Wednesday, August 17, 2016

ACE #434: Beware of That Darned Delilah

Delilah Extracts His Secret 
Judges 16

15 Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times and have not told me where your great strength lies.” 16 When she pressured him day after day with her words and pleaded with him, he was annoyed to death. 17 Then [finally] he told her everything that was in his heart and said to her, “A razor has never been used on my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If I am shaved, then my strength will leave me, and I will become weak and be like any [other] man.”
18 Then Delilah realized that he had told her everything in his heart, so she sent and called for the Philistine lords, saying, “Come up this once, because he has told me everything in his heart.” Then the Philistine lords came up to her and brought the money [they had promised] in their hands. 19 She made Samson sleep on her knees, and she called a man and had him shave off the seven braids of his head. Then she began to abuse Samson, and his strength left him. 20 She said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And he awoke from his sleep and said, “I will go out as I have time after time and shake myself free.” For Samson did not know that the Lord had departed from him. 21 Then the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes; and they brought him down to Gaza and bound him with [two] bronze chains; and he was forced to be a grinder [of grain into flour at the mill] in the prison.22 But the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaved off.

Anyone who befriends you, learns your personal story/history/dreams, then uses your personal information for gain/advancement for themselves carries a Delilah Spirit. S/he will have no problem sharing your weaknesses and handing you over to your enemies. When you encounter someone like that, your anointing is being jeopardized and/or challenged. And your testimony is certainly being tested.  Delilah deliberately waited until Samson was in a submissive, relaxed state to get what she needed.  She also knew that his weakness was women...and she was one.  Be careful of casual conversation - over coffee, lunch, breaks, exercise, etc. for it is not always as casual as you might perceive.   Sometimes it is intentional or calculated.  Yep, that's Delilah lurking around.  You do not have to be suspicious of everyone, but you do need to me mindful of others' intentions.  Some people are determined to weaken your warrior spirit or to attack your anointing to get you off of track.
Be careful who you align yourself with in your next season. Watch and pray.  But learn to keep some things to yourself too.  Sometimes silence is golden...

Monday, August 15, 2016

ACE #433: What Do Your Ears Hear?

I remember being younger and hearing my friends say mean things to each other, especially in high school and later in college.  When the comments were directed toward me, I would often ignore it or just laugh it off because it became so uncomfortable.  One of my friends would constantly have something to say about my hair.  Another would go out of the way to tease me for being smart. Then every now and then someone would say something sarcastic because I had a car at 16-years-old, all the while in the next breath, they would ask for a ride somewhere.  As I got older, some people around me would take verbal jabs about my possessions...material things I had.  I would think, I work everyday; so whatever I have...I earned it.  But, truthfully, their words began to kill my spirit because they were actually hurtful. It often made me ashamed or embarrassed to have nice things or to share my accomplishments.  It also made me think about how the power of life and death really is in the tongue.

But as I matured, I began to realize a few things about the character of people and the power of my inner circle; some people really are your enemies and you don't even know it.  I came across an old Facebook post that read:
Pay attention. People always reveal themselves. We always focus on what our eyes can see, but give less value to what our ears hear.
What comes out of the mouth is usually a reflection of a person's heart...their jealousy, their bitterness, their competitive spirit, their insecurities, their brokenness, their covetousness, even their true dislike of you. The wool wasn't pulled over your eyes, it was over your ears.
Listen closer next time...and then you'll see more clearly.

So, now, I pay attention...and make the the things that come out of my own mouth and to the things I allow to enter my ears.  If necessary, make some adjustments or at least listen will keep the enemy out of your camp.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

ACE #432: True Evangelism Has No Limits, No Boundaries


noun: evangelism 

the spreading of the Christian gospel by public preaching or personal witness; zealous advocacy of a cause.

Like most, our local community has spent the last week preparing for "Back to School".  This past weekend, we participated in the Praise in the Park.  It included several local churches coming together to give out school supplies to students, but also to worship through song and to minister about the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Several young people stepped on the stage and told their life stories.  They ranged from drug addiction, drug sales, promiscuity, idolatry, alcoholism, depression, suicide, and other forms of demonic attack.  While I cannot say I was listening intently to all of the testimonies, I was observing my surroundings. 

As I looked from one tent to the other, I watched a young girl walk across the field.  As I watched her, I noticed that she was walking toward our tent.  She began to talk to someone standing near me.  All of a sudden, tears started to flow.  There was an immediate call for intercessory prayer.  I watched ministry leaders surround her in a circle, touching and agreeing for a change for her.  It was then that I realized what true evangelism looks like in action.  There was an official program or agenda, but it didn't matter.  Everyone stopped what they were doing to minister to this young lady!  She gave her life to Christ right there on the spot.  The pastor in charge left the event and took the girl to his church immediately to be baptized - no fanfare, no formal program, no pomp and circumstance, no limits and no boundaries - just a young lady accepting Jesus...on the spot.  That is true evangelism!

Brothers and sisters, we are to be the salt and light.  We are instructed to go and make disciples.  We are encouraged to go outside of the four walls of the church.  And we are to be unashamed in doing and being all of it.  But we have to do the work...and do it differently to reach the unsaved and the unchurched.  Let's get back to the basics...just like Jesus said.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit...

Israel Houghton & New Breed - No Limits