Our Secret Weapon
1 Chronicles 5:18-22
Excerpt from: The New Women's Devotional Bible
Imagine ranks of warriors stretching as far as the eye can see. Their weapons glinting in the morning sunlight, spread over the villages and pastures of the land God had given them. Nearly 45,000 strapping young men-weapon-savvy, war-hungry and expertly trained-fingering their bows and sword hilts impatiently. They had trained for this battle.
In the silence you could have heard a horse snort, a fish jump in the Jordan, a scabbard ring hollow against a shield. But as the battle got underway and the screams tore at their eardrums, you could hear something else: the cries of the warriors calling out to God for help. He was the secret weapon in the battle. And they trusted him for the victory.
Let's face it; life is more a battlefield than a playground. Every day we face enemies we can't even see. We are at war "against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12 ). We fight battles within ourselves-against insecurity, anxiety, depression. We fight for spiritual territory rather than for plots of land. We fight against the fallen things in this world: materialism, greed, selfishness, addiction, violence, apathy, prejudice, injustice . . . and the list goes on. Daunting enemies, indeed.
As soldiers in God's army we are called to do battle with evil by putting on the armor of God (see Ephesians 6:10-18 ). Every morning, picture yourself donning each piece like a modern-day Joan of Arc: the belt of God's truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the gospel of peace. Take up your shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit. And then, like the Israelites, employ your "secret weapon": prayer. Ask God for help, "pray[ing] in the Spirit . . . with all kinds of prayers and requests" (Ephesians 6:18 ). One commentator said, "Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees." Don't hesitate to utilize your secret weapon by praying to the Lord of hosts, and trust him to hear your prayers. He's the one who will lead you to win your battle because he has already won the war.
Are most of your battles fought against "inward" or "outward" foes?
What weapons are you finding most effective against your foe?
How often do you utilize your "secret weapon" (prayer)?
1 Chronicles 5:20
They were helped in fighting them, and God delivered the Hagrites and all their allies into their hands, because they cried out to him during the battle. He answered their prayers, because they trusted in him.
Psalm 24:1-10; Philippians 4:6; James 4:1-8; 1 Peter 3:10-16
GOD INHABITS HIS PEOPLE'S PRAISE
On the “Insight” of “Walk Through the Bible” Quiet Walk, Daily Devotional, I read this comment for Psalm 145 The Lord is extolled for the goodness of who He is and what He has done.
“There has never been a generation that did not praise God. Since the beginning of time, salvation and praise have been passed down in unbroken succession. David writes, "One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts" (v. 4). That praise is directed to God for who He is (His character) and what He has done. Of God´s character, David writes: "The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy" (v. 8). The Lord is good. Writing of God´s work, he says, "The Lord upholds all who fall, and raises up those who are bowed down" (v. 14); "is near to all who call upon Him" (v. 18); and "will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him" (v. 19). "The Lord preserves all who love Him" (v. 20). For these reasons, we praise Him along with David.”
We are told in Psalms 22:2-4 that God lives in the midst of His people's praises.
But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. KJV
But You are holy, O You Who dwell in [the holy place where] the praises of Israel [are offered]. AMP
Yet You are holy, O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel. NASB
From the Hebrew word yâshab we get the English word inhabitest, or dwell. Yashab means to sit down, as in this case, to sit down in quiet, to dwell, to remain, to ease self. In other words, as the children of God join their hearts in choruses of praise in complete trust, God sets up house and settles in ease in their midst. That sounds pretty good to me. When God is at ease, I am at ease and all is well in my world.
I want the Father to be at ease with me. I want Him to set up house in my praises and live at ease with me. I want Him to curl up on the couch with me, take off His shoes, and have a long warm and vibrant conversation. Isn't it just wonderful when all who dwell within the confines of your home are at peace and happy with one another! That is extremely inviting to all who cross the threshold. Praise adds energy and vibrance to a person and those around them. Yet the complete opposite takes place with complaining, grumbling, and whining. These attitudes rob and drain people of their energy and health.
I have a prayer pasted in the front cover of my Bible. One of the paragraphs in that prayer reads as follows: “Lord, make my home an embassy of refuge for all who need sanctuary from this world. Let my fellow children of God love to visit here in it, feeling the atmosphere of heaven that heals and strengthens them in their lives. Let those under Satan's tyranny find here, freedom and release from the fear, grief, and suffering his service causes. Let them be always welcome here and let them sense the difference in this place; sensing the difference, lead them to question why, that I may tell them the wonderful story of Your love. Let all who seek help find and none be turned away.”
