The Battle is the Lord’s

In a war, the soldiers sometimes surrender a battle but sometimes they actually surrender the whole war. Spiritual warfare is very similar to a physical battle.

 

If we surrender in a battle, we live to fight another day. If we surrender the war, we leave the outcome to a higher power. God is our Higher Power, and He desires that we completely surrender our life, love and will to Him.

 

Our Father knows best, and He wants only the best for us. He will never leave or forsake us, and He provides for our every need as we trust exclusively in His provision and care (Hebrews 13:5; 1 Peter 5:7).

 

The alternative is to fight the war from our own strength. This predictably ends in us suffering from battle fatigue with no more strategy to win the war.

 

Even if we surrender temporarily, with aspirations to return to the war in our own strength once we recoup, we end up right back where we are now…exhausted, discouraged and feeling overwhelmed.

 

We must come to the end of our self at some point in our life and totally surrender to God every thought, word and deed – led by His Spirit in everything we think, say and do.

 

We accomplish so much more with our remaining life than we ever did during all of the years on our own recognizance. We waste so much time when we live life our way instead of God’s (Ephesians 2:20).

 

Yet, if we completely surrender all of our life to God at a young age, and walk only by His Spirit with ceaseless prayer, we are so much more effective in furthering the Kingdom of God in the earth with better health, a more mature spirit and a fulfilled soul.

 

It is never too late to surrender, however, no matter how old we are. Sometimes, it takes us a while to learn to “let go and let God”. The point is to totally surrender every battle to the Lord and we will eventually win the war as well.

 

Prayer:

Father remind us to trust only in You with our whole heart, not to rely on our human intuition or wisdom, to totally surrender to Your will and purpose for our life, and to allow You to direct every battle of the spiritual warfare in which we are embroiled (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

We cannot trust our heart or our mind to safely lead us (Jeremiah 17:9). Only in Christ do we have half a chance of making a lasting difference in this world (Philippians 4:13). You give us Your wisdom and Your Word, directed by Your Spirit with a failsafe battle plan every time (James 1:5; Psalm 119:105).

 

Thought for the Day:

True power and wisdom come from Christ in us, not from our own resources; so the wise will totally surrender to Him each moment of life and wait expectantly on Him alone. –  John 15:5; Psalm 46:10

 

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No Longer a Sinner – Free Indeed in Christ

 

 

The average Christian spends very little time meditating on the reality of our death in Christ; yet the truth of this concept releases us from our struggle with sin and our dependence on our human understanding.

 

We are crucified with Christ; and the life we now live, we live by the faith of Christ in us. The word “I” is eliminated from our vocabulary and the concept of Christ in vital union with us is paramount in the forefront of our mind (Romans 6:3-5).

 

Not I, but Christ is our mantra, our battle cry and our certainty (Galatians 2:20). We are dead and buried with Christ in God (2 Timothy 2:11; Colossians 2:12, 2:20, 3:3; Romans 6:4). We are risen and alive with Christ in us (Colossians 3:1). We sit with Christ in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:5).

 

We may suffer with Christ, but we gain our strength and power to live through every trial from Christ who shares with us His glory (Romans 8:17). He is the first born among many brethren, and we have all the attributes of the Trinity within us.

 

We live, move and have our entire being through Christ in us (Acts 17:28). Our union with Christ is as intimate as the union of the most loving husband and wife (Romans 7:4). He is our foundation upon which we are built (Ephesians 2:20-22).

 

Therefore, we have no more need to live in sin. We are free indeed in Christ in us, who is our hope of glory, clothed in His majesty from on high (John 8:36; 2 Corinthians 5:2).

 

Prayer:

Father God, as a branch, we cling to the Vine (John 15:1-10). You created us as Christ’s body and He is our head (1 Corinthians 6:15, 19; 12:12). With Christ, we are all members of Your extended family (Romans 5:12, 21; 1 Corinthians 15:22, 45-49). You baptize us into this union with Christ (Galatians 3:27).

