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March 7, 2012

Celebrities Most Dangerous Illness: Post Performance Blues

Whitney Houston: "Truly Jesus Loves You Because You’re Good Enough!"

I was shocked, crushed, and angry all at the same time when I heard about the tragic accidental death of Whitney Houston, on Saturday February 11, 2012. Whitney was the singer with the greatest voice of our time that entertained and mesmerized all of us for so many years. We were all hoping that loud voice coming out of that small child-like body was part of the miracle of God that would never end. That beautiful voice had died! I was shocked because I did not expect her life to end so soon. I was crushed because the news of her death broke my heart. I was angry because I know this senseless death, could have been averted.

Post Performance Blues

From many years of writing and reporting news, covering celebrities, and news event all the way to the White House and political conventions, I identified a serious illness among celebrities. This illness tends to invade their soul at the end of the day in the quietness, and loneliness of the hotel room. The illness tends to follow the highs of performance on the stage or on the field as they experience the greatest peak of the euphoria of excitement for a couple of hours. The longer they are on the stage or on the field, the deeper the invasion of the illness when they get off the stage or field. The glamour of cheers from the audience, flashing lights, the sound of the music accompanying the voice creates a moment like heaven for a performance artist or an athlete following a victory at a ball game. Unfortunately, that moment in the limelight does not last forever. When the music stops, the lights are turned off, the performance artist gets off the stage, the cheering audience disappears, the entertainer or the athlete goes back into the loneliness of the hotel room; he or she catapults into a painful depression. Some refer to this as emptiness; others call it post victory blues. This is a serious problem not only for entertainers alone, but preachers, athletes, sales people and speakers who make their living performing before an audience. However, if you have your anchor in the Lord, those quiet moments are the best time to spend with the Lord Jesus in meditation. If you spend more time in the flesh, depression will visit you after the stage performance. You can easily tell which celebrity is having emotional problems by seeing how their weights go up and down as food is used to medicate depression.

A couple of years ago, a 30-year old married woman became a sales person for a drug company. She brought home a good paycheck for her family. However, she had to do a lot of traveling away from her husband. One day, this attractive woman was out of town, and experienced the attack of the post performance depression. In response, she called one of her clients for a social conversation. She was hoping the conversation and dinner with another male would make her feel better. She did not want her husband to know she was struggling with such a form of depression away from home. While having dinner with this new client, the conversation led to an invitation. Because of her emotional needs and lack of experience in dealing with it, she honored the invitation as a way to nurture her emotional needs. That night, she ended up in bed with the new client while she was out of town. Tragedy struck a week later when the guy she slept with called and told her he was HIV positive. Women are not the only ones vulnerable regarding the loneliness in the hotel room following a whole day of meeting or performance before an audience. Men are as vulnerable if not sometimes more than women. Perhaps men know how to handle such challenge more than women because more women are beginning to enter such profession taking them away from their family for many days at a time.

When people are in the loneliness of that hotel room, or they wakeup in the morning without anybody around, the danger of such depression may be more intense. If the entertainer had previous problem with addiction, the situation becomes more dangerous. He or she would try to numb the pain of post performance depression with drugs and alcohol. The best solution to such problem particularly a person with the history of drug addiction is never to stay in that hotel room alone. Regardless to the bodyguards, somebody closer to her MUST share that room with her to prevent such tragedies. Whitney’s tragedy could have been prevented with such precautions. Regardless to how people say they are grown, they cannot see some real dangers emerging in the midst of the party atmosphere and excitements. If somebody like a close relative, an aunt, a sister, mother, or even a close friend were sharing that hotel room, and vigilantly watching over Whitney, she would be alive today. How many husbands or wives would let their spouse spend extended time in the bathtub of the hotel without checking him or her out? Anytime a spouse or a lover appears to be under the influence, or appears to be incapacitated following surgery, it becomes the loving responsibility of the wife to bathe her husband, or the husband to bathe his wife. Why is such a situation different in this case?

