RePost – Naked Without the Armor

The Bible offers everything we need to be active Christian Warriors. It gives us spiritual authority and is our manual for living a Godly life. While in prayer this morning, something came to light. Many of us may read parts of the Bible from time to time, But we do not study what we have read. We understand what we read intellectually, but there is so much more. To understand the spiritual intent, we have to study what was read. When reading Ephesians 6:10-18, we understand we should clothe ourselves in the armor, but do not necessarily understand why we should do so, or what each piece represents. This Post will explain the what and the why. The most important point is that we are naked and vulnerable without the armor. As the adage says, ‘don’t leave home without it.’

In reading the Book of Ephesians, particularly chapter 6, we see Paul wrote to Ephesus alerting them that the enemy is always near and ready to attack. In Ephesians 6: 12, 13 NASB, he warned:

Armor2

” our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”

There is no question that our struggle continues to be a war against the rulers of darkness. We can see it in our daily lives, on the news, and social media. The evil forces are in play, we see violence and hate in every aspect of life. We are in the midst of an invisible war, one that works through people. We struggle with uncertainty, fears, and doubts. Scripture makes it clear that much of our self-doubt, our difficulty in keeping healthy relationships, and many of our fears are rooted in the efforts of those same ‘spiritual forces of evil’ that plagued the Ephesians. Paul warned that we cannot be passive Christians. We cannot use the term ‘Christians’ without acting Christ-like. Christians have to exude Christ-like behavior through our actions. We must actively change our position and become Christian Warriors because we live in a time of full engagement against the evil forces of darkness. The evil one is present and works through people, he will not back down and neither can we. We are in the war, like it or not, there are no deferments. God calls for peace, and the evil one calls for chaos in all that we do. We cannot go quietly in the night, we have to rage against the evil forces that try to debilitate, paralyze and destroy us.

‘The evil one continually tries to infect us through our wounds inflicted by sinful words and actions that warp and twist our self-image’. He tells us we are unlovable, useless, hopeless, frail, weak, not good enough, and failures. He intentionally places difficulties, trouble, and chaos in our paths. He tries to destroy our inner peace and distort our harmony that should exist in our relationships with others and our surroundings.

Always be alert. It is important to recognize that we are prey to the evil forces of darkness and as in other parts of our daily living, must protect ourselves, and put on the Amor of God. The Armor of God is our invisible clothing Each morning when dressing for the day, putting on our visible clothing, is the perfect time to also put on our invisible clothing. In fact, we should begin the day with prayer and put on the Armor before getting out of bed.

The Armor

The Helmet of Salvation covers your head, mind, and eyes. 

The helmet is our invisible filter and keeps evil out of our mind. It helps our focus on the Lords will and not on sin. It helps ward off and reject harmful words and actions directed at us by others. It protects us from evil. It deflects hurtful things people say and do to us. It protects us while we live out our ‘true identity in Christ’.

The Breastplate of Righteousness protects your heart.

Righteousness is the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit that lives in us; it is a gift from God, and cannot be earned. Righteousness is much like a filter that strains out unGodly things and reinforces our desire, to be honest, trustworthy, kind, good-hearted, loving, and joyful. (Fruit of the Spirit – Galatians 5:22-23). It guards our mind and emotions.

The Belt of Truth holds us together. 

It keeps all the armor in place. It is like a belt or a girdle-like support strap. It supports our core. It helps keep our heart and mind focused on Christ. Without the belt of truth, we are not prepared to stand and fight. The belt represents living a life of honesty and integrity. It supports our total commitment and devotion to God Almighty.

The Sandals of the Gospel of Peace (the Good News) weaponry covers our feet.

Everywhere we walk, we walk in peace. Our footwear keeps us from hurting our feet. The gospel of peace is the Word of God that we share with others as we walk in His Word. Without the Gospel of Peace, we are barefoot and cannot walk without fear. The footwear brings ‘inner and interpersonal peace when we commit to living by God’s Word, which means forgiving those who may have harmed us.

