Where is Your Focus?

“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 ‭4:18‬‬

This scripture spoke to my inner being, reminding me that I can get caught up in the things of this world if I do not stay vigilant. It is easy to allow our carnal man to prosper. All of our senses are tuned into the shiny things of this earth that are constantly bombarding us. We are in a constant state of warfare; tug and war. Our choices are this world or the heavenlies.

We need to stay in tune and shift our focus. The battle rages throughout our lives. God gave us the freedom to choose how we live our lives. Earlier in life, I decided that my purpose was to reach the Kingdom, this meant that I needed to make decisions to walk away from some things, refocus, and galvanize others. in short, reaching my spiritual destination is the focus of my life.

Our eternal goal relies on our contemplation, prayer, praise, and worship, which guides us and makes us better. When we replace the object of the goal, then the things we formerly worshiped become benefits of our work and not the object of our work.

I’ve learned that focusing on things, as the end-all, is a form of idol worship; things, such as a new outfit, car, new apartment, home, ultimate vacation, and career ascension,  are temporal and lose their value over time, my focus is acquiring eternal life in heaven.

As sinners, we cannot fall prey to delusion and the idols of this world. Satan will use everything available to prevent the gospel from shining, from politics to morals, to seemingly innocuous music. Between Satan and our sin nature, we are constantly battling to live in the spiritual realm, we must always stay alert, as Christians, must focus on the Word to avoid the traps of the evil one while demonstrating the virtues of Christ in our daily lives. Focusing on the Good News prepares us for our eternal life while living on earth. It makes us better people, spouses, parents, friends, and God’s helpers. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go, guard it well, for it is your life. Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers. Avoid it, do not travel on it turn from it and go on your way. The path of the righteous is like the morning sun shining ever brighter till the full light of day. But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble. My son, pay attention to what I say turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the[a] paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.
Proverbs 4:13-27 NIV

Images – Google Images

Scripture – Biblegateway.com

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.

Hearing God’s Voice

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Like Job, I want to treasure (crave) God’s words and guidance more than my daily food! Don’t you? Like the Scripture from Isaiah taught, I want to be able to hear the voice behind me telling me the way I should walk in.

02C68C54-A4C9-4910-9BD5-4705C184814DBut, how do I hear His voice? And, is He really still speaking? Take heart; God is a communicator! He created the gift of communication. That means He does speak, and we do have the ability to hear Him—and even respond to His voice. If God is still speaking, we should do everything in our power to recognize His voice and listen! The act of listening is what’s so desperately needed, yet often sorely lacking, for true communication.

First, let’s look at some ways God will speak to us.

6898D084-635F-4550-9976-D3C489E8B801God speaks through His Word. God’s already revealed much of His will and plan for us through the Word of God. Spending time reading His Word is one of the strongest ways to hear directly from Him.

God speaks through His Whispers. He will often speak softly to our spirits, give us dreams, visions, and/or instruct us through our circumstances. He also will direct our thoughts to His plans.

God speaks through His People. At times God will speak His heart for us through other Christians. It could be in the form of encouragement, correction, or guidance.

My prayer is that this short, seven-day reading plan will be straight from our loving Father’s heart to teach you to avoid the opposing clamor, awaken you to focus on His voice, and fully captivate your heart.

Ask the Father: What do I need to do to become a better listener?

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Today’s worship song recommendation: “Yield My Heart” by Kim Walker-Smith from the holy Bible App Study Plan

May this bless you as it is blessing me.

Images – Google Images

Resource/References – Article from Bible.com, 2015

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.

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Prayers Break Through the Second Heaven

Reblog, March 2018

Your world was calm and settled, you’re an effectual, fervent prayer warrior, all is good and then chaos breaks out in your life. This is an indication that your prayers are getting through! Praying is not for the faint of heart. It is a battlefield.

When we pray, our prayers rise through the heavens to reach God’s ears. When He hears our prayers, He sends down blessings. Praying is warfare and in the case of Daniel, blessings were held up in the second heaven while Michael the Archangel fought the demons that were holding back blessings headed to earth.

“In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” Psalm 5:3 NKJV

The second heaven can be considered Satan’s headquarters. From this position he and his fallen angels do everything they can to bring destruction on the earth and resist the purposes of God’s grace, blessings, and mercy.

