Successful Spiritual Warfare

Prayer is our lifeline to the Trinity. We continually communicate with God in prayer through each moment of the day (Matthew 7:8). We do not need a quiet place to kneel and pray.

We pray through the storms of life, the serene times of play, the busyness of our own making and the unforeseeable issues, which life unexpectedly throws at us.

Prayer changes us, the people we pray for, the circumstances surrounding us and the spiritual principalities and powers all around us.

In chapters nine and ten, the Bible records Daniel’s experience concerning answers to his prayer. One was a quick response and the other a delay of about three weeks.

In the later, when God’s archangel finally broke through Satan’s lines of hindrance drawn in high places to prevent the answer from being delivered, he explained all of this to Daniel in detail.

These are some of the most amazing verses in the Old Testament. It enables us to realize the spiritual warfare going on around us as a reality and an entity to take seriously.

These verses encourage us to “pray-through” in every situation and to persevere until God delivers His answer, rather than to give up after a weak attempt to petition our Deliverer.

Sometimes, our prayers are carnal and self-centered; designed too heap on our self the riches of this world (James 4:3). God does not always provide what we want, especially if He knows it is not for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28).

Yet at other times, Satan steps up his resistance in order to discourage us from believing in God, trusting Him with our life and walking in His order for our day.

God inspired James to tell us that if we submit to God’s will and resist the devil, he has no option but to flee from our presence (James 4:7-9). This is the secret to successful spiritual warfare.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for deigning to form an intimate, personal relationship with us – the Creator with the created. You desire our continual fellowship while we live on this earth and look forward to our death when we come to abide in Your presence forever (Psalm 116:15).

Your angels rejoice when one sinner repents and crosses over from eternal death into life, adding yet another Saint to Your Kingdom (Luke 15:7). You rejoice over us with singing and You love us with an everlasting love (Zephaniah 3:17). We can barely grasp the full meaning of this relationship, which You offer to everyone ever born on this earth.

Thought for the Day:
Most people never avail our self the opportunity to enter into this intimate union with our Creator and King, because we despise the shame of the cross and resist the opportunity to totally surrender our will to His.

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My Hiding Place

I have a secret hiding place. It is my safe house, my shelter and fortress, my place of rest and rejoicing. Whenever my soul is afraid, I run into it and find safety, balance and serenity.

My secret hiding place is called the spirit of man (1 Corinthians 2:11). Prior to our coming to Christ, this safe place is all boarded up and inaccessible. Sin destroyed it and it is uninhabitable.

Yet, when we surrender our life wholly to God, our spirit is born again. We meet God there. From the moment of our salvation, He dwells with us in our spirit by His Holy Spirit and He never leaves (Romans 8:9, 16; Hebrews 13:5).

As we mature in our walk with God, we no longer live through our body or soul – our mind, choices and emotions. We do not depend on our human skills, talents or capabilities, but we give God full reign in our life.

We walk this earth in our body in union with God’s Spirit who abides within us; but we function in life through our spirit rather than our body and soul (1 Corinthians 3:16).

God still uses our body and soul for His purposes in the earth. He transforms our personality and capabilities and makes us a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).

We are no longer tied to the earthly realm, influenced by sin and hindered by human insufficiency. Our external world my fall down around our ears, or people and experiences may attack our thoughts or emotions; but like Paul, we rejoice in the tribulation.

We experience life from our safe place: our spirit within us (Galatians 5:25). Our carnality is dead and it is no longer us, but Christ who lives in and through us (Colossians 3:3).

We are controlled, guided and filled through our entire being with all of the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:16-19). We experience eternal life as a reality even now, by intimately knowing the only true God and His Son, Jesus Christ, whom He sent (John 17:3).

Prayer:
Father God, due to Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary’s cross, we can leave behind the cares of this temporal world and touch the glories of Heaven. Our spirit is filled with Your Spirit and we feel safe and right at home there (Revelation 3:20). We live in step with Your Spirit from within our spirit, separated from our body and soul and viewing them as from a distance.

Regardless of what the world, the devil or our flesh attempt to entice us to participate in, or the amount of pain and grief they try to distract us with, they have no effect on us or lure for us, because we live in our spirit by Your Spirit and no longer through our flesh.

Thought for the Day:
Christ is our whole life and we live by His faith; He gave Himself for us, because He loves us completely and unconditionally.
– Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:4

My Soul Waits – Filled with God’s Fullness

God chose us before the foundation of the world to redeem us, to transform us, to give us His divine nature and to use us in the work of His Kingdom (Ephesians 2:10; 2 Peter 1:4).

We no longer deflect His will with hurried lives and busy days. We grow spiritually and come to the place where we surrender our desires and embrace His heart and mind as our own.

We have a continual conversation with God as we share our heart with Him and listen to His answers and directives for our day. God’s presence satisfies our longing and fills our hungry soul (Psalm 107:9).

God redefines our plans and leads us in His Truth and everlasting way. He gives us a new name and nature with a heart of compassion and a willingness to do His will (Psalm 43:3; Revelation 2:12; Colossians 3:12).

