Be Sober, Be Vigilant

it is to your advantage!

All greetings protocols observed, let’s get into it.

No one that I know loves being in pain.

Unless one is perhaps possessed, influenced or oppressed by some demonic influence, no one goes out of their way to just be in pain.

In fact, there is this dummy text that is popular in the printing and typesetting industry that has been in existence since the 1500s. Chances are relatively high you might have come across it in documents/websites that have placeholder dummy text and it starts with the two words ‘Lorem Ipsum’.

Yesterday, I just got curious about what it even means because it seems to be internationally used as the ultimate dummy text. So, I researched what it means and I was quite intrigued by the translation. Apparently this is what the paragraph means in English: …THERE IS NO ONE WHO LOVES PAIN ITSELF, WHO SEEKS AFTER IT AND WANTS TO HAVE IT SIMPLY BECAUSE IT IS PAIN…and boy do I agree with Sir Lorem Ipsum.

Pain is a reality packed with potential to either be destiny defining or altering depending to how you react/respond to it. Though often temporary in nature, your response or reaction could extend its lifetime. Our flesh loves pleasure and, in most cases, is willing to do whatever it takes to escape, suppress or cancel any form of pain.

You probably know the infamous Esau who sold his birthright for a bowl of soup. He desperately wanted to get out of temporary pain that he ended up exchanging that temporary pain with a greater measure of long-term pain.

Genesis 25:29-34 Once when Jacob was cooking stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted. 30 And Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!” (Therefore his name was called Edom.[a]) 31 Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright now.” 32 Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” 33 Jacob said, “Swear to me now.” So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

We condemn this guy so much but behave like him sometimes; knowingly or unknowingly.

In the previous blog, I did mention my quest to get rid of the pain of rejection YET the more I tried, the worse the pain of rejection got! Eventually, I resorted to suppressing it with something that could keep my mind off it. I resorted to music, secular music to be specific. I cringe sometimes at the type of nonsense I exposed myself to in form of music. I started listening to all forms of perversions found in hip-hop, r’n’b and all the other types you can think of. The Lil Waynes, the Nicki Minajs, the Kanye West, the whoever, you name it. I almost always knew when there was a new album or even a new artist coming up and I would download all their songs and decide later if I liked the artist or song. I LOOOVVEEEDDD this music (we are not talking casual liking here, love!) I always had earphones on without fail. I even remember a day I got a new CD (remember those? ha ha) with new ‘music’ & I did not sleep the whole night listening to that CD till the sun came up.

I had finally found my antidote to the rejection, the pain and the despair, I could just put earphones and listen to all the swearing & cussing, women-degrading, drug-alcohol-fornication & adultery promoting, defiant & anger-infused lyrics and whatever else the devil would have them sing about. I didn’t care who liked or didn’t like me when I was listening to what I assumed was fun music then. I even prided myself in knowing all the lyrics word for word hehe!

What the average person does not know is that there is a spirit operating behind every single thing on this earth. Not even one thing is void of a spirit on this earth. People don’t just sing to entertain others and somehow get famous in the process without a spirit, good or bad, backing them. I, unfortunately, didn’t know that then. In fact, whenever a sermon or conversation about how most circular music is demonic came up, I just rolled my eyes. My logic was these people obviously work hard to create these catchy beats, rhyming lyrics, and creative videos, of course they would be successful in what they do and it is actually very nice music, thank you very much, bye!

It never crossed my mind why I would never be comfortable if my music was to be randomly connected to the church PA system & played in front of the congregation or how I would lower my volume in public transport so that others wouldn’t hear the unhinged lyrics. If it does not glorify God, it is not of God. There are so many things we take things casually that are not casual. Let’s take slang for example, which most times, seemingly joking we say things that are not in alignment with God, like how you say ‘I am so dead’ to express that you found something extremely hilarious or perhaps call someone ‘funny as hell’ when in reality nothing is funny about hell. I was even noticing some of the TikTok dances the other time and how they might seem like innocent trending ‘challenges’ yet in reality, they were symbols of using guns, drinking alcohol, slitting throats, i.e murder/suicide and all sorts of things. I could go on and on, but back to the story…

