mercy; take no hostages!
As God’s official legislator and law-enforcement agent:
I come in the name of the resurrected Jesus, whose I am and
whom I serve, “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the
earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is
Lord” (Phil. 2:10–11; see also Ps. 82).
I affect and enforce God’s original plans and purposes over and
against the plans and purposes of Satan (Dan. 6).
I decree and declare that in this battle no intrinsic (internal)
or extrinsic (external) weapon, be it emotional, financial, social,
physical, psychological, interpersonal, spiritual, or organizational,
formed against me shall prosper (1 Sam. 17:47; Isa. 54:17; Jer.
51:20; John 14:30; 2 Cor. 7:5; Eph. 4:27).
I place upon myself the armor of light and of the Lord (Rom.
13:12; Eph. 6:13–17):
Truth to cover my loins (Ps. 51:6)
The breastplate of righteousness to cover my heart
and chest cavity (Ps. 5:12; 2 Cor. 6:7)
The gospel of peace to cover my feet (Isa. 52:7)
The shield of faith to defensively and offensively cover
my body (Heb. 10:38; 11:1, 6)
The helmet of salvation to cover my head (Isa. 59:17; 1
The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God
(Eph. 6:17; Rev. 1:16)
The Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 13:14)
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A robe of righteousness (Isa. 61:10)
The glory of God is my reward (Isa. 58:8).
I decree and declare that the weapons of my warfare are not
carnal but mighty through God (1 Sam. 17:45; Rom. 13:12; 2 Cor.
10:3–6; Eph. 6:13–18).
I pull down strongholds and cast down vain imaginations and
every high thing that lifts itself against the knowledge of Jesus
Christ. My thoughts are now subject to the lordship of Christ (Isa.
14:13–14; Ezek. 28:2; 2 Cor. 10:5).
I speak that God’s anointing destroys every yoke in my life and
that my soul, spirit, and body now function in order according to
divine systems of protocol (1 Cor. 9:27; 14:40).
I decree and declare that I am healed and Spirit filled; sickness
and disease are far from me (Isa. 53:5).
I establish divine parameters, boundaries, and borders and legislate
and establish the laws of the kingdom of heaven to govern all
activities within (1 Chron. 4:10; Ps. 147:14; Isa. 60:18).
I overrule (disallow and veto) every diabolical sanction, subverting
activity, injunction, directive, mandate, or order that opposes the
will of the Lord concerning my life, ministry, and family (Matt.
I nullify diabolical decisions and rulings concerning my ministry,
my life, and the lives of family members, friends, and associates
(Isa. 38:1–5; 39:6–8; Matt. 16:19).
I take control over the airways, galaxies, systems, spheres,
stratospheres, hemispheres, atmospheres, realms, regions, and
domains (Jer. 1:10; Matt. 16:19; 18:18; 1 Cor. 6:2–3; Eph. 2:6; Rev.
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I dispossess master spirits and employ Michael, other archangels,
and the angelic host to handle any satanic contentions,
disputes, strivings, and resistance concerning this injunction (2
Kings 7:5–7; 2 Chron. 32:21; Dan. 3:24–25; 6:22; 10:13; Ps. 91:11;
103:20; Heb. 1:14).
I declare successful divine and angelic undertakings, undergirding,
reinforcements, and assistance. According to Your Word
in Psalm 103:20, angels now “excel in strength” to marshal and
protect my personage, property, and possessions (2 Kings 6:17;
Dan. 3:15–30; Acts 12:1–10).
Jehovah-Gibbor, contend with those who contend with me;
fight against those who fight against me. Take hold of shield and
buckler, and stand up for my help! Draw out also the spear and
javelin and close up the way of those who pursue and persecute
me. Clothe Yourself in Your garments of war. Muster Your devices;
gather Your weaponry and ammunition from Your divine arsenal.
Make bright Your arrows, gather Your shields, and let vengeance
be Your ultimate goal as You overthrow the chariots, horses, and
riders. Let terror strike the hearts of my enemies and cause their
hearts to fail.
I decree and declare that by You I run through troops and leap
over walls. You are my God: the God who girds me with strength
and makes my way perfect. It is You who makes my feet like hinds’
feet, giving me stability so that I am able to stand firmly and progress
on the dangerous heights of testing and trouble. You set me
securely upon my high places. You teach my hands to war and my
fingers to fight, granting me supernatural strength and abilities
so that my arms break a bow of steel. You are my Rock, my Shield,
and my Strong Tower. You have equipped me with the shield of
Your salvation, and Your right hand establishes me as a victor in
this battle. Beat down the enemy. Give me his neck. Cause me to
pursue and overtake them until they are wounded and consumed,
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falling at my feet, never to rise again. Establish my name in the
heavens. Let them who hear of me submit and obey me.
