Flashback Friday: Would You Recognize Him

Happy Friday! Check out our Fruitfulfab flashback originally posted on October 3, 2016.

From the Howling Man episode /Twilight Zone
From the Howling Man episode /Twilight Zone

Open Your Eyes

It is often said “when people show you themselves, believe them”. But what if they disguised themselves and if you, like Mr. Ellington, didn’t recognize the signs of whom the person really was?

“I-I didn’t believe you. I saw him and didn’t recognize him,” gasps Mr. Ellington. “That is man’s weakness…and Satan’s strength,” stresses Brother Jerome.

How many times has the devil disguised himself or you failed to recognize what he was doing before it was too late?

How well can you recognize him, his work, and why can’t we recognize him?

Twilight Zone

I have always loved watching reruns of the Twilight Zone. One of my favorite episodes is called The Howling Man. On a rainy, stormy day, David Ellington recalls of another rainy, stormy day he endured. Déjà vu or not? That day he was wearied, lost and had stumbled across a place of refuge. He needed help. Mr. Ellington pleads with the strange man who answers the door to let him in. After being let in and waiting for further approval to speak with the leader about resting there for the night, Mr. Ellington collapses from sheer exhaustion.

The men at this sanctuary reluctantly give Mr. Ellington shelter to rest. However, Mr. Ellington discovers where the howling he had been hearing, since he arrived there, is coming from. No one acknowledges at first his discovery. But throughout the night, the howling continues to capture his attention. Behind the bars is a homely man with a gentle appeal for freedom from the men who have imprisoned him. The man behind the door pleads for help. He tries to warn Ellington also that the men are not who they say there are.

“They’re mad, Mister Ellington. All of them, raving mad. Listen. I was in the village in Schwartzof. I was walking in the street with my woman. We paused to rest by a tree. And we kissed. Is it wrong to kiss? Tell me,” begs the man.

He Let Him Loose, Ya’ll

To make a long story short, Mr. Ellington sets the man free, only to discover he had been tricked. He had let loose the devil and had to spend years and years chasing him to bind him again. Now Ellington has captured him, has him bound and is sharing his account of when he let him loose. But will that person fall for the devil’s tricks; will that person doubt who the devil really is, only to let him out again?

“I know. It’s –it’s an incredible story. I, of all people, know this. And you won’t believe me. No, not at first. But I’m going to tell you the whole thing. Then, you will believe, because you must. You must believe.”

As I watched this, I thought, if I was in Ellington’s shoes, “Would I recognize the devil for what he is?” Would I trust what the brothers were telling me?  Would the devil appeal to my flesh, my emotions, etc. to deceive me into letting him go? How many times has he deceived me already?

Father of Lies

The devil is a deceiver. In fact, he is the father of all lies. He can masquerade as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). In the appearance of man, a homely one, the devil appears even as a victim, falsely accused while accusing the brothers to Mr. Ellington. He draws Ellington’s curiosity and appeals to his emotions as well as sows seeds of doubt into his heart. And he does it at such an opportune time, when Ellington is weary, exhausted and in the midst of a storm. Not saying the devil doesn’t come at other times to distract us, deceive us, and let loose in our lives, but he seems to come and have his way the most during tests and trials as well as when we are unarmed and feeling weak.

So how aren’t we recognizing him?

  • We aren’t consistently in the Word of God. “Truth is dogma. We believe it to be man’s greatest weapon against the devil, who is the father of lies,” says Brother Jerome.
  • We are building our doubt and not our faith. Doubt means to lack confidence, to consider unlikely, to distrust.
  • We are being led by our flesh, emotions, etc. and not by the Spirit of God.
  • We are not putting on the armor of God. Ephesians 6:13-17
  • We forget that there is a spiritual war going on. We wrestle not against flesh and blood. Ephesians 6:12
  • We are not fixing our eyes on Jesus. Hebrews 12:1-2
  • We are in a spiritual state of slumber. We are not growing in our walk; our prayer lives are dull; our hearts are numb and our appetites and pursuit of God and godly things are growing cold. 1 John 2:28

So, I encourage you to not be deceived by the enemy and let him loose in your life.

  • Seek God first, pursue God greatly and nurture your relationship with God intimately daily.
  • Saturate in the Word of God daily. Ellington asks, “But if he’s the devil, how do you keep him locked up?’ Brother Jerome responds, “with the staff of Truth!” Read it, obey it, use it, speak it, and believe it!
  • Pray. Pray for God’s discernment and help. He knows everything and has already overcome the enemy and the world. He knows what the devil has planned and can protect you from his deception and attacks.
  • Build your faith and not your doubt. Faith comes by hearing by and hearing by the Word. Trust God and believe Him at His Word.
  • Know and believe that God has good intentions towards you.
  • Pray for wisdom and revelation; and when the Holy Spirit gives you insight into where the devil is at in your life and what he’s doing, call the enemy out on it in the name of Jesus. I know, Lord, the devil is trying to distract me and I rebuke these distractions in Jesus’ name. I pray I will fix my eyes on You, Lord, for You are the author and perfecter of my faith.
  • Check the condition of your heart and check unchecked sin and repent wholeheartedly. James 4:7-8

M.I.A

The M.I.A (Most Important Accessory) that a Christian should have in their possession is The Holy Spirit & The Word of God. They are something we don’t hang up or sport from time to time, but something we must wear daily, second by second, minute by minute. It is through His Word and through the Holy Spirit we can stay alert to the devil’s schemes.  

–Written by Tannika Moore

Check out The Howling Man: click on link below.

The Howling Man

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Are You Sensitive?

