“Every Christian is, in one way or another, involved in the unseen war. There are no bystanders, no spectators. It makes no difference how clearly you perceive the realities of the conflict or if you even believe in the existence of demonic spirits. Whether you participate as a combatant, a captive, or an instrument of the enemy (even an unwitting instrument), be sure of this: You are in it, and the stakes are very high.” Harry R. Jackson, Jr. (The Warrior’s Heart)
Whether you know it or not, if you are a christian or not, you are in a battle. There is no spiritually neutral ground. There are two primary mistakes when it comes to talking and thinking about spiritual things like spiritual warfare—over-emphasis and under-emphasis. Some blame every sin, every conflict, and every problem on the invisible world, on demons that need to be cast out. Car breaks down, it’s a demon. Wifi goes down, it’s the devil. Boss is unhappy with you, it’s a demon. You’re out of coffee… you get my point. Others completely ignore the spiritual world even though the Bible tells us it is real and that there is a battle going on. We have an enemy and he is messing with us sometimes but we are not powerless or victims in it, we don’t need to freak out or be afraid, because God has given us tools and Jesus came to defeat the devil and He did!
So how do we know what is battle and what is life? How do we know when we’re been attacked or just having a bad hair day?
Ephesians 6:12 says For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Our battle isn’t against flesh and blood, the things we can see with our natural eyes, or rather the people we see with our natural eyes because I don’t know about you about many of the times when I’m in a battle behind the scenes the enemy is using people in my world to mess with me.
The battle we see with our eyes is the conflict we’re in at work, or that person that is talking behind your back, or the constant arrrghh going on at home with the kids and hubby. The battle is our fears and feelings that rise up in the midst of those conflicts – the sense of rejection and fear, the feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness.
In this battle the devil loves throws accelerant on the fire. You were dealing with a match sized flame and then boom he throws on a cup of petrol and those thoughts and feelings are raging out of control.
Now in this battle I cant control the reactions of people but I can control my response. I can control my thinking. Sometimes our natural reaction is to go gung ho wham bam thank you mamn but God calls us to submit to God, resist the devil and he must flee. It’s in our surrender first to the ways and will of God that empower us to resist. It’s in our dying to ourselves – our natural reactions – that honour God. It’s in surrendering to God to grow in the situation, to humble ourselves to own our part in things and to become wiser. It’s in letting God have His way in our actions and thoughts.
The heat of the battle refines our hearts and minds and makes us more like Jesus.
“Only you can decide how your fires will affect you. Will you be sanctified or scarred” – Beth Moore
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It’s been a while since I’ve posted – sorry!
I had a stint in hospital and have been busy with work related stuff. Life.
Time in hospital made me stop. You’re stuck in a bed, its noisy and unfamiliar. Time to stop is an invitation to draw close to God. It is a time for worship and prayer. A time for just being. We are not human doings but human beings and for me hospital time is a very big reminder that doing is not my mandate but being a child of God is. Relationship is more important than doing. My identity is not what I do but WHOSE I am and who I am.
This song was my anthem. Let me become more aware of your goodness, let your presence come. Let me see you more. Let me draw close.
On January 15th, 2009, the pilot of US Airways Flight 1549 had a choice to make. Do we try to make it back to LaGuardia, land at Teterboro Airport, or make a crash landing in the Hudson River. Captain Chelsey Sullenberger and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles made unheard of decision to land the plane in …
We never grow closer to God when we just live life. It takes deliberate pursuit and attentiveness.
Your level of preparation determines your level of outpouring. It’s not someone elses responsibility to take care of what’s inside of you.
Paul instructed Timothy to fan into flame the gift that was inside him. (2 Timothy 1:6)
“Your life from seed to full-grown tree is a process. We all like the idea of fruit, but rarely do we allow ourselves to build a root system.” Banning Liebscher
As leaders we need to have a strong, consistent inflow to balance our outflow. As leaders were are giving out all the time. Energy, time, emotions. In order to GROW as a leader we need to stretch our capacity and ability to lead. Read the rest of this entry »
The words of this song are those that sometimes need to be listened to on repeat. It echos the promises of many of the psalms, that God is our refuge, our hiding place, our safety.
At HKC Youth this term we’ve been looking at the behind the scenes stuff – the spiritual stuff that goes on behind the scenes in our life, how that affects here and now, what we can see, how we feel, how we act, and how we are not victims but how God has given us tools to equip and empower us for any situation.
A couple of weeks ago one of our awesome youth leaders did a phenomenal message about the armour of God – who can remember the different parts of armour?
One of the parts that especially challenged me and made me go mmmmm was when he wrote on each nerf bullet a tactic or strategy that the enemy uses to mess with our minds.
And he shot them out of his nerf gun at his brother who was wearing his helmet of salvation and had his shield of faith up and the bullets just bounced off and were deflected.
Our shield of faith is made up of all the truth we know about God.
He is good.
He is for us.
He is powerful.
He gives us peace.
He heals us.
He is at work to make all things good.
When the enemy fires a lie at us, fires a dart at us, his aim is that it will hit us, penetrate us, wound us – kill steal and destroy us. That we’ll get hit and then we’ll buy the lie and it becomes the way we think.
But faith identifies the lie and replaces it with the truth of the Word of God.
Jesus did this when the devil tempted him in the desert after he was baptized. The devil would say “so if you think you’re the son of God do this or do that” and Jesus would hold up his shield of faith and say “it is written in the word of God” and the lie would just bounce off.
There is power in declaring who God is. Regardless of our circumstances, regardless of what it looks like, God is faithful, He is good, He is mighty to save. When we declare Who God is, our circumstances have to bow to the truth.
But sometimes we have our own lies. We have our own issues that fight against God.
The war is within us. My will vs God’s will. My ways vs God’s way.
There are things that I don’t want to do, that I end up doing.
There are things that I want to do, but I don’t do them.
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, , empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.” Read the rest of this entry »
United Pursuit have a great sound. Its slightly raw. Deeply authentic.
Their songs about God’s grace and love make my heart rest.
God made my life complete
when I placed all the pieces before him.
When I got my act together,
he gave me a fresh start.
Now I’m alert to God’s ways;
I don’t take God for granted.
Every day I review the ways he works;
I try not to miss a trick.
I feel put back together,
and I’m watching my step.
God rewrote the text of my life
when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.
Psalm 18:20-24 MSG