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Who are you in Christ’s story?

Discover your role.

It’s easy to view yourself as the main character in your own story. Especially as Americans, our mind focuses on me, me, me most of the time. We ask: How do I advance my career, get my kids through school, get noticed as a minister, or even pay my bills? 

It’s a self-centered drive that’s reinforced in our daily prayers: God open doors for meGod heal meprovide more finances, and even, God help me to represent you well.

In these past few years, I too have slipped into this mentality. My prayers have focused on my ministry, my family, my finances, and my knee pain, which ultimately resulted in a total knee replacement.

This inward perspective has aimed my prayers at what I perceive I need rather than what God knows I need. But last year, during a women’s meeting led by Libby Gordon, I believe I was realigned to Heaven’s perspective. Her excitement of being in Christ’s narrative ignited my spirit to ask, “Whose story am I in?”

To be honest, I realized that my focus was on God being in my story. Yes, He was my hero, but He was a part of my story, not the other way around. Oops.

Somewhere along the way, my ministry, work, and life shifted my perspective from me being in His narrative (even though he was my hero) to Him being in mine.

I hope I’m explaining this well, because Libby’s teaching felt like a life-changing moment. I found myself thinking, When (not if) I truly get this concept, everything will change. I literally saw cogs in my mind fitting into a wheel and realigning as designed!

Having a son and daughter-in-law who are professional actors, I understand the concept of playing “roles” quite well. On some days, we have minor parts as bit actors. In others, we’re background performers, who are passing in the crowd. Occasionally, we get highlighted as one of the main characters. These moments are fun, but it’s important to realize—will we understand our roles for each day? Will we “play” our roles with delight?

I believe I’ve hosted the Holy Spirit well over these past 40 years. I haven’t lost the daily longing for His presence, and I love it when He works through me to bring healing and deliverance to others. I’d even go so far to say I understand Moses’ request, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.” But again, somehow my perception of God was that He was in my story.

Closing thoughts

This week, ask the Lord, “What role do You want me to play in Your story?” Maybe He wants you to reach out to an old friend and provide comfort. Maybe He wants you to be His hands in a miracle.

Whatever your role may be, embrace it with joy and anticipation, knowing that it positions you for the supernatural—because as Libby pointed out, when you’re in Jesus’ story, anything is possible!

Final thoughts on fantasy

… and how to overcome it.

A few weeks ago, I posted part 2 of my entry on fantasy. If you missed it, you can find it here.

Is the fantasy spirit in the Bible?

Alas, Scripture does not include a comprehensive list of demonic spirits, so we need to rely on discernment when identifying certain entities. I have found that most demonic sources are disempowered when you call them out (i.e., use the word that describes what has been harassing you [like anger/fear/etc]).

We are not to live in a fantasy world. We have to keep guard over our thoughts (see Prov. 4:23), renew the mind (Rom. 12:2), and take thoughts captive (2 Cor. 10:5-6).

Fantasy targets our imagination, so protecting our mind is key. Scripture warns us that unrestrained thoughts lead to sin: “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” – (Matthew 5:28 ESV).

The enemy’s number one tactic is targeting us with lies about ourselves, others, and God. When we partner with these lies, we compile unhealthy offenses and judgements against others.

To combat this strategy, we must take our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ. In Sozo, this is done by renouncing sin, releasing forgiveness, and exchanging the lies we believe for God’s truth.  

How I defeated fantasy

When I finally realized I was partnering with a spirit of fantasy, I instantly repented and felt its power leave. This demonstrated Scripture’s truth that when we confess our sins, “he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:19).

In my case, renouncing fantasy was easy. The hard part was holding on to my healing. I had grown so accustomed to fantasy’s voice that its lure felt like my normal thoughts.

Dreaming all night long with this spirit allowed me to not feel so bad about partnering with it during the day. This spirit became a false comforter that allowed me to escape my “boring” life.

