The fight is already won, if only we’d fight.
This picture was taken from a drone high above the site where King Saul made his encampment across from the Philistines at the Elah Valley (1 Samuel 17:1-3). It’s on a hilltop overlooking the valley. I know. I climbed it!
It was here that young David came with supplies for his brothers. It was here that David heard Goliath make his outlandish challenge. And it was from here that David said he’d take that challenge in the name of his God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
I feel led to share two things from this story. First, David didn’t take up the fight in his own strength. And second, he ran toward the battle, toward the giant.
Saul’s men, including David’s older brothers, stayed behind these walls shaking in fear; a fear that came because they knew they couldn’t defeat this giant, let alone face him in own open combat.
Our enemy taunts us to fight him, knowing full well we won’t, which only increases are defeatist mindset.
The only way to defeat our Goliaths is to face them head on with the powerful truths Jesus has given us in His word. One of which is that the fight is already won by Jesus! We are, not will be or were, more than conquerors through Jesus.
Face your enemy. Run toward him in Jesus’ name. And slay him through the power Jesus has given you – His truth and His Spirit.
This pictures a community worship location. On the floor are beautiful mosaics. Yet two caught my eye. One spoke of the Messiah coming and another of the Zodiac, a fashion symbol of the day. This group was caught between two worlds. One where they worshiped the Living God, and one where they worshipped being part of the “in the crowd”.
Jesus said you can’t serve two masters. You will love one and hate the other. You can’t have it both ways. This group, had in effect, created an idol in their heart (See Ezekiel 14:3).
If we are not careful, we can allow aspects of our culture to become the god we worship. Studies show as our social media usage increases, our ability to critically think decreases. In other words, our biblical filter can fail; thus letting sinful/destructive thoughts into our brains. In this case, we can let culture determine our choices instead of Jesus.
Don’t get caught between two worlds. Keep your shield of faith up no matter where you get your information! Days of deceit (false news) are increasing, but we can see through it by focusing on the Word of God, Jesus.
No one can take us out, as only God can take us home.
I wish reality were different, but it isn’t. The truth is that Jesus promises us a safe landing, never a smooth ride. Challenges await around every corner, but no one can take us out! Only God can take us home. He is the way to peace in the midst of turbulence.
I can’t imagine Daniel ever expected to be taken prisoner to Babylon, let alone facing two separate death sentences. Twice, someone wanted him dead. And twice, instead of instilling fear in Daniel, these situations brought him peace. Daniel sought the Lord and both times the Lord delivered him. Only God could take him home.
We will face many twists and turns in this life. Be secure, not shaken. No one can take your peace from you as long as you keep rejoicing in the Lord; remembering that He is with you; and then, seeking His solution in the midst of them. (See Phil. 4:4-7).
It’s like the picture states: life takes us to unexpected places, but love brings us home. His love.
Monuments to Man or Life to His Glory?
The Chaplain to the White House, America’s Pastor, Confidant of World Leaders, the Christian Evangelist, God’s Machine Gun (for his rapid fire sermons), Gallup’s List of Most Admired People, are just some of the epithets said about Billy Graham, who died today at the age of 99.
Yet it was one statement he made after the dedication of his library in 2007 that caught my eye the most. Mr. Graham felt the 40,000 square foot building glorified him beyond his desire.
“My whole life has been to please the Lord and honor Jesus,” he said, “not see me and think of me.” His life was driven by one verse, Mark 16:15, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” And that is exactly what he did in 185 countries.
Mr. Graham wanted his life to be a monument where people would see Jesus in him, not the other way around. What about you? Hopefully the Lord challenged you with this as He has me. More of you Jesus in and through me!
Love chooses to surrender.
I received the following from a friend. “Absolute surrender is not about me getting closer to God, but allowing God to get closer to me.” I jokingly threw the card back at the person who gave it to me. Jesus was talking, but I really didn’t want to listen at the moment.
The statement begged the question, “Do I want Him closer to me?” As Jesus believers, we have God the Father, the Son and the Spirit living inside us. Can’t get any closer than that, right? Yet, we all know we can stand right next to someone and be a hundred miles away.
We think various thoughts, say certain words and make all kinds of choices that keep Him at arm’s length. Why?
We don’t believe our lives will be better by having Him closer. We love Jesus, but only so far. Can’t be too religious, right? Wrong. Keeping Him at a distance only hurts us!
If we love Jesus, we will want the length of our arms to shrink. This means giving up control of those choices that drown out His voice from being heard and presence from being felt. Let Him grow your love for Him; and, you will experience the benefits of a closer walk with Jesus.