Tag Archives: enemies

Where are the answers?

We all have moments of crisis. We all have times when we are overwhelmed by what life has just brought to us. We all have real-life, human emotions. And it’s ok to say it.

In Jeremiah 37, the people of Judah were facing a real life battle. But here’s the rub; and here is where the enemy wins, our anxiety, anger, sadness, or other things overtake us, and we veer further off course than we meant or needed to:

Just like the people of Judah, we look for our conclusive help in the wrong place.

They looked to the army of Egypt to save them. But God was there all the time, and had been from the beginning, trying to get them to turn to Him. Yet they refused.

We do it, too. Proverbs 20:7 says, “Some nations boast of their chariots and horses, but we boast in the name of the Lord our God.”

The Lord had saved them time and time again, but they kept forgetting, and way too often not even giving Him credit. Sound familiar? ūüė¨

Proverbs 44:6-8, “I don’t depend on my arrows or my sword to save me. But You saved us from our hateful enemies, and You put them to shame. We boast about You, our God, and we are always grateful.”

My, oh my. Why do we continue to look to ourselves, to others, and to outside sources for the answer, the solution, or the salvation? It is God that fights, God that has the answers, and God that is Faithful.

He protects, shields, defends, provides, supplies, heals, comforts, creates, fights, gives wisdom, gives knowledge, gives understanding, unifies, loves, breathes life. There is literally nothing He can’t do!

The answers we seek? They lie in Him.

We saw the mountain, in the photo, when we were in TN. I mentioned that it reminded me of when Moses was on the mountain talking to God, and it was covered in cloud and smoke. My son said, “Maybe someone’s up there talking to God.” ‚̧ԳŹ Maybe they were. I sure hope so. That’s what we all need to do.

You are loved,

jamie

Leaning on God in our battles

‚ÄúI‚Äôve come to fight you in the name of the Lord Almighty.  Today the Lord will help me defeat you.‚ÄĚ  (parts of 1 Sam. 17:45-46)

The Israelites were confronted by a giant that was larger and stronger than them.  They were so frightened they didn‚Äôt know what to do.  

Sometimes we are faced with enemies or battles that feel the same way.  And some battles take a while.  Perhaps, like the Israelites giant, the challenge in our lives is given every morning and every night for 40 days.  I once had a health issue that lasted 7 ¬Ĺ years.  

We can run away and hide, like some of them did.  Or we can lean on God, as David did.  

David realized the enemy was making fun of the army of the living God, and he knew that was not ok.  They mattered to God.  

We are children of the living God, and we matter to God, as well.  

Others criticized David, belittled him, and talked down to him, as he started to rise up against the enemy.  They may do the same to us; but David was strong in his resolve.  He remembered all the previous occasions on which the Lord had helped him defeat an enemy or overcome an obstacle, and he said, ‚ÄúHe will keep me safe now.‚ÄĚ

The King tried to have David fight in his armor, but it didn‚Äôt fit David.  He couldn‚Äôt fight like someone else.  He had to fight like him.  When we are in our battle, or facing our enemy, we have to fight with what the Lord has given us, and trust that the Lord will keep us safe, just as He did David, and just as He has done for us in the past.

The enemy laughed in David‚Äôs face, but David said, I‚Äôve come to you in the name of the Lord!  He didn‚Äôt try to fight in his own strength.  He didn‚Äôt have to.  He knew the Lord would help him defeat the enemy.  

He will do the same for us.  The battle may rage, we may have to endure, but the Lord will always be on our side, and He will fight for us!  When we lean into Him in our weakest moments, His strength will always carry us through; and He will prove that the enemy can be defeated with the smallest of actions.  

Just believe,

jamie

You’ve been heard

My enemies, don’t be glad because of my troubles!  I may have fallen, but I will get up; I may be sitting in the dark, but the Lord is my light.  Micah 7:8

Have you ever felt that way?  You might have had enemies or just troubles.  For a moment you might have fallen.  Perhaps your enemies were more like regular complaints that caused you to feel like your falling.

