Purposeful Faith

Category - Holy Spirit

5 Ways to Be Led By Holy Spirit, Not Flesh

holy spirit

Meanie: Dropped the ball and never answered me when I emailed her.
Selfish & silent: Promised me something and then didn’t follow through.
High-priced: Charged me an arm and a leg, ran away and left me standing with a huge bill.
Go-Getter: Hurt me.
Liar: Rejected me with a bold-faced lie I can’t seem to get past.
Forgetter: Didn’t invest in my heart; she dissed it.
Abandoner: Walked away not following through on a promise.
Hater: Ignored me and grabbed hands with the popular folk.
Condemner: Tore my good intentions apart.

The story is titled: They’ll all reject you.

The cast is nefarious.

The plot goes like this: I’m a speck of dust. Everyone knows I am forgettable, invaluable and pretty much unseen within the grand story called their life, their plans and their needs. I’m disposable.

Bah-humbug! 

The enemies appear to be everyone. That’s a problem. That’s a big problem. I recognize it.

Because, in reality, the enemy isn’t these enemies, the enemy is the enemy. He’s thriving when he contriving. He’s jumping for joy, when he’s ruined ours. He’s grinding up love into tiny grounds that spread hate. The longer he let’s them brew the more bitter it tastes. When we drink, and we get poisoned, not with eyes to see God, but with eyes of anger and vile.

What has been brewing in your heart – is it peace and God’s presence or is a list of people who’ve hurt you?

For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. Romans 8:13-14

My flesh wants to teach these people a lesson. My Spirit knows people are hurting, just like me. My Spirit knows, you can’t read the motives on one’s heart. My Spirit knows, people need love, not condemnation.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Gal. 5:22

If I am in the Spirit, I shine Spirit. But, how do I move back to peace-calming Spirit rather than anger-brewing flesh?

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

5 Ways to Be Led By the Holy Spirit, Not Your Flesh

  1. Ask God to fill you with all joy and peace.
  2. Ask God to help you trust him more.
  3. Move into a place of continual worship, praise and thanksgiving.
  4. Dwell only on what is good, true and excellent.
  5. Be open to how God is teaching or leading you in a given moment.

As I practice my heart through the continual cycle of this list, I find my heart is no longer being wrung through the ringer. It softens. It sees others pain. It knows, God has a plan, even in my pain.

The Spirit confirms, I am His child and the love he surrounds me with, is more than enough to fill every hole of damage.

Don’t miss taking part in the 4 Days to Fearless Challenge. Or, order my book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears, today!

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Are People Always Judging You?

Sizing you Up

For the longest time, judgments have thrown me off.

If I saw you looking at me weird, I was convinced you hated me.
If you had a comment that I wasn’t doing things right, I’d be devastated.
If you raised an eyebrow at my parenting style, I’d want to go climb into a hole and stay there until you are long gone.

It’s been hard for me to contend with people who condemn.

With certain people, I expect them to act a certain way. I can almost hear the words they’re going to say before they say them. I can almost see the pain strike my heart before the words are even formed in their mouth. With this, I internally fear and steer clear of them. I put up layers so they don’t prick me. I hide to protect my own hide.

I think, today, though, I am ready to admit, I am pretty much tired of this approach. I no longer want to relegate myself to a hole like a tiny mouse unworthy and unable to be myself. I want to step out – into the light – and do my thing, gnaw on cheese, squeak with joy or pounce around without caring what you, or anyone else, for that matter, thinks.

Jesus didn’t tell us to hide our light. He told us to shine it.

Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Mt. 5:15-16

Recently, I met with a friend. She’s spent every day of her life being who a family member wanted her to be. I could see how it had taken a toll on her. I could see she was ready to, like a butterfly, break out of her cocoon and fly-free. I wanted to see her colors. I knew God had something great for her – when she’d start being – who he made her to be.

God is helping me to see things. If we let external criticisms dwell as internal truths, we’ll live imprisoned. You see, the peanut gallery will always have comments as to who we should be. Yet, we don’t have to be who they say we should be. Who we should be is – who God created us to be.

What if Jesus changed who God created him to be in order to accommodate man’s standards? In order to please Pharisees or religious elite?