 

Christ sits at Your right hand; yet He also lives on this earth through His worldwide Body. To those who trust Him, He imparts Your power, purity, peace and passion to complete Your work on the earth. Thank You that we are dead to the power of sin’s control over our life, and that we can now please You with our every thought, word and deed (Romans 6:11).

 

Thought for the Day:

We serve at the pleasure of our King; and we move, stay put or pass into eternity according to His eternal will and promises.

 

A Reflection of God’s Glory

God is always waiting with open arms to embrace us at any moment in which we care to cast our self on Him. He inhabits eternity and uses all of His power and authority to meet the needs of our body, soul and spirit.

 

As we walk as a fragrant gift in surrender to God’s will, we savor the sweet love, which Christ gives to us (Ephesians 5:1-2). He is our strong tower and our everlasting Father. Even if we fall, we are never utterly cast down, because He sustains us in His hand (Psalm 37:24; Song of Solomon 8:3).

 

God made a new covenant with us; different than the one He made with those who lived during the Old Testament times. He created this new covenant in Christ; and it gives us all of the rights and privileges of His spirit-filled, adopted heirs.

 

God’s Spirit transforms us through the experiences we have each day. He teaches us through our participation in life to trust God, because of His faithfulness to us. As the Holy Spirit directs us, we learn to lay our life down for God as Christ did.

 

We learn of Jesus’ character and divine nature through His inspired Words in the Bible (2 Peter 1:4). We read about Saints of old who actually experienced face-to-face encounters with Him. We learn to trust Him with our life, because they did (Exodus 24:15-17).

 

He satiates us through all of our being with all of His fullness and we grow in our intimacy with Him on a daily basis (Ephesians 3:16-19, Amplified Bible). Our love relationship deepens as we focus on Him and totally surrender every aspect of our life to Him.

 

Prayer:

Father God, Jesus was in Your very form and equal to You even while He existed in this earthly realm (Philippians 2:6). This same glory abides within each Believer due to Christ abiding in us (Colossians 1:15). In Christ there is no fading of Your glory as was Moses’ experience after his time with You on the mountain (2 Corinthians 4:4).

 

Remind us that our words and behavior are also a reflection to the world of Your character. If we walk in the flesh, we tarnish Your name and cause people to speak evil of You. Lead us in paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake (Psalm 23:3). Help us to reflect Your glory so they will see Your power and majesty and come to believe in You as we do.

 

Thought for the Day:

God fellowshipped with man in the Garden of Eden during the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8), from the Mercy Seat in the Holy of Holies, and now through Jesus as He dwells in the spirit of every authentic Believer. – Exodus 2:21-22, 33:11

 

Our Faithful God

Negative emotions are God’s red flags to alert us to some negative aspect in our life. Maybe we failed to obey the Lord and are now reaping the consequences of living outside of His will.

 

Possibly, we neglected our own needs or are taking things that other people say or do too personally. Maybe there is an unresolved conflict in our soul that is piggy backing on some current event.

 

Pray about the negative emotion. What are the words in your mind associated with that feeling? These are clues to the source of the problem. Then ask God to reveal His truth about the situation.

 

We may have erected an idol in our life and God is using the circumstances to dethrone it from its position. Surrendering the issue to the Lord, who cares about every aspect that affects our body our soul and spirit, will put things into a proper perspective.

 

As we trust God to work out these issues with His victory, He will give us His peace and joy in the midst of them. We relinquish our will to His and enjoy His many blessings.

 

God’s guidance always brings us inner peace, even if we do not like what we must do. With Christ in us, we experience true contentment all through the day (Philippians 4:12). We give thanks to God, even for the negative aspects we face, knowing that He will work out all of them for our good (1 Thessalonians 5:18; Romans 8:28).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You are our sanctuary and strength, our constant protector and provider, especially in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1). Due to Your dynamite power within us, we are no longer slaves to sin, but bondservants of the Living Lord (Romans 6:6; 2 Timothy 2:24).

