If you want to know about prayer, examine the life of Jesus:
He prayed when the pressures of life increased.
He prayed when important decisions had to be made.
It’s when you think you don’t have time to pray, that you need to pray most. Spending time with God is the secret to having power with Him.
UCB Word For Today* (Excerpt from Devotional 26 June 2017)
In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.
(Proverbs 3:6 – The Living Bible)
Whether placing stars or healing scars, no situation is too big or too small to get the attention of our loving God. To understand God’s healing expertise, look at the life of Job. No one in history lost more than Job did, yet God brought him through it all.
…Are you sad and heavy-hearted today? Do what Jesus did. Take time to pray about it.
UCB Word For Today* (Excerpt from Devotional 27 June 2017)
He heals the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds. He counts the stars and calls them all by name. How great he is! His power is absolute! His understanding is unlimited.
(Psalms 147: 3-5 – The Living Bible)
Prayer shouldn’t be your last resort, it should be your first response. Prayer takes the situation out of your hands and puts it into God’s. #Christian #Prayer #SaturdayThoughts
Jesus prayed when the pressures and expectations of others threatened to derail God’s plan for His Life.
…When you’re prayer-less you get careless. God has a plan for your life, and a schedule. To stay in sync with both you must pray regularly. Jesus realised He had only enough time to do what His Father wanted done, and that gave Him the ability to say no to other things.
UCB Word For Today* (Excerpt from Devotional 28 June 2017)
To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
(Ecclesiastes 3:1 – NKJV)
Jesus prayed when He was concerned about the people He loved.
…Prayer shouldn’t be your last resort, it should be your first response. Prayer takes the situation out of your hands and puts it into God’s.
…Invite God into the situation, then stand back and allow Him to work.
UCB Word For Today* (Excerpt from Devotional 29 June 2017)
Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly].
(1 Thessalonians 5:17 – The Amplified Bible)
Jesus didn’t wait until the hour of His greatest crisis before he prayed. For three and a half years during His early ministry, He had built a life of prayer.
…Jesus had such an intimate relationship with His Father that in times of pressure and pain He could go to God, confident He would receive His sustaining grace. Can you do that?
UCB Word For Today* (Excerpt from Devotional 30 June 2017)
…Men ought always to pray, and not to faint…
(Luke 18:1 – KJV)
Wishing you a peaceful and prayerful weekend.
Carol (aka Lady Cee)
A Student in His Secret Place (Psalm 91:1)
*Free postal copies of UCB Word For Today (UK and Republic of Ireland only) are available from: FREEPOST RLTX-ABUL-GRAR, United Christian Broadcasters, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4JF
Do you relish it when other people have the upper hand over you?
Are you quite happy to let those who feel so inclined walk over you, or play their petty mind games and pull down, even crush your carefully erected but fragile self-esteem?
Now, if you are anything like me, or like the average human being, I’m sure you’ve nodded your head vigorously, indicating NO! No way! Absolutely not!
Dear reader, I admit there have been a number of unpleasant occurrences in my past, which left me feeling weak and helpless. It left me feeling a victim. And, as far as I was concerned, God did not seem to care one hoot, because if he did where was he? Why didn’t he exercise his power and deal with those infernal thorns in my flesh? Prompto!
Ever felt the same way?
Well I don’t know about you but when I thought along these lines, I knew full well in my heart of hearts that God did care. He always does and always will! I knew it. But because he was not intervening in the way I wanted, and because he was not intervening within my time-frame, I became angry and accepted the lies of the Enemy, who was quick to suggest that God did not care. After all, if he did, surely he would… blah, blah, blah!
Now when you are hurt and angry, all you care about is your pain and all you want is for that pain to be eradicated, or at the very least, alleviated. And you want it to happen yesterday!
And so, let’s recap. I’ve been mistreated. I’ve been deeply hurt. I’m been left feeling a victim. I’m licking my wounds.
Furthermore, I’m angry with God and I’m sulking because he hasn’t come flying to my defence. I’m so out of sorts that I hardly even noticed that the devil has gate-crashed my pity-party!
Perhaps you too have been there, done that, and got the proverbial tee-shirt!
During my Bible reading recently, I was reminded of the following:
…My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
(2 Corinthians 12:9 KJV)
It set me thinking.
I’ve been praying and believing God for a manifestation of his power in my life. And it has been a heart-felt desire and prayer throughout my Christian walk.
Without realising it, I’ve received prime opportunities for this desire and prayer to be answered. And also without realising it, I have failed to avail myself of these God-given opportunities.
How is that? (I hear you ask).
Read the above scripture quote again.
Did you notice? Have you clicked yet?
Paul is quite clearly saying that God’s power rests upon us when we gladly suffer those occasions which leave us feeling weak, powerless and afflicted. In fact, he is also saying we should glory (take pleasure in, boast about, or Big-up), our infirmities (our inability to obtain or sustain desired results).
The thing is, we don’t like feeling weak. We want to be Superman or Wonder Woman. We want to be seen as “having it all together”. We want to feel in control.
However, God wants to be God in us, for us and through us, and he wants us to acknowledge that he is indeed God, no matter whether circumstances or Satan, tells us otherwise.
Dear friends, if you are praying about a situation that does not seem to be changing, consider this, perhaps God is using the situation to change you!
Women of Warfare readers and followers, if the message of this post applies to you, may I counsel you today? Don’t just go through it – grow through it!
Let’s pray for those in the Body of Christ, who feel broken by their circumstances, forgotten by God and forsaken. And please don’t forget to put on your spiritual armour before entering the battlefield of prayer!
You are the Ever-living God, who endures for ever. We bless and praise your holy and most awesome name.
Heavenly Father, you are a God of compassion and your mercies are new every morning. They are extended toward us every single day.
I commit into your tender care, all those within Christ’s Body, who feel alone and afflicted by their circumstances. I ask that you send your Holy Spirit to come alongside each one, to comfort and strengthen them. Minister your peace to their hearts, the peace that surpasses natural understanding. Minister hope for their future and cause that hope to act as an anchor for their soul. Anchor them to an unwavering belief that you are with them and will never leave or forsake them. Anchor them to the revelation truth within your Word that is able to set them free from every taunt, lie, and false accusation of the Enemy.
Afflicted child of God, I speak to your heart, to your spirit being, in the name of Jesus. Whoever you are, and wherever you may be, I command you to arise now in the strength and grace of God. I command you to arise and anoint yourself with the oil of joy. I declare that you will choose to cast aside your spirit of heaviness and you will arise in faith and put on your garments of praise.
Lord Jesus, I thank you for all that you suffered on our behalf, so that we may be redeemed from the hand of the Enemy and from the curse of the Law. I thank you that you ever live to make intercession for us. I thank you that you are a Good Shepherd and the overseer of our souls. Help us, both as individual members and corporately as your body, to keep our eyes and hearts fully focused upon you, the author and finisher of our faith. Help us to walk victoriously in life.
Holy Spirit, we call upon you as the one sent to come alongside us and help. Teach us to know who we are in Christ. Empower us to exercise our authority over the Enemy. Motivate us to die to every inclination and desire of our carnal lower selves, so that we may grow into the full measure of the stature of Christ.
Father God, we ask this petition in faith, and in the mighty, matchless name of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
Sunday’s Supplications invites you to not only read the posts but also participate in the prayers. Let’s pray for ourselves and for each other. Let’s obey God’s command to watch and pray for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18)
Please note, you do not have to be a blogger to join this praying community.
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Women of Warfare followers and visitors have a wonderful and victorious week!
Credits: The above CC0 images come courtesy of Pixabay.com
The above CC0 image comes courtesy of Gerd Altmann at Pixabay.com
Our Heavenly Father planned for us to be conformed to the same image as his Son, Jesus Christ. In other words we are to emulate him.
However, our carnal flesh prefers to conform to the ways of this world. Now, the celebrity culture means many of us seek to live our lives as close as possible to those we admire and believe represents the epitome of success.
Jesus is, and was a celebrity in heaven, before he came to earth. However, he chose to set his privileges aside and made himself poor, so we could become rich in the things that truly matter, such as an eternal destiny beyond our wildest dreams, peace of mind, freedom from guilt and fear, hope for our future, and the absolute assurance of an Almighty God’s protection and provision.