The Shield of Faith protects us from the weaponry of the enemy. 

God gave is faith to protect ourselves from the things we cannot see and may not understand. It enables us to advance, despite adverse circumstance.

The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God.  

Gives us boldness to reject and attack misinformation. We can use it to defend ourselves from things we may or may not know are wrong. The sword cuts through everything the enemy can send our way. It is the only defensive weapon we have. Everything else wards off the offensives of the evil one. The sword is the way, the truth, and the light. It is the Word of God. This sword is able to cut through every defense our enemy can raise. When wielded by us, nothing can withstand its ability to cut straight to the core and uncover the truth.

We are naked when we do not wear the Armor of God. Never go out without it. We put on a coat to protect us from the cold and our armor to protect us from the evil one.

Faith, Hope, Love, Dependency, and Obedience Synopsis

Finally, our March theme is affirmed by this Post. To be Christian Warriors we must have faith, hope, and love. When we are in a relationship with a loved one, we have faith in them, love them, are in a dependent relationship with them and are obedient to the values and intent of the relationship. Putting on the Armor of God is a faith move by which we are dependent upon the fact that it works to protect us. We are obedient in that we put the Armor on every day. We have hope that our armor will hold up and invite others to live as Christian Warriors, and for non-Christians, to receive the Lord’s salvation and join our family. Love, the most important of these, operates in faith and dependence upon the Word of God and his relationship with us.

Sources

Books:
The Full Armor of God, Larry Richards
Waging Prophetic War, Jennifer Claire

Websites:
The Belt of Truth and the Breastplate of Righteousness. Bible.org, Mar. 3, 2018
The Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. Freebiblestudyguides.org, Mar. 3, 2018
Helping Children Put On Their Armor Through Prayer, Lisa Blair, Youngchristianwarriors.com

Images – Google Images
Scripture-Biblegateway.com

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

Refuge Is Always Near

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I find comfort in knowing that when things become hectic, our God gives us strength and resolve. He welcomes us into His refuge and settles us in a calm, peaceful state.

His refuge is a place we flee to in times of trouble, danger, anxiety,  or simply uncertainty. Generally speaking, if we are fleeing to a place of safety, we are fleeing from a place of discomfort and insecurity. God is aware of our plights in life and created a place of strength and security.

It is ours to seek when we choose. Our level of discomfort does not determine when we can access His refuge. It is always available to us.  We were not created to live life using our own strength; we are created to need God’s strength. We can call upon the Lord to protect us and strengthen our resolve at any time, day or night. Our faith unlocks the door to His refuge.

According to Bible scholars, the term refuge means a place we flee from, and a place we flee to. To broaden the connotation,

we flee from:

~Misunderstandings
~Obstacles
~Provocation
~Change
~Sin
~Sorrow
~Disappointment
~Uncertainty
~Peril

and we flee to:

~A safe place
~A place of trust
~A secure place
~A shelter
~A sanctuary
~An asylum

Prayer

God, thank you for making Yourself known to me. Thank you for your power, Your might, Your Strength. Help me to never doubt Your strength but to rely on it every minute of every day. Please continue to reveal Yourself to me. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Images – YouVersion.Bible.com

Resource/References – Biblestudytool.com; 100 Names of God, Daily Devotional. Christopher D. Hudson. 2015 (Prayer paraphrased.)

Thank you for visiting my Young Christian Warriors site and dailyinspiration-lisasthoughts.com. At the moment there is some duplication. I am working on merging the two to create one great site. Please bear with me through this process.

Be Strong, Do Not Waver

It is important that we do not waver in our faith, even when we do not feel like it, or when things are not going our way.

The Lord is our rock, shelter, healer, teacher, advocate, counselor, guide, friend, and Father. He is always by our side. He is always with us.

We are secure in the hands of the Lord, when we waver, we enter uncharted waters.

