Take off Your Shoes

Our boys were just about the age to attend youth group when the youth pastor of our church was called away to another ministry opportunity. It was spring of 1998, and Mark and I were thinking of taking our boys to Creation Fest, a huge Christian music festival, near Harrisburg, PA. (Yes, this is the story I began to tell back in the May, 17 post – “Without a Battle, there is no Victory” If you haven’t read it, or need a reminder, take the time to read of my first experience in ministry.)

That first year at Creation Fest I faced many fears, experienced many stretching situations, and enjoyed great speakers and amazing worship as 80,000 voices joined together in praise of our awesome God!

The following year Mark and I were no longer in the situation with the group of teens we brought before, so instead, several families decided to go to Creation Fest. It was the summer following the shooting at Columbine. On a hill near our camp site were thirteen white crosses. It was a solemn  reminder of the battle between good and evil that rages for our teens.

One afternoon Mark and I went to listen to a speaker on the fringe stage. I don’t remember her name, but as she shared some statistics and the ways God had broken her heart for teens, Mark and I found tears running down our cheeks. It was on that hill, in the hot summer sun, that God began to give us “singleness of heart and action” as He began to awaken us to the desire I spoke out several years before.

We left Creation Fest that year convinced that if we ever went back we would take a group of teens. If we were to go to all that work, we wanted to give teens the chance to enjoy the great Christian music and to hear the life changing messages from the speakers.

That fall Mark was driving our boys to youth group and because of the distance it made sense to just stay. He found himself helping out, and before you know it we were asked to come alongside the youth leaders. By spring the couple that was leading passed the baton to Mark and I and another couple to co-lead the youth group.

Youth Ministry?

It was such unknown territory for me.

It brought out so many insecurities.

The desires God puts within us take us beyond our own abilities.

While homeschooling was like walking on water…

Youth Ministry was like Moses before the burning bush.

Some people don’t want to let God send them for fear they will be sent to Africa.

Well, I said, “Send me to Africa, just don’t send me to teens!”

Moses found himself standing in front of a bush that was on fire, but not burning up. God called to him from the burning bush and told him to take off his sandals, for the ground he was standing on was holy ground.

I don’t know why Moses was told to take off his shoes, but to me it represents taking off my own plans and laying aside my agenda in order to come into God’s presence and hear His voice, listen to His call, and to embrace His will for my life; willing to walk where He leads.

 

“Then the Lord told him, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt… Yes, I am aware of their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey.” Exodus 3:7-8

Moses listened as God told him that He had seen the oppression and had heard the cries of his people. God told Moses that He had come down to rescue them from their suffering and would lead them to a good land!

In some ways my desire to be in ministry had this element to it. Something about the word ministry lead me to believe God would do the work…He would rescue the teens from their bondage and He would lead them into the truth.

“Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.” Exodus 3:10

But there, standing barefoot, on holy ground, with God asking me to go and speak to teens, to sing with teens, to care for teens, I responded just as Moses.

“But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” Exodus 3:11

“Wait a minute, God, You said You were going to set Your people free… how am I to set teens free? My teenage years were so different than the teens of today. Besides, I grew up Mennonite, remember, I have nothing in common with the teens here in this church! Who am I to do this?”

“But Moses pleaded with the Lord, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.” Exodus 4:10

“God, You see me in that small room filled with teens, and how badly I want to be a good example of how people who love You sing and praise You. But, God, there is one problem…I can’t sing! I really can’t, I’m always off key, I sound awful!”

“And, Lord, You know how much I want to encourage the teens, but I have no idea of what to say to them, how to connect with them, we have nothing common.”

“And if those aren’t embarrassing enough, You heard me the other night when I stood up in front of them and gave the talk. I know You heard me, my voice totally shook and quivered. I sounded as if I was about to cry…and that’s exactly what I wanted to do!”

Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.” But Moses again pleaded, “Lord, please! Send anyone else.” Exodus 4:11-13

I can totally relate to Moses!

What I find interesting about this conversation between God and Moses is that…

When Moses speaks his focus is on himself and on his inabilities.

When God speaks His focus is on Himself and His abilities.

God doesn’t get caught up in discussing whether or not Moses is capable or not, based on his abilities. God keeps reminding Moses that He will be with him, that He will tell him what to say, and He gave Moses supernatural power to prove He sent him.