After renouncing this spirit, I still had to keep the door shut. Whenever I laid my head down on my pillow, I’d feel fantasy try to pull me away. I’d say out loud, “I’m a child of obedience, and I will NOT partner with you.” This was part of my strategy to “stand, when you have done all to stand” (Eph 6:13-14).

Strategies to rebuke fantasy

If you discern that fantasy is impacting your life, ask Jesus to forgive you for knowingly or unknowingly partnering with it. Renounce the enemy’s hold by declaring, “I see you, fantasy. I do not partner with you. I send you back in Jesus’s Name. Holy Spirit, give me back the weapon of obedience, and be my comfort when I want to escape reality.”

Here’s a closing prayer: “Thank You, Jesus, that You have godly and healthy ways for me to deal with disappointment. I hand to you [whatever negative belief that is trying to attach to me, i.e. discouragement, hopelessness, a need for rescue]. I release myself and others from any unmet expectations. Reveal Your truth to me and give me strategies to face reality with boldness. I ask for grace to walk in healthier ways of managing my expectations. Amen.”

Signs of the fantasy spirit

These might be symptoms of partnering with a fantasy spirit:

Fatigue or exhaustion after a long night of dreaming. With God dreams you should wake up refreshed.

A desire to avoid or escape life. 

Preferring false worlds over the real one.

An unwillingness to accept the life God has given you.

An unrealistic, idealized perception of marriage.

You are either the hero in your dreams (not God) or you are being rescued by someone other than God.

If you identify with any of these traits, ask God to help you break free from fantasy. If you need help, schedule a Sozo in-person or online with the Bethel Transformation Center.

I bless you on your journey, and pray God will break any and all strongholds of the enemy. Lean into the Lord and step out in faith to follow the Holy Spirit. He will heal your wounds and take you on incredible adventures.

P.S: If you want more deep-dives into demonic spirits, stay tuned to this blog. We’ll be discussing the Jezebel Spirit next.

Navigating discouragement

How to overcome low blow tactics from the enemy.

Discouragement is a serious issue. The enemy doesn’t play fair. He loves to take advantage of our weaknesses. I call this a perfect spiritual storm. It’s a low blow tactic, but Satan uses it on a frequent basis. In such cases, how do we find hope?

My battle with discouragement

For the past few years, I’ve struggled with severe knee pain. I tried non-surgical methods: prayer, massage therapy, and all sorts of natural remedies. Nothing worked. 

In November, I resigned myself to schedule a knee replacement surgery. This development felt like a loss. I’d been asking God for a healing, and when I didn’t get it, I felt discouraged.

I remember asking, “Lord, what’s Your plan for my knee?” His only answer was a picture where I saw Him bending down and kissing my knee.

Some people might think, Oh, how sweet, but I wasn’t happy. I felt angry that God was comforting me, not healing me.

When my surgery came, I felt emotionally overwhelmed. The only benefit I could think of was what friends had told me earlier that after the first two weeks, you’ll wish you’d done it years earlier.

In my case, the surgery went well, but the recovery has been rough. Last week I asked my surgeon, “When will my knee stop hurting less than before surgery?” He just shrugged and said, “It takes time.”

Battlefield of the mind

The hardest part of this ordeal has been the nagging thought, Why didn’t Jesus heal my knee? 

I live and breathe a culture of miracles. I’ve seen people healed of all sorts of issues, including knee pain. Yet, I’m having to limp through a natural healing process of surgery and recovery. 

In moments like this, it’s easy to “take the bait” and drown in painful questions like: God, why did I have to get surgery? But if I stay in this place for too long, I end up in a well of discouragement.

What is discouragement? 

Discouragement is defined as: “extinguish[ing] the courage of; to dishearten,” and “to depress the spirits of…” It’s a feeling no one wants, yet many of us encounter it every day. 