Yes, heavens plural, there are three heavens. The first is the visible heaven, it is our Blessingsatmosphere, the second heaven is the evil ones’ headquarters, and the third heaven is where God lives. (Derek Prince, pp 128)

The sole purpose of the evil one is to kill, steal and destroy. If prayers are breaking through the heavens and people are being blessed, the evil one in an uproar. We (prayer warriors) become the enemy. Satan doesn’t focus on his followers, those who live a worldly life, he focuses on God’s people, those working to advance the kingdom of God.

Satan is 100% pure evil, and he has a plan to destroy our lives. Satan is our enemy, like it or not. The battle is between good and evil, and we are the prize. Satan desires to keep us from all that God wants for us. He is the enemy of all people, followers of Christ or not.

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” John 10:10 NKJV

As our prayers are being answered, he goes on the offensive and stirs up the atmosphere around us. He manipulates circumstances and situations against us. He may cause friction, chaos, loss, and illness, anything that can deter us from our mission. This is deception, he causes us to use our energy to address the things he created around us to dilute and weaken our impact as Prayer Warriors by disrupting our persistent prayer time.

It is our responsibility to learn to discern the battleground and figure out our strategy to succeed. Do we give up our time in prayer with the Lord to address the chaos the evil one created around us, or do we get up earlier, use our lunch time and go to bed a little later to maintain our prayer time? We have to learn to distinguish with our spiritual ears and eyes what is moving around us. “Discernment for the believer is seeing and understanding as God sees and understands. It is the ability to make godly judgments and right appraisals.” (Charles Stanley, pp 53)

When the world turns upside down, take time to discern what is happening and how you will approach it. Do not allow the evil one to dissuade you from your prayer time. We cannot afford to be deceived and sidelined. Our prayers matter and people lives are affected by our praying. Each of our prayers is requesting blessings and resolve to life’s situations and circumstances. The failure to pray for others and you leaves everyone prey to the evil ones’ plan for our lives, to remain slaves to him and the world.

Do not be deceived, always look through your spiritual lens and cast the evil ones’ efforts as far as the east is from the west, Psalm 103:12. Stay focused on your prayers until you see the blessings manifest. They may manifest in a recognizable way, or may take another form as God sees fit to advance you into the kingdom. Our prayers may be answered right away, sometime in the future, or not at all, but every prayer has impact and outcomes. We may see some answers to prayers and may not see others. It is all dependent upon how God sees fit to include us in the blessings.

The most important thing is to never stop praying until God leads you to do so. Just make certain you can discern who you are listening to. See my earlier Post, The Voice of God.

Resources

Books
Prince, Derek. Secrets of a Prayer Warrior
Stanley, Charles. When the Enemy Strikes

Website-Blog

Change Your Filter, Hear His Voice

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.

Romans 8:9 – The Holy Spirit Lives In Us

God is a Triune God. He is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. When we received Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we were forgiven of our sins and received the Holy Spirit in our being. He dwells in us. As the scripture states, the Spirit we received brought about our adoption to sonship.

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him, we cry,“Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Romans 8:14-16

This means that we, carnal man, by the power of Divine grace has been made subject to Gods law, but as humans, we must always strive to control our sin nature. We must question our actions, listen to the Spirit (the quiet voice) when we are preparing to stray and develop a heart for carrying out the Word in our daily lives.

The Holy Spirit is our pathfinder, our guide, and our teacher. If we pay attention to His urgings we will avoid many of the pitfalls the devil lays before us, attempting to divert our walk, and undermine our ability to fulfill our destiny.

Just as we abide by our parent’s rules, it is even more important to abide by the Word of God. First God, then family, and all else follows. In short, if we abide in His Word we are on the path to spiritual maturity.

If we fail, falter, or sin in any manner, i.e., ignore the Holy Spirit who dwells in us we can repent, and God will forgive us, giving us another opportunity to suppress our sin nature, regain our footing and continue to walk down the path to spiritual maturity.

Praise our God, the Holy Spirit dwells in us, and our God is a God of countless chances.

This coming Monday is Labor Day in the USA, a long weekend for those who work. I hope everyone, here and abroad has a safe, wonderful weekend.

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Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

Images – Google Images; Burst, Pexels.com

Scripture – Biblegateway.com

Resource/References – Biblestudytool.com, Romans 8

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.

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.

We Live in Spiritual Warfare Terrain, AKA the Battleground

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Many people live in physical warfare throughout the world, but all Christians, 100% of us, live in spiritual warfare terrain. Spiritual Warfare is real and exists on the spiritual plane, the second heaven to be exact. The second heaven is Satan’s headquarters. The war is over the dominion of our soul. The battle (spiritual conflict) is between God and Satan, the fallen angel.

