We know that the world’s original harmony was wrecked by sin. Like a Molotov cocktail thrown into a backyard garden, sin exploded the world that God had made, fracturing and dividing it. Instead of wholeness, brokenness; instead of health, illness; instead of friendship with God, alienation; instead of peace, strife.
Because we live in this fallen world that is yet to be fully redeemed, we can only glimpse the fullness of God’s peace. Scripture tells us, however, about God’s original intentions for the world he made. Consider the Hebrew word shalom, which is often translated “peace” in English translations of the Bible. While such a translation is accurate, comparing the word peace to the word shalom is like comparing a twig to a log or a boy to a man. When we think of peace, we tend to think of an inner sense of calm or an absence of conflict.
When our lives become comfortable, we tend to gravitate to self if we do not stay alert. Alert – Do not gravitate to self. It is during these times that we begin to think about the success we are having is our own. We designed and orchestrated it by ourselves. All success is defined by God. He knew us before we were born. He designed our path leading to our destiny. We may be in control of how our success is playing out as any good manager does, however, our success is guided by our creator and not us. We reflect Christ through our behavior and actions. Our behavior and actions are our witness to the world.
We should become comfortable living wisely. If we do, we will know God’s Will for our lives and follow His path. Our motives should always be pure, which is not always easy in this time of focus on self, i.e., we live in a world of self-gratification. Satan is the author of self-gratification, and if we are not careful, we will be lulled into his camp. We begin to see our success as our success. We lose sight that we may have planned the course, but God controlled the steps that led to our success. John 3:30 puts it this way, He must increase [in prominence], but I must decrease. (AMP) He must become greater; I must become less. (NIV)
We gravitate to self and elevate self when we are successful. The opposite of this scripture occurs when we are deceived and lulled into a place of lust. We increase self and decrease Gods’ prominence in our lives. Proverbs 1 challenges us to think and act differently than the world. The world is enticing and without warning, you can be seduced. The evil one is cunning and knows what you lust after eager to provide it if it draws you away from God. I am speaking from experience. There was a time when the CEO of the company met with to discuss my future with the company. He shared that my future was bright if I followed my Vice Presidents instructions without question. As I listened, I immediately became suspicious. I was the school administrator of one of their schools. Shortly after the initial meeting with the CEO, the Vice President visited and told me to sign over a check to corporate that was intended for the school. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. He wanted me to commit an act of fraud with a smile on my face, thus giving me access to a corporate career. I informed him that was not possible knowing I would be fired if I did not comply. Ephesians 4:14 says, people are cunning and crafty and create deceitful schemes. This was definitely one of those moments. This experience forced the question, do I become greater and relegate God to become less; or do I become less, and allow God to become more in my life? I decided that I’d rather lose the job and follow the Word of God being a good steward of the school than become a slave of the evil one bound by fraud and deceit.
Ephesians 4:22-24 teaches that we are to leave our former way of life, to put off the old self, which is corrupted by deceitful desires and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Through Bible Study and instruction, I knew that this was the evil one’s ploy to corrupt me and position me to become one of his slaves. I told the CEO I could not commit a crime to gain success. I was also emphatic that as a child of God, I knew it was not only illegal but one day I would find myself standing before God trying to explain why I allowed myself to fall into this trap of sin. I told the President of the Board what happened, and the Board fired the company and promoted me. Now do all stories end this way, no. Herein lies the challenge, should we learn the wisdom of God and apply it in our daily lives, regardless of the outcome of our actions, and live according to His word, or do we relinquish His power over our lives and live a worldly life? Do we rely on our (carnal) wisdom or Gods’ wisdom? 1 Corinthians 3:19, NLT is very clear, true wisdom comes from God.
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say, “He traps the wise in the snare of their own cleverness”.
Gods wisdom is the only true wisdom. Back to the subject matter – do not gravitate to self. Solomon wrote the Book of Proverbs to give us an instruction manual about living life wisely and not falling prey or being lulled into a life that increases us and decreases our Father in Heaven. God is our sovereign, and there is no other like Him. Fearing the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. He alone is the source of wisdom informing us how to live life wisely.
Part of this lesson was taken from the BSF lesson I recently committed– The Kingdom of Solomon, the remainder was God inspired. The take away is: Never gravitate to self, never think that your ability to plan makes you lord over your life. It is the Lord who directs our steps. Every plan we make should be held in humility before God and surrender it to His ultimate will for our life. Ask, and He will show you the things you do not know, Jeremiah 33:3. Live a Godly life, a wise life, give God all the Glory, and do not gravitate to self. Decrease so He can increase in your life.
