There’s an army rising up

We were created to worship. Whether through proclaiming His word over our lives and others, laying prostrate on the ground in silent meditation, dancing, or lifting up holy hands and making a joyful noise in song to Him, we were created to worship the living God, He is very real. I have heard it said and I do agree that praise and worship is simply part of who we are, because of this we cannot get away from the desire to worship. It is as if it were genetically programmed into our very DNA. Down to the cellular level, we must worship. As a former worship leader in heaven Satan knows this and uses this pre-programmed need we have to his tactical advantage, as he works to present a variety of things before us in an attempt to get mankind to worship something other than that which we were created to. Things like money, sex, drugs, certain types of music, sports, cars, women, men, our children, gold and silver adorned trees, colored eggs and cute little bunnies, this list of idols can go on and on. Anything he can present to you to capture your attention enough to seduce you away from serving and worshiping the God of all creation.
We know from the scriptural account found in Matthew chapter four, that when Christ Jesus was weak and hungry as a result of spending forty days fasting in the wilderness, Satan came to tempt even Him and took Him to an exceedingly high mountain top and showed Him all of the kingdoms of the world and their glory. He told Jesus, “all these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” You see, all the power and glory of the kingdoms of the world were given to the devil and he can give them to whom ever he wills. But Jesus rebuked him and said, “ Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”It is written”, three powerful words. I often teach of the importance of this simple sentence. Every follower of Christ should be able to rebuke the enemy by the power of the word of God because for every circumstance, for every attack, you will find in His word an “It is written”, to not only counter the attack but rise above it with a powerful sustained victory. It works for Christ Jesus and John tells us that if we say we abide in Him then we ought to walk as He walked.
Thank God we have the instruction manual we need to help us navigate through this broken world and the obstacles put in place by Satan, as we seek the face of the Father on our path to a life everlasting with Him.Thank God for that perfect love letter we call the holy bible, His son our Lord and savior Christ Jesus and for his Holy Spirit.
“Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.” (Psalm 150)
Sincere praise and worship is a most powerful medium by which we as humans can form an unabridged connection with God. In its purest form worship can certainly assist us in partnering with powerful heavenly action. I personally have witnessed the receipt of revelations and many miracles, signs and wonders as a result of crying out to God alone and with others in an atmosphere of praise and worship. We know by biblical accounts praise and worship can lead to earth shaking events, Liberating cities and Nations from the grasp of the enemy, the loosening of chains, opening of prison doors and the setting of captives free bringing salvation literally and spiritually as in the case of Paul, Silas and their jailer in Acts 16. Often times when God needs to defeat an army He does not send another army to confront them, but a small band of faithful praising worshipers. “And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.” 2 chronicles 20: 22.
Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous: for praise is fitting for the upright. Psalm 33:1
Praise is fitting for the upright! I cannot stress enough the importance of sincerity and purity of heart while seeking to witness God moving in your life as you pray, worship and praise the Him. Praise and worship can be serious business and should not be taken lightly, especially if you are a worship leader, it is very important to be in such a relationship with the Lord that only by the spirit would you bring a revelation in an atmosphere of worship lest an unclean spirit, a false word or teaching be released upon those you are leading.
Today there is a belief being propagated which teaches that Jesus is a friend of sinners. In essence, it’s ok to be a sinner because Jesus will be your friend. This is a dangerously false message in that it promotes complacency and a resolve to remain in sin. Sin is acting in a manner that is contrary to and in direct defiance to God’s laws. How can we believe Jesus would befriend that? In Matthew Chapter eleven we find Jesus reproving the Pharisees and people for calling Him a friend of sinners and further, condemning entire cities to hell because they refused to repent.
“For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children. Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.”
Yes he dined with the sinners and publicans but as he said, “They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” From sick to healed implies a positive change. Repentance, turning from sin was of primary importance in the teachings of Christ Jesus and the healings that accompanied Him, because the wages of sin are death. “Verily verily, I say unto you. ‘If a man keep my saying he shall never see death.” Jesus, John 8: 51. Commonly we find Jesus instructing people He had healed or set free from some persecution to, “go and sin no more”. Jesus said in John 15:14,”Ye are my friends if you do whatsoever I command you”.
