Fighting With Faith

Exodus 14:10-14

10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. 11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”

13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Spiritual-Warefare

You get exactly what you see! Human eyes downloading the impossible. We cannot be too quick to judge the Israelites! Why? I’ve been there too. Your greatest fear chasing you down, and it’s breathing down your neck. You turn around and your human eyes are filled with despair, turmoil, anger, resentment, sadness, regret, and doom…it’s over.

A worldview through the lens of the soul will lead you to filter through your human mind, will, and emotions. The enemy you hear marching around the corner travels across the synapse of fear. This, my friend, is bondage.

A worldview through the lens of the Holy Spirit inside of you will lead you to filter through power and truth. The enemy you hear marching around the corner is nothing but an opportunity for God Almighty to fight for you; you need only to be still.

~When your back is up against the wall and you are truly trapped, be still.

~When you are out of answers and the world feels heavy, let the Lord fight for you.

~When the enemy marches insight and you hear their drums, stand firm and watch a miracle unfold before you.

~When the impossible laughs in your face, don’t blink because the waters open up and you’ll walk untouched as your enemy drowns.

Dear believers, we are more like the Israelites in this passage than we think. Many of you are facing battles or decisions that seem impossible. Some of you are wiping the spit off your face from the enemy shouting at you even now. Still, there are those few who believe the lie that it would be easier to just “turn back.” Oh dear brother and sister…faith!

I pray that you feel empowered today, even now, as you read this message to stand still as you face your enemy; let the Lord fight for you, and expect the impossible! May you be filled with the Holy Spirit and submit all authority of your soul and flesh under His power and truth. Live with eyes wide open and filtered through a spiritual lens. See everything through the promises of God. Surrender your mind, will, and emotions daily to the authority of the mighty Savior who lives inside of you and be lead by the Spirit. Smile knowing your back is never up against a wall when the Lord is your Shepherd. He will make a way and He is even able to create rivers in the dry wasteland.

Therefore,  shout a hallelujah!…smile!…and sing!…in the the presence of your enemy knowing God has made a way where there is none! I am asking, even now, that you stand up, be still, and praise Him for making a way! Do you believe?

~Do you believe you will walk on dry land?

~Do you believe He will create rivers in the dry wasteland?

~Do you believe He can heal with just a word?

~Do you believe His name is that powerful?

~Do you believe your enemy will watch you prevail?

~Do you believe you will be delivered?

BE STILL…AND LET THE LORD FIGHT FOR YOU!

Challenge: It’s time for a spiritual adjustment! Spirit – Soul – Flesh. May you be filled, daily, with the Holy Spirit and submit to His control.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Foundation Shaking Faith

Acts 16:16-34

Paul and Silas in Prison

16 Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17 She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” 18 She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.

19 When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. 20 They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar 21 by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.”

22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.

25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”

29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.

Holy Spirit Fire

~When chaos sounds his battle cry…sing songs of praise!

~When lies leap…pray!

~When bruised and beaten for believing…be still!

Oh this passage. This is truly one of my most favorite passages in the Bible. There are just so many lessons in this passage. Yet, I simply want to focus on the impact! – ground zero, foundation shaking, earth shifting, earthquake splitting – impact! You see, Paul and Silas were not complaining to each other about their unfair punishment. No, that’s not what you read. They didn’t use this time to validate the obvious – lies, torture, battered, and bruised. Instead, they exemplified what every Christian is called to do – consider it pure joy when you face various trials for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Following being beaten and chained…they prayed and sang.

But the impact…oh the ears that hear! Thank you Lord for speaking in such a time as this. Paul and Silas were not alone; their songs did not reverberate against cold stone walls and fall dead to the ground. No! These hymns penetrated earthly material like an arrow through a leaf! God’s truth dancing on the notes of hymns entered into the ears of the other prisoners. Nothing can stop a heart full of faith and truth, and nothing can stop holy spirit fire and power.