Focusing on God

There are many strategies we can use to overcome discouragement (i.e., reading God’s Word, prayer, worship), but the method I’ve leaned on most is focusing on the nearness of God in my situation

Whenever I feel physical pain, I release my disappointment at not being healed. I declare: “Father, Your grace is sufficient.”

When I feel angry that God didn’t heal me in my preferred way, I ask Him to forgive me for harboring bitterness. During painful, exhausting nights when I can’t sleep, I remind myself that, “in my weakness, You are strong.”

Declarations! 

Another strategy I use is declaring the opposite of how I feel. When I feel discouraged, I proclaim, “Thank You, Jesus, that my surgery went well.” When I feel disappointed that my pain is raging, I say, “I’m grateful, Lord, that the bending of my knee is better than expected.”

Doing these declarations has helped me focus on the positive. Although I begrudgingly started these proclamations, they’ve become second nature. It’s become easier to remind myself that God is with me, even in moments when I feel lost and abandoned.

Banning Liebscher says that if you can’t be thankful for what God is doing, be thankful for who He’s turning you into. Not all seasons are fun, but they are all for His glory. 

Yvonne Martinez, co-leader of the Transformation Center, teaches, “there’s a difference between expectancy and expectation. Expectation limits our hope to how we specifically expect His answer to be. It holds us hostage to only one grateful expected outcome. Expectancy allows us to keep our faith in Whom He is rather than how He manifests His nature in our lives.”

If you’ve held your hope hostage to how God moves in your situation, ask Him to remove any offense. If you’re bitter, repent and ask the Lord to forgive you. Break agreement with expectation, and ask Him to replace it with an expectancy that anything can happen at any moment

I release joy and peace that passes understanding over you. His Grace really is sufficient!

P.S: if you need some more encouragement for this year, check out my sermon, Character of Hope.

More on the fantasy spirit

… and how to overcome it.

A few weeks ago, I posted part 1 of my entry on fantasy. If you missed it, you can find it here.

Discerning the fantasy spirit

Sometimes you can’t quite discern if you’re hearing messages from a demonic spirit. Its voice has become so routine that it feels familiar. In such cases, these spirits’ voices are nearly indistinguishable from your own. You may need a trusted friend to point them out.

This happened in my own life when I had lunch with a friend, Renee Cooper. After recounting a vivid, constantly changing dream, Renee asked, “You can change your dreams all night long… like a movie?” “Yes!” I said, ecstatically. Renee gave me a concerned look and said, “Dawna, that’s not a God dream, that’s a spirit of fantasy.” 

A spirit of what?!

The sneaky side of fantasy

The spirit of fantasy hides in our imaginations. In my case, fantasy dwelt inside my night time dreams, and kept me from addressing real life issues like boredom and lack of value.

Before being a stay at home mom, I was an exceptional student, athlete, and employee. For most of my life, my worth came from my ability to perform well. But as a stay at home mom with no audience to impress, it became hard to rate my success.

Isolation from “admirers” opened a door to fantasy in my life. This spirit tempted me with alternative realities in my dreams where I was no longer worthless, but adored.

Don’t partner with fantasy!

The way I overcame this spirit was through active obedience. Every night before bed, I’d declare, “I am a child of obedience and I will not partner with you. I send you back in Jesus’s Name.” Sometimes I’d instantly feel fantasy leave. Other nights, I’d have to repeat this declaration until its luring voice faded.

Declaring and resisting may sound easy, but since I’d partnered with this spirit for some time, it had become a demonic stronghold. I had to learn to “stand when [I had] done all to stand.”

To be continued!

If you’re struggling with feelings of inadequacy, boredom, or loneliness, don’t use fantasy to cope. Instead, pull on your relationship with God, and use other means of recreation to recharge.

P.S: My husband has an excellent message on rest in his Prosperous Soul: Advanced Manual. He shares how rest can help you overcome the attacks of the evil one.

If you want to dive deeper into learning about fantasy, stay connected to this blog. You can also find more information in my book, Overcoming Fear.

