Six of Satan’s Devices of Which Not To Be Ignorant

Be Not Ignorant of Satan’s Devices…

Satan would love for the world. and these deluded people to think.    that these people represent Christ

For so long, Satan has gotten the upper hand of me. He’s defeated me in so many ways in which I was not even aware that there was a battle. The bible tells us not to be ignorant of Satan’s devices. So that tells us TWO things: 1. Satan has scheme/plots/plans/devices/strategies under his belt. 2. These devices can be unknown/secretive/clandestine/covert.

Just think in the natural world. When a team is playing basketball or football, they have a play book. This book is to be 100% confidential as far as the other team is concerned. The other team should not know the plans of the opposing team. The plans are supposed to be kept secret so that the team can ultimately DEFEAT the competitor. The other team is to be IGNORANT of the schemes in the other team’s playbook. They can know that the play book exists because I believe every professional team has a playbook, but it is the job of the coach to make sure that the play book does not fall into the wrong hands.

The same goes with covert operations in a war. The enemy is not to know what the other country has under its sleeve as far as attacks are concerned. That is a rule in war.

Well that’s how it goes with Satan, but let’s give him more credit than that. His tricks are FAR superior than the schemes and plays of sports teams and armies. Remember, Satan has been studying human nature since the very beginning. I’m talking about the FIRST TWO HUMANS WHO EVER WALKED THE FACE OF THE EARTH were deceived by Satan in his FIRST attempt! He was good at what he did then, and who are kidding, Satan can only have gotten better at it with time. Some speculate that it’s about 7,000 years later since Adam and Eve were around. Seven millennia and billions of people later will give you a lot of time to practice!

I thank God for the bible. The bible records many of Satan’s devices. If you look through the Old and New Testaments, you can see records of how Satan brought people down. Be not ignorant of His devices. KNOW the enemy. Learn his ways. You should be able to see him coming from a mile away. The older I get in the faith, the more I spot him further away. It used to be that I couldn’t see Satan at work until the damage was already done. But God and the Holy Spirit are making it so that I am PREVENTATIVE against his attacks by knowing which situations Satan works best in and by knowing how he operates. We already know that Satan works through our fleshly lusts and desires, but let’s look at some more unforeseen ways that you would not likely suspect. Satan already knows that seasoned Saints already know to avoid alcohol, drugs, parties, secular music, sex without one’s husband and wife, sexual images, profanity, etc. He knows most Christians can’t be outsmarted by those obvious temptations. So he works in other ways to bring down those in the church. I pray that you all are blessed by this note.

D I V I S I O N

Reading the bible has shown me that God loves the number ONE. He likes when we work as one even though we have many “body parts” and many gifts and ministries. Romans 12:4-5 talks of there being ONE body of Christ. Romans 15:6 talks of Christians glorifying God with ONE mind and ONE mouth. 1 Corinthians 1:10-13 and 1 Corinthians 3:3 talk of how there should be no division and that we should be of ONE and the same baptism, “thing”, mind, and judgment. 1 Corinthians 10:17 talks of us being ONE body and ONE bread. 1 Corinthians 12’s chapter talks of how we are ONE body. 2 Corinthians 13:11 talks of us being of ONE mind. Galatians 3:28 say that we are ONE. Ephesians 4:4 talks of ONE faith and ONE baptism. Philippians 1:27 speaks of us having ONE spirit and ONE mind. Philippians 2:2 talks of us being of ONE accord and ONE mind. Colossians 3:15 talks of being of ONE body. I Peter 3:8 tells us to be of ONE mind. God clearly LOVES when we operate as ONE!

