Is Yoga for Christians? Yoga in Church

I love to workout, I love the gym, and now in quarantine, enjoy a good dose of youtube workouts ranging from dance, kick boxing, taebo, weights, cardio- you name it – it keeps me going. (Yes, I blog and despite the world’s perception of us, I’m not a big blob of fat and epidermis sitting here with unbrushed hair and last night’s food crusted on my face as I sit here typing, studying, reading and researching)

Let me tell you about my experience with yoga…. I LOVED YOGA, yes, loved it. Wow, I felt really good after each class. A serious Yogi instructor from India was our teacher. I did all the poses super good.( So proud of myself)  I came out of each class feeling strong , super stress free and great..However, during the entire class, my conscience would be arguing with me (Or was it God’s Spirit?) that I needed to stop doing yoga. In each class, I had this ongoing inner debate going on about why I was okay to do Yoga.  I would pray to God in the poses, and had no idea what the chants meant, but I would talk to God and pray while I did it, thinking, yeah I’m cool. However, my inner arguments during this awesome class were now with God. I said, come on Lord, you know I only worship you. The inner disturbance was too intense for me, so I switched yoga classes from the Yogi to a regular workout teacher with less chanting noises and so on. I mean, it’s just a workout class…..

The inner argument still came back! I was getting annoyed. I went home and did a little research. I did not like what I saw. One site after another warned about yoga for Christians. I told myself they were all crazy! I didn’t want to believe it. Yet the intensity of my inner debate with God was ruining my special time in yoga. So finally I prayed about it and my prayer went something like this: ” Dear Lord,  I really like yoga, but if it’s something you don’t want me doing, I won’t do it. My relationship with you is much more important to me. I don’t know how you’re going to tell me this, I don’t know if you’re going to come down and tell me or what, but you need to let me know and I’ll stop” Prayer ends.

A week or two goes by and forgetting my prayer, I go to yoga class. I walk in, I roll my mat on the floor, take off my shoes – while I’m still standing…… and suddenly my entire body freezes – like I’m paralyzed. I couldn’t bend down to get on the mat. I couldn’t bend down to get my shoes. I was stuck in a board like position staring in the mirror, looking at all the people around me setting up their spaces for yoga class. They had no idea that my body had just turned into a stone like statue unable to move. Do I scream? I was shocked and terrified.  I immediately remember my prayer and I’m also really really scared that I’m frozen. It felt like my legs and entire torso and arms were unmovable.  I realize I can move my lower leg a little bit so I pick up my mat and shoes with my toes and walk out. As soon as I’m out of the door, I’m completely normal again. Say what you want, but that was my message, never never never going back, not going to mess with God about that, no way.

 

Let’s get to the facts:

Yoga means united and yoked, there’s just no way getting around the reality of that, and who do you think you’re yoking with? All the poses are worship stances to gods – yes, you already knew that but won’t admit it’s wrong. I know, I was there.   This is very much like the idea of bringing the Hindu Color Run into churches (Christian view of the Color Run)  Hosea 7:8 comes to mind now, God tells Ephraim – you have mixed yourself among the people, you are a cake unturned, worthless as a half baked cake.

I linked websites below for you to check out yourself. In the article from crosswalk.com, you will find a few of the poses and names. For instance, one popular pose done in warm ups and cool downs is called the sun salutation. They are poses designed to greet the Hindu sun god. (Dt 17:”1-7 If there is found among you any man or woman who has been wicked in the sight of the Lord your God in transgressing His covenant AND WHO HAS GONE AND SERVED OTHER GODS AND WORSHIPED  THEM, EITHER THE  SUN OR MOON  OR ANY OF THE HOST OF HEAVEN…..)If you are into yoga or an instructor, you may be very mad right now, but understand there are many other things you can do besides yoga. If you’re an instructor, you are not only harming yourself, but everyone in your class. You have a responsibility to stop. I believe yoga can bring on demonic oppression and well as possession.

I know a lot of readers won’t like this and have all kinds of arguments to speak back, but remember for a minute how satan works. He uses some truth and twists it, he is the master deceiver. There’s a lot more behind the ways of yoga, meditation and new age today that seem so innocent.  Meditation is in the bible – we are told to meditate on the Word of God – if you really want to find healing and peace – Meditate on Scripture – It’s life changing! Yoga is directly linked to Shiva and the Kundalini spirit, “serpent energy”.