To teach believers that they are sinners is a sure way of breeding faithlessness, disappointment and destruction in their relationship with God and sadly, an ineffective prayer life. In psalm 66:18 we find, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:” To be truly effective, a sincere desire to shed sin and pursue righteousness is paramount. James tells us in chapter five verse sixteen, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” In John 9:31 we are taught, “Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.” God does not hear sinners so to be heard we must become something different than a sinner, we must become a repenter. There is a vast difference between one who rests in the fleshly pleasure and comfort of sin with no desire to change and one who is striveing to be set free from the death wadges of sin, one who is willing to honestly self reflect, recognize and shed the flesh and faults, repent and be healed. One who is willing to knowingly accept the salvation God has for us through His son our lord and savior Christ Jesus. “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” John 4: 23-24. This to me fully evidences the importance of shedding ones self while entering into praise and worship to give God all the honor and glory we can muster and press in to His presance by our very spirit, in all sincerity.

Does this mean that we have to achieve some level of perfection before we can seek to enter into a relationship with God, do His will and seek His presence? Absolutely not, I fermly believe He told me some time ago reguarding this, “You do not have to be perfect, just perfectly willing to submit to me and all the changes I want to make in you and your life.” Again, to teach believers that they are sinners is a sure way of breeding faithlessness, disappointment and destruction in their relationship with God and sadly, an ineffective prayer life. Believers must learn repentance. This world needs less ineffective victims and more effective victors. This world needs more righteous believers who know, understand and believe in the word of God, who know and understand the power of the spoken word and the power of unity.

There is great power in the spoken word and right or wrong, for the good or for wicked, faith works. In Genesis Chapter one, the scriptures very clearly describe how our creator spoke into existence all that there is. In Genesis 1:26 it is written, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth”. The implication here is that with being made in the image and likeness of God, along with being given dominion over all the earth, man has been given certain abilities, some of which, though obviously not bearing the same infinite and omnipotent power, are in the likeness of our creator. One such ability is the power to speak an outcome into situations, to actually speak proclaiming a desire, in faith, believing, and it will be given to you. Jesus revealed and certified this truth by his actions and teachings, as evidenced in the following scriptures.
And Jesus said unto them, “Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you”. Matthew 17:20
Jesus answered and said unto them, “Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive”. Matthew 21: 21-22
And Jesus answering saith unto them, “Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things so ever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them”. Mark 11:22-26 (KJV)
Throughout history there have been many examples where situations have changed and lives have been affected simply by the words spoken into the atmosphere. We know all too well the devastating power behind a gossip or a slander, and conversely we know the power behind a great referral, a compliment or words of adoration. We know how words of anger or joy can shape the atmosphere in a room. Some are even perceptive to and affected by others thoughts, attitudes and hidden emotions. These concepts and how they affect us are commonly and naturally understood. I want to show you some examples of how thoughts and words can shape the world around us in a more supernatural way.
In my own life I have personal experiences which lend to confirm to me the great power of the spoken word and how it can affect our surroundings and lives, for instance, I have had the pleasure in my life of being a father, a business owner and also to spend more than twenty years as a head coach for many different sports. As a coach I instructed at age levels spanning from young children to adults. From the aspect of each of these rolls I believe one of the most important observations I have made is that there is a vast difference in the ability to inspire peak performance and unity of people that comes as a result of instructing from a direction of encouragement and praise as opposed to criticism and ridicule.
What we allow to influence and affect us is ultimately our own choice. Once a prophet of God spoke to me directly about the choices of friends I had made in my life. He said, speaking for God, “The only thing He is asking of you is to pick your company you keep a little more carefully, get around those who are far more life giving, if they are dragging you down get away don’t stay there it’s that simple”. I needed that word of knowledge at that time in my life, it opened my eyes and I took heed of it. I began to monitor the negativity spoken into my life by a select few and began to realize the affect it had, so I got around those who were far more life giving and my life began to drastically improve in many ways. We need to understand that adoration breeds adoration. Kindness goes a long way to create an atmosphere of harmony that is desirous to be in and helps to foster a spirit of unity and loyalty that will transcend division and better allow for proper correction and constructive criticisms. On the other hand a consistent atmosphere of correction through criticism and ridicule is destructive to the best performance desires and aptitude of people and will inevitably open the door for division to creep in. Division most always opens the door for deception, rebellion, sedition, betrayal and chaos, all of these are extremely unpleasant and simply intolerable.
