Tag Archives: fight

The Monster in the Mirror

There she is again.  Every time something goes wrong, even with something goes right, this wicked monster is the first to cast stones.  She’s quick to remind me of everything I’ve ever done wrong.  Every day, I must contend with her.

Every day, she reminds me of how weak and beaten up I am and all I’ve been through.

Minute by minute if I listen to her, I’m reminded of why I shouldn’t try, why I shouldn’t believe for better and should quit while I’m ahead.  With every new day, the old stares me in the face – if I focus on her long enough, her voice overpowers the God in me.

Perhaps the most important choice is at the beginning of the day, deciding who you’re going to listen to.  The monster doesn’t lie, she tells the truth…her version of it, anyway.

She wants to keep my focus on the past and all the pain affiliated with it.  She needs an excuse to make no effort.  Not because she doesn’t believe (she does – she knows God) but because she does and she knows if I choose not to listen to her (myself) and heed His word and His truth instead, efforts must be made, exercises in faith and trust must ensue.  She’s tired.  She’s weary and she’s discouraged.  She finds very little reason to believe a single word she says or trust even a fleeting thought of hope.  It’s all justified.  Just like a victim seeking revenge on her assailant, her actions would be righteously justified.

Here’s the thing, though.  She’s submitted to God so her right to herself has been relinquished to His right to her.  Her own actions to justify herself are null and void…She’s put her trust and heart into the hands of a Mighty Savior who has already won the battle with the monster.  All she has to do is believe it.  She knows she’s no match for fighting the monster but she’s sure her Jesus is more than capable for the battle of the day.  It’s not her strength against who she sees (and remembers) in that mirror that will have victory this day; it’s His.

Every single day, the choice is ours.  Who will lead us?  Who will we listen to?  Who will we believe?  Ourselves or our King?  The battle is won or lost with that one decision.  The truth is, we may have to make that decision on a minute by minute basis. It won’t be easy (the past will attempt to discourage); it won’t be fun (fighting ourselves is ugly and messy) but we will be victorious against our giants if we choose to fight with all of our armor on – trusting Him with everything they throw at us.  Are you in?

“…even if our hearts condemn us.  For God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything.”  1st John 3:20 NLT

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T-R-U-S-T

T – Take your feelings and what you think out of it. (Matthew 36:39)

R – Remember Who God is and Whose you are.  (Psalm 91:2)

U – Understand it may not be easy; it may not even be close to what you think it should be. (Isaiah 55:8)

S – Stand firm on God’s word especially when there’s nothing else to stand on. 1st Corinthians 15:58)

T – Totally rely on His power and strength and not your own. (2nd Corinthians 12:9).

Blinded by the Fight.

It seems to me America is in the fight of her life.  Where is she?  What’s happened to her?  Where are the godly values and the character we say we possess, the ones this country was founded on?

We’ve been infected with the disease of conformation.  Romans 12:2 tells us how that ailment can be avoided but are we even reading our Bibles and seeking God about anything anymore?  Who did we vote for?  Did we pray over our decision?  Did we – despite all odds and what it looked like – vote for GOD’s choice?  Did we seek HIS WILL rather than making the mission about winning at all costs and perhaps leaving God out of it?  Look at the two candidates – do we believe that either of them are GOD’S CHOICE?  I’ve watched in amazement on both sides because we’re settling and voting for blatantly dishonest and ruthless people who will say and do anything to win.  Integrity no longer matters and it seems we as Christian voters don’t care whether God’s involved or not as long as we win!  Conformation.

I’ve been told all my Christian life “you can’t vote your faith”.  So, it looks like we didn’t on either side!  Even prominent Christian leaders who have been asked the question of whether they believe either candidate is God’s choice, every one of them (that I’ve heard anyway) walked all around that issue giving all kinds of excuses, the most prominent to my memory being that no matter what, we must win; we can’t have the other side being in the White House.  I totally get what an important election this is.  I just feel we’ve been so distracted by the fight we’ve sadly conformed (Romans 12:2) and forgotten to include God in this process.

Conformation has overtaken us. We’re living and voting like we don’t have a “God factor” and the evidence of that is very clear.   Had we been fighting “the good fight”, listening to God, allowing Him to lead, and voting with His will as priority, would we be where we are now? Would we have the candidates we have now?

No matter who becomes president, we have only ourselves to blame for the state of the nation.  The demise of our Christian-based country rests on our Christian shoulders. We’ve been distracted, complacent and unfaithful.  We’ve played church and used our Bibles as weapons and excuses and we’ve been fooled by the enemy to think the fight is more important than our faith.  We believe we must win at any cost, thus what we see unfolding right before our eyes.  Conformation.

Remember Your Resource!

Our lives are structured, certain things have to be done at certain times most of the time. I have long days beginning at 6:15 a.m. and ending around 1 a.m.  This morning I got up and went downstairs ready to start my day. As I got into things I suddenly remembered my new glasses…which I didn’t have on.  I had become so accustomed to not being able to see that for a good hour, I didn’t even remember that I had them!!

Such is the case for our lives.  We get into routines and ruts, doing what we’ve always done, thinking the way we always have sometimes forgetting the resources to make our lives better and even more productive!  Often when we remember it doesn’t have to be the way it’s always been and we make a change but tend to fall back into our usual way of living.

The Lord has so much more for us.  Inside us dwells the power that resurrected Jesus after three days in the grave.  That same power that created the entire universe, that hung those beautiful stars we see at night is in us yet, we live mundane, often powerless lives.  When things are difficult the power doesn’t fade away…we just don’t tap into it.  He enables us to get through everything we go through.   Big and little, life-changing or life-draining, we still have the power.

