FULLY ALIVE!

Your life will be as bright as the noonday sun. Job 11:17


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Evil Germs

Germs are everywhere. Really. In fact, 80% of infections are spread the same way. Someone touches a germ-ridden surface and passes a bug along.

Dr. Elaine Jong of the Washington Travel Clinic (Seattle) says it doesn’t matter “whether germs are viral, bacterial or fungal, some can remain active on most surfaces for several days – stainless steel, wood, plastic or even the paper in a magazine.” There are a gazillion germs living on the umpteen surfaces you touch throughout the day.

When you touch germy surfaces, those germs are transmitted to your hands. When you touch your face – eyes, nose, lips, including eating – Bam! You have infected yourself. When you touch others, you pass the germs on to them. They, in turn, touch their faces and… Yes, Bam! They, too, now have the infection, and so the cycle continues.

So, can you just not touch any surfaces? Probably not. Door knobs, elevator buttons, counter tops, cell phones, faucets, magazines…all germy! What are we to do? Wash our hands. Faithfully. Vigorously. Repeatedly.

Guess what? Satan and his evil spirits are like germs – everywhere! Satan leads and controls an army of evil spirits that will do whatever they can not only to keep the lost from coming to Jesus, but to try to “take down” those who walk in fellowship with Jesus as their personal Savior and Lord. He is the enemy, he prowls and he seeks to devour (1 Peter 5:8). He is a thief seeking to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). His primary work is to defeat those who serve the Lord and to halt the building and advancement of God’s kingdom.

Just as we are not defenseless against germs – there are a multitude of medicines and a plethora of sanitizers, wipes and sprays all intended to build our defenses and protect us from the ravages of germs, prayer builds our internal strength and is our primary strategy to fight our enemy, the Devil. Just as we are faithful, fervent and persistent in washing our hands, we must be faithful, fervent and persistent in prayer – specifically in praying the truths of the Scriptures.

Kay Johns writes in Scriptures for Victory: Armed with the Sword of the Spirit, “We’re naïve if we think we’re not in the battle.” Understanding we are in a battle, we must also understand the imperative of being always ready for battle. We must cover ourselves with the blood of Christ – blood that redeems (Ephesians 1:7), sanctifies (Hebrews 13:12), cleanses and purifies (1 John 1:7), reconciles us to the Father (Colossians 1:20), binds us to His covenant of love (1 Corinthians 11:25) and protects us from Satan (Revelation 12:11).

We are prepared to fight germs when our immune systems are strong from a healthy life-style: eating fruits and vegetables, maintaining a healthy weight, getting enough sleep, drinking lots of water, controlling blood pressure and taking steps to avoid infection such as washing our hands and cooking our meats, etc.

We are prepared to fight Satan and his evil spirits when we walk in personal relationship with Christ, pray as He taught and study His words so that we may declare His truths!

 

RESOURCE

Scriptures for Victory: Armed with the Sword of the Spirit

www.learntopray.org


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Meow

If you have followed my blog for any time or read any of the archived entries, you know that I have had a past love/hate (ok, mostly hate) relationship with the squirrels. Well, I made my peace with the squirrels and, as you might have read, extended them grace. Great grace, I would say, since I purchased and had erected a squirrel feeder. Yes, a feeder just for them. One of my friends commented, “You are actually, intentionally feeding the squirrels?!” And I said, “Yes!” They have a feeder and I fill it with corn, seeds and nuts!

Oh, but now it is the cats!

Specifically, it is my neighbor’s cats.

All nine of them.

Yes, nine!

They are ever in my yard and ever after my birds! (For those who don’t know, I also intentionally feed the birds.)

I enjoy watching the birds and hearing them sing. They remind me of the Scriptures and remind me to be calm, to slow down, to enjoy life, to trust my Lord (Matthew 6:25-34).

But those cats! I know that they have only recently killed at least six birds. I saw them torture, tease and torment one. By the time I’d rushed from my kitchen to chase them away, it was too late. I have found piles of feathers and down beneath the feeders, behind the barn and under my car.

I see the birds pecking and searching the grasses beneath the feeders, and I think, “What are you, dumb? Why do you insist on eating on the ground when the feeders are perched high – safe – on posts or hanging from the limbs of the trees? How dumb can you be?”

At the very least, they are slow learners. You would think that they would know by now that the cats are coming; that the cats are not their friends; that the cats are the enemy, prowling, looking to devour (1 Peter 5:8).

