We are a blessed people. We should begin each day giving thanks for another day’s journey.
~ Lisa Blair
A Prayer for Today
Good morning Lord, thank you for waking me up this morning and giving me the privilege of placing my feet on solid ground. Thank you for the buoyancy of your love that keeps me afloat. Thank you for keeping disease and pestilence at bay. Thank you for allowing me to be a steward of the Word, which is my inheritance. Thank you for shielding me from the storms of life. Thank you for allowing no weapons to form against me. Thank you for my salvation on this day that you have made. I will rejoice and be glad in it as I go through my day.In Jesus Name, Amen!
The Bible is replete with God’s promises. The best way to hold them near to our heart is to recite them in daily prayer, personalizing them and making them our own. Ownership seals the relationship in a real way and empowers our walk with Christ. When we own something we cherish it, are proud of it, share it, and make it part of our lives in a demonstrable way. As stewards, we are responsible for sharing the Word, which is difficult if we are not living it. Expression is the visible display of who we are in Christ.
Jesus commanded the Disciples to go out and build the Church. He taught the Disciples, as well as us, by example. He urged them to live a Christ-like life, and the only way we can accomplish that is to believe and express our treasure chest of spiritual knowledge outwardly. It begins with knowing what we are ’thankful’ for, and acknowledging it through prayer and thanksgiving each morning and throughout the day.
God’s promises never fail, but all too often we fail to see them. Always survey the fullness of your life and you will begin to recognize the minute, small, and large things in your life.
The Lord will never leave us or forsake us. This verse is one of God’s promises to us. The promise means you will never be left in the slimy pit of the muck and mire of life. There is escape lodged within His promise to never leave us.
God lifted us out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set our feet on a rock and gave us a firm place to stand. I believe that accepting this truth relaxes the anxiety, fear, and stress that is aligned with struggling in the slimy pit. Being saved does not mean we will not suffer during our lives, it means that we will be supported through God’s promises, Jesus’s death, the Holy Spirit’s direction, and ultimately eternal life and entrance into heaven.
Like so many, I have experienced the trials that felt like mud and mire, or a slimy pit. During those times I did not step back from the situation and pray, the mud and mire felt more like quicksand. In those instances when I rebuked the evil one’s hold and prayed for deliverance and help, God was able to give me peace within the storm. That peace is more than calming, it places you on solid ground.
Once you realize you are on solid ground, resolve becomes more than a possibility, the Holy Spirit provides direction for escape, providing actions to take while in many instances removing stumbling blocks and walls that surrounded us.
Some may say, ‘I live in the slimy pit’, I prayed to no avail. I say, do not give up, do not relax your guard. God is always working on our behalf. His thoughts are not our thoughts. Therefore, since He knows what we must experience to mature as Christians, and His time is not our time, the lesson may extend over a greater length of time than we think it should.
Pray, pray and pray until you see the manifestation of your prayers. Look at all of the things happening around you and to you. Seek to identify the small things God has done. For example, if it was a debt, was the total due reduced, was the payment time renegotiated, did you receive unexpected incoming funds? All of these things are God’s blessings associated with your prayers.
God’s promises never fail, but all too often we fail to see them. Always survey the fullness of your life and you will begin to recognize the minute, small, and large things in your life. Once you do that, you will recognize He always pulls you out of the slimy pit, out of the mud/muck and mire of life’s obstacles and places you on solid ground.
God’s love is unconditional, He pours in so we can pour out.
~ Lisa Blair
We are to love one another unconditionally, as our Father loves us in our sinful state, without conditions, caveats, or exclusion. We are to have Jesus’s mindset.
Love breaks down walls and gives the giver peace despite the circumstances. We don’t have to like everyone or keep them in our circle if toxic in anyway, but as a child of God we are required to love them as He loves us.
God pours His love into us so we can pour it out into a dark world, casting light and changing the atmosphere. When we reflect chaos and hate, we are contributing to the darkness. When we, like Paul, love everyone as God loves us, our love attracts others who are seeking God and want a relationship with Him. We are the model of Christ. Are we modeling Him or living in the natural world modeling the evil one? Do we love unconditionally, are we kind, do we sacrifice for the good of others, are we patient, trustworthy, faithful, gentle and maintain self-control?
“For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:13-14 NLT
Do we love our neighbors, those around us wherever we go? Are we the model God sets before man? The world sees Him through our actions. Are we modeling unconditional love through our actions or reinforcing worldly values and sel-righteousness? Paul wrote a letter to the Philippians stressing that we are to emulate Christ in all we do.
“Have this same attitude in yourselves which was in Christ Jesus [look to Him as your example in selfless humility],” Philippians 2:5 AMP
Daily reminder, recite each morning – Today I go forth (intentionally) modeling Christ.
Images and Scriptures—YouVersion.Bible.com
Resource— Nelson’s Quick Reference. Warren Wiersbe
Jesus humbled himself to the point of death to give us life. We should be able and willing to humble ourselves and, honestly, repent for our sins (stating what they are or were) and start anew (fresh). It is never too late, God forgives us when we repent, allowing us to move-on shackle free. Christ gave us the opportunity to rise above who we (presently) are. It is time to change our home location, we are in this world, but not of this world.
Go to a quiet place and speak to God, ask Him to forgive you. You choose the place. It could be in the midst of a train station, bar, standing on the corner in busy traffic. Just still yourself and pray. He will receive you wherever you are at the moment.
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:
” 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 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 Beltof 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.
The Full Armor of God, Larry Richards
Waging Prophetic War, Jennifer Claire
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