IS GOSPEL MUSIC GOING SECULAR?

There has been a great deal of controversy over this issue of secular artists singing gospel music and whether the church is falling prey to outside influences that compromise the standards of faith that supposedly separate the believer from the non-believer, or holy from secular.
 
While the debate will continue, and there will undoubtedly be different opinions throughout Christendom, the issue of secularization, I believe, is not as simple as we would like it to be.
 
First of all, we have to ask the question, “What do we mean by secular?” When we say secular, are we referring to the person or their profession?  The word secular means, “attitudes, activities, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis, or nonreligious.” Most Christians have secular jobs — work outside of the church in a nonreligious profession. So to simply say secular, or to disapprove of someone based on the fact that they have a secular job is dangerously problematic. People called Jesus a carpenter (Mark 6:3), which means that our Savior had a secular job.
 
More recently, though not new, popular secular artists have collaborated on gospel albums with well known gospel artists. Many in the body of Christ are up in arms over this trend and are vehemently opposed to it. Why? Is it that the particular secular artists aren’t spiritual role models or good enough examples of holy living?  Is it because they sing secular music — as a profession? Is it because our gospel artists have to conform to a made up image that agrees with our exposure, box or preference? Or is it that the body of Christ, in general, concludes that secular artists, in general, are all sinners and sinners should not sing the Lords music?
 
If the body of Christ were to just come out and say, “We believe that secular artists who we do not approve of or who do not live visibly holy lives are sinners and we disapprove of sinners singing gospel music,” there would be many who might go along with that. But the truth is, this argument/position is highly flawed, shaky and borderline spiritually arrogant. Surely, the church is not turning down tithes and offerings that come from secular jobs — just the giver…
 
Our nondescript, muddy, subjective view of secular creates more problems than answers. At its most basic level, if what we’re saying is that having a secular job is synonymous with being a sinner, most if not all Christians would be excluded from participating in any church function, role or position. The idea that having a secular job, in and of itself, counts you out of relationship with Jesus is beyond ridiculous. If you don’t personally know the heart of a man, be quiet about their salvation (1 Corinthians 2:11).
 
Secondly, wouldn’t it make more sense for those who do have x-ray secular vision to use it to protect the thousands of children who are molested in the church every year, or to see and deal with the countless secular church rituals that we honor? Or is it that our vision is best when we look out the window instead of in the mirror? God would differ with us on looking out the window (1 Corinthians 5:11-13, 1 Peter 4:17).
 
We, Christians, as flawed as we are, are good for counting people out but we struggle at counting people in, extending grace or allowing other flawed people into our perfect little clubs.  Christians are flawed, secular job or no secular job (Ecclesiastes 7:20, Romans 7:21-25, 1 John 1:8). However, we are incredibly perfect when we’re comparing ourselves to people who we consider to be imperfect or different but thanks be to God, there are no favorites in the Kingdom of God (Romans 2:11).
 
Superficial judgement leads to shallow condemnation. Does this mean that the church should become a safe haven for “anything goes” or be influenced by what the world does? Absolutely not. Is it possible that unbelieving secular artists singing gospel music can cause some confusion among their unbelieving fans? Yes.
 
A Possible Path For The Cause of Christ
 
I think the issue really comes down to what we do, as opposed to what an artist or anybody does on his or her own.  In the case of who or what the body of Christ co-signs, maybe we should consider the following:
 
I would suggest that anybody who sings about Jesus is inclined to believe in Jesus or at the very least, knows that they are being used to attract others to Jesus.  We, Christians, should know better than to judge one of God’s books by the cover (1 Corinthians 2:11), or to question God’s plan for salvation (Romans 11:34, 1 Corinthians 2:16).  It’s not our job to question God, it’s our job to question ourselves (2 Corinthians 13:5).
 
It is possible for an unbeliever to draw people to Christ and even perform miracles in the Name of Jesus (Matthew 7:22-23).  Why? Because it is not the person who leads someone to Jesus, it is the revelation of the name of Jesus (John 14:16, Philippians 2:10). We don’t save anybody, God does (1 Corinthians 3:6, Ephesians 2:8).  However, to those who were lawless and performed deeds/miracles in Jesus’ name, Jesus said, “Then I will tell them plainly, I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” (Matthew 7:23).
 
It’s not about whether or not they have a secular job, it’s about the cause of Christ. Christians have to be mindful of the message attached to the cause of Christ.  The gates of hell shall not prevail against the Kingdom of God.  The Kingdom is not threatened by an unsaved individual singing gospel music.  The anger of the Lord will be against those in the body who choose to co-sign or align the cause of Christ with contrary images: “Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them” (Romans 1:32, 2:1)
 
All Christians know, or should, that the bible said, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14).  That includes gospel music or any other partnering in the name of Jesus.
 
As for secular artists singing gospel music, in general, there is nothing wrong with that — the more the merrier.  If the concern is that gospel music is at risk of becoming secular/worldly music simply because a secular artist sings it, that’s far reaching (Romans 8:28).  Perhaps our concern can be expressed this way — in general: “To the best of our ability, for the cause of Christ, Christians should make every effort to eliminate, avoid or not promote any confusion about deeds overriding the need for deliverance  — for the sake of the unbelieving hearers and the unbelieving participants.”  You cannot work your way into heaven.
 
