Letting God Fight Our Battles

I have been on a life changing journey over the last several weeks.  My Mother has dementia, and I am now responsible for her.  In that there have been trials and false accusations made against me from her boyfriend.  If it were not for my faith in God, and leaning into that immense love that God covers us in I would not be walking in peace during this time.   In fact my walk with Christ has grown even stronger and I have learned so much as I read in Samuel about the journey that David endured.

I have come to realize that anyone can face the same issues that David had to deal with thousands of years ago, but there is so much that can be learned.  I have come to realize how someone can have strong faith in God, yet that they can still be crying out because of what is happening around them trying to destroy their faith.  I can tell you that when you lean into Father God rather than trying to do everything on your own, God’s glory will shine even in the darkest moments that you are facing.  When you are going to Gods word and calling out to God in your struggles, you will find a strength that can only come from Christ in you.

David had false accusations made about him when King Saul was pursuing him.  Think of the pain and agony that David felt when someone he held great respect for was accusing him of wanting to kill him.  Yet David showed great control when twice King Saul was in his grasp and David could have killed him, but no he just let him know that his life had been sparred, and he showed a great love for King Saul in those moments.  Many of us can at times in our lives become falsely accused of things.  We know the truth, but the accuser does not and will not listen to reason.  Just as David did you may have to stop trying to confront your accuser and instead pray for your accuser, show love and respect to the person, even though you may be having a struggle deep inside.

I have learned so much from reading about what David did as well as Jesus.  When they faced trials and false accusations they did not confront the accuser.  No they turned to God and they poured out everything that they were feeling and the truth of what they knew of Father God.  As I have applied this to my own life, I have seen a deeper spiritual growth and I have learned so much more about the love of Father God.

Many times I have found myself deep in my bible.  God has shown me and reminded me of the things that I already knew but in my moments of weakness I was drawn into the Psalms, Samuel and even Proverbs.  I have seen an inner strength that I never realized I had, and I account this to Christ in me.  Just as Philippians says I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Before the last 6 weeks I thought I understood this, but I have come to realize it is something beyond anything I ever thought.  As I felt I would break emotionally, I continually found myself seeking God.  Over and over I have seen God make a way for things that were seeming impossible because of what was being said or done by others.

When I felt completely defeated and ready to thrown in the towel, I have been refreshed by the living water that Jesus provides.  I can attribute it to nothing else, for there is no human explanation for how I was transformed.  We have a wonderful and powerful God, and he covers us in a shield of love that protects us from the fiery darts that can come flying at us.  It empowers us to not take offense at things that are said or done against us.

I have been reminded time and again what it says in Ephesians 6, For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.  That is right even when it seems our battle is the person or persons in front of us, it is really not.  We are to love our enemies, and that can be hard, but when I have shown love to my enemy and I prayed blessings over them, I have seen God do amazing things that go against what the person was saying they would do.

So my fellow Christians you need to put on your armor everyday, seek the Lord in all things great or small, easy or difficult.  Then take your battle to the heavenlies and call on the Great I AM to come and fight with you.  We do not win battles we face with words, no we win the battles by taking it to God, calling on God to fight for you because of his great love for you.  In Ephesians 4:2-4 we are reminded to always be humble and gentle.  To be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.  Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.

This is how I have learned to walk out each day and I have seen a change in the environment.  When I turned away from confronting my accuser, and praying for him to be released from any evil spirits there was a shift in the atmosphere.  I can only give the credit to God the Father.  Father God loves me and he loves you.  Papa wants to bless us with what we want.  Remember God knows what we are feeling and our heart, just as well as he knows the heart of the others you know.  Seek God first and trust God with the outcome even if it seems different from what you wanted or imagined.

For I can say that God’s way is so much better than my way.  It may seem strange and confusing at times, but God will never abandon you, not even in your darkest moments.  No instead God will cover you in love, you will find the peace that only Jesus can bring in the middle of a storm.  For the storm may be all around you, but where the boat is sitting the storm is calmed.  The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want, he leads me beside still waters and lays me down in green pastures.  This is a Father that protects you, brings calmness to you, and covers you in abundant love.

