The Word is Our Sword

As Christians, reading and meditating on God’s Word is vital to our spiritual walk. The Bible is our road map to Godly living. It helps us find purpose and direction for our lives. Many people think that the Bible is just old manuscripts that is irrelevant today. They believe it’s about history rather than present time. The truth is, Scripture is still relevant today. Hebrews 13:8 says that “Jesus Christ is in the same yesterday, today and forever.” According to Scripture, Jesus never changes. His power is still the same today as it was 2,000 years ago.

The Bible has 66 books that tells about love, grace, mercy, heartache, and sacrifice. It shows us how to live godly by reading about men and women who followed after God whole-heartedly. The New Testament shows us how to live a godly life through Jesus. The Bible is full of adventures, miracles, and the unexpected.

The Bible is a sacred book that is God-breathed. Second Timothy 3:16 declares that “all Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right” (NIV). The Message version says Scripture “show[s] us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.”

Scripture is for everyday life. It is not just something we read and apply to our lives when life is difficult. We read the Bible in the good times and the bad. The Bible continues to build our faith and trust in God so when hardships come, we have the strength and courage to fight on the battlefield — the battlefield of life. We put on our full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) and trust God with our circumstances. Ephesians 6:17 says the Word is our sword. The Bible prepares us to face our situations on the frontline. There are many battles in the Bible that God intervened and did the impossible. The battles were won by those we least expected. God does the same for us. God intervenes and does the unexpected. On the battlefield, as long as we allow God to fight our battles with us, we will always have the victory.

On the battlefield, we will need encouragement so we do not grow weary. There are many Books of the Bible that can encourage us and strengthen us in the midst of chaos. The Book of Psalm is full of hope and faith that will keep us strong in the Lord. Psalm is known for being poetic and filled with prayers. The Books of Proverbs and James teaches us how to live godly and walk out our Christian faith. The Old Testament has great godly people to read about and live by such as Abraham, Moses, David, Job, and Joseph. They were ordinary people who did extraordinary things. The Book of Song of Solomon is known for it’s passion describing a love between a husband and his wife. This book beautifully portrays a love so deep that nothing can quench it. If you need to know how much God loves you, I encourage you to read this book. The Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – is the life of Jesus. If you want to know who God is on a deeper level, read the Gospels. Jesus came to earth for one purpose – to spread God’s love with others. His messages to the people are relatable to us today. The parables spoken by Jesus in the New Testament are simplified and easy to understand. The parables spoke about morals and faith in God. These are all great books, and many more not mentioned, that we can apply to our lives.

As we fight through our circumstances, there will be times when we need to rest in God’s presence. There will be chaos and confusion during the battle. On the battlefield, it requires us to get on our knees and pray to God for strength and endurance. Psalm 46:10 tells us to be still in God’s presence. During prayer, God leads us to Scripture that speaks life into our circumstances. Before God can lead us to Scripture, we must know the Word and believe it is truth over our lives. Through prayer and godly living, we apply Scripture to our lives. As we sit quietly in God’s presence to hear His voice, we must let Him guide us through our situations. God will use Scripture to bring us hope and encouragement. God will use the Holy Spirit to place specific Scriptures into our hearts. It reminds us of who God is when we are surrounded my chaos.

Sometimes God gives us a specific word. For example, God may give us the word hope. We can use resources to look up the word to find encouragement. We can use study Bibles, commentaries, promise books, and references to help guide us through the Bible. In this instance, God is giving us many Scriptures to apply to our lives on a specific topic. Each Scripture will build up our strength and courage to continue fighting the battle of life and grow in our faith.

There are many ways God speaks to us through our circumstances. In each situation, God speaks to us differently. The outcomes will never be same. The key for God speaking into our lives is spending time in His presence and in His Word. The more we read the Word, seek understanding, and apply it, the closer we are to God. Our relationship with Christ will grow stronger each time we open the Bible and intentionally read Scripture. We must have purpose and a desire to know God more each and every day to grow in our faith.

The Word is to encourage us when the world tells us we have no hope. The Bible is our GPS to a new life that is filled with renewed faith, daily blessings, and unexplainable joy. It shows us how to get through a hard time with courage and strength. The Bible reminds us who God is in the darkest nights and promises us that we will see daylight again. 1 John 1:5 declares that “God is light, pure light; there’s not a trace of darkness in Him” (MSG). John 1:5 says “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (NIV). God has defeated satan, and He is the light that shines through our circumstances to rescue us.

