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II Corinthians 10:3,4- 3For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds

 

The thought of fighting in general is not pleasant, but the idea of fighting a war is terrifying. When surveying wars waged throughout the world, you would have to come to the realization that any physical battle is costly and ugly, even if you know you’re fighting for the right cause. People fight for the things that they believe and in order to achieve their goal of victory they must annihilate the enemy. The truth is that death is a consequence of war.

 

Paul tells the Corinthians that “though we walk after the flesh, we do not war after the flesh.” He further told the Ephesians, “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.The war that we are waging today against the enemy cannot be fought in the physical. The only way to win against the enemy is to understand that the weapons with which God has given you are mighty to pull down strongholds. This adds a completely new perspective to the idea of fighting a war. If I can fight in a way that guarantees victory every time, why would I choose to fight any other way. So often I look at circumstances around me and see them only in the physical and therefore am fighting them only in the physical, rather than doing what Paul encourages and recognize them as spiritual battles that can only be won on my face before God.

 

Paul says to the church today, “Be strong in the Lord and the power of HIS might.” The key is trusting in his strength over my ability. I’m certain that there are things in your life that you wish were different, things that you feel you feel that you are helpless to change but constantly finding as a source of contention in your life. My prayer for you is that you recognize those things as spiritual battles that can be won but only by trusting God. He will give you and I the strength that we need to overcome the powers of darkness that would try to hinder us from accomplishing His will and purpose for our lives.

 

 

Psalm 37:23- The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delights in his way.

 

I’ve found it very easy to put my personal interests and plans ahead of God’s plans and desires for my life, which always creates disorder. Messiness and disorganization in my life are a byproduct of allowing busyness and fear to control my actions instead of following God and His plans for it. His word says that “the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,” suggesting that God has a perfect order for my life that I can know and walk in. I have to decide that I’m going to give my best to God. That means that I willingly lay down my plans, desires, and strategies in order to adopt His purposes for me.

 

In order to stave off disorganization, I have to give God the best of my time. I can’t expect God’s best for my life if I’m too lazy to give God the best of my day to commune with Him in prayer. I count it an incredible privilege to come before the Lord in prayer but am certain that God wants to spend much more time with me during those times than I allow for. Jesus was willing to separate himself from ministry, friends, worry, and busyness to spend time with the Father in prayer and was unwilling to short-change the Father and never gave excuses about why he couldn’t pray more. To Jesus, prayer was never a form but always a relationship. When Jesus prays, He pours his heart out to the Father and then he listens to the heart of the Father.  

 

My commitment to God is to give Him the very best of what I have this week. The very best of my day to commune with Him in prayer, the very best of my time to partake of His word, and the very best of my energy to fulfill His plans for me reaching my community. I pray that you will also give your best to God.

 

 

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1

 

According to scripture the most fitting metaphor used to describe God is that of a Shepherd. Not exactly the way we think of God. In prayer, I often refer to God as my King, Lord, Strong Tower, Redeemer, but don’t usually use Shepherd as a term of endearment for the King of the universe. Psalm 23 describes the treatment of the good Shepherd towards his sheep. He provides for them so that they lack nothing, he delivers them from death, and he even comforts them in their time of need. That’s who God is today. He is the protector and keeper of my soul, He is my strong tower and righteousness.

 

Recognizing the Lord as my Shepherd is as much about recognizing who I am as it is about who He is. I am Not just any sheep but I am His sheep. What a privilege it is to be a part of His family. As His sheep, I hear and recognize the sound of His voice, I am under the covering of the Shepherd, and I get to feed in His pasture. I further recognize that because I am with the Shepherd, I do not have to live in lack. I can imagine the Psalmist as he is reminiscing over some of the most difficult circumstances of his life and declaring, because God is my shepherd, “I shall not want.” There is a trust that God will always provide a way for me even when I fail to see a way.

 

My prayer for you today is that you will recognize God as your Shepherd who has come to deliver you from the hand of the enemy. There is no doubt that God is able to change your circumstance, but it’s up to you to be patient and wait upon His perfect timing.

 

 

 

 

for bodily exercise is profitable for a little; but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life which now is, and of that which is to come. – I Timothy 4:8

 

Within the last 6 months I’ve come to realize that my weight has begun to spiral out of control. It’s hard to grasp how easy it was to allow this to happen and how satisfying it was to put into my body the very things that I’d regret later. Knowing that doing nothing was not going to be an option, I sought and paid for the help of a personal trainer. When he did all the blood work, the BMI tests, and the physical agility assessment, I came to realize where I actually stood versus where I thought I was. My health has become dysfunctional and in order to make things right I had to seek help and be willing to pay a price. The plan that my personal trainer put together requires a combination of many factors that are neither easy or pleasant, but if followed faithfully will produce a certain result and help me reach my personal health goals.

 

Incredibly, there is a connection to our spiritual walk as well. It is all too easy to allow our lives to become more about seeking entertainment, making money, or gaining influence than seeking a relationship with God. I noticed the longer that I stayed away from the gym the easier it became to stay away, the more sugar that I put into my body, the more I wanted. One of the greatest tools of Satan is to get you so busy that you no longer have time to focus on your walk with God. In this sense, your life has become as dysfunctional as my health. We purposely and knowingly allow things to distract us from being who God wants us to be and then we are confused as to why we no longer walk in spiritual authority. The key is about recognizing the reality of your life as it stands right now and then putting in the hard work, paying the price for the kind of walk that God wants you to have.

 

My prayer for you today is that you would recognize some areas of your life that you’ve allowed dysfunction to set in and then be honest with yourself about where you currently stand. Next, you need to formulate a plan and enlist someone to help you to become who God wants you to be. One of the greatest motivators for change is accountability. Find someone that you trust and you know loves God and then have them hold you accountable.

 

 

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. - Luke 15:20

 

The very things in life that I consider embarrassments, failures, or disappointments have often become reminders to me of the great mercy of God. Those times in life that I abhorred at the time, were in fact, turning points in my life that I made critical decisions to return to the Father and surrender my will to him once again. I have been the Prodigal Son that assumed life to be better in a distant country where there would be no accountability for my actions, no one to tell me the things that I should or shouldn’t be doing, but it was a false notion. The thought that I could be happier away from the Father was a lie of the enemy to pull me further away from the Father.

 

The Prodigal son thought that life would be so much better if he could only get his way at the time he wanted it rather than waiting on the perfect timing of the Father. There is a sin of constantly wanting what we can’t have, complaining about not getting the toys that neighbors have, being aggravated at the word NO. The worst part of the Prodigals story is that he would rather have his Father dead than in his life. However the beauty of the story is that the Father refused to hold the sons mistakes against him. Much like the Prodigal Son, I also left the Father for the pleasures of life for a season, but the Lord was merciful enough to receive me again when I came to him in repentance.

 

My prayer for you today is that you would be willing to show the same mercy to others that your Heavenly Father showed to you when you laid your life down. Showing mercy to your neighbors and coworkers means that you refuse to hold their past against them and understand the love of God that overcomes every sin.

 

Bible Reading Plan

Today's Scripture: 1 Corinthians 7-9

Verse of the Day

Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

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