Christian

Spiritual Warfare: Are You Alert or Asleep?

During the Viet Nam War, the Viet Cong guerrilla fighters would sneak up on unaware U.S. troops, attack them, and quickly dissapear.  The Vietcong would also pose as citizens or farmers. Then, when least expected, they would launch a surprise attack on U.S. troops.

When you’re in a war, you must be alert. The enemy does not announce his arrival. And he often pretends to be someone he’s not.

Are you prepared to stand against your enemy, Satan? Do you know how to stand?

It is critical that you know God’s Word. Ephesians 6 says,“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. (vs. 11) Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist …” (vs. 14)

What is the “belt of truth”?

Jesus said, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:17 The Belt of Truth is clearly God’s Word, the Bible. It is an essential part of the “Armor of God”.

Do you think it’s possible that Satan could be attacking someone, when they don’t even know it? The Bible says,

“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 NLT

That verse tells me a lot. In a battle, it is important for soldiers to be alert. If not, they may walk right into a trap. Can you imagine walking through a jungle during war and not being alert? Of course not!

There is only one place to find truth and that is in the Bible, in God’s Holy Word. We need to know what it says. If you don’t know God’s Word you will be an easy target. Why? The Bible tells us,

“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” 2 Timothy 4:3

This can be more subtle than you might think. False teaching may not be that obvious, unless of course, you know God’s Word.

Does it really matter what you believe, as long as you love Jesus?

Yes! False teachers can take Scripture verses out of context and convince people of almost anything. This is how good people are deceived. But verses are not meant to be taken out of context. Instead, we should always study the context to correctly understand every verse.

For example, Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

Let’s say I told you, “ All things means all things! You can perform healings and miracles. You can be a great athlete, make a lot of money, whatever you want can be yours – if you believe. If you have faith in God’s Word!”

Well that may sound good, but that’s not what that verse is saying.

Paul wrote these words while in prison, and the full context says, ” I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

Paul is saying, whatever your circumstances, no matter how bad they are, Christ will give you strength.

In verse 11, he says, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” Paul is talking about being in prison. Roman prisons were known to be cold and cruel, prisoners were not provided adequate food or blankets, and they were kept in chains.

But in all this, Paul said, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”

That’s a lot different than the first interpretation!

You say, “Oh, I would recognize false teaching right away.”

Really? Because it won’t be obvious. It will be hidden in truth and love. The Apostle Paul warns us about false prophets,

“For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness.” 2 Corinthians 11: 13-15

To masquerade means to pretend to be something else, to disguise oneself, to impersonate. Please understand, people will be easily fooled. But there is one way to stand firm.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 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. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. … With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6: 10-18 

As you read and study this passage, understand the important role God’s Word plays in your life. Take this passage at face value. Know God’s Word. Read your Bible so that you can stand.

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

All Scriptures are NIV unless otherwise noted.

Photo by Unsplash

realchristianwomen.blog 


Christian

Lord, Help Me Forgive

Are you struggling to forgive someone? Does it seem impossible?  You can do it. But before we begin, remember this: Unforgiveness will destroy you, not them.

There is only one way to forgive the unforgivable. These Scriptures will strengthen and empower you to do it, as they did for me. Ask the Holy Spirit to soften your heart so that you can receive what He has for you.

They crucified him and Jesus said, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”    And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. The people stood watching and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others. Let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.”    The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar. Luke 23: 34-36

We can forgive others when we understand the depth of His forgiveness of our own sins. Crucifixion is the most brutal kind of execution. Yet Jesus pleaded with the Father to forgive them. He suffered heart-breaking rejection at the cross, yet He loved and forgave those responsible.

Nothing we have to forgive can compare to His example of forgiveness. He suffered and died so that we would be forgiven for all the sins we have ever committed and even the ones we will commit in the future; He asks us to forgive others in return.

The Apostle Paul warned the Corinthians, “I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” (2 Corinthians 2:10-11)

Paul knew that the sin of unforgiveness would give the devil a foothold. Satan is a genuine enemy of every Christian. The Bible is clear about this.

In Ephesians 6:10, Paul exhorts God’s people: “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Our obedience to Christ protects us from the devil’s schemes.  You may not find the power to forgive within yourself, but through Christ, you can. Forgive as an act of your will. Your feelings will eventually change. The first step is to tell God that you forgive this person.

