False Prophet Watch & Breaking Strongholds
Pruning our Branches to Bear Greater Fruits
Jesus has asked me repeatedly during my devotionals to write about the need for purification and personal holiness during the times ahead as practicing personal holiness and repentance draws us closer to the heart of God.
Repentance is an integral part of cleaning up our houses and something we should always be striving for. Striving for holiness does not mean that we are immune to temptation or even falling into sin. Rather, striving for holiness means that when we do sin, we need to recognize it, repent and turn from it. We then need to renounce it and break the ties that we have to it. Doing so will allow us to walk in greater authority just like the disciples did.
Unfortunately, most skip verses 12 and 13 in Romans 8, but these are important instructions for our walk: “Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation, but it is not to the flesh and to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.”
In other words, we must understand that we need to put off the things of our flesh that hinder our closer communion with the Lord. Peter in Acts specifically told people to repent and that we must not live by the flesh and our flesh sins.
When I am broken before the Lord, I weep and lay down everything that I am guilty of doing, including my vain ambitions, my lack of forgiveness at times and so much more. Then when I do this, as I try to do every morning, then I can hear clearer from Him again and I receive the miracles from Him.
When I am on my knees in prayer, this is where His power takes over mine via the Holy Spirit. I believe that after Jesus left the disciples that they were so moved by Him that they personally recognized that they had a purpose and a call for all of them to aspire for personal holiness.
This striving for personal holiness then allowed the disciples to walk in the miracles that Jesus said they would later have that came during Pentecost as per the Book of Acts. However, I strongly believe that we can also walk in these same miracles today.
What is best for us? To those whom much is given, much more will be required. So what is required of us? We are to give Jesus our heart, crucify our fleshly desires and wait and see what the Lord does with us. Why not at least try it? For me personally, this is where I began to see miracles in my life.
Major Pruning: Cutting Vines Down Almost to the Roots
At one point, I made a commitment to go through these steps faithfully for forty full days. During this time, I was tested and tormented so severely by the enemy that I almost gave up. Just before I quit, I finally fell on my knees in prayer destroyed, emptied and willing.
In this state, I cried in anguish, “Lord, please use me now since I have kept my heart toward You and I have done the best I can with what I have been given. Although I am imperfect, I love You. Can I not somehow be of use to You? Is there nothing you can do with me? Lord, if there is nothing You can use me for, then please just take me Home now!”
I shouted this to Him at the top of my lungs, along with “Help, Jesus!” However, my pleas were met with nothing but silence for an entire week. After this torturous week of silence, then suddenly and unexpectedly the dreams began and I heard from Him.
However, this was just the beginning and I struggled until the Lord showed me a pattern. I would hear from Him a little at first and then this would slowly increase. However, when I was disobedient, then I would hear from Him less and less. Then when I would repent for any disobedience, I would hear from Him more again. This went on and on and on until I realized I needed to improve even more in the area of obedience to God.
Now do not get me wrong here; while I have matured more in these areas over this time, I still make a ton of mistakes. Nonetheless, I have grown in Christ Jesus by leaps and bounds just by spending so much time with Him both in prayer and now in person.
Through this slow learning process, I now realize that I would stand for Him and by Him no matter what. I just know that I would die for Him in persecution. Not only would I not have a problem with dying for Him, but it would be my honor.
I soon came to realize that we need to fully understand that if we are to be witnesses and lead people to Christ, then we also have to prepare our fields, the flesh. We need to do this with a tiller and plant the seeds on good soil by make our soil ready for seed using ‘holy fertilizer’.
Once we have done all of this and strive to walk in holiness, then we have to wait in faith for God to provide the rain and the sun in order to grow our crop. This is all necessary so that we might point those to Him in the process.
To bear Good Fruit, a Vine must be Cut Back
It is important to note here that the purpose for me writing all of this is NOT for you to feel condemned as this is from the enemy. The true purpose here is to answer questions on how my personal journey evolved to where I am today in Christ. In no way do I feel better than anyone or privileged as I fully acknowledge that, if I do, all of this will be gone in a heartbeat as God hates a haughty eye.
Now, before I outline the steps to repentance as I understand them, I would like to first respond to those who question whether these steps are Scriptural. For those who question this, all I can say is that I was exactly where you are as I too was taught that, once we are born again, our sins are forgiven.
While this is correct and we are a new creation in Christ, we still war against our flesh and against the things of this world. We also have a new enemy and his minions hate us simply because we love Jesus. We are at war and the entire Bible speaks of all of the people of God who have battled against these forces of evil.
In summary, the Bible is our greatest war manual for battle of any book in existence and is our very weapon in the war and our sword. Therefore we have to take off our old sin nature of our own life and put on a new skin. To help us, we now also have the Holy Spirit now residing in us.
Now, do you still continue to sin? Of course as we all do, no matter how great our intentions may be. However, when you sin, do you sin with the belief that you are saved by grace and therefore no longer have to obey the Laws of God? Many ‘seasoned’ Christians around me believed this and I had unintentionally fell into this trap as well for a while.
Indeed, I spent several years as a Christian wondering why I was constantly under attack and why my prayers or other’s prayers for me were not being answered. The answer, for me anyway, turned out to be that I had not confessed to the sin in my life. Once I became a Christian, I had opened a door and a legal right for the enemy to come in and have access to me and test me for any sin not confessed.
