Who Are You Kidding?

1 John 2:4

Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,


I’m truly starting to understand the differences. In one corner you have head knowledge. In the other corner you have heart faith. I have said once before that many will stand before the King and sadly hear, “Depart from me, for I never knew you.” 

Matthew 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

What does this look like on earth? For starters, I cannot and will not judge. However, the Word makes it very clear that believers should bear fruit! 

Galatians 5:22-23, “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Where do you see yourself?

-peacemaker or instigator?

-gentle or harsh?

-calm or rash?

-joyful or sorrowful?

-kind or abrasive?

-humble or prideful?

We are not perfect, BUT the Spirit yearns to produce such good fruit when we actively strive to become more like Christ. We must stop saying, “I know him” but our actions scream otherwise. 

Do you find yourself stirring up trouble? Do you rebel against worship? Do you secretly seek praise and reinforcement to feed your pride even when it comes to “Godly things?” Who is responsible for instigating these evil fruits within you? It’s time to clean house my friends! 

Question: Do you REALLY know your King? Let Him search your heart – for there you will find your answer. 

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Burdened 

John 14:1-4

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”


We cannot avoid it. We live in a sinful world. The flesh battles against the Spirit daily. There remains an internal struggle in the hearts of every human. Things happen that cause our hearts to be troubled. What does Jesus say about burdens and troubles? 

How can we measure the level and impact of our troubles? The answer lies within your emotional reactions. Jesus clearly states that we should not let our hearts be troubled. Why? He knows HOPE! In fact, Hope = God. Jesus was verbally declaring the promises of the Father! In that, we should be filled to the brim with excitement. You see, our Hope isn’t in this world, people, or things. Our hope is in the Lord. 

When troubles stir, people disappoint, stress abounds, bodies ache, and the mind controls, we should look to the Hope in our Savior. We focus on Him alone for He has gone to prepare a place for us! Do you truly believe? He not only is sitting at the right hand of the Father, but Jesus has gone to prepare our eternal home. He promises, therefore, to return for His children! To that I say – BE GONE burdens! 

Challenge: Dear friends, it’s time to self-evaluate. If you are only on a spiritual high when things are going your way then you need to assess your level of true dependence upon the Lord. Allow the Potter full access. How are you responding to the trials in your life? Are you weary? Are you burdened? Are you depressed? Or… Are you hopeful for the promises to come?

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Are You Coming?

Psalm 100:4

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

Are You going

I work with some of the most amazing people in the world. God has blessed me with a team that exhibits a vast array of personalities and spiritual gifts. We are beyond blessed to be in a “helping” profession. We get to see God’s work first hand even in physical healing. It never gets old, and I’m always looking for the Spirit. In fact, I listen intently when my team speaks because I want to hear more than the literal terms; I want to listen for God’s message through their conversations no matter how unrelated.

Just this morning, I was blessed to have a spiritual conversation with a new team member. She brings such light, spiritual awareness, and truth. She is gifted and people cannot help but listen when she speaks. Her genuine heart is tangible and visible. She is more than an answer to prayer; she is a gift. This spirit-filled lady made a profound statement today that I couldn’t get out of my head all day. We were discussing the importance and power in worship. We both expressed disappointment when those around us simply appear unmoved and unaffected by His presence. She then stated, “I’m going to the throne room no matter what so are you going with me?”

YES – she gets it! Not only does she “get it” but she helped me understand it too! You see there is power in worship.

Exodus 23:25 – Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you.

Psalm 150:6 – Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.

Acts 16:25 – About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.

John 4:24 – God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.

Joshua 6:2-5 – But the Lord said to Joshua, “I have given you Jericho, its king, and all its strong warriors. You and your fighting men should march around the town once a day for six days. Seven priests will walk ahead of the Ark, each carrying a ram’s horn. On the seventh day you are to march around the town seven times, with the priests blowing the horns. When you hear the priests give one long blast on the rams’ horns, have all the people shout as loud as they can. Then the walls of the town will collapse, and the people can charge straight into the town.”

I must admit, my friend is right! She’s going to the throne room to worship, and I want to go too! She doesn’t become frustrated when those around her fail to be moved. In fact, this drives her to worship more for she knows the Father is WORTH IT! The Father’s room is deep and wide. His grace and mercy bind us together in one body. The Father yearns for all His children to – come! Don’t delay dear friends. Meditate on the Word; pray without ceasing; and worship like He deserves!