Meditate on God’s promises, instead of meditating on the injustice. The more time you spend in His presence, in His Word, in prayer and meditation, the less that injustice will have power to hurt you.

Whenever something I have already forgiven crosses my mind, I refuse to think about it. I consciously begin to think about something else. Sometimes that can be difficult. Just do it! Take control over your thoughts.

Thank Jesus for what He has done for you. It will destroy the power of the wrong to upset you. Peace and joy is already given to the child of God; God’s Word reveals how to live in it. We must trust and obey.

A Story About Forgiveness

21 At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, “Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?”

22 Jesus replied, “Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven.

23-25 “The kingdom of God is like a king who decided to square accounts with his servants. As he got under way, one servant was brought before him who had run up a debt of a hundred thousand dollars. He couldn’t pay up, so the king ordered the man, along with his wife, children, and goods, to be auctioned off at the slave market.

26-27 “The poor wretch threw himself at the king’s feet and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ Touched by his plea, the king let him off, erasing the debt.

28 “The servant was no sooner out of the room when he came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him ten dollars. He seized him by the throat and demanded, ‘Pay up. Now!’

29-31 “The poor wretch threw himself down and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ But he wouldn’t do it. He had him arrested and put in jail until the debt was paid. When the other servants saw this going on, they were outraged and brought a detailed report to the king.

32-35 “The king summoned the man and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave your entire debt when you begged me for mercy. Shouldn’t you be compelled to be merciful to your fellow servant who asked for mercy?’ The king was furious and put the screws to the man until he paid back his entire debt. And that’s exactly what my Father in heaven is going to do to each one of you who doesn’t forgive unconditionally anyone who asks for mercy.”  Matthew 18:21-35 The Message (MSG)

 

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog

Bible, Christian

Love Is Strong Spiritual Warfare

It really hurt my feelings. It was like stopping by your best friend’s house only to discover she was having a big party and you hadn’t been invited! I felt so left out and hurt. I felt like crying.

That morning, I had walked in to the Women’s Bible Study and there were all my friends having a pot luck that no one had told me about! Maybe I was being overly sensitive, and maybe this was an area of vulnerability for me, but I was very offended.

The Bible study teacher recognized that I was upset, and the next time I saw her she gave me an index card with some Scripture references on it. She probably had no idea that it was going to change my life. As I opened my heart to God’s Word, something wonderful happened! The Truth set me free! These are the Scriptures:

“A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to OVERLOOK AN OFFENSE.” Proverbs 19:11

“He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.” Proverbs 17:9

“A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.” Proverbs 12:16

This happened to me over 30 years ago, but the devil has used the same tactics since the beginning of time to battle against God’s people. He has used it on me. He will use it on you. He used it in the past.

Read about David in I Samuel, chapters 16 and 17. Count the number of times David overlooked an offense before he slew the giant. Satan tried to stop God’s plan for David, but he couldn’t do it because David overlooked the offense.

Over the years, God has continued to reveal to me how powerful it is to walk in love, and that means overlooking offenses.

“(Love) is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured.” I Corinthians 13:5 AMP

The devil will send offenses our way, but when we choose God’s way and walk in love, Satan’s attack will not prevail.

“Be of sober mind, be watchful. Your adversary who is a slanderer, namely the devil, as a lion roaring in fierce hunger, is constantly walking about, always seeking someone to be devouring.” 1 Peter 5:8 (Wuest)

Has anyone ever offended you? Insulted you? Put you down? If so, consider this: Love is strong spiritual warfare!

You may be thinking, “How is this spiritual warfare?”

Consider the evil attack on Jesus when he was crucified.

“… Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

22 “He committed no sin,
    and no deceit was found in his mouth.”

23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 1 Peter 2:21-23

It is following Him and walking in his steps that empowers us for spiritual battle.

The Bible says, “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” Proverbs 25:28

It is only as we recognize that anger, resentment, self-pity, and unforgiveness are nothing but the attack launched against us by the devil, that we can refuse to be offended. This is spiritual warfare: Love vs. Evil. We can not allow our emotions to govern our life or we will be like a city without walls (defenseless).

The Apostle Paul said, “And I  pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ … Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory…” Ephesians 3:18-20

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Do you know Jesus?

If you have never asked Jesus to be your Savior, you can do it now. He loves you more than you can comprehend, and it will change your life forever.