I remember a party I attended on the south side of Chicago in the early 1970s while still in college. Alcohol was served during the party with food. There was a particular male who came with his wife who was suspected to have had too much to drink. At about 3 am, he wanted to leave the party with his wife who could not drive. The host took the man’s car keys and hid it to prevent his friend from leaving the party. The host asked him and his wife to stay with his family and sleep in an extra bedroom till the morning. The host knew the guy was not in a state of mind to drive. The friend who had been drinking got angry with the host who took away his car keys. The following morning, he was thanking the host for hiding his car keys and prevented him from killing himself and his wife. He admitted he was not in a way, or shape to drive home that night. What happened to those that were around Whitney while she was binging on alcohol going from one party to another while they knew she had problem with addiction? When celebrities who spend so much time presenting a fictitious image before the audience hit depression in loneliness, it is very severe.

Demons at the Party

I saw one of the interviews Whitney Houston had with Diane Sawyer on ABC News. Diane asked her about the demons she was battling. She was asking her about the alcohol, drugs, and other things she was using to bandage her wounds. Whitney admitted she had to fight all these demons. I was very shocked to hear Whitney’s answer to the question when Diane Sawyer asked her, which one of these was a bigger demon? Whitney said, "Me!" At that moment I knew that the devil has his part in destroying the life of this music star we all loved so much. People do not realize that if you choose to party with the devil, he will eventually destroy you. The atmosphere of drinking, partying and using drugs is not the same atmosphere a daughter needed to be. There are demonic spirits hanging around at such a party atmosphere and pushing those who choose to binge. Eventually such demons will hang on to and affect anybody in that type of atmosphere including her daughter. I refused to believe Whitney was possessed by the devil. She could not be possessed by the devil and be singing, "Jesus loves me" at the same time. I believe she was possessed by the Holy Spirit while the demons hanged around her. She probably answer Diane Sawyer’s question that way to be funny or cute. But, I do believe demons hang around people in such a party atmosphere leading sometimes to tragedies.

Jesus said, "The thief comes but to steal kill and destroy, but I come so they can have life more abundantly" (St. John 10:10). Jesus made this statement because he was warning us not to party with the devil. Perhaps Jesus already saw what was about to happen to her life. He therefore decided to call Whitney home. It is shameful for a child who grew up in the church to admit partying with the devil when the eventual outcome is obvious. So, why are we surprised about her fate? Although we do not know what other emotional pains or inner wounds were causing her to binge on drugs and alcohol. Evidence indicated that Whitney had been using drugs before she met Bobby the younger man she married, and later divorced. Some people used to blame Bobby for Whitney’s drug addiction. Those who give drugs to the music stars like Whitney must one day face judgment before God’s throne. They can keep using these people to make money at the same time giving them the poison that would eventually destroy their lives. For those drug pushers, their Day of Judgment is coming. That was why the party continued after Whitney’s death. She was just another object that was used to make money for the industry. What is the value of the fame that eventually destroys your precious life?

People who are in bed with the devil need to understand that God has a date for everybody’s life to end. "All the days ordained for me are written in your book" (Psalm 139:13-16). The devil also has a set date earlier that the date set by God. Those who walk away from God will eventually walk into the hands of the devil. If you continue to party with the demons, they will eventually take you away from here before your time. You have to make that choice. You may be physically grown, but are you mature enough to apply common sense and walk away from the path of self- destruction? One of Whitney’s friends was saying that Whitney was happy in that party atmosphere. As a friend, she did not think her life was in danger. The outcome painted a different picture. The atmosphere the friend described is not the atmosphere to place a woman who was struggling with addiction. Evidently her friends who were with her saying she was happy in that atmosphere themselves were very immature. Other more mature friends of Whitney who were not at the party admitted, such party atmosphere was a bad environment to place Whitney with her history of drug and alcohol addiction.