All the aforementioned bible verses prove that God wants us thinking and operating as ONE. But for some reason there are at least 33,000 Christian denominations. How does ONE spirit, ONE mind, ONE faith, ONE baptism, ONE mouth, ONE accord, and ONE body end up in at LEAST 33,000 denominations? Do you think that GOD has anything to do with that high number of division? Absolutely not. Where division is, you can know that Satan is at work. All the talk God gives us of ONE in the New Testaments helps us to know that all these divisions are one of Satan’s devices. When unbelievers hear that Christians disagree in at least 33,000 ways with regards to Christian doctrine, worship, theology, soteriology, and methodology, it makes them mock us. They can’t figure how we all read the same bible that has the same truths and yet can’t agree on the ONE thing God meant in the bible. One of Satan’s devices is division. I’m sure you’ve heard of “divide and conquer”. Well that’s one way in which Satan works. He knows he is POWERLESS against Christ’s ONE huge Christian body. But when it comes to many (33,000?) smaller bodies, he can work well in that. And he has.

W R O N G   A G R E E M E N T S

Satan isn’t as powerful as we think. He can’t really do anything to us unless we ALLOW him too. He has to first get us to AGREE with him before he can wreak havoc in our lives. And do we not agree with him every chance he gives us to? He can have an evil spirit whisper in your ear that you’re gay, and without even thinking, you’ll agree with the evil spirit thinking that it’s your own mind telling you something that it’s true. And guess what? You won’t act on something that you don’t agree with. For example, I won’t murder someone unless I first reach an agreement in my mind that it would be a good idea to do so.

Remember in the wilderness after Jesus had a 40 day fast in Luke 4:3-13? Satan tried to give Jesus an idea. And if Jesus was like us and agreed with Satan, he would have acted on the temptation. But because Jesus has nothing in common with evil, he of course disagreed with Satan. Jesus was not ignorant of Satan’s devices. So what happened? Jesus rejected Satan’s suggestions and the bible says that Satan departed for a SEASON! Imagine that! Imagine a season in which Satan does not try to tempt you to sin! If you learn his devices well enough, you can possibly be free of Satan for a season! Many of us agree with doctors’ bad reports and say that because our parents and grandparents had a certain disease that we too must eventually get this or that disease. We agree with our haters’ opinions of us and say that we will not succeed in life. We agree with the 50% divorce statistic and say it’s only a matter of time before our marriages fail. And in many cases, it’s only after we AGREE with the enemy that chaos ensues. Stop making wrong agreements with Satan. It’s one of his devices! Look at what happened when Adam and Eve made a wrong agreement with Satan instead of with God about a particular tree:

WHAT GOD SAID: Genesis 2:17 – But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

WHAT SATAN SAID: Genesis 3:4 – And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall N O T surely die:

O F F E N S E

My pastor and first lady blessed me SO with this topic! I thank God for it even today. They taught and preached on it for several weeks. Offense is one of Satan’s most successful devices. Satan can work most effectively in an offended heart. If you are easily offended, I can accurately assume that you have much mess going on in your life between you and your family, friends, coworkers, church members, and spouse. I bet Satan used offense to ruin your relationships. Maybe your husband said that your chicken needed a little more seasoning. Maybe your coworker made you look bad in front of a boss by telling her a mistake you made. Maybe your mother showed favoritism to your brother over you. Maybe your best friend chose someone else as her maid-of-honor.

And maybe this all happened 20 years ago and you STILL are harboring resentment and bitterness about it. Satan likes people like you. If you can hold a grudge, Satan can use you. And he WILL use you. And I can bet your bottom dollar that he IS using you. Satan always works in an atmosphere of unforgiveness. Forgiveness is what God majors on, and so you know that what God loves is what Satan hates. Forgive quickly and thoroughly and watch Satan flee from all of your relationships. He can’t work well in a relationship that is flourishing with forgiveness! The thing about unforgiveness is that you can’t pray for someone you hate, you can’t love someone you hate, you can’t evangelize or preach to someone you hate. So when you are offended by and unforgiving of someone, it’s one of the ways Satan prevents you from being used of God to lead someone to Christ. If Satan can convince you to be offended, he has convinced you not to minister to someone. And so that enacts part TWO of his device. You may be the ONE person God was going to use to lead this person to Christ; but since you now are not speaking to the person and blocked them from your Facebook and Twitter, they may never hear or experience the love of God. You may be the only “bible this person will ever read”.