We should not take this lightly. Our soul is at stake. God gave us free-will, the liberty to choose our path. We have the option to follow God, obey the Word and depend on Him, choosing to abide in His Will and develop Christ-like characteristics defined in Galatians or live in the natural, mimicking Satan’s destructive traits.

Some will tell you Satan has been defeated through the cross and that is true. But it is also true that Satan is the father of the earth and all that is in it. He will continue to try to dominate us until Christ returns. In short, the war rages on, the battle is ours. Recently I visited Europe and visited several castles. The one thing that stood out was the fact that different nations conquered different countries, in a back and forth manner. One country captured a nation for hundreds of years and then the original monarchy regained it. The castles were renovated with each victory and were thus a collaboration of all captors.

Man is much like the castles, we assume Satan’s traits because we are born as sinners. We are freed when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We vacillate between good and evil. We display the characteristics of Christ and Satan’s destructive traits depending upon our circumstances. When we falter and take on destructive traits, we are losing the war for our soul.

Satan desires to prevent us from being born again. He works to infiltrate our mind, memories, will, and emotions. He tries to bring sickness, disease, and infirmity upon us. (Spiritual Warfare. Piscopo. pp 27)

John wrote that God desires us to prosper and be in good health even as our soul prospers. If we want to have good physical and spiritual health, we must fight for it. Satan is constantly attacking us when we are awake as well as asleep.

The battle is ours.

The Book of Ephesians, chapter six informs us to wear the Armor of God, why? We are in a battle and Paul described the spiritual war in likeness to a Roman battle and the armor the soldiers wore to protect themselves.

Ephesians 6:11-17 instructs us to:

11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Once we put on the armor, we are instructed to pray because prayer is our defensive tool. God’s Word covers us, informs us and directs us. Ephesians 6:10 implores us to be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. And verse eighteen instructs us to pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Be alert and always keep on praying.

Charles Stanley cautions that we always need to be ready for potential battle. Because we simply do not know when or where the devil is going to strike. We cannot be lulled into thinking that because everything is fine today, everything will be automatically fine tomorrow. The devil never gives up trying to defeat us. He is always looking for our blind side and our weak moments to attack. Stanley continues expressing that we cannot wait until the battle is waged to put on our armor because at that point we are at a disadvantage. We must live in our armor. (Paraphrased, pp 139)

To this end, we are always to remain alert, in slumber and when we are active. We remain active through prayer, praise, and worship. We should put on the Armor every morning and pray for protection as we sleep. When we pray we should implore the Name of Jesus, which is one of our strongest weapons.

I have found that as I read and study the Bible, God is able to speak to me more directly through the Word. I better understand His directions. When Satan attacks in my sleep, the context of the scriptures enter my spiritual lips and cast the attacks as far as the east is from the west. Spiritual warfare requires practice and drills much like those in the armed forces. We must reach the point when our studies become our practice. The rules become spiritual stockpiles and our actions become offensive and defensive weapons as needed.

The battle is ongoing, we are in a war. We have the spiritual authority granted by God himself to be His foot soldiers. We must make the decision to learn how to use the Word of God to effectively defeat the wiles of the evil one.

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My Other Posts, Youngchristianwarriors.com:

~Satan Never Rests; Experience the Joy of Forgiveness, 5/16/18
~It’s Our Journey, Our Gift, 7/10/18
~Time to Come Into the Light, You Feel You Are Drowning, 6/8/18
~Our Garden Cycle, 3/16/18
~Naked Without the Armor, 3/2/18
~God, Crisis, and Grace, 2/3/18
~Helping Children Put On Their Armor Through Prayer, 9/11/18

Images – Google Images; Biblestudytools.com; Bibleverseimages.com

Scriptures – Biblegateway.com

Resource/References – YouVersion.bible.com; Lyrics, In the Garden,Google.com; Spiritual Warfare. Drs. Jerry and Sherill Piscopo. 2009; When the Enemy Strikes. Charles Stanley. 2004; Secrets of a Prayer Warrior. Derek Prince. 2009; Prayers that Rout Demons. John Eckhardt. 2009

Visit my Young Christian Warriors site. The earliest Posts were written to help parents guide and train their children to access the Word of God to direct their steps. Later Posts were written for everyone, though I believe the Posts to parents can serve as reminders for all ages.

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

Looking Back – Satan’s Web of Deception, Self Abuse

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I am currently studying a five-day Devotional entitled, Don’t Look Back, day four to be exact. Last week I shared an earlier devotional on the same subject. You’ll recognize the red title if you look it up.