Entertainers Pleasure the Soul and kill the body

Secular entertainment only tends to pleasure the soul (mind) while slowly causing the human spirit to crash, and the physical body to decay. We all need some degree of entertainment that pleasures the flesh to make the soul feels good. But at a point, we must set limits. Binging of any kind is a recipe for disaster. People may not realize the powerful grip the undisciplined soul places on the flesh to be pleasured. When the body is pleasured, the soul enjoys the thrills. The soul is working in partnership with the demonic spirit hanging around the person to amplify the quest for more pleasure at the expense of the flesh. At a point while the flesh is dying due to illicit physical pleasure, the soul grip in conjunction with the devil is still asking for more. There is a misconception that the human soul cares about the physical body. The human mind does not care about what happens to the physical body even at the verge of gradual decay, or even death of the physical body. The soul does not care; he wants to be pleasured at the expense of the flesh. This is the point an individual person has to make a choice. Either allow the desires of the mind (soul) to drive you to madness, or allow the Holy Spirit to drive you to goodness. Most of the time, we blame the flesh, but the human flesh is a victim of the grip of human soul desires. The soul loves to feel good and party even in the atmosphere of danger of killing the physical body. In most of the cases when the Holy Spirit has delivered a person from drug addiction, the person is willing. No matter how many rehabilitation programs set before a person who is addicted, they will not work until the person makes up his or her mind for a desire to be delivered. There is a difference in a person who goes to church to be delivered compared to a person who wants to get high all the time even while attending church services. The flesh is the victim of the illicit desires of the soul while the demonic spirit supplies the energy of amplification. So, the decision to be free from the bondage of addiction has to come from the human inner soul, otherwise the desire to get high at the expense of the body will eventually destroy the human physical body. Sadly, the physical destruction of the body by drugs happens everyday.

Addiction to Fame and the Pressure

I heard in the news over and over how the music industry places such a pressure on entertainers to make money for them by pushing them to the limit. My question is, whose life is it? Nobody should be forced to do anything he or she does not want to do. Regardless to anybody pressurizing you to make money for them, and giving you drugs so you would not have to think straight. It is your life! You either take control of it, or allow another person to damage it. You have to make the choice. If the heat in the kitchen is becoming unbearable, get out of the kitchen for a while. People have allowed fame to have such a grip on them, you wonder which one is the greater addiction fame or drugs? When some of the celebrities were questioned about the quest to remain famous, some of them were quoted as saying, "I do not want to be irrelevant." That is the statement from the heart of the devil! The purpose of life as a Christian is to make you irrelevant before Jesus! If you are not willing to be irrelevant, you cannot be a good Christian. Jesus even warned us not to do things in order to receive praise from people. Jesus must be magnified above ALL creations. This was what John the Baptist said about Jesus, "He must increase and I must decrease" (St. John 3:30).

Instead of making yourself so relevant, why don’t you make Jesus more relevant in your life? Consequently, drug and alcohol would be irrelevant. Why don’t you ask Jesus to hold your hand and walk with him? Why don’t you ask Jesus instead of drugs to walk you through the wilderness of life? There is an old African proverb that says; "To win the first place is irrelevant until you learn how well to handle the last place." The proverb is saying that a person’s victory is unimportant until he learns how well to handle a failure. We live in a society that continues to push people that to win a game is the most important thing in life. You always have to be on top of your game. When I saw such destructive pathway years ago, I stopped the quest for personal fulfillment. Personal success never guarantees you eternal joy. The same madness is expressed in the quest for making money and climbing the ladder of success. We ended up in self-destructive binge. What is the value of the victory when we failed to enjoy the game? What is the purpose of the arrival when we failed to enjoy the journey? What is the value of a victory when it crashes us into depression afterwards? Can we be satisfied not to win, but just to be a part of the game?

Beating the Spirit of Addiction

The most effective way to beat the spirit of addiction is to hit that demonic spirit directly with the total energy of the Holy Spirit. The key factor is whether the person involved wants to beat the spirit of addiction. Just like the spirit of hate, pride, arrogance, or prejudice, some people love to derive thrills from allowing such spirits to drive them. If a person loves to get high, there is no amount of treatment given to the person will work. The determinant factor is inside the soul of an addict who wants to get high by pleasuring the body to make soul feels good. The desire of the soul for pleasure is usually amplified by the demonic spirit of addiction that hangs around the addict. Most people who had an instant deliverance from addiction were rescued when the Holy Spirit did a surgical operation. In the process, the Holy Spirit strikes the spirit of addiction, by breaking it off from the human spirit, and setting the person free from the bondage. Instant deliverance is attained because the source of the amplifying energy of addiction has been deactivated and removed.

