Is your jello sticking to the wall yet? Psalm 32:8 Part 1: Instruct

Are you adding your own nails to make i
stick? How is that working for you?

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you. ” — Psalm 32:8 (NASB)

Do you feel like you are trying everything and nothing is working right? Are you like me and you want to know where to go next, what to do? Am I on the right path? These days we have Google Maps to talk to us and to say turn right or left in 1.1 miles. But what about our life? Are you throwing jello against the wall to see what sticks? Are you adding your own nails to make it stick? How is that working for you? Are you are going in all directions, picking up everything you can, to see what works. Is the stress relieved, has peace and joy returned? Don’t you wish you had someone to tell you in 1.1 miles decide to do this or not to do it? Psalm 32 tells us that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit will do just that.

Psalm 32 reminds that God will instruct, teach, and counsel us.

Instruct means to provide understanding, insight, show what to pay attention to, show what you need to focus your mind on. The instructor is passing on his wisdom, knowledge, expertise, skill in order for the person to be successful in what they are doing. The concept of the expert instructing the apprentice is illustrated here. The expert imparts not only knowledge, but skill and wisdom. It denotes the concept of the instructor being circumspect or seeing everything in all directions and being able to tell you what you need to highlight and/or give attention to. The one instructed will become wise, prudent, skillful, have incite regarding the situations, and be able to discern what to do and when to do it, This wisdom and knowledge is not from the person but is a result of the instruction.

Do you feel like you are flying blind? Have you gotten somewhere and don’t know how to land?

Have you ever put something together and ended up with ‘spare’ parts(scary!)? Or tried to skip some of the instruction steps in a Lego build only to have take it a part and backtrack to where you went off on your own? Do you feel like you are flying blind? Have gotten somewhere and don’t know how to land? Now I know sometimes we try to ‘shortcut’ the directions. But what usually happens is we have parts left over or we reach a point where we need to redo to make the parts fit properly. Either way, we have wasted time and energy. The finished product may not work the best or worse yet, not work at all. I usually end up with frustration, stress, disappointment, anger (lot of negative thoughts!). When someone instructs us it is like reading the directions. If only I had followed the directions. If only I had humbled myself to receive instruction.

“But when the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge.” — Proverbs 21:11 (NASB)

The word ‘wise’ is the same word for ‘instruct’ used in Psalm 32. It is a verb, “sakal”, which means there is ‘action’ required. There is also a link to the person doing the instruction and the one receiving instruction. There has to be a relationship. God knows just how to instruct us, but we need to be willing to be instructed. God is the only one with complete circumspection of our life. Without His instruction we are throwing the jello against the wall. Without God’s instructions we tend to focus in all directions, with no purpose. We lack understanding and knowledge of what is going on in our life and why things are happening to us. All our efforts are in vain. We may feel like our thoughts are overwhelming us to the point we cannot “think clearly’. Without clear instruction, energy is spent to keep the ‘plates spinning’ in our life with no victory in sight. We tend have the same dramas repeated over and over in our life.

“When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.”– Psalm 32:3 (NASB)

The result was forgiveness, preservation and
deliverance. God’s living waters of forgiveness
could flow in his life
.

David wrote Psalm 32. It is described as a ‘contemplative happy’ song. However, in the beginning David is not happy. David describes how sin was ‘heavy upon me’. The weight of the sin was draining his ‘vitality’. He describes his body as ‘wasting away’ . It wasn’t just because of sin, but because he ‘kept silent’ (Psalm 32:3) If you keep sin silent and hidden, it will devour you physically, mentally, and emotionally. David describes how blessed and fortunate he was when he did not keep his sin hidden, but acknowledged it to God. (Psalm 32: 5). The result was forgiveness, preservation, and deliverance. God’s living waters of forgiveness could flow in his life. This forgiveness opened the doorway of David’s heart and soul to be instructed by God and the Holy Spirit.

Sin made it so that David could not hear, understand, and obey God’s clear instructions. The relationship was blocked. The same is true of us today. When we have sin that we have not confessed we cannot hear God’s voice clearly. We are numb to the gentle promptings of the Holy Spirit leading and guiding us to Jesus Christ. We cannot hear instructions clearly. We read the Bible and lack understanding.