 Proverbs 17:9 – Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.

Proverbs 19:11 – Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.

I G N O R A N C E/P A R A N O I A/I N S E C U R I T Y/S U S P I C I O N

The reason I put these four words together because they are related because of the fact that all four lack or may lack one thing: TRUTH/REALITY. If you are ignorant of something, it means that you are unaware of the truth of its existence – unaware that it is REAL. To be paranoid is to believe that things that are not real are real. To believe that lies are truth. Paranoid people for example may think that the CIA is out to kill them or that some woman at her job is hating on her and trying to get her fired when that is so far from the truth; suspicion is related because it can make you paranoid. And insecurity is when someone believes that aspects of themselves are causing them to be inferior to others or disliked by others when that is not true. An insecure person may think that she must look bad if she walks in a room and a group of people start laughing. Or an insecure girlfriend may think that everytime her boyfriend’s phone rings that it’s his ex-girlfriend. Or an insecure boyfriend may think that everytime his girlfriend doesn’t answer the phone that she’s with another man. Insecurity has to do with imagining lies as being the truth.

Satan can destroy the trust in a Christian marriage by convincing one spouse that the other is being unfaithful. He can ruin the trusting relationship between a pastor and his congregation by making the pastor believe that some of his members are thinking of leaving his church because they dislike his preaching all of sudden. Satan can cause trouble between a coworker and a manager because at the next meeting, the boss may say there is a new policy on absentees a week after you called in sick on Monday and Friday. And so you get paranoid that the boss is talking about you. Assumptions come from paranoia, ignorance, and insecurity. And these assumptions are not based on truth and so they can cause a lot of trouble in relationships.

Satan is the father of all lies. Wherever a lie is, please and just know that it has started with Papa Satan. He knows that truth sets free. He knows that lies bound and cause grief. So he tells lies. He starts lies. He suggests things that lead to lies. Don’t operate off of lies. Operate based off of truth. And truth is not one and the same with facts. A doctor’s fact that people with your form of cancer are doomed within 6 months. But God’s truth about that same kind of cancer can be that you can be healed in a day with a full recovery. So Satan can sometimes defeat you with FACTS that are not God’s truths. Where lies are being spread, know that Satan is at work with a demonic scheme to destroy. He knows that if the truth got out about everything, then he would be powerless. He gets his powers from YOUR belief in HIS lies.  When you stop believing his false reality/lies/attempts to make you paranoid and insecure, he has lost in his tactic against you in this regard.

Romans 10:3 – For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 2:11 – Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

1 Samuel 18:6-9 – And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick. And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom? And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.

P R I D E

Last but not least, Satan defeats those who love God by using one of his most effective tools/weapons of PRIDE. I cannot stress the importance of humility in the life of the believer. Remember how that even the “best” Jews of Jesus’ time were defeated and damned because they had too much pride to admit their inefficiencies and weaknesses when it came to pleasing God according to His holy standard. They did not receive Jesus because He required that they humble themselves and admit that they were sinners who needed a Savior. Satan can work more easily in a prideful heart than even an offended heart.

An example in how Satan works in this way is when he convinces you to apply pride to your repentance. You can have done a sin and yet be too prideful to repent of it. I knew a guy who was very lustful in his heart and deeds. And when I told him about it, he denied ever being lustful towards his girlfriend even though he and his girlfriend were close to having sex on several occasions. He had a title in the church, and so I suppose he felt that being a minister was incompatible with being horny. So instead of humbling himself and admitting that fault, he instead denied ever wanting to have premarital sex. And because he never humbled himself enough to repent of this sin, he of course never repented on this sin. Therefore, he never received forgiveness for this sin if he has not repented of it.