The Holy Spirit does not work through the flesh, but through the spirit realm. Therefore, the Holy Spirit is able to break off the grip and enslavement of the physical body by striking directly inside the human soul, at the same time blasting the demonic spirit with the Holy Spirit grenade. Once the Holy Spirit blasted off and detached the demonic spirit attached to the human spirit, the surgical operation is completed inside the human soul. The victim is therefore set free. It is important to understand that all human beings born on this earth are born in sin. Meaning, the human soul in contaminated or polluted at the level of desires by the virus of the devil. Most human spirit driven desires are meant to pleasure the human soul at the expense of the physical body. For this reason, St. Paul said we could never please God in the flesh, except in the Spirit of God. That was why he said we should walk in the Spirit of God and we will not fulfill the desires of the flesh.

A person suffering from addiction can attain a similar result if he or she is willing to rebuke the spirit of addiction. Some people love to get high! Nobody but Jesus can help such people. Christians have power to rebuke the spirit of addiction like any demonic spirit. The best way to achieve this is to start with a fast for as many days necessarily to break the strong hold of the enemy on the human soul. It is a process to break the flesh (human desire) from the spirit of addiction to accentuate the power of the Holy Spirit within. Fasting enlarges the Holy Spirit within while diminishing the fleshly desires. The enlargement of the Holy Spirit takes place by getting into the Word of God, digging deeper into the Word, and constantly meditation on the Word with daily devotion and prayers. If you want to go deeper, you will have to dig deeper into the word of God. From here, a person must go through a process of surrendering to the Holy Spirit, and not be led by human spirit or any other spirits. Once a person enlarges the Holy Spirit within, the Eternal Spirit of God will deactivate and break off any negative spirit attached to human spirit. The longer a person goes through this process, the more a gradual spiritual ascension will take place. At the highest level of spiritual ascension, a person is detached from the flesh and rises in the Spirit of the holiness of God.

This is the critical moment when fleshly desires initiated by the soul lose ability to control a person because the Holy Spirit has deactivated and detached the negative spirit of addiction from the human spirit. Consequently, the spirit of addiction loses its ability to amplify craving desires by stimulating the human soul because the Holy Spirit has taken over by taking control over the human spirit. As long as the spirit of addiction is attached to the human spirit, it will continue to do havoc. The spirit ascension of the human spirit inside the Holy Spirit deactivates any negative spirits attached to the human spirit. The person then prays not to leave those spirit locations outside the human spirit vacant. Continuous prayer should be said that the ministering Spirits would occupy those empty locations. If the ministering Spirits do not take positions, when the spirit of addiction comes back, it reoccupies the empty locations outside human spirit and the process of addiction comes back. If the spirit of addiction does not find empty locations outside human spirit, it will leave for good, or for a longer period of time. This is what happens to people who are delivered and later go back to addictive behavior. The spirit of addiction may come back if we reopen the window of human soul for the spirit to come back, or we leave the outside locations of human spirit unguarded. People suffering from addictive behaviors refer to as the re-visitation of the enemy of the past. From time to time a person struggling with the spirit of addiction must allow a group of church leaders well grounded in faith to pray over the person for deliverance. People do not know that the negative spirits that hang around us can cause us more pain than the devil itself. The spirit of addiction is a human perverted spirit that draws its strength from demonic spirits. There is nothing wrong with human desire for food or to enjoy some pleasures in moderation. When the craving becomes obsessive, the spirit of addiction takes over to enslave the human soul by continuously firing to sustain amplification. Subsequently, the physical body is victimized. Once the Holy Spirit takes and enlarges inside a believer, the party is over for addictive spirit. This is how the healing takes place in the Spirit of God without an emotional scar.

Counterfeit Spirituality is a Lethal Weapon of the Devil

From being a Christian all my life, I learned over the years that the solution to ALL my problems lies in Jesus Christ. I have to enter into his presence by digging deeper into his Word. The deeper I dig into the word of God, the higher I can ascend in the Spirit of the Holiness of God. The Word is the Spirit like Jesus told us (St. John 6:63) The Spirit of God is the vehicle that is attached to the human spirit taking us into the presence of God. In the process, we enlarge the Holy Spirit within us. Instead of the human soul taking control, we surrender our human soul to the control of the Holy Spirit of God. In response, the Holy Spirit becomes enlarged in us as he wrapped his arms around our human spirit. At that moment when the Spirit of God enshrouds our human spirit, we enter inside the Spirit of Jesus and live inside him. This is what Jesus meant when he said, "Abide in me and I in you" (St. John 15:4). Once we have entered inside the Spirit of Jesus, we are at the bosom of God. The flesh loses its grip on the human spirit, and the soul loses its desire to control the human spirit. The human spirit is now under the control of the Holy Spirit. At that moment your soul and spirit are set free in Jesus. "For he that the son of man set free is free indeed" (St. John 8:36).