Now in this current climate of the Covid-19 virus and the resulting havoc wrought by each nation’s lockdown measures, doesn’t this sound attractive?
Unfortunately, even though Jesus has already paid the price for us to have and enjoy an abundant lifestyle of Kingdom privileges, we have a spiritual enemy, who is determined that we should not.
So he fights. He intimidates. He lies, both about us and to us!
And when you measure the quality and effectiveness of our lives against the life of Jesus whilst he was on this earth, it would seem that Satan’s tactics are succeeding in most of our circumstances.
Dear reader, we can either remain passive, or fight back. We can either accept the status quo, or get on board with God’s programme and engage in spiritual warfare.
How do we do this?
In prayer! By standing our ground in faith. By choosing to live our lives as victorious overcomers.
So, are you praying?
Are you praying effectively?
Are you praying without ceasing (i.e. developing a consistent prayer lifestyle)?
Are you emulating Christ, or seeking to emulate an ungodly celebrity’s lifestyle?
If the former, you are ensuring a victorious future. If the latter, you are most likely heading towards a disappointing denouement.
Apoorva Gupta, a writer at the Thought Catalog, makes the following observation:
The choices you make and the decisions you take have a long lasting impact on your life. They make us special, put a bar of distinction between us and everyone else. Our lives are a series of choices we’ve made so far. We live with those choices for the rest of our lives.
[…] We can’t undo the past, but we can always learn from it. Choices are the building blocks of our lives and despite all the mistakes one makes, a new day brings with itself new opportunities and a whole new world of choices.
If you are interested in reading the rest of what Gupta has to say regarding how choices shape our lives, click here:
Reader – you have a choice. So, choose you this day whom you will serve, whom you will emulate!
Carol (aka Lady Cee)
Effectual, fervent prayer avails much!
Do you need a resource that encourages you to develop a consistent and confident prayer life? If so, don’t hesitate to check out the links below.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was such a thing as a School of Good Habits, or if during our school days, Positive Habits Mastery had been on the curriculum?
I think many of us would fare a lot better in life, if we’d been taught how to adopt and maintain positive habits. Because when you think of it, a lot of what undermines us in life, is of course, bad habits!
If we always fail to get out of bed when the alarm clock goes off, it is a bad habit. When we always turn up late for appointments, it is a bad habit. When our default position is to think the worse, it is a bad habit. When we put off until tomorrow or next week, what we could, or should do today, it is bad habit.
Prayer and intercession are positive spiritual habits that we should maintain, yet many of us struggle with this, and not praying, or praying only in crisis situations, has become a bad habit.
The Bible tells us that we are not above our master but that it would be perfectly acceptable to be as our master (Luke 6:40).
Well guess what? Jesus (our Lord and Master), had a consistent prayer habit. The gospel of Luke tells us in several places that He often got up before dawn, to pray. Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m not advocating that we do likewise!
I’m saying that if prayer (and I mean meaningful prayer – not the “bless me and my pet” kind from our childhood days), is not a regular habit of ours, then we should be looking at trying to change that.
Well, I have heard it said that prayer is to our spiritual life, what oxygen is to the natural life. What would happen if you suffered a lack of oxygen for too long?
Now imagine what your spiritual being looks like to God. Imagine what it might feel like to you, if you were to see your prayer life (or lack of it), in those terms!
There are some bad habits which whilst not good, you can still muddle along through life without coming to harm. But there are definitely other habits which could end up becoming life-threatening.
For instance, if you were to smoke 60 cigarettes per day, what is the likely outcome?
If you were to live on a diet of Coco Cola, cheesecake and chocolates only, how healthy do you think you’ll be, a few years down the line?
In the same way, a consistent, quality prayer life (or lack thereof), has future consequences. Those consequences will affect your relationship with God, your confidence regarding the effectiveness of your prayers, even your attitude towards and progress in life. And when a crisis hits, will you have the spiritual stamina to cope?
Friends and followers, if Jesus, the Son of God, felt it necessary to maintain a prayer habit, who are we to not do so?
Sorry to be blunt, but only pride, ignorance or deception would make a believer think that they don’t need to.
May I offer you some advice? If you do not already have a consistent prayer habit, please do something about it.
Not tomorrow. Not next month or next year. Do something about it today!
Carol (aka Lady Cee)
A Student in His Secret Place (Psalm 91:1)
Do you need a resource that will help and encourage you to develop a consistent and confident prayer life?
Petitions From My Heart is an ideal resource for the believer, no matter what stage you are at in your Christian walk, and no matter what your prayer ability, so don’t hesitate to check out the links below.
Like the stars that still shine behind the dark cloak of night, know that God is with you on your darkest days, in your difficult circumstances. His Word declares: I will never leave you, nor forsake you.
Take comfort from the fact that even Jesus felt abandoned by his Father (My God, My God, Why hast thou forsaken me?), and because Jesus suffered similarly, He is able to relate to you and to me. He is able to succour (help and support) us when, and whilst we are going through our difficulties.
So dear, dear reader, if this is where you are at right now, call out to him! Cast aside that shroud of doubt. Resist those thoughts and fears which whisper and tell you otherwise and sometimes threaten to overwhelm you. Do not cast aside your confidence and faith in the Lord.
Reflect on this: you may FEEL as if God has abandoned you, but much like the individual in the Footprints poem, far from abandoning you, he is walking besides you and when you are unable to walk, he carries you!
Dear reader, won’t you trust him, draw nearer to him, allow him to minister his love to you?
As we draw closer to Thanksgiving Day, let’s express gratitude to our Father God for his faithfulness, even when we least deserve it. And let’s be thankful that Jesus, our faithful high priest, ever lives to make intercession for us.
A motivational video I’d been listening to earlier this week mentioned how worry leads to fear. And fear, as the Bible tells us, can lead to torment (1 John 4:18).
False Evidence Appearing Real
Do you struggle with fear? Do you have a degree in the art of anxiety?
Let me be honest with you and admit that fear has been an issue I struggle with. Sometimes I win the battle, other times I lose. But I’m determined in my heart to become consistently victorious in this area.
Having said that, let me confess that this week I suffered a mega anxiety attack. The sudden, intense and overwhelming sense of hopelessness combined with an unrelenting barrage of negative thoughts had me questioning my spiritual status, even questioning my sanity. It was not a pleasant experience.
Now as would-be overcomers choosing to walk in victory, incessant worry and negative fears need to be mastered. However, if we are to gain mastery over immobilising thoughts and feelings, we need to change our thinking, since irrational fears are often a product of our own imagination.
Let me give you an example. Years ago before I committed my life to Christ, I used to watch horror films. After watching The Exorcist, my thoughts focused on what had happened in the movie and fears arose which kept me wide awake.
Whilst I lay in bed terrified, my over-active imagination converted every inexplicable sound, every dark shadow into a potential visitation by an evil force, which was out to possess me! I suffered months of needless worry, stress and sleepless nights because of my fears – false evidence appearing real!
When it comes to fears and anxiety, the Apostle Paul advises:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
And the peace of God, which surpasses understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6 NKJV).
Paul’s words imply that when it comes to our concerns or the difficult challenges of life, we have two choices – we can worry or we can pray!
So what’s your first instinct?
Is it to worry, or is it to pray?
Let’s take a moment to hear what others have to say on this subject:
Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.
― Corrie Ten Boom
Become a worry-slapper. Treat frets like mosquitoes. Do you procrastinate when a bloodsucking bug lights on your skin? ‘I’ll take care of it in a moment.’ Of course you don’t! You give the critter the slap it deserves. Be equally decisive with anxiety.
Easier said than done right?
Dear friend, allow me to encourage you today. If you’ve struggled in this area – don’t give up! Press on until you experience your breakthrough. Meanwhile, if there is something troubling your heart and robbing you of peace of mind, here’s a prayer for you.
I recently came across an old journal entry and thought I’d share an edited version of it with you all. Hopefully, it will be of encouragement to someone.
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Yesterday I decided to put the phrase “victor or victim” into google and see what came up. I was surprised. There were a few blog posts on this, some of which I read then subsequently felt provoked to deal with my negativity once and for all.
