Copyright © by Jodi A Woody 2017
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Walking with God isn’t always easy. Our flesh fights us, the world tempts us, and a very real enemy wages war against us. However, we are never alone and we aren’t fighting for the victory, Jesus already secured that. We are fighting from a place of victory.
When things get tough and the road looks rocky the best thing we can do is STAND!
Ephesians 6:10-14a (HCSB), “Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. Stand, therefore,”
In the next 21 days, my prayer is that you begin a new habit of standing firm in God’s word.
Philippians 1:6 (Douay-Rheims Bible), “Being confident of this very thing, that he, who hath begun a good work in you, will perfect it unto the day of Christ Jesus.”
Most people have control issues. Some need to feel in control of every situation and every person in their lives. I know people who try to control their spouses, their children, and even their pastors. Wrong or right, they are always right and they know best. Sometimes this ends in abuse, divorce and church splits.
I think most of us will admit that losing control to drugs, alcohol, or other people isn’t a good thing. We then can also agree that trying to control others isn’t a good thing. If you have an overly controlling person in your life, it is like being in prison, and if you have a need to control everything, much of your life is spent in worry, or feeling out of control. That behavior can end up being obsessive, not healthy to yourself or to others.
So when is it ok to give up control? Who is faithful enough for us to give our control over to?
The only answer is God. He knew us before we were born and He knows our end, in fact He knows every second and every minute of our lives. He was our beginning and He is our ending. He orchestrated it all for our good and His glory.
So what do you say? Can you lose control?
I think that over the years the Church has emasculated Jesus. We see picture after picture of Him on the cross, looking anorexic and sickly. If you spend any time reading your Bible, you will come to know who the man Jesus really was. First of all He wasn’t frail and overly thin. He was a carpenter and probably had the build of someone who uses his muscles for hard work. Jesus is gentle and kind, loving and forgiving, but He also is strong and, when needed, full of righteous anger. Our Messiah opened His arms to every repentant sinner, but He opened His mouth against the stubborn, stiff-necked, self-righteous religious leaders as well.
We know He came to save the world, to bring back those He loved into right relationship with God, and we know He loves everyone. However we can’t skip over the fact that He chased the moneychangers out of the temple with a whip.
John 2:12-25 , “It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration, so Jesus went to Jerusalem. In the Temple area he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; he also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money. Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. Then, going over to the people who sold doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!”
Jesus is a picture of a “real man”. He protected His own, respected His Father, and loved everyone.
Genesis 1:26 (NIV), “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.””
We all have something that we do. I sew, crochet, and love to read. My husband is handy with any tool, can fix everything from cars to blenders. I write, he runs a splitter at a plastics factory. They are not who we are!
In the world we live in people frequently ask this question, “What do you do?” People answer, “I am a doctor, a teacher, a lawyer, a childcare provider, etc.” Then those same people have an identity crisis when it comes to knowing who they are. God has a call on each life.
“Our general, primary call is to be Christ like.”
Romans 8:29 (HCSB), “For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers.
First, before anything else, we need to be like Him. That’s who we are not something we do. Then we go into the world, on our jobs, doing those things that we do, and we represent Him. We show the world what He looks like, how He loves them, and what it means to belong to the Family of God. We love, first each other, and then those who haven’t joined our family yet.
Will we do everything right? Heck no. Does it matter? Not a bit.
Ps 85:10-13 (God’s Word Translation), “Mercy and truth have met. Righteousness and peace have kissed. Truth sprouts from the ground, and righteousness looks down from heaven. The LORD will certainly give us what is good, and our land will produce crops. Righteousness will go ahead of him and make a path for his steps”
His footsteps will make my pathway. There is power on this path, provision on this path, protection on this path. Each footstep of Jesus was in the fullness of the blessing- so He healed them all, He delivered them all. And now I am walking on that same pathway. He made it for us. His word illuminates it.
Psalm 119:105 (NLT), “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.”
