IT IS BECAUSE HE LIVES THAT I CAN LIVE…


1 Corinthians 15:12-20 – “Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty, and your faith is also empty. 15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up — if in fact the dead do not rise. 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. 20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”  NKJV

Gloria Gaither wrote an incredibly powerful song at the birth of their son called, “Because He Lives.” Truly, because Jesus lives, we can!  We can face the future without fear and in perfect peace because He has risen from the dead, ascended to the right hand of the Father, and now makes intercession for us.  Because He lives I can…

FACE LIFE…

The Bible tells us that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Therefore, the three days we need to concern ourselves with are “yesterday, today, and tomorrow”. 

Yesterday – – is history so fretting over it is futile.  It is history and what is written is written. Worrying about what might have been will not change what is or will be. 

Tomorrow – – has not yet come and might not come therefore concerning ourselves, with it is without redeeming value.  Our Lord confirmed that by telling His followers to “take no thought of the ‘morrow…”  He was not counseling them to fail to do any planning or preparation but to not be overwhelmed with what might be. 

Today – – The only day we should focus on is TODAY for as the Bible declares in Psalm 118:24, “This is the day which the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”   Today is the moment in life that we should devote our attention to.  Today is the day of salvation.  Today determines tomorrow in our lives.  Because He lives, we can face today and life.

REJECT WORRY…

Jesus instructed His followers in Matthew 6:25 – “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?”  NKJV

We can live in peace and confidence that God is at work on our behalf and in our best interest at all times.  Remember in Romans 8:28 we are told – “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” NKJV Because He lives, we can live worry free!

FACE DEATH…

Death to the unbeliever is finality and painfully troubling.  Although few truly yearn for death the believer is so completely confident in the promise of eternity death holds no terror.  The difference in how we face death is Jesus Christ.  If we have received Him as our personal savior death has no sting.  If we have not, then death brings fear to our hearts as a terrorist’s threat of destruction.  Because He lives, I can face death without fear.

FACE ETERNITY…

The Bible makes it clear that judgment is real.  Heaven is real.  Hell is real.  All will stand before God and give account.  The covering of the Blood of Jesus is essential and His presence at the Judgment Bar defending us before the Father is vital and affords incredible comfort as we face eternity.  Because He lives, we can long for our eternal destiny rather than live in fear.

May the Lord be with you and may your heart leap for joy as you consider the power of the truth that He Lives!   Blessings!

NO, I DO NOT WISH I WAS EIGHTEEN AGAIN…


Luke 9:62 – “But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”  NKJV

The title and the text have some wiggle room to attain the message I desire to present in this short devotional.  Truly, if one looks back at their past longingly and regrets or pines for the pleasures of sin that is an awful place and fits squarely in the word of our Lord in the above passage.  That is something I would want everyone to hold in the forefront of their consciousness but not specifically what I desire to present today.

I have said and heard others say, “If only I could be eighteen again knowing what I know now.”  There is both good and bad in that statement but at its heart, it is a wrong frame of mind for the past is the past and time once lived cannot be recovered.  It is gone! 

Paul told the Philippians that he knew he had not achieved spiritual perfection but was continuously reaching for the prize.  He emphasized that in pressing forward he refused to look back.  Lessons are learned from our experiences, but they should never become a point of focus that we keep before us.  Learn the lesson, implement the learned, and move forward.

Eighteen is so far in my rearview mirror that I can barely remember it.  I made many mistakes at that stage of my life and have wondered how different my life would have been and would be had those mistakes not been made.  I dwell there only momentarily for almost immediately the Holy Spirit reminds me that my path led me to Christ and eternal redemption. 

I made several choices after high school trying to avoid going to Vietnam and with each choice, something changed that kept my path headed to Southeast Asia.  I wanted to be an Air Force pilot. I had the opportunity to cross branches of service, while in Vietnam and be trained to fly helicopters.  Had either of those happened my life could have and probably would have been dramatically different if I had survived.  Experiences in childhood, high school, military, and afterward conditioned my heart to hear the tugging of the Holy Spirit and the wonder of salvation.  I would not change that for anything, so I do not want to be eighteen again.

Some want to be eighteen again or any age younger than their present years because they fear the eventuality of death.  Death can be a horrifying thought if you do not know the LORD in salvation and forgiveness but hold no sting or threat if you do.  We know that it is simply a promotion, sleep, and/or transition from physical reality to spiritual and eternal reality. 

