Congratulations to two new ICM graduates – Wilma Cobb and Renay Bullard on their recent graduation at Liberty Church in Arab Alabama. Wilma received her Masters in Ministry and Renay received her Masters in Christian Counseling. Both of these extraordinary women hold a 4.0 grade point averages. They are truly outstanding examples of Christ. We at ICM feel very proud and very blessed to have them as our newest alumni.
As I read the beginning of Genesis, one of the things that stands out is that everything God spoke happened. There was not one thing that He spoke that did not happen. That is worth reading again. There was not one thing that He spoke that did not happen. Not one. Whatever God speaks . .. . will happen. – Dr. Christie Self
For those of you who follow this category or perhaps have joined one of our Hot Topic nights in ICM’s virtual classroom, you may already be familiar with the dangers of yoga. Without taking too much time to repeat what we’ve already taught, yoga is form of worship to the Hindu gods. On the surface, that sounds pretty straight forward, and yet, I still hear believers tell me, “Oh, I don’t believe in it (ie; yoga)…I only do it for the exercise.”
The lie that a Christian can practice yoga apart from its spiritual significance is the grand deception Satan has successfully launched against the church. In fact, this deception is so successful; there are now churches in the Body of Christ that teach Christian yoga which is a contradiction of terms and can’t exist any easier than Christian-Islam.
Recently, God crossed my path with Laurette Willis of PraiseMoves, a fitness ministry with a call to kick yoga out of the churches. Before God called Laurette to the ministry, she was a yoga instructor and as such, is quick to point out that yoga is religion and cannot be practiced solely as a physical exercise. (See the Laurette’s presentation The Truth About Yoga at www.bigmarker.com)
Why is it that believers are so reluctant to see yoga for what it is? There’s something very significant about yoga that Satan tries to keep hidden from believers, but what is it? Knowing that Satan imitates, corrupts, or makes forgeries of everything God creates, I asked God to show me what the evil one was corrupting that made yoga poses so dangerous.
In this case, God was very quick to answer my prayers and nearly told me the answer right on the spot.
When God gives me understanding, He allows me to “see.” This seeing is like hundreds of jigsaw puzzle pieces falling from above and all landing in their correct orientation to suddenly produce a complete picture that I see with complete understanding. It really is quite remarkable.
My yoga pose question was answered in this way – many parts fell seamlessly into place.
Allow me to share with you now, the jigsaw puzzle picture God sent me when I asked Him what it was that Satan counterfeits though yoga poses that keeps believers blinded from the truth.
Yoga poses are a counterfeit of a holy form of worship practiced by heaven’s angels before God the Father, even back when Satan was still Lucifer – the cherub that covers. (See Eze 28:14)
As Lucifer, the covering cherub, Satan was present on God’s holy mountain when the sons of God, or heaven’s angels, came to present themselves before the LORD. The word “present” comes from the Greek word יצב yâtsab and means to offer or is an offering. In context with “present themselves,” heavens angels made themselves an offering to God in worship to Him.
Seeing this, with a heart filled with pride, Lucifer (ie: Satan) declared he would raise his throne above the stars. (See Isa 14:13) Lucifer was saying that instead of covering the mercy seat as the covering cherub, he, himself, would sit upon the mercy seat and be worshiped by the “stars” or heavens angels. Satan desired to be worshiped by the angels, and later by man, by having them present themselves before him just like heaven’s angels presented themselves to God the Father.
God’s word provides us with several references concerning this act of worship called presenting.
We see heavens angels present themselves before the LORD in Job 1:6 and 2:1.
Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD,
Job 2:1 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD
Second Timothy 2:15 instructs us to be diligent and …to present yourself… to God.
2Ti 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
When God called Moses to come before Him on Mount Sinai, God said, “present yourself there to Me…”
Exo 34:2 “So be ready by morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself there to Me on the top of the mountain.
Romans 6:12 warns us against presenting or worshiping sin with our bodies.
Rom 6:12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts,
Rom 6:13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
Finally, Romans 12:1 summarizes a full understanding of worship by presenting.
Rom 12:1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. (NLT)
Give your bodies to God as a living and holy sacrifice – this is what presenting means. Presenting is a holy form of worship to the LORD in which the body is offered as a living offering. Satan copied and corrupted this practice so he and his fallen angels would be worshiped in their dark kingdom.
A yoga pose is an offering that presents oneself to the god the pose represents. When one twists one’s body into the cobra pose, one is worshiping the serpent god. When one lays flat on their back for the corpse pose, one is worshiping the god of death.
How can you as a believer in Christ, with an understanding of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, worship the god of death that Jesus gave His life to conquer?
God tells us to put no other gods before Him, and yet yoga does just that, through poses that worship a multitude of Hindu gods. Is it any wonder Satan tries to keep this knowledge concealed?
I urge you, do not present your body in worship to false gods through yoga, instead fill your mind on God’s word and present yourself before Him holy and righteous, cleansed by the blood of the Lamb of God.
Do you ever wander from God? I do. How easily I get distracted and start down paths the Lord did not design for me. And then I find my heart caught up in other things. Sometimes the Lord allows calamity to come our way, because it is the only way to get our attention and to help us find our way back to Him. He wants the devotion of our hearts and He deserves it. Lord help us to keep our hearts fully devoted to You. Thank You for Your loving kindness, Your compassion, and mercy. – Dr. Christie Self
DHPMBC8JJ9UP We will all say and do things we regret. We will all fall and fail many times throughout our lives; the Lord knows that. The questions are: do our hearts seek after Him and do our footsteps show we are walking in His ways? Is He in us and flowing through us? If we are His, it should show. . .. His light and truth should be evident in what we say and do or do not say and do. Surrender to Him and let His truth and His ways become your own. –Dr. Christie Self
God loves so much that He gave that which was most dear to Himself . . . His only Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus loves so much that He gave the ultimate sacrifice, His life, all of it, every last breath. He exchanged His life unto death for ours, that by believing in Him we could be united in a full and eternal relationship with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Accept this incredible gift and let Him be Savior and Lord of your life. – Dr. Christie Self
Whenever we go through tribulations, He goes through with us. We are not alone. He is the God of ALL comfort. He knows exactly what kind of comfort we need in whatever circumstance we are. Let us in turn take the blessing of His comfort and be His hands, His words, His arms to another who needs His comfort today. – Dr. Christie Self
There is nothing that is, that was not made by God. Everything around us was created by Him and through Him and for Him. Our bodies, our abilities, the breaths we take, are by His design, gifts given to us and made to reflect His glory back to Him. So today when we want to boast, let us boast in Him, in the glory of who He is. –Dr. Christie Self
Photo by Christie Self
Who or what we trust in is our choice. But trusting in anything other than the Lord will lead to a dead end pathway of loss and shame and the deepest kind of regret. Trusting in Him means all of the promises in these Scriptures are ours. Look at all He will do when we choose to trust in Him. Though we may not be able to see the way ahead and it may seem dangerous, He will lead us. We do not have to know the way. Why? Because He does. Let that sink in. He knows the way you should go and He will show you. Seek Him and listen for His voice and He will show you what you need to know. Though there will be times when you come upon darkness and rough and rugged places, He will make a way through for you. He promises, “These are the things I will do” and He also promises that He will not forsake you. He will always be with you and for you. He is the Lord. The Almighty One. He is worthy of your trust. –Dr. Christie Self