As their prayers and hymns filled the atmosphere, the foundation itself could no longer remain silent as it shook violently through the mighty hand of God…chain breaking, wall shaking, foundation swaying – FAITH. What happens next further intensifies the integrity of these believers – they stayed! Wait! Yes…they stayed! In fact, when the jailer woke up, he thought the prisoners had escaped and he was about to kill himself – but wait! “Don’t harm yourself,” Paul said, “We are all here!”

Be still…the true testament of peace is when you don’t run out of fear just because you see one opening…[pause]…that is speaking to someone even now. Can’t you just feel the blanket of peace as Paul and Silas prayed and sang those hymns? Broken chains and an opened door did not mean they were free to run – they were mission-minded which allowed them to be still and witness to the jailer. This act of faith resulted in an entire family receiving Jesus that night and being baptized, and don’t ever miss this…”he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.” A man just moments prior on the verge of suicide, lost without God, now filled with the joy of the Lord because two men who didn’t look at their pain, bruises, hurt, or situation; instead, they prayed, sang…and stayed!

Challenge: What doors are you running through without first being still and letting God do the impossible? This week, I challenge you to be mission-minded wherever you are! Sometimes we are seeking a quick exit when God just wants to shake the foundation you’re already on! I also encourage you to speak life in your marketplace of life. Don’t forget to pray and sing instead of grumble and complain for you never know who’s listening! May God Almighty be glorified in everything we do in word or deed.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Loved by God

Romans 8:37-39

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God's love

Sometimes we just need a good reminder – not one single thing can separate you from the Love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. This goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden. Look at what happened in Genesis 3:8-11 after the fall: Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” 10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” 11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked?


Even from the very beginning, humans were the ones running from the love of God due to sin; however, God’s character never changed…He still chases after you and calls out your name?

~Can you hear Him?

~Do you know where He is?


We can carryover this lesson into all areas of our lives. What about fear? We know that God doesn’t give us the spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind. Yet, you are paralyzed by the unknown and the weight is crushing. My dear believer, you are more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ who loved us and died for us, but how do we get from fear to faith and from concern to conqueror?…


~Peace be still~

My mind is weary and my thoughts battle for full control. Where are you Lord?

~”I’m here?”

But where? I don’t see you?

~”You’re not looking in the right place my child.”

I feel you in the breeze, and I feel your warmth in the sunrise, but where are you?

~”I’m here?”

But where? I don’t see you?

~”You’re not looking in the right place my child.”

I hear you in a newborn baby’s cry, and I know you know my every thought, but where are you…I need you now?

~”I’m here?”

But where? I don’t see you?

~”You’re not looking in the right place my child.”

My body is weak and the clock is laughing at me. I really could use your help, healing, and words of wisdom about now, Lord. Where are you?

~”I’m here?”

But where? I don’t see you?

~”You’re not looking in the right place my child.”

This is not how I envisioned my life to be Lord. I need you to rescue me, but where are you?

~I’m here my child…peace be still…look at me! No look down. I’ve been kneeling down here perfectly lacing up your ‘shoes of peace’ and praying over each loop as they crossed. Each lace loop cross reminded me of when I died on a wooden cross for you thousands of years ago. I smile at each lace crossing because I know nothing can separate you from my love! I’ve been watching over you since then and my love envelops you everywhere you go. So it’s time to stand up my child…shhh…peace be still. Do you see that enemy beneath you? With these shoes, you can trample anything as I have overcome the world and I live inside of you. Simply know that standing and walking in My peace will wipe away all darkness and fear. 


