Dress for Success!

even-smaller-bug-light1

13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.
— Ephesians 6:13 NLT

God’s purpose for us is to advance His Kingdom here on earth. How can we do that?  By waging a spiritual battle for the minds of people, so that they will accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  We certainly are not strong enough to defeat satan alone, but God has made a way for us to do just that. God’s way requires a lot of preparation and He tells us how to prepare in Ephesians 6.  We are to “put on the whole armor of God” and stand against the wiles of the devil. We may never have to physically fight for our Lord and Savior, but we are in a mental battle every second of every day. Are we winning or losing the battle of the mind? The “wiles” of the devil lets us know that satan is very cunning and devious in his plan to defeat God by defeating God’s children. As we are told in 2 Corinthians, we must pull down strongholds and bring our thoughts and imaginations into captivity to the obedience of Jesus Christ. And, again, in Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”

Post 09-27-2016

Tearing Down Landmarks

even-smaller-bug-light112  And I will forgive their wickedness,    and I will never again remember their sins.”  13 When God speaks of a “new” covenant, it means he has made the first one obsolete. It is now out of date and will soon disappear.  — Hebrews 8:12, 13 NLT

In yesterday’s passage, we read about erecting landmarks and altars to remind us of the goodness of God.  We were reminded of how He provides for us and watches over us so that we might proceed safely on our journey.  He has established a new covenant with us beginning with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Instead of an earthly high priest, Jesus is our high Priest.  He has made each us members of the royal priesthood.  We can now speak directly to God Himself.  He is the complete, final sacrifice so that it is no longer necessary for us to carry out the rituals required in the Old Testament.  Along with that new covenant, He has written His laws in our hearts and in our minds.  He has chosen to forget our sins against Him  The Holy Spirit testifies that this is true.  ( Hebrews 10:14-18).  Just as God forgives and forgets our sins, we are to forgive others. To do that, we are going to have to go back through the memories of our lives and tear down some mental landmarks.  All those memories that birng back the times we have felt or actually been mistreated are going to have to be dealt with and released into God’s captivity.  As humans, we may not be able to forget entriely, but if we follow the instructions given us in 2 Cor. 10:3-5 to bring every thought captive and teach them to obey Christ, then we will find that it is completely possible to make those bad times in our lives insignificant.  If not insignificant, then, at least, no longer worthy of mentioning.  Otherwise, they become the roots that produce fruits of bitterness.  Give those thoughts to God and allow Him to tear down the landmarks before they become strongholds that keep our relationship with God from growing into maturity.

Post 03-19-2016

On Guard!

even-smaller-bug-light12 I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. 3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 6 And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete. — 2 Cor. 10:2-6 NIV

After admonishing the Corinthians for allowing impurities in their worship service and then expressing his joy because of their repentance, Paul expresses his concern that some of them still haven’t gotten the full message. They are still trying to bring the world into the church instead of carrying the church into the world. Just as with the Corinthians, our actions do not always back up our teachings.  Paul starts teaching the Corinthians and us about where the problem is and how we should attack it. The problem is our mindset and that is not a battle that can be won with worldly weapons. The world and satan hits us with a constant barrage of violence, sexual innuendos, and all manners of chaos.  To protect our minds, we need to fill them with the knowledge of God and be constantly filled with the Holy Spirit.  Every thought that comes to our mind, must be immediately processed and either deleted or stored in our arsenal of divine weapons.  We can’t dilly-dally or play games or we will be overpowered with fleshly desires. Be on the alert! Be ready to punish and cast out every vile and sinful thought.

8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the ​world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. — 1 Peter 5:8, 9 NIV

Post 10-02-2015

No Turning Back

even-smaller-bug-light

12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. —- Hebrews 3:12-14 
When Jesus was still here on earth, He warned His disciples about being fooled by false prophets that would arise. These false prophets would claim that Jesus is coming this year or they may even claim to have seen Jesus.
 23 At that time, someone might say to you, ‘Look, there is the Christ!’ Or another person might say, ‘There he is!’ But don’t believe them. 24 False Christs and false prophets will come and perform great wonders and miracles. They will try to fool even the people God has chosen, if that is possible. 25 Now I have warned you about this before it happens. — Matthew 24:23-25 NIV
We have been forewarned of the danger of taking our salvation lightly.  We need to study the Word, pray and meditate on it daily.  Our flesh is weak and can be easily tempted to return to its old sinful ways.  It is up to us to “put on the full armor of God” every day.  The armor of God is designed to fight the spiritual battle that goes on in our minds all day long, every day.  

3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.  — 2 Cor. 10:3-5 NIV

Each day, we need to encourage each other and support each other with our prayers, so that we can persevere.

36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. — Hebrews 10:35 NIV

Post 08-20-2015