Destiny – a predetermined course of events
You were born to win. After all, of the millions of sperm released, you swam to your mother's egg. You are a WINNER! :)
God is not a man that he would lie. Satan is the father of lies. God is love, and God is truth. His Word is the final authority. PERIOD! If God says I am, then I am because it is not predicated on how I feel but on what He said.
ON THE THRESHOLD OF A DREAM
When you are about to cross the threshold of a dream, purpose, destiny, the enemy will always come with his plan to kill, steal, and destroy. If we hold fast to the word of the Lord, rhema or logos, the best attempt by the prince of darkness will only be a hindrance and not termination.
Logos refers principally to the inspired Word of God - the promises of the Bible and Jesus, the living Word. The second Greek word translated “word” is rhema, which refers to the spoken word and literally means a prophetic utterance.
JOHN 10:10-11 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I have come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
If the devil came to Jesus with temptations and deceptions, don’t think it strange when he comes to you. For who are we? No servant is ever greater than his master. The clue is to know the word of God. Hide it in your heart so that it is not easily uprooted.
Scripture declares that there has no temptation taken you, but such as is common to man, but God will with the temptation provide a way of escape. The trick is to choose the way that He makes. The flesh will never want to take the correct route. We must continuously beat it into subjection.
When the storms come and beat upon that house, that dream, vision, your destiny, it will stand.
Be doers of the word and not hearers only deceiving your ownselves. James 1:22
MATTHEW 7:26Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
Rains came down, floodwaters rose up, and the wind in between, but Jesus. That’s the difference Jesus makes.
John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
In the world…everybody in the world: the good, the bad, the ugly. If you’re out in the rain without an umbrella, you will get wet – no exceptions – no matter who you are.
Matthew 7:27 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
There is no VICTORY outside of Jesus – only a partial, temporary deception at best. VICTORY is in Jesus. Victory is Jesus.
Satan, through Herod, tried to kill Jesus in his infant stage and so he’ll pursue you in the same manner. He made attempts on Jesus’ life until Jesus laid it down. The sooner he kills you, the better he likes it.
I Swallowed Glass and Acid
The devil’s first attempt on my life was as a baby. I ate glass and acid, which deteriorated my stomach linings and cut my insides going down, and as I regurgitated, but my parents got me to the hospital in the nick of time. Never would have made it without HIM. I’ve been in 14 vehicular accidents and obviously survived them all – pretty bruised and traumatized in my body from some of them, but Jesus made the difference.
Sometimes it’s an enemy raised up by the Lord to prove you – sometimes because of disobedience. But what the devil means for your demise, God causes your uprise. A mighty resurrection.
When you are about to enter your destiny, there is always opposition from Satan designed to prevent you from fulfilling your destiny. It’s much easier to kill an infant than it is to kill a trained special forces warrior.
But what did Jesus show us? He was consistently retreating for that alone time with the Father, a quiet place to hear his voice as he inquired of him. God strengthened him, and he defeated Satan continuously and EVEN in his death. Now, how ironic is that? When we die to ourselves, we overcome Satan too. David, like Jesus, learned to always enquire of God when confronted with battle, and as a result, he never lost a battle, because God always gave him a strategy. He suffered from personal conflicts in his life, but it worked together for his good. HE ALWAYS CAUSES US TO TRIUMPH!
2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place. (uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.)
Beware of the enemy's strategy to attack you in the place of your destiny. He desires to take you off this divine path. Seek the Lord, and listen for His answer. Then, we will fulfill the purpose for which God created us.
We may lose some battles or skirmishes along the way, but we win the war. Victory is ours! In that sense, we are fail-proof.
Memories from one of my journals in 2010!
Not that I have already obtained it [this goal of
being Christlike] or have already been made perfect, but I actively press on so
that I may take hold of that [perfection] for which Christ Jesus took hold of
me and made me His own.
Bishop Sims is now resting in the presence of the Lord. In 2009, he had open-heart surgery. His heart was still strong, but he had leaky heart
valves, both the mitral and tricuspid, which caused much of the blood to flow in the opposite
direction. It drained him of his energy and caused other
problems. The surgeon was able to repair it.
