Cancel The Devil’s Assignment 

By Margaret Knight 

       In March 2020, I worked night shifts in a Covid field hospital. We were asked to support a local hospital in Italy that was dangerously overcapacity. We had four wards and one intensive care unit (ICU), all of which were in tents spread across a parking lot. In the ICU, the patients were very sick. Most of them required almost the maximum amount of oxygen that we could provide. It was a constant battle just to keep these patients alive. 

       It seemed that almost every morning between 0300-0500, ‘something’ unplanned would happen. Over the month that I was there, we had the tent fall (partially deflate), almost collapsing on patients as they tried to sleep, freezing temperatures, power outages, equipment failures, you name it… We expected there to be bumps in the road, but for our small night shift crew, we seemed to have an endless barrage of problems to navigate. 

      One morning, shortly after I walked into the ICU section of the hospital, the oxygen supply to one-half of the ICU failed. I remember thinking, “Oh no, this is bad.” Without the oxygen supply, the ventilators also failed, so the team provided ventilation by hand using bag valve masks (BVMs). While this did allow the patients to breathe, without working oxygen we were only giving them 21% oxygen (the amount in ambient air) vs the almost 100% they were getting before. I remember feeling anxiety rise as we scrambled to try and figure out what to do. Connections were checked, and phone calls were made, all the while keeping a close eye on the patients. I remember thinking, “If we don’t get the oxygen working these patients will die in front of us. After all, they have been through… to die like this?!” Then all of a sudden, a loud deep voice from one of the doctors broke through the noise of the chaos. In the middle of the room, he stated, “Everyone stop! I don’t know what’s going on, but we need to pray right now!” I don’t remember the words of his prayer, nor was it very long, but I believe what he did saved those patients’ lives. I vividly remember fear shifting and hope rising up. The shift in feeling from, “I don’t know what to do, these people are going to die, too God’s got this…somehow”. Sure enough, within a few minutes, the oxygen supply was re-established and it was as if nothing had happened. All the patients were still alive, with no major setbacks. To me, this is one small example of how we as Christians have the power to cancel the devil’s assignment. The person in this story wasn’t a pastor or a preacher, he was a doctor who recognized the enemy’s attempt to create chaos and destruction and he took authority in the name of Jesus. 

       Rom 8:38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord

       You may not be dealing with life-and-death situations like working in healthcare, but you can do what the doctor did. Whatever the devil’s assignment is in your case, it must be broken off and prayed against. Maybe Satan’s assignment in your life looks like depression, anxiety, PTSD, eating disorders, sickness or grief in either your life or someone close to you. Nothing is too big or small for God. Rom 8:11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you

       2 Cor. 10:4. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. What are God’s weapons? A few that come to mind are prayer, worship, fasting, the armour of God, communion and the declaration of scripture. Romans 8 says that the same power that was in Jesus lives in us. You have what it takes to rise up and slay the giants in your life through Jesus. Rom. 8:37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us

      Instead of accepting these labels as part of who we are, let’s face those giants with God. Let’s talk to Him about it. Let’s get real with God so He can show up in His power. Transformation isn’t an event, it’s a lifestyle. Some giants you slay once and they stay dead, others are deeply woven into our lives and require grit to overcome them. You have that grit! Don’t let the enemy fool you into thinking you are not tough enough, because with Jesus all things are possible (Phil 4:16). So my question is… in what areas of your life does the devil have an assignment over you? God wants you to rise up, take authority, and cancel it!

 

The Present Identity Crisis

WHAT DO YOU SEE?

By Ross Winchester
 
Habakkuk 1:5 “Look at the nations and watch and be utterly amazed for I am going to do something in your days you would not believe even if you were told.”  
 

This scripture had an immediate fulfillment, but I believe there is an application for us today. I believe God is saying the very same thing to us: to look at the nations and watch. God said, “Be utterly amazed.” This was not a suggestion; it was a command. “Look and see what I’m doing in the nations and be amazed.” Get it into your spirit, the amazing work that God is doing now. Many people, as they look at the nations, all they can see is chaos and trouble. It’s certainly easy to lean that way. It’s easy to see the horrible stuff that’s happening all through the world. But we need to look at what God is doing even in the midst of that. We need to be positive and full of faith, not fearful or anxious. Yet there are so many Christians that can only see the negative, the chaos, and they become full of judgment and hate. John 3:17 says, “For God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” So if God did not send his son into the world to condemn it, I doubt that he sent you and me. He sent us into the world to be salt and light and to be conduits of His love, joy, and peace in a world that so desperately needs hope.