It is hard to swallow the fact that I’m responsible for my own misery… that I have consistently made the choice to live in a perpetual cycle of anger, blame, resentment and unhappiness because of the mistreatment of others.
But I have to accept this.
I have to accept that although I cannot control what happens to me, what people do or say to me, what people think about me, I can control how I respond to the things that have happened.
It is a bitter pill indeed to swallow, to realise that me, myself and I have been responsible for years of wrong thinking, wrong attitudes and, wrong reactions. I have allowed other people to control my interior world (my thought life and internal responses) and I have allowed that interior world, to colour my views about myself, my life, my prospects, my future.
Yes – it is a bitter realisation indeed.
Now one of the posts I read gave a scenario about 2 single mothers who found themselves abandoned by their child’s father. The posts described how they chose to go through life thereafter. One emerged a victor and one became a victim. It was a matter of choice—pure and simple.
And so I decided yesterday evening that I was going to make that choice once and for all. I choose to be a victor!
I don’t imagine it will be easy. After all, I have ingrained, deeply entrenched negative habits. But, I am not fighting in my own strength and in fact, whilst I think about it, the battle has already been won. I just have to get on my battle gear and stand against the wiles of the Enemy, who just loves to goad me with his mind games.
Day after day he has told me (and will no doubt continue to tell me) that I am a loser, that I am rejected, disrespected, fighting a losing battle. But he is a liar. I am not a loser. I am going to win.
I need to win. Because there are other women out there who need my help, need me to share my insights and encouragement and wisdom and need me to motivate them, inspire them and support them.
And so Father God, I thank you for opening my eyes. I thank you for giving me your assignment to minister to wounded, hurting victims. Thank you for your promise to help me. Holy Spirit I thank you in advance and in anticipation of your help, counsel, direction and enabling power. Teach me. Anoint me. Help me. Give me new perspectives, new aspirations, new insights—a new victorious life!
I am excited! Excited to see how this turns out. Excited to see my life turn around miraculously and irrevocably. Excited to see lives that the Enemy has held in captivity turn around and be fully recovered from victimhood.
Things are going to change within me, within my life, within the lives of people around me to whom I have been assigned. This is a mega responsibility but it is also an honour and nothing will delight me more than to see women who have been held down, crushed and incapacitated by the Enemy coming out of captivity, being liberated, arising in strength.
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After writing the above entry, Maya Angelou’s poem StillI Rise came to mind. You can listen to, or read the poem here.
Serena Williams recited it before her Wimbledon finals match in July 2016. She not only won but achieved sporting history by matching Steffie Graff’s record of winning 22 grand slams.
Dear reader, if the above words from my journal entry speaks to you where you are at, if the message of my posts and the ethos of this blog (Women of Warfare!) resonates with you, may I take this opportunity to encourage you?
Like Serena Williams, you too can win. And you too can arise.
Now if you are a Wimbledon fan, or any kind of sports fan, you will appreciate that it takes more than talent or ability to win. It takes mental strength and determination.
Beloved Child of God, if you are going to win against the lies of the Enemy, if you are going to rise above your negative circumstances, if you are going to walk confidently in life as a victorious overcomer, then as the Word of God counsels, you need to be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2). You need to choose to focus your thoughts upon those things which are in line with God’s Word and his will for your life.
Dear reader, you can change your psychological history. It is a matter of choice.
Precious woman of God, you were created to be a victor. So choose to be the woman of God that He has called you to be – strong, merciful, loving, productive, wise and victorious!
No matter what you have suffered in the past, no matter what you may be experiencing now, choose to believe God’s Word over what the Enemy says or shows you, over what abusers, liars, mockers and scorners say and do to you, over whatever your negative life experiences have been.
Choose to arise. Choose to be a victorious overcomer.
Because as the L’Oréal advert says: “You are worth it!”
This Week’s Prayer Focus:
Let us turn our thoughts and prayers this week towards those who are emotionally unstable—whether for yourself, or for someone you know, or anyone in the Body of Christ who feels victimised by others, who feels oppressed by the Enemy, who feels downtrodden by and despairing of their life’s circumstances.
You have said in your Word that those who are strong ought to bear the burdens of those who are weak.
I want to thank you for the examples in your Word, which show us how to overcome in the battles of life. I particularly want to bring to your remembrance the account of Aaron and Hur, who held up the weary arms of Moses, so Joshua and the Children of Israel could prevail in battle (Exodus 17:8-12).
Thank you for this picture of intercessory warfare. Thank you for this beautiful example of saints in Christ coming alongside those who are weary, discouraged or defeated, in order to bear them up with our prayers, in order to support them with our love.
Father God, thank you for your Word, which is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword. Thank you that when we speak your Word in faith, when we meditate upon it daily, it does not return to you empty and unfulfilled but accomplishes your purpose in and through our lives.
I ask that you help all those who may be struggling right now, to stand with confidence upon your Word. I ask that you help all those who are mentally or emotionally defeated to awake to the truth and miraculous power of your Word, to resist Satan’s deceptive lies and to break free from the captivity of the Enemy.
Holy Spirit, I ask that you come alongside those who are weak, weary and defeated. I ask that you minister spiritual strength, comfort and peace throughout the coming weeks and months.
Lord Jesus, I thank you that you are the captain of our Salvation. I thank you that you have already disarmed the principalities and powers that have set themselves against us. I thank you that you ever live to make intercession for us. Enable us through your prayers and through the help of your Holy Spirit to stand strong in battle, to walk through life as victorious overcomers.
Father God, I ask this in the name of our all-conquering King. I ask in the mighty, matchless name of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
Sunday’s Supplications invites you to not only read the posts but also participate in the prayers. Each fortnight, I hope to introduce a new theme and prayer focus. Why not become a part of the WoW! community by participating in these prayers? Let’s pray for ourselves and for each other. Let’s obey God’s command to watch and pray for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18).
You are welcome to print off and use each prayer provided, either verbatim or adapted for your particular circumstance. Even better, why not 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 and victorious week!
CREDITS: The above CC0 images come courtesy of Pixabay.com
You possess a divine call and purpose. You have sacred obligations and extraordinary privileges. The call to prayer and praise as a priest of the most high God is a call to every New Testament believer.
(from Highest Calling by Larry Lea)
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Have you answered that call?
CREDIT: the above CC0 image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com
Each year, each month, each week, each day, even each hour, we are presented with an opportunity to change, to aim for a better, higher expression of ourselves as a child of God, as a spouse, as a parent, as a colleague, as a human being with a unique personality.
Why not aim to make this year, a year of significant achievement or breakthrough, in terms of drawing closer to God, in terms of our relationship with others, in terms of our areas of weaknesses, in terms of our dreams?
Is it possible?
Can anyone who has ingrained bad habits, a negative mind-set, a propensity to start but not finish their projects, change?
YES THEY CAN!
Dear reader, perhaps you are entertaining doubts. Perhaps your doubts are singing loudly from the rooftop of your being, or perhaps they are quietly niggling you at the back of your brain. However they may be troubling you, don’t ignore them and certainly don’t accept them!
Instead dismiss them. Address them each time they show up and say: doubts – come out! Serve them notice. Evict them. Refuse to give them free board and lodging in your life anymore.
Perhaps you are thinking: that’seasy for you to say Lady Cee but I’ve tried in the past and failed.
So have I, dear reader – so have I! But that is not going to stop me from continuing to try until I succeed.
Listen to me – I heard a man of God speak the other day and the gist of his encouraging message was that every champion, every president, every entrepreneur, every man or woman who has achieved significance, had wanted to give up.
What you and I have to do, is purpose in our hearts, no matter how long it takes, no matter what obstacles we face, WE WILL NOT GIVE UP! As a well-known proverb advises: If at first you don’t succeed TRY, TRY, AGAIN!
So about those doubts. Why might they be there?
Perhaps you had parents, or school teachers, or a spouse, or some other significant person in your past, who said you were not going to amount to much. Listen, there is historical evidence that such figures of authority have been proved wrong. Very wrong!