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? (Romans 6:1)
 
That’s why Paul exhorted Timothy, as a young leader, to “be an example to the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, and in purity,” reminding him to “take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (1 Timothy 4:12, 16).
 
In other words, keepers of the promise, not unbelievers, are responsible for the lives assigned to us (Jeremiah 23:1).  If the messenger and the message are contrary to the word, if the implication is “saved does not matter,” if the potential exists for the unbelieving hearer to be lead astray — by the appearance of deeds/singing overriding the need for salvation, or if the intentional partnering/collaboration undermines the cause of Christ, it should be rethought — or left up to God to destroy it (Mark 3:25, Romans 12:19).
 
Winning souls, meeting people where they are does not mean that we should promote staying where they are.
 
Share and be blessed.
 
 
Join Pastor Patrick at the HILL, FAITHHILL Church, every Sunday.  For more information about FAITHHILL, Click Here.
 
To read previous blogs or to sign up to get email notices for new blog posts, Click Here.
 


Read more...

RELATIONSHIP DEVOTIONAL: THE GOD IN GOODBYE

 

Nothing draws us closer to God like the hurt that comes from relationship. Love exposes the soul to human extremes, pleasures, and hurts that only love can.
 
If you’ve loved and lost — to win, had to sacrifice a relationship for your greatness, or had to surrender your will to God’s will and let someone go, you’ve had to walk in a closeness with God that does not compare to most other situations.
 
Don’t get me wrong, we don’t start out with the plan or the intent to be hurt just so that we can get closer to God.  No, emotional heart attacks push us into God’s Emergency Room — bleeding, bruised and broken.
 
One of the divine lessons that love will continue to teach us, until we learn it, is that we are not love.  Repeat, we are not love.  God is love (1 John 4:8).  When we’re loving on purpose with whom God planned for us, God is loving through us for them. The bible says it this way, “For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).
 
If, then, God is love and it is His love that is working in us and through us for His pleasure, who we emotionally pick as a mate or to date does not mean that they are a divine match. We would have to say that we were using or know the mind of God in order to convince ourselves that we know, in advance, if someone is meant for us. We don’t have that ability (Romans 11:34. 1 Corinthians 2:11).  We can only use proof, evidence based on behavior that agrees with our Savior (Luke 6:43-45).  Emotions alone are not qualified, and can be too contaminated, to be relied on as the only proof of a divine match.
 
We’re not our own, we belong to God and the supernatural blueprint for our life is not subject to our emotions — it can’t be. We have to pause when we think about the hurt that comes from who walks out or who we have to remove from our life.  Think about it: If someone who is not meant for us leaves our life, a surrendered will would pray for them and wish them well — knowing that God has put a love period where we had a love question mark.  If we cannot genuinely pray for a season and wish them well, we have not surrendered our emotions to God’s will for our life.
 
Put This In Your Spirit: If you aren’t for them, then that means they aren’t for you either. Two wrongs don’t make a God right. God’s plans for your life, and theirs, were created before you were born (Psalm 139:13, Jeremiah 1:5, Ephesians 2:10).   We either are on plan or we’re off track with everybody we meet. Whenever God steps in, it’s to keep our lives on track with His plans: “For I know what I have planned for you,’ says the LORD. ‘I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).
 
Emotions that override God’s divine plan, warnings and signs, are disobedient emotions (2 Corinthians 10:5), that are influenced by seductive evil spirits — Our emotional condition will determine the influence familiar spirits can or will have over us.  Jesus came so that we might have life and life more abundantly — only demonic forces are at war with God’s plans for our life (John 10:10).
 
Consider This: Trees shed leaves when it’s time to change seasons — for self-preservation. In other words, even the tree will shed leaves in order to save its life. But know this, when the tree sheds a leaf, not one leaf that falls to the ground kills the tree.
 
Walking in divine truth leads emotions.  It’s a position worked-for, hard-fought for that usually requires retraining our emotions to acknowledge, submit and abide in the will of God.  This is not hardly natural, in fact it is impossible without an intimate relationship with Jesus (John 15:5).
 
Fighting back thoughts and emotions that come from the enemy takes work.  In fact, without abiding in an intimate relationship with Jesus, the work will wear us out (James 4:7) — Especially when the emotions we’re trying to fight are emotions that want what we don’t need. 
 
You don’t have to fake it.  Unless you have an iron brain, it takes a minute to submit to God’s will — every new test requires a new level of submission.  But what we have to remember, consider for our own sake, is this: Emotions that can tell God what to do or tell you to do anything that harms you or your destiny, are influenced by the enemy – no matter how good they feel (2 Corinthians 10:3-4).
 
Break up with fear and emotions that tell you to harm yourself.  Break it off!  Cry if you have to, crawl if you have to and even if you stumble on your way out, submit to God’s will for your life.  When we’re not walking in our divine truth, every season will look like a lifetime and if we’re not careful, long and wrong seasons can become unhealthy soul ties.  
 
When we won’t or can’t do what God’s love requires us to do — learn from the past and step aside, the Holy Spirit will protect us in our weakness by interceding on our behalf (Romans 8:26) —  even when we don’t want to be protected.  When someone is not for us, right for us or not ready for us, God steps in.  It might look like a breakup but if God stepped in, it’s a divine shakeup.  God lets wrong things fall apart so that He can make right things fall together.
 