Pride will cause you to deny any wrongdoing, faults, or weaknesses. And when you don’t admit to having a problem, you never confess the problem. And you never receive forgiveness for something you can’t agree to have done. Satan used pride to keep that young man from receiving God’s forgiveness. I don’t know if he ever repented of it, but if he did not, Satan did a work in his life. God does not allow for any pride in the lives of Saints. He wants total humility from us. Humility is not just a cute word to refer to yourself as. Having humility means that you ask for forgiveness everytime you sin. Having humility means that you never think that you are too holy to make a mistake. Having humility shows me that you ALWAYS run to God for much-needed forgiveness. So conversely, to lack humility means that you rarely if ever ask for forgiveness because you can’t agree that you make mistakes.

It’s so sad to see preachers who are so tough on their congregation be exposed for the wildest sins. I’m talking about being caught having 15 year affairs with a prophetess in the church. I’m talking about molesting five BOYS in his congregation. I’m talking about pastors who kill their wives, chop them up, store them in the freezer for years all so that they can have an incestuous relationship with their daughter. I’m talking about embezzling THOUSANDS of dollars from members “tithes & offerings”. I’ve heard all these TRUE stories and more! It’s crazy how the most prideful, self-righteous people have the most unbelievably secret sins. That’s because pride is one of the best ways to cover one’s sin. If you allow pride in your life, already know that Satan has some BIG, disastrous plans for you and those closely associated with you. Pride destroys. The bible says that by pride, people bring about their own downfall.

 1 Timothy 3:6 – Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

 Proverbs 16:18 – Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

I Peter 5:5 – …be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

 D I S T R A C T I O N S

Remember the story about the Mary and Martha sisters? One sister was so busy cleaning and being a good hostess that she was missing out on a spiritual blessing from the Messiah. She even tried to get the Messiah to cause her sister to miss out on her blessing! She confused busyness for Jesus for being doing the work of the Lord. Satan can have people so busy singing in a choir, ushering the congregation to their seats, vacuuming after church services, and playing the drums that they forget to minister to others spiritually. This is not to make light of ushers and choir members, but sometimes, God just wants you to evangelize to your family member. But you’re so busy at church that the people who are “sick” are not getting a “physician”, but the people who are “well” are.

I encountered this in my blogging frenzy and my church attendance craving. I would spend countless hours writing spiritual notes for my blog. And so I was ministering in that regard because many people were blessed by the notes. But if someone wrote me  a private message asking for prayer, I thought I was too busy with ministry to minister! I would get annoyed and say to myself, “Why don’t she just pray for herself?! I can’t be her relationship with God!” And I would be so busy at times going to church that I wouldn’t even stop to be a loving Christian witness to those in my every day life like friends, family members, and coworkers. I was so busy LOOKING churchy that I had no time to BE the Christian I should have been for God. Satan will have you so busy that you will think that you do not have time to do the things God wants you to do.

There are such thing as church distractions because many of the things we do in church today have nothing to do with the church we read about in the New Testament. The New Testament church and Jesus were out and about ministering to the hurting and lost. Church today seems very into ministering to only those who are saved IN the church’s four walls. Many church folk would rather hold up a hurtful pro-life sign outside of an abortion clinic instead of kindly approaching the expectant mother, praying for her, asking her why she feels the need to do this, and offering her options other than abortion. Many Christians will hold up hateful signs at gay rallies and parades instead of pulling a homosexual to the side, praying for them, and doing spiritual deliverance from the spirit of perversion. Be not ignorant of even this most surprising device.

These are just six of MANY of his devices. I chose these six because they are the six in which Satan won many battles against me. I thank God for informing me of this in order that I might gain the victory over Satan in my life through Christ Jesus! Please read my newer note which lists five MORE of Satan’s devices that he uses quite effectively in the believer’s life.

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Lazy Lovin’: Getting In the Relationship Is Easy, But How Long Can You Keep It?

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What do you do when you’ve prayed and prayed and prayed, and God still has not stepped into your situation? You’ve prayed for a spouse, and no spouse showed up. You’ve prayed for a job, and no employers’ have called. You’ve prayed to get out of debt, and you’re yet still in debt. Is God being lazy?

No. YOU are the lazy one.