The call of Moses, and the call Mark and I received really are no different.

It’s a call to, “To set God’s people free!”

The Israelites were in bondage from their enemies, the Egyptians. Pharaoh was afraid they would become strong and overthrow his reign, so he subjected them to hard labor and abused them; stealing, killing, and destroying them.

Today, Satan, also hates those who God has created in His image and will do all he can to steal, kill, and destroy them. He recognizes that those who belong to God have great power to overthrow his strategies. The same evil that hardened Pharaoh’s heart is alive and well today as he lies, deceives, and blinds many.

But, as God saw the oppression and bondage of the Israelites, He sees the oppression and bondage of those He created today. His heart is still the same; He comes to rescue, to save, and to bring them into a good land.

And He does it through those who He calls into His presence, who take off their shoes, who listen to God’s voice, and who go where He calls them.

 

 

 

Power of a Question

It was a summer day back in 1994. The boys and I were at Spruce Lake Retreat. I was there for the week to take care of my sister, Sheryl, and the boys came along to enjoy the camping, swimming, and helping out in any way they could. It was a week for disabled people and their families to enjoy God’s creation in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, to fellowship with others who experienced many of the same things, and to be encouraged spiritually through the word of God. Sheryl was there to enjoy all these, and also as a small group leader. If you remember, Sheryl was born with spinal atrophy and had a spinal fusion for scoliosis when she was nine, so she needed full personal care. It was early one morning while I was getting her up and dressed for the day that she asked me a question. At the time it seemed a regular question…

“What are three desires that you would ask God for?”

Without thinking about it, without praying or pondering, I just opened my mouth and out came…

“I would like to homeschool the boys, adopt a little girl, and be in ministry.”

Although it was very ordinary at the time, I remember it as though it happened yesterday. As I walked back to our camp site I began to feel as though I just spoke something very significant. I found a pen and a piece of paper and wrote those three desires down.

There is power in our words; I believe those words spoken out into the atmosphere that day put into motion the plans and destiny God had for our family.

 

They were His desires that He placed within me!

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.” Psalm 37:4

Homeschooling made sense because I had already begun to think about schooling our boys, but the other two, where did they come from?

I cherish that question, and my answers, to this day, because not only was it one of my last times taking care of Sheryl before she passed into eternity, but also, those desires all came to be in God’s time and in His amazing ways!

I experienced a God inspired question that brought forth three prophetic answers that have defined the direction of our family. 

I knew these desires were beyond anything I could make happen or figure out on my own, so I just laid them at Jesus’ feet and trusted them to His will.

God desires begin to reveal themselves in “coincidences,” and “open doors.”

I shared this part of the story in a post back in May…

One morning I was praying specifically about homeschooling. I realized it was a huge commitment and I knew I didn’t want to do it if it wasn’t what God wanted. And, “Yes, I did the open the Bible and read the first verse thing!” And Praise God, He met me at that place of looking to Him for an answer! This is the verse He gave me…

“All your children shall be taught by the Lord,
and great shall be the peace of your children.” Isaiah 54:13 

I received this as a confirmation that I was to homeschool the boys. As I read the verse I felt God promised me that He would teach my children and that they would have peace. That I could trust Him to guide me and lead me, and that He would provide everything they would need.

Besides this amazing answer to prayer I knew it was important that Mark and I were on the same page. This desire was strong in my heart, but if it was of God I knew Mark would need to be in agreement. I found another verse that I made a “life verse,” and have prayed it for Mark and I ever since…

“I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear Me and that all will go well for them and for their children after them.” Jeremiah 32:39

And so within a year of speaking out my desire to homeschool the boys, with my verse of promise confirmed by the cardinal, and with Mark’s blessing, I was preparing to begin school at home in September, 1995.

Homeschooling the boys brought new joys, possibilities, and challenges. Fall provided a great time to learn about seeds, leaves, and harvest. Winter provided opportunity to learn skiing, and snowboarding. Spring, hum…we were just looking forward to the end of school.

Many mothers would say, “Oh, I could never home school!” It was a comment I never really knew how to respond to. I knew on my own I couldn’t do it either. I certainly didn’t homeschool because I felt qualified or trained. I did it because it was a desire that God placed in my heart. I did it because God gave me a verse as His promise for our boys. I did it because Mark and I were united in believing it was what we were to do.

