Press into Passion

 

Last week, we looked at the heart-breaking truth of people who for some reason cannot accept the reality of God, yet desperately wish they could. We learned through the testimony of one man that there are agnostics who wish they could believe, who wish they could experience the comfort and confidence that our faith in God provides.

Which brings me to today’s theme.

Often, as Christians, we can take our faith, our salvation for granted. Sometimes we fail to appreciate what we have.

Relationships take hard work. We know this from our own experience with others—whether it’s a family member, a partner, a work colleague, a neighbour. And so when it comes to our relationship with God, things are no different. We have to work at it!

Now the Bible reminds us that sometimes we can allow affection for God and our commitment to things relating to his kingdom, to slide. Other things get in the way. Other things become a priority.

In Revelation 3:14-22 we read that the Laodicean church received a grave warning. They’d become blasé and lukewarm about their faith and their walk with God. Not cold. Not hot. Lukewarm. And God was having none of it.

Priscilla Shirer in her excellent book Fervent  suggests that stealing our passion for God is a deliberate tactic of Satan. She says when our passion dims, our resistance to temptation is lowered, whilst our discouragement levels heighten. When passion dims, our faith in God is weakened.

Again, if you’ve ever read though the entire Bible, you will be aware that there were instances in the history of the Children of Israel when they served God with all their heart. But there were also times when they allowed themselves to be drawn away from their vows of adoration, commitment and faith. Despite all the miracles they witnessed. Despite all the victories they experienced. Despite the many instances of God’s miraculous provision.

And so we can see clearly that even though we are committed, born-again Christians, as human beings, we are prone to making the same mistakes as the Children of Israel and members of the Laodicean church.

So let me ask, where are you in this regard? When you look back to the days when you first committed your life to Christ and compare it to now, has your love for God increased, or diminished?

If the latter, recognise that whilst you do have a responsibility for where you are at in your relationship with God, you also have an Enemy, who is actively seeking to break your focus, undermine your faith, and sabotage your relationship with the Lord.

So, what should you and I do when we examine our lives and note we are not where we should be in terms of our relationship with God?

We should:

  • Recognise
  • Resist
  • Re-connect

Recognise our state. Recognise the danger.

Resist the Enemy. Resist our own petty inclinations.

Re-connect to God. Reconnect with the spiritual resources and godly people, which help to fuel our passion for the Lord.

Dear believer, there are people out there who envy what you have in terms of your relationship with God—so cherish it, nurture it, celebrate it!

 

This Week’s Prayer Focus:

For ourselves. For our brothers and sisters in Christ. That depending on where we are in our relationship with God, our passion will increase, or be rekindled.

 

Father God,

I am so thankful that you are who you are. I am thankful that you are an unchanging God and that your love for me is everlasting and unconditional. You deserve that I reciprocate this love.

I want to obey your command and love you with all of my heart, mind, soul and strength. Forgive me for the times when I fail to do so. Forgive me for the times when I allow other things, other people to take first place in my life. Help me to recognise quickly when my commitment to you has waned, and whenever this happens, create a fervent desire within me to rectify this.

Father God, I recognise that I cannot maintain my passion for you, for the things pertaining to your kingdom, in my own strength and ability. It is you who works within me to both will and fulfil your good pleasure, satisfaction and delight.

Lord God, I don’t want to be cold. I certainly don’t want to be lukewarm. Help me to emulate those people in the Bible such as King David, or St. Paul, whose passion for you and commitment to your purpose remained constant.

Heavenly Father, just as I pray for myself, I wish to pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ, particularly those amongst my readership. I ask that you create within them a strong, steadfast spirit. I ask that you open their eyes, so that they may see and recognise every attempt by the Enemy to sabotage their faith in, and relationship with, you. I ask that you grant them the ability and the tenacity to resist Satan’s tactics within and against their lives.

Father God, if disappointment, discouragement, disillusionment, or disinterest has set in, I ask right now that you break through the lies and false accusations of the Enemy and enable those affected to refocus their thoughts upon the truths of your Word. I ask that you minister hope, assurance, comfort and peace to their souls. I ask that you renew the passion and commitment they once enjoyed. I ask that you both remind and influence them to wear their spiritual armour, so that they can protect themselves from the fiery darts of the Enemy.

Father God, we thank you for your daily mercies and ongoing patience. May we be ever grateful to you for your goodness and loving-kindness and may we not take your grace and our salvation for granted.

