Monday, August 20, 2018

"In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one." Ephesians 6:16 NIV

Did you ever consider the heart has a breastplate and shield to cover it? Of course, the shield can be used many places, but when I think of this armor in a resting position it usually is near the heart. 

The shields of roman soldiers were much bigger than any other army. As Paul describes the armor it is considered  by scholars he is referring to the roman army's armor. After all, he is in a roman prison and has easy access to the particular traits and details.

The shields were 6 feet high, and could lock into another soldier's on each side. When the army would approach an opposing country for battle each soldier would lock shields until there would be a massive straight line.

The shields could reflect the sun because each one was meticulously clean and prepared for war. If an enemy tried to move forward, the reflection would be blinding.

Faith must be held high in our lives. Faith is substance even though we cannot see it. It is evidence of things not seen. It can be felt in our hearts. It can be proclaimed loudly from our mouths and ought to be always.

All we see in the natural realm points to the spiritual realm. The unseen came first. All of the seen world is governed by the unseen. Which camp are you from? 

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

"and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace." Ephesians 6:15 NIV

I am glad to be writing to you today. God is gracious and kind and beyond wonderful. I don't have enough accolades to express all the joy and love I have for Him!

It's a good thing He knows our hearts, so if we don't have the words to express our love for the Lord , He knows it anyway. As women we want to use our words to express our emotions. It's a good thing.

God intended from the beginning for language to be good. He never wanted it to used in a cutting, divisive way. Guess who uses it to hurt and destroy? The enemy of our souls. 

I try to remind myself before I say something, if my words are what God would want. Words can escape our lips without thought. Especially in relaxed settings, like our homes.

This should be where we use the most caution. Our family relationships are the easiest to bruise and can be the most damaging.

 How we live for Jesus in our everyday existence is what tells the most about our grounding. We do have times when our sure footing can be compromised. This is when we need the most caution.

Can we be ready to reflect the peace in our hearts even when there may be some unrest as well? Yes, we can. And if something else comes out, it's all good. We are a work in progress!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

"with the breastplate of righteousness in place." Ephesians 6:14b

When children and dogs are together it is beyond cute. The sense I get from this picture is: "It's ok, we've got each other." There seems to be a confidence between the two. A sense of conquering anything set to overtake them.

I wish it were this simple; to be safe. Safety comes at a much higher price. It had to be paid in blood on a cross. Our eternal safety can only be secured through Christ. 

No one else would ever be able to satisfy the debt of sin and offense between God and mankind. When God looks at us He sees the sovereign work of Jesus, accomplish by His death.

Christ was the only sacrifice to accomplish the work of redemption. When the breastplate of righteousness is taken up by faith, we are seen by God as washed, pristine, whole and magnificent!

The word pristine means: "in its original condition; unspoiled. Clean and fresh as if new, spotless. It is as if we never sinned. It's interesting to learn how it covers our heart. Our hearts need to be clean and pure.

When someone says I've asked Christ into my heart, it means the sin has been erased and purity now dwells where sin used to live. This is the starting place for the process called sanctification.

The process takes time, patience and love, all of which Jesus gives in abundance. Our soul realm needs to walk out of the ungodly ways we may have taken for granted. No one likes this process, but it is necessary, to be like Jesus!

Monday, August 13, 2018

"Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place," Ephesians 6:14 NIV

Do you remember when Pilate said to Jesus, "What is truth"?  {John 18:38} All generations have asked the same question. Every heart has searched to know the why's and what's of life. Why am I here, and what is my purpose?

Truth has been debated ever since the Fall in the Garden of Eden. God wanted to spare us the pain of searching, by giving us the truth from the beginning. Every soul has cried out for relief from their ache.

God has always been available, with His truth, for those who would take hold of it. He doesn't hide from us, but rather we hide from Him. Remember Adam and Eve covering their nakedness with fig leaves and trying to hide?

It wasn't the physical nakedness they felt and wanted to cover. It was a spiritual emptiness, a void on the inside, a feeling of something missing. It was the presence of God.

Sin had brought them into a new reality, of fear and heartache. Fear was the first negative emotion to enter their pure hearts.The division had come between God and man. 

When God came to find Adam, He said, "Where are you?" God knew their physical location, what He was really saying," I can't sense your presence." I think this is one of the saddest parts of history! Praise God the story doesn't end here.

