The Why of War

Becoming like Christ is not a one off event, but a daily battle

Israel was set free from slavery and brought home to the Promised Land where Joshua led them in battle to take out all the major players.

Afterward, each of the 12 tribes had mop up operations to handle on their own. It was a test. (Judges 3:4) Would they “obey the LORD’s commands” or follow the gods of the nations they were to defeat?

This was Israel’s why of war. Would they stay free by defeating their enemies through trusting in the LORD or would they compromise and return to slavery? The book of Judges reveals the cycles of victory and defeat.

It’s the same for the believer in Jesus. The moment we became born again, Jesus set us free from slavery and gave us all the tools for victory – His mind, His nature and His Spirit.

He did not, however, clean out the flesh or the old programming stored in our brains. Cleaning out this old thinking, which is at war with the Spirit, is our mop up operation (Gal. 5:16-18).

We are commanded to be transformed or become like Jesus through replacing the old ways of thinking, using the scriptural FREEdom process, with biblical truth thinking and choices to obey Jesus.

Jesus believers in the West must learn what our persecuted brothers and sisters already know. We are at war; and, it’s time to toughen up our faith and win the daily battles.

Will you stand firm in your freedom or go back to slavery (Gal. 5:1)?

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There is a God

“Hear, O, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.” Jesus

Jesus was asked, “Which is the most important command?” His answer seems to be a statement, not a commandment. Right?

No, it is the most important commandment of all. All of life starts with this question, “Is there a God?” And, if there is a God, will I trust that God with my choices?

I remember the story of one who denied there was a God. And since there was no God, they only had to listen to themselves and their feelings and urges. Let’s just say it led to a very “interesting” lifestyle.

The Lord, in His love, sent a pastor into this person’s life who simply loved on them. They became friends. They had wonderful discussions over meals and coffee about life and its origins as both were very intellectual.

After time, this person came to realize that there had to be a God. And if there was a God, then their decision making process would have to change. Why? Because if there was a God, then there would be accountability for how one lived. This God, then, controlled the future, not the individual.

This person came to faith in Jesus. And indeed, their life has been radically changed for the better. All because of the commandment that there is a God.

Storms are coming for those who “say” they believe in Jesus. Hear, O, my brothers and sisters. The Lord is God. Are you living as if you are, or Him?

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Practice Praising

“A quiet heart is content with what God gives.” Elizabeth Elliot
“Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous laws.” (Psalm 119:164) The psalmist wrote this in the midst of persecution.
Praise in the hard times? Yup, that’s what he wrote. Notice, though, what he was praising God about…His Word.
You have no control over other’s choices. You only control your choices in the midst of theirs.
Others might be making your life difficult, but that doesn’t relieve you from loving Jesus in your choices.
The writer goes on to state that peace comes to those who choose to love and then practice the truths the Lord gives them.
This is a practice of praising God for the truths He’s already given you and how they have actually worked in your life.
Practice praising seven times a day, huh? Yes, seven times a day stop what you’re thinking or doing and praise God for how His has brought you peace through obedience in past.
What do you have to lose? It might just put a smile on your face and quieten your heart.

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Assured Destination

Your current situation is not your final destination.
“We all are on a trajectory from what we are to what we will be. The moral absolutes found in Scripture rightly orient us on the road map. But the process heads out on the actual long, long journey in the right direction. What matters most is not the distance you’ve covered. It’s not the speed you’re going. It’s not how long you’ve be on the journey or how much time you have left. It’s the direction your heading.” Dr. Dave Powlison
In my understanding of Scripture, the moment you place your faith in Jesus, your destination is assured. You’ve chosen to make the God of Abraham, Jacob and Isaac your God. In doing so, you made the Father, your Dad; Jesus, your brother; and, the Spirit, your guide.
I know that’s simplistic. But hang with me. The Father started this work in you; and, He will finish it. Jesus is the author of your faith; and, He will perfect it. The Spirit drew you to Jesus; and, He will continue to do so.
Your life now is a God thing. Trust Him to build your faith, not you. It’s His job. Trust Him to be in the midst of the journey as well at its end. He is fully capable and willing to finish bringing you home.
Yes, we want to move further down the road. Jesus is there and always makes our lives more complete and fulfilling, though not always easy.
The God of heaven and earth has you! And your perfection, becoming like Jesus, is His job. You’re just enjoying the scenery along the way.

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Fallen Yet Not Down

Set your thoughts on Jesus as you will never rise higher than your thinking.
Take a moment and look at the picture. See if you can catch what happened to the tree.
First, though it’s fallen over, it’s not down. Storms knocked it over, but it’s still alive and growing…sideways.
Second, this horizontal branch has shoots growing straight up. Though fallen, it’s still growing! Cool, right?
Know the signs of the times in which you live. Tropical storms are coming, if they haven’t already occurred. And, we all know it; but life, at times, is simply not fair.
A believing friend, who is now home with Jesus (the ultimate fallen yet not down!), used to tell his children, “Don’t play the victim. Make good decisions. Keep moving forward.”
When life is unfair or you look back over your life and see the scattered mess you or others have caused, you have a choice to make.
You can play the victim card. “Look at what happened to me!” And then make bad choices, which only take you backward.
Or, you can choose to look to Jesus. Let Him show you how He wants you to handle the effects of the storm; and then rise to the sky.
Don’t waste time playing the victim! You may have fallen, but you are not down! Make new choices today to go forward with and in Jesus in the Spirit’s power.

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