Armed, protected and ready…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

From Ephesians:

10Finally, grow powerful in union with the Lord, in union with his mighty strength! 11Use all the armor and weaponry that God provides, so that you will be able to stand against the deceptive tactics of the Adversary. 12For we are not struggling against human beings, but against the rulers, authorities and cosmic powers governing this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm. 13So take up every piece of war equipment God provides; so that when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist; and when the battle is won, you will still be standing. 14Therefore, stand! Have the belt of truth buckled around your waist, put on righteousness for a breastplate, 15and wear on your feet the readiness that comes from the Good News of shalom. 16Always carry the shield of trust, with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the Evil One. 17And take the helmet of deliverance; along with the sword given by the Spirit, that is, the Word of God; 18as you pray at all times, with all kinds of prayers and requests, in the Spirit, vigilantly and persistently, for all God’s people.

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/eph.6>

What to do?  How does one do the Word?  Grow powerful in union with the Lord.  Direct thoughts and questions toward Christ first.  Then put on and take up God’s armor.  It’s another set of gifts!  This armor is specifically designed to combat those in the spiritual realm that are always ready to attack the believer.

First, fasten the belt of truth around your core.  Here is the support needed to stand upright.  Truth is that spoken in the Word and truth is Christ, ” I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me..”  Next, put on righteousness as a breastplate, protecting the inner core of the believer.  This is God’s righteousness, able to do more than protect and supported by the belt.  On the feet fasten the shoes of peace, a unique peace hard to explain but there none-the-less.  Shoes designed to grip and dig in on slippery slopes of spiritually designed accusations and lies meant to make the believer trip and fall.   Now take up the helmet, shield and sword.

The helmet protects the mind and gives access to all God has spoken and done. With the uniform  on, the rest of the weapons available can be picked up for use in battle.  The shield of faith or trust will deflect the arrows of accusation coming often in the form of thoughts or words spoken by another.  God’s Word trumps all others and faith in that Word can be used a shield.  Which will the believer listen to and trust; God or other?  The sword is the Word given as truth and able to put to flight or final rest the attacks that come.

Finally, activate it all in prayer, with prayer.  There’s a scripture for every thought or word coming from the liar; it can be found and prayed against the lie.  And the lie will die its death, defeated by truth.  Search the scriptures daily for those healing words, those defensive words, words of recovery and words to take on the offensive which will attack and defeat the lie.  They are all there to be used.

When prayer rises, God activates his power on our behalf wherever we ask it to be directed.  His power activated is able ” to accomplish more than we can ask or imagine. ” His words spoken in prayer will “accomplish what they are set to do; they will not return empty, void.”

Pray – Help me, Father, to begin each day putting on the uniform You’ve given; that which identifies me as Yours.  Upon rising, may I speak Your truth putting on the belt, may I recognize the breastplate you’ve given of righteousness and be encouraged to get up and move forward, protected.  May I remember the shoes of Your peace that will help me stand firm.  I want that helmet to protect my mind; help me fill my mind with Your Word to be used as needed. I will take up the shield of faith for my trust is in You alone and I will follow Christ’s example and use Your Word, the sword of truth to fight the enemy.

Repent – I repent for waiting so long to fill up on Your Word when it is so vital to my success as Your child and servant.

Ask – May my ways be steady in observing Your laws.  Then I will not be put to shame, since I fixed my sight on all Your ways.

Yes – Praise Adonai, all you nations!  Worship him, all you peoples!  For his grace has overcome us, and Adonai’s truth continues forever.

Source: Ephesians and Psalms 119

He came…He is…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

From John 3:

16“For God so loved the world that he gave his only and unique Son, so that everyone who trusts in him may have eternal life, instead of being utterly destroyed. 17For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but rather so that through him, the world might be saved. 18Those who trust in him are not judged; those who do not trust have been judged already, in that they have not trusted in the one who is God’s only and unique Son.

