We Sharpen

We sharpen each other through conversation and prayer. Accountability is a cherished tool. Two minds can provide mutual counsel and strengthen each other’s judgement. It builds our countenance in the Lord. What better gift can one bestow on the other than helping one another mature in the Word and to do good in their sphere of influence?

God’s Word, Our Life

PRAYER

Thank you, Lord, for giving me your law to follow throughout my life. I have hidden your Word in my heart to follow and avoid sin. Thank you for giving me the Holy Spirit to teach me your decrees. Please continue to give me focus so I can meditate on your precepts. Give me understanding so I can obey your laws. Open my eyes so I can see the wonderful things in your Word, and act on your commandments as the guiding principles of my life. Turn my heart to your statutes and help me keep my focus off my selfish ways. Help me to be more like Christ. Help me walk in your freedom and live in your truth. Let your compassion come to me and show me my salvation.

In Jesus Name, Amen.

Sacrifice Has Many Faces

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Jesus loves us and gave up his life for us, and we are commanded to give up ours for our brothers and sisters in and out of the body of Christ.

In most cases sacrificing our life is not a literal act but rather love is reflected in kindness, patience, tolerance, honesty and trustworthiness. Ask maturing Christians, we should practice these traits as we go about of daily activities.

Suggestion – Jot down which traits you are exhibiting today and their frequency. By the end of the week you’ll look back in amazement,  and see that they are already, or becoming a part of your demeanor.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”
‭‭1 John‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I Need God’s APPROVAL

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I was reading the Bible App (bible.com, YouVersion) and came across the daily devotional. The image shared Galatians 1:10, HCSB version.

The HCSB (Holman Christian Standard Bible) version of Galatians 1:10, last sentence, reads, “I would not be a slave of Christ.” I do not believe this is correct. A slave does not decide to be a follower. A slave is ordered to follow. God gave us free-will. Free-will negates the command to follow. Following Christ is a life-choice.

If the HCSB version implies being tied to Christ, the phrase may fit. But again, it is not a life-choice; it is an imposition.

I much prefer the versions which read, “I would not be a servant or bond-servant of Christ.”

Becoming a servant of Christ means relinquishing who we are, with who we want to become. Our purpose in life is to become like Christ. We choose to become like Christ by loving our neighbors and spreading the Good Word. We spread the Good Word through our voice, as well as our actions and deeds. Our actions and deeds should mirror Christs’ character. Though we struggle, making these changes in our life will help us become servants of Christ and relinquish trying to please others as our goal in life.

Images – YouVersion.Bible.com; google.com
Scriptures – Biblegateway.com

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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 Demolish Strongholds

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“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”
2 Corinthians 10:4 NIV

According to this scripture, a stronghold is a demonic hold. Strongholds are demolished through spiritual warfare. When we are in spiritual warfare, it is imperative to put on the Armor of God, because we cannot enter a battle ill-prepared.

There are two strongholds that bind believers in bondage. The first one is an incorrect perception of who God is, and the other is an inaccurate perception of who we are. (Identifying Strongholds)

According to Deliverance Ministries, a stronghold is an incorrect thinking pattern. They quote-spiritual-strongholds-begin-with-a-thought-one-thought-becomes-a-consideration-a-consideration-elisabeth-elliot-54-4-0416are built upon deception and error, perpetuated by Satan. The global news is one mechanism used to create strongholds today. Rarely do we view ‘good’ news stories. Why, because these stories would dilute the stronghold of deception, hate, oppression, and depression.

2 Corinthians 10:5 continues by expressing that “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.”

The KJV uses the phrase casting down strongholds and imaginations.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.     2 Corinthians 10:4-6 KJV

Transformation - Thin WithinThe only way we can demolish strongholds is through the transformation of the way we think. Our thinking is governed by what we know, what we are taught, what we see, what we hear, and what we feel. In essence, much of what we know is informed through emotions. We must renew our minds by cleansing it of deceptions, errors, and lies by reading and studying the Word of God. We cannot allow ourselves to conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will. Romans 12:2 NIV.

