There is always someone who is in need of help. Driving through Atlanta it is clear to me that people are struggling. The homeless need shelter, food, clothing while the drug addicts need a dose of self honesty to stop the downward cycle of self-destruction. Commuters encounter each other in the hustle and bustle of hard work, appointment making and networking often in need of help just to smile. Hell, I need help just to cope with the mental, emotional and physical demands of being me – a middle-aged man called by God to preach, teach and live to serve others as a vessel of Light. There is a solution!
Helping others is spiritual. It promotes selfless acts of love inspired by inwardly receiving the love of Christ ourselves. Jesus Christ is love. We would not know true love if it was not first demonstrated by Him towards us. “We love Him because He first loved us.”(1 John 4:19) His loving kindness is so enduring it progressively proves the excellence that is God’s faithfulness towards us. No one else in this world is going to love us like Him. His love is spiritual and great enough to influence that which is natural and earthly. Through His love in us, we become willing to help others experience real love through giving, caring, sharing, laughing and releasing it into the lives of others.
Agape love is the love of Christ characterized in 1 Corinthians 13. Here’s how it works for me:
When I see my ex-wife happy in another relationship and/or my associates happy in their marriages and family lives, my selfishness can make me bitter, disinterested and aloof. Agape love is patient, kind and is not jealous. Through Christ I can be glad for their happiness and thankful for the happiness I have know in my former marriage and family. I can and do celebrate their lives unselfishly.
– my adult children’s safety, their financial stability and life choices – Here is where I become fixated on controlling tactics to influence outcomes in others that will make me feel better about myself. The fact is agape love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things and never fails. Through Christ I can experience the peace of God through His love effectually embracing me spiritually. It is so powerful it enables me to experience faith overriding my fear. In the moment of someone’s crisis, I can “be” a staple of love, kindness, wisdom, hope and willing to help others – loved ones, strangers, members of the Body of Christ, etc.
In myself (my flesh) I am unwilling to be of help (service) to anyone unless I am getting something out of the experience. Selfishness will even make me lose out on capitalizing moments. However, through my spiritual position “IN CHRIST” I am fortified to be a vessel through which His love is freely demonstrated towards others. You too can experience the powerful, strengthening love of Christ Jesus compelling you to live in the Spirit and stay willing to help others in any way possible. With God, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!
“I had to be STRIPPED of it.” This is a quote from a friend of mine who recently posted a piece on her blog entitled “The Blessing Is In The Pain.” I was leaving a comment when the inspiration to write this piece showed up.
No human being likes to lose. Losing anything from a wallet, to a bet, to a track meet, to a loved one (OR EVEN A WELL-PUBLICIZED COURT DECISION) is never something to get happy about. (at least in the early stages of the loss anyway!) Let’s state the obvious here, “LOSING SUCKS.” It is painful beyond words. Yet it is in the pain that God reveals the POWER OF THE RESURRECTION AND THE GLORY HE IS DUE.
Your human nature is NEVER going to buy into this spiritual truth. The only way to arrive at a place of inner humility under His mighty hand is to SUFFER. In our suffering GOD GOES IN DEEP and begins to excavate through all of the sin that is exposed in our human nature and renews us through His Spirit, HIS WORD, HIS PLAN, HIS POWER all at work IN US!!!!!
Philippians 3:10 My aim is to know him, to experience the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings, and to be like him in his death, 3:11 and so, somehow,to attain to the resurrection from the dead. NET
As God begins to strip us of our cushions of materialism, idolatry, pride/ego, etc., you begin to mourn the loss. The pain increases in this God-ordained cycle. However, at the point when you realize you had to be stripped, as Portia so wonderfully wrote, the blessing is in the pain. In that moment your gratitude for God’s OMNISCIENCE has bloomed through all your suffering. Then you can see how GOD will change you as you continue to humbly surrender to His SOVEREIGNTY on a daily basis. YOU BEGIN TO LOVE THE RESULTS of being “more than a conqueror through Him that loves us.” The Conqueror Lifestyle is achieved and your winning begins. YOU NO LONGER HAVE TO TRY TO FIX UP WHAT HE HAS ALLOWED TO BE BROKEN. TRUE HUMILITY IS REVEALED IN YOUR WILLINGNESS TO RELY ON GOD’S ABILITY TO PUT YOU BACK TOGETHER AGAIN, PUT THAT LIFE BACK TOGETHER, THAT BROKEN HEART BACK TOGETHER, THAT HOME BACK TOGETHER, THAT CAREER BACK TOGETHER………. Ultimately the losing is your catalyst to surrender which is the gateway to REAL WINNING!
