Tuesday, August 15, 2017
By Angeline M Duran Santiago
Having my morning time with the Word, I read through Mark Chapter14 and suddenly felt as if the pages had grabbed me and taken me in to the Garden of Gethsemane. The conversation became personal and I felt like someone that had once more, failed, misunderstood and not been able to complete what had been expected of me. Reading the passage over again, I saw how these words were piercing into my heart and asking me why I had not been paying attention to the admonishing from the Lord.
It’s been so very long that I’ve sensed the Lord telling me to really take time to be in His presence. But, it’s not the quick, 1,2,3 prayers that we throw up into the heavens like a Frisbee to our Heavenly Father, I know that I know that the Lord was inviting me to something greater. Still, like Peter, it was late, I was tired, I keep nodding off and putting off his one request, to watch and pray. He was showing me my current situation and what was to come. Just like in this passage, the Lord was asking me to watch and pray. Jesus understood what was coming. He knew the pain, the agony, the trials and the hardships of just moments away. He even voiced his thoughts, “Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” This became my prayer also. "Lord, I don't want to go through this again. God, if only you would just take all this from my life. I'm tired of the way things are going and what my kids are suffering....If only." Those quick, rushed wish lists to heaven and I still was doing my own thing and what He had asked me to do- take a moment to watch and pray.
As I meditated on this scripture, I saw the Lord being very aware of what he was about to do and endure. I also saw him telling me to open my eyes the same way and to wake up and be aware of what I was going through and what was about to take place in my life, in my near future. He was inviting me to fellowship and I was tired. I was Peter, full of faith on one side, but tired and weary on the ground. This passage resounded inside of me as I felt the Lord asking me why I was struggling with prayer. I felt ashamed. The scriptures spoke out to me, “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
The Lord knows our struggles. He knows that in the midst of our flesh not being able to push through, The Lord is saying, “I know that deep inside you want to draw closer. I know you want to spend time with me. I know you long for deep intimacy where I can download into your life all that you will need for the hard times up ahead. And, I also know that it’s hard for you. But, get up girl, get up and get it together. Those quick prayers aren’t going to get you through what’s about to come your way.”
A third time the Lord comes and asks them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest?” “Angie, are you still sleeping? Are you still in la la land and totally ignorant of what I am asking you to do? I am telling you to get ready, to prepare and come into that place where I can fill your life. But, you’re still in a daze. You need to wake up from this slumber of going about your day and not realizing how much more you need from my presence.” The Lord tells them, “It is enough, the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going! See my betrayer is approaching!"
This morning I saw these words in a different light. "It is enough, the hour has come." To me the Lord was saying, "Girl, enough wasting time and acting so indifferent. Don't you see the hour has come to open your eyes and see what's coming, what is approaching and what is around you? Can't you sense what is already coming towards you and even with your knowing of the attack and the trials, you're taking it light like it's not about you and you don't need to get serious about getting strong through seeking your Heavenly Father. It is enough. No more staying the same. Time to take a pause and make a change.
"The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners." I felt in my heart the Lord showing me how this world has decided to take everything and everyone that represents the Kingdom of our Lord and is ready to set Him on notice to attack, take him down, a full on assault on our King of Kings. Although this world is attacking everything that stands for the Lord, we as his children do not go unnoticed. The enemy and all of the hosts of darkness are also coming out against God's children as they either seek the Lord in whole hearted devotion in the garden of Gethsemane or fall asleep.
"Rise! let us be going!" Time to rise up and do what we have to do. And what is that thing I felt the Lord placing in my heart as urgent and immediate? Prayer, but the kind of prayer where we really and truly come before the Lord and seek his presence, love on Him and allow His love to fall upon us, prayer that seeks God with a heart full of repentance and without thinking we're good and deserve it all, but come saying, "Lord, I can't do anything without You."
I don't know if you sense the Lord asking you to do anything. I see the desperate situations in the lives of the people I love and what I've done has not been enough. I believe God is calling his children to have Elijah and Elisha moments. I believe the Lord is inviting us to surrender and believe that we can see great moments as seen in the Old Testament. I believe God is still saying He is the Great Powerful One. He says, "Trust me." The hour of darkness may come against us but God is with us and He will give us victory against the devil. God has promised to be with us as we stand against the devil, as we fight and as we push darkness back.