If it were possible to turn back the clock, travel back in time, and be eighteen again there is no guarantee that one would make the right choices and still arrive at the desired destination?  The desire is somewhat rooted in vanity, but even more concerning is it expresses a lack of peace.  It expresses a lack of contentment with where our lives are now.  It expresses a desire to be god and in control rather than walking in faith and obedience to the Father.

We are on an eternal journey and reaching the finish line is not an undesirable thing.  Rather than wishing, we could return to the days of youth let us focus on making the remaining days of our lives productive and full.  I desire to LIVE not just ENDURE!  I desire to savor every moment of the remaining days and my prayer is that the LORD enables me to fulfill my purpose in this generation.  I want to be a vessel the Master can and does use to touch lives for God and good.

Never focus on the past but keep your eyes on the prize that is before!  The end of the race is better than the beginning!  

May God bless you, guard, and guide you as you walk through this day in Him!   Blessings!

MY CORNERSTONES ARE FAITH – FAMILY – FREEDOM…


2 Timothy 1:3-7 -” I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, 4 greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, 5 when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. 6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”  NKJV

Three things are foundational in my life and outlook:  Faith, Family & Freedom.  The Bible reveals this in Scripture.

Hebrews 11:6 – “without faith, it is impossible to please God…” 

Romans 10:17 – “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” 

Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For it is by grace that you are saved through faith; not of your doing: it is the gift of God:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Therefore, Faith is incredibly important in the spiritual, but also in the natural.  We demonstrate our faith through obedience.  Our obedience to the directives of the Word of God indicates our confidence in the God of the Word and is an expression of faith.  Without faith, we would be like rudderless ships tossed on the sea of life.  Some have accused me of preaching a “blind faith” that is unreasonable.  I contend that Hebrews 11 teaches faith that the unbeliever could easily view as “blind”. 

The writer of Hebrews 11 presents a complex definition of faith saying, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  I heard a preacher take this text once and contended for NOW FAITH.  Not future faith, past faith but present faith or faith that is alive and operational in the NOW! 

This faith described in Hebrews is a demonstrated confidence in the promises and provisions of God.  It is the desired object yet unseen but possessed in the heart, mind, and spirit by FAITH.  Faith transforms hopelessness into hope and inspires those facing seeming sure defeat to rise and stand on the promises of God.  Is it “blind”?  Only to the natural mind or eye.  For we are serving one who sees the end from the beginning. 

I find it tragic in dealing with people, reading articles, seeing television programming, and observing the efforts of Hollywood to witness the lessening of the importance of the family unit.  I realize that I was raised in a different generation and with parents and grandparents who were totally committed to family and valued it above everything but God. 

My parents considered it both an obligation and privilege to teach, nurture and train us in life.  They believed that if they kept us pointed in the right direction and taught us basic principles of morality, life, and faith we would become wholesome contributors to society and could, in time, become responsible parents ourselves. 

In my family, we did not and do not rubber stamp attitudes and actions simply because of kinship.  As a result, we demonstrate the idea of iron sharpening iron but at the end of the day, we value family and carefully guard those relationships.  My sister was a grade behind me in school and I was told once that some guys were afraid to ask her out because of me.  The statement was, “You are so fiercely loyal to family and friends some guys are afraid.”  I responded, “Nothing to fear unless you harm her.”

Today the world and America are witnessing the weakening of Freedom on many fronts.  Freedom is not the absence of chains on the body but the absence of chains on the heart.  Of course, none of us want to be in chains physically and find slavery repulsive but many are in chains spiritually, mentally, emotionally, financially, and politically. 

Freedom is a treasure never to be treated lightly.  Freedom on virtually every front is fragile if there is not a solid foundation of Faith.  If I do not trust or have faith in the government, I will not feel confident or secure in my freedom.  If I do not trust others, I cannot have confidence or feel secure in relationships.  If I do not have confidence in the Word, Promises, and God Himself I cannot be Free spiritually and become an easy target for the enemy of our souls.

Therefore, I believe it is imperative that we first develop a foundation of Faith, and strengthen Family relationships and in that condition, we can achieve and enjoy Freedom regardless of what transpires in our world.  For me it is Faith-Family-Freedom!

God bless you and God bless America!

DARE WE TALK ABOUT LAZINESS?