They were wrong about physicist and Nobel Prize winner, Albert Einstein. They were wrong about successful business magnate, Richard Branson. They were wrong about renowned motivational speaker, Les Brown. And they are wrong about you!
Decide in your heart that no human being (other than yourself) is going to have the last word in your life about your capabilities or prospects. God says you are his creative masterpiece. Listen to him and accept his assessment of you.
Perhaps you have a past record of beginning projects and not completing them. I know I have. And the memory of these unfinished projects, these unfulfilled “vows” with yourself, sit smugly within your consciousness and point accusatory fingers. The devil himself makes sure to give you his unsought opinion. And the little demons that attach themselves to these memories, scoff and taunt about your ability to change, to be diligent, to discipline yourself, to sustain interest until the point of completion.
Am I right? But more to the point, are they right?
Don’t let them have the last word. You can change. The Word of God says that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. So ask God, believe and expect mental and emotional strength. Ask for, believe and expect to receive an ability to withstand the pressures of your life, to overcome those forces designed to distract and deter you.
Again, the Word of God says all things are possible to him that believeth. I understand that the “eth” at the end of words in biblical text signifies a continuous tense. So to achieve your heart’s desire, it’s important that you not just believe whilst the going is good but continue to believe – today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year – regardless of what happens and for as long as it takes. Are you willing to believe and believe and believe? Are you willing to do whatever it takes?
And about those obstacles, whether within yourself, or outside of yourself, you have a choice of whether to allow them to win, or whether to soar over them, plough through them, or wrestle them into submission to your dreams, goals and strategic plans.
If human beings, severely disadvantaged in life, refuse to let those disadvantages deter them; if disabled people can paint with their feet, successfully compete in races, and achieve extraordinary results; if individuals so beaten down by life they’d planned to dispose of themselves, can come back from the dead, so to speak, to effectively change and empower themselves, then we as blood-bought children of God—who’ve been given the requisite supernatural resources to enable us to endure, to overcome and win, and enjoy abundant life—have absolutely no genuine excuse!
Dear friend, the following is a short video which concludes today’s pep talk. If you need to watch it again and again and again throughout the coming weeks and months, until that message sinks in, until those doubts do not even dare to peep out of your soul, then please do so.
WoW follower and visitor – you can do it BUT you have to choose to do so! So choose today to be a victor. Choose today to be a victorious over-comer. Choose today to follow your dreams, to pursue your goals, to make this year, your year of jubilee!
CREDIT: all the above CC0 images come courtesy of Pixabay.com
I think of individuals who have been specially trained, who know how to handle themselves in combat.
Paul writes to the Ephesians and instructs:
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:10-11)
When Paul gave this direction, he would have been thinking about the Roman regiment. And that’s where he got the idea to use these soldiers and their armour to illustrate the child of God in spiritual warfare, with spiritual weapons, engaging in spiritual combat.
The first thing we are commanded to do, is to be strong. Not wishy washy. Not crumbling at the first sign of confrontation, disappointment, or opposition. We are to be strong.
What does that mean – to be strong?
It means we are to be resilient. To be hardy. To be able to bear up under pressure. To have mental, emotional and spiritual stability. But we are not expected to be strong in and of ourselves (thank God!).
We are commanded to be strong in the Lord. Did you get that? Be strong IN the Lord. To be in the Lord means we are enclosed. It means we are covered. It means we are inside him. We are not on him, under him, beside him, behind him, but in him!
Yet life happens and life is not usually packaged in a neat pretty bow. Life does not offer us an even plane with idyllic circumstances. It offers curved balls. It serves us conundrums. It delivers mountain top experiences along with valleys of adversity and mind-boggling dilemmas.
Our heavenly father knows this. After all he is omniscient. So when he demands that we be strong, does this mean we should only show the “stiff upper lip” as the Brits used to say? Does this mean, never show emotion? Does this mean we should not be susceptible to tears, or discouragement, or fear?
Absolutely not! Jesus was our role model when he was on this earth. He wept over Lazarus. He grieved for Jerusalem. He was fearful of the agony of a cruel death and separation from his beloved Father. And I doubt anyone would describe him as weak!
And that’s why we cannot depend upon our own strength—since that strength can obviously be diminished by discouragement and difficulties. That is why Paul admonishes us to be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might.
What does it mean to be “in the Lord”? It means the Lord is the container and we are inside. It means the Lord is our fortress and we are within that fortress.
So dear child of God, do you understand what is being asked of you? Are you taking heed?
Be strong in the Lord!
Think of it another way. Think of it as abiding. Abiding in the vine. Abiding in God’s Word. Abiding in God’s presence. Living in such a way that you are vitally connected to the source of divine might and strength.
Be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might!
Spiritual strength is important. A soldier who falls to pieces mentally and emotionally is no good on the battlefield. A soldier who does not have physical stamina, is no good to his comrades or superiors. In fact he could become a liability.
Strength is required to withstand the Enemy. Strength is required to withstand the internal voices that assail you as you go about your daily living (Can I do this? Suppose I fail? Am I good enough?), or as you take your place on the battlefield of prayer (Has God heard my petition? Will God grant this request?).
Let me illustrate how Paul’s challenge to the Body of Christ, plays out in a real life scenario. I presume you are familiar with the Bible story of David and Goliath.
Do you recall the response of Saul and members of his army? These men were seasoned soldiers. These men were fighting veterans. And yet they were afraid. They were afraid because they approached the prospect of facing their enemy, in their own strength and might. And when it came to measuring their strength and their might against this gigantic Philistine, they believed they were no match for this enemy – and of course they were right!
However, David, an unseasoned, and untested and unorthodox warrior, saw himself as strong in the power of God’s might. He saw not the bigness of this giant foe but the greatness of his covenant-keeping God.
How did he come by such spiritual strength? How did he gain such supernatural confidence? Through regular fellowship with God. Through a committed ongoing relationship. And through experiences gained during his every-day life as a shepherd, as a worshipper.
In Daniel 11:32b, we are told: …the people who know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits.
Without spiritual strength you cannot resist the Enemy. Without spiritual strength you cannot stand your ground.
Don’t waste time, don’t expend your energy fighting against people. It’s tempting yes, to use carnal weapons such as put-downs, arguments, hostility, withdrawal of love, etc.
It may even feel temporarily satisfying but use of such weapons will only dissipate your spiritual strength. Use of such weapons will only put you at odds with the Commander of our faith. Even worse, use of such weapons puts us in the same territory (i.e. on the same side) as our deadly Enemy.
Want to succeed this year?
Want this year to be better than those gone before?
Want to walk as a victorious over-comer?
Want to reign in your circumstances, instead of your circumstances ruling you?
Then develop your spiritual strength. Aim to be strong and let that supernatural strength, that sense of stability, that emotional and internal resilience be a product of God’s power and might. Let that strength permeate your life through your ongoing relationship with him.
And remember dear one, regardless of any negative circumstance you may face—you are more than a conqueror. So believe it, declare it, and walk confidently in this truth – today!
This Week’s Prayer Focus:
In accordance with Ephesians 6:18, let’s pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ (particularly those who’ve been imprisoned for their faith). Pray that we will be empowered by our relationship with God and will stand firm in the face of any attack by the Enemy.
Remember to protect yourself by putting on yourspiritual armour before entering the battlefield of prayer!
Father God in heaven, thank you for making us a partaker of your divine nature. Thank you for granting us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Christ. Thank you for equipping the body of Christ with supernatural weapons of warfare and with an armour that protects us from the onslaught of the Enemy. Help us to be vigilant, to be aware that Satan prowls around seeking to devour our faith and our confidence in you and seeking to prey on our weaknesses.
Lord Jesus, you are the high priest of our confession. We therefore declare with boldness that this year we will not be intimidated by, or slothful about the Enemy’s attacks against us and our loved ones. We declare that we are not ignorant of Satan’s devices and we determine in our hearts not to indulge in the use of carnal weapons but to submit our thoughts, attitudes and actions to the obedience of Christ. We apply the protective power of the blood of Jesus over our minds and over our lives, against which Satan and his cohorts have no immunity.