Put This In Your Spirit: Haven’t you noticed that when you lie to yourself about how you’re being treated by someone, the truth drives you crazy?  No matter what we tell ourselves to try to make wrong right, the truth won’t allow us to be at peace with emotions that break our heart.
 
When people leave your life or have to be removed, it is confirmation that their season is over — not your life.  When you love you with the love of Christ, you don’t ever have to be with somebody to be somebody — happy, healthy and powerful.  The evidence of our surrender to God’s will is in how we respond, react and ultimately recover from a God intervention.   
 
When you know what you bring to the table, you’re not afraid to eat alone.
 
Click here to read and follow Pastor Patrick’s inspirational blogs.
 
Follow Pastor Patrick
Meet us at the HILL for life changing messages for your destiny!  Click here for more information about FAITHHILL.
 
 
Download your copy of the 30 Day Devotional, “The God In Goodbye: Losing To Win
This 30 day life changing devotional by Pastor Patrick, is a must have for every lover’s tool box.  It is your guide, navigator and coach to reclaiming the power of I AM!  Share this powerful, thought provoking and encouraging eBook devotional with someone you love today!
 
 
 

Read more...

DAILY DEVOTIONAL: A TIME TO KILL

It might feel like pain but this is your season of separation.  Every tree is a seed that refused to stay the same, refused to stay under ground and refused to give up.
 
God is moving you out of what was into to what will be.  Old things are passing away, and behold, all things are becoming like new!  When it’s time to kill, God is saying, “Kill what’s killing your hope, kill what’s killing your potential, kill what’s killing your focus, kill what’s killing your fearless faith.
 
When it’s time to kill, God will use His fire to reveal the impurities, the familiar spirits that have crept in and have taken you out of position to win.  
 
God says, “See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction” (Isaiah 48:10).  The enemy is not attacking you, God is purifying you beloved. Did you know that when God is purifying us, He holds us in His hands and uses just enough heat to separate us from our impurities but not enough heat to hurt us?  
 

Put This In Your Spirit: “A woman called up a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn’t mention anything about the reason for her interest in silver beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest so as to burn away all the impurities. The woman thought about God holding us in our hot spots.

 

Then she asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, How do you know when the silver is fully refined? He smiled at her and answered, “Oh, that’s easy–when I see my image in it.”

 
Are you seeing what God is revealing?  Do you see the impurities, the familiar spirits, the strongholds, the forces that have been holding you back?  Can you feel the separation from wrong people, from emotional ties, from fears, from doubts, from caring about what people think about you? What is the Holy Spirit telling you needs to be sacrificed?  What needs to be surrendered and who needs to be shook in order for God to get the glory for your story? 
 
As God reveals it, release it. They were a season, not a lifetime. You can keep them in your prayers but you can no longer keep them in your life.  You’re going to have to unfriend and unfollow some people in real life.  Talent got you this far but it’s going to take sacrifice and humility to get you to the next level.  What mama did, what happened in childhood, what daddy didn’t do is over — you’re being separated from that so you can take your adulthood back.
 
Put This In Your Spirit: To make a God transition in any area of life, you have to get comfortable being uncomfortable.  Remember, if God’s fire reveals it, you were comfortable with what you were supposed to be uncomfortable with.
 
You’re coming out of this.  This is the breakout before your breakthrough.  Suddenly, when God is finished, doors that you couldn’t open are going to be opened to you.  Struggles and storms are going to cease.  Your famine is going to turn into favor.  Your faithfulness in this season is going to cause prayers to be answered, fights to be won and faith seeds to produce a supernatural harvest.
 
This is your time.  Kill it.  Celebrate your victory in advance! You’re about to be lighter, you’re about to lose to win, you’re about to go from stressed to blessed.
 
Share and be blessed.
 
 
  
 
 
 
Click Here to view previous daily devotionals and to register to be notified when future devotionals are posted.
 
Join Pastor Patrick every Sunday at FAITHHILL Chuch in San Leandro, CA for an experience that will empower your faith to walk in victory!
 
 
Have you downloaded your copy of the So Amazing eBook devotional.  A God shift requires begins with planting and watering amazing seed thoughts! This 30 Day devotional will encourage, inspire and challenge you to put power behind every thought for an amazing results.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Read more...

Relationship Devotional: The Danger Of Talking To Everybody About Your Relationship

It’s tempting to just bear your soul with folks when you’re dealing with relationship troubles or decisions.  We all need somebody to talk to and when we’re in an emotionally stressful or difficult situation, we, both women and men, tend to reach out to people we know.
 
The problem is, everybody we know is not always somebody we should reach out to about our relationship.  God works through wise counselors — neutral, objective people to help guide us in the right path.  The opposite is true when we put our business in the wrong hands.  Putting your relationship business in the wrong hands is like giving your alarm code to a thief.  
 
Put This In Your Spirit: Proverbs 10:14 says, “The wise don’t tell everything they know, but the foolish talk too much and are ruined.” When you’re struggling or going through it in a relationship, there are three people that you should never put in your business: 1) A gossip, 2) A wounded person and, 3) Somebody who is happy if you lose. 
 