The fantasy spirit

… and what you can do about it.

A few weeks ago, I put out a question on social media asking my followers what spirits they wanted me to write about. I was inundated with responses.

I had so much fun sifting through everyone’s comments. In the end, I chose the 10 spirits I was most familiar with. Here is the first one:

The Fantasy Spirit

The fantasy spirit is starting to gain more attention in Christian circles. As more immersive forms of entertainment emerge (i.e., movies, video games, and virtual reality), the fantasy spirit’s effect on people is becoming more apparent. But what does it look and feel like when the fantasy spirit attacks?

At its root, the fantasy spirit’s theme is escapism. The spirit thrives on keeping us distracted, weighed down with unhealthy imaginations, and lost in alternate realities.

Now, I am not saying that imagination is itself evil. God gave our brains an incredible ability to map out stories and ideas. It’s wonderful how architecture, inventions, and art can manifest from vivid creativity. But our imagination can be infiltrated by the enemy if we don’t protect it.

In my own life, the fantasy spirit manifested itself through my nighttime dreams. From the time I was a little girl, I had an active dream life. Most of these dreams seemed innocent. I’d be Snow White escaping the evil queen, or one of the Hardy Boys solving a mystery even the police couldn’t crack.

The problem was my obsession with these dreams began to leak into my daily life. Even after salvation, I’d fantasize about escaping my “boring” world in favor of heroic adventures. This obsession continued well into my marriage. 

You can imagine how much this struggle impacted my life. Eventually, I found myself at a crisis. Dissatisfied with how seemingly dull my life was, I started entertaining options for real means of escape. This led to a defining moment in my marriage where I had to choose between my non-heroic “Mom” life and an idealized, romantic adventure. 

I remember lying on the couch, begging God, “Please close this door of escape for me. I am not strong enough to choose correctly here. Just make me a robot so my only choice is righteousness.”

Thankfully, the Lord didn’t make me a robot. But He did close the door that was tempting me. This shows that your willingness to obey the Lord is your best first step towards freedom.

To be continued!

If you want to dive deeper into the fantasy spirit, stay connected to this blog. I’ll be posting more in the coming weeks. You can also find more information in my book, Overcoming Fear.

An Overview of Sozo Tools

The Father Ladder and Four Doors. 

Sozo has grown so much in the past 20 years. Teresa Liebscher and I started it in 1998, and it has exploded into many countries across the globe. 

I’m so grateful God has used this ministry. The more people who heal their relationship with God, the more souls will be saved! 

Today I’ll cover 2 of our most popular tools: The Father Ladder and Four Doors. 

The Father Ladder

Originally taught in one of Bethel’s prayer servant training classes, the Father Ladder introduces clients to the needs each person has. It also shows how each member of the Godhead (the Father, Son, or Holy Spirit) meets these needs. The Father Ladder tool is best represented with this chart:

While earthly fathers provide our physical needs (protection, provision, and identity), siblings and friends fulfill the soul’s needs (communication and companionship). Mothers meet our spiritual needs of comfort and teaching.

When any of these needs aren’t met, we start to believe lies from the enemy. A child, for instance, who wasn’t protected at home will feel like they have to fend for themselves. This becomes a lie that they are unworthy. This lie can only be removed once the person forgives their father and renounces the lie that God will treat them the same way.  

Here’s an example of how to run through the Father Ladder: 

Sozo Minister: “How would you describe your relationship with Father God?”

Client: “It’s okay. I mean, I love Him. But I don’t feel a strong connection to Him.”

Sozo Minister: “Close your eyes. Can you see or sense Father God?”

Client: “I see Him faintly, but His back is turned to me.”

Sozo Minister: “Repeat after me: ‘I choose to forgive my earthly father for being distant. I renounce the lie that You, Father God, don’t want a deep relationship with me. And I receive the truth that You love and cherish me. I pray this Jesus’ Name. Amen.'”