I felt like Peter when he, and the other disciples, were in the boat one night overcome with fear because of a storm that was raging and tossing their boat. They became even more afraid when a “ghost” came walking on the water towards them. When Peter realized it was Jesus he wanted to go to Him. I don’t know why Peter had the desire to do something so crazy as to walk on water. It was something he knew he couldn’t do. But Peter wanted to be with Jesus, and he believed that if Jesus told him to “Come,” he could do the impossible.

Homeschooling was a walking on water experience. It was something I couldn’t do. Why would I ever think that I could walk on water during a raging storm?

I wasn’t trained for this! How does one keep three boys interested in reading, writing, and arithmetic at the same time. Where is the answer book? How do I respond to my friends when they say, “Are you sure your boys are getting enough social activities?” How do I know that I am challenging them enough?

But looking back I see this too was an example of the pattern in my life that what the enemy means for my harm, God intends for the good. That God does work all things together for the good!

The wind and waves meant to distract me and cause me to sink…my inabilities, those voices that questioned, my thoughts of doubt, were doing something within me that I didn’t see at the time. But looking back I see how they strengthened me. Those behavior issues allowed for Mark to talk to the boys about respect and provided opportunity for godly discipline. I grew to realize not everything is learned through books, that life is learning and God gives creative ideas. Those questions from others about our boy’s social skills were difficult to answer, I just needed to trust God was providing exactly what they needed. The doubts whether I held the bar high enough continued long after they were out of school, but they have been quieted as I remind myself of the verse God gave me as I began this journey, God promised to teach my children and to give them peace, and it wasn’t only for the years they were in school, He continues to teach them every day. While I supposed I was teaching the boys, God was teaching me, equipping me, and preparing me for things yet to come. I was being trained to hear, to trust, and to obey the voice of God.

Because Jesus called me to “Come,” I was able to do the impossible and I saw the desire of my heart become a reality!

Lesson from the Bird Feeder

I love to feed the birds! This feeder hangs from a branch right outside the window where I do a lot of my writing. I enjoy seeing the variety of birds that come to eat from it throughout the day. It is a reminder that “God’s eye is on the sparrow, and I now He watches me.”

“Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?” Matthew 6:26-27

But this feeder doesn’t only attract birds, it also attracts squirrels. The ultimate enemy of every bird feeder! Though it is a “squirrel proof” feeder they had found a way to get into the top of it. So I began a battle I was determined to win! I fought for several weeks trying all kinds of ways to out smart the squirrels. I know, many have gone before me with all sorts of strategies only to lose. But I believed I could come up with something unique that would win the battle. After perhaps my fifth try, life got busy and I didn’t have time to come up with strategy number six. Though squirrels came and ate from the feeder, the birds were coming too so I just put off strategy number six until another time. Well, one day I noticed there were no birds coming to eat, or squirrels for that matter, though the feeder was filled with seed. At first I just reasoned it away…maybe the birds were nesting and they couldn’t come to the feeder. Maybe there was enough other things to eat this time of year… Well, finally, after about two weeks of nothing coming to the feeder I decided to take a closer look. What I saw upon closer inspection revealed the reason there was nothing eating from the feeder…

It was squirrels! While they were hanging on the feeder they caused the inside of the feeder to slip down so that  the holes became blocked; the “squirrel proof” feature, but it stuck in that position so there was no way to get the seed out of the feeder. I was so glad I finally took a closer look!

As I adjusted the feeder and walked back into the house God began to speak to me…

“Wilma, take a good look at that bird feeder. From a distance that bird feeder looked fine. It was filled with seed. It was hanging straight. But, there were no birds eating from it. A filled bird feeder has only one purpose, to feed birds. It isn’t meant to just hang from a tree looking good.

So with you, Wilma, there are times you think you are looking good. You are filled with seed, you are hanging straight, and life seems to be going great.

But is your life having any affect on those around you?

Are others benefitting from the things you say and do?

Are you fulfilling the purposes I created you for?

You were created to live for Me and to glorify Me. I sent you into this world to preach the Good News, to shine your light, and to bear the fruit of the Spirit so others could taste and see that I am good.