Jesus didn’t let criticism and condemnation define him. With this, God gives man’s condemnation no room to define us either. There is simply no one who has the power to destroy us. Because Jesus believed in who Father made him to be, and walked accordingly, he duct-taped the world’s mouth shut. No one could waver the mission of Jesus, because Jesus never gave them the chance to.
I want to be like that. Do you

Like Jesus, if we just hear the Word of God and walk accordingly, it doesn’t matter what man says. He can’t change our destiny. He can’t wreck our future. He may try to tell us we are ugly, we will never succeed or we are always falling short. But…blah, blah, blah he goes.
Jesus is in me.
The Spirit is alive.

The fruits of the Spirit are growing.

With this power working from me, I can turn right back around and say to him words of: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control.

Why? Not because I am good, but because Jesus’ good love holds me tight and says, I am untouchable. I am unremovable from his care. I am undeniably chosen and wanted. For Jesus is attached in me, not the words of someone trying to take me down.

Other reading:
Dealing with Super Annoying People
When People Complicate Things
Dethrone Mean People

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10 Ways to Develop Rock-Solid Faith

Keep Going

That place that you are desperately scared of? God has already gone there.
The people you are afraid to confront? God knows your best approach.
The doctor’s appointment you can’t stand to think of? He has the answers.
The relationships that you don’t ever think can be healed? God sees the way.
The rejection you deeply fear. God knows how to take it from there.
The positive mindset you can’t seem to claim as your own. He is working on your behalf.

While today you may see all that – is not, God sees all that – will be. It doesn’t scare him. It doesn’t shock him. It doesn’t look impossible. He knows he can do it all. 

He’s not one to waver, to toss and turn about whether or not to care about you. He cares because he is the completeness of care. He works, because he can do it all.

He can do it all. Do you know that?

Rock-Solid Faith

Don’t lose hope.

Don’t back down.

Don’t lay down and give up.

Don’t see life only through your eyes.

You have a King behind you.
You have the #1 Ruler favoring you.
You have glory around you.
The Comforter assisting you.

Don’t look at who you are, look at who He is.

Don’t see impossibility, see the inevitability that He’ll show up.
See with certainty, the soon-to-be miracle in your heart.
Walk with surety, he’ll direct you to his goodness in this land of the living.

God sees the end in sight and it is not far. All loose ends, with God, tie up in goodness. He has a vision. A hope. A work of love being worked out on your behalf. It all makes sense to God.

Grab hold.

BELIEVE.

Declare not only these truths in word,
but, believe – in your heart.

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Ro. 10:9

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Ps. 19:14

The heart holds the difference between love that endures and love that fades after it slips off the tongue. It is the wellspring of life (Prov. 4:23).

If you are talking the talk,

but losing the battle in your walk,

the issue comes down to your heart.

What’s in there? Fear? Guilt? Shame? Doubt? Anxiety? Uncertainty? Disappointment? Discouragement?

Let your heart:
1. Be honest with God & return to God.
2. Stand on guard. Not every voice is a needed voice.
3. Be full of praise.
4. Make way for more holy.
5. Take a firm stand in belief.
6. Return to God throughout the day.
7. Hope in Christ’s love.
8. Meditate on truth.
9. Stay humble.
10. Remain open to God’s growth.

Rock-Solid Faith

When we give God our heart, what we find is, our eyes widen – we delight in his ways (Prov. 23:26). Suddenly, we don’t only speak, but we believe, because God kindles us in his love. We step out as bright temples that representing faithfulness that never ends.

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That’s “Nacky”

Do you have a funny word you embrace in your home that is totally understood by everyone under your roof, coined by a toddler?

When my sons were babies they called my daughter Maggie, “Yaya.”  We still call her this.

My cousin called underwear “O-di-os.” And we rarely say underwear, they are O-di-os.

And it spans the generations. My husband’s family still teases about getting your “baby-soup” on so we can go swimming, a term my husband used as a toddler.

I am 44-years-old, and my family still calls washcloths hoffcloths.” I have never lived down that which I said… when I was two.

Our oldest son John called spoons “Mooshes” and nasty “Nacky.” At our youngest son’s 1st birthday the 3-year-old John was exasperated by his baby brother’s “nacky” face after he ate cake with his hands instead of with a “moosh.”

These word oddities are habits, often we must correct ourselves in public as the nonsense isn’t appropriate outside the clique of family.