I announce that it is You who have blessed me. It is You who
empowers me. It is not by my might nor by my power, but by the
Spirit of the Lord. For when the enemy shall come in like a flood,
Your Spirit lifts up a standard against him (Exod. 15:3; Deut. 32:41–
42; Ps. 7:13; 18:29–50; 35:1–8; 144:5–7; Isa. 42:13–14; 59:16–19;
I forbid and disallow further opposing activities of any satanic
personalities with diabolical assignments concerning my life,
ministry, and family, and I wage a war with them (Neh. 4:14).
I disapprove and prohibit any demonic interception and interference
or resistance (Dan. 10:1–13).
I resist satanic contentions, intentions, provocations, and negotiations
concerning my life and my soul, and superimpose prophetic
purpose and divine destiny over and against all activities and
opposing forces that are contrary to the will of God in Christ
Jesus concerning my life (1 Sam. 1:1–8; 1 Kings 22:1–23; 1 Chron.
21:1–2; Job 1:7–12; 3:25; Jude 9).
I bind satanic harassment and rebuke satanic concentrations (2
Sam. 11:1–2). I bring to a halt and prohibit all satanic surveillance
(1 Sam. 18; Matt. 26:4; Mark 11:18; Luke 6:11; Acts 16:16–19).
I lift false burdens and remove feelings of heaviness, oppression,
and depression. I cast them upon the Lord who sustains. I shall
not be moved (Ps. 12:5; 54:2; 55:22; Isa. 10:27; 61:3; Matt. 11:28–
30; John 14:1).
I decree and declare that by the anointing, all covenants,
contracts, chains, fetters, bondages, proclivities, and captivities
that are contrary to, oppose, or hinder the fulfillment of God’s
original plan and purpose are broken. I am liberated from genera28
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tional/satanic/demonic alliances, allegiances, soul ties, spirits of
inheritance, and curses. I sever them by the sword of the Lord,
the blood, and the Spirit. I speak to my DNA and declare that I am
free from any and all influences passed down from one generation
to another—biologically, socially, emotionally, physiologically,
psychologically, spiritually, or by any other channel unknown to
me but known to God. I resist every spirit that acts as a gatekeeper
or a doorkeeper to my soul, and I renounce any further conscious
or unconscious alliance, association, allegiance, or covenant. I
open myself to divine deliverance. Father, have Your way now!
Perfect those things concerning me (Deut. 5:9; 7:8–9; Eccles. 7:26;
Isa. 61:1; Acts 8:9–13; Gal. 5:1; 1 Thess. 5:23–24; 2 Tim. 2:25).
I decree and declare that a prayer shield, the anointing, fire walls,
smoke screens, and a bloodline form hedges of protection around
me and hide me from the scourge of the enemy, familiar spirits,
and any and all demonic personalities, making it difficult, if not
impossible, for them to effectively track or trace me in the realm of
the spirit. There shall be no perforations or penetrations to these
hedges of protection (Exod. 12:13; Job 1:7–10; Ps. 91; Zech. 2:5).
I release my name into the atmosphere and declare that prayer
warriors, intercessors, and prophetic watchmen are picking me up
in the realm of the spirit. I speak that they will not cease or come
down from their watchtowers until their assignments have been
completed. I decree and declare that they will conduct their intercessory
assignments under the direction of the Holy Spirit and
Jesus Christ, who is my chief intercessor (Jer. 27:18; Ezek. 3:17;
Luke 18:7; John 16:13; Rom. 8:26–27, 34; Heb. 7:25).
I decree and declare that the Spirit of the Lord is upon me—the
spirit of wisdom, understanding, divine counsel, supernatural
might, knowledge, and of the utmost fear of Jehovah. As I advance,
I am divinely empowered and increase in skill and understanding
(Isa. 11:2–3; Eph. 1:17–18; Col. 1:9–11; 3:10).
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I obliterate and annihilate satanic impressions, illusions, projections,
perceptions, suggestions, suspicions, and deceptions set up
as a decoy or an ambush to my soul and those assigned to pray
with me, for me, on behalf of me, and those who work with me, are
assigned to me, and interact with me daily (1 Kings 22:5–40; Acts
13:50; 2 Thess. 2).