Wilma, you have been writing about the victory you have in Me, and Yes, I have won the ultimate battle, but as long as you are here on earth you will experience the affects of the enemy as he tries to rob your “seed” and means to block your “holes” so My seed won’t flow through you to others. When you get busy and don’t take time to come to Me you don’t get filled with My seed, and you are vulnerable to the enemy’s strategies. This causes you to become ineffective, just like the bird feeder hanging from the tree…looking good from the distance, but unable to be of any use.

That is why you need to come to Me every day and let Me take a closer look.

It is in My presence where you are filled and realigned from the inside out. Your heart and your actions, your mind and your words, need to be aligned with My truth so that the “seed” I fill you with will be available and accessible to others around you. Then, you will be filled with My “seed” and you will have the power and authority to overcome any strategy meant to block your “holes.” You will then fulfill the purpose for which I created you for and many will taste and see that I am good!”

“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. James 4:7-8”

“For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.” 2 Corinthians 9:10

Being filled with God’s “seed” is not only for me, but it is also intended for those around me.

Like birds coming to my bird feeder, people will come to me throughout the day needing some “seed.” They are hungry for a word from God, whether they know it or not. When I am filled daily with fresh “seed” I will have something to share with others. It is amazing how often the verse I read in the morning or the lesson God just showed me from His word, comes out of my mouth as I am talking with someone during my day. It is so satisfying and encouraging to have some “seed” to share that is helpful to someone else. It causes me to be thankful that I took the time to spend with God that morning. Not only are there birds that perch on the feeder and eat the seed, but there are also birds that sit on the ground and eat the seed that has fallen. This makes me think that not only is my “seed” going out to those who I talk to personally, but there are conversations that others overhear just because they are around me. They are eating my “seed” as well.

I love the way God uses the things in our lives to show us and teach us spiritual lessons! I’ll never look at a bird feeder in the same way again.

“Plant your seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for you don’t know if profit will come from one activity or another—or maybe both.” Ecclesiastes 11:6

Strategy number six was a perfect plan, there was no way they could get to the feeder!

So they chewed the rope!

Squirrels – 6

Wilma – 0

Mark said he would get me some wire this time! Strategy seven is in the planning…

Victory in Jesus!

“I heard an old, old story,
How a Savior came from glory,
How He gave His life on Calvary
To save a wretch like me;
I heard about His groaning,
Of His precious blood’s atoning,
Then I repented of my sins
And won the victory.

Chorus
O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood.”

Everyone loves an underdog story…

Like the story of the skinny preacher from rural Pennsylvania, who went to New York City because God broke his heart for the seven gang members he read about in a magazine, who became founder of Teen Challenge and pastor of Times Square Church.

This hymn, Victory in Jesus, is an underdog story. It reminds us that we are all underdogs in that we are hopeless in our sin. We are all born with a sin nature; born into an impossible situation with all odds against us.

But it isn’t God’s will for us to live the defeated life as an underdog. He created us for victory, for destiny!

God had a plan from the beginning of time for the ultimate underdog story. He knew we couldn’t overcome our sin nature on our own, yet He created us for greatness, for victory!

We needed a Savior! A Savior that would win the victory for us.

“Victory in Jesus!”

This song I sang as a girl has great truth, but for some reason I lived so much of my life believing it was a story that celebrated the day of the salvation from my sin, and the promise for the day I would go to heaven when I die. But what about the life lived between these two days? I am learning that the victory I have in Jesus is meant for every day!

I am to live life from the Position of Victory!

The night David Wilkerson asked himself a question and talked to God about it…

“How much time do I spend in front of that screen each night?…What would happen, Lord, if I sold that TV set and spent that time – praying?…What would happen if I spent two hours every single night in prayer?

…changed the direction of his life.

There was a battle going on in his thoughts…

“I was tired at night. I needed relaxation and change of pace. Television was part of our culture; it wasn’t good for a minister to be out of touch with what people were seeing and talking about.”

…the victory he won in his thoughts defined him as a man of prayer who has left an incredible legacy for the Kingdom of God.

What is this position of Victory in Jesus?

“But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57

Victory – an act of defeating an enemy or opponent in a battle, game, or other competition.

This Position of Victory sets you above all opponents… 

*Those thoughts that battle within your mind when God prompts you to do something that doesn’t make sense.

*When you find yourself wanting to throw yourself a pity party.

*When fear comes knocking from a diagnosis.

*When everywhere you look there just isn’t enough.