Recently one of our kids made a mistake, he was mortified. The man-child went on a rant about his foolishness. I consoled him and encouraged.  He couldn’t get past his folly and berated himself ruthlessly.

It broke my heart to him speak so harshly of himself. I rubbed his shoulder and mused, “Oh you are just being NACKY! Stop!”

He softened a bit and rolled his eyes.  At 6’3” with a full beard, I am certain he wishes he could break away from the baby talk.

A couple days later I had to get on the scale at the doctor’s office.

Ugh.

My encounter with too many “Mooshes” was making my “O-di-os” too tight and my body was not ready for “baby-soup” season.

I grumbled at myself – disgust.

I mumbled ugliness about my lack of self-control and my disdain for my current state.

I blew my nose and wiped some tears and heard a familiar, still voice from deep within.

“That’s nacky.”

And I knew the voice.

And I knew the term.

And I knew the voice meant my critical assault on self, not the size of my hiney.

I was being “nacky.”

And more than tears over my current physical struggles, I was slain by a wave of love from my Heavenly Father. 

I was reminded that “nacky” feeling I had when my son was hating on himself for making a mistake. A mistake that could be remedied. A mistake that was done without malice, simply an earthly mistake. In an instant I was in unison with my Lord and all the ways, He parents me.

He wanted me to ease up. He wanted me to turn to Him and talk, ask for help, and then let go.  And no, not let go and continue to not care for myself, His daughter. But to stop haranguing myself with “nacky” self-hatred.

Just like the horribleness I felt when my child was so unforgiving with his folly, God opened my eyes to the parallels of my punitive words.

His gentleness continues to move me. A good Father, encourager, and devoted parent who craves a chance to nurture and love on me.  He died that I might have amity with this life. His spirit lingers, whispering tender love and peaceable direction.

His love is perfect.

His parenting flawless.

He is completely void of nackiness….

 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!  –1 John 3:1

May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami

 

Sparkling Bright for Christ

Sparkling Bright for Christ

Do you have the sparkle?

It’s the shine of more. It’s the clean of perfect. It’s togetherness and wholeness.

It looks nothing like me.

I look like tiredness personified.
I look like worry building upon worry.
I look like one who tries to trust – but still doubts.
I look like a battlefield where godliness goes up against selfishness.
I look like a girl trying to fit herself into mold “good mom.”

That’s me. Not so shiny. Not very sparkly. Hardly.

It feels hard to keep the glimmer of Christ existent amidst the grime of this life.

But, what if glimmer was not me – or you? What if the pressure was off? What if glimmer was just a matter of letting God’s light bust through our darkness? 

What would that look like?

God’s glory is always found within our tension points (Romans 5:3). It is a hard thing to consider, isn’t it? Usually, we run from these places, thinking they spots sent to inflict pain. Little do we know that sometimes, these exact spots, when pushed are what are going to deliver us to freedom – and to greater mobility to reach the world.

Where we feel pressed, God is working things out, so one day, we land at – blessed.

We shimmer. We shine. We find glory!

Do we believe it is possible?

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings,
because we know that suffering produces
(Romans 5:3)

When great joy emerges out of great struggle, people notice. Glory!
When peace is found over hardship. Glory!
When God grants unspeakable calm in the midst of doggone electricity storm. Glory!
When insight speaks into an impossible situation. Glory!
Glimmer! Sparkle! Shine! Power! Light unquenchable.

When we endure and then endure and then say, “No matter what Heaven awaits!” Glory!

We can lean into pain, knowing that God, by his very nature,will always use it – for spiritual gain. In that we can trust.

Is it hard? Yes. Impossible. No.

It is not, because it is also a work of the Holy Spirit – he makes you go about all Tigger-style, abounding in hope (Romans 5:13).

Hope is:
Seeing Jesus constructing mission out of our pain.

Imagining people changed after relational turbulence.
Standing on God’s masterplan rather than our personal ones.
Believing that God really is at work to make us into Christ’s image.
Going beyond self, to reach the nations. 
Thanking God for the new thing he is building in us.
Understanding the cross and all the pain that came with it. 
Looking at the captives and depressives and wanting to love them.
Getting a feeling that we have to pass around. 
Knowing we found home and longing for the fullness of it to come.

Hope. It is all you need to sparkle, no matter how you feel. Nothing can steal it. No one can rob it of you. It is a knowledge you’ll be blessed, even if you straight up land at heaven’s gates.