Lord, we pray for those brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering persecution for their faith. We ask that you strengthen them with might by your Holy Spirit in their inner being. Cause them to hope in you and may that hope act as an anchor for their soul. Deliver them from evil. Let not the plans of the Enemy prevail against them or their families. Grant them the inner peace that transcends natural understanding.
Thank you Father-God for your goodness and mercy. Thank you for your unfailing compassion. Whether at liberty or imprisoned, we proclaim your sovereignty in the lives of your people and we declare your miraculous power is at work within our lives.
Sunday’s Supplications invites you to not only read the posts but also participate in the prayers. Each fortnight, 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 visitors be blessed and have a wonderful week!
CREDIT: The above CC0 image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com
My guess is that whatever has happened to you in the past, whatever injustice you have suffered, whatever unfortunate happening has occurred, if you have spent days, weeks, months, years, obsessing over that situation, it has not changed your circumstance by one iota!
Am I right?
So why do we do this?
Why do we repeat negative thought and behaviour patterns that have proven over time to be non-effective, even perhaps self-destructive?
May I encourage you dear reader? May I suggest something to you that might seem challenging?
Get over it! Move on!
Dear reader, I am not being harsh or unfeeling and I am not being unsympathetic. Believe me, I’m speaking firstly to myself and then to whoever happens to be reading this post, to whom my message may apply.
Quit cursing, nursing and rehearsing
I get it. You feel bereaved.
Someone’s words or actions have left you feeling angry, or bereft, even savaged. And you are hurting over that sense of loss.
Do you acknowledge what happened? Yes!
Do you allow it to be your focus, to the point that it immobilises you? No!
Stop nursing the hurt or outrage. Stop revisiting the scenario in your mind. Stop allowing it to haunt your waking moments, your get-into-bed routine. Stop examining in minute detail what was said or done, how it made you feel, how you wish you could make that person pay for what they did, or how their words, their actions, have left you feeling used and abused, or rendered you bottom-of-the-barrel in the estimation of others.
Are you not permitted to be open and transparent about how you feel? Yes!
Should you begin to manipulate the responses of others toward those who’ve hurt you? No!
Quit cursing, nursing and rehearsing:
Refrain from rueing the day you ever got involved with so-and-so. Stop wishing God will take vengeance—on your terms! Stop vowing to never speak to that person again, or deciding I will never, ever allow myself to be hurt in that way again.
And definitely, absolutely, stop talking about it in negative terms to other people. Stop filling the ears of friends and loved ones with “tales of the un-respected”. Stop inviting others to share your biased view point.
Stop being a victim!
A change is as good as a rest!
So what should we do if we consider ourselves to be a victim of someone’s malicious gossip, spite, or unwarranted attack?
In the natural realm, whenever we’ve sustained wounds, whenever we experience a debilitating or potentially harmful condition, we take appropriate action. We seek expert advice and assistance.
And, if we’ve applied corrective measures, if we’ve been operated upon, we require recuperation. We allow time for a full recovery.
Now during this period, how well do you think we’d recover, if we kept removing the bandages, or undid our stitches and began poking around in our wounds?
How do you think we’d be received, if we invited everyone we knew to look at our sores, or examine our scars, again and again?
Woman of God, what if you should find yourself in need of surgery, or some other form of medical intervention? Would you think or believe that you will never recover, regain strength, return to your normal self? Of course not!
You trust the surgeon. You believe the prescribed medication will do its job. You know if you adjust your lifestyle and obey the expert’s directions, you will eventually bounce back.
In fact, dear woman of God, if in the natural, you did sustain a sore or serious wound, would you not apply salve, or seek appropriate assistance in order to alleviate pain and encourage healing? Would you not consider it irresponsible to allow it to fester unattended?
So why not apply this same way of thinking when it comes to your emotional hurts and wounds?
Women of God – Apply that Spiritual Salve!
Biblical truth reveals:
…he (Jesus) was wounded and bruised for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace; he was lashed—and we were healed!
(Isaiah 53:5 The Living Bible)
So who is the expert when it comes to inner hurts?
Who can and has prescribed the correct spiritual remedy for your specific ailment?
Who can assist you in your recovery programme?
The Holy Spirit!
Do you believe this? Then may I encourage you dear reader to accept the opportunity for inner healing that Jesus’ blood has purchased for you? May I encourage you to take advantage of the wonderful and FREE spiritual resources that have been made available to us as children of God?
What are those resources?
The Word of God.
The person of the Holy Spirit.
Dear women of warfare, I am not only seeking to encourage you to increase your prayer life, pray fervently and effectively, I am also wanting to encourage those to whom it is appropriate, to adopt better behavioural patterns, so that we are not stumbling through life as walking wounded women (victims) but living as authentic, spiritual overcomers (victors).
I am seeking to inspire you to imitate Jesus, trust your Father-God and co-operate with the Holy Spirit.
As women of God, let’s rise up to the level of thinking and acting that enables us to experience abundant life—the life for which Christ so cruelly suffered, in order that we might freely enjoy.
Are you with me?
Then let’s start by making a personal pact with ourselves. Let’s quit mourning about what cannot be undone. Let’s stop obsessing over the whys and the wherefores… the he said this and she did that… the if only… blah blah blah.
After all, if it’s not changing the situation, if it’s only entrenching us in ungodly and self-harming paradigms, leading us into self-sabotaging re-actions—is it not foolish to continue engaging with such pernicious ways of thinking and behaving?
Women of Warfare followers and visitors – arise and shine! Let’s make a quality decision to allow the love and power of God to become our focus, so that his glory can be seen upon us and can be manifested both within and through our lives.
From now on, let’s make a decision to quit mourning and moaning about the past and move on.
Let those in agreement, say aye or Amen!
Do I enjoy playing the victim, or am I willing to change?
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If you know anyone to whom this message may be timely, please don’t hesitate to share it. Have you found this post helpful? Let me know what aspects resonated with you, or what your response is to my message. Thank you for your time.
CREDIT: the above CC0 image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com
In the above quote, we read of David’s distress about his circumstances. What I love about this man is his total honesty. He does not say that he shed a few tears. He uses language that reveals his utter desolation and sense of hopelessness. His relationship with God is such that he feels able to be totally transparent and vulnerable.
Despite David’s despair, at some point during his communication with God, he receives an assurance that the Lord has heard his tears, heard his supplication and received his prayer.
Dear reader, let me ask you a question – do you have such a relationship with God that when you pray, you are confident he has heard you?
It is obvious from the Psalms that David’s relationship with God was of utmost importance to him. No wonder God declared: ‘…I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart…’ (Acts 13:22 NKJV)
Fast forward through the pages of scripture and we meet another man, who is often referred to as the one whom Jesus loved (see John 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, 20). This same disciple wrote:
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
(1 John 5:14-15 NKJV)
What is the thing that these two men of God from completely different eras share? It is their supreme confidence that God hears their prayers. And that confidence comes from maintaining a close relationship with the Lord.
And so let me ask another question:
How confident are you that God hears your prayers?
Women of Warfare readers, let me assure you today that we serve a God who hears and answers prayers.
This Week’s Prayer Focus:
Let us pray for ourselves and for one another that we will have a strong relationship with God, which leads to a heartfelt assurance that he hears our prayers.
PS: Don’t forget to put on your spiritual armour before entering the battlefield of prayer!
I want to thank you for making me worthy to come into your holy presence. I want to thank you for granting me the privilege of entering into your throne room. I want to thank you for the precious blood of your Son, Jesus, which enables me to fellowship with you without fear or condemnation.
Lord God, you began this relationship when you bestowed your unconditional love upon me, when you accepted me into your family. I want to love you with all of my heart, soul and mind – the way you deserve and the way you command. I ask that you stir up within me an ever increasing desire to know you, to fellowship with you, to please and obey you.
Father God, I commit into your hands my brothers and sisters in Christ represented among the followers of, and visitors to this blog. I ask that during the days, weeks and months ahead you draw them into a closer relationship with you. And, as they draw near to you, I thank you for your promise that you will draw even nearer to them. I ask that this closeness will grant them complete confidence that you hear their prayers, that you are concerned about their welfare, that you are able to cause all things that occur in their lives to work together for their good, their benefit and their blessing.