[A few seconds pass.] 

Sozo Minister: “Can you see or feel Father God now?”

Client: “Yes, I see Him. He’s looking right at me!”

In this example, the client’s perception of God was colored by their relationship with their earthly father. Once the person forgave their dad, they could connect with Father God at a deeper level. 

The Four Doors

Another tool we use often is the Four Doors. This tool works best for when we want to identify areas of demonic oppression. The Four Doors tool was originally taught by a deliverance minister from Argentina named Pablo Botari (in the form of The Ten Steps). 

Teresa and I condensed this tool to focus on 4 key areas of sin: fear, hatred, sexual sin, and involvement in the occult. Since areas of sin serve as access points to the enemy, closing these doors is important for helping people find freedom. 

Just like the Father Ladder, the Four Doors tool is best visualized with a chart. Here it is below:  

This list is not extensive. Yoga is one of the more recent additions to the occult door because it has infiltrated so many realms of American society.  

Here’s an example of how to run through the 4 Doors: 

Sozo Minister: “Do you feel like there are any doors of sin open in your life?”

Client: “Yes, I’ve struggled with pornography for the past two years. I feel powerless to stop it.”

Sozo Minister: “Repeat after me: ‘Forgive me, Jesus, for opening a door to this sexual sin. I ask you to break pornography from my life. Please shut this door and seal it with Your mighty blood. I ask this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

And that’s it!

While there are many Sozo tools (Presenting Jesus, the Wall, Divine Editing), these are the ones we use the most. Overall, Sozo is a very gentle inner healing/deliverance ministry. Following the Holy Spirit’s lead is the primary goal of the Sozo Minister, so the length and structure of each session looks different. 

If you’re interested in hearing more about the Sozo ministry, or if you would like to schedule your own Sozo session, please visit us at the Bethel Transformation Center’s website: https://www.betheltransformationcenter.com/

You can also take our online training courses and learn the Sozo tools for yourself at https://courses.desilvaministries.com/

Overcoming Fear

“Either make the tree good and its fruit good,
or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, 
for the tree is known my its fruit” (Matthew 12:33 ESV).

I came across this social media post from Tom Crandall. I think it perfectly captures how we can identify lies and the roots of our issues.

Tom’s post, focused on overcoming fear, is so simple yet breaks down the enemy’s attacks into actionable steps. Let’s go through each one now. (Note that these principles work for more than just fear. You can switch out fear for perversion, hatred, witchcraft, or many other issues.)

1. Recognize that fear is a demonic spirit. 

Fear is not your friend. And fear is not from God. The Apostle Paul reminds us, “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7 ESV). Fear is not even an option for true believers in Christ (except the fear of the Lord). 

The first step to dealing with fear (anxiety, stress, or worry) is realizing that it comes from the enemy. No one wants to partner with evil, so call out fear as the demonic attack that it is and send it back.

Sample declaration: “I see you fear, and I do not partner with you. I send you back in Jesus’s Name.”

2. Understand that behind every fear is a lie

Fear is a complex issue. (So are issues like rage, depression, or perversion.) These often have underlying mindsets keeping them in place. When you feel fear, ask God, “Is there a lie I’m believing?” 

The goal is to become an expert at digging out the roots of each issue. Like the tree Jesus referred to in Matthew, we must search our beliefs. See if any mindsets are creating bad fruit (sin, unhealthy actions or habits) and renounce their hold. If there is bad fruit in your life, ask God to show you what lie is causing you to act in this way. 

Sample prayer: “Jesus, is there a lie I’m believing that’s causing me to partner with fear?”

3. Invite the Holy Spirit to disarm fear with truth

This is the most important step. Satan is the father of lies. Jesus is the source of all truth. When God reveals a lie to you, it’s your job to exchange it for heaven’s truth. 

