"Emergency! Emergency! We're taking on water! Is there anyone that can help?" It was a frantic cry that went out for assistance from any nearby ships. As the radio crackled and the wind whipped at the boat, the desperate crew sent another call for help. "Mayday! Mayday! We are a team of crew members and we are afraid we'll capsize! Is there anyone who can assist?" A faint response suddenly crackled through the speaker as the voice asked authoritatively, "Where is your captain?" The sailor looked at another crew member as he said yelled, "He's...he's sleeping..." The response at the other end came through so low, the sailor thought the radio was water-logged. Clenching the receiver, the sailor yelled, "Can you repeat that?" The voice on the other end spoke more loudly and slowly this time as it echoed through the bridge, "Then wake Him up."
While it's a fictitious story, it's happening every day in the lives of believers. They're dealing with all kinds of severe storms, trauma and giants. And yet, many don't know they need to wake Jesus up. Furthermore, these terrified and desperate people don't realize they should be resting - while God and Jesus work. What do you do when coronavirus hits, your finances are depleted, it's the end of the year and you have no savings left and it looks like there's no help in sight? God is saying in this season, "Tell them you don't have to worry." We serve a loving God who wants His people confident in Him. But first, we need to explore why your positioning in this storm is important.
Image Credit: Sail Magazine
“Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm,” Syrus Publilius
This morning as I sipped my coffee and stared out at the Hudson River, I saw an interesting sight. A barge looked like it was moving. However, after locking my gaze on it for several seconds, I realized it was anchored, but the winds were so high it caused the large vessel to slowly drift right and then left. I realized it was anchored.
It's a funny thing about anchors and why boats use them in severe weather. Why wouldn't you pull into shore or dock somewhere to ride out the storm? I'd read that research has shown it's better for boats to anchor at sea. And yet, wouldn't that cause more damage?
The first thing a novice boat captain might do in severe weather is head for shore. The problem is, staying in open waters can actually help ships avoid certain dangers. Going ashore makes a boat vulnerable to rocky surfaces underground. These can tear up the keel and damage the hull (image shown).
Another concern is the waves...
Waves crash more severely in a storm when a boat gets closer to shore. Hence, hesitating and turning back isn't an option. And, that's what happened to Thor.
Thor Hyerdahl, the captain of the raft, Kon Tiki, sailed across the Pacific Ocean in 1947. He risked everything for the venture and knew it was a one-way journey. As Thomas Fuller describes in a quote about sailing, “He that will not sail till all dangers are over must never put to sea.”
"And the LORD said unto Satan, 'Hast thou considered my servant Job?'" Job 2:3
What's interesting about boats at sea is boaters use a "heave to" approach. This is a technique found in boating manuals like, The Storm Tactics Handbook.
To avoid waves capsizing their vessels, boaters might turn their vessels to point at the winds. This makes the boats less likely to roll by massive sea waves. This is actually one of the safest positioning's for boats. And, in certain types of storms, no one has to stay at the helm. It's safe for the captain and crew to go below.
In revisiting our opening story, why did Jesus (the captain) know it was safe to go below but his experienced crew (the disciples) did not?
Father God said for this year that He's removing our enemies and He's removing stubborn pride. But, there's something else that He said that we need to stay in prayer over.
Maybe late last year or in the middle of the year, in Messages From God, Father God started talking about "the crowds." He'd say things about the crowds being too much. We know a crowd or group think mentality can sway people in a direction without them thinking of the consequences. It's like peer pressure. As an example, a mob stoned Stephen in the book of Acts. Mobs were against Jesus and often tried to come against Our Precious Lord and Savior. And, even in the news, we hear about crowds and mob mindsets.
Last year in July, in a Philadelphia suburb, a mob attacked and killed a man. He'd stolen an SUV with children still in the back seat. He only made it a few blocks before bystanders caught up with him. Fortunately, we don't have to worry about crowds because we serve God through Jesus Christ and Our God is all-knowing and all-powerful. The Bible states in Isaiah 59:19, "So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him." So what is God doing about the crowds? And, these storms and giants? Actually, quite a lot.