We can clearly see the path. Even if it may seem like there are monsters, boulders, bridges, and cliffs on our route, don’t trust your own eyes. He made the path, let His word show you the way. Sometimes the path looks scary because we are still leaning on or living in the flesh. We have to crucify our flesh, deny its lust and laziness. When we learn to die daily along the way, the final death isn’t scary anymore, there is no fear of death. Instead of looking at the end of the path as the grave, we see Heaven as the destination. Who wouldn’t trade this life for an eternity with Him?
Find His path. It isn’t hidden. Read your Bible, it points the way. See Jesus’ footsteps and walk in them. Follow His path to your forever home. Bless others on the way.
True story: One day Thomas Edison came home and gave a paper to his mother. He told her, “My teacher gave this paper to me and told me to only give it to my mother.”
His mother’s eyes were tearful as she read the letter out loud to her child: *][*Your son is a genius. This school is too small for him and doesn’t have enough good teachers for training him. Please teach him yourself.
After many, many years, after Edison’s mother died and he was now one of the greatest inventors of the century, one day he was looking through old family things. Suddenly he saw a folded paper in the corner of a drawer in a desk. He took it and opened it up. On the paper was written: Your son is addled . We won’t let him come to school any more.
[*Edison cried for hours and then he wrote in his diary: “Thomas Alva Edison was an addled child that, by a hero mother, became the genius of the century.” *]
To me Thomas Edison’s mother is like Jesus, and his teacher like the devil. The devil wants us to think of ourselves as unworthy, un-usable, un-wanted, and all of those other ugly “uns”. But there is our parent, Father God, who tells us just the opposite. You see, like Edison’s mother, God see’s our potential! What a lovely gift.
Edison was a genius. He invented so many things that helped others, many that we still depend on today. The gift his mother gave that one little boy, ended up being a gift to the whole world. Mrs. Edison recognized the importance of what we say to our children. She chose to only encourage and love. That is our Daddy God.
All of us, with no exceptions, are born into a corrupted world. Since Adam and Eve’s disobedience, we have lived in a “fallen state.” No longer in relationship with God. There are only two families. God’s (the Kingdom of Heaven), and Satan’s (the kingdom of rebellion). Just like in the natural, when we are born, we cannot choose our family. It was decided for us ages ago by our ancestors, Adam and Eve.
But, (here comes the good part), God allows us to choose later in life. His desire is to be our Father and so He gives us the opportunity to be adopted into His family.
Galatians 4:4-6, (NLT), “But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.”
The hard part is that the devil still wants us. Not out of any love or loyalty, just to keep us away from God. He never had any love for us. He was ever an abusive parent, in every way, physically, mentally and verbally. If he seemingly did something we perceived as “good” at the time- it was only a trick, a trap and a snare. We always paid for it in the end and the price continued to get higher and higher, until finally God Himself had to pay it for us. We lived in bondage. Not son’s but slaves.
We can’t ask God to take us, then keep going back to our “old” family! There are no weekend visitations, no joint custody. We need to be fully His. Because if we aren’t fully His, then we aren’t His at all. You can only have one father. So…who’s your daddy?
We cannot save ourselves. That was pretty evident when we tried it on our own. Some of us tried to just run away from our lives and escape into drugs, alcohol, sex, our jobs, hobbies, etc. It never works because at the end of the day, we still are who we are. It was only the sinless, pure love of God that could save us. He loves us so much that He paid the price to cleanse us of our sin. He has given us a new nature, a new heart and a new vision.
I John 1:1-3 (NKJV), “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
When dealing with sin in our lives it is important to remember that God is not an angry dictator waiting to catch us doing something on His “don’t do list” or failing to do something on His “To do list.” He is a loving Father who wants our lives to flow with His goodness, His blessings, His anointing and the only way that is going to happen is by trusting Him. We have to believe what He says. He watches over His word to perform it. To make sure it comes to pass just the way He said it would. He says we are healed. He says we have been delivered, that our lives should be abundantly blessed. He says we are accepted, loved, treasured, and His children. Do what you know to do, do what God says to do. Then leave the rest up to Him. You may not see fast results, but you will see results.
Job 23:10-11 “But He knows the way that I take [He has concern for it, appreciates and pays attention to it]. When He has tried me, I shall come forth as refined gold [pure and luminous]. My foot has held fast to His steps, His ways have I kept and not turned aside.”
