Ephesians 6:12

When You’re At the End of You

09/01/2021

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“I can’t be the Christian I’m supposed to be. I can’t overcome this sin.” Have you ever said those words?  If we sometimes feel incapable of being the Christian we want to be, we’re not alone. The Apostle Paul, who was instrumental in helping spread Christianity, once referred to himself as the chief of sinners. Here’s the good news. God knows that we can’t live the Christian life by self-effort. That’s why He reminds us in Galatians 3:5 that He’s provided us with His Holy Spirit. We don’t please God by trying to improve our old self. We please God by learning to walk by His Spirit who is in us. Instead of saying we can’t live the Christian life or we can’t accomplish what God’s called us to do, we can ask Christ to fill us and accomplish His work through us. Then, we can practice walking by the Spirit. Will we walk by the Spirit perfectly 100% of the time? No, because our fleshly nature will oppose the Spirit. (Galatians 5:17) and we’ll struggle against spiritual forces of darkness/wickedness (Ephesians 6:12). But we can practice walking by Christ’s Spirit, confident that God is at work in us, perfecting us. 

Lord, thank You for PROVIDING us with Your Spirit by whom we can walk. 

“…does He who PROVIDES you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?”  Galatians 3:5

Hell on Earth

06/15/2021

“Hell on earth” is a phrase some people use to describe a horrible place or horrible time they’re going through.  Their struggle goes on and on and doesn’t appear to have an end. No doubt the Jews felt that way in Nazi concentration camps. So can a spouse who is in an abusive  marriage. Or an employee who has a relentless boss. Might a Christian feel that way when principalities of evil are rampant? Yes.  Ephesians 6:12 says Christians struggle against rulers, powers, world forces of darkness, spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Too often, though, we may not recognize the forces at play in our lives. We go to church, read our Bible, and try to live a good Christian life. Then something horrible happens or perhaps is ongoing. All we see is what is visible to our eyes. We are deceived into thinking our problem is with a person, ourselves, the government, or society at large. Paul tells us to open our eyes. Satan hates believers and the cause of Christ and will do everything on earth to take you down, destroy your witness, and make you miserable. Why? Because he knows he can’t have you or keep you. Revelation 1:17-18 records Jesus’s words to John when he was exiled on the island of Patmos.

“‘Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I HAVE THE KEYS of death and of Hades.”

What you are experiencing that may feel like hell on earth is temporary. Jesus has made sure of that. Satan will be bound. You’ll be free. Jesus has the keys and is locking Satan away. In the meantime, remember, Jesus also has the keys to joy and fullness of life. If you know Christ and you know the Bible but are miserable, isn’t it time to start MEDITATING on Scripture? Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes and your heart to understand God’s inspired Word. Study Ephesians 6 and arm yourself against Satan. Stand firm against what feels like “hell on earth” knowing it is stoked by an invisible enemy.

Lord Jesus Christ, You were bombarded by Satan. Demons nipped at your holy feet. World forces of darkness blinded the religious leaders. But you showed us and taught us the way to peace. You have given us kingdom keys. May we not be blind and ignore Your holy teachings but rather pray without ceasing and walk by Your Spirit.

TIP:  If you need help growing in your faith or prayer life, visit my website where you’ll find resources to help you. Begin with Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion,  If God is In Control, Why Am I a Basket Case,  the P.R.A.Y. with Passion Conference available on DVD or CD, or Listen UP: 31 Points about the Holy Spirit every Christian should know.  Take advantage of the many free website resources – slideshows and videos, or podcasts on a variety of topics you can listen to on the way to work or while you go about your day. Browse around. Find what you need. Begin today.  

 

Are We Forgetting Something this Christmas? 