I forcefully resist the wiles of the devil and prohibit the hijacking
of divine thoughts, inspiration, revelation, insight, wisdom, knowledge,
and understanding emanating from the throne room of my
heavenly Father, especially those who initiate, stimulate, sustain,
and reinforce my kingdom authority in the earth realm and in the
heavenlies, and who facilitate God’s redemptive purpose (Matt.
13:19; Eph. 6:11).
I put a halt to all distractive, disturbing, and destructive
measures. For this reason was the Son of God made manifest,
that He would destroy the works of the enemy (John 2:15–17; Acts
16:16–19; 1 John 3:8).
I prevail against satanic inhibitions, prohibitions, and all limitations.
I decree and declare that all invisible and invincible walls
are destroyed (Josh. 6:1; Col. 1:16).
I execute divine judgment against satanic/demonic activities,
and I war in the spirit of Elijah and Jehu (1 Kings 18; 2 Kings
I disapprove, nullify, dismantle, cancel, and forcefully oppose
any satanic operations, maneuvers, manipulations, subversions,
strategies, tactics, plots, plans, and ploys that are designed to
hinder, prevent, frustrate, foil, deny, or delay God’s original plans
and purposes from their quick, swift, and speedy manifestation,
particularly in their correct time and season (Dan. 7:25).
I prohibit the alteration and changing of any time or laws
concerning my life and ministry or the life of my family. I move
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synchronized and syncopated to the choreographic, symphonic,
and orchestrated movements of God (Gen. 1:1–5; Dan. 6:1–15;
I establish that if laws, statutes, codifications, bills, charters, and
constitutions are changed, they are changed in my favor so that I
may prosper in the place of my assignment and the land in which
I am domiciled (Dan. 6:25–28).
I decree and declare that my times and seasons are in the hands
of the Lord and they shall not be altered or adjusted by anyone
or anything. I function under the anointing of the sons of Issachar,
and God gives me the divine ability to accurately discern my
times and seasons (1 Chron. 12:32; Ps. 31:15; Eccles. 3:1–8; Daniel
I decree and declare that the eyes of my spirit function with 20/20
vision for correct understanding and interpretation of divine movements.
My ears are in tune with the correct frequency of the Spirit,
and I have clear transmission (2 Kings 6:17; Job 42:5; Ps. 119:18;
Isa. 29:18; Jer. 1:11–16; 2 Cor. 4:4; 7:2; Eph. 4:18; Rev. 4:1).
I decree that this day I operate according to God’s divine timetable/
calendar. I decree that God’s agenda is my agenda. I am not
my own; I have been bought with a price. I therefore submit myself
to Him alone. I declare that, like Jesus, “I come: in the volume of
the book it is written of me” (Ps. 40:7; see also Ps. 139:16; 1 Cor.
7:23; James 4:7).
Father, overthrow the plans of troublemakers, scorners, scoffers,
mockers, persecutors, and character assassins. Expose satanic
representatives and grant unto me divine strategies and tactics to
identify, resist, and overcome plots and plans established for my
demise (Esth. 9:25; Ps. 5:10; 7:14–16; 34:21; 35:1–8; 52:5; 83:13–
17; 141:10; Prov. 26:27; 28:10; Dan. 3, 6; Matt. 7:15–23; 2 Cor.
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Draw out Your spear and stop them in their way.
Let them be confounded and put to shame.
Let them fall by their own counsels.
Let them be turned back and brought to confusion.
Let them be as chaff driven by the wind.
Let the angel of the Lord persecute them.
Let their way be through dark and slippery places,
with the angel of the Lord pursuing and afflicting
Let them be put to shame and dishonor who seek and
require my life.
Let them be turned back and confounded who plan
Let destruction come to them suddenly.
Let them fall to their own destruction.
Let destruction come upon them unaware.
Let them stumble and fall into the very destruction
they have contrived for me.
Let them be wounded and destroyed by the very
weapons they have devised for me.
Let them be caught in the same net that they set for
Let them fall in the very pit that they dug for me.
Let them be hung by the very noose they constructed
Let them be burned in the very fire they have lit for
Let them be consumed by the very beasts they have
prepared for me.
Strike them down in the very act of their mischief.
Let their mischief be returned to them twofold.
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Pluck them out of their dwelling place.
Root them out of the land of the living.
Let evil slay them and desolation be their lot.
Make them like a wheel turning in confusion.
Make them as the stubble before the wind.
Make them as wood burned by fire.
Persecute them with Your tempest.
