Tag Archives: victory

Who/what is driving our choices?

The Spirit of the Lord came upon Saul the moment he left Samuel, after he was anointed to become king.  The Bible says that God made him a different person.  The Lord had also helped Saul defeat the army of the Ammonites when they came against the town of Jabesh, rescuing the people, when His Spirit once again came upon Saul.  

The Lord had sent a thunderstorm in the middle of the dry season to show his power and might.  And Samuel reminded them of all the other amazing things that God had done for them before.  

Now, another army is coming against them, and King Saul’s soldiers are shaking in their boots.  Fear is a natural human emotion, but the Lord had continued to prove Himself to them over and over again, so they knew they had a Helper to watch their backs.  Other soldiers had run off and left, and suddenly Saul, the one who had been anointed, the one who had become a different person, the one upon whom the Spirit of the Lord had come again and again took on the fear and the worry of the others around him, and he began to worry, as well.  

Not only that, but Samuel, who was supposed to come and offer sacrifices to the Lord for them, had not yet come.  Where was he!?  (enter nail-biting)

Saul, let all of this fear and worry from these outside sources drive his choices, and he took matters into his own hands.  If that doesn’t sound like us, I don’t know what does.  

Things look scary, people say things that drive up our fear, worry, or anxiety, and it doesn’t seem like help is anywhere to be found.  All the while, the Holy Spirit…the Comforter…is living inside of us.  The One who gives peace, who guides us into all understanding, who leads us into the right paths, is living within us, and is ready to help us make choices that are not driven by outside circumstances, but by faith, by hope, by truth, trust, and peace.  

Not only does the spirit of fear not come from the Lord; but when we keep our eyes on Him, He allows His perfect peace to be ours.  With that peace guarding our minds and hearts, we are able to trust Him to fight our battles, just like He’s done in the past; and go forth, in victory!

Don’t bite those nails,

jamie 

It’s not in vain in the Lord

1 Cor. 15:58:  “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

As I logged in on my computer to begin my blog this morning, the headlines caught my eye.  I realized that there is no better time for this verse to be recalled.

Death and it’s sting, sin, will be destroyed.  That is a fact.  We have victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!  Therefore…knowing that our labor is not in vain in the Lord, we can continue until He returns.

When you start to find yourself wearing down and you feel like yielding or wavering, remember this verse and stand fast in the promise that your work in the Lord is never done in vain.

Keep going!  When that trumpet sounds the fruits of your labor will reveal how worthwhile it all was.

Standing firm beside you,

jamie

Resisting til the end

Pr. 7:12:  “At times she was outside, at times in the open square, lurking at every corner.”

This is why Peter told us, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.”

Just as this crafty woman, dressed as a harlot, was lurking at every corner, and sometimes even in the open square; so the devil seeks us out.  He lurks around the corner, trying to devour us with his enticements.

It may be a seductive woman or man, or it could be any number of things that are tempting to us as individuals.  We all have something that allures us.

Peter says, “Resist him.”  Steadfast in our faith, we have the power to resist.

Spoiler alert!!  I’ve read the end of the book.  The devil does not win.  So resist him, standing strong in your faith that God has already won the victory!

Rejoicing!

jamie

Believe…in God

I heard this song at church this morning and was reminded me of a devotion I wrote a while back:

David was anointed as a young man, God saying, “For the Lord does not see as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

2 Chr. 16:9 says, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.”

The Lord showed Himself strong for David over and over again.  When David spoke to Saul about facing Goliath, he said:

“Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it.  Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.”  Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”  1 Samuel 17:34-37

David drew upon what God had done in the past.  God had shown Himself strong on David’s behalf, and David understood that whatever God has done in the past, He can and will do again.

David had seen God’s strength and deliverance, and he continued to see God’s might throughout his life.  The Psalms are full of prayers and songs about God’s faithfulness, might, and victory.

Before David died, he was still praising God for His faithfulness.  He was still trusting in the One who faithfully guided Him throughout His life:

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; the God of my strength in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge.  My Savior, You save me from violence.  I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.”    2 Samuel 22:2-4

He then says, “As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.”  2 Sam.22:30.

The Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore.  He does not change.  What He did for David, He can do for us.  He is the same God.  We can look at our lives, and the lives of others and see the faithfulness of God, and know He can do it again.

So, like David, take a look at all the places that he’s brought you from.  It’s the impossible.  Believe it’s possible.  We can know the Lord is faithful and declare, as David did, “The Lord is the strength of my life!”

You’re gonna make it!

jamie

Establishing your path

Pr. 4:26:  “Ponder the path of your feet, and let your ways be established.” 