“IF YOU CONFESS WITH YOUR MOUTH, ‘JESUS IS LORD,’ AND BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART THAT GOD RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD, YOU WILL BE SAVED. FOR IT IS WITH YOUR HEART THAT YOU BELIEVE AND ARE JUSTIFIED, AND IT IS WITH YOUR MOUTH THAT YOU CONFESS AND ARE SAVED. AS THE SCRIPTURE SAYS, ANYONE WHO TRUSTS IN HIM WILL NEVER BE PUT TO SHAME.”   ROMANS 10:9-11

realchristianwomen.blog

 

 

 

 

Christian, help, women

Distractions

Is something distracting you from your purpose? The devil is very crafty. The Scripture is clear about this. 

“But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:3

The Greek word for cunning here is panourgia. It means trickery, craftiness. Crafty means skillful in evil schemes. When Satan attacks, it won’t be obvious. It may take days or weeks before you realize that you are caught up in something that is a result of Satan’s crafty scheme to lead you away from “your sincere and pure devotion to Christ”. I’m not talking about leading you into sin. I’m talking about distracting you from God’s purpose for your life – your ministry, your calling, your gift.

One way Satan does this is by getting you overly involved in something that is taking you away from what God wants you to do. The devil knows how to distract you from your purpose. He knows this distraction must appear to be a good thing. Today the Lord brought this Scripture to my remembrance:

“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

The Apostle Paul wrote the letter to the church in Philippi while he was in prison in Rome. It would have been easy for the Philippians to be so worried about Paul that they were distracted from God’s purpose, but Paul talks to them about joy and peace. He tells them to dwell on good things, not bad things.

When I start to question my purpose and my relationship with the Lord, I know it is coming from Satan, the Father of Lies, the Deceiver. God is faithful and He will use His Word to guide you, and me.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105

With Love, Cindy

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Do you know Jesus?

If you have never asked Jesus to be your Savior, you can do it now. He loves you more than you can comprehend, and it will change your life forever.

“IF YOU CONFESS WITH YOUR MOUTH, ‘JESUS IS LORD,’ AND BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART THAT GOD RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD, YOU WILL BE SAVED. FOR IT IS WITH YOUR HEART THAT YOU BELIEVE AND ARE JUSTIFIED, AND IT IS WITH YOUR MOUTH THAT YOU CONFESS AND ARE SAVED. AS THE SCRIPTURE SAYS, ANYONE WHO TRUSTS IN HIM WILL NEVER BE PUT TO SHAME.”   ROMANS 10:9-11

realchristianwomen.blog

 

 

 

Bible, Christian, women

The Devil is Still Around!

“… that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world … ” Revelation 20:2

Have you ever wondered how the devil attacks Christians? The Bible says, “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) I think Peter used the roaring lion illustration for a reason! 

I Peter 4:1 says to “…arm yourselves with the same attitude (that is in Christ)…”  It doesn’t say to have the same attitude as Christ. It says to ARM yourselves with it!

I haven’t been able to get those words out of my mind for days. To arm yourself means to equip yourself with weapons.  The mind of Christ, or having the same attitude as Christ, is our weapon against the devil!

I knew I needed to learn more about the attitude that equips me for battle with the devil. After all, a “roaring lion” is prowling around, looking for someone that is unprotected and unarmed! To prowl means to search stealthily, implying he is difficult to detect. He is sneaky.

What is the mind of Christ? What is His attitude? First of all, the mind of Christ is completely unselfish. He gave His life for us. He loves us. He put us above His own needs and desires. He sought the will of the Father, not His own. He had no time for sin. He sought the glory of God the Father. He was willing to suffer. Early in the morning, He prayed. In humility, He became a servant.

When we obey God and allow Him to transform us into a new creation, we begin to think like Jesus. We become less self-centered and begin to care for others more than ourselves.

I realize that there have been times when the devil tried to “devour” me. He attacked me with the purpose of dragging me away from God and what God called me to do. Because I was not thinking with the mind of Christ, the devil was able to get a foothold. I was focused on what I wanted (what I thought I needed.)  I clung to my selfish desires because, well, I needed to! (It was a big mistake!)

But when we think like Jesus, we are well armed against the devil’s schemes. I see it now. I wish I had seen it earlier. 