Lord, show me how to enter into that moment of praying and seeking You. My home needs your touch. My family needs a breakthrough. There is a great need to be delivered from sickness, disease and infirmity. Every attack of the enemy can be broken. Anxiety, depression, and mental despair must fall down at the feet of Jesus. God will destroy the work of the enemy if we seek Him and believe.
Well, that was my though. It's what happens when I read Scripture. My mind just sees it like a movie. My heart receives it like God's word just for me. I pray you are encouraged to pray and to stand for your family and your needs, in Jesus name, amen.
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Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Horrendous activities are planned against families daily. The mobs of darkness unleash their darkest conceived plans against everyone, especially those who call themselves, the so called believers and followers of Christ. Every vile and destructive imagination is unleashed against families and against individuals who have only begun to learn their ABC's and colors. Deep anger and hatred as blood that keeps the hosts of darkness moving forward, invade communities, cities and fearlessly invade homes. They use the heart and mind that becomes available to their desires and re-education of mankind to turn around once Godly values and make them the unspeakable curse word among nations. Demonic activity rises and moves through individuals that have surrendered their hearts and their will to speak out against the lifestyle that represented things Godly, holy and beautiful to twist those very ideas and make them a mockery, a ghastly ideology and a way that is challenged in the very high courts that once believed in God we trust.
You and I are not exempt. There is no label on our foreheads that says, "Able to Escape" because although we believe in a mighty God and although we do our best to live each day honoring the ideas, principles and values poured out from God's word into our hearts, we live very aware that we wrestle on a daily basis with the unseen that rises up against God's children to abolish the creation that has been made worthy of Salvation. We are part of that group that tirelessly experiences the oncoming onslaught of darkness and many times we are left on the ground, unable to stand for a moment, and so many times at the very brink of giving up the fight. The fight. Don't give up the fight. For although our fight is against principalities in the heavenly realm, it is in that realm that God's power and presence is manifested to once more cover us and keep us through the worst of attacks.
How exactly do we know we are being assaulted? Look around you and if you are alive you will realize there is a plan set forth in motion to bring you and your family, together with your community to complete ruin. I've seen this not occasionally, but on a regular basis in my own life. My own children are constantly bombarded with horrible situations. Sickness is constantly invading our home. Our jobs went through some extreme changes the past four years. Our loss has been great financially and we've gone from being in a somewhat comfortable place to knowing what it is to make do with the basics and be content with God's provision on a daily basis, just enough for each day. My marriage has gone through the battlefield and many times I was sure the end was here for us. Arrow after arrow has been launched to destroy, detour and completely annihilate my children and us as individuals and as a family.
The attack is real. But, I want you to know that although this rising up of darkness against the Chosen of God is never ending, so is God's grace and power for His children, never ending. His love and His Power is limitless. There is no end to His presence being available to those who believe and call out to the Lord. God is faithful to give us never ending victory against a defeated foes who get their joy by thrashing us and shooting out against us to see us fall. Yet, the Lord in his mercy has taken the time to leave us words of comfort, words of encouragement and instructions to help us know how to fight and how to stand against the wiles of the enemy.
My friend, our help comes from the Lord. Suicide is a voice that speaks into your ears and tells you that your worth and purpose is over. It tells you that there's no reason to live. Divorce comes and stands in your bedroom and tells you that it's better to stop fighting for your marriage and that someone else will make you happy. Sickness comes in to torment your body, your child's body and at times you say, "Lord, if you're healer, where are you and why aren't you healing my child?" We question God and all the while God is not ignoring us, He is saying, Hush my child. Be still. I am at work in this matter. You are not alone. Look at me. Watch me fight for you. I am with you.
Even in the very house of the Lord we experience the struggle for there are many that even in roles of leadership seem more the messengers of darkness than the very people in our lives that have never confessed Christ. We see their fake smiles, and it's easy to detect the presence in them that butts heads with what is in us. We see their lies, their jealousy and their plan to stand in our way of serving the Lord. But, even in this, God reminds us once more that even when our very own family in the Lord is that source of pain and anger, God wants us to see it as the devil at work to being destruction not only in us but in them as well.
