Express His Glory in Your Life

Posts tagged ‘battles’

Danger & Devastation: Fire Insurance

We buy fire insurance with the hope that we never need it.  In the natural realm, it works reasonably well.  Even if the policy is not that good, fire insurance works well to gives us peace of mind and even a poor policy will mitigate the devastation if a fire happens.  So, a fire insurance policy is a solid investment for our earthly concerns.

Kilroy fire

December 19, 1976 – childhood home

Eternally, though, fire insurance is another story.  In fact, it is a false hope based on deadly deception.  Faith as a ticket out of hell is really a ticket to a dead end.  On earth, fire insurance is bought with hope that it will never be used.  In the spiritual realm, there is no such hope.  Death is a certainty.  It makes sense then that much more care be given to eternal insurance…assurance.

Just as earthly death is certain, Scripture reminds us that faith without works is dead.  (James 2:17).  That verse is not speaking about earning salvation.  Salvation is not based on us; it is faith in the completed work of Christ that saves.  But faith is evidence of what we believe; if we don’t act as if we believe, where is the evidence.  James 2:17 is saying that the way we live reveals the faith we possess.  Faith is belief…our actions reveal what we believe more than our words do.  Our minds can agree to something but unless we actually believe it, our hearts will not feel it and our feet won’t walk it.  Fire insurance faith gives mental assent…living faith gives united assurance.

Walking out faith

The shoes we are to wear as armored believers are Good News Shoes!  Our walk is to be one of peace…restored to a loving relationship with the One True God.  Any time our lives have ‘compartments’ or places where the sweet peace of God is not felt, we need to stop and seek the face of God.  Nothing can separate us from the love of God–unless we allow it to.  James tells us that a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.  The cry

max and marie hands fire

Picture from my in-laws living room after their home was destroyed by fire.

of the Father’s heart is ‘come to me’ — Christ’s prayer before He endured the cross was that we would be united with Him because He was united with the Father.  Total immersion in the holy goodness of God is the desire of God for each of us!

No matter what the battle feels like…the raging war and waves of horror…the end is sure.  The life of faith requires the death of self.  And death is not pretty.  Have you walked in the valley of death with a loved one?  The physical and emotional toll is great.  Scripture says Jesus endured for the joy set before Him.  That is our hope as well as we battle through to confident assurance of our unity with Him.

Engaging in Battle

Make no mistake:  spiritual battles are real and necessary.  Putting to death the old man is not easy.  There is a deadly, dangerous self-protective deception that can keep us from ever seeing the depths of our own depravity.  We can study the Word and love its beauty–and think that our studying and appreciation for it is enough.  It is not.  Appreciating art does not make me an artist.  The Word is pure and holy–but we are not.  Mental assent does not create unity with God.  Fire insurance faith is not assurance.  It is a deception that can kill.

So, how can you know?  Eternal life is the gift of God Himself.  Read that slowly.  It is not a gift of God…it is God.  Eternal life doesn’t start when we die; we live it now.  We live it when we receive it.  When we receive the gift of God, there is a war between good and evil.  It is a war that is won but it is not one we can excuse ourselves from.

But you, O man of God, flee from these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made the good confession before many witnesses. I Timothy 6:11,12

And never give up.  It is always too soon to quit!  Press on for victory by renewing your mind with Truth from God…and then committing to act.  Strongholds come from conditioning of the past…negative thoughts & actions that you cannot control are conditioned responses.  What you have conditioned yourself to do can be changed as you remove anything that does not align with the Word of God.  Seek unity with Him and the double-mindedness that kills will be eliminated.  That is the death of self…that is participating in the crucifixion.  It will be painful…but it is the only way to life.

Seek to know God.  Surrender to His way.  Sacrifice to obey Him.  

And see the miraculous ways He works.  God is faithful.  Christ is victorious.  

Turning Life’s Battles into Victories

Battles in life are a sure thing.  Those battles are our individual, unique opportunities to enjoy the victory of Christ personally.  Each of us has victories to give back to Jesus that only we can give to Him! Isn’t it exciting to think of giving Jesus Christ a special gift?!  Unveiling God in the details of our days is both a privilege and a responsibility.  Every child of God is blessed by His presence; it is challenging to fix our eyes on the victories in our lives though.

Leave a note about Jesus victories that have blessed your life, won’t you?

The battles of life are as diverse as our own individual personalities. A battle against alcohol may have no greater spiritual significance than another saint’s battle against critical speaking. Self-mutilation, lies, murder, unforgiveness, slander—all are sins which, when grown, produce death and destruction. Jesus came to set us free from sin’s captivity. Giving Him the glory for chains released is our glorious privilege. It has been said that our battles are our unique opportunities to give a victory to Jesus that only we can give!

