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Fear Tactics

Angst, dread and panic are words synonomous with fear.  When some individuals are about to lose control or power, fear tactics are employed to manipulated others.  This process can get ugly, exposing evil intentions from within.  Unfortunately, this scene is replayed daily across the country resulting in concern, distress and horror.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full, John 10:10.

When teaching the first century about the Devil, Jesus refers to this fallen angel as a thief.  This spiritual bully has a playbook of fear tactics attempting steal, kill and destroy souls.  Unfortunately, this attack is invisible, enticing, luring and tempting unknowing accomplishes to do his own dirty work.

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies, John 8:44.

Sometimes I read too much into someone’s actions.  Yet, I have experienced moments where Satan used a stranger to verbally assault me.  This happened a few times when I was in youth ministry and teaching.  My initial thought was “what the hell is going on?”  Yet, after a few days of reflecting and seeking discernment from others, I realized these events were merely fear tactics inspired by demonic powers seeking to steal my joy in life.  When the father of lies comes knocking at your door, guard yourself with a hedge of protection through prayer.

by Jay Mankus

 

When Evil Never Leaves

Evil is one of those traits which is shocking.  Whether its heinous, malicious or repulsive, the presence of such actions are chilling.  Any type of demonstration can leave eye witnesses shivering with fear.  According to Solomon, this cloud of darkness never leaves some souls.

Evil will never leave the house of one who pays back evil for good, Proverbs 17:13.

The concept of evil is often left to Hollywood.  Whether its a horror, murder mystery or science fiction film, few come face to face with a resident of evil.  Apparently, anyone who seeks revenge will be cursed with evil spirits that never leave,  This belief is similar to the Bible’s sowing principle, “you reap what you sow.”

Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life, Galatians 6:8.

In view of this scary information, its vital to avoid entering a world of darkness.  Instead, begin to keep in step with the Holy Spirit, relying on prayer to guide your way.  By doing this you will steer clear of the hauntings that other lost souls have endured.  Learn from the mistakes of others by fleeing from evil.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Whatever Happened to Being Normal?

From time to time, part of my job requires me to test videos to determine if there is a defect within a device, episode or scene.  Over the course of a year, I come across a wide variety of genres from action, comedy, drama and horror.  While I should have observed this sooner, extremes are taking over, especially on reality television.  This makes me wonder, whatever happened to being normal?

My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors! – Psalm 31:15

If you believe Hollywood, bad boys are attracting all the pretty girls, you can have your own movie and series if you’re a jackass and the more outlandish you are, sooner or later the cameras will find you.  Maybe I’m just too old fashioned, but some where along the way entertainment in America has gone off the deep end, forgetting the normal majority who make up most of this country.  While it may be boring, not news worthy and uninteresting, the average man, woman and child fly under the radar, giving their all daily.

Making the best use of the time, because the days are evil, Ephesians 5:16.

One of the most underrated messages comes from the 1999 movie October Sky, based on the life of Homer Hickam.  While his dad is portrayed as a jerk at times in the film, deep down Homer’s real hero is his father.  Although the term normal refers to someone who is average, regular and traditional, these individuals are the backbone of America.  Sure, it would be great to strike it rich, win the lottery or become an instant celebrity.  Yet, normal human beings are dependable, someone you can trust in time of need.  Therefore, don’t get carried away by what you see on television.  Rather, be grateful for those who are normal.

by Jay Mankus

The Hands of God

Stephen King has written a plethora of books, several of which have become classic films.  Taking horror in a new direction, King’s 1994 mini-series entitled the Stand portrays an end of days film in America.  Following a biological outbreak, only 10 percent of the population survive with the righteous calling the heartland home.  Meanwhile, those tempted by evil make their way to Las Vegas.  In the end, the Hand of God comes down to rescue the saints from a nuclear bomb.

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them, Acts 13:2.”

Throughout history, God’s hands have been invisible, mysteriously protecting faithful Israelites.  Accounts abound within the Old Testament.  Noah and his family escaped the flood.  Abraham and Lot fled Sodom and Gomorrah before its demise.  Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego survived a fiery furnace and Daniel spent a night in a lion’s den, without harm.  Are these merely coincidences or the hands of God?

So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off, Acts 13:3.

According to the New Testament, God’s hands are extended from heaven through his followers.  When the elders laid hands on people, discernment, gifts and wisdom are imparted.  Similar to a prayer circle, believers expect God to do great things.  Without faith, even Jesus could not perform miracles in his home town.  Yet, when a concert of prayer is formed around a person in need, the hands of God are more than a legend; His power become a reality to those who receive this blessing.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

When Fear is Transformed into Favor

Fright, horror and terror are words synonymous with someone who is afraid.  Whether these emotions stem from witnessing a shocking event, embedded from watching a scary movie or implanted by nightmares from the Devil, rarely is fear associated with something positive.  Nonetheless, a holy fear can transform this word into favor from God.

But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. – 1 Peter 3:14

One of the most overlooked messages of Easter is how a bunch of weak men who went into hiding, afraid for their lives were transformed by the Holy Spirit to become martyrs of the faith.  Fear caused Peter to deny knowing Jesus three times in Matthew 26:69-75.  Yet, some how a reverent fear turned Peter from a scaredy cat into a bold apostle who was crucified upside down, feeling unworthy to be killed in the same manner of his Savior.

Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in obedience to him.   You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. – Psalm 128:1-2

Despite my years of access to the Bible, opportunities to attend mega-churches in the past and relationships with God fearing believers over the course of my life, I still quake and quiver like a little girl when pressed by the world.  Similar to the apostles, we all need a Pentecost moment, Acts 2:1-4, where fear is discarded by a boldness from God’s mighty counselor, Acts 4:29.  Then and only then will fear transform into favor from God.

by Jay Mankus

The Cure to Nightmares

Gone are the days of the Boogie Man living beneath your bed.  Hollywood has devised more sidious figments of your imagination such as Freddy Kruger, Michael Myers and Hannibal Lecter.  All it takes is a scary movie, darkness and isolation to invite nightmares into your dreams.  This is where fear turns an ordinary evening into a terrifying experience.

When you add fuel to this fire by indulging in graphic images on television, the degree only intensifies.  Although dreams come and go, anyone who opens the door to demonic activity, Ephesians 4:26-27, will need a spiritual remedy to set their mind free from nightly horror.  Thoughts such as,” its just an R-rated movie, what harm could possibly come from this,” will likely dig a hole that can haunt souls for years.

According to the Psalmist, there is a cure for nightmares.  Sleepless nights will come to an end as you begin to dwell in the shelter of God’s wings, Psalm 91:1.  This isn’t a casual relationship, coming and going as you please.  Rather, Psalm 91:2-4 suggests a devout faith, trusting in the Lord, not your own strength to overcome obstacles, snares and trials in life.  As your commitment level breeds spiritual disciplines, God promises to protect you from Satan’s flaming arrows in the day and conscience from fear at night, Psalm 91:5.  Applying these principles lead to sweet dreams once again.

by Jay Mankus

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