Chapter Three: Gaining a New Perspective, part I
“The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; the Lord raises up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous (Psalm 146:8, NAS).”
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed (Luke 4:18, NAS).”
Definition of Perspective: a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.
Definition of Surrender: cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority. Synonyms: forsake, deny, stand down, resign, disclaim, relinquish, forgo, cede, abandon, concede, yield, submit, relent, renounce, abdicate, transfer
Graham Cooke said, “Obstacles are a part of life. There is often no way to avoid them. However, there is a way to change our perspective so they can be used to our advantage.” Everything we do hinges on our perspective of what’s happening to us, for us, against us and around us. It is common knowledge that, with every action, there is a reaction. How we respond to things around us is always based on what we perceive is happening, be it good or bad.
For example, when my first husband left me with a note on the coffee table, I perceived it as the worst thing that could possibly happen to me. I was raised that Christians do not divorce, no matter what. Even though he had cheated, lied, mocked, neglected, shunned, and altogether broke our covenant vows in every conceivable way, I deemed his departure as a negative. I cried, and cried and cried and cried some more. I begged him to come home and be the man he was supposed to be. I willingly forgave him and was willing to put it all behind us.
When he did not comply, I began tail-spinning into a dark, sad, lonely, angry, desperate place for the better part of seven years, to which I refer as my “seven years of rebellion”. I slept with men not my husband, cussed like a sailor, I spoke harsh words to a long-time friend, and couldn’t stop pretending I was fine. Because I couldn’t see the grace of God causing him to leave, I couldn’t properly respond. My eyes were blinded and I blamed everyone except the culprit: me.
Yes, he did horrible, despicable things but, had I initially sought the face of God, I wouldn’t have married him. Looking back, the signs were evident. I simply refused to acknowledge them. If I could have perceived God’s voice prior to marriage, the marriage would not have happened; hence I would not have experienced undue pain and suffering. It is only when we seek God’s vision in each situation of life that we are able to see as He sees so as to respond according to the Spirit instead of according to the flesh.
Once I returned to and resigned my whole life to Christ in 2000, I began a new, fresh journey with Christ as I had never known or experienced. I began to see that, even though I had made a huge mess of my life due to poor decisions, God’s promise to “turn all things for good for those who love Him” was for me personally. Instead of trying in my own strength to “pick up the pieces,” I was fully able to leave all the pieces behind me and allow Christ to make a whole new me. The old pieces were not required and certainly me having to “pick up” anything of the old was not necessary.
Understanding this, my decisions, little by little, began to morph into something new, something altogether other-worldly. My discernment sharpened and continues to do so today. Every time I need to make a decision and I don’t readily know what to do, I rest in Christ and wait. I allow Him to show me what to do when the time comes.
In the worst circumstances, in the weakest places of life, before you do anything, ask God to grant you His vision, His perspective, and His will so as to go forward in His strength. A changed perspective will change the course of your life because it will change how you respond to everything. When you surrender your fleshly, natural, limited vision to the Holy One, you’ll be amazed at how darkness will be turned to light!
When All My Strength Has Failed
Alexys V. Wolf
Hebrews 11:1, 6: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval…without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”
Some of my all-time favorite Scriptures are found within the confines of Hebrews 11. When I first returned to the Lord nearly 18 years ago, I poured over these so as to learn how God views faith, what faith is at its core. All these years later, I am having my faith tested around every bend, one thing after another, after another. There are moments when it feels as though the roof above me is caving and the floor beneath me is sinking. But, I thank God I don’t function in feelings but in faith. Ninety-nine times out of one hundred, feelings are not in sync with the Kingdom of Heaven.
Michael’s job has had threats of termination for at least a year, but that didn’t bother me, not once. Wednesday, he was terminated; that didn’t move me to fear. We found stachybotris black mold in our home two years ago and had to find money, even after insurance, so as to make the necessary alterations to a 1/3 of our home. No fear. Now we discover we still have mold in our home causing Sophia’s illnesses and insurance will not pay. No fear. Numerous issues have transpired over the last 6 or so years and I have been unwavering in my faith in our Mighty God. But, as I live and breathe, nothing has tested my faith more than having our child’s life in peril. I would venture to say that, for any parent worth their salt, whether there is imminent danger such as cancer or heart disease, or chronic illness that never seems to end, faith is always on the line in an inexplicable form.
