I remember growing up, probably about 15 years old, I received a printed copy defining what my horoscope meant using words. I remember that some of the words were prideful, stubborn, and impatient. I remember receiving this and being so happy to get it. I mean who doesn’t love their zodiac sign right?

During this time and for years after, I even embraced these words. I remember gloating saying yes, “I’m prideful”, “I know I’m stubborn” and I was impatient. I even had people call me stubborn and deny it knowing otherwise about myself. And for some time, I walked in my self-will, doing whatever I wanted without any thought of repentance. But it was not until I was face to face with pride, stubbornness, self-will, and my refusal to submit in a spiritual battle to save my life, that I admitted to myself that I was consumed by what I had embraced all those years.

Pridefulness, stubbornness, and self-will are spiritual strongholds. Pastor Ebony Freeland Bryant defined spiritual strongholds as “any area in your life where Satan has seized control.” I was not only controlled by them but consumed. To be consumed means to be completely controlled, intoxicated, or governed by. This was the life I was living.

Before becoming a member of Faith Church in 2015, my understanding of what I had embraced was different. I did not know what strongholds were. I said like most people, that is just who I am. I let what I embrace define who I was. Yes, I know right from wrong, and I did wrong, but this went deeper than wrongdoing. This was about telling God no to His will and yes to my own. I resisted God, and what He was trying to do in my life.

One of the hardest things in life is to look at yourself in the mirror and admit that you had a hand in the events in your life, especially if what you did negatively impacted you. In August 2019, I had to look myself in the mirror, and I did not like what I saw. On August 9, 2019, I called one of my best friends, because she posted something that was concerning to me on social media. After we talked about what was going on. I told her that she needed to fast and pray about it for the next seven days. I told her I would fast and pray with her.

I decided that night that I would fast from TV. I did not think about myself, I was concerned with helping my friend. But early Saturday morning, God woke me up and led me to write about submission, pride, and stubbornness. I texted Prophetess Nakia that morning and told her I was writing, and that I had struggled with these strongholds during Bible study that Wednesday she taught. In my blog, Vengeance, I explain in detail the issue that led me to that point.

Prophetess Nakia texted me back and said “Don’t let demonic spirits hold you back from your God given destiny. Deliverance is ALWAYS available but you have to be willing to go through the process and once God has delivered you, protect your deliverance at all cost. It’s hard but it’s going to be sooooo worth it. I love you. Keep writing. I want you to also study the word of God regarding the things that you are writing about. Example: Pride… google ” scripture of Pride. Then go and read the entire chapter that the scripture is found in. You can’t just read one scripture because you need context.

I took Prophetess’ advice and before bed, I began to write about submission, pride, and stubbornness and studied the scriptures concerning them. I wasn’t planning on going to church on August 11, 2019, and told my mom I didn’t feel like it. I serve at Guest Services at church, and I received a text at approximately 10:30 that night from our Ministry Leader asking if I would serve at the 12:00 pm service. I replied Yes, I could. I texted my mom and told her, guess I’ll be going to church in the morning. Although I was serving at the 12:00 pm service, I attended the 9:00 am service. Here I am not planning to go to either service and ended up attending both.

On August 9, 2019, when I said I was going to fast and pray with my friend, God used that sacrifice to give me something that I needed. This was an act of submission. On August 10, 2019, I began to write. This was an act of telling God, Yes, to walking in His will, and not my own. That night when I said I would serve at church after I said I was not going, I did not give in to being stubborn.

As I reflect on the events of August 11, 2019, God was working behind the scene on my behalf. I at times am at a loss for words for what God allowed to transpire on that day. I often put others before myself, but God decided to put me and my spiritual health first that Sunday. On this day, I went into a spiritual battle to break free from those spiritual strongholds. Prophetess Nakia, my Pastors Chance and Christina, other Pastors, Elders, and Intercessors were with me as I fought.

The consumption of these strongholds was apparent while going through this spiritual purification process. I think we warred together for over twenty to thirty minutes. I was at my lowest point, in complete surrender to God, and with the help of my church family, I had to find the strength to fight for myself. The strength to break free from stubbornness, submission, self-will, and pride.

I will save the specific details of my deliverance for another post, but these words Prophetess Nakia spoke while we were warring “Brandy, we’ve done all we can do. You have to find the strength to fight.”, I will never forget. I was so used to fighting for others that I never fought for myself. This was the day that I fought for Brandy. In the end, I received the deliverance that I desperately needed. God had been trying since 2018 to help me get here and I fell so many times before, but on this day I got up with newfound strength and power.

It is the year 2022, and I am still standing, I am still strong. Ephesians 6:10-12 MSG Bible states: “And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no weekend war that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.” I have been fighting for myself every day since. I am in the process of learning how to intercede for others, but not put myself on the backburner.

When Prophetess Nakia told me Deliverance is ALWAYS available but you have to be willing to go through the process and once God has delivered you, protect your deliverance at all cost. It’s hard but it’s going to be sooooo worth it.I have been protecting my deliverance every day since, and every word Prophetess Nakia spoke has held true. It has been hard but it has been worth it!! The joy and peace I received that day, nothing fleshy could ever compare to it. I have been fighting to maintain my deliverance.

This is not to say that, I am doing everything right, I do not. It is not to say that I do not fall, I do. The difference is that I changed my mindset and my circle. I have surrounded myself around those I can pull on when I get weak, or who can pour into me and I into them. I choose not to live the life that I once lived. I make a conscious effort daily to do what’s right, and if I fall, I do not stay there, I get back up.

Since August 11, 2019, I am no longer held bound by those strongholds. I chose not to say I’m those things because I no longer define myself by those words. I no longer embrace those words, that’s not who I am. I no longer allow Satan to have control over my mind or rule over me.

Who am I? I am a child of God. I am his daughter and He is my Father. Submitted and obedient to His will. I am not only those things though. I learned through my Senior Pastor, Chance D. Lynch’s e-course, The BreakRoom, that Ephesians 1 in the Bible defines who we are in Jesus Christ in 14 different ways. This is who I am ( we are) in Christ Jesus.

  1. I am united with Him
  2. I am Loved
  3. I am Chosen
  4. I am Holy
  5. I am not guilty in God’s eyes
  6. I am adopted
  7. I am with Christ
  8. I am Grace
  9. I Fit In
  10. I am Free
  11. I am Forgiven
  12. I am an Heir
  13. I am Saved
  14. I am the Temple of God

I mentioned that I read the description of my zodiac sign at a young age, and I allowed that to define me. However, as followers and believers of Jesus Christ, we do not let astrology define us or live by it. We are defined by God. Once I learned who I was in Jesus Christ, I committed it to memory so that I never let my ways or Satan’s ways define who I am.

When I read my notes from The BreakRoom, my Pastor asked the question, “When you fall, how do you get back up? He answered, “Remind yourself of how God sees you.” It was hard at one point to think I was worthy of being in God’s presence because I was so far from Him, but I am reminded today and I will remind you, “Remind yourself of how God sees you.”!