We love to recite Romans 8:28 but too often we present Christianity as a future hope more than a present reality. People need to know faith in Jesus Christ can make a difference when:

• The children are sick and the boss insists on your presence at the meeting.

• Your frail and aging parents have more needs than you can meet.

• Your spouse chooses to end the marriage.

• Your child loses their way and continues to spin farther from God.

• Failure seems to be the only thing you are capable of…

Jesus meets us in our battles in ways and times perfect for our needs. He uses all we encounter to help us learn who we are and to reveal to us that He is the great “I am.” God reveals Himself in His people (in the details of our lives) so that others can see Him and know who He is too! We have the joy of helping people glimpse new dimensions of our awesome God as we share the victories that walking in the light of Christ’s presence.

God’s Word enlightens our path and reveals ways we can obediently follow Him as we face hard times. Sharing the instructions and victories we receive helps others see Truth as well. Consider the glimpses of God from the battles above:

• A parent learns God still provides as she prays and shares her dilemma.

• The overwhelmed caregiver finds new understanding about God’s ability to meet needs and learns to rest in Him rather than ‘do it all.’

• The abandoned wife realizes more of Christ’s passion for people who have rejected Him as she confronts her own emotions.

• A parent feels the depth of comfort there is in knowing the Shepherd who searches relentlessly for the lost.

• One focused on perfection finds the peace of knowing that the love of God does not depend on performance.

Those of us who walk with God must tell the difference He makes in our day-to-day lives—and what lies we have to release to receive Him. Please consider sharing the details of how you have glimpsed Christ in your life. The Master Weaver entwines the thread of our lives in amazing ways. We need each other to broaden our view:

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19

Cross-Life Coaching aims to help Christians live the realities of faith in the midst of the realities of life.  Learn more here:  Cross-Life Coaching

Confidence in the Battles of Life

Today, our journey through names of our Triune God provides us a glimpse from the angelic perspective.  Found in both the Old and New Testaments, Christ’s title of Captain opens new vistas for the believer!

We first encounter the name with Joshua.  As he prepared for the battle of Jericho, Joshua encountered the pre-incarnate Christ:

And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? And the captain of the LORD’s host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.  Joshua 5:14-15

Earthly battles can cause us to wonder if God is for us or against us.   The Captain’s message to Joshua is important for us to hear:  our battles are actually the holy ground of eternal purposes.  Scripture continually reiterates that God is for us—there is no doubt of that.  Recognizing that Jesus is the Captain of the Angel Armies will not only bolster our courage for life’s battles, it places those battles back in their proper realm.  God’s purposes are the focus of the Captain.  Lining up under the authority of the Captain assures victory!

As we consider Christ’s role as Captain of the Angel Armies, our hearts will sing with the angels as we ‘look’ at the birth of Christ.  The incomprehensible truth of the leader of angels accepting the vulnerability and limitations of a helpless human infant awes my mind!  No wonder the angels ‘long to look into’ this matter of salvation—their holy, all-powerful leader submitting Himself to save fallen humanity is breathtaking, is it not?

With the New Testament context of the title of Captain, the picture of Christ as grows even richer:

For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.  Hebrews 2:10

The Captain of the Angel Armies is Captain of our Salvation!  The all-powerful leader of the angels, the Creator and Sustainer of all, submitted to sufferings that He would fulfill the purposes of God: bringing fallen humanity to glory.  The reality of the Captain’s humble submission to suffering to bring salvation to me reveals the love of God in a special way.  As Captain, Jesus commands the powers of heaven to assure the victorious completion of the perfect will of God.  May the Spirit of God illumine new facets of Christ’s beauty to each reader’s heart.

This is an excerpt from Fixing Our Eyes on God.  If you would like a free PDF list of names of God, visit this page and complete the form.

Glimpsing God: Banner that leads to victory

Sometimes stating the obvious really does help.Flag Bearer, Timothy Tolle

We see what we look at.

If we spend our time looking at the things we stress over or hate–that is all we see!  That does not lead to victorious living.  Look to Jesus!

After the Israelites defeated the Amalekites, Moses built an altar to Jehovah Nissi.  The Lord, our Banner.  It is a beautiful name to remind us to look to God.  We are soldiers of Christ; there are battles in life.  We must look to God.

Another cool part of these double names is remembering what Jehovah means.  Here is a great insight from the Blueletterbible site:

The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havahmeaning “to be” or “to exist.” It also suggests “to become” or specifically “to become known” – this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly.

