This week's memory verse:
"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." -- 2 Corinthians 12:9
I'm a lover, not a fighter. I'm one of those people that say "Can't we all just get along?" Over the years, I have learned that I don't like confrontation and many times, I have avoided it. This has caused problems in my life, at home and at work and in relationships...confrontation can't always be avoided...sometimes you just have to have those crucial conversations and "say it like it is!"
But sometimes, no matter how hard you try to avoid it, those conversations turn into battles. You do your best to keep the battle civil, and hopefully, the issues get resolved and everyone comes out unscathed.
What if the crucial conversation that turned into a battle is with yourself? We fight and fight those temptations that get us into trouble...with our relationships, with our health...but there comes a time when you look at the choices you've been making and realize that you've had enough! You want to stop giving in to those temptations and you have that crucial conversation with yourself and tell yourself to stop...you then battle that weakness in yourself every day...only to find yourself losing the battle. You are beginning to feel very weak...your battle with yourself has become a war and you've lost more battles than you have won. Is it time just to give up? Time to throw in the towel and give in to those temptations that are bringing you down? ABSOLUTELY NOT!
You realize that the reason you can't win is that you are not fighting a regular war...it is a spiritual one.
Read Ephesians 6:10-17
We are in a spiritual battle against all the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm. Ok, before you say...now hold on Linda...this is getting pretty far fetched!... There HAS to be a reason that temptations come to taunt us right when we THINK and RESOLVE to be strong. The devil is watching and waiting for us, ready to throw temptation at us...WANTING us to give in and NOT look to God for help. I have experienced it and seen others experience it so many times...this is war that rages in our hearts, minds and souls every day...we just aren't ware of it.
Well...we NEED to be aware of it and arm ourselves with God's word to fight this spiritual battle! If you read Ephesians 6:10-17 you will see how God does arm us for this battle.
Our defensive tools:
* Breastplate of righteousness- our character...doing the right things...the things God tells us to do...will protect us.
* The shield of faith - believing in something you can't see...KNOW that God is there and will help us...that will help extinguish the flames thrown at us...protects our heart
* The helmet of salvation - through Christ, we are saved...no matter how many battles we lose. God wins in the end!!! That knowledge protects our mind.
Our offensive tools:
* The belt of truth - God's word is true - it holds us up and supports us, holding our weapons.
* Gospel of peace - if we remember that God IS in control, we will have the lightness and speed we need to be agile against our enemies, and not be weighed down by our doubts.
* The sword of the spirit - we have a spiritual helper to help us fight this spiritual battle...The holy spirit is always with us. That gives us courage not to back down but to pull out the weapons and FIGHT!
Jesus was our example of how to fight this kind of battle. Read Matthew 4:1-11. Jesus used God's word's to fight the devil's temptations. He could have used his divine power to destroy the devil, but he used God's word instead. Perhaps he did this to teach us how to do it. The devil can't win when we use God's word to fight him. According to Hebrews 4:12, God's word is a double-edged sword that has living power...we should use it more often.
So...have that crucial conversation with yourself...get ready for the battle that is front of you...arm yourself with God's word and pray for His guidance. Jesus showed us that you can be a lover AND a fighter!