Likewise, you cannot put people in your relationship business who will hold on to what you should and will let go of.  You will be surprised at the number of relationships that struggle because an outside influence is holding on to something that the couple has moved on from years ago. If you’re talking to somebody who will hold a permanent grudge, dislike or negative attitude towards your mate, you’re talking to the wrong person.
 
When we’re hurt, we tend to gravitate, emotionally, towards whoever will make us feel good about whatever we want to feel good about. If we want to feel justified about our wrong, we tend to talk to somebody who will go along with us — even when we’re wrong.  These are poisonous conversations.
 
It is not abnormal or crazy to want to hear what feels good when we’re not feeling good.  The problem is, when you expose your relationship to poisonous people, you will poison your relationship.  Keep doing it and you will destroy your relationship.
 
Put This In Your Spirit: When we talk to wrong people about our relationship, before long, talking can turn into an unhealthy partnership with them against our relationship. Confiding in wrong people tends to create wrong, unhealthy emotional alliances that are never healthy for your relationship — it is very dangerous. Proverbs 13:20 says, “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”
 
Does this mean that we shouldn’t talk to anybody?  No.  Talking is not the problem, who we’re talking to and the objective for talking can be the problem.  Are you talking to the right person for an objective, healthy purpose? Or the wrong person to agree with half the story? Let’s say you’re dating a great person but they have a flaw that you’re trying to decide if it is or should be a deal breaker.  Or let’s say you and your spouse are going through a difficult time.  The last person you need to talk to is somebody who is emotionally hurt, unsupportive of your relationship, unhappy in their relationship, happy to see you single, negative or, somebody who does not believe in the power of God.
 
It’s not always easy to separate the good one’s from the bad one’s.  At the very least, eliminate talking to someone who is obviously poisonous.  Another tip is to always state your objective up front when you’re talking about your relationship with someone — “I want to fix my marriage,” or, “I am trying to look objectively at my behavior/decision,” or, “I need an objective/balanced opinion,” or, “This is not about bashing my relationship or my mate or me leaving,” etc.  If you’re talking to the opposite sex, eliminate anybody who is not a friend/supporter of the relationship or who has a romantic interest (spoken or unspoken).  The devil uses open doors — put a lock on obvious foolery.
 
Whoever you choose to share your relationship business with, just remember that you don’t want to lose a good relationship over bad advice, or turn a temporary problem into a worse or permanent problem.  And you don’t want to make a decision based on somebody else’s hurt or ignorance. Word to the wise: Don’t give someone the ability to speak death over your love life when you’re trying to save it.
 
Seek God’s wisdom — don’t just read the bible but search the scripture for God’s wisdom about the problem you’re having.  It makes no sense for us to read the bible without purpose when we’re needing a answer about a specific issue.  No matter what you’re dealing with, the bible has a wisdom principle that will guide you to right thinking, right people and right answers.  If you don’t believe it, leave a comment below for a topic/issue you’re dealing with for a wisdom scripture(s) that will address it specifically.
 
Trust God for your destiny love decisions.  Always make the love of your life the first and the last conversation about your destiny together.  Relationships are hard enough, don’t add gasoline to the fire.
 
Share and be blessed.
 
 
  
 
 
 
Click Here to view previous daily devotionals and to register to be notified when future devotionals are posted.
 
Join us each Sunday at FAITHHILL for an experience that will empower your faith to walk in victory!
 
 
 
 
Have you downloaded your copy of the thought provoking, uncut and life changing eBook, “Where Are All The Good Men At?” Whether you’re single, dating or married, this powerful, short eBook is a must read for God’s leading ladies.
 
Testimonials
 
“The eBook by Pastor Patrick,”Where Are All The Good Men At?,” takes the gloves off as Pastor Patrick keeps it real and tells you what your heart needs to know to take the weight off your wait and to keep your emotions in check while God prepares your Mr. Right.” LWAtlanta
 
“So real, so deep. Every woman should give this powerful eBook to every woman — young and old, she knows as a gift of love, honesty and power. REALLY.”  MG, San Francisco
 
 
 

Read more...

RELATIONSHIP DEVOTIONAL: ALONE AND LONELY ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS

Being alone can sometimes feel lonely but single is not a death sentence.  Yes, we all love companionship and yes we enjoy good company.  We’re human and, we were created to love someone who loves us intimately and uniquely.
 
But alone is who we’re with and lonely is being miserable with who we’re with. Lonely has to be with somebody to be somebody. But people don’t cure our loneliness, loneliness is an inside job. 
 
No, we don’t have to be satisfied being alone but content, yes (Philippians 4:11-12).  Why?  Contentment or Joy is a fought-for, struggled-for fruit of the spirit that the fruit of self-control relies on (Galatians 5:22-23).  Anybody who has ever hooked up with somebody while they were lonely will tell you that, 1) A spirit of loneliness makes you feel out of control, and 2) A spirit of loneliness robs us of our joy, and causes our heart to leak with low self-esteem, low self-love, distrust and obsession. 
 
All of us have gone to the grocery store hungry.  When we shop with hunger, starvation, we don’t make wise decisions, we make desperate decisions — something quick, something easy and something right now.  When we shop hungry, we almost always buy something that we don’t need.
 