I want to be inviting to others, but especially to God. Others will not seek the truth that dwells within my heart if it is wrapped in a package with complaints, woe is me, and a life that appears to be negative. People are attracted to and seek those things which bring comfort, peace, and strength. They're attracted to that which can bring them solace and understanding in the midst of pain and heartache.
Rom 10:15 ...As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings! [How welcome is the coming of those who preach the good news of His good things!] [Isa. 52:7.]
I want to be that kind of person and I want to do it with a smile on my face and a joyful song in my heart.
Listen! I stand at the door and knock; if any hear my voice and open the door, I will come into their house and eat with them, and they will eat with me. Rev. 3:20 GNB
I love this verse! God pursues mankind even to the door of our own home. He delights to dwell with us. He says “Listen!”. Have you come home into a living room of clamoring children vying for one another's toys, the TV remote, each others attention? They're all busy and excited, but they haven't noticed that you want their attention. This is the picture that comes to my mind when I read this passage. In essence, it says to me, “Hey! Listen to me. Did you hear me knocking? I want to come in. If you'll quite down for a moment, I have something wonderful for you to taste and enjoy. Just look here at what I have for you. Let's sit down for awhile, I want to enjoy you.”
Now, that's an invitation I can sink my teeth into! On this side of Heaven, we'll never receive a more refreshing invitation, nor shall we enjoy more royal dainties. When I answer to the sound of His knocking, I find more than inviting Him in to me, I find myself seated before His throne. It is truly “I” who am eating at His banquet table and not, so much, He eating at my humble table. Instead, He takes my humble offerings and exchanges them for a King's feast!
And when before the throne
I stand in Him complete,
I’ll lay my trophies down,
All down at Jesus’ feet.
In one of my devotionals today I was reading “A Cup of Abundance”, I want more out of life.... from C.D. Baker's devotional book: 101 Cups of Water, relief and refreshment for the tired, thirsty soul. I'll share that devotional with you here:
I'm not proud to admit it, but I want more-more things, more success, more admirers, more influence, a better house, a newer car a fresh idea, more productivity, more children, more spiritual growth...It's a very long list. More is what the world's about: having, doing, being more determines my value, and not just in others' eyes. I measure myself by more or less, and more is usually better. A man asked a friend how much money his family needed. He answered, “More”. The pastor asked me about my commitment to Bible reading I told him I was doing “more”.
But more is a heavy load-one that shows me how little I trust God, how little I think I need Him. More's actually a brilliant strategy of the Enemy.
The truth is, Jesus is not enough for me. I'm often fooled into thinking: Jesus + something more= contentment. What I need to do is pause and pray. Asking the Spirit to show me how much more rules my day begins the journey to plenty by taking away my desire for more and filling my heart with Jesus.
“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly,” he said (John 10:10). Life in Jesus Christ is more than I could ever need.~
I woke up with this song in my heart this morning. Have you had one of those songs that just stays in your brain? This one has been with me most of the day.
All of You is more than enough for all of me
For every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with Your love
And all I have in You is more than enough
CHRIS TOMLIN LYRICS You may read the rest of the lyrics at this site: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/christomlin/enough.html” target=”_blank”>MORE
Truly, He is more than enough for each one who reaches out to Him in faith as their sustaining Authority. He is the author and finisher of our faith. He leaves no lose ends and sees past, present and future at a glance. Since He knows our every need and the numbers of hair on our heads, is anyone better fitted to be “More than Enough”? I need nothing more than Christ Jesus, for His is all-in-all.
Thank you Lord for being my all-in-all and being my More.
GOD IS YOUR DWELLING PLACE
If you make the Most High your dwelling-
even the Lord who is my refuge-
then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent. Psalm 91:9-10
LORD, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.Psa. 90:1
In God we live and move and have our being.Acts 17:28
AS YOU PRAISE GOD TODAY
- Remember that your only true dwelling place is in him.
- Praise God for the privilege of having him dwell in you and also because you can dwell in him forever.
- Think about what it means for you personally to dwell in God.
Devotional from: DAILY PRAISE from the New International Version, pg 98
Living Beneath Your Privilege
by Adrian Rogers
“For Thou, LORD, hast made me glad through Thy work: I will triumph in the works of Thy hands.” Psalm 92:4
God has given the victory to every Christian -- not just in the hereafter, but in the here and now. You say, "But Pastor Rogers, I know some Christians who aren’t living a victorious life. And, umm, I’m one."
Then I hate to break it to you, but you are living beneath your privilege. God’s Word admits the possibility of failure in our lives, but it never assumes the necessity of failure. As a matter of fact, 2 Corinthians 2:14a says, "Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ."
Do you know what you need to do? You need to possess the possessions that God has already given to you in Christ. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3).