Christians have the motto, “Pray until something happens.” And many Christians believe that they should not make any moves until God does something. They believe it is the mark of the spiritually mature to be still and see the work of the Lord. And in many cases this is true. But in some cases, it is laziness for an adult Christian to sit around and do nothing and to blame the Lord for nothing taking place.

I’ve seen this same laziness in people who read horoscopes and who believe in zodiac signs. They can meet a great guy, but as soon as they find out that their signs are “incompatible”, they stop all efforts of trying to have a successful relationship with the guy. They say, “It’s not worth it! It’s not in the stars for us anyway. He’s a Cancer, and I’m a Gemini. It’ll never work!” That is relationship laziness.

Some people may even do this with birth order. I hear that birth order is the number one predictor of one’s personality. This is probably said because your family of orientation is the first relationship you’ve had with people of the opposite sex for many years. If you’ve been the middle child for 25 years, you’re going to have middle child tendencies. If you’ve been the baby of the family of 13 children for 18 years, you’re going to have much in common with other children who are the youngest in their large families. If you’ve been the eldest of five for 14 years, there will be some personality traits that you will share with most other oldest children. And if you’ve been the only child of your parents for 20 years, that will shape a lot about you too. And these traits will likely follow you throughout your life since you’ve been trained with them in a controlled environment for at least 18 years. But is that an excuse to never date a great woman you met who’s a middle child because a book said that you as an only child are very incompatible with middle children? That is laziness not to try!

Many Christians do this. Especially Christians who have fear of failure, fear of intimacy, and fear of commitment. When a person has a fear of being hurt, they can find creative ways to avoid being hurt. And when a Christian has a fear of being hurt, they find seemingly “Christian” ways to avoid being hurt.

I’ll speak from a personal experience. My little sister bought a book called “Marriability”. And this book was written by a married couple who wrote about things that keep us single without our knowing. And one blessed chapter was about Christians. It talked of how many Christian women who have fear of being hurt will sometimes lie to themselves and say something to the effect of, “I’m not going to be actively looking for a spouse. I’ll actually just sit here in my house/apartment until God sends somebody my way. If GOD wants me married, there is nothing that I can do to stop that from happening. It won’t matter if I’m sloppy-looking, dressed in rags, have poor hygiene, and am as mean as a rattlesnake. Can’t me or nobody else prevent the plan of God for my love life!”

How delusional! Not even God will override the desires and will of a man for what he desires in a woman. If men want women who care about that looks, you need to remember that if you want a spouse. I think some people who fear the risk of hurt that comes with dating are the same people who say, “I’ll just sit here until God sends my prince(ss) to me. Why go out and date when I can get hurt? I’ll just stay safe in my comfort zone where no one can hurt me. The person God sends me will never hurt me. And the relationship with them will be effortless.” That is not true. Even someone that God sends your way can hurt you by mistake because they are imperfect. Even in a relationship that God send you, you will still have to put in a lot of work too. Even if you and the spouse are doing everything to make the relationship successful, please understand and know that many other people and spiritual enemies will fight your relationship. So you have to be strong with regards to the two of you and then also you have to be strong with regards to attacks that will come from the others.

So if you’re too lazy to get out and make yourself available and eligible for a relationship, what makes you think that you will have the energy to keep a relationship going? Haters will fight it. Exes will fight. Skeptical church members, friends, and families will fight it. And if you’re a Christian, Satan and his arsenal of demons will sure enough fight it! So since you know this, you know you will have to give it your all every step of the way.

Relationships are hard work. They are not easy. I’ve never heard anyone say either in real life or in the movies that their relationship has been effortless. Even if you and the person are compatible as a Taurus and a Cancer. Even if you and the person are compatible in your birth order – he’s the eldest brother of all sisters and you’re the baby girl of all brothers. Even if you both are preacher’s kids from the same denomination. Even if you two have the same intelligence level, same good looks, same socioeconomic status, and the same friends. Even with the foundation being pretty good, a relationship will be hard work at best.

