What is God doing in this season?

We are going to new levels, but we may need to leave some things behind.

One question I get often asked is, “What are you discerning God is doing in this season?”

The best prophetic word I heard recently on this subject was from Kris Vallotton. He declared the church was being put in a rocket ship and sent into outer space.

What’s interesting about rocket ships is they have to shed their fuel tanks at a certain point; otherwise they won’t reach their final destination.

In this same way, I believe God is taking us to new heights, but to hold onto our new levels of authority, we’ll need to leave behind what may hold us back in this new season.

These might be old beliefs or mindsets, ungodly ideas or tactics, or maybe even some recent decisions we’ve made that won’t get us to where God is taking us.

If you’re not sure what to say yes or no to in this season, get alone with God and ask Him, “Lord, what are you wanting me to let go of this year?”

Write down what the Lord shows you and adapt any changes He recommends over the coming months. Practice saying ‘yes’ to what God is doing and ‘no’ to the unnecessary weights He wants you to leave behind.

Watch the original video below that inspired this blog:

Jehovah Sabaoth, the Lord of Hosts

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. – Proverbs 18:10 NIV 

Pastor Graham Cooke has a wonderful saying, “when you’re going through life’s storms, ask who God is to your situation.”

Reminding ourselves of God’s nature is not a distant, Biblical concept, but a powerful weapon we can use in battle to bring encouragement to our daily lives.

When we face financial difficulties, we can turn to Jehovah Jireh, the Lord Who Provides. When we struggle with fear or anxiety, we can call upon Jehovah Sabaoth, the Lord of Hosts.  

Since God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, we can stand in the truth of Who He is in Scripture and declare His blessings over us.

Many of the names of God are found in the Old Testament, but that does not mean they are not relevant today.

Connecting with God’s nature not only allows us to pull on His goodness; it also takes our eyes off the enemy and puts them back on the Lord where they belong.  

So much about us winning in spiritual warfare is dependent on us putting our eyes back on God.

When we focus on the enemy, we become weak and vulnerable. When we focus on the Lord, our spirits soar.  

Jehovah Sabaoth, The Lord of Hosts

One of my favorite Names of God is Jehovah Sabaoth, the Lord of Hosts. This is the Name I call on when I feel nothing is going my way, when I feel surrounded by my enemies, and when I need to be reminded that I am not alone.  

Perhaps the most famous example of Jehovah Sabaoth in Scripture is the story of Elisha and his servant in 2 Kings. In this story, a hostile nation to the Israelites surrounded the house of Elisha, God’s prophet. Seeing the amassed armies, Elisha’s servant panicked and said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?”  

Interestingly, Elisha did not partner with his servant’s negative report. He instead declared, “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.” Here is the passage: 

And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, ‘Alas, my master! What shall we do?’ So he answered, ‘Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ And Elisha prayed, and said, ‘Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.’ Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha (2 Kings 6:15-17 NKJV).

This story reminds me that no matter how dark my circumstances can be, God is still working on my behalf. When I am facing impossible situations, I get to turn to God and say, “Jehovah Sabaoth, please reveal to me your hosts that are protecting me and fighting for me in this situation.” 

Connecting to Jehovah Sabaoth

When you find yourself in the middle of a fight and feel completely surrounded, plant yourself firmly in God’s Word and realize the importance of standing with God in the midst of your fight. If your arms feel tired from carrying weapons, ask for the angelic realm to bring reinforcements. Say, “Not today, enemy. I cast you out of my life. The Lord of Hosts is at my side.”  

If you feel tired and alone in the midst of battle, break off any attachments you may have with fear. Forgive anyone who has abandoned you in the past. Rebuke any lies that are saying you are alone and that your spiritual battle is bigger than the Lord’s ability to invade the situation. When you feel this way, call on Jehovah Sabaoth, the Lord of Hosts. Consider this verse: 

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’ A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you’ (Psalm 91:1-2, 7). 