12/10/2020

It was a sweltering day, a hurried arrival at the hotel, and a quick change of clothes before our host driver would pick up my daughter and me to take us to Pam Kanaly’s Arise Conference. I would be presenting Kidz Time Devotional for moms to use to teach their children God’s Word. Lauren and I rushed as we changed out of our travel clothes. Slipping on a long tunic and my shoes, I announced, “Okay, let’s go!” Lauren looked at me and in an unusual tone of voice asked, “Are we forgetting something?” Seated, I looked up into her questioning eyes and replied no. “Mom,” she countered, glancing at my legs. “Your pants?” Now before you judge me too harshly, I have to say in my defense that the top I was wearing was almost down to my knees. Did I mention we were rushing to get out the door? 

When It’s Not a Good Laugh

Lauren and I had a good laugh as I slid on my legging pants.  I still chuckle when I think about it. But, there is something God tells us to put on that is no laughing matter and it’s important that we remember it this Christmas season. What is it and why is it important? 

What Must We Remember?

During the Christmas season, it’s easy to get caught up in the rush of shopping, baking and decorating. Anxiety levels can rise with additions to our already full to-do list. That’s why it is good to remember that Jesus came to rescue us from the domain of darkness (Colossians 1:13) and that Satan fought Jesus every step of the way even before he was born. Christmas is about Christ’s birth, but it’s about more – the reason for His birth – to win the victory over sin, death, and Satan in order to secure our eternal salvation.

This Christmas season it’s important for us to remember that the enemy Christ was born to defeat still roams the earth. (1 Peter 5:8)  We are in an ongoing battle against what Ephesians 6:12 describes as world forces of darkness and spiritual forces of wickedness.

Is the Battle Real?

The Bible records Satan tempting Jesus, influencing Peter’s thoughts and words, and entering into Judas, who betrayed Jesus.  Yes, the battle between God and Satan is real.  We see Satan’s hand in murders, mutilations, horrendous abuse, self-destructive cutting, addictions, lying, gross immorality, degrading behaviors. The good news is that Satan can’t enter into a believer. However, he can tempt and influence believers. That is why this Christmas season we must be diligent to put on the armor God has provided for us. Just as it’s our responsibility to put on our physical clothing and we wouldn’t dare walk about naked, it is our responsibility to put on God’s armor so we’re not naked targets for Satan. 

Let’s Get Dressed (Ephesians 6:10-18)

First, we need to reach for the belt of truth. Why? It is central to everything. How can we stand against Satan’s schemes if we don’t know the truth from a lie? We can shop for truths to put on by reading our Bible every day. 

Second, we need to cover our chest because our heart is vulnerable to sin. Mindfully contemplate the gift of Christ’s righteousness as you cover your heart with His breastplate.

If you’ve ever run out the door without shoes, you know the pain of sharp rocks and stickers. Hopping around on one foot is no fun plus it is debilitating. Take a moment every morning to strap on Christ’s gospel of peace. Walk in peace this Christmas, sure-footed against Satan’s schemes, sharing God’s grace with others. 

Something we don’t wear but need to have in our hand like a fireman needs a fire extinguisher is the shield of faith so we can extinguish what the Bible describes as “flaming arrows of the evil one.” Yes, the evil one aims arrows lit from hell at us. Don’t believe it? Look at loved ones and friends burning in anger, lit with depression, fuming with bitterness.  This is real, friends. The same Bible that says Jesus was born of a virgin to die for our sins is the same Bible that says we need to put on the full armor of God to resist the devil.

Two last items:  the helmet of salvation. Every morning it is important to mindfully remember that Jesus was born and “saved us not on the basis of deeds we have done, but according to His mercy, …, “ Titus 3:5.  This can’t help but put a smile on our faces. Lastly, take the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, in your hand. A Bible wielding Spirit-filled Christian is a tougher target than a Christian with no sword. Plus, you will be a blessing to others this Christmas instead of a stressed-out Christian. 

Have We Forgotten Something this Christmas

It’s easy in the midst of the Christmas season to forget that a spiritual battle ensues. Let’s cautiously, wisely armor up every day. It’s no laughing matter.

Heavenly Father, thank You for showing us what You see in the spiritual realm that our eyes can’t see. Thank You for telling us what we need to do to stand against evil and for providing us with Your spiritual armor. Please help us get in the habit of daily “armoring up” so we represent You well not only this Christmas season but every day. 

