the Armor of God: Prayer [Really???]

What is the armor of God and truthfully, do we really need it?

Have you ever wondered why we need to fight or for that matter ‘wear’ such spiritual garments? Why we must do this so-called fighting that quite frankly we do not even ‘see’ – or do we?

I believe we all would say that we have fought a battle or two in our life time whether it was with our kids, our in-laws, our parents, possibly our spouse, or maybe even God.

But one of the most troubling battles we face [more than we care to realize] are not the things that we ‘perceive’ with our five sense – but rather everything else that is unseen. Don’t get me wrong, we certainly wrestle here on earth and it’s directly related to the visible and invisible, but we must not forget that the invisible is REAL – much more than we care to reckon. So before we disregard its presence, let’s take a little look.

My Pastor, who is also my husband, said a few months ago in a Sunday morning worship service, “Remember who your REAL enemy is! It is not those sitting next to you here at church; it is not those who live in your home or extended family members; it is not the workplace, the store, that slow driver in front of you that is ‘making you late’; it is not people; it is not God – it is the DEVIL. Your real enemy is the devil!” [Pastor Richard Woodruff] We must remember who the real enemy is!

The devil (aka: satan – who is the great deceiver) wants you to ignore the spiritual reality behind your physical reality. Why? It is to his best interest and your greatest destruction; for he knows that as long as you are focused on what you physically ‘see’ with your eyes, he can continue his dirty deeds and run rampant underneath the surface. This only happens when we are personally distracted, unfocused, (mind, heart, spirit) on the things that do not matter most.

Isn’t that so wicked – oh wait a minute…he is wickedness, he is not our friend…he is the greatest deceiver! Following me, yet?!

My friends, it is not for us to live in fear over the devil, but rather live in wisdom, knowledge and understanding of who and what our enemy is and capable of – but more importantly resting in the power of knowing who our God is and who we are through Jesus Christ.

Remember we have already won the battle, but don’t live foolishly – the enemy may be invisible, but he is not fictional. He is present. Real. He wants to destroy you! He is persistent. Consistent.

Do not think for one moment that because you are a believer in Jesus Christ you have immunity; quite frankly you have a bulls-eye on your forehead. You are the target. Don’t allow this to scare you but rather remember WHO resides within you? GOD! This means you are fully loaded; fully empowered; 100% equipped, power-filled by the Father Himself [now if that doesn’t give you goosebumps] to defend anything and everything, even when we don’t understand — yet we trust. [what God-love. God-grace. God-comfort!]

So, how does one defend, reload, and stand strong?

  1. PRAY! [Yep] Pray! You may be laughing at me right now, but it is true. You may be thinking “how in the world does praying help you win the battle?” For starters, read Ephesians. Paul highlights one of the most important [yet most overlooked aspects] spiritual armor – PRAYER! Without communicating with God over the battles – you’re done! Without His inward strength coming through us from time spend in prayer and in His Word – you’re done! Prayer brings His plan. His vision. At times His purpose. We cannot do what He wants if we do not know what He requires. Communication! Paul esteemed prayer so critical to the victory over satan’s power in our lives/during these battles – maybe we should take note, just maybe! [what do you think?]
  2. Study out the armor of God – allow it to become you!
  3. You want to see personal victories – PRAY – for there is victory in spiritual warfare when prayer is practiced. Don’t be afraid of it – just do it!

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, [19] and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might [20] which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, [21] far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come”

Ephesians 1:18-21.

God-Checks [ever so vital]

How we ‘see’ God is critical.

It is vital that we continually retain our mind & heart in a God-check so that we are not creating a manifestation of God [our own idea of who God is] but rather seeing who God actually is through His Word and by His character.

Be in the Words of God. 

God will not be ignored. He instructs us to worship and fear Him.

Just a FEW verses…hope they are an encouragement to your soul. Have a sweet time looking up more! All verses are from the NASB (fyi).

  • Deut. 6:13 “You shall fear only the Lord your God; and you shall worship Him…”
  • Deut. 8:6 “Therefore, you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him.”
  • Deut. 11:16 “Beware that your hearts are not deceived, and that you do not turn away and serve other gods and worship them.”
  • Deut. 13:4 “You shall follow the Lord your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.”
  • Psalm 40:3 “He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear And will trust in the Lord.”
  • Psalm 66:16 “Come and hear, all who fear God, And I will tell of what He has done for my soul.”
  • Psalm 99:5 “Exalt the Lord our God And worship at His footstool; Holy is He.”
  • Eccl. 8:13 “But it will not be well for the evil man and he will not lengthen his days like a shadow, because he does not fear God.”
  • Isaiah 42:8 “I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, nor My praise to graven images.”
  • Luke 4:8 “Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’”
  • Rev. 14:7 “…“Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.”

