Joy Schneider has been an intercessor since her commitment to Christ more than 35 years ago. She desires to see the Body of Christ war effectively in spiritual warfare. Her first book, Identifying the Hierarchy of Satan: A Handbook for Wrestling to Win, seeks to equip those who have entered into spiritual warfare. Many have been beaten down or confused. Through her teaching and writing, she brings understanding so people see the enemy and the operations from the enemy’s camp with new eyes as they wrestle to win in Christ Jesus. Joy is affiliated with Cyrus Foundation, Inc., a non-profit ministry devoted to the regathering of the Jewish people to their homeland, Israel. She has been a part of conference coordination in the United States, Canada and Mexico. She is a member of AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) and CSPA (Christian Small Publishers Association.) She has two married daughters and eight grandchildren. She is currently working on her next book. Publication will be announced in the Fall of 2011.
A MESSAGE FROM JOY
I was a young mother of two little girls when I made my commitment to Christ as I knelt at my bed more than 35 years ago. I was raised in a denominational church and attended Sunday School. I knew Jesus and prayed to Him many times when I was growing up and into my adult years. I believed in prayer and sought to live my life in a Christian way. In my prayers I was praying to the Lord, however, I did not expect to hear back from him but would watch what would happen in my life after I prayed. When my first daughter was a baby and became sick with a dangerously high temperature, my plea to the Lord was, “If you heal her, I will serve You the rest of my life.” It wasn’t until four years later that I made good on that promise. One snowy morning in January a blizzard raged outside as I watched a television program where a man from the National Western Stock Show was the guest speaker. A rodeo clown named Wilbur Plaugher, in his full clown makeup, talked about a relationship with Jesus Christ. It isn’t any coincidence the Lord would use a clown to carry His message to someone like me. Laughter is important and I was ready to listen. However, serious words came from the painted smile on his face as he spoke with tears in his eyes. I knew his words were ministering to a cry in my heart. Over the years, I prayed to Jesus many times, but a relationship where I would talk to Jesus and actually expect Him to respond to me was another matter. On that snow laden wintry morning I committed my life to Jesus Christ and invited Him into to my heart to be my Lord and Savior. Wilbur’s message also laid a solid path for my new walk in Christ. He said, “Many people want God to talk to them but they never read the letter He wrote to them.” Of course, I understood he was talking about the Bible. He went on to talk about the power we need in our lives and can receive by asking to be drenched in the Holy Spirit. I only learned about such an invitation the night before after reading a book called, Prison to Praise by Merlin Carothers. I could feel the prompting upon my heart to receive what the Lord was offering. I made that commitment, giving Him my life, my family, my future — asking Him to fill me with His Holy Spirit. The downpour of goodness so filled me, I was completely saturated with His love. I was baptized in His goodness and His Spirit. I basked in that love for a week or so when I became aware of an intense hatred directed at me. I knew it was not the waning away of the love of my Lord because it was fully intact. However the awareness of hatred was a definite reality. I knew satan was out to challenge my new life. I was not afraid but acutely conscious that I was standing in a place of conflict and future confrontation between the kingdoms. So you might say, my entry into spiritual warfare started at the get-go. There is something about when you feel the love of the Lord and experience the hatred of the devil that you know you need to learn some things. Wilbur’s exhortation to learn what the Lord wanted to tell me ignited a flame of desire to read the letter the Lord wrote to me (and to you). It began a lifestyle of reading and journal what the Lord taught me. Soon after, intercessory prayer became a part of my walk with Christ. Intercessory prayer of its own nature means you are praying about matters regarding light and darkness. Praying for people means you many times confront the evil afflicting lives – and the personalities behind oppressing activities. Satan levels bombardments against believers and unbelievers alike. The compassion of the Lord is at work to train those who desire to be used of Him. I found the Lord is faithful to teach, equip, encourage, counsel and strengthen those that will walk out the warfare of the kingdoms.
A JOURNEY JOINED
If you are in a spiritual battle, I trust you will find encouragement and hopefully some pertinent information to help you in your wrestling endeavors. Ephesians 6 indicates we will wrestle. I know I had to learn to wrestle and so will you. Be assured, the same Teacher that taught me will teach you. He is gentle, patient and knows exactly how to strengthen those weak places in us and counsel us with His wisdom. Our journey together will be one wrestler to another, albeit one soldier to another, sharing what was learned and what was experienced. The Lord sent His disciples out two by two at different times. Amos raises the question, “ How can two walk together unless they agree?” We join in a journey with those who desire to be equipped and trained by Him and by the Holy Spirit. Jesus won the victory. He wants us to live in the triumph He obtained for each of us. Be encouraged as you grow in Christ and are built up in Him to overcome every tactic and strategy of the enemy. I pray you are equipped and bold to stand strong. As new creations in Christ Jesus, you are destined to rule and reign — in and with Him.