 
Look and Watch

In Habakkuk 1:5 there are two keywords, look and watch. “Look at the Nations and watch.” In the English language, we use these words somewhat interchangeably. In Hebrew, they are used more specifically. To look means to see the macro, the big picture. See what God is doing in the nations. To watch is the micro view. It is more intentional. What is God saying to me about this situation, this nation, this ministry?

An experience I had recently will serve to illustrate the difference between these two words. My wife Donna and I live in Northern Thailand. We had been visiting a village that comprising six different minority groups, Long Neck Kayan, Kayaw, Kayah, Akha, Lisu, and Karen. They each have their mutually unintelligible language, culture, and customs. While we were talking to a Kayan lady and her daughter, I was thinking big picture, about strategies of how we could reach these people for Christ. Donna nudged me and asked if I had noticed the daughter’s shoes. When I looked, I saw that they were torn and worn out and just hanging off her feet. I had watched, but I did not look; therefore, I did not see. We bought new shoes for the young girl, and the next time we visited, we brought new shoes for all the children in the village. If we just look and do not carefully watch, we will not see what God wants us to see, and we will miss opportunities to be a blessing.

What you see determines how you think. How you think determines how you act. How you act determines your behaviour. How you behave determines your habits. Your habits determine your character, and your character determines your destiny. The question is do we see with the eyes of faith or through natural eyes? Some people can see an opportunity in every problem, other people see a problem in every opportunity Albert Einstein said, “Stay away from negative people, they have a problem for every Solution.

How Do You See Yourself? Grasshopper or Giant-Killer?


A classic example of how you see yourself is in the Book of Numbers Chapter 13, where Moses told the Hebrews to select a representative from each tribe of Israel to go into the land of Canaan and bring back a report. Ten spies said, “We can’t beat them, they are giants. They live in fortified cities with impregnable walls.” What was their problem? It started with how they saw the situation, but a bigger problem was how they saw themselves in the situation. Numbers 13:33 illustrates this. They said, “We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes and we looked the same to them.” They were defeated in their mind. How you see yourself is how other people will see you. If you see yourself as a victim, people will treat you like a victim. If you see yourself as weak and inferior, and can’t do anything, that’s how people are going to see you, and that’s how they’re going to treat you.

These are strongholds in our minds that we need to break. The Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10:4 “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Seeing From God’s Perspective

The battle is not up there in the clouds; the spiritual warfare is not out there, it’s in our minds and hearts. It starts with a thought and that’s why we need to bring every thought and make it obedient to Christ. We need to see things from His perspective. The other two spies, Joshua and Caleb, said, “It’s a good land. We can take it. These people are like bread for us. We can have them for breakfast, and God is going to give us this land.” Now, the interesting thing is that these 12 Spies all looked at the same thing, whether it was Joshua and Caleb or the other ten. They looked at the same thing, but they saw something different. Two saw what God saw. Ten saw with natural eyes. Ten saw the problem. Two saw the promise. So whether they said we can’t do it or we can do it, they were correct. What you see and what you say, is lived out creating your reality. The question is, do you see yourself as a grasshopper or a giant-killer?

Where You Stand Determines What You See?

Last year, I went with a Thai pastor for a motorbike ride up to the northwest of Chiang Mai Province towards the Golden Triangle. As we were riding through the valleys and through the plains, it was beautiful; quaint villages, rice fields, and water buffalos. Then, we started to ride up to the summit of a high mountain. When we reached the top, the view was breathtaking. We could see the valley, the rivers and lakes, the mountains in the distant horizon. It taught me a valuable lesson. Where you stand determines what you see, and more than that, where you stand determines how far you can see. C.S. Lewis said, “What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.” I want to see things the way God sees them. I want to see from God’s perspective. Paul tells us in Colossians 3:1,2 (MSG), “So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.