Proverbs 18:9 – “He who is slothful in his work is a brother to him who is a great destroyer.” NKJV

The Bible teaches, and experience confirms that prodigality is bad.  If we remember the parables of the talents, we realize that mishandling or not developing that which God has given is viewed negatively by the LORD.  Some people spend more than they can afford and always seek to live well above their means.  They are not good stewards and, in a sense, throw away what they have in wasteful living.  That is the Prodigal. 

The Bible also reveals that idleness is bad.  A person who is lazy and negligent in their work, labor, or duties is akin to those who openly and actively destroy.  Laziness is not just a propensity to avoid work it is destructive.  Torpidity siphons from that which is productive and squanders it on that which is unproductive.  It is visible in today’s ‘entitlement mentality’ crowd who are perfectly content to sit idle and allow the production of another to sustain them.  No wonder the apostle Paul declared that if one “would not work” they “should not eat”.  The operative word is Would Not!

This is true in the everyday matters of life, but it can and should also be applied to the spiritual.  If we are negligent in our studies, prayers, and labors for the Kingdom we adopt a life that is non-productive and even destroys.  If we see evil and danger and sit idly by, we are guilty of the blood of those who go into perdition without warning.  If we know to do good and fail to do it the Bible calls that sin.  How can we stand before the LORD expecting to hear commendation and acceptance when we have neglected that which we know?

Laziness or slothfulness is not a genetic or even a condition of one’s environment, it is a heart and mind condition.  Children need to be taught industry. My heritage taught me that you work for what you receive except for salvation. 

Grace is a free gift but if after receiving grace we sit idle and become slothful in our Christian responsibilities we are trampling underfoot the Blood of Jesus.  We do not work to earn our salvation, but we work because of our salvation.  I believe that Jesus’ statement in Revelation is applicable.  “I would that you were hot or cold but because you are lukewarm, I will spew you out of my mouth.” 

God is not asking everyone to be fanatical zealots.  He is asking that we bloom where we are planted and stand ready and willing to share our faith and present Him to the world.  The depraved man will be bent toward laziness and slothfulness but when the Holy Spirit resides in the heart, He always motivates us to action.

God bless you as you go through this day!

WE ARE TO GIRD UP THE LOINS OF OUR MIND…


1 Peter 1:13-16 – “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”  NKJV

Without question, one can read this and see a visual of the long robes they wore and when they were performing labor or service, they would tuck them in their girdles or waistbands so as to be able to move freely without hindrance.  Although I fully concur that we must allow our minds to be free of encumbrances so as to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ there is something more that I would offer.

The loins are always understood as that part of the anatomy from which reproduction comes or is initiated.  Therefore, if we are to gird up the loins of our minds could it not be understood that we are to prepare ourselves so that our minds can give birth to thought and thereby imagination and creativity.  Is it not in the loins of the mind that we encounter our LORD in knowledge and fellowship?  Is it not in the loins of our mind that we embrace His life and have our minds renewed so that we become one with Him in our conscious thought?

If out of the physical loins, reproduction is possible then out of the mind’s loins we give birth to thought.  Peter’s instruction is, in my view, a directive and encouragement to bring our minds into obedience to Christ and thereby rest our hope squarely on the grace that comes to us through the revelation of Christ.  It is through this that we are better prepared and capable of obedience in all things. 

I find it disturbing that too many in Christendom give so little importance to the mind.  I am not suggesting mind over matter or any other metaphysical activity.  But I am saying that our minds are incredibly important in our spiritual development and walk.  If we are as we think in our hearts, then how could we not understand the value of the mind?  The mind, like the muscles in our physical body, must be exercised to have strength, discipline, and growth.  In the things of God, if we are to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, we must learn to gird up the loins of our minds.

I encourage you to allow God to expand your mind, stretch your thinking and infuse into you an ever-expanding imagination guided and led by the Holy Spirit.  How far can you think in Christ?   

God bless you as you go through this day!

IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN – – EVERY KNEE IS GOING TO BOW…


Philippians 2:10-11 – “…at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  NASB

I am stunned at the lack of acknowledgment of God and His Authority in modern Christendom and my beloved nation of America.  I would never have believed that I would live to see a time when preachers of major national standing would proclaim that there were many roads to God and even that Jesus was not the only way to salvation.  Oh, I knew that there would be those who were nothing more than charlatans and frauds but when people who genuinely believe they are followers of God could adopt those views it is stunning.

The Islamic terrorist and their followers, as well the many other false religions refuse to acknowledge Jesus as the Son of the Living God and the only True God.  There are politicians in this nation who openly declare their atheism or opposition to God and His principles. Those are persistently attempting to push America toward being a totally secular nation. 

