authority & dominion · darkness · death · demonic · iniquity · power

The Languishing Leviathan

It’s been a full decade since I was awakened to real, true evil and darkness…

As I leaned over the hospital bed to pray for my frail grandmother a thick, firm voice snapped back at me, “I raised you!” All in one moment it hit me, the voice coming from the bed wasn’t my grandmother’s. I could just tell by the strong and distinctly strange inflection in her tone and the dark, spine-chilling look in her typically piercing, crystal-blue eyes. Very quickly I responded, “You’re right. My grandmother raised me and YOU raised me too.” Then from the bed came a wicked laughter I’d never heard before and a very prideful response, “You’re right Amanda. I DID RAISE YOU.” I couldn’t believe my ears in that moment. For the first time in my life, I was awakened to the truth that I was spiritually staring back at some type of dark, demented and deeply twisted Leviathan who was bent on suppressing my life, my relationship with God and my purpose.

And, then to realize someone I idolized was entangled with something so dark and twisted. Gosh, it made my head spin and my heart hurt. And then to consider that “it” helped raise me… All I could do in that moment was begin to desperately cry from the depth of my spirit in hopes that my grandmother would be awakened to the truth too.

So, I left the hospital that day filled with a great deal of grief and confusion, yet I was clearly awakened to the reality that there was more going on in the supernatural realms of life. And, for the first time, I had personally experienced it. No one was sharing their experiences. The truth was right in front of me.

You see this specific experience began a long and some-what challenging journey I didn’t feel I was prepared to go on. Let’s just say I wanted to pretend that my family and I were completely free of the demonic because we believed in Christ, operated in authority and knew so much about the spirit realm; however, that was a terrible lie from the languishing Leviathan who helped secretly raise me.

Now, over time I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter how close we believe we are to God and His Kingdom or how much we think we know about Him because demonic influence can be present and fully operating in our lives. And, 100% of the time, the demonic is there without us even realizing it because generational iniquity is passed down in the supernatural and then given access to our lives.

So, what are we supposed to do? Well, if it weren’t for my expressed belief in Jesus, Leviathan would have continued to suppress my spiritual gifts and prevented me from flourishing and thriving on a spiritual plane of life. I mean he was definitely trying to. However, his opportunity was squashed the moment I realized I needed to fully exercise my authority purchased through Jesus. So, through a Holy Spirit led process I began to work with the Godhead to gain freedom and take back all that the demonic had stolen.

So now some of you might be thinking, “Does this mean someone that has a relationship with Jesus can also be suppressed and oppressed by the demonic? How is that possible when He’s around? Amanda, there’s no way. You’ve got to be kidding me!” And I’m here to tell you, with all that I have learned and experienced over the past decade, someone that has a relationship with Jesus can definitely have several relationships with demonic entities and not even realize it.

You see, if we aren’t accessing the fullness of Jesus and His power properly, then yes… Yes, we WILL walk under the influence of darkness, death and decay from the inside out because we are made: spirit, soul, heart and body. And, if we do not take responsibility of our spiritual lives by fully leaning into them and then allowing Jesus to free us from all of our spiritual entanglements (yes, even the generational ones), then yes, we will absolutely be entangled with the demonic.

And I’m not sharing this to stir anyone up or cause grief. I’m sharing this because I have spent an entire decade walking in more freedom, joy, love and life than I ever imagined was possible. Plus, my relationship with the Godhead and my connection to the supernatural is so much more powerful and stronger since I dropped my pride and fear and just allowed Holy Spirit to lead me into the fullness of the finished work of Jesus. 🌱 #cultivatelife

darkness · peace · process

The Thrill of Peace

You might oppose me when saying this… But there’s something so thrilling about darkness. Yes, it’s uncomfortable and intolerable. Of course it can feel like a constant circus of chaos and a cave of deep despair. However, in the midst of the darkness, I’ve learned that it is COMPLETELY possible to be fixated on peace and immense joy.

You see I’ve learned surrendering our current darkness to God in exchange for His peace is possibly one of the most powerful things we can do.

We’re literally saying, “Hey God, I am not smart enough, wise enough or understanding enough to carry or solve what I’m experiencing… So I’m gonna give it to you. I’m gonna leave my current circumstances in Your hands. And every time I think of them, I’m going to remind myself that I’ve given You the reins to craft up a solution.”

And sure… Sure sometimes His solutions take many moments to become tangible and complete; however, His solutions always offer up abundant life, light and immense amounts of joy.