So, what are common strongholds that we must break to live a Godly life? The primary strongholds are anger, fear, abandonment, shame, lying, financial lack, addictions, sensuality, depression, grief, mental instability, pride, and procrastination. These strongholds can be referred to as clusters because they group a host of similar emotions. (Charisma News)

Strongholds7Satan builds strongholds by reminding us of our past failures and sins. He keeps us in bondage threw doubt, anger, fear, and shame. He works to create an environment of self-hate and self-loathing and uses them to tear down our faith which says we are worthy. He uses our sins to gain a foothold. Extra-marital affairs are an example. There is temptation, desire, and lust, followed by action, twisting the truth, which in turn fosters shame, lying and guilt. Satan convinces us that God rejects us because of our sins and we are unworthy of God’s forgiveness and love.

Stronghold4The only way to break the stronghold is through repentance and the renewing of our mind. We must put on the Armor of God and read the scriptures that offer strength and truth to overcome our strongholds. I think we can all admit that we have experienced strongholds we are not proud of, but with prayer have overcome.

Satan tempted Jesus, he will and does tempt us. Thank God, Jesus died on the cross to take away our sin, 1 John 3:5, and He chose to forgive our sin. Hebrews 8:12.

IMPORTANT NOTE

This post only begins a conversation about strongholds, but hopefully provides an understanding of what demonic strongholds are and how they create a gulf between you and God.

The final verse in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 says, we must bring captive every thought to the obedience of Christ. The only way to do this is to practice living the Word of God to align ourselves with His thinking and promises that set us free. 

ReBlog – https://wp.me/p9BMGC-M8
Images – Google Images; YouVersion
Scriptures – Biblegateway.com
Resources – 
Ministering Deliverance.com; Charisma News-How to Take Down 13 Demonic Strongholds that Bind You, Mark Virkler. Chrisma.com; Identifying Strongholds, Greatbiblestudy.com; Spiritual Warfare-Tear Down Strongholds, Greatbiblestudys.com; The Battle for Your Mind, Rick Warren. desiringgod.org; WInning the Battle of Your Mind, Joseph Prince.com/blog; Prayers that Rout Demons, John Eckhardt.

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.

 

Being ‘Born Again’ Is More Than Literal

1 Peter 1-3

Being born again is more than a literal statement. Being born again is a spiritual blessing. Being born again is a gift of adoption. It shows that God chose us to be members of his family and we are no longer destined to roam the earth homeless. By accepting His offer to be our Father, we entered His Home and are no longer Gentiles. We have become part of His chosen family. We have been reborn of the Spirit. See John 3:1-10.

To reiterate yesterday’s Post, ‘we are no longer destined to hell.’ Our Walk is redirected and aligned with the destiny God created for us.

Will we walk down the new path? That is a personal question that only you can answer. Most of us weave on and off the trail to our destiny. The beauty is, we can re-center ourselves on the path and can ask for help if needed. God responds by saying, do not look to the left or right. Listen to my voice.

Being born again cannot be literal. Our human body is birthed one time and is not a voluntary act. It is the end process of pregnancy. Our spiritual rebirth is voluntary and is permitted as the result of free-will. What is the purpose of constructing a robot and not allow it to become intuitive? The intuitive nature is what allows the robot to choose direction and paths. The same is true of us. God created us to join Him in a (biblical) relationship. The relationship needs free-will, or it cannot be defined as a relationship.

The dictionary describes a relationship as the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected. According to Bible.org, the word, “biblical” is an adjective and describes the relationship as one that meets the criterion of the Bible as it describes and delineates the principles that should characterize any relationship.

Our relationship is both biblical and personal. It began the moment we realized our need My Story3for Him, and admit we are sinners, and in faith receive Jesus Christ as Savior. The first relationship we had with God was when He created Adam and Eve, to set up two-way communication.  They walked with Him in the garden and talked directly to Him. Do to the sin of man, we became separated and disconnected from God.

