Showing posts with label victory. Show all posts
Showing posts with label victory. Show all posts

Friday, November 16, 2012

Evangelizing

Today was a day of attack and victory. 

This morning even waking up seemed to be difficult. My body was physically worn down. My eyes felt like little weights sat upon my eye lids. My joints ached and made the sounds of an old wood floor, creaking and cracking with each small movement. My energy was on its last bit of battery. In general it was a difficult day to begin with. 

Abbie seemed to be under a bit of attack as well. She was extremely emotional and was crying throughout the day. She had an indecisiveness about everything and filled the air with grumbles and complaints. In general she was just unpleased with life. 

Elizabeth must have stolen the energy that I was missing because she, like the Energizer Bunny, kept going and going and going and going and going. She was getting into everything. A trail of mess followed her everywhere along with screeching sounds of annoyance. She must have called me hundreds of times when I was sitting right there with her in her room playing. "Mom... Mom... MOM... momma... Mom."In general she was needy and energetic. 

This was not a normal day in our household and the tension sat in the air like a thick fog. All communication lines seemed down and I felt claustrophobic in our home. 

When we are under spiritual attack my Achilles tendon would be my family. When they are under attack I do not do as well. I knew that today was a spiritual attack and I also knew that it was connected with last night and what was going to happen tonight. 

Last night was an amazing night. I spoke to a dear friend of mine about God. The Holy Spirit was speaking to her heart and I was so blessed to be witnessing it. She like, so many others-- myself and my husband included, didn't understand the difference between knowing about God and knowing God. Knowing about a savior and being saved. I could feel the Holy Spirit pulling on my heart to ask her questions that I, to be quite honest, was a little scared to ask because I didn't want to hurt our friendship. I remember the times that I thought I was a Christian and I am not sure how I would have handled it if someone had tried to point out that I wasn't. I asked them and I was amazed at how God worked. Once I was willing to open up my mouth and just be obedient to God, He took over. I don't know why I had any fear, the fact is that the Holy Spirit already knew the status of her heart and He is always in control. Last night we talked about the prayer of salvation and I answered any questions she had. The most difficult part was that last night the Holy Spirit was not leading me to lead her in the prayer. I wanted so bad to "close the deal" as some would say. She was right there and ready, but it is not in my timing. 

So today was filled with attacks. One thing that helped was remembering that often the devil doesn't attack noneffective Christians. I knew that I was in a war and I already know who has won. 

So tonight my dear hubby said that I can decorate for the Holidays early to help me feel better after the long bad day. I messaged my friend and invited her over because it seems like something she would like to do. When she responded back I was brought to tears. God is so good! She said that she would like  come over and then she said that she wanted to be saved. I called Alvin and he prayed with me for her. She has been on my heart for months. 

She came over and we had a wonderful time hanging out. We talked and ate food. Then tonight one of my closest loving friends became my sister. I am so thankful to God for her and for His love for her. I am so excited to see God move in her life. Victory!!! God claimed another victory!!! It makes all that junk that happened today melt into nothingness. 

Romans 10:9 If you declarEe with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 

Ephesians 6:10-12 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 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. 

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it has the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Training for Victory

Many of you may know that I am not a sports fan. Often when sports are on, my sighs can be heard from another room. Especially sporting events that take up multiple days. When I heard it was time for the Olympics to come on I knew that it meant days of torture for me. You see, my hubby loves sports. He watches, reads about, talks about, and listens to most anything that is focused on sports. He becomes so engaged in the sporting event that the world around disappears. 


This year I decided to approach the Olympics with an open mind. I even sacrificed and watched the opening ceremonies with my hubby last night for our date night. I love that in this point of my life God is constantly finding new ways to teach me and mold me. As I was contemplating the Olympics I noticed some ways that God would want me to be more like an Olympic athlete. I am not saying that God wants me to begin gymnastics or to become actively involved in a sport, but God does want me to have the same determination and drive in my Christian walk. 


Lets break down the athletes and what makes them successful: 


They Set a Goal- On an interview I heard an athlete describe his disappointment in receiving the silver medal in the last Olympic Games. To paraphrase he said that an athlete doesn't go to the Olympics to get silver. They go to get the Gold, anything less is losing. 


They Choose Coaches- They choose the best of the best when it comes to coaches. Then they have to trust their coach to know what is best for them and they submit themselves to their coach. 


They Focus- They focus all of their attention on obtaining their goal. They visualize it and they strive for it.


They Train- They don't just wake up one morning and decide to go to the Olympics. They take years and train their bodies. They compete against other athletes and push their bodies to new limits.