Some of those politicians seeking to promote abortion, same-sex marriage, and other biblically offensive lifestyles demand that Christians and Churches change their views, beliefs, and teachings to accommodate those things.  They disbelieve that God is God and that Jesus is LORD.  They live without fear of God and what that rejection will mean now and eternally.

They may boldly declare, as some in past ages, views and beliefs that clearly reject the Lordship of Jesus.  Some even believe that He was a prophet, a good man, and a worthy teacher, but reject his divinity.  They may say that now and believe they are right and have no fear of facing the consequences of those actions and beliefs. 

However, one day they will come face to face with their error, and at that point, with fear and trembling they will fall on their faces, bow their knees, and confess that JESUS IS LORD!  They will finally realize, tragically too late, what the devils already know, God is, and Jesus is God.

You may join people like Friedrich Nietzsche and believe that “God is dead” or say so with contempt for all who believe in God.  You may stand with people like Karl Marx and declare that “Religion is the opiate of the masses” and thereby declare your disbelief.  You may join those who have declared and believe that “Belief in God and Religion is simply a crutch for the weak.” 

Let me address that last statement and say, “Yes, God is a crutch for the weak in the sense that when we are weak, He is strong and as we recognize our weakness, we receive His strength.”  It is as we adopt the mindset of John the Baptist, “He must increase but I must decrease” that we gain His strength. You can bow now to God, or you will bow then.  There is no if, and, but, or maybe it is a factual reality that YOU WILL BOW! 

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal savior, I urge you to call upon Him, repent of your sins and receive His mercy, grace, and pardon.  He has promised that if we will call upon Jesus, He would in no way reject us.  John 3:16 declares, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”  You can BOW, NOW willingly and in faith or you will BOW THEN with fear and trembling and face the judgment of God.

May the Lord bless you richly as you enjoy this wonderful day in the LORD!

POWERFUL WORDS OF JESUS – IF YOU CONTINUE…


John 8:31-32 – “So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ” If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”  NASB

My purpose is not to start a firestorm of religious argument but to call attention to both the requirement and promise of our LORD to those of that day and today.  He was speaking to Jews who believed Him or believed in Him.  They believed He was who He claimed to be, Messiah.  They believed that He had the words of eternal life.  They recognized Him as a great prophet and knew that His message was completely other than that of the religious leaders of their day.  The Believed!

Jesus then said something that is troubling for many.  He said, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free.”  There are many facets of what He said that need to be considered, observed, and accepted if we are to find, have, receive, and walk in the Abundant Life He Promised and become the Glorious Church He came to build. 

First, they were believers!  However, Jesus indicated that just believing was not enough to enter into that fullness He taught there had to be CONTINUING as well.  That continuing meant obedience to His words, precepts, and teachings.  It is only in continuing that we become genuine disciples not simply one that professes a belief that He is who He declares Himself to be. 

The profession of faith is the first step, not the entire race.  It is the beginning, not the conclusion.  If we stop there, we fall so far short of what God has for us we will be tormented by the enemy of our souls and never fulfill the words of Isaiah’s promise in 40:31 – “…They that wait upon the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up like the eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and to become weary.”  We will not find ourselves in the place of Psalm 91 nor will we truly embrace and experience the promise of Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30.  So, continuing is a necessary ingredient in our spiritual development and life.

Next, Jesus promises that IF WE CONTINUE and become genuine disciples then two things will happen.  We will KNOW Truth and that Truth that we know will make us free.  I said the Truth that you know not just truth. 

Yes, God’s truth is what makes us free but if we do not know that truth, we will not exercise faith with regard, to it nor will we walk in that truth, and being made free requires both knowing and obeying therefore it is The Truth that You Know that makes you Free.  Not your own definition of truth but God’s Truth.  God’s Truth becomes part of your being, part of your consciousness, and shapes who you are.  So, continuing in His Word in obedience leads to Freedom. 

It is not enough to give mental assent to the truth we must CONTINUE in it.  It is not enough to express the belief that Jesus is the Christ we must CONTINUE in His truth and as we embrace that truth, walking it out in our lives that Truth liberates us, empowering us to stand in the face of all temptation and in the midst of any storm of life. 

God, bless you as you CONTINUE in His Word and FOLLOW Him fully and freely!