Today, the lesson is focusing on how looking back feeds the flesh. Looking back is a form of self-abuse in itself, but it also causes you to return to your past. The reason we look back is because we find comfort in our experiences. God instructed Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Once out, they no longer had the comfort of food or shelter. These creature comforts were important to them and somewhat balanced the harsh abuse they experienced as slaves.

When you look back do you look for the comforts often derived from a negative experience? Did your spouse, partner or parent mistreat you and then lavish you with gifts? Did people befriend you to gain what you have? Where you punished and then fed well to offset the punishment? Did your boss promise you the raise and then give it to someone else, and placate you? These are all past experiences that people choose to recall because, despite, the abuse – they were familiar, and oddly enough safe memories of experiences past.

The Israelites blamed Moses for the discomfort they were experiencing in the wilderness. In Exodus 17:3 NLT, they cried, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt? Are you trying to kill us, our children, and our livestock with thirst.”

They had little food during the wilderness period and complained about the good things they had in Egypt, such as good and shelter. They cried, “We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted. But now our appetites are gone. All we ever see is this manna!” (Numbers 11:5-6 NLT.)

The crux of this story is that their comfort was attached to the abuse they received as slaves. Your story may not be fraught with physical or emotional abuse, but looking back instead of forward is abuse in itself. As I shared in the earlier Post, you cannot look in the rearview mirror and focus on what is behind you, and expect to move forward and avoid potholes at the same time. There are many scriptures in The Bible where God instructs us to have faith and look ahead. One of the most notable is Lots’ wife’s experience. The angels instructed them to leave Sodom, and leave their belongings behind, and God would spare their lives. They were also instructed not to look back at the destruction cast down on the city. Lots’ wife defied God’s command, looked back anyway and was transformed into a pillar of salt.

When we experience life’s challenges we can do one of two things, operate in the natural or choose to follow the Lords instructions. It is safe to say that most of us have not learned from the experiences God has shared about looking back. We still seek the (dis)comfort of our past because we find relief in those experiences. God continues to impress that while the transition may be difficult, the unknown is not to be feared because He is with you. He provided the Israelites with daily manna and he will do the same for you. Consider the transition lessons in faith, dependence, and obedience. God cannot guide you if you will not look forward and follow His instructions. Times may be tough, but provisions are provided, just as the manna was provided daily. Faith in God is the key to transition. We often find ourselves in the midst of the storm because we do not focus on God and His ability to change the circumstances. Our career advancement stalls because we look at our past and what we have accomplished, or not, and not what God will provide. Our relationships fail because we look at past experiences that shackled us, for whatever reason, and not at the strength of our current relationship. We look at our neighborhood and want more, but feel we cannot attain it because nothing in our past demonstrates the ability to have more. We look back most often when we are not satisfied with our life.

Most importantly, we look back to when we were not saved, before we received Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, a time when we relied on ourselves, when we managed on our own, made mistakes, failed and wallowed in misery, rather than looking to God for direction, depending upon Him, and being obedient to the Word.

Satan uses the deception of looking back as a control mechanism. He encourages us to back at the past, relive the experiences that are wrapped in abuse and find comfort in slavery. He wants us to remain enslaved where we will never experience the blessings God wants to bestow upon us. He wants us paralyzed, cemented in salt, forever frozen in time.

God has given us free-will, liberty to choose. We choose to look back or focus on the present and what lies ahead. We choose the known and the uncertain. It is safe to say, life is not static, we all experience change and challenges, the key is that the challenges are often the very lessons we need to prepare us for the next step in our walk with Christ. Looking back retards our growth as Christians. Rather than looking back, take Jesus’ hand and walk with Him. The unknown is less frightening when we grasp the hand of a loving parent.

Don’t look back for a sense of comfort. Look to the future, live in the present, and God will lead you into your blessings. God will never leave you or forsake you. The chorus to a Sunday hymn, In The Garden, sums up our relationship with our Lord, Saviour and Father:

And he walks with me
And He talks with me,
And He tells me I am his own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

Serenity Prayer7

Images – Google Images; Biblestudytools.com;Bibleverseimages.com

Scriptures – Biblegateway.com

Resource/References – YouVersion.bible.com;Lyrics, In the Garden,Google.com

Visit my Young Christian Warriors site. The earliest Posts were written to help parents guide and train their children to access the Word of God to direct their steps. Later Posts were written for everyone, though I believe the Posts to parents can serve as reminders for all ages.

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