In Sozo, we believe that spaces vacated by ungodly beliefs need to be filled by godly virtues. Otherwise the enemy will come back and exploit this newly exposed area (see Luke 11:24-26 ESV).

We encourage clients to meditate on Bible verses that speak to their area of healing. For someone newly freed from fear, they should read scriptures about courage and declare this virtue over their life.  

And that’s it!

Tom’s post shares such a powerful weapon we can use in times of warfare. It seems so simple, but it can bring radical breakthrough. If you want to go deeper in removing fear, check out my book, Overcoming Fear.

Here’s a quick prayer you can release over yourself this week: 

“Jesus, thank You that You are my deliverer. Please expose any unhealthy beliefs I am partnering with. Help me to discover any root issues so I can remove them and embrace God’s truth. I ask this all in Jesus’s Name, amen.

Trusting God

But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible,
but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26 ESV).

These past few months have been difficult. Not only did a close family friend of my son and his wife pass away, but one of my spiritual mentors, Beni Johnson, graduated to heaven. Many of us worldwide were believing for her healing. The morning after she passed, I found myself traveling to teach on the importance of prayer. It was a hard but powerful trip.  

Losses like these can shake our faith. When our needs – physical, financial, or otherwise – don’t get resolved, doubt creeps in. We start to wonder if God even hears us at all, thinking, How do we trust God when our deepest disappointments get realized?

A wise man once said,”Those who love the most hurt the most.” We have the opportunity to love God with all of our hearts. While it might seem safe to close off and guard our hearts from disappointment, cynicism is not healthy. Jesus said: 

“Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up
and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart,
but believes that what he says will come to pass,
it will be done for him” (Mark 11:23 ESV).
 

Believers are called to intercede for the impossible. Jesus is the King of the impossible. When faced with hardships, disease, or temptation to sin, we are reminded that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13 (NKJV).

We must pray for the miraculous and believe in the Lord’s goodness no matter what. This is called faith. Pastor Bill said after Beni’s passing, “God is always good. I don’t have a right to accuse Him otherwise.”  

If you’re struggling with the pain of loss in this season, here are some promises from God to bring you comfort:  

1.  God works all things for good. 

Even if you lose something dear: a friend, a dream, or a family member, God promises to turn all things for good. This means that even the most painful situations can be turned around for your benefit. It’s a huge promise, and a beautiful one at that. Even in your darkest moments, God is crafting a plan of redemption:

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,
for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28 ESV).

2.  God has a plan for your life.

Jeremiah saw more destruction than any other prophet during his life. Even in the midst of suffering, God promised that He had a plan for Israel, and it was good. Like Jeremiah, we can take comfort in the fact that God has a destiny for our lives: 

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare
and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11 ESV).

3. God promises to comfort you.

The Bible promises us that we will be comforted, especially in our hardest moments. Grieving is a natural part of human life. Allow yourself to process your pain. Jesus will comfort you: 

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4 ESV).

4. God is present in your situation.

The Names of God are a wonderful tool to rely on in seasons of discouragement. Ask God which part of His nature He wants to reveal to you — the Healer, the Provider, or the Protector — then lean into that aspect. There are so many Names in Scripture, and I cover some in my book, Warring with Wisdom. Check it out if you want to learn more about this powerful tool. 

And that’s it!

These are just a few promises we can rely on when we’re feeling discouraged. It can feel difficult to stay the course and not give in to doubt, but the Lord says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways” (Isaiah 55:8 ESV).  We must not let disappointment steal our ability to stand firm knowing that God is in control.

If you need help processing any loss, Ray Leight has a wonderful book called Finding a New Normal. It has really helped me through this season of suffering.

Here’s a quick prayer you can release over yourself this week: 

“Jesus, thank You that You are our comforter. I release any pain from my life and ask You to step in and give me words of hope and encouragement. I ask this all in Jesus’s Name, amen.” 