God sees what we are facing in all directions in our life and He knows what is ahead of us. God created us and knows our talents, strengths and weaknesses. He knows how to instruct us. The Holy Spirit is leading and guiding us to Jesus and His forgiveness. When we confess our sins and ask for the forgiveness that Jesus Christ provided for us through His death on the cross and resurrection from the grave, the relationship is fully restored. The sin that was blocking the flow of God’s instructions in our hearts and minds is removed. The relationship between the instructor and the apprentice is restored. Jesus becomes not just our savior, but the Lord of our life. The word of God, the Bible, becomes our blue print, our instructions, that we can understand and receive in our hearts and mind.

Where are you looking for instructions regarding your life? Who is instructing you? Do you have ‘hidden’ sin that is blocking your relationship with Jesus?

Prayer:

Dear Jesus

I acknowledge my sin (___________________) to you. I acknowledge my immoral thoughts and actions. I confess my transgressions. I confess that my heart has rebelled against you and your Word. I ask for forgiveness of my sins. I ask for you to cleanse me from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9). I accept the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on the cross to cleanse me from sin. I desire Lord Jesus to have my relationship with you restored. Holy Spirit please guide me in the instructions of God’s word. Bring to my remembrance all that God’ has instructed. (John 14:26) I pray that my heart and spirit will be sensitive to the Holy Spirit guidance and conviction of anything that is hindering my relationship with Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 1:5) Amen

But God

But God……..

But God, I want….

But God, do this…

But God, shouldn’t we do…

But God, this is the situation…

But God, why?

When we hear these words or see them written, they are usually followed by a cry of God help! I need_____________. I want________________. As a mom we here similar cries from our children. They usually occur when we tell our kids, “Hey we need to go do such and such”. Or “time to clean your room.” Or “time to do your homework.” Then becomes the all too familiar cries that sound like a crying animal, “BUT MOM!” In desperation they begin to plea their case of what they need and want. The pleas also come up when your child wants to go someplace, with some people, and do something. Mom says no and then hear comes the cries, “BUT MOM!” I recognize that throughout my Christian life, I have had times when I had similar cries to God. But maybe just maybe, I should have not concentrated on my cries, or the part after my plea. Maybe I should be concentrating on “But God.”

What does But God ….. mean?

The word ‘but’ is a conjunction that joins to things. So what are joining with God when we say “But God?”

In the Old Testament the words ‘but God’ was a phrase where the 2 words stood for one meaning. The phrase was usually used to describe times when man or rulers thought they were in control. Jacob was working for Laban. Laban changed Jacob’s wages ‘but God’ kept him from harming Jacob.(Genesis 31:7)

The word for God used here was specifically the name ‘Elohiym.’ Elohiym is first used in Geneses 1:1 “In the beginning, God…” The name ‘Elohiym’ for God includes God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. In other words, Jacob had all the power of the trinity working on his behalf in these two small words “But God”.

In the New Testament, God is ‘Theos” the Greek word for Elohiym. The words for ‘but’ change depending on the comparision. “BUT” can show a comparison. It also showed a exponential comparison.

I know that people have written books about telling how their life is different because of God. God intervened and changed their life from one path to another. I can’t imagine what things would be like without God in my life. What if I had not accepted Jesus into my heart and His forgiveness on the cross. Even with this acceptance and forgiveness, as a Christian we still go through struggles. It is usually during these times of struggle that my tone is one like our frustrated children. So maybe it is our tone we should examine when we cry out ” But God”. I usually have a complaining attittude… But God why do I have go do this now. But God why is life so hard. Or maybe you are like me and just say the words with a pleading voice of the frustrated toddler “But God I want this” Or “But God I was good right so let me have this or change that or I promise never to do it again.” So much can be communicated in 2 simple words.