I Had a Dream
Before we left for Oklahoma City, I had a dream. Danger
pursued me, but I was determined that it would not catch me nor overtake
me. I ran faster than humanly possible, and pretty soon, I was in the air
- defying gravity, flying above it all. I zoomed over the enemy and
beyond his reach - high above every threat of danger. I
felt free and relaxed and began to enjoy the sensational experience and
thanked God for his divine protection. What a breathtaking sight it
was! Although it was dark, there were lights everywhere in the
city: the valleys, mountains, crevices, etc. I never wanted to come
When I woke up, I knew that we would have some dark times in the city, but the dream signified that we would rise above it all. We did defy gravity in a spiritual sense.
It was revealed to me that the body of Christ all over the nation was
praying for us – they were those lights. I felt so undergirded. My husband shared this message:
“Thank you for your consistencies in prayer for my wife and me in our trying times. God did most certainly bare me up on eagles wings during this dark hour of my life. I felt the converging of the body of Jesus like I've never felt it before. The mountains of denominations locked hands, and nothing else mattered but the will of our heavenly Father. God is so perfect!” ~Bishop Ken Sims (2010)
they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up
with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk
and not faint.
The Lord reminded me that no matter what, I
have to take the heavenly viewpoint instead of the earthly perspective,
for we are seated in celestial places in Christ Jesus.
Determined that we would not miss our assignments
at the hospital, I ministered every day - sometimes for hours and even while
in CCU with my husband. It
took two days for some of the side effects from medications to wear off, but when
it did, he ministered to nurses when his pain level was off the charts. He spoke slowly and quietly. One nurse sat
beside him for an hour and went to tell her friends. Her actions reminded me of the Samaritan at
the well. Three more came in, so we continued
to minister for thirty more minutes.
Being hospitalized had many spiritual rewards.
My mind is indelibly marked by an experience with a woman named Jamie, who's
mother was having heart surgery at the same time as my husband, Ken. Her
lungs were failing. Jamie had been
looking for me for four days and started crying when she found me. Her mother’s condition worsened, and she
Chaplains were available; however, she grabbed my
hand and took me to her mom to pray for her.
I felt honored to be the Lord’s instrument. Many were watching for the outcome. Fortunately,
I was able to continue building on the faith foundation that began four days
earlier while in the waiting room. I
magnified the Lord by sharing some of our many testimonies. Initially, her
mother, Ms. Kathy, was not aware of anything, but when I started softly singing
about the name of Jesus, she could not be still. Jamie was thrilled. We were at the heart hospital for ten
days; Ms. Kathy continued to improve each day.
It was a hard fight to get clear of here. This time was very challenging
and demanding on our bodies, minds, and spirits. Never-the-less, we stood
and we overcame by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.
He is Jehovah Rapha, the Lord who heals us!
Whether you have a physical heart problem as Bishop Sims did or if you have spiritual heart issues, you need a surgeon. If our hearts are uncircumcised, we too have leaky valves and
are unable to love and forgive like Jesus.
The lives we lead flow in the opposite direction of God’s preference for
us. We are drained of energy and are frequently
faced with insurmountable problems.
Jesus is the surgeon who will repair, renew, and remake your heart. He will circumcise your heart so that you can
be in covenant with him - he helps us to cut away the works of the flesh. If you allow him, he will give you a clean
heart so that you can serve him.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!
This Train is Bound for Glory
! That’s the song that my husband, Ken was singing this morning when he woke from a dream. There are several variations of it, so I’m unsure who wrote the version he knew.
In this dream, Ken witnessed to a man named Billy, who was moved to purchase his train ticket to heaven. The train bound for glory came for Billy, but he would not release his ticket to the attendant. Billy insisted on holding on to it because he was too attached to this world. Jesus was standing in the back of the train sadly looking on - waiting for him to come aboard. Ken was singing and crying because Billy was left behind.
The Lord said to Ken in this dream, “There are many Billies in this world that are standing with tickets in their hand but will miss out on heavenly glory. They feel that they have more time and fail to heed my beckoning call.”
As he relayed the dream, he was visibly disturbed; hard pressed in his spirit. He felt his efforts had been insufficient in leading more people to Jesus. Considering that he is a dialysis patient with diverse medical challenges, most people who know him are amazed at his accomplishments, in spite of his various diagnoses.
Since our early ministry days in 1976, he has been accustomed to preaching in the streets and in front of nightclubs, as well as in the pulpit at church. On several occasions, we safely stopped the car allowing him access to witness to someone in a raised median in the middle of the street. (We don’t advise this, however.)
