Archive for the ‘Victory in Jesus’ Category



November 16, 2013

“Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw several golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest.  The hairs of his head were white like wool, as white as snow.  His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters.   In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.”  Revelation 1: 12-16

Christopher JL / / CC BY-NC-ND

I know that my eyes do not work the same as others.  I perceive a world unseen by those who have stumbled against the gospel of Jesus Christ.  When I became a new creation, my vision became inverted to my previous awareness.

I do not see the same man hanging on a Roman cross, thousand years ago, as many.  Many see a good man; tortured and beaten.  They see a teacher of a unique philosophy that was brutalized by a cruel system.  They see a revolutionary crushed by an empire.  They see a philosopher with ideas that transformed the world.

mareeshastar / / CC BY-SA

That is not who I see on that cross.

I see a King.  I see the most powerful warrior to have ever walked this earth, following His orders.  I see the Divine, who could vanquish the world with a word, allowing the created to abuse Him.  I see the most glorious act of love that this world will ever know.  I see the savior of the world.  I see my Savior.

I hear the call of my Father when I have wandered too far, like that of a Dad drawing his child from the danger of playing in the street.  grizzlyI hear a beacon drawing me home through fog covered water.

The principalities that wedge themselves between me and my God feel the roar like that of a hapless victim who wandered between a grizzly bear and her cub.

pipitdapo / / CC BY

I see my loving Father running to me with arms wide open, ready to embrace, when I repent and return to Him.  (When God Ran, Phillips, Craig & Dean)

The spiritual world sees the Commander of God’s army, standing triumphantly over a vanquished field of battle, sword drawn with lighting in His eyes.


I feel my Lord graciously removing all the desires that entangle my heart and cause me to stumble.  I perceive his everlasting presence clearing the path before me, leading me to righteousness.

Phil Romans / / CC BY-NC-ND

The thorn-filled vine of my flesh and the evil that ensnares me feels the crushing weight of His mercy.  His grace to me is a tearing hurricane that scours my path clear, bending all that might cling too closely from beyond my passageway. (How He Loves Us, David Crowder Band)

I know the loving embrace of my Father when the world seems too much.  I feel the comfort of a lullaby when fear grasps my heart and I struggle to see beyond my emotions.  (My Child, Plumb)

The powers of this world see the King of kings standing in the gap, holding back the hordes of hell, with the authority to command, “You shall not pass!  This one is mine and he is greatly loved.”

you-shall-not-passI long for the day when all of creation will worship the Lord of lords.  Every word that I pen, every action that I take, every conversation that glorifies God, increases my hope and longing for the day of my Savior’s return.  I feel the Lord opening my mind to a hope that is beyond this world.  I see the seed of faith that He planned in my heart blooming into yearnings for that which cannot be satisfied by anything in this world. (Lord of lords, Hillsong)

The powers of this world see only defeat and punishment of a conquering, irresistible, power.  They see the terror of chains, fire, and outer darkness.  Their inability to stop the work of the Spirit through God’s children is a reminder of their impending powerlessness.  The praise of the redeemed curses them to the abyss.

I have been blinded by the love of God.
I cannot see the world from outside His love.

By God’s amazing grace and fathomless mercy, I have been adopted by my heavenly Father.  I know His refuge.  I know the nourishment that comes only from His table. I know the tender correction that flows from His love.  My soul has flourished from my time in His holy courts.  I know just a hint of all the evil that He has spared me from.  I know a hope beyond my understanding.

I know that neither life nor death will ever sever me from my God.
His grace is sufficient.
He will never leave me nor forsake me.
His love will always preserve me.
(Children of the Heavenly Father, Plumb)

ecstaticist / / CC BY-NC-SA

I know that there are two worlds out there.  I know by the love of God I cannot truly see from the perspective of that other world and I don’t want to.  I am grateful that I will only know Jesus Christ as my friend, teacher, advocate, propitiation, redeemer, Lord and Savior.

I am thankful that I will never know Him as condemning judge.  I am thankful that I will never have to look into His eyes, flaming like fire, feel the weight of His burnished bronze like foot, or hear the roar His voice in condemning me to everlasting punishment.

All of mankind will one day see Jesus Christ.
By what eyes will you see Him? 

PRAYER: O Lord, thank you for making the way  for me to know your love.  Thank you for giving me new eyes to see you as my loving Father, Redeemer, and Savior.  Thank you for taking care of me, shepherding me, nourishing me.  Thank you for keeping me safe in your arms; for being my refuge.  I love you Jesus.   I give you my life for your glory and for your pleasure.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son,  Jesus Christ.   Amen.