In Ephesians 3 Paul talks of the unlimited resources that we will be empowered with.  That is inner strength through his spirit.  Christ will make a home in your heart and your roots will grow down deep into God’s love and this is what keeps you strong.  You gain insight , understanding and knowledge as you grow closer to Father God and you discover a love that is greater than you can imagine.

 

God is on our Side

I am sure that everyone has at one time or another thought God had abandoned them or that God was against them. But I want to reveal to you what Psalm 46 really says about God. I was reading The Passion Translation and although it is poetic it is so powerful with truth.

    God is a safe and powerful place to find refuge

        Yep when you rest in Gods presence you are wrapped in loving arms, it is like a blanket or a cocoon that shields and protects what is within. There is so much safety and it is a place of refuge from the world that is coming against you. Refuge is that place that someone goes to get away from something terrible that is coming after them. They go to that place that they know they are protected. That is exactly what happens when you rest in the presence of the Lord. You are shielded from the fiery darts of lies for nothing can penetrate the shield that the love of God creates. We are reminded that God is a proven help in times of trouble. I don’t know about you, but time and again God has shown up and proven that he is with me fighting my battles. God is a mighty fortress that is built upon the strongest rock Jesus. Just take a moment to close your eyes and picture a fortress built high upon a cliff that is hard to reach. The walls are built of rock and stone, the waves of the oceans below can not reach it and there is a mighty mountain range that must be traversed to even reach this fortress. I can see it sitting high in the heavens, with me safely inside, walking the halls with my beloved Jesus.

    So we will never fear

        I know that is hard to swallow at times, but fear is just a bully that is trying to convince you that he is mightier than Jesus. Well I know that Jesus is the name above all names, and that nothing can conquer the name of Jesus. My friends stand with your hands locked with Jesus and know that fear has no power or authority over you. For you are joint heirs with Jesus and you have power and authority over fear. Stand strong in your fortress that God has provided and yell down at fear “YOU HAVE NO POWER OVER ME”. The reality is that fear is just a small little ant that is going to be crushed by the sea below your mighty fortress. It is our FAITH that keeps us strong when fear tries to stop us in our tracks. In Psalm 46:2-3 says So we will never fear even if every structure of support were to crumble away. We will not fear even when the earth quakes and shakes, moving mountains and casting them into the sea. For the raging roar of stormy winds and crashing waves cannot erode our faith in you. To me those are some of the most beautiful words. It does not matter how strong and mighty the things in your life are they cannot erode your faith in the Lord.

    God has a constantly flowing river whose sparkling streams bring joy and delight to his people.

        That is right the living water that comes from God is powerful and it is filled with love, that fills his children with hope, joy and happiness, in the middle of whatever they are struggling with. That living water brings life and a power that is unshakeable for it flows through the city of God Most High and pours out upon us. God sits high in the midst of this city, secure and never shaken. For all God has to do is raise his voice and the earth disintegrates before him. I see a picture of his voice floating out and the mountains are crashing down, the storms are clearing and in its place are lush valleys full of abundance that can only come from God. The dark skies are made light and are shining with the Glory of God as a new day dawns before you. For remember God is the Commander. The mighty Lord of Angel Armies is on our side. The God of Jacob is fighting for you and for me.

    

The Glory of God

I was reflecting last night as I was conversing with God. I was thinking about Gideon who told the angel of the Lord, My clan is the weakest of the whole tribe of Manasseh. But he did not stop there for than he said I am the least of my family. Right there in that moment you have a clear picture of how Gideon sees himself and his clan. Weak and powerless!

Many times as we go through life we may feel that we are the least of our family or the group that we are in. But the truth is that God always uses the least to reveal his Glory. Gideon thought of himself as the lowest person around. He does not sound like he has much confidence in himself.

But when Gideon questions the angel he is told “Go with the strength you have and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!” See God can always use the least to reveal his Glory. For if God sent the mightiest they would think it was there own power that helped them to succeed. That would end up glorifying themselves instead of glorifying God.

I really like how even though he had doubts, Gideon stepped out in faith. What does he do but fix an offering for the Lord. Then he returns with the offering and presents it to the angel. The angel told him how to place it on the rock and then fire consumed the offering.

Is God calling you to be a warrior for those around you? Maybe people are being bullied at school, or an elderly person is being mistreated. It could be any number of things. Don’t miss the moment when God will show up and ask you to step out in faith.