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/jhn.3>

It may be this is quoted so often it is not fully understood.  It may be, as is often the case, it is so isolated in the quoting the context is lost and the full implication is missed for some.

Where there is already a judgment levied against an offender there is no requirement for more judgment.  The general creation has already been judged and found guilty.  Jesus did not come, therefore, to place more judgment; rather he came to pay the penalty so those already judged could be free of their judgment, death.

Someone engaging in sin is not being judged if the sin is exposed; they are already judged.  Exposing the sin provides opportunity for forgiveness of its consequences.  Exposure provides opportunity for change.

Those accepting the payment made for them by Christ are set free from the penalty already imposed.  They receive life for death.  They receive freedom from bondage.  They receive peace due to a restored relationship with God.

Pray – Lord, long before You came, David, prophets of old, all who know you knew you were coming.  They knew.  They knew salvation was part of Your plan from the beginning; salvation from the penalty of sin.  May your grace come to me, Adonai, Your salvation, as You promised; then I will have an answer for those who taunt me.  The enemy with his accusations will flee.  The thoughts that rise will be taken captive and brought into obedience to You; for I trust in Your Word.

Repent – God, You know how foolish I am; my guilt is not hid from You.  Let my prayer to You come at an acceptable time; in Your great grace, God, answer me with the truth of Your salvation.

Ask – May Your grace come to me, Adonai, Your salvation as you promised.  Don’t take away completely my power to speak the truth; for I put my hope in Your rulings; and I will keep Your commands always, forever and ever.

Yes – Bless the Lord, my soul!  Everything in me bless his holy name!  Bless the Lord, my soul and forget none of His benefits!

Source:  John and Psalms

” imitate God,…”

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

So imitate God, as his dear children; 2and live a life of love, just as also the Messiah loved us, indeed, on our behalf gave himself up as an offering, as a slaughtered sacrifice to God with a pleasing fragrance. 3Among you there should not even be mentioned sexual immorality, or any kind of impurity, or greed; these are utterly inappropriate for God’s holy people. 4Also out of place are obscenity and stupid talk or coarse language; instead, you should be giving thanks. 5For of this you can be sure: every sexually immoral, impure or greedy person — that is, every idol-worshipper — has no share in the Kingdom of the Messiah and of God. 6Let no one deceive you with empty talk; for it is because of these things that God’s judgment is coming on those who disobey him. 7So don’t become partners with them!

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/eph.5>

Imitating God leaves no room for what he calls sin; missing the mark of right living; the kind of living his people were created to live.  Everyone enjoys peace, encouragement, success, having plenty, being loved and accepted.  There are two methods to use to attempt to live in that place.  One is a constant effort, often at the expense of others; the other allows one to achieve that lifestyle in spite of others and circumstances; even In the midst of the storms.  Trying to get the ‘good life’ on your own efforts falls short of the goal; which is defined as a sin.  Never satisfied; always needing more.  Following God’s plan; utilizing his power brings one to a place of fulfillment even if it looks lacking.  A paradox?  Yes.  Also, following God’s plan is beneficial to others, not at their expense, pain or hurt.

Pray – Keep me, O God, on Your path.  May my life, what remains of it, be spent following Your commands and in that, may it be beneficial to those around me.

Repent – I repent for my short-comings; for those times I missed the goal because I was trying to achieve in my own abilities.

Ask – God, in Your grace, have mercy on me; in Your great compassion, blot out my crimes.  Wash me completely from my guilt, and cleanse me from my sin.

Yes – You say, “Whoever offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice honors me; and to him who goes the right way  I will show the Salvation of God.”  Thank you!!

Sources: Ephesians, Psalms 50

Fighting Deception…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

From Ephesians:

We will then no longer be infants tossed about the waves and blown along by every wind of teaching, at the mercy of people clever in devising ways to deceive.  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will  in every respect grow up into him who is the head, the Messiah.  Under his control, the whole body is being fitted and held together by the support of every joint, with each part working to fulfill its function; this is how the body grows and builds itself up in love.