As you ponder on the words of this verse and go throughout your day, ask yourself, “What am I trusting in?” Are you believing in your own strength? Your spouse? Or your bank account? Or are you trusting in the all-powerful, loving God?  

If you want to know more about Jehovah Sabaoth and some other names of God, check out my latest book, Warring with Wisdom.

Identifying the Jezebel and Delilah Spirits

The spirits look the same but act differently.

Years ago I was invited to speak at a church in another country.

All throughout the region of that country, senior pastors from several churches had fallen into sexual sin.

In each case, a male senior leader had engaged in an affair with a younger woman.

These women had stayed with the senior pastors until they were fired from their positions, then moved on.

The church attendees asked me, “Please, can you pray with us and rebuke this Jezebel Spirit? It’s so strong in our region.”

I asked the Holy Spirit for His insight, and He showed me, “These churches aren’t dealing with a Jezebel Spirit at all. Instead they’re fighting with a Delilah Spirit.”

What are the Jezebel and Delilah Spirits?

The Jezebel and Delilah spirits are demonic spirits that the enemy uses to attack God’s people. The spirits are named after individuals in the Old Testament, Jezebel and Delilah.

Jezebel was a wicked queen who lived during the time of Ahab’s reign (1 Kings). Jezebel used her relationship with King Ahab to promote her ungodly ideas of Baal worship.

Jezebel recognized she had no real authority on her own, so she attached herself to a powerful leader to stay in power.

Delilah, in contrast, was a Philistine woman who was in relationship with Samson, one of Israel’s judges (Judges 16). Delilah used her relationship with Samson to find out the source of his strength and betray him to his enemies.

Both Jezebel and Delilah used control and manipulation to destroy God’s anointed, but the outcome of their attacks was much different.

Whereas Jezebel wanted to use her relationship with Ahab to destroy God’s people from a place of influence (like a tyrant), Delilah wanted to discover the source of Samson’s strength at an individual level and sabotage it.

Those who partner with a Delilah spirit want to sabotage God’s anointed, remove their strength, then move on. Those who partner with a Jezebel spirit want to attach themselves to someone more powerful so they can increase in influence.

Using your Gift of Discernment

Now, I’m not saying there are actual “Jezebel” and “Delilah” spirits floating around in the spiritual realm. However, I do believe we can study people’s lives from Scripture and see how the enemy uses the same tactics over and over again. (This is how we label spirits in a Sozo session. We see the evidence of a spirit that has influenced a person’s life and call it out by name [like fear, hatred, or perversion].)

Be careful not to ignore the spiritual realm (see Ephesians 6:12). The enemy may attack us in several different ways, so it is always best to ask the Lord for insight. By correctly identifying the spirits that are harassing us, we can quickly break agreement with them, confess any sin to God that opened a door to their influence, and release God’s presence over our situation.  

This week ask the Lord if there are any attacks the enemy is waging in your life. Discern what the real root issue is — the underlying tactic — and pray against it through confession and repentance or simple declarations of God’s truth. Remember not to pray out a place of fear, but from a place of hope and faith, knowing that your prayers are being heard and answered.

Should Christians Stop Watching Horror Movies?

Horror opens a door to fear, and fear opens a door to the demonic realm.

I used to love watching scary movies.

When I was growing up, we had Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, and the Exorcist, all classic horror movies.

I still love a good suspense novel, but I realize now that watching horror films over the years was opening a door to fear in my life.

Thankfully, I have since been healed from fear and its demonic influence, but many Christians today are still continuing to watch scary movies, and it makes me think, “Should Christians even be watching them?”

Fear is an Open Door to the Demonic Realm

If you’re familiar with the Four Doors tool, then you’ll understand that fear is one of the 4 main categories of sin.

Fear (worry, unbelief, need to control, anxiety, isolation, apathy, and drugs/alcohol abuse) can give a place of access to the enemy.

Scripture warns us to not give the enemy any place or foothold (see Ephesians 4:26-27). If you’re watching films or TV shows that promote fear, you may be allowing the enemy an open door of influence in your life.

