Friday, March 14, 2014

The Battle is Fierce but the Ending is Glorious!

For a bit now I've been struggling with feeling beat up, down on myself, inadequate, out of control, not knowing what I'm doing, worrying a bit too much and feeling very defeated at times but Wednesday morning was the worst. There are days and times in our lives where these feelings and thoughts can be so strong. Why? What do we do with them? As I was preparing for the Revelation Bible study God reminded me in a very impacting way that the devil and his demons are constantly going around accusing us to God and always wanting us to feel the way I was, and many other ways too. God is doing so many amazing things around me, in me, through me - and I don't say that with pride but with fear and trembling because I don't have one inch of an iota to do with all that - if it wasn't for Him, I'd be nothing and I'd be nowhere - but anyway, God is doing so many amazing things and the enemy is fighting fighting fighting. And honestly, there are days when I do become weary of the fight as it can be quite constant and we cannot afford to let up or take our armor off for even a day. The devil wants nothing more than for us to fall, to be defeated, to worry, and to be of no use to anyone because we're so wrapped up in our selfish little bubble. He also wants us to give up praying for and encouraging those around us who don't understand or 'don't seem to get it' or seem completely not interested in following the Lord right now. We're not to give up on anyone! We can't!!  We gotta keep loving, keep praying and keep on pressin on. :) We also need to remember that we can only plant the seed, others will water it, others may cultivate it but it is only the Holy Spirit of God who can truly transform a person into a believe and faith in Jesus Christ.

When I was preparing for my study, Daniel 12:3 told me that "those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky and those who turn many to righteousness will shine like stars forever."  Wow! That's what I wanna be!! I am a true wannabe! :) I do want to shine for Jesus like the stars forever.  But this takes continual fellowship with God and following His ways daily. On this day that I felt like whining, the study also had me go into Philippians 2:14-15 which told me "in everything you do, stay away from complaining and arguing, so that no one can speak a word of blame against you. You are to live clean, innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of crooked and perverse people. Let your lives shine brightly before them." Ok God! I get the memo! : )  Forgive me for the whining and help me to keep focused on You! But the Devil loves to get us with our complaining and arguing, doesn’t he? I guess that’s why the Lord wanted to send me that reminder on Wednesday. : ) But the devil also wants us to believe that all the immorality and impurity happening in our world is okay.  It is easy to get depressed when one gets to dwell upon how much the world is becoming more immoral with each day that passes. His desensitizing ways through the media and politics can be very powerful if we spend too much time in it. The Bible study video took us to Revelation 17 which speaks of the great prostitute that will rise, who is symbolic of a great seductiveness that uses immoral means to gain its own pleasure, prosperity and advantage. She mixes all sorts of wonderful kinds of thoughts/ways/spirituality to throw everyone into a state of confusion and she is funded by the devil to keep people confused with all the sparkling appetizers and diamonds of this world. She is the representation of the carnal unending appetite of man and with her seductions she convinces many people of all that is appealing in this world to keep them from following Jesus Christ. It sure sounds to me like this is already happening very much in our world today. So in contrast to that great prostitute is Christ’s bride – the church, is holy, pure and obedient, completely opposite of her ali, so therefore will be hated to a great extent by those who will not ever believe in Jesus Christ. 