Maybe I should concentrate on the ‘But, God.’ rather than my situation. No more words, no more dots for etc. Just (deep breath) ‘But, God’.(deep breath out) (period). Allow the full impact of who God is to permeate my heart, mind, body, spirit. Allow Him to be God in full power and glory in the situation and in my heart and mind. Recognize that without God, nothing can occur. Recognize that though I face what looks like like an impossible situation, God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit in all their power and glory are working in the situation. “But God” is with me, “But God” goes before me, “But God” loves me beyond all understanding. Recognize that when I look at the odds, I need to remember the “But God” factor which trumps all my mental rationalization of the situation.

Blessings in Our Lives

Grandma's Special Herbs

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us“— 2 Corinthians 4:7

As we enter the Thanksgiving season, I am reminded of legacy. Thanksgiving is traditionally a time of remembering family and the blessings we have. Taking time to remember those blessings can be the challenge. We are so busy with every day life of errands and work and school that we may miss the everyday blessings that God has provided for us. Little things done today, impact the events of tomorrow and ultimately the next generation. But what are we passing on? Are we so overwhelmed with the cares and struggles in our lives that we are missing the blessings? Are the things we are passing on things that last for a moment, a season, or eternity? Are they truly treasures? Are we taking time to unearth the blessings in our lives?

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”                                —-2 Corinthians 4:8-9channeled-whelk

Sometimes we need to hold on to our treasure as the waves crash around us.

It is only then we realize what we are holding onto, what is deep and buried just under the sand, what comes not from ourselves but from Jesus and our relationship with Him,—- is the true treasure.

Are we passing on–how to have peace amidst the stormlove when faced with adversity…. perseverance to stay the coursejoy that comes from God that gives us strength to see joy amidst the everyday struggles and routinesgrace for the moment

To take the time to count our blessings may mean digging away the sand that is keeping it hidden and allowing the waves to wash away the rough edges to make it smooth. We may not recognize the treasure for what it is. We may only see the tip or the edge. It may appear broken and insignificant, but God sees the treasure and the blessings that is beneath. If we allow Him, Jesus has the power to slowly move away the sand and wash away the dirt and reveal the hidden treasure that was there all the time. True treasures transcend our lifetime.  True treasures lay a foundation for our children to stand on and build upon. True treasures and blessings come not from us but from what Jesus has done for us and within us. The power is from Jesus and not from us.

 

 

 

Resurrection Eggs for Adults #4: The Garden of Gethsemane

 I had a hard time finding a picture for this post. Most portray Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. He is calm, almost serene. Hands clasped, face lifted toward heaven. The glory of God is shining down upon Him. Well, I don’t know about you other moms out there but when I am desperately praying for myself or my family. I am just that –desperate. It is not pretty. It is down on my face before God with the tears flowing.

In Matthew 26:38 Jesus tells His disciples,

Jesus in garden with glory
Calm and Serene Jesus

“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.”

Matthew goes on to say that Jesus “fell on His face, and prayed” (Matthew 26:38).

Luke reports  “And being in agony, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground” (Luke 22:44)

Luke, the physician, would notice sweat like blood. You can ‘sweat blood’ when you are under extreme pressure. You actually break capillaries in your forehead due to the mental anguish and pain. In fact, the Greek word for agony used in this scripture is only used once in the Bible and this is it. This Greek word for agony, ‘agonia’, is a noun. It does not describe something. It is something. A thing  can be removed, a description can’t. It means a mental and emotional struggle. A wrestling. It was a wrestling that was so intense that God sent an angel to minister to Jesus. (Luke 22:43)

A Struggle for Victory

 Ok, this picture is getting there. I have been here. When you are mentally exhausted and fully given up. Complete obedience.  When we completely surrender. God can minister to us and heal our mind and heart.  Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane what Adam could not do in the Garden of Eden. He said ‘no’ to His flesh and said ‘yes’ to God.  We can now say ‘no’ to sin, bondage, and self seeking actions. Jesus pressed into His destiny rather than backing off. The Garden settled His mind for the road ahead.

Just like God met Jesus in the Garden, He meets us in our prayers and agony as well. God in His mercy will hear our cries and strengthen us for the road ahead. Praise God that Jesus shed his blood in the Garden that we may have Victory over our flesh, specifically our mental and emotional struggles.

