Thursday, August 13, 2015

Winning the Battle: Complacent No More

If we are complacent, meaning overly satisfied with our situation, than you can be sure it is a sign that we are exactly where Satan wants us to be. God didn't call us to complacency, he called us to battle as warriors of Christ. That is why he provided us with a full armour.

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people." Ephesians 6:10-28 NIV

Recently, a family member has been preparing to make some new, some better decisions. We had a discussion about the spiritual battle that was certain to ensue. You see, as long as we are content in our own little world, not growing, not changing, Satan will often leave us alone. He likes us to be content. As soon as we allow for change, for growth, for God to do the good works in us that he desires to do, well that will get then enemy in a tantrum and he will start throwing fiery arrows at us. It is a scare tactic for us to recede back into that stagnant place rather than to be out there witnessing to others and winning them over for Christ. 

The armour we are given, it is all defensive, to keep us from harm and protect our selves from the attacks, except for one piece. We are given a sword, a sword of the spirit. This sword is God's word, the bible. The more we know our bible, the more we are able to pray God's word, speak his truth and claim his promises, the stronger we will become in Him. 

The surest way to get the enemy to recede, while we stand firm, is to use our sword. When we fight back against the enemy's attacks in a way that will strengthen us in Christ, Satan will make a run for it. The enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). He wants to weaken us with oppression and depression. When he sees his attacks are strengthening us, when he sees us calling on Christ and winning the spiritual battle through prayer and agreement, he will cease the attack. Satan doesn't want anything to do with us growing as Christians. 

As people, we see life as hard. Before I had an understanding of how to win at spiritual warfare, I felt every time I tried to make things better, they got worse. I felt defeated and overwhelmed and often wandered, what's the point. When my paradigm shifted and I gained an understanding of God's purpose for our journey, when I learned that war had been waged and we have been called to battle, I no longer felt defeated. I became empowered through Christ understanding that I could do all things through Him that strengthen me, including, defeating the enemy. 

I share this today, because I want to encourage you to take up your battle.  There may be changes you want to  make, that God is calling you out and preparing you for. He does have a purpose and a plan for your life and maybe you aren't in His will yet but He wants to help you get to that place. Take that leap of faith, and be fully prepared by putting on the armour of God. If God has brought you to it, He will bring you through it. Let Him.

A Grateful Believer in Jesus Christ
~Johnna 


 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Being the Church

Biblical Hospitality 

I should open this by telling you that this post is the result of a situation that touched me. But I'm going to speak it clearly, this post is the result of me being ticked off  by religion. 

Not spirituality but religion. Let me give you the definition of religion I am referring too... 
     " a pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance."

Religious practices can be important for us, but it does not hold supreme importance. God holds supreme importance. 

What I have seen many times and saw again today, is that we as a church can get so wrapped up in religious practices, we forget to obey the living word of God. We have conformed to worldly standards and thrown obedience out the window.

How do you and your church react to strangers/ guests? Yep, that is where I am going with this. We have our congregation  and we fellowship, have fun, sing, learn, and then return to our homes. 

What happens when someone interrupts our expectations of a special event running smoothly and we have to be burdened with the inconvenience of tending to a guest? Burden, why did I just use that word? Because that is the reaction I see and it isn't what we are called to practice. We are called to practice biblical hospitality. 

Let me hand you some verses. 

Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. (1 Peter 4:9 ESV)


You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 19:34 ESV)

He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” (Luke 14:12-14 ESV)



Is being comfortable and enjoying an evening of fellowship without an glitches more important that a precious opportunity to witness and plant seeds into a person who is unchurched and desperately seeking Christ? No, we are missing the whole point of being the church if it is.

My heart was heavenly burdened with this when I recently witnessed it.  What I am asking is for you to search your heart. Where is it at? Are you allowing yourself to be interruptible so that you can be available if someone needing salvation is put in your path? Take some time, process that question and allow yourself to become full available. God wants to use you! 

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (Hebrews 13:2 ESV)

A grateful believe in Jesus Christ 
~Johnna