A Word to the Weary Warrior

Posted: February 22, 2010 in Truth, Uncategorized

On a regular basis I hear from those who read my blog…people from many different places, backgrounds, experiences and histories. There are many weary and wounded in the body right now who are desperately clinging to the truth they know and trying to be a light where they are. I hear the frustration and I understand the pain. I know the cry and pursuit for what is real that rings loudly in them.

This is a word of encouragement for those of you who this describes:

Your prayers have not fallen upon deaf ears. Our Father’s grace is not in short supply. His canopy of love is not too small to cover you and His arm is not too short to catch you. His plans are not too small for your life to fit into and the warfare you wage by holding fast to truth is not in vain.

No matter your situation or the particular events you find yourself in the midst of…whether your church has fallen into error, you’ve left an IHOP, you’ve been burned by one of the many “spiritual movements” that are currently circulating or a myriad of other difficult circumstances, stand firm in the truth of G-d’s word and let that be the anchor of your hope. When your hope has grown deferred and your heart has become sick, set your hope on the one foundation that is immovable. He is an eternal rock in a world of sandy foundations…a fortress of strength…the Creator and Sustainer of all living things who holds your life and is writing the blueprint of your destiny. Has He changed? Has He forgotten His sheep? Don’t let the adversary, Satan, tell you that your G-d is too small.

Put your complete trust in the Father…the kind of trust that you felt when you jumped off the deep end of the swimming pool for the first time to the open arms that caught you. The one who carries you is faithful and He knows where you are right now. He knows your hunger for fellowship with like-hearted believers when you can’t find a fellowship or congregation to connect with. He knows the pain of sharing truth with friends and family who simply turn a closed ear to your words.

Take heart. Even though creation groans and everything that can be shaken will be, if your trust is firmly set on the Father then you will dwell on a foundation that will not move. This is the beginning of birthing pangs but take comfort in knowing that our King wins in the end and that your perseverance in the face of persecution and hardship is what produces patience in you and tests you to show you where your trust lies.

The accusations against you may be numerous. Those you have tried to share truth with may have told you things such as “stop being so judgmental”, “try to see the glass half full”, “you have a ‘spirit of Jezebel’ because you’re trying to control the Spirit”, “you’re putting G-d in a box”, “He’s doing a new thing and you’re just not getting on board”, “If you mention that a ministry is in error then you are being slanderous” and much, much more. Keep in mind that when truth meets deception one of two things happens: those with a love for truth embrace what is genuine because they have sought to know the truth of G-d’s word and live by it. They will quickly turn from deception and be restored. Or, they will hold to what seems right and feels comfortable and safe and become defensive–accusing you of being the one in deception.

You may have been dis-fellowshipped. Your wounds may still be bleeding and you may be carrying some pretty big resentments against those that have hurt you. But my desire for you is that you would, through the power of the Father’s love and His words of truth, be brought through your present storm and into a place of healing and greater trust than you have ever known. Forgive those who have hurt you and let vengeance and vindication come from above.

There are many wolves among the flock. Some are easier to recognize than others but the difference between the wolves and the sheep is the fact that the sheep know the Shepherd’s voice and will follow Him where HE leads. The wolves will not follow the Shepherd and are not trained to know His voice so they go their own way and take the sheep with them. Keep your eyes on the Shepherd and follow HIS voice alone. He is bigger than the wolves so don’t fear them or what they can do to you. (Matt 10:28)

Cling to what is true. Connect to those who will speak the truth to you in love. Forgive. Trust the Father to direct and guide you.

“Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD. They say continually to those who despise the word of the LORD, ‘It shall be well with you’; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, ‘No disaster shall come upon you.'” ! Jeremiah 23:16-17

“Lead me, Adonai, in your righteousness because of those lying in wait for me; make your way straight before me. For in their mouths there is nothing sincere, within them are calamities, their throats are open tombs, they flatter with their tongues. G-d, declare them guilty! Let them fall through their own intrigues, for their many crimes, throw them down; since they have rebelled against you. But let all who take refuge in your rejoice, let them forever shot for joy! Shelter them; and they will be glad, those who love your name. For you Adonai, bless the righteous, you surround them with favor like a shield.” Psalm 5:8-12″

Take heart dear brothers and sisters in faith. Do not let your trust be shaken and do not compromise the truth even when it temporarily seems easier to do so. The price of acquiring truth is less costly than the lessons learned in losing it. Having done all, stand. The King still rules from the throne of justice and truth.
G-d isn’t finished and He alone gets to have the last word.