And it’s also so comforting to lean into the truth that a being far greater than us loves us, cares about us and is willing to stand up for us when life is caving in at every corner.

So, if you are or have ever experienced darkness so black that you can’t see your hand in front of your face, then be encouraged. Be encouraged because you’re not alone. Many people have walked this road before, and I’ll bet that the ones who’ve trusted in God’s ability to provide solutions have found peace and immense amounts of joy in the midst of the chaos. 🌱 #cultivatelife

darkness · death · heart · pride · process · refine

Two Trees

I left social media. I didn’t deactivate my accounts, but I left… Promising myself I would return when I felt I could consume without being burdened by pride, hate, bitterness, anger, jealousy, grief and shame.

That’s what social media does to me. I pick it up with the idea of “connecting” to “share” my world and the truth I’ve experienced while following God, but then I usually leave feeling worse than when I entered.

You see over the past decade I’ve learned how to connect to God. And… through this single, significant connection I’ve allowed Him to lead me as I’ve learned how to cultivate life.

Actually, He’s emptied me of the dying, decrepit life I was living, restored my broken pieces and parts and then filled me up with grace, love, peace, patience and endless joy.

So… when I sit down and begin to eat the fruit of social media, well my seemingly healthy vessel becomes completely overwhelmed. My insides begin to fill with endless, sometimes useless knowledge of good and evil. And, a lot of the time, what I consume begins to pull my human spirit and soul down as it leads me astray. It begins to probe at my heart, in an effort to cause unneeded division, confusion, jealousy, anger and death in me and with those I choose to share it with. Also… somehow, I become like God because I begin to feel the need to shoulder up the burdens of my world…. As if I even have the understanding and wisdom to solve anything outside of what He’s given me.

It’s not supposed to be like that though. God didn’t create us to carry death and decay. He created us to connect to Him through His Son Jesus, and then point others to that same connection so that they might be made well and new too!

Because… You see when we connect to God and Him alone our souls don’t feel burdened anymore. He gives us exactly what we need when we need it, rather than us pridefully, greedily and selfishly taking from other sources. When we humble ourselves and meet with Him on a moment-by-moment basis, He hands us life-giving skills in increments because He never wants to overwhelm our refinement, development, maturity and growth. 🌱#cultivatelife

darkness · death · demonic · freedom · Fullness of Jesus · healing

Demonic Occupancy

Remember the anger and disappointment I told you about in my last writing? Oh you know… The anger and disappointment that were consuming 10% of my heart? Well… Once I fully acknowledged them and began to pursue more of God’s love, my heart began to hurt…. Like PHYSICALLY hurt.

Now, obviously when pain strikes my heart I immediately think, “heartburn.” But then when it persisted at random moments for days on end, I began to think, “MY GOD… AM I OKAY?!?”

Fortunately, I heard God’s voice on every painful occasion say, “You are fine Amanda. This is a spiritual matter. There is a demonic entity tied to your soul. It’s has been given claim and territory over your heart. And… Until you relinquish your hold and fully give it to Me, you will feel this pain.”

“Wow… Okay… Great God.” Is what I immediately/sarcastically/gratefully thought… Then I proceeded to ask Him how we would work together with Jesus to rid my soul of the entity.

And so the process of freedom and refinement began.

You see in the past I haven’t wanted to give Him the soul tie. (For those who don’t know, a soul tie happens when you take on someone else’s entities: demons, spirits, etc. Basically, I was deeply wounded by someone else’s demons, but then I also formed a relationship with those demons because I was really close to this person.) And, because I didn’t want to relinquish the soul tie to Jesus, the demon has had territory over my heart. Territory that should belong to God and God alone!

You see I have consistently allowed Holy Spirit to lead me to a place of forgiveness and grace over the years in this area; however, the last piece of my freedom came down to me truly embracing the fact that I had a demon occupying space within, and it had to go.

And… Now that it’s gone, well… I can freely move forward. My heart can actually be whole and express what it means to have Holy Spirit taking up more occupancy than He’s ever had before! 🌱 #cultivatelife

darkness · demonic · faith · fear · heart · pain · relationship

Sharp Objects

I had a dream about a month ago… I was standing in my living room and from the kitchen a dark figure was standing at my counter throwing knives, swords and other sharp objects at me. In the moment I didn’t know what to do…. So I reached my hand out and surprising caught each one of them by the handle on the other end.

I had a vision this morning… I saw glass and shards of metal coming at my heart… Trying to really penetrate and tear apart this whole and complete substance God’s placed inside of me.

