Tag Archives: holy spirit

When Territory Expands


1 Peter 5:10 (NKJV):But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”

As God continues to expand my territory  I invite you to come join me at www.rhemawordphotos.com/blog This blog is directly connected to and inspired by the Spirit of God even as He relates to the marketplace. Also visit Rhema Word Photography, LLC  for Christian prophetic art.

God has done a marvelous thing.

Praise the Lord with me saints! 



Jealousy, Me?

Exodus 20:17 (KJV): “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”

Jealousy has always been a difficult topic for me. I couldn’t seem to understand why anyone could or would want to be jealous. I didn’t think materialistic things were ever a good enough reason. Ecclesiastes 4:4 (KJV): “Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbour. This is also vanity and vexation of spirit.” I wasn’t even too sure about characteristics being a reason either because I always thought everyone was special in their own way. As I would read verses and commandments about not being jealous or crippled with covetousness I would scan my mind thinking, “Whew, I am glad that I am not controlled by jealousy. Jealousy has to be a terrible thing. I don’t want anything like that eating me up.”

Galatians 5:19-21 (KJV): “19Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,20Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,21Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

My rejoicing of not experiencing jealousy was short-lived because He revealed to me that I was. I remember it like yesterday. I sat on my bed in awe at the thought that I indeed was plagued by jealousy. But what made me jealous? Something that I thought shouldn’t even be qualified on the “to be jealous of” list. I was jealous of love. Well not love specifically, but of those who not only were offered love but simply of those who could receive it. Fighting with a spirit of rejection and losing the battle more times than I can count, I found myself jealous and crippled by the thought of someone having something that I thought was vital and deserving to every human walking on this Earth. Ouch. Not only was I jealous but I was jealous of something that didn’t seem to be optional, but something that truly made the world go ’round. I can go “buy” anything but I can’t buy love. What was I to do? Well since I was saved I knew to take that to the Lord but then what? I found myself upset when jealousy got hold of me and began to pick at the sores sealing wounds on my heart. Ouch again. My prayer was that I would no longer be jealous, simply because I am loved by Him unconditionally, before anyone and anything else. Has my revelation ended the jealousy? Not yet but it is a growing process. My heart was so calloused that I didn’t even realize that I was jealous. Then I became aware of my issue and felt pitiful for being jealous of something as simple as love. Then I found myself angry at myself and angry that I could not shake jealousy. I was right, jealousy is a terrible thing. Then I found myself during my moments of jealousy sending verbally silent prayers up to God asking Him to fulfill whatever made me jealous. I am not lying, I have experienced moments where jealousy was given the boot as our Father’s love rushed into my mind, body, and spirit. Yep, He is really that awesome.

James 3:14 (KJV): “But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.”

Jealousy is messy and God knows that, which is why we are specifically instructed to not be consumed by envy.1 Corinthians 3:3 (KJV): “For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?”  Jealousy doesn’t help individuals get far. If anything, it keeps an individual bound by selfishness and greed. James 3:16 (KJV): “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10) so there is no question about the wickedness of jealousy. James 3:14-15 (KJV):14But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.15This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.” God takes covetousness and envy so seriously that He even filters such bugs in our prayer life, purging selfish motives in our supplications. James 4:2-3 (KJV): 2Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.3Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” The consequences of jealousy are death (like any other sin), as it cuts so deep that it can cut through flesh. Proverbs 14:30 (KJV): “A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.” I think at one point I even thought, “Can jealousy really bring forth death? I mean everyone gets jealous about something and at some point, right?  “Song of Solomon 8:6 (KJV): “Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.” While we all may have that one thing that makes us jealous, God outlines the importance of us not being devoured by jealousy as an umbrella covering many sins. If someone is willing to lie they are willing to steal and if someone is willing to steal then best believe that they are willing to kill. It begins with envy but it doesn’t stop there.

Proverbs 27:4 (KJV): “Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?”
                            The Lost Son
Luke 15: 25-30 (KJV):25Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.26And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.27And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.28And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.29And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:30But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.”