Unfortunately, some celebrities in search for spirituality are going after counterfeit spirituality worshipping the human mind, emotions, or the creations. In the end, they may lead themselves and others to perish. The ultimate goal of idolatry away from God is eventual destruction! Human soul is already contaminated by the desires of the devil from the Garden of Eden. St. Paul already told us that we couldn’t please God in the flesh. The human flesh expresses the desires coming from inside the human soul. The arrogance of human nature is to create another god besides the God of the Bible. The soul seduction allows every person on this earth to be vulnerable to the deceptions of the devil. Human quest to worshipping human soul, or creations instead of worshipping God is the message from the heart of the devil. This is what the devil wanted from ages ago. The devil wanted worship. Anything you worship other than God Almighty is a play with fire and into the hands of the enemy of God. Whosoever worships the devil will eventually perish if he or she does not change. Those who play with fire are going to get burned. This is why Jesus said, "God is a Spirit, and those who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth" (St. John 4:24). Jesus did not say we must worship God through our human emotions like some false teachers are teaching people and leading them away from God. Your human emotion is the playing ground for the devil.

Whitney Houston Ascension to Heaven

Anger and bitterness can consume our hearts because a person we loved so much had just been snatched away so soon. My heart hurts for her family. Regardless to our emotions, accusations, explanations, and predictions, Whitney appeared to have ascended to Heaven to meet with the Lord. There were reports about Whitney quoting the Bible and singing songs about her desires to want to be with Jesus. She was said to have been telling her friends her time was near to go be with the Lord. There was a reference to St Matthew 3:13-17 when John the Baptist baptized Jesus. If Jesus wanted her home to sing to him with that beautiful voice, who are we to want to stop her?

When death is eminent, the silver cord that attached the human spirit to human body starts to pull from the physical body. It pulls and snaps, pulls and snaps. This process fires up the final struggle between the body and the human spirit. The spiritual energy giving off is called "death vibrations." Any God spiritualist close to a person preparing to die will be able to pick up those death vibrations being given off by such a person ready for a final exit. These death vibrations may be giving off within a few days before death takes place of an otherwise very healthy individual. We tend to spend so much time in the flesh and many of us Christians including preachers tend to miss that spirit vibrations coming off of a person preparing to die. In many of the situations, the death occurs because something traumatic suddenly happens to the physical body causing the death. People who are sick in the hospital can give off death vibrations as well, but it is more common when unexpected tragedy is about to hit a person.

The explanation for this process is because the death of an individual has already taken place in the spirit realm before manifestation in the physical realm. The body was dead. However, the event still has to take place in the physical separating the physical body from the human spirit. Many of the people would be talking about death just like Jesus talked about his own death when he knew the time was near for him to depart from this world. If Whitney was happy preaching the gospel and partying at the same time, the party might as well be her final goodbye, as she knew it was time for her to go home and be with the Lord.

The best thing the family did to honor Whitney Houston was to conduct a funeral for her in the church where she drew up, away from the cannibalistic atmosphere of the public that took so much from her. She spent most of her life in the public. Her journey home is better spent with her loved ones in private, even if the media still covered the funeral.

Painful Price for Stardom: Is it Worth It?

I watched the funeral of Whitney Houston on CNN with enthusiasm over the lists of credits given to her by many who knew her. How wonderful could this have been if the tributes took place while Whitney was still alive? I heard TD Jakes’ short sermon that death did not win, in the end love won. I listened to Tyler Perry’s message that Whitney loved the Lord; it was the grace that carried her from her childhood to great heights, and is the same grace that carried her home. Although I did not watch the entire home going program because it was so long and I had to go to work. Kevin Costner, the actor that turned a preacher highlighted one of the most important issues besides the credits. Kevin preached the message that many preachers should have been preaching long ago to aspiring actors and actresses who wanted to be famous. Pastor Kevin Costner, if I can address him as such for this portion of my article said, that despite Whitney’s success, she carried the burden of whether she was good enough, or whether she was pretty enough or whether, people would like her. He said carrying such a burden was what led Whitney to stumble in the end.