IN CASE YOU DIDN’T GET THE MEMO – JUST SAYING OR WISHING SOMETHING DOESN’T MAKE IT REAL…


Luke 6:46-49 – “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?  47 ” Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like:  48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.  49 “But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”  NASB

I have witnessed the disparity between what some people say and what they live both inside and outside the church.  That is a natural reality in life that people say one thing and do another.  However, when it comes to a relationship with God, just saying you are a Christian does not make you one.  Let me state, clearly, that I refuse to be anyone’s judge and if anyone professes, they are a believer I leave it with God.  I will evaluate the fruit of their life, contrast their life with their declarations, but leave the determination of whether they are or not to God. 

In this passage, Jesus identified this problem vividly and His words should resonate with us and provide sufficient cause for us to carefully examine our own lives.  Jesus asked, “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”  Clearly, it is not our own declaration that makes His Lordship a reality in our lives it is the fruit of our lives that reveals the true condition.  I am not offering a justification for becoming judgmental and self-appointed fruit inspectors.  Jesus gave an analogy that is valuable for us as individuals in the self-examination of our own lives.  Let us examine his comparisons and see if we can glean benefits.  Walking the walk is vital.

If we Hear, the Words of our LORD and act on them in obedience Jesus said we could be compared to a prudent and competent builder.  That builder would dig a deep and solid foundation going to bedrock ensuring that if the floods or violent winds came the house would be strong.  In short, “having done all to stand, able to stand.” 

The person that Hears, the Words of Christ but does not act or obey them is like the person that ignores the foundation and erects his structure.  It may look wonderful on the outside but has no stability and will easily be destroyed. 

Obedience involves an investment of time and energy in allowing a solid foundation to be built. This is the work of the Holy Spirit with our cooperation as we “study to show ourselves approved unto God, rightly handling the Word of Truth.”  This is allowing the Love of Christ to be shed abroad in our hearts and a commitment to obedience.  This is a love relationship that is not interested in simply looking right or sounding right but being right.

Just because one professes to be a follower of Christ does not mean the fruit of their life will validate that claim.  When trouble comes, we find out what we are made of.  When the enemy comes in like a flood, we need a foundation that can withstand his assaults.  We must make Christ our Rock and upon that Rock build our lives, otherwise, it is the shifting sand of willpower and nothing more than rain on a tin roof.  Noise but no substance.

God, bless you as you seek Him in all things and at all times! 

LET’S TALK ABOUT THE POWER OF WISDOM…


Proverbs 2:1-9 – “My son, if you will receive my words and treasure my commandments within you, 2 Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding; 3 For if you cry for discernment, Lift your voice for understanding; 4 If you seek her as silver And search for her as for hidden treasures; 5 Then you will discern the fear of the LORD And discover the knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7 He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, 8 Guarding the paths of justice, And He preserves the way of His godly ones. 9 Then you will discern righteousness and justice And equity and every good course.”  NASB

Solomon is deemed by many to have been the wisest man to ever lived, next to Jesus.  He gives an immensely powerful discourse instructing each of us on how to live and pursue our daily objectives in life.  Although Solomon may well have been talking to his own son, we can relate this to God and us, His children.  If we do, we can see the power of his instruction and the power of wisdom.

We are to receive His words or embrace, them allowing them to be assimilated and incorporated into our lives, our thinking, our living, and our actions.  We must receive God’s words and commandments as treasures.  Remember Jesus said, “…for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21).  So, if we value God’s word as a treasure, we will anchor those commandments in our hearts and become joined with His word so completely we are inseparable.

We must pay attention or give heed to the understanding and truths that are revealed in God’s word.  We must seek the guidance of that the Holy Spirit brings to us.  We must allow that understanding to become part of us as we devour those morsels of truth in God’s Word. 

As we gain understanding we realize the value of discernment.  The more we understand the importance of discernment the more we cry out for the aid of the Spirit of God to help us.  He helps us to understand and have the ability to discern God’s precepts and principles and those things which transpire around us.  We are to seek God’s truths as though we were mining for golden nuggets in a stream or a mine in the natural.  It is in that condition and position that we learn the Fear of God and the power of Wisdom in our lives.

Wisdom becomes a shield to those who walk in integrity and a strong tower into which we can run for safety.  He becomes our shield and buckler protecting us from the onslaught and assault of the enemy of our souls.  We will then become able to demonstrate the heart and character of God and His wisdom before the world.  We will be able to choose the right paths and take the right fork in the road of life and as we walk in righteousness God will bring us into good pastures where we will have the Abundant Life Jesus promised.