Does it glorify God? Are you glorifying your Maker and Creator as you stretch in poses that are originally meant to worship demonic deities? I really just wanted to share my story with you. Please take the time to do more research (and links I’ve attached) and not take it on your understanding to make it right, let it be God’s way that leads you- not your way.

As a follower of Christ, you are called to be Holy as He is Holy.  Placing yourself in a Hindu ritual of poses that are intended to worship gods, is not a place for a Christ follower who strives for a relationship and holy walk with the Lord.

Yet, I know some don’t agree, but don’t worry, you’ll come around because I’ve already prayed for you!

 Consider these Verses

Take care that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods?—that I also may do the same.’ You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods. Deuteronomy 12:30-31

Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned– as worthless as a half baked cake.Hosea 7:8

For You have forsaken Your people, the house of Jacob, Because they are filled with eastern ways; Isaiah 2: 6

You have put pagan symbols on your doorposts and behind your doors. You have left me and climbed into bed with these detestable gods. You have committed yourselves to them You love to look at their naked bodies. Isaiah 57:8. (none of the deities of Hindu are wearing clothes)

But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent. You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed. 2 Cor 11:3

Do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How do these nations worship their gods? I want to follow their example.’  You must not worship the Lord your God the way the other nations worship their gods,

Do not follow the abominations of other nations Dt 18:9

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. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you Romans 12:1-2 

 So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas. Your strength comes from God’s grace, not from rules about food, which don’t help those who follow them. Hebrews 13:9

Avoid godless, foolish discussions with those who oppose you with their so-called knowledge 1 Tim 6:20

Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple 1 Cor 3:16 ( Do you think it’s okay to continue to do poses to demons, follow teachings from demons with the Holy Spirit of God in you? Amos 3:3-Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction? and 2 Cor 6:14-16  How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever?  And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols?)

the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons.1 Tim 4:1 (Yoga is a teaching given to them from deities – demons)

For more info- 

 

 

 

 

If you’re not really sure, ask God , pray about it. He will answer you.

Short story I want to share on answered prayer- years ago I was volunteering in my children’s school with the book fair. The book fair had just opened up and class by class was beginning to come in to buy books (K-8th). The first class comes in and immediately heads for the witchcraft, spells, demonic and death books. I kept trying to lead them to something more intelligent or more captivating, but they all gathered around this one section. My heart was so sad for these kids. The next class come in, they did the same thing. I did not know what to do. When that class left and while waiting for the next class to come in, I paced the area the kids were drawn to and I prayed over the area, I prayed non stop asking the Lord to protect them from these books and not let one child come this way to purchase these books on spells, witchcraft, horror , demons, etc. I’m praying, praying….The next class – same age, same grade- comes in NOT ONE CHILD CAME INTO THIS SECTION -and they were the most popular books at that time. I stayed for the rest of the day and continued to pray and it was amazing. It was as if God had stationed 2 angels there and throughout the time I was there, not one child was even remotely interested in looking at books in that area. It’s true! Say a Prayer, He hears, He answers. He is a God of the impossible.

The serpent asked the woman; “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” Gen 3:1

 

Christos Anesti, Aléthos Anesti Which is Greek for : “Christ is Risen!” And we reply “Indeed He Has! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!”

  A great heavenly host of angels, the prophets, the forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the Archangel Gabriel and all of Heavens armies surrounded the cross at that moment. They watched as the Son of God was tried and beaten throughout the night, they watched as He carried the cross. When He was nailed to the cross, the entire heavens stood silent. A great silence and stillness covered the heavens as tears slipped down their faces, their fury held back as they watched the Savior suffer in utter torment. Abraham watching his children spit and strike the Lord, the angels wanting desperately to rescue Him, and the prophets of old bowing their heads with broken hearts as they all watched the Son of God, Jesus Christ, the Lion of tribe of Judah and the King of kings descended from the line of King David, nailed to a cross.