When I was young, in grade school, I remember writing poetry. Once, I even had a teacher in school take an interest in some of the things I had written. She was very encouraging to me. She took such a liking to some of my writings that she began to collect them and later bound them in a book covering she had made just for me. I remember how it made me feel, special and inspired. I know now that much of what I was writing was helping me to cope with events that were happening at that time in my life. My parents had divorced, and with primary custody, my father remarried and suddenly, it seemed, I found myself second to the youngest of eight children in a blended family. Looking back I guess I may have found myself somewhat lost in the mix. Tragically, this beloved teacher of mine was killed in an accident while on holiday that school year. I remember that it had an effect on me that caused me to stop writing for a time. You see, she was an encourager and through her encouragement I was inspired.
My stepmother was and is an encourager as well. When she joined with our family she brought much more than just a new set of grandparents, aunts, uncles, her two daughters, cats and a cool Buick Skylark, she brought love, diplomacy, sacrifice, song, and order to our chaos and at some level, a love for the Lord. She and her siblings were talented musicians and vocalists. I look back very fondly at all of the times when we would get together and have our own personal jam sessions. I truly remember as a child looking forward to the holidays mostly because of this. In time she taught us how to sing and soon we had our own un-official little choir. We sang at family events and holidays and from time to time in the homes of people, mostly elderly, when my mom and dad felt it a good idea, in an attempt to share some joy and lift their spirits. Needless to say along with the influence of that environment and my already established desire to be poetic, it wasn’t long before I was trying to put music to the poetry. I began to learn how to play the guitar and write lyrics. As a new-teen, my mother gave me my first real guitar. I secretly began to dream and at that time I really believed that someday I was going to be a musician. I thought that I was going to carve my niche in life and the music industry by bringing joy to people, serenading them with songs of Love. Then things began to change. As my confidence grew I became less secretive and more public in displaying my musical aspirations. There were some in my surroundings that I loved and respected that began to criticize, mock and poke fun at me regarding this. Soon doubt creped in, I lost confidence and eventually, stopped playing and with the exception of some rare occasions, I put away the guitar and aspirations of singing for more than thirty years.
It seems like only yesterday that because of events in my life, I began to truly seek our Fathers face and come to the Lord in earnest. You see at this time in my life it had been nearly two years since, for the second time in my life, I had weathered through a divorce. The loss of the relationships with those I loved took a great emotional toll on me and I turned to the church and the people there for solace and it is there that I came face to face with the Lord. As I began to seek after Him, He began to put people into my life who, unbeknownst to them, were helping to rekindle a long lost dream and ultimately what I believe to be a plan that God has had for my life from the beginning. These people I speak of spoke life, hope and encouragement into my life. I was encouraged through the awesome power of the gift of the prophetic word through men of God. One day in March of 2008 it was prophesied over me that “This is a new day in your life and all the opportunities you think you missed and wished you could get back, scrap that because God is going to give you major open doors that you could not even imagine. God is restoring repairing your family your life it’s all been broken, destroyed. He is fixing it all without your help you must just let God have his way”. So I did, I let Him have his way. Then a young worship Pastor prophesied over me that I would be married again and soon and that my wife and I would be doing the Lords work. Not long after that my life took a drastic turn for the better. Soon I found myself traveling to Africa and beginning a ministry there. Less than a year later, God presented to me a wonderful woman in Christ who is not only remarkably kind and beautiful but anointed to sing and lead worship. Less than six months later we were married by that same young worship Pastor who I mentioned earlier. My new wife was a single mother of four children that had been led by the Lord to follow her Pastor at that time, as he moved from a neighboring city, to accept a position as worship Pastor at the Church I was attending.
It seems as though God is not without a sense of intriguing humor, little did that young Pastor who prophesied that I would be married soon know that the very woman God selected for me was one from his own worship team. Tomika, my wife, was part of the very worship team that came with him when he moved. Soon after we were married we were asked to consider leading worship for a new program called Celebrate Recovery that was beginning at the same church. It wasn’t long before I was part of and surrounded by a Godly group of people that were encouraging me to brush the dust of my guitar and vocals. It wasn’t very long before we were traveling and performing at different worship events. I began to write again and my abilities to play and sing began to grow again.