God bless you as you embark on today’s journey in Jesus!

WE CAN QUACK WITH THE CROWD OR WE CAN SOAR WITH THE EAGLES – Part 2…


Proverbs 23:7 – “For as he thinks within himself, so he is…”  NASB

In considering this subject and picking up where we left off last time as we discussed the reality that We Become What We Think.  Today, I want us to go a step further and consider some additional realities in our pursuit to Soar like the Eagle rather than Quack in the Crowd and Fly with the Flock.

THE NUMBER ONE TARGET OF THE DEVIL IS OUR MINDS…

The devil knows that if he can keep us bound in our thought processes, he can keep us from becoming what God has designed and desires.  Ephesians 6:10-11 declares, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.”  

The ‘wiles’ or ‘schemes’ of the devil are important to note.  The word comes from the Greek [methodia] from which we get the word, method.  The Amplified renders it “strategies of the devil.”  We know from Scripture that the devil is crafty and utilizes a well-thought-out plan of attack.  He is never just shooting in the dark hoping to hit something.  We are told in (v.12) “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood…”  

We must remember that the devil operates in the realm of the mind and wants to inspire and induce negative, mediocre, non-challenging thinking.  In 2 Corinthians 4:3-4, he is called the “god of this world” and his activity is identified as “blinding minds.”  In 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, we are instructed to take control of our thoughts, through the Holy Spirit.  As we do that and allow the reprogramming of our thought processes, we can begin to Soar with God rather than Flying with the Flock and Quacking with the Crowd.

WE MUST CONSIDER THE BATTLE AND THE BATTLEGROUND…

The passage in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 utilizes military language, and that imagery usually suggests physical combat.  Everything that takes place in this passage happens in the mind.  Let me offer an illustration that will help us see this truth.

In ancient days, cities were built inside thick and massive walls. The wall provided a formidable barrier to protect the city.  Before an alien force could conquer a city, it had to first overcome that protective shield. Towers were erected in strategic places along the wall for early warning and observation. 

In times of battle, seasoned men with an understanding of military warfare would be positioned in those stations and from those vantage points could see the advancing forces and shout back strategies for a counterattack. In order for the enemy to take the city, several things had to become a reality. The wall had to be scaled or penetrated. The towers had to be invaded or taken down. The military men had to be destroyed or captured.  In the NASB there is a reference to the “destruction of fortresses” and “destroying speculations.”

If you understand this passage as representing the Wall around the Mind you gain an edge.  Speculations may represent the reasoning (thought patterns or traditional thinking) that have been built in us by the enemy.  The immediate question should be, “How does God’s truth win this battle?”  These speculations that encompass our minds must be penetrated but how?  The Holy Spirit penetrates those walls with the truth of God’s Word and makes an opening.  Then, He (Holy Spirit) encounters, “Lofty things” which are mental blocks that have been erected against spiritual viewpoints.

The enemy encourages you and me to revert to carnal habits when under pressure, under attack, or experiencing a trial or test.  These “Lofty things” are natural thinking and humanistic to the core.  Too many, for too long, have convinced themselves that they lack the ability, or the risk is too great, and failure is sure, therefore accepting the status quo is the only logical pathway.  Those Lofty Things must be cast down!  What is God’s Ultimate Goal for Us?  That we take every thought captive. God wants to transform those old thoughts that defeat us into new thoughts that liberate us.  He wants to Reprogram us.

Consider the commitment God is presenting to us.  He will take the old habits and old thought patterns and Transform them.  If in our struggle to become like Him we face lust, pride, jealousy, envy, perfectionism, cynicism, and criticism.  God must penetrate those thought patterns, pull them down and break the chains that have us bound. There is Hope and He Can and Will Help.  God wants to enable us to take every thought Captive to the obedience of Christ and enable us to Soar like the Eagle rather than Fly with the Flock.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 – “It is true that we live in the world, but we do not fight from worldly motives. The weapons we use in our fight are not the world’s weapons but God’s powerful weapons, which we use to destroy strongholds.  We destroy false arguments; we pull down every proud obstacle that is raised against the knowledge of God; we take every thought captive and make it obey Christ.”  TEV

What do we do?  First, we admit we need God’s help.  Next, we ask for God’s help.  Then we commit to excellence.  May God, give you the wings of an eagle and enable you to soar to new heights.  

May the Rich and Bountiful Blessings of God be upon you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Jesus!