Watch The Company You Keep

1 Corinthians 15:33-34 NIV Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.

What the Apostle Paul was saying in this passage of scripture is when you associate with false teachers, or false prophets, or those who don’t operate in holiness you can be easily influenced by them. False teachings do not lead to holiness, so it’s crucial that you are careful of who you listen to or form relationships with. This goes for those within the church and outside of the church, because everyone that cries Lord, Lord is not saved. I always say you must know them by the fruit that they bear and not the suit that they wear. People will show you a representative of themselves while camouflaging who they really are.

You must have a strong spirit of discernment, which means to possess wisdom and be of good judgement. Especially in the things that are sometimes overlooked by other people. For example, you may be under a leader that’s struggling with alcoholism or addiction but because that leader is heavily anointed and can preach the house down, some may tend to overlook his vices. However, if you are strong in your conviction, you may choose not to sit under someone who hasn’t been delivered from those things. On the other hand, there could be people that may choose to stay and accept those behaviors. What’s dangerous about accepting this behavior is that it becomes normal and pretty soon you become desensitized to their wrongdoing.

Conversely, we should also be careful when hanging around unsaved friends outside of the church. Sometimes corrupt behavior can cause even the strongest Christian to waver in their faith which can affect your walk with God and your witness to the world. This is why Paul tells us, “Do not be misled.” Think about this, if you are around someone that constantly uses profanity and their behavior is left unchecked, pretty soon you may start to use profanity too. it’s called a transference of spirits.

This is especially important for young people who are often easily influenced by their peers. Some young people desperately seek the approval of others and lose sight of who they are. They tend to bucket under peer pressure, which causes them to make unwise decisions. Therefore, it is imperative for parents to keep a watchful eye of their children’s friends and pray against the influence of bad company.

Remember, when you associate with or partake in the company of people with sinful behavior and morals, you can run the risk of mimicking their behaviors, their language, and their habits. Before long you are no longer of God, but of the world.

The Spirit of Jealousy

The spirit of jealousy is a stronghold spirit that will obstruct your vision, block your blessings and destroy your sanity.  It is a spirit that creates division and strife in your relations whether it’s family or friends. It is evil, vile, disgusting and deceptive and will cause harm to you if challenged. Proverbs 6:34(ESV) For jealousy makes a man furious, and he will not spare when he takes revenge

Jealously caused Cain to murder his brother Abel because of the favor that he obtained from God by offering a more pleasing and acceptable sacrifice. This is where the bible demonstrates jealousy between family members. Your family and close friends are familiar with you, they know your secrets, and they know your truth. They can’t see you for who God has ordained you to be because they can’t see past who you use to be.

Oftentimes the spirit of jealousy may rise up in some relationships if you’ve outgrown or surpassed them. Satan will use those who are closest to you as distractions to keep you from ascending to your highest level of blessings. His mission is to kill your spirit, steal your joy and destroy your sense of peace. You must not allow haters to destroy your destiny. Their purpose is to derail you from your assignment because they don’t know who they are.

Jealousy will also cause you to miss your blessings when you are busy showing hatred towards others who are blessed. Don’t get mad at them because they’re walking in greatness, and you want to remain in mediocrity. Allow God to cleanse you and remove the spirit of jealous so that you can operate in your God given gifts. You will experience the spiritual freedom that enables you to live a victorious life so that your assignment will be manifested on earth.

A Christian Checklist

Can we hold man to standard that God doesn’t hold us to? He doesn’t hold us to a checklist that we can’t meet, so why should you hold others to a checklist? First examine yourself to see if you are not practicing the things that Mark outlines in Mark 7:21-23 ESVFor from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

How many of us can say that we haven’t done or are not guilty of any of these sinful behaviors? I’ll bet if you are honest with yourself, there are probably about five things on that list that you can check off as not having done. God knew man was flawed which is why he sent his son Jesus into the world to redeem us from sin and unrighteousness. So as humans wrapped in flesh, we will never be able meet the list of all the requirements that it takes to become upstanding Christians with good moral character and values.

