Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘satan’

We have an enemy.  He is smart and clever, very crafty.

Torn-Apart

He knows the Scripture: “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” And he uses it well.

So he comes against strong servants of God, attacks where they don’t even know they are weak, and they crumble and fall.  Families are torn apart, God’s people are confused and oh so hurt, and the name of God is slandered.

That enemy also knows that God says oneness among His children is a sure sign that the Father sent Jesus to redeem us.

So he comes among friends and coworkers and sows mistrust and conflict. (more…)

Read Full Post »

I’m not a fan of exercise. I do walk—but my “brisk” is a little slower than most people’s.  And I get quite a bit of exercise playing with my grandchildren.  But nothing approaches aerobic.

So I find it a little amusing that God gave me some aerobic assignments—spiritual aerobics.  That is, He reminded me of a sequence of “positions” or “exercises” needed to experience fully the blessing and fruitfulness that I desire in my life and ministry.

I have actually done messages on several of them, and continue to study all of them in God’s Word. Here they are briefly:

1. Fall on My Face

When Isaiah saw the Lord, He said, “Woe is me. I am undone.”  When Daniel was confronted by the Angel of the Lord, he fell on his face.  When Peter realized that Jesus was God, he asked Jesus to leave him because he knew he was sinful.

When we truly see God and truly see ourselves, we can’t help but fall on our faces.  His holiness and our sinfulness are totally incompatible, causing us to appropriately fall on our faces in fear of the Lord.  Then the most amazing thing happens.  With grace and mercy, God lifts us into His presence by the redeeming blood of Jesus. (Isaiah 6:1-8; Daniel 10:9; Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 22:4; Psalm 19:9)

2. Drop to My Knees

I am convinced that the work of God is done on our knees.  Then we go see what has been accomplished.  So many of us are truly activists, out getting the job done, and that is commendable.  But I believe we would see far more fruit if we spent a lot more time on our knees.  (Luke 18:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:18; John 16:24; Ephesians 6:18)

3. Stand Firm

Repeatedly God’s Word reminds us that we are in a battle.  We have an adversary who is determined to distract, defeat and destroy us.  But we are also reminded, in the words of Martin Luther, “the right man [is] on our side.”

We are admonished to have courage, stand firm, and see the deliverance of the Lord; to be on guard, to be strong and to stand firm; to be free and stand firm; to put on the armor of God and stand firm; to resist the devil and stand firm.  We are the victors if we stand firm in the power of God.  (2 Chronicles 20:17; 1 Corinthians 16:13; Galatians 5:1; Ephesians 6:14; 1 Peter 5:9)

4. Walk Worthy

Then we start walking.  We start living the Christian life—in a way worthy of our calling.  We are to walk in humility, love, purity, holiness, patience.  We are to walk in truth and obedience, as lights shining in the darkness to reveal our Savior.  We are to walk not in our own strength, but in the power of the Holy Spirit.  (Ephesians 4; Colossians 3; Matthew 5:14-16; Ephesians 5:18)

5. Run with Endurance

The cliché holds true:  The Christian life is not a sprint, but rather a marathon.  Each of us has a prescribed course.    We are invited to throw off worldly encumbrances and entangling sin and to run with endurance  the course God has marked out for us, with our eyes fixed on Jesus.  We are encouraged not to grow weary and lose heart so that we might win the prize and hear those wonderful words: “Well done, good and faithful servant.  Enter into the joy of your master.”  (I Corinthians 9:24; Hebrews 12:1; Matthew 25:14-30)

6. Rest in Peace

God is a firm believer in rest:  He rested on the seventh day.  He commanded us to rest one day a week.  He told the Israelites to let the land rest every seventh year.  The psalms speak repeatedly of “resting in God.”  And the Lord Jesus makes the most wonderful offer:  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”  Right now I am tired and weary—and so grateful Jesus gives me rest and peace.  (Genesis 2:2; Exodus 31:15; Leviticus 25:5; Psalm 62:1; Psalm 91:1; Matthew 11:28)
I’m grateful that the Lord has been so clear about the kinds of exercise I need to follow and serve Him. And He gives grace for me the push through even the most challenging courses.

Which exercise are you most in need of?  Leave a comment here.

c2011 Judy Douglass

Read Full Post »

O God of my Exodus,

Great was the joy of Israel’s sons, when Egypt died upon the shore,

Far greater the joy when the Redeemer’s foe lay crushed in the dust.

Jesus strides forth as the victor, conqueror of death, hell and all opposing might;

He  bursts the bands of death, tramples the powers of darkness down,

and lives forever.

He, my gracious surety,

apprehended for payment of my death,

comes forth from the prison house of the grave free,

and triumphant over sin, Satan and death.

Show me herein the proof that his vicarious offering is accepted,

that the claims of justice are satisfied,

that the devil’s scepter is shivered,

that his wrongful throne is levelled.

Give me the assurance that in Christ I died,

in Him I rose, in his life I live,

in his victory I triumph, in his ascension I shall be glorified.

Adorable Redeemer,

Thou who wast lifted up upon a cross

art ascended to highest heaven.

Thou, who as Man of sorrows wast crowned with thorns,

art now as Lord of life wreathed with glory.

Once, no shame more deep than thine,

no agony more bitter,

no death more cruel.

Now no exaltation more high,

no life more glorious,

no advocate more effective.

Thou art in the triumph car leading captive thine enemies behind thee.

What more could be done than thou hast done!

Thy death is my life,

thy resurrection my peace,

thy ascension my hope,

thy prayers my comfort.

From The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers

Read Full Post »

In desperate times, people pray.

 

Certainly these are desperate times in Japan, in New Zealand, in Ivory Coast, in Congo, in Sudan, in Libya, in Bahrain… In fact, these are desperate times for our world.  With modern technology we are so interconnected that what happens in some far away place is not only known to us—it has impact on us.

 

We pray for safety and protection, for peace and resolution, for solutions and even miracles.  We pray because life is bigger than us, beyond our control.

 

I pray for these reasons.  And for others.  Here are a few of the things that drive me to my knees:

 

1. God  Himself desires fellowship with me!!!!!!!!! How can I turn that down!?!

 
2. I am so grateful for what God has done for me, so I respond to His love and desire to be with me.

 
3. I am desperate–in my own sinfulness, inadequacy, unworthiness. He is the only way to forgiveness and hope and purpose.

 
4. When I listen to Him–through His Word, in stillness and quietness–He lavishes love and grace and affirmation on me.  And gives me wisdom and guidance and courage.

 
5. The work of God is done on our knees. Then we go find out what happened.

 
6. The task of living the Christ-life is way beyond me–I must go to Him.

 
7. I have so many people I want Him to touch–I must keep bringing them to Him.

 
8. The world is so dark and lost.  He is the light and the way.

 
9. Satan is a roaring lion, seeking to devour, deceive, and destroy. He loves to go after God’s servants, and especially their children. I feel compelled to stand against him, and the best way to do that is kneeling.

 
10. I recognize my own total dependence on God for everything in my life and ministry. Prayer is the way I express that dependence and access His provision.

 
The needs and possibilities are so great that I find I pray about everything.  I must, as Paul instructs, pray without ceasing!

 
C 2011 Judy Douglass

Read Full Post »