Not for Wimps 2

It takes gutsy faith to walk with Jesus.
The Lord told the Israelites when they entered the Promised Land they would have both rest and warfare.
Sounds contradictory, doesn’t it? As you look deeper, though, you’ll find another reason to trust Jesus and His word. He talks truth about the reality of life: they could be at rest in the midst of war.
Joshua took out the major players when he brought the Israelites into the Land. He left only mop up operations to each tribe. The Lord did this to teach each generation how to be at rest while fighting.
He knew Satan would not relent in his fight to build his kingdom at His people’s expense. They would need a gutsy faith, not a wimpy one, to stay at rest while at war.
He knew that if His people chose to walk with Him, they would defeat their enemies. Their minds, souls and hearts could be at rest because victory was assured.
They had plenty of examples in their history too. King David had peace in the midst of war because he walked with God. Solomon, on the other hand, who didn’t experience war until later, ended up in idolatry!
Galatians 5:1 reveals that Jesus has taken out the major players for us and has set us free!
It’s mop up operations time. And if we to choose to ask the Spirit for a gutsy faith in Jesus, we’ll walk in peace while facing life’s battles.

Not for Wimps

It takes courage and strength to pray, especially when you don’t why!
Here are just a few things that took place on the day my friend left this planet.
One, all his pain and suffering from that deteriorating body was over. Two, he left that shell behind while his true self/person/soul is with Jesus. Three, all sorrow from a broken life with its bad choices is eternally gone. Why? Four, when he saw Jesus, he became just like Jesus, sinless.
Five, though not the last, his eyes were truly open for the first time…ever. He is now seeing spiritual warfare as it really is.
Daniel 10 shows that at this very moment war is going on in heaven between angels loyal to God and those who are not. We discover from Revelation 12 that Satan stands day and night in front of Jesus’ heavenly throne accusing us for all our faults.
Didn’t expect that one did you? This warfare goes on unabated until Satan and his followers are thrown into the Lake of Fire, and God creates a new heaven and a new earth – a place without warfare.
At this very moment, my friend can’t ever lose another fight. But you and I certainly can!
This explains why the Spirit tells believers to “be alert and to always keep on praying for all the saints” right after describing how to win the earthly spiritual battles we all face (Ephesians 6:10-18).
Ever wonder why prayer is described as a wrestling match (Col. 4:12)? Now you do! Prayer is not for wimps!
We MUST be ready to enter the heavenly battle on behalf of each other. Be strong, courageous and ready to pray for each other’s victorious choices!

Death Hurts the Living

It’ll feel so much better when it stops hurting.
A friend, whom I’ve known since childhood, is about to go home. He might already be there by the time you read this.
It was this friend whom the Spirit used to invite me to hang with a group of Jesus believers who showed me His love. It was because of his faith that I chose to put my faith in Jesus Christ for life then, now and into eternity.
When he steps into eternity, he will experience love and joy like never before. He will see the One He’s loved all these years face to face. His pain will be over.
The hurt will then begin for his wife, his children, his grandchildren and his friends, myself included. We are going to experience the absence of his smile, sense of humor and just plain making others around him feel good. Death hurts the living.
Up to this point, the Lord used my friend in our lives. The gap that will come through his absence, though, can be filled with and by Jesus.
This is nothing but another painful life lesson for us all. Scripture tells us repeatedly to die to self – our dreams, our plans, and our way of handling life. Death hurts the living.
As we do, there will be gap. We can choose to let Jesus fill that gap or we can fill it with something else that will have to be removed later.
Yes, death hurts the living. But it can also be a time of joy as we choose to let Jesus be God and do what only God can do…replace our temporary character with His eternal character.
Death hurts, yes. But as my mom used to tell us kids, “It’ll hurt a lot less when it quits hurting.” Let your hurt cause you to turn to the Source of Life Changing Healing – Jesus.

It’s Worth It

The destination is worth the process getting there.
Our hiking Go-Group (Matt. 28:18-20, doing what we like to do with those who don’t know Jesus…yet!) went to the mountains above Malibu, CA. There were parts of this trail that my wife and I had never taken before.
We were told that at one point in a certain loop there would be majestic views of the Pacific Ocean both to the south and to the north of us.
The map showed this view existed. People who’d taken this trail before said this view existed. But did it? We’ve never been there before. How’d we know?
We couldn’t, but we kept walking, even as the trail took us through high brush and spider webs. It led us over a stream with slippery rocks…twice. It looped through recovering fired burned areas. And, crawled up and down for an elevation gain of over 1100 feet.
Was it worth it? YES! The overwhelmingly awesome view existed and was worth every step when we took it all in.
The ultimate map, the Bible, says it’s worth walking with Jesus today. Others who’ve walked the same path as you, say the view is worth it.
Keep going, no matter how hard each step might be. It’s worth it. Keep walking, no matter when the cobwebs of doubt cross your mind. The view will be magnificent. Keep moving forward, no matter the number of bends or ups and downs your everyday path might have. Your breath will be taken away. This is a living Jesus faith.
Be encouraged. Loving and become like Jesus are worth every step we take now and forever!

Timely Directions

When we need it, not always when we want it.
My wife and I took a wonderful hike to an awesome waterfall this past weekend.
The trail for the first 2.5 of the 4 miles up to the falls was not always easy. Nonetheless, the trail was easy to follow. We had all the directions we need to enjoy the hike.
Then all of a sudden, the trail literally turned into boulders that had to be climbed over, down and around. As we couldn’t see what lay ahead, we had a hard time knowing where to go next…until they showed up.
The “they” in this case were arrows painted on various rocks pointing us to the next step. It was uncanny how the next arrow always appeared right when we needed it, though, not always when we wanted it.
Our Jesus walks will be smooth at times. While at others, because we live in a fallen world, it will require slowing down to climb over life’s boulders.
As we slow down, Jesus, in an uncanny manner, will always give us the next step, often just before we need to take it.
We’d like more advanced noticed, but that is not faith. Faith means sticking to the direction He’s already given us until He gives us where our next steps should be.
Therefore, resist getting in a hurry! If you do, your anxiety levels along with your blood pressure will rise quite rapidly.
Instead focus on the truths that will keep your BP low: His promise to always be with and to guide you one step at a time, right on time…His.