Images – bible.com

Scripture – YouVersion, Bible.com

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

Free-Will, Water Cooler Talk, and Responsibility

We have free-will, but is it really free. God gave us free-will, the ability to act as we see fit, but it is not without responsibility. We have the freedom to choose to

live a Christ-like life or to live in the world allowing sin and self-righteousness to lead us down the earthen path.

But because Christ has risen, we have been given the gift of repentance. Repentance is not a free ’ get out of jail’ card. It does not mean that we can ask for forgiveness and then repeat the action over and over. It means much more. When we study the Bible, we learn the precepts instruct our daily lives. We repent to acknowledge our mistake before God and ask His forgiveness.


Christ has risen and we should not squander our birthright. Christ suffered the cross to save us from sin that was destined to doom us. Today we live a life that is afflicted by sin, but one that we can be redeemed from through repentance.
The sinful and wicked do not fear God. They flatter themselves to much to detect or hate sin. Their words are wicked and deceitful and they fail to act wisely or do good. They lay in bed plotting evil and commit themselves to a sinful course. They do not reject what is wrong, Psalm 36: 1-4 NIV. But for the grace of God, we can turn from our evil ways. Our free-will is like a two edge sword, we can cut away the evil sinful ways of the world and turn to our Lord. We can repent. The requisites of repentance is to turn away from evil and turn to the good. Our free-will gives us the ability to choose. (Read my Post, Pt.2, Wisdom Directs Your Steps.)

But what does that mean in our daily life? We must be diligent and listen to our thoughts and words in much the same way that you listen to your thoughts and how to verbalize them at work, school; to bosses, parents, leaders, associates and friends. Have you ever run free, doing as you pleased, and then looked around and realized you were running in circles – obstructing your ability to move forward into your destiny? How many times have you experienced doing what you pleased only to learn that the end result hurt or adversely affected your wellbeing? How often have you heard His quiet voice, or ignored His nudge only to wish you had followed His direction? As humans we often find ourselves in these situations.

Water Cooler Talk

For example – What about gossiping by the water cooler? How many times have you gossiped at the water cooler, feeling guilty about it, but continuing on to discover the person you are talking about is standing behind you? We know we should not gossip but we do. When I was working I tried to stay out of the gossip circles, away from the water cooler during lunchtime and breaks, but from time to time joined in and found I shared private information that got back to the person that shared it with me. I heard the quiet voice telling me not to get involved in the conversation, was warned through the nudge not to say it and then I heard my voice speaking out anyway. It was quick and I did not take heed. I immediately felt guilty but could not take it back, the act created the consequences, and my relationship with the person ended as abruptly as when I spoke about them. Other times it created a sense of distrust and our conversations became matter-of-fact, no longer friendly or open. These were learning moments. I learned to think before I spoke. I learned how betrayal hurt the person that was the topic of discussion and me. I learned to avoid environments that led to my downfall.

As humans, we always stumble over our own feet. We are always learning from our mistakes and attempting to apply God’s values in our daily lives. Thus, I go back to free-will is not free, it comes with responsibility. God gave us free-will as a gift, and it is our responsibility to use our free-will wisely. It is a lifelong learning process.

The purpose of free-will is to allow us to experience how to use it to further Gods will on earth. We are his ambassadors on earth. Freedom is not free, it is a choice. Freedom permits us to follow God and spread the Good News because we choose to follow our Lord. Free-will requires denying or dying to self, (Read my Post – Dying to Self) and putting God first. It means following his instruction, not picking and choosing, not being selective, but following all of His principles. It means that while we are experiencing our attempts to follow the principles, we mature as Christians, and in the process when we make mistakes or err, we can ask God’s forgiveness.

When we repent, our sin no longer exists, we will no longer carry the weight on our shoulders. It has been removed from us. Living a Christ-like existence leads us down the path of favor. He will help us spend our lives humbling ourselves, choosing to lookout for others and putting ourselves second, helping us to build our Christ-like character in this life. We practice are denying ourselves and following the Lord. Though our decision to deny self, we become obedient to the God’s call on our lives.

