Sunday, October 14, 2018

Engaged in the Battle

        The Lord God said to the serpent,
Because you have done this,
Cursed are you more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you will go,
And dust you will eat
All the days of your life;
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed
Genesis 3:14-15

  Obviously we know what the word says about the temptation that took place with Satan in the Garden of Eden. We could go through a study of that temptation, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life. The part where Satan told them, "you shall be like God,"...and the tearing down of the nature of God, He doesn't love you...He's withholding something good from you and all those things...

However, what I really what to talk about is Genesis 3:14-15, this war against the church. There is a spiritual battle between the Spirit of Life and the spirit of darkness and the enemy. We are facing a "war against the church," and I ask you, why would God use that terminology if it was not happening? The more you actually see it in the word, the more you will be able to see it everywhere in the scriptures, all the way through. 

  Today as you read this I hope you will become more aware to waking back up and spiritually engaging in the battle. Lord help us to spiritually engage today. The enemies goals are to divide our hearts, (through idolatry,) and break up our relationships. If you are not engaging in the battle you are losing it.

    In second Corinthians 10 we are encouraged to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Whether it's thoughts of anger or resentment, fear, lust or self pity, when we begin to listen to those lying thoughts we begin to give them place. We begin to listen and agree with lies and the only thing real about lies is the credibility we give them. 

Satan is the father of lies, there is no truth in him and we have to recognize and take those, "fiery dart thoughts," captive to what God's word says. You can't be free until you recognize the battle and then God can show you how to overcome it. 

Let me clarify, there is no battle in the heavens, God versus Satan because the word says in Colossians that Jesus made a public display of the enemy, triumphing over him. 

It's when we believe the lies of the enemy that it begins to change the course of our lives. The enemy lies that our lives are out of control but I lift the shield of faith that says, "All things are working together according to the counsel of His will." Remember, God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a of a sound mind!

  Our mind must be renewed by the word of God and we must answer the enemies lies with the truth of the word of God.

 Engage in the battle with your eyes upon the Lord. He is faithful and wants to show you how to take thoughts captive as you spend time with Him. There are two voices out there, which one will you listen to today?

Wisdom has built her house,
She has hewn out her seven pillars;
 She has prepared her food, she has mixed her wine;
She has also set her table;
 She has sent out her maidens, she calls
From the tops of the heights of the city:

Whoever is naive, let him turn in here!”

To him who lacks understanding she says,
 “Come, eat of my food
And drink of the wine I have mixed.
 “Forsake your folly and live,
And proceed in the way of understanding.”
Proverbs 9:1-8

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Let Him Who Thinks He Stands...

For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea;  and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea;  and all ate the same spiritual food;  and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness.
 Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play.”  Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents.  Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer.Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.  
1 Corinthians 10:1-12

As I began to think about this, there are times in your life when you become aware that your life is a vapor. I know that I want to finish well and pleasing to the Lord. 
For the prodigal son, the pig trough was a place that he had ended up where he realized he had wasted his life. That journey to the pig trough didn't happen overnight. It started with discontent in his heart about his situation. That discontent was the first step toward the pig trough. Satan is crafty and subtle in leading us off of the path of life. Paul told the Corinthian church...
But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. 
2 Corinthians 11:3
Paul points out here that the serpent is crafty! He doesn't say, "Hey, today I'm going to deceive you!" It's subtle over time that you can be led astray as you run from work to home and hurdle to hurdle. We are so busy that we miss the signs as we leave the path and begin the journey to the pig trough.
If you find yourself in this place today, begin to cry out, "I want to finish well, so Lord help me to start by dealing with the seed of discontent." Begin to cry out to the Lord in thanksgiving and for grace to help you stand. 

 Listen folks, you don't have to go to the pig trough. You don't have to come to the place of public exposure and humiliation. You can deal with discontent and sin one on one with the Father before it brings destruction to your life. 

The prodigal didn't realize how good he had it until he was at the pig trough and had lost everything. If you already find yourself there, return to the Father in repentance and you will find He is rich in mercy.  

 Lord help us submit to our trials and let them have their work in us. Let us love you with all our heart and love our neighbor as ourselves. Help us to cast aside discontentment and begin anew with a grateful heart of thanksgiving. Lord this life is just a vanishing vapor, help us to finish well. In Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Trials Are Working For You

For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,  while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18

    Pain is the precursor to change. We can stubbornly resist pain or we can ask God, what are you trying to teach me through this? I don't want to stiffen my neck Lord, what are you wanting to show me? When we submit to our trials  they can have their perfect work in our lives and achieve their divine purpose.

  The father of lies tells us God is not for us and we've made a mistake that has caused these trials, or afflictions. What are these momentary light afflictions? Walking through a painful marriage? Having to trust God with our kids? Financial problems crushing in on us? An unexpected illness? We are all going through the same trials but in different ways.

  John the Baptist ended up alone in a prison after preparing the way for Jesus and he sent word to Jesus asking if He is the one we have been looking for or not? The trials he was walking through and I believe, the voice of the enemy,(Where is your God?), had challenged his faith. Jesus sent word back about all the wonderful things that were happening and told John, "Blessed is the man who is not offended in me."

We get offended in the way God runs his business. We are suddenly in a humbled place, unnoticed and disregarded and we begin to question God's plan.

When we let go and serve others and don't try to exalt ourselves but submit to God in our trials, then Christ will be glorified in us and have his way in our hearts. Then we will find peace in the midst of our trials and will be conformed to God's image and nature. That should be our ultimate be like our heavenly Father. Think about that as you begin your day, meditating on the fact that your trials are working for you and God is not playing games with your life.

 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.  But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.
James 3:16-17