God wants us to be wise and turn to Him. The Lord wants to show us not to focus on the negative but to place our eyes on Him and Him alone so that we remember to give Him glory through all our struggles and all our hard times. God alone gets the glory so that we understand it is not the strength of our arm, our words, how loud we get or how smart we think we are, but it is Jehovah in us to help you experience God's deliverance and God's presence.
Yes, darkness rises against us. Light is greater for God is light and the darkness flees at it's spark. True, evil seems to reign in many parts of our lives and our communities but God's life is greater and if we pursue it, we will experience deliverance and joy! Do not be overcome with discouragement but hold on to the Lord and see that greater is He that is in You than He who is in the world.
If you need prayer or just someone to listen, feel free to share. When we get together to pray for one another and believe God for the pulling down of strongholds and calling upon the Powerful name of Jesus Christ, great things happen.
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Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Written By Angeline M Duran Santiago
They have greatly oppressed me from my youth,
but they have not gained victory over me.”
“Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth:
yet they have not prevailed against me.”
“From my earliest youth my enemies have persecuted me,
but they have never been able to finish me off.”
The more I take a moment to read the different translations of Psalm 129:2, the more my heart is filled with the assurance that in my darkest moments, I truly have not been abandoned, God has looked after me from my childhood. I look back and I remember so many tragedies, periods of crisis, and so many times where only divine intervention could have gotten my family and me through the difficulty. There have been sicknesses, traumas, and so many other things that are not worth the mentioning because I prefer to magnify my Great God and not a host of darkness whose end is defeat.
I truly love these words and as I meditated on them this morning, I had to stop and just look up the different translations. Yes, I have been greatly oppressed, afflicted and persecuted. It seemed life in school and growing up makes this sentence so real for me personally. Even later on in my late teens when I God’s love called me out of the darkness and into His glorious Light, even in the church I learned what it meant to me persecuted, mistreated, falsely accused and left alone. Throughout my days, the opposition has never ceased to come against me.
The awesome truth of getting into God’s Word is the second part of this verse. It says, they have not gained victory over me, they have not prevailed against me and they have never been able to finish me off. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Do you see this? Do you get it? Really get it? I heard the Lord speaking into my life this morning and saying, “Girl, I know they’ve been oppressing, afflicting and persecuting you since you were a little girl, but don’t you know it’s not going to break you? Don’t you see this is not your end? Don’t you realize that a Greater one than “they” and “your enemies” has always been by your side?
I am encouraged this morning because these words are not just for me. These words are resounding loud and clear for my son Jacob, Type 1 Diabetes has afflicted you from your infancy, but it will not destroy you! God is with you! These words are for my son Aaron and my daughter Jeru. Yes, you have gone through much in your short life, but God has and will continue to fight for you and conquer those that come against you. These words are for my brothers and their families. These words are for my parents, yes, my parents need to know that they’ve gone through the battles and the storms. People have done so much wrong to you and your family but God is reminding us that in the midst of all the wrong, all the hurt and all the assaults on our family, past and present, God is saying, "This is not for your destruction!"
Amazing! It is awesome to have the Scriptures that tell me of God's plan, that reveal to me God's love, His purpose and His power for me each day. Yes, we enter the battlefield, but we are trained from head to toe. We are never abandoned and never forsaken. God allows us to begin at the starting line and He is with us as we reach the victory at the finish line. God is present when we're pushed down but He is present to lift us up and keep our heads held high. God is present when we cry but he is present when we rejoice! God is ever present in the silence but oh, He is ever present when we put on the music and dance before His presence!
This is not just for my family. This is for you, dear reader, dear brother and sister in the Lord. God knows your past , but oh, how much more wonderful that He is not only with you today and tomorrow but He will be with you in the upcoming years to keep giving you the victory that comes when we trust in His power, faithfulness and love. This is for you if you've gone through the wreckage of a hurtful past. If you have been let down. Whatever you have gone through, do not, I repeat, DO NOT FOCUS on the past. God wants you and me to look ahead because when we keep our eyes on Him we are able to see that we have not been completely demolished.
Trust in the Lord. He is more than good.