Crowds are trying to come against the Body of Christ. There are more groups online, specifically hate groups and witchcraft that are uniting. They've come against President Trump, they're trying to come against Christians. I can remember Pastor Ryan Lestrange's Instagram page where they mentioned how the witches tried to shut their ministry down. So crowds - especially those against Christians - are a significant problem. And, maybe you've experienced this, too, this year.
Several prophets have mentioned online over the past several months that there are attacks coming against ALL BELIEVERS. You may have come under a severe satanic attack or felt the effects of witchcraft and had to pray against it. In Father God's messages through Prophet Lana Vawser which we included in Fearless and Need a Word, Good acknowledges in multiple messages that His prophets have been under attack.
Many are crying out to God for help. Many are struggling to see their way clear. They're doing everything RIGHT but it looks like every attempt is only making matters worse. That's a test in this season to KEEP PRESSING IN TO GOD. The Lord is saying refreshing is coming for so many in need. And, this is significant. Remember, God gives man free will in this world. However, the Bible states that man cannot touch God's prophets or His Chosen Ones. So, when God allows a thing temporarily - it's only temporary. Meaning God is preparing a table for us and we can expect a big move from God to stop the enemy. I saw this firsthand.
We've had issues with my downstairs neighbor and my next door neighbor having demons. These are both men that are unemployed and vulnerable to substance abuse because they don't have relationships with God. However, when we prayed for them, a strange thing happened. I honestly believe the demon in my next door neighbor went downstairs.
My next door neighbor who was belligerent and verbally abusive to his girlfriend is now loving and kind, praise God. But, he didn't start that way. He had an intimidation demon and used to menace her. He'd chase her through their apartment and threaten to harm her. I'd stand at the wall and pray in the spirit and he left for a few weeks and now that he's back, there's none of that old behavior. But, I am seeing it in my downstairs neighbor.
My downstairs neighbor used to be quiet and passive but if I even walk into my kitchen he starts yelling curses and threats upstairs. It's a demon similar to what I heard next door. He's smoking marijuana a few times a day and yelling loudly out the window. He's pretending he's okay but and when I walk in, he starts getting agitated. A few pastors say its the anointing in me that the demons in him can sense. And, I've seen this before. A girl on my old job would start slamming the phones down and yelling and screaming on Monday mornings. Why? I'd just come back from revival service or church that Sunday. So, we keep my downstairs neighbor in prayer for deliverance.
But, what's strange about it is at one point, he was yelling loudly out the window and Father God told me to say, "Tell him you will leave God's people alone." I've been saying that every time I hear him start yelling. In Kent Christmas's video "The Enemy is More Afraid Than You" it's important that we understand the significance of this. We're in the end times and God's people are growing stronger in the Lord and the power of His might. We know that. However, what we don't SEE is how uncomfortable satan and his demons are right now.
As God pours out His spirit on us, the devil is scrambling because he's losing ground - and God's people are enlarging their territories. And, what's strange is the timing in all this. Some are questioning why the stimulus is delayed. Others are asking why it looks like God is taking so long to offer relief - but don't make this mistake. Father God said several times through us, "Relief is coming soon." But, God also gave a warning. He said through Lana Vawser, we're not to complain about God's process - just trust Him.
I remember my mom saying months ago that God was setting us apart for the entire year so in the back of my mind, I thought maybe we'd have to wait until January 2021. I hunkered in and said, "Okay, Lord. We'll wait on You. Though You slay us, yet shall we trust You." Like the boats in severe storms that ride out the winds and the waves, we've got to get our anchors out and wait on God. And, it made sense what my mom said. I looked at this as a year of rest (isolation from our enemies). What substantiates it more is the timeframe with the vaccines. Notice that they're just now starting in late November, early December for mass January distribution which President Trump stated (Holy Spirit working in him). But, then there's another side to this and another reason why we as God's people don't have to worry.
Hank Kunneman described it like this. He said in so many words that God is giving the enemy time to repent. God and the prophets and now most believers who are following this election closely KNOW the enemy rigged the election. God KNOWS they made animal sacrifices, too.