Ken’s dream is significant of being ready when Jesus returns for you - either as an individual, or in the rapture with all the ready saints. If your name is Billy and you do not have a relationship with Jesus, God is speaking to you. If your name is not Billy and you are not born again, the Father is speaking to you also.
Hebrews 3:12-15 Take care brothers and sisters that there not be in any one of you a wicked, unbelieving heart [which refuses to trust and rely on the Lord, a heart] that turns away from the living God. But continually encourage one another every day, as long as it is called “Today” [and there is an opportunity], so that none of you will be hardened [into settled rebellion] by the deceitfulness of sin [its cleverness, delusive glamour, and sophistication]. For we [believers] have become partakers of Christ [sharing in all that the Messiah has for us], if only we hold firm our newborn confidence [which originally led us to Him] until the end, while it is said, “Today [while there is still opportunity] if you hear His voice, Do not harden your heart, as when they provoked Me [in the rebellion in the desert at Meribah].”
Do not harden your hearts against the salvation that Jesus offers to you. He died for the world, but specifically for you. There is no other name that we can use to be saved. It is of a certainty that every knee will one day bow to him and every tongue will have to confess that He is Lord. It’s now or later. Allow Him to come into your heart and change your life today. Tomorrow is not promised.
Prayer of salvation
Father God, I believe that Jesus is your son, that he died for my sins, and that you raised him from the dead. Please forgive me of my sins. I ask that Jesus come into my heart now. I acknowledge and confess him as my Lord and Savior. I believe your word that says whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved; therefore, I thank you for saving me.
Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
Seeing pictures of my granddaughter's prom last night stirred up memories from forty-eight years ago when I was in the sixth grade. Middleton Attendance Center was an all black school comprised of first thru twelfth graders - massive. Each year, every grade level voted for a princess with a twelfth grader as the reigning queen. I voted for my friend, Sherry, because she was clearly the most beautiful girl in all of elementary with locks that hung magnificently down her back, shiny white teeth, pleasant smile enhanced by dimples to live for - always dressed nicely. Did I say she was also one of the most brilliant?
To my surprise, Sherry voted for me and so did, apparently, most of our classmates because I won. SHOCK and AWE - for real! I had no expectations - was not even in the running. How could they make a terrible mistake like that? I was a keen student but in my opinion, not even pretty. Honestly, I was rather homely looking. My mother dressed me nicely, but bless her heart; she could not do hair - that didn't help. She was so horrible at it that I started doing it myself in fourth grade - at nine years of age. LOL! It still looked terrible but was an improvement and got better over time.
In a special school assembly, the winners were all escorted to the stage wearing our glamorous gowns, long white gloves - arms resting on the arms of our escort. For this special ocassion, my parents took me to the salon to get my hair done, but mama, unfortunately, allowed daddy to take me shopping for my shoes. I'm not sure what possessed her to do that. I could not believe my eyes. Daddy bought me penny loafers. Who does that? PENNY LOAFERS - to wear with my elegant teal gown that mama bought. The two of them were total opposites. The suits hanging in daddy's closet were from forty years prior - no fashion sense whatsoever. On the other hand, mama had a great fashion sense. Even though fashionista was not a word back then, she was definitely the epitome of it. Showing my displeasure to daddy would not have been to my benefit so silently, I suffered embarrassment and hoped that my formal dress would distract from my black loafers. That was going to be a little impossible ascending the stairs to the stage, which seemed to rise forever. With no other options, I had to smile and bear it.
Homecoming night, they chauffeured us to an illuminated football field. Since mama took me shopping for this one, I was pleased with my outfit.
To this day, it's mind-boggling that the classes voted for me. I remember seeing Sherry's face and the biggest smile radiating from it when the announcement came. I can't say it was a dream come true because I never dreamed of it. However, it was a rewarding experience and a pleasant memory in spite of the 'walk of shame' down the aisle in loafers.
In life, we will experience many 'walks of shame' with many regrets - wishing that we could rewind and start over. The good news is when we accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we can start fresh and new. He experienced the greatest 'walk of shame', 'The Via Dolorosa' - the painful way. His grief was the most painful and shameful of all as he struggled through on the street in Jerusalem - carrying his cross for his crucifixion. He was hung up for our hang ups.