When You’re At the End of You

08/25/2020

“I can’t be the Christian I’m supposed to be. I can’t overcome this sin.” Have you ever said those words?  If we sometimes feel incapable of being the Christian we want to be, we’re not alone. The Apostle Paul, who was instrumental in helping spread Christianity, once referred to himself as the chief of sinners. Here’s the good news. God knows that we can’t live the Christian life by self-effort. That’s why He reminds us in Galatians 3:5 that He’s provided us with His Holy Spirit. We don’t please God by trying to improve our old self. We please God by learning to walk by faith in Him. We’re not short on godly provisions. Instead of saying we can’t live the Christian life or we can’t accomplish what God’s called us to do, we can ask Christ to fill us and accomplish His work through us. Then, we can practice walking by the Spirit. Will we walk by the Spirit perfectly 100% of the time? No, because our fleshly nature will oppose the Spirit. (Galatians 5:17) and we’ll struggle against spiritual forces of darkness/wickedness (Ephesians 6:12). But we can practice walking by Christ’s Spirit, confident that God is at work perfecting us. 

Lord, thank You for PROVIDING us with Your Spirit by whom we can walk and fulfill all You’ve entrusted us to do. 

“…does He who PROVIDES you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?”  Galatians 3:5

Hell on Earth

06/06/2020

“Hell on earth” is a phrase people sometimes use to emphasize a horrible place or time they’re going through.  Their struggle goes on and on and doesn’t appear to have an end. Certainly, the Jews felt that way in Nazi concentration camps. So can a spouse in a destructive marriage. Or an employee who has a relentless boss. So can a Christian when principalities of evil and world forces of darkness seem rampant. Does that happen? Yes. Ephesians 6:12 plainly says Christians “struggle against rulers, powers, world forces of darkness, spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Too often, though, we don’t see recognize it. We go to church. Memorize verses. Try to live a good Christian life. Then, bam! Something horrible happens or perhaps is ongoing. All we see is what is visible to our eyes. We are deceived into thinking our problem is with a person, ourselves, the government, or society at large. Paul tells us to open our eyes. Satan hates believers and the cause of Christ and will do everything on earth to take you down, destroy your witness, and make you miserable. Why? Because he knows he can’t have you or keep you. Revelation 1:17-18 records Jesus’s words to John when he was exiled on the island of Patmos. “‘Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I HAVE THE KEYS of death and of Hades.” Your hell on earth, whatever it is, is not going to last. Jesus has made sure of that. Satan will be bound. You’ll be free. Jesus has the keys and is locking Satan away. In the meantime, remember, Jesus also has the keys to joy and fullness of life. If you know Christ and you know the Bible but are miserable, isn’t it time to start deeply MEDITATING on Scripture? Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes and your heart to understand God’s kingdom inspired Word. Study Ephesians 6 and arm yourself against Satan. Stand firm against what appears to be the “hell on earth” knowing it is stoked by an invisible enemy.

Lord Jesus Christ, You were bombarded by Satan over and again. Demons nipped at your holy feet. World forces of darkness blinded the religious leaders. But you showed us and taught us the way to peace. You have given us kingdom keys. May we not be blind and ignore Your holy teachings, but rather pray without ceasing and walk by Your Spirit.

TIP:  If you need help growing in your faith or prayer life, visit my website where you’ll find resources to help you. Begin with Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion,  If God is In Control, Why Am I a Basket Case,  the P.R.A.Y. with Passion Conference available on DVD or CD, or Listen UP: 31 Points about the Holy Spirit every Christian should know.  Take advantage of the many free website resources – slideshows and videos, or podcasts on a variety of topics you can listen to on the way to work or while you go about your day. Browse around. Find what you need. Begin today.  