Our focus switches from our self and our little place in the cosmos and increases to the world around us and the needs of the people involved in our everyday life.

We relinquish our hurt, bitterness, anger, and pride and walk in forgiveness, love and humility instead. This diminishes Satan’s hold on our life and increases our fellowship with our Father.

We empty our soul of the cares of this life, having faith in God’s faithfulness to work out every detail for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28). He fills us with His fullness and we change the world around us – one person at a time (Ephesians 3:16-19).

Prayer:
Father God, spiritual understanding is ours as we allow Your Spirit to discipline our carnal nature and strengthen our spiritual nature as You fill us with Your faith, hope and love (1 Corinthians 13:13). Help us to totally surrender to Your love and to trust You in the good times and the bad.

We know that only You hold the issues of life and death in Your hands (Psalm 41:13). We so enjoy the immeasurable intimacy which You share with those who love You and who keep Your commandments (John 14:15; Ephesians 3:8). We enjoy our fellowship with You and appreciate the showers of Your blessings on our daily life.

Thought for the Day:
Let us walk worthy of the Lord, pleasing Him in our thoughts, words and deeds, so that we can bear fruit by His Spirit through every good work which we perform; and may we continually increase in our knowledge, understanding and intimacy with God. – Colossians 1:9-10

Puzzling Pieces

When I assemble a puzzle, I start with the corner piece; then I build the frame of the puzzle before attempting to find all of the inner pieces. This brings order and clarity to the puzzle.

Our walk as Christians follows this same principle. Jesus is the main cornerstone on which we base the rest of our life (Ephesians 2:20; Matthew 21:42). He helps us to line up the other three corners and to build the framework of a successful lifestyle.

We use God’s Word to place the parameters within which we frame our thoughts, words and deeds. These are not restrictions, but a simple plan, which gives our life order and clarity.

The inside pieces are a beautiful tapestry, which God weaves throughout each moment of our day by His sanctifying process; adding brilliant colors and beautiful scenery which enhances our existence.

Each new piece that He adds makes the panorama come to life and brings logic to some puzzling pieces that made no sense in the past. The enigmatic life experiences in our future fall into place with ease when each new aspect is added.

With the safety of God’s spiritual border around our life, our fears and insecurity fade, anger diminishes, earthly focus switches to spiritual focus and dependence on God replaces self-reliance and codependence.

Through our total commitment and surrender to God’s will we experience the richest measure of His presence, the multi-dimensions of His love, and the magnitude of His mercy, grace and peace (Romans 8:35-39; 2 John 1:3; Ephesians 3:16-19, Amplified Bible)

Prayer:
Father God, thank You that our true identity is found only in Christ and that Your Holy Spirit continues Your sanctifying work in us. Teach us to follow Your voice each moment of the day and to do the works You created us to accomplish before we were ever born (Ephesians 2:10).

The parameters of Your love give us peace and security and help us to experience the fullness of Your presence and Spirit within us. Give us Your wisdom and understanding to enable us to walk worthy to wear Your name, to please You completely and to bear spiritual fruit through every good work we do (Colossians 1:9-10).

Thought for the Day:
In the midst of the puzzling aspects of life on this earth, God gives us healing from our past, trust to face the future and clarity of thought in each new moment.

Healing from Trauma – Part 2

Healing from Trauma – Part 2

We all finally reach the point in life where we totally surrender to the will of God (Ephesians 2:10). The fears of the future no longer etch away at our faith, because God proves Himself faithful by His intervention in our current issues.

During times of relocation and restoration, God hides us under the shadow of His wings. We heal physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally (Psalm 63:7). His love sustains us.

God encourages us through long time friendships, as well as new friends who love us unconditionally as He does. He makes His presence known within us and we flourish under His gentle care.

We start to notice the seeds for a miracle, which God places in every trial. We learn to look beyond the momentary afflictions to the promises, which God gives us through His Word and His world (2 Corinthians 4:17; 2 Peter 1:4).

He teaches us that negative emotions are arrows pointing to a wound in our soul, which needs healing ( http://www.theophostic.com ). God’s Spirit continues replacing the negative aspects of our personality with His fruit (Galatians 5:22-23).

He gives us the mind of Christ, which puts more emphasis on the eternal than the temporal, more fulfillment from the spiritual than from the carnal, and makes us appreciate that our identity comes from Christ in us , not from our own strengths and accomplishments (Colossians 1:27).

We realized for the first time, that we really are already crucified with Christ, even though we still physically live on this earth. We are never truly abandoned to survive the trials of this life alone, because Christ gives us His faith and actually lives in and through us (Galatians 2:20).

God teaches us to rejoice in every situation and to float with the ebb and flow of life, because He is the Lord of all (1 Timothy 6:15). He proves to us that He will never leave or forsake us, regardless of the circumstances (Hebrews 13:5).