So, you’re thinking, Lisa, you’re getting us all down and depressed with you now.  This world is a horrible place! What are you doing? Well my friends, like the picture states, it takes having faith in Christ, being happy happy happy :) and being a fearless daughter of the Bible AND like the song that is playing in my home right now, “I wanna be heaven-minded, I wanna be heaven-minded, I wanna be heaven-minded....I wanna be like You God.”  What does that take? That takes realizing that yes this world is going to end one day and things will become worse and worse until that time....BUT....Jesus has already won the battle and God WILL have the victory in the end! Whoohoo! With all that’s going to happen, don’t you want to be on the winning side?? I know I sure do! By the end of that Wednesday and into the next day on Thursday, I felt so victorious and the gloomy cloud hanging over me had been lifted. I know it was spiritual warfare cause it was a super intense study we were covering that night as well. A sweet part of that day was that I had two different friends in different creative ways, they let me know at different parts of the day that they were praying for me! I love it when God does that!! He ALWAYS sends us confirmations that it's His battle and we're not in the fight alone. After the many tough chapters that are to come that are prophesied in the book of Revelation, the ending of the book is glorious and I CAN’T WAIT to stand before the Throne of God in that “vast crowd too numerous to count” with the heavenly angels filling the sky singing so beautifully “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty!” Ooohhh, I can’t wait for that day! And that my friends, is why I do what I do. It’s why week after week I journey through Bible study after Bible study with many others who are hungry for righteousness and truth, who are thirsty for the Word of God, and who want to deepen their walk with God on a daily basis. That is why I have days where the devil tries so hard to make me feel defeated but I KNOW that I AM an overcomer because of the Spirit of God that dwells within me and I can rely on the Joy of the Lord to give me strength! : )  And...that is why God is giving me this verse to memorize for ‘such a time as this’ in the Scripture memory challenge that I'm in this year. My music pastor at church gave it to me this morning when I was in his office for prayer before the Friday morning Bible study group began...thank you Pastor Lorn! :)  It comes from 1st Corinthians 15:58 in the New International Version. 

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you 
know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

I just realized that I had been working on memorizing this verse last May but in the New Living Translation. But this time the 'stand firm' or 'be steadfast' (from ESV) 'let nothing move you' words stood out to me because the battle can be intense at times and it's only with God that we can stand firm and steadfast. ♥ There will be times we'll feel down and defeated...but the important part is to get back up and keep at standing firm in the Lord. It's His battle and with His Armor on, we can always win together with Him!  :)


Esther said...

Lisa, wow. my friend.. this was very powerful and so so right on target. I've been in that hiding place of self doubt and feeling down. And your post is just the message we all need to remember..We are never alone, God is our Champion.. He is and can be our rescuer.. I'm not sure where this verse is "If God brings you to it, He'll bring you through it." and this is what we can always put in our hearts,minds and souls.. thank you my friend for your blog and for your honest testimony.. You are an uplifter of so many woman my friend...keep it going... love and prayers...essy

Steve Finnell said...

Ecumenical defined: Christian unity aimed at achieving universal Christian unity through interdenominational organizations.

Jesus prayed for unity. (John 17:20-21 "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they may all be one, as You Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.)(NKJV)

1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgement.(NKJV)

Here listed are some of the denominations and churches who are involved in the ecumenical assemblies. Wesleyan churches, the Roman Catholic Church, Lutherans, The Salvation Army, United Church of Christ, Independent Christian Churches, Methodists, Presbyterian Churches, Baptists, Pentecostal Churches, and Quakers, to name just a few.

These churches do not speak the same thing. They teach different ways to become saved. They teach conflicting doctrines about how to remain saved. They do not agree on how to have sins forgiven. They declare various and sundry terms for pardon from sin. They differ on the essential doctrines of Christianity.

To refer to these associations as ecumenical give misnomer a bad name. How can the different churches cooperate in charitable causes? How they join together in Bible study and worship? There can only be true unity in the truth found in Scripture. God did not create nor approve of different doctrines for thousands of denominations and church groups.

The true ecumenical church is the one founded on the Day of Pentecost 33 AD. The statement of faith is the New Testament Scriptures. Jesus died for one church, His church.


Anonymous said...

Steve, what does your response about denominations have to do with any of the original post?

Anonymous said...

Wow, Lisa I am always so in awe of our God!!! Only this morning my prayer was if He would use me if only to plant a seed that someone else would cultivate and harvest to bring others to Him I would be so blessed... then He brings me to your blog where I feel He is saying to me through you, I have heard your prayer dear child, wait on me....I am overwhelmed and filled with awe!!Thank you for your faithfulness to our Lord Jesus and for sharing. You my dear are planting, watering & harvesting, way to go!!! :)