After hearing Kevin Costner’s message, I started to wonder if the price to pay for stardom is worth it. To those people out there struggling to be famous, who had contacted and contacted many famous people, stars in the movie industry, celebrity talk show hosts, and even very famous preachers, and people in the government who refused to answer or respond to their calls, perhaps God allowed their requests to be ignored for good reasons. Perhaps such requests are ignored because God is doing them a favor. The painful price of stardom in some situations is not worth it. Maybe it is better to remain insignificant and work behind the glamour curtain to serve the Lord than to be pushed into the secular lime light where talent cannibalism is the order of the day. They will use you, and use you till you have nothing left to offer. One female celebrity said, "While they use you up, they will snatch your panties from you too, and use what’s behind it as well. After it’s all over, you feel so much shame, humiliation, and regrets, just because you give up your God given dignity, just to be famous!" Your body becomes the play toy for the enemy! At the moment of your emptiness, they will abandon you and tell you that you’re no longer good enough, or good anymore. That rejection is enough to cause you to crash and burn.

Christians in the secular world and those working in the ministry should always remember regardless to what the world says, God who created you knows that you are so beautifully made, that is why he said, "You’re good enough." Jesus said, that if God the father can notice a sparrow when it drops off the tree, you better bet your Bible on it (paraphrasing) that, he is watching over you too. Because you have more value than a bird, Jesus said in so many words that, "You’re good enough." God said in the book of Jeremiah that before I made you in the belly, I knew you. Why? "Because you’re good enough." Why should you exchange your God given dignity for desire to remain famous?

Jesus left his Father’s kingdom in Heaven. He came to this earth to preach to you and to me. He became homeless and gave up the joy of this world so you and I could enjoy the beauty of what God had created. Jesus took it upon himself to suffer for our sins. He was nailed to the cross including our sins. Jesus is telling us one thing through his suffering for humanity, "Regardless to what people say about you, I know that you’re good enough." How I wished Whitney could have heard that sermon from somebody. When her voice started to fail, she could have remembered, that her inner beauty would never fade.

"What is man that you are mindful of him, or the son of man that you take care of him? You have made him a little lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor. And you set him over the works of your hands. You have put things in subjection under his feet" (Hebrew 2:5-9).

Dangerous Illness Plaguing the Church

I’m not against dancing inside the church. However, today’s entertainment in the church has been reduced to mere theatrical demonstration with yelling, and knocking pews over without spiritual intercession. We can never access the realm of the Spirit of God as long as we stay in the earthly realm. Even well-known preachers on radio and television believe that your way to Heaven is by listening to their sermons. You can read the Bible by yourself and the Holy Spirit will guide you. Sermons that you hear will help to inspire your sleeping spirit. The critical issue however is your spiritual ascension into the presence of God. If we fail to ascend into the presence of God, we stay in the earthly realm and the devil continues to use us as play toys. We Christians tend to forget that the earthy realm is a war zone because the devil is the ruler of the air over the earth according to St. Paul. For us to have effectiveness in our payer life, we must ascend into the realm of God away from the domain of the devil. In such dimension, we enter into the presence of God, and bring the supernatural down to the earthly realm. That is what Jesus meant when he said, "May it be done on earth as it is Heaven" (St. Matthew 6:10). Meaning, ascending to Heavenly realm, and bringing down the mystery of God from the supernatural in the Spirit realm of God to the earthly realm in physical manifestations. Similarly, Jesus told Peter, "And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in Heaven" (St. Matthew 16:19). Jesus was telling Peter that he had been given access to enter the Spirit realm of God, and able to bring down to earthly manifestations Peter’s expectations as defined by the will of God. Jesus himself said, "God is a Spirit those who worship him must worship him in Spirit and in truth" (St. John 4:24). How can we effectively worship God in the Spirit when we spend more of our time dancing in the flesh and unable to enter the realm of the Spirit of God? Very importantly, the spirit realm being referred to by Jesus was not the human spirit, but that of the Eternal Spirit of God.