March 6, 2013

“He trusted in the Lord the God of Israel, so that there was none like him among all the kings of Judah after him, nor among those who were before him.  For he held fast to the Lord, but kept the commandments that the Lord commanded Moses.” 2 Kings 18:5-6

True statements can lose their value in the simplicity of their delivery.  Many of us have been encouraged when slogging through a difficult time with the words, “trust in the Lord.”

“Trust in the Lord” can seem so insufficient against the weight of an oppressive reality.

“I have stage 4 cancer.” – “Trust in the Lord”

“I lost my job” – “Trust in the Lord”

“My child has been hit by a car and is in the emergency room.” – “Trust in the Lord”

“My spouse left me.” – “Trust in the Lord”

“My unborn child is deformed and I am told to abort.” – “Trust in the Lord”

“My brother is addicted to meth.” – “Trust in the Lord”

“I am bankrupt.” – “Trust in the Lord”

“My child has turned her back on us.” – “Trust in the Lord”

“I am in an Iranian prison for the gospel.” – “Trust in the Lord”

“Trust in the Lord” can seem trite but it most certainly is not.

“Trust in the Lord” may sound easy but it most certainly is not.

Trusting the Lord in our time of greatest need may be the most significant act that any of us will ever to do.  Trusting in the Lord beneath the oppression of despair may be the most glorious act of our faith.  Trust is the sharp tip of faith in a spiritual war.  Trust is an action that reveals faith.  The battle to trust God is a faith battle that must be won.

Trusting in God demonstrates our faith because it displays our conviction that God can handle whatever we are facing.

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)

This does not mean that trusting in God is easy or effortless.  It is the direct opposite.  It is a war against our flesh and our flesh fights dirty.

We need to comprehend that placing our trust in the Lord may be one of the hardest things any of us will ever have to do.  We are engaging the horrible reality of the “seen” with our conviction in the “unseen.” That is going to conflict with every fiber of your natural flesh.  It is a conflict that must be engaged in all seriousness in order for us to be victorious.

King Hezekiah is a great example of what trusting in the Lord looks like.

The King of Assyria came up against Judah and had defeated all of their fortified cities.  The Assyrians were known for their brutality and torture.  They were the military superpower of the time.  They taunted Hezekiah’s trust in the Lord with the reality (seen) of their military conquests.  Hezekiah faced an enemy that had destroyed more powerful nations.  An enemy that had already dragged Israel into captivity.

However, Judah’s most important battle in their war with the Assyrian Empire did not occur on any hilltop or in any open plain or from behind any fortified walls.  The greatest battle for Judah occurred in the heart and mind of King Hezekiah.  I think it is insightful to consider how King Hezekiah fought this battle of faith.

He grieved and was distressed but immediately went to the Lord and sent for  God’s prophet:

“As soon as King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth and went into the house of the Lord.” (2 Kings 19:1)

“They said to him (Isaiah), “Thus says Hezekiah, This day is a day of distress, of rebuke, and of disgrace; children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to bring them forth.” (2 Kings 19:3)

King Hezekiah did not deny that he was in a battle.  He acknowledged that the situation with the Assyrians was distressing.  He did not try and act like nothing unusual was happening.  In the same way as Hezekiah, we need to be real with our grief and distress and not try and hide if from our brothers and sisters.  It is foolishness to erect the facades of normalcy when we are being rocked to our core.  No battle has ever been won by ignoring the fact that it is happening.

King Hezekiah called for reinforcements.

He immediately went to the house of the Lord and called for the prophet Isaiah.  The Lord gave Isaiah a prophecy that encouraged Hezekiah to continue in his trust of the Lord.  Hezekiah used the sword of the Word of God to engage the enemy in this battle of his faith. In the same way, we need to humble ourselves and seek out our Pastors and teachers and fellow believers and allow them to speak words of truth into our darkness.  We need encouragement that we are doing the right thing when we place our trust in God.  We need to be reminded of our source of strength while we are at our weakest.  We need to take these words of truth and fight back.