Isaiah 54:4 Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; For you will forget the shame of your youth, And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore.
We may not always completely forget the embarrassing moments whether minor mishaps or major sinful regrets; we still have the covering of the Lord who casts our past away from us when we throw our lives at his feet. He suffered shame, so we don't have to.
Sherry and I reconnected the year my daughter passed in 2015. She found me and was very comforting - even more so when I learned that she met my daughter, KaShanta when she worked as a beauty consultant at the mall while attending college. I never knew that. Before passing, she started The KaShanta Sims Foundation
which will help cancer victims look and feel beautiful in spite of their diagnosis.
My classmate is just as beautiful today - inside and outside - always smiling - speaking an encouraging word. She is a fulfillment of the scripture. In my estimation, she so deserved to be the winner, but she preferred me over herself. I'm still humbled by the experience. I felt so undeserving of the gift that was so freely given to me.
What a wonderful world it would be if we all adopted the attitude of Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.
That is exactly what Jesus did. He preferred our freedom over his agony so much so that he laid down his life so that we could pick ours up.
"Forgiveness is not an emotion. It is a choice. If we choose not to forgive, we are the ones in bondage." Bishop Ken Sims
I am reminded of what a child said when he prayed, "Forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets." I laughed so hard when I read that - knowing, of course, that the child thought adults were saying trash baskets when they said trespasses. But wasn't that appropriate?
Matthew 6:12 "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us".
In essence, when we pray the above verse, we are telling the Lord to only forgive us when we forgive those who wronged us.
Some people have a lot more garbage to dispose of than others. Little or much, the Lord has made provision for us to free ourselves by utilizing His word.
I John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Forgiving is not always an easy thing to do, but it is vitally important that we do so for our on health - both spiritually and physically. Jesus taught us how to do so before the cross, on the cross and even after the cross. No other person has ever suffered the things that Jesus endured on our behalf. On the cross, He asked His Father to forgive those who crucified him for He perceived that they did not really understand what they were doing or who they were now indebted to. He humbled Himself and allowed His own creation to crucify Him. We often say that we want to be like Jesus and we mean well. Frequently, we find that it is easier said than done. Even so, the grace necessary to be victorious has already been provided. As previously stated, forgiveness begins with a choice. Mine! Yours! It is a mental ascent of our soul, but more importantly a matter of the heart - our spirit. When we make the confession, God accommodates us with the strength that only He can give.
Forgive! It's not a suggestion. It is a command.
In the twenty-first chapter of St. John, one of Jesus’ disciples whose name was Simon Peter, decided to go fishing. His fellow disciples said, “We will go with thee.” After toiling all night long, they caught nothing. Jesus called to them from the shore the next morning, “Have you any meat yet?” They answered, “No!” Jesus responded, “Cast the net on the right side of the ship.”
They toiled all night and it profited nothing; but when Jesus showed up the next morning, everything changed. Psalm 30:5b ...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
There are many who are toiling today through a dark season. Doing the same old thing, the same old way – day in and day out. Nothing seems to be working. Jesus’ disciples were plagued by the same fate. Jesus told them to cast their nets on the right side of the boat. When they did, they pulled in 153 fish. It was supernatural that the net did not break from the heavy load. What happened? They received a fresh word from God. Obedience to the fresh word resulted in a large fresh catch.
Is that you doing the same thing and expecting different results? If so, ask the LORD for a revelation. The moment it comes, act upon it. When Jesus gave his followers a fresh word, they immediately acted upon it. They received illumination that not only changed the way they fished, it changed their lives.
Listen for the instructions of Jesus in every endeavor so that you don’t spend your time casting effort to the wind. All of the elements they needed were in place. The water was there. The fish were in the water. They had nets. They had a boat. What they didn’t have was a divine word causing a paradigm shift. When God gives you a fresh word, know that the elements are already in place and be prepared to have your life changed also. The word to them wasn’t just about fish. It was about their commission. It was about catching souls for the Kingdom.
My question to you is: Have ye any fish yet?” If not, do as Jesus instructed, “Cast the net on the right side of the ship.” The right side will always result in enormous blessings for the kingdom of God.
JOHN 21:6 And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.
JOHN 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, "My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work."