Let it sing in you. Let it rise from you. Walk in its fullness and feel its freedom – then hand it out to all you meet.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 5:13

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The Deep Key of Faith (You’re Prone to Forget)

Key of Faith

Listen, This is the News that Breaks Every Minute!
This is a Christian’s Always-Headline News!

Do you know it?

Have you not heard?

There is a King of Glory coming for you. He is coming to love you. To find you. To bring you home.

Have you not heard?

You will not know the hour (Mt. 24:36), but you will know the time, because you will see eyes like flames arrive, the white horses of victory drive in and the sword yielded over the nations. You will know because you see white: white robes, purity and holy arrive with power and might (Rev. 19:12-16)

Have you not heard?

The seemingly silent of God will be silent no more as lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail pour down like a stadium full of the Lion’s booming return. (Rev. 11:19)

Have you not heard?

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. (1 Cor. 15:52)

And in a split-second, according to the timing of Jesus, for believers, everything changes. Lives are restored. Pain is wiped away. Time never ends. Days continue in feast. Lives bask in presence. King rules with no obstruction. We are raised to the vision of all we ever dreamed of.

This is not light, fine and dandy, Christianity; this is the deep of our faith. 

Things happen to those who know where they are bound to go:

1. Those who keep their eyes pasted on eternity, find they aren’t as easily torn from what’s right. They wake up with a purpose and then live by it. They see the wrongs, and decide to do right, for they know at the end of their fight, they will see his might.

2. Those with forever perspectives, find a forge-through attitudes no matter the barrier. It’s not so much about what they can do, but all about what God will do as they bow down to him. It is about becoming less, because they trust in the more.

3. Those with the seal of God (Eph. 1:13), know they will be signed, sealed and delivered into God’s arms forever. When you are sealed with the Spirit, there is no killing the Spirit. Soul is restored with the Spirit of God and one day body and mind are too.

Having an eternal view means running victorious marathons
verses short sprints of inspiration
followed by deep fits of frustration.

How do you live?

Do you live by the sound of immediate demands 
or by the trumpet sound that will resound on the day of Christ’s return?

 Glory and strength to Christ, who loves us,
    who blood-washed our sins from our lives,
Who made us a Kingdom, Priests for his Father,
    forever—and yes, he’s on his way!
Riding the clouds, he’ll be seen by every eye,
    those who mocked and killed him will see him,
People from all nations and all times
    will tear their clothes in lament.
    Oh, Yes.

(Rev. 1:7 MSG)

He is coming. Do you know him? Love him?

Like a groom at the end of the aisle, he is ready to see the brilliance, the beauty and his beloved, the one he loves. That is you. That is me.

May we live in eager anticipation of his return, not seeing the world as a here and now deal, but seeing the world through the deep of eternal eyes that know what the things we are pressing into are things that are bound to last.

Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. (Mt. 18:18)

May it all be so, may it all be just as God has proclaimed it to be – now and forever.

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Miss This View of Faith & You’ll Miss So Much

View of Faith

Don’t forget, because this is vital:
Live your life in a way where you can look back and say – for Jesus – I did everything I could.
Not because you had to, but because you wanted to…
Not because you were earning something, but because you were loving the one thing.

Do it, so that one day you see yourself:
Victorious, dressed in white (Rev. 3:5)
Acknowledged, not blotted out, before Father God and his angels. (Rev. 3:6)
Seated with Jesus, just as Jesus is seated with the Father (Rev. 3:21)

How do you practically live like this? What does this mean for you and me?

It means we hear beyond the sound and the thrills and the notifications of this world. It means we have ears to hear (Rev. 3:6) what God most desires. It means we focus on the limited running of time, the blip that is our life, to see the ongoing riches of the cross.

We stay eternally minded, and remember, we are earthly endangered.

He is “coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.” (Rev. 3:11)
What we have is eternity.

The victorious become part of the temple of God (Rev. 3:12).
Will that be you? Will that be me?

I don’t want to be so lost in this world, that I lose the greater vision of God that will endure forever. I don’t want to bow down to  stress and anxiety only to stand up and realize that I missed greatness, glory and holy. I don’t want to get it all here, and miss it all there.

Do you know what I mean?