I feel comfortable in saying that the Lord longed for an on-going relationship with His people and had to reset how He would accomplish it. He decided to send Himself to earth in the form of Jesus to experience mankind incarnate. He gave us a gift when He allowed Jesus to be hung on the cross. The gift is another example of free-will. Jesus during the crucifixion process momentarily operated under the free-will clause, asking God, ‘why, why do you deny me.’ Jesus then thought about the consequences of not going through the crucifixion and said, ‘but your will be done and not mine.’

I bring this into the discussion because I believe God, knowingly accounted for the prospect of free-will being turned against Him, as in the case of Adam and Eve and eating the apple. It worked on His behalf when Jesus denied himself and followed the My Story2path God designed to reunify His relationship with us. He offers the reunification to all of us. The gift was placed deep within us before birth, in that He knew us long before we were born. My experience with longing for relationship entered early in life. It always felt that something, a nagging desire, existed within me to know God more deeply. Like most of us, this is a deep-seated feeling, one that initially cannot be defined. It is not until later in life that this feeling was more than an emotion. Earlier in life when I attended children’s church and Summer Bible Camp, I learned about Christ. My soul was being fed and putting a frame around this longing.

Interestingly, this did not automatically create cognitive thoughts about entering a deep relationship with God.  I pondered how to accomplish this, but I do not believe it is within our purview to do so. One day during service, an altar call was made, and my soul cried out. I then went forward to receive Christ as my Lord and Savior (physically and spiritually) and then entered the relationship he offered me before I was born. (Clarification – You don’t have to wait for an altar-call, you can read the scripture aloud in a room by yourself or in front of others.)

Through this process, I received a spiritual blessing and a personal relationship with God. I can go to God in prayer; He is my Counselor, Psalm 16:7; Psalm 32. I can cry to Him. I can share my fears and most private thoughts with Him. He is All truth. He is my Comforter, John 14:16. I can go to Him when I am ill. He is my Healer, Jehovah-Rapha/ Yahweh-Rapha, Exodus 15:26. I can go to Him when I am lost. He is my Shepherd, Jehovah-Rohi/Yahweh-Rohi, Psalm 23:1. I can go to Him in times of need. He is my provider, Jehovah-Jireh/Yahweh-Jireh, Genesis 22:14. I can go to Him when I have sinned. He sanctifies me and makes me Holy, Jehovah- M’Kaddash/Yahweh-M’Kaddesh, Leviticus 20:8; Ezekiel 37:28. I can look to Him for security. He is my Father, Elohim, Genesis 17:7; Jeremiah 31:33. His is a short list of the names of God. It is important to know the rest, though not as important when speaking with Him in prayer. A name defines us but is not used as part of the salutation throughout conversations and therefore not a requirement in communicating with God. Exposing Jesus’ name protects us from the attacks of the evil one. He is Jehovah-Palat. He is my Deliverer., Psalm 144:2. The Lord’s name is a strong tower. I can run into it, Proverbs 18;10. He sees me. He is Jehovah-El Roi, Genesis 16:13, He is YHWH, Jehovah, our Lord, and Savior. It is by His great Mercy that I am Born Again. Being born again is not and can not be a literal act. Being born again is spiritual. It is our admission to ‘home’.

ReBlog – https://wp.me/p98Coa-yY
Images – Google Images; YouVersion. Bible.com
Scriptures – Biblica.org; Biblegateway.com
Resources – 100 Names of God. Daily Devotional. Christopher D. Hudson, 2015; What are the Different Names of God and what do they mean? Got Questions.org. 9/2018

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.

God’s Presence Is All Encompassing

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Sing (your) morning praise to God. He loves to hear our voice. God is our defense against all ills, daily annoyances, and monumental concerns. He surrounds us with His love and mercy throughout the day and the night, our daily cycle of life.

“God dwells in us, and we dwell in his presence!
All encompassing love.” ~LAB