I would go strongly, unshakable in my faith long stretches without a wince of fear but, in a moment of absolute frustration and sorrow watching my child suffer day in and day out, believe me, I had flickers of doubt. They never lasted long as I would quickly realign my mind, heart and spirit with Holy Spirit, but they would appear nonetheless. I love II Timothy 2:13, “If we are faithless, He is faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” Spectacular! My God is always faithful. When I look at my beautiful teenage daughter, I am reminded of God’s faithfulness. She’s alive, whether sick or well. There’s hope. We are here on Planet Earth another day, there’s hope. God is alive and stronger than any danger we may face, there’s Hope.
Fortunately, my hope is not on man’s version of limited hope which is utterly fickle and fluctuates according to how I feel in any given moment. No, my hope is living; it is alive through Jesus the Christ. My faith is not in medicine, doctors, nurses, or anything made by hands of man. Though God may well move for a time through the aforementioned, God is the only healer and comforter. In Him I always rejoice! My faith is anchored in Christ alone, the One who created Sophia. Through it all, both mine and Michael’s faith have soared to places I didn’t know existed until we began this journey with a chronically ill child. Do not lose faith. God is faithful. He has never forsaken us and He has not forsaken you.
I Peter 1:3-9: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.
“Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41, NAS).”
“And those being in the flesh are not able to please God (Romans 8:8, NAS).”
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Galatians 5:19-21 (ESV)
“My soul weeps because of grief; strengthen me according to Your word (Psalm 119:28, NAS).”
The fleshly nature of every human ever to walk the Earth is the same: it wants what it wants and it is weak in every way. One person may appear better than another, but rest assured, all flesh is unholy, unrighteous and is weak even when it appears the most powerful and strong. Galatians spells out the evidence of the flesh:
- sexual immorality
- fits of anger
- things of like nature
There isn’t a moral enough person on the planet that has not, at some point, operated in at least one of the evidences of the natural man. Because of the rampant weaknesses of the flesh, why would anyone assume they have the power to be strong enough to overcome temptations, weaknesses, or tribulations? Strength is not a part of the flesh, contrary to popular belief. We’re taught to be strong, be tough, as though the flesh can possibly (in and of itself) muster enough power to endure the pitfalls of this condemned, Satan-run world.
Sure, it can definitely have the appearance of strength; after all, it also has the appearance of life even though Jesus crucified the nature of the flesh of all mankind. The Bible tells us we have all been crucified into Christ’s death (all are dead in sin), but not all are resurrected in the life of Christ. The flesh is so weak that, in fact, the first people created in God’s image lived in utopia and still could not control the desires of wicked, weak flesh. There, Adam and Eve stood with power to subdue the entire Earth, but that wasn’t enough. The fleshly nature, at the first sight of temptation, longed for more and purposed to take what it desired even though death was their fate.
We should never be surprised at the ultimate frailty of our flesh because, at it’s core, it can’t be anything else. So, yes, we can have the outward façade of strength; just don’t be astounded when it suddenly crumbles under the pressures of this life. Christ is our only hope, our only strength, our only possible solace in time of trouble. Throughout this book, I have inserted several passages from my first book, What Was God Thinking? Why Adam had to Die, because the topic at hand is in direct correlation to dying to the flesh.
Chapter 2, When All My Strength has Failed
Demonic Oppression and Possession:
“Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Jesus, and He healed him, so that the mute man spoke and saw (Matthew 12:22, NAS).”
“As they were going out, a mute, demon-possessed man was brought to Him. After the demon was cast out, the mute man spoke; and the crowds were amazed, and were saying, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel (Matthew 9:32-33, NAS).”
“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world (I Peter 5:8-9, NAS).”
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:11, NAS).”
“For forty days, being tempted by the devil…(Luke 4:2, NAS).”
1: to have and hold as property: own
2: to have as an attribute, knowledge, or skill
3: to seize and take control of: take into one’s possession
4: to enter into and control firmly: dominate <was possessed by demons>
5: to bring or cause to fall under the influence, domination, or control of some emotional or intellectual response or reaction <melancholy possesses her>
1: archaic: suppress
2: to crush or burden by abuse of power or authority
3. to burden spiritually or mentally: weigh heavily upon
Sometimes (not always) the cause of our black holes is demonic and we need to understand how to recognize when this is happening. Without question, when we read the Scriptures we cannot exclude demonic possession and oppression, but we need to understand the difference between the two.
