We will age and fade away but as we do so, we are being spiritually renewed day-by-day.
~ Lisa Blair
Our faith becomes stronger with the renewing of our minds. We mature as Christians, God’s children, and grow in the Word. We receive salvation, are forgiven of our sins (overcome our sin nature), are healed from backsliding, and choose obedience to and dependence on God over my own free-will.
God tells us there will be dark times, but we do not have to allow the dark to absorb us; nor do we need to enter into a state of darkness and depression. Yes, these are dire times, how many thought we would live in a global pandemic, isolated due to sheltering-in-place, and uncertain of the future? Not many I would imagine, especially if we live in the United States, where we feel immune to all of the world’s woes.
Non-believers live in a state of darkness, but (the) believers who find themselves in a catatonic state caused by the pandemic, also find themselves in a state of darkness. Do you depend entirely upon God, or do you speak the words but rely on your wisdom? Those who live in the Light, live with God who is in the Light, and is Light. John writes in I John 1:7, ESV, “But if we are living in the Light, as God is in the Light, then we have fellowship with each other.”
The Light removes the sense of isolation that sheltering-in-place causes. Being in the Light means that God is with you in the Light. He is present in your life and in constant communication with you. He cleanses you from your sins. Sin is anything that is not of God, such as depression (not diagnosed), timidity, feelings of failure, uncertainty, and more. Satan likes nothing more than separating us from our Father and curtailing our fellowship with other believers.
If you watch the news, people are finding ways to communicate and find a sense of light, but are they really in the Light, or is it an imitation of Light manufactured by the carnality of needing to be with others. Pure Light comes from God, and despite our circumstances, we remain in the Light. His Light provides peace and a sense of calm amid the global pandemic we find ourselves in today. His Light is truth that He is always with us and will not forsake us in any situation that evolves.
When we allow ourselves to doubt God because we are overwhelmed by the darkness that pulls us in, we are in effect calling God a liar. The gospel truth is – God is truth and truth ensures our salvation. If we know we are saved and abide in the Word, we are abiding in His Light. We are not controlled by the desires of this world. “If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness we lie and do not live according to the truth.” (John Piper) No pandemic can separate us from God.
Think of this pandemic as our testing ground. We proclaim to be Christians but does our behavior confirm our relationship with the Lord, or suggest that there is no relationship? We either have a relationship with Christ or we do not, it is black and white, no grey areas. Do we falter or do we stand? Do we allow the uncertainty of death and destruction to overpower us or do we rest in the truth that God is all power and all truth? Do we stand in the Light or do we watch the darkness slowly engulf us?
One certain way to remain in the Light is to maintain fellowship with other believers, who can support us when we doubt or fall from the truth joining those who live in fear and a state of desperation. Truth gives us hope not to despair, our faith ensures us that there is life after this one we are currently experiencing.
“If we have truly accepted Jesus as our Savior, we have done so by taking His Word into our hearts and accepting it as the agent of our salvation (James 1:21). We must be prepared on an ongoing basis to use it to make necessary ‘course corrections’ and keep us in His Light – or as the case may be, get us out of Satan’s darkness as quickly as possible.” (Hal Hammons)
The Light will give you peace in the darkness. Choose to walk in the Light.
Image – Google Images
Scripture – Biblegateway.com
Resources – Let Us Walk in the Light of God. John Piper. desiringgod.org. February 1985; God Is Light. Hal Hammons. Bible.com. February 2010
God gave us the tools to survive through life’s challenges. Strong faith will allow you to experience peace in the midst of the struggle.
~ Lisa Blair
Trials produce patience and patience is reinforced through faith. If you are faithful, you will experience the joy of the Lord and not become bitter and discouraged through the trial. You will rest in God’s peace and weather the storm.
Today is Thanksgiving in the USA, it’s our time to share what and why we are thankful. I am so thankful for so many things. My list is in this order – I am thankful for having a Sovereign God who is my Father in heaven, my family (husband of 47 years, three sons , daughter-in-laws and son-in-law, two granddaughters, one 11 and the other 2, and many cousins). We are blessed to have a 100 yr old Aunt who still lives in her own home and walks the bay several times a week. She has spent her life in church, and as they say, is a God fearing woman.
I’m thankful for our health and prosperity and the fact that Christ was by my husband and my side this year during health challenges that could have turned out much different. We are well.
But most of all I am thankful that Christ died for our sins. Our salvation is the result of Him taking on the worst of humanity to free us.
As long as I have Christ, I know my loved ones who shared their lives with me, raised me, cared for me, and made certain my memories are bright, are with God.
I will continue to be thankful everyday and see the wonders of Christ in everything. Whether I suffer, experience trials and tribulations, or am in a place of peace. God will always be my Savior. I will continue to strive in obedience to His Word, His Will and His Life.
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
I am a Christian, a retired teacher, a mother and a grandmother. I love to read and I love the Lord Jesus Christ! Unless otherwise specified ,all visual illustrations are from the YOU VERSION APP of the Bible.