The war for the heart of Hezekiah was not won in one battle.  The Assyrians did not pack up and march away at the pronouncement of the prophecy of Isaiah and the resolute stand of the King of Judah.  They came back and once again challenged Hezekiah’s trust with an affront of their accomplishments.  King Hezekiah once again engages the spiritual battle but this time in prayer:

“And King Hezekiah prayed before the Lord and said…So now, O Lord our God, save us, please, from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O Lord, are God alone.” (2 Kings 19:19)

This time King Hezekiah did not call for reinforcements.  God just sent them.  Isaiah, led by the Lord, prophesied, “Therefore thus says the Lord concern the kind of Assyria: He shall not come into this city or shoot an arrow there, or come before it with a shield or cast up a siege mount against it…For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.” (2 Kings 19:32,34)

Prayer is the natural response of a person who is engaging in the spiritual battle of placing their trust in God.  That is how it is done.  Trusting in God is not some mindless metaphysical state.  It is an active seeking of Him in whom we have our conviction.  It is intense intercession with God because we know He is our true and only hope.  Trusting God is a conscious commitment to set our mind on the things of the Spirit through prayer.  Our response to challenges, suffering, grief and distress is prayer.  We fight our enemy with the scriptures and prayer.  Prayer is our act of faith that demonstrates our trust in our Lord and Savior.

Also, there is no need to wait for an invitation when we see a brother or sister struggling in their faith.  Just as the Isaiah sent word to Hezekiah without being sought out, we need to be sensitive to the promptings of the Spirit and seek to be a constant source of encouragement to those who are burdened.  Their challenge to trust in the Lord is typically not an afternoon event.  It may endure for weeks, months or even years.  Encouraging our brother or sister to continue to trust in the Lord is not merely a Sunday pat on the back and speaking a brief, well-worn, Christianized slogan.  That child of God is in a war.  We should act like it.  Encouraging someone to trust in the Lord is holding their hand in the darkness, it is helping with other burdens, it is surrounding them with love, it is speaking truth to them, encouraging them to pull the truths from scriptures, engaging in prayer with them, and lifting their eyes up to their Savior.  It is picking up our sword of the Spirit and engaging the enemy on their behalf while they are getting back to their feet.  We need to be ready to encourage our struggling brothers and sisters in real and practical ways through their entire crisis and help them persevere to the end.  We don’t want to leave anyone behind.

“Trusting in the Lord” is not easy and it certainly is not trite.

 “Trusting in the Lord” is spiritual war. 

There is nothing trite or easy about a spiritual war. “Trusting in the Lord” is gritty and messy.  All battles will have set backs and miserable lows.  It will often be grinding, arduous, and confusing. It will require a perseverance and fortitude that you never thought that you had.

However, it is a war that must be won; it will be so worth it.

The Lord is the only place to put our confidence.  As Hezekiah prayed, “O Lord the God of Israel, who is enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth.” (2 Kings 19:15)  Our conviction in the Lord God of Israel is a hope well placed.  There is no better.  The victory is already ours as long as we persevere to the end.

Trusting in the Lord is how our faith is refined.  It is often through our suffering when our faith grows in magnificent ways.  We will see the Lord work in miraculous and unexpected ways when we place our trust in Him. Our faith in God is what sustains us through those difficult times when God is pruning.  Mighty servants of the Most High come from battles in which they are pruned into beautiful heirs of the King.

Trusting in the Lord shows to the world around us that our Lord is God alone.  It is when we put our faith on display through difficult times that people see God and that brings all the glory back to him.  Everyone can recognize a victory and know its source.  Trusting is the Lord is so worth it.  It is one of the most significant acts of faith a follower of Christ can do.

Therefore, brothers and sisters trust in the Lord;


PRAYER: Lord, you are God; you made heaven and earth; you can bridle and turn nations to whatever direction that you desire; nothing is too hard for you.  In you O Lord I place
my trust.  Lord, I know that days of trial are on my horizon.  I know that I will be challenged to trust in you.  Lord, may you be my strength.  Prepare me now for those days of trials.  Help me to trust you well to your glory and praise.   Father, give me eyes to see those brothers and sisters who are now struggling to trust you.  Lord, use me to encourage them to make war and to fight the good fight.  Thank you for the victory; bring us home Lord in a mighty way.    Amen



January 8, 2013

“…Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” John5:23b

English: The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ar...

English: The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. –CJKpi 18:58, 10 June 2007 (UTC) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have never been to Washington DC.  I am excited because we are starting to plan a trip for sometime in the future.  Our kids are at the perfect age to go and see so many of the sites that we have only read about or seen on TV.  One of the sites that I want to go to is Arlington National Cemetery.

