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Consuming God’s Word Daily: The key to spiritual health!

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     December 31, 2018, I read the final verses of the Daily Bible Reading booklet you see above. The result of this year long effort was that I had read though the entire Bible. Then starting January 1, 2019, I started all over! My goal is the same; to read through the Bible again! For the last two years, I have maintained a consistency in daily reading my bible, thanks to this program! 

     Yet, off and on through the years, I have attempted to read my bible daily. But no matter how  diligently I began, after a time I would fizzle out. Pretty discouraging!

     Since writing Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice, I have come to understand why I was such a washout in developing a daily bible reading routine. Why negative thinking ruled my thoughts. Why I became susceptible to Satan’s manipulation. 

     If he (meaning Satan)can keep you from consistent Bible study and prayer, then you will not possess the ability to recognize the lies of fiery darts, and your thinking will be vulnerable to Satan’s manipulation. p 79, FD’s 3rd edition

Satan’s plot to render us ineffective as Christians is simple. “Just keep us from reading the Bible.”

If we didn’t eat, what would happen to our bodies.

If we only ate every so often, what would happen to our health?

     Well, to a Christian, reading the Bible is like eating. To keep us spiritually healthy, we must consume a daily portion of God’s Word.

 

 

Christmas – The Enemy’s Plan

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If we keep Christ out of Christmas,

Then we live without the love, peace, joy, hope, and forgiveness He offers?

No other source offers ALL of the above! No matter what the fiery darts may claim! 

Do we really want to live without these gifts?

That’s the enemy’s plan!

Avoiding Regrets

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     My greatest regret in life is not spending time with God daily in prayer and reading my Bible. I think about the unnecessary trauma I have gone through over the years simply because I  wasn’t listening to God (you know, spending time with Him by reading and meditating on His word)!  

     Now that I am retired and spending that time daily with God, I am realizing the HUGE EFFECT it is making in my thoughts, attitudes, and actions. I think about all those years I failed in allowing God to show me the path I should have taken. I could have avoided so much pain, so many mistakes, pitfalls, detours, etc., if I had been familiarizing myself daily with what God had to say about what I was going through. 

     I could have you know. But I allowed myself to be manipulated and deceived into allowing busyness to keep me out of God’s word. Sure my life was busy when I was raising four children, working full time, and being deeply involved with my church. But I paid the price for putting all of that before my personal time with God. Not only did I pay the price but those I loved paid the price as well.

Remember:

The more we pray and the more we study, the more of Christ is revealed to us. Our faith is strengthened and our access to the power of God is increased. Our ability to recognize fiery darts becomes keener, and we do not succumb to their influences so readily. We will recognize the battle going on between our flesh and our spirit and we will choose to cooperate with God’s plan instead. p 80 FD’s 3rd ed 

     So please, please heed my warning. You are not doomed to repeating my mistake. Know that the enemy is whispering the same lies into your thoughts as he did to mine. Be aware only the power of God’s word can successfully expose Satan’s lies.

     So go get your Bible. Open it up and start reading it everyday. (I recommend a read your Bible through in a year plan.) I can’t tell you how many times God will highlight a verse for me in my daily readings that speaks directly to something I’m dealing with. I add that verse to my prayer notebook (oh yeah, keeping up with verses like that helps keep them in your focus).

Start NOW letting God’s Truth’s rule your thinking and not Satan’s lies.

You will never regret it!

 

The significance of Thanksgiving!

 

   720936f75ec4eef1793ec0a2f3345d33     wyndham 7-17 all 20  retreat friends   th-10

 

 

  Obviously, the significance of Thanksgiving is that it is a time to pause and contemplate all the things we have to be thankful for. 

   Some broad categories for which I am thankful are Faith, Family, Friends, and Country, just