I’ve written about paths for 2 days already, and then I come to Pr. 4 and I find 8 verses about paths and ways to go.  I don’t want to be-labor the point, but then again, if it’s in the Word so many times, perhaps we need a lot of reminders.  Over my life, I have found this to be true.  No matter how straight my path has been made, I find myself rubbernecking other paths.

Why do I do that?  Sin.  We live in a fallen world where sin was allowed to enter and now, no matter how much we long to be sinless, we are still sinners.  Jesus came to place our sin under the blood.  That has been done.  He has won the victory.  We have been granted salvation, through His sacrifice.  Until we reach our eternal home; however, we must continue to resist the devil and trust in the Lord.  We still have the ability to make our own choices.

So, here’s the point.  Since we have the ability to choose, we need to strive to establish our ways.  Something that has been established is meant to remain strong and firm, and last a long time.  Churches, governments, constitutions, kingdoms, and treaties are some things that have been established.  We need to deeply consider the paths we are taking and make a decision about the path on which we will remain.  We need to settle the matter in our heart and mind, and stick to it.

We will certainly be tempted.  We will assuredly be faced with other paths almost every day of our lives.  This is why its imperative that we have established our ways.  If we have determined to walk in the ways of the Lord, then even when other paths look inviting, we will be more likely not to place even a toe upon them.  We have to have a game plan to start.  Without a plan settled in our minds, we will certainly be lured down the wrong paths.

I have heard a great saying from my Pastor over the years that is very true.  “Most people don’t plan to ruin their lives, marriage, testimony, relationships, etc.  They just don’t plan not to.”  Establishing our ways means planning Not to take the wrong paths, not just hoping that we won’t.  We need to have the issue settled, through the Word and wisdom from the Lord.  The beautiful truth of the matter is that we don’t have to do it in our own strength.  God has wisdom just waiting for us, and as we saw yesterday (and in James 1:5), He is willing to give it to those who ask.

Jesus died for your salvation.  Knowing the victory over sin and death has been won, wisely map out the path that will lead you to heaven, and plan not to veer from that path.

Established,

jamie

God will keep the evil from pouring forth

Pr. 15:28:  “The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil.”

How do we wisely study how to answer, instead of allowing our mouths to pour forth our immediate thoughts, risking allowing evil to come forth?  Frankly, we must be full of the Word and the Spirit of the Living God.  When we are living according to our flesh, we fight in the flesh and winning the battle over the tongue will most certainly be out of reach.

When we live and walk according to the Holy Spirit; however, we have the calm assurance within to know that pausing to study our answer is the strongest thing we can do.  Studying how to answer takes humility, patience, trust in, and reliance on the Lord.  Did God not say that vengeance is His?  He said His name is our strong tower and when we run to it, we are safe.

Deliverance:  is that from us, or is that from the Lord?  Just like in the victory over Goliath, God is the One who brought it, through David’s faith.  The small boy who faced the giant was as unable to defeat the him as all the other well-prepared soldiers.  No matter how we’ve prepared our horses and chariots (or words) for battle, the victory belongs to the Lord.

My grandfather always told my mom, who then told me, “don’t make big decisions when you are emotional.”  I think that advice was very similar to this verse, as words can do much damage.  Pausing to study our answers does not make us weak; it reminds us that our strength comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.  When faced with a situation where we have a choice to speak immediately or wait, we must ask God to help us trust in Him and the truth of His word.  If we pause and pray, God will guide us.  He is always faithful.  Trusting in Him will always bring the ultimate victory!

Studying in faith,

jamie

 

What’s the point?

2 Cor. 4:17, 18, 16 (in that order):  “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.  For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.  Therefore we do not lose heart.  Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.”

Day by day we are being renewed.  No matter how our bodies feel.  No matter how our immune system reacts.  No matter our physical, emotional, or mental limitations.  Day by day we are being renewed.  We have a heavenly future ahead of us.  The things on which we place our hope, our faith, and our trust are unseen, and they are eternal.

We have affliction on this earth, but Paul reminds us that it is light affliction, compared to eternal death, and that is but for a moment.  This is NOT our final stop.  Our afflictions are working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.  Vs. 15 says, “For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.”

Our lives are about God.  Our lives are about giving glory to God, growing in our relationships with God, and bringing other’s to the saving knowledge of God.  He is the point of our lives.  Heaven is our true home.  We can trust what vs. 14 says, “He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus.”  This our goal.  This is our hope.  This is the point.

Do not give up now.  We all have affliction, but please remember that it is working for you a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.  Your testimony will be the glory of God that comes from the affliction through which you are now going.  And it may just save lives.

