Hear in 3 Minutes What Satan is Up To

counterfeitSatan has done well to deceive the world. Unfortunately many have played into his hands. They thought they were pursuing paths of happiness, greater freedoms, quicker paths to prosperity and love, only to find themselves broken, empty and enslaved. What counterfeit schemes is Satan unleashing next? How do we stop this?

Listen to our 3-minute message on how you can successfully navigate around Satan’s counterfeit schemes and walk confidently in God’s Truth.

Fifty Shades of Chains

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

Nicole D. Hayes, Founder of Voices Against the Grain

Bondage. Whips. Trauma. Romance. ??? Fifty Shades of Grey, the 2011 erotic romance novel written by British author E.L. James, criticized for its poorly written prose, sold more than 100 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 52 languages. In a world that pushes limits to constantly satiate the flesh, the book has been repurposed into a movie to release in theaters nationwide this Valentine’s Day weekend. “Fifty Shades of Grey” seeks to thrill audiences with erotica and sexual fantasy without true intimacy.

But there’s no storybook ending here. In society’s crush with the world, they’ll find they’ve cheated themselves out of true love and true intimacy. Long after the characters’ chains are removed, the chains remain for viewers.

While those in relationship with Christ Jesus enjoy the true love and intimacy He provides, our spirits are pricked with an urgency to address the state of emergency that plagues our world and its inhabitants: the persistent satanic agenda at work. A satanic agenda of counterfeit and deception. While Christ Jesus came to bring us true freedom and love, Satan presents counterfeit freedoms that destroy.

Many have been lulled into supporting more worldly freedoms such as fornication, porn cloaked in this satanic agenda—only to be perplexed by the unintended outcomes (destroyed families, broken childhoods, emptiness, objectification, etc.).

Sex is good because God created sex—in the context of a loving, God-ordained marriage between man and woman. Satan seeks to pervert everything good and of God, particularly sex. Our overly sexualized culture has bought into the lies, even justifying it as “entertainment.”

Excellently stated by our friends and ministry partner pureHOPE in their blog post “From Selma to 50 Shades,” about counterfeit schemes, “good” is viewed as “evil” and “evil” is viewed as “good” (Isaiah 5:20). We stand with pureHOPE to pursue a world free of sexual exploitation and brokenness.

Voices Against the Grain delivers God’s truth to a spiritually blind, broken, deceived and dying world. We reveal Satan’s counterfeit schemes to help direct audiences to the One whose Word, who through relationship brings true freedom, true love: Jesus Christ. Like this song by Tasha Cobbs, our desire is to “break every chain” and bring restoration through the powerful Name of Jesus.

Addiction-and-Support

Authentic freedom (one that does not enslave) is found only in Christ Jesus. No other substitute. This is black and white. The world will always present counterfeit freedoms that operate in “shades of grey,” never delivering full freedom. They entice, offer temporary pleasure, then lead to life-long brokenness, enslavement and spiritual death.

Romans 8:5 tells us that, “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” Furthermore, Romans 8:2 promises us that “because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” (New International Version)

Are you truly free—or are you chained by shades of grey?

Nicole D. Hayes is the founder of Voices Against the Grain, a bold teaching ministry launched in May 2013. Nicole’s purpose in creating “Voices Against the Grain” is to be light in darkness, to boldly instruct truth amid confusion so as to bring clarity and restoration.

The Real About “The Real”

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

Inauthentic:  defined as “not in fact what it is said to be; not authentic; lacking full reality.” This is the real about “The Real.”  “The Real”  is a new Fox/BET daytime talk show hosted by Tamar Braxton, Loni Love, Adrienne Bailon, Jeannie Mai and Tamera Mowry-Housley, that aired on September 15, 2014 after a successful trial run in July 2013. The five female show hosts discuss their relationships with their husbands, significant other or the person their dating or sexing that week. They also talk recipes, fashions and everything in between. The makings of a good talk show, right? Seemingly so, as its Facebook page has received more than 126,000 likes.

Relationship advice delivered to studio audience and viewers contained these “jewels:”

  • “If you tap this twice, we going out now (meaning going steady).” – Loni Love
  • Sexy Skype: send “sexy” visuals of yourself to your date, partner
  • ‘Trust and Check’- women who say they “trust” their man but still “check up” on what he is doing, check who he’s been talking to
  •  “Have a condom ready just in case, in nightstand drawer.”- Loni Love (referring to a one-night stand)
Hosts of "The Real" daytime talk show

Hosts of “The Real” daytime talk show

But the “real” about “The Real” and shows like it, is this: We can’t expect anything different from a fallen world. People of this nature will always seek to satisfy fleshly desires by embracing vehicles and “solutions” that support their deviant activities, behaviors or desires. They embrace the counterfeit and the inauthentic as a perceived shortcut to the authentic, to the real. They choose not to pursue the authentic paths because the results of the counterfeit appear more promising with presumed quicker rewards. They’ve prostituted themselves by seeking happiness in things that will never fulfill them.