Poor Job. There he is minding his own business, being a witness, doing good, praying for his kids…and then the enemy enters the scene. With God’s permission! His world tumbles down around him, literally. He is tried and refined in a way that most of us wouldn’t wish on our worst enemies. Why did God allow it? Job figured it out. After self pity, after anger, after getting rotten advice and false counsel from three so-called-friends. Only the fire can refine precious metal. Only great pressure can make a precious stone. We go through what feels like Hell. There is a saying, that I particularly like, and have quoted, “You may have to walk through the valley of death, but you don’t have to set up camp there!”
What would “setting up camp” entail? Self pity, anger at God, SITTING DOWN, or just plain giving up. Don’t drive in a single tent stake. Job said he stayed on the path, that means he kept moving forward. Command your feet to hold fast to HIS path. It leads to life, to righteousness, to Love. Don’t let Satan distract you. I know, Job went through big stuff! But ultimately it was all just meant for a distraction. He was trying to force Job to take his eyes off of God, and put them on his circumstances.
We live in a fallen world, with a real enemy seeking who he may devour. Bad stuff happens to good people. But continue with Job’s story. His ending was better than his beginning. He came out better! Stronger! And he came out Praising God!
Exodus 31:6b “And all who are wise-hearted I have given wisdom and ability to make all that I commanded you.”
Daniel, Joseph, and Moses were ‘wise-hearted’ men. All of these men proved the wisdom God had placed in their hearts when they each had to face the so-called-wise-men of their day. When the wise men of Babylon couldn’t decipher Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, Daniel did. When Pharaoh’s wise men couldn’t interpret his dream, Joseph did. When the wise men of Egypt mimicked the miracle of God and turned their staffs into snakes, Moses’ snake ate theirs. Apart from the power of God, what is the difference between wise-hearted and wise-headed?
The wise men of the world are depending on their five senses, what they can hear, taste, touch, feel and see. But our senses can deceive us. They operate out of their minds, their heads. The heart is the place of truth. The heart believes! It doesn’t even need the body’s senses. We can’t obtain salvation through our minds, only through our hearts. We can’t understand God’s word with our minds, only with our hearts. We can gather facts with our minds, God gave us wonderful brains, but it is through our hearts that we act on what we know.
So who is a wise-hearted man?
Someone who by-passes their head and believes in their heart that God is good! That He is on our side! That His word is true and He will do what He says He will.
What kind of man are you?
I have had this battle cry going through my head for a few months now. “His will, His work, His way.” Sometimes I say it out loud, sometimes it just rolls through my noggin, and sometimes I hear it in my Spirit as that earth shattering call, with sword drawn and raised, with banners flying, heart pumping, and an assurance of victory. Occasionally, I read something that answers the call, or as in last Sunday’s service, hear something over the pulpit that causes me to voice it under my breath with a nod and an “Amen.”
So, what’s it all mean?
His will; not ours, we lay down what we think we want and need and instead pick up what He has to offer. It’s always better in the long run.
His work; that’s seems pretty straight forward, and at first I thought so. We lay down our work and again pick up His. We don’t quit our jobs, unless He tells us to, but we do our work unto Him. Find His purpose for us there. We also use our gift and talents to do it; you know the ones He gave us. But, it also means letting Him work in us and through us. His work is always to do good, to bless, and to mold us into the image of Jesus Christ.
His way; His path, let The Spirit of God, that lives on the inside of you, lead you. Let His word illuminate the way. Find His path and walk in it.
Shout it with me, “HIS WILL, HIS WORK, HIS WAY!”
I Peter 4:14 (NIV), “If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.”
Living for God, from Heaven, in Jesus, may lead to some insults, slander, and hatred. No big deal, not really. Not if you compare it to having His Glory rest on us. Pause and think about that for just one minute. When Moses went up on the mountain to talk to God face to face, he came down off that mountain with the Glory of God literally shining all over his face. The people were so freaked out by it they asked him to cover his face. That kind of Glory.