Loneliness that causes unhealthy emotional hunger is no different. Unhealthy emotional hunger tends to use temporary emotions to make long-term decisions — in the heat of the moment.  If you’ve gotten into a relationship because you were lonely, hungry, chances are the relationship didn’t last long — if you knew you were only looking for a snack, that might have worked for you.
 
But if you were looking for a lifetime relationship, you probably found out that as soon as the hunger was satisfied, emotions filled up, the attraction wore off.  After you sobered up, you might have even experienced Hunger After Shock — that feeling of, “Did or why did I choose that?”  A relationship initiated out of hunger is usually intense in the beginning — that’s why it can be confusing, but it’s always mild in the middle and it melts down after a short period of time.
 
Loving on purpose takes soul work.  When our soul is right, healed, healthy and content, we are ready for our soul match.  Remember a soul mate can be an unhealthy match but a soul match is that person who God planned for our best self.  Our soul match compliments our willingness to be by ourselves if being with someone else means being miserable. 
 
In other words, we tend to mate with someone who matches our soul condition.  Loneliness is not a condition that you want to attract or mate with.  A lifetime love is somebody who we choose to do life with, not somebody we have to put up with for the rest of our life. How we choose to be alone is up to the individual but however we choose to be alone, we should enjoy it to the fullest — Date, learn, grow.
 
When you know what you bring to the table, you don’t mind eating alone.
 
We have to check our heart before we check into a relationship. God will guide us into the path that He planned for us when our heart is ready, willing and able. We don’t and won’t always get it right but before you get emotionally caught up, pray this simple prayer: “Lord, create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10) — and listen with honest ears. One thing is for sure, we cannot recognize a swine when we’re out of our emotional mind (Matthew 7:6).
 
Share and be blessed.
 
  
 
 
 
Have you downloaded your copy of the thought provoking, uncut and life changing eBook, “Where Are All The Good Men At?” No matter what your relationship status is, you owe your destiny to read this powerful, short eBook by Pastor Patrick.
 
Testimonials
 
“The eBook by Pastor Patrick,”Where Are All The Good Men At?,” takes the gloves off as Pastor Patrick keeps it real and tells you what your heart needs to know to take the weight off your wait and to keep your emotions in check while God prepares your Mr. Right.” LWAtlanta
 
“So real, so deep. Every woman should give this powerful eBook to every woman — young and old, she knows as a gift of love, honesty and power. REALLY.”  MG, San Francisco
 
 
 
 

Read more...

DON’T LET THE DEVIL TURN YOUR PROMISE INTO A FIGHT

You’re in that cycle of fighting that makes no sense.  We’ve all been there — those times in life where no matter how hard we swing, no matter how hard we pray, no matter what we do, it seems like nothing changes.
 
Sometimes, we can fight so long and so hard that we get punch drunk — Punch Drunk is a term derived from boxing where a boxer gets hit by the opponent so many times that they become disorientated — similar to being drunk. That’s how it can feel when we’re taking too many punches for our promise.
 
Put This In Your Spirit: When we feel like we’re losing control, we’re not fighting for the promise, we’re struggling with the Holy Spirit to grow the fruit of Self-Control.  When we start to lose it, the Holy Spirit is saying, “Your victory is in the fruit, not in the fight” (Galatians 5:23).
 
Remember, the enemy is not fighting folks who are sitting on the sidelines.  You wouldn’t be Punch Drunk if you weren’t at least in the ring going toe to toe for your promise.  You came to win and the devil came to stop you.  You refuse to lose and the devil refuses to give up.  If you didn’t have a blessing waiting on the other side, if this was not a promise, the devil wouldn’t be fighting you so hard.
 
Haven’t you noticed the more we try to control the fight for a promise, the more we tend to lean to our own understanding or walk by sight instead of by faith?
 
Watch This…
 
A friend has a daughter who did not get along with her step-mother.  They could not make it through a day without a blow up.  His daughter felt like her step-mother was taking her daddy away and the step-mother felt like her step-daughter, who was fine in the beginning, started to view her like the enemy.
 
He tried everything he knew how to referee the situation but the more he tried it his way, the more out of control it became.  Sometimes we forget that in order to prosper God’s way we have to use God’s way.  So one day he decided to have another family meeting.  Only this time, he was bringing God to the table.  The conversation started off like it always did — finger pointing.  Then suddenly, he just busted out with, “God showed me that I am losing both of you because I’m fighting for you and not with you.”
 
Everybody got quiet.  He went on to say, “The enemy had me choosing sides and defending positions, which was creating division.  He then says, “God showed me that a house divided cannot stand.  I’ve been trying to balance my love 50/50 but the balance God wants is 100/100.  when I fight for one of you, I’m fighting against the other — I have to fight for wisdom to give you both the love that you need without taking away from the other.  I have to fight right in order to win right.” 
 
In other words, sometimes we’re fighting for the right thing the wrong way.  When we start to feel punch drunk, like we’re losing control in a fight for our promise, God is saying, “You will lose control when you take Me out of the fight” (John 15:5).
 
Put This In Your Spirit: When we’re fighting the right fight the wrong way, we will experience Moses Moments. Remember when Moses got punch drunk in the wilderness? He said to God, “Where can I get meat for all these people? They keep wailing to me, ‘Give us meat to eat!” I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me. If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me—if I have found favor in your eyes—and do not let me face my own ruin.” (Numbers 11:13-15).
 