Sometimes all we can do is believe He’s with us and for us, even when things feel and seem to be quite the contrary.  “Walking in the Spirit” sometimes may be simply getting out of bed with tiny mustard seed faith to believe He’s with us.

Don’t forget or neglect the power inside you.  He’s given you exactly what you need to live this day.  Everything we need to fight the good fight of faith is found in Him.  Let’s live like we believe that. In order to see well, I must put my glasses on.   Unless I do my part, I suffer unnecessarily.  The same is true in relation to faith in Jesus.  We must do what we can and believe Him for the rest.

It’s good to see this morning.

Waive Your Rights

(Based on Genesis 13)

Abram was the called one.  God spoke to him one on one.  He got the directions straight from the King Himself.  He decides to be obedient and off he went taking his cousin Lot with him.  Along the way, they ran into conflict with their livestock and boundaries so Abram decided it was time to separate.   He went to Lot and let him decide which way he wanted to go to set up his homestead.  Abram assured him he wanted peace and he allowed him to choose.  Lot, of course, like many of us, chooses the land that resembles the Garden of Eden, lush and pristine.  Abram was good with that so they put distance between them.

Abram had the right to choose the best. After all, he did Lot a favor by bringing him along…actually God told him to leave everyone but his immediate family behind and for whatever reason he chose to bring Lot.  Things could have gotten really ugly between them.  “Hey! You’re forgetting your manners, boy.  If it weren’t for me you wouldn’t be here at all! I’m the leader, you can’t have the plush land of Jordan.  God called me – I deserve the best…”.  It could have gone like that.

I’m the oldest of my father’s four children.  I have rights as the firstborn…yet I find myself with nothing that identifies me as my father’s child except my last name.  I could fight for what is rightfully mine.  For years I struggled to find and establish my place in my family and found myself deeply wounded and disappointed at every turn.  I was always the outcast and never treated like the others.  When my father died, I chose to let go and move on.  I shook the dust from my shoes.  I decided what went along with what I “deserved” is in no way worth any more heartache.  I waived my rights to myself.  I’ve never regretted that decision.

I left behind “good and right” for the best God has for me and I don’t regret it.  Some say I’ve cheated myself.  Maybe that’s true, it depends on perspective.  Everything affiliated with what “should” one day be mine is laced with terrible pain, a lifetime of lies and scars it’s taken a lifetime to heal.  So.

What are you fighting for?  Maybe it’s time to reassess.  Look at what the fight is doing to you…not for you.  Is it worth it?  A life of faith – a walk of faith sometimes will take us to the place of choice where we REALLY have to let go and give it to God.  Sometimes faith begs the question, will you let go of what you think is rightfully yours?  No, it’s not right or fair and no, it shouldn’t even have to be a choice, but it is what it is.  Do you dare have that kind of faith in God, that one day He will heal you and make all the wrongs right?

I choose to have 100% complete faith in my Father.  I choose to believe He will do exactly what He has promised, restore that which was lost.  I believe He will heal me of every single hurt and heartache.  As a matter of fact, He’s doing it right now.

Think about what happened to Lot and where he made his home.  It was all utterly destroyed. Abram walked on and walked into EVERY promise God made him.  Will you?

The Third Day

Your battle’s been long. Day after day, you rise praying for a change and a “better” but it still looks and feels the same. You’re tired.  The facts say this is the way it’s going to be. It is what it is, despite your best efforts. Discouragement has crept in and depression isn’t far behind. You tell yourself you may as well settle in and try to become okay with it because it’s never going to change for the better. You’ve given it your best shot; now it’s time to learn to live with it.

The disciples felt the same way.  Walking on that road to Emmaus they reminisced over all they had been taught and heard from Jesus.  They gave up everything to follow Him only to watch Him be captured and killed.  He’s dead.  They’d seen Him die, they probably witnessed His cold body be wrapped in death linens and placed in a tomb.  Gone.  Buried.  What are they supposed to do with that harsh truth?  That was the truth, you know.  They were grieved and perhaps decided to go back to their pre-Jesus lives. It appeared to be over so they scattered and went on.

Wait.

They forgot the rest of the story.  In their grief, fear and despair, they forgot the truth…HIS truth…that yes, He would be crucified, killed and buried BUT He would rise again. At that moment on the road, though, their confusion and grief was all they could see and feel.  It had been three days, too long a period of time to really hope for a change.

Is it your third day?  Are you loosening the grip on your hope? Sometimes the truth of the situation trips us up and we fight the thing which causes our grip on God to weaken. The circumstances are real and we demand God show up and rescue us. Perhaps we’re looking more for a thing rather than the Person.  Oswald Chambers makes a profound statement which says “the purpose of prayer isn’t to get an answer, it’s to get hold of God”. In times of desperation and depression, that “mission” evades us – we’re so focused on our need we’re sometimes more desperate for an answer or remedy than we are for Him when, in fact, He is the answer!

Third days are hard. Our faith erodes and we’re finding ourselves in a weakened state physically, mentally and spiritually.  What do we do? Hang on.  Start speaking “the other” truths to yourself and remember, HIS WORD is just as much truth as the situation we find ourselves in.  Start believing (even though it appears to be ridiculous) what He said.  Convince yourself that no matter if everything looks dead, He’s not.  He is hope.  He is peace, comfort, and He has promised to provide.  He’s promised to never leave or forsake us.  He’s in that third day place with us.

The critical choice is whether we choose to have hope in Him or not. Jesus had the ultimate third day. He proved Himself to be who He said He was.  He will do the same in your third day.  Only believe.

Luke 24:21