Thank you for hearing my prayer and granting this request, which I ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Don’t let what you have gone through define you. But allow the lessons learned to teach, mold, and guide you to who you were meant to be! With Love, Dr. KL ❤ Author of “Everyday Isn’t Perfect”: http://amzn.com/B01GNLNQ28.
A: It is a 5min free write blog event hosted by Kate Motaung. Every Thursday Kate announces a one-word prompt on her blog at 10pm EST. The link-up is open for a full week, until the following Thursday evening. For further details on how to participate visit her blog at: Heading Home.
Dear readers before I continue, I have to make a confession. Although this post began life as a 5min exercise, it has since been amended and refined!
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CC0 Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
Five Minute Friday Prompt: SING
I don’t know why but Maya Angelou’s book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, came to mind, as soon as I saw this week’s prompt.
In the context of this blog’s purpose (which is to encourage women and to motivate us to walk as victorious overcomers), I see Christian woman who are habitually defeated or depressed, as akin to caged birds.
Most birds have the potential to sing joyously with abandon, to soar, to explore and enjoy their freedom but caged birds, in effect, have had their wings clipped.
Continuing with the above analogy, the cage (representing limiting beliefs, negative behaviour and Satan’s lies), both confines and defines.
Now of course the caged bird can sing but is its song true? Does it sing with the same harmony and sweetness as its counterparts that enjoy liberty?
Women of God, it is our choice whether any negative circumstance in which we may find ourselves, serves to imprison us. It is our responsibility to ensure that our Bible-based confession, or our testimony of faith becomes the spiritual song God hears, thus enabling him to liberate us.
Let us follow the example of the following writers, who confidently declared:
Behold God is my salvation,
I will trust and not be afraid;
For YAH, the Lord, is my
Strength and song;
He also has become my salvation.
(Isaiah 12:2 NKJV)
You are my hiding place;
You shall preserve me from trouble;
You shall surround me with
Songs of deliverance.
(Psalm 32:7 NKJV)
So, let me ask you dear Women of Warfare, how do you sing? As a caged bird, or as a potential bird of paradise… a beautiful bird of liberty?
Prayer creates a personal change in your life. Nothing you can do will benefit you more than prayer. Through prayer, you create an account balance in your favour in God’s spiritual bank. Through prayer, you will benefit spiritually, mentally and physically.
The following is a beautiful post I came across today, which I’d like to share with you all.
If you (as Christ’s disciples did), feel your prayers lack oomph, or if you wish to increase your prayer prowess, do as this blogger did – ask!
God will certainly hear your prayer and grant your request. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you – that’s why he was sent – to come alongside believers and help. So ask! Ask today. Don’t delay!
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I have been asking Jesus to show me how to pray. I am often thinking that it’s in relation to how I pray for others, but there’s so much I need to learn. How to approach him, how to wait for him, what I need, what he needs to show me. This was where he […]
The following is a long-playing instrumental music (don’t be put off!). I am not expecting you to listen to the entire album but you may enjoy listening to it playing softly in the background, whilst you read this post. And then when you have finished reading, please don’t rush away. I’d certainly encourage you to sit and listen for just a little while longer. Allow the Lord to minister to your soul and spirit.
Dear fellow-bloggers, friends and visitors – forgive me!
A few mornings ago, as I was worshipping the Lord, the phrase Praise, Prayer & Worship Wednesday suddenly entered my head. I then realised that I’d missed last month’s feature post. I am not sure whether anyone noticed. If you did, please accept my apologies!
I cannot believe how fast the month has flown. So fast, in fact, I hadn’t even realised that the last Wednesday of February had come and gone.
Now, I obviously cannot roll back the time. So for the benefit of anyone who did notice and perhaps missed this feature and, because I truly want to honour God on this blog, I’d like to focus today’s post on doing just that. I want to praise and glorify my Father God.
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I have come across many in my life who for various reasons have rejected me and systematically seek to rob me of my dignity. They do not welcome me into their presence.
And there are those who, whenever I happen to be in their midst, never miss an opportunity to show me their contempt, to subject me to mockery, ridicule and scorn. Yet who are they? Are they not fellow human beings? Are they not fallible flesh and blood individuals, just as I am?
However, for some reason, these people have elevated themselves above me in their thinking, in their behaviour toward me. They have lifted up themselves in their own estimation and chosen to exclude me from their ‘acceptance’ club. They continually seek to hurt me. And they often succeed.
But I thank them. Sincerely!
Because the weight and constancy of their unkind treatment has opened my eyes to the expanse of God’s continual grace, lovingkindness and mercy.
Yes. My wonderful Father God, who is God indeed, who is exalted above the heavens (you can’t get higher than that!), finds it in his generous, loving heart to include me, to make room for me in his life, to even want to share that life (eternal life, abundant life) with me.
I know from personal experience that when I enter into that atmosphere of sincere praise and worship, when I enter into God’s awesome presence, when my spirit connects with my Father God’s—I sense the holiness, the loveliness, the majesty of his awesome being. And when I reflect on the privilege that this wonderful being has granted, in inviting unwanted and unworthy me into His throne-room, I am overcome and overwhelmed.
Charles Green, a contributing author to the Spirit Filled Life Bible (NKJV), says:
Man was created to live and breathe in an atmosphere of praise-filled worship to his Creator.
My first thought as I read this was of a fish taken out of water, taken out of the ideal environment in which it was created to survive and thrive. To fail to offer God the fruit of our lips, and our free-will sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving, is to be like a fish out of water. It is removing ourselves from the atmosphere and environment in which we were created to survive. And guess what? The Enemy of our souls, is always seeking to discourage us from praise, prayer and worship, because he knows that therein lies our spiritual strength.
Satan, my enemy, (and yours!) has sought to surround me with pack-bullies. He has worked hard at promoting an atmosphere of contempt around me. But I refuse to be hemmed in by thoughts of intimidation, fear and rejection. I refuse to be defined by the words and actions and attitudes of those whom the devil deploys to come against me, who walk in the counsel of the ungodly, choose to stand in the path of sinners and sit in the seat of the scornful (Psalm 1:1).
And so Father God, today I want to celebrate your goodness. I want to praise you:
I will extol You, my God, O King;
And I will bless Your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless You,
And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
And I offer you my heartfelt prayer:
Thank you for your unconditional love. Thank you for your acceptance. Thank you for that wonderful sense of peace that your awesome presence exudes. Help me to bask in that holy presence, to allow your peace to soothe my soul.
I worship you today in spirit and in truth. Accept my humble sacrifice. May my offerings of praise, prayer and thanksgiving, rise like sweet incense to your throne. Amen.
Have you been hurt – by a colleague, church member, wife, husband, close relative or friend? Then use that hurt to propel you into the arms of Jesus. He is able to relate (remember Judas!). He is able (and willing) to comfort, strengthen and restore. Just ask him!
Why not accept today’s invitation to visit with your Father God?
It is an open invitation. Spend time saturating yourself in his presence. Spend time cultivating an atmosphere of praise, prayer and worship around you, so that your Father God can heal and restore you. So that he can lavish his love upon you – the way you deserve. So that you can become the person, the victorious overcomer, God created you to be.
Fellow Christian bloggers and visitors may I encourage you to make God’s presence in your life a priority?
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs and don’t forget to thank him for the answers. If you do this you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 (The Living Bible)
Prayer is the portal that brings the power of heaven down to earth. It is kryptonite to the enemy and all his ploys against you.
The only power that overcomes Satan and releases souls from his stranglehold is the power of the Holy Spirit, and the only power that releases the energy of the Holy Spirit is the power of believing prayer.
A: It is a 5min free write blog event hosted by Kate Motaung. Every Thursday Kate announces a one-word prompt on her blog at 10pm EST. The link-up is open for a full week, until the following Thursday evening. For further details on how to participate visit her blog at: Heading Home.
Five Minute Friday Prompt: LIFT
I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord
Who made heaven and earth.
(Psalm 121: 1-2 NKJ)
The above declaration implies that the writer has made a decision to change his focus.
How many times have you felt despondent… felt bereft of hope because life stood up and slapped you in the face instead of gracing you with the smile and gifts of fortune and favour? And how many times have you dwelt on your circumstances and decided that life is hard and unfair?
