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Overcoming Difficult Trials

Archive for the tag “Spiritual Battle”

Dusting Away Distractions

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Everyday life is filled with distractions. Daily goals are met with enticements and diversions that hinder or impede their achievement. Then, while slipping into bed, we review our day and roll our eyes over the many different directions our rabbit trails took us. Distractions once again sideswiped our well-intentioned plan to move forward in our ventures.

When it comes to our spiritual walk, distractions are a key strategy utilized by the devil. Whether he shoots fiery arrows of condemnation and blame in our direction or the enticements of the world call out to us, fellowship time with God is curtailed. The Bible warns believers to be alert and sober minded, lest we find ourselves devoured by this prowling lion.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.1 Peter 5:8 (NKJV)

 John MacArthur sheds light on how to fight distractions.

“The more you focus on yourself, the more distracted you will be from the proper path. The more you know Him and commune with Him, the more the Spirit will make you like Him. The more you are like Him, the better you will understand His utter sufficiency for all of life’s difficulties. And that is the only way to know real satisfaction.”  John MacArthur

Focusing less time on ourselves and spending more time in fellowship with God will accomplish several things:

First, our peace of mind will increase and our stress will decrease. Meditating on the faithfulness and love of God will build up our faith and remind us that there is no life circumstance hidden from our all-knowing God. Worry and stress are a distraction. Focusing on problems is a trap. Doing so will consume our thinking, and eat us alive, leaving us with no time or energy to meditate on things that are noble and pure.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)

Our time would be better spent by seeking God through prayer; asking the one who loves us most, to provide solutions and to direct our path. Then, through the discipline of self-control and patience, we must let go of our frets, trusting an answer is on the way.

Distractions also come in the form of pleasure. Taking a hike, going to a movie, shopping, getting a manicure, and having a leisurely lunch with a good friend are all pleasurable activities. But if they prevent fellowship time with God, they are distractions. Lunch with a friend is not a bad thing in itself. In fact, the Bible encourages us to fellowship with other believers so that we can lift each other up. No, lunch dates are not the problem. The trouble occurs when the cares of the world and the busyness of life cuts into our time with God. Carving out a set time to fellowship and focus on God is a good way to attack distraction issues. God needs to be a priority.

Distractions of the flesh are probably the most common. Sex, food, wine, and a lust for money have made many a prodigal. But these distractions are manageable, if we keep our focus on God. When we commune with the Lord, He will remind us that we are to live as aliens in this world. That home is heaven. To love the world is to be an enemy of God.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.” 1 John 2:15-16 (NKJV)

And the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.Mark 4:19 (NKJV)

Another distraction many of us struggle with is ministry work. Many believers get so busy with church activities that they struggle finding time to be alone with God. A thought or word God would have revealed, had time been spent at His feet, is a grievous loss. We are to serve the Lord without distraction, but to do so, we must also learn to abide in Christ. A constant awareness of His presence, a continual lifting up of praise and worship, and a daily knowledge of His desire to speak to hearts will help to eliminate our struggle with distractions.

I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways.” Psalm 119:15 (NKJV)

And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction.1 Co 7:27 (NKJV)

 A steadfast heart is a loyal heart of devotion. It is focused and strong. It keeps a believer from turning aside to the right and to the left. The path before them is clear and by making God our spiritual “nerve center,” forward progress happens.

Be very strong; be careful to obey all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, without turning aside to the right or to the left.” Joshua 23:6 (NIV)

If we want spiritual growth and maturity, we must consider our fellowship time with God. Is He a priority? Do we spend time meditating on His word? What distractions keep us from Bible study and how can we change things? Periodically, we all need some dusting off and a little spring-cleaning is always a good place to start.