Paul’s aim to know Christ intimately was a direct result of intense suffering. The suffering revealed God’s POWER in Paul’s life in a mighty way. This SAME power is available to you and I. ConquerorShots was born out of intense suffering. I am so grateful for all He has done and ALL HE IS UP TO IN ME AND THE LIFE HE HAS CALLED ME TO. ARE YOU??????
Consider the comment I was compelled to share with Portia. God bless you my sister. THANK YOU LORD FOR KNOWING HOW DEEP I NEEDED YOU TO GO !🙂
When one is willing he/she is practicing the act of making a choice. Decision making is a process we are introduced to as early as our toddler years. Remember when you or your child was learning to walk. The toddler develops a comfortable stride and encounters the opportunity to demonstrate willingness. Will he walk up the stairs, down the stairs, out the door, outside the fenced area, etc. His willing heart will try to venture about with his new found gift – the ability to walk.
A Willingness to wait on the LORD requires faith. Faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus establishes the relationship between you and the LORD. The onset of the relationship is when you become willing to trust that He died, was buried and arose from the dead to save you from your sins and the judgement of eternal separation from God. Faith produces a willingness to believe that all things are working together for your good and the difficulties have intentional results DIRECTLY associated with His will JUST FOR YOU. REMEMBER He died so that you can live. Your life’s spiritual awakening, development and maturity is the relationship. During the maturity of the relationship, He uses the “waiting” to mature your faith through His Word. The Christian faith establishes the power of God in us through the resurrection of Christ Jesus. By this we are equipped to walk by faith; not by sight.
Christians are often referred to as “children of God” mainly because of the spiritual adoption principle found in Romans 8:14-15. We are His children always. When we are in receipt of the “gift of God, eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” we are forever classified as children of God which makes up the family of God here on Earth.
In today’s world we live in everybody wants everything NOW. NO ONE LIKES TO WAIT FOR ANYTHING – phone assistance, public transportation, traffic jams, DMV lines, restaurant seating, the cable man etc., etc., etc… The wait produces the need to focus on God’s presence during the wait! “God is our refuge and strength – a very present help in trouble.”
He maintains this description to ALL of His children no matter what level of spiritual maturity we are working with.Try as hard as you can to disprove this Heavenly attribute while you engage life matters from day to day. You will find that He Is ALWAYS present and He NEVER COMES UP SHORT. But you do all the time, and you will even try to blame others, including our Heavenly Father, for your own shortcomings. Ultimately you will find a need to wait on Him and encounter your own willingness to wait. In times of waiting, the trials will mature you and you will be better because of your willingness to wait.
Psalm 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. Psalm 130:5 I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. Proverbs 20:22 Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee. Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Lamentations 3:25-26The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.
The fact is that a willingness to wait on the Lord is a practice that yields an experience similar to how a toddler practices his decision making skills when learning all the opportunity “at his feet.” My hope is that you will benefit from the use of the Conqueror Lifestyle to willingly wait on the LORD and grow in the process. It will help you soar to new heights In Christ that you could never experience outside of Christ. All of the possibilities are manifested in your willingness to wait. Waiting develops patience. Patience develops perseverance. Perseverance develops hope. Hope propels a Christian to maintain his/her position in Christ because He NEVER fails. Surrender to win and be a witness to the power of living victoriously day after day.
Mostly everyone has a light switch on the wall of an entryway into their home. When you come in at night it is customary to hit the switch to “light up” the darkness of the dwelling. This action is an unrealized willingness to exercise faith in what you can NOT see. Electricity is the source of power that runs through the domiciles of the world to provide a “power source” to run appliances, heating/air conditioning gadgets and the most important element – light. What does electricity look like?
A building without electricity is like a dead body. On the outside it looks fine – absent of decay – but on the inside there is no activity because there is no power. Unseen electrical currents in either source provide for the presence of power and the opportunity to experience life. We come to rely on the power of electricity so heavily that we pay for it no matter what the cost. We need power to run our homes, businesses, churches and society. Conversely, we NEED the power of the Spirit of God to experience the abundant life Jesus spoke of. Joh 10:10 “10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy ; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”NASB The power of God is confirmed daily and the abundant life is possible because of the finished work at Calvary.
