What’s Up? November 2019 Edition by Ken David Stewart
As a Christian one thing is very apparent to me. When you really start pressing in or basically step up your game for Jesus, the devil will retaliate. This form of retribution appears to be in direct proportion to the degree one attempts to know Jesus intimately and tries to follow his example and teachings. If you are active to any degree in a ministry, it’s like Satan has put a target on your back. The key is not to let him defeat you. If one gets serious about his walk with Jesus expect backlash.
For the last few years my life has followed a pattern that I want to break. My life has been a series of extreme mountains and valleys. From August to the beginning of November 2019, I felt greatly blessed and highly favoured. I just recovered from a two month period of being so depressed that I could barely function. I was not quite bedridden, but I was definitely couch ridden. About the only time I vacated the couch was to go upstairs to use the bathroom. Now that’s what you call clinical depression. During June and July all I could do was watch television. For the Christian who suffers from depression the battle is also one of intense spiritual nature. The devil loves using major affective disorder or clinical depression as of mighty and effective tool in his arsenal. He wants to keep the Christian down. Once he has you functionally out of commission, you can no longer do him any damage. When I am stranded on the couch, my spiritual life dies. I no longer read the Word, spend time with Jesus, pray for myself, my family and others. In other words, my ministry and spiritual life has been halted dead in its tracks.
Looking back on it, I think I may know part of the reason I fell into such miserable state. But what I’m not sure of is what brought me back to the land of the living once again. Certainly it was nothing that I did because I wasn’t capable of doing much of anything. One day I simply woke up and started to feel a bit better. Within a couple of days, I could feel my depression start to break and I actually felt like doing a few small things. Within a week or two, I was finally back on my feet. What I was not expecting were such great compassion from the Lord. I’m a part-time substitute teacher and I experienced the best season I had ever had up until the beginning of November 2019. I was being very well received by the students and was asked by several teachers if they could request me to substitute in their classrooms. Although I’m still experiencing some pain in my left knee it was manageable and allowed me to keep working.
After many years I found a church that I enjoyed attending. This was quite an experience for me as most of my life I didn’t like attending church. I would only go to a church service on rare occasions.
Overall, I was enjoying every day of my life during this three month period of God’s extreme favour. During this whole time, I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. I was feeling uncomfortable. This felt too good to last much longer. I almost felt high every day for three months.
During this season I was really pressing in with my spiritual life. I started to pray for people in the church that I was now attending.
Aout the second week of November I felt that my overall mood was starting to decline and even get a bit low. I was very afraid that I was starting to go down into another depressive cycle. During this time, I caught a bacterial infection that was very severe. As of this writing, I’m still not fully recovered from it. To make matters worse, the pain in my left leg and the was becoming intense. It seemed that every time I got up and moved around, even a little bit, the pain would start to escalate. How was I going to go to work when I was in constant pain?
During this time I continued to keep up with writing my blogs, and working on my fiction writing and podcasts. During periods of clinical depression,I am usually unable to write all. My writing was going very well for a while until I started running into many technical challenges. My computer was on its last legs and was not functioning properly. I purchased some new video equipment as I was interested in starting up a YouTube video series again. Whatever I tried, I couldn’t seem to get my new camcorder working.
I am now fully aware that I was under spiritual attack. I decided to take some actions. I told myself that I was not going to sink into another severe depression this time. The vicious cycle would need to be broken, once and for all. I began to decree this in Jesus name. I started to read my God’s promises books on my Samsung tablet. I also started listening to my God’s promises audiobooks. I have started to speak the promises out loud and include them in my podcasts. I put God in remembrance of his promises. I made a decision to remain optimistic during this time of spiritual attack.
Open Heavens, Anointing, and God’s Favour.