 

Those who hurt us will fade like the grass and die away, because we trust in You (Psalm 37:1-5). Your promises protect our life (Psalm 119:50). You keep us in perfect peace as we keep our focus on You regardless of the people and circumstances around us (Isaiah 26:3).

 

Thought for the Day:

We rejoice in the Lord in the midst of our trials as we trust God’s faithfulness and obey the leading of His Spirit; we relinquish the need for human understanding and we acknowledge and accomplish His will for each moment throughout the day. – James 1:2; Proverbs 3:5-6

 

Hidden with Christ in God – Part 2 – Help in Time of Need

God has our best interest at heart; although according to human reasoning, it does not always appear so. We often unwittingly pray against the will of God in our life, and He will not answer those prayers (1 John 5:14).

 

We fight life’s negative circumstances and cry out for God to correct them; when all along, He is actually using them to correct our course in life (James 1:2).

 

God’s desire is for us to fully surrender to Him in trials, so that He can use them to do His perfect work in and through us in the exact timing and location in which He chooses to put us (James 1:2-12).

 

The comfort we seek often first depends upon our repentance of our current sins (2 Corinthians 7:10). The lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life often fuel our prayers and our activities in life (1 John 2:16).

 

We even want the bragging rights for our hard earned achievements, rather than realizing they are the result of God’s Spirit working in and through our life.

 

We want worldly gain, when God’s will is for us to walk in holiness (Isaiah 35:8). We find both serenity and maturity in the words and example of Jesus Christ (John 6:63).

 

When we suffer from stress, abandonment, grief, anxiety, failure or illness and we feel overwhelmed and defeated by life, God hides us in the cleft of the Rock of Christ and reveals Himself to us by His Spirit and His Word (Exodus 33:22).

 

We can dwell with the most disappointing mate, rebellious children, horrible work experience, devastating illness or the driest church life and still live in the fullness of God through Christ in us (Galatians 2:20).

 

As we seek first His Kingdom, He provides us with everything we need to flourish in this life (Matthew 6:33). The flesh is worthless, but God’s Spirit gives us what we need to succeed (Romans 7:18).

 

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, overflowing with Your divine fullness, we find that nothing is impossible for us to achieve according to Your will (Philippians 2:12-13). You brought us up out of the miry pit of self-centeredness and set our feet upon the Rock of Christ (Psalm 27:5, 40:2; 1 Corinthians 10:4). In troubling times, You hide us in Your Tabernacle.

 

There is nothing to fear, because nothing can separate us from your love: not the trials of life, spiritual powers, the past or the future, no mountain top or deep valley of circumstances, no created thing and not even death (Jeremiah 42:11; Romans 8:38-39). Thank You for continually hiding us in the depth of Your love (Acts 17:11).

 
Thought for the Day:

When the comforts of this life fail us, yet Jesus Christ actually dwells within us, we find our refuge in the love of Christ in us (Psalm 46:1); He reassures us as no one else can, because He lives inside of us and knows our every conscious and unconscious thought. – Colossians 1:27; 2 Corinthians 13:5

 

 

 

Hidden with Christ in God – Part 1 – My Initial Reaction

 

When I first read the words, “hidden with Christ in God”, I was angry. It was not until my mid-forties that I discovered my true self; and I was not willing to give up my new found autonomy and be demoted and hidden in the background once again.

 

I had just learned, from the loving tutelage of my employer, that I am a person too and that I have rights and privileges that no one prior to this point, myself included, had ever allowed me to enjoy.

 

My father was autocratic and bombastic by nature (the Italian Mafia type). Due to my insecurities, fears and codependent attitude, I taught my friends and extended family to treat me as an appendage rather than as a viable member of society. I lived like a doormat most of the time.

