Daily Devotional for Friday January 12, 2007
The War for Souls Over the Internet is Raging On
When you are fighting satan, embroiled in spiritual warfare literally 24/7, you learn how to live in a constant state of war. My life is lived each day on the front lines. While I love to encourage and challenge others in God's army, my number one focus each day is going toe-to-toe with satan for the souls of men. That is why I am on the Internet, not with the typical message geared to a Christian audience, but with a message of God's Truth and the hope of Christ targeting the lost and hurting. That is why I rarely preach in churches or Christian events, though I get hundreds of invitations every year, but outside the nightclubs of Ybor City in Tampa, debating strip club owners and gay activists in the public arena, and at places like the State Fair. That is why the Liveprayer TV program isn't on the Christian networks, but on secular television networks.
I AM A FRONT LINES SOLDIER FOR JESUS CHRIST! MY MISSION FROM THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF IS TO BRING THE REBELLIOUS, THE LOST, AND THE HURTING TO THE SAVING KNOWLEDGE OF JESUS CHRIST. I CAN'T DO THAT IN CHURCHES, OR IN STADIUMS AND ARENAS FILLED WITH PEOPLE FROM LOCAL CHURCHES, OR ON CHRISTIAN MEDIA. I HAVE TO LEAVE THE COMFORT AND SAFETY OF THE "CHRISTIAN TROUGH" AND GO TO THE FRONT LINES AND DO BATTLE WITH SATAN EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY FOR THE SOULS OF LOST MEN, THAT IS WHERE GOD HAS CALLED ME TO SERVE!
Today, I want to share with you our current battle that is raging at a fever pitch, and as I often do, use our battles here at Liveprayer to encourage you as you fight your own battles. Let me make sure you never again gloss over a passage of scripture found in Paul's letter to the church at Ephesus. In Ephesians 6:12, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." What Paul is saying here is simply this. Our battles, the real battles we fight are not physical battles, but they are spiritual battles We may be dealing with physical issues, but they are simply the manifestation of the spiritual battles going on in the heavenlies. This is so critical since even though we are fighting each day in the natural, if we are not fighting first in the spiritual, we will lose.
*I want to isolate this thought for you since it is one of the most important things I will ever tell you. Read this again. Even though we are fighting each day in the natural, if we are not fighting first in the spiritual, we lose!!!
Of course God knew this and that is why He gave us all that we would need to fight and win our battles in the spiritual realm. Did you think God would ask you to serve Him, to fight for Him, knowing satan would come after you and not take care of you? He has given you the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, our feet have the gospel of peace, He has given us the shield of faith, and the helmet of salvation. If you notice, there is something special about the armor God. THERE IS NOTHING TO PROTECT THE BACK! Do you know why? GOD'S CHILDREN DON'T TURN AND RUN WE FIGHT MOVING FORWARD, PRESSING FORWARD TO THE PRIZE. COWARDS RETREAT, GOD'S CHILDREN PRESS ON, KNOWING THAT WE HAVE ALREADY WON THE VICTORY AND THAT SATAN IS A DEFEATED FOE!
Also, the child of God only has ONE offensive weapon. The sword, God's Word! The Bible says, "It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even to the dividing of soul and sprit, joints and marrow." It is the only weapon the child of God needs. There is AUTHORITY in the Word of God. There is POWER in the Word of God. When Jesus was confronted by satan He did't have a conversations with him, He QUOTED THE WORD OF GOD TO HIM! That is why there is nothing more needed to lead the lost to faith in Christ than God's Word. The Gospel "is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes!"
Every single day, without fail by the grace of God since August 31,1999, the Daily Devotional has gone out to those who subscribe to it. During our first months we were very naive. We simply let anyone who wanted it sign up and as a convenience, let them sign up their family and friends. 60 days after the launch of Liveprayer we came under a major attack. The week before Halloween in 1999, someone signed up about 400 witches and warlocks to receive the Daily Devotional. As you can imagine, those folks were not happy. We only had 4-5,000 subscribers so we had over 10% of our list complaining about SPAM. When Liveprayer started, we had our Internet site and mail hosted by a third party and they literally shut us down due to the complaints.
We were down less than 36 hours and learned some valuable lessons. We began hosting all of our Internet operations internally so nobody could ever again decide to shut us down. We also began using mailing software for our Daily Devotional that required an opt-in process so people couldn't get on the list unless they wanted to. From that point on for the next 6 years, other than some isolated incidents, we had no major problems sending the Daily Devotional. During that time the list grew from a few thousand to right at 2 million subscribers and was going through over 10,000 ISPs (email providers) worldwide every single day without any problems at all. Millions worldwide were being fed daily through the Daily Devotional, tens of thousands of prayer requests were being received and responded to every day, and we saw over one hundred thousands souls we know of come to faith in Jesus Christ.
About one year ago, we began to see a major shift in email on the Internet. Due to the increasing amount of SPAM, several things began to happen. The end user was now given tools to filter their mail through their email provider as well as through programs they could buy that protected them from viruses, ad ware, and SPAM. Also, most ISPs began to use third party software as well as their own, to block SPAM. Most of the software being used by ISPs and end users used "content filters." These filters work with a dictionary of words only the people who program the software have access to, and based on those words, the filters classify email as good or SPAM.