This is episode three of the series that I’m currently working on called, A Christian With an Attitude. This is episode three. Warning: if you are not a believer, you could become one by reading my blogs and listening to my podcasts. This may not occur suddenly. It might take a few weeks, a few months or possibly even a few years, but I pray that the Holy Spirit will visit you in a prompt manner. This is up to God, not me. If you hate Christians and the church, perhaps you should read this to as there is a lot of bad press on the news and social media about the fellowship of Christian believers. Unfortunately, some of this criticism is justified In my articles and podcasts, my goal is that you come to know the real Jesus and not the fake Jesus that is so often portrayed in the news and on social media and sometimes by the church itself. What I’m saying is that I won’t take any responsibility or credit if you become a Christian. That is between you and God. If you are a discouraged Christian, I pray that I can bring you some hope, breakthrough and encouragement.
For approximately one month, I’ve been living under what I call an open heaven and have been blessed with a powerful anointing upon my life. This is also a time in which I am blessed with a special kind of favour from God. I’m not a theologian, nor do I pastor a church in the physical realm. I’m just your average garden-variety Christian. I have secular jobs such as working as a substitute teacher. I am also an author, a blogger and have my own podcast show. I’m not rich and famous yet, but if it’s God’s will, I will be someday. If I don’t become rich and famous I will continue my blogs and podcasts anyway as if even if only one human being on this planet is blessed, I will be grateful to God forever.
You may ask, faithful reader, what in the world is an open heaven? I don’t think I can theologically define the term, but I can share what it looks like to me. To begin with, I have not experienced an open heaven for a long time, until now. Just last month, God brought me out of a horrible clinical depression that probably lasted for two months. During this time, I could barely get out off my living room couch.
After my breakthrough, I began to progressively feel better on a day-to-day basis. Life gradually became a little more tolerable. I was able to accomplish at least a few simple tasks per day. After about three weeks I was back to my premorbid, baseline status. In other words, I was functional. I am now back in the saddle and am once again a productive member of society. I give God praise for this positive change and so does my wife. You can only imagine how difficult it is to be married to a man who is too depressed do anything but lie on the couch and watch television. I thank God that my wife is a godly woman and did not leave me. Many other women would have. I am greatly blessed.
When I am blessed by an open heaven, things rapidly start to improve for me. I begin to have hope, my energy level increases dramatically and I feel much more empowered to deal with the stresses of daily life. Stress in life is inevitable. It cannot be avoided. Whether or not stress will make you ill or even kill you is significantly based on your ability to cope with life’s major and minor crises. I don’t want to only be able to cope with stress. I want to thrive in stressful situations. I want to enjoy the stress. One fact that every Christian needs to know is if they stick out their neck for God and take risks, they will soon discover that they have an enemy.
The enemy’s name is Satan. And believe me he hates God and all Christians. In fact, he hates humanity in general. If one is mostly just a Sunday Christian who attends church regularly, and perhaps even attends a Wednesday evening Bible study, Satan will not likely hassle you too much because you are already saved and there’s nothing he can do about it. He doesn’t think that you pose much of a threat to his kingdom. If, on the other hand, you’re a radical Christian or as I call my podcast A Christian with an Attitude, the enemy will do everything and anything in his power, which is limited by God, to make your life miserable. As it says in the Bible, you must count the cost. My wife and I have both made the decision, to count the cost and pay the price.
Satan’s attacks are very predictable, but may show up in a variety of forms. If you usually have a harmonious relationship between yourself and your significant other, you may suddenly realize that now you are now bickering constantly. Your car may break down and you may be burdened with an expensive repair bill. You may think that you have a good relationship with your supervisor at your job and now feel that he or she is finding fault with your every move, even if none of this criticism is justified. I believe you get the idea. Satan will do anything that he can to destroy your ministry. If you are a believer, you have a ministry. You don’t need to be an ordained minister to have a ministry. If you help the needy and disenfranchised people in our society, you have a ministry. You can justifiably call yourselves lay ministers. My wife and I don’t get paid a cent for our extracurricular service to God. We don’t worry about this because God will be a debtor to no man or woman.
On an informal basis, my wife and I minister to the poor, needy, disenfranchised, mentally ill, youth at risk and to those suffering from the terrible disease of addiction. We both love our ministries both as a couple and as individuals, but believe this, it can be very draining on both our finances and physical and emotional energy. May God bless, prosper you, heal you and give you good success. In Jesus name, Amen.