I recently felt this way.
I’d taken a blogging break and had planned to use the time to work on a long-standing project. My mother’s health suddenly deteriorated to the extent that she was eventually hospitalised and, following discharge, needed full-time care. I decided to take a break from work in order to provide that care.
Daily hospital visits, stress, weariness and the further demands upon my time meant my project was once again consigned to the back burner. The little scrap of time left to me late in the evenings meant I only wanted to eat and relax before going to bed (here read watch TV, or check and despair over my dismal blog stats!).
Added to this, I felt completely overwhelmed by the extra responsibility and was also concerned that I might not be patient enough, mentally or physically strong enough to follow through with this commitment.
My eyes were on my circumstances, on the enormity of my problems and not upon the greatness of my God. It’s easy to do right? To preach it and write or blog about it, but when it comes to the crunch, forget God’s commands and promises and fail to walk in his peace and strength. And before you know it, all the prayers and meditation and bold confessions, all the effort you’ve put in to familiarise yourself with God’s Word and endeavour to submit to his perfect will, have retreated from your consciousness and disappeared from your vocabulary.
“Hath God said…” whispers Satan within your mind and before you can say: “Get behind me!” you have fallen victim to overwhelming doubts, fear and even unbelief.
Dear reader, if these words speak to you where you are at right now, please join with me by lifting your heart and the eyes of your understanding and refocus them upon Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith. Please join with me by discarding your constrictive cloak of heaviness and don your glorious garment of praise and thanksgiving.
Let’s wholeheartedly lift our eyes to our Father God in Heaven (who graciously loves, protects and provides for us) and let’s declare our trust, faith and confidence in Him without reservation.
WoW! followers and visitors may you experience the peace of God that transcends human understanding throughout the coming weeks and may you rest in his comfort and abide in his presence.
a skilled fighting man, especially one belonging to earlier times
any distinguished soldier or veteran
someone notable for strength of spirit or indomitability
Chambers 21st Century Dictionary
I wonder what image came to mind when you read the title of this post.
Was it the bloodcurdling scream of a fearless combatant charging into battle, brandishing a sword or club?
Well, that is not the warrior’s cry I am speaking of here. I am not referring to the war cry of a superhero. No! I am speaking about the whimper of a wounded one. I am describing the desolate tears of an injured soldier on the battlefield of life.
Dear wounded warrior, be assured. God sees your tears and recognises your fears.
Did you know that he preserves your tears in a bottle? Fancy that! We preserve vegetables or fruit but God preserves our tears. How loving and precious is that?
Don’t believe me? Listen!
You have seen me tossing and turning through the night. You have collected all my tears and preserved them in your bottle! You have recorded every one [tear] in your book. (Psalms 56:8 Living Bible)
In fact, the Bible gives clear evidence of the lengths to which our Father God has gone, in order to show us how much he cares. Isaiah 49:16 tells us that we are inscribed upon the palms of his hands.
Have you ever felt as if your life has been ruined? Do you ever feel despondent about your future? If so, what is your response?
In 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 we read about a woman whose distressing experience of childbirth prompted her to name her son Jabez. The literal interpretation of this name is: He will cause pain.
Can you imagine being saddled with a name like that? Particularly as in bible times, your name was a reflection of your person, a prophetic foretelling of your future. Every time someone called you, spoke to you or about you, they were affirming and confirming the meaning of your given name. They were re-affirming your destiny: “He will cause pain!”
Fortunately, Jabez decided he was not going to accept the cards that life had dealt him. He was not going to allow his life, his future to be determined by his mother’s response to a painful experience. He decided that his mother would not have the last word. This unlikely warrior decided to take charge of his fate and change the course of his destiny.
So Jabez enlisted the help of the only person who possessed the power and resources to alter the course of his life. He turned to God in prayer. He appealed to his Father in Heaven and made a specific request regarding how he wanted his life to be—and God granted him his desire.
Jabez could have chosen to wallow in self-pity and remain a victim of his circumstances. He could have lived a life of misery and defeat and felt justified about blaming his misfortune upon his mother.
Instead, he chose to turn his predicament into a prayer project. He chose to refocus his eyes and thoughts and fix them upon God. He chose to cry out in faith and believe God for a future filled with blessing, increase, favour and protection. He decided to superimpose his words and his desired future over his mother’s negative declaration.
And note, Jabez was not only concerned about his future, his own well-being. He cared about the well-being of those around him and asked God to preserve him from evil and keep him from causing pain to others.
Wounded warrior, God loves you. He has seen your trials. He has noted your tears. He is willing to act on your behalf. Will you rise up in faith? Will you refocus your thoughts? Will you refuse to accept the words the Enemy whispers into your heart? Will you take those hurtful words that were flung at you by family, friend or foe and instead of absorbing, or mulling over them, allow them to provoke you into calling upon your Father God and believe Him for the wonderful destiny he’s ordained for your life?
Dear warrior, I know you have the strength to rise up and win. I know God has empowered you with his Word and with his weapons of warfare.
So will you take a leaf from out of Jabez’s book? Will you direct your petition to God—not just for yourself but also on behalf of others?
The other day I came across a book I’d bought. It was the Bloomsbury Good Reading Guide – What To Read And What To Read Next. I’d bought it way back in 2003 because I had a desire to become more widely read. Now over a decade later, I’ve neither read it, consulted it, or used it in any way, shape or form.
Do you have books on your shelf that are unread, or only partially read? What about the greatest Book of all books – your Bible, the Word of God? How often do you read it?
A much-loved and much-read book
Once upon a time, when I first made a serious commitment to the Lord, I had a brown leather-bound King James’ Bible which was so well-used, its pages became dog-eared and fragile. To make matters worse, the binding began to disintegrate and quite a few pages subsequently become loose. I resorted to using sellotape to repair torn pages, causing some leaves to cleave obstinately together from the sticky residue of the sellotape applied.
I loved that Bible and whilst I may not have known the actual reference for a particular scripture verse when quoted, I knew whereabouts in my bible I could find it (i.e. whether Old or New Testament, which book and the general location on page). This old bible was annotated, arrowed, circled, cross-referenced, highlighted, underlined and every blank space (front and back) filled with notes— choruses, definitions, prayer reminders, any valuable nugget I could record. That old bible meant just as much to me as an old favourite toy or teddy bear can mean to a young child and it was a tug for me to finally let it go and move on to a new one.
A neglected book?
Now recently I’ve read various posts challenging and provoking Christians to read their Bibles regularly. As prayer warriors, the spoken Word of God is an essential part of our armour—it is the sword of the Spirit. However, we cannot declare, proclaim, or pray God’s Word with confidence, if we do not know what it says.
If we are going to be effective as prayer warriors, if we are going to reign victoriously over our circumstances, if we are wanting to appropriate this abundant life that Jesus Christ paid such a dear price for us to have and enjoy, then we need to be familiar with, and understand God’s Word. The onus is therefore upon us to read, meditate upon and study the Bible.
Going back to the Bloomsbury guide referred to at the beginning of this post, I’m sure there are dozens of books this guide could point me to, which would enrich my reading repertoire and thus assist my aims and ambitions as a writer. Whilst it remains on my bookshelf unread however, I cannot avail myself of its commentaries, editorial suggestions and literary expertise.
Likewise, as Christian believers, as prayer warriors, our ability to become intimately acquainted with God, our ability to know His will, plan and purpose for our lives, our ability to withstand the lies and wiles of the Enemy, to pray and intercede effectively, is dependent upon how much of God’s Word we know, understand, put into practice and stand upon in faith.
And so fellow believers, if you are guilty of habitually neglecting God’s Word, please be aware that you are walking around with a blunt sword. Please be aware that a vital element of your armour has become useless. Please be aware that without the complete armour (as described in Ephesians 6:11-17), you will not have the spiritual strength to resist Satan’s schemes and strategies unleashed against your life and against the lives of your loved ones.
