God has a plan for You!

Many believers in Jesus Christ struggle to fully trust that our Almighty Creator has a plan for their lives. Struggle and challenge are part of our lives, yet relying on God to get us through these tumultuous times appear to be a struggle in itself for many. It has been quite interesting at times to observe believers wrestle with fear and anxiety, especially since we are meant to know, trust and understand the Word of God, which tells us repeatedly not to fear because God is near. Through my own similar experiences, however, I've realized that this is because although believers know the Word of God, we don't trust the Word of God. Often we forget that God has a plan and uses our tumultuous times to draw us closer to Him. I believe that our lack of trust in the Lord is also due to the fact that it is difficult for humans in general to trust because of how we have been hurt and disappointed by fellow humans and forget that God is not human and neither does He think or behave as humans do. Thus GROWING in our faith in the Lord is part of our walk with Him and one He patiently takes us through at His own pace because He is FAITHFUL. 

Early on in my conversion, 9 months into my walk, in fact, I went through an intense 3-week period where I fell into the trap of fear and anxiety. Everything, and I mean everything, was blowing up all at once. I felt anger, resentment and found myself questioning if I had indeed gotten the wrong end of the stick, which I shared with my group whom I was working very closely with as we studied spiritual warfare together and how the enemy operates, which I was leading them through. These 3-weeks, however, turned out to be a very important time of my faith being tested resulting in it becoming the springboard the Lord used to prove His faithfulness to me and my family in incredible ways. During this period there was a new convert who greatly disapproved of my trial by fire and accused me of hefty sin. I was accused of leading people away from God and that in fact I should not be sharing any information with people because of how much pain I was in, and because, based on her assumption, I had not had a one-on-one encounter with Jesus Christ. According to her this meant I was not truly saved and neither were any of the members of my group. She also based this on the fact that I had not publically spoken about an encounter with the Lord that she could interpret as being an atmosphere changing experience, like she'd had, that changes one in an instant. She had been walking with the Lord for 5 months at the time.

It was initially a struggle forgiving her ignorance because she had failed to see what God was actually doing in my life as she remained focused on the fact that I was in fear and was experiencing anxiety because of what my family was going through, and harped on the fact that I was preaching false doctrine. She completely ignored the breakthrough I'd had as a result of those 3-weeks, which I had also shared with my group, whom she at the time was a part of. She quoted reams of scripture pointing out how I was failing in my faith, and even made a video which she published on her website "exposing" me as a false teacher. I repented before the Lord for everything she was accusing me of so as to ensure that anything I may have misinterpreted could no longer be used against me, however, this persecution was a huge stumbling block for me and stripped me of my confidence to study and interpret scripture. This experience, for a while, took me away from doing the work God had called me to do because I was believing this woman, an over-zealous inexperienced young convert's accusations, rather than listening to what the Lord was telling and showing me. Thus, I was believing the lies of the enemy, known also as the accuser, rather than believing the Word of God calling me to be courageous and continue with what He had called me to do. All through this she was adamant that the Holy Spirit was telling her to rebuke me and set me straight.

The Lord made it clear to me that this was an attack from the enemy because a few weeks prior to this slanderous persecution, my hubby and I had returned from Slovenia where we ran a retreat and workshop where 22 people renounced the new age religion and it's demonic practices, gave their lives fully to the Lord, repented for their actions and were delivered by the Holy Spirit and baptized. This was the enemy retaliating because of the success we'd experienced in Slovenia. My accuser went so far as to e-mail my contact in Slovenia to tell her that the group was not truly saved and they had only repented and gone through baptism to please me. Really?! The group in Slovenia continues growing in their walk with the Lord. Although they have been through many challenges, tests of faith, and retaliations by the enemy because they chose God, not one convert has fallen away. Instead, they have become a powerful intercessory prayer group being raised up by the Lord to pray for one another and others, as well as encourage more and more Slovenians to renounce the new age false religion. Due to more people coming to the Lord, my husband and I will be returning to Slovenia in May 2020! Mateja Jager is leading the group there, a sister in Christ whom I love and respect immensely. Praise the Lord for how great and faithful He is!