Like electricity, we can NOT see God. Yet, as Christians, we exercise a faith in His presence from day-to-day. We come to rely on His presence through the affirmation of His power revealed in us and through us. His power is most assuredly realized through the gospel of the Grace of God. Titus 2:11 says “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men” Romans 1:16 adds For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” NASB Human beings find it easier to trust in electricity more than they can trust in the power of God.
For nearly 20 years, June 15th marked the beginning of a series of annual celebrations for me – marriage, birthday and Father’s Day. Today, like last year, the celebration is no more. The affects of divorce have taken the celebrations I learned to anticipate. Instead, there is a willingness to “show up” and live life one day at a time, a desire to realize the love of Christ which enables me to experience a “conqueror lifestyle,” and a spirit of liberty which fuels a pursuit to “accept what God allows” everyday. I thank God that in the midst of my losses He is my gain. A summer breeze confirms His power.
Change is difficult sometimes but the results of the difficulty are “working together for the good of them who love the Lord;to them who are the called according to His purpose.” It(change) has given rise to darkness and uncertainty on many occasions. I love the song Amazing Grace for many reasons, all of which consume my spirit with a realistic appreciation and gratitude for God’s uncensored grace abounding richly in my life.
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.
’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
The heat in Atlanta can be brutal. When I moved here from the north, a conversation with a deacon in the church about the lack of cool breezes during the hot summer days enlightened me. At that time I had a large amount of grass that I would maintain in the afternoons. Deacon Knuckles told me that I was going about it all wrong. I had no clue and so he offered me some of his Georgia bred wisdom. His explanation yielded a new-found awareness and appreciation for the early mornings and late evenings in which we inevitably experience a breeze outside. His recommendation was to rearrange my schedule for landscaping to coincide with these times of the hot summer days. It worked.
A breeze made all the difference in my experiences working outside. A few years later, the tribulation of having major surgery changed my life forever. During the first 6 months of recovery, and learning how to walk again, it was a time of darkness. I was overcome with despair, grief, heartache, uncertainty and an unusual amount of physical pain. My days and nights were consumed with loneliness, fear and anxiety. Even though my children, wife and mother-in-law were there with me, they could NOT offer me any power. They tried by being there and doing for me the simplest tasks that I could not do for myself and I appreciate them immensely. But I needed more.
My home therapy included using my walker and walking in intervals of 5 minutes. Over time I was up to 15 minutes. That progress allowed for me to exercise some courage to go outside to my driveway. There I would work to increase my walk time. The backyard is decorated with an assortment of tall trees – oak, dogwood, cedar and maple – in the large wooded area. Prior to my recovery, I only appreciated their response to wind when stormy weather hit our neighborhood. The motion in the trees would “speak” to me in a way that I knew when the weather pattern was threatening.
One day while struggling to walk my routine I experienced the blessing of a confirming breeze. I was stuck physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. As the tears rolled down my face on the beautiful summer day while standing in my driveway on my walker, God’s presence was once again realized as the cool, confirming breeze swept over our subdivision. The natural response of the trees yielded a heralding sound of the leaves response to the force of the breeze. The trees began to sway with ease as the unclouded sky revealed the splendor of the sunlight. It was majestic, unlike all of my earlier exposure to the outside elements. It said to me “I am here…..fear not…..”
My tears dried up and my body was overcome with a spirit of amazement as I realized God’s presence being confirmed in the breeze of a summer day. It forever heightened my appreciation for God’s grace. You can’t see the wind but the breeze makes itself known through the responses of all the matter of the earth. You can’t see God’s presence but you can experience all the fullness of His power that can change your entire prospective and outlook on life. God uses change to confirm His presence, His power and His grace. I made it back inside and picked up my dusty Bible and the Lord’s confirming power was further revealed in this popular passage:
Ephesians 3:14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. KJV
I know someone who is desperately afraid of going to the doctor. His apprehension subjects him to incredulous fears associated with the process of finding out the status of his health. Day after day he experiences physical symptoms that force him to contend with the fact that his body is in need of medical attention. Yet his fear allows him to stay nestled in the confines of uncertainty. He continues to go on about the daily routines his life has constructed. Amidst all the vocational, social, political and ecclesiastical activities he fervidly attends to during the course of weeks and months that have passed – with an astounding zeal for life, the fact of a physical struggle continues to plague him. He lacks a willingness to get honest and get tested.