Application

As you read the Bible, I pray that the words empower you to speak life into your circumstances. When you are on the battlefield fighting satan’s schemes, believe that God’s Word is truth and your sword. God has equipped you to win the battle with Him on your side!

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Our Identity is in Christ

Sometimes we have to learn hard lessons about letting people or circumstances hinder us from God’s will for our lives. We can let people’s words destroy our confidence in who we are. We can let circumstances get in the way of achieving our dreams. The enemy wants to tear us down and tell us we are not good enough or we will never succeed. I lived in this lie for months and lost opportunities that could have strengthened my faith in Christ. Know your identity in Christ and never let anything come between your relationship with God!

We are defined by a Heavenly Father who loves us unconditionally! No matter what we do or what we have done, God still loves us the same!

He loves us!
He loves us!
He loves us!
He loves us!
He loves us!
He loves us!
He loves us!

God loves us because that is all He knows how to do! He is Love (1 John 4:8). 

Don’t let others tear you down!  Don’t let obstacles get in the way of your dreams!  God’s love and desires for your life, is bigger and greater than you can even fathom.

God wants us to succeed in life!  He wants us to prosper and live life to the fullest!

Your identity is in Christ and Christ alone!!!

The Four Seasons of Life

WE ALL EXPERIENCE:
Trouble and Heartache
Achievements and Prosperity
Sacrifice and Growth
Joy and Excitement

We can all experience these emotions in our lives and a lot of times people refer to them as seasons. Just like we experience: Autumn / Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer, we go through similar seasons in our lives.

Each season has a purpose.  Some are exciting.  Some help us grow personally and spiritually.  Others will bring us trouble.

Autumn / Fall represents letting go of what is and looking forward to what’s ahead.  In this season, we trust God with our lives.  We see leaves turn colors and fall to the ground from the tree of life.  Our tree becomes bare and vulnerable.  Life is changing and sometimes seem chaotic.

Winter represents trials and heartache.  Life demands change, and we have no choice but to move forward.  Through the hurt and pain, we must see the situation for what it is and determine what is the next step with God.  In this season, we must be patient with the Lord and seek Him for comfort.  The winter storms may rage on, but we must know our One True God to get us through any blizzard that comes our way.  This is the season that challenges our faith and helps us grow in Christ.

Spring represents new birth.  You begin to smell an aroma in the air.  Flowers are blooming and the birds are singing.  There is new life and joy that this season brings.  In life, new opportunities comes our way.  Prayers are answered!  Blessings are being poured out into our lives.  We feel alive!!!  We cannot help but dance with joy and celebrate!

Summer represents a time of reflection.  A time to get away and reflect on life.  Most people get away from their busy schedules and spend time with family.  This season is all about quality time with those we love.  It is a time to breathe and enjoy life to the fullest.  When we think of summer, we think of fun.

We all experience these seasons in different times in our lives.

What season are you currently in right now?
Do you need God to help you walk out an impossible journey?
Do you need God’s help to get you to the mountaintop, to your utmost victory?
Do you need God to whisper your name and remind you He has not forgotten about you?
Do you need to thank God for all His blessings He poured out on you?
Do you need to let go of something so God can do the impossible in your life?
Do you need to get away from the chaos of life, and rest in God’s presence?

Today, I personally need God to whisper in my ear that He is still with me.  I need to feel His touch and hear His voice.  I need a Father who will let me put my feet on His, and let Him guide me in the right direction.  I am in between Fall and Winter — between a confused state and wanting to believe that life will get better in God’s timing.

Be honest with yourself, where are you today?  Who does God need to be in your life today?

The Power of Music

“Scientists have found that music stimulates more parts of the brain than any other human function” (www.npr.org).

Music affects our attitude.  The rhythm — the beat, the sound waves — determine our moods.  If we have soft slow music playing in the background, we are seeking peace and relaxation.  If we have loud upbeat music playing, we are seeking excitement and energy.

The type of music we listen to matters!  If we listen to foul language music, we will allow negative words to enter into our minds.  Music can create anger and anxiety.  If we listen to music that has an uplifting message, it will bring hope into our lives.  It will bring light instead of darkness into our life’s circumstances.

Music can determine our emotions.  As Christians, we have to be careful on what we allow into our thoughts.  If you are having a bad day, what kind of music do you listen to?  Do you turn towards music that numbs your emotions or do you listen to music that will bring you peace and comfort?

Think about it…
When you go to a Christian concert or go to worship service, what is the end result? Christian music will allow you to enter into God’s presence. It does not matter the beat of the music — fast or slow. The words matter! The message matters!