Cause fear and terror to grip their hearts.
Let them be confounded and troubled forever.
I employ the hosts of heaven to war against the hosts of darkness
(1 Sam. 17). Take command over, bring to a halt, and place a
moratorium on further demonic movements and satanic activities
The underworld and its six regions (Isa. 14:9, 15;
38:18; Dan. 7:1–28; Rev. 20:13–14)
Death (Job 34:22; 1 Cor. 15:55)
Hell/Sheol/Hades (Isa. 14:19)
The grave (Isa. 38:10; Ezek. 31:15)
The pit (Ezek. 32:23)
The abyss, the lower region of the pit (Isa. 38:17; Ps.
Regions of the sea (Job 41:1–31; Ezek. 26:16)
Heavens (Eph. 2:6; 6:12; Rev. 12:7)
Terrestrial, subterrestrial, and celestial domains (Isa.
14:12–14; Jer. 1:10; Luke 11:16–26; Rom. 8:14–23;
I superimpose the prophetic word over all abortive measures,
strategies, and tactics of the enemy (1 Tim. 1:18–20).
I overrule and overthrow, according to Isaiah 54:17, ill-spoken
words, ill wishes, enchantments, divinations, spells, hexes, curses,
Activation Into War
witchcraft prayers, and every idle word spoken contrary to God’s
original plans and purposes.
I reverse the curse associated with these utterances and decree
and declare that they shall not stand, they shall not come to pass,
they shall not take root, and their violent verbal dealings are
returned to them twofold.
I declare that every lying tongue is wrong and that truth prevails.
Put a hook in their nostrils, bridle their lips, and hide me from the
scourge of their tongues (Job 5:21; Ps. 5:6–10; Isa. 37:29).
I come against falsehoods, slander, speculation, accusation,
misrepresentation, and character assassination. Father, cause the
heavens to bow down with divine judgment; cast forth lightning
to scatter them; shoot out Your arrows to destroy them; send Your
hand from above and rid me of them. I will lose no ground or
territory through their undermining efforts or initiatives (1 Kings
21:1–16; Ps. 144:5–7).
I prohibit the accuser of the brethren from operating or influencing
the soul or mind of anyone who comes into contact with
me (Rev. 12:10).
I reverse the effect of any stigmas and declare that divine favor,
grace, honor, and well wishes now replace any and all negative
feelings, perceptions, and thoughts concerning myself, my family,
and the work/ministry that I am called to accomplish.
I decree and declare that nobility and greatness are my portion
(Gen. 12:1–3; Ps. 5:12).
Father, frustrate the signs of witches and warlocks who withstand
the anointing as You did with Jannes and Jambres in the
days of Moses. Confound the omens of the liars, astrologers,
psychics, prognosticators, sorcerers, and the like. Make fools of
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diviners, and make their dark knowledge foolishness (Isa. 44:25;
2 Tim. 3:8).
Rebuke and dismantle satanic alliances, and arrest them by the
Spirit. Let every covert and/or clandestine effort and endeavor fail
(2 Chron. 20:35; Neh. 4:7–8; Esth. 3–9; Job 5:12–14; Ps. 35:4; 55:9;
70:2; 83:17; 129:5).
Disappoint the devices that they have crafted so that
their hands cannot perform their enterprise.
Take them in their own crafty and devious ways.
Let them meet with darkness in the daytime and
grope in the noonday as in the night.
Release divine viruses to invade satanic databases,
and command that they be consumed and destroyed.
Let all future diabolical communications and
networking fail. Any attempts shall only yield
incoherency and misunderstandings.
Send a spirit of confusion among them.
Let their tongues be divided.
Overrule and overthrow sabotage, subversions, and
Let every attack of retaliation fail.
Confirm the words of Your servant in their midst, and perform
the counsel of Your messengers (Isa. 44:26).
Send divine angelic, prophetic assaults and maneuvers against
diabolical intelligence (Josh. 5:13–14; Ps. 103:20–22).
Arrest those who operate in the spirit of Jezebel or Belial. Let
them not resist the anointing, usurp authority, or gain any ground
in the natural or in the realm of the spirit (1 Sam. 10:27; 1 Kings
Activation Into War
I prohibit satanic manifestations and speak that divine “abortive”
measures and “miscarriages” occur in satanic wombs and
incubators (2 Cor. 10:5).
Now Father, You have given me a great work to accomplish. I war
for the releasing of finances and all resources that belong to me.