This is one reason why I think so many Christians today suffer from nightmares and anxiety. They’re not putting up enough adequate boundaries around what they should be reading, watching, or listening to.

Take a Break from Scary Movies

Rest is very important, and I understand the need to turn off our brains so we can enjoy a well-told story.

However, I want to encourage you this week to take a break from watching scary movies. Fast R-rated content (extreme violence, gore, and language) and see what the Lord reveals to you in your prayer life.

You might even find it is easier to connect with Him once you make this change.

Closing the Four Doors

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive.” – 1 John 1:9

The Four Doors is a tool used by Sozo ministers to help identify sin in a person’s life.

Originally developed by Pablo Bottari, the Four Doors tool teaches that all sin comes from 4 keys areas: fear, hatred, sexual sin, and the occult.

Door #1: Fear

Fear is the most common sin people deal with. The sins of worry, unbelief, need to control, anxiety, isolation, apathy, and drugs/alcohol reside behind this door.

Door #2: Hatred

The door of hatred contains the sins of bitterness, envy, gossip, slander, anger, and self-hatred (low self-worth). Other sins like racism also reside behind this door.

Door #3: Sexual Sin

The door to sexual sin contains adultery, pornography, fornication, lewdness, molestation, rape, and homosexuality. Fantasy also resides behind this door.

Door #4: Occult/Witchcraft

The final door, the occult, contains the sins of astrology, fortune-telling, tarot cards, seances, ouiji boards, manipulation, participation in covens, casting curses, and witchcraft. Movements like new age, yoga, and reiki are also behind this door.

Closing the Four Doors

Closing each of the four doors is fairly simple. Once you identify an open door in your life (fear, hatred, sexual sin, or the occult), walk through a simple prayer of deliverance and ask God to remove its influence. Here’s a sample prayer you could use:

“Jesus, I ask You to forgive me for opening this door to… (fear, hatred, sexual sin, or the occult). I repent for partnering with this sin of… (worry, stress, jealousy, or control). I renounce this sin’s hold over my life and ask You, Lord, to cleanse me with Your righteousness blood. Close this door, Jesus, and seal it shut. In Jesus’s Mighty Name, amen.”

As Christians, if we sin, we have an advocate before the Father. If you find that there is an open door of sin in your life, get alone with God, repent for opening this door, and ask the Lord for His forgiveness.

You may also need to implement some practical boundaries into your life, such as not watching certain movies or television shows, or maybe putting some filters on your electronics (like VidAngel). You may even need to change your circle of friends.

Find out what you can do practically in your life to strengthen your relationship with God and keep the access points of the enemy closed.

For more information on the Four Doors or any other Sozo tool, check out our online Basic Sozo Training:

Can Christians have Strong Boundaries?

Or do we just need to keep turning the other cheek?

Over the years, I have found many Christians don’t understand their rights to boundaries.

Verses like “turn the other cheek” and “give your suers your cloak” convince them they’re confined to a life of passivity.

But Jesus’s words don’t encourage us to be passive. They encourage us to be powerful and love others from a place of strength.

Boundaries are great tools we can use to protect ourselves from unsafe situations and people.

Even Jesus Used Boundaries

In the bestseller, Keep Your Love On, Danny Silk explores how even Jesus needed to set up boundaries. Danny writes:

“To see the pattern for the Christian life, we must look at Jesus. When we do, we see that Jesus prioritized certain relationships over others… His primary allegiance was always to the Father… Everything Jesus did revolved around prioritizing that core relationship above all others.”

Setting Healthy Boundaries with Family and Friends

Sometimes we even need to set up healthy boundaries with our closets family members and friends. When these relationships hurt us and refuse to regain our trust, boundaries are a great option to keep ourselves safe from repeated or future occurrences. Danny writes:

“Sadly, sometimes people in our inner circle hurt or scare us very seriously and are unwilling to clean up the mess they made. If that happens, we must move them out to a place of access that they can handle. Some people who once held the “most intimate” place in our lives may find themselves out in the furthest sphere. We can keep our love on toward them, but it may be a very long time before we ever have them over for dinner.”