Each believer has a given task and when they act in obedience they assist in building a strong fellowship.  This can be visualized as soldiers who position themselves arms locked together in a line and standing firm supported on all sides by comrades with a similar purpose under the leadership of Christ.  A line that cannot be broken.

Any teaching, any  new ‘wave’ that breaks up the line is not of God.  Instruction comes today as it did for Paul and the apostles through the scripture and personal experience that lines up with scripture.  These men all received instruction in scripture from an early age.  Jesus did as well.

It is a sign of maturity that one who is grounded in scripture will not be tossed about by every wave, every wind promising something new because they have been firmly planted in God’s teaching, God’s words.

Pray – Help me, God, to stand firm with the belt of truth buckled around my waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place and with my feet fitted with peace.  Also,  help me to take up the shield of faith, with which I can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Help me to put on the helmet of salvation and take up  the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.  Help me to pray, in the Spirit, on all occasions, with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, help me to be alert and always keep on praying for all the those you have placed in my path.

Repent – I repent for wasting time and energy being concerned about what may be the onslaught of deception instead of spreading the truth of your Word, sharing what is right. I repent for having my focus on the error rather than on righteousness.

Ask – Mighty God, Your Word clearly states that Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.  Help me to be able to discern by your Spirit because his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Guard the hearts and minds of your children against deception with the sure knowledge that even the evil one knows and uses your words.

Yes – Glorious God, I thank you for qualifying me to share in the inheritance of those in the kingdom of light.  For you have rescued me from the dominion of darkness and brought me into the kingdom of the Son You love, in whom I have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Thank you for the continued growth and maturity available to all who search your word.

Resources: Colossians 1, 2 Corinthians 11, Ephesians 6

Thanks to Beth Moore: Praying God’s Word. 

No Longer Strangers…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

From Ephesians:

Therefore, remember your former state: you Gentiles by birth–called the Uncircumcised by those who, merely because of an operation on their flesh, are called the Circumcised–at that time had no Messiah.  You were estranged from the national life of Isra’el.  You were foreigners to the covenants embodying God’s promise.  Your were in this world without hope and without God.

Many times in scripture God instructs us to remember.  Who we were, where we were, who he is, what he does, his works on our behalf, consequences for actions from which he delivers us…

But now, you who were once far off have been brought near through the shedding of the Messiah’s blood.  For he himself is our shalom—he has made us both one and has broken down the commands which divided us by destroying in his own body the enmity occasioned by the Word of God, with its commands set forth in the form of ordinances.  He did this in order to create in union with himself from the two groups a single new humanity and thus make shalom, and in order to reconcile to God both in a single body by being executed on a stake as a criminal and thus in himself killing that enmity

Those far (gentile people) and those near(Jewish people) are brought together into one group through Christ.  Something only God could do.  This union brings peace between two groups who were at odds with one another.  This union is made possible in the commonality of Christ.  The commands are also changed from law to the actual new nature.  They are simply what is done as a new creature in Christ for both the Gentile and the Jew.

Also, when he came, he announced as Good News shalom to you far off and shalom to those nearby, news that through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.

So then, you are no longer foreigners and strangers.  On the contrary, you are  fellow-citizens with God’s people and members of God’s family.  You have been built on the foundation of the emissaries and the prophets, with the cornerstone being Yeshua Messiah himself.  In union with him the whole building is held together, and it is growing into a holy temple in union with the Lord. Yes, in union with Him, you yourselves are being built together into a spiritual dwelling-place for God!

No longer strangers to one another the two groups become one group built on a sure foundation.  Before one builds any structure, a firm foundation must be laid.  If not, the strong storm will do much damage, may even bring it down.  Builders today have codes to follow that have been proven to withstand the winds of nature.The fellowship of believers of Christ will stand through the attacks of the enemy if they are supported by a strong foundation.  This foundation is found in the teachings from God put forth by his faithful leaders and through Jesus Christ the cornerstone uniting two worlds into one.  The foundation construction and composition is found in God’s Word and in Christ the Living Word.