Everything prepared for me before the foundation of the world,
that pertains to my life (ministry, calling) and godliness comes to
me now. I shall not/will not be denied. I shall not/will not accept
substitutes. I call in resources from the north, south, east, and
west. I decree and declare that every resource necessary for me
to fulfill God’s original plans and purposes comes to me without
delay now (2 Pet. 1:3).
I decree and declare that the wealth of the wicked is no longer
laying up for me but is released now. Let those who hold on to my
wealth longer than they should be afflicted and tormented without
relief until they release what rightfully belongs to me. I command
Satan to “cough it up,” spit it out, loose it, release it, and let it go
(Job 20:15–18; Ps. 66:12; Eccles. 2:26).
Jehovah-Jireh, loose the loins of kings! In the name of Jesus,
command that the two leaved gates be opened. Go before me and
make the crooked places straight. Break in pieces the gates of
brass, and cut asunder the bars of iron. Grant unto me, according
to Your riches in glory, Your tender mercies and immeasurable
favor, the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places
(Isa. 45:1–3). I declare that the Cyrus anointing flows unhindered
and uncontaminated in my life (Isa. 60:10–17; Phil. 4:19).
Lift up your heads, O ye gates (keepers of the gates), and be lifted
up forever, you age-abiding doors (doorkeepers) that the King of
glory, the Lord strong and mighty, the Lord of hosts, may come
in (Ps. 24:7–10). I announce my awareness that cannot deny Him
access. Therefore, I will not and cannot be denied of what rightfully
belongs to me!
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I decree and declare the releasing of the forces of the Gentiles,
the gold and silver from my prophetic Tarshish, and my prophetic
queen of Sheba to come laden with every precious possession/
resource/endowment fit for the sons and daughters of the King
I decree and declare that I shall suck the milk of the Gentiles at
the breast of kings (Isa. 60:16). I shall be enlarged as the abundance
of the sea is converted unto me (Isa. 60:5). The sons of
strangers shall build up my walls, and their kings shall minister
unto me (Job 27:16–17; Isa. 60).
I decree and declare that my God has brought me into my wealthy
place, and I dwell in my prophetic Goshen. I increase in substance
and prosper in the land whereto I abide and am sent as an ambassador
of God. As His official representative, all diplomatic and
aristocratic rights, privileges, respect, and honor are extended to
me. Grace, truth, goodness, and mercy are my bodyguards.
I decree and declare wisdom is my counselor; the Holy Spirit is
my consultant; Jesus Christ is my advocate. God, El Elyon, my
only judge has declared and I therefore establish that my officers
are peace, my exactors righteousness, my walls salvation, and my
gates praise (Gen. 47:27; Isa. 60:17–18).
I decree and declare that my set time of favor will not be frustrated
I release upon my life, ministry, the lives of every family member,
associate, and friend the following anointings for wealth and prosperity
so that God and God’s name alone is glorified:
Jabez anointing (1 Chron. 4:10)
Abrahamic anointing (Gen. 12:1–3)
Melchizedek anointing (Gen. 14:18; Heb. 5:6–10)
Joseph anointing (Ps. 105:21)
Jacobian anointing (Gen. 28:1; 30:43)
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Isaac anointing (Gen. 26:1–14)
Messiah’s anointing (Luke 8:1–3)
Solomaic anointing (1 Chron. 29; 2 Chron. 9)
Sevenfold Edenic anointing (Gen. 1:28, 30; 2:15)
Uzziahian anointing (2 Chron. 26:5–15)
Joshua anointing (Josh. 6:1–3)
I am daily loaded with benefits (Ps. 68:19).
I come against the spirit of deprivation. The Lord prospers the
work of my hands. By Him and through Him I accomplish great
exploits. Again I reiterate, I shall not be denied (Dan. 11:32)!
I declare success and progress in Jesus’s name (2 Cor. 2:14).
I decree and declare that the kingdom of heaven rules and reigns
I send these words forth as Euroclydon winds in the realm of the
spirit to demolish and destroy the enemy’s camps. Cause the four
winds of the Spirit and of heaven to blow as destroying, conquering
winds (Jer. 51:1; Acts 27:14).
I decree and declare that this prayer and all future prayers take
on the characteristics of divine projectiles in the realm of the
spirit and that they hit the bull’s-eye (Ps. 57:4).
I decree that the laws that govern this prayer and all spiritual
warfare strategies and tactics are binding by the Word, the blood,
and by the Spirit (1 John 5:7–8).
