Think About It First

They say what the world needs is love, sweet love. Although I wholeheartedly agree, I would like to add another character trait that is in short supply and that is patience. Most of us are victims to the “hurry up with it, I have other things to do” mindset. Even so, I came across some profound advice, “Unless it is an emergency, think about it for at least 24 hours and the possible consequences that may follow from you making that decision.”

For the believer in God, every decision that we make is either for God or against God. Within that 24 hours, we must go to God in prayer and ask for His will. There are few absolutes in life. We can know this for sure that we can never hurry God. And there is one more absolute truth, every mistake that we have made in our lives is because we did not ask God or we did not wait for God’s answer.

And for those like myself who lack the virtue of patience, God has no problem letting us make the mistake. He knows that when we are drowning in the Sea of Consequences, we will pray the SMS–Save My Soul prayer. Thankfully, He forgives us with loving grace and mercies. Still, we may suffer the full impact from our disobedience.

Last night during worship, it was the Holy Spirit who taught me this profound fact of life. Every decision that you make is either for God or against God. The imagery was the train crossing with the flashing red lights with the barrier coming down warning of the pending train traveling at an unknown speed. I am thankful that our Heavenly Father’s love is overprotective.

And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourself this day whom you will serve. Joshua 24:15

Prayer: God, we ask for forgiveness for excluding you from our lives. We are suffering the consequences of misguided decisions based on impatience. Please come to our rescue. We ask this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen. © 2021 Sonya Johnson, Faithful Fishers Ministry

The Internal Battle

“All that glitters is not gold” is a message of awareness to the hidden deceptions that exist behind the beautiful and the glamorous. We receive the warning to be cautious of the people, places, and things that appeal to and delight our five senses. The Apostle Paul tells us, You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. 1 Corinthians 10:23

Remember to pray and ask for help from the Holy Spirit. We will always have conflict between the desire for carnal–worldly pleasures and the things of God, which are spiritual. Even so, God has a Spiritual Team to provide immediate help and assist us to be Overcomers!

If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:12‭-‬13 NLT

Prayer: God, we ask you for strength to overcome the challenges of desiring and choosing the things that are ungodly. In Jesus’ name. Amen. © 2021 Sonya Johnson, Faithful Fishers Ministry

The Voice of a Stranger

God has given us intrinsic safeguards against strangers. It is not the learned dislike for people that we are referring to. Feeling uncomfortable or being guarded with a stranger raises our awareness and keeps us safe from harm.

A baby is a perfect example of stranger-danger. Many parents are proud to show others their new addition to the family. But the time factor is limited when a stranger [even if it is an extended family member] can interact with the infant. The onset of stranger anxiety usually happens at the age of 6-7 months. No longer will a stranger’s smile produce a smile in a baby who is unfamiliar with the person.

Because babies prefer familiar adults, they might react to strangers by crying or fussing, going very quiet, looking fearful or hiding. Fear of strangers usually becomes more intense at around 7-10 months of age. It can last a few months or continue for much longer.

As we mature, we begin to experience a change in our acceptance of strangers. How many broken heart experiences have left individuals wounded, bitter, and in despair? What happened that we readily let our guard down and invited an unknown person into the most intimate part of our being?

We are driven by the desires of our hearts. And we are willing to take the chance because “You only have one life” or  “It is better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all.” Cliché’s based on chasing the deceitfulness of the heart breed disappointment. We cannot follow our hearts! 

For the believer, we face two additional hurdles, the voice of our carnal hearts [our desires] leading us to sin against God and recognizing the voice of false prophets speaking false teachings. But wait! How is this possible when Jesus said:

  • My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. John 10:27-29
  • “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits…” Matthew 7:15-16

The answer is quite simple: “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9. Becoming entangled in the web of deceit is the result of trusting in our own ability. Eventually, we cannot hear the Voice of God. Our habits take a drastic shift to pleasing self. The Bible that we fail to study is the guiding and warning Voice of God. And the prayers for strength to overcome temptation were never prayed. Remember, the “gut feeling” to decline and walk away, now we ignore it as nonsense. That was the Holy Spirit’s warning!

The voice of our desperately wicked hearts is powerful! Listening to our heart that is fueled by our desires produces the bitter fruit of disobedience. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. Galatians 5:17

The conflict between right and wrong demands that we make a choice. We cannot listen to the voice of our heart and also hear God’s voice. Without spiritual reinforcement, we gradually begin to accept false concepts–Did God say that? “Where is it in the Bible that we should not listen to secular music? What is wrong with tattooing and piercing my body? They really are not unbelievers, they just need time to learn how to serve God. God understands that I do not have enough money to give tithe and offerings.”

Challenging the Voice of God causes us to step onto the broad path that leads to destruction. Using vocal tones of comfort, Satan’s false prophets speak their updated versions of the scriptures to fit our needs in modern times. New Age sermons proclaim that “God understands we will sin.” Compromise is the gateway that fine-tunes our ears to only hear the voices of strangers–who we no longer fear.

Believe it or not, it doesn’t take much effort to disobey God. Without spiritual reinforcement, humanity is no match for Satan. He observes our behaviors and listens to our spoken words. Eve was mesmerized by the melodic voice of the beautiful serpent speaking words that supported her desire to disobey God.

Please know that your temptation is a strategically developed scheme that matches your sinful desires. Satan is creative. He uses a stranger’s voice in the music that soothes your loneliness, the attractive unbeliever who begins the conversation with “Hi” and a smile, or the YouTube and TikTok video of the financially successful person you perceive to offer the perfect solution to fulfill your dreams.

Believers, we must silence the voice of our heart and guard up against the satanic stranger’s deceptive voice. Do not allow your ears to be mesmerized by the diabolical words of Satan, our enemy. Include God in every aspect of your life by praying and waiting for His answer. How do we know it is the Voice of God? There is no catch or drawback in God’s plans. And Satan cannot invade our soul, when we fall down, we willingly gave ourselves to the sinful situation. 

Never forget, we have the Omnipotence of the Trinity, God, the Father, Jesus, His Son, and the Holy Spirit. They provide us with the spiritual strength to fight against Satan’s spiritual wickedness. Every one of us has guardian angels that fight the evil of satanic angels. God has protection for humanity!

  • The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:13
  • For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7
  • Pray without ceasing–always pray. 2 Thessalonians 5:17
  • Then Jesus told him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve only Him.” Matthew 4:10

Bible Reading: Ephesians 6:10-20

Prayer: God, we need your help. Many have lost their way and can no longer recognize your voice. We ask you to release Satan’s stronghold on their hearts that they may seek you in repentance. God, we are praying for complete cleansing and restoration of their hearts as only You can do. We pray for Your strength to regain the desire to study your Word and talk to you every day through prayer. We ask You to create in us a clean heart and to renew a steadfast spirit within us. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen. © 2021 Sonya Johnson, Faithful Fishers Ministry