As Christians, we are called to forgive, but we also don’t have to keep letting unsafe people into our lives.

If a close relationship is continually causing you pain, consider implementing some strong, healthy boundaries into your life.

Learn More on Boundaries

If you want to know more about boundaries and how to use them, check out Dr. Cloud and Townsend’s book, Boundaries, Dann Farelly’s “Brave Communication”, and, of course, Danny Silk’s Keep Your Love On.

Here’s to all of us growing in our skills of setting healthy boundaries!

Recommended Resources:

Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend
Brave Communication by Dann Farrelly
Keep Your Love On by Danny Silk

Is racism an evil spirit?

Or is it simply a mindset that needs to be renewed?

During the live taping of my Advanced Sozo Training (Part 1) last year, I was asked an interesting question, “Is racism an evil spirit?”

Meaning, is there an actual demonic spirit whose sole purpose is to stir up racism?

In my opinion, racism is part of a broader issue: hatred. I do believe there is a demon of hate, and racism is one of the many ways this spirit promotes chaos, division, and suffering in the world.

How do we combat the spirit of hatred?

We combat the spirit of hatred by shifting the atmosphere in our home, city, and nation to God’s peace and love. Through intercession and prayer, we can reject the enemy’s voice and replace it with the Lord’s opposing truth.

Just like Jesus said, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done,” we get to intercede for God’s goodness to invade the earth and displace Satan’s lies.

This week practice releasing God’s atmosphere into your city. Reject the enemy’s voice of hatred and ask for God’s truth to shift the atmosphere from division to hope, chaos to love. Here is a sample prayer you could use:

“Holy Spirit, I ask you to shift the atmosphere of hatred over my city. I say no to the devil’s lies of division, chaos, and confusion. I ask You, Lord, to release hope, love, and unity in their place. Thank You, Lord, for being a protector over my city. I ask all of this in Jesus’s Name. Amen.”

What does the word ‘SOZO’ mean?

A brief study of the Greek word: SOZO

Teresa Liebscher and I started the Bethel Sozo ministry over 20 years ago. Today it is in over 80% of the countries across the globe. 

I love Bethel Sozo, and I love seeing how God uses the ministry to bring healing into peoples’ lives. Sozo is just one of many great inner healing ministries out there, and many of our earliest tools came from other inner healing and deliverance ministers who were gracious enough to teach us some of their ideas (like Randy Clark and Pablo Botarri).

What does the word sṓzō mean?

The word sṓzō comes from the Greek and appears in the New Testament 111 times. The word means saved, healed, and delivered:

sṓzō: “to save, i.e. deliver or protect (literally or figuratively): –heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole.

While there are other words that mean “saved”, other words that mean “healed”, and others that mean “delivered”, sṓzō combines all three to denote — what I believe to be — a complete package of salvation, healing, and deliverance.

Perhaps the most famous instance of the word being used in scripture is with the story of the 10 lepers. After Jesus prayed for the lepers and healed them, only one came back to thank Jesus for His blessing. Scripture says:

“And he [Jesus] said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole [sṓzō]” (Luke 17:19 KJV).

Teresa and I believe that this instance was an example of someone being sṓzōed. All 10 lepers were healed, but only one received salvation, healing, and deliverance.

What does it mean to get a sṓzō?

Part of our heart is to see people get the full reward Jesus paid for. Part of this is seeing people receive complete physical, emotional, and spiritual healing.

Yes, Jesus did a complete work on the cross. Once we are saved, we can have faith that His grace is sufficient to cover us.

However, when we open doors to the demonic realm through sin, this can bring spiritual, physical, and emotional issues. Sozo is just one of the many ways we can work with God to clean out any unhealthy areas in our lives.

If you are interested in learning more about Sozo, or if you would like to schedule an appointment, click here to visit the website. You can also check out our first book, SOZO: saved, healed, and delivered.

Has new age crept into the church?