In Messages From God a few weeks after the election, Father God even said for them to stop sacrificing animals. God KNOWS they tried to bind President Trump. That goes back to the interview Dr. Francis Myles had in a Charisma News Excerpt. (See Can You Believe the Election Results, 11/14 link). He saw the attack against the President in the spirit realm. Then there are the dreams Dutch Sheets had about Philadelphia and our founding fathers. And, Father God keeps saying to "Pray for Philadelphia." There was even a fire at the church in New York where the Liberty Bell was once stored. So, God knows ALL of this but we serve a loving God who is merciful. Just like God gave Nineveh time to repent, God is showing mercy before He turns the tables.
Hence, it's important that you plead the blood of Jesus and do everything in Jesus's name and by God's authority. Do this without wavering or doubting. Remember, God gave His authority to Jesus who gave it to us, glory to God!
But let's back up for a second and address something with the crowds and why we need confidence in God through every storm.
When God mentioned the crowds were too much, I didn't really make the association with what God said until Covid started shutting everything down.
With social distancing, it's become harder for groups to gather. It's likely they're starting to migrate online in social media groups and online conferences. The concern though is some of these groups mean to cause harm to Christians.
There are more movies in Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and other movie streaming sites about practicing witchcraft, it's very alarming. I started watching a movie about a young woman rebuilding her life. She went to talk with her friend about the new guy but the friend said, "No, first, let's go sit under this tree and call on the dead." Wait, what? That wasn't in the trailer. In another show, a young girl starts waving a magic wand in the air to silence an adult she didn't like. And, more and more movies and shows are introducing witchcraft as a way to get back at your ex, or get the new job or money you need. These are red flags and warnings to Christians and the entire Body of Christ that we must remain vigilant and increase our prayer life. People can now join a séance online or tap into all kinds of spells - from Netflix shows and movies. Seriously? Come now, Lord Jesus!
Pastor Robert Clancy in one of his prayer teachings explained it like this. When we pray, it's not just canceling the devil's assignment. Yes, that's an important step. However, we must ask Father God to increase our wisdom.
We must pray to break up demonic groups and we have to state that as we dismantle them, they can't reunite again. This goes back to the Bible verse about when a demon is cast out of a person and returns it finds the home (person) swept clean. It then comes back with more demons. So, we're in a year where God is giving us more time because the enemy is uniting their forces, too. What confirms this is when I heard in the spirit realm on or just before election day, "We need more time."
SPOILER ALERT: We've ALREADY won. So, how do we confidently navigate every storm? And importantly, when we're on our boats in that storm, how can we sleep soundly below like Jesus did?
"He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still," Psalm 107:29
Navigating through calm weather is easy. But it takes courage and focused faith to get through life's challenges. In Pastor Joel Osteen's recent message (above), he gave a hope-filled message, but it was shocking that he NEVER said "Jesus." He mentioned a few tips on persevering through challenging times but I would have added: "Cast your cares upon the Lord and He will sustain you" and "Many are the afflictions of the righteous but God delivers us FROM THEM ALL." I would have also included that "Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly" and God's instructions in the Bible to "Call on Me [God] in the day of trouble and I will deliver you and you shall glorify Me." He also forgot to include Mark 11:22-26: "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 soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses."
To successfully navigate EVERY storm, we must walk in God's will and trust Him to make the way for us. God NEVER fails and He WANTS us to call on Him and invite Him into every storm and every situation where we need help.
Here are a few tips:
1. Invite God into EVERYTHING and Learn from Jesus's Example
God is not presumptive. He won't overstep our freewill. We must call on God and ask Him to please help us. The disciples invited Jesus onto the boat with them. Peter asked Jesus to help him when he was sinking on the water. We must do this as a two-step process: Invite God in AND be obedient to what God says.
Matthew 14:25-32: And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, LORD, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, LORD, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.
To help you obey God:
2. After a Severe Attack, Make Repairs and Reinforcements
There have been a couple of stories about warships that withstood fierce battles. The USS Alabama or "Mighty A" provided naval gunfire for multiple troops. It also served as protection for US aircraft carriers in 1943. It, along with other battleships survived Typhoon Cobra in December 1944. It went in for an overhaul at Puget Sound. Then, the following June it rode out another typhoon.