This leads us back to obedience, dependence and love, our March focus. No matter what we do, we can never get to far away from being obedient or dependent upon the Lord. It is through obedience that we can exercise our free-will and live a Christ-like life, embodying the character of Christ. It is through dependence that we become aware of our actions, behaviors and outbursts and, it is through love that we have the strength to persevere.

“Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.”
‭‭John‬ ‭14:23-24‬ ‭NIV

“But don’t just try to follow a list of rules or be a ‘good Christian.’ Following Christ means believing you have no righteousness of your own and choosing to trust and enjoy Christ, knowing He is all you need.

The more you seek after Him with all of your heart and follow Him fully, the more He will become your All in all, cleansing you, satisfying your longings, healing your wounds, and forming you into His image (2 Corinthians 3:18, Romans 8:29, Colossians 3:10).” [Know God’s Power and See His Glory. Bible.com]

Free-will is a gift, but like all gifts we choose how to use it. We can stray from the word and live in this world subscribing to its values of selfishness, lust, hate, pride, greed, dishonesty, and trustworthiness or we can turn to turn God and live using the values Jesus demonstrated during his short time on earth. Please do not think that the sin we fear is always boisterous, it is generally subtle and subdued. It sneaks up on you when you are distracted from the Word of God.

Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour.
Peter 5:8 AMP

Christ has risen, we have free-will and the responsibility attached to free-will is our gift to live by. Becoming an intentional Christian and joining the body of Christ, is a joy; our salvation is our rock, as we follow the Lord who is our light and our way. Jesus said,

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
John 14:6 NKJV

Websites – Other posts on faith, hope, obedience and dependence, and more on lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com
youngchristianwarriors.com
biblestudytools.com

Scriptures – Bible.com, Biblegateway.com

Images – Google Images. Bible.com. LAB’s photo collection

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

When You Doubt

It is not a sin to doubt what God is doing in your life during the dark, quiet moments. We are human, and through our frailties, we will have moments and sometimes seasons of doubting his existence in our lives, crying out like Jesus, “Lord, why have you forsaken me, why are you so far from saving me?” Psalm 22:1. But like Jesus, we will eventually say, “not mine, but your will be done.” Mark 14:36. It is during these times that our faith is either fortified or wanes.

Consider this – When we doubt, we are in a period of growth. We are not in our comfort zone; we are preparing for our next big step. Doubt creates the process of gestation.

(Doubting) Thomas

Thomas was one of Jesus’ disciples. He lived and worked with Jesus; he saw miracles, was informed about what to expect during Jesus time on earth. Yet, when Jesus was crucified, Thomas began to doubt. He knew the story, the purpose of Jesus time on

earth, but in reality, if Jesus was the Son of God, he should not have suffered as he did. Jesus was not supposed to die as forecasted. When he was resurrected, Thomas could not fathom Jesus reappearing as a spirit-man. He told the spirit-man to prove he was Jesus. After he touched the wounds, he believed. His faith was restored, it was fortified.

Thomas became a radical believer through doubting, not through walking with Jesus and not through observing miracles. Witnessing these things did not fortify him beyond doubting the reality of the resurrection. After Christ said to Thomas touch my wounds, he knew it was Christ resurrected and no longer doubted. Because he moved beyond doubting, he traveled outside of the Roman Empire to spread the Good News to a foreign, distant part of the world. Would he had done so, if he did not doubt? Perhaps not, his fellow disciples stayed closer to home. The doubting was the catalyst for change. He no longer hoped, he knew that Christ was his Lord and Savior.

Mirroring Thomas, Finding Our Strength

We do not have the advantage of physically experiencing Jesus’ life on earth. Ours is a spiritual relationship. Doubting is part of the process of knowing. It eliminates blind obedience. It reinforces our faith, because during these times we must in faith believe for the change, the miracle, the growth. We cannot faint not, we have to stand.