All around the city of Atlanta there is an advertising campaign for children and adults to “Get Tested” for HIV. Billboards, TV commercials and print media all serve to push this message socially . The ad seems to present the point from the perspective that it is better to “know your status” and be treated rather than NOT know and do more harm to yourself and others. A life of promiscuity and/or sexual irresponsibility, compounded with the guise of sexual crimes, all seem to give rise to this fear and more and more people are physically,mentally, emotionally and spiritually spent. The rippling effects of this crippling dilemma is rectified IF there is a willingness to get honest and get tested.
We can understand how medical testing yields physical, mental and emotional treatments BUT what testing applies to spiritual treatments?
LIFE ISSUES i.e. TRIALS i.e. PROBLEMS i.e. HARDSHIPS i.e. DIFFICULTY i.e. UNCERTAINTY i.e TRIBULATION
The human race deems life issues as a NEGATIVE and not a POSITIVE. This is largely due to how the world order views these guaranteed life phenomena. The world has developed a safeguard to greatly support the negative associations with “life issues” so much so that when they materialize in a person’s life, an immediate barrier presents itself between him/her and the world.
For example, when someone is plagued with sickness – PROBLEM – she not only has to deal with the mundane processes associated with treatment and the pursuit towards wellness. The issues magnify with the steady stresses of the employer, finances, loss, dissociation from society and certain peer groups and family and all the fears of loneliness. Meanwhile, people continue to make the world “go around” with their selfish and self-centered idealism towards preservation, progress and upward mobility while isolating themselves from the sick and shut-in. It is selfishness to the core that makes an associate retreat and withdraw from a person plagued with illness while being fully aware of their own ability to offer the sick with the resource of certainty – a certain affirmation that you will do all that is within your power to support the sick. That ideology is now absent in several American cultures today – and sadly, the church (without naming denominations) is in this number. It would seem obvious that they (the local church) would be inclined to serve the sick, poor and widowed most willingly. This is not to say that the existing church programs are not serving “Life Issues.” Oh no! Their service history supports the blatant reality of a need for more involvement from their neighboring local church bodies thereby exposing the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace that Paul clearly addresses.
Ephesians 4:2(NET) with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
4:3 making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
At the end of the book of Joshua, the author makes a compelling appeal to Israel before his apparent death.
Furthermore, Joshua was prophesying to Israel that they would need to have courage and consistency in dealing with “Life Issues” in the future.
Joshua 23:6-11 (NET)
(6) Be very strong! Carefully obey all that is written in the law scroll of Moses so you won’t swerve from it to the right or the left,
(7) or associate with these nations that remain near you. You must not invoke or make solemn declarations by the names of their gods! You must not worship or bow down to them!
(8) But you must be loyal to the LORD your God, as you have been to this very day.
(9) “The LORD drove out from before you great and mighty nations; no one has been able to resist you to this very day.
(10) One of you makes a thousand run away, for the LORD your God fights for you as he promised you he would.
(11) Watch yourselves carefully! Love the LORD your God!”
His instruction is concise: “REMEMBER WHAT GOD HAS SAID, WHAT HE HAS DONE AND CHOOSE HIM DAILY – in war and peace” One example is pertinent here – JERICHO. Jericho was a city that Israel needed to go through to get to the Jordan River. It was God’s Determined will that Israel would cross the Jordan River and enter the Promised Land. Jericho was an immediate “Life Issue” to Israel because of its great army and wall that was designed to protect its inhabitants. Israel was ill-equipped to handle Jericho’s might militarily. However, Joshua was in complete relationship with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who meticulously brought the Israelites out of Egypt, through the Red Sea and preserved them in the wilderness. The story concludes with the Israelites marching silently for 6 days around the wall as God instructed them. Victory prevailed on the 7th day as they marched silently, blew the trumpet and began to shout on Josh’s command. Simultaneously, the walls of Jericho tumbled down. God permanently dealt with the barrier.
The Israelite‘s testing i.e. “Life Issue” in the Old Testament offers Bible readers a glimpse into God’s character. The tests were all designed to get them to line up with His will for them. Israel’s history with God gives rise to the importance for humans to practice willingness to be honest and get tested.