Maybe you were in the dark, but all of sudden there was the light.  The Lord was there to remind you that He was the light of the world, and  you would not be overtaken by any of it!  

Something like verse 7 might have sprung to your mind, that says, “But I trust the Lord God to save me, and I will wait for Him to answer my prayer.”

The waiting may feel longer sometimes than others, but rest assured, dear friend, that even if you’re going through that now, that He has heard you. 

Michael told Daniel, “Daniel, don’t be afraid! God has listened to your prayers since the First days you humbly asked for understanding, and he has sent me here.”

The light of the world hears your humble cries.  He will not let you stumble.  God Most High will still be your Refuge in times of need. And He is still the lifter of your head.

Call upon Him and keep trusting,

jamie

A sacrifice worth making

I love the Lord’s timely reminders.  Were your feelings hurt this week like mine?  Have you been in conflict with someone and you haven’t yet shaken it off?  Is there a moment of pain you continue to pray about? 

It’s time to forgive and move on. 

Here’s the deal.  The person who hurt you is a human, just like you.  They are affected by stressors, spiritual powers, and the same fluctuating & selfish traits of humanity as us.  Sometimes others go into protection mode, too.  And sometimes others don’t always act like “perfect Christians” either. 

With that in mind, we need to pray for that other person or people.  I said it.  And you can do it.  Also, I do not mean praying for their demise.  I mean pray for them as you would pray for yourself.  Pray for them as though they are one of God’s children, because they are. 

If you’re thinking I’m crazy, I will remind you that this is scriptural.  Jesus told us to pray for those who mistreat us and to love our enemies.  I don’t typically think of anyone as my enemy, but if there is something keeping us from wanting to pray for someone, then perhaps that qualifies. 

Praying for someone who has hurt us is a beautiful sacrifice of love.  It also allows us to see them the way God does, and to remember that they need a bit of grace, as well.  Suddenly, forgiveness becomes possible, and we are free from that burden we’ve been carrying around.  We will see, once again, how the truth in God’s Word will set us free! 

Note:  Forgiveness is about us being obedient to the Word.  Some relationships can then be reconciled, in a beautiful, and sometimes miraculous way.  Others, especially if it’s a dangerous situation, may not need to be, and that’s ok. 

Let God set you free today!  Forgive,

jamie

Trusting God…even with our enemies?

Why do we think that God’s Word won’t work?¬† We do that more often than we will probably admit.¬† I was reading Ro. 12 this morning, and there are several verses that remind us what the Lord says about 1 subject:

  • “Ask God to bless everyone who mistreats you.¬† Ask Him to bless them and not to curse them.”¬† ¬†(vs. 14)
  • “Dear friends, don’t try to get even.¬† Let God take revenge.”¬† ¬†(vs. 19)
  • “If your enemies are hungry, give them something to eat.¬† And if they are thirsty, give them something to drink.¬† This will be the same as piling burning coals on their heads.”¬† (vs. 20)

From the youngest of ages, this is something we have to begin learning.¬† It goes against the flesh-nature of us all.¬† Kids learn immediately that they want their way.¬† They learn immediately who they feel safe around and who they don’t.¬† And find out who they can and cannot trust.

Same for us.¬† But, as Christians, we are told how to we are to handle the situation.¬† We are told to pray for them.¬† Ask God to bless them.¬† And then, if they need something, we are to supply that need, trusting that God’s Word is actually true.¬† If we say we believe in His Word, then we prove it by doing all of it, not just some, right?¬† Eeeeeek.

Jesus said, “I tell you love your enemies and pray for anyone who mistreats you.”¬† Does that mean we have to allow an enemy in our lives, submitting to them every minute?¬† I don’t know.¬† I hope not.¬† Wisdom from the Lord, and discernment from the Holy Spirit are certainly very helpful things to have in our lives, to guide us as we make decisions.

But we can pray for anyone, and forgive, finding the love of God for anyone…loving them as Christ loved us.¬† This will enable God to do the work that only He can do, and let Him prove that He and His Word are mighty and true.