 

jesus-in-the-garden
Less Serene, not on His face but there is agony. “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39)

 Resurrection Egg #4

Resurrection Eggs for Adults #2- Covenant

Resurrection Egg # 2

We live in a world of contracts. Contracts are easily broken, amended, or rewritten to suit our fancy. God, however, is a God of covenants, not contracts. Covenants are binding. Covenants typically involve three things: The shedding of blood, an exchange of items between the parties, sometimes a change of name which signified a change in the relationship.The first thing God did after Adam and Eve sinned and by eating the fruit was to make a covenant or promise that He would bring a savior:

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15, KJV)

The word ‘bruise’ denotes a crushing or completely overwhelming. Jesus would completely crush Satan, Praise God. Bruising of Jesus’ heel is a foreshadowing of Jesus bleeding from His feet when nailed to the cross. There was blood shed and items exchanged. God killed the animals and clothed Adam and Eve. Also names were changed, Adam named the woman God had given him, Eve after Fall (Genesis 3:20). There are other covenants between God and man in the Old Testament, the covenant with Noah, Abraham and Moses. Overall, the Bible describes two main covenants, the Old Covenant, which was based on Moses’ laws and the New Covenant, which is based on Jesus Christ.

The Old Covenant

tabernacle Legos
Ok, this pic is for all you moms of boys! Don’t you just love it! Holy of Holies replica from Legos! Too cool.

Under the old covenant the priest went once a year into the Holy of Holies portion of the tabernacle and sprinkled blood on the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant. The priest did this once a year for atonement of sin. The blood came from a lamb that was spotless, and it was sprinkled seven times. It was a foreshadowing of the sacrifice of Jesus, who was spotless and bled in seven places for our redemption during the Passover week. The blood cover our sins but it did not pierce our hearts.

The New Covenant    

sacrificial_lamb-300x199

 

God wanted to establish a covenant that would be written on our hearts. It would be everlasting, forgive sins and would establish Him as our God and us as His people (Jeremiah 31:30-33) It would be a cleansing  from the inside out, not the outside in. It would cause change at the very core of our being. This would be a covenant that God would establish. It would be instigated by Him. We could not establish the covenant because of the sin. We could not approach God to establish a covenant. It would be a covenant for both Jews and Gentiles. Jesus would once and for all enter the Holy of Holies as the high priest did in the Old Covenant. However, it would not be with blood of goats or lambs, but His own blood. Christ became the negotiator and mediator of the this entirely new covenant agreement.

He went once for all into the Holy of Holies, not by virtue of the blood of goats and claves (by which to make reconciliation between God and Mn), but His own blood having found and secure a complete redemption ( an everlasting release for us).” ( Hebrews 9:12, Amplified)
How to Access this Covenant

There is only one way. We cannot save ourselves, we are not without blemish. We cannot ‘do good works’ in order to put ourselves in right standing with God. We cannot earn God’s approval and love by doing good, being good, and working hard. The only way to bridge the gap and access a covenant relationship with God is through Jesus Christ. Many times we look for the perfect husband, perfect boyfriend, perfect family, perfect parents, perfect kids, perfect job to define who we are and bring our salvation and peace. The only PERFECT savior is Jesus Christ.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9, NIV)

Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God“- Ephesians 5:2 (NIV)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[fn] The old has gone, the new is here!All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-19,NIV)

Are you playing or battling?

Are you playing or battling?

david-and-nathan-2

When you have boys you become accustomed to a certain amount of noise. As a mom of boys you develop the ‘mommy spider sense’ of when to intervene with the noise. It is when the conversational tone changes just slightly, or when the pounding on the floor becomes just a hair louder, or the worst yet…. when every thing gets quiet. This mommy spider sense  develops after numerous trips upstairs responding to what sounds like the ceiling falling in only to discover that they are “wrestling”. They would see me and shake it off and burst out laughing. I asked my youngest son the other day how he was getting along with his older brother. His response was, “The normal mom, nothing to worry about, we have a certain degree of struggle being brothers.” OK, so with brothers there may be a certain amount of struggle or wrestling but after years of accidentally elbowing the other of punching just a little too hard, each has learned where to draw the line with the other. It is like they haven’t completely bonded until there is an arm punch or light air karate kick or something.  Unfortunately, this is not the case with most things we wrestle or struggle with.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers (principalities), against the powers, against the world forces (rulers) of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places”. Ephesians 6:12

With my boys, they have learned to read the other and recognize when it is ‘just play’ and when it is serious. Unfortunately, many of us as Christians have not learned how to recognize play with battle. What we see as playing many times is a battle. Unfortunately, we don’t recognize that we are in a battle it until we are seriously wounded. Satan doesn’t draw a line with us. His objectives are to kill, steal, and destroy. He doesn’t play.