Pr. 1:33 says, “whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.”  We are secure in God’s arms.  In times of affliction, sometimes we feel like running from His arms is the only option, but it is those times when we need Him the most.  Let’s choose to dwell in the safety and security of His protection.  He is not only the One who created us fearfully and wonderfully; He is the Savior who longs to bring us home to Him again.

Don’t give up!

jamie

Don’t give up!

Pr. 19:3:  “The foolishness of a man twists his way, and his heart frets against the Lord.” 

Have you ever had one of those days when it seemed like all you were doing was fighting temptation and trying to stay out of trouble?  Surely there are times when our sinful nature can make it difficult for us to focus on the job we have to do.  We may have put on our hard hats, as we talked about yesterday, and set our feet towards the path of our work; but satan doesn’t just politely stand aside to allow us by.

The enemy will stop at nothing to kill, steal, and destroy our salvation.  He wants to tear us from the Lord.  As Christians, we have the amazing gift of forgiveness.  When we sin, which we inevitably will, we are covered by the blood of Jesus.  However, sin is also the way that satan gets us distracted and if we allow sin to become a habit, he will use it to pull us away, destroy our testimony, and steal our eternal home.  Like the verse above says, eventually our eyes will be so far off God that we will fret against Him; blaming Him for the consequences we face for our own mistakes.

In our own foolishness we will allow sin to twist our way and confuse us.  In those moments when all we are doing is fighting temptation it can be difficult to even focus on prayer and worship.  So, what can we do?

We keep pushing forward.  Maybe during prayer, we were focused on our temptation.  Maybe during a time of worship, we were simply trying to look away from temptation and simply trying to rest our eyes on anything else.  Now, when we get the next moment alone with God, we must again press in and find Him.  He is there waiting all the while.  We could allow those small moments to defeat us and make us think we are hopeless and helpless to our temptations, but we are not.  We have a High Priest who is able and willing to offer aid in our time of need.

One temptation does not damn you to eternal hell!

Get up.  Dust yourself off.  Surround yourself with godly things.  Turn on your worship music, open your Bible, hit your knees in prayer, read a prayer in the book of Psalm, cry out to God.  Dig in.  Paul said, “We run for an imperishable crown.  Therefore I run thus:  not with uncertainty.  Thus I fight:  not as one who beats the air.  But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”  1 Cor. 9:25-27

Discipline is not a one day event.  We must do this daily, hourly, moment by moment, if necessary.  This is how we remain qualified in the race to be one who wins others for God.  We do not beat the air, behaving as though we have no power over our lusts.  Jesus Christ has authority over hell and over satan.  Through Him, and in His name, we have the victory!  Keep running.  Don’t let 1 obstacle cause you to give up and allow your victory to be stolen.  Fight!

Fighting back,

jamie

Do you really want a victory?

2 Chronicles 16:7-9

And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said to him:  “Because you have relied on the king of Syria, and have not relied on the Lord your God, therefore the army of the king of Syria has escaped from your hand.  Were the Ethiopians and the Lubim not a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen?  Yet, because you relied on the Lord, He delivered them into your hand.  For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.  In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.”

We can rely on people.  We can rely on ourselves.  We can rely on our paychecks, our titles, our cars, houses, and land.  We can rely on our leaders.  At the end of the day; however, the only thing that matters is that we rely on the Lord.  Asa didn’t defeat the Ethiopians and the Lubim.  The Lord did.  Asa relied on the Lord to deliver him, and so the Lord did.  The Lord is searching for those whose heart is loyal to Him…for those who rely on Him, and trust fully in His might.  He will show Himself strong for those who do.  If we do not; however, we will have wars.  Wars will be all around us…in our relationships, at our jobs, in our finances, in our neighborhoods, and in our minds….and victories will slip from our hands.  Only God can defeat the enemy–and He has!  Satan has already been defeated, and it is the One who defeated Him on which we must rely.  We simply must put our faith in the Lord, boldly run to His throne, and allow His wings to cover us.  He will show Himself strong.  He will fight the battle.

Pr. 21:31 says, “The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but deliverance is of the Lord!”

Oh, Lord, help us to fully rely on You.  We are so independent and so wrapped up in the moment that simply allowing You to fight the battles sometimes feels like the battle won’t be fought at all.  Your Word says that is not so.  Deliverance is of You!  You will show Yourself strong for us.  In our own strength we only make wars, but relying upon Your strength brings the victory.  Help us to give up our independence, humble ourselves before You, and truly…once and for all…trust in Your might.  Let us see You strong, and let us worship Your might.

Humbly,

jamie