Every “Life Issue” has a Divine purpose. Get Tested! It saves.
It’s difficult to open up and express your heart when you feel the need to protect yourself. My innate coping skills to protect myself from experiencing heartache are grounded in silence. Often times I have used this skill in such a way that it backfires and causes me to have regret. “If only I had spoken up/out!” “I should have told ………. the truth, now it’s too late!” These 2 statements, internalized on many levels, can be haunting. For the past 2 weeks, God has been working on me, preparing me, instructing me on “Breaking the Silence.”
Why the silence? Well it seems pretty obvious to me that this coping skill is a direct result of fear – fear of negative consequences i.e. I won’t be heard, believed, appreciated and loved -which is based in my realities from childhood. How many times in my adulthood have I had the opportunity to stand for the truth only to keep silent instead because of this fear? More than I can know, I am sure.
The idea that I must keep silent so that you will not become uncomfortable in my presence is the other dilemma that continues to fuel my silence. The fear that you will not accept me as a person worthy of your friendship, company and companionship remains as a staple characteristic of my silence. Once again I am compelled to abhor fear. It is crippling, damaging, and destructive.
I can do many things to combat against silence- pray, study the Bible, fellowship with others, therapy, practice honesty on a daily basis (all of which help considerably even to the point of publishing this today). A recent post “The Good Comes Through AS U COME THROUGH” was the “shot” I needed today to invigorate my spirit to expose the willingness God is giving me in “Breaking the Silence.”
Hebrews 12:1-3 says 1. Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2. fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne ofGod. 3. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
The first time I studied this passage of scripture I was a pre-teen. By then I had already developed these crippling, damaging and self-destructive tendencies towards internalizing everything. People could say or do anything to me – harmful physical, mental and emotional acts by family, friends, and church members – and I would say NOTHING!
My cousin Peaches was instrumental in introducing me to the passage of scripture that I am referencing today. I thank God that He used her to challenge me then to study and discover the nuggets of truth contained herein. I stated earlier how difficult it is to overcome destructiveness and all that I can do to combat this dilemma. These statements accurately define the problem. Obviously the problem is still active. So then the solution – FAITH – is necessary.
What would Abraham‘s story have been if he did not have hope & faith in what God spoke to him about his inheritance and Sara in her unborn son through her aged womb? Moses would not have lived if his mother did not have FAITH in God’s ability to preserve him despite an edict of death. We would not have an example of perseverance through FAITH IN GOD without Moses’ wilderness experiences. The hall of faith gives us direct insight into Moses’ ability to trust in God rather than in man in ANY circumstance.
Breaking the silence today means to trust in God enough to lay aside this weight daily. I am amazed at how God has led me to this wonderful forum of blogging. It is the one way that I am aware of my willingness to break this destructive pattern. Even when I don’t know how to express my thoughts and feelings, He makes my pathway straight in this forum. ConquerorShots served me over the past few days as I clicked on a “shot” that I needed to get some courage to stay in the race.
There are times when reading/studying my Bible just seems mundane. I do it anyway but I keep silent because I feel that no one will appreciate my honesty. However, I DO NOT KEEP SILENT WITH GOD ANY LONGER! I may not be inclined to tell another person what I am dealing with personally because of the dynamics of my character I exposed earlier. They became damaging, crippling and destructive because I would NOT allow God to BE MY CONFIDANT.
The one thing that Conqueror Ministries advocates is consistency with prayer and reading God’s Word – NO MATTER WHAT! It does not matter how uncomfortable it may become -PRAYER CHANGES THINGS! How else can I lay aside every weight and the sin that does so easily harass me? How can I endure hardship like a good soldier? How can I keep my eyes focused on Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith? HOW ELSE CAN I POSSIBLY STAY IN THE RACE?
Romans 8:37 reminds me “Nay in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” Outwardly it may appear that I am overwhelmed by life today, and often times that is true.
I thank God daily for His continued presence in my life, power over my life and the purpose for it all which He manifests through my life. Inwardly He keeps on getting better! It is an inside job…………. When I am willing to “have a little talk with Jesus” and tell Him all about my struggles……. breaking the silence is achieved every time. Telling Him gives me the courage to tell you too – in His time, not in mine – that is wonderful,blessed difference today.