We must learn to operate in the spirit and not the flesh and create a checklist or a daily routine to feed our spirit man. For example: Having a consistent prayer life, studying and meditating on God’s word, fasting and denying our flesh of ungodly acts and thoughts, saturating ourselves with the things of God so that we can recognize his highest good for us and listening to Him for direction so that we can navigate through this world of sin.  His word will teach you how to live in this world and not be consumed by the things of this world.

You must live each day knowing that Jesus is in control so allow him to take on the things that are beyond your control. What you think is impossible, to God it is possible so release whatever is keeping you from living a godly life and allow him to deliver you from it. Trust that everything will be okay so that you can focus on being the best version of yourself. God has positioned you for greatness, don’t allow the enemy to steal the person that He has called you to me.

Divine Purpose

Your divine purpose is basically your reason for existing, it is your reason for being on this earth. It is something that aligns with your spirit, it is something that you do that is effortless, it’s what comes naturally. It’s what makes you feel comfortable in your own skin. It is a joy that you feel when you’re operating in your calling, assignment, or gifts that God has place inside you. When you know your divine purpose, you will allow the Holy Spirit to guide you towards your destiny and what action to take to get there. You will live a life that is more intentional so that your thoughts are always aligned with God.

Jesus’ divine purpose was ordained before the beginning of time, his destiny was to die on the cross to defeat sin and death and reestablish our relationship with God the Father, therefore he knew what he was brought down to earth to do. Before Jesus’ death, Mary anointed His head with an expensive jar of perfume which revealed why he was on earth. She did this before the people so they would know that He was the Saviour that they had been waiting for. God has anointed you and set apart the people that he has ordained for you to influence, lead and set free, you are the one that they have been waitng for.

So, when your vision doesn’t materialize and your dreams are not fulfilled, you must have confidence that God is not finished with you. Have the faith to diligently seek his direction for your life. I encourage you to get before God, lay prostrate in your prayer closest, or get into a quiet place, meditate on his word so that you can get instruction on what your divine purpose is. Then allow the holy spirit to lead you to why you were put on this earth. Be intentional in your assignment because It is up to you to recognize your divine purpose and understand that it is not for you, but it is for God’s people.  

Agape Love

Agape Love is unconditional love from God our father. He sacrificed his only son to redeem us from sin, who paid a debt that he didn’t owe so that we may live and move in victory. This act of love enables us to walk in our assignments to advance God’s kingdom here in the earth realm until the return of Jesus Christ.

God’s love isn’t based off of how he feels, it is an expression of who He is. 1John 4:8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. “God is love,” therefore if you know him then you will be equipped to demonstrate the same undeserving love that he gives you. It is intentional because you belong to him which enables you to look past a person’s faults and ill desires to see their needs. This Godly love should be demonstrated through your actions where you put others before yourself and invest in their wellbeing.

Agape love is being selfless not selfish which means being unconcerned with yourself and focusing more on the concerns of others. It’s developing others and bringing out the greatness in them because when you lift up others you can fight the powers of the enemy together.

When I think about unconditional love and what the looks like I go to 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 which lays out a list of things that defines it.  Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. “

This is the blueprint that should be used to show unconditional love. Learn to be patient with others and respect each other’s differences. Lead with love and kindness in how you communicate and interact with others. Honor others by not speaking ill will or saying disrespectful things. Frame your words carefully and think about what you say before you say it so that it won’t offend others.

There will be times when you may get angry with others, but you must learn to resolve things quickly, forgive and move on.  The bible says in “Ephesians 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:” Don’t keep a tally of past wrong doings or keep score of who hurt the other person the most. You have to let things go because hanging on to negativity only keeps you in bondage.

Always be truthful, honest and trustworthy because these core attributes will build unconditional relationships that are sent by God. To have unconditional love takes hard work, commitment and most importantly, God.  You must love others the way God loves you. When you have a close relationship with Him and experience His love and unmerited favor then you will know what genuine unconditional love looks like.