When Donna and I relocated from China to Chiang Mai, our vision was to work with the Northern Thai churches in leadership development, and we are continuing to do that. But God opened my eyes to see something else that was not on my radar, not what I was equipped for, and not what I was prepared for. The opportunity was just across the border into Myanmar, formerly called Burma, and with the Karen people particularly. When I heard of their plight, being bombed by the Myanmar air force, fired upon by ground troops, their fields burned, the common occurrence of rape, torture, and murder, and many of the Karen people forced to flee into the jungle to live, I knew we had to help them. We began to buy rice, dried foods, tarps, clothes, and whatever supplies were needed, and take them to the Karen people. When I crossed the Salawan River, the border between Thailand and Myanmar, my life was irrevocably changed. I was never the same again – because of what I saw. Young Karen boys carrying M16 rifles patrolling the perimeter of the village, looking out for Burmese ground troops. The things I saw and heard – the atrocities committed against these beautiful people, I would not have heard them had I not crossed the river, and it impacted me so much. We must put ourselves in the position to see what God wants us to see.
 
What Do You See?

In Jeremiah chapter 1, God was dealing with Jeremiah concerning his calling. God had called him to be a prophet to the nations. As a young man of just 19 years, he told God he didn’t know how to speak and was too young. After God dealt with his excuses by assuring him that He would be with him, He began to deal with his sight. God had dealt with how Jeremiah saw himself, then He dealt with how he saw the situation around him. 
 
In Jeremiah 1:11, God asks, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” He replied, “I see the branch of an almond tree,” “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it,” God said.

So what does it mean when God says, “You have seen well, or correctly (CSB)”? It means Jeremiah saw what God wanted him to see. He saw correctly. So, if it’s possible to see correctly, it’s also possible to see incorrectly. There are a lot of people who see things incorrectly. It may be very clear in their mind, and that becomes their reality, but it’s an incorrect and false reality if they’re not seeing what God wants them to see.

How do you see yourself? Are you like Jeremiah who saw himself as too young? Maybe you feel you are too old, not enough of this or that? Failure, inferior, loser, inadequate, unqualified? Or do you see yourself as someone who is of so much value that God sent His only son to die for you and has an incredible purpose for your life? Now, the devil will obviously tell you otherwise, and that’s his job. It’s in his job-description; to kill, steal, and destroy. Kill your faith, steal your joy, and destroy your future. To accuse you day and night, to heap condemnation upon you unceasingly. Why would the devil do that? Because he knows you are a threat. That’s why he’s attacking you so hard. A thief doesn’t break into an empty house. He breaks into something where he can find something valuable. He wants to destroy that purpose that God has placed upon your life. The devil doesn’t fight fair, but don’t get mad at him. Get even! How do we do that? We stand on God’s promises, and we declare his truth. Then, when the devil reminds you of your past, remind him of his future.

Open Our Eyes Lord

In 2 Kings 6:15-17, Elisha’s servant looked out the window and saw the entire Syrian army. He ran to see the man of God and told him they were doomed. He asked, “What shall we do?” The prophet tells him, “Don’t Be afraid; those who are with us are more  than those who are with them.” The servant couldn’t understand this. All he saw was Elisha and himself. How can we be more than the thousands of Syrian soldiers? So Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes Lord that he might see.” He could see, but he only saw the enemy. He couldn’t see the chariots of fire and the army of the Lord. He could see the problem, but he couldn’t see the answer. He could see the difficulty, but he couldn’t see the solution. He could see the obstacle but not the opportunity. We can easily be like this servant. We can see the absence, but we can’t see the abundance. We can see the health issue, but we can’t see the healer. We can see the cancer, but we can’t see the cure.

Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked, and he saw the hills full of horses and Chariots of Fire all around Elisha.

Helen Keller said, “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”

What do you see when you look at the situation around you? Do you see from God’s perspective? Paul prays in Ephesians 1:18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.

Paul prayed for the Ephesian church, and, by extension, prayed for us, that God would open our spiritual eyes so that we may see His great power, our inheritance, and our hope. Let us continue to look, watch, and see what God wants us to see.