In my lifetime I have been accused of being full of s_ _ t for various reasons – where I was, who I was with, what I was doing, what happened……… Sometimes I was even accused of this status even though I was as sober as a judge and telling the God‘s honest truth. It then occurred to me that this expression is a cliche’ and not necessarily a response that I needed to take to heart. It gave me the wisdom to “consider the source.”
That consideration has prompted me to examine the statement “full of courage” today. When have you ever used this expression in describing someone? Try saying it – “You (are) full of courage!” The tone and expression of this observation begs the question – “How is this possible?” You must admit that when you stumble upon someone that is endowed with courage it can be confrontational to you as you perhaps are entangled in a fear-driven reality. If honesty is present, and you are willing to acknowledge this person’s courage and inquire about how to attain it personally, the act of inquiry opens up your spirit to the opportunity to become “full of courage” yourself. BUT YOU MUST CONSIDER THE SOURCE!
2Corinthians 5:6 Therefore we are always full of courage, and we know that as long as we are alive here on earth we are absent from the Lord —
5:7 for we live by faith, not by sight.
5:8 Thus we are full of courage and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.(NASB)
The person is the example but the source of courage which fills the person is the BLESSED ASSURANCE OF THE HOPE OF THE GLORY OF GOD THROUGH THE POWER OF CHRIST THE RISEN SAVIOR AT WORK IN HIM/HER BY THE PRESENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
The theme of Paul’s writing deals specifically with the spiritual reality of the GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE IN HEAVEN WITH CHRIST and the human struggles associated with living on Earth with all of its daily issues we face. This human reality is apparent to all- no matter what their socio-economic status may be. However, the spiritual component is what seperates “the men from the boys.”
Paul in this chapter defines being “full of courage” as a standard design for living as an Ambassador for Christ. It comes, not because of ANY attainment of status in the flesh (the flesh is to experience the continual “dying” process he defines in Galatians 2:20) which humans aspire towards naturally. When Christ was here on Earth performing all of the duties of His Earthly ministry, His most substantial acts were the death at Calvary, His burial and resurrection. By these acts, He secured the benefit to mankind for a “continued presence of His spirit in us” thereby relieving man of any need to please Him in the flesh. PERSONAL COURAGE IN HUMAN ABILITIES IS FUTILE FROM THIS PERSPECTIVE. IT’S JUST NOT ENOUGH!
A thorough persuasion of the “fear of the Lord” is at work in this instance. This reverence is the bedrock of our “walk by faith, not by sight.” It yields the assurance of the appointed time which God ordained before the foundations of the world whereby we must all appear before the “Judgement seat of Christ.” Notice that there is no hesitation for this great appearing. It is a bold statement that infers a “Blessed Assurance” that “Jesus Paid It ALL” at Calvary. Therefore, all of the blessings associated with His “Finished” work at Calvary cultivates a fullness of courage deep within our spirits that garners a great expectation for our Eternal Life over any human expectation for our Earthly life. And so, we are FREE then to experience ALL of the FULLNESS OF OUR EARTHLY LIFE through the “good works that God foreordained that we should walk in them” during our lifetime while we “look forward to that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” eternally.
Stop trying to fix yourself with human effort and let God create your NEWNESS through His spirit at work in you today.
The fact remains WHETHER YOU BELIEVE IN CHRIST AS YOUR PERSONAL SAVIOR OR NOT you will STAND before HIM in eternity. You can stand before Him at the Great White Throne IN FEAR OF THE ETERNAL OUTCOME or you can BOLDLY STAND before Him at The Judgement Seat of Christ FULL OF COURAGE! This earthly life you are blessed with is afforded to you as an opportunity to GET IN WHERE YOU FIT IN.
My grandmother was a woman of faith. She stood for Christian principles and if you knew her in any way you were in the presence of victorious Christian living. I learned many lessons of faith, hope, determination to follow God, standing on the promises of God’s word and “being more than a conqueror” that I realize from week to week. Her daughter, my mom, continues to be a beacon of light into these lessons and His word by continuing to stand for the truth. We all have access to truth when we read the Bible. Who was the first person who read the Bible to you? Did they have you to read the passage or did they read it? Can you remember what passage it was?
I started out doing video blogs. There’s a link to that google site. A particular video blog there was the first difficult experience I encountered posting. There were numerous problems I had to work through to get it accessible. Amazingly, the more difficult it became the more determined I was to get it done. And to God be the glory it IS posted – “PRAYER CHANGES THINGS”.