Praising God Is A Mighty Spiritual Weapon

Praise Him *
I am amazed how God created our bodies as musical instruments. Instruments of praise! When we sing to God, there is an affect on the spiritual realm. We have a mighty weapon and we need to use it more. If you are depressed, sad, or suffering try singing a song of praise, or put on some praise music. This is an incredible video. I was amazed! I hope you enjoy it, even if it is not a worship song. 
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151339266221823
“Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, ‘Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.’ After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:‘Give thanks to the Lord,
for his love endures forever.’As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.” 
2 Chronicles 20:20-22 (NKJV)

Wow ! You will be amazed .. Absolutely Mesmerizing

God Needs Humble Soldiers

Give Me your HeartPrvb 23

A man’s pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor.” Proverbs 29:29 (NKJV)

“The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, 
And before honor is humility.” Proverbs 15:33 (NKJV)

It is not easy to submit and give another person authority over your well-being. It requires humility and trust. I say humility, because you have agreed to let them lead and guide. You are a foot soldier under the command of a General. You must follow his instructions and do what he orders, even if you don’t have all the details. Trust is necessary because of the position he holds over you.

These words speak of our relationship with God.  He is the General and we are His foot soldiers. We are to yield our wills and plans over to Him.  If He sends us out on a seemingly dangerous mission, we must trust that He has already equipped us for that assignment. He does not want casualties. He is always victorious in His spiritual battles! 

The blessing we must not forget is that our General is also our Father. Every time one of His children enters into battle, He goes before them. He is our commander but He is also our Creator.  He loves us more than we can fathom and His mercies are never ending.  This knowledge should aid us in trusting Him with our lives.

Unlike earthly Generals, we always have permission to “speak freely” to Him, offering up our ideas or concerns through prayer.  God longs to fellowship with us and want to hear our every thought. He will never turn a deaf ear to our prayers. 

However, we sometimes forget that a “NO” is also an answer to a prayer. Many folks believe that when a prayer request is laid at God’s feet, only a “YES” signals He has answered the prayer. This is just not true!  You will always get an answer for God, eventually. 

Maybe the answer is yes, and action is taken immediately.  Maybe it is yes, but it takes years to see the request answered.  Maybe it is yes, but answered in a way you never could have imagined. Maybe it is no, and you simply need to trust that God has your best interests at heart. 

It is with a humble heart we approach the throne of God and a trusting heart to accept His answer. It would be an arrogant soldier who tosses the Generals commands aside in order to carry out his own.  This General has all the details of every battle.  He has planned his moves with knowledge. If we make a decision with only half the picture, ruin is right behind the corner.

A soldier who obeys his commanding officer and serves in the face of danger, without all the facts, is a man of honor.  He will be praised in this world and in the one to come.  Pride brings a man low and dishonors him with a blemish hard to erase. Humility comes before honor.  We would all be wise to remember these words of wisdom.

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Meditate on these Scriptures and consider how to apply them to your life right now.                                                  

The humble He guides in justice, and the humble He teaches His way. “ Psalm 25:9 (NKJV)

But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud,
 but gives grace to the humble.’”  James 4:6 (NKJV)

“You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.” 2 Timothy 2:3-4 (NKJV) 

Are You Ready To Enter Into Your Promised Land?

joshua

After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.” Joshua 1:1-3 (NKJV)

“And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword.” Joshua 6:21 (NKJV)

Joshua and Caleb were two of the scouts sent by Moses to spy on the Promised Land. The other scouts on the mission came back with a negative report, and put fear into the hearts of God’s people.  Caleb and Joshua were the only two spies who had faith that God would keep His promise to give Israel victory, even over giants! Their faith is what granted them entrance into the lands promised by God.

After Moses died, the mantle of leadership was passed to Joshua. The book of Joshua is all about “entering in” and claiming that which God has promised.  It is also about obedience and faith.

After crossing the Jordan River, Joshua spent 45 years leading the people of Israel in battle. They found victory over their enemies thanks to the power of God. One soldier of Israel was equal to 1,000 soldiers from the other side. Israel was mighty in battle because God was fighting for them.

Although Joshua was a great leader, he too had to learn some hard and costly lessons. One lesson he learned stressed the importance of rooting out any sin in his camp. In life, our actions and sins affect others. There is a ripple affect. Achan’s decision to steal from God, by taking some of the booty from Jericho, cost him not only his life but also the lives of his family.  Joshua rooted out the evil and destroyed it completely.

Besides actively entering into the promises of God, there is another theme found in the book of Joshua. It is repeated over and over. Not only are we to follow….

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