Go Out Fighting

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Ephesians 6:10-18 (HCSB), “Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word. Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.”

We are in a war. Sure maybe not with other people, but that doesn’t make it less evident. In fact it is even more important that we understand what we are fighting and who our enemy really is. Satan loses. God is very clear in His word. And he knows that his ultimate dwelling place will be hell. However, he won’t give up and if he has to go to hell, he wants to take as many of us with him as he can. Why? Because God loves us and he hates God. He wants to hurt Him by hurting us. If the old serpent can’t get us to hell, due to the applied blood of Jesus, then he will do everything he can to delay, distract, and discourage us. He wants us to think that we have to wait until we die to see heaven. He wants us to live sick, worn out, lives filled with anxiety and poverty. Or he wants things to look so good in the world that we choose to walk away from God and His path and plans for us.

Pretty simple. God is good and He is for us. He knows and wants what’s best for us. He already did everything needful to give us a blessed life. Satan is evil and is against us. He wants our lives to get smaller and smaller. He will try anything to get us to lose heart.

So what do we do? We find out who God is, who we are, what He says about us, how He wants us to live from heaven right now, and we STAND. We can’t just stand there in our undies. We have to put some things on.

Isaiah 61:3, 10 (NIV), “and provide for those who grieve in Zion– to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendorI delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”

Ephesians 4:24 (NLT), “Put on your new nature, created to be like God–truly righteous and holy.”

Romans 13:14 (NASB), “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.”

We need to clothe ourselves with garments of salvation, robes of righteousness (clothing He made), and we “put on” the new nature (the nature of God), and we have to “put on” Christ! We are in Him, and He is in us. And finally over all of those glorious garments, we put on the armor of God from Ephesians 6.

Clearly we are living in the last days. It’s the final round. Let’s go out fighting! “Occupy until he comes.” Occupy means to work, gain ground, keep what you have, dig in, etc. Jesus already won the victory. We just have to keep fighting and STAND against everything the enemy throws our way and we don’t fight alone! We have mighty warring angels fighting for us, and the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us. Pretty encouraging, yes?

I Am a Mountain Climber

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Micah 4:1-2 (ESV), “It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and it shall be lifted up above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it, and many nations shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”

Mountains and “high places” have some significance in the Word. God brought Moses up to the mountain to give him His commandments, He brought him to a mountain to see into the Promised Land, and Moses died there. Aaron died on top of a mountain as well. The mountain of God was so Holy that no one other than those He permitted were able to even touch it. Pagan’s built “high places” to their false gods.

In military strategy, a mountain is a great place to defend. You could see for miles and the terrain is usually rough going. Living in a valley may be easy, but like Lot, we often find the easy way isn’t always the better way. Abraham chose the hilly ground and was the better man for it. It takes work to climb a mountain. It takes perseverance when the top seems so far away. In the mountains distances can be deceiving. You might think you have almost reached the summit, only to discover you have more climbing to do. Mountain climbing is not for the lazy or the week hearted person.

I have walked a few mountain trails in the natural, having lived in Colorado and Washington. Though pretty, and challenging, mountain climbing of this sort isn’t one of my favorite things to do. I also should mention that I always thought the dangers outweighed the rewards for climbing big mountains like Everest (just watch the movie!). So I know that climbing mountains spiritually isn’t going to be “easy-peasy” either. But, the rewards are so much better than frost bite and fifteen minutes of fame! God is on the top of that mountain and His Mountain is the highest peak. Nothing is higher than Him! And according to God’s word, we are Mount Zion. His chosen people, His peculiar people, this chosen generation. So if I am going to dwell with God, up on that mountain, I am going to have to do some climbing…

Joel 3:17-18 (KJV), “So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim.”

Destiny Revealed

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Genesis 1:11-12 (KJB), “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.” (emphasis mine)

Everything God created has the seed to reproduce in itself. Our job is to re-produce. Naturally and spiritually. We as Disciples of Christ should be reproducing disciples, sheep begat sheep. From the very beginning God gave this command to Adam and Eve.

Genesis 1:28 (NASB), “God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

After the flood he gives the same mandate to Noah (Gen 9:1, 35:11, 47:27)

Picture a seed planted in rich soul. Its destiny is hidden. The sower may remember what he planted and have great expectations, but the rest of us have to wait until the seed germinates and a little plant breaks through the dirt before we can rightly discern what kind of plant it will be, what kind of fruit it will produce. So if a seed planted is destiny hidden, then a grown, fruit producing plant is destiny revealed. That is why Jesus told His followers that they would be recognized as belonging to Him, through the fruit they bore.

Discover the seed in you.

What fruit are you producing?

Ephesians 1:11-12 (Message Bible), “It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.”