What Moses forgot, and what we forget too when we’re overwhelmed, is that the battle is not ours, it’s the Lords (2 Chronicles 2:15). This is easy to say and harder to do but when we’re swinging for our promise we have to remember that it is a promise and not a fight.  When we turn our promise into a fight, we lose it.  Haven’t you noticed that the majority of the blows we take when we’re fighting the right fight the wrong way come from beating ourselves up over what we cannot do?
 
God is saying to us, like He said to Moses, “Get your mind right.  I don’t need what you have to win what I’ve already won.”  Moses felt that if God was going to leave him to do this on his own, it would be better that He take him home to Heaven — Take me now!  Haven’t you felt that way? Haven’t you felt like just throwing up your hands and saying forget it? That’s when we know the enemy has caused us to lose control — our fruit (Galatians 5:22-23).  The enemy knows that if he can get us to lose control, forget God, he can cause us to lose sight of the promise.
 
You know you’re fighting the right fight but now you have to know that the right fight is for what God promised.  When we start to lose it, we have to stop.  Just stop, and recognize what’s happening.  When we run out of self, it’s time to run to God for help.  Just like God did for Moses, when we tell God we need help, He will provide what we need (Numbers 11:16-17). 
 
God guaranteed our victory (1 Corinthians 15:7), favor would surround us like a shield (Psalm 5:12), and that He would provide what we need for the process (Philippians 4:19).  
 
If you’re at the end of your rope, emotionally beat down and drunk from the punches, writer Fred Fries says these 3 things will help us to sober up: Remember, Rest and Rely.  Remember that we don’t fight for promises, we fight to keep the tricks of the enemy from causing us to doubt God.  Take a spiritual timeout, sit and talk with God about His promise.  Rely on God for the wisdom, the resources and the way that you need to claim the victory. Pray, listen, walk.
 
Jesus already hung, bled and died for your victory, your fight is fixed.  Don’t let the devil turn your promise into a fight.
 
 
Share and be blessed.
 
 
 
 
Join us at the HILL every Sunday for a life changing word for powerful living!
 
 

Read more...

Daily Devotional: No Matter What, You Can Win

Hello devil! That’s what Christ said to Judas when he showed up to betray him. Jesus knew His purpose, His destiny and that made even his attackers his friends (Matthew 26:50).
 
There is no way we can be in a, “Hello Friend,” state of mind without being in a relationship with Jesus. I don’t mean a relationship of convenience — when it serves us or when we need a tow. A relationship of convenience does not create trust, it creates a giver and a taker — with only one doing the taking. We want so much more from Jesus.
 
Jesus said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). Jesus was rolling with God and his swagger came from his knowing that if God said it, you could take it to the bank. Is that the relationship you want with Jesus?  The kind of power that cannot be shook, the kind of peace that tells storms to hush, the kind of confidence that you can look at your Judas and say, “Hello Friend, do what you came to do?”
 
I figured out that the relationship that most of us want with Jesus is based on what we want for ourselves, what we want out of life and whether or not we want to live life with little assurance or a lot of assurance. Whether or not we want to have a little power or a lot of power. This is all personal but that’s why relationship with Jesus is personal.
 
Put This In Your Spirit: “Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself unless it remains in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me” (John 15:4).
 
The fruit that Christ is talking about is the fruit of the spirit, “…love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22). What in the heck does fruit have to do with how we act, react or respond to life?
 
Fruit are the Holy Spirit’s personality, qualities and power. Not just the fruit but the fact that without being plugged into Jesus, we cannot bear fruit. In case anybody thought being plugged into Jesus was just about bearing fruit, it’s not. It’s really not ya’ll.
 
Did you know that we cannot even resist the devil without abiding in Jesus — we don’t have the power or authority to rebuke the devil. The bible actually says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). The devil does not obey us, the devil obeys God. The devil will not flee from us unless we’re plugged in — “Submitted to God.” But wait, there’s more.
 
We don’t even have the ability to expect to receive an answer from God for a need or a want without being connected. The bible actually said, “If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you wish, and to you it will come to pass” (John 15:7). I don’t want to sound preachy but it sounds like God is saying, “If you’re not into Jesus, you’re going to be into some problems.” We cannot bear fruit, we cannot resist the enemy and we cannot even ask God for anything with honest expectation unless we’re abiding in or connected to the vine: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:16).
 
Can you imagine being disconnected, lightly attached or having a shallow relationship with Jesus and relying on the full power of the fruit? Our ability to stay in peace even while we’re in pieces comes from the fruit of self-control. Without self-control we’re emotionally driven — without brakes. We cannot have self-control without Joy – trust in God that no matter what, you win. Without joy it is impossible to have peace. Jesus is saying, “If you want all of me, that’s great, I want all of you too.”
 
Let’s say you didn’t have a relationship or history with someone and they were supposed to pick you up after work. When you get off, they’re not there. Because you don’t know them, would confidence in them showing up be high or low? Maybe you’re just trusting like that and it wouldn’t bother you. Would your confidence go up or down as time passed — not knowing what’s going on? After even an hour and no call, would you bet your life on them coming or would you start making other plans? Doesn’t your lack of experience/intimate knowledge of them influence your thoughts — negatively? Could you honestly be confident that somebody will show up who you don’t know well enough to testify about their character?
 