The Bible says in Ephesians 6:12 that we wrestle or struggle with four things, principalities, powers, rulers of darkness of this world, and spiritual forces of this world.

Principalities (arche, n.)

Principalities are the leaders. When a  ranking order, they are the chiefs. The Greek word for principality refers that these are what causes an issue to have life.

Powers (exousia,n.)

Powers refers to the power of authority, judicial power, the power of a government to rule over someone.

Rulers (kosmokrator,n)

Rulers of the age refers to devils and demons that exist during this time in history or age. The Greek word here is a noun and it is only used once in the New Testament. These are specific rulers. Darkness refers to those in spiritual darkness, ignorant of divine things. If you are blinded to the spiritual battle then the world forces can rule over you. Other references for spiritual darkness is Luke 1:79, John 3:19, Acts 26:18.

Spiritual Forces of wickedness (poneria,n.)

The word for spiritual is not found in the four gospels or in the Old Testament. It is post pentecost word.  It is connotes an idea of invisibility and power. In Ephesians 6:12 it refers to angelic hosts who are lower than God but higher than man. These are beings in charge of ‘wickedness’ . They are in charge of depravity, malice, evil purposes, evil plots.

After studying all this, I am thinking, ok what chance do I have regarding this battle. These are serious opponents. I think Paul knew we would feel that way because he ‘sandwiched’ this scripture between telling us to Put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:11) and to Take up the armor of God (Ephesians 6:13). Put on mean to be enveloped, clothed completely like sinking into a soft cushy blanket that completely wraps us. Take up means to pick up with the purpose of using it. We are to be completely covered with the spiritual armor that we need for the battle. This is not play so don’t just rest in the armor, take it up and use it for what it was created for… Battle.

 

 

Football Update: Get Into the Game

fantasy-football

Family Fantasy Football Update

When I first started this Family Fantasy Football with my boys and family from coast to coast, I had no idea the ups and downs that would follow. It sounds easy. I mean you pick your players each week and then points are collected as they play. Hopefully I will have more points than my boys, I mean I am the mom right. I gave birth to them (moms always pull the birth card when we are behind!). Well, no one told me about injuries and how that affects the Fantasy points. Did you know that one injured toe cost me over 20 Fantasy Points? Who would have thought a toe would be such a big deal? I mean it is just a toe right?

It may have been just a toe but it not only affected the player who had to be benched until he heals, but it affected the team as well. The quarterback had to rely on two other players to cover the one injured. These players were good but did not have the same timing with the quarterback. The timing that came from weeks of practice until you instinctively know that the player is there to catch the ball and complete the play.

“But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.” 1 Corinthians 12:18 (NIV)

God has placed us on a team and has given us a position. He knows our gifts and talents and abilities, because He put them there. As we study God’s word, He works with us to develop those talents and abilities so that when the game is played we are ready.

Our human tendency is to not see the significance of ourselves or our lives. We may become frustrated in the growth process and in the training process. We may think if “I don’t play, it will not matter”. We may become injured physically or emotionally either through neglect or laziness or through no fault of our own. Or we may think, “I am one of many so it will not matter if I don’t serve this one time”. We may think it will not matter if I stand down this one time. We forget that we are part of a team and when one goes missing it affects the whole team. God still has His plan.

“On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable”  1 Corinthians 12:22 (NIV).