The savior of the world in deep abandonment, sorrow, pain and rejection. He took the punishment you and I deserved. On the cross for 6 hours and after 3 hours of complete darkness, they heard the Lord cry out “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani? which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” and then another cry “It is finished!” He bowed his head and released his spirit. It was done. He died,  the earth quaked, graves opened, the dead came back and were seen among the living, The soldiers gasped and fear and exclaimed ” Truly, this was the Son of God!”. The thick veil in the temple tore in two, earth shaking, sky pitch black darkness, fear in every heart, walls crumbling, dead digging their way out…… and the proclamation echoed out:

See, my servant will prosper; he will be highly exalted. His face was so disfigured he seemed hardly human, and from his appearance, one would scarcely know he was a man. FOR HE  will startle many nations. Kings will stand speechless in his presence! For they will see what they had not been told; they will understand what they had not heard about. And because of his experience, ” My righteous servant has made it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he has borne all their sins. I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier, because he exposed himself to death.” He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels. He has opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. Amen!
               He has made the people holy by the blood He shed, He has now become our High Priest. He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle, which was not made by human hands and is not part of this created world. With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. He mediates a new covenant between God and people, so that all who are called can receive the eternal inheritance God has promised them. ”

As He released His spirit, He was taken up into the arms of the heavenly host who quickly gathered around Him and held Him with great love, comforting Him. – Yet, we know He did not ascend to the Father as yet, because after His resurrection, He said not to touch Him because He had not yet ascended to the Father. Remember what Jesus said- the only sign given to them would be the sign of Jonah, just as he was in the belly of the whale for 3 days and 3 nights so the Son of Man will be 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth.

Image result for he disarmed the rulers and authoritiesHe disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of our enemies in high places! For He, our redeemer, triumphed over them by the cross.

He, the Son Jesus, was given all authority in Heaven and Earth from God the Father. He has the keys to Hades. While in the heart of the earth, He went into the dark abyss with a mighty angelic force behind Him. Entering into the gates of Hell Proclaiming freedom every captive “ You have been set free! I have come to save You! Your Father in Heaven has sent for you!” His voice like thunder echoing throughout for every man and woman to hear. Teaching and preaching to them the Good News. He walked through the gates of Hell and throughout the pit of Hell, making sure He spoke to everyone who had ever been created, gathering as many as He could. Demons surrounding Him silenced in His Power unable to speak and filled with weakness, trembling in His presence. The Savior, full of power and authority continued showing the captives His hands and feet, showing everyone what our Savior had done so they could be set free. Many called out to Him, grabbing on to Him, following and believing, but yet others – in anger like the Pharisees, mocked Him and treated Him as the people of the world treated Him. Just as the Pharisees knew He was God and choose to reject Him for their own pride, status and evil hearts, so some of the people in Hell also treated Him.

he-descended 2                So the Lord Jesus took His captives to freedom as they He gathered them into the Heavens, out of the pit of torment and dread that was supposed to be eternal for each one of them. As they reached the Great Throne room before the Lord God Almighty, the Lord’s heart leaped for joy to see His children. He gave each one a Great Embrace as is they were the only child of the Father- telling them- “ My Child, I have always loved you with an everlasting love. Since the days of Noah, I have never forgotten you. You have never left my mind. I am filled with Joy that you are here with me. I have a place prepared for you.” (God never forgets you)
Jesus came back to earth to see and talk to His friends giving them instructions and proving that He is the Son of the Living God. After that, He was taken up into the Heavens where He sits today at the right hand of God the Father. The heavens, the freed captives, and the angelic host filled the heavens with great Praises to the King of Kings and they have never stopped – even unto this day- I can still hear them sing praises to the new born king, Peace on earth, goodwill toward men, Christ was born in Bethlehem -the praises to Him ring forth forever and ever.
Amen and Glory Hallelujah! Our King is Risen.

As we say each Easter in celebration of Christ and God’s love for us :“Christos Anesti” and we continue to reply “Aléthos Anesti “ Which is Greek for : “Christ is Risen!” And we reply “Indeed He Has! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!”

So he went and preached to the spirits in prison—  those who disobeyed God long ago when God waited patiently while Noah was building his boat. Only eight people were saved from drowning in that terrible flood. And that water is a picture of baptism, which now saves you, not by removing dirt from your body, but as a response to God froma clean conscience. It is effective because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  1 Peter 3:19-21

Sunday Morning: Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”JOhn 20:17

For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Matthew 12:40

CHRIST IS RISEN – Christos Anesti !!