Just as Gideon was used to glorify God, as the people of Israel we’re being rescued. God can use you. God will make the weak strong so that the goodness and glory of God can be revealed. Stop focusing on your weaknesses and instead focus on God and what he is asking you to do.

Trust that when God is with you there will be success for we have a God that makes the impossible possible.

Jesus Paid the Price

Our beloved Jesus paid the ultimate price for our salvation. It is hard for our human minds to truly grasp the magnitude of the love Jesus had for us that he would be sacrificed so that you and I could gain freedom. That freedom was freely given by our beloved Jesus. At any moment Jesus could have called upon the angels and they would have rescued him, but no he kept his eyes focused on the freedom that his sacrifice would bring.

Jesus was a ransom that God paid to save us from the empty life that we inherit here on earth. The price that was paid for us was more valuable than anything of value here on earth. Things such as gold and silver can lose their value over time, but the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God never loses its value. God loves us so much that he chose Jesus to be the ransom long before the world began. Stop for a moment and think of what that really means.

Before creation had even happened God thought of you and I. God knew that we would fall away, but God had a plan to bring his beloved children back to him. The love that God has for us is so vast and immense that you could never fill a vessel with it. That love is greater than the universe.

Think of what Jesus went through so that we could have everlasting life. Jesus suffered mockery, ridicule and torture beyond imagine. Jesus lived that perfect, sinless life listening to Father God to guide him in all things. Jesus was the perfect, first-born, lamb that was led to the slaughter for all our sins. In those days you had to have a lamb that had no imperfections sacrificed during the Passover.

Our wonderful Lord Jesus had a crown of thorns crushed upon his head, drawing blood as the thorns dug into his head and brow. I can see the droplets of blood running into his eyes, but he endured on. He did not lash out in anger, as he was mocked by the guards. He did not take his eyes off the prize even after he was offered up as a sacrifice. It would have been so easy for him to say Father crush my enemies. But no, instead he remained quiet and endured for us.

Even after the mockery from the guards Jesus had to endure being lashed with a leather whip embedded with metal. Historians have recorded that many that were beaten this way never survived. But Jesus our Lord was not a common man and he endured keeping his eyes on us the beloved prize. If only you can imagine being whipped with something that would cut all the way to the bone. It was known to tear through the flesh, ripping a body, revealing internal organs. Yeah, that is what they used on our beloved Jesus. His body was cut and ripped apart by this terrible leather whip. Jesus did not have welts, no he literally was ripped open with every lash of the whip, having flesh tore from his body, cutting deep into his flesh and bone.

As if that was not enough, than Jesus was forced to carry the cross that he would die upon. Picture our Lord Jesus, beaten, bleeding and then struggling to carry that big heavy cross so that we would not have to. All the while he kept his eyes focused on the love he had for us. The love to bring us into salvation and freedom in our faith of knowing Jesus.

Did you know that Jesus was sacrificed on the same day that the Passover lambs were sacrificed? Back in those days the Priests extended the time for killing the lambs that were brought, so that it was from noon until twilight. These hours coincide with when Jesus was on the cross.

I hope that you can see just how much love Jesus and the Father have for us the beloved children. Even in his body that was destroyed he trusted the Father and knew that he had to finish the task at hand to bring freedom and life. The life that we receive when we believe and have faith in Jesus is greater than any life here on earth. The life of salvation is a gift that is freely given to us through grace and mercy that the Father poured down upon us.

What a love that Jesus had for every one of us. That is such a reckless and wild love that endured to win us back. We no longer have to live in the power of sin, for when we walk with Jesus sin loses its power over us. We are no longer enslaved under the power and authority of sin. The blood of Christ has washed us clean, making us righteous in the eyes of the Father.

Father God gave Moses the law but that could not save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. Yes, as humans we have a sinful nature. But God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. Romans 8 reveals so much about Gods love for us.

As we are heading toward Palm Sunday and Easter just think about how strong Gods love is for us. Think about how much Jesus loves us that he suffered so that we could be free, that we could be healed. Take time to thank Jesus for the suffering he endured to bring you into the glorious gift of salvation, that was freely given. There is nothing that we can do to earn our salvation and we surely don’t deserve salvation, but Jesus has given us salvation through GRACE and MERCY.

