Posts Tagged ‘enemy’

Encouragement: Better Than Discouragement!

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Have a great day today, and take the time to make someone feel special. We all have a spare moment to do a little something for someone, or say a kind word to someone. A little encouragement goes a long way. Go on now, get to it!

Also, please continue praying for my brother, Matt, today (Thursday) as he goes into a new doctor. We are praying, and believing for, answers! And solutions! And progress! And peace! And total healing! The enemy is fighting hard, but we know that his fighting is a reaction to The Lord doing something good. He wouldn’t fight if he had nothing to fight against. So we praise The Lord even through the trials. Everyday with Him is a beautiful one, challenges or not.

You are blessed,

Sarah

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Today’s devo selection:

Encourage Someone Today!
By Andy at http://www.gospel.com

There’s nothing quite so uplifting as receiving an unexpected compliment or a kind word in the midst of a hectic day. And on the flip side, we’ve all had a day ruined by a careless or cruel remark. Words have tremendous power to encourage or to hurt. That’s the message of this devotional from Daily Encounter, which challenges us to offer encouragement to someone today:

Every one of us “young and old alike” needs encouragement. To encourage someone is to put courage into them. To discourage is to take courage out of them. It costs nothing to put courage into another… to speak a kind word… to let them know you appreciate them… to tell them you believe in them… that you admire them… to thank them and so on.

So, today, make a point of putting courage into your spouse… your children… your boss… your employees… and the clerk at the local store. Go out of your way to do it. And in blessing others you will be blessed yourself.

Offering encouragement is one of the simplest but most effective ways you can reflect Christ’s love to others. Take a look around you, whether you’re sitting in an office cubicle, your living room, or an airport terminal. Who do you see who could use an encouraging word? Why not take a moment to say something kind?

Count it All Joy!

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Sometimes it takes a whole lot of determination to embrace new seasons in life. I do ok for a bit and then, BAM, find myself in tears. Oops! Refocus, Sarah!

The enemy is always on the prowl, looking for an open door, window, or crack in the foundation. I find, for myself, that if I notice the enemy creeping in, I have to quickly push him out and seal up the area he slithered into. Then I have to get back to praising! If I don’t, I only find myself in worse shape.

The Word says we are to count it all joy when we are tried and tested, for the trying of our faith will work patience in our souls.

I realize tears are ok. They cleanse us! And as one my fellow bloggers wrote (I’m paraphrasing), “It’s ok to cry, Jesus cried!” It’s not the crying that’s the problem, it’s the reason behind it that may be the problem. Are we crying and wallowing in self pity for that which we’ve lost? Or, are we shedding tears while acknowledging the feelings associated with the situation, but choosing to consider the trial a joy – Knowing that the fruit of overcoming these trials will far outweigh any temporary sadness.

The Lord turns everything for the good of those who love Him. So we can be confident that there is no trial or season that we go through where He won’t find a way to bring good out of it. And, remember, you’re not in this thing alone, ask Him for help!

No matter what comes my way, I’m going to continue to count it all joy. Because, at the end of my days, I want to be able to say I enjoyed life, even when it wasn’t easy. That I chose to see the best in every situation, and trust in His faithfulness.

Don’t give up, friends. Victory is around the corner. Keep on keepin on!

James 1:2-8
New King James Version (NKJV)
Profiting from Trials

2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

A link to one of my favorite songs:

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=gIPMllUV12o&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DgIPMllUV12o

Blessings,

Sarah

You Have Everything You Will Ever Need

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No weapon formed against you shall prosper..unless you let it.

Wait, what?

Yes. It’s true. The weapons formed against you are worthless. They have no capacity to harm you. It’s a promise.

..Unless you let them..

Did you ever see a place in the Bible where the truth was forced on anyone? Where Jesus strong armed someone into taking hold of the truth? I haven’t seen that. I saw Him again and again present the truth and accompanying freedom, but never forced it on anyone. He was real big on free choice.

So..the TRUTH is, no weapon formed against you will prosper. But, that’s not a truth that you are required to take hold of.

You have a choice.

You can accept the truth and walk it out. Or, you can decide that every weapon formed against you is surely going to overtake and kill you. That you’ll never make it out of the current situation. That God’s not big enough to handle YOUR problem. You can choose to fall down and let the circumstances trample you.

You can effectively throw out the truth of the situation, and instead embrace the lie. You can reject freedom. You can reject safety. You can reject growth.

It’s your choice.

But in rejecting the promise, you also reject the truth. Succumbing to a life filled with deception and lies.

My daughter has been fighting pain in her tailbone after a fall this last winter. She told me, in no uncertain terms, “I will never dance again.” (SheLOVES to Dance to those video game dance things, and is amazing at it.)

I told her, “Don’t say that, you WILL dance. Just determine to do it. Your body will eventually line up with your thoughts.”

She replied something to the effect that she had tried, but it just hurts..so shes not going to do it anymore.

I heard The Lord say as clear as day, as if He were physically sitting right next to me, “She is allowing the weapon formed against her prosper.”

So I shared that word with her. Since then she has refused to “lay down and die,” and has seen a difference. She still has pain at times, but she’s realized it’s not the end of the world, and it goes away. It doesn’t have to effect her joy, or her life.

The devil wanted her incapacitated, hopeless, and depressed. The Lord says, “Pick up your bed and WALK!”

So, what weapons of the enemy are you allowing to prosper in your life today? We all have something. What issue is The Lord asking you to drop at His feet? What area in your life is He telling you, “Pick up your bed and walk”?

