Tagged: challenges

The Armour of God

seashorePicture this image.

A raucous scene, a battlefield, contention on every side. Bodies throw against one another. Who but who will surrender? Who will stand?

And there in the midst of it all, one stands, a solace surrounding him. In the chaos, the quiet abides with him. Soon they notice, the tranquil site on the battlefield.

He holds a sword, but this will not stop them from tempting him.

I have often imagine myself, in a complete suit of armour, walking slowly along the seashore, the sea air clean and clear, in the shadow of my Father. His peace quietens me, but still I hold in my hand the sword ready to fight.

Simply holding a sword on a battlefield will not fend off opposition, it certainly won’t win the war. And like this man, sword in hand, we cannot simply have the Gospel and persevere. At all times we must use the Gospel, put it to use as shield, armour and weapon.

It is the good fight of faith.

 

1 corinthians 15:1 – 3

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

 

Even in trials and tribulations, may God continue to renew in our hearts, the Good News of the Gospel and a revelation of Himself, that we may continue to stand and persevere in Jesus name amen.

Peace & Love

Test-imonies not Easy-monies

exam-sweat2Why they are called test-imonies and not easy-monies

 

Its exam season for some of us students, and in life generally, we sometimes feel tested and challenged. Whilst I was writing down a testimony, in the testimony section of my notebook (obviously everyone has one of those), it occurred to me that the word testimony had another word in it and of all the words, TEST. You’ll be glad to know that I won’t be boring you with the etymology of the word and its origins.

I’m not trying to suggest that every testimony is or should be preceded by a trial, or some kind of testing journey or event, but they often can be and I’m sure there is a reason why they weren’t called easy-monies. (I know, the word play is amazing)

For some biblical examples, just look at Joseph from prisoner to Prime minister, or Hannah from  mother of none to mother of six.

Genesis 41:39 – 41 

39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.” 41 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.”

1 Samuel 2:2, 4 + 5

2 “No one is holy like the LordFor there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God. “Talk no more so very proudly; Let no arrogance come from your mouth, For the Lordis the God of knowledge; And by Him actions are weighed.

4 “The bows of the mighty men are broken, And those who stumbled are girded with strength.

5 Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, And the hungry have ceased to hunger. Even the barren has borne seven , And she who has many children has become feeble.

So just a word of encouragement, you might be feeling challenged right now, but it won’t last forever and it makes for a better test-imony when God gives you an A (ok, that was the last one). It can be trying, it can be testing, it can seem impossible, it requires faith and the unmerited favour of God – it is the fruit of endurance ~ Testimonies

 

Think about it

Peace & Love

 

God Loves A Trier

‘And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.’ Luke 24:53 (KJV)

‘Stop crying: don’t let your eyes fill with tears. You will be rewarded for your work!’ Amen Jeremiah 31:16 (NCV)

Whilst listening to Premier Radio, I fell asleep after a predominantly lazy day in doors. I woke up to a sermon about truly being a child of God, delivered through Pastor Brian Broderson, the sermon really increased my understanding of Christianity as a lifestyle and not simply another religion, I was fortunate enough to have been a listener. The sermon that followed was perhaps what I needed in that very moment, as I had taken a day off from university to regain my strength and optimism because of the challenging days I’d been facing.

‘Consistency is the key to break through’Creflo Dollar

When I was listening to Creflo Dollar, deliver a sermon about prosperity, I realised that Christianity in a sense, is a life of trying, yes you are incapable of being perfect by your own efforts, but you can be perfected through Christ’s saving grace. So long as we try, I mean really try, how can we fail in Christ Jesus? I’ve heard the saying so many times, failure is not an option or you only fail when you stop trying, and I never understood what that truly meant until this particular evening. God loves a trier, its so easy to say actually, I think I’ll settle with my failure thank you very much and wallow in self-pity for the rest of my life. But finding the motivation to continue, to rise and rise again, reaching a new height every time; that takes courage, that takes humility and it takes God’s grace falling upon the spirit and giving us the strength to continue.

Every time I was challenged in whatever I was trying to do, I’d say to myself, that’s it Dami, God doesn’t want you to succeed here, move on. But then I came to the realisation that if you are able to give up so easily, you didn’t really want or need that thing, and if God gave it to you with ease, you may have misused it or taken it for granted. Take for example Will Smith’s character in the film, The Pursuit Of Happyness, how short would the film have been if he’d given up after his wife had stopped believing in his aspirations? Or perhaps if he’d given up after hearing no once out of the several times, when he went to give proposals. It doesn’t surprise me that the Novel by Chris Garden, should be a bestseller, because we somehow think that there is some secret to being successful, however I think its a combination of God’s grace + trying = success = happiness. Equating financial success to achieving happiness is another debate entirely, however reaching one’s goals can cause happiness, even if it only lasts a while. There is however one success that guarantee’s happiness, and that is submitting to Christ, loving God.

It is important to note that there are several triers in the bible, from Jesus all the way to his disciples, to Moses, to David, and the list goes on. Jesus tried to save the church, by presenting himself as the living word, and every time he was doubted, he would try and try again to give glory to God. He tried with such determination that he faced crucifixion for our sake, that we would one day have the opportunity to try, to overcome sin, to overcome the wickedness and weakness of our flesh, to be forgiven when we fall, so we can continue to try. Moses continued to fight for Israel’s freedom with the God given strength he possessed, and if he had given up, I hate to imagine what could have been – but I doubt God would have given him such responsibility if he didn’t have the courage to try. David continued to try to do God’s will, despite being pursued by Saul, he submitted to God’s will in his life, he trusted God, and fought battles until he was victorious through God’s blessing and made king of Israel. Whilst reading Luke 24, I came to understand, by God’s grace, that even the disciples were not always obedient and strong in faith, however following the resurrection of Christ, they were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God – Luke 24:53. Emphasis being on the word continually, not once in a while, not until they sinned and then they gave up, but continually (KJV), all the time (NCV).

We are surrounded by inspiration to try, in the form of numerous biblical accounts,  successful business establishments, careers, strong families, the abolition of slavery and racism, the overcoming of persecution, personal fears, once again the list continues. So when you feel like giving up, then you should pray to God for strength, to continue to try, with the hope of victory to come – Jeremiah 31:16. Amen.

Remember, consistency is the key to break through…