When we don’t have a real, worked-for relationship with Jesus, we do the same thing. Emotions will make other plans whenever conflict happens. Jesus is saying — “If you want confidence in me, you have to know me, trust me, go through some stuff with me and see that I am not a man that I should lie (Numbers 23:19)
 
Can you imagine the difference in our response to life’s encounters, struggles, mess, drama, trials and tests with a fought-for, struggled-for relationship with Jesus? Maybe you can see why we go to pieces when life temporarily goes against us. If a door closed, a bad relationship ended, a delay occurred, a lack occurred, a test occurred, a hurt occurred, a rejection occurred or a loss occurred, would it break you if you knew for sure that because of your relationship with Jesus, “God’s going to work it together for your good?” (Romans 8:28)?
 
If we really want stability, power and control in an unstable world, we’re really saying we want a deep relationship with Jesus. If we want to heal, control our anger, rely on confidence for strength, get past the past or whatever we cannot do on our own, we’re really saying, I want a deeper relationship with Jesus.
 
We talk a lot about, “Connecting with Jesus, being in the vine and abiding,” but without practical steps, without repeatable steps, without steps to practice, it’s like telling somebody to go fly like the birds — without instructions. No matter how long we’ve been in a relationship with Jesus, flying like the birds or walking on water is not easy – every new level comes with new flying lessons for new challenges. Nobody will become a flying expert, just more confident about flying.
 
Whether you are an experienced flyer or a beginner, there are three things that you can consider doing everyday to develop, cultivate and stay woke in your relationship with Jesus:
 
  • Commit at least 5 scriptures to your memory that you will meditate on and repeat daily — it’s best if you do this as early as you can before your day starts — but your time is the right time if your mind is clear. These are meditation scriptures, that means that they are reciprocal — promises tell us why God loves us, obedience or faithfulness tells us how we love God.  They can change, they can be added to but these scriptures represent your worship, your daily meditation and devotion. If we can go to the gym and do whatever else we want to do every day, we can set aside 15-20 minutes to seriously focus on why we love Jesus.
 
  • Self-correct or stay woke. Just like meditating on and worshiping Jesus takes practice, so does negativity, discouragement, doubt, fear and unhappiness. You have to work at being unhappy by meditating on and agreeing with thoughts and beliefs that completely contradict your truth. In other words, be your own mouth police. Correct and replace negative words. Don’t just say, “My bad Jesus,” practice replacing every negative with a positive — negative words, negative thoughts and negative behavior. Fix it, apologize for it, replace it — practice speed, the faster you fix it the more you begin to be conscious of it.
 
  • Continuously work on God’s plans for your life — including serving and fellowship with the body. No matter what anybody says, every church is not for everybody but everybody who desires to abide in Jesus, will attend a powerhouse church that ministers to the whole person for whole victory. Followers of Jesus are not built to walk, sharpen, build up and serve alone. Develop goals, life plans, fun and new discoveries, and relationship goals that grow you, stretch you beyond your comfort zone and support a positive life.
 
A full life, loving relationship, serving God, positive attitude and a destiny mindset makes it difficult for the enemy to break us down or keep us down at will. The enemy should have to fight for your attention.  Our ability to say, “Hello devil,” and know that no matter what we win, is based on what our worship with Jesus looks like. Desire a “Hello spirit,” that Jesus swagger, it will change your perspective, your mindset and your expectations for every area and aspect of your life.
 
Share and be blessed.
 
 
 
San Leandro, CA
 
Got Fruit? Is a powerful, practical short free eBook that will change the way you look at fruit.  You owe it to your destiny to become your own fruit inspector.
 
 
 

Read more...

IT’S IN THE FRUIT

The power is in the fruit.  God is raising up a generation of fruit bearers who will cause the atmosphere to shift, favor to be unleashed and, cause influence to go before them to open doors and make even their enemies have peace with them.
 
They will be intentional and purposeful about producing power from their fruit.  Their fruit will subdue giants, tear down strongholds, take the weight out of the wait, take the doubt out of deliverance and position them to be world changers.
 
The supernatural anointing that causes fruit to grow has a divine purpose — to change our world from the inside out. Visions will be decreed, valley’s will be turned into victory and battles will be turned into blessings through mature fruit.
 
Your time is now!  Inspect, empower and challenge your fruit with this FREE, life changing eBook, “Got Fruit?”  This is not a reheated conversation about the fruit. Got Fruit? is a practical, relevant and inspiring application of the fruits of the spirit for powerful living.
 
Pages: 30
Cost: Free
 
 
 
Share and be blessed.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Read more...

Your Hurt Is Your Help

So many of us have hidden behind pain and hurt, or have covered up our struggle to impress those who seem to have it going on (on the outside).  I’ve been hurt as everybody has and the one thing that always seems to happen is that hurt helps.
 
God is more interested in our confession of weakness than our ability to confuse people with our mask.  See, we don’t meet God’s mercy, His grace until we meet hurt that cannot be danced away or shouted away — or hidden away.
 
You remember Paul’s, “Thorn in the flesh.”  Whatever his thorn was (and we don’t know), it hurt — it hurt bad. He prayed over it, He believed for his healing and he prayed some more (3 times).  But God didn’t heal Paul by removing the thorn, God healed Paul by removing his belief that divine healing only happens when God stops the pain, fixes the outward problem or gives us what we want.
 