When the vision began, I immediately thought of the dream… So I asked Holy Spirit about both of them. He said, “Amanda, the dream was a foretelling of you handling the shards and metal in the vision. For too many years you’ve allowed manipulation, deception, fear, lies and toxic behavior to tear you down and penetrate your heart. But that’s over now. Now it’s time to stand firm and confidently and courageously catch every sharp tool darkness throws your way. It’s time to be the fortress, in this area of your life, I’ve created you to be.”

And with that… Well I just felt peace. Peace that showed me this chapter is coming to an end because I will no longer be stunned with pain, rejection, fear and confusion of the past.

And I don’t know why I’m sharing this… This is kind of deep and very personal to me on several levels of life. However, I do want you to know, we weren’t created to live in darkness, pain, fear and rejection. Yeah…. Sure we can become so familiar with the darkness that it seems like we should lie down and embrace it as home. But I believe what’s stronger than the darkness that incases us is the light that comes out of us when Jesus truly steps into our story, heals our pain and restores us to full capacity.

And I don’t know about you…. But who wouldn’t want that? 🌱 #cultivatelife

darkness · death · just live · vulnerability

One Present Moment

Can I be honest?… I think about life and death A LOT!

Seriously though… I think about the reality of mortality and what it means to be fully alive on the inside constantly.

Now, recently the Holy Spirit said, “Just live this summer Amanda. Take the next three months and really focus your attention on living.” Of course I needed to know what He meant… So I asked, and this is what He said…

“When you focus your attention on the past, you’re focusing on death. When you focus your attention on the future, you’re too focused on life. I’m asking you to focus your attention… To focus all of who you are on living. And to focus yourself on living is to focus on just being. I know it’s a lot to ask… Especially with your culture, and the anticipation it has to be in tomorrow. But I just need you to do this. I need you to continue to cultivate this habit until it becomes your lifestyle.”

And I don’t really know how this will shift who I am; however; I’ve already begun to realize how stupid I am for ignoring the present.

You see if you’re anything like me then you’ll understand what it feels like to be miserably obsessed with getting to tomorrow. It’s a constant state of not allowing today to be enough because we’ve been taught to fear being content with the present. It’s almost like it’s taboo to say, “I’m choosing to be fully present today.”

But you know… If I can’t get my mind off of tomorrow and I’m constantly thinking about what it will produce, well then I think I’ll wake up one day in my 70s and realize I’ve wasted my life away by being too concerned about tomorrow. I’ll miss the opportunity life gave me to just live and be fully alive from the inside out.

And I’m not saying choosing to just live means I’m going to become lazy or inactive… But what I am saying is I’m trying to make a better attempt at fully leaving the past in the past and allowing the future to unfold one present moment at a time. 🌱 #cultivatelife #justlive

brokenness · darkness · death · grief · healing · Spirit

Year Five

Five years ago today I watched my dad take his last breath. All in one moment the reality of death made his appearance in my life.

You see it was evidently clear that I was starring at my dad, but then at the same time I wasn’t.

Every part of him (the smile, the jokes, the instigation I couldn’t stand, the love, the brilliant gifting that made him unique)… It was gone. His essence… His soul… His spirit… The aura that filled his body was gone. And so he was gone.

And so that was the moment… The moment I realized life… Life really, truly is temporal. And our bodies…. Our bodies really are nothing more than the vessel we use to travel in while we’re here on earth.

So now you might be thinking, “Amanda, why are you sharing this?” Well… To be completely honest with you, I just really care about the health of people. Actually, let me rephrase that…. I care about the inner health of people. I care that we are alive on the inside. I care that we thrive on the inside. I care that we find grace, love, forgiveness and healing; and then that we maintain that healing long after our moment of transformation.

You see in today’s culture I believe it’s so easy to get caught up in our outer appearance, race, sexual orientation, religion and political background… But don’t forget, before any of that can matter, we are all intangible on the inside first and foremost. We’re all created with some type of God-spark that makes us eternal and immortal.

And so I guess that’s why I’m writing this…. Because I want to remind you and encourage you to look past the surface of what you can see and shift your focus to what you can spiritually feel. Because the health of that “thing” inside of you, that “thing” we all so casually overlook, is what is truly alive in life. 🌱 #cultivatelife

Body · darkness · just live · lies, deception & manipulation · refine · soul · Spirit

Inception

One of my favorite movies is about a man hired to use a dream machine to plant an idea into the mind of another man… It’s called Inception.

