Friday, June 19, 2015

This Means War

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Have you ever had a time when you were simply minding your own business when all of a sudden something comes and completely catches you off guard? Your life is chugging along nicely but out of the blue depression hits or you get attacked by the lies of the enemy. Words are spoken and suddenly things seem really unfair and the world unkind. Your thoughts about yourself are no longer uplifting and you cannot keep things together as you did before.

The enemy has you just where he wants you. He wants you in the defensive position where your armour is only good for deflecting his arrows. He actually wants you to take off that armour, throw it away and give up in defeat.

He wants you to fight with your friends. He wants you to to listen to gossip and pull people apart because when he gets what he wants he causes division. He knows that when 2 or 3 are gathered in Jesus' name Jesus is there. He wants you alone, on your own and powerless and defeated. 

He is a strategist and opportunist and is out to destroy you because you make him scared just by getting up in the morning. 

In Ephesians 6:12 we are told that our fight is not against flesh and blood but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against might powers in this dark world and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

My fight is not against human beings. My fight is not physical but spiritual.

Now imagine this. You get up in the morning and the first thing you say is "Good morning God" You have a conversation with Jesus before you talk to anyone else. You make Him your priority. You suit up with the full armour of God and you read your Bible because you know it is a strong weapon against the enemy. You don't do this because you have to but because you want to and because talking to Jesus and having Him speak to you is the greatest wonder in all creation. The very presence of God would bring every man to his knees, unable to speak other than to worship Him. I thought that if I worshiped more intensely or pressed in harder or read my Bible more then I would get spiritual enough to feel God's presence. His power would come over me and overwhelm me. This does happen sometimes and I love it when the Holy Spirit falls upon me but what I love and desire the most is Jesus to be my friend and you know what Jesus wants that too. He wants to talk to me and have me talk to Him. What we usually do is come with a list of complaints, monologues about our day and what is bothering us which isn't bad, God isn't surprised by these things. He knows what you are going through but He wants to do some talking too. It is when we listen to His voice and get to know His voice that we become stronger. John 10:27 says "My sheep know my voice, I hear them and they Follow Me" 

When we know God's voice then we can tell when it is Him speaking to us or the enemy. Whatever voice you listen to the most, is the one you will know more and the more you know it, the more you will follow it. 

God should be the one directing your path. He won't direct you down a defensive path but down the offensive path. Where you are the one waging war on the enemy. You have the upper hand. I am so over being the one bullied. I don't want to be left reeling after an attack, blindly wondering what happened. That is not the life God has for me and it isn't the one He has for you either. Overwhelming victory is ours Romans 8:37

We fight for what we love. We wage war against the enemy who is lying to people everywhere. 
Adam and Eve were lied to. They took their eyes off God for a moment and believed the lie of the enemy. They listened to that cunning voice. 
Because of Jesus, we are armed for the battle. The very same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives inside of us and when we realise just how powerful God is and how powerful we are because we are His sons and daughters we are a force to be reckoned with.

So today do not fall for the ploy of the enemy. Today stand firm in the fact that the battle has already been won. You have the victory already. No one can take it away from you unless you let down your guard and freely give it away.

15 When our enemies heard that we knew of their plans and that God had frustrated them, we all returned to our work on the wall. 16 But from then on, only half my men worked while the other half stood guard with spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail. The leaders stationed themselves behind the people of Judah 17 who were building the wall. The laborers carried on their work with one hand supporting their load and one hand holding a weapon.

When we know the enemies plan God will frustrate them. Have friends who will stand by you and pray for you and who are armed and ready to fight for you and cover your back. Support your leaders because they are watching your back. Have your tools in one hand and your weapon in the other so that you will be ready.

Jesus even told His disciples in Luke 22:36 that if they did not have a sword they were to sell their garments to buy one. 
You need to be ready for battle. Don’t be blind-sided again. Check your blind spot regularly. Follow Jesus and He will send you a warning if you will just hear His voice and obey it.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Spring Has Come

Song of Songs 2:10-13 
My lover said to me,
    “Rise up, my darling!
    Come away with me, my fair one!
11 Look, the winter is past,
    and the rains are over and gone.
12 The flowers are springing up,
    the season of singing birds has come,
    and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air.
13 The fig trees are forming young fruit,
    and the fragrant grapevines are blossoming.
Rise up, my darling!
    Come away with me, my fair one!”

I am a Spring baby. I love the season of the new. Fruit blossoms on the trees and daffodils and green leaves. New life.

Winter and I are not good friends. Only thing I like about winter is snuggling up in a nice warm bed, Hot Chocolate and marshmallows. The rain and wind and cold are not nice. For three months it is as though there is no colour and everything has gone to sleep. Currently I am fighting a cold and that is another reason why winter is not nice. Germs. Heaps of germs. My four daughters don't believe in getting sick all at once over the weekend. They instead think that taking turns is far more clever and during the week when Mum has work to do is even better. Autumn was the tummy bug season and you guessed it. One at a time for a couple of weeks and I got it too! It is enough to make any mother to scream "Spring and Summer come back!"

A lot of us have seasons in our lives. Not the natural seasons of our planet but internal seasons of our heart. We are sick and tired and hibernating. We wait and wait for the light Spring to come and break us out of our dark Winter.

Winter can grow us and make us stronger. When we go through storms and trials and we rely on God to help us through we become stronger. We rid ourselves of things that do not belong in our lives. When we look to God during the Winter months we focus less on ourselves and our situation.
Winter is good for us because it grows our faith that there is hope. Spring always comes after Winter. That is the hope of Winter. There will be Spring.

Spring is the time when new things wake up and things are birthed. Spring is the season of activating what was incubated during Winter.

The enemy wants to keep you in Winter. He knows if you stay in Winter too long you will lose hope and that which you are incubating will not reach full potential and will not be activated in your life.
When we lose hope we lose vision and we become bitter.

But God! God is calling you into Spring. He is calling you to activate that which you have grown in faith and trust in Him and what He has been working in your life.

He is calling you, His beloved, to awake and rise up. Hear the birds singing their dawn chorus. See the blossoms on the trees. Can you not see that rain is gone and the newness of Spring is bursting from the ground.

What is it that you have buried deep within? What are the things that you have heard God speaking into your heart during your Winter season? Are you hearing God calling your name and waking you up? He is calling you out and showing you that clear, snow free, path.

I can hear Jesus saying "Follow Me" and my response "I will follow you wherever you will lead me"

Say yes to Jesus today and throw off the things of Winter and see what exciting things God is going to do this Spring.

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