Here is the problem in the church. We are busy preaching the satanic message of prosperity gospel and misleading Christians that the purpose of coming to church is to receive their allocation of wealth from Jesus. This satanic gospel is destroying the divine gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ. When did Jesus ever preach prosperity gospel? In view of this false teaching by many preachers today, many people stopped coming to church when they do not become millionaires overnight. In order to justify this false teaching, some churches are bringing the Wall Street into the church. We fail to teach people how to walk in the Spirit of God, and definitely not how to ascend into the realm of Heavens. As long as we continue to do everything in the flesh, the devil has a grip on us regardless to what appears to be our success in the earthly realm. People do not realize that God has blessed everybody he created. Do not listen to the lies by some preachers saying God wants to bless you, but you must first empty your pocket! It’s a lie from the heart of the devil! God has already blessed you, even before you were born. But you have to access the blessings from the Heavenly realm of God. There are some talents everybody is born with. There are also divine gifts that come with the anointing of the Holy Spirit. However, no matter how much successful we attain in the physical with natural talents, the devil is waiting to spray those achievements with dirt, and human waste. This is the reason why many who appeared to be successful despite their achievements and even labeled as Christians sometimes crash and burn.

In the absence of walking in the Spirit of God, we inadvertently allow the devil to spay paint our success with sewer. We forget that the devil is the one controlling the earthly realm. The devil also wants to make mockery of God through us if we allow him. Whatever we do in the earthly realm without the protection of God is subjected to pollution by the enemy of God. Why? Man through Adam gave his earthly dominion to Satan in the Garden of Eden. God did not give the earthly dominion to Satan, man did. Consequently, the devil has authorization to pollute anything man has achieved in the earthly realm, except those things placed under the protection of God. This is why Psalm 91 says, "He that dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." I greatly feel so sorry for Christian celebrities, or successful Christians who walk away from God because they think their success and money now give them power to define God on their own terms. Sooner or later if they do not return to Christ, such celebrities will never find peace, and will eventually crash and burn.

The sin of King David that grieved God’s heart was not because he slept with somebody else’s wife, even though that was bad enough. It was not because he murdered the woman’s husband, even though that too was bad enough. The sin that hurt God’s feelings was what Prophet Nathan told King David, "Because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who was born to you shall surely die" (II Samuel 12:14). If part of King David’s punishment was the death of the child that was conceived in such a sinful act, how do we think God feels when we blaspheme his name by giving his glory to something, or somebody else? God who created us gives each person the gift of life. He blessed each person with natural talents. He anointed many with the gifts of the Spirit. Even when we sinned, he is always willing to forgive when we confess. He reconciled us back to himself by allowing his only Son to die on the cruel cross of shame. Yet, some people believe God has not done enough. They will rather give God’s glory to somebody, or something else because they believe God’s creation is greater than God. Why then do we blame God for being angry in spite of all the troubles he went through to redeem us to himself?

God said, "I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore with loving kindness, I have drawn you" (Jeremiah 31:3). Wow! Doesn’t God deserve better from us?

In my spirit walk with the Lord, I learned that greed and selfishness originated from the poison impregnated into man’s soul in the Garden of Eden. When we allow the Holy Spirit to enlarge inside us, that power destroys selfishness and greed and replaces it with the powerful love of God. From this, we experience the greatest peace of love given to us by God through his Son, Jesus Christ. This enlargement of the Holy Spirit within helps us to live a life of selfless love anchored in Christ instead of a life of selfishness anchored in greed. I almost start to weep for some celebrities after attaining financial success and turning their backs on God and going to worship the devil. Being poor in the house of God, is a far better life than a life as a millionaire in the absence of God. That was why the Psalmist said, "I will rather be a door keeper in the house of the Lord, than to be in the tent of the wicked" (Psalm 84:10). How many parents would be happy to see the child they raised, and spent most of their money, to abandon them and embrace somebody else? If a parent’s heart is broken because of this, we can understand how we break God’s heart when we walk away from him to embrace the devil because we want more financial success. Critical point is, everything the devil gives come at a painful price, including the risk of sudden death of the physical body. When Jesus preached about abundant life, he was not talking about the life of material prosperity. Jesus already knew that the devil would use material things of the world to seduce people, so he could receive worship. The devil loves to mislead people into doing things in defiance of God. That was the trick he played in the Garden of Eden. However, his greatest intention is to receive worship from man. Sadly, today some people are giving that opportunity to the devil especially those in the entertainment industry for the sake of sustained popularity and making more money. One of the critical issues of the gospel message of Christ is the ultimate goal of Jesus for a believer, is a saved life. Contrary of Jesus, those who follow the devil ended up with a curse of a destroyed life. Everybody has to make a choice whom to follow because the price to follow the wrong person is too costly. Very importantly, Christians should learn to walk more in the Spirit of God than in the flesh. Money and popularity are not gods. They will one day be taken from us, or we will be taken away from them.