This music had become an idol to me. I could listen to it all day long, sometimes sleep late or not even sleep at all because I was enjoying it to that extent. In contrast, I didn’t have that much dedication to God: ten minutes in prayer felt like years and I couldn’t wait to finish and go back to my music. I also significantly despised godly music, I thought it was boring and for people who take life too seriously and are just total bores and perhaps holier-than-thous. I could barely stand it, you could count the number of gospel songs I endured because of guilt to not dismiss God completely out of my playlist, they wouldn’t even reach 5 at any given time. You can imagine the pain I felt when I was then taught that when doing the usually mandatory church fasting, you needed to listen to only Godly music, pray and read the word. Ah, man!

There is no one that can convince me that entertainment is for entertainment’s sake. There are movies that carry the spirit of fear-you watch a horror movie, the next thing you can’t be alone in the dark. There are movies that carry the spirit of fornication, of blasphemy, of depression, of hatred, of violence and the same is true for music & any other form of art.

Music is especially spiritual-it is worship, which is why it is present in most spiritual activities-there is music during demonic rituals or at wicked shrines, & in almost every religion there is significant use of music. There are people who die literally at circular concerts due to demonic activities heightened in those environments and it is dismissed as probably excitement to see the artist. There are also people who give their lives to Christ in Christian concerts too or even after coming across worship music. Music is transportation for spirits. Even in church, we tend to sing worship music when we want to experience the presence of God. I love how one worshiper put it when he said; worship for Christians is going to battle without looking at the enemy.

To labor this point, I vividly remember one of the times we were meant to fast at church and as such, I couldn’t listen to my regular music. I remember listening to a new Sinach (a Nigerian worshiper) album in bed at night and when I opened my mouth to sing along to one of her songs: ‘Holy Spirit I Adore You’, instead of singing her lyrics, I began speaking in tongues. Due to my ignorance of what tongues really meant, I was so startled and scared that I shut my mouth and never attempted to speak in tongues again for a long period of time. I interpreted them as creepy and wanted nothing to do with speaking a gibberish language I didn’t understand.

What this means is that by listening to a song inspired by the Holy Spirit, I invited that spirit into my life!!! I wonder honestly what I was inviting into my life whenever I listened to that demonized music. It is no surprise then that whenever I tried to get in a relationship, I would attract all forms of calamity as I would also attract people who listened to my type of music which wasn’t God-honoring. This was always the point of equal yoking in those could-have-been avoided relationships. I would end up being scarred by people I had no business attracting in the first place. That ungodly music opened that door to that. It also opened the door to swearing. I could be in a normal conversation and end up using the swear words I meditated on day and night when I was listening and singing along to nonsense. That was the trash (instead of treasure) in my heart and yes, that is what was in abundance in my heart

Matthew 12:34-35 For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.

I thank God for his mercy that eventually, many years later, I finally got set free from that music, all by God’s grace. It turns out I just generally love music. I am equally passionate about gospel music now and I always jokingly say if there is one thing I am anticipating the most, (besides the obvious being with Christ) about going to heaven is experiencing the worship there. I can imagine all the violin sounds (love love love violin sounds) and other instruments unique to heaven and the dancing, the clapping and and and. God created me with an ear for music. I can be drawn to prayer/worship by that one-second string sound in a worship song. Even sometimes during prayer, God deposits new melodies, songs and chants in my spirit & instead of using words to pray, I end up just singing that instead. It was never about loving or not loving music, it was about the type and which kingdom’s purposes it served in my life.

Isaiah 43:21 The people that I formed for myself shall declare my praises.

I love how the Message Version of the Bible puts this verse: the people I made especially for myself, a people custom-made to praise me.