For the individual it is the support given by the belt of truth; a belt of truth found in God’s Word and a belt that supports the rest of the armor of God.  Each individual, then, can stand strong and when linked together with other believers can advance against the enemy both corporately and individually, providing additional strength for one another in the individual walk through life.

What does the believer possess?  What makes their life so rich?  They have the promises found in the Word that are truth, giving strength to the spirit in its battle with the natural, the flesh.  They possess unity where once there was division; resulting in peace rather than strife.  They possess the spiritual benefits found in this unity that permits them to grow in their spiritual walk with God.  They are no longer strangers or foreigners to one another but have a common ground in Christ and that is a strong foundation upon which to build the house of God.

Pray – We are built together, two worlds once separated now joined in Christ, to become a spiritual dwelling-place for God!

Repent – I repent for the times I look on others as different without accepting them as fellow believers in Christ causing a separation in my mind where You want unity.

Ask – Keep deceitful ways far from me, and favor me with your Word.  I choose the way of trust; I set Your rulings[before me].  I cling to Your instruction; Adonai, don’t let me be put to shame!

Yes – I will run the way of Your commands, for You have broadened my understanding.

Source:  Ephesians and Psalm 119

The Power of Peace…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

From Isaiah and Jonah:

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation and saying to Tziyon, “Your God is King!” Listen!  Your watchmen are raising their voices, shouting for joy together.  For they will see, before their own eyes, Adonai returning to Tziyon.

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Out of my distress I called to Adonai, and he answered me; from the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice.  For you threw me into the deep, into the heart of the seas; and the flood enveloped me; all your surging waves passed over me.  I thought ‘I have been banished from your sight.’ But I will again look at your holy temple.  The water surrounded me, threatened my life; the deep closed over me, seaweed twined around my head.  I was going down to the bottom of the mountains, to a land whose bars would close me in forever; But you brought me up alive from the pit, Adonai, my God!  As my life was ebbing away, I remembered Adonai; and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple.

Those who worship vain idols give up their source of mercy; but I, speaking my thanks aloud, will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay.  Salvation comes from Adonai!

Then Adonai spoke…

 

In distress, the call goes out to the One who can deliver.  The situation is described, consequences named but there is still hope!  And the prayer continues in hope and ends with thanksgiving.  No matter how bad it gets, there is room to be thankful for who God is. And God answered; God delivered.  His peace within, given freely enables victory.

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“This is how we put on the shoes of peace – we trust and express gratitude.” ArmorofGodStudy

“Note the progression: trust leads to thankfulness and gratitude activates peace.”   ArmorofGodStudy

Jonah was set free to be in motion.  He delivered God’s message and the people of Nineveh responded.  God’s judgment was withheld and His peace reigned.

“The Christian was evidently intended to be in motion, for here are shoes for his feet.”  — Charles Spurgeon

“Leap up at the sound of this promise!  Believe it.  Let it go down into your souls.  “The Lord looseth the prisoners.”  Psalm 146:7  He has come to loose you.  I can see my Master arrayed in His silk garments.  His countenance is as joyous as heaven, His face is as bright as a morning without clouds, and in his hands He holds a silver key.  ” Where are you going, my Master, with that silver key of Yours?”  I ask. “I go,” He says, “to open the door of the captive and to loosen everyone who is bound.”  Blessed Master, fulfill Your errand…”- Charles Spurgeon, Spurgeon on Prayer and Spiritual Warfare.

Pray – You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God, You turn my darkness into light.  With Your help I can advance  against a troop!  Lord God, I will shout for joy when You make me victorious, and I will lift up a banner in the name of my God!  Please, Lord, grant these requests!