Tomb of the Unknowns, Arlington National Cemetery

Tomb of the Unknowns, Arlington National Cemetery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I want to honor all of those who have made the greatest of sacrifice for my country.  Specifically, I want to pay my respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and watch the tomb guards.  The Tomb of the Unknowns is a monument dedicated to American service members who have died without their remains being identified. This monument is guarded by Sentinels.  I love the fact that these guards are not just ceremonial.  They will confront anyone who crosses the line, is loud or otherwise disrespectful.  They are active military soldiers who have volunteered for this duty of ensuring that our fallen soldiers are shown the honor that their sacrifice has earned.  They take that duty very seriously.

Honor to where honor is due.

It is easy for me to give honor to those who are buried at Arlington National Cemetery.  I have the deepest respect for them so honor is easy in that case.  Honor is also easy when all it costs me is a moment of silence or taking my hat off.  I don’t mind giving that sort of honor at a sporting event, a memorial, or a funeral.

Honor is more difficult when it demands something of me.  I don’t tend to seek out honor in those cases.  We all live under some authority in one form or another.  Authority in our normal, daily lives tends to demand something of us.  It never seems to go very well for anyone who tries to disrespect what that authority demands of us.

The greatest honor that we can show to the authority that is over us is to do what they say.  We honor our government by obeying the law.  We honor our boss by working hard and doing what we are told.   We honor teachers by not cheating.  We honor our Pastors and Elders by following their leading.  A wife honors her husband by following his leading. Children honor their parent by doing what they are told.

This is a lesson that we are continually working on with our kids.  We want our kids to respond to our direction the first time it is made.  I don’t want to have to tell them to do something three or four time and then have to “lower the boom” to get them moving.  It is a lesson that we as parents are continually fighting to be consistent with.

It is so important.  The reason it is so important is because of honor.  My kids are disrespecting me when they disregard my request and refuse to do what I have asked.  They are failing to honor my position of authority – parent.  My daughter tries to manipulate me with a hug and “I love you so much.” I know that she loves me.  I love her very much.  However, her honoring me as a parent entails her doing what I tell her.  When she doesn’t do what I ask, she is demonstrating that she loves herself more than she loves me.

I want her to honor me not because of my position of authority as her father, but out of her love for me.  I want her to honor me and do what I ask because she loves me.  That is the highest form of honor; to show respect not because you have to but because you want to.

Jesus is due the greatest of all honor because of his position.  Jesus is our judge.

“The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son…” (John 5:22)

It is that position of authority that merits our respect of Jesus, whether we love him or not.  Jesus is our judge and due our honor:

“…that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father.  Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” (John 5:23)

It is the fact that Jesus sits on the judgment seat for all of mankind that he is due the respect of that position of authority. The greatest disrespect that could be given is to not do what he has told us to do; to not believe what he has said.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24)

Ultimately, those who reject Christ are rejecting His position of authority; they don’t believe He has a position of judgment or that there is one.  It will not go well for anyone who is disrespectful enough to question Christ’s authority.

There are many who have heard Christ’s word and have made a confession of belief in him but have left their honor of their Savior at that level.  They don’t mind honoring God if it doesn’t require much of them.  They don’t mind a moment of silence or having to take their hat off; they don’t mind going to Church on Sunday or attending a few Church functions.

Jesus requires a demonstration of an honor that requires so much more than that.  Jesus requires all of us.  Many of us may play the “I love you so much” card with God but that does not get us out of honoring him with everything that we are.  You may love God.  If you are in Christ, then God loves you very much.  However, when you don’t do what God has told you to do, then you are demonstrating that you love yourself more then you love him and you are dishonoring Him.  Your depth of love for God does not relieve you of your obligation to honor God. Your willingness to honor God reveals what you love most.

The greatest love that we can show our Lord and Savior is to do what he tells us to do, the first time, not because we have to (which we do) but because we love him and want to.

That is the honor that Jesus wants; obedience that comes originating out of love.

Honor to where honor is due from a heart of gratitude, appreciation, and love.

PRAYER: Father, forgive me for the lack of honor that I have shown you through the disobedience of my life.  My stomach turns at the though of it.  Thank you for being so long-suffering of my foolishness.  Thank you for abounding in steadfast love of me, such a disrepectful punk.  Lord, you are worthy of all of my praise and all of my obedience.  Father, help me in my obedience; continue to create in me a heart that desires you more than anything else.  Help me to die to my own selfish flesh.  Lord, may I live a life that demonstrates my utmost love for you through my obedience.  Amen



January 7, 2013

“Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of host, the God of the armies of Israel whom you have defied.  This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head.” 1 Samuel 17:45-46a

Promotional poster featuring Brock Lesnar

Promotional poster featuring Brock Lesnar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What if I told you that I have scheduled a cage match to the death with Brock Lesnar?  Mr. Lesnar is 6 ft 3 in and weighs in at 267 lbs.  He is NCAA wrestling champion and a former heavyweight champion in the UFC.  I am 6 ft 1 in and weigh in at 200 lbs.  I have not been in a fight since elementary school.  I hope that I have people in my life that will pull me aside and say, “that is not a good idea”.