God HATES idolatry, because it tends to replace Him in our hearts/lives with something or someone else other than Him. Idolatry comes in many shapes and forms and for various reasons, mostly to try & escape a reality or superimpose another reality by all means. Some idolatry is outright like going to a shrine and all that voodoo stuff, but mostly it comes in very subtle ways that we can almost insist it doesn’t exist. I didn’t think I was in idolatry then because it was just music, not buddha, or some other known god so I didn’t realize it. We need to be very careful what we pay attention to especially if it begins to receive more attention than you are willing to give to God. Not just bad things can be idols, even good things. We were created with a primary purpose to worship God, and because we were created for worship, we find it very easy to substitute who to worship with what to worship.

An obsessive desire to achieve a goal can turn into idolatry which is why we have words like workaholic, work in itself is good but an excessive desire of it becomes idolatry. Take inventory of your life and dethrone anything that you now love more than God and give more time to than is necessary

One of the major reasons people turn to other gods in idolatry is pain. If you fail to manage your reactions to pain, you will quickly open strange doors. The world is currently seeing an unprecedented level of witchcraft because probably people got hurt, then got bitter, then sought revenge and sought help from strange altars. Or perhaps, they toiled to make themselves a success and when it seemed futile, they turned to strange altars for get-rich-quick demonic assistance, or some needed to get married or get a baby or get a job and it seemed to be a painful and fruitless process in the natural and they turned to strange altars for relief and assistance.

I get that pain is an uncomfortable experience. It is actually one of the devil’s favorite weapons of warfare so much so that even the people who willingly serve him, he inflicts them with pain, he demands they sacrifice the wife or son they seem to love the most and ensures they barely get any sleep or rest from torment. He gets them to comply with his demands by use of pain or torment. This is a creature that has been in existence for way more than we have been as humans so he understands some of our weaknesses, pain being one of them.

You need to learn to quickly surrender your pain to God before it drives you to open doors that will be to your detriment. Hurt that is not turned quickly to God can lead to bitterness and unforgiveness and offense which opens the doors to all forms of calamity. I could list all the forms of pain and their direct negative impact if left unsurrendered to God but this is a blog, not a book.

You are not capable of solving some of your painful circumstances on your own. Some of your best well-meaning efforts can have you digging yourself deeper in a hole that you cannot easily get out of in the end. Surrender it to God. It is not worth hiding and acting macho about or pretending it doesn’t exist.

1 Peter 5:6-11 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God [set aside self-righteous pride], so that He may exalt you [to a place of honor in His service] at the appropriate time, 7 casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]. 8 Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour. 9 But resist him, be firm in your faith [against his attack—rooted, established, immovable], knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being experienced by your brothers and sisters throughout the world. [You do not suffer alone.] 10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace [who imparts His blessing and favor], who called you to His own eternal glory in Christ, will Himself complete, confirm, strengthen, and establish you [making you what you ought to be]. 11 To Him be dominion (power, authority, sovereignty) forever and ever. Amen.

I realize this has been a bit long but I hope you walk away with two things-learn to master how you deal with pain without pain mastering you instead. Be very careful what you allow into your life, as you might open your life up to strange spiritual attacks and manipulations.

Let us pray:

Loving Father, we repent for the times we have exalted anything else above your name. The times we have put our lives in our own hands and removed them from Your hands. We rededicate our lives, our hearts and our ambitions to you. You created us to worship You & You alone. Forgive us for wandering out of your presence to worship other things in both outright and subtle ways. Restore our hearts back to being in awe of you & finding you worthy of our time, our resources, our dedication and our attention. Restore to us the child-like wonder and love of belonging and wanting to be around a parent, may we desire to spend time with you and cast our pains, and cares on you. We submit our lives to you for complete healing whether it is emotional, spiritual, mental or physical, heal us O Lord. Restore to us the joy of your salvation. May we know we have a LOVING ABBA FATHER who is ever-present with us even in times of need. Help us to let go, to forgive, to release the pain we have been keeping deep in our souls. Father, meet everyone reading this prayer at their point of need. In Jesus’ mighty name I pray. Amen.

Delsha Rufaro Lydia
Delsha Rufaro Lydia
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Makanakamwari Mangava

Wooow I enjoyed reading this! I’ve learnt a lot. Thank you so much sis🥰🥰 more grace to you!

Tasha 🌻

😍😍😍Hallelujah! Good teaching.

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