In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

© Carol Hind

 

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Sunday’s Supplications

Sunday’s Supplications invites you to not only read the posts but also participate in the prayers. Each week, I hope to introduce a new theme and prayer focus. You are welcome to print off and use each prayer provided, either verbatim or adapted for your particular circumstance. Even better, you can construct your own prayer and share with others by linking to this post. Please note, you do not have to be a blogger to participate.

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Women of Warfare followers and readers have a wonderful week!

 

CREDIT: The above CC0 image comes courtesy of Gordon Johnson at Pixabay.com

A Spiritual Warrior’s Declaration

CC0 Public Domain – image from Pixabay.com

 

I am a victorious overcomer.

I’m taking back control. Yes. I’m taking back control of my life, of my state of mind… of my thought patterns… of my future… of me. I am taking back control. I have the power to do so because I’ve been given spiritual authority by the blessed and only Potentate—the King of kings and Lord of lords (1 Timothy 6:15 NKJ). He has granted me power of attorney to act on his behalf. He has entrusted me with the weapons of spiritual warfare – the name of Jesus, the blood of the Lamb, the Word of God.

Jehovah-Tsebaoth* is on my side. He has legions of angels at his command. He is the Lord of hosts. The resources of heaven and earth, yeah the entire universe is at his disposal and operates at his command.

God (my God), the omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God, is supreme and superior. Satan is therefore no match for Him. How could he be? Satan was created by God. Therefore, in comparison with God, Mr Diablo is an inferior being. He, a mere member of creation, cannot be greater than the Creator! This emboldens me.

No weapon forged against me, thrown at me, designed to disempower me, provoke me, alienate me (whatever!), can be irredeemably successful in its intention. I have an impregnable shield around me. It is the shield of faith. I have a highly potent substance which covers me from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet. It is the precious, efficacious blood of Jesus. Satan and his cohorts have no immunity against the blood of Jesus (Hallelujah!). And because I dwell in the secret place of the most high (through regular fellowship with Father God), I am hidden under the shadow of His protective wings.

Yay! I am not a victim. I am a victor. I am an overcomer. I am an anointed woman of God, a spiritual warrior. I choose to reign over my circumstances – they will not reign over me. They will not crush me into a place of impotence, or permanent defeat. I will not allow them to push me into a place of perpetual despair, discouragement or distress. I will not allow my circumstances to cower, or imprison me within Fear’s hostile habitation. I am a victor!

Heaven and earth may pass away but God’s Word will never, ever pass away. His covenant with me will not (indeed cannot) be broken!

The Lord my God is Yahweh. He is Jehovah. He is the great I AM. He is not like mere man. He does not lie. He is not flummoxed by what the future brings because he stands at the edge of time. He inhabits the very eras throughout all eternity. He knows the end from the beginning. He knows the destiny he has planned and earmarked for me. Therefore Father God (my God) cannot make me promises, which circumstances he did not expect or foresee (I speak in jest!), render him incapable of fulfilling.

Unlike politicians, my Father God does not make promises he cannot keep. He does not have ulterior motives that benefit only him. He is not disingenuous. He is holy. He is gracious. He is generous-hearted. Yeah, he is just, merciful, full of love and altogether lovely. He is my God!

How wonderful that he should care about me, about my progress, about my future. How wonderful that he should watch over me, treat and keep me as the apple of his eye. How wonderful that He even cares about the sparrows, feeds them and is aware of each one’s fate – that’s how loving, how caring, committed and mindful my Heavenly Father is of his creation.

Well, I am the crowning glory of his creation. I am his poetic masterpiece. He therefore sees me as so much more valuable than the sparrows. So much so, He even knows the number of hairs on my head. How mind-blowing is that!

My God is for me. He loves me. He has made generous provision for me. His individual thoughts concerning me (should I be able to count them), are more numerous than the grains of sand. He desires intimate fellowship with me and delights when I come into his holy presence – me! His banner over me is LOVE. He loves me and loves me unconditionally.

There have been poems, plays, songs and stories about love – “true” love, unrequited love, puppy love – but the greatest love story, is revealed in the greatest book – the book of all books. It is the love of all loves. It is sacrificial, unconditional, everlasting. It is the agape love of God for mankind (or humankind – if you have a problem with masculine language). It is the agape love of God for you and for me. He is love. He is LOVE!

And so, His love for me makes me more than a conqueror. His love for me makes me an overcomer. Therefore, I can boldly declare that I am not a victim – I am a victor!

*Jehovah-Tsebaoth = The Lord of hosts

 

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What declarations of faith do you use to encourage yourself?