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Man of God, Be on Guard!

By T.D. Jakes Guest Writer

As a father, you are the defender who must personally stop every predator who tries to attack your home. Whether the attacker is spirit, man, or beast, to gain entrance it must face the awesome power and authority of the man of God at the gate. There are no guarantees that an adversary will not come. Sometimes, despite all that we do, challenging situations still arise, but it is foolish not to take every precaution to make it as difficult as possible for a thief to break in. Many men are ready to defend their family from physical assailants, but few men are prepared to defend their family against spiritual attacks. Although they have fought off thieves and criminals, they are still plagued by inner guilt, private perversion, and moral problems. They are poorly equipped to build defenses against depression, suicide, child abuse, or other spirits that may target their home. We cant kill these things with guns, but we can stop them cold with prayer! The devil hates to see prayer break out among men because he knows we guard our homes through intercession. We stand in the position of impregnable authority in our home when we cover our wives and children with prayer! Man of God, you and I are not helpless! Even when we war against spiritual forces in high places, we come to the battle with unstoppable force and unbeatable weapons. Stand guard over your loved ones with prayer. Let your children see you ministering through prayer. Prayer is a mighty tool to protect those you love. When you pray, God often gives direction and instruction to help you safeguard your family from attack. He did it for Noah and for Joseph and Mary, and He will do it for you. There is a difference between a good idea and a "God idea." The "God idea" is conceived and nurtured in the womb of prayer. It is not a venture or an attempt. Its birth comes by simply acting out the plan God gives you through prayer. Once you know you have a "God idea," refuse to allow anyone to intimidate you with earthly wisdom. When you have received Gods counsel on an issue, that settles it. Dont let the plans of the Lord be contaminated by well-wishers who may not have the mind of the Lord for that particular situation. Dont be confused by the manipulation of others. Some men are so indecisive that they are difficult to follow. Men who never make definite decisions allow the enemy to shift Gods agenda right out of their lives! "If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask him, and he will gladly tell you, for he is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask him; he will not resent it. But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to tell you, for a doubtful mind will be as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind; and every decision you then make will be uncertain, as you turn

first this way and then that. If you dont ask with faith, dont expect the Lord to give you any solid answer" (James 1:5-7 TLB). A godly man guards his plans, his wisdom, and his family from spiritual attack. He also guards the Word of God and the godly traditions he has passed down to his family. Train your children early to understand how to walk with your God. Teach them that you serve God, not some force of energy. You dont merely "believe in some higher power" because your perception may be off-centered. Stand guard over spiritual truth. Teach your children the importance of faith. "Faith in faith" is a cheap disguise for humanism, which is man worshiping his own will. Your faith is not "disconnected energy looking for some object to attach itself to and alter." Your faith is in God, and He has a name! He is reality! "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" (Jude 3). A man of God tends to have strong powers of persuasion even a shy, stammering man like Moses. People will sometimes follow what you teach simply because you teach it. Make sure your message is solid and right. Many have neutralized their witness for God by saying, "Whatever you want to believe, it doesnt matter." How ridiculous! Give every man and woman, every boy and girl, a clear understanding of truth. You cannot make them believe, but you can make sure you clearly understand the faith yourself and that you clearly communicate it to others. A praying man collects a rich heritage. It is the accumulation of all the things he has learned about God. The special things a praying father does for his family ought to be passed through the curtain into the next generation as part of a godly inheritance! This kind of wisdom puts God in the very roots of a childs being. He will not be easily shaken. Do you have a spiritual heritage? Are there any miracles in your life? Are there any things you know God did for you? Guard this heritage of Gods faithfulness and preserve it by passing it on to your sons. It may save them from needless mistakes and sorrow. They will know what you know without having to suffer what you suffered! "And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones? Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. For the Lord your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over: that all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the Lord your God for ever" (Joshua 4:21-24).

Man of God, Guard Your Heart!


By T.D. Jakes Guest Writer

Finally, my brother, guard your heart. The enemy wants to embitter and corrupt you. Guard your heart against contamination by lust and loneliness, bigotry and arrogance, and everything in between. Your enemies may even hide in good deeds done for evil motives. Only you can mount this guard because no other man can discern your motives and intentions. If Samson had guarded his heart, Delilah wouldnt have weakened him. Had Samson guarded his heart with the breastplate of righteousness that Paul talked about, he would have continued to be productive in Israel. But in the heat of his passion and the weariness of his life, Samson "told her all his heart" (Judges 16:17). What a tragedy! Samsons weakness caused him to pollute his heart with lust and loneliness, and he gave it to someone other than God. There are some things you give to no one but God. Many men have given their hearts to people, to careers, and to ideals (not a God idea). They were shocked when these persons or things betrayed their heartfelt investment. Always reserve the deepest and innermost portion of your heart and trust for God. To go beyond borders on idolatry and will produce a pagans reward of failure. God wants your heart for Himself. It was the basis of your original union with Him. God didnt appeal to your intellect; He asked for faith. The enemy despises your heart because it is with your heart that you believe unto righteousness. "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Romans 10:10). Divine peace is one of the greatest security systems you can use to guard your heart. This peace is born out of prayer. It causes you to trust what you cannot trace. It leads you to rely on the character of God. A character cannot be proven; it must be believed. Nothing you read (including this book) will replace the personal experience that evolves from prayer and praise and from time spent learning to know the God your heart has believed. There is a realm of faith that supersedes believing, and that is the realm of knowing. "For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day" (2 Timothy 1:12). You believe with your heart, and the process begins. Finally, your faith graduates through lifes experience into a confidence called knowing. Satan wants to stop the process because he knows that the people who know their God will be strong and do exploits! Guard your heart because there may be a Samson in you that the enemy wants to destroy!

When you lose your peace and become anxious and worried, you may make radical decisions that open up the door for demonic attack and turmoil! This allows the enemy to suggest threats of impending danger and leave you terrified and shaken, causing you to lose the guard that would preserve you in a storm. Dont give up the peace of God! Peace empowers you to go through a test without the test going through you! You may lose things, but if you keep your peace, you can regain them again. If you are going to be a praying man, dont give up the peace. "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7). The word keep is better translated as "guard." Gods peace will guard your heart and mind. It will cause you to pick out what thoughts you will entertain. Samson entertained Delilah, and she infiltrated his heart and took his secrets. Avoid entertaining thoughts that will destroy your peace. Whenever I catch myself rehearsing problems over and over, I know I am entertaining those problems. They will "cut my hair of anointing" if I dont abort them! How can a thought be "aborted"? "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you" (Philippians 4:8-9). If life has dealt you some tough cards, dont give up. You may be down, but bless God, you are not out. Strengthen the things that remain and go on. You will never survive the challenges of life if you make decisions without consultation. God wants to teach you the significance and power of daily communion with Him. You are in the ring with a formidable opponent who wants to take you out right now! Your enemy knows that God has predestined you for greatness. He would love to destroy you with a single blow. But he doesnt have the power to take out a man who really prays. Make a commitment to stand in Gods strength, regardless of the challenges or questions life brings and regardless of how hard you are hit. You may feel the sting of the devils blows, and you may even wince in pain, but give him a clear message with fire in your eyes. There will be no towel-throwing in this fight. That snake isnt fighting a limp-wristed, emasculated coward of a man who has no stamina. Youve been to hells door and back again for yourself, for your family, and maybe even for lost souls! You have been created and trained in the likeness and image of his worst nightmare! You are a resurrected man! You have been renewed in your faith, and you are firm in your conviction. Tell the enemy, "I am a man of prayer. I will be knocked no lower than my knees!"