At times we need repairs mentally. We also want to avoid battle-fatigue as Christians. Because of the devil's relentless attacks, we need time away. This is not retreating from battle. But it IS coming away from the front lines.
To help you make reinforcements:
3. Understand That Some Things are Out of Our Control, Leave Room for God
When the USS Wisconsin got caught in Typhoon Cobra, it was a terrible time. In all, the torrential storm overturned 7 fleet carriers, 8 battleships, 50 destroyers, 6 light carriers and 3 destroyers that sunk. They were all trying to refuel at sea and were caught off-guard by the severe weather.
They didn't have the advanced weather equipment that we have now to warn them of incoming storms. And, this year, we were caught off-guard, too.
Covid hit everyone out of the blue. Schools, businesses, retail, entertainment, transportation and other industries were all suddenly affected. There were people who had savings but no plan. Others had no savings at all. Some took the little money they had and stocked up on groceries. They quickly depleted their savings but stayed in prayer.
God made the way for many people and a lot saw the favor of God like never before. Father God said there were so many that were beating themselves up because they weren't prepared. However, the pandemic represented an unprecedented event so don't beat yourself up.
While many are still in recovery, preparing for the future is important. Pay off your credit cards and other debts and don't carry a car note if you can avoid it. Some households were able to get into mortgage relief programs. And, there were students and younger people who roomed with friends or family. Others stocked up on groceries and scaled back on entertainment and other items that can eat at your budget. These are all ways to reduce excess spending and trim the sails, so to speak. But, remember to leave room for God.
The Bible teaches us that God supplies ALL our needs. We're to call on Father God when trouble hits so He can help us. This goes back to the Deuteronomy 28:1-14 blessings. God is faithful so we must believe and don't doubt.
4. Remove All Hindrances (Sin and Stubborn Pride)
You know how we mentioned God is removing stubborn pride this year? People perceive this testing in different ways. Many who are lacking money cry out to God immediately for help. Others turn to "old ways" or "old habits". They might call a neighbor for a loan or go to the racetrack. But this year, a lot of those old sources dried up and all the tracks were closed. It's like all the old exit routes were blocked off so people would turn to God.
Sin is another problem. Old behaviors can let satan in. Remember how I described my downstairs neighbor abusing substances? It might have let demons in. Similar to rocks damaging the boat's hull and keel, sin can let the devil in. It's like small cracks in a boat where a little water gets in - and then it's a lot. The devil's plan is to sink your boat. God's plan is to help you patch it up and do better.
To help you avoid sin:
5. Expect Different Types of Storms (Testing)
I remember watching a movie about a young man going into battle. Before he was selected to lead his team members, his commander said, "Let's test him first." He wanted to know how the young man would react when he faced difficulties, lack of sleep, rejection and other emotional traumas. These are some of the tactics the military uses during Hell Week in their training.
To help you understand how tests and trials might come, remember this crucial point. We don't go through one big test and then there's no further testing. We go from faith to faith and glory to glory. Meaning, we have a test and pass it and then rest and another test comes. If we fail a test, we go back through it.
Ask Father God in prayer to help you understand the different types of test. Then, research in books or online videos how to manage your emotions and reduce stress factors in your life.
Image Credit: Military History Now
6. Stay Prayed Up, Stand Firm and Don't Break Down, Break THROUGH
One of the toughest battleships was the USS Wisconsin (image shown above). It had massive fighting power and it could take a hit. Made from Class A grade plate steel it included nickel and steel. It was so strong, it could withstand a hit from an 18-inch armor-penetrating shell shot over 18,000 yards away. Talk about going long!
Christians need that kind of durability, too. Bit what if you're new to Christ or you've been blindsided by the devil for no reason. How do you start and maintain a prayer-life that's bullet- and shell-proof.