John 17:20-23 (NIV), “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
Jesus glorifies the Father here on earth. God the Father shared His glory with the Son. Before He left, Jesus prayed that we would all be one, Father, Son, Holy Ghost, and Body of Christ. In Jesus’ own words, He gave us the same glory the Father had given Him. He gave it to us to bring us into complete unity. That Glory.
Then the whole world will know that God sent His Son and that we are all loved.
Romans 12:2 (BSB) “Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.”
Why doesn’t God want us conformed to the world and its ways, how come I can’t act and talk just like my unsaved friends and family? One reason is that we aren’t of the world, we don’t really belong to it anymore. We were bought by Jesus’ blood and what a precious price He paid for us. We are born again from Heaven, we should be different. Also, when we don’t allow the Word to transform, renew, clean up our minds, then we can’t rightly discern God’s will. Since His will is good, pleasing, and perfect wouldn’t we want to know what that is for our lives.
Ephesians 4:23-23 (ESV), “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
God made us brand new when we accepted His love and surrendered all our junk to Him and His forgiveness so why then does He tell me to “put off” and “put on”, because we live in a corrupt place. It tends to rub off on us. Our minds get dirty, our hearts get hard, and our vision gets cloudy. It all has to be washed away again. Just like our clothes get dirty when we work in the yard, we have to come in and take off the soiled and put on the clean, so it is with our hearts and minds.
I Corinthians 16:13 (DBT), “Be vigilant; stand fast in the faith; quit yourselves like men; be strong.”
Ok, so I am not a guy, but this verse always gives me courage. Most of us can start out strong, standing in faith, and vigilantly protecting our territory, but how do we finish? Do we lose faith, sit down, back down, tuck tail and run, or get lazy and let the enemy run rough shod over us?
Quit like you started, quit like a man. Other versions of this verse says, “be manly,” “be courageous,” “be men,” and “do manfully.”
A Godly man knows who he is and Who’s he is. He keeps the faith, not letting his guard down. He eats, sleeps, and lives, with the battle ever in his mind. A true warrior. He will fight to the death, and if he perchance survives, he comes out stronger with his spirit and morals still intact.
Before we can quit like men, we have to be watchful, see the enemy’s attacks for what they are, stand ready for battle, then finish the job like a man.
Psalm 31:24 (NIV), “Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!”
Give me a passion for Your will and Your word.
Let me speak Your word to all the world.
Till only Your voice is what is heard.
A voice of hope to a dying world.
God never forgets. Never. Ever. (Except about our forgiven sins). Aren’t you glad? Did He promise you something? Well you can count on it, be patient. Of course His timing isn’t the same as ours. Being patient isn’t always easy, in fact, for me, it is usually hard. But that doesn’t change the fact that if God said it, it is a sure thing, a done deal. It was done before He even said it. Try and wrap your mind around that one! God doesn’t abide in time, He created it for us, He doesn’t need it. For Him, yesterday is now, and tomorrow is now, and the future is now. So whatever we need has already been provided for us.
Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.”
2 Corinthians 1:20 says, “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.”
So if God doesn’t forget, and ALL of His promises are yes, then why lose hope? You’ll make yourself sick! Don’t do it! Hope in God, He’ll come through! He always has, He always will. When your desire is fulfilled you’ll find life, more life, a great life! A tree is rooted and grounded! Be rooted and grounded in the source of life! Be thankful that God’s mind is always full of thoughts of YOU! Now that is cool!