Repent – I repent for the times I neglected to acknowledge Your peace given to me for my benefit.  I repent for actions and words expressed in anger in response to the tension around me.

Ask- I ask, ” Do not be far from me, Lord, for trouble is near and there is no one to help…Guard my life and rescue me, O Lord, Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in You.  I will put on Your peace and shod with that peace I will advance in calm, gentleness, compassion and love.

Yes – Let everyone who is godly pray to You while You may be found; surely when the mighty waters rise, they will not reach me!  You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”  Though the enemy would try to steal my peace, my gift from You, through the actions and words of others, he will not succeed for I am hidden, surrounded and blessed by You.  I advance with the shoes of peace on my feet.  Thank you!!

Reference: Psalm 18, 20, 22, 25 and 32; Images from Google Images.

Hold the Line with Shoes of Peace…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

Colossians 3:12-15

Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another.  Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive.  Above all, put on love— the perfect bond of unity.  And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts.  Be thankful.

Underlined portions are for emphasis.

Picture Shows: Computer-generated image: A line of elite Roman infantry. TX: BBC Two tba Britain is a country that has been forged by centuries of warfare. Using amazing graphics to recreate the epic scale of war, father-and-son team Peter and Dan Snow tell the story of battles that have shaped the country in which we live. From Boudicca's uprising against the Romans to the Battle of Britain, 'Battlefield Britain' journeys through 2,000 years of invasion, civil war and rebellion. Peter reveals how the strategies of the best and worst commanders determined the fate of the British Isles, while Dan gives the soldiers' perspective of what it must have been like to ride, march, fly and sail into battle. The first programme features Boudicca and the Iceni battles at Colchester and Manchester; this is followed by a re-enactment at the Festival of History at Stoneleigh. Other programmes deal with the Spanish Armada, Naseby, Hastings, Battle for Wales, Boyne, Culloden and Battle of Britain Warning: Use of this copyright image is subject to Terms of Use of BBC Digital Picture Service. In particular, this image may only be used during the publicity period for the purpose of publicising BBC programming or other BBC output/activity and provided the BBC is credited. Any use of this image on the internet or for any other purpose whatsoever, including advertising or other commercial uses, requires the prior written approval of the BBC.

Picture Shows: Computer-generated image: A line of elite Roman infantry.

Roman soldiers held a line of defense, standing side-by-side; feet firmly planted.  The believer wears the shoes of peace that share the characteristics of those worn by the Roman soldier.  They had straps to allow the shoes to be conformed uniquely to their feet.  They had hobnails to keep the soldier balanced with good footing on rough or slippery terrain.  They were of leather so they afforded protection.

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This peace of God is not the peace of mankind—In John 14: 27 He says, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  This peace provides support, is uniquely designed for each believer and gives firm footing that keeps the believer from falling.

In a line, side-by-side, the soldiers had additional strength and firm footing; unified in purpose to keep the enemy out or advance on the enemy in strength and purpose.  Believers standing side-by side, properly shod with peace are able to deflect division, discord, disruption and disturbance.

That peace, given by God, not as man gives, provides protection within.  When storms come, the eye is obvious for its calm and peaceful appearance.  When peace reigns within, the believer is protected from the circumstantial storm and functions with calm, compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  The believer wearing God’s peace stands out in the storm.

Though complications, differences, even annoyances come among a body of believers, they will not allow holes in the line to occur that may permit the enemy to infiltrate with division, discord, disruption and disturbance.  If any of the ‘d’s’ are present, know that the enemy is active to destroy.  Though others seem not to have this peace, the individual who does can still “hold the line.”  Lead by example.  Don’t allow the enemy to take advantage of any holes in the line.  Put On the shoes of peace, be active not passive allowing the peace of the Messiah to control the heart.

Be rooted and firmly established in love, able to comprehend with all God’s people what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and know the Messiah’s love that is beyond all knowing, to be filled with the fullness of God.  Taken from Ephesians

Images from Google Images.