He is faithful. He is Lord and He never fails.
Monday, April 24, 2017
By Angeline M Duran Santiago
Being here, I go through the motions. I go from anger to frustration, from feeling alone to being completely lost and no longer knowing what to do. I talk to God and I tell him that at this point in time, everything I ever thought I knew seems terribly small in comparison to what I need to know. I long for words of wisdom to be written upon the clouds but even the clouds are silent. I acknowledge that anything I've ever claimed to know and hold on in regards to my faith and my hope in Christ needs to be strengthened and that I need to adjust my strap and lock on to Him even tighter than ever.
I look around me and the ones that should be fighting with me are laid back as if the dark clouds and the storms cannot touch them. The pain I see others feeling seems invisible to them because it is not a real pain on their own bodies. How, Lord? How can we be so indifferent to the hurts of others when we are commanded to help one another with our burdens and to weep with those that weep? How easily we turn away and pretend the fight is not ours when the battle has knocked on our door and not waited for anyone to answer and open, but it has used force to enter and begin to twirl in our midst.
Victory. You don't want victory! For if you wanted victory you would see what I see, feel what I feel and take your place and fight. If you could understand what is at stake here there would be an attitude to pray, to fight back and refuse to let the enemy to have his way in our lives and in our home. You don't want the victory because you've seen God work it out in our lives too many times before and think it's always going to be the same.
No. This is not the same battle as before. Can't you see we're about to lose so much more than ever before and still, still you won't take your place and lift up your sword!
I fight alone, most of the time. Yes, there are those who have never left my side. But, here, here in our home, why do you leave my alone to face the enemy and to stand against the Goliath of this age? Where is your ability to pray with me, pray with us, and lead us in a word that commands the hosts of hell to flee. You look at me and see how the enemy continues to launch his missiles against us and then you turn to the other side and fall asleep. Asleep. You are tired and complain as if no one else is tired and weary. You have given up and you can't help us fight because you don't want to. You don't want to win this fight. You don't care if there is victory or not because you've become content and conformed to what life has been and regardless of what changes or doesn't change, you certainly will not.
I have no choice but to keep my armor on. God's armor upon me is my only promise to succeed. Lord, I don't know how to face the enemies that come towards me. I am trying the way I thought I knew, but I feel like a child and I surrender completely and ask you to once more, teach me anew and train my hands for war. Fill me with divine wisdom and knowledge to see and understand. Give me words to speak and silence me when I must stay quiet. Lord, strengthen me in my body and in my heart. Strengthen me in my spirit and give me courage to fight on, push through, run and jump and clash against the swords and arrows that come towards my family, towards my home, against my son and against my sanity.
Rise, oh Lord, and take your place near me and with me. My mind hears the whispers that I am alone but I know it is a lie, You are with me like a Mighty Warrior. Arise O God and work in my life and in my situation. The wind dares to say I am defeated, but I know that I am and will never be destroyed as long as I trust in You. Lord, come near and flood my life with your presence. All around me people try to encourage me but their words are empty and I walk away. Your words are life and they give me power to take each step, each day.
Dear God, my heart wants to shout out to the heavens and request the heavenly armies to come and destroy everything that is happening around me. I feel lost without you, Lord, but I know that I know you have not forsaken me. You have not left me to confusion or insecurity. When my mind feels like I can't remember or I've lost track of what makes sense, I remember to meditate upon you and you will keep me in perfect peace.
Tired. So many around me are tired and they put their swords down. Weary and conformed is how so many are because they're ok with life around them. Life hits those around them and because their own bodies are not touched, they resign to living day by day and do not worry. It's not with me, they say, so they don't pray. This is why I say, You don't want victory. For if you did, you would take this attack personally.
Lord, show me how to fight. Train me and teach me how to confront these situations and circumstances in my life. Direct me always. Don't let me fail. Don't let me fall. Keep me close to your heart. Guide me continuously. Lead me. Move through my life and in my life. Use my life, my words, my heart and my entire being for your glory and to magnify your name. Use my life so that when others see what you have done, they will see and say, "What a mighty God we serve!" Be on my side and bring glory to this situation. Be magnified in my life, in the precious name of Jesus, amen.