 

Then, out of nowhere, when I reached my limit of patience or was extremely wounded by someone’s treatment of me, I used anger to attempt to wrestle away from others their control over my life. This often left them puzzled, resentful and wounded in return.

 

Therefore, when I read that verse in the Bible, I did not want to be hidden away again. I had no desire to give up the ground I gained when I realized my freedom as a person to be accepted, listened to and part of the decisions made concerning my life.

 

As I prayed about this verse, God showed me that He wants us to be hidden with Christ in Him, because He desires that we live in constant fellowship with Him, intimately knowing Him and Christ whom He sent (John 17:3).

 

He wants His rivers of living water to flow in us, through us and out of us and upon everyone we come in contact with throughout our day (John 7:38). He changes the course of lives through Christ in us.

 

I knew that I could ultimately trust God with every aspect of my life, so I totally submitted to His desire to hide me with Christ in Him (Isaiah 57:15). I want Him to use all of me, holding nothing back from Him, to further His Kingdom in the earth.

 

Prayer:

Father God, as You search our heart, You understand the motives behind our thoughts, words and actions (1 Chronicles 28:9). Your ways and thoughts are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). As we trust in You, we come to realize that in times of stress and trials, You hide us with Christ in You.

 

This is not a negative concept to belittle us or to force us to abandon our true self, but it is actually teaching us that our true identity is in Christ alone. Thank You for revealing Yourself to us (Ps 18:2; 62:6; Exodus 33:22). Help us to live as imitators of Christ, as Your beloved children (Ephesians 5:1; 1 Corinthians 11:1).

 

Thought for the Day:

Our Rock of Ages is ever present to help us in our time of need (Isaiah 26:4); but if we only seek His provision, we will never be happy; however, if we seek Him and His presence in our life, we will live a fulfilled life regardless of our circumstances.

 

 

Worship the Holy One

Worship is not about the style of music presented at our local church. Worship starts in our spirit and in the privacy of our own home. We begin each day with worship in our heart to the Holy One.

 

We are filled with praise to our God from the moment we open our eyes until we snuggle into our covers every night. Our spirit will even worship as we sleep; and we will wake with a song filtering through our mind.

 

We do not wait until Sunday morning and expect our worship team to take us to spiritual heights we neglected all week. Worship is a way of life for every authentic Believer.

 

This way, when we gather with the Saints at the appointed times and place, we can worship regardless of the song style, musical ability, stage presence or technological advances is the service (Ephesians 5:19-20).

 

We are already ministering to our Savior and King with songs of praise, filled with love and gratitude for His majesty and blessings in our life, which pour forth from our soul all day long.

 

Even in trials and tribulation, we praise Him for salvation through Christ, the leading of His Spirit, His unconditional love, His continual provision and His forgiveness for our sins, even while we were still sinners (Romans 5:7-9).

 

A life of continual praise prepares us for unexpected challenges that meet us during life on this sin-cursed earth. We trust only in the Lord and never rely on our human understanding or assessment (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

We see our self as a living sanctuary – pure, holy, faithful and grateful to our living Lord (1 Corinthians 3:16). Set apart for the Lord, we are no longer concerned about the temporal issues of life; but filled with the peace, joy and rest of the Lord (Hebrews 10:10-12).

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to understand that our life is the true place of worship to You. Worship is not designed to make our soul feel good or our flesh to tingle, but as our offering to You. We dedicate our life to bringing glory and honor to You, even in the mundane aspects such as what we eat and drink (1 Corinthians 10:31).

 

Help us to focus on You rather than our self. Remind us to praise You all day long, to think only positive thoughts (Philippians 4:8), to bring You glory and honor with all that we think, say and do. We live with a heart devoted to worshipping only You. We dedicate the music in our heart and on our tongue as a worship to You every moment of every day of our life.

 

Thought for the Day:

We are true worshippers in spirit and in truth, making music in our hearts to the Lord. – ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­John 4:24; Ephesians 5:19-20