May the Holy Spirit continue a mighty work in us and through us as we unite to pray for our family and friends. Thank you to Aimee A. and Sarah F. for being obedient in sharing your thoughts and prayers. Your words were used at just the right time to connect my missing pieces; the vision came to true life through the Holy Spirit. May God always be gloried in everything we do and say.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Training

Acts 20:24

24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

track

There is nothing better than race day adrenaline. You’ve trained for so long and finally the day has come – you’re running your biggest race! You stretch before walking up to the starting line and you even visit with those around you. Conversations range from pre-race diet tips to running pace. As you inch closer to the starting line, excitement boils over! You are about to step over one single white line that separates years of training from actual performance.

~This is it!

~This is what you were made for!

~This is what you’ve trained your whole life for!

~Your only aim is to finish the race and complete the task strong!


There are many life seasons that parallel both training and performance. We see this in raising children, going off to college, and starting a new job for example. Yet, what happens when life throws a curve ball? Are we truly prepared? Have we trained for those moments? In our culture, we place great emphasis on collecting, obtaining, and achieving. However, this usually has to do with material possession; therefore, some in this world are not very prepared when thrown off course.

I have to say, however, as believers, we are quite different! The Word gives us clear instruction on how to live – in times of prosperity and poverty – in times of health and sickness – in times of joy and sorrow. I love how the passage above says it…my life is worth nothing to me! Ah…there is the key to happiness. The world is always looking for the fountain of youth and joy. It is found in God’s Word – LOVE GOD AND LOVE PEOPLE.

I know there are people who are suffering even in this hour. Yet, the joy of the Lord is their strength! Please my dear brothers and sisters listen closely. Your life is but a training field for your greatest race! As you cross over that starting line, know that you are well prepared because God goes before you to prepare the way. He goes behind you to protect you. He goes above you to watch over you, and He goes beside you to comfort you.

As you run, don’t forget this is your greatest performance! You’ve waited your whole life for this! Enjoy every foot strike on the pavement pushing you forward. Attune your ears to the cheers of the great cloud of witnesses and those friends awaiting at the finish line. Feel the breeze as the Holy Spirit breathes upon you giving you exactly what you need for each step. Open your eyes and saturate your spirit with the beautiful sight of those souls around you who will need you to help them finish their race too! The best part of racing is that everyone is a runner – slow, fast, tall, short, young, and old. May you run your race looking to serve so you may testify of God’s amazing love along the way.

As we wait patiently for you to cross the finish line, one thing is for certain…you will receive a reward. The medals are totally worth it I must say! Yet, one day…just one day…you’ll receive that crown you’ve waited for your whole life. Yes, the one you trained for since you were a child. Your Master has been holding it this whole time at His finish line waiting to say, “Well done good and faithful servant.”

So, lace up those shoes my friend…we have a race to run, souls to win, people to support, and a finish line to cross!

[Please specifically be in prayer for our dear sister Leslie Morgan. We come together as one body to ask our Father boldly to do amazing things in her and through her in such a miraculous manner that only God Almighty can get the praise. We ask for complete protection and the blood covering of Jesus Christ to wash over her. We know in full faith that no weapon formed against her shall prosper as it is stated in your Word. She will not fear the arrow by day nor the terror by night. Cover her tightly with your feathers and use her in this new place to plant your seeds that only she could do at this exact time. Give her your words to speak life to all those she comes into contact with, and may she amaze doctors and nurses with your miraculous healing in her. We fall on our faces in humble submission and ask all these things in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.]

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Never

Deuteronomy 31:6

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

trust

Never is a funny word!…maybe it’s the Jericho walls of doubt speaking – bricks made of disappointment, lies, gossip, envy, and let-downs. The mortar sealed by broken promises and loss of a future. I frantically run around the walls…praying, begging, wondering while you freely invite others inside the gates. I pound on the doors but the knocks are silenced by a single seed – one planted long ago in soil of anger and resentment. Now you are harvesting thorns and weeds – choking life out of everything that once was. You chose to walk away; yet, you said this would be forever…never is a funny word!