Although a toe seems insignificant, in the Bible it represents our feet walking in the path of God’s word. In the Old Testament the priest’s toe was sprinkled with blood as a symbol of consecration to God’s path in life. In the New Testament, Paul, in discussing the armor of God, reminds us to have our feet shod with the “preparation of the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15, KJV). In Romans, we are reminded that the feet of him who preach the gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things are beautiful (Romans 10:15, KJV). There numerous Biblical references to the washing of our feet, symbolizing washing off the dust and grime of the world. Without a big toe, our gait is off, running is affected, and ability to stand our ground is hindered. Staying in the word of God will keep our feet protected with the gospel of peace, keeping us in the game.

I gain understanding through your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:104-105, NIV).

 

 

 

 

Dressed for Battle…. Now what?

“…..with all prayer and supplication praying at all seasons in the Spirit, and watching thereunto in all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.” Ephesians 6:18

Ever hear of the term ‘marching orders’. I grew up in a military town. As a child I would hear my friends talk about their dads or brothers, ‘receiving their orders’. In the military, you are trained and equipped for battle. When that battle occurs, you don’t know. But you are to be ready in season and out. Many times those orders occurred in the middle of the night or on the weekend, or a holiday. Battles are not convenient. Battles are messy. Battles are ugly. Battles are dirty. The battle that God equips us for is a battle for the life and heart of people. It means answering the phone call at 2 am from the woman that gets on your nerves, but who is struggling in her marriage.  It means rearranging your schedule to hold the hand of a sick friend in the hospital as she receives the results of tests that could change her life. It means looking at sin in all its ugliness when every part of you wants to look away.

What are our marching orders? What are we called to do?

What?  “pray and supplication…

Prayer and supplications are requests made to God from deep inside our hearts and soul.  From a childlike confidence, we know that regardless of what we see or people tell us, God can accomplish the impossible.

Are you praying for what looks like the impossible in your self? Your family? Your fellow Christians at church?

When?In all seasons…”

I noticed right away that God didn’t say, “later this afternoon if you get a minute or if you think about it, can you pray for so and so.” No! this is a fixed and definite period of time, a season. There is a reason God has called you to be a such a place and time. He sees the whole battlefield. We are to act Now!

Are you praying now for yourself? Your family? Your fellow Christians at church? Or are you putting off until tomorrow?

How?….in the Spirit, and watching thereunto in all perseverance…”

First we are to pray in the Spirit. The Holy Spirit  gives us the words to pray, and reminds of the Word of God that is sharper than a two edged sword. Remember, the Holy Spirit wields the sword to make our aim true.

Are you yielding to the Holy Spirit regarding your self? Your family? Your fellow Christians in your church?

Second, we are to be watching. Watching means to be on the alert. Ever hear soldiers talk of ‘taking the first watch’. The one on watch stays awake when others sleep. They are alert to the slightest movement, sound, smell, anything that is a change. While others sleep, they are vigilant.

Are you being vigilant regarding yourself? Your family? Your fellow Christians in your church?

Third, we are to be on alert with perseverance. The word for perseverance, ” proskarterēsis“, is a noun. This is the only time this word is used in scripture. The dictionary defines perseverance as “steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, or state; especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles or discouragement.” It implies an unyielding holding on in following a course of action.

It has been said that endurance and perseverance combine to win in the end.When a battle is raging on, the soldier who has perseverance is what you want. By his very nature, he remains steady despite what he sees or has to overcome. He is the one who sees the mountain not as an obstacle, but as an opportunity for God to overcome and be glorified. The one with perseverance is still putting one foot in front of the other while knee deep in mud while the storm is raging. Remember battle is messy.

Are you persevering with areas of your self? Your family? Your fellow Christians at your church?

By putting on the Armor of God, we have the equipment needed to win the battle. Now we need to embrace the heart or quality of perseverance to stay the course with our fellow believers. We are called to come alongside with prayer and support, holding fast not to what the world says, but what the Word of God says.

photo from www.freepik.com
photo from http://www.freepik.com

 

 

Gazebo Gallery:

Describe your Battle Won!

Sword of the Spirit

…….and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:17.

Wayne_David battle

OK, having boys I have seen every superhero move there is. You know when boys put on the superhero costume they become the hero, complete with the moves. Boys enter the room with swords stealthily poised or moving in every direction at lightening speed.They don’t hit anything, but they look good doing it. Their intent is right. They are protecting the damsel, the mom, from the enemy at the door or around the corner.

