The Sword of the Spirit

Sword

God has instructed us to take up the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17b).

 

The Bible contains God’s Word

We Study it to Arm Our Sword

Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

 

2 Timothy 3:16-17 — 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work..

 

Psalm 119:11– I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

 

Psalm 119: 33-40 – Teach me your decrees, O Lord; I will keep them to the end. 34 Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions; I will put them into practice with all my heart. 35 Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found. 36 Give me an eagerness for your laws rather than a love for money! 37 Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word. 38 Reassure me of your promise, made to those who fear you. 39 Help me abandon my shameful ways; for your regulations are good. 40 I long to obey your commandments! Renew my life with your goodness.

 

Psalm 119:105 – Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.

 

The more you and I know God’s Word, the more useful we will be in doing His will and being more effective in our stand against the devil.

 

The more we know God's Word the better prepared we are to battle against our enemy. Click To Tweet

 

How Can We Use Our Sword?

As we pray and study God’s word, He will release His discernment and His truth into our lives. These attributes, will help us deflect the temptations that come our way, and will help us to refocus our minds back onto Jesus. Then we will be able to work with the Holy Spirit to have the enemy’s strongholds wiped out of our lives.

 

The sword lets us show Satan that we are no longer the dumping ground for his garbage. We are in fact the servants of Jesus and are living a different lifestyle.

 

The sword of the Spirit lets Satan know our minds are no longer his garbage dump. Click To Tweet

 

 

Why We Need the Sword

Did you face any temptations this week?

Did you have any moments when the subtle suggests of the enemy broke down your resistance?

You know what I mean. You found yourself doing what you either know you shouldn’t be doing or you did something you had just decided not to do.

 

 

An Example of How to Work Through a Temptation

The Temptation

Have you ever been bombarded by feelings of worthlessness? That nagging little voice that says, “You don’t fit”; “you’ll only fail”, “They’ll never like you.” Our enemy the devil loves to sow these seeds in the hopes that we will pick them up and let them keep us from fulfilling the plans that God has for us. I don’t know about you, but whenever I feel worthless, I usually take that as an opportunity to not do anything of worth.

 

A Plan Of Action

Because feeling worthless does not help us enjoy our lives or motivate us to do the things that are necessary – we know that something needs to be done. For me, I  need to “submit to God” PRAY, PRAY, PRAY! And, study the sections of scripture that will help me to know that I am of worth and value to Jesus. (James 4:7 tells us our game plan – submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee.)

 

Following Jesus’ Example

We remember from Matthew 4 that Jesus deflected everyone of Satan’s darts by quoting scriptures.

 

What scriptures could we study to turn this mindset of worthlessness around?

Scriptures that tell us how much God loves us:

 

Now all we need to do is devise a plan that will help us benefit from arming ourselves with these scriptures.

For me, that plan might include reciting them in the morning, afternoon and evening for preventative maintenance and to memorize them so I can recall them when a new temptation to fell worthless comes around – and they will come – the devil does not want to lose his grip on us easily. Now the Holy Spirit will fight the battle, while allowing me to do my small part which is to pray, stand and  quote scriptures into my situation.

 

I know that this type of reflection works because I have used the process many times. What it does is cleanse the way that we think and helps us to see our situation from a different perspective and prepares us to cast our care into God’s hands when a new temptation comes along.

 

 

 

Conclusion

We can win the battles if we will put on the whole armor of God. Which includes out sword of the Spirit and The belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of peace, the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith and the necessity to keep it all soaked in prayer.

 

Now that we are dressed for battle, let’s take our stand.

 

What temptation do you need to devise a plan of action with the Holy Spirit to defeat?

I would love to read your comments – so leave a reply in the box below.

Making Fresh Footprints in The Snow

Scriptures to Help You On Your Journey

 

How will you make fresh footprints in the snow this year?

January 1st has already past, but it’s not too late for us to make fresh snow prints in the snow, I mean New Years Resolutions.

Today we will look at some scriptures to consider as we set our goals to follow in Jesus’ footprints.

 

Footprints
Photo courtesy StockSnap – Filip Bunkens and Canva

 

 

We also know that most of the resolutions we make end up not being kept or we just did the list for fun with no intention of keeping them.

 

Others, have decided to make goals instead. Why? Because goals imply that we also have a plan of action to follow through on them.

 

An Example

Starla from You Matter Mission decided to keep her New Years resolutions down to 3 things – thus making them more manageable.  — “It’s the start of a new year and you know what that means; New Years Resolutions! Like many of you I have told myself that this year is going to be different.  I am going to conquer my long list of to-dos and accomplish my goals!  As I think about this new year and my resolutions for it I am approaching 2017 with 3 G’s in mind; Goals, Growth and Grace.

 

Important to Me

Like Joshua, I made the decision a long time ago that “I would follow the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15).

Each new year involves an examination of how I have been following the Lord so I can example that to my family, friends and strangers. (2 Corinthians 13:5.)

 

Questions I Ponder

How was my personal time with God? [prayer, study, meditation, relying, trusting, etc.]

Did?