Surrendering to the love of God is how we can enjoy the peace of God, which floods our soul and transcends any human reasoning, as it guards our thoughts and emotions through the presence of Christ Jesus abiding within us (Philippians 4:4-7).

Prayer:
Father God, I am amazed that for even one moment I thought that I could save myself. I learned at 18 that You were the Savior of my spirit, but it took me thirty more years to learn that You are also Savior of our body and soul.

There is nothing this world can throw at us that will ever knock me down again, because nothing can ever separate us from Your love (Romans 8:35-39). With Your mercy and grace in our life, we can look forward to the miracle, which comes from every trial which we will ever experience.

Thought for the Day:
Worry is the toll we pay for traversing the trials of life without trusting in the Lord.

Negative Strongholds

God gave us a wide gamut of emotions, which signal to us the mood in which our spirit, soul and body exist. Joyful emotions arise from positive experiences, but also from a spiritual outlook on negative circumstances.

Negative emotions signal areas in our life, which need our attention along with prayer for God’s wisdom, direction and solutions. These emotions are not meant for expression, but as red flags to gain our attention.

They will destroy us if we ruminate on them or over react because of them. However, they can also apprise us of how life is affecting us and give us an opportunity to change our circumstances or to give the issues to God’s faithful care (1 Peter 5:7).

The most basic source of these negative emotion signal us of an unmet need for our body or soul – our thoughts and emotions. Once we discern their cause, we realize that we can meet our own need or trust God to care for that need.

Also, Satan’s lies will create negative emotions in the battleground of our mind. He whispers his lies and we believe them. These lies affect our feelings about our self, destroy our relationships with God and other people, and also fuel other negative emotions, which may even effect our physical, mental and emotional health.

We often have unrealistic expectations for God, people, places and situations in our life, which disappoint us when they fail to happen. This causes a myriad of negative emotions to bombard our soul, which often overwhelm us.

These inordinate expectations, pet peeves and stresses in our life are idols, because we exalt them above our trust in God (Colossians 3:5). We desire fulfillment in areas that are unhealthy for us or out of God’s timing or will for our life.

These adverse reactions to life can be both destructive and informative. The ultimate outcome depends on our attitude, spiritual maturity and the action, which we take because of them.

Prayer:
Father God, teach us to heed the warning of these negative emotions, so that we can meet our physical, mental and emotional needs in ways, which are pleasing to You; we can hear Your truth about Satan’s lies and either dispel them or change our focus about them; or we can surrender the idols in our life to You and wait on your timing and will or Your wisdom on dealing with the root cause of our negative emotions.

Remind us to schedule quiet times throughout our day, regardless of the amount of time we can make for them, so that we can take an inventory of our physical, mental and emotional health. Strengthen our inner being by Your Holy Spirit to hear Your wisdom from Christ in us in order to bear with, to change our focus about, or to deal with these issues. We trust You to care for us.

Thought for the Day:
Although we live in this earthly world, we exist in the spiritual realm; God gives us spiritual weapons to pull down strongholds, cast down Satan’s lies and anything else, which attempts to exalt itself against the Truth of God as God’s Spirit enables us to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. – 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Living in Total Surrender

We cannot save or sanctify our self, and neither can we walk in the Spirit by performing works of the flesh (Galatians 3:1-3; Ephesians 2:8-9). Therefore, God causes us to come to the point of helpless hopelessness in our life, so that we will totally surrender to Him.

Then, He does it all, a complete perfecting work in us and through us (Colossians 2:10). Our role is to desire more intimacy with Him and His glory, and He responds by answering our prayers in amazing ways.

We live a life singing continual praises, submitted to His Word, listening to His Spirit’s direction for each moment of our day, and rejoicing in Him, even in negative circumstances. Then, He does the rest (Proverbs 3:5-6; Philippians 3:1, 4:4).

We read and meditate on scripture as we work and worship Him all day long; and His joy fills every fiber of our body, soul and spirit; bringing health in every way (Psalm 147:1).

A melancholy personality like me has to work a bit harder at overcoming the negative impulses in our soul; but gradually, the Holy Spirit replaces our negative personality traits with God’s character and divine nature (2 Peter 4:1; John 15:11).

God transforms us into the likeness of Christ and brings us to the point of total surrender, until we are in such union with Him that He actually lives His life in and through us (Romans 8:29; Galatians 2:20).

Like the woman at the well, we are tired of looking for fulfillment in the things of this world; and we are longing for living water, which quenches our otherwise insatiable thirst (John 4:14, 7:38).

Prayer:
Father God, draw us by Your love and remind us to respond to it, rather than learning through discipline and suffering. Help us to come to the point where we passionately call out to You in complete surrender. We know without a doubt that You will never, ever let us go (Hebrews 13:5).

Help us to communicate to others the necessity of total surrender to You, so that they too may come to a place of rest. Do not allow them to continue to strive or to fill their life with empty pursuits and vain attempts to amass this world’s goods; but to seek You with all of their heart until they find You.

Thought for the Day:
The joy of the Lord is our greatest strength. – Nehemiah 8:10