JOHN 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
(Scriptures from KJV)
A prophetic word began to flow from Bishop Ken Sims (my husband) after a counseling session I had with a sister-in-the-Lord in March. I placed a microphone to his mouth to capture and share it with her, but I'm also impressed to share it with you. It came just two months after his two-week hospitalization. He was still very weak and was not expected to live:
"God said to stand
still and see the salvation of the Lord. Stand
still! This is not your fight. Stand
still and see the salvation of the Lord; and when you're stand
ing still, there's no need for your knees to buckle or knock together. Stop listening to what the enemy is saying and start taking the Word of God at face value. What the enemy says is nothing but a threat. You shouldn't even be at the point of wondering how is God going to work this out, or where are the finances coming from? This is His battle. This is not your battle, and you're not going to be able to figure this one out. He wants you to stand
still and see his salvation and that means total dependence on him; that means not trying to figure him out in your finite mind - how is all of this going to transpire and who is going to get what advantage over what situation. God rewards faithfulness and God is a just God.
What you need to do and continue to do is pray and watch the salvation of the Lord. Just stand and watch God do what he does best and what he does best is just being God.
Goliath and David are symbolical for you right now. You have to really, really just take a step back and see the whole threat that David was dealing with. See what it is all about and then you can adjust that in the spiritual. Step away from it and let God fight your battle.
This is not a situation where one day you are believing and one day you are not. It is important to keep your feet fixed. Keep yourself anchored in the promises of God and don't be like the person that you discuss and don't be vindictive. Watch your attitude. The best thing you can do right now is to pray for your enemies because they don't know what the nature of the threat is that they are bringing forth against you. They could get into a lot of trouble. Just let God take care of them and keep your focus on the Lord. Keep your eyes on Him in the whole scenario so that in the end, it will pan out the right way - the way it is supposed to go. You focus on becoming whole and dealing with your own life and just be very careful that your anger doesn't come through in a way that you're saying wrong things that could withdraw the hand of God's judgment away from your enemies. So guard your anger. Pray for them and you are going to see God work a miracle.
To every person that is involved in your whole situation: you don't need to be numbering troops. God is well able. Don't look at what you have and what you don't have. Don't let your knees buckle and don't shake in your boots.
We have the chief lawyer. The Lord anticipates what the enemy is going to do before he even does it. God is not going to allow you to fight by yourself - that's why he has placed Giants in the faith all around you. We have WON! We don't have anything to fear. Your enemy is restless and fearful. He doesn't know what your next move is. You hold the trump card."
STAND! Jesus is our trump card.
What did Franklin Roosevelt mean by the proverbial statement, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself?"
First of all, what is fear? Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real.
Now, let's remember that there are some things that demand our respect. To walk into a 600-pound tiger's cage is not exercising respect for that animal's strength or his size -- let alone his sharp teeth.
If a woman is fearful of snakes, that's a legitimate fear. If the snake does not strike her and yet she feels his fangs biting into her neck, that's imaginary fear -- categorized as such because it has not happened yet. The way she can prevent it from becoming reality is to remain a safe distance from the threat.
Satan is legendary for manipulating his host with fear.
Webster defines fear as:
1) a feeling of anxiety and agitation caused by the presence or nearness of danger.
2) timidity, dread, terror, fright, apprehension, panic
3) a feeling of uneasiness or concern like it is going to rain.
There is nothing that you can do about the rain. It's beyond your control. This would be a prime opportunity to rehearse the Serenity Prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
We can fear what hasn't happened yet or we can eliminate the image from our minds, move forward and make this our finest hour. Fear doesn't work unless we give attention to it.
In I John 4:18, the Word of God says that fear It is great mental or physical pain or anguish.
Fear paralyzes - meaning to render helpless or inoperative, to lock up, freeze, become motionless, unable to respond
This exactly what happened to Peter. Matthew 14:27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.
30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”
31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
The wind, the rain, and the waves brought Peter to a stand still - a place of helplessness. Every negative factor ganged up on his faith. He saw himself sinking before it happened. Again - imaginary fear. However, his fear went from unreal to fact. Notice, it wasn't until he saw the threat. He saw himself gagging already - lungs filled with water. He conceded to death.
Mark 11:22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God.
23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.
24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
Fear and faith cannot co-exist. It is imperative that we keep our eyes on Jesus for it is impossible to please him without faith. According to Romans 10:17 faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. It is mandatory that we starve our fears and feed our faith the word of God.