After almost 3 months of feeling ill-equipped to share the Word of God with others the Lord lifted me up and filled me with His spirit of confidence and I was renewed in my ability and confidence to share publically what the Lord was showing me and what He has planned for us. During the same year, 2019, at the same time, I was being stalked and sexually harassed by a woman, formerly a client/student, who had become relentlessly obsessed with me. She too accused me of not understanding the Word of God and after every Bible Study class I taught and published on my website, or YouTube video I published, she would dissect EVERY recording and compile a lengthy e-mail quoting reams of scripture pointing out how I was not interpreting it correctly. Because I was refusing to have anything to do with her, she wrote these e-mails largely to suit her own agenda, even accusing me of misunderstanding the Lord's word regarding homosexuality and that it was in fact okay in God's eyes. Because I was rejecting her sexual advances and insistence that God had told her we were soul mates and that He had made us for one another, she accused Christians of being haters and continually said that I was judging and hating on her because I wouldn't grow up and face my sexual self! Many of these hate and rectification-of-my-teaching e-mails she sent to my group too and also went as far as making video's which she published on YouTube, pointing out what I was misinterpreting. This went on for 7 months, until eventfully I was able to get her family involved because the sexual harassment and filth she was sending me got so out of hand something had to be done. The Lord was faithful and answered my prayers for intervention. Although it took 7-months there was huge purpose behind this which I won't discuss here because it's not my intention to cause her family any further distress regarding the incident. 

All-in-all the Lord helped me understand the lengths to which the enemy will go to drive us away from God's purpose and plan for our lives, because should we become confident in our walk with God and grow in courage, strength and faith, we become a lethal weapon of mass destruction against his kingdom. Thus, Satan, the accuser, distracts us with lies, roadblocks, detours, false timing and upheaval so that we cannot become a weapon of destruction against him. Understanding it in this manner helped me greatly. During the challenges of 2019, the Lord never stopped working with me, leading, guiding, comforting and reassuring me. As a result, through all of this my faith in Him grew in strength, even though at times I was uncertain that I deserved His faithfulness because I had bought into the lies of my accusers. The Lord had a plan for me and the purpose behind these two major distractions was firstly to show me how scared the enemy is of God's children truly trusting in and following His plan and calling, and secondly that no matter what any human may say, think or do, when we are faithful to the Lord and surrender to Him and His truth, the truth is exposed and His plan for our lives revealed. 

My faith and trust in the Lord is at an all time high. I have no words to describe my gratitude for how He has healed my family, my children and many other parts of my life and that of my husband. There are so many testimonies that it would take hours to share them with you in detail, because God is in the detail, and when you seek Him in all situations you will see His hand at work. The Lord turns every situation around in His favour, and this too gives us great peace when we trust this truth. The enemy loves to whisper lies about us into the mind's of people in order to break us down, make them doubt us and take us away from the Lord and His destiny for our lives. 

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 (NIV)

In Lesson 19 of our free Bible Study class, we see how God had a plan for Joseph. God spoke to Joseph in a dream and after sharing his dream with his father and brothers, his brothers became filled with jealousy and wanted to kill him. However, no matter what his brothers did to get rid of him, the dream Joseph dreamt about his future and what God had planned for his life was true and became reality. We see how the Lord favoured Joseph even when he was being falsely accused and thrown into prison. We see that no matter how long it takes, the Lord makes His plan known and it manifests in the natural world! It is also vital to bear in mind that Joseph was faithful and obedient to the Lord and walked with God. Remember, we have a choice to follow God or not. If we deny the Lord and His destiny for us this gives the enemy legal ground to use us for his agenda and the expansion of his foul kingdom, whether we realize it or not, which guarantees us eternal death, rather than eternal life with God. Receiving God's favour and blessings requires of us to be true to Him and His word. God knows how the enemy comes against us. But when we CHOOSE to believe God Almighty rather than the lies of the enemy we experience breakthrough. 

If you are going through a season of change and challenge and experiencing fear and anxiety, or being persecuted and slandered, be conscious of how the enemy works, but more importantly, be conscious and aware of how God is working in your life and believe in Him that He has a plan for your life. If you are leaning on Him, He will show you His plan and manifest it in the natural world. Don't let the enemy take you down just as the Lord is about to raise you up. The enemy comes against us strongest just before or just after the Lord does some amazing things to glorify and expand His Kingdom through us in the name of Jesus Christ. Satan doesn't want us to rise up into our destiny. Remember this!

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)

Much love,

Michelle Manders

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