There is nothing about this match up that is a good idea. No one would buy this pay-per-view package to watch a competitive fight.  They may buy it more for the value of the Roman spectacle of a person being fed to a lion.  Yet, I stand a better chance against Mr. Lesnar than David had in his match up with Goliath.

I have heard many a message using this match-up as an example of how we should face the giants in our Christian lives.  I struggle with some of those analogies because it seems like they are over-generalizing a very specific event by a person with a very specific role in God’s redemptive plan.  If you are encouraged in your faith by those analogies to face seeming insurmountable challenges in your life, then I don’t want to dissuade you.

English: The young Hebrew David hoists the hea...However, I believe there is a deeper meaning in this passage then an encouragement for me to face the equivalents of Brock Lesnar in my life.  This passage is about David but there was a true and better David that followed him, who better embodied all that David stands for.

The reality is that David trusted God to deliver him; he was willing to sacrifice himself for the name of the Lord.  Later on in his life, David, as the Psalmist, recognized that God does not delight in the sacrifice of animals but in the self-sacrifice of every person – God wants all of David and He wants all of you and I.

When David took the field against Goliath, he was foreshadowing the better David, Jesus, who would take on a much more important battle, against a seemingly more impossible foe.  Look at the similarities in the events:

Goliath came at David with sword and spear and javelin.

They came at Jesus with swords and spears.

David came to the battle in the name of the Lord.

Jesus came to the battle as the Son of God.

David was not saved by sword and spear.

Jesus was not saved by sword and spear.

David struck down Goliath and cut his head off.

Jesus struck down death and crushed the head of the serpent.

John Piper said it better than I can:

“And so David, in his zeal to obey God, models for us faintly the kind of zeal to obey God that not only led Jesus to empty himself of divine prerogative, but humble “himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:7–8), and in doing so, become the founder and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).”

We need to realize that every person to have walked this planet has faced a foe much bigger and more dangerous than Goliath.  Our greatest foe has never been a Goliath type figure of this world.  It has been death and eternal punishment for our sin.

Jesus has already defeated our greatest foe.

He has already struck down our Goliath – he has cut the head off of death for you and I.  Jesus has crushed the head of our greatest enemy and saved us to eternal life.  There is no challenge that I will face today that has more significance to me than the battle that was won for me on a Roman cross by the perfect David – Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God, my Savior and Lord.

PRAYER: Father, thank you for saving me.  Thank you for defeating my greatest foe.  Thank you for giving me a world in which I have nothing to fear.  Lord, help me to live in that victory today.  Help me to daily understand that there is no Goliath in this world that I have to fear.  There is nothing that can separate me from you and you have already secured the victory for me.  Thank you for loving me and being my heavenly Father.  Amen



November 19, 2012

“For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you , neither is it far off.” Deut. 30:11

I am a triathlete. I feel a little silly about claiming that title but this year I completed my first sprint triathlon.  I have been surprised by the consistency of the responses. They always seem to have some variation of “I could never do that”.  That makes me laugh. Now that I have experienced one, I realize that most people can finish a sprint triathlon with a little training.  The reason they don’t even try is due to what they are telling themselves, “I can’t”. My goal is to do an Ironman. That does not seem possible at this present time but I have a plan. I know that after I have done an Olympic distance and a 70.3 distance that I will then have the confidence to achieve an Ironman. I am going to break the “impossible” into achievable tasks until the “impossible” is ordinary.

Many folks are caught in the same “I can’t” mindset in their spiritual life. They have struggled for years with obedience and consistency in spiritual disciplines. We can get so focused on our defeats that “I can’t” is all we hear.

I am here to tell you that you can! Whatever you are struggling with may seem impossible at this moment but it is not. The impossible is achievable when you break it down. I fail all the time but I focus on the victories, achieved through the Spirit, that are taking me down the slow road of sanctification.  My task, every morning, is to set my mind on the things of the Spirit (Rom. 8:3-8). I do this through reading my Bible and prayer. This focuses my mind on what I love the most, which strenghtens me to kill sin before it’s sin. John Owen in “Of the Mortification of Sin in Believers” gets it right:

“Rise mightily against the first actings of your distemper, its first conceptions; suffer it not to get the least ground. Do not say, “Thus far it shall go, and no farther.” If it have allowance for one step, it will take another. It is impossible to fix bounds to sin. It is like water in a channel – if it once break out, it will have its course. Its not acting is easier to be compassed than its bounding.”