Maybe you're a new Christian. Or, you've been a Christian for years and you're finding that your prayers sometimes work or perhaps they don't. If there are delays and you're not getting answers, maybe you need to change WHAT or HOW you pray or HOW LONG. Simple prayers are fine when you're just starting out as a new believer and only taking in milk. However, to grow in Christ, you need some meat on those bones! There are specific prayers to address your needs as you grow. And, for some, this is a time when God is inviting you deeper into your walk with Him. It's what happened to me.
I used to have this dream about only staying at the shallow end. There was a covering over the middle of the pool and I just couldn't see myself going under without knowing what was there. As I studied the Bible and grew more in Christ, I had that same dream and I dove into the water, swam under that cover and came up on the other side. The way that we gain courage to go deeper and come up is by seeing God work when we call on His Word and invite Him in to help us.
To get in deep water and stand on God's Word requires deeper prayers and patience as you trust God and wait to hear from Him. He might speak to you directly, through others, or show you a sign that He's there. This is important especially if you're attacked verbally at work on Monday and can't get back to church until Sunday service! You need prayers to get you through every day and every attack and obstacle of the devil. Hence, there are all kinds of prayers to rout out demons and cancel all kinds of attacks. There are protection prayers, prayers to stop sicknesses and prayers to block future attacks.
A few sample books on prayers include:
7. Avoid Distractions
Ships run into all kinds of trouble they have to steer clear of. These might include other boats, rocks and icebergs. With Christians, it's a similar concept. We must listen for the Holy Spirit's voice but like a neighbor blasting a radio, it's easy to get distracted. There are demons that will tell you God won't help you. They might try to block your faith with repeated attacks hoping you give up. Hence, you have to set your face like flint and focus on Jesus. Staying focused is something He had to manage, as well.
Jesus often only took Peter, James and John with Him when He performed miracles. He did this because God doesn't want us to doubt His abilities. This is demonstrated in 1 John 4:17, "Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world." Remember, we walk by faith and not by sight. Even in the stormiest seas, don't go by what you sea!
A few important verses include:
Image Credit: US Archives
8. Expect Severe Winds (Attacks) but Trust Confidently in God and Know When to Engage
The Bible teaches us in 2 Corinthians 10:4 that, "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds." There are times when God will have us stand against the enemy. Like a boat sitting in drydock, it isn't tested until it gets out into the water.
God might have you stand up for yourself when someone comes against you. Other times He might tell you not to say anything at all and walk away. Like the 2 Timothy 1:7 verse in the last section, God doesn't want us afraid. He wants us confident in Him. However, that comes with testing.
When my downstairs neighbor first started harassing me, God would tell me several times to walk away. One day Father God said the opposite. He told me to rebuke him and tell him to leave my family alone. I said it in the loudest voice I could. For several weeks, my neighbor was quiet and we had peace again. But, then he started abusing more substances.
Image Credit: OGL
"But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;), Ephesians 2:4-5
And He said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's," 2 Chronicles 20:15
Ultimately, storms will come and go. As God's people, we have to do our parts and stand strong on God's Word. Severe storms aren't a time to head to shore because that can make matters worse. In our biggest storms, it's time to say to Father God/Yahweh, "Lord, I give you all the glory, honor and praise. I come to you with my BIGGEST storm/battle/problem and expectantly I KNOW You will give me my GREATEST victory. Show me the way, Lord. And I give You ALL the praise. I glorify You because I know IT'S ALREADY DONE in Jesus's name and by God's authority, Have thine own way, Lord, Amen."
Expect big victories in God. It takes time but get this in your mindset: Every battle is an indication that a blessing is coming. The bigger the storm or battle, the bigger we will be celebrating. So, this year, with all the nonsense that we've all gone through, expect the MIGHTIEST AND BIGGEST MOVE OF GOD. He is restoring us (Joel 2:25) and WE WILL HAVE EVIDENCE SOON! Hallelu-Yahweh!
Have faith because we won this battle over 2,000 years ago. If anything, look for ways to avoid distractions and increase your confidence in God. What God has coming to bless and help us will be mighty and according to what Father God has been saying prophetically, God has a surprise for the devil and his demons - and they won't know what hit him! To God be ALL the glory! He won't fail!