“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” (Ephesians 6:11)  The Bible tells us how to protect ourselves against the devil. He tells us how to arm ourselves. 

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 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. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit,which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” (Ephesians 6: 10-18)

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ” Philippians 2:5-11

I pray that my blog will inspire you to search God’s Word and learn more about the mind of Christ, the attitude that was in Christ. His Word is filled with precious promises and leads us faithfully to Jesus. 

With Love, Cindy

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Do you know Jesus?

If you have never asked Jesus to be your Savior, you can do it now. He loves you more than you can comprehend, and it will change your life forever.

“IF YOU CONFESS WITH YOUR MOUTH, ‘JESUS IS LORD,’ AND BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART THAT GOD RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD, YOU WILL BE SAVED. FOR IT IS WITH YOUR HEART THAT YOU BELIEVE AND ARE JUSTIFIED, AND IT IS WITH YOUR MOUTH THAT YOU CONFESS AND ARE SAVED. AS THE SCRIPTURE SAYS, ANYONE WHO TRUSTS IN HIM WILL NEVER BE PUT TO SHAME.”   ROMANS 10:9-11

realchristianwomen.blog

 

 

 

 

Christian

Lord, Help Me Forgive

Are you struggling to forgive someone? Does it seem impossible?  You can do it. But before we begin, remember this: Unforgiveness will destroy you, not them.

There is only one way to forgive the unforgivable. These Scriptures will strengthen and empower you to do it, as they did for me. Ask the Holy Spirit to soften your heart so that you can receive what He has for you.

They crucified him and Jesus said, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”    And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. The people stood watching and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others. Let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.”    The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar. Luke 23: 34-36

We can forgive others when we understand the depth of His forgiveness of our own sins. Crucifixion is the most brutal kind of execution. Yet Jesus pleaded with the Father to forgive them. He suffered heart-breaking rejection at the cross, yet He loved and forgave those responsible.

Nothing we have to forgive can compare to His example of forgiveness. He suffered and died so that we would be forgiven for all the sins we have ever committed and even the ones we will commit in the future; He asks us to forgive others in return.

The Apostle Paul warned the Corinthians, “I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” (2 Corinthians 2:10-11)

Paul knew that the sin of unforgiveness would give the devil a foothold. Satan is a genuine enemy of every Christian. The Bible is clear about this.

In Ephesians 6:10, Paul exhorts God’s people: “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Our obedience to Christ protects us from the devil’s schemes.  You may not find the power to forgive within yourself, but through Christ, you can. Forgive as an act of your will. Your feelings will eventually change. The first step is to tell God that you forgive this person.

Meditate on God’s promises, instead of meditating on the injustice. The more time you spend in His presence, in His Word, in prayer and meditation, the less that injustice will have power to hurt you.

Whenever something I have already forgiven crosses my mind, I refuse to think about it. I consciously begin to think about something else. Sometimes that can be difficult. Just do it! Take control over your thoughts.

Thank Jesus for what He has done for you. It will destroy the power of the wrong to upset you. Peace and joy is already given to the child of God; God’s Word reveals how to live in it. We must trust and obey.

A Story About Forgiveness

21 At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, “Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?”

22 Jesus replied, “Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven.

23-25 “The kingdom of God is like a king who decided to square accounts with his servants. As he got under way, one servant was brought before him who had run up a debt of a hundred thousand dollars. He couldn’t pay up, so the king ordered the man, along with his wife, children, and goods, to be auctioned off at the slave market.

26-27 “The poor wretch threw himself at the king’s feet and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ Touched by his plea, the king let him off, erasing the debt.

28 “The servant was no sooner out of the room when he came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him ten dollars. He seized him by the throat and demanded, ‘Pay up. Now!’

29-31 “The poor wretch threw himself down and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ But he wouldn’t do it. He had him arrested and put in jail until the debt was paid. When the other servants saw this going on, they were outraged and brought a detailed report to the king.

32-35 “The king summoned the man and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave your entire debt when you begged me for mercy. Shouldn’t you be compelled to be merciful to your fellow servant who asked for mercy?’ The king was furious and put the screws to the man until he paid back his entire debt. And that’s exactly what my Father in heaven is going to do to each one of you who doesn’t forgive unconditionally anyone who asks for mercy.”  Matthew 18:21-35 The Message (MSG)

 

With Love, Cindy

This is My Journey Unscripted.