They Sacrifice- There was a commercial on last night that I found very interesting. It was the athletes all describing ways they sacrifice. They sacrifice their time. They don't get to just go hang out all the time with friends. They sacrifice things that can hold them back from their goal. One athlete hadn't had dessert in years. Many of the swimmers had to sacrifice going to the opening ceremonies because being on their feet walking for so many hours could make their legs tired. 


They Know Their Competition- They don't live in a state of denial. They learn all they can about the ones they are competing against and they learn the opponents weaknesses. 


They Fight- They give it everything they have. When their bodies want to quit they fight on. They push themselves to the limit. 






What I, as a Christian need to be doing:


I need to have a goal. What is my goal as a Christian? I want to live a life that is pleasing to God. I want to bring Him honor and glory through all I do. I want to expand and contribute to His kingdom.


I need a coach. Christ Jesus is my coach. He has shown me how to live and I need to trust and listen to Him. I need to submit myself to Him and His instructions. 


I need to focus. I need to set my eye on the goal. I need to have blinders on and set my eyes on Christ. I need to visualize the victory that God has already promised. 


I need to train. I need to train through the Word of God. I need to train through prayer and praise. I also need to train through all the little situations that come up. 


I need to sacrifice. I need to sacrifice my time by spending more time with God and doing things that will bring God glory. I need to sacrifice the things that distract me and can come between me and God. I need to live a life of sacrifice for others. 


I must know the competition. I need to be aware of the spiritual battle that is happening around me. I need to know the tactics of the devil and I need to have my armor on. 


Finally, I need to fight. I need to give it everything I have. When my flesh is ready to quit I need to press into God and continue fighting on. I need to push myself past my limits, because at the end of me is the beginning of Him. 


If I do these things God has already promised the victory. The glory will go to God. 


Philippians 3:14 “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”


Acts 20:24 "However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me —the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace."


1 Corinthians 15:56-57 "The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."


Hebrews 12:1-3 "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverancethe race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Struggle and Victory

Tonight for some reason I was feeling down. I was feeling so low that I just wanted to lay in bed and not talk to anyone. I wanted to have a pity party for one and wanted to let depression take control instead of having self-control. It took everything in my being to not lay down and wallow. I decided to go on a jog. Now this might surprise those of you who know me, especially my friend Christine who goes walking at the mall with me occasionally,  and know that I hate jogging, I hate outside, I hate the heat, I am overweight, and I have asthma. I said to myself, "If you want to punish yourself I will punish you in a way that will do some good." I went to put on my shoes even though I, in my flesh, just wanted to just sit down. I pressed on. 


I asked Alvin for his headphones so that through worship and prayer, I could draw on God's strength on my walk. I put Eb in the stroller and told Alvin that I was going to walk until I wanted to give up. 


When I took the first steps onto the sidewalk I told myself, "Try to make it to church, if I don't make it at least I tried." Immediately my lazy flesh pleaded with me to only go to the end of the block. I dug my feet into the concrete, turned up the music, and I pressed on. 


When I made it up a block I saw the steep hill of torn up land before me. I felt defeated as I creeped towards it. "I will glorify God with my every step. I will push myself until I can't go on and then will take one more step." My calves were on fire, my lungs were collapsing, and my face was pulsing; but I pressed on. 


As I continued things became a little easier so I decided to run in spurts. I made it to church but then saw the stairs. My flesh would have rather turned back and walked home then walk up the stairs to the bible study, but I knew that God had brought me that far and I could not give up. I dragged Eb's stroller into the church, picked her up, and I pressed on. 


It took almost ten minutes for me to catch my breath but even when I was out of breath I felt invigorated.  I was so glad I went and got the chance to fellowship with my brother and sisters. I was so blessed with my time with God that I looked forward to the trip home. 


God used tonight to teach me so much. None of what I did was in my own strength, it was through God's awesome power. God taught me about being willing to fight my flesh and just take a step out onto Him. The entire time I was fighting my flesh, from my wanted to lay in bed to each step. He taught me self-control. I find it interesting that often self-control is just knowing when to give Him control. He taught me to depend on Him in my weakness. The physical state of my body is not God's fault. It is my fault that I am lazy and gluttonous, but God still uses me as I am and helps me, strengthens me, and encourages me. He taught me that He can bless me in my faithfulness. Finally, He taught me that I can give Him glory in everything, even in just walking. 


Colossians 3:17 "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."


1 Corinthians 10:31 "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."


2 Corinthians 12:9-10 "But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."


Today God gave me victory, actually God always had the victory but I hadn't laid claim to it. My prayer is that God uses this in other areas in my life that He has victory waiting for me. I pray that I choose to press on to receive His victory instead of giving up, instead of choosing to feel defeated, and instead of being lazy. God is so good.