Never is a funny word!…Human expectations are far from perfect and cannot compare to the love of Christ. Romans 5:8 says it best, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” While others walk away when we are at our worst or even in our deepest time of need, Christ moves in! I can count the many footsteps of those who have walked out of my life; I listen quietly until I can’t hear the steps any more. Each step represents a memory fading. Yet, as I gain wisdom, I’m learning that Christ collects those forgotten footsteps on His way to me! It’s in the middle where things get real! It’s the season of “Be still and know He is God.” This time builds inner strength and knowledge that God is the only One we can truly rely on…never is a funny word!

Never is a funny word!…thank you Lord for demonstrating perfectly the true definition of “never” when you said that you would never leave us nor abandon us. Thank you for sacrificing yourself while we were still sinners even though we fail to do the same for our brothers and sisters. May we develop a deeper understanding that you alone are our only true source. May you unveil our eyes and allow us to see what you see. May we seek those you came to save and may you use us to make disciples for your Kingdom. May we never forget your sacrifice, love, grace, forgiveness, and mercy so we may pour that same love onto your people and those close to us…never is a funny word!

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Do Good

Galatians 6:10

10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.

do good

During the Christmas season, it isn’t hard to see and hear positive phrases and statements all around us. Some of these include the following: ‘Tis the Season; Merry Christmas; Merry and Bright; Peace on Earth; Joy to the World; Peace, Joy, and Love; and Making Spirits Bright. We teach that it is better to give than to receive, and many of us volunteer at soup kitchens or homeless shelters. Even more, we preach the real reason for the season – a Savior is born [Luke 2:11].

Yet, I cannot help but make an obvious observation. This “do good” season fades and life reprioritizes if you will. Schedules are flipped on end and life becomes more about checking off the to-do lists instead of “ministering to His sheep.”

The passage above does not suggest that believers should “do good” only at Christmas time. No! This passage clearly states…”Whenever we have the opportunity.” That statement alone is what you call soul-piercing. Soup kitchens, homeless shelters, schools, hospitals, and the widow next door need you all year round. It’s time that we stop making fitness goals for New Year’s resolutions. Instead, we should make spiritual commitments.

The second part of the passage above tends to sting a bit as well. Just as the enemy would have it, we, as a faith family, tend to be really good at judging one another and tearing each other down while the world sits back and observes. In our technologically advanced world, we can even judge in “silence” and not feel so guilty. This is true modern-day hypocrisy.

Instead of taking every opportunity to do good – especially to those in the faith family, we spend precious time strategizing how to delete friends from social media platforms or spending hours criticizing someone’s social media status. We turn anger and bitterness into false wisdom. The scariest part of it all is who is actually whispering in your ear!

It’s time that we take this passage to heart and ask God to stitch this deep within us. I encourage you this Christmas season to meditate on this “do good” passage in two parts: (A) “Whenever you have the opportunity, do good to everyone” and (B) “Especially to those in the faith family”

I know the Holy Spirit has prompted me to challenge you just as He has challenged me. May the Christmas season continue in and through us all year long, and may we not only do good to everyone but truly live in love with those around us. May your efforts be filled with peace, love, and joy. This takes active work and doing things that most certainly go against the flesh. Be encouraged, and I’m looking forward to hearing how the Holy Spirit speaks to you!

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Embracing Shadows

Romans 12:10

10 Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another in showing honor.

hand shadow

[Interpretive Vision]

Selective attention has caused an irrelevance while I still dance around you. Affirmation, confirmation, and praise flow like milk and honey powering your soul but the engine is the silent prayer filling the war room. Spiritual warfare unleashed repelling spirits causing hypocrisy, pride, and gossip rotting the soil beneath your feet while the Promised Land remained in plain sight. Some will see the glory while others choose to remain enslaved.

We walked hand in hand until the land became more visible. Did the giants frighten you? Why? Don’t let go! I only see milk and honey. The giants cannot harm you. Please keep walking and hold my hand. The excuses are generic and strengthen the enemy’s cause. Time is but an illusion as the sun stands still over the horizon. Distance is but a mirage as both forces attract closing the gap.