Today, a few short years later, we have begun to record our music, God has given us a house of prayer and worship where we have two to three worship services every week and I also lead worship services in another sister church in a neighboring city. What you don’t yet know is that the same prophet that spoke to me about picking the company I keep a bit more carefully also, said this, “You’re a good man with a very kind heart. You struggled so hard in your life to make successes in your life and the devil has messed with your mind to tell you you’re a loser because you keep looking and measuring yourself with the measuring stick that your family uses to measure success what, they say is a success. You’ve had so many disappointments but in the heart and mind and eyes of the Lord you’re a great success because he loves your heart. You get very excited and sometimes almost explosive and you calm right down again very fast you’ve got a very gentle loving heart you just lose control of your emotions some times and that’s only because you feel that you’re not succeeding. So today by the power of his word I release you from that fear, that your life is in the palm of his hands and that you’re not a loser you never have been and that God is going to bless you. God is going to restore to you the very same business the devil stole from you, the exact same one and you’re going to be blessed and God is going to restore it to you but you will not line yourself up with the wrong brethren because you trusted everyone and the wrong people and you’re not. You’re going to be careful to trust the Lord and hear him you’re going to do what God says.
My life is in the palm of his hands? He is going to restore the very same business the devil stole and God is going to bless it? What could this mean? In my life I have had a few businesses all successful all seemingly taken in some fashion or another. Over the course of the last few years since this was spoken over me, I have been looking for God to replace the business that his Prophet spoke of. In the mean time, we have just been doing what seems to come naturally, ministering His word and singing His praises. It has been an exciting walk of faith as we seek to touch lives for His glory we are growing in His spirit. As I stated earlier we now have been given a house of prayer and worship that is growing, along with leading praise and worship in other local churches, we have received invitations from people around the country and in different nations to minister. We have begun to record our songs and it is very rewarding to hear how the worship is bringing healing and touching lives. It was as I was writing this chapter that I came to a glorious revelation. My life is in the palm of His hands and He has been restoring that business that the devil stole and it is being blessed increasingly. It just wasn’t what I ever anticipated it to be. You see it’s the Lords work, the music, it is the bringing joy to people, serenading them with songs of Love, only these songs of love are about the love of the Lord and His love for us.
Triskaidekaphobia, pronounced (trisk-aid- deka-phobia) It’s kind of a fun word to say don’t you think? Triskaidekaphobia is the term used to describe an undeniable psychological phenomenon that affects many people in our society, in truth, it has a powerful affect over people, objects and atmospheres worldwide. Triskaidekaphobia is the fear of the number thirteen. The number thirteen has been, for the most part, considered unlucky or bewitched since ancient times.
No one really knows the origin of the darkness associated with the number but some claim the ancient Hebrews thought thirteen was unlucky because the thirteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet is the letter M, which is the first letter in the word “mavet,” meaning death. Some believe that thirteen is unlucky because it follows twelve, which in ancient Babylonia, China, and Rome was considered to be a lucky number. Other say the root of this belief was established through witches covens because they traditionally had thirteen members. Ancient pagan beliefs held that thirteen was a magic number. Some like to trace the origins of fear of the number thirteen to the Biblical account of the last supper.

“And it was in the evening that he came with the twelve. As they were at the table eating, Jesus said ‘Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.’ They began to be sorrowful, and to say to him one after another ‘Is it I?’ He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping in the same dish with me. For the Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.’ “(Mark 14: 17-21)

This belief clearly infers that one of the men is evil and cursed for his betrayal of Jesus. “woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born”, he was the odd man out, the thirteenth man.
In many cultures the day of Friday the thirteenth has been held as an unlucky day and many people have even developed stories and personal testimonies describing how events in their life of an “unlucky” nature occurred on that day! Could it be superstition and coincidence? I don’t believe so. Consider the following statistic. Otis Elevators, one of the largest elevator companies in the world, estimates that more than eighty-five percent (85%) of the buildings across the globe having thirteen floors or more, refuse to recognize a thirteenth floor in any literature or labeling regarding their building. This includes doorways, building or hotel directories and the floor selector push buttons in elevators. Have you ever noticed that most elevator button panels go from 12 to 12A then to 14? Some just skip right over and go from 12 to 14. Why is this? Well according to historical accounts, as soon as technology, material quality and building techniques increased allowing man to build buildings over thirteen floors, people began to speak of the unluckiness associated with the number thirteen referring to the thirteenth floor.
