spiritual warfare

Heavenly Father,

I woke up this morning fighting…but not the way most people think. It wasn’t against my thoughtful husband, my amazing adult children, any of my wonderful friends or co-workers. The fight isn’t against an opposing political party, another skin color or culture, the government or any group of worldly authorities. It’s not against someone who gets mad at me, hurts my feelings or attacks my family. It’s not even against an illness, an issue or a cause. It’s the fight of my life…and for my life…and for other’s lives. It is the most beautiful and calm fight. It is the fight to stay connected to You, Lord!

There are so many things that need to be accomplished; so many people who need to be helped; so many bills that need to be paid; so many “important things” that pop up on my agenda. Therein lies the real fight! Every single day I have to battle against my agenda or even other people’s well-meaning plans for my life. The most vital part of my whole life is my life hidden with You. Nothing else matters. I can’t truly accomplish anything unless I stay connected with You through Jesus Christ. Yet when I win the battle to live in Your presence, I find the most glorious love, peace and joy as I rest in the security of who You are and Your guidance in my life.

The news of horrible things happening all around cannot keep me away from You. The epidemic of fear cannot harm me when I stay close to You. When I am in the shadow of Your holiness, I know that You are at work, calmly fighting the battle for me…as well as others. In fact, You have already won…and so have I. The longer I live in You, Lord, the more clearly I see the victory. Help me be on guard and not let down my defenses. Let me live in Your strong tower and go out only when You send me out. Then let me go out carrying the Light of Jesus Christ with peace and confidence. Yet I don’t ever want to go without You. It is the enemy who tries to separate me from You any way he can. It is my fight to stay conscious of You at all times…every single day… for You are always with me. You sent Jesus to fight and die for me. Now I fight to live with You in this world and yet not of this world. I love You, Lord!

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“How priceless is Your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of Your wings. They feast on the abundance of Your house; You give them drink from Your river of delights. For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light, we see light.”   Psalm 36:7-9

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9

“This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours but God’s.”  2 Chronicles20:15b

“But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith , love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontus Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep this command without spot or blemish until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in His own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To Him be honor and might forever. Amen.”   1 Timothy 6:11-16

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Prayer Prompt-

Father, help me battle to stay in Your presence by…

know-your-enemy3

Heavenly Father,

Even my most loved relationships can turn into an enemy in a second if I’m not careful. It can happen from a simple misunderstanding, a disagreement, or simply when I’m caught off guard in a weak moment. I know it doesn’t just happen to me…but to every single one of us. It helps so much to remember who my real enemy is. It is not my spouse, child, friend, or even the person we’ve never met. Father, help me always be aware who the true enemy is!

Our true adversary is always scheming- trying to pit us against one another. He tries to turn different races, groups, political parties, churches and families against one another. He even tried it on Jesus. One of Jesus’ closest earthly friends tried to sway Him from going to Jerusalem to meet His death on a cross (the very thing He was born for). Jesus told the enemy “Get behind Me, Satan!” Jesus realized Peter didn’t know he was being used by the enemy to trip Him up. We shouldn’t be surprised that Satan works behind the scenes to divide and conquer, to stir up bitterness and hatred, to pit us against one another. The enemy works his wiles to cause us to turn on one another instead of to You, Lord. It is a ploy- a military trick that I do not want to fall for.

Father, remind me when I get hurt, angry or irritated who the real enemy is. Help me to love and pray for the one who appears in the flesh to be my enemy. Let me answer Satan’s attack with love and not be fooled by his destructive plan. Let me love You and love the one who is being manipulated to appear to be my enemy. Let my battles be fought in the spiritual realm with Your heavenly host on my side to knock down the enemy’s attempt. Don’t let me fall for the evil scheme that pits us one against the other. Remind me that my enemy is not flesh and blood (no matter what color the skin is; no matter what language is spoken; or no matter if they live in my house or on the other side of the earth) The real enemy is in the spiritual world and has already been defeated…I just need to remember that and call on You in the battle. Jesus has given me the authority to tell my real enemy to get behind me and Him! We each have to do it in Jesus’ name!

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“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers , against the authorities , against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”  Ephesians 6:10-12

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”   John 10:10

 

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”   1 Peter 5:8-9

“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”  Luke 10:19-20

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Prayer Prompt-

Father, help me love and pray for those in the flesh who I think of as my enemies and overcome the real enemy. This is who I need to love and pray for…

hand-vashou

Heavenly Father,

What a special day it is!! It’s not a holiday, but it is a holy day. There’s not any spectacular reason to celebrate today, and yet there is. This day will never happen again. I only get one chance to savor this moment. I don’t want to let it go by without enjoying it. Any moment can be extraordinary when you share it with someone you love. Sitting in the shade, going for a walk, watching the sun set, grocery shopping, even working…if it is savored with someone you love, even the most mundane chores turn into some of the sweetest times.

I don’t want to wait for another time to enjoy life. How much of life is wasted waiting for the perfect spouse, the baby to start walking, the kids to grow up, or retirement. I want to savor right now! Today – even this moment will never happen again. I will never get another chance to grab this moment again. I will not have another chance to share this particular moment with those around me again or to see the things You placed before me today.

Father, let me slip my hand in Yours and enjoy right now. Help me slow down and savor the beauty of Your company in this day. Open my eyes to show me the sights You want me to see. Help me be still in Your presence and just relish Your love. Lord, also help me enjoy every moment with whomever You place in my path. Hold my hand and help me love them with Your eternal love that lasts far beyond today. What makes today so special? Because You are with me!

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“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”   Psalm 118:24

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”    Matthew 28:20b

“Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 47:10

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Prayer Prompt-

Father, help me enjoy this day by…