Put This In Your Spirit: “And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather boast in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
 
I might be the only one but I cannot recall a time when the first thing out of my mouth when hell showed up was, “Thank you God for the thorn.” Like Paul, we don’t think that way — at first.  Hurt hurts real people.  I don’t imagine that the tea bag welcomes the hot water but the tea bag needs the hot water in order to produce its greatness.  Have you asked God what He’s trying to produce through your hot water?
 
Here’s the truth, God already knows what our reaction and thoughts are going to be (1 Corinthians 2:11).  God knows how to grow us because He knows us (1 Corinthians 8:3). God knows that we are not God and that His greatness shows up in our weakness — more than any other time.  Hurt brings out of us an awareness of our vulnerability, our humanity and our dependency on God (Romans 7:19-25).
 
The bible says, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:7).  Catch this: The bible didn’t say that we wouldn’t have troubles, it said that troubles achieve an eternal glory — it builds up and causes our faith to become unstoppable (Romans 5:1-5).
 
Folks who claim to know God or claim to know what grace is without going through the kind of hell or hurt that seemed impossible are, “Testi-lying.”  If they have not had to stay in peace while walking in pieces, they haven’t met grace.  If hurt has not helped them to see that at their weakest moment they were stronger than they thought they were, they have not truly grown in Christ.  If God has not told them No and made them grow from it instead of fix it, they have not seen the salvation of the Lord (2 Chronicles 20:17).
 
Go ahead, “Boast in your weakness.”  In order for hurt to help us, we have to know that when hurt happens, God is about to make something supernatural happen.  When hurt happens, “The power of Christ is resting on us.”  When hurt happens, sometimes God is working on our response not just our request — James 1:2-4.  Grace shows up when hurt shows up to grow us to our next level.
 
Knowing what God is doing does not make going through pain painless.  Surround yourself with people who aren’t just saved by the blood but who are not afraid of the sight of blood.  Hurt helps but between hurt happening and grace showing up, we stumble and fall, pray and cry, doubt and believe — before joy rises back up (Psalm 30:5).  We cannot be a conqueror without a battle, a victor without a valley or have a God promise without a God process.  
 
Whatever you’re going through, God is using it to help you — This is your help.  In this season, Christ’s power is resting on you.  Embrace it, walk in it, talk to your destiny, and tell the devil that you don’t need to wear a mask to walk in power.  Heal around real people — “No weapon formed against you will prosper,” does not mean that you won’t get hit, hurt or weak.  When hurt causes our weakness, God is using His power to bring out our greatness — “His power is made perfect in our weakness.”
 
Share and be blessed.
 
Senior Pastor, FAITHHILL Church
San Leandro, CA
 
 
 
 
 
 
Download your free copy of INTAMACY: INTO-ME-SEE. A short, real talk eBook about intimacy from pastor Patrick. 
 
 
 
 
GET READY visionaries, aspiring and destiny minded Christian entrepreneurs, for FAITHPRENEUR! This free online experience is a 10 Week intensive and rewarding faith shift for powerful success.  Click below to learn more about this life changing opportunity starting on March 12th.
 
 
 
 

Read more...

SEASONS CHANGE

We can sometimes become locked into a season forgetting that seasons do change.  We’ve all been through seasons, and as long as we keep living there will be more seasons to come.
 
Every season has an expiration date. The bible says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).  The part about this scripture that we have to pay attention to is, “There is a time for everything.”
 
We go through it for a season, we hurt for a season, we fly high for a season but when we attach our joy to the season as opposed to the truth, joy becomes an elevator ride — sometimes up and sometimes down.  In other words, when our joy is defined by the season, joy becomes happiness.
 
Happiness is predicated upon what’s happening, joy is regardless of what’s happening.  Seasons don’t define us, they tell us what time it is — time to grow, time to shift, time to mature, time to rest, time to regroup, time to reposition, time to get closer to God. When joy is based on the truth, we get better at understanding our seasons.
 
Everybody who comes into our life is not meant for a lifetime.  When we confuse a season with a lifetime, emotions tend to do overtime in our seasons.  Some relationships have an expiration date.  As you grow, you will grow out of some people, you will grow out of accepting less than you deserve, you will grow out of trying to force yourself to fit in with wrong people, you will grow out of talking to turtles about giraffe visions, and you will grow out of trying to make an emotional meal out of emotional crumbs.
 
Seasons come for a reason. They come to teach and then they expire at the appointed time.  Some dreams have an expiration date —  they come, they inspire, they open our mind to a new world of possibilities, a new level of confidence and then they get replaced by new dreams.
 
Seasons of lack, loneliness, chaos and even depression have a time limit. Put this in your spirit: “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).  Nighttime is a season of doubt,  fear or despair but joy comes when we get the courage to let the light of truth outshine what we see.
 
In every season you are blessed, you are in God’s hands and if you watch, walk and work in faith, every season will produce a harvest.  Speak life over your season, embrace it, grow through it and remember that a season comes when a season is necessary.
 
Share and be blessed.
 
 
Meet us at the HILL, FAITHHILL Church, every Sunday at 9:30AM and experience the shift.
 
 
 
 

Read more...