Too often, we play with sinful thoughts and give them a small place in our life, where we can affectionately caress them. We cannot control sinful desires. It is just  a matter of time before those sinful desires break out. Killing sin is much more achievable when it is a thought, before it has made a channel through our life. We need to take a stand like the Lord of the Rings, Gandalf and tell sin, “You shall not pass”.  

You can do this. It is not too hard. It is not impossible. Jesus tells us in Mark 9:23 that “all things are possible for one who believes.” Believe and break it down: Set your mind on the Spirit; remind yourself of what you love most and what you want the most; then FIGHT – fight for the control of your mind; kill every one of those sinful desires as they spring up; refuse to let them pass, but take them one at a time. Don’t worry about the whole day, just deal with the one thought before you at this moment. Kill it, praise God for it and soon you will be through a whole day. You can do this, it is not too hard, neither is it far off.

PRAYER: Father, I believe; Help me in my unbelief.  I believe that through the power of your Spirit that I can have victory this very day. Lord, I need your strength; help me to achieve what is impossible in my life without you.   Amen



November 17, 2012

“Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness.” Luke 11:34-35  

I have been watching what I eat. It is not because I am a picky eater. I am the opposite of that. I have to watch what I eat because I can easily pound 4,000 calories. I know what happens when I consistently do that; I don’t like those results. Therefore, I am willing to give up ice cream because I prefer fitting into my pants more than having dessert.  I have freedom but I have given it up because I want something better. We have similar decisions that effects our soul. This world if full of light & darkness. Gods’ word is a light shining into this dark world (Ps 119:105, Prov 6:23). However, it has no effect unless it gets inside. Once inside, God’s light will clean house. There is no “twilight” living for a person filled with the light of God but it has to get in. Therefore, it comes down to our eyes – the lamp of our body. Our eyes will either let in light or darkness. They are dependent upon what we set them upon. This is not difficult to understand. Most just don’t want to think about it. We want to live like there are no consequences to what we do & don’t do. When we set our eyes on the darkness of this world (I know what the spiritual ice cream is for me), that is what you will become – the darkness of this world. When you don’t set you eyes on God’s word & the things of the Spirit, that is going to have an impact. We want to think that a diet of filth will have no impact on our spiritual health. How absurd is that?  We do what we want most. What is that for you?

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for being the light in the very dark world. Lord, fill me with your light; remind me every time I am confronted with an appealing dessert of this world. I don’t want that darkness. I don’t want to suffer the effects of letting that darkness into my heart. I delight in you; you are better than anything this dark world has to offer. Lord, today I will set my mind upon you and all the things of your Spirit; help me.   Amen



November 12, 2012

“Hear, O Israel, today you are drawing near for battle against your enemies: let not your heart faint. Do not fear or panic or be in dread of them, for the Lord your God is He who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.” Deut. 20:3-4     

The Confederate General, Stonewall Jackson, got his nickname at the 1st Battle of Bull Run. As the battle raged, he calmly sat astride his horse. Gen. Bee rallied his troops by shouting, “Look, men! There is Jackson standing like a stone wall! Let us determine to die here & we will conquer.” Where does courage come from; why is it that some do not lose heart? You may think that is a theoretical question since it is not likely that you will find yourself on battlefield today. However, we need to remember that we are in a spiritual war. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us that we have an adversary, the devil, who is prowling around, seeking someone to devour. That is who we are up against. Our battlefield is the mind for the control of our hearts. Defeats take the form of compromise, indifference, denial, timidity…why don’t we always stand like a stone wall in our faith? Why do our hearts faint in the face of temptation? It is when we forget who is fighting for us and try to wage the war in our own strength that we get into trouble. Just like the Israelites, God is the one who fights for us against our enemy. We are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and fellow heirs of Christ.   There is no need to fear or panic or anything to dread. The victory is ours – we just need to let God fight the battle and stand like a stone wall.

PRAYER: Lord, I thank you for fighting for me. Thank you for the victory that I have only through you. Help me this day to live in that victory. Help me, a man of little faith, when I begin to faint in the face of the swirling concerns of this life. Lord, continue to set my feet on firm ground. Make my faith a stone wall.  Amen

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