When you are faced with difficulty what is your immediate response?
I know that “letting go and letting God” is not always a first response. Trial and error is sometimes necessary to arrive at the place where you know your are in need for Heavenly intervention. You can get so animated that you just “look up”.
Prayer is not a hardship but I know what it feels like when it is. The causes of my unwillingness to pray are rooted in my human nature. There is a constant warfare present in all of us that is between doing it my way and doing it God’s way. Romans 7 is written to address this dilemma.
I have found out that a synergy between the two wills – soul and spirit – is possible only when the Holy Spirit is actively in control. I give Him that control when I pray, when I read the Bible, when I meditate on Scripture, when I sing hymns, Psalms and good gospel music and when I fellowship with other children of God. When these activities are not present I am left with all of the appeal of the world as a poor substitute. So I have a responsibility to CHOOSE which way I will direct my thoughts and actions from day to day.
Being More Than a Conqueror becomes your identity when you choose God’s way and not the way of the world which is natural.
(Romans 8:37) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
(Romans 8:38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
(Romans 8:39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Everyone wants to have a happy holiday season. Whatever your celebratory practice may be, you want the experience to be pleasurable. Let us not take our blessings for granted.
I am shocked that there are record breaking shopping statistics this holiday season in the retail market but our national economic status is that of a recession. This implies that there are many people without work. If you are not working then money is scarce. So how are you shopping like there is a surplus of jobs, money and wealth nationally?
Debt is dangerous. But people accumulate debt simply because they are motivated to give in order to have a pleasurable experience over the holidays. Consequently, some may even have such expectations on the receiving end.
The commercial appeal that this holiday maintains is assuredly designed for the sole purpose of removing Christ out of Christmas.
You decide which way you want to celebrate. However, you decide know this;
JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON.
The season is destined for Joy when He is in His rightful place. Money does not determine this reality.
May your holiday season be forever inclusive of the presence of Christ.
There is a song for Psalms 121. The first time I heard this song I was singing in the choir of my church home here in Georgia. Miss Carol sang the song so beautifully and I was absorbed by the spirit of the song as I was learning it in rehearsal. At that time in my life I was transitioning from my home state of New Jersey to Georgia. It was a tumultuous time in that I was separated from my wife and children for what I thought would be indefinite.
This was a valley experience and there were steep hills and mountains all around me. I was overwhelmed with the devastation of the situations that led up to our separation. Dealing with failure, powerlessness and unmanageability honestly for the first time in my life, this was the beginning of the tearing down of some major strongholds in my life during the end of 2000. I had to get real with God about the issues that were destroying the goodness that He provided in my life. I would go to church every Sunday and the more I showed up the more I heard The Spoken Word of God. My sin-sick soul needed to get the willingness to let that Word penetrate from my head to my heart. It took the repetition of being around the Word of God during those months in order for it to become alive and at work in me. These were painful times but they were Heavenly times.
The song presented me with the truth of the source of my help. It gave me the confirmation that all along my journey to get to that place of healing, the Lord was my keeper, the Lord was my shade upon my right hand. He was preserving my soul even forever more. MY HELP, MY HELP, MY HELP COMES FROM THE LORD.
At that time I needed help to get up and walk by faith and not by sight. Life had beat me down to where I was not walking spiritually. I was crawling because of the affects of manifest sin at work in me. When you do not stay in fellowship with El Elyon – The Most High God — The Possessor of Everything Heavenly and Earthly – by way of His Word, you are destined to live in sin. Over time, if you are His child, that lifestyle makes you have to yield to Him. In those moments of initial ascent towards Him you will be met with God’s Help. He desires to help his children always.
Being more than a conqueror means having the acceptance that God is God all by Himself. He does not need you to guide Him; YOU NEED HIM TO GUIDE YOU!! He makes it possible for you to realize just how proficient He is at leading when you begin to abide in Him by staying in His Word and allowing His Life to affect EVERY aspect of your life. This is how you live as “MORE THAN A CONQUEROR”.
This song ministers to my spirit the message of God’s Determined Will at taking care of His children. Though it was addressed to the Nation of Israel, the principles of God depicted in this chapter are applicable to us today as Christians since we are ALL God’s children today because of the Blood of Jesus.