We have to get the root of relationship laziness. I know someone who’s been trying to help a friend get a job. But the unemployed friend is very lazy. And so even if the working friend helps the other friend get a job, the lazy friend will not keep the job for long because the friend does not have the work ethic for keeping a job for a long time. He lost the last job because he was lazy, and until he gets to the root of his work laziness, he will stay being fired. So just as he needs to find out WHY he can’t keep a job, we constantly single people need to find out WHY we keep staying single even when we are able-bodied, attractive adults.

Relationships take work. Marriages take work. And I feel that Satan especially fights Christian marriages because he knows that every time a Christian marriage fails, it reflects poorly on Christianity as a whole. So when you get married as a believer, you better get ready with the skills to make it last in spite of Satan’s relentless attacks. And because relationships take a lot of work – two imperfect, flawed, sinful people trying to come together for a lifetime – you need to stop being lazy. You cannot do a job successfully with laziness. You can only do a hard job successfully with consistently hard work.

Let me tell you what I would do. I would meet a great guy. I would like him for a while. And then the minute I ran into an “obstacle”, I would stop trying to work at it and I would let it go. And that lack of stick-to-it-ness is what caused the relationships to fail. It wasn’t the obstacle – perceived or actual – it was my laziness. If the guy and I didn’t agree on everything, I would say to self, “See! That’s a sign right there! I shouldn’t be dating this guy!” If he liked a singer I didn’t like, or a sport I didn’t like, or a preacher I didn’t like, I took that to mean that God didn’t send him to me. I took that as a red flag for me to give up. I think I’m very fortunate in that God has sent MANY great guys my way. No alcoholics, no addicts, no abusers, no cheaters, no bums, but good quality men. And yet even though we both were eligible bachelor and bachelorette, I still found some way not to make it work with them. I had the materials to make a successful relationship; I just did not have the relationship work ethic.

That’s one thing I realized about myself. I’ve never fought for anything all my life. If a coworker or employer or client annoyed me too much, I would quit the job. If a club I joined had lost its excitement, I’d drop out of it. If a goal I made for myself became too difficult, I would either make the goal too easy or just quit the goal altogether. If I was given a prophecy and I didn’t feel like I believed in it one day, I’d just stop working to get what God promised me. If I didn’t like the pastor of my church or something he said, I’d leave the church. If a friend or family member made me mad, I would cut them off. If a Twitter follower or a Facebook friend rudely disagreed with something I wrote, I would delete or block them. I was L A Z Y! And needless to say, I had little to show for myself. I could have had so many more friends, could have been further along in the ministry, could have been closer to my family members, could have led many loved ones to the Lord, could have had a graduate degree, could have been married by now, etc. But because of my laziness, I would give up on things.

Everything you want is just outside of your comfort zone. The love life you want is just outside of your fear of intimacy. The career you want is just outside of your work ethic and your educational comfort zone. The health you want is just outside of your exercise and eating comfort zone. You will never attain anything of great worth in this life within your comfort zone. The only thing you will attain is comfort and regrets. Regrets that you didn’t work harder at that marriage. That you didn’t try to get the Master’s. That you didn’t persevere a little more with your pastor. That you weren’t more patient with that family member.
Comfort zone is the breeding ground for regrets.

Who told you that you should give up on something because it got hard? Did Moses give up on heading to the promised land because the way got hard? Did Abraham give up on having a son with Sarah because it looked impossible? Did David give up on honoring King Saul because Saul made it hard on him? Did Jesus give up on the Cross because it was difficult? Did Paul give up preaching the gospel because it got hard? No one has attained anything of great value in the bible by giving up when it got hard. Things getting hard are NO excuse to stop trying. Stop being lazy. Keep working at the thing until you achieve the thing. It’ll never get any easier. It’ll only get harder with time. NOW is the time. Now is easier than then. For example, it’s easier to go to graduate school right after undergraduate. It’s easier to work out the day after you worked out rather than waiting a week to work out again. Keep going even if it was hard the first time because it only gets harder when you wait.

