A couple weeks ago on a Friday morning I went down to the Manor to meet with Roger, the owner, to discuss the Christmas party that we were having for Church at the Manor. By the way this year, Roger is paying for the catering that will cover the costs for all the hors d'oeuvres and food for the festive event. It all started last year with generous friends from BC, Tammy and Ross, who believed this is what the Lord told them to do and put on a lavish event last year https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goQvD86BPdI
So, here we are again and now Roger wants to make it bigger by inviting all the staff of the Manor and friends and well. A Jewish owner of a strip club paying for a Christmas party for a Christian church celebrating the birth of the Messiah! Amazing…only God!
As I walked in the office there was a man with his head in his hands overwhelmed by his own personal situation. Michel hadn’t been able to see his boy, Bentley, for the past 6 months and he was distraught. He just recently started doing renovations for Roger on some of his rental properties. Roger tells him Jack is here for you and he can help you with your soul. So as Michel shares and I listen, we connect and a good conversation flows. At the end of our time together, I ask Michel if I can pray for him and prayer begins for reconciliation with the mother and for God to open the door back to allowing him to see his son. Michel shows up for church on Sunday and listens to our message on ‘Overcoming Giants’ in our lives and there is an opportunity to take smooth stones and a sheet of verses to remind those attending on how to slay the giants in our lives. I hand them to Michel and encourage him to trust God.
The next Sunday Michel shows up to church and he is flying high. He has been reunited with his son and he can’t contain himself. It was such a great opportunity to affirm the power of prayer that we have seen and the bond that we both have after sitting together in Roger’s office….God works in mysterious ways.
It appeared to be a giant in Michel life, but it was overcome by the power of God.
So, what are the GIANTS that we face in our lives… well we took an easel out at church and here are the responses we heard
· Finances, fear, depression, anxiety, fear of death, fear of others, loneliness, stress, self-doubt, jealousy, believing lies, rejection, frustration etc..
Just as David took up five smooth stones to defeat the giant Goliath in his life, we need to take the same approach and be on the offensive with the stones we need to use to slay the giants in our lives.
We affirmed the following as the stones we need to use in our day to day lives.
1. Worship and Thankfulness
2. Speaking Truth and Declaring Verses Out Loud
3. Forgiveness and Love
4. A Renewed Mind – Staying positive, focused on the good things. Simply put, if you focus on all the crap around you in your life, you are going to feel like crap!
5. Stay in Community, not withdrawing. Learning to reach out for support, positive influences in your life, people that support you and encourage you.
The smooth stone is a take home reminder, something to place on your bathroom counter and the verses need to be put on your fridge or bathroom mirror.
WORSHIP and THANKFULNESS – to overcome a spirit of worry, anxiety, finances
Enter His gates with thanksgiving, And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
SPEAKING TRUTH AND DECLARING VERSES OUT LOUD – to overcome fear
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit,
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
2 Timothy 1:7
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
FORGIVENESS AND LOVE – to overcome unforgiveness, bitterness, anger
1 Peter 4:8
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
RENEWED MIND = to overcome depression
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.
Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
STAYING IN COMMUNITY – to overcome loneliness
And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.
1 Thessalonians 5:11
So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
So I had a wonderful opportunity to pray over Carrie’s home last week as she and her children discovered that there had been a little baby’s life had been taken in that apartment by a former tenant. We wanted to pray over that home and pray against the spirit of death and pray for the Spirit of life to dwell there. We prayed over every room and anointed them… even the bathroom! Why? Well, the enemy can also grip us with lies about who we are in that place. So, it was powerful and God was moving and we took turns praying. Before I left, Carrie asked her daughter, Trinity, if she would be ok with me praying for her. She said yes and we had a great talk first and it was in her room that I sensed a spirit of anxiety. She readily affirmed that social anxiety was a huge struggle for her. As we talked it became clear that even days before when Sharon was there that she struggled even with living itself and through Sharon’s hug, she felt the presence of God. She wanted more and that led us to a time of prayer where she gave her life to Jesus! It was such a strong affirmation that God has placed on my heart to see new adoptions into God’s family and raise up sons and daughters of the King!