As warnings, subtle murmurings, fearful whispers, gossips, rumors of calamities and catastrophes grew, so in reality, did the occurrences of catastrophic events on that specific floor. Oddly enough, over time, statistics started to evidence a dramatic disparity between that of the thirteenth floor and any other floor by comparison. Suddenly these calamitous events began to rise exponentially. Events like fires, murders, suicides and robberies, to the point where building and hotel officials, in a desperate attempt to bring an end to the escalation of these events, simply began to deny the existence of a thirteenth floor, they then relabeled their buildings and literature accordingly. This simple act of refusing to recognize the number began to bring an end to the incidents and when word got out, it swept across the entire world as others followed suit. It is difficult to grasp but this phenomenon affected people worldwide. It crossed cultural and language barriers, political and governmental structures could not prevent it. This phenomenon proceeded with impunity, with no respect for persons or worldly authorities and it was propelled by the power of the spoken word, en masse. Now, as I have stated earlier, to this day, eighty-five percent (85%), or more, of the buildings in the entire world refuse to recognize a thirteenth floor.
In Japan, Dr. Masaro Emoto has been conducting experiments on the effects of thoughts, emotions and words, on water. According to Dr. Emoto, his experiments prove conclusively that thoughts, feelings and emotions have great power over our environment. He claims to have discovered and proven that prayer, blessing and strong feelings can physically change the crystalline structure of water molecules while they are forming ice crystals. As part of his research Dr. Emoto prayed, meditated and spoke positive words of exaltation over water and the results were beautiful, well formed, ice crystals when frozen. Conversely he experimented speaking negatively and directing negative thoughts towards water and the result was ice crystals were grossly mal-formed. After repeating his experiments multiple times, the results were remarkably consistent. His work is very compelling.
Another experiment Dr. Emoto performed a multitude of times was with cooked rice. Essentially, he placed rice in three different sealed containers. On one container he placed labels with words of exaltation and love written on them. The second container he labeled with negative and demeaning words. On the third he placed no labels, this was the control. Each time the experiment yielded that the rice in the container with the negative words decayed more rapidly than the others and the control more rapidly than the rice in the container marked with words of exaltation and love. I have somewhat studied Dr. Emoto’s work and I am convinced that there is truth to it. I believe words thoughts and emotions can have an effect on our surroundings, and objects like our food and water just like we find in Matthew 21:19 when the fig tree was made to wither away by the words spoken to it by Christ Jesus. Imagine the implications when considering that the human body is made up of approximately seventy-five percent (75%) water. To me, this brings a different level of awareness as to how our words, thoughts and emotions can have a direct effect on our overall health and on that of others around us.
There is great power in the spoken word. We know this simply because scripture tells us so. For some of us who follow and believe the teachings of Christ Jesus we have the honor and thrill to witness this power manifest as we pray for and call out a resolution to certain matters such as healing, provision, and guidance. Unfortunately there are those that know of the power of spoken words and use it as a destructive controlling force to direct thoughts and emotions in order to govern the atmosphere. They use this power over individuals and the masses alike. This is essentially divination, or witchcraft. Let me give you an example. How many times have you heard the terms terror, terrorist, weapons of mass destruction and war spoken by the elected officials of this Nation? This propaganda campaign was intended to cause fear in the hearts of Americans to direct their thoughts and emotions, to change the atmosphere in order to gain support for and justify hostile takeovers around the world. Now look at the result. While we were focused on and persuaded by this propaganda, quite arguably the most freedom damaging piece of legislation in the history of our Nation was passed under the guise of a protective measure for our security.
The people of this nation have been divided into multiple differing casts based upon a certain level of awareness and inherent internal righteousness. There are a very few who are in a high state of intellectual consciousness and spiritual awareness, of these few, some are working diligently to use their persuasive powers for wicked intentions these people’s campaign focuses on appealing to the flesh, the sinful carnal nature of man. There are others who are diligently trying to use the power of persuasion for righteous Godly intensions; these are trying to teach others to override the fleshly carnal nature by developing the spiritual man that is Christ Jesus, which resides in each of us. Of these groups one is trying to suppress and control people and the latter trying to liberate them. Then there are the people, the masses. To me this group can be divided into three relatively distinct categories.
To differing extents, two of these groups suffer under the weight of a psychosis brought on by the spirits of control, fear and seduction by convenience. They have been seduced by the convenience of going along with the others in the safety of the mass. They do as they are instructed by traditions and doctrines of men. They are taught at an early age to conform to certain standards and not make waves in the pool of the status quo. They are taught that it is important to please people, to accept indiscretions, to strive to be popular. From any early age people are taught that if they are different t