The first time I read this part of the story about the Prodigal Son the only thing I could think of was, “This guy’s brother was lost then decided to come home and live life differently and the only thing he could focus on was that he wanted a party as well? How could he allow jealousy to steal joy for his bother’s breakthrough?” I guess it is similar to my experience with jealousy. How could I be jealous watching someone else receive love and affection, even if it was the very thing I wanted more than anything in this world? Why couldn’t I just be happy that someone else didn’t feel as empty as me? I can only guess that the answer is flesh but the better answer is when I asked Him to be my Comforter. The only one qualified to be jealous is God. Deuteronomy 4:24 (KJV):“For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.” The jealousy of God should even reinforce our reverence for Him, helping us avoid His wrath. Zechariah 8:2 (KJV): “Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury.”

But wait. There is something else interesting that the Lord revealed to me. There is something beneficial to jealousy. If presented and enforced by God, it can produce His fruit. God has used jealousy to bring sinners out of their wickedness as they began to want the light living inside of His redeemed. The first example of this is when God offers salvation to the Gentiles so that Israel may turn away from their wicked ways. Deuteronomy 32:21 (KJV): “They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.” I often associate jealousy with negativity (as we usually should) but I was amazed to know that jealousy could produce positivity. Romans 10:19 (KJV): “But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.” We ought to pray for Israel and that they come back to their first Love and reject all false doctrine. I am truly grateful that I have been offered salvation and that I am now in position to pray for Israel’s submission to the Father. John 1:11-12 (KJV): 11He came unto his own, and his own received him not.12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” In addition to Israel, anyone who isn’t a believer should be jealous of those who have the Holy Spirit dwelling within. It is troubling to think that Christians can have the Way, the Truth, and the Life without catching the attention of someone living in darkness. As God’s chosen people we have the Key, the answer, the perfect gift. We should question if sinners cannot see the fruit of God in the lives of Christians, let alone be jealous of it. This should be a reminder that we as Christians should allow Godly jealousy to prick the hearts of sinners, potentially leading them not to us but to Him who dwells within. Let your light shine from the tops of hills, not hiding the flicker under a bushel. 

Romans 11:11 (KJV): ” I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. 

What Time Does Church Start?

“What church do you attend?”

That is the most commonly asked question I receive after talking with someone about the Lord. I thought that was interesting because since I have been saved, I haven’t asked anyone what church they attended. But the real interesting part is that individuals don’t believe me when I tell them that I currently do not belong to a church. Actually, I have had people look at me like I was crazy and immediately give me a card with their church’s information on it. I began to feel like when I tell people that I didn’t belong to a church they begin to question my salvation. Why can’t someone be Christian and not identify with misconceptions produced by religion? Why is that so hard to believe? I have no idea. But I feel like religion has something to do with it.

To make things clear, I have absolutely no opposition to having a church home. Actually, when I first got saved I did a lot of church searching, hoping to find the anointed southern church that I had always imagined I would attend. During the process of trying to find a church that seemed best for me I had been lied to, encouraged to believe false doctrine, and bombarded with religious beliefs. And I still to this day can’t understand why everybody always tried to lay hands on me. You know, those crazy religious beliefs that crowd you with a bunch of rules and regulations that is not supported by the Word of God. John the Baptist reminds us that although he baptized individuals with water for repentance, Jesus was coming to baptize us with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Matthew 3:11). I began to become very confused, wondering why no one could teach the Truth. There I was, a babe in Christ desperately wanting to have other believers to fellowship with and all I came in contact with were perverts, liars, and witches. Yes, there are witches in the church. Not the Church but the church.

After a while I decided to have Bible study on Sundays just to continue the studying of Scripture I did during the week. I began to notice that I was spiritually fed more through my personal time with God for at least an hour than I did from being in church for about 3 hours. I knew something wasn’t right so I told God that if He wanted me in a church, then I will allow Him to lead me there. Don’t get me wrong, there is no perfect church and although I believe we are sometimes called to eat the meat and throw away the bones, I don’t believe spending hours trying to filter false doctrine is one of them. I had visited a few campus ministries and while the sermons where trying to accommodate the diverse religions of the student body, I was frustrated with trying to decipher which part of the sermon was for me, the muslims, the religious, or for the scientologists.