Image result for christos anesti
INDEED HE HAS -Aléthos Anesti !!
Christ is Risen!
In the Greek tradition, we crack eggs each Easter. One person says “Christ is Risen” and the other says “Indeed He has” and we smash eggs. (Its a fun time for the family and each year there is a winner)Legend has it that eggs were brought to the tomb by Mary that special morning. The eggs are dyed red in remembrance of the blood of Jesus, the shell represents the tomb that couldn’t hold Him, the smash of the egg is in remembrance of what Jesus did to the power of the grave by disarming the powers and authorities, making a public spectacle of our enemies. Amen!

You are saved by grace? or works? or faith? or fruit? Can Grace save you?

I had a dream about a year ago and in this dream, I stood before a great king. He seemed larger than life and he sat on a great throne. It seemed I was only 1/3 of his height. We were going back in forth in debate- well only I was debating- on the subject of salvation, but the king only had one answer and would defeat my argument each time.

My Dream:

I walked into a room and there was a great king on a large throne and between us seemed to be desk. I stood and argued that it was not possible to be saved by grace alone. I argued with all the scripture I knew and the king would reply each time “No, it is only by grace that you are saved”

What! That can’t be, I would argue back. The bible is clear that we are not saved unless we believe and even that isn’t enough, because scripture says that even the devils believe, and with this that we need works, because the bible says with out works, our faith is dead. So we need to believe, but we need to add to that faith, but yet, still that is not good enough, we need works – because scripture says that.

The king would gently reply: “It is only by grace that you are saved”

Really? I argued back, so how does that make sense? What about John 3:16?So I guess everybody’s saved, if it’s only grace? But what about those who don’t believe in Christ? Are they saved only by grace because what good is believing, faith and works then? Do they all disappear? What about Hebrews 11:6- We can’t please God without faith and Romans 1:5 and 16:26 we need to believe and OBEY, and 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing and he cuts off every branch that doesn’t produce fruit- so that proves we need works; and works without love is worthless, so now we need works, love, faith, and fruit to be saved!!!!!!

“ No, it is only by grace that you are saved” He kept saying to me. I was totally annoyed because I didn’t feel like I was winning this argument. The king would look at me with the most loving eyes and let me finish each thing I said before he spoke. He seemed to look at me as a loving father would, even in my frustration – he would calmly tilt his head back touching the back of his throne with his head and smile as if I were quite entertaining. He never got angry and always looked at me with loving eyes, even though I was mouthing off and flying my hands all over the place with my argument.

Each time I would finish my argument, he would pause…. Smile at me and say – in a ‘he was so right way’ – “it is only by grace that you are saved”.

And I kept on: Well why do I need to keep running the race? Aren’t I supposed to win the prize? I keep running as it says in 1 Corinthians 9, and what about faith- what good are we without faith in the Lord Jesus Christ – His death and resurrection? 1 tim 1:9 and all the old testament great men were honored because of their faith – like Abraham- because of their faith- in Hebrews 11” And Romans 3 says we are made right with God because of our faith, not obedience.Doesn’t faith justify us in Gal 2:16 and Romans 5:1? So it’s not grace – impossible– Salvation is belief in Jesus, plus works, plus faith, plus love, plus fruit – because without that….aren’t we chopped off that vine?

The King loving and calmly replied (as he smiled at me)  “Lisa, it is only by grace that you are saved”

No, I said, you are wrong- impossible. I know all the scripture and I know I’m right. I saw him look at me, enjoying this conversation. He knew he was right and he knew my argument wasn’t standing up to his. So I continued on…..okay, well what about this verse: “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures,  idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division,  envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God” where does grace fit in there? Doesn’t that verse prove we are saved or not saved by our actions? And see! Look at Romans 4” But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners.” So here we go with rock, paper, scissors! It’s faith, and not works? But still – it’s faith in God, right? So now it’s just faith, but wait Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble” (James 2:19).- so faith and belief are different? Anyways- how can God’s grace alone save us? I know God’s grace is important, but I know we are saved because we believe, and even that is not enough! Because even the devils believe, and we must add to that faith because without faith we cannot please God and to that we must add works because faith is shown in works, and to that we must add love because works without love is nothing and to that we add fruit, because without that we are cut off from the vine, and there you have it, I win.

He leaned over to me, and I really think he had a sparkle in his eye, patiently smiling, making sure I was done and said

It is only by grace, that you are saved.