Frail No More

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Proverbs 23:7a (ASV), “For as he thinketh within himself, so is he:”

Years ago, in my early twenties, a doctor spoke these words over me, “You are like a frail and fragile flower.” At the time, I was going through some health issues and feeling like a weakling. These words flew into my mind and quickly my heart agreed, “Yes I am like a flower! I am fragile.” I finally felt like I was validated in some way. Of course this was a self fulfilling prophecy and for years I struggled with health issues, anxiety, and stress. Like a fragile flower petal, life crushed me over and over. Unlike that fragrant rose petal that lets off a wonderful aroma when crushed, I stank! Life was about me, my sickness, my symptoms, my anxiety, my fears, my, me, mine… You get the picture.

Thank God for deliverance and healing, for sending His Holy Spirit to lead me into all truth. I have been free from that mess of a life for years now, but just this morning while listening to the message at Church, God reminded me of those ugly words spoken over me years ago. I never related those words to my constant struggle with life until just this morning! Maybe God was waiting for me to be stronger, or maybe I am just hard headed. However, now I recognized that lie of Satan coming through the foolish words of that doctor. As those words came to my remembrance, I rebuked that lie and this truth rose up in me- “I am not frail! I am a woman with a sword! I have been trained and equipped, I have the full armor of God, and I am battle ready. ”

Proverbs 23:7 explains this phenomenon, how we think about ourselves, what we choose to believe in our hearts, that’s who we become! That is pretty scary isn’t it? How many times have you looked in the mirror and thought, “I hate my hair/or chin/or nose/or whatever?” Or said to yourself, “My life sucks,” “my kids never listen,” “My husband doesn’t care,” and the list can go on and on. We even confess quite frequently, “I don’t feel good.” An older visiting preacher, who has gone on to be with the Lord, once told us that he got up every morning and looked in the mirror and said, “You look good, you feel good.” Then he would echo within himself, “We feel good, we look good!” He was rarely sick. We need to take a lesson from Dave Duel, and from the author of proverbs 23. We need to line up our heart thinking with what God says about every situation and about ourselves (about Him as well) and not allow any foolish thinking to take place.

Have you already latched onto a lie like I did? Well, it’s never too late. Repent, rebuke that thought, and thank God for tearing down that stronghold. Then change the way you think!

Luke 6:45 (NIV), “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”

Fill your heart with good! Fill it with the Truth, with His word. Then that will come out.

I am strong in the Lord and the power of His might. Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world! Amen!

Book Review for “An Exalted Depravity”- Christian YA Dystopian

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What the book is about:

“Amendment Thirty to the Constitution of the United States of America: The education of young American persons between the ages of five years and twenty years shall hereby and indefinitely lay in the hands of the United States government. Any form of alternative schooling without government sanction shall not be permitted.

It all started with the rebellion. Teens in the streets, throwing bricks through every storefront, slashing every tire, and beating any stranger who looked at them twice. But sometimes the solution is worse than the problem. This is the lesson Zak learns after being ripped from his humble family and thrown into a new school, where open sexuality reigns and chastity is a vice.

There, the question in his mind remains: what exactly is the cost of discipleship?”

My Review:I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. I am a fan of Logan Judy, so when he offered me a copy of his latest book I accepted. I loved this YA dystopian book. This one had a whole new take on dystopian. I found it very relevant and couldn’t help thinking of “Brave New World” as I read it. The story is set in a society that is void of morals with a government that thinks they can do a better job raising the children than their own parents.  A must read for Christian teens! I give it five stars, and am looking forward to more of this series. Though this clearly is book one, it could be read alone. No swearing. There is a lot of talk of sexual contact, but not in a graphic way, only as a description of societies values. Some violence and bullying. Though geared for teens, I think any adult dystopian fan (like me) would like it.

 

Book Review for “The Field”- Christian Fiction/Allegory

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What it’s about:

“Three women are lured into a forbidden field by a charming prospector and the promise of buried treasure. Hava, in doing the prospector’s bidding, inadvertantly unleashes a battle in the Kingdom, and the consequences of her actions leave her guilt-ridden and isolated. Delilah, daughter of an influential Kingdom ambassador, uses her philosophical wit to recruit treasure hunters to her own cause. Lilly, ever a loner, seizes the opportunity to do something meaningful and be recognized for it. Through their respective encounters with the Field, Hava, Delilah, and Lilly take up their roles in the age-old battle between the King and those who oppose him in ways none of them had planned.”

My Review:

I was given a copy of “The Field” in exchange for an honest review.

Wow, I loved this book! One of the best Christian allegories I have ever had the privilege of reading. It tells the story of the ultimate battle, the one for our souls. It clearly portrays our enemy, the Deceiver, and the love of the King. I give it five stars and will definitely be looking for more from this author. No swearing or sexual content, there is violence, but nothing explicit. Good for teens and up.