Friends, I’m going to the throne room to worship…are you coming?

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Glow

Philippians 2:4

Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

glow

God placed a very special friend in my life over a year ago through providential occurrences. At our very first encounter, God spoke, “You will minister to him.” The problem…I was out of town and didn’t even know this man’s name. I said, “God you must be kidding, right?” His response was steady and sure, “You will minister to him.” The conviction was so strong and the voice so loud that I almost started to believe that the people around me heard God’s voice too! There was nothing left to do than to obey. That simple act of faith and obedience has taken us down a grateful road for well over a year.

Through a series of special “God winks,” we have become good friends and have shared life together. Even more, you would never “put us together” by society’s standards. You see, we are complete opposites honestly. This is what makes this a beautiful God-designed encounter. In full transparency, I do not care about what society tries to define upon my life. I seek to live and act like Jesus. I would venture to say that Jesus also met and shared life with people that society would consider “opposites” even today. For starters, Jesus was ridiculed for being friends with tax collectors and sinners (Luke 7:34). All I have to say is, “Praise God” that glory came down and broke bread with sinners – like you and me!

I found out today that this friend might be moving far away. “Lord, are we done?” I asked. “I thought I was to continue ministering to him. How can I do that so far away?” I continued. The Spirit stated, “I’m the One who brought you together so trust Me to deliver for physical distance is only a barrier for those who don’t believe.” I must admit, this was hard to hear! “You’re right, Lord, I humble myself and place my human restrictions and finite cognition into your control and hands.”

I call upon you too dear believers. Please pray with me. I pray that we are in agreement and in unity with our prayers for each other. I pray for God’s blessings over my friend. I pray that he will fully surrender to the King. I also pray that God will continue to equip me to minister, lead, and/or instruct however He sees fit. Ultimately, we are called to “take an interest in others.” So, our journey is not done just because of a possible move far away; it is just beginning a new chapter.

Question: Are you taking an interest in others around you?

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Distracted

Proverbs 4:25-27

25 Let your eyes look forward; fix your gaze straight ahead. 26 Carefully consider the path for your feet, and all your ways will be established. 27 Don’t turn to the right or to the left; keep your feet away from evil.

focused on christ

“He seems determined!” Satan grumbles to the demons and tormentors. “This cannot happen,” he continues. “Where does his strength come from?” He has had enough and strategizes devious plans to kill, steal, and destroy the unsuspecting Christ-follower.

In the meantime, the believer yearns to know Christ more. He isn’t perfect – not by far – but he strives. His heart bleeds for the Father’s kingdom. He is on a journey, one initiated by salvation and punctuated by deliverance, clarity, mission, and purpose. Every thought and every action is measured by Christ’s motivation, intent, and will. His life’s verse would most certainly be Hebrews 12:1-2, “Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.”

Focused, driven, and purposeful are words I would use to describe this believer. His eyes pierce for a glimpse of the Father’s goodness in this world. He seeks the Father’s understanding and listens intently for the Spirit’s call. “What is He whispering today?” he would most certainly declare. He rebukes fear in Jesus name because 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Yes, he embodies the power of the Holy Spirit. The same God that raised Christ from the dead lives in him. He cries out for unity and spirit-filled conversion. His visions are persistent. God is speaking and he begs for more.

But…just then…he feels a cold chill trickle down his neck. The breath of death appears to have been unleashed from the depths of the abyss in full battle gear. He senses fear and knows death has brought his unprofitable friends: fear, doubt, insecurity, and distraction. This child of God timidly turns to face the challenge. With unsuspecting force, he is knocked down. The weight of destruction is now fully upon him. He weeps.

“This was too easy,” the reporter shares with the evil one. “It appears that the strong one is in fact – weak!” Satan stops pacing and unfolds his arms. He turns and sits basking in the news. “Picking them off one by one is the only way my kingdom will survive,” he acknowledges to himself. The evil one dismisses the court and rumblings are heard throughout the depths.

In complete surrender, the believer calls upon the Spirit of the living God for he knows he is nothing without Christ. His mouth opens and the sword of Spirit, which is the Word of God utterly destroys any chance for these evil powers to overtake this child. An army of angels arrives through the prayers of frontline believers. With a mighty wind, piercing light, and fiery petitions, the evil is rebuked and flees.