Why Hate Religion? How Religion Can Help Relationship in Christianity

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Sometimes, religion can be a good thing…

While on my lunch break, I called a friend of mine who is an unbeliever. He jokingly said that I was religious. I told him that I was not. And I usually take offense to be being called religious. I usually say, “I’m not religious, I’m spiritual/I have relationship.” But this time, instead of being cliché, I proceeded to explain to him the difference between a person who has a close relationship with God and a person who is just religious without any true relationship with God. We often hear this as Relationship vs. Religion. Just recently there was a very popular YouTube video that became viral overnight. It’s called “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus”. The video was spoken word poetry by a young Christian man who was basically saying why he hated the Christianity religion, and yet retained all of his love for Jesus and the church. He received many likes on the video from people who were disillusioned with church rituals. (Here’s the link to the YouTube video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IAhDGYlpqY)

Many believers are growing tired of the Christianity religion and its rituals. Wake up at 9:15am on Sunday morning. Get dressed. Drive to church. Let the ushers direct you to your seat. Stand up when the pastor says to. Pay what the pastor tells you to. Pray when the pastor says to. Fast every two weeks. Pay 10% of each paycheck. Eat this communion wafer. Drink this communion juice. Sing this song. Clap and sway this way. Come to the altar to repent. Come to bible study on Tuesday. Read the bible for 15 minutes every night. Listen to this worship CD on your way to work…Repeat.

I’ve done this ritual for almost my entire life. And lately, I’ve been hearing a lot of people say that so many people have RELIGION, but no RELATIONSHIP. They say religion as if it is profanity or if it is to despised. But while talking to my unbelieving friend, I realized quickly that religion – but more specifically RITUALS – is not always a bad thing. In fact, they can be a blessing.

I told my friend that a ritual can be anything that you do at a certain time over a long period of time. I used hygiene as a good example. For example, every morning, many adults wake up and hop in the shower or the tub. Then they brush their teeth. Then they apply deodorant. If they are not African-American, they usually wash their hair while in the shower. They do this EVERY morning RELIGIOUSLY. When people use the word “religiously”, they mean that a person does a certain activity CONSISTENTLY and FREQUENTLY. Without frequency and consistency, MOST things in your life will be ineffective and inefficient. If you apply consistency and frequency to just everyday routines, it will even help propel you into greatness. Greatness is not just achieved by being born with skill or even by sheer luck. Greatness at anything is usually achieved through practice (which is another way of looking at consistency and frequency).

Consistency denotes someone doing a particular thing every time. Some people get their oil changed on their car consistently whenever the mechanic tells them to. They do it on time every time they are told to change their oil. Some people pay “tithes” consistently. Whatever the Sunday is after they get their paycheck, they give 10% of their income. They do it EVERY Sunday after payday WITHOUT FAIL. But if someone pays tithes on every third paycheck, and then every first paycheck, and then every tenth paycheck, and then every second paycheck, then that is not CONSISTENCY. It has to be every time at the same time to be considered consistent.

Frequency denotes someone dong a particular thing OFTEN. If you have a particular type of obsessive-compulsive disorder, you wash your hands FREQUENTLY. Consistently washing your hands may just be washing your hands after every trip to bathroom, before meals, after meals, and after sneezing or coughing on your hands. But washing one’s hands FREQUENTLY could mean every 5 minutes. Some people pray FREQUENTLY. They don’t just pray at meals and before going to bed at night. Some people pray whenever they get a minute to get alone with God. Some people pray when in their car alone. Some people pray in the bathroom. Some people pray on their lunch breaks. Some people pray while talking their walk. These people pray FREQUENTLY.

Well, consistency and frequency are two important factors in the Christianity religion. If you don’t do Christian “rituals” consistently and frequently, then you will not be referred to as a religious person. People who only go to church on Christmas Day, Mother’s Day, and Easter will not be considered as people who attend church consistently or frequently. So if you remove CONSISTENCY and FREQUENCY from Christianity, what have you? Well, you’d have some pathetic Christians.