What’s the difference between being inauthentic and authentic? Inauthentic sees only the utilitarian purposes they can get out of someone (how will they benefit me?). Authentic sees how they can contribute to that person’s life, serve them perhaps also spiritually—even if it means some of their own desires are not met. It takes guts and selflessness to be authentic.

It is imperative that Christians discern the truth amidst the onslaught of the fake, the empty, the counterfeit and the fruitless. Authenticity is found in Jesus Christ—the real real.  In a world that embraces the counterfeit, Christians have been called to disperse salt, light and truth where there is confusion and darkness. This is the purpose of ministry: to boldly, compassionately and lovingly awake those with God’s truth who have comfortably fallen asleep with worldly norms.

This is no easy or popular task. For this reason, the laborers are few, but the work/harvest is plenty.

He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.” –Luke 10:2-3

The world will always celebrate its own (large fan following). Therefore, the message and purpose of Christ confuses today’s wisdom. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.“ (1 Corinthians 1:18-19, New International Version) 

For real talk: Listen to our discussion with campus pastor Bryan A. Sands as we explain  “Why Hookups Are No Hook Up.” 

-Nicole

About Nicole D. Hayes

Nicole D. Hayes is committed to serve as a vessel of compassion, instruction, love and truth for Jesus Christ. Born and raised in Topeka, Kan., she is a member of Greater Mount Calvary Holy Church in Washington, D.C.  Drawn to know Christ in her early childhood and saved at the age of 12, Nicole is a student and applier of God’s Word. She is also a successful public relations professional operating in Washington, D.C., with more than eight years experience of coordinating and delivering strategic communications and media outreach support for nonprofits and small business owners. During her career she has placed several nonprofits and small business owners in national, local and regional media spaces. She operates with a personal and business mantra of “making an investment in people.” Among many things, Nicole is also a motivational speaker. She has been invited to deliver messages to business leaders to not be misguided by the world’s view of success, to direct young people navigating through the world’s challenges, and to remind those who may have lost their way that joyfully, “God Has Not Changed His Mind About You.” Nicole’s purpose in creating “Voices Against the Grain” is to be light in darkness, to boldly instruct truth amidst confusion so as to bring clarity and restoration.

Averting “Well, They Got Me This Time”

This following scenario I believe most, if not all of you have experienced at one time.

Nicole Headshot in blue shirt

Nicole D. Hayes, Founder, Voices Against the Grain

My brother has a saying, “Well, they got me this time,” when he’s been the victim of a bad meal. You take a chance, try a new restaurant. Perhaps you do takeout.

You get home, open the bag and discover the meal is NOT what you expected and certainly not what you would have paid for. Unfortunately, you’re already home and don’t feel like trekking back to the place and asking them to redo your meal—only to serve it up twice as badly or with other ‘suspect’ ingredients.  🙂

So, you cut your losses and say, “Well, they got me this time,” and if you’re wise, you make a mental note never to patron their business again. You might also forewarn others by sharing your dreadful experience. The meal you were excited to receive was a false representation of what was promised to you—and you’re still hungry. Is there anything worse? Yes. Worse would be if you kept returning to the restaurant expecting different results.

Bad restaurant food

For some time, we’ve been living in an age that demands Christians and unbelievers distinguish between what is authentic and what is counterfeit. As is his nature, Satan attempts to counterfeit everything of God (such as, “how is marriage defined?” “friends with benefits?” “what does it mean to be successful?” )

By nature, humans have at least three core drives that drive their interactions in order to fulfill natural appetites and needs: 1- To seek or obtain material and immaterial things, 2- To seek sensual or physical pleasure or needs, and 3- To escape or avoid.

We live in a society that doesn’t run to God—it runs from God. God said, “seek ye first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33) and flee from the devil.” This is the model we should follow but the world operates on an inverse model.

As broken people seek various avenues to become whole again, they will likely stumble upon the counterfeit which brings more emptiness. They choose not to pursue the authentic paths or relationships because the results of the counterfeit appear more promising with presumed quicker rewards.

Truth is, too many people following counterfeit paths are marching toward their own destruction. God is raising up new witnesses to lovingly awaken the confused and to be salt and light in a decaying world. It is imperative that Christians discern the truth amidst the onslaught of the fake, the empty, the counterfeit and the fruitless.

Authenticity is found in Jesus Christ. True to our purpose here at Voices Against the Grain, we seek to lovingly and wisely provide clarity so you can navigate successfully in truth through the confusion.

The stakes are too high for me to be Ms. Congeniality on such matters. We are in a season of preparation. There are fewer allowances for, “Well, they got me this time.” We must avert this at the pass.

Nicole D. Hayes is the founder of Voices Against the Grain, a bold teaching ministry launched in May 2013. Nicole’s purpose in creating Voices Against the Grain is to be light in darkness, to boldly instruct truth amid confusion so as to bring clarity and restoration.

Learn more about Nicole D. Hayes here.