The Dream

By George Mcardle

      This journey began with a dream. In the dream, I was pushing a boat through shallow water. A pastor from my church was pulling the boat with a rope over his shoulder. The water started to get deeper and soon it was too deep for us to walk in any longer so we had to swim. About this time two words appeared in the sky above. Roberts Liardon. This caused me to wake up. I googled the name Roberts Liardon and the title of a book he had written also came up. The title of the book was God’s Generals and an extract from the book followed. It must have been about 3 AM when I started reading and I soon became engrossed in what was a wonderful account of the Great Awakening Revival that swept England and the New World. As I continued to read I received a text message from my good friend Norm Sawyer in Canada. His message simply read. “George. You can have it. But you have to really want it.” That was all.

      The next morning was Sunday, so I went to church and saw the pastor that had been in my dream and I asked him If he owned a book called God’s Generals by Roberts Liardon. He looked at me strangely and said “Yes I do, how did you know that?” I said, “God told me.” He got the book from his office and lent it to me. The book tells the story of men such as John Wesley, Charles Wesley, George Whitfield, Charles Finney,  and many others who brought the Great Awakening revival to England and the New World, now the United States of America. On Sunday night I went back to church and listened to a lady share her very powerful testimony. Towards the end of the meeting, I was filled with the Holy Spirit and left church that night thinking that it had been a very significant day.

      Soon after I had a second dream where a man walked up to me and simply said, “You need to go back to the mountain.” I used to go to an isolated beach years earlier to fast and pray. The place was called Noosa North Shore and I understood the dream as a call to prayer and to return to the North Shore. I was not overly excited at the thought of going back there as the beach was isolated especially in winter and the nights used to be a bit creepy, listening to the noises outside my tent in the middle of the night. I decided to further pray about it. I went for a late-night walk to pray about my plan and as I was walking along at about 9 PM I suddenly became aware of someone walking no more than one arm’s length behind me. This gave me quite a scare so I stopped and turned around and saw a man standing there, and as I looked at him he vanished before my eyes. I concluded that I had seen an angel, and therefore I had no choice but to obey The Lord and follow His leading.

      I bought myself a tent and a few items for camping and I began my adventure, following the leading of The Holy Spirit. It seems to me that God will give the invitation and then comes a period of silence and testing to see how we respond to His invitation. Will we remain focused or become distracted by the cares of this world and the desire for other things? I can see how easily it happens. Many are called but few are chosen. God calls people all the time but they either don’t respond or respond but don’t go the distance.

      I had a ministry before this happened to me. As a former professional musician, I would call pastors and ask them if they would like me to come and minister in their church. I would bring my PA system and backing tracks, sing three or four songs and share a testimony. Then I would hand the meeting over to the pastor for the altar call. I did this for a number of years. Then I had this disruption in my life and everything came to a standstill. The reason for that is that I won’t call pastors anymore. I have a conviction that promoting myself and chasing opportunities is not God’s way for me now.

      I go to the North Shore about once a month and have just returned from my 20th. camping trip up there. I pray and fast for two or three days each time. I have had some encounters with God along the way. For example, only recently at about 3 AM I was awake in my tent and said to the Lord, “I’m lost.” He immediately showed me a picture of a rock star-looking guy with cool hair and a leather jacket. I lay there pondering the meaning of the picture and came to this conclusion. “You’re not lost, you have just lost this identity. This is not who you are anymore, and you feel lost.” Men who retire can feel that their lives have lost meaning and purpose so they go and get another job and go round in circles. The answer is a new identity. I am not that person anymore. I’m a man of God that hears from God and I am led by the Spirit of God.

      I spoke at two churches recently and the Lord moved by His Spirit in both meetings. No items. No backing tracks. Just a word from God. For me, this is the way forward. 

 

The Seven Pillars of the Human Soul

By Brodie Kalamen

1 Thessalonians 5:23 May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ.
 
The entire makeup of the human has three parts: we have a soul, we have a spirit, and we live inside a body.
“I am a Spirit. I have a Soul. I live in a Body.”
 
In church circles, while there is value in most circles, I’ve noticed that the Pentecostals focus primarily on the spirit while Charismatics often focus on physical healing of the body and expression of spiritual gifts. Where is the focus on the soul?
 