If weapons formed against you had to prosper, He wouldn’t have said that they won’t (Isaiah 54:17). If you couldn’t get past infirmities, He never would have said pick up your bed and walk (John 5:8). If He wanted you living in bondage, He never would have come to set you free (Luke 4:18, Galatians 5:1, John 8:36).

You are FREE. You are more than a conqueror. You are not required to continue letting the weapons prosper.

You can change direction.

Don’t wait around for someone else to make the changes for you, or bring the healing.

The healing is already yours.

The freedom is already yours.

The capacity to change is already yours.

The ability to overcome is already yours.

Every promise He ever gave was fulfilled at the cross, you lack for nothing.

He’s given you everything, you’re fully equipped for victory.

Right now.

This very moment.

Disease, sickness, depression, stress, anxiety, and hopelessness have no place in the mind of the believer. So pick up your spiritual weapons (Ephesians 6:10-17), kick those lies to the curb and walk out in victory! You’re a mighty warrior! Stand tall!

Blessings,

Sarah

* If you’re interested, here is the link to a great video that goes along with the devo. 🙂
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pGy5c2bgiDo

Did You Say, “I Love you!” Or “You Disgust Me!”??

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It’s so easy when we have known someone so long to think we just “know” exactly what they realllly mean when they say or do this or that. But the truth is, we don’t. And the enemy is always right there to take advantage of that, planting the seed of discord. Let’s not allow him to do that anymore. Let’s choose to react in love, and believe the best of our loved ones. Maybe as we do that for them, they’ll do it for us, too. 🙂

Have a wonderful day, friends!

Blessings,

Sarah

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Today’s Devotional Selection:

Communication and Conflict
from Focus on the Family

We are called to be attentive to one another in marriage, to stop and listen and to learn about each other.

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. James 1:19

As men and women our differences go beyond the obvious physical ones. We think differently, we respond differently, different things catch our hearts. However, we are too-often inclined to ignore that fact and plow through life with our own perceptions of how others should live and respond. The harvest of that kind of mentality can be misunderstanding, resentment, and alienation.

We are called to be attentive to one another in marriage, to stop and listen and to learn about each other. We must be willing to ask; we must be willing to reveal. Much can be learned about one another by how we live, but there are also things that words can give life and understanding to.

Conflict is inevitable, and often it is through conflict that we come in touch with the deep places and real meanings of our feelings. It is often only through times of discord that we can identify and offer the deepest content of our hearts. What we must remember in these moments is that our spouse is not the enemy. It sounds odd perhaps, but couples often come at each other from that very stance. In that place where little listening occurs, painful and damaging words are spoken, and anger isolates.

Consider James’ words, what a compelling picture of relationship. When we look at one another in marriage, when we realize that this is just the person we need to help us become who God has made us to be, then our hearts are more likely to respond in attentive tenderness.

Father, you communicated your love to us by sending Jesus to live and die for us. You bring us together in marriage, we who are so very different, and you call us to communicate with one another the very love we receive from you. Teach us, Father, how to do that in a way that honors each other and glorifies You.

Being Rocky Balboa in the Spiritual Realm

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Rocky has always been one of my most beloved film heroes. He just kept fighting. He persevered. I want to be like that in my spiritual life. I often say that Christians are like Weebles, we wobble but we don’t fall down! Lets fight the good fight. Like this devotional selection says, war gets tough. But take heart, we’ve already won the battle by choosing the right army to be part of!

Have a great day. 🙂

Blessings,

Sarah

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Today’s devo selection:

Battle Wounds from the Good Fight
By Jennifer E. Jones

“How much can you know about yourself if you’ve never been in a fight? I don’t wanna die without any scars…” – Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club

I was thinking this morning about what it means to be in a fight. As a woman, it’s not quite the rite of passage as it is for a man. However, I fought enough with my brothers as a child that I’m aware of the mechanics of it.

Most people agree that a fight that’s one-sided isn’t really a fight. That’s just a beating. That’s a bully taking advantage of someone weaker than he or she is. A real fight is back and forth; you trade blows.

The keeping of one’s faith is similar. If you want to be a Christian or even remotely God-conscious, this life will fight you for it. It’s going to hit you, and as noted in the last Rocky movie, nobody hits harder than life. The world tries to take your joy and your peace with every unwanted circumstance, every unexpected tragedy, and every unforeseen pitfall.

So what do you do? You can curl up in the fetal position, block your face and just take it. Truthfully, there are times when that’s the only thing you can do. Some hardships are simply tests of endurance.

You can help the enemy by inflicting wounds on yourself. That’s when you just agree with every negative thought that comes in: “I’m not good enough, not smart enough, etc.” Your opponent doesn’t have to do anything then. You will beat yourself up.

Then there’s the third option: you can fight. You fight by remembering God’s promise that no weapon formed against you will succeed at taking you down (Isaiah 54:17). You hide His words in your heart and wear them out on your sleeve. You stand up against the lies that seek to sink your ship.

And it’s going to be rough. You’ll get wounded. You’ll get dazed. The enemy doesn’t fight fair, and he’s very aware of your weak points. Don’t think for a moment that he won’t sucker punch you right where it hurts.

It’s difficult to imagine emerging from any fight without scars. Even Jesus has scars. He showed them to the disciples after His resurrection (Luke 24:39). In fact, His scars were proof that He had died and came back to life. I think our scars bare the same resemblance. They are the evidence that we are overcomers. They qualify us to speak to those in pain and say, “I’ve been there.”

So, keep your head up. You’ll lose a few battles, but remember that you’ve already won the war.

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. — I Timothy 6:12 [NIV]

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