In one scene you find Leonardo DiCaprio (he’s the one hired to plant the idea) and his colleagues in a room full of sleeping people who are using the dream machine. One of the men looks at the sleepers, turns to the other men and says, “They come here every day to sleep?” Another man replies, “No. They come to be woken up. The dream has become their reality.”

“The dream has become their reality”… Ironic as it sounds, as I look around at our sleepy culture, I can’t help but think about that line.

You see I believe we, as a whole, are becoming more and more like the sleepers in that room. We’ve convinced ourselves we need the internet and devices to survive. It’s not enough anymore to go through life just being. We’ve found a way to convince ourselves that we need to live in an altered, artificial reality. I can’t share a photo anymore without thinking, “Do I look good enough?” Because I know there are at least a million other women my age using an artificial app to make them look “thinner, thicker, tanner, toner, younger and more flawlessly perfect” than they truly are.

We are living in a dream state. It’s constantly before us every time we pick up these devices to be “social.” And it’s growing to the point that people feel so down on the way their lives really are that they’re physically altering their appearances.

Okay, so I’m not here to talk down on society, but I am here to be honest. I’m here to say we need to WAKE UP! Life… You know, real, actual life is around us. It’s flawed and full of chaos and it might seem unworthy, but it’s REAL and meant to be experienced without the box we all carry in our hands.

And though I don’t know how to help our society wake up and see the truth… I do hope we can find the self-discipline and willpower to put down our mind-altering devices, connect to the supernatural and just live life the way it was originally intended to be. 🌱 #cultivatelife #justlive

(Side note: These photos are what I actually look like. No editing in the posting 🙃)

authority & dominion · darkness · Fullness of Jesus · kingdom · power · warfare

Do You Feel It?

It’s getting really rough out there… Do you feel it? Can you sense it? Is your mind and spirit comprehending what’s happening, or are you still asleep, numb and dumbed down to it all?

I don’t know how any of us plan to move forward in life at this day and age if we don’t know how to overcome the war that’s constantly taking place in the supernatural. I don’t know how humans that believe in Christ plan to survive if we don’t constantly protect our minds, emotions, energy and space.

I can tell you this though… Over the past 8 months I’ve been learning how to rule and reign within my own head and heart. It isn’t easy. It’s very challenging. Millions of thoughts and questions probe at me daily seeking a home in my heart…. But I can’t let them in. I won’t let them in.

Because, you see, if I let them in then I begin to lose the power and authority given to me through Christ. I begin to become controlled by the world around me, rather than ruling and reigning over it like God intends for me to do.

So, if you can feel it… If you can sense the evil and darkness that’s replicating and invading the supernatural world… Then please, please be encouraged to command it to stand back. Please speak in the name of Jesus so that it cannot come any further and overtake you. And please, please ask the Holy Spirit to show you how to rule and reign as the child of God you’ve been created to be. 👑⚔️ #cultivatelife

brokenness · darkness · death · freedom · grief · healing · love of god

Thanks Death

I’m not one to wallow and get down about life and what I’ve lost, but lately I’ve found myself missing my dad more than I can explain. It’s sometimes unsettling the way he’s constantly on my mind, and then I’m forced to think about my reality. My mind begins to remind me that death happened, but that life has continued to go on around me.

And though it is so challenging to understand why he died so young. And though I miss him and the life my family had before he was taken from this earth… Well I am still so grateful to have experienced death.

You see there’s just something so motivating to me about death. I believe death is a being, and I believe anytime we experience him we must respect him even though he’s been so seemingly disrespectful to us.

You see death left an imprint on my life. He left an imprint so wide and so deep that it sometimes felt unbearable to breathe again.

However, since my dad’s death I’ve been thrusted into this place of living. A place that’s forced me to stare down death and decide that I will not allow my experience with him to define me in a negative way, but in a positive one.

Because of death I live freer. I love harder. I think more in-depth. I take risks. I consider others. And though he’s helped toss my world upside down, I give more. I’ve gained more. I stop and think of others and where they might be in life because there is a compassion inside of me that wasn’t there before I met him.

And… Although it’s so challenging to not become angry and bitter with God, I’ve found myself more connected to Him than ever before. He’s shown me what true love is. And within that true love I never feel truly broken or without.

And though I don’t know where you stand today, what you’ve lost or how utterly broken you may feel… Please know this. I believe it’s very healthy to feel every ounce of death. But then I also believe it’s so healthy to live life to it’s very fullest. To love with every part of our hearts we can love with. And though it’s challenging to forgive and not become angry with God, I’ve found that He will fill in the broken and battered pieces when we’re ready to let Him in again.