GOD

“I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another,
Nor My praise to graven images.” Isaiah 42:8

Our Soul’s Longing

I don’t know what your story looks like. I don’t know what the innermost parts of your heart look like, but I know who does, God!

You see, He doesn’t see a sinner, a failure, or any of the labels you put upon yourself. He sees only YOU. His precious daughter or son who is worthy of His love and forgiveness. You may not like yourself but God loves you beyond word and deed – so much so, that you were worth dieing for (even before you were a thought).

Funny thing about this ‘negative self promotion of self’ is just that: SELF. It comes from within (in our home we call it “STINKIN’-THINKIN’). We could also call it pride. Yes, self pity is pride.

Funny how the devil enjoys a defeated Christian who is absorbed with selfish-wrongful thoughts we think of ourself or maybe even of others. We do it to ourself. Maybe for some it is a form of self inflicted torture to mask the pain that they really feel deep within…the need for CHRIST!

Can you be a believer in Jesus Christ and not have a close intimate relationship with Him that changes you from the inside out…sadly, yes (satan’s favorite Christian). Could you be reading this blog and wonder what in the world am I talking about – this “Jesus filling my aching hurting heart…” Yes, I know He can!

It is only when we finally come to that place in our life when all else has failed and nothing but Christ will do (not a crutch) – just Christ. The awesome power of truly getting real with our soul and seeing our need for Christ because He is our Creator and I am His creation. Then and only can we begin the journey of healing from being filled with self to begin filled with the only One that can truly satisfies our soul!

Do you remember that sobbing tear-filled, broken spirit-needing God woman in Luke 7:36-50 (if not that’s OK because we’ll explain). Despite the jeering comments, the head turning crowd, and her own reputation she came boldly to Jesus not only with outward adoration but also with inward declaration. She not only poured out her dowery (which was very costly to her future) but she realized that Jesus Christ was the only One who can fill, cleanse, heal, forgive, restore, and free her hurting soul from within.

The same is true today, it is only when we bow at the feet of Jesus with our tear-soaked heart and pour out our alabaster jar do we find His peace, forgiveness, healing, cleansing, filling and find our innermost parts filled.20170202_135558

It’s a promise. It can be yours.

the other mama

It was 09.08.16 the first time I read the article. Today I was flipping through some files via the laptop and came across the same article and once again read it. I found myself rereading and rethinking…

Today 12.08.16, gripped and challenged, and tweaked, I write once again. Bear with me as I ramble on.

As many of us parents do in the beginning of a new school year, we take dress our kids up, get our camera’s out and start clicking. I know that is what we do. Those ‘first day of school’ pictures of our children with cute chevron sign with each new grade on them. We proudly click. We proudly post. Why? because we love our children. We are thankful for our children and want to proclaim it. 

We stand there excited as we watch them grow physically but also mentally — and Lord willing spiritually as well. We think about this new year and what it holds for them (the knowns and unknowns). There is so much ahead for them and we are nervous yet excited for them (and we even shed a few tears) but they are happy tears for we rejoice. And all this is quiet frankly the way it is supposed to be…a joyous new season for all. 

This is where the article I read comes in.  bg92

In all our rightful postings, rejoicings, pictures, and comments, I for one, have never really given much thought about the ‘other Mama’ that might be scrolling down through her Facebook, Twitter, etc., that first day of school and be filled with voids, sorrow, hurt, agony, or loss. I am just thinking about me and my family — and where this is ok to some extent, is other ways I should be mindful of others and what they may be going through. Let me explain.  

See it is not that we shouldn’t be posting our pics of our kids or posting our rejoicings….because we should. We should be giving God the glory for the things, the people, the blessings HE has given to us. For it is HE that has given them to us…for a season, but I have been reminded that there are others out there — there are “other Mama’s and Daddy’s” out there that ‘used to do’ the same things as I am doing right now with my children, but they are not because there ‘used to’ is not longer here. Death has separated them from there child so some reason or another. For them, it isn’t happening this year and will not happen next year or the year after. There pictures sessions, posts, blogs, etc., are memories while mine this year are a time of rejoicing. 