We can’t just pick out all the parts of the Word that we want and leave the rest.¬† He will honor it all.¬† And He can be trusted.

Loving you,

jamie

What more could be said?

12 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Serve God with Spiritual Gifts

3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Behave Like a Christian

9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

17¬†Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard¬†for good things in the sight of all men.¬†18¬†If it is possible, as much as depends on you,¬†live peaceably with all men.¬†19¬†Beloved,¬†do not avenge yourselves, but¬†rather¬†give place to wrath; for it is written,¬†‚ÄúVengeance¬†is¬†Mine, I will repay,‚Ä̬†says the Lord.¬†20¬†Therefore

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.‚ÄĚ

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Well said. Help us to do this, Lord.

Don’t start nothing

I was driving behind a van today sporting a bumper sticker that said, “Don’t start nothing, there won’t be nothing.”

This line is from the Men in Black movie, apparently, but struck such a chord with this motorist that they felt the need to add it to their vehicle’s decor.¬† I realized right away that the driver of this van did not want to be provoked, and if they felt they were, things could get ugly very quickly.

I couldn’t help but think that this is actually the way the world seems to be all around me now days.¬† People seem ready to strike out at the first hint of provocation.¬† And then this saying…it seems like a large population lives by this rule.¬† If others won’t mess with me we’ll be fine, but if they start something, then it’s on.

But can’t we do better?¬† What happened to turning the other cheek?¬† What happened to loving our enemies?¬† What happened to forgiving and looking over trespasses?¬† Jesus was literally hanging on a cross, being mocked, bleeding from his hands, feet, back, and head, and said, “Father, forgive them.”¬† But we say, “don’t start nothing, there won’t be nothing.”¬† Hmmm.¬† That just doesn’t sound right to me.

I don’t think we have to let people walk all over us or abuse us, but we also don’t have to always be ready to attack.¬† There are ways to say things that are kinder.¬† There are ways to say things that are calmer.¬† Sometimes it’s even ok to say nothing.¬† How about praying before we speak or react?¬† That’s still acceptable.¬† It’s not an old-fashioned concept.¬† It is Biblical.¬† God is still there on His throne offering grace and mercy in our times of need.¬† God is still handing out wisdom.

I really do think we can do better.¬† As Christians, I believe we should do better.¬† Not everyone is even trying to start something…we could start by realizing that.¬† After that, we could take an approach more like, “You start something, I end it.”¬† I tell my kids all the time that I don’t care who started it; they can be the one that ends it.¬† It’s all about choices.¬† I remind them that they, alone, are responsible for the choices they make.¬† I also remind them that 2 wrongs don’t make a right.

Let us be the ones that stand out from the crowd and don’t react with attacks and harsh answers.¬† Let us be the ones that end it before it even begins.¬† We can do better.

I’m ok with you,

jamie

Love your enemies, part 2

Pr. 15:18:¬† “A wrathful man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger allays contention.”

In yesterday’s blog, I asked this question:¬†if someone who has hurt you needs prayer will you pray for them?

When you or someone you love has a serious prayer need in your life don’t you desire compassion and aren’t you seeking for people to pray for you?  Most of us are.

Now, say that the wrathful person you envisioned in this verse has a prayer need.  Are you going to take time to pray for them?  If someone who has previously injured you in some way now needs prayer, will you pray for them?

What was it that Jesus told us in Mt. 5:44-45?¬† Get ready for it…

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons [and daughters] of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust.‚ÄĚ

Jesus said we should love our enemies.  Not only that, but we should bless those who curse us and do good to those who hate us.  Also, we should pray for those who spitefully use us and persecute us.  Why?  So we may be sons and daughters of our Father in heaven.  He makes us all, loves us all, and according to John 3:16, died for us all.