And with that thought, it hit me! Sometimes (hmm, too many times), I’m not very smart either; I’m a slow learner. Like the birds I have flirted with the enemy, knowingly placed myself in his path, blindly turned my attention to other matters thinking them more important while ignoring his threats. I’ve assumed myself smarter, faster even, than the enemy.

We need to understand that Satan is real. Satan is powerful. The battle is real. The battle is continuous. There is never a time when he is not on the prowl, watching, waiting, ready to pounce. Though Satan was created as the chief of all angels, God limited his boundaries and his powers (Job 1:9-12). Still, he is wise, cunning, deceiving and always at work – like those cats, stalking, watching for whom He may devour (2 Corinthians 11:4, 1 Peter 5:8). Might this be why Jesus said we must pray daily for deliverance from the evil one (Matthew 6:13)? Hmmm.

Satan is the enemy who disrupts our lives. But guess what; He doesn’t have a chance against Jesus.

POSSIBLE RESOURCES

  1.  How to Have a Meaningful Quiet Time                                                 http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/how-to-have-a-meaningful-quiet-time-1338122.html
  2. How to Have a Quiet Time                                               http://www.lifeway.com/Article/how-to-have-a-quiet-time
  3. How to Have a Quiet Time – According to Martin Luther                             http://www.christianitytoday.com/iyf/advice/faithqa/whats-quiet-time.html

 

ps Those cats don’t have a chance against me!


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Under Attack or On the Attack?

A military operation plan, or war plan, is a plan drawn up by commanders of military forces and organizations BEFORE and DURING times of conflict – especially if there is the desire and intent to “win” the war. 

All around us there is a battle taking place, yet we go out day after day, onto the battle field with no war plan and no strategy.  We find, therefore, ourselves under attack – feeling hopeless and helpless, overwhelmed and confused, saddened and depressed.  Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher, Sun Tzu, said, “Those skilled in war bring the enemy to the field of battle and are not brought there by him.”  In short, rather than be under attack, you need to be on the attack to win the war.  How do we do this as Christians?

First, understand the enemy. Ephesians 6:12 (ESV) tells us that “…we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”  Next, understand the battle.  Though we have physical bodies, ours is not a physical war.  We are spiritual beings inside a physical body.  The war waged against us is in the spiritual realm, in our minds.  Satan knows that if he captures our minds, he can control us.  It is in our minds where we first begin to feel defeat.  “I am lonely.”  “I am sad.”  “I am depressed.”  “I can’t do that.”  “I am not strong enough.”  “I am not smart enough.”  “I don’t have enough.” Romans 12:2 (NASB) tells us, “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” while II Corinthians 2:5 (NASB) tells us to “take captive every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

Thirdly, develop an offensive strategy.  Offensive strategy means that we do not wait for the enemy to attack.  We do not become reactionary.  We are proactive, and we go on the attack before the enemy comes to us.  We also develop an arsenal of offensive weapons (internalizing Scripture, praying and fasting).  It is not a question of whether Satan will attack but when, where and how.

The best offensive strategy is to be prepared!  You can make up your mind ahead of time how you will react in many situations – what you are going to do and what you are not going to do.  “No matter how they criticize me, I will smile and pray for them.”  “Whether I get the job or not, I will thank the Lord for the opportunity and praise Him.”  “I will be calm and focused during the business meeting.”  “At the family reunion I will focus on the joy of seeing the children and excuse myself from the negative conversations.”  “I will welcome this transfer and look forward to new relationships and adventures.”  “I’m popping in my new CD and singing along during the commute to work.”

When we think about it, little actually catches us by surprise.  We tend to know the who, what, when and where of our stressors and those are often the people, places, times and situations Satan uses to attack our minds.  A good soldier does not find herself in the midst of war wishing she’d brought her gun, worn her helmet or remembered her canteen.  She knows to expect certain encounters and plans likewise for them.

God gives us a plan in Ephesians 6:11-18 (ERV):

Wear the full armor of God…get God’s full armor…stand strong with the belt of truth tied around your waist, and on your chest wear the protection of right living. On your feet wear the Good News of peace to help you stand strong. And also use the shield of faith with which you can stop all the burning arrows that come from the Evil One.  Accept God’s salvation as your helmet. And take the sword of the Spirit—that sword is the teaching of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times. Pray with all kinds of prayers, and ask for everything you need. To do this you must always be ready. Never give up…”

See you on the front line!