Raising up Micaiahs

“As the Lord lives, what the Lord says to me,
that I will speak” (1 Kings 22:14 ESV).

I recently read the story of Micaiah’s prophecy against Ahab. For those who aren’t familiar, the passage centers around the wicked king of Israel, Ahab, and his decision to war against Syria.

For some backstory, King Ahab asked Jehoshaphat of Judah to assist him in battle. Jehoshaphat said, “Inquire first for the word of the LORD” (verse 5).

Ahab assembled around 400 prophets and commanded them to reveal what the Lord was saying. The prophets declared, “Go forth, for the Lord will give it [the battle] into your hands” (6). 

King Ahab was satisfied, but Jehoshaphat wasn’t. He asked Ahab, “Is there not another prophet of the Lord of whom we may inquire”(7)?

Ahab admitted, “There is yet one man by whom we ay inquire of the Lord… but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me, but evil” (8).

Long story short, Micaiah was brought forth and spoke the Lord’s truth, declaring, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd. And the Lord said, ‘These have no master; let each return to his home in peace’” (17).

In an interesting twist, it turns out God had given Israel’s prophets the wrong word so they would entice Ahab into battle (19-23). Micaiah was the only one who spoke truth.

It was a risky decision. After Micaiah was finished, King Ahab threw him in prison and ordered the guards to “give him nothing but bread and water until I return safely” (27).

It turns out Ahab was killed just as Micaiah prophesied. Interestingly, we don’t know what happened to Micaiah. Did God deliver him from prison? Or did he remain in captivity?

This story both inspires and humbles me. So many Christians, rather than speaking out, avoid hardship. They parrot whatever society tells them and start to resemble the world. This is a dangerous place to be since the world rarely follows what the Lord is truly saying.

In 2021, some of you may recall the Lord told me it would be a year of the power of peace. When I looked up peace in Matthew 5:9, I found “Blessed are the peacemakers.” My immediate thought was peace keepers: those who do not cause conflict. 

Upon researching the original definitions of the word, I found “peacemakers” comes from the cognate that means “to bravely declare God’s terms which makes someone whole” (cognate 1518 eirenopoios). So in this case, being a peacemaker is not staying silent but speaking the truth from the Lord, which brings wholeness.

The Call To Holiness

“Be holy… for I the LORD am holy” (see Lev. 20:26)…

I re-read through one of my favorite mystery novels last week, and I felt the Lord say, “Dawna, I need you to put this book down.” A little confused, I asked, “Why?” He said, “I’m calling you into a new season of holiness. These books won’t get you there.”

I was shocked. For about twenty years, I had been reading mystery novels as an innocent hobby. I made sure to avoid graphic material, so the stories I read were quite tame.

But God challenged me to up my standards in this season. As I set the book aside, He said, “I want you to go through your personal library and throw out the books I tell you.”

Although some of these stories were personal favorites, I nevertheless followed His command. By the end, I had disposed a handful of books.

Why the Call to Holiness is so Important

2022 already so far has been a challenging year for prayer. After a 2-year pandemic and now a sudden war, the temptation might be to view this season as the devil’s playtime. But the Lord wants us to come up to His level so we can see the enemy is beneath His feet.

I want to encourage you in this season to embrace God’s call to holiness. As we separate ourselves from sin (even what seems innocent), we’ll be able to stay tucked up under the Lord’s wings and rebuke darkness.

Ask the Lord what you can do this week to strengthen your relationship with Him. Remove any podcasts, streaming channels, or news stations that might be pulling you away from a stronger connection with God.

Even the most innocent escapes can become dangerous if we allow them to take up space in our hearts. (You’ll know if something has become destructive if you’re unwilling to give it up.) If God reveals an issue to you, tear it out by the root.

This blog post was inspired by an excerpt in Dawna’s live Q & A from the Warring with Wisdom e-course. If you want to join the Q & A on April 21, enroll in the online class and join via the zoom link (link is posted in the e-course).