I have a testimony not meant for a blog, but the Lord once asked me to pray for someone who had seriously injured me.  It seemed like an unreasonable request, considering the pain this person had caused me, and although I initially argued with God (in the pew at church), I eventually gave in.  Once I did, I was lifted of a burden in a way I never could have imagined.

The Lord freed ME of anger…freed ME of unforgiveness…freed ME of pain and bitterness.  I am much more equipped to forgive now than I was before, and I am so thankful for the freedom the Lord gave me when I trusted Him enough to do as He commanded. 

We cannot control what the people around us do.  All we can control is what we choose to do.  We can choose to trust the Lord enough to follow His Word and do as He commanded.

Just like He showed me…there are great rewards in store when we do!

Give it a shot!

jamie

Love your Enemies, part 3

Love your Enemies, part 4

 

 

Lessons learned on today’s hike

Life can put any manner of obstacles in our path.  Sometimes we are strong and energetic, jumping right over them.  Other times we are a little more cautious, stepping carefully over them.  There are other times; however, when we are so tired and wearied that we just feel like sitting down and weeping before them, giving up.  If that happens we sometimes even backtrack and wind up back where we began, making no progress in our journey at all.  It can happen to any of us.

 

 

Life can also offer us bridges.  Sometimes bridges can be scary things.  They can be very high, very rickety, made of rope, built over raging waters, or just something that someone fears.  In order to cross a bridge, we have to have faith that what awaits us on the other side of a bridge is worth us crossing it in the first place.

Those obstacle and bridge moments are definitely moments in our lives when we are prone to call out to God.¬† We cry out for help from the One we know or have heard can calm our fears or give us peace.¬† We reach out for the one that calms the storm when the bridge starts swaying.¬† We ask for help with the obstacles when we know they are Goliath’s that we cannot defeat.

 

It’s those other moments, when the path is clear and the going seems easy that we can get so confident that we forget we are still need of that same Savior.¬† We see the empty path and assume we can handle the steps ourselves.¬† We don’t feel the urgency to read our Bible like we did when we were facing the bridges, so we read less and less until maybe we aren’t reading at all.¬† Meanwhile, there are roots under the leaves that begin trip us up as we go.¬† Suddenly, the small roots begin to look like the large obstacles once again.

We think our prayer time can wait until we get around the curve, but then we get busy with our day and forget.¬† Next thing we know, we look up and see a bear lumbering towards us.¬† Because we haven’t been plugging into the power of the Holy Spirit, we aren’t prepared when the enemy meets us on the path.¬† Now we’re weak, meeting him in our own strength, and full of fear again.

I’m reminded of how David yelled out to Goliath, “You come against me with a dagger, spear, and sword, but I come against you in the name of the Lord, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.¬† This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand.” 1 Sam. 17:45-46

We don’t just need the Lord on our side when the obstacle is in our face.¬† We need to have had the Lord by our side all along, so that once we meet the obstacles we are sure to face we can face them with a David-like faith, strong and sure.

Walk with Him daily,

jamie

Month of Prayer, Day 27

Lord, how they have increased who trouble me!¬† Many are they who rise up against me.¬† Many are they who say of me, “There is no help for him in God.”¬† But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head.

I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill.  I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me.  I will not be afraid of tens of thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.

Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God!  For You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone; You have broken the teeth of the ungodly.  Salvation belongs to the Lord.  Your blessing is upon Your people.

Revive me according to Your lovingkindness, Lord.  The entirety of Your Word is truth!  Keep jealousy far from me.  Let my heart reveal a woman of God; a woman who trusts in His Word.  With You, Lord, I can persevere.  With You, I can find the patience to endure.  For I know that, according to You Word, You are fighting for me!  Thank You, Lord!

Lord, I will not trust in only what my eyes can see, or even what I feel, but in You.  I will have faith that You will do what You say You will do, for Your Word tells me that it is impossible for You to lie.  With You, Lord, I can run and not grow weary.  I can walk and not grow faint.  Thank You for renewing my strength even as I am praying.

Thank You for Your faithfulness, My God!

I pray this in Jesus’ holy and spotless name, Amen.