Thank you Jesus for the love you have for us that you freely gave your life for us. The love you have for us is greater than anything we can ever imagine. It is an endless love that is never-ending. Jesus you are our hero.

Fear is a Liar

There is a song out that I heard for the first time about a week ago.  Ever since I heard it I keep thinking just how true the words are to the song.  The song is titled “Fear is a Liar” and I have to agree.  Fear tries to come at us like a big bully, it tries to frighten us, it can immobilize you, make you inactive.  But the things that fear tells us are all lies.  Fear is really just a big smoke screen of deception.  That is right deception!

Fear can tell you that you are not good enough.  But God says that you are good enough, you have been chosen.  You have been made special and unique for you are Gods creation.  God has adopted you as his own children (Romans 8:15).  When you became a Christ follower God’s spirit joined with your spirit, and now you are children of God.  When you know that you are good enough, you walk with your head high and you have confidence.

But fear wants to beat you down into nothingness so that you want to just give up.  There are so many different lies that are driven by FEAR, and every one of them is not true.  Girls all the time think they are not pretty enough, because they are comparing themselves to others.  God made you beautiful, and special.  You were given those eyes, that nose, hair that is straight or super curly.  You get the idea each of us was created to be special.  But fear knows that if we walk in that confidence than God wins and fear is defeated.

I think that fear is always looking for a new way to try to immobilize us.  When we realize that what we have been hearing and agreeing with is a lie, then fear uses a new tactic.  Sometimes fear will even try to lure you back into submission by reminding you that, you are used to feeling defeated so why not just come back and partner with it.  Well God did give us a spirit of fear, NO!  God gave us his spirit when we became Christ followers.  Now you have authority over the spirit of fear.  Fear only has power in your life when you allow it.  Take back control over your life.

Fear wants you to be a slave that cowers under its rule.  Fear wants to make you think that it is mightier and stronger than God.  I say no for God is bigger and mightier than fear.  God is the creator of all things.  God knows you so well that he actually knows how many hairs are on your head.  God wants you to walk in the authority that you were given.  You were created to shine.  To walk in confidence that you were chosen.

God chose you, it is never you that chooses God.  “For this is how God loved the world:  He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.  God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”  (John 3:16-17)  Is fear trying to tell you that no ones loves you, or that you don’t belong?  Can’t you see, that is all just a lie.  For you are always loved by God, and you do belong to God.  Even the unbelievers and the broken are loved by God, for Jesus is always with you ready to meet you where ever you are.

For some fear takes control of their lives through anxiety, depression, shyness, or panic attacks.  All of these things can cause you to avoid people.  It causes you to isolate yourself from others.  Some people have such a tremendous fear that they will not even leave their homes.  My heart hurts for everyone that is struggling with fear in any of the many ways that it manifests itself.

But today I am partnering with God.  I want to help others to be empowered to overcome the lies that fear has placed in their lives.  For the majority of my life I was so shy that I would avoid people, I would avoid going to places that were crowded, and I really just isolated myself from having friends or much contact with others.  I did not have any friends for they could not be trusted, or they would judge you.  This affected me in relationships of all kinds.

But what I discovered a few years ago was completely different.  God empowered me to step through the fear and all of a sudden I found freedom.  You to can have that freedom.  It is time to stop allowing fear to be the Warden of your prison.  There is a new sheriff in town and his name is Jesus.  Jesus has the keys to your prison cell and he wants to bring you into freedom that only comes through him.

When you allow Jesus to release you from the strangle hold of fear, you find that you have more confidence in yourself.  You open up and discover that you have friends, that truly want to be around you and that love you.  That is when you realize the smoke screen that fear was using to keep you a prisoner.  Stand tall today and say no more.  Call fear out for what it really is.  Surrender your prison sentence to anxiety, depression, etc. to Jesus.  Then stand and walk in the boldness of Christ Jesus.  Allow Jesus to give you strength to overcome.

 

 

Promises or Lies

I was reading my bible last night in the book of Joshua and a couple of verses just stuck out to me, they kept me engaged in conversation with God and I am still pondering them this morning.  When the promised land was being divided and the tribe of Manasseh was receiving their allotment it says that they were unable to occupy some towns because the Canaanites were determined to stay in that region.   It also says that they asked Joshua to give them a couple of other cities because the Canaanites were to powerful and they had iron chariots.  Joshua gave them two other cities as well but also told them that they were strong enough to crush the Canaanites.