There is no hidden agenda or secret formula. The path is clear.
Here’s what it looks like to be a type that can look back and say, “I did everything I could”:

1. Wake up! (Rev. 3:2)
2. “Strengthen what remains and is about to die” – leave no good deed unfinished. (Rev. 3:2)
3. Remember what you have received and heard; hold it fast. (Rev. 3:3)
4. Turn yourself back to face Christ. (Rev. 3:3)
5.  Be ready. I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. (Rev. 3:3)

He is coming not to hurt us, but to love us.
Not to tear apart believers, but to keep them.

He encourages our heart (Jo. 16:33) with the force of heaven.
The Spirit pleads (Ro. 8:26)  for our win and Jesus does as well (1 Jo. 2:1).
Don’t give up.
Don’t lose hope.
It is a race.
We are winning.
God is for us.
He is helping
We are not alone.
He will lift us when we fall low.
He will guide us when we don’t know where to go.
So, put a stake in the ground and declare,
“Jesus, again, I hand it all to you. I am all in.”

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When We Smother God’s Fire With Well-Meaning Activity

Blog Post by Abby McDonald

I poked at the fire, frustrated that it wouldn’t stay aflame. This girl was no scout. The temperatures outside had reached single digits, and our furnace was having a hard time keeping up.

After spending an hour trying different techniques, adding wood, scraps of paper, and using more fire starters than any person should, the flame blazed hot enough for the wood stove’s fan to cut on, circulating the heat throughout the house. My mouth spread into a victorious smile.

The problem was, I didn’t know what I’d done right.

Later, after my husband returned from a business trip, he explained the basics of fire building to this city girl. I listened intently, determined not to have the predicament repeat itself.

Even my son, the cub scout, knew the basics of fire 101. I guess I should have asked him, right?

As any seasoned camper may know, fires need three basic components: heat, fuel, and oxygen.

It turns out, I had given my fire plenty of heat and fuel, but I’d neglected oxygen almost altogether. Instead of giving my flame room to breath by spreading the wood in a triangular shape, I’d smothered it.

Fires need room to breathe. And much like the flame I’d suffocated with its own fuel, I often adapt the same pattern in my spiritual life.

I know my heat comes from the Holy Spirit living inside me. I feed the flame with his Word and plenty of good reading material, podcasts and worship.

I gather with other believers. I lead and serve.

But often, I don’t allow space to breathe. To digest what he’s teaching me. To sit in his presence and be still with no agenda, no checklist or index of requests I need to present.

While we fixate on the lines of our life story, God often speaks in the margins.

In the spaces in-between the carpools, the play dates and the prayer meetings. In the moments where we slow down, we sit and we wait. Because the voice of God is always worth waiting for.

“Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalm 46:10 NIV

So instead of piling more stuff onto my never-ending to-do list, I’m carving out time to listen. Even if it starts with fifteen minutes before my kids roll out of bed, it will be worth it.

I’m creating a space to not simply read the Word, but hear from the Word.

Have you stacked too many scraps on your fire, suffocating it so it has no room to breathe? Have you placed a list of chores on the altar of life, forgetting what God wants most is our hearts?

I have. I am guilty. But thanks be to God, his mercies are new every morning.

It is never to late to realign our priorities, to make a change or create a new beginning. Today is the day.

Fan the flame.

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Abby McDonald is a writer who can’t contain the lavish love of a God who relentlessly pursues her, even during her darkest times. When she’s not chasing her two little boys around, she loves hiking, photography, and consuming copious amounts of coffee with friends.

Abby would love to connect with you on her blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

10 Ways to Know: Are You Listening to God or the Devil?

Listening to God

I go about my day, but sometimes my day goes about wrecking me. It goes about making me overwhelmed in a moment of frustration, angry at others, beaten by circumstances, discouraged by my actions and frustrated that I am not more of a “halo” Christian.

Ever felt this way?

When I come to think about it, I think it has much to do with what I am thinking about.

Because what we think, we live.

Are you listening to the conviction of the Spirit
or the condemnation of the devil?