The argument went on and on through the night. I kept quoting scripture, but the king kept winning the argument with his reply “You are saved by grace” ,Uggghhhhhh! I woke up and I still felt like I had not won this argument.

What exactly is Grace?

This dream prompted me to intensely study Grace and what I have found is truly amazing.  I think I have found some great discoveries as I study Grace. As I put all the scriptures together to define grace, I have found an interesting possible link between grace and the Holy Spirit. The definition of grace almost exactly matches the Holy Spirit, but that will have to be another post, for now, I just hope to have you thinking. 🙂

As the Holy Spirit has sealed us for the day of redemption, could also God’s grace do the same? Is Gods grace the underlying denominator to faith, works, belief, love, and fruit?

   I studied Acts a few months ago in order to gather all he said to the people about Salvation in Christ Jesus and I came up with these 7 things:

ETERNAL SALVATION- AN UNDERSERVED GIFT FROM GOD

1-BELIEVE IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST- FAITH
2-CONFESS YOUR SINS AND REPENT
3-TURN BACK TO GOD- He wants you to SEEK HIM
4-BE BAPTISED IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST-WASHING AWAY YOUR SINS
5-PROVE IT BY THE WAY YOU LIVE
6-GET RID OF ALL SIN AND WICKEDNESS
7-WATCH OUT FOR FALSE TEACHERS AND WOLVES IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING

As I considered all this I suddenly thought:

It is by grace that  1- I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ
It is by grace that  2- He forgives me when I confess my sins and repent
It is by grace that  3- He calls me to seek Him
It is by grace that 4- He washes away my sins through baptism
It is by grace that  5-He continues to work in me, leading, guiding and teaching me to be Holy like He is holy
It is by grace that   6- He gives me His Word to teach me how to live
It is by grace that  7- He gives me discernment and knowledge to know right from wrong.

And this verse was brought to my remembrance : “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” Isaiah 55:8-9

I’m still not done studying, but I keep on…I keep on….


For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves

Ephesians 2:8

 

Prayer of Ephesians 2

Dear Father in Heaven, Creator of Heaven and Earth,

Thank you for your love for me and your great mercy. I was once dead in my sins when I formally walked in the way of the world according to the prince of the power of the air and the spirit who worked in my disobedience,  I went against YOU O Lord by following my own wants, my own lusts, my own desires, whatever my mind sought, but You O Lord, reached out your hand and called me to You – even when I was dead in my transgressions.  You made me Alive together with Christ and raised me up with Him, You have seated me in the heavenly places with Christ Jesus – this is too amazing to understand.

Oh Lord, I am silenced at your amazing Power and Holiness, what an honor and blessing to be before your heavenly throne to talk to you, to praise you and to be in Your presence. Thank you for your mercy and love for me. Thank you for showing me the riches of your grace and  kindness in Christ Jesus.

I know it is only by your grace, mercy and love that I can say that I know you and you have redeemed my life, you have saved me in my faith, and this faith was your gift to me – and it wasn’t because I was something special or any special work or steps I took, but it was only because of your gracious gift.

I am Your workmanship, I praise you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous–how well I know it. Speak to my heart and lead me in doing the good works  that I was created to do in Christ Jesus- all my steps that God prepared for my life , Lord let my feet stay on your planned path.

For once I was unclean and common, but now I am an heir in Christ, part of the family of the Lord God. I praise you O Lord for considering me. I remember that I was once separated from Christ and not included as a part of the family of Israel, I was a stranger to your covenant and I had no hope for  I was without God in this world.

But today I can lift my hands and Praise the Lord, for though I was far off, I have been brought near  by the blood of Christ.  O Lord, I praise you, for He Himself is my peace- He has made me one as part of His Holy family, breaking down the barrier wall that divided us.

By your Holy Spirit I have access to you O God, I am in awe at your love for me. Thank you for making me part of Your household, thank you for making me a fellow citizen with the saints. Lord, teach me and lead me to live a life that is pleasing to you.  Keep me from anything that would grieve you.

May my life be a stone in the temple of God in Christ as we are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.

I will meditate on all Your gifts and benefits all day, I stand amazed at your love and care for me. Thank you O God , for making me part of your Holy Family in Christ Jesus.  Let my life sing your praises and be a testimony of Christ, for He is way, the truth and the life and no man can go to you O God but by your chosen son Jesus, may all the world know this truth.

In Christ, I pray, Amen