I decree that every spirit released from their diabolical assignment
now becomes a part of Jesus’s footstool (Ps. 110:1).
I seal this prayer in Jesus’s name…amen
7 People You Need In Your Life
Who are the seven most influential people in your life?
Let me ask that question a bit differently. . .who are the seven most positive and influential people in your life. . .that you interact with on a daily basis?
Have you seriously thought about the kind of influence they’re exerting in your life? What do they add to your life. . .your goals. . .your dreams?
In June of 2011, I posted a “Friendship Evaluator” where I asked people answer truthfully about the seven people closest to them.
Here are the four questions I posed.
What does this person add to my life?
What's the greatest negative influence this person has on my life?
What's the last positive idea, scripture or thought this person shared with me?
Does this person motivate me to be all I can be in Him?
It might be time to ask those same questions again. In fact, I encourage you to create the list. . .even if you did it two and one-half years ago.
Now let me clarify something right now. I’m talking about the people you choose to be a part of your life.
I’m not talking about the boss, the workplace bully, the guy or gal who’s been assigned to your team and needs a lot of ‘help.” They all have their place but that’s a different teaching.
I’m talking the people who are your friends. Growing up we used to tell our children that real friendship is a mutually positive give and take where both people come out a winner.
However, in this teaching, I’m going to share with you the seven people you need in your life.
1. Paul, a mentor
Yes, you need someone who can speak wisdom into your life. . .someone who keeps you on the cutting edge. . .someone who has a depth of knowledge and understanding beyond your own.
In short, you need a Paul. . .someone who be an encourage, exhort and edify you. . .to be and to become what God intended you to be.
What are the qualifications of a mentor?
Someone who has been there. . .done that. . .knows what you need to do and what you should avoid.
2 Timothy 4:6-7 in the Amplified Bible says:
“For I am already about to be sacrificed [my life is about to be poured out as a drink offering]; the time of my [spirit’s] release [from the body] is at hand and I will soon go free. I have fought the good (worthy, honorable, and noble) fight, I have finished the race, I have kept (firmly held) the faith.”
Paul definitely qualified as a mentor for Timothy and others. . .but through his writings. . .a Paul is definitely someone we need in our lives.
Additionally, in your circle of friends (seven) you need to have a mentor.
As I’ve often said. . .if you’re the smartest person in your circle of seven. . .you need some new friends.
Here are ten strategies for finding a mentor. . .who may be outside your current circle.
1. Identify what area you need mentoring in
2. Create a list of possible mentors.
3. Start with the big dog or top cat and work down.
4. Write down everything you know about that person
6. Who do you know who knows them?
7. Prepare to contact them.
8. Make contact.
9. Follow up with a thank you note.
10. If at first you don’t succeed, try the next one.
2. Timothy, a protégé
Are there people in your circle of friends. . .who look to you for advice. . .instruction and direction?
Perhaps a more important question. . .is whether or not they’re open to your thoughts and perspective.
In our circle. . .we need a protégé like Timothy.
Acts 16:1-2 in the New Living Translation says:
“Paul went first to Derbe and then to Lystra, where there was a young disciple named Timothy. His mother was a Jewish believer, but his father was a Greek. 2 Timothy was well thought of by the believers[a] in Lystra and Iconium.”
Are the people in your group well-thought of because of their family background or strong faith?
Sadly, many people are now from dysfunctional families. . .but those who have given their hearts to Jesus. . .set themselves apart from everyone else because of their testimony and passion.
Acts 16:4-5 in the New Living Translation says:
“Then they went from town to town, instructing the believers to follow the decisions made by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem. 5 So the churches were strengthened in their faith and grew larger every day.
As you help the protégés in your life. . .whether at work, church or wherever. . .you will begin to experience greater success and a stronger faith.
Exodus 18:20 in the Message Bible says:
“Your job is to teach them the rules and instructions, to show them how to live, what to do.”
In order to be successful in life you must have a successor . . .which means you must train those who work with you to effectively handle the things you need help in achieving.
If you’re learning a new occupation . . .you want to learn from people who have already proven themselves successful.
An effective leader should always be trying to work themselves out of a job . . .by training and developing new leaders who can assume even greater areas of responsibility.
You’d be amazed or maybe not . . .at the number of people who do everything themselves because they illogically figure that if someone else becomes good at their job. . .they may lose it to them.
Now is that faulty logic . . .it’s scripturally unsound. Consider the success principle E68 (Ephesians 6:8).
Whatever good thing you cause to happen to someone else. . .God will do for you.