  • I willingly follow God into acts of service on His behalf?
  • My footprints stay on course?
  • They stray on the snow pathway of life?

 

The answer to these questions is very important to me. As I know that your answers to these things are very important to you.

 

We Need To Be Patient With Ourselves

As we examine ourselves, we can see the areas where we have grown and the areas where we still need to grow.

 

This reminds me of a saying, I heard many years ago: “Please be patient with me, God isn’t finished with me yet.”

 

Let’s EXAMINE OURSELVES WITH PATIENCE, knowing that God’s grace is sufficient to help us move towards His character in our lives.

 

Examine your walk with God with patience knowing that His grace will pick you up and move you… Click To Tweet

 

Consider

The great thing about our walk with God resolutions – is that they are meant to be re-evaluated and tweaked often, not just on January 1st. However, January 1st helps all of us see things from a fresh perspective. How will I put my footprints in the snow this year?

 

REMEMBER:  IT’S A PROCESS, NOT A ONE-TIME EVENT. If we fall down we can with God’s help get back up and continue to move forward. If we stray, all we need to do is say “Jesus help me” and He will and we will be back on the correct path. (The straight and narrow one – Matthew 7:13.)

 

With this in mind, I thought I would share several scriptures to ponder as you examine and decide how to follow Jesus this year. May the Lord order your footprints and grant you even greater success that last year.

 

Let’s make footprints in the snow – Scriptures

 

Seek

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:33).

Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually! (1 Chronicles 16:11)

 

Do Not Worry

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble (Matthew 6:34).

 

Guard

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. (Proverbs 4:23)

 

Hide

I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. (Psalms 119:11)

 

Submit

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)

 

Trust

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

 

God’s will

“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (Luke 22:42)

 

Cast

Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).

Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. (Psalm 55:22)

 

Be alert

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

 

Wait

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. (Psalm 37:7a)

 

Hope

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13)

 

Joy

Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10).

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, (Romans 14:17)

 

Study

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God[b] may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

 

Prayer

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

 Never stop praying. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

“Ask, and it will be given to you seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7)

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11:24)

 

 

An example of why waiting on the Lord is so important

There’s this picture, I’m sure a lot of you have seen, of a man with a pick axe digging through a tunnel. He’s working his way towards the diamonds and he’s been at it for so long it seems like all there is is tunnel. He’s working tirelessly trying to get to what he knows is there. Then, there is a second picture of him. It’s him realizing he’ll never make it to victory. He’ll never get the diamonds. So, he turns around and leaves the tunnel.

 

The thing is, what he didn’t see, if he had just struck the dirt one more time, he would’ve hit the diamonds. He was so close. [This post is worth checking out and is where I found this example: http://www.carmelaaimee.com/breakthrough-in-sight-2-lessons-from-2-kings-7/]

 

Don’t Grow Weary

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. (Galatians 6:9)

 

We will reap what we sow as long as we keep trusting Jesus and don't become weary in doing good. Click To Tweet

 

 

Conclusion

Let’s listen for the Lord and allow Him to help us order our footprints in the snow this year.

So we can have the best year ever.

 

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)

 

 

Would enjoy reading your comments: What are your favorite inspiring scriptures?

Faith will have it’s perfect work, when it is tested and refined in the fiery furnaces of life.

Many of these furnaces (trials) will not feel great. Some will be very painful.  Yet, they will help refine our character by removing the impurities in our lives. How can we have the mind of Christ – by having our minds and character renewed day-by-day.

 

Let’s take a look at a great example of what faith looks like when it has “it’s perfect work.”

 

Perfect Work

 

The Perfect Work Of Faith

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego’s Example of Faith’s Perfect Work

 

Golden Statue Set Up

Verse 1: Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits and its width six cubits. He set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.

 

Rule Is Given

What Was Required

Verses 4 and 5: Then a herald cried aloud: “To you it is commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up;

 

Punishment if Not Obeyed

Verse 6: and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.”

 

3 Men Were Brought to Nebuchadnezzar’s Attention

For Disobeying His Command

Verses 8-12: Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and accused the Jews. They spoke and said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever! 10 You, O king, have made a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the gold image; 11 and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. 12 There are certain Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego; these men, O king, have not paid due regard to you. They do not serve your gods or worship the gold image which you have set up.”

 

Nebuchadnezzar’s Response

Verse 13: Then Nebuchadnezzar, in rage and fury, gave the command to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. So they brought these men before the king.

 

He Offers Them A Second Opportunity

Verses 14 and 15: 14 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the gold image which I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, and you fall down and worship the image which I have made, good! But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?”

 

They Failed Nebuchadnezzar – However, They Served God

Verses 16-18: 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

 

Although Nebuchadnezzar was directing great anger towards them – these young men responded to him with calm submission due his position. They would have spoken to him as was proper (from God’s perspective) while still remaining steadfast and strong in their conviction and stand.

 

Nebuchadnezzar’s Rage Intensifies

Verse 19a: 19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego.

 

WOW!

His fury was greatly increased and his expression towards these 3 wise young men was changed.

 

Fury Extracts An Even Tougher Penalty

Verses 19b-23: He spoke and commanded that they heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. 20 And he commanded certain mighty men of valor who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnace. 21 Then these men were bound in their coats, their trousers, their turbans, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. 22 Therefore, because the king’s command was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. 23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

 

For these young men, stoke the flames up by 7 times. There is absolutely no way I want them to succeed in what they presented to me.

 

Looking In The Furnace, Nebuchadnezzar is Astonished

Verses 24a: 24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished;

 

WOW! The King’s fury has now changed to astonishment. He never would have imagined anyone surviving his fury.

 

Didn’t We Throw 3 Men In

The God They Had Professed Faith in Earlier Met Them in the Fire

Verses 24b and 25: and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” 25 “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”

 

All the fire did was set these men free from the things that had them bound. They were loose – set free in the fire. Like gold which is refined in fire – all the impurities of this life were taken from them and they were free in Christ.

 

So Surprised, He Asks Them To Come Out of The Fire

Verse 26: 26 Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here.” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire.

 

They all learned that day that God was way stronger than Nebuchadnezzar, his statue and the fiery furnace heated up 7 times. Reminds me of a 2nd World War story that I once read, about a Polish priest who offered to take the place of a man with a family in one of the German concentration camps. They allowed the exchange. He was thrown into the gas chamber with others. He got them all to sing songs of praise and worship to God. The amazing thing about this event was that the dose of gas had to be multiplied by 10 times it’s normal strength to finally kill these people. God doesn’t always take us out of the fires but that Polish priest served God right onto his last breath and if we overcome and follow his example and the example of these 3 young men we will see them all in God’s kingdom.

 

They Come Out Unsinged

Verse 27: 27 And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.

 

This is a miracle. Have you ever noticed, how you smell after you leave a place that has been filled with smoke. You smell smokey. However, these boys came out of the refining furnace without any scent of having been in a smokey place.  

 

Nebuchadnezzar Praises God

Verses 28: 28 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God!

 

This result would never have been achieved had Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego accepted the King’s second opportunity to do things his way (music plays, you bow down to my standards which are in direct opposition to God’s standard). By sticking to God’s way, Nebuchadnezzar realized that he was not stronger than or greater than God.

 

Nebuchadnezzar Makes a New Rule

29 Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.”

 

Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego are Promoted

Verse 30: 30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the province of Babylon.

 WE HAVE A PROMOTION COMING IF WE WILL LET FAITH HAVE IT'S PERFECT WORK IN OUR LIVES. Click To Tweet

 

What Can We Learn From Their Faith

 

God has demonstrated to us beyond doubt that He alone is worthy of our praise.

 

We must learn what is acceptable to Him and make the conscious choice to do those things and leave behind the things that oppose Him.

 

We must be prepared that our stand will involve persecution. However, with God nothing is wasted, He will take the things that happen to us and Romans 8:28 them. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

 

When we take our stand to remain faithful to God there is nothing on this earth that can defeat us. If God is for us who can be against us. However, like these 3 young men we have to be prepared that our stand will lead to our death while knowing that we have the greatest reward awaiting us – being able to see Jesus as He is and to live with Him for eternity.

 

Let’s take Colossians 3:1-3 seriously and set our hearts on the things of God.

Colossians 3:1-3 – If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

 

Let’s stand firm – being totally committed to Jesus.

1 Corinthians 15:58 – 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Luke 9:62 – 62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

 

 

Conclusion

 

If we take our stand and refuse to let this world squeeze us into its mold we will be persecuted.

2 Timothy 3:12 – Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution

1 Peter 4:12-14 – Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.

 

 

Yes we will be persecuted because Jesus’ ways are so different than the natural way that we would life without Him. However, we know that the only difference that can be made in this world is living differently – we can not solve the earth’s moral dilemmas on our own – we need a Saviour and King who will change us from the inside out.

James 1:2-4 – Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

Romans 5:1-5 – Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

 

To be part of the change, bringing others to Christ, we must live differently than those without Christ do so they can see the benefit of coming to Him. Let’s do all we can, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to be ambassadors of the life of Christ and allow our faith to grow.

 

 

A Final Comforting Word

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

 

WE HAVE A PROMOTION COMING IF WE WILL LET FAITH HAVE IT’S PERFECT WORK IN OUR LIVES.

 

 

“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” (Ephesians 6:16). 

 Faith

 

A Definition of Faith

Biblical –

New American Standard Bible: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  (Hebrews 11:1). 

J.B. Phillips Translation – Now faith means putting our full confidence in the things we hope for, it means being certain of things we cannot see.

The Message: The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see.

New King James Version: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

New Living Translation: Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.

 

Dictionary –

The dictionary defines faith as “belief in, devotion to, or trust in somebody or something, especially without logical proof.” It also defines faith as “belief in and devotion to God.”

 

What Do We See In Hebrews 11 Verse 1

Faith is:

  • Not blind.
  • Assurance.  It is a know-so and not just a hope-so. 
  • Confidence in the things we hope for.
  • Trust. And this trust is the firm foundation of everything that makes life worth living.
  • The reality of what we hope for.
  • Our conviction (a firmly held belief) of things we have not seen. 
  • Certain of the Things we cannot see.
  • The evidence of what we cannot see.

 

Faith is belief in the one, true God without seeing Him.

 

How Important Is Faith?

Hebrews 11:6

It is so important that, without faith, we have no place with God, and it is impossible to please Him.

 

Read From Several Different Translations

JB Phillips – And without faith it is impossible to please him. The man who approaches God must have faith in two things, first that God exists and secondly that it is worth a man’s while to try to find God.

CEV – But without faith no one can please God. We must believe that God is real and that he rewards everyone who searches for him.

NIV –  And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

NKJV –  But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

NLT –  And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

 

How Must We seek God?

By Searching:

  • Diligently
  • Earnestly
  • Sincerely

J.B. Phillips expounds on these efforts by saying that we must believe that God is worth pursuing and nothing else could be of greater importance.

 

The shield of faith can extinguish ALL the devils fiery darts. However, we must be holding it in… Click To Tweet

 

Conclusion

The shield of FAITH can extinguish all the flaming arrows the devil sends our way – if we are holding it in front of us.

 

We Are More Than Conquerors With Our Faith In Christ. And because God is for us – no one can come against us.

 

Faith
(Photo courtesy of LisaAttractLove on Pixabay and Canva

 

 

Be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds. Let this mind that was in Christ Jesus be in you. You have the mind of Christ. Okay but what does that look like?

 

Currently, we are studying the full armor of God and taking a closer look at the helmet of salvation. The helmet is the part of the armor that is worn to protect your head which houses your mind. It is the center where we make all of the decisions and where our core values are stored.

 

We are allowing our minds to be transformed so we can become more like Christ and benefit from all the thinks that He died and rose again to make possible for us.

Transformed
(Photo courtesy of GDJ on Pixabay and Canva)

 

God has to give us this armor because we are totally helpless to fight against “the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12) on our own.

 

Satan, the leader in all this warfare, is a spiritual being who led a revolt against God as seen in (Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28).

 

Now he spends all his time trying to hurt God. Since he knows he cannot hurt God directly, he is coming after us and any work that God is trying to do on earth. Keep in mind his name means adversary and he is totally adversarial towards the things of God.  And, his main emphasis is to weaken the faith of every Christian so we won’t be willing to put in the time to become transformed in our thinking.

 

Part of his ploy is to offer you the world (whatever you want) just like he did to Jesus in Matthew 4. However, he knows that he can’t deliver anything of lasting value, because his days are numbered and coming to an end. Revelation 20:10 – And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”

Satan will offer you whatever you want as long as you will serve anything other than God. Click To Tweet

 

Right now:  he is very powerful over us. Remember we are not to be ignorant of his tactics (2 Corinthians 2:11). He pawns himself off as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14) and he is a liar (John 8:44 – “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.).      

 

So far, we have put on the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness and the shoes of peace. We are now working on the helmet of salvation.

 

Side Note: Isn’t Bible study exciting? One would think that you could just write a quick article – this is what a helmet is, this  is why soldiers wore one, put yours on and get going. But the Word is living and God wants to be in relationship with us, so He won’t let us have a static relationship with Himself or His Word. So I found myself following many different turns along the way and wanting to share them with you.

 

Let’s buckle up our seat belt and see where God will take us.

 

Last week we saw that character is very important. It is who we are deep inside of ourselves. It’s how we conduct ourselves. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. And we know that what comes out of our hearts is regulated by how we think.

 

The mind is where we think. And the mind is in our heads, that is why God has given us a helmet to protect our heads.

 

Our minds encompass our thoughts (imagination, reasoning, and intellect), our emotions and our will. In simple terms “I think (thoughts) I feel (emotions) and I want (will).

 

Guess what? The mind is our battlefield. It’s where we determine our will and the purpose for our lives. And, our enemy knows the best ways to destroy us is to get us thinking negatively about ourselves and about God and about our situations. A direct attack on our relationship with God, with ourselves and with others.

 

God’s answer is for us to have the renewing of our minds by submitting ourselves to His working in our lives.

Transformed

Strongholds are defeated by bringing every thought captive to obedience in Christ. Click To Tweet

 

 

PART OF BEING TRANSFORMED

 

We are to think on these things:

Transformed
(Photo courtesy of Paola Chaaya on StockSnap and Canva)

 

We have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16).

We are to develop the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

And we are to become holy as He is holy (something only those indwelt by the Holy Spirit can attain). (1 Peter 1:16; Leviticus 11:44-45).

 

GOD IS DEVELOPING HIS CHARACTER IN US ONE TRANSFORMED THOUGHT AT A TIME.

Character, what is it? Character is: “Who you are when you are alone.” It’s who we are when no one can see or know what you are doing.

 

D.L Moody puts it this way: “Character is what you are in the dark.”

 

Character
(Photo courtesy of Susannp4 on Pixabay.com and Canva.com)

 

Today, let’s look at a Psalm written by David, either as young boy or a teenager. He was out on the  field, looking after his sheep, all alone. He could have spent all of his time daydreaming about the latest superhero, being the hero in his own story or writing a story. However, we see that he took time every day to think about God and to learn from God.  This shows us how he grew up to become a man after God’s own heart.

 

Acts 13:22 tells us what God had to say:

“But God removed Saul and replaced him with David, a man about whom God said, ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do.'”

 

Let’s Look At Psalm 19

 

Character

Character

Character

 

Conclusion

 

David had to take the time to develop his character. During this time of development, he would seek God’s presence, be consistent in prayer, would listen to see what God would have him do and then he would do it.

 

I like the fact that David was totally reliant on God. Did he ever make unwise choices and go against what God was telling him?

Of course.

However, he always came back to the last three verses of this psalm.

  • God cleanse me from secret faults (v12)
  • Keep me from presumptuous sins (v13) (It’s done knowingly)
  • Help me to let Your Words be the meditation of my heart.

 

David wanted what came out of the abundance of his heart to be godly. He wanted to be an excellent advertisement of how great Christ is. In order to do this, David, stayed surrendered to God and repented when his sins were pointed out to him (Think of Nathan).

 

Character does need to be developed. And the best character to develop is the character of Christ. We need to let Christ live His life through us.

 

So, the questions to ask ourselves is “Who am I when no one is looking?”

 

When our lives don’t line up with God’s character, we can repent and ask God, “Father help me to not sin against you, help me to seek your presence, to enjoy relationship with you and to make the changes in my life that you bring to my attention. And then help me to share what I am learning to help others in their journey to be more like you.

 

Thank you, God, we are becoming more like Christ day be day. And who we are, in the dark, is a reflection of You.  

 

WHO WE ARE WILL DETERMINE WHAT WE DO!

 

The Romans Road of Salvation has been used by many over the years as a way to explain how to be made right with Jesus. 

 

 

Romans Road
(Photo courtesy of Pixabay and Canva)

 

Follow The Romans Road to Salvation

 

STEP 1: All Have Sinned

Romans 3:23 – For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.

 

Romans 3:10 – 18 — 10 As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous—not even one. 11 No one is truly wise;  no one is seeking God. 12 All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one.” 13 “Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with lies.” “Snake venom drips from their lips.” 14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” 15 “They rush to commit murder. 16 Destruction and misery always follow them. 17 They don’t know where to find peace.” 18 “They have no fear of God at all.”

 

Romans 5:12 – When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.

 

STEP 2 – The Consequences of Sin

Romans 6:23a – For the wages of sin is death,

 

STEP 3 – Christ Died For Us

Romans 6:23b – but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Romans 5:8-11 – But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. 10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

 

STEP 4 – Confess and Believe

Romans 10:9-13 – If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. 11 As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” 12 Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. 13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

 

STEP 5 – Results of Salvation

Romans 5:1-5 – Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

 

Romans 8:1-2 – So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you[b] from the power of sin that leads to death.

 

Romans 8:38-39 –38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[p] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

 

Conclusion

The Romans Road is one of the ways that we are able to represent Jesus Christ to other.

Romans 10:14-17 – 14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? 15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” 16 But not everyone welcomes the Good News, for Isaiah the prophet said, “Lord, who has believed our message?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.

 

The Romans Road provided a great review of salvation. Now we can wear our helmet of salvation and move forward into living out a saved life. After all, if we have truly been saved by all that Christ has done for us (become justified) doesn’t it make sense to want to live like He does (sanctification)?

We know that we must be saved to be given the armor of God. So why is God giving us a helmet of salvation? The only answer that makes sense is that salvation must be made up of different phases. Guess what?  It is actually made up of three different phases.

 

Today we will take a look at the 3 different phases of salvation.

 

 

Let’s See What Scripture Has to Say

Phases

Salvation does in deed consist of 3 phases: justification, sanctification,and glorification.

 

The helmet goes on the head so we must be concerned with the part of salvation that deals with our souls – “I want,” “I think,” “I feel.”  Or put in simpler terms our behavior matters. How we live our life after accepting Jesus as our Savior matters. How we live our lives after being justified (made right with God – our spirit is changed) and before we are glorified (receive our new bodies) matters.

 

The 3 Different Phases.

 

Justification

We obviously can’t be talking about justification because that is done for us by Jesus. This happened the moment that we accepted God the Father’s offer to receive the payment Jesus made on our behalf for our sins. Once we accepted this payment, we became the righteousness of God in Jesus. Our sin penalty was payed and our eternal security was achieved. We became a new creation (1 Corinthians 5:17), a child of God.

 

phases

As a child of God we are able to receive the armor of God.

 

Glorification

We also can’t be talking about glorification. This is also done by God. 1 Corinthians 15 lets us know that this change will occur for us when Christ returns. Sin will now be completely absent and we will be perfect. What a glorious day that will be.  

 

phases
(Photo courtesy Pixabay)

 

Sanctification

We must be talking about sanctification. When the Father drew us to Jesus and we accepted Jesus our spirit was immediately changed and we became a child of God. We also know that when Christ returns we will see Him as He is in His glorified state because we will have our new bodies.

 

Sanctification is the process of changing our souls one decision at a time. This is where we get to work with the Holy Spirit to demonstrate the mind of Christ. We already have the mind of Christ in us because we were saved. Just like we have muscles when we are born, but they will not build (become stronger) unless we exercise them. The same with our character. It must be developed by how we respond to all the trials, tests and good times that happen in our lives. Do we respond in a godly manner or do we respond from our old human nature? God is all about choice.

 

Sanctification will be seen by others through our behavior. This is where we work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). This is where we bring into captivity every thought that is against Jesus (2 Corinthians 10:4-5); this is where we have our minds transformed by the washing of God’s Word (Romans 12:1-2).

phases

 

 

THE THREE PHASES OF SALVATION

[Based on the teachings of Chuck Missler]

Justification

  • past tense
  • I am saved
  • I am separated from the penalty of sin
  • the change occurs in our spirit
  • After accepting what Jesus did for us on the cross we are declared righteous in Him.
  • We have passed from being separated from God to being united with Him.
  • We become a child of God.
  • Our eternal security is sure.

 

Sanctification

  • present tense
  • I am being saved
  • I am being separated from the power of sin
  • Happens in our soul (I want, I think, I feel.)
  • I am developing the character of Christ in my actions
  • His thoughts our becoming our thoughts, His love is becoming our love, etc.
  • This is where we learn to be over comers and bear fruit.
  • Our behavior matters.

 

Glorification

  • future tense
  • I will be saved
  • I am separated from the presence of sin
  • Happens to our bodies
  • We receive our new bodies  when Christ returns.
  • I am perfect.

Conclusion

The helmet of salvation has to do with guarding our lives by the renewing of our minds. It’s about learning who Jesus is and how He lived His life so we can become just like Him.

The helmet of salvation deals with our “being saved” part of salvation known as sanctification. Being saved does not mean that we are on our own – this is where the Holy Spirit comes in to guide us into the fullness of Jesus’ character.

 

phases

We exercise the renewing of our minds by praying and asking God for His help and by studying His Word and applying it to our lives.

 

What scriptures are you asking God to help you apply in your life?

 

Thanksgiving Day affords us a wonderful time to express our thanks together as a nation. We have so many things to be thankful for. Some examples include, air to breath, homes to live in, clothes to wear, our health, our gifting and our talents. However, the most important reason to be thankful, not just on Thanksgiving but all of the time, is that we have a God who loves each one of us so deeply and completely and who will not leave any stone unturned to help us see how much He loves us.

Thankful
(photo courtesy Jeremy Thomas, Unsplash)

 

Part of God’s Will

 

So often we want to know what God’s will is regarding our lives. Well 1st Thessalonians 5:18 lets us know one part of His will in definite terms. “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”

 

God's will for us includes being thankful. Click To Tweet

 

 

“IN’ Not “FOR”

 

What we see here is the word “in” not “for”. As Ruth Bell Graham said: We can’t always give thanks FOR everything, but we can always give thanks IN everything.

 

The NLT Life application gives this reason for why “in” and not “for”: Evil does not come from God, so we should not thank Him for it. But when evil strikes, we can still be thankful for God’s presence and for the good that He will accomplish through the distress.

 

“When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone.”[ James 1:13 Berean Study Bible.]  In fact, the same chapter of James tells us why we can be tempted: “14 Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. 15 These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.”

 

When we are being tempted we can come to God and ask Him for His help. 1 Corinthians 10:13 – “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”

 

 “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. [Romans 8 28]

 

James 1:12 – “ Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

 

It’s Tough To Be Thankful

 

While reading for this topic I found the following comment: “Researchers have proven what most parents probably knew instinctively: gratitude doesn’t come naturally. In her book entitled The Gift of Thanks, Margaret Visser cites a study which observed how parents teach their children to say “hi,” “thanks,” and good-bye.” The children in the study spontaneously said “hi” 27 percent of the time, “good-bye” 25 percent of the time, and “thanks” 7 percent of the time. Parents had to prompt their children to say “hi” 28 percent of the time, “good-bye” 33 percent of the time, and “thanks” 51 percent of the time.

In conclusion, children had a much more difficult time learning to say “thanks.” Most children have to learn to say “thank you” even before they know what it means. Visser states, “Eventually, when [children] have matured and been further educated, they will come to be able to feel the emotion that the words express. The words come first, the feelings later.” Perhaps this applies to adults too!

Based on this research Visser concludes that learning to be thankful involves a steep learning curve. She writes, “In our culture thanksgiving is believed to be, for most children, the very last of basic social graces they acquire.””

 

As Christians we know that thankfulness should be one of our defining traits. It is something that we can have naturally once Christ begins to live His life through us.

 

 

A Psalm of Thanksgiving (Psalm 100)

 

This psalm contains Four key words that give us a great description of the essence of thanksgiving. I decided to state thankfulness in two different  ways to give each verse it’s own word.

 

.1. Joy – We should be excited about who God is and what He has and can do for us.

James tells us, “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. [James 1:3-4]

And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” [Nehemiah 8:10]

Jesus has won the war – we are developing His character and will live in eternity with Him do I need to say more. Let’s rejoice with great joy.

 

.2. Gladness – We can serve the Lord with gladness because we serve a living Lord. We know that Jesus can help us with everything that comes our way. As we saw above, He wants to take everything that happens in our lives and work it out to a good conclusion for us.

 

.3. Dependence – God is God and we are not. He has created us and He knows exactly what we need in every situation of our lives. And if we ask, He will provide for us. “The Lord is my shepherd, I SHALL NOT WANT.” [Psalm 23:1]

 

.4. Thankful — Thanksgiving is what flows out of a thankful HEART. In Luke chapter 17 we read the story about the 10 lepers. These lepers yelled out to Jesus and asked Him to have mercy on them. And, Jesus did extend His mercy to them – “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” When they first left Jesus they were not healed, their healing took place while they were on their journey to the priests. All ten were healed. But only one of them came back to say thank you to Jesus. Jesus makes a point of saying “wasn’t there 10 of you?” Highlighting our need to be thankful for all that He does for us.

 

.5. Gratitude (this also means thankful). Psalm 100 Verse 5 gives us some really good reasons why thankfulness should flow out of us as a way of life.  God is good, His mercy is everlasting and His truth endures for all generations. How can we not be thankful when we see all that God can, has and will do?

“Everything comes from him; Everything happens through him; Everything ends up in him. Always glory! Always praise! Yes. Yes. Yes.” Romans 11:36 (MSG)

 

 

How Important Is Thankfulness Towards God?

Let’s See How Often References Are Made To Him In this Passage

 

Thankful
(photo courtesy Jeremy Thomas, Unsplash, Canva)

 

From this section of scripture, we see that having our focus on God helps us to remain thankful. When we look at our circumstances  or at what we don’t have we tend to fall into ingratitude.

 

Conclusion

So let’s become people who are thankful at all times IN every circumstance. Let’s learn to trust God and ask Him to show us how to be thankful.

“In heavenly armor we’ll enter the land, The battle belongs to the Lord. No weapon that’s fashioned against us shall stand, The battle belongs to the Lord.” (Petra, “The Battle Belongs to the Lord.”)

 

Battle

 

 

As we saw last week “resting is warfare.” Resting really means to put our full confidence and trust in the Lord and wait for Him to bring the solutions to our battles.

 

As a conclusion to the shoes of peace lets take a look at how a nation rested in the Lord for His solution to their battle.

 

2 Chronicles 20 contains the story of Jehoshaphat, Israel and 3 large armies.  Israel did not have enough soldier power to beat these armies on their own.  Naturally speaking. The king was astute enough to realize this.  And, he knew that it was a time to trust in the Lord to battle for them.

 

Let’s read the section of Scripture – it tells the story beautifully.

 

2 Chronicles 20:1-30

The Stage is Set (verses 1-2)

“After this, the armies of the Moabites, Ammonites, and some of the Meunites declared war on Jehoshaphat.  Messengers came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army from Edom is marching against you from beyond the Dead Sea. They are already at Hazazon-tamar.” (This was another name for En-gedi.)”

 

The Initial Reaction (verses 3-4)

“Jehoshaphat was terrified (afraid) by this news and begged the Lord for guidance. He also ordered everyone in Judah to begin fasting. So people from all the towns of Judah came to Jerusalem to seek the Lord’s help.”

 

Being terrified – led Jehoshaphat to an action. He eagerly sought the council of the Lord. Why? Because he knew he could not trust in his own wisdom and strength.

Begged – means he didn’t just flimsily ask God for help. Example:  “Hi God, fight my battle see you later, tomorrow maybe.” He took the time to ask God in faith to help them.

Fasting – They wanted God’s help enough that they took time out of their daily eating routine to demonstrate their need of Him.

 

Lesson to Ponder

We have to ask ourselves, how do I handle my difficult decisions? Do I turn to God and seek His guidance and strength? OR Do I handle it on my own terms and hope for the best (often forgetting there could be a worse)? Often you hear people say, as my last resort I turned to God to see what He could do.”  God should be and wants to be our first for lack of a better term step.

 

God’s Gift: The Freedom to Choose For Ourselves

The one thing that God has granted you and I is the freedom to make choices. Even accepting Jesus as your Lord and Saviour is a personal choice that you have to make no one else can make it for you. Should I sin or should I walk in God’s counsel – our choice? Again our choices will determine the outcomes that we experience.

 

The Action of Jehoshaphat’s Choice (verses 5-12)

 

“Jehoshaphat stood before the community of Judah and Jerusalem in front of the new courtyard at the Temple of the Lord.  He prayed.”

 

The Prayer of Jehoshaphat

  • ““O Lord, God of our ancestors, you alone are the God who is in heaven.
  • You are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth.
  • You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against you!
  • O our God, did you not drive out those who lived in this land when your people Israel arrived?
  • And did you not give this land forever to the descendants of your friend Abraham?
  • Your people settled here and built this Temple to honor your name.

.. They said, ‘Whenever we are faced with any calamity such as war, plague, or famine, we can come to stand in your presence before this Temple where your name is honored. We can cry out to you to save us, and you will hear us and rescue us.’ 

.. “And now see what the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir are doing. You would not let our ancestors invade those nations when Israel left Egypt, so they went around them and did not destroy them.  Now see how they reward us! For they have come to throw us out of your land, which you gave us as an inheritance. 

.. O our God, won’t you stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.””

 

Lesson to Ponder

“We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, we are looking to you for help.”

 

Where is your help coming from, when all that is happening to you is outside of your natural ability to change?

 

Prayer is our lifeline. It is the one thing that lets God know more than anything else that we are submitted to Him. Remember the formula for dealing with life’s battles? Submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee. The Submitting to God is talking to Him and casting all of our cares upon Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).

 

[The resisting of the devil is the study, memorization, meditation of God’s Word – remember Jesus answered every one of the devil’s temptations with a scripture, “It is written.” (Matthew 4:1-11)]

 

Prayer is something that is so simple to do but sometimes overlooked because we are well grained in this society to be independent. “I will do it by myself.” It may take effort on our part but the rewards will be great. 

 

Prayer is easy to do but often overlooked. Click To Tweet

 

Back to Jehoshaphat’s Life

God’s Answer to Their Prayers (verses 13-17)

“As all the men of Judah stood before the Lord with their little ones, wives, and children, the Spirit of the Lord came upon one of the men standing there. His name was Jahaziel son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite who was a descendant of Asaph.  

 

He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow, march out against them. You will find them coming up through the ascent of Ziz at the end of the valley that opens into the wilderness of Jeruel.  

 

But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!””

 

WOW! God has answered their prayers and it will be done in an extraordinary way.

 

God answers prayer and does so in extraordinary ways at times. Click To Tweet

 

Immediately upon hearing God’s solution to their battle, they went into worship to thank God. They had not seen His solution yet. They just knew they could trust Him. Why? Because, He had come through for them so many times before.  

 

We can also go into worship and praising God when we ask for His help. Because, we have the examples written in the Bible and personal examples of God helping us. The question becomes: Will we trust God enough and give Him the praise He deserves regardless of how He answers our prayer?  Remember Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, they trusted their lives and their death into God’s hand – In Daniel 3 they faced a really difficult decision. Will you bow down and worship the idol of me, or burn in the fiery furnace, Nebuchadnezzar asked. And they, “replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

 

We can trust in the Lord to take care of us. He has demonstrated time and again His ability to do so.

 

Worship Resulted (verses 18 and 19)

“Then King Jehoshaphat bowed low with his face to the ground. And all the people of Judah and Jerusalem did the same, worshiping the Lord. Then the Levites from the clans of Kohath and Korah stood to praise the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud shout.”

 

Battle Day Prep Speech (verse 20)

Early the next morning the army of Judah went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. On the way Jehoshaphat stopped and said, “Listen to me, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be able to stand firm. Believe in his prophets, and you will succeed.””

 

Lesson to Ponder

BELIEVE IN THE LORD YOUR GOD AND YOU WILL BE ABLE TO STAND FIRM.

Remember what Ephesians 6:13 and 14a said. “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. Stand firm then,”

 

Jehoshaphat And Israel Go Out To Battle Worshipping God (verse 21)

“After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the Lord and praising him for his holy splendor. This is what they sang: “Give thanks to the Lord; his faithful love endures forever!””

 

The Result (verse 22-24)

“At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the Lord caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves. The armies of Moab and Ammon turned against their allies from Mount Seir and killed every one of them. After they had destroyed the army of Seir, they began attacking each other.  So when the army of Judah arrived at the lookout point in the wilderness, all they saw were dead bodies lying on the ground as far as they could see. Not a single one of the enemy had escaped.”

 

Added Bonus (verses 25-26)

“King Jehoshaphat and his men went out to gather the plunder. They found vast amounts of equipment, clothing, and other valuables—more than they could carry. There was so much plunder that it took them three days just to collect it all!  On the fourth day they gathered in the Valley of Blessing, which got its name that day because the people praised and thanked the Lord there. It is still called the Valley of Blessing today.”

 

Lesson To Ponder

Immeasurably More Than We Can Imagine

Ephesians 3:20-21 is always a verse that comes to mind when I think about all of the great things God has given us. “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

 

Rest Was the Reward For Trusting In God (verses 27-30)

“Then all the men returned to Jerusalem, with Jehoshaphat leading them, overjoyed that the Lord had given them victory over their enemies.  They marched into Jerusalem to the music of harps, lyres, and trumpets, and they proceeded to the Temple of the Lord.  When all the surrounding kingdoms heard that the Lord himself had fought against the enemies of Israel, the fear of God came over them. So Jehoshaphat’s kingdom was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.”

 

Lesson To Ponder

Rest In Battle

 

Battle

 

Conclusion

Jehoshaphat is an excellent example of Resting in the Lord as our battle plan

 

 

Matthew 11:28-29 – ““Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

 

The Battle Belongs to The Lord by Petra

Enjoy.

 

 

 

Let us make “resting in the Lord” our main battle plan.