We must say to the devil, “he that is in me, is greater than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4. My circumstances are temporal, my relationship with the Lord is eternal. This too will pass. These trials are just that, trials. I am an overcomer through Christ, who dwells in me. My doubting is leading me to victory. It is part of the process of becoming a radical Christian, a Christian Warrior thoroughly embedded in our relationship with the Lord.


Crucifixion and Resurrection in a Nutshell

The crucifixion and resurrection marked time. God sent his son to serve as our example and experience what it is to be human. Through this process we are saved through Gods grace. He also left us a gift to help us live a Christian life in Jesus’ absence.

Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit who resides in us. He’s the nudge, the quiet voice that tells us not to veer but stay the course. He’s also the voice that tells us what to say in interviews, to loan officers and friends in need. Luke 12:12

Listen for his voice and recognize his nudge. We often ignore them to our detriment. Like me, we live, and we learn.

Today, think about three instances when you did not listen and the consequences and three times you did listen and the outcomes.

It is through Christ that we live life with purpose. It is through His purpose for our lives that we will join Him in heaven.

“For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,”
‭‭I Timothy‬ ‭2:3-6‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Websites – Other posts on faith, hope, obedience and dependence, and more on lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com
youngchristianwarriors.com
biblestudytools.com 

Scriptures – Bible.com, Biblegateway.com

Images – Google Images. Bible.com. LAB’s photo collection

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

 

 

 

 

Miraculous Healing

Jesus told the disciples, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭19:26‬ ‭NASB

Miraculous healings are not open for debate. There is an ongoing theological debate over healing. Some say miraculous healings only occurred in the Old Testament, others believe they still happen in the New Testament dispensation. Many people do not weigh in at all. They have no need for miraculous healing and think little of it, but when you are in need, it is no longer open for debate, you start calling on God. I believe miraculous healings still happen today. Why you may ask, because it happened to me. What I can tell you is that I was one of the uncertain many. I asked for healing for many years for one thing or another, but my faith was weak, lukewarm at best. This post is not about theological debate, it is a witness perspective. This has been a difficult topic for me to write. I have been grappling with it for days. This topic, nudged in prayer, was an assignment. But because it is such a fluid topic, has not been easy to express.
Let’s begin with, miraculous healing requires radical faith, extreme faith, uncompromising faith.

Throughout this month, my emphasis has been on our dependence upon God and our obedience to the Word. As these two practices strengthen, our Christian life matures and we develop a radical faith, in other words, we do not doubt or question what God is able to do in our lives, we recognize the Word as the TRUTH, and believe that everything the Bible says can happen though FAITH. This being said, we cannot command our own healing, but we can ask God to heal us. We have the authority to pray in the name of Jesus to answer our prayers.
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Uncertainty —> Certainty —> Healing

As humans, we think to much, we query everything, even the Words and instructions in the Bible. I shared that God no longer gave me the option of studying the Bible or spending time with him. He did this because he loves me. He did this because he wanted me to share the Word and let everyone know that what he did in the Old Testament, the precepts, he does today. I had many questions and over a few years stayed in prayer and communication learning to hear his voice and follow his instructions for my life. I spent time in prayer learning from the Lord. I mentioned that I prayed for healing for this or that over the years, no miraculous healings, though God did direct the doctors to perform surgery and God gave me quick healing.

Recently my Pastor called congregants who wanted healing from tumors and cysts to come forward. I had a cyst on my finger. I decided to go up and was anointed. This was not a cyst I imaged, my doctor said she would have to remove it before severing the sheath around my tendon causing a trigger finger. One week after my anointing for healing the cyst disappeared, but the trigger finger is still present. I asked God what happened, why was the cyst miraculously healed but the trigger finger still exists.

His quiet voice said: I instructed your pastor to call up people who needed tumors, of all types, to be removed through faith. I wanted you to know that I am still in the healing business and wanted you to share your (personal)experience others. I removed your cyst.