“Wait, what? Why are you all back so soon?” the evil one babbles. The demons cowardly state, “We thought he was giving up. He was still but his words were sharp. They were too bright! The forces of the heavenly realm overtook us.” The evil one leaps forward with humiliating tongue, “But wasn’t he alone? You couldn’t take out one single believer?” The demons now shaking from comprehension, “But he wasn’t alone! His prayers, the prayers of others, and the Spirit of the Living God were surrounding him.” Satan slumps to his knees, “You all are useless.” With cold eyes, he looks up and exclaims, “I will always seek to destroy them, and I’ll be looking for his open gates.”

The believer begins to feel Christ’s presence surrounding him – covered in His wing. He hears, “Rest my child. You are not alone nor will you ever be.” The Spirit continues, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” [1 Peter 5:8]. “Put on the full armor of God daily, and never stop focusing on Christ, the One who initiates and perfects our faith.” With renewed strength and purpose, the believer seeks to share his testimony for God’s glory. – Amen

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

The Call!

Philippines 4:9

“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

courthouse and rainbow

Beautiful!! While riding along our downtown road, my wife spots this absolutely breathtaking image. In true “technology fashion”, she pulls out her cellphone to quickly capture this moment before it is lost forever.

To some, you simply see a courthouse and rainbow – yes, the factual aspects of the image. To others, you see God’s promise beautifully arcing over a prominent building in a quaint town. To me, however, I not only see but hear, “This is your confirmation to the vision I have already shown you!” Yes, just weeks ago, the Holy Spirit pierced my heart to plan a community gathering around the courthouse for prayer, worship, and fellowship.

I am fully aware that there is a spiritual battle around you personally, your home, your neighborhood, your community, and your town. Satan’s best work is found in division! My dear friends, why is there nearly a church on every corner in our lovely town? Is it because we are spiritually sound here in DeRidder, Louisiana? Is it because every church is filled to capacity, and we must build more churches to meet the demand?

Then…Why is our town still divided?  Why are our churches half-full? [Think about it.]

I’m concerned that our biggest problem is that we have confused tradition with truth!

My prayer is that we break the mold. We refuse to be slow to respond! Enough is enough my dear community! I have no authority over any territorial spirits. However, as a community, acting as one body in Christ, we collectively have power when we stand united!

I cannot deny that the Spirit spoke this challenge over me. I cannot deny that I was given a vision around the courthouse, and I cannot deny that days later God providentially placed me at the right spot at just the right time to witness His promise firsthand. As my wife took this picture, I couldn’t help but also see the opening in the sky directly above the courthouse. If the rainbow wasn’t enough, I was awestruck when God’s presence broke through the darkness surrounding our community.

So, I prayed!

“Thank you Lord for confirmations! You are a good, good Father. I am just a weak vessel and unworthy of such a blessing. I accept your calling as a servant of the King. I will send forth messengers as you called out to me. We will gather in complete unity, claiming Jesus Christ as our town’s cornerstone. I have seen a dark veil over our town for such a long time; yet you remind me that just a spark of your perfect light shatters darkness. The dark veil runs from your presence! Your people will represent you because your Son lives in us. I ask for forgiveness for our community. We are sorry for failing to see the needs of others over ourselves. We are sorry for allowing division among your people. We claim the protective blood covering granted by your Son Jesus Christ. We pray in Jesus name, Amen.”

Question: Who will gather with me?

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Petition!

Psalm 69:16-17

Answer me, Lordfor Your faithful love is good; in keeping with Your great compassion,
turn to me. 17 Don’t hide Your face from Your servant, for I am in distress. Answer me quickly!

pain

I’m there! Yes, I’ve been there before, but not like I am now. The migraine pain is overwhelming. It consumes my thoughts; yet, I know it can be a spirit of distraction too, and I rebuke that in Jesus name. I refuse to give anything more attention and focus than Jesus and His will over my life.

However, the Holy Spirit convicted me as He spoke, “Your words sounds great, but your faith is poor. I cried, “Me, Lord?” I continued, “Surely when you search my heart you don’t see lack of faith?” “Of course I do!” He exclaimed. “You have all the answers for healing yet you refuse to ask Me because you truly don’t believe.” The Spirit continued, “You are even good at encouraging others to seek their own blessings and to claim their own healing; however, you my child – don’t believe I’m capable of these miracles in you!”

—“But Lord, I, I, um, I know too much about the science, the nerves, the inflammation, the…” The Spirit interrupts, “Who stitched you together in your mother’s womb?”