Two forces are observed as we reach the divide. Angels are heard worshiping the Lord as the battle for souls intensifies. Satan lifts his baton and draws human praise to prepare for the battle. Personal accolades are his armrest; prideful commentaries are his footrest; and bitter hearts are his crown. You turn around and remain in the desert.

I’m left embracing shadows.


Dear friends,

Continue in love just as our Savior, Jesus Christ, loved us and died for us while we were still sinners. I am burdened, and have been lately, over the hypocrisy and lack of love we demonstrate to our fellow neighbors especially those we call brothers and sisters in Christ. I am beyond thankful that Jesus left the ninety-nine to find the one that was lost. Sadly, our flesh encourages us to do the complete opposite – even as believers.

When wounded, inflicted, and/or oppressed, we leave the one and cling to the ninety-nine wrapping ourselves tightly in gossip and pain. Bitterness finds yourself doing the complete opposite of Romans 12:10. Excuses pave the wave for increased distance and a darkened heart. Expressions of love are replaced with irritation, fear, pride, comparison, anger, disappointment, resentment, and excuses. When Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, He gave us the greatest example of “outdoing one another in showing honor!” The very men who would deny and run away were the very feet being honored!

I firmly believe that one reason the disciples continued in the ways of the Lord was because their feet were honored and blessed by the Savior. He “outdid” them in perfect humility and loved even though Jesus knew they would disappoint Him at one time or another.

So…it’s time to outdo in love and bless those around you. Bless the hands, feet, mouths, ears of those around you. We must stop cursing one another by our actions and words in the name of excuses and bitterness. There may be some in your life that release your hand while speaking death as they turn away; yet, I will always be embracing shadows in love. The power is in your hands. In fact, it’s in your mouth; speak life and love as Jesus does!

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Alter Ego

James 3:13-17

13 If you are wise, live a life of steady goodness so that only good deeds will pour forth. And if you don’t brag about them, then you will be truly wise! 14 And by all means don’t brag about being wise and good if you are bitter and jealous and selfish; that is the worst sort of lie. 15 For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, inspired by the devil. 16 For wherever there is jealousy or selfish ambition, there will be disorder and every other kind of evil.

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure and full of quiet gentleness. Then it is peace-loving and courteous. It allows discussion and is willing to yield to others; it is full of mercy and good deeds. It is wholehearted and straightforward and sincere. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of goodness.

alter ego

I love how the Holy Spirit brings about an emotional association to draw a spiritual connection. The passage in James gives clear meaning to Godly wisdom, Christian living, and Christ-serving. This passage also clearly describes what worldly wisdom looks like and where it comes from – the devil himself!

However, before I could dig into the richness of this passage, I found myself staring at the name “James” – the title of this Epistle. Why? Well, it’s my first name you see. My family jokes that I have an alter ego, and his name is “James.” The name itself brings forth countless stories from my past.

Let me clarify, before my encounter with Jesus and spiritual deliverance, I would most certainly say the enemy used past hurts, rejection, and insecurities to build this alter ego of pride, quick anger, and attitude. This “alternative-self” was beginning to mirror the world more and more while the enemy worked to kill, steal, and destroy through countless lies. Sound familiar?

Sadly, many believers are living the same way today. Songs of freedom ring loudly from their lungs while strife, hatred, gossip, and enmity thrive in the darkest of their souls.

The Bible is very clear about this type of living:

1 Corinthians 3:19, because the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. It is written in the Scriptures, “He catches wise men in their own clever traps.”

Job 5:13, He catches wise men in their own clever traps. And the plans of those who try to trick others are swept away.

Job 37:24, That is why people honor God. He does not respect those who say they are wise.

Proverbs 3:7, Don’t depend on your own wisdom. Respect the Lord and refuse to do wrong.

Isaiah 5:21, How terrible it will be for people who think they are wise. They think they are clever.