God allows this because we need to learn how to hear from Him and go to Him with our sins and repent of them. I had to learn to listen, hear and obey the Holy Spirit with regards to dealing with this sin, whether these sins were blatant or non-intentional.
Quite simply, when we open our doors to sin, we take authority away from Christ Jesus and give it to the enemy. When we do this, the enemy is allowed to go through these access points and reopen old wounds. We must close these doors off again and seal off our houses. It is the same concept of anointing the thresholds of our homes with oil.
We war not against physical powers, but against spiritual forces. When battling the unseen, we must put on our whole armor of God. In addition to my personal battles, I also learned these steps from several seasoned deliverance pastors and missionaries to foreign countries.
By the way, I have also tried slow conventional systems in removing these strongholds, but none seemed effective and there was still trouble. However, when I used the following simple guidelines that are truly Biblical, while trouble still comes, God now takes me through it in the manner He sees fit and no longer by my will (which is always a disaster).
A great way I remember how we are to confess our sins is to use the acronym ‘R2B2’! Yes, this sounds like the Star Wars character of R2D2 on purpose, but it is a handy way to remember this. R2B2 equals R, R, B and B as follows:
- R: Repent of sin
- R: Renounce the evil spirits
- B: Break any ties with evil entity(s)
- B: Bless
Once I followed this ‘R2B2’ process, I found that I could then walk in even greater freedom and authority in the Name of Jesus.
R as in Repent of Sin
Jesus spoke strongly about the requirement for repentance of our sins in the following Scriptures, though there are many more in the Bible:
Matthew 3:8; Matthew 4:17; Matthew 21:23; Mark 1:4; Acts 2:38; Acts 3:19; Romans 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9; Revelation 2:5 and Revelation 3:3
R as in Renounce the Evil Spirits
Refer to Ephesians 6:10-18 and 1 Peter 5:8-9
B as in Break Any Ties with Evil Entity(s)
One of the ways I break any ties with any evil entities is through the mostly lost ‘art of clapping’. A common misconception is that clapping is only used in praise and worship. However, clapping is also symbolically used in Jewish culture to smite against evil as derived from the Hebrew word, ‘Saphog’. In turn, this Hebrew word has in its root the strong disapproval of wicked men.
The following Scriptures support the breaking of our ties with the enemy by the use of clapping:
Job 27:23; Nahum 3:19; Ezekiel 25:6 and Lamentations 2:15
Therefore, remember when clapping that this is to mean the strong disapproval of ‘wicked men and spirits’.
B as in Bless
Blessing should always be done with everyone that is the Lord’s. Indeed, you should even bless those who curse you. If you do not feel you want to bless those who curse you, then we certainly have something in common. However, to walk in the full authority of Christ Jesus, this is a necessity. We need to do this in order to clean up our house so that we can be a more effective warrior in the battle that rages all around us. This essentially removes you as ‘playing god’ and allows God to deal with all of this in His perfect Will and timing.
Jesus has asked me several times to write on this, but I have been disobedient by procrastinating on this as I know that I could easily lose friends over this. Indeed, I believe that many people will run the other way after reading this as I too had thought that our life after accepting Christ would just be easy instead of even more difficult.
Imagine my surprise when a long-time spiritual warfare expert told me quite some time ago that becoming a Christian would actually mean ramped up attacks not less attacks, but to still trust that God knows what He is doing in our lives. When I heard this, I was skeptical and disappointed as it contradicted what so many long-time Christians had told me. When I later went to the Lord on this, He strongly confirmed that this was correct in my Holy Spirit.
However, it still took many years after this to really understand what it meant to ‘R2B2’. However, once I understood and painstakingly did this, I began to see and walk in greater miracles ever since.
At first, I was upset and felt robbed that the Christian church did not tell me earlier about the power of repentance. Through proper repentance, we are literally taking power from the enemy and putting it back in the hands of Jesus. By the very command of renouncing evil and breaking the legal ties, we are free to be blessed with the good things of the Lord and His gifts.
I believe that even the disciples that walked with Jesus were constantly attacked by evil spirits that used people to do their ‘dirty work’. Paul spoke about his ‘afflictions’ and many believe that these were the evil spirits that hounded him in all he did. However, I believe that all of the disciples were persecuted by evil spirits simply because they stood for a Holy God, Christ Jesus.
In conclusion, Jesus loves a repentant heart! In contrast to us, Jesus was and is without sin and He is perfect. Jesus performed miracles so quickly and it is easy to know why. Since Jesus is sinless and is completely free from the spirit of pride and bitterness, His divine love allows Him to do all of this by His very own authority.
Jesus said in Scripture to ‘go and sin no more.’ However, what happens when we still sin, as we all do? I believe that what I have written outlines what one should do should they fall in the enemy’s trap or the desires of their flesh. While Jesus can still use anyone at any given time, I believe that this is all worth trying.
Even if I am wrong, then what is the worst that can happen? Is it so hard to believe that if you repent, renounce the evil, bind it and send it away in the Name of Jesus that God would honor this? Can anyone argue that the Lord does not love a repentant and empty heart as a viable vessel so that He can become the water and wine to pour out on those who are thirsty so they may drink in HIs love and truth?
In conclusion, I send out to all of you a ‘sparrow challenge’. This challenge is a call to purification and a striving for holiness by those who want to be used of Jesus in miraculous ways in the coming season. Should you take this challenge, I pray that the Lord uses you mightily and guides you in all that you do for His glory.
Blessings and love to you all, Erin
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