I Corinthians 16:8 (NKJV) But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost. 9 For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.

Today’s word confronts the trappings of performance, in the lives of God’s people at this time. The Apostle Paul understood that the higher you go up the spiritual realm of influence, the greater the battle and spiritual warfare. As in today’s word cup shares v9“For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries. Paul recognized that his calling penetrated spiritual forces in high places. Sisters and brothers we must begin to understand the challenges before us as we endeavor to have a dynamic relationship with God. (Dynamic meaning a relationship that is moving upward and onward in God). Paul understood it was not just a matter of his communication and professional skill that would make him effective in influencing his culture; it was overcoming the principalities that ruled the spiritual realm he was seeking to impact. Oswald Chambers in his book “My Utmost for his highest” shares a powerful truth “Satan uses the strategy of elevation in temptation, and God does the same, but the effect is different”. We must embrace as leaders that elevation is used by God and Satan but the purposes are distinct and the outcomes effect us spiritually and personally.

If you don’t have some understanding of the traps of performance before you are elevated in any kind of leadership role, you will be an easy target for Satan and his minions. I was in my forties and now fifties before I realized how deep seated performance traps had impacted every area of my life from a child until now as an adult. I struggled to experience God’s unconditional love for my life, because I always thought something had to be done to earn the love of God. We often derive our identity from those who surround our lives with their input and influences shaping us daily. The danger here is we tend to look for more validation from them than we do from God. This opens the door for great problems if we are like many of us surrounded by unhealthy relationships, in our family, friendships, and fellowships.

I am now discovering through great pain and conflict the unconditional love of God for my life. I am still a work in progress, and wanted to share this transformative experience with each of you at this moment in our time together! Blessings and Love, we don’t have to do anything for God’s love, Jesus did it already when he died on  the Cross of Calvary.

Elder Baker

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