Ecclesiastes 10:2-3, A wise man’s heart leads him to do right, and a fool’s heart leads him to do evil. You can identify a fool just by the way he walks down the street!

The hardest part to swallow is knowing I used to be that person; the very one being inspired by the devil himself [James 3:15] through jealously, envy, and selfishness. Yet, praise God for redemption, mercy, and grace! Also, I’m truly thankful for sealing old wounds. Only Christ’s blood can do such a miraculous thing. Now, my alter ego is nothing more than a testimony of God’s mercy and grace, which is used to draw others to the Healer!

It’s time that everyone break the chains through Christ’s powerful blood.


[Interpretive Vision]

Topic: Living in Worldly Wisdom

You entered into vulnerability as a skilled hunter; your dagger of deception continues to penetrate the blind and weak. Your backhanded sweetness traps your prey and you sing over them with false reinforcement. You left your teethmarks in my back from endless gossip as I tried to escape but the healed scars now testify to His greatness and your failed attempts. You store praise for selfish gain but your heart is growing paranoid. You trample the truth through your hardened heart and toss the Word onto the ground. You slither into rest with pride as your headrest and bitterness as your pillow. Unforgiveness and selfishness blanket you into false comfort. Until…you awaken in full bondage!

Challenge: May we truly live out James 3:17-18. May we be loving, courteous, patient, merciful, gentle, sincere, peaceful, and forgiving. Then bask in your harvest of goodness!

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Mirror Neurons

2 Corinthians 3:18

18 We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit.

jesus_in_our_eyes

I had the opportunity to speak to a group in our community this week on memory strategies. This presentation always starts with a fun lecture on neuroanatomy. Every time I prepare for this presentation, I see God’s fingerprints all over the complexities of the human brain; it truly takes my breath away. God’s handiwork over the human body is truly speechless. I thoroughly enjoy studying and sharing this knowledge with my patients and the community around me.

Also during this week, I was listening to a podcast by Rick Warren who mentioned “mirror neurons.” I thought, “What irony!!” This occurred on the same day that I gave my presentation on neuroanatomy, memory function, and nerve health. The Holy Spirit was prompting me to pay attention and I knew there was obviously a lesson in all of it. When the Creator whispers, you must listen. The life lesson I learned was far-reaching and I most certainly had to share!

You see, mirror neurons respond to actions that we see in others. [STOP!] Let that soak in for a moment. We are truly hardwired by God Himself to nearly imitate or at least emulate the things closest to us and especially the things we focus on. This is why it is so critical to focus on God!

There’s a reason why Hebrews tells us to fix our eyes on Christ…

Hebrews 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

AH! fixing your eyes on the things of this world will truly make you mirror those exact things! Your brain can’t help it so you must avoid it!

~When you fix your eyes on materialism, your mirror neurons can’t help but reflect the filth of this world through your actions and speech to others. You lose empathy, wisdom, discernment and compassion for others. You only see things that falsely fill your personal “want tank.” Egocentrism becomes your idol and you sacrifice those you once held dear for the things of this world. You are consumed by this world which prevents you from being transformed by the renewing of your mind.

~When you fix your eyes on pride, your mirror neurons can’t help but reflect the evil through your tone and discord ensues. You speak critically of others and lose the type of love Christ demands that we show to all. You see yourself as the Queen of your world; however, your empire is built on human praise that will eventually fall. Your eyes are veiled and you miss the pain all around you. Hurting souls are crying out but the “I” in your ear is deafening. Your worship is tainted as it is filtered through unthankfulness, anger, bitterness, hypocrisy, control, fear, obsession, and envy.

~When you fix your eyes on gossip, your mirror neurons can’t help but reflect the power of death in your tongue for Proverbs 18:21 confirms this very truth. In fact, this verse also states that you will ‘mirror’ (eat) the fruits of your speech. Your false empowerment is also temporary as this too shall fall. The darkest side of your tongue becomes your weapon of choice. Edification is replaced with condemnation. The black hole inside of you vacuums light around you. You are incapable of speaking love and disunity grows around you until spiritual suffocation is complete.