Do you look good but hit nothing? Are you toiling all night and catching nothing or are you speaking the Word of God.   …”nevertheless at thy word, I will let down the net.” Luke 5:5.

The word is the spoken word. It was first mentioned in Matthew 12:36, when Jesus tells Satan that man “does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” It is the same word that Peter mentions here.

Sometimes I am as Peter, toiling away without results. Sometimes I am like my little men, dressed and wielding my sword everywhere and hitting nothing.The battle rages on. Why?  Could it be that I am not relying on Jesus and the Holy Spirit to do the wielding? The Holy Spirit not only knows where and who the enemy is, but also what weapon to use. It is when I allow the Holy Spirit to wield my sword that things happen. Suddenly we remember to pray for someone, Now! Suddenly we are reminded of a scripture that gives us the strength and joy that we need, Now!  Is it us? No, it’s the Holy Spirit doing the wielding.

There are stories of soldiers gripping their swords so long and tight that they could not let go. There have been times I have felt like that soldier. When all I had left was the Word of God. Praise God!  the Holy Spirit was there to tell me where to wield my sword.

photo from www.freepik.com
photo from http://www.freepik.com

Gazebo Gallery:

What is your story when you gripped your sword and could not let go? 

25 Reasons to Praise Jesus in the Midst of a Battle

25 Reasons to Praise Jesus

In the midst of a struggle or difficulty, we discover not only who we are, but who Jesus is. It is in these times; times of not just praying, but praying through, that I have discovered that victories are not a result of myself or what I did. Victories are a result of who Jesus is and what He has done.

It was during one of these times that I put together a list of scriptures that reminded me of the promises of Jesus.  I took these scriptures and took ownership of them. How does one do that, take ownership? By inserting your name, your husband’s name, your child’s name into them and making the scripture your prayer. For example 2 Thessalonians 3: 3 became:  “The Lord is faithful , He will establish (insert name) and guard you (insert name)from the evil one.”

God spoke to my heart that I needed to start praising Jesus in the midst of the battle.

The battle is not against flesh and blood but against principalities. We have no weapons except those given to us by God which are—the blood of Jesus Christ, the Word of God, the Holy Spirit and the angles of the Lord. Not only is the battle the Lord’s but the weapons are the Lord’s also.

As we put on the full armor of God, personalize the word of God .

Praise Jesus Because:

  1. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE—From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise, because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. (Praise is used for warfare—silences our foes)
    Psalm 8
  2. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE —Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in him. Proverbs 30:5
  3. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE–God is our refuge and strength; a very present help in trouble Psalm 46:1
  4. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE – as we Trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not on your own understanding and in all our ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct our paths. Proverbs 3:5-6a
  5. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE— The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and He delights in his way. Though he fall he shall not utterly be cast down; for the Lord upholds him with his right hand. Psalm 37:23-24
  6. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE —As for God His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. Psalm 18:30.
  7. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE— The eternal God is OUR refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will thrust out the enemy from before you and will say, “Destroy!” Deuteronomy 33:27
  8. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE— those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
  9. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE— As we come boldly to the throne of grace; that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
  10. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE— sin shall not have dominion over us, for we are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:14
  11. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE–(He) forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies. Psalm 103:1-4
  12. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE— The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him and delivers them. Psalm 34:7
  13. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE— the Lord is faithful , who  will establish and guard you from the evil one. 2 Thessalonians 3:3
  14. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE—(as we) Therefore submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you.  James 4:7
  15. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE–He gives power to the weak and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall. But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.  Isaiah 40:29-31
  16. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE— God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
  17. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE –In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:6
  18. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE  — (we can) Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippines 4:6-7
  19. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE–He will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You  because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3
  20. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE—  He will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist. Luke 21:15
  21. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE—We are confident of this very thing, that He who has begun an good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippines 1:6
  22. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE— He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
  23. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE—He will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Psalm 32:8
  24. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE–sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.  Romans 6:14
  25. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE— If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  1 John 1:9

So what are some of your favorite reasons to praise Jesus in the midst of a battle? Battle Won!