I remember the promise that God made to the Israelites before they crossed the Jordan river.  God promised them that no one would be able to stand against them for God was with them.  God said I will not fail you or abandon you.  Then again Joshua reminds them that they are strong enough to battle the Canaanites.  Yet they failed to ever remove them from the land.  I wonder what caused them to have a lack of courage and to doubt that they could take the land that they were given.  So different from the way Caleb responded at 80 years old as he took the hill country where the descendants of Anak lived.

God gave them a promise of rich and abundant lands.  Then they went to battle and destroyed 37 kings and conquered the land.  They saw first hand that God was with them as long as they worshiped only the true God.  Yet even after that promise from their provider and Father above, they failed to follow through.  After everything that they witnessed in the wilderness, the crossing of the Jordan and then the battles that entailed. It made me wonder what caused them to lack faith and confidence or the courage to do what God had promised them.  As I thought about this and talked to God about this I began to think about the promises that God has given all of us.  That we are children of God, that he is our provider and protector.  Yet many of us fall short in grasping and reaching for those promises.  I even began to think about the promises that God has given me.

I began to realize that  it really always comes down to who are you going to believe.  The promises that God has made to you or the lies that cause fear and doubt.   Are you going to cower in fear because you think that there is no way things can work out.  It is alright to admit that we let fear control us at times it happens to the best of us.  I have spent a good part of my life believing things that were not what God was saying.  But I was weak and I was not weighing it against what God says.  Even now as I am stronger in my walk and relationship with God fear can try to come in.  But now I recognize it and stop it in its tracks.  It is easier to stop the fear when it is small.  For fear can morph and make it look like something is bigger than God, and we can begin to believe God is powerless.  That is when anxiety and panic can set in.

GOD IS NOT POWERLESS AND NEVER WILL BE POWERLESS

When you are facing that giant in your life, stand tall and strong like David did against Goliath.  Cast your stone at the giant and watch the giant fall when you declare who God is and how powerful God Almighty is.  This is easier when you are in relationship with the Lord.  Just like David even in his darkest moments he would tell the Lord how he felt and how overwhelmed he was but then he always finished declaring the goodness of God and what God would do.  This is what happens when you are in relationship versus just having religion.  You automatically go to the Father to see what he says about what you are facing.  You look at the pit of despair and you say no my God is greater than that, God did not give me a spirit of fear.

When you are in relationship with Father God, then you listen to what he has to say.  You ponder and apply his promises to your heart where he resides in you.  The word is where you weigh the things that are on your heart to see if they align with God or with the enemy.  But if you just listen to the lies of the enemy then you start to react like the Israelites and you think I can’t.  We have a God that says you can in the face of the biggest or darkest struggles of your life.

I encourage you to take some time and get to know Father God and Lord Jesus.  Ask them what the truth and promise is for today and for tomorrow.  Remember when God is for you, who can be against you.  There is no problem in this world that is too great for God.  The things that each of us face in life are nothing to Father God.  God is the great creator and he cares about every one of you.  God cares about the things you are struggling with.  We have a big, big God and he is more powerful than anything that we face.  Call on the name above all names Jesus.  Spend time in the word so you know who God really is and you know the truth of what God says about you.

 

God’s Masterpiece

This really spoke to my heart and I wanted to share it with everyone.

Jonathan Camac

masterpiece1

When you look at the canvas of your life, what do you see?

Maybe you see it riddled with mistakes. The lines might not be straight. Parts of the drawing have gone outside of the lines. The paper is torn, dirty. Stains splattered across the painting serve as a constant reminder of past mistakes [1]. People in the painting are blurry, once good friends have become un-recognisable.

No form of eraser or glue can fix the mess which you’ve created.

What would you give to start again? How much money would you pay to have your messy, torn up canvas turned into a masterpiece?

For we are God’s masterpiece.’ – Ephesians 2:9

We don’t become God’s masterpiece after we have fixed up the canvas of our life. Not God’s masterpiece once we’ve sorted out those messy lines and torn edges.  We are God’s masterpiece. Not in a few weeks, months or…

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