A GPS gives you directions, and even helps you to reroute and get back on course when you make the wrong turn. Moreover, your body gives you signs when something is wrong or when it is experiencing changes, harmful or beneficial. Your five senses give you details that keeps you alert, aware, and responsive. With each—the GPS, our bodies and our senses—we have to pay attention to them and act accordingly. When Jesus ascended to the Father, God sent down His next best gift. On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. (Acts 1:4 NIV)

The Holy Spirit, He, serves not only as our comforter, but as the inner guide of every believer. He is our very own spiritual GPS. He is the one who gives us warnings, wisdom, discernment, and understanding of the things of God. Moreover, the Holy Spirit continually connects us with the Father and the Son as we seek God daily, pray without ceasing, saturate in God’s Word, and depend on Him.

But what happens when you don’t understand the GPS system? You get frustrated and you lose direction. What happens when you continue to ignore your body’s signs that you need rest or to make some healthy changes? You may get sick or fatigued; you may have to spend lots of time and/or medicine or take on a new health regimen just to get your body back on track. What happens when one or more of your senses are not working? You are unable to function at capacity, maybe even hindered at living a quality life, and you may have a hard time communicating with others.

I said all of this to say that it is essential to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. He will bring revelations and understanding of God’s mysteries to us. He will direct us along our destined journeys. He will guide and assist us in fulfilling the assignments God gives us, in ministering to the lost, and in making the right decisions. He will keep us alert to the enemy’s tactics, give us discernment, and connect us to the things of God as we connect to Him. Sensitivity towards the Holy Spirit is so crucial when the devil lurks consistently to try to steal, kill and destroy our impact, destinies, witness, patience, our ability to trust and depend on the Lord, our love walk, our influence on the world, our families and more. We need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s directives, exhortations, and warnings.

What if the Holy Spirit gave you an opening and told you to share your testimony with a stranger at the bus stop, or to smile at the young lady walking into the store, or to give that mom walking with her child a ride to the bus stop on a cold, snowy day, or to minister to the young man on the corner? What if He told you to not go that way home, or to go straight to work, or go to Bible study anyway although you are tired, or don’t date that young woman? What if He told you to get out of bed and travail in prayer for your friend’s son or make a meal for the homeless, old couple you pass on the way to work? And what if you failed to obey, heed His warning or execute His orders?

Someone’s very life/future could be at stake and needs your intercession. Deciphering God’s voice from any other and yielding to God is crucial for interceding on someone else’s behalf. That person could be in danger or perhaps in a coma and definitely could and would benefit from your prayers. And who could better help you to intercede and pray for that person you may not even know? The Holy Spirit! Moreover, you could put your own safety at risk, not being sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s warnings and directives. Just read below about a man of God who failed to heed God’s warning and to obey.

Then the king said to the man of God, “Intercede with the Lord your God and pray for me that my hand may be restored.” So the man of God interceded with the Lord, and the king’s hand was restored and became as it was before. The king said to the man of God, “Come home with me for a meal, and I will give you a gift.” But the man of God answered the king, “Even if you were to give me half your possessions, I would not go with you, nor would I eat bread or drink water here. For I was commanded by the word of the Lord: ‘You must not eat bread or drink water or return by the way you came.’” So he took another road and did not return by the way he had come to Bethel. Now there was a certain old prophet living in Bethel, whose sons came and told him all that the man of God had done there that day. They also told their father what he had said to the king. Their father asked them, “Which way did he go?” And his sons showed him which road the man of God from Judah had taken. So he said to his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me.” And when they had saddled the donkey for him, he mounted it and rode after the man of God. He found him sitting under an oak tree and asked, “Are you the man of God who came from Judah?” “I am,” he replied. So the prophet said to him, “Come home with me and eat.” The man of God said, “I cannot turn back and go with you, nor can I eat bread or drink water with you in this place. I have been told by the word of the Lord: ‘You must not eat bread or drink water there or return by the way you came.’” The old prophet answered, “I too am a prophet, as you are. And an angel said to me by the word of the Lord: ‘Bring him back with you to your house so that he may eat bread and drink water.’” (But he was lying to him.) So the man of God returned with him and ate and drank in his house. While they were sitting at the table, the word of the Lord came to the old prophet who had brought him back. He cried out to the man of God who had come from Judah, “This is what the Lord says: ‘You have defied the word of the Lord and have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you. You came back and ate bread and drank water in the place where he told you not to eat or drink. Therefore your body will not be buried in the tomb of your ancestors.’” When the man of God had finished eating and drinking, the prophet who had brought him back saddled his donkey for him. As he went on his way, a lion met him on the road and killed him, and his body was left lying on the road, with both the donkey and the lion standing beside it. Some people who passed by saw the body lying there, with the lion standing beside the body, and they went and reported it in the city where the old prophet lived. When the prophet who had brought him back from his journey heard of it, he said, “It is the man of God who defied the word of the Lord. The Lord has given him over to the lion, which has mauled him and killed him, as the word of the Lord had warned him.” (1 Kings 13:6-26 NIV) Tragic right, but unfortunately we have all failed to heed God’s warning here and there! Thank God, however, for His mercy.

Being sensitive to the Holy Spirit could also bless someone and encourage another that He prompts you to minister to, showing and confirming to them that God loves them and He is real and ever so present. You ever had someone you felt led to minister to or show kindness to and they express how they were having a bad day or a lot on their mind and knew that your brief encounter was of God because it blessed them so. We are living in the last days, crucial times, pivotal seasons, and God wants willing and yielded vessels connected with His Gift every second of the day so He can use such vessels to impact nations and fulfill the purposes He placed in them.

M.I.A

The M.I.A (Most Important Accessory) that a Christian should have in their possession is sensitivity towards the Holy Spirit. It is something we don’t hang up or sport from time to time, but something we must wear daily, second by second, minute by minute. Now is the time to allow the Holy Spirit to sensitize you towards Him and to help you be alert and responsive to His promptings.