If you train someone in the workplace and are then dismissed…know this: God keeps the books. Be expectant… you’re being promoted!
If you’re good at developing protégés. . . successful leaders . . .you’ll never be out of a job. . .or friends.
3. Barnabus, an encourager
Everyone. . .no matter how self-motivated or focused. . .needs an encourager in their lives. . .someone like Barnabus.
Acts 4:36 in the New Living Translation says:
“For instance, there was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (which means “Son of Encouragement”). He was from the tribe of Levi and came from the island of Cyprus.”
What qualities should we look for in an encourager?
Acts 11:24 in the Amplified Bible says:
“For he was a good man [good in himself and also at once for the good and the advantage of other people], full of and controlled by the Holy Spirit and full of faith (of his belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through Whom we obtain eternal salvation). And a large company was added to the Lord.”
Let’s also look at Acts 4:37 in the New Living Translation which says:
“He sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles.”
There are seven qualities in Barnabas that we should look for in encouragers who are in our circle of friends.
First, they must be good. . .a good man. . .a good woman.
Second, they must be good on the inside. . .as well as. . .on the outside. Their goodness needs to be real.
Third, the encourager must desire to improve the quality of life for others.
Fourth, they must be wrapped up, tangled up and full of the Holy Spirit.
Fifth, the faith of an encourager must be clearly evident to everyone. . .saint or sinner.
Sixth, by their nature. . .encouragers will bring increase to everyone who comes in contact with them.
Finally, seventh, an encourager gives without a hidden agenda. . .just as Barnabus did when he gave money to the apostles.
Is there anyone of your circle of seven who demonstrate some or all of these character qualities?
4. Stephen, a servant
Every circle of friends. . .need servants. There are so many examples in the scripture like Martha or Mary Magdalene. However, I was lead to Stephen.
Stephen was born a Jew in Greece. He was a man of learning, educated, and refined who trained at the feet of the noted teacher, Gamaliel.
Acts 6:1-7 in the Amplified Bible says:
“So the Twelve [apostles] convened the multitude of the disciples and said, It is not seemly or desirable or right that we should have to give up or neglect [preaching] the Word of God in order to attend to serving at tables and superintending the distribution of food.
3 Therefore select out from among yourselves, brethren, seven men of good and attested character and repute, full of the [Holy] Spirit and wisdom, whom we may assign to look after this business and duty.
4 But we will continue to devote ourselves steadfastly to prayer and the ministry of the Word.
5 And the suggestion pleased the whole assembly, and they selected Stephen, a man full of faith (a strong and welcome belief that Jesus is the Messiah) and full of and controlled by the Holy Spirit. . .”
What happens when you have people with a servant’s heart in your circle of friends?
Acts 6:7 in the Amplified Bible says:
“And the message of God kept on spreading, and the number of disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem; and [besides] a large number of the priests were obedient to the faith [in Jesus as the Messiah, through Whom is obtained eternal salvation in the kingdom of God].”
Stephen was an humble man. . .even though he was far more educated than his accusers or most everyone else.
A true servant. . .always thinks of. . .blesses and serves others before themselves.
Even in his death. . .Stephen was concerned about his accusers.
Acts 6:59-60 in the Amplified Bible says:
“And while they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, Lord Jesus, receive and accept and welcome my spirit! And falling on his knees, he cried out loudly, Lord, fix not this sin upon them [lay it not to their charge]! And when he had said this, he fell asleep [in death].”
In your circle. . .you want friends who will be with you on the mountaintops as well as in your valleys of distress and disappointment.
5. Nathan, a friend who speaks the truth in love
A true friend is with you during the good times and the bad. If you’re doing something you shouldn’t be doing. . .getting off course. . .and away from the Word. . .a true friend will bring correction for re-direction.
A true friend does shy away from telling you the less than pleasant news.
Nathan the Prophet, at God’s direction, did not hesitate to go to King David, his good friend, in 2 Samuel 7:1-17 to tell the King God didn’t want him to build the temple. I strongly encourage you to read the entire passage. . .it’s a beautiful message of re-direction for the King. . .who accepted Nathan’s word without questioning or criticizing what he had to say.
Nathan had an even more difficult assignment when he approached King David in 2 Samuel 12:1-12 to expose his adultery, murder and sin.
No doubt, King David knew Nathan’s character. . .so he respected his words and it goes without saying. . .he knew he had sinned against God.
2 Samuel 12:9 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, doing evil in His sight? You have slain Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife. You have murdered him with the sword of the Ammonites.”
