Friday, July 10, 2015

Being a Warrior

Ephesians 6:11-17  Put on the whole Armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole Armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God

I read some place or another quite recently that there are over 60 Bible Verses about Praising God in the Storm. So it must be pretty important to Him that we do it. 
My experience with storms has taught me that although things may get really rough, almost unbearable at times, there is always a blessing of some kind that comes with them. 
During those seasons I sometimes think it is never going to end and when it finally is behind me I feel like a new person. So I can say this without any question in my mind... 

Praising Him in the storm is important for us too. It keeps us going and makes us more aware of the things He is doing to help us get through it and how much more He appreciates us if we are fighting a tough fight. 
But the fact is this...God doesn't like us to be cry babies. He likes us to be warriors.

He wants us to be warriors and warriors have no time or desire to have self-pity or anxiety attacks (at least none that last longer than 5 - 10 minutes) and no room for self-doubt, even if we're scared to death. 

Being a warrior means putting on that whole armor every day and going out into the world and stepping up in His Holy name. It means fastening on that belt of truth and facing the music...whatever it is and no matter how loud or angry or shocking or devastating it gets...
Face-the-music. Because that's what God's warriors do.      

Being a warrior can mean facing a bill collector, answering the phone when you don't want to talk to the person calling and talking anyway, telling a friend the truth about their behavior even if that truth may end your friendship for a season...or forever. 

That James kind of honesty where being a friend is more important than having a friendship... tough stuff.    
It means doing those difficult things because it needs to be is what's right.

Sometimes facing that really tough stuff is unavoidable. But we are given a little choice. When those unavoidable things pop out in front of us like a deer on the highway. I'm talking tough stuff like losing your job or your home. Getting the news that you have lost someone you love or learning that you are facing the unthinkable,  terminal illness. 

Those are the times when we need to praise him the most. He's waiting to hear it and He will be delighted with your faith in Him! 

Our Bibles remind us that 'We know of the plans He has for us, plans for our welfare and not for a future without hope.' (Jeremiah 29:11)
We demonstrate our devotion to Him when we call upon Him and pray to Him and trust in the knowledge that He will and He does hear us.
We who belong to Him know instinctively that when we Trust in the Lord with ALL of our heart and lean not on our own understanding, He will direct our steps. (Proverbs 3:5-6) 
Because He promises us that... when we seek Him with all of our heart, we will find Him and when we acknowledge Him in all ways He will be our director...He will be Our Guide in life.
He even says this about US...
My sheep hear my voice and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they will never perish and no one will snatch them out of my hand.' (John 27) 

Praise God, 
For your wisdom and love are without boundaries and your comfort is huge! 
Trusting in the knowledge that He will and does hear us takes a lot of faith! 100% warrior Faith is what He desires from us because, without it, we can't even begin to form the kind of relationship with Him that He so desires. Faith is so huge it is mentioned 475 times in the Bible. That means we have to have faith that everything is going to turn out for the good for those who love Him. Even on the darkest conceivable days...
It's gonna be alright. 

Have you ever stopped and looked at a Mustard seed? Wow, they are so tiny. 
Yet God told us that if we have the faith the size of one of those tiny seeds we can move a mountain!
Can you imagine what we could do with faith one-quarter that size, or even one tenth?
That certainly puts our level of faith in perspective, doesn't it?

The really wonderful thing I have found about having faith (even the shamelessly small amount I must have) is that it always comes full circle. He never lets us down, He is always on time and He knows exactly what we need!

It is all too easy to lose sight of the fact that Our God is a Sovereign God. Nothing escapes Him. He listens to our conversations, and He knows everything that we think about, and everything we pray about even in silent prayer. 
We are exactly where we are supposed to be each and every moment. Everything is under His rule and control! Nothing, I mean nothing, happens without His direction or permission. 
The book of Ephesians is a good place to start reading if you want to understand who He is and just what He is doing in our lives. 

In Ephesians, Paul wrote: In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will. 12. so that we, who are the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of His glory. 13 In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14. who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory.   

That tells me that God has my life pretty much covered and that feels pretty darned good to me!

Stay Blessed & Trust in Him...He has this. Please take a moment and read John Pipers excellent article entitled, 'Don't Waste Your Cancer."   It may be just the salve you or a loved one needs today. 

This blog is dedicated to Steve and Marsha.
May your Armour Of God bring you strength in the days ahead.