—“Yes, Lord, but we are in broken bodies, and I have just accepted the fact that this is my thorn.” “My son, your ways are not My ways!”

—“I do believe that, Father, and I humble myself before the throne. But, I……I have lived with this pain for so long that it has to be a part of who I am.” “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “Now be still!”

I most certainly have a deeper understanding of claiming a victory! I also have a deeper understanding of prayer and petition. I want to say, “Shame on me” for failing in such a spiritual way. Yet, the Potter used this to shape and mold me into a more mature believer.

My prayers resound like this Psalm above. Hear me Lord! I am Your child and You are My God! You are bigger than anything my finite mind can create. You can do far more than we can ever imagine. Therefore, as a child of the King, I claim your victory, healing, and power over my life. You say call and therefore I shout! “Don’t hide your face from your servant.” Your healing will be used to glorify your name and further your kingdom as I humbly submit to Your authority and your will alone. In Jesus name I pray in the unity of the Holy Spirit – Amen.

Question: Are you lacking faith for your own healing?

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Imitation

Ephesians 5:1-2

Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. And walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God.

imitation

I think most of us can relate to imitating current trends. I know many who tried their best to comply with the latest fashion over the years such as wearing overalls with the one strap down or feeling the need to purchase every color of parachute pants known to man. Who could forget bell bottoms, leisure suits, and butterfly collars? Yes, we can laugh at some of these things [or maybe you’re not laughing at all because you still own and wear these items to which I say- YOU GO!]

All joking aside, I am seeing an increasing desire for people to embrace the “individualism” culture. Ayn Rand, former philosopher and novelist, said, “I will not run anyone’s life—nor let anyone run mine. I will not rule nor be ruled. I will not be a master nor a slave. I will not sacrifice myself to anyone—nor sacrifice anyone to myself.”

Ephesians 6:6 says, “not by way of eye-service, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.”

Colossians 3:24 says, “24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”

1 Peter 2:16 says, “16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bond-slaves of God.”

As believers, we are first called to die to self! Simply put, we do not own our lives. Take up your cross and follow Christ. He is the One we are to imitate and follow!  We spend an exorbitant amount of time trying to follow/imitate people, things, and events. For example, we become  so obsessed with following actors and actresses that our very lives imitate that of complete strangers. We even feel “falsely” connected with them through multiple social engines that we know what they had for dinner, where they are going on vacation, and what they are naming their children before the media is alerted.

However, we cannot recite more than a few passages from God’s Word. We convince ourselves that we just don’t have the time to read our Bibles like our pastors say we should. We find every excuse not to go to that extra Bible study during the week because it’s hard enough to get to church on Sunday morning anyway. We say we want to know Jesus more yet we imitate the things of this world including selfishness, greed, pride, envy, and idolatry. [Convicted?]

The act of code-switching is when an individual alternates between languages, dialects, or even accents during a conversation. The most common reason why people code-switch is to “fit-in” or to simply sound like those around them. This takes exposure! You cannot sound or even act like the person around you unless you have been exposed to that person or culture over time. Jesus wants us to be so comfortable with Him and His teachings that we instinctively code-switch to the ways of the Father.

I pray that we develop a hunger for the Word, prayer, and Christ’s model that we not only imitate Him but permanently code-switch under His authority.

Question: Who or what are you imitating?

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Perfect Love

1 John 4:18-19

18 There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love.19 We love because He first loved us.

victory

It has been a long day, but these words circulate through her mind like a broken record, “Is it really over? Do I have the energy to fight for this marriage any longer?” She musters the strength to clock out after a 12 hour nursing shift which only leads to acknowledging bottled up emotions from a broken marriage.

She finds herself driving home in “autopilot” unaware of stop signs and passing emergency vehicles because fear has overwhelmed her senses. The thoughts once implanted deep within her brain have quickly surfaced into a single person dialogue. She thinks, “Why doesn’t he love me like I need to be loved? He’s just so angry all the time! Where did it all go wrong?” Yet, this time she hears a reply, “He doesn’t love you, and you aren’t good enough.” Stunned, she reflexively slams on the breaks yet her feet never move. She is disoriented because her reality doesn’t match her emotions. She quickly pulls over to catch her breath, “Am I having a nervous breakdown?” she thinks. At that very moment fear is born and rapidly growing.