I then asked, when you perform miraculous healings, and you heal someone, why don’t you heal everything in the persons body? He answered, there are numerous examples of healing in the Bible for one thing or another, they were specific to the need. In your case, you cried out for me to heal the cyst on your finger, not your finger or other aliments. I may had done so had you asked. Sometimes I will heal everything and other times not, depending upon where you are in your Christian walk and what lessons you embrace.

So why is our faith weak, we ask for partial healing and when we receive it, we ask why didn’t we receive more. I believe, it is important to remember, whenever asking our Lord for anything, including healing, we must believe the Lord is able, nothing is impossible for God.

If God answers his children and he also answers others, is radical Christian faith necessary to be healed? God does not discriminate. He healed believers and at least in one case healed non-believers. See the John 5:3-6.

Jesus performed 37 miracles in the Bible. I believe 30 are shared in the New Testament. Healings were performed by Jesus or his disciples, today his disciples are our Pastors and church leaders. They often perform healing miracles for member’s of their flock, but God still performs miraculous healing for non-Christians, and non-devote believers as well. Where is the proof? There is a saying, the proof is in the pudding. Doctors often report healings that cannot be ascribed to their practice or medicine. Many doctors contribute unknown healing as being a miracle, and Christian doctors may tell you it is a miracle from God, the recipient (believer and non-believer) will almost always tell you it was God. The doctors don’t know why the person was miraculously healed, they just know it did not happen as a result of anything they did. This leads me back to my premise, miracles still happen and require radical faith.

Christ and his disciples no longer walk the earth. Jesus is not physically here to lay hands on the sick, speak to the spirit as in the case of the little girl, or simply speak the word and then visit the healed servant. It is through faith that we are healed today. All who receive miracles today have heightened faith. Christians may know God and cry out in full faith, and non-Christian’s may call on the Lord because they are desperate and need healing. These are forms of radical faith, regardless of who is petitioning God.

Radical faith is the key. Your dependence on the Word and your obedience to God build radical faith. Radical faith is where miracles reside. It is where maturity lives. It is where we experience healing of all types, spiritual, emotional and physical.

Radical faith is needed and attainable if we spend time in the Bible, in study and in prayer. Our God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is eternal, our relationship with him is eternal was well. The flow of communication resides in our understanding of the Word.Miracles are ours upon request. Our faith activates them. Our faith in God, if we are Christians, and faith in a higher being if we are not Christians, or follow a different Christian doctrine. It is a faith issue.
Jesus once said,

Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?
Matthew 8:26 KJV

My take away is – when God steps in Miracles happen. Radical faith is required to be healed yesterday, today and tomorrow. Your faith may be heightened for a time such as this, or it may be out of desperation, but it is radical faith non-the less.

Our Lord said,

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
Matthew 7:7-8 NKJV

These are not just words, our lexicon. They are the words and actions of radical faith. Radical faith is an ‘all in’ faith. If you want to be healed of an ailment , infirmity or disease, ask for complete healing and tell our Lord what you want to be healed. Don’t ask for partial healing when you can have complete healing. Don’t be dismayed of it is not immediate, it took a little over a week for my cyst (the operable cyst mentioned above) to disappear. Yours may take less time or much more time. Our time is not God’s time. We do not know what he is teaching us through the healing as it is occurring. And, just as importantly he may not remove the problem for years. He wants what is best for us and he knows what will happen over our life time. He heals today and tomorrow, and gives us the strength to endure. Just keep telling yourself, our Lord is still in the work of miracles. I am his child, and he wants what is best for me. I am the recipient of a miracle today.

Wait for the Lord ; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
Psalms 27:14 ESV

Websites – Other posts on faith, hope, healing and more on lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com
youngchristianwarriors.com

Scriptures – Bible.com, Biblegateway.com

Images – Google Images. LAB’s photo collection

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

Note
I read a good post today about healing and faith. Take a moment to read it, entitled: Stop, waiting, you are wasting. By chilavertnmezi.wordpress.com

Our Garden Life Cycle

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It’s raining outside and I’m looking in my backyard. My plants, bushes, and flowers are loving it. They thrive, not just surviving through all seasons. The seasons are a template for our lives. Climates that are more seasonal provide a time for dormancy, a time for new growth and a time for blooming to maturity. We thrive in much the same way. Plant life is seasonal and ours is cyclical.