Why do we as humans try to add to the work of Christ? Or why do we want to keep dragging Him back to the cross to re-crucify Him, as if the one time wasn’t enough? Jesus Himself declared, “And the one sitting on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true: It is finished!” (Rev 21:5-6) Jesus told John to even write it down, so that he would always remember and so that we would have these words forever! John shows us again in John 19:30 the scene of the cross stating, “So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”
What God Himself has declared as FINISHED, can we declare incomplete? How patient the Father is. God gave me a picture of my frustrated efforts in the past. When I had been calling out to Jesus to ‘DO SOMETHING’. It was a half comical movie of a woman with the emaciated version of Christ (the way the old renaissance paintings portray Him, skinny and weak). He was lying on the ground, with the white loin cloth, rolling His eyes to heaven, while this woman had Him by the wrist, dragging Him back to the cross. In her other hand she held a big spike! Then God showed me her face! Yep, it was me! I didn’t even have to ask Him to explain. I got it. I know I am not the only one…admit it we’ve all been there at least once. But I am DETERMINED not to “crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame”. (Heb 6:6 NKJV) The work of the cross is not incomplete. We do not have to ‘earn it’! There is no work that we can do that is greater than what He already did! Jesus is not a man that He should lie! HE SAID IT IS FINISHED! Stand on that!
If you are at all familiar with electronic devices or their applications and programs, you know that periodically they need to be upgraded. Newer versions come out, and you can simply switch out the old for the new. Sometimes our devices get clogged up with junk and they have to be cleaned up so that things operate and run the way they are supposed to.
In reality, we are a lot like these programs. We are exposed to a lot of junk during our sojourn through this world on our way to our forever home. Sometimes we give in to our flesh, expose ourselves to poison and toxic waste, or we have soaked something up without even knowing it. Our world is full of garbage and we are used to just turning a blind eye, however, our spirit sees. Sometimes we are just going through some rough stuff and we get weary and bogged down. We all face challenges that drain us; we need to get plugged into the Bible.
Ephesians 5:25-27 (BSB), “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a glorious church, without stain or wrinkle or any such blemish, but holy and blameless.”
This was written to husbands, but notices what cleanses the wife, “The washing with water through the word.” God’s word washes us. We are transformed by the renewing of our minds. Our minds are renewed by the word of God, only His Truth can change our thinking and opinions. We should be reading the Bible often, everyday even better, we can “upgrade” every day, we don’t have to wait for a newer version, the one we have is a timeless, one of a kind, always applicable, easily applied official version.
Nehemiah 9:17 (Net Bible), “They refused to obey and did not recall your miracles that you had performed among them. Instead, they rebelled and appointed a leader to return to their bondage in Egypt. But you are a God of forgiveness, merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and unfailing in your loyal love. You did not abandon them,”
We are all aware of the term “hostage”: when someone is taken against their will and held hostage usually for a ransom, or when a terrorist holds a person to either protect themselves or again to force negotiations. Each one of us was born a hostage. Satan, the ultimate terrorist, held us against our will. Jesus paid the ransom. We are now free to go. If we are still under the rule of Satan, it is purely by choice. We can choose to surrender to Jesus, who only ever asks us to come willingly and never forces us to do anything. Or we can allow things, or the enemy, or our flesh to hold us hostage.
I Timothy 26:5-6 (BSB), “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all — the testimony that was given at just the right time”
What is keeping you from walking free? What is keeping you from surrender to God? Is it your habits, addictions, or lusts? Is it greed, selfishness, or pride? Maybe you feel unworthy, unclean, and unloved and can’t seem to get a grasp on the fact that God loves you, wants you in His life, and made a way for you to live free from every bondage.
Maybe you chose God and somewhere along the way wondered off, like the dog that returns to its own vomit. You have placed yourself back in bondage after tasting freedom. Don’t despair, God has not abandoned you! Turn from that life and turn back to God. He is waiting with arms outstretched.
John 14:27 (NLT), “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”
Our confidence does not depend on us, the government, our boss, our Pastor, our spouse, or the Church. It is OK to be confident in people but we can’t depend on them as our source of confidence and peace. They will all at one time or another fall short of our expectations or what we need done in our lives. When all those people and things fail us our confidence in the Father still remains. No matter what things may look like, we can be confident that He is working things out for our good. If we are truly His and we aren’t just practicing religion, then His promises are “Yes and Amen.” God alone is faithful enough to put all of our trust in, to depend on for our peace. Jesus said it was a gift! We don’t earn a gift; it is given out of love.
Philippians 1:6 (NASB), “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
He won’t leave you high and dry. He’s the one who chose you. He is the one who wooed you and gave you that new heart. Surely He will finish all of the things He started.