As she enters through the front door of their single story country home, she shuts the door ever so softly hoping not to be noticed. She just can’t find the strength to argue any more. She removes her shoes and slides across the living room floor as anxiety and frustration increase. Her thoughts begin to take control, “Why do I have to act like this in my own home? I’m done with him and living like this!” As she enters the bedroom, her fears quickly multiply as she comes face to face with her husband. “Why are you just standing there?” she says forcefully. “Better yet, don’t answer that. I don’t have the energy to argue with you. Just get out of my way; don’t talk to me, and leave me alone. I’m obviously not good enough for you so why even try!”

As she walks around him, her eyes are unveiled for the first time in months. She sees roses and love notes scattered across the room. Her fear is crippling and attempts to induce confusion. “Wait, um, what is all of this?” she says under her breath hoping not to cry. He takes her hand and begins to speak, “I’ve been praying and God has revealed His perfect love to me. Even more, He has convicted me, and I first want to say I’m sorry.”

At that very moment, perfect love drives out all fear from their home and the Holy Spirit is allowed to begin the healing process. Trust and mutual respect will be restored. Love and generosity replace resentment and bitterness.

God reminds us that His design is perfect. His love is perfect. In fact, He sent His Son to die on a cross to save the entire world out of perfect love and perfect obedience. What a beautiful example for us all! Dear friends, always remember that fear is a spirit, one that we should not welcome and one that is not from our heavenly Father. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” Perfect love is so powerful, Christ-centered love, that it drives out fear.

Satan is well aware that He is no match for the Father, but the evil one has convinced you, your family, your relationships, your friends, etc. that bitterness, fear, anger, resentment, and failure are inevitable. Today we say – NO MORE! Under the blood covering of Jesus Christ, we take back our families and relationships as we stand on perfect love! We shall never forget that Jesus Christ is the author of perfect love, and we will thrive on His cornerstone.

Question: Are you in a struggling relationship? How will you use “perfect love” to drive out fear?

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Choice Words

Isaiah 55:8-11

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways.” This is the Lord’s declaration. “For as heaven is higher than earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. 10 For just as rain and snow fall from heaven and do not return there without saturating the earth and making it germinate and sprout, and providing seed to sow and food to eat, 11 so My word that comes from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do.”

words

Words! —This passage brought me to my knees. I have read this passage many times before, but I give thanks to the Holy Spirit for always revealing something new. We must always be reminded that the Word is — ALIVE!

Language is a coded system shared by a group for communication purposes. It’s rich, deep, and intricate. There are literally thousands of different languages throughout our world; however, there is commonality in how we produce our words. We shape both voiced and voiceless air effortlessly with various combinations of tongue and lip movements. This motor act is acoustically perceived in language form as words.

I wonder, though, how many of our words are produced with the intent to harm, destroy, or teardown. Remember, the motor act is the same…so what changed? Matthew 15:18-19 says it best, “18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.” In essence, it’s a deep rooted sin nature that springs forth words that go against our Christian walk. 

Ah, it’s making sense! We have a choice dear friends! As air passes through your larynx to activate your vocal cords; as you feel your breath rising over the base of your tongue, as you begin to shape your sounds, your words have the potential to edify or to corrupt! It happens in a flash. We must ensure that our hearts are filled with the fruits of the Spirit to have any hope in mirroring Father God.

I was humbled by this passage as it states in verse 11, “My word that comes from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do.” —– I still have to pause and take a moment! God’s words are so powerful that EVERYTHING He says and EVERYTHING He promises WILL (catch that verb)…WILL accomplish what He pleases and what He designs. God does not verbalize a plan or promise hoping that it will come to fruition…NO! There is no doubt that what comes from the Father will always be fulfilled in His will! God’s words are never empty dear friends! PRAISE GOD! 

You see, I want us to learn that God is perfection, even in His words! God does not produce empty promises! Yes and Amen. God does not produce even empty speech. He does not manipulate others with His words. He cannot lie. I could keep going, but I believe we are beginning to understand the magnitude of this passage.

So where does this leave you? We are instructed to live like Christ yet our words are tainted! Dear believer, I encourage you to speak words of life, love, encouragement, hope, faith, and deliverance. There is absolutely no room, and frankly no more time, for empty words and especially words that do not glorify the Father.

My prayer is that our words will also return to us full and fruitful as we share the gospel across the world!

Question: Do your words return void or fruitful?

Thankful,

Christian Armetta