Archive | September 2016

Awaken!

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Offered here are simply a few thoughts directly from Scripture which might give us pause for reflection, concerning the events on many minds today in particular, prior to the “great debates” here in the States. The question is, what is the state of the state? And how might it be addressed by those who love God?

Thoughts for consideration and contemplation:

1 Peter 4:17

For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

2 Chronicles 7:14

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Matthew 5:13-15

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.

James 4:9-10

Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

Lamentations 3:40-41

Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord! Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven.

Isaiah 55:6-7

“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Proverbs 28:13

Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.

Proverbs 2:21,22

For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it. But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.

Matthew 6:31-33

Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Praying in Christ’s Victory

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When it comes to the very real dangers in our world today, it involves more than “keeping on the sunny side” with a positive attitude or a stiff upper lip. Christians have become the target of entrenched diabolical forces which know that their strangle hold over this world is being divinely pried from their clutches. This is very much like a confrontation with a cornered animal; it may get out its strongest most cunning survival tactics as a last effort. We need to realize first of all that the “animal” is supernaturally cornered, although it would have us perceive that it grows stronger with every snap of the jaw and swipe of the claw!

That’s the “bad news” in a nutshell. Eschatologically, however, this view gives us a higher perspective of events in progress, which is something greatly needed first of all, appearances to the contrary. So, what’s the “good news”?

What’s clear is that we need to know how to move through the bad news in a transcendent way, to learn to navigate through this tempest. Who am I? Where am I? How do I get though this? These answers are available for the continual asking, seeking, and knocking – within the context of the full counsel of Scripture.

Once understanding is given, we then need to learn to pray within it. Understanding comes from an enlightened consideration of scriptural truth, not vague begging, but knowing who and where we are in Christ, as well as why we are now here. Affirming and proclaiming what is becomes our testimony whereby the adversary is overcome. “What is” in Jesus is truth! Not what I will, but as Thou will, Lord.

The following (bold italicized) is an example which may be helpful. Emotions can trip us up when we feel down. So we pray by scriptural fact and faith! Feelings often change following the exercise of faithfully affirming our truth in Christ! It is good to pray like this thoughtfully and frequently.

Heavenly Father,
I thank You that You have given me all pardon and peace
through Jesus Christ.
You have granted to me all Your power and protection
over the evil one and the world;
You provide for all my need,
in the midst of all circumstances.

You grant me
full and unrestrained access
to Your infinite love and goodness at all times,
within You – omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient-
so that I may lead a godly life
full of Your joy unspeakable,
abundance, graciousness, and glory.

Please let ever increasing measures
of all blessings within this immeasurable greatness
be revealed, released, and restored to me.
Lord it is so, according to Your word,
that the triumph of Jesus Christ
over sin, death, and the devil
is Your desire
for all who believe in You.

Please let every blessing
with which You bless us in heavenly places
be manifest now,
according to Your promises,
and according to the working of Your great might,
Heavenly Father, which You worked
in Christ Jesus
when You raised Him from the dead
and seated Him at Your right hand, and us with Him!
(Ephesians 1:19,20; 2:6,7)

Come, Holy Spirit;
Please work within me and in my life
all that the Father has for me,
through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
in Whom I live, move, and have my being,
now and forever. Amen.

When we have access to divine power over all evil to this degree – for Christ has given us direct access to the Father – what shall we fear? If the Lord truly is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? (Psalm 27). Simple. In Christ

I fear nothing and no one!
And it is this I proclaim,
for the Blood of the Lamb has made it so.

The weapons of our warfare are not of mortal thought or design, nor are they of this world, but rather are mighty in God to the tearing down of adversarial strongholds, and casting down the vain imaginations of everything exalting itself against the Most High. (2 Corinthians 10:4,5)

Psalm 27 in itself is mighty prayer, especially when prayed aloud, contemplatively, and personally! This way we can acknowledge and invoke the protection and power of God.

Praying the Psalms aloud each night before going to sleep (5 at a time, allowing for one complete “Psalm cycle” per month, give or take a few) can be very efficacious. Many of these (but not all) were written and probably sung by King David, who was also a gifted musician.

Through these, David shows us how to pray and praise, never allowing defeat or depression to set in or overtake one’s mind. As a king, he reveals to us – through the powerful praying found in the Psalms – the divine dynamo behind the life he lived. His example reveals to us how we can reign, within the power of God, in the life He sent us here to live and to enjoy in His strength.

David may have had his setbacks, but he never settled for defeat. There is never anything short of victory, joy unspeakable, and full of glory written in this mighty collection of hymns and prayers. They are full of proclamations about how God’s love can be abundantly powerful in life!

Jesus also encourages us with His promise (John 16:33), saying, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

If ever we’ve needed the understanding of the truth about who we are and where we are “positioned” spiritually in Christ, that time is now. Praying the psalms and also reflecting on the life of King David can keep us mindful of what we need to understand and embrace: that we can be people of victory who “reign over giants” in life, even reducing them to nothing, by first being people who walk by truth and faith.