I suppose many are confused about me not attending a church because we have been so brainwashed with seeking man to be the bridge between us and God. I can’t speak for anyone else but the only bridge I need between me and God is Jesus. A pastor ordained by God will reinforce and confirm personal teachings that first come from God. God may even introduce knowledge and conviction through His people to plant the seed as He prepares us for the moment when He brings it to us personally. That often reminds me of people I have known who did everything they could to converse with the most popular prophets who would visit the city. I couldn’t understand how people would run all around, spend a bunch of money, and create unrealistic expectations when wanting to hear a word from God. How is it that every prophet you see tells you about the favorable but doesn’t mention trials and tribulations? My God tells me about both Paradise and Hell and if someone else who claims to be anointed by Him can’t offer the Truth, stay away. But furthermore, I always tell people that if God wants to speak to me through someone else, God certainly knows how to make the paths of His children cross. So why would I try to squeeze beautiful lies out of false prophets? Test the spirit by the Spirit. Everything and everybody that claims to be Godly isn’t.

I will admit, some of the fault is on the Body of Christ. The light that Christ yearns to shine through us will set us apart from religion and false doctrine. Sinners and even other saints will be able to fellowship with believers as they will be drawn not to us, but to the Spirit of God that dwells within us. We need to step up. How is it that as a babe in Christ I couldn’t find a church preaching the truth in the middle of Atlanta? As big and diverse as that city is. I just thank God for protecting me from false doctrine. But what about individuals who do not yet recognize the voice of God? Too many individuals are swept into the lies pushed by Satan and my mother was one of them. God is at this very moment renewing her mind from being soaked in the poison introduced to her by Jehovah’s Witnesses. What a mighty God we serve! I had no idea how to help her understand that Jehovah’s Witnesses are a cult but God knew how to reach her. But up to this point in her life, she hadn’t come in contact with a church that what truly seeking the heart and face of God so what standard did she have?

Fortunately, there is currently a church that I have been following: Omega Ministries. Some people have asked me how they can really know if they are in the right church or if they are reading the true word of God. The best advice I can give to anyone is to first have that personal and intimate relationship with God. If you know God, He will bear witness regarding what is Him. I used an example when I was talking with my host mom yesterday. If I was an author and I had written a book but an individual had suspicion that someone was interpreting my book wrong, was tampering with my verbiage, or was misleading my children, all that individual would have to do is call or email me. It would be a pleasure for me to respond by letting that individual know either yes, the fruit of my book is being presented righteously OR that the pages of my book were being perverted by others.

Matthew 7:11(NIV): “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!”

With the same emphasis shared on being a follower of Christ rather than being a follower of a denomination, we too should focus on our personal relationship with Christ rather than allowing a building to be our idol. Every church does not have the Spirit of God resting there. Everyone who claims to be a pastor isn’t going to Heaven. The loudest person running through the aisles isn’t always the most grateful. The large audience of a mega church isn’t evidence that they preach the Gospel. Satan is the god of this world and he is capable of providing his people with wealth. And everyone who claims to have spiritual gifts did not receive them from the one true living God. Aside from Sunday, what fruit are you producing from Monday to Saturday? Don’t allow the person who volunteers to help teach Sunday school and Wednesday prayer to fool you into thinking they are holier than thou. Do you feel good every time you leave church? That is a red flag within itself because the Holy Spirit won’t always make you feel good. If you aren’t living righteously expect the Holy Spirit to convict and discipline you as the Lord disciplines those who He loves (Hebrews 12:6). You aren’t clapping your hands for a pastor who is allowing a Torah to be wrapped around him are you?

We shouldn’t get too caught up with church in the sense of it being the only place where God is. My sentiments are similar to the article I had written, One in Christ. God said that when two or more are gathered in His name He will be there (Matthew 18:20). We are the Church. Christ isn’t coming back for a ton of bricks on a corner, He is coming back for His bride. As I continue to spend my personal time with God I am open to the fact that He may one day lead me to attend a church to fellowship with other believers. Sometimes God will have us in a place for a season then He will move us on. Even going to a church where God really does dwell, we still cannot gain eternal salvation through the faith of our pastor, his wife, or their children. If we want a chance for God to say, “Well done my good and faithful servant (Matthew 25:23),” we need to know Him for ourselves. Once we begin building our relationship with God and spending fervent time fasting, praying, and reading His word, He can then lead us to fellowship with other believers and witness to sinners. If the hierarchy isn’t right, the building on the corner with a wooden cross as tall as the tower of babel will sadly become our idol.

Let loose of religion and tightly grasp onto the Gospel that comes directly from the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. The moment when I open my Bible and ask God to open my eyes, ears, and heart so that I may receive Him.. is when church starts for me.