Here’s what my good friend, Alan Strudwick, has to say.

Yoga, sadly, is a huge part of our society. You can see huge billboards splattered across LA, or thousands of online marketing ads showing attractive women posturing themselves in yoga-like positions.

Yoga markets itself as a relaxing, stress-free form of exercise. It is seen as a popular way to meet with friends and do beneficial stretches for your body. Churches have even started hosting holy yoga sessions while playing worship music in the background.

I have always had a suspicion about yoga. I didn’t know much about it at first, but I’ve had this feeling for years that practicing yoga as a Christian isn’t right.

What really changed my perspective was my good friend, Alan Strudwick, a graduate of the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. Alan grew up as a young man in the new age movement and helped shaped its growth in America before eventually having an encounter with Christ.

From a young age, Alan was groomed to be an influential leader in the new age movement. He led seminars and strategized with leaders on how to spread new age ideas into the western world.

Interestingly, one of the ways the leaders decided to accomplish this task was to infiltrate new age ideas into the church, specifically with yoga. Here’s a quote from Alan about this in his book, Spiritual Evolution:

“Another focus group we planned to target and infiltrate were Christians… Our strategic plan was to ‘water down’ Chistianity as a faith and replace it with New Age philosophies and practices.”

Alan’s book explains that not only was yoga planned to be infiltrated into the church, but how it was also an age-old Hindu belief intertwined with demonic spirituality. Alan writes:

“The ultimate goal of the practice of Yoga is to ‘yoke’ or have ‘union’ with Hindu gods. The ‘goal’ is clearly identified through the study of ancient Hindu texts… Whether we are an advocate for Yoga or not, we must realize that Yoga is rooted in spiritualism, and many of the postures have a meaning that goes beyond simple strengthening and lengthening of muscles.”

As Christians, I believe it is very unwise to practice yoga. The poses themselves are designed to invite demonic spirits. As believers, we should be advising against these kinds of practices, which is one reason why Bethel Sozo has recently categorized yoga as part of the occult list in the Four Doors.

If you are currently practicing yoga, I invite you to get alone with God and ask for His heart on the issue. I believe we each have our own decisions to make, but from personal experience, I have found that yoga is a sneaky way that ungodly ideas have spread into the church.

For more information on new age practices hiding in the church, check out Alan’s book:

Waiting for God’s Breakthrough

If you are facing any insurmountable obstacles this week, here is some encouragement.

A few years ago, a woman came up to me in the middle of a conference. I was sitting in the back, pretty tired from a long day. The woman asked me, “Dawna, do you remember me? You prayed for me a few years back at a Basic Sozo Training.”

Sadly, I couldn’t place her in my mind, so being as polite as possible, I said, “Sorry. I don’t remember you. Can you let me know where we met?” 

“Yes,” She said, “We met two years ago at a Sozo Training. I asked you to pray for me while Teresa was teaching up front. I was struggling with stage four cancer. You stood up, laid your hand on my shoulder, and declared, Be healed.”

“I instantly felt God’s presence surge through my entire body. Right then I knew that my health was restored. I just wanted to thank you for praying for me that day. Since then I have been completely cancer free.”  

I love testimonies like this where God steps in and heals someone in an instant. These stories give me hope that God still does miracles to this day.

Sometimes our healings have nothing to do with our own actions or decisions. God simply wants to step in and take care of our situations. By being obedient and asking for prayer or ministering to others, we invite God’s presence to invade our circumstances.

If you are facing any insurmountable obstacles this week, physical or otherwise, here is a simple prayer you can use to usher in breakthrough:

“Father God, I rest in your identity, Jehovah Rapha, the God Who Heals. I ask for Your healing touch to pour over my body, soul, and spirit. I also rest in your identity as Jehovah Jireh, the Lord Who Provides. Thank You for providing all my emotional, physical, and spiritual needs. Finally, I rest in your identity as Jehovah Shalom, the God of peace. I send back any and all attacks from the enemy and release new life into the atmosphere. In Jesus’s Name, amen.”