A True Model
By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
As we consider how Jesus extended forgiveness during his crucifixion, we also learn that our Savior practiced what He preached.
He told us to deny ourselves, and He did just that Himself when He refused to summon the legions of angels who stood ready to rescue Him. He told us to turn the other cheek, knowing that His own cheek and entire body would be struck repeatedly by His jailers. He told us to forgive, and we watch Him, with love and compassion, intercede for the forgiveness of those whose scorn had brought Him to Calvary. Jesus certainly practiced what He preached.
Do you practice what you preach? Do you follow the example of Jesus?
Prayer: Lord, help me to follow Your example, practicing what I preach and freely offering forgiveness to those who hurt me. I pray that my actions would line up with my words. Amen.
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).
God Makes Things Right
By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
Even when our efforts fall short, God has the power to set things right. Read 2 Kings 4:1-7. In this passage we read about a woman in a place of bankruptcy and shame. Her husband had died and left her a debt she could not possibly pay; the only thing she could do was throw herself upon the mercy of Elisha.
Elisha did not offer to pay her debts. He instead asked her, "Tell me, what do you have in your house?" (2 Kings 4:2) God's plan for our lives always begins with what we have. The widow did not have much--only a little oil. Yet she offered it to Elisha, hoping he could use it to help her. She did not try to hoard it or hide it from him. She surrendered the little bit she had.
Elisha told the widow to borrow as many empty jars as she could, then to pour the oil into the jars. These borrowed vessels showed the woman’s capacity to receive from God. The more vessels she had, the more she was going to receive. The more empty the jars were, the more oil that would fill them. The moment she ran out of empty vessels, the oil stopped flowing. The amount she received was enough to pay her debts and support her family.
In another instance, Elisha and the prophets were confronted with a poisoned pot of stew mistakenly made by one of his servants. Rather than panic, Elisha said, "'Get some flour'. He put it into the pot and said, 'Serve it to the people to eat.' And there was nothing harmful in the pot" (2 Kings 4:41).
The poison in the pot brought by man's intervention, by man's effort, by man's work--could only be absorbed out of the pot by God's intervention.
In the same way, only the power of God can save us from our self-assertion, self-efforts, stubbornness and sin. Have you been guilty of poisoning the pot? If so, surrender that control to God.
Prayer: God, I ask Your forgiveness for the times I have poisoned the pot by trying to control things instead of letting You do it Your way. Thank You for absorbing my sin through Your death on the Cross. Amen.
"He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification" (Romans 4:25).
The Foreshadowed Cross
By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
The symbol of the Cross did not first appear at the death of Jesus. As early as the book of Genesis, we begin to see the foreshadowing of the Cross. From the moment Adam and Eve decided to go their own way from God's commandments, God began lifting up the Cross.
We see it when the blood of an innocent lamb was shed to atone for Adam and Eve's disobedience. We see the symbol of the Cross when God's people participated in Passover. But these animal sacrifices of the Old Testament could never take away sin permanently. Only the pure blood of the Lamb of God can truly purge sin. The animal sacrifices reminded God's people that sin is a costly offense to a Holy God. And these sacrifices pointed forward to the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross.
Many people are drawn to the magnanimous love of God, but they hesitate to acknowledge the righteousness and holiness of God. Righteousness demands that sin be punished. For God's justice to prevail, sin and rebellion against God must be dealt with. Since the only covering for sin is the shedding of innocent blood, God shed His own blood--the most innocent blood of all. Because God shed His own blood, we can find forgiveness of sins, relief from guilt, peace with God, and eternal life in heaven.
The entire plan of God, from Genesis to Revelation, is built on the Cross. When that first innocent lamb's blood was shed for Adam and Eve, they understood the enormity of their disobedience. They understood that God's justice must be met.
Prayer: God, thank you for sacrificing Your Son on the Cross for my sin. Thank You that we no longer have to offer animal sacrifices, but that You gave us a permanent solution to sin through the death of Jesus Christ. Amen.
"To Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel" (Hebrews 12:24).
Running Your Race Without Distraction
“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14
Runners train themselves to be focused on one thing – the finish line. They have one desire, and they are not going to let what is going on in the stands or who is lagging behind distract them.
Paul had the same sense. He, too, believed that you could not win a race by looking over your shoulder or glancing to the right or the left. You can’t see what is ahead when you’ve got your headlights on the rear bumper.
Paul forgot his past glory, past mistakes, past grief, past everything. Paul refused to let his past keep him from reaching his goal. What are you doing in your race to claim the prize of a closer walk with God? Take a few minutes over the next couple of days to reflect upon what Jesus Christ did for you on the Cross. In light of that, analyze how you are running your race. What changes do you want to make to better run the race?