I expect that most of you, if not all, have had a challenging -- yet wonderful work week. There have been numerous oppositions: evil reports near and far. Nevertheless, we have peace and joy!! --characteristics of the Kingdom.
A pastor asked me for a response on religion so I sought the Lord. Below is my reply:
Religion is a belief system, attitudes, and practices. It's not a bad word. Everybody is religious. Unfortunately, being religious does not save you any more than going to McDonald's makes you a hamburger. If that were the case then all would be automatically saved -- no matter what their persuasion. Ephesians 2:8 & 9 tells us, "For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God -- Not of works, lest any man should boast." The outward observances of rituals, minus a relationship with Jesus, are just works. The Bible says in Isaiah 64:6 that our own (works of) righteousness is as filthy rags.
Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
Religious minds think they are saved by their good works or vain antics (i.e. pushing a bean around a sanctuary with their nose for the forgiveness of sins). We are saved by the good work that Jesus accomplished at Calvary -- period! Our good works are confirmations of our belief in the sacrifice that Jesus made.
Religion attempts to approach God other than by going through Jesus. In John 14:6 Jesus said, "I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE; NO MAN COMETH UNTO THE FATHER, BUT BY ME." He's the door.
I was very religious until I was seventeen years old -- yet on my way to hell. Morally good, but still on my way to hell because my belief system was vain and powerless.
Pure religion (Greek - ceremonious in worship) and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. (James 1:27)
I only found seven scriptures pertaining to religion/religious and 369 to the Kingdom. The emphasis is on the kingdom.
I've studied that religion started with Cain and Abel and thought so for years. However, the Lord revealed this truth to me: Lucifer was the first being practicing religion and it got him kicked out of heaven. Hmm!
In Genesis chapter 3, Adam and Eve were practicing religion in the garden of Eden. It got them kicked out of the garden. God said, there's only one tree (in the middle of the garden) that you are forbidden to eat from. But Eve (Mother of all living) ironically became mother of all dying, because she 'SAW' the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise... vs. 6 What took place here is what I John 2:16 declares, "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." Religion is us doing things our way rather than God's way. And the moral of this story is -- religion gets you kicked out of the garden of pleasure and leaves you naked and without a covering.
We see another prime example of religion at the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11:6-9. Man endeavored to reach God in his own way. Babel means confusion. Their language became as one babbling. Verse 8 SO THE LORD SCATTERED THEM ABROAD FROM THE FACE OF ALL THE EARTH: AND THEY CEASED BUILDING THE CITY. Religion scatters, confuses, causes discord, disunity...
Religion is from that perverted, lo-down, stinking scoundrel of a devil. (I love to slam his name.) It is Satan's counterfeit for Kingdom principles. Like pride, it originated with him. Satan loves for us to be religious. He doesn't even care if we go to church. He'll even go with us - uninvited. He's only threatened when we start learning who we are in the Kingdom and begin taking up our positions.
Where is the Kingdom? Luke 17:20, "AND WHEN HE WAS DEMANDED OF THE PHARISEES, WHEN THE KINGDOM OF GOD SHOULD COME, HE ANSWERED THEM AND SAID, THE KINGDOM OF GOD COMETH NOT WITH OBSERVATION. VS 21 NEITHER SHALL THEY SAY, LO HERE! THERE! FOR, BEHOLD THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS IN YOU." The Pharisees were looking for the Kingdom in its outward form. (2 Samuel 7:16) The revelation is this .... religious minded people see with the natural eyes (outward form).
Jesus certainly was not saying that his Kingdom was in the Pharisees. The Greek word is entos, meaning in the midst. The Kingdom of God was in the midst of the Pharisees in the persons of Jesus and in the disciples. The Kingdom is not with outward show (at this time) but in the hearts of men (male and female).
Luke 11:20, "BUT IF I, WITH THE FINGER OF GOD, CAST OUT DEMONS, NO DOUBT THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS COME UPON YOU." The Kingdom is established in us by power and authority given to us by Jesus -- the keys of the kingdom.
May God continue to shine upon each of you. Enjoy the remainder of your week!
Love and Blessings!
Nehemiah 6:2 says, "Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in one of the villages in the PLAIN OF 'ONO'. But they thought to do me mischief."
Whenever the Lord gives you a vision, there will always be the naysayers, meaning people in opposition to your vision, people in anticipation of your failure, negative speaking people... You get my drift.