BUT GOD…!

~When you fix your eyes on Jesus, your mirror neurons can’t help but worship! You and all of creation can’t help but sing praises to the King. Your entire body comes into alignment with the perfection of Christ. You desire all things pure and holy. Your fruits sprout and grow in the fertilizer of the King. There is no doubt that love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control flow from His endless river onto all those around you.

This is why it’s so important to put on the full armor of God each and every day. Ask the Father in heaven to dress you as you would your child. We must deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Jesus. The only way to do that is to focus on Him in turn mirroring His every action.

It’s “spiritual neurology” my friends! Your brain is hardwired to mirror the very things you place in front of you. If it’s worldly, you will look like it, talk like it and vomit evil like it. If it’s of God, you will shine like it, love like it and speak life like it. I challenge you to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal these things to you during your prayer time. Allow the Holy Spirit to surgically remove these evils in your life so that you may reflect His holiness.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

What an Honor

Jesus on Beach

John 2:7-11

Jesus Changes Water Into Wine

Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.

Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”

They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

~Today I got to assist the King! To be honest, I started my day believing this would be like any other day. I would fill my space like I normally do and help others because that’s just what I do. I’m known for washing over people, which makes them feel better but I’m usually left drained. I’m sad to say that I wasn’t expecting today to be extraordinary. You see, I know I’m supposed to choose joy in all situations and even in the mundane, but it most certainly is a challenge. But today I saw the King! He actually needed me to accomplish His purpose. The very One who was with the Father the day Heaven and Earth were created prayed over me and I was literally transformed before His eyes; I’ve been made new and will never be the same…so said the water that turned into wine.

Matthew 21:1-11

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

21 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

~Today I got to assist the King! It started out like any other day when I ate breakfast and ran a little in the field. I worked in the garden and even carted some goods from town back to the house. I truly thought it was going to be like any other day, but the King needed me! I had no idea that He was on His way and He wanted me. His friends said He needed me! Yes, the Messiah needed me! My life was made for a purpose long ago, and I just didn’t know the impact it would have on eternity. When I walked up to Him, I couldn’t believe I was meeting my Maker face-to-face. He spoke to me without moving His lips. On that day, I got to carry the King who created me…so says the colt.

Matthew 27

The Crucifixion of Jesus

32 As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. 35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. 37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is Jesus, the king of the jews.

~Today I got to assist the King! When I was young, I never imagined my role in this life. To be honest, I thought of myself as a nobody. In fact, I purposefully didn’t stand out and made sure that I hung around quietly with others just like me. I’ve had some rough patches in my life, but when people look at me in general they don’t like what they see. I never truly felt appreciated as much as I did today. You see, a man needed me today….not just any man but the Savior of the world. I would hear from Him when He was close, but today I got to support Him in His toughest part of ministry. I listened while He prayed and I soaked up His sweat the best I knew how. You see, today I held Jesus as He died and saved you and me…so said the cross.


1 Corinthians 12:27

27 All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.

I truly witnessed the body of Christ in action today and it radiated with love. There is nothing better than serving others and being a powerful witness to the greatness of Jesus Christ. There are numerous examples and commands in the Bible concerning this very message. From worshiping in one accord, prayer walking, cooking, filling book bags, praying with children, to face painting, God’s love was poured out today. My strongest encouragement and challenge would be to seek opportunities to be Jesus to those around you. I found myself overwhelmed with pure joy today because Jesus wanted to use us for His purpose. Just as He can use a colt, water, and a cross – He can use you. The difference is the relationship! So, today I got to assist the King, and I know it changed the world because He changed me!

Challenge: Seek service opportunities this week to live like Jesus in your community.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta