Archives For Spiritual Battles

What comes to mind when you hear the term, The Battle Is the Lord’s?  or The Battle Belongs to the Lord?

Does the military imagery trouble you? Are you OK with the military imagery but troubled that our part seems to be too passive?

Image by 3dconceptsman DepositPhotos #19467907

Do you ask yourself, if the battle belongs to the Lord, then what do l DO?  Do I just sit here and do nothing?  Well, sometimes the answer is yes.  Other times, the answer might be different.

Be Still

When the Israelites were rescued out of slavery in Egypt, God was setting a trap for their captors that would include rescuing His chosen people while punishing their captors but His own people couldn’t see past the obstacle in front of them.

When they saw the vast Red Sea before them, they complained to Moses that they should never have left Egypt. Continue Reading…

Be Kind: We’re All in a Battle.

My first two posts on Encourage and Equip were designed to lay a foundation for why we need encouragers so much in our day (Why Pt. 1, Why Pt. 2).  However, there is one area I really wanted to write about because it is so critical. But, I wasn’t sure people were ready to receive the message. I wasn’t quite sure how to communicate the message clearly without sounding like an alarmist, a religious nut or fanatic.

At the very core of my being, my heart cries out that the reason we need to encourage people is that we are all in a battle.  Most people don’t even realize it.  Those who are aware of the battle tend to underestimate the opposition–It’s much more than a pillow fight!

The Foundation

At the heart of my thinking on encouragement Continue Reading…

Do not let sin be the boss of you!

You are not under law but under grace.

I felt led to focus on and paraphrase this verse (Romans 6:14) after reading today’s Our Daily Bread devotional.  Bill Crowder writes:

As my wife was babysitting our two young grandsons, they began to argue over a toy. Suddenly, the younger (by 3 years) forcefully ordered his older brother, “Cameron, go to your room!” Shoulders slumped under the weight of the reprimand, the dejected older brother began to slink off to his room when my wife said, “Cameron, you don’t have to go to your room. Nathan’s not the boss of you!” That realization changed everything, and Cam, smiling, sat back down to play.

Having heard my own kids (and others) occasionally use that phrase, “You’re not the boss of me!”, somehow Mrs Crowder’s words added new relevance to old familiar verses.  If we have indeed trusted in Christ’s work on the cross on our behalf, then sin does not have power over us any longer–unless we give it control over us.  When the Apostle Paul says, “Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.” he is actually telling us, “Do not let sin be the boss of you!”  Try to read these familiar verses with that in mind.  You can add a little attitude if it helps.

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.  For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

–Romans 6:12-14 (NIV)

The next time you feel temptation growing within, just let it know, “Sin, you are not the boss of me!”

So often, we attend church services all scrubbed up and looking our best.  On the outside, we probably look like we have it all together and life is just one giant juicy peach.  For some of us, that might represent reality for the moment.  For so many others, that perception is just a thin veneer covering over a myriad of hurts, struggles, challenges, confusion and doubts. Not that we are deliberately hiding things. We may not want to bother others with our problems.  We may just enjoy a break from dwelling on them.  Regardless of how together people might seem, most likely, they still need some word of encouragement because walking by faith is challenging and increasingly challenged.

 

Classic image of a boy with his angellic self on one shoulder and his demonic self on the other shoulder.

Walking by Faith

The Christ-follower lives by faith.  “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists… (Hebrews 11:6 NIV)”  The Apostle John wrote his Gospel so we would believe. Paul tells us, “The path we walk is charted by faith, not by what we see with our eyes.” (2 Corinthians 5:7 VOICE)

We place our confidence, our faith, in an unseen Creator God whose ways and very nature amaze and confound the wisest among us.  However, by his grace, he has revealed enough about himself for us to trust him for the aspects we don’t yet understand.  That is the very essence of walking by faith.  It is not a blind faith that hopes (with fingers crossed) that we have made a good choice.  Based on the evidence and experiences we have already evaluated, we make a conscious choice to trust God for the rest.  Faith is central to our walk, but so often…

Walking by Faith is Challenging

Even John the Baptist had second thoughts about Jesus–whom he had baptized and declared Continue Reading…

“I love You, O LORD, my strength.”
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer…
I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised,
And I am saved from my enemies.

Sunday Verse: Psalms 18:1, 2a, 3 (NASB)

In my last post, I mentioned that We Need Encouragement Because We’re All in a Battle.  Today, I’d like to look at the nature of the battle between good and evil.

It’s hard to talk or write about evil without sounding weird.  The topic of evil makes for great novels, TV shows, and movies—as long as we feel like we can shut it off.  But, when people talk about the real thing, we get a little uneasy. I do too!  We’re not sure exactly how to react or how to process it.  We like to hear stories of God at work causing good to happen.  We’re not quite sure what to do with stories of the devil at work causing evil and destruction.

But it was different on April 15, 2013.

On that day, Marathon Monday in Boston, even hardened, cynical journalists and newscasters couldn’t help but notice and label acts of evil.

It started out promising to be a beautiful day in New England.  In April, that’s not something we take for granted.    Continue Reading…

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (NIV)