I read a post this week on FB by a member of the Christian rap group, Alpha Team, who ministered along with us in a benefits concert for The Lawton Food Bank October 3, 2015. Immediately, I saw myself a few years back. My daughter, Kamilia, and I formed a contemporary gospel group in April 2003 called Pileha, a Hebrew word meaning worshiper and signer of the covenant.
Extremely negative comments were made about me at a concert we headlined. A woman said, " Kamilia would do better to sing by herself and not with her mother." The truth is, several years ago, I felt the same way. She didn't know my story. It was my daughter, who wanted me to sing with her; thus the group was formed. Actually, we sing without each other most of the time because we are hundreds of miles apart - unfortunately. It's always a special treat for me when we are together.
I'm one of those doting mothers who drive others bonkers talking about their kid's accomplishments. There is a reason for my madness, however. The Bible states in James 1:17, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." I'm so thankful for the gifts that my offspring has been endowed with and love to showcase and glorify Jesus in them.
Kamilia is a prolific writer like, her sister, KaShanta was. Shanta passed June 11, 2015. I envisioned Milia singing on stage - being a blessing to people. While in the kitchen one evening washing dishes in Mississippi - talking to our heavenly Father and asking Him for a platform, I saw an announcement on Trinity Broadcast Network for the very first Exalting Him National Talent Search for Christians - to be held in the summer of 2003. There was a deadline. I have many stories about deadlines, but I will try to stay focused. This was the first time that I had seen the information and there was not much time left. As it happened, I had to leave town and was highly disappointed, to say the least.
Reckon what happened? When I returned, I found that the deadline had been extended for a few more days. I was ecstatic. The Lord did this just for me. Yeah! Yeah! I'm sure there were others believing God, but I took it personally. There was no professional equipment. We used what we had in our hands: the church's microphones, cassette tapes, a player, and a Yamaha keyboard, that accompanied us in over 100 original songs that Milia penned the lyrics and music for. We made a mad dash to church to produce our masterpiece. The next day, I submitted her song entitled, 'Reign Down.' I waited; I would like to say patiently, but I'm not so sure that I was.
Finally, a response came from TBN. Out of several thousand entrants, we were one of the groups chosen from our region to compete. In July 2003, Pileha stepped out on the stage at Trinity Music City in Nashville, Tennessee and competed in the National Christian Artist Talent search made possible by Trinity Broadcast Network, Family Christian Bookstores, Salem Radio Network, and Daywind Soundtracks.
Later in July 2003, we were semi-finalists in a competition sponsored by the Inspiration Network of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Again in August of the same year, Pileha became semi-finalists out of several hundred applicants, for a competition held at the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City. This time, we were unable to attend because my husband had a craniotomy done due to a golf-ball sized tumor embedded in the occipital area of his brain.
We don't count ourselves to have exceptional voices, but the Holy Spirit's anointing makes anyone special. Like in a Miss America pageant, it's not always the prettiest girl that wins the title. There are various dynamics to be considered. We did not win the $50,000 nor the $250,000 prize. Nor did we win a recording contract; but we won an experience that we will remember for the rest of our lives. We won new friends; but most of all, we won the Lord's approval because we took a risk and stepped out in obedience to his leading and had a lot of fun doing it.
Remember! Jesus was confronted with naysayers too. Make no mistake about it! You will always be confronted by people on the sidelines watching other players make the touchdowns and home runs - doing what you are contemplating. You can jump in the water when the angel is stirring it or always wonder what would have happened if you took the leap. Unless you take a leap of faith, there's no reason for the Lord to catch you.
Rest assured! You are going to make mistakes. If you are like me, you will make many. Keep a determined mindset and the next time a naysayer approaches you in the plain of 'ONO', just tell them what God said, "OYES." It's ON! That's no spelled backwards.
For quite some time now, I have lived by this adage, "You can if you think you can." If you think you can, you are already half way there.
Reference scriptures: Nehemiah 6:1 Now it came to pass when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies, heard that I had built the wall and that there was no breach left therein; (though at that time I had not set up the doors upon the gates;) 2 That Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in one of the villages in the PLAIN OF 'ONO'. But they thought to do me mischief. 3 And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?
Don't come down from your post on the wall! Complete the task at hand. Never allow the enemy to talk you out of Jesus' purpose for our life.