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Comments
  1. […] Masquerade – A Word to the Weary Warrior Very uplifting word of […]

  2. DoubleGrace says:

    Mystic practices that have been prevalent in the Charismatic/Pentecostal church:

    http://www.discernment-ministries.org/Holy_Laughter.htm

    http://www.letusreason.org/pent14%20.htm

    Including false prophecies and “words of knowledge”, false healings, “angel” appearances, visions, other supposed manifestations that are the result of mistaking deceiving spirits for The Holy Spirit, and just plain elaborate lies, fabrications and imaginations.

    • jamadan says:

      Double grace,

      While the devil always has a counterfeit for what God does, there are very genuine gifts of the Spirit that were restored to the church with the Azuza Street revival and have been ongoing since. Just because there are some who fake or operate in a counterfeit does not mean the gifts aren’t real. I don’t know if that is what you were saying or not, but there are some who have falsely condemned the Holy Spirit and His giftings as being demonic. And various manifestations such as laughter actually have occurred in response to the Holy Spirit – I’ve experienced it decades ago long before any recent events or “revivals” have perverted it. There are also a lot of false teachings out there, should we lump all teachers into the same bucket? Or should we exercise the gift of discerning of spirits and our God given judgement coupled with the Word of God to determine what is real and from God and what is not?

      • DoubleGrace says:

        jamadan,
        I’ve experienced all of the said “manifestations” and more. I am definitely NOT of the opinion that there are not genuine gifts of the Holy Spirit, as written in the Scripture. However, there is absolutely no scriptural support for “holy” laughter, “slain in the spirit”, “drunk” in the spirit. These ARE counterfeit “gifts”.

        I used to think I was using the gift of discernment when these things occurred. I thought I was “getting closer to God” and pleasing Him. Why? Because they made me FEEL good, They caused physical sensation. Yet I have learned since through the study of the WORD, which was prompted by the Holy Spirit, that these things are NOT Him. Most of the time, I would say that these “manifestations” were the result of being lulled into a mild trance state by repetitive music, mental suggestions (group/mass hypnosis) and on some occasions, literal deceiving spirits.

        And if most of this was counterfeit, of the flesh or by deceiving spirits, it was SIN. I have since repented, and continue to study, research and read God’s Word and pray. I am trusting Him and am in no hurry to jump back into all of hoopla that most of the Charismatic church today mistakenly thinks is the Holy Spirit. I am not willing to accept the erroneous teachings that came out of Azuza Street and all subsequent “movements”

        So far as the gifts being “restored” at these points in history-Jesus said He would never leave us or forsake us. Once the Holy Spirit was given at Pentecost, He never left. There have always been true gifts. They just haven’t been the big side-show that they have become the past few centuries, although the counterfeit has been there all along.

        I’d also like to add, that before the Lord stopped me in my tracks as I was about to go off to get involved in yet another “level” of manifestations, that I was told God wanted us all to have….I would NEVER and I mean NEVER listen to anyone who told me that “holy laughter” “drunk in the spirit” “slain in the spirit” and all of the spin-off manifestations were not of God. My friends and family could talk til they were blue in the face and I would not listen. The reason? I was convinced that since I had EXPERIENCED these things, seeking God, that surely they were of God. Surely, I couldn’t have been deceived! LOL! I never stopped to think, and use the discernment I already had been given and use the plumb line of God’s Word to see if these manifestations were of God.

        BTW after about 20+ years of being in the “charismatic/pentecostal” wave, I feel that I am starting over with God. The deception of those “movements/waves” is like being a drug addict. People think they are experiencing God’s power, but they are only being deceived by manifestations easily conjured up by practitioners of other religions and by people proficient in mind control/hypnosis and by so-called “christian” ministers who are themselves wolves in sheep’s clothing, ministering with the help of demonic spirits. Some, I am convinced are psychics(who use familiar spirits to”minister”).