A born-again believer can be possessed, contrary to popular belief. This can happen from blatant sin or even veiled sin, but it cannot happen to one who is walking according to the Spirit in obedience to His commands. Possession can occur when a child of God dabbles or delves deeply into any form of witchcraft such as Ouija boards, tarot cards, psychic readings, horoscopes, séances, or things of the like. Possession in reference to demons is where a person (saved or unsaved) is controlled by a demon and they need to be delivered from such possession. Possession always comes from sin.
On the other hand, oppression is where a demon is harassing a person but is not controlling them from the inside. In like fashion, the demons can be bound away in the name of Jesus if the person surrenders in obedience to the Lord. Oppression can come from outside sources such as someone speaking witchcraft over you, generational oppressive spirits, speaking negativity into your own life (life and death are in the power of the tongue), blatant or veiled disobedience, and so on; oppression can come from personal sin or the sin of others set against you. Again, He sent His evil spirit to King Saul who was in disobedience; it overtook him only because he was not consecrated unto the Lord.
The best way to come against such oppression or possession is to pray for God’s guidance into obedience and command the spirits to be loosed from their assignment over you in the name of Jesus and then release Holy Spirit as the only spirit active as your life. With possession, often there needs to be deliverance intercessors but with oppression it isn’t as difficult to be released. The bottom line, plainly speaking, is it’s the name of Jesus and surrendered obedience to His commands that release one from possession and oppression.
If the cause of your troubles is oppression or possession, either way, the effects upon your life are detrimental until Christ is released so as to have full governing access to you. God created and owns every demonic spirit; therefore, God through His Son is the only solution. He has given power and dominion to the body of Christ over all demonic spirits. Obedience and surrender to the Great I AM will usher such power to you hence causing the proper effect. Never forget, every problem has a resolution available through Christ.
Isaiah 45:5-7: “I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides Me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me; that men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun that there is no one besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other, the One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the Lord who does all these.”
I say again, there is nothing done in Heaven or Earth which is not formed by God. When the demons move in the Earth, they cannot do so outside of the authority of Jesus. When people ask, “Do you think your issues are because Satan is attacking you,” I can’t help but respond, “No.” In no way is it my intention to imply Satan and his demons do not attack, but the greater fact lies in knowing that, when they do, God had to allow it with limitations.
In this understanding, I always go to God and seek His face so as to discover the purpose for the attack. I always seek to know how I can grow in Christ be it deeper levels of humility, exposing and repenting of hidden sin within me, to sharpen my weapons of warfare of faith, to learn patience and endurance, to grow in faith and trust in the Lord more strongly, and most assuredly, to know God is God and, above all else, I will grow in leaning not upon my own understanding, but His. Nothing is for nothing and everything is for something.
In every black hole experience, our purpose must be to seek God, allow Him to reveal what is happening and why, and respond to it accordingly. We are never to place a generic sticker of “it’s always…” assuming every trial is stemming from the same purpose. It isn’t always sin, it isn’t always we’re in right standing, it isn’t always a generational curse, it isn’t always an evil spirit, but it is most assuredly always God at the helm testing us so as to cause us to be strengthened in any area we are weak.
For those who think everything should just be quickly resolved at the binding of spirits and loosening of Holy Spirit into their dilemma is grossly misusing Matthew 18:18 and 16:19. That processing style leaves people feeling completely condemned, shamed and confused when things don’t quickly go away at the binding of demons and release of Holy Spirit. This is why it is absolutely imperative to seek God to know with what you are dealing and how to handle it spiritually and physically.
No matter what issue we may have (spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, or financial), it is of the utmost importance to know God’s ultimate desire is for His glory to be made known so lives will be transformed into His image. Never give way to the voices surrounding you as there will always be someone to veer you away from what God is doing. Don’t allow the ridicule of naysayers convince you your problem is this or that because your reaction will be emotionally charged instead of from the Spirit. What they assume is causing your dilemma may be far from the truth and will alter the proper effect. Sound, godly advice is one thing; ridicule and condemnation are another altogether.
Author Alexys V. Wolf
Navigating the Fiery Black Holes of Life, chp 2
Chapter Three: Cause and Effect, Part I
“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned (Romans 5:12, NAS).”
Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you will go, and dust you will eat all the days of your life; and I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.” To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, in pain you will bring forth children; yet your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and you will eat the plants of the field; by the sweat of your face you will eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
Genesis 3:13-19 (NAS)
For every action, there is a reaction; for every cause, there is effect. This applies to both the physical and the spiritual and it’s up to us to seek the Creator so as to understand what action occurred which caused the reaction we’re experiencing. The action can be from us, from Satan, from others or from God directly. Ultimately, it all is grounded in God, but we need to know God’s purpose in each individual situation so as to be properly equipped to respond.
For example, the original sin of pride (action) exerted first by Lucifer and then man, caused a curse (reaction) to come upon all mankind. Notice the last line of Genesis 13:19 above. It states as a promise and guarantee, “for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” We read in the New Testament where Christ eradicated the curse of death as Jesus became a curse for us. We see this in Romans 5:20-21 where it is plainly stated, “The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Christ died (God’s action) so mankind can experience salvation from hell and this perverse generation as well as have eternal life (reaction). Cause and effect; you can’t have one without the other.
So many teach that all illnesses should go away at the name of Jesus and that, if it does not, the person who is ill must be in sin. As someone who has had an enormous amount of sickness in my life, I can attest to the fact some have been demonic, some from my own personal sin, some from generational patterns, and some simply to serve as a thorn in my side. My daughter, since the age of five, has experienced copious amounts of illness in her body, yet there was no sin.
I have had prayer intercessors anoint us with oil and pray over our bodies while they would plead the blood of Jesus. I have repented of any sin in my life and declared the perfect health of Jesus over us both. I have individually and in prayer intercessory groups bound every demonic spirit known to man and released Holy Spirit to be the only spirit active as our life breath. I have broken every generational curse by the blood of Jesus and released the holy blood line of Jesus to us. I constantly speak words of life and not death over myself, my household and this ministry. I rebuke the devil and his legion of demons on a regular basis.
Nevertheless, with all the spiritual and physical actions I have taken according to the Word of God, some of the illnesses in our physical bodies remain; yet I am a firm believer of supernatural healing. I walk in faith believing the Lord can at any moment remove all sickness from our midst. God is my life and my only true source of healing which brings me to this book and the reason for publishing it for the public. As a result, the reaction to my actions, I stand more firmly in faith than ever before. Having done all, I stand. There’s no room for a reaction of, “doesn’t God love me?” or “maybe I’m not good enough for God to heal” or “maybe God is punishing me for past sins” or anything of the kind. My only reaction can be to stand unrelentingly, unflinchingly in the truth of God’s promises.
Navigating the Fiery Black Holes of Life, chp 3, part 1
Alexys V. Wolf, author
To Order: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1511891378
Yes and Amen!
“For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. (II Corinthians 1:20, NKJV).”
“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace (James 3:17-18, NAS).”
Though we are pressed on every side, though we experience sorrows and disappointments of various kinds, we will not be distressed because we know we are one with a God who will not be mocked. God’s wisdom as stated in James 3 allows us to remain at peace in the innermost part of our being. I heard such peace likened unto a deep well. The various storms such as hurricanes, tornadoes, drought, and blizzards will cause ripples, even waves, at the top of the well’s water, but in it’s deepest part, its core, it knows nothing of the storm.
The heart of the well is the same as our peace that passes all understanding. Though the storms of life cause topical tossing and turning, turbulence and wounds, our spirit, our inner man, remains undisturbed. Knowing the nature of our amazing God and walking in His wisdom allows such untouchable peace.
From the beginning, God strategically planned every move He made from materializing the physical from the spiritual, creating Lucifer knowing he would defect, creating Adam and Eve knowing they would fall prey to temptation, all the way to your present situation and beyond. He knows who will die young, who will faithfully remain in the Vine, who will fall away like an exposed seed in the hot sun, and who will flourish in the Earth expanding the Kingdom of God through faith and obedience.
God’s strategy is for you to know His plans through knowing His heart for (the opposite of against) you. You may not always know specifically what He’s doing, but you can trust that, whatever it is, no matter how difficult the situation, He is for you, always and forever. Operating in God’s wisdom will always conquer fiery black hole experiences no matter the external damage they may inflict. Stand in the promises in the evil day and, having done all, stand (Ephesians 6:13). This is core (Spirit to spirit) instruction. God’s heavenly wisdom is a crucial element in the armor of God. His promises are YES and AMEN!
Navigating the Fiery Black Holes of Life, chp 2, part 3
to be released fall of 2016
Alexys V. Wolf, author