 

When You’re At the End of You

09/15/2019

LISTEN

“I can’t be the Christian I’m supposed to be. I can’t overcome this sin.” Have you ever said those words?  If we sometimes feel incapable of being the Christian we want to be, we’re not alone. The Apostle Paul, who was instrumental in helping spread Christianity, once referred to himself as the chief of sinners. Here’s the good news. God knows that we can’t live the Christian life by self effort. That’s why He reminds us in Galatians 3:5 that He’s provided us with His Holy Spirit. We don’t please God by trying to improve our old self. We please God by learning to walk by faith in Him. We’re not short on godly provisions. Instead of saying we can’t live the Christian life or we can’t accomplish what God’s entrusted to us to do, we can ask Christ to fill us and accomplish His work through us. Then, we can practice walking by the Spirit. Will we walk by the Spirit perfectly 100% of the time? No, because as long as we’re in our human bodies, our fleshly nature will oppose the Spirit. (Galatians 5:17) and we’ll continue to struggle against spiritual forces of darkness/wickedness (Ephesians 6:12) because Satan is the ruler of this world. (John 14:30) Practice walking by Christ’s Spirit knowing that God is at work perfecting us. 

Lord, thank You for PROVIDING us with Your Spirit by whom we can walk and fulfill the work You entrust us to do. 

“…does He who PROVIDES you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?”

Galatians 3:5

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Hell on Earth

06/29/2019

“Hell on earth” is a phrase people sometimes use to emphasize a horrible place or time they’re going through.  They feel captive and in torment.  It goes on and on and appears to them that they’ll never escape their misery. Certainly the Jews felt that way in Nazi concentration camps. So can a spouse in a destructive marriage. Or an employee who has a relentless job. So can a Christian when principalities of evil and world forces of darkness are pitted against them. That happens? Yes. Ephesians 6:12 plainly says that Christians “struggle against rulers, powers, world forces of darkness, spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Too often, though, we don’t see it. We go to church. Memorize verses. Try to live a good Christian life. Then, bam! Something horrible happens or perhaps is ongoing. All we see is what’s visible. We are deceived into thinking our problem is with a person, job, child, parent, or ourself. Paul tells us to open our eyes. Satan hates you if you’re a believer and will do everything on earth to take you down, destroy your witness, and make you miserable during your short years on earth. Why? Because he knows he can’t have you or keep you. Revelation 1:17-18 records Jesus’s words to John when he was exiled on the island of Patmos. “‘Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I HAVE THE KEYS of death and of Hades.” Your hell on earth, whatever it is, is not going to last. Jesus has made sure of that. Satan will be bound. You’ll be free. Jesus has the keys and is locking Satan away. In the meantime, remember, Jesus also has the keys to joy and fullness of life. If you know Christ and you know the Bible but are miserable, isn’t it time to start deeply MEDITATING on Scripture for yourself? Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes and your heart to understand God’s kingdom inspired Word. Study Ephesians 6 and arm yourself against Satan. Stand firm against what appears to be your “hell” knowing it is stoked by the invisible enemy. Or, you can keep being miserable and deceived by the enemy. But, what a pity.

Lord Jesus Christ, You were bombarded by Satan over and again. Demons nipped at your holy feet. World forces of darkness blinded the religious leaders to who You were. But you showed us and taught us the way to release. You have given us kingdom keys. May we not be blind and ignore Your holy teachings, but rather pray without ceasing and walk by Your Spirit.

TIP:  If you need help growing in your faith or prayer life, visit my website where you’ll find resources to help you. Begin with Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion,  If God is In Control, Why Am I a Basket Case,  the P.R.A.Y. with Passion Conference available on DVD or CD, or Listen UP: 31 Points about the Holy Spirit every Christian should know.  Take advantage of the many free website resources – slideshows and videos, or podcasts on a variety of topics you can listen to on the way to work or while you go about your day. Browse around. Find what you need. Begin today.  Also, I’m updating my 4 week Bible study on 2 Peter: How to Live by the Divine Nature. This is a critically important book of the Bible. If you’re interested in joining me for this  study (we’ll do it by email once a week for 4 weeks with me providing short teaching videos/podcasts), let me know. debbie@debbietaylorwilliams.com

#biblegateway Blogger Grid Member