God wants us to know Him and look to Him!

Taking Responsibility

Deposits are made into our lives moment by moment.  What we do with those deposits is our decision…our responsibility.  Every aspect of life has the potential to produce life and blessing.  It also has equal opportunity to produce death and curses. God assigned humanity the job of caretaker of creation–and that job remains.  We are to steward all that comes into our lives with faith that God is good and has good plans and purposes for us.  Plans and purposes that conclude in victory.

This reality is especially vital to grasp when you reflect on your life and prepare a life story.  Perspective IS everything.  The legacies we inherit from our family–good and bad–are opportunities to reveal God.  We do not need to sugar-coat every hard thing in life; in fact, that is counter-productive.  However, God can be found gleaming out of the darkest points.  Determine to find His glory and your story will blaze with hope.  It will change your present and prepare the way to the future for yourself and others.

Accepting ownership of sin has power in reflection and in daily life.  Indeed, it is the key to solving all the problems in our world, but responsibility must begin with ‘me.’  Taking responsibility does not ignore the sin of others; in fact, it seeks God on behalf of that sin as well.  It is broken-hearted awareness for the natural rebellion of all–and whole-hearted passion for the rightness of God.   God told Cain to rule over sin; we do that by accepting responsibility for the problem of sin in our own lives and living to give God glory for His work.   The curse has been set aside by Jesus, for Jesus.    We are to work out what God has put into us through Christ.

When we take responsibility for that work in our own lives, the residual effect brings life into others’ hard stuff.  If God entrusts tough realities and harsh legacies to us, we can consider them invitations to seek Him for fuller revelation.  Those situations become windows for us to see and reveal the glory of God.  When we revere Him above the hard stuff, we unpack treasures for all around us!  Embrace the privilege.

For a fuller look at this topic, consider reading Whose Problem Is It?

To gain a deeper understanding of how God completes the picture beautifully, visit Glory Glimpse:  Knowing God By Name – Omega

Victory and Glory in YOUR Story!

Scripture tells us that we overcome the enemy through the power of Christ’s blood and our ‘testimony.’  Sometimes testimony seems like such a ‘churchy’ word…does story work better for you?  We are living stories to tell about the glory of God.  That was the topic of a recent piece I shared on another site.  Here’s an excerpt:

We were created for love; when we learn to walk in His love, we enter His purposes.  Too often, we insist on writing our own story, doing things our way.  We see those examples around us every day; sometimes we are those examples.  The pharisees and lawyers are the biblical example, and the Word says, “They rejected the purposes of God.”  Ouch!  We never mean to do that; God loves it when we finally see what we are doing.  He isn’t mad!  He says, ‘Come on into my story!’

If you are interested in the ‘rest of the story’ visit that page, here: The Power of a Story.

Blessing the Battlefield

“But you are holy, O you that inhabit the praises of Israel.”  Psalm 22:3

It is often said that in this life, one is either in a battle, just coming out of one or soon to be in one.  Battles are part of life.  We have a powerful weapon for victory that is often forgotten.  Praise.  No matter what we face, God has not abandon us to face it alone!  In the presence of God, victory is assured.  Praise puts us in his presence!  Why not read this aloud and let the Spirit minister to your spirit.

Exodus 14:13-14 And Moses said to the people, Do not be afraid. Take your stand and see the salvation of Jehovah, which He will prepare for you today. For as you see the Egyptians today, you shall not continue to see them again forever. (14) Jehovah will fight for you, and you be silent.

Father, let these words be blessing builders in our lives.  We rejoice that you grant us confidence that brings peace:  You are present in our battles…you are working out our victories.  Bless us, Lord, with hearts that can not fear because they are captivated by You.  Might our eyes clearly see you removing enemies and delivering us; might our ears hear your voice telling us to move here, move there, do this, do that.  From tiny things to huge things, Father, let our steps of obedience keep us in the perfect position to see your work.

Father, grant us confidence that every battlefield we encounter is under your direction.  Fill us with peace that any battlefield Gloryholds the potential for great glory for you.  Every situation is managed by you; you will provide all that is needed for total victory.  We praise you for blessing us with faith that pleases you.  We rejoice that walking in faith gives strength to others.

Bless us with eyes that see you intervening, freeing us from difficult circumstance…eyes that see you removing enemies supernaturally.  We praise you for that and rejoice in the opportunity to bring your presence to this tangled world.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

For more on reaping the harvest hidden in the fields of trouble, check out Battles Become Blessings.

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