        I would say it was a total waste of time all of the those years, except if I had not been deceived and experienced the things I did, I probably wouldn’t have learned better.

        I have grown more in my faith the past 2 years w/o all of the manifestation hoopla of the past 20+ years. And I thank God almost every day for His mercy and grace in waking me up and getting me out of that false belief system.

        Sorry this is so long.
        Be blessed. 🙂

      • jamadan says:

        Please don’t apologize, your post helped to clarify quite a bit. We have had similar experiences and responses to those experiences. I would simply differ in saying that while the majority of what we see today in terms of laughter, drunkenness and being slain is what you say, I don’t believe all of it can be dumped in those buckets. Having experienced all 3 at rare times before any of these revival movements started, I can say that it was God each time as the fruit bore witness in my life and there is certainly nothing in Scripture that disproves or condemns such manifestations, in fact there are more hints that it could be of God than not . . . BUT, I am in total agreement that most of what we are seeing is either a demonic spirit, mass hyposis or even just the power of wanting to fit it and be perceived as being blessed by God. At the core of this is the seeking of these manifestations. If you pursure a manifestation, demons can easily do that and the human mind and will can easily fabricate the experience. I say all of that for one simple reason, if you find yourself praying for someone and laying hands on them to blessed or healed or whatever and then they fall down, don’t get upset thinking a demon intervened or anything wrong happened. It could be that the power simply started flowing and impacted the person being prayed for.

      • DoubleGrace says:

        jamadan,

        Glad I could clarify. I agree with some of what you said, but I must say that if you did a thorough search of the scriptures, you would find that falling over was a rebuke from the Lord, not a blessing and not the result of His power flowing. None of the people that belonged to Him were knocked over by his power. Only those who were in disobedience to Him were knocked over.

        I don’t have all of the answers about this but I can’t find a positive example in the scriptures. Neither can I find scriptural support for uncontrolled laughter or drunkenness. I can not see anyone who Jesus prayed for knocked over or acting hysterically drunk. If anything, they were sober minded. Joyful, yes. But not hysterical and uncontrolled, as if the Holy Spirit were “making” them do it or manifesting in some bizarre way. If anyone would have fallen over when being prayed for, because of the “power”, it would have been the people Jesus touched. But they didn’t. Neither did anyone the original Apostles prayed for.

        Just something to think about and study.

        Blessings. 🙂

      • jamadan says:

        Hysterical laughter? No. Falling over drunk? No. I think that’s mostly a human psychological overreaction to gain attention. Here’s an example of what has happened to me. I was teaching a class on being filled with the Spirit the final class in a series and then we started to pray for the 30 or so people who came so that they would be filled with the Spirit. After about 10 people had come and been filled, the older man and I who had been praying for everyone as a team had one man whose experience while we were praying was particularly powerful. You could sense a dramatic increase in the flow of the Spirit as we prayed nearly knocking us off our feet. This was a Lutheran man who had no exposure to any charismatic experiences of expectations at all and he literally staggered back to his seat holding on to the chairs to ensure he didn’t. Both my partner and I felt overflowing with joy and a profound sense of God’s power and Presence right there. We just looked at each other and both of us were grinning from ear to ear realizing how awesome God was – physically it had a similar feeling to having a light buzz from being drunk – not mentally, but in the body. Suddenly I just started laughing lightly and he found himself doing the same. Lasted for about 30 seconds, we took a deep breath and then invited the next person forward for prayer and cotinued to see God move in filling the rest of the group. That’s the kind of thing I’m talking about. Not trying to explain it or understand it, just saying that a similar thing has happened on occasion. And I know for a fact that it was my response to a move of the Holy Spirit and not an evil spirit – I’ve been walking too long in the Lord and fully recognize the difference.