            “To everything, there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven,”                 Eccl 3:1, NKJV

  “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens,”   Eccl.3:1 NIV

Dormancy

garden late fall1There are times when we are dormant, in a space of inner thoughts and meditations. A time when we either voluntarily retreat or changes occur in our life, i.e, illness, loss of a job, family breakup, natural events – storms, hurricanes, earthquakes, forest fires and flooding to name a few, events that cause us to retreat and close out the world. There are times when our Lord needs to get in touch with us and prepare us for upcoming events and jobs He has for us. This happened to me, He called often over a ten year period. I heard Him and kept putting His request for a stronger relationship off, choosing to spend a few minutes here and there with Him. Then one day, the opportunity to voluntarily choose no longer became an option, it became a command and I was forced to withdraw from the world and focus on Him, His Word, and His plan for my life.

New Growth

 

 

Wouldn’t it be great if new growth didn’t require a form of destruction, undoing, and pruning? I think it is important to note that God created the earth and plant life before He created us.

Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.                                         

Genesis 1:11-13 NIV

Do you think He used the same template of regeneration with us? My new growth appeared after I spent solitary time with the Lord for two and a half years. My time of dormancy was the result of early retirement. I found myself home eight hours a day. Much of that time was spent in prayer and study. The new growth could not have occurred without the time of dormancy. Through dormancy, I entered a much stronger relationship with God, my fellowship with Him felt effervescent, and still does to this day, some four years later, and my connection to the Word is woven much more tightly. New growth is a brilliant time in plant life and ours as well.

Time of Blooming

As new plants grow, so do we as Christians studying the Word of God. This is the timegarden late fall3 when we can evangelize to others. We have developed a command of the scriptures. It is a time of sharing the Good News and a time when the Holy Spirit glows through our being. It is a time of sharing our relationship with the Lord through writings, blogging, speeches, and conversations. It is the time of blooming.

Life is Cyclical

I have learned from my experiences and the process of studying the Word that our lives garden summer2are cyclical and hence seasonal. There are times of rest, times of challenges and times of victories. There are times of inactivity and times of activity. There are times when our pace is slow and time of quantum jumps. We cannot rest thinking we will always ride the wave of good fortune. If we did, God would not have prepared ‘the way’. Our experiences establish our relationship with Him. Our experiences, good and bad, intentional and not, are the soil that feeds us.

We will experience, drought, wind, rain, sun, heat, storms, tsunamis, deserts, disappearing paths, cliffs, and free falls in our lives. Establishing a strong relationship with our Lord will soften the impact. We will not lose our way, and if we do He will redirect us and plant us in a new garden. Fellowship will other Christians will help us through the dark periods as they share their experience and help us traverse ours, they are our fertilizer and in some cases our weed killer, providing support and fortification in the Word.

Our Lord has provided everything we need in life, all He asks is that we receive His gift of His Son, Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and allow the Holy Spirit to our hearts.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.                              

 James 1:17 NKJV

The sun is back out, the clouds are still in the sky and my flowers and plant life are thriving and exhilarated, as am I. I thank God every day for my life and my relationship with Him. I am grateful that I am His child and He loves me despite my flaws. He knows me in my humanness, accepts who I am and inspires me to live a Christ-like life as a Christian Warrior trying to be fully dependent upon Him and obey His commands.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18

I found this slide of the Christian Growth Cycle, produced by PVB Church Without Walls, Life Cycle Christianand think it expresses our cycle of Christian growth, the Making of a Christian Warrior, very well. It is a great summation of this post.

 

 

 

 

Websites
lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com
youngchristianwarriors.com

Scriptures – Biblegateway.com
Images – Google Images. LAB’s photo collection, PVB Church.com

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