Jesus was crucified-He rose from the dead-He took the keys to death and Hell-He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God. He did it! It’s a done deal.
Be confident in that!
We have all heard the saying “truth is relative”, meaning that it depends on the circumstance, or the person, or some other outside influence. When Pontius Pilot is having a conversation with Jesus before the crucifixion he voices the same belief after Jesus tells him that “I came to testify of the truth”.
John 18:38 (NIV), “What is truth?” retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him.”
That common philosophy of Pilot’s day is still common in our day. So many people talk about the “grey areas” or that “there is no black and white, just different shades of grey.” I disagree.
Jesus made it very clear. There is TRUTH and it is HIM.
[*John 14:6 (NIV), “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” *]
Instead of saying, “truth is relative” he said, “TRUTH is my relative”. I love that. I am one with Christ, a joint heir, a son of God, and Jesus is the way, the truth and the light, so I am related to Him.
God’s word is true, He is not a man that He should lie, and Jesus is the Living Word.
His word is alive! And it is True!
Truth isn’t relative, but He is my Relative.
What looks like the easy way, the way out, the way up, isn’t always the right way. That path strewn with flowers, smooth as a baby’s behind, you know the one that looks sunny and bright, may not be the path that you need to take. In fact most often, in the long run, it isn’t easy at all.
So why doesn’t God just sweep our paths clear? Because He knows what is best for us. He sees what’s up ahead. He knows the people we will influence, the trust and strength we will gain. Simply put, He wants us to be led by His Spirit, to learn to trust and rely on Him. In reality, we will never know how many obstacles He has removed! I know that He has protected me so many times. I put myself in some pretty dangerous situations when I wasn’t living for Him, and He brought me through them all. How much more protection do you think I have now that I have committed my way to Him?. I am confident that they have carried me up and over many pits and snares. God knows we need His strength. That’s why Jesus promised to never leave us nor forsake us.
Matthew 28:20 (God’s Word Translation), Teach them to do everything I have commanded you. “And remember that I am always with you until the end of time.”
The more we know Him, the more we know His word, the easier this walk gets. Are all the obstacles removed? No, but His word is a light unto our path. We can see them way ahead of time, so we can be built up and strong in the Lord. Whatever you do, keep walking forward. No turning to the left or the right, and for Heaven’s sake, don’t sit down! Never set up camp in a rough spot. Go through! Let His praises be on your lips. Let your heart be full of His joy. That’s where our strength comes from.
Philippians 3:12-14 (BSB), “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been perfected, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have laid hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly calling in Christ Jesus.”
Life can be tough, struggles long and hard, but as long as we don’t sit down or back up, we are constantly moving through these situations. Going through is the key. Pressing toward the goal is what Paul calls it. Something we always have to remember to do is to forget the past. Forgetting the old struggles, pain, hurts, failures, bad choices, mistakes, and sin. Forget about it. It’s ok to remember God’s goodness, deliverance, and love through those things, but don’t dwell on the ugliness, but on the beauty. He loves you!
We never get to say, in this life anyway, “I did it. I am perfect.” Paul had it right. We haven’t yet obtained perfection. However, instead of saying, “I never will” he pressed on. Ever onward. Forward march. Wagon’s hoe. Forget that your best friend just buried an ax in your back, that your spouse gambled away the house payment, that you fell off the wagon, again. Remember God will give you the strength to take that next step forward. Sure your knees might be knocking louder than a drum solo on a cyberpunk song, but so what! Take that first step toward better, toward sanity, toward, provision, health, deliverance, toward Him! It gets better, this too shall pass.
Ever onward. Let this be your mantra.
Thank You for Your word, that it is alive and changes hearts and minds. Let the mind of Christ be in me and Your word light my path. Your joy will be my strength as I keep running this race set before me. I will keep my eyes fixed on You and when things look tough, I won’t run away, but I will run to You and find help and safety there. I will look up into Your eyes of love. I will look to the mountain of God and help will come. I will call on angels to guard me and minister in my family’s lives according to Your perfect will. I will allow You, the Master Potter, to conform me into the image of Your Son, Jesus.