I work with toddlers at my job. They tell us to change our gloves after every diaper change/nose wipe. But how great would our hygiene be if we only changed our gloves after every second diaper change/nose wipe? Then after every fifth diaper change/nose wipe? Then after every third diaper change/nose wipe? Then after every tenth diaper change/nose wipe? We would putting one child’s feces on another child. We’d be putting the germs of one child’s mucus on another child. And what if that next child’s whose nose you wipe has a weakened immune system? And because of your INCONSISTENT handwashing this child catches a very serious disease? Change your gloves/wash your hands/use hand sanitizer after EVERY diaper change and nose wiping to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. I will be ineffective as a child care provider if I do not use consistency.

How great would your hygiene be if you brushed your teeth twice according to the following schedule: April 1, 5, 9, 13, 17, 21, 25, 29? Your breath would smell horrible and being near you would be unbearable! Notice the consistency though. It is every four days. That is consistent. But it’s not frequent enough! You will have inefficient dental hygiene if you do not use frequency.

So we can see in the natural that there are very practical ways in which consistency and frequency are beneficial to humans. But let’s apply this to our spiritual well-being. I can speak from personal experience. When I pray inconsistently and infrequently, things go awry in my life. But those days in which I pray first thing in the morning, talk to God on my way to work, and pray before bed, I have an AMAZING DAY and next day. I ASSURE YOU, when I do not pray as consistently and frequently, I have a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. So because of this Praying “Ritual”, I know what works and what doesn’t work in my faith walk. I know that praying for five seconds before rushing out of the door to work DOES NOTHING FOR ME OR GOD. But I now know what works.

When it comes to fasting, I have my Fasting “Ritual”. I fast every first day of the month. I eat or drink nothing for the entire 24 hours. (I had to make an exception for April 1st because my church had communion today and because I had to take an important medicine, but other than those things, I ate or drank nothing else.) I have done this for January, February, March, and April. And take me at my word, I cannot describe the blessings I have received from being faithful to the commitment I’ve made to God for this year of 2012 of abstaining for the 1st of each month. I know from the Old Testament that my God likes receiving the first of things – first-born sons and first fruits of a harvest – so I decided to give Him more attention on the first day of each month (so of course that included the first day of the year) than I did every other day of the month. I couldn’t imagine the blessings He’s bestowed on me because of the first day of the month fasts.

And with regards to church attendance, I go to church every Sunday and most Tuesdays for bible study. I love going to church. And I’m not going to be religious and ritualistic. I’m going because every time I go to church, I get blessed. I’ve found that church always leads me to a spiritual blessing. So since I’ve learned to associate church with blessings, I just add one word before church and before blessings. Consistent church attendance = Consistent blessings. Now, I don’t always get blessed as I would like especially when I visit different churches on Sundays or Tuesdays, but I usually do. So religiously and ritualistically attending church can cause you to be frequently and consistently blessed. If God told you that every time you went to church that He had a blessing waiting for you there, how often would you go? Let me guess… You would probably go CONSISTENTLY and FREQUENTLY. You would attend church religiously. Observers would say that you attend church as if it were a ritual. But you wouldn’t care because unlike them, you are being consistently and frequently blessed.

Now if you are going to a dead church without the spirit of God working through the members and the pastor, then don’t expect to be consistently and frequently blessed. But if you are connected to the right “activity” and the right people consistently and frequently, then expect God to bless you “religiously”!

How would you feel if you had a husband or wife or child or best friend who you only heard from every 5 weeks? That relationship would suffer tremendously and bring a lot of resentment and hurt to you. What if you worked a job where your paychecks were not consistent? The boss paid you every ten days, after that every 3 days, after that every 40 days, after that every 2 days, after that every 180 days? You’d not stay at that job for long!

So as we see, in order for your relationships, health, and Christian walk to be EFFECTIVE and EFFICIENT, it must have consistency and frequency. Religion is characterized by consistency and frequency. If you already have relationship with God and the Holy Spirit, then religion can sometimes consistently help the relationship and frequently keep the door open for the Holy Spirit to continue moving in your life.