  3. smilesback says:

    A close relative, with whom I used to pray with over the phone, has not spoken to me or written to me now for almost a year. Why? Well, she became a “Reverend” and leader of IHOP and then, I think, realized from my writings that I was not in agreement with Bickle, Joyner, Jones, Cain, and the likes. Need I explain further? It’s very sad that we’ve lost that spiritual fellowship. But I cannot have unity with “a different spirit” –and I guess she must feel the same way.

    Truly, IHOP is creating division within Christ’s Body, leading many astray and out.

    Thank you for your blog.
    Rachel

  4. DoubleGrace says:

    I just found your blog. I have been reading similar blogs and articles for about 2 years, just before and after getting out of the mystic/occult practices that have invaded the church for about 100 years going back to Azuza Street and probably before.

    The church needs to be aware that these practices are NOT The Holy Spirit. So many well-intentioned, loving Christians get caught up in all of this witchcraft, disguised as Christianity.

    I could go on, because I was in this “movement” for almost 20 years. Thank God for His mercy and grace for getting me out! I still have friends and some family who think that all of the whacked up manifestations, 24 hr “prayer” meetings (trying to “bring the presence of God”, is all Christian practice but it’s not in the Scripture!!

    Anyway, Thanks for your blog. I am slowly but surely finding I am not alone. But am still concerned for those who are still in this. 😦

    • jamadan says:

      Double Grace. What occult practices that go back to Azuza Street are you referring to?

  5. Debbie says:

    Ariel – Not only is it refreshing to run alongside like-hearted believers, it’s as if a whole new world exists in which your eyes, your heart and your mind are blossoming in truth. I became once again like a little child in a candy store, pigging out on the Word because its truth tasted so good.

    If I may say, as spring approaches and the buds are opening, so too are the benefits of that bloom, as of yet unseen, but by faith knowing the blossom is soon to be.

    Blessings!

  6. unknown says:

    I searched all over the internet to find someone’s personal story with IHOP. There is nothing out there like your blog. This is amazing. Don’t ever stop writing! People need to hear this.

    • Ariel says:

      I sincerely appreciate your encouragement. Thank you! I’m so glad to hear that you have been blessed and encouraged by visiting my blog. Thanks for taking time to express that.

  7. Debbie says:

    Thank you for posting this. It took me almost two years to be able to take the words you have shared here and apply them to my life. Alone is not a place any of us should be. I thank God that even though it was truly difficult He was there for me to hang onto for dear life as I lost fellowship, friends and even left my job. God is so good and so faithful to us if we will simply let Him lead.

    • Ariel says:

      Debbie, thank you for sharing some of your story. I relate well to the “loss of fellowship, friends, etc.” after leaving IHOP. The good news is that as we grow and heal in the L-rd that He brings across our path those who share our pursuit of truth and our desire to know HIM as He is…as scripture teaches of Him…not what man has contrived about Him. So new friendships and new fellowships are on the other side and it’s so refreshing to run alongside like-hearted believers who share a heart for truth.

      • Hadar says:

        new friendships and new fellowships are on the other side and it’s so refreshing to run alongside like-hearted believers who share a heart for truth.

        AMEN TO THAT!

  8. Julie says:

    And let me add that Ariel speaks this from experience. She’s my friend (hi, Ariel) and I know that she doesn’t post the venim that she receives, on a regular basis, attacking her for her experiences and an insight, lest this sight turn into a slander mill.

    I am encouraged by her delivery, tact, and patience in telling her story and presenting the facts. She needs our prayers and encouragement. Ariel, you are the best and we soooo appreciate you!

  9. Annunk (for SP) says:

    Recently a lady I’ve known since 1983, with whom I used to attend church, sent her daughter to IHOP. When I found out about it, I sent her an email (since I had moved) telling her about Mike Bickle, Contemplative prayer, the rigorous schedule of the new interns noted on your blog, Ariel, the brain washing – and about the son SP lost to IHOP after they councilled him to cut off 100% of communication with her. I did everything but beg her to bring her child back home.

    No reply to my message – so I sent 2 more – copied from this and Grey Coats’ blog. Finally a reply.