DO NOT GRAVITATE TO SELF, DON’T BECOME A VICTIM OF THE EVIL ONE’S PRACTICES TO DECEPTION TO DISCONNECT YOU FROM YOUR LIFELINE. GOD IS YOUR LIFELINE. ~ Lisa Blair
Resources: BSF, Bible Study Fellowship, International Images: Google Images Scriptures: Biblegateway.com
We are empowered to demolish Strongholds! Take action and create the change we want to see through prayer.
~ LISA BLAIR
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 sounds as if it was written for times such as this, and why not, it is a living document and is always relevant. It is timeless and is not bound by Greenwich Mean Time. Our battle is ongoing and will end when Christ returns, until that time we must fight.
4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Cor 10:4-5 NIV
Sam Storms (Commentary, Taking Everything Thought Captive For Christ, 2 Cor. 10:4-6) opens, “We live in an age of angry atheism; not simply a casual and indifferent disregard for the existence of God but a militant opposition to all things religious.”
These scriptural verses are packed with power. The key words of this study are ‘divine’ and ‘demolish.’
God gave us the power to demolish strongholds. This harkens back to Ephesians warning that we are in battle as long as we live on earth. Paul explained the battle in military terms identifying our power in terms of armor. We should not take this lightly. The novel, Tale of Cities expresses this as living in the best of times and the worst of times. Today, the best of times is governed by our advancements in technology, ecology, and medicine. The worst of times is governed by Satan’s stronghold on all things earthly, twisting truth, and redefining humanity to destroy the earth.
We are in the worst of times because there is militant opposition to all things religious, and the best of times because there is an increasing number of people becoming Christians. We, Christians, have been given the responsibility to militarize ourselves, to put on the armor and demolish the strongholds of the evil one. God has given us the power to DEMOLISH STRONGHOLDS. We have DIVINE POWER. My question is why are we not using the power God has given us? I belong to a global organization, Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). Every member throughout the world collectively studies the same lesson, gaining understanding, wisdom, and knowledge about the Books of the Bible. It is important to mention here because it demonstrates that we can come into one accord if we choose. Just imagine if all Christians throughout the world held a common prayer vigil until we broke the spine of the evil one. We have the one tool that can change the tide of destruction but cannot come into one accord to accomplish this mission, God’s work.
Today, let us engage people in our sphere of influence to pick up the Sword of the Spirit and go to work. Change begins with one person. If each of us asks one other person to pray for peace and the strength to stand against the winds of political upheaval, social media, and inhumanity, we can begin to affect the change. We can use our divine power to counter the militant opposition to all things religious and demolish their strongholds on our global society.
Previous Posts on Similar Topics, this site and YoungChristianWarriors.com:
Be Strong in the Lord, 9/19/17
Fear Cannot Overwhelm Us, 3/21/19
2.2. Billion Christians Strong, 1/14/19
Demolishing Strongholds, 9/28/18
Greater than Kryptonite, 2/13/18
Liberation through Action, 4/17/18
Looking Back, Satan’s Web of Deception, Self Abuse, 8/29/18
Satan’s Cycles Our Experiences, 9/7/18
The Dark Times, 4/27/18
Today We Proclaim Change, /29/18
Prayers Break Through the Second Heaven, 9/4/18
Images – YouVersion. Bible.com. Roger Cole; Google.com
Scriptures – Biblegateway.com
Resources – Sam Storms Enjoying God. Samstorms.com; Biblegateway.com
When we are weak and doubting, He is STRONG. ~ Lisa Blair
God is ever present in our lives, yet often we feel defeated and lost. Why? It seems we often attempt to travel unprepared to succeed. We enter the battleground without our armor. Rest in this meditation. Seek Him first.
The devil uses fear to hold us back, cripple, and paralyze us. I will not stand in fear any longer. The truth is stronger than fear. God is truth.~ LISA BLAIR
We never walk alone. As kids we had a favorite blankly or stuffed animal that gave us comfort in harrowing moments, even the boggy man backed down.
Today, as God’s children we have His hand to hold. We have the power to overcome all situations, circumstances, and consequences. Hold on to the Word. Hold on to Jesus. No trial is greater than God.
“When the resurrected Jesus appeared to the frightened disciples after His death, He greeted them, saying, “Peace be with you” (John 20:19). Now He could give them, and us, a new understanding of resting in what He has done for us. As we do, we can find the awareness of a confidence far deeper than our ever-changing feelings. Jesus came to bring peace into our lives and our world.” ~ AMY BOUCHER PYE