The first time I read this article was back in September and it hit my soul like a ton of rocks. Today it brings the same impact because it reminds me that while I love my family more than words could express, and I am incredibly thankful to the Lord for each one of them, I should never become so selfish and so self absorb to only think about “us”.

I cherish our precious memories and so should you! Our children are priceless and should be rejoiced in and loved. Our family times are valuable and needed and those God-given children we have are to be ever so loved and special, but I must not never allow myself to be so consumed with self and/or we, as a family become selfish. 

The article I read in a nutshell: I saw a picture of an empty front doorway.

Let me explain. On the first day of school, a Mother took a picture of her empty front doorway. It was the same front doorway she had taken for years but this year it looked much different. The difference was, it was empty. Her daughter wasn’t in this years ‘first day back to school’ picture because she had passed away from cancer. There was no new outfit to buy, no new backpack to pick, there was no special breakfast to fix that morning, there was need to pray together before leaving the house, no hugs, no kisses; instead there was an empty front doorway picture. Instead of waving to her daughter as she left on the school bus she got into her car and drove to the cemetery. She talked with her daughter, but there was no answer. She sobs. She prays. Her mind is flooded with memories as she remembers those other ‘first days’ of school pictures.

Gripping my soul, I am in tears! 

We all go through hard situations in our life. I get that. We all have been through incredible times in our lives. I get that. We need to remember our time of hard. Remember that in our weakness God made us strong. Remember that in those weakness, God used others, who were on the look-out for others (that happened to be you) and they ministered to your soul. “who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” II Cor. 1:4. We need to be rejoicings with those who rejoicing and weep with those who weep — even if we don’t have the words to speak. (Romans 12:15) Be on the look out. Folks all around us are hurting, rejoicing, sad, struggling, thankful…we need to think beyond ourselves — we need to think like Christ.

As believers we have the true hope — Jesus Christ! We know the power-comfort of God is beyond words – you know what I mean to those who have experienced it personally. But there is a reality that we are on this side of Heaven. The presence of loss is real. The grief that must be walked through is real. But our God is bigger, stronger, comforts and does bring healing to those who call upon Him! Remember there is someone out there that has a different story than you right now. Remember that other Mama.

“Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work”  II Thess. 2:16 & 17

In Christ I am She

ps 46 5

Before any conclusions are made, I want to make one thing clear…I am a work in progress. In Ephesians 2 in says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus…” He is truly the Potter and I the clay and I am thankful for that. The other day in my personal time with God, I was reading I Corinthians 15. In verses 57 and 58 is says, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” WOW! these are powerful and encouraging verses to this soul of mine. In my journaling Bible I wrote this {in much fancier letters} :0)

Whenever discouragement arises…

{{REMEMBER}}

  1. be steadfast [means: resolution, dutifully, firm, loyal, faithful, committed, dedicated, constant; firmly fixed or established; not fickled or wavering]
  2. be IMMOVABLE [never distracted; giving ourselves over to that which we know is not vain; locked on one = Christ; not affected; not having the passions excited]
  3. always ABOUNDING [always excelling] in the WORK of the LORD, {and this next part is just the sweetness of God towards His creations} KNOWING this [you can know; you do know], that in the LORD your labor IS NOT IN VAIN.

Nothing you do for Christ is a waste of time or effort. 

Nothing! Time with Christ is never time wasted! In Christ I am She is truly & simply born out of a deep longing and personal desire for God. I need God. Without Christ; I am nothing; I can do nothing. This heart, soul, and mind is continually needing reminding, spurring, challenging, rebuking, comforting, leading, loving, directing, and fastened to the One and only that can truly fulfil. And this is how In Christ I am She blog blossomed; a needy heart for Christ and thee incredible working power of Christ in a soul = a changed life.

I do have a deep prayerful desire: that in some small way the Lord uses His working in this heart on mine, as weak and needing as it is, to somehow be an encouragement to you. That you may see the wonder working power in their own life, and in return give Him all the glory and praise due to His name, so that others will be pointed to Christ. May we live an abundant-intended life in Christ and glorify our Maker!

Today, 12.01.2016, as In Christ I am She: Saved. Hopeful. Empowered. I pledge to my Lord Jesus Christ, from this day forward, may I be willing to obey and walk willingly, serve and love Him with all my heart unconditionally, then share that obedience, walking, serving, and love with others {in both written and verbal form}. May your hearts be challenged yet encouraged to love Christ with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. May Jesus Christ be praised!

Rejoice for you are a daughter of the King,

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}