    I was told to knock it off. That her daughter would never get involved in anything that wasn’t absolutely ‘of God’. But then, to add insult to injury, she ended her letter telling me she was very, very happy SP’s son was at IHOP and that he was ‘growing in the Lord’ there and SP should be glad he’s there. That all these blogs…are just a bunch of junk written by people who “couldn’t make it at IHOP”.

    Tried to write her back, but found out that I have been blocked from e-mailing to her. So… I wipe the dust from my feet and go on… But it still stung when that e-mail came back blocked.

    So Ariel, THAT is the reason I can tell you this message of yours was very, very appreciated. It makes wiping the dust off just a little easier.

    Thank you very much. And I just know God’s going to bless you richly.

    • jamadan says:

      I think the problem lies in perception. Bickle and IHOP appear, for all external purposes, to be a really good thing for Christians. I would even say that most of the people in IHOP are there to serve Christ in a very passionate, loving, sacrificial way. So a parent who sends their young adult there is thrilled he or she is so in love with God and is willing to serve in this way. It’s not easy to discern the theological problems that lie under the covers and even more difficult to see the cult-like tendencies within to pressure and control those in IHOP. It’s not all unlike the old shepherding/discipleship movement of the 70’s and early 80’s . . . they meant well and thought they were walking with God and the leaders like Derek Prince, Larry Tomzcak, Ern Baxter et al were awesome men of God. It was only later that the leaders realized where they had erred and repented.

      • LaughingGrizzley says:

        jamadan, having had experience with both the shepherding movement and Metro, I feel as though I can comment on both. In KC, as Derek Prince as an overseer, we had a tremendous sense of community and relationship. The only problem was an abuse of leadership, starting with the main leader, who started a real estate scam in Leawood and had everyone in the fellowship invest in it. And there was severe abuse in Michigan and other areas of the country. Derek Prince, Ern Baxter, Bob Mumford later repented for the Shepherding movement, and Don Basham had such severe bouts of depression from what occurred, he actually passed away before his time.Why do I bring up the repentance issue? These godly men actually saw the errors of taking a scripture and twisting it here there, to meet what ever “translation” they felt met what they were teaching.
        Mike Bickle, on the other hand, has been in Kansas City for 30 years. What is the fruits of his teachings? I remember back in 84-85 having lunch with a leader of Metro, that I had known at Agape, that said he would like to go into hospitals and see everyone healed and released, going to a park (which did happened in the early Agape days) and seeing people saved. Sadly, this has not happened in KC, even with a group of sincere “youth”, praying 24×7. Where are the ones of wisdom and discernment at IHOP (Ok, the older farts that have been around a little while)? Why the fascination with Catholic teachings? (Rick Joyner was knighted into the group of Knights of Malta, which has Masonic ties) And if one agrees that the Catholic church is the “Harlot Church” of Revelations, why would one want to associate with it? If Jesus came in humility and grace, why has Mike not repented when his teaching were questioned by Ernie Gruen? I could go on, but sadly, there too many question to say that this ministry for me to say that “this is a good thing for Christians”.

      • jamadan says:

        Hi LaughingGrizzley. Great name! At 6’4″ and with the build of a linebacker, I can relate to your moniker 🙂

        Thanks for your insights. I’d forgotten about Basham. With respect to Bickle, I agree, I think God was giving him an opportunity to repent and get back on the right path when Gruen confronted him, but he refused. Same thing happened with Toronto when John Wimber confronted Arnott – I know some would disagree with me about Toronto but I’m convinced it was a powerful move of God that got polluted and when they spurned Wimber, God turned them over to their sin and the demons were loosed in the place.

        I think the primary differences between Metro and shepherding though is the underlying motive and theology. The shepherding movement was founded in response to the lack of accountability within the charismatic movement by a group of solid, mature teacherswho had sound theology. They wanted the protection of relationships in which everyone was accountable to someone.

        Contrast that with Metro which was founded on Dominionism, the KC prophet move and the elitist thinking that they are superior to all other Christians and it’s a nasty recipe filled with demonic perversions. Your right, I’ve always wondered when any of them might look up to examine the fruit . . . are people being saved? healed? etc? Or are they just attending meetings prophesying how great they are to each other and seeking after manifestations?