Sin had divided God from man. Man was free to decide for himself what is truth or what is not. What a horrible life it would be if truth hadn't prevailed in my life and yours! Truth will keep us from the lies of the enemy. "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free."{John 8:32}

Truth comes from God and His word. When we buckle  the truth around us, we become so aware of what God's word says, we don't even feel it around us. It comes from our mouths naturally because we have placed it inside of us.

Daily, as we feed our spirits on the Word of God, His truth will overcome any lies, fears, or torments of the enemy. We are warned, to stand firm, because the storms will come. We strengthen our faith by contending for the truth. 

Friday, August 10, 2018

"Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when  the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."Ephesians 6:13 NIV

I want to tell you what my life has been like lately. Lots of good things, and some flies in the ointment. On July 25, my precious pup, a Yorkshire Terrier named Jack lost his battle with Lyme's nephritis. Not ever a good thing to deal with, but I had planned to fly out the next day for a writer's conference in Charlotte, North Carolina.

I continued with my plans, attended the conference gained wonderful knowledge and ideas to better my writing. I met with three publishers from different christian publishing houses who gave me practical advise.

We flew home on July 29, so I could do laundry and pack to fly out on the 31 to visit my sister inWilmington, North Carolina. We  went to the beach, had fun times with family and kept the teenagers happy. Tuesday August 7, we board a plane for New York City.

We sat at the gate for an hour before moving to another spot.An hour goes by and we are told the flight is cancelled due to bad weather in New York. We are then scheduled to fly home the next morning. 

During our stay a family member decided to pester me about things that happened many years ago.My hopes had been for a restful, neutral visit without drama. When teens are involved I should never let my guard down.

None of these things would move me except I never had a chance to recover from the loss of my dog. Do you see the strategy of the enemy here?  A little incident thrown in here or there, and we can be taken down.

Yesterday and today has been power days for me. Lots of prayer and worship music. I feel wonderful, a little weak, but it's because I tried to weed in the garden in full sun. I got carried away by the gigantic weeds.  We all do such things I suppose. 

Thank God his word is full of strength, power and grace to help us in times of need. I wouldn't call my family time a" day of evil" but when the enemy is prowling we need to be alert. Love to All of my Precious Readers. Praying for you! Talk to you on Monday.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Ephesians  6:12 NIV

I can't imagine a world without dance. Some of you  may be wondering why I would make such a statement. You may not know I love to dance because I don't dance in front of anyone.

As a child my mother said I loved to dance around and around in a circle. As I got older I often fell over my own feet, so I wasn't a good candidate for dance. She never said this, I'm saying it about myself.  

Who says you have to be "good enough" to do anything? Who makes the judgement about who can or can't? I say if you want to dance for joy, then do it.

God is blessed as I dance before Him. He doesn't care if my steps aren't perfect. He knows my heart and desire is to pour out my love on Him. Don't allow anyone or anything stop you from praising God!

Praise will raise you from being under the circumstances to over them. Praise pushes out the evil and darkness of the enemy. We can be raised into the heavenly realm in an atmosphere of worship.

Beyond the darkness, and evil, we can be lifted into the very throne room of the King. As we continue through chapter 6 of Ephesians, we will see how important the armor of God is for us.

Our praise and our armor help to keep our eyes on Him. He  has provided  all the necessary protection we need. My problem starts when I overestimate my ability and underestimate the ability of the enemy.

Hopefully, you and I will learn valuable lessons from our next few blogs. Every time I study the armor I learn something new. My prayer is you will learn good things too. Blessings!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Do you remember the days of catching lightening bugs in a glass jar? My brother, sister and I would make forts out of the lawn chairs and place beach towels over them. The towels would hold the fort together.

We thought it was the greatest fun. What do you remember about being a child during the summer? Did you swing in your backyard, or at the park? 

"Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes." Ephesians 6:11 NIV

Why do we think our lives consist of only the things we see? Children actually have a better handle on looking past what is obvious to see what is less obvious.

Children are not hindered by self consciousness, or fear of what others might think. They are spontaneous and exuberant and full of life and fantasy.

Why do we loose these attributes as we get older? Do we really know better as we mature? Not always. The enemy of our souls doesn't want us to believe in a spiritual world.

If we believe only what is in the natural, we won't try to defeat him. He likes to be undercover and able to spread lies where ever he can.
His main deception is to turn all people against God. 

The enemy wants us to believe God isn't good, and he doesn't care about us. He will bring accusations against God's character  in order to place doubt in our minds.

God's armor, which we will look at further in the next few days can quench all the lies and distortions of the liar.