The calm slow music will put you into a state of peace and allows you to soak in God’s presence. I call this kind of music “bring you to your knees” music.  You are in a surrender position in the midst of His presence.  You listen to every word in the song and let it penetrate your thoughts.  You are silent in God’s presence.  In these moments, God takes your breath away!  An AWE moment!

The fast upbeat music will bring excitement.  You are praising a God that is full of goodness and blessings.  You may dance, raise your hands, or sing His praises over your life.  You cannot help but put smile on your face, laugh, and get excited about praising Jesus.  You cannot contain yourself!  The real living God is living in you and through you.  That is a celebration!!!

MUSIC brings…
laughter
joy
peace
comfort
hope
love
excitement

“Music is something magical…Some people like to get amped up; some people like to quiet down” (http://psycentral.com).  We all have a different taste in music.  We all have our favorite songs and artists we listen to.  The music we listen to shapes our personalities.  Studies even show that certain music can heal us.  Calm music is soothing.  “It’s transformative.  It can change your mood, it can slow your heart rate, it can soothe invasive thoughts.  There’s something about it that takes you out of a situation and gives you respite” (http://psycentral.com).

APPLICATION
Music is powerful!  It has the power to change your life for the good or the bad.  What you listen to determines who you are.  God created music to empower us not to tear us down.  Choose your music wisely and ask God if He approves of what you are listening to.

Enjoy the Small Things in Life

So many times we miss the very thing that God is trying to show us, because it seems insignificant. We seek the things that will advance us quicker to our goals and skip the small things in life. We never realize that the big thing we are waiting for happens every day in a bunch of small things.

There is much more to look forward to in life rather than wait for a promotion at your workplace, buying a new home, or even buying a new vehicle. Yes, these are all desires and might even be a need, but those things do not matter if we are not enjoying life every day to the fullest. You see, it is all about perspective.

If we come home to a spouse and to our children, that is something to be grateful for and thank God for every day. You hear children’s laughter throughout your home and the aroma of dinner cooking on the stove. We cannot help but smile when we hear a child’s laughter and to be thankful to enjoy a home cooked meal with your family.

Friendships are a blessing from God, and we need to cherish these relationships. Friendships bring joy and laughter into our lives. The relationships we build here on earth matter. Sometimes friendships seem insignificant. There are some friendships that were meant to be for a season and others for a lifetime. We need to be grateful for everyone who God brings into our lives.

Sometimes life’s busyness gets in the way of enjoying God’s beauty that He created for us. God’s nature is full of awe and wonder. We rush to our workplace every day missing God’s amazing creation by not stopping to look at what is around us. God created the skies filled with various shapes and brilliant colors. He created the trees to freely move with the wind and created the birds to sing a beautiful melody. This is everything we can experience in God’s nature if we take the time to see His beauty–His masterpiece.

The family and friends who love us unconditionally and the nature that surrounds us are all of God’s blessings poured out over our lives. In the paragraphs above, I created the beautiful imagery of coming home to a loving family with happy children and a home cooked meal. A friendship that we do not take for granted. God’s nature that we can experience every day.

In reality, life is not this simple. We will have face life’s problems and temptation on a daily basis. We must manage stress in our workplace and school. Our distractions and demands of this world will keep us from spending time with our family and friends and experiencing God’s nature firsthand.

The troubles of this world will keep us from experiencing the things we cherish most in our lives. We want a successful career, but what will it cost us to reach the top? Will it be working overtime and not spending quality time with our spouse and children? Will it be losing a good friend, because we did not have the time to invest in the relationship? Will it be missing out on travelling the world, because life is too busy?

Perspective is all about learning how to enjoy the little things in life. It is not about being successful in this world, but it is about celebrating the small achievements in our lives. John Wooden said “it’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”

We all need to make an effort to see the small things as an accomplishment. We will find that the joy that comes from rediscovering the simple things in life changes us forever.

Application:

Life is full of small accomplishments that we need to celebrate. Life is more than waiting to reach the big achievements in our lives. The small things in life add up to bigger successes and victories.

Write down some of the achievements you have accomplished through Christ. Beside each one write down whether or not you thought of them as small accomplishments or big accomplishments.

Write down your thoughts on what it means to have a successful life. I encourage you to reevaluate your thoughts to see whether or not they line up with God’s Word. Take some time to give God the glory for everything He has allowed you to accomplish thus far, and pray that God continues to bring you more success through Him.