Of course, the real SPAMMERS are always a step ahead. That is why most people get an endless stream of emails daily for stocks, male enhancement products, dating sites, and of course porn. For the record, LPeMail, the free email service Liveprayer owns, has been in operation for over 3 years now with hundreds of thousands of subscribers and they never have any SPAM in their "inbox" since those who send mail to our LPeMail subscribers have to respond back before their message is cleared to be delivered. In the end, these "content filters" everyone is now using ends up filtering out lots of legitimate mail that happens to use some of the same words the "content filters" are looking for..
The other danger in these "content filters" is obvious. The programmers who create these filters can put any word they want into their dictionary to filter. For example, they could put in words like, Liveprayer, Bill Keller, Daily Devotional, Jesus, Bible, and God. Do you now see how dangerous these "content filters' are? The fact is, the ISPs we are sending our Daily Devotional to are private companies and have the right to filter their incoming mail however they choose. They also aren't forced to tell ANYONE their dictionary list. If they choose to filter all Christian emails, they can. We have been told flat out by one major ISP that they have "trained their filters to block our mail!"
For over 7 years, we would send the Daily Devotional through out mailing software and in the course of 5-6 hours at night, it would all get delivered without fail. It worked flawlessly. We have been "white listed" by AOL and several other major ISPs for over 6 years since they know we are a legitimate email provider. This allows us to bypass their filters and delivers the mail immediately into the email box of our subscribers using their ISP. We have purposely changed NOTHING in nearly 8 years, sending the Daily Devotional in a plain text format with the same format since we have successfully sent it that way every day and everyone on the Internet knows who we are because of the amount of mail we send each day.
However, since Thanksgiving, we have been in an all out war with one major ISP and several smaller ones who are using their software. After sending our Daily Devotional to our subscribers using their domains every day for over 7 years without any problems, they are now telling us that their filters are labeling our mail as SPAM. I have to pay one of our techs to sit and manually send all of our mail to this ISP and others using their software to insure our subscribers get their Daily Devotional each morning. This should be an automated process that takes a few hours, but now takes 6-7 hours and is costing us over $3,000 extra month in labor. I am committed to getting the Word out to those who subscribe no matter what we have to do since lives and souls are at stake!
The fact is, all ISPs would love to stop ALL email. One of their latest ploys is to have outside companies that they endorse, determine who is a safe mailer or not. These outside companies charge people who send email tens of thousands of dollars a year to "endorse" your mail. The fact is, it doesn't help you bypass an ISPs "content filters." It is really nothing more than extortion to try and force legitimate mailers to pay to send email to people who have requested it. Legally, there is no recourse since again, these are all private companies and they can do whatever they want. The bottom line is if those who use their email system don't like it, they can go somewhere else.
On the practical end, know that we will be sending the Daily Devotional EVERY DAY as we have by the grace of God for nearly 8 years now. If you ever don't get the Daily Devotional, first check your "SPAM" or "Junk" folder. If it is in there, mark the mail as "good" and that should get it going back to your "inbox." If you don't get it al all, let me know so we can see what happened., Either your mail address got deleted, this can happen if your email provider tells our server you don't exist or your box is full, or what we now see happening, your email provider receives the mail from us, so on our logs we show it was received OK, and then "eats it," or simply deletes it without delivering it to you because they have deemed our "content" is not suitable.
On the spiritual end, PRAY. I know this is nothing but warfare at the highest level and I need your prayers for me and those who labor so faithfully each day here at Liveprayer! The TV program added over 400,000 NEW subscribes to the Daily Devotional last year. Once we are back on nationwide, we will ad well over 2 million new subscribes in the first year. This will increase our subscriber base to well over 4 million that we will need to send to every day. So this war is not going to be over any time soon, as a matter of fact, it is only just beginning.
When you are on the front lines every day, calling sin sin, calling people to repentance, sharing the unadultrateted Truth of Gods' Word, leading lost souls to faith in Jesus Christ, satan is not gong to just sit back and do nothing. But that is OK since as we battle each day, we already know who wins. Satan is already defeated! We fight each day as the arm of the Lord goes before us! The battle is the Lord's! We are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus!
I love you and care about you so much. You will never know how much strength I draw from your love and prayers each day. YOU AND THE HOLY SPIRIT SUSTAIN ME DURING THE BATTLES EACH DAY! In case you didn't figure it out yet, I'm not going anywhere. I am committed to reaching more people all over the world every day for the Lord on the Internet. I am committed to seeing the TV program on major network TV stations nationwide competing with the Oprah's and Dr. Phil's of the world to bring people God's Truth. Most of all, I am committed to see lost souls every day snatched off that conveyor belt to hell and rerouted to a mansion in Glory!
As I have asked you to pray for me and those who labor with me each day here at Liveprayer, know that I will be praying for you as well. Don't ever be afraid to step out and serve the Lord. We have ALL been called to serve Him. Know that as you serve the Lord you will be attacked, but you don't need to be afraid. God has already provided you with the protection you need to withstand the attacks of satan and be victorious. God is a God of victory and as you fight for the Lord, He will lead you to victory. Remember, that your battles are NOT of flesh and blood, but they are spiritual and you need to fight them in the spiritual realm. "Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." AMEN!!!