What are you waging war against?

Indeed, we are in a different time. We have been crossing over into this season for some time now. While events take place in this world around us, we wake up one day to a different reality. How long has it taken for all of these things to become a reality? They began long ago, but the intensity of the change increased dramatically within the last 10 years.

Many have awaken one morning to this reality and react as if a thief has appeared in the night without our knowing. Was this so cunning that it caught us by surprise? Could it be that we took our eyes off of the very thing that God warned us about in the Bible?

This evening I am reminded of the account of Peter when Jesus was being arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. Peter drew a sword and cut off the right ear of one of the servants of the high priest. In John 18:11 NIV we find Jesus’ response:

Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”

And then we see Luke 22:51 NIV:

But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.

Peter acted out in his own right – he thought – to defend Jesus. Peter thought that he would save Jesus, but evidently, this is not what Jesus wanted; this was so much so that Jesus healed the man.

There is something that we must ask ourselves. Why would Jesus heal this man? Peter was wrong in what he did even though he felt that he had the right to try to keep Jesus from being arrested.

This causes me to think about other times that something like this happened. So, when did any one of Jesus’ disciples ever raise a hand, a sword, or anything of the like to defend their own right? None that I am aware.

We have read about many events in the Bible in which God gave permission to the Israelites to fight, but then there were other battles that God did not give permission and it was devistating.

In this time we find ourselves, there are some that feel the need to defend their rights, or the freedoms for which they have become accustomed. It can be a natural response, but then it can also be a response acted out in the flesh. Could it be that these responses came from those who were not prepared as the Bible tells us to be?

Many of us could feel it in our spirits that things were changing, and any communication of it was looked down upon by many. What so many have failed to realize is that the enemy, called Satan, has been seeking our demise for thousands of years, yet when things change, many are surprised, caught off guard and respond out of their flesh.

As some of us have children who have grown to be teenagers, we are very familiar with the phrase “choose your battles”. There are just some battles that we should not fight. We cannot fight every battle so we should be careful as to what battles we actually choose to fight.

The same goes for everything else. We need to choose our battles and not take on every one. Many battles are fought, not in the flesh, but in a different way. These times that many have awaken to are not battles to be fought in the flesh but in the Spirit. I am reminded of 1 John 4:4 KJV:

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

Our battles are won through the Holy Spirit, and if we choose to fight a battle out of our flesh, how can we be sure that we will overcome? We must be careful not to step out of the will of God, because once we do, we step outside of his protective hedge. This is what sin does, and this is what Satan wants you to do. Satan knows that if he can get you to sin, he can cause you to sin even more. Once you are in his clutches, you are deceived into thinking that you are powerless to do anything about it.

James 1:14-16 NIV says,

But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to death.

We need to make ourselves ready to not only give things over to God, but to fight any battle in the spiritual realm. On our knees is where we need to be right now. We will overcome, but it will be on our knees and in the Spirit. Be victorious, but be careful how you choose to fight that battle.

Go forth and be blessed my friend.

Seeking to be blameless

My reading this morning comes from Philipians 1.

Verse 10 reminds us to discern what is best and to be pure and blameless. I can only imagine the pressure that one would feel knowing that God has called us to be pure and blameless. I feel that it is extremely important that we understand what this really means.

First, we are to be pure in mind, body, and spirit. This is not a destination but rather a daily practice to limit the things of this world that affect our minds, our bodies and our spirit: the movies we watch, the ideas and opinions that we allow into our minds, and whether or not we feed our spirits with the Word of God or with the things of this world. The world easily finds it’s way into your life, but you must invite God in for things to be any different. God is not one to barge in and thrust himself upon you, but the devil will. Therefore, we must seek purity, and remember this: purity comes from an increased devotion to seek God for your own life and the good of your household.

In this age, you can be blamed for something and yet not be guilty of it. We will never live up to the standard of this world that is always changing. God does not want us to make ourselves blameless in front of the world but to be blameless before Him.  We are not to live by the standards of the world but live by the standards that God has set for us.  The world will let us down time and time again,  but God is good and never changing. His standard is pure and makes you blameless not only before him but also before his courts.  God has limitless mercy and grace, but when the devil decides to come before the courts of God and present a case of sin against you, God has no choice but to follow his own Word. 

We can never be without sin, but it is our devotion to God to ask for forgiveness in our mistakes so that we are forgiven. It is our forgiveness that shuts the mouth of the devil since we have already dealt with the sin and received forgiveness from God first.

So, in the eyes of the world, we can never be blameless, but to God, all things are possible. Let’s seek a continuous posture towards God by being aware of our sin and by asking God for forgiveness each time we recognize it…..before the devil has a chance to blame us.

Go forth and be blessed, my friend.