10 Ways to Know:

1. The Spirit infuses love, the devil accuses with shame.
The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Ro. 8:16 

2. God draws us near, the devil pushes us lonely into fear.
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears”  Psalm 34:4

3. The Spirit hands out an invitation, the devil speaks accusations. The Spirit invites us to life-change and liberation while the devil invites us to death.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Cor. 3:1

4. The Spirit makes us new, the devil makes us dwell in the old. The Spirit works in the now, the devil reinforces yesterday.
He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant–not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Cor. 3:6

5. The Spirit speaks correction, the devil speaks destruction.
The Spirit reinforces the Word of Life, while the devil rips it apart, reworks it and denies it to suit his needs to destroy us.
When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment. Jo. 16:8

6. The Spirit reveals, the devil steals.
These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 1 Cor. 2:10

7. The devil pushes legalistic law, the Spirit pushes life-giving liberation.
If the devil can make you work hard to be loved, he will. The Spirit is always at work to confirm your position as child.
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” Ro. 8:15

8. The devil sends us on a parade of feelings, the Spirit sends us into a journey through God’s Word. 
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Eph. 6:17

9. The devil reminds us how bad we were, the Spirit reminds us of how secure and significant we will be as we turn back to God. 
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. Eph. 2:8

10. The Spirit brings self-denial, the devil encourages self-will, self-promotion and selfishness.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. Gal. 2:20

The Spirit is a force of freedom, a revealer of God’s wisdom and an offerer of love, the devil comes simply to steal, kill and destroy. May we walk bad voices right out the door, so the peace of God may walk in. Then, our temples will shine Christ far and wide.

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Winning Your Battles: 2 Strategies

Winning Your Battles

What precedes victory?
What sets up a strategy that wins?
What helps solidify an unsure direction?

You probably haven’t heard this explained this way before. Or, maybe you have and have written its power off because it seems too simple, too ordinary and too commonplace. But, activating our hearts in these small two steps, often activates our hearts in new hope.

Let’s look at King Jehoshaphat, named “Yahweh has judged.”
Sound like a scary name?
It would to me. I would probably hide from myself with a name like that.

But, you see, Yahweh had judged him in a good way.

And He not only judged, but also in many cases he also blessed – because Jehoshaphat removed idols, cleaned up the land, purified hearts in truth and focused hearts on the one true God. Sure, he made a mistake or two, but his heart was right.

Mistakes come and mistakes go, but a heart sold out for God, is one God blesses.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Mt. 5:6

Yet, despite his goodness, Jehoshaphat had enemy Moabite armies stacked up to his neck.

Notice, God doesn’t remove hardships from good people –
often, he confronts us with them to release us from them.

Jehoshaphat certainly wasn’t spared – and he wasn’t so scared he couldn’t move.
He pushed harder against the force that wanted to push him down.
Did he realize he would grow stronger in faith by being faithful?

Like Jehoshaphat, our help isn’t found in our artillery,
but it’s found in humility before our God.

Pushing into God pushes us into his plan.

Suddenly we see – God’s deliverance is always had –
it is just a matter of when.

When we push into God, we get all we need to proceed.

So, what did “Yahweh has judged” do to push in when the forces of the Moabites stood against?

2 Things:

1. He prayed: Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him. 2 Chron. 20:3-4

Notice that although he felt “alarmed,” he still “resolved.”

Do you “resolve to inquire of the Lord” when alarm bells sound?
Offering the resolve of your heart, your mind, your soul and your strength, will resolve them to God’s will. 

2. He worshipped & trusted: You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you…‘If calamity comes upon us…we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’
2 Chron. 20:6, 9

Seeing God in his true place sets his true ways into place – in us.

Looking up helps the things around, not bring us down.

Remembering Jesus’ victory locks our heart into His victory too.

What might true and faithful worship, in the face of battle, do for you? In the face of finances? In the face of arguments? In the face of poor health? In the face of fear? In the face of wayward children?

Let’s see what it did for Jehoshaphat…

Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Jahaziel…as he stood in the assembly.  He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” 2 Chron. 20:14-15

The Spirit showed up. God gave instructions on how to win and he also gave his presence that said, “I will be with you.”

When we seek God, we find him. 
When we find his face, he faces us with real truth.
When we know where our help comes from, our help often comes.

What I love even more is how Jehoshaphat literally headed foot-by-foot into war.

“Give thanks to the Lord,
    for his love endures forever.”

As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.  2 Chron. 20:21-22

What if our battlegrounds became praying and praising grounds?

​What would go do in us, through us and for us?

This sounds like unstoppable, not easily defeated, winning faith.

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Linking with Holley Gerth.