There is a danger in associating anything soulish as evil. The reality is that your soul defines your personality and humanity. It was for the human soul that Jesus Christ came to the earth to save. It is the reason why we are called ‘soul winners,’ not ‘spirit winners’ or ‘body winners.’
 
I’ve come to recognize that with most Christians, the soul is often neglected. People can lean to believing that anything ‘soulish’ is ‘fleshly.’ Sadly, if your soul is not satisfied, you will never have a meaningful life or existence. If your soul is empty, you can speak in tongues and serve in church, but you’ll never be a happy person in life.
 
What fulfills the human soul?
Here are seven needs that satisfy the human soul:

 
1. Spirituality
St. Augustine, the greatest Christian thinker of the early church, said that God created us with a ‘God-shaped vacuum’ in our souls that only God can satisfy. David expressed this in Psalm 42:1: “As the deer pants for the water, so my soul longs for you.” When we come to church, we want to reach God with our heads without neglecting our hearts and souls. We desire to come under the power of God and experience His presence.
 
2. Love
We long for community and relationship. This is why we spend so much time on social media, telephones, and chat channels—it shows a need. If you look around a restaurant, take notice of those who have a phone and are endlessly ‘scrolling’. There is a ‘search’ in our generation. Coming to church will provide a meaningless life if you haven’t got relationships to develop or build on. We need to feel like we belong and are connected – the ‘koinonia’ was a foundation of the first church. This was meant to be shared within immediate family circles and outside family circles.
 
3. Self-Esteem
A soul needs to feel proud of itself. Even Jesus was attacked by the devil to doubt who He was: “If you are the Son of God…” How do you know you’re the Son of the Living God? Christianity is an “in spite” faith. Despite trials, temptations, and tribulations, we will overcome. The very fact that Jesus was tempted means that His identity wasn’t guaranteed to Him. It wasn’t conclusive in His mind that He was the Son of God. He went to the synagogue to learn and read the Bible. Scripture confirmed to Him that He was the Son of God. He concluded that He was begotten of the Father. Only when He was assured of His identity could He receive and release worship.
 
4. Knowledge
Why are we, explorers? Why is there a channel called “Discovery”? Why do women read magazines and surf the internet for popular news? Knowledge is power. If you don’t have a hunger for knowledge, you are dying. Even though we live in an ‘information age’, the demand for knowledge continues. It’s growing and shifting like the tides. It is the reason why many academics continue to pursue education even after finishing school or spend precious resources on ‘coaches’ and ‘advisors’.
 
5. Security
We need food to eat, a place to lay our head, air to breathe and even sex. Every soul needs a sense of security. The human drives need to be fulfilled. We need security from the elements of nature and economic stability. When a country experiences an economic crisis, people often immigrate to more stable countries in search of stability. Our soul flourishes when we live with security.
 
6. Aesthetics
Art, painting, decoration, fashion, music, dance, coding and colour—people need beauty. Without art in your life, you live an impoverished life. Art is an expression of our creativity and innovation. It touches the soul of the people. Art makes the invisible visible, bringing the spiritual into the natural realm. Art expresses emotion and delight, whether it makes you laugh or brings you to tears.
 
7. Freedom
We need freedom of speech and expression. We need to feel like we can express what is inside us and say what we need to communicate. We need freedom of worship. People are willing to go to jail for their faith, even if their faith isn’t Christian. If you are attending an anti-charismatic church, you will feel frustrated. We need freedom from poverty and lack, freedom from fear, freedom of discussion and reason, freedom in worship and freedom of thought. Freedom is the message of our faith. Through Christ, we are free from death, sin, and shame.
 
Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ set us free.

If you lack any of these needs, you will live an impoverished life and feel incomplete. Because of these fundamental needs…
 
We have Church because of Religion.
We have Family because of Love.
We build Business because of Self-Esteem.
We pursue Education because of Knowledge.
We elect a Government because of Security.
We have the Arts because of Aesthetics.
We have the Media and the Press because of Freedom.
 
These are the seven pillars of the human soul. Without any of these pillars, society feels broken and impoverished – the human soul dries up. As believers and followers of Jesus, the church can carry these values and implement them so that the human soul is “holy and whole.”
 
Psalm 103:1 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!