going through, and what God was doing in me. A light switch turned on. I received counseling from my Dr. John Woodward from the author’s ministry called, Grace Fellowship International. Along with his and my dad’s help, I started to read and listen to many other resources and they all pointed to the same solution: To die to myself and let Christ live His life through me. God showed me through Galatians 2:20, Romans 6-8, and other verses that I died with Jesus 2,000 years ago and that it was no longer I who lived, but Christ who lives in me. But the problem was, my flesh, or the self-life, was battling the Spirit of Christ dwelling in me for control over my mind and body. The only way to hand over control to Jesus was to deny my flesh, and I realized only God could do this for me.

Through the intense suffering, Jesus slowly and graciously brought me to a point of complete surrender to Him. God enabled me to give up all my rights, to be healthy, respected, comfortable, loved, appreciated, receive good things, have a family, and have friends. I gave up all my hopes, dreams, career aspirations, goals, what I thought was best to serve God, my right to take my own life, and everything else. Then, the Holy Spirit led me to act on Romans 12:1 and offer myself as a living sacrifice to God to do with me whatever He pleased, not caring whether I lived or died. Then, I made up my mind to stop trying and understand, but instead fully trust God with everything. It was here I was challenged to whether I truly believed in the promises in the Bible or not. I knew if they were not true, I would surely die. Over the months, I wrote down many promises in the Bible that pertained to me and I meditated on a couple of them at a time all day. The three most powerful truths I hold onto are: His grace is enough for me at all times from 2 Corinthians 12:9, He uses all things for my good from Romans 8:28, and it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me from Galatians 2:20. I took the promises by faith, hung my life on them, and jumped into the abyss expecting God to catch me.

After this revelation, I was still in agony, but now I had hope in God. As I desperately hung onto His promises each day, God started to slowly restore my mind and soul. The first month was very painful, but He started to breathe life into me. He started to increase my faith and gave me more hope through His promises. When I rebuked the suicidal thoughts in the name of Jesus Christ, those thoughts immediately ceased to my amazement. So, it was there I realized those suicidal thoughts were not from me, but were from the devil. I was then able to rebuke the fearful thoughts away in Jesus name. That was a crucial discovery. Over the next 3 to 4 months, God miraculously restored me. He stopped the anxiety and panic attacks, restored my sleep, freed me from all medications, and gave me peace of mind. He lovingly blessed me through this suffering. I now know and believe Jesus died on the cross not only to save me from hell, but He also came to rescue me from hell on earth by being my life. I no longer dare trust myself again, but now strive to live by faith in Jesus alone. This is the “abundant life” Jesus spoke of in John 10:10 and Jesus’ command to deny yourself, carry your cross, and follow Him in Matthew 16:24. Dying to self and letting Christ live through us is something that must be done daily until we are done with this life. This truth is not just for me, but for every child of God. If you are over-burdened right now and face a seemingly impossible situation, I tell you the truth, that burden was never meant for you to carry but for Jesus alone. So I urge you to unload your burdens onto Jesus, and take His promises in the Bible by faith. Your life is not your own for He purchased you with His blood. Your life now belongs to Jesus and He expects to live His life through you for His glory and your complete satisfaction.

You Died, So Why Worry?

You don’t need to worry. Galatians 2:20 says you died. So… you died. Dead people don’t worry. Not about their bodies, circumstances, problems, future, nothing… it’s no longer you who live, but Christ who lives in you.

You may ask: How can I make this a reality for me? If you are a child of God, it already is. It doesn’t become true because you believe, you believe because it’s true. It doesn’t matter how you feel, it’s fact: you died, and now Christ is your life. God said so.

Who is Your Husband?

After Ruth lost her husband, father-in-law, and brother-in-law, she was left vulnerable, poor, and pitied; especially, in the culture she lived in at the time. She picked up leftover crops in a farm after the farmers first went through just to survive. This farm belonged to a man named Boaz. Boaz was respected, honorable, wealthy, and loving. By God’s grace, Ruth wed Boaz. After the marriage, Ruth was no longer vulnerable, poor, and pitied, instead she was now secure, wealthy, and respected. She no longer needed to beg or look for leftovers to survive, she could now simply look to her husband Boaz to meet all her needs.

In the same way, when the Holy Spirit started to dwell in us, we were wed to Jesus. We went from being vulnerable, poor, and pitied, to being the bride of Jesus, rich, and completely secure. Now imagine this: After Ruth wed Boaz, what would you think if Ruth went back out to Boaz’s field to search for leftovers so that she could eat? What if Ruth suffered from anxiety and depression because she was worried she wouldn’t collect enough food to avoid starvation for the next week? Completely ridiculous right? How would Boaz feel about that? Yet, so many of us live like this! Although we are married to Jesus, we live as though we need to fend for ourselves. We need to stop living like this, and instead look to our loving husband Jesus for all our needs! Stop trying to figure everything out. Stop worrying. Stop carrying your burdens. Trust in Jesus!