Walking in the Spirit is more than just reading the Bible. You can quote the Bible from your home to Jerusalem, Jericho; it may not do you a lot of good. You can sing Christian songs everyday to entertain your soul, without spiritual impact. If you do not walk in the Spirit of God and allow the Eternal Spirit to lead you to spiritual ascension in Christ, you remain at the mercy of the devil. It is very difficult if not impossible to access God while we are busy partying with the devil in the flesh, and reading the Bible at the same time. Jesus made it very clear, "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit, and that which is born of the flesh is the flesh" (St. John 3:6). Anything that excessively pleasures the body for the joy of the flesh (pleasures the soul), cannot help man to access the realm of the Spirit of God. The Book of Psalm made it very clear. "Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in his Holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessings from the Lord" (Psalm 24:3-5). You cannot effectively access the Spirit dimension of God while you are busy partying in the flesh with the devil, and enjoying the idolatry of the enemy of God. The church today has a challenge to teach Christians how to walk in the Spirit of God, and how to access the Heavenly dimension besides dancing to the theatrical entertainment inside the church.

I was talking to my brother in Africa before publishing this article. He is a Christian and a college professor of music in one of the universities. He told me about some people he knew who grew up as Christians and later joined the cult to worship idols. All of them died a sudden mysterious death. I asked my brother what these people were looking for after being baptized and worshipped Christ all these years, and later to join a cult. My brother told me they were looking for more financial prosperity and demonic power. When Jesus was asked the question about people who faced a sudden mysterious death, Jesus answered and said, "I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish" (St. Luke 13:3). Most people who grew up in developing countries understand the evil of mixing Christianity with voodoo. Most of such people ended up meeting a tragic end let alone facing the agonizing judgment ahead.

Jesus said, "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" (St. Matthew 16:26).

Who Are you Spending your Quiet Time With?

We should ask ourselves, whom do we spend our time alone with? Do we spend those precious moments with ourselves, drugs, or other things? Our major quest in life is to share the precious gift God gave us with others. A search for true spirituality of God is a search to dig deeper into the Word of God. In this way, you will find yourself deeper into the Spirit of Christ, where you will find true love, joy, peace, and serenity. If you have a true relationship with Christ, no matter how long you spend on that stage, you will not suffer from post-performance depression because Christ will enshroud you with his glory. Your time alone in that hotel room is a time of spiritual ascension when you spend that special time alone with the Lord Jesus. This should be the best of time; it should never be the worst of time. Jesus said, "The Holy Spirit will be a comforter" (St. John 16:7). I’m writing from personal experience with Jesus.

Whitney Houston is presently with Jesus like she said she wanted, regardless to whatever anybody says. She is looking down and saying, "Thank God I’m free at last!" I’m sure she is in joyful jubilation at this time in Heaven. Praise God! On a second look it appears as though Jesus called her home before the world was able to destroy the rest of God’s virtues in her.

There is an old African proverb that says, "When a person falls, we don’t look at where, they fall for evidence, but where they stumble." Perhaps where Whitney stumbles and the obstacle on her way may be lessons for others.

Whitney, while you were on earth, you made a lot of people smile and many danced to the music talent God gave you. At your death, you also made a lot of people weep because your voice is forever silenced. We love you, but Jesus loves you most. Rest in peace, Beloved.

Yinka Vidal, author, Closer Walk With Jesus