This position of Victory enables you to…

*obey God even when it doesn’t make sense. Victory enables you to push through what your flesh wants and to do, to do the hard thing, and to do it afraid.

*pray for those who have caused your pity party. Victory enables you to lay aside your feelings, your rights, your expectations, and to pray for others to be blessed so that they also live in the victory God intends.

* trust God and fear Him alone, with full confidence that He loves you, that He is for you, and that He is your Great Physician who is able to care for you. Victory enables you to trust God for His diagnosis.

* lean on the promises of God and to call out what isn’t as though it were! Victory enables you to look past your lack and to keep your eyes and your hope on the Giver of all good gifts, and on the One who provides all your needs.

Victory in Jesus is a position based on what Jesus did, not on what you have done. This position of victory doesn’t depend on your strength or ability. There is no way to earn it, it is obtained through belief in Jesus alone. 

Victory in Jesus says, “Not my will, but Your’s be done.”

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 

A victorious life doesn’t hold on to sin by making excuses or by hiding it from others. The position of victory realizes sin weakens and disempowers, and so, humbly asks God to reveal all sin so confession and repentance will bring forgiveness, healing, and freedom.

Victory in Jesus is freedom!

“We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him.” Romans 6:6-8

A victorious life lives above the strategies of the enemy, wielding the authority and the protection the Lord has given and claiming the victory that He has already won.

Victory in Jesus protects!

“Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you.” Luke 10:19

A victorious life is a life filled with the fullness of the Holy Spirit. It is evidenced with the fruit of the Spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, and self-control, and with good deeds that show God’s glory.

Victory in Jesus shines!

“let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:16

A victorious life prays scary prayers that shake the house, that go beyond comfort zones, way beyond all borders! It is a life that makes the coward, brave; the weak, strong;  and the poor, rich.

Victory in Jesus is enables and empowers!

” After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:29-31

The night the battle was going on within David Wilkerson’s thoughts, he set a fleece before the Lord which “changed his life.”

“Jesus, I need some help deciding this thing, so here’s what I’m asking of You. I’m going to put an ad for that set in the paper. If You’re behind this idea, let a buyer appear right away. Let him appear within an hour…within half an hour…after the paper gets on the streets.”

“…Twenty-nine minutes passed by the clock… The telephone rang…My life has not been the same since.”

It was during one of those late night prayer times that the Holy spirit prompted David to pick up the magazine which contained the pencil drawings and article of seven boys from New York City. Looking into their faces brought David to tears, his heart filled with sympathy and compassion. He felt the calling of God to go and to help those boys.

David Wilkerson went into New York City afraid. But every step along the way God was there with another promise of victory.

The victory in Jesus that encouraged and empowered David Wilkerson wasn’t for him alone. This victory overflowed into the lives of thousands and continues to impact lives today!

There is a life of Victory in Jesus for you as well!

The battle you are facing; whether it is scarcity in your finances, relationships, or health, or whether there is something God is calling you to do that you are resisting or excusing away, though the enemy means for it to defeat you, God intends for it to be the very thing for Him to encourage you, and to equip you, so you come through victorious!

May you be encouraged by the stories of Gideon and of David Wilkerson to get out of your comfort zone, rise up out of your place of hiding, listen to the call of God on your life, and even if you need to do it afraid trust that God will empower you and equip you to win the victory.

Because on the other side of your greatest fear is the “Victory in Jesus” that will be your greatest area of ministry! 

Quotes from the book, “The Cross and the Switchblade”

Written by, David Wilkerson

Victorious!

Gideon and his three hundred soldiers accomplished an impossible victory! It was a battle fought in the physical realm against flesh and blood, fought with unconventional weapons that supernaturally caused panic and destruction to the enemy army, and brought much glory and praise to the God of the Israelites!

All throughout the Bible we see God is a God of Victory!

When Lucifer, God’s covering angel, rebelled against God a battle took place in heaven. Good and evil can’t co-exist, and ever since, there has been a battle between good and evil.

It is a battle between God and Satan, truth and lies, life and death.

*When Satan entices us to conform to the ways of the world, to forget God and not listen to Him, God is for us and comes to rescue us!

*When Satan robs from us and brings scarcity into our lives, and causes us to fear, God’s perfect love casts out all our fear and brings abundant life!

*When Satan’s lies cause us to forget who we are as God’s people and bring doubt and unbelief, God reminds us who we are and who He is!