King David knew his friend was speaking the truth to him.
2 Samuel 12:13 in the Amplified Bible says:
“And David said to Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said to David, The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die.”
Every person who desires to be successful needs someone like Nathan in their lives and especially, in their circle of friends.
We should never shun friends who speak a truth we may not want to hear. . .but we should embrace them. . .as King David did.
In fact, King David named one of his children. . .Nathan. Read 2 Samuel 5:14; 1 Chronicles 3:5; and 14:4.
Here’s the question for each of us to consider.
Do we have a Nathan in our circle of friends?
Are we a Nathan in someone else’s circle of friends.
6. Ruth, a loyal friend
Without question. . .you should have a Ruth in your life. . .and, of course, they need to be of the appropriate gender.
Throughout my life. . .I have learned the distinction between friends who are loyal and those who are along for the ride.
Everybody needs a Ruth.
Hey, I’ve got one. . .her name is Annie Ruth. . .and she’s my 85-year old anointed mother.
In your circle of friends you need someone who will be loyal to you. . .no matter what may happen.
Let’s see what we can learn from Ruth.
First, she married a foreigner instead of one of her Moabite home boys.
Second, she was probably ostracized from her family. . .because she didn’t marry the one they picked. . .as would have been the custom.
Third, her husband died and she was forced to live with her mother-in-law who according to the scripture was a bitter woman over the loss of her husband and sons.
Fourth, widows with husbands and sons. . .were not the toast of the town. . .that’s why Jesus teaches us to care for the widows and the orphans.
Fifth, now her mother-in-law is returning to her home where Ruth will be a foreigner.
I could go on but I think the message is clear. . .Ruth was loyal and a woman of character and it showed.
Ruth 3:11 in God’s Word translation says:
“Don’t be afraid, my daughter. I will do whatever you say. The whole town knows that you are a woman who has strength of character.”
Ruth’s loyalty to Naomi in the midst of adversity revealed her character. . .sealing her destiny and her place in Biblical history. It also changed her mother in law from bitter to joyful.
Our youngest son Jamie. . .is amazingly loyal to his friends. . .no matter what. . .even when his loyalty is not reciprocated.
At the end of the day. . .Jamie says. . .it’s not what they do. . .but what he does that matters.
While I fully appreciate his friendship fidelity . . . in your inner circle. . .you need friends who are loyal. . .even when it’s not convenient or just plain hard.
7. Andrew, a bringer (witness)
In your circle of friends. . .you need an Andrew.
Now I take particular pleasure in this one as our youngest grand sugar is named Andrew.
Andrew is mentioned three times of substance in the Bible other than being listed with the other disciples. All three times he was doing the same thing. . . bringing people to Jesus.
First, Andrew brought his brother, Simon Peter to Jesus.
John 1:40-42 in the Amplified Bible says:
“40 One of the two who heard what John said and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first sought out and found his own brother Simon and said to him, We have found (discovered) the Messiah!—which translated is the Christ (the Anointed One). 42 Andrew then led (brought) Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, You are Simon son of John. You shall be called Cephas—which translated is Peter [Stone].”
Andrew was a follower of John the Baptist and he also followed Jesus.
No doubt Peter was always the center of everything. . .in fact, he was probably the star quarterback in high school. . .okay, maybe not.
But this much I do know to be true. . .Peter obviously respected his brother Andrew because he immediately followed him to meet Jesus.
The second time Andrew was mentioned in substance was in John 6:5-13 in the New International Version which says:
“Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up, 9"Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?"
I can visualize Andrew walking through the crowed. . .talking with the people. . .when he saw the little boy with the loaves and fishes. . . He brought the lad to Jesus. He was an observer.
The final time. . .Andrew is mentioned is when some Greeks approached Philip wanting to see Jesus. . .who not knowing what to do went to Andrew.
John 12:20-22 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Now among those who went up to worship at the Feast were some Greeks. These came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and they made this request, Sir, we desire to see Jesus. Philip came and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip together [went] and told Jesus.”
All three times. . .Andrew does the same thing. . .he brings people to Jesus.
In our circle of friends. . .we need people who will bring ideas and opportunities. . .people who are loyal to our vision and calling.
Andrew was a bringer. . .by the way, did I tell you that our grandson’s name is Andrew? I’m believing he will grow up to be a mighty man of God like the disciple Andrew.
Now that we’ve been through the 7 people we need… it’s important to remember that we need to be … as much as possible… to exhibit these qualities to our friends as well.
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