The last word
Women of Warfare followers and visitors, if Jesus has the words of eternal life (John 6:68), if God’s Word is to be effective as a lamp to your feet and a light to your path (Psalm 119:105), then I would encourage you to take stock of your personal engagement with God’s Word and if deep down in your heart, you know it to be lacking, then make amends. Don’t delay, don’t ignore, don’t make excuses. It could be a matter of life and death—the health and vigour of your spiritual life and the putting to death of carnality!
And have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth (Revelation 5:10)
Characteristics of a Victim/Victor
A victor is a conqueror, an overcomer—someone who enforces the victory Christ wrought over the Enemy, within their life… someone who uses their authority in Christ, their power of attorney, to bring victory to the lives of others.
Whereas, a victim is someone who is deceived, or continually defeated by their circumstances. A victim is someone who remains passive in the face of the Enemy’s attacks, whether that attack is directed at their own life, or the life of their loved ones.
Please don’t misunderstand me. A victorious life does not mean a problem-free life. However, as victors, we are to reign over our circumstances, rather than allowing those circumstances to overwhelm us. How do we do this? Romans 5:17 indicates we can reign in life through Jesus Christ. However, as humans, we are weak and finding that continuous strength to stand victoriously in situations that may have devastated us, sought to undermine us, is sometimes just not there, or can be the furthest thing from our mind. In times like these, we should emulate David, who finding himself feeling disheartened and overwhelmed, called out to His God in prayer.
Hear my cry, O God;
Attend to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Self-sabotage or Kingdom Rule?
Have you abdicated your throne?
Yes, we are to submit our lives to God and allow him pre-eminence in our lives but the onus is upon us to rule, subdue and take dominion… the onus is upon us to enforce God’s Word and the principles of His Kingdom on this earth, in our circumstances, in our communities, even in our church. Jesus has already won the victory for us – that is why the Bible calls us “more than conquerors”!
It takes discipline and perseverance to be a victor (Hebrews 6:12)
I believe it takes the same amount of energy to wallow in despair and pessimism and remain a victim. So, why expend that negative energy? Is it not better to use our strength to fight for victory, fight for a change in our circumstances, fight to maintain a sound, well-balanced mind, fight for what God has freely given to us, fight for his will, plan and purpose to be effected in our lives? Do you agree? Then (as Paul encourages us to do), let us fight the good fight of faith, let us lay hold of the eternal life, the abundant life for which Jesus’ blood has so dearly paid (1 Timothy 6:12; John 10:10).
How does a victor persevere? Through hope, through faith.
Hope anchors the victor’s soul in peace, the peace that surpasses understanding (Hebrews 6:19, Philippians 4:7). Hope stabilizes the victor’s emotions. Hope protects the victor’s mind. Victors may feel cast down by adversity, by the afflictions of their life. They may sometimes succumb to the lies and taunts of our adversary the devil—but like David, victors choose to speak the Word of God to their souls (see Psalm 42:5-6, Psalm 43:5, Psalm 27:13) and, in doing so, victors choose to awake, choose to arise, choose to clad themselves with strength, put on their armour and stand against the wiles of the devil. The victorious lifestyle does not just happen – it is a choice.
Now victims sabotage their own well-being. How? Through unbridled fear and unbelief, which in turn leads to pessimism.
And how does pessimism stamp its hallmark upon a victim? Through compliance! Through permission! Through heart and soul agreement about the ‘reality’ of their circumstances (whether that agreement, compliance or permission is done out of ignorance or not)!
Each time a victim chooses not to stand on the truth of God’s Word but focuses upon the undesirable circumstance, their heart despairs. Despair is loss of hope. And as we saw above, hope anchors our soul (i.e. our mind, will and emotions). Therefore, where there is no hope, emotions become erratic, the thoughts of our mind negative and our will undisciplined and contrary.
Fear or Faith?
A victor is motivated by faith. However, a victim is immobilised by doubt and fear.
Victors heed the Apostle Paul’s direction that we: “…continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and [be] not moved away from the hope of the gospel…” Colossians 1:23.
On the other hand, victims give credence to and empower their circumstances by failing to look at Jesus who is the author (originator) and finisher (completion) of their faith; choosing instead to concentrate on that which is temporal and therefore, subject to change (Hebrews 12:2-3; 2 Corinthians 4:17-18).
Am I saying that we should pretend our problems, trials and tribulations do not exist? No dear reader – I am most definitely not saying this! I am not advocating that we live in denial. I am saying acknowledge your difficulties yes, but deny them the ability to permanently distract, distress and disempower you.
Whose report will you believe?
You are a born-again believer. In whom, or in what do you believe?
Do you believe in an omnipotent and gracious God… a loving and compassionate Christ… a resourceful and helpful Holy Spirit? (That takes care of the “in whom do you believe?”).
Do you believe in your fear-induced thoughts… the seeming impossibilities of your circumstances…the perpetual goading of the Enemy? (And that takes care of the “in what do you believe?”).
Women of Warfare! – Choose to exercise hope. Choose to live by faith. Choose to be a victor!
If you’re familiar with the various types of cop dramas on TV, the above phrase will not be unfamiliar to you. For those of you who do not recognise, or know what this phrase means, it is used by the police fraternity to inform other members that one of their own has been shot, maybe even fatally wounded.
I want to borrow that phrase and apply it to the wounded saints and warriors within God’s Kingdom. I want to flag up those people within the Body of Christ (including myself), who are currently hurting, particularly those serving at the frontline as prayer warriors, or ministry leaders. Man down!
There are men and women, who in the line of duty have been targeted by the Enemy. His aim is to distract, discourage and dishonour. Man down!
I have walked with the Lord for a few decades now. My particular path, foreordained by God, has been an arduous, rough and largely lonely one, since friends are few, family members are preoccupied and the fellowship of believers oft times cliquey. Apart from the companionship of my husband, it’s been a solitary pilgrimage. In picking up my cross to follow Christ, I’ve traversed a hostile terrain, one charted by sustained unpopularity and systematic assassination of my character. Man down!
My path has led me into Enemy territory – towards mountains of adversity, across the Great Sea of Sorrow and through the Valley of Achor*. Man down!
I have cried over the perpetual and malicious cycle of mockery, scorn and derision. I’ve sighed at the shrine of sabotaged dreams, mourned at the monument of missed opportunities and crawled in the dust of punctured self-esteem. Man down!
No doubt, as I continue along this pathway, I will still at times struggle with seasons of self-pity, still have to wrestle with promises-of-God fatigue and still have to cope with days of despair.
I know without a shadow of doubt that no matter how many times I must circle the desert because of disobedience, no matter how many times I must walk through the wilderness because of wilful rebellion, no matter how often I must engage with the Enemy of my soul who prowls and roars, waiting to pounce on his prey – because the Lord my God is with me, I will arise (Micah 7:8).
I know that when I choose to discard the spirit of heaviness and wrap myself within the garments of praise, God’s strength will empower me to rejoice in him (Philippians 4:4), to continue to rejoice in hope and to be patient during trials and tribulation (Romans 12:12). Warrior arise!
I know that when I tear my eyes away from my circumstances and keep them focused upon the God of my salvation and upon his promises, He will keep me in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3). Warrior arise!
I know that whenever I call upon him, my awesome God will rend the heavens, ride upon the wings of a swift wind and rescue me from the schemes, snares and strategies of Satan (2 Samuel 22:7-20). Warrior arise!
I know that my God will cause all things (the good, the bad, and the ugly!) to work together for my benefit (Romans 8:28). Warrior arise!
I know that because Jesus loves me, and laid down his precious, sinless life for me, I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37). Warrior arise!
I know that no weapon forged against me will prosper, that the weapons of my warfare are not carnal but mighty in God and are capable of pulling down strongholds (Isaiah 54:17; 2 Corinthians 10:4). Warrior arise!
And because I know that greater is he that is within me than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4), because I know Jesus has given me authority over all the power of the Enemy (Luke 10:19), I have determined in my heart (whether I walk through green pastures, or through the valley of the shadow of death), I will put on my spiritual armour. I will take my place on the battlefield of prayer and I will resist the wiles of the evil one. I will stand in the strength and might of my God and assert the victory of Christ’s resurrection life and power (Ephesians 6:10-11).
I will, as God’s flawed but feisty warrior get up from the dust heap of defeat and discouragement—and I will arise!