*When Satan’s strategies form strongholds that are passed from one generation to another so that we worship our father’s gods, God empowers us to tear them down and to restore our worship of Him alone!

*When Satan overwhelms us with impossible situations, God comes to remind us that He is the God of the impossible!

When Satan says we are defeated…

God calls us Victorious!

But, if you read to the end of the story…

“They forgot the Lord their God, who had rescued them from all their enemies surrounding them.” Judges 8:34

God’s people needed a Greater Victory over the strategies of the enemy…

God had a plan for a Greater Victory!!!

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Praise God for the Greater Victory that His Son, Jesus, won on the cross! Jesus’ death on the cross paid the price for all sin. Jesus’ resurrection form the grave won the victory over sin and death!

“For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:56-57

Jesus is Victorious!!!

Satan is a defeated foe!

So what does this mean for us today?

It means that if you are “in Christ” you are Victorious!

“…no weapon turned against you will succeed.” Isaiah 54:17

No matter what battle you are facing, no matter how impossible it looks to you, there is victory for you.

“Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

The battle of good and evil continues and one way it is seen is in the form of trials and sorrows, but

“…we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12

These evil rulers and authorities, these mighty powers are still battling against God’s people. But, unlike Gideon’s enemies, these are unseen in the physical realm. The evidence that they exist is in the words and actions of people. Often we can forget that our battle is in the spirit realm and we treat those who evidence evil in their words and actions as if they are the enemy.

We fight against the wrong enemy.

We fight in the physical realm.

When we fight the wrong enemy there won’t be a victory.

Victory only comes when you fight the real enemy with the weapons God has provided. 

“We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

So, what impossible battle are you facing?

A financial scarcity?

A relational falling out?

A health issue?

I’m here to tell you, if you are “in Christ,” you have the Victory!

No matter how much striving you do God doesn’t intend for you to provide for yourself. He doesn’t intend for you to trust in your own ideas, or to lean on your own understanding. He tells you to trust in Him with all your heart, and in all your ways to acknowledge Him. He doesn’t intend for you to look to the ways others are succeeding financially. He says to seek Him and His kingdom first, and then all your needs will be met. In the spirit realm trust and seeking God wield great power. They battle against the strategies of the enemy that are meant to rob from you. They bring ideas and strategies to your mind intended for your good. God has victory for your finances when you put your energy into trusting in God alone and by seeking God first.

That person that seems to be your enemy, isn’t. No matter what the issues are between you, choose to look beyond them and see there is an agenda of the enemy behind their words and their actions. The enemy comes to destroy relationships. There is power in unity and those who love God and are in relationship with each other are a powerful force for the kingdom of God.

“I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” Matthew 18:19-20

Two or more believers united are a threat to the enemy. That is why he works so hard to divide and conquer marriages, families, ministries. So stop fighting the wrong enemy and turn your energy to praying for the other person. Whatever the issues are between you they are a result of lies of the enemy and the only way to fight against them is through prayer. As you pray for that person you will be amazed how God works both in your heart and in the heart of the other person! God has victory for your relationship if you choose to fight the battle His way!

The physical and the spiritual can’t be separated. We are spirit beings living in a physical body. The Holy Spirit lives within our flesh and blood. Healing is a complex issue, way too complex to write a paragraph about. But, I do believe the enemy forms strategies against us that are meant to rob, kill, and destroy us, both spiritually, and physically. I believe the physical attacks of the enemy meant for our harm are intended by God to get our attention so that we look to Him. God intends that we love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. God loves us too much to leave us with compromise and sins that rob us of His blessings and hinder us from doing His will. The thing about health issues is that when something is wrong we run right to the doctor to take care of us. We don’t consider that perhaps it is a strategy of the enemy meant for our harm. We don’t believe that perhaps there is a sin issue that our Great Physician wants to show us so that we can confess it and be healed.

“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” James 5:16

God has victory for us, body, soul, and spirit! While doctors have their place, I encourage you to run first to your Great Physician. You will be amazed when He shows you a sin, you choose to fight in the spirit realm with a prayer of confession, and find you are instantly healed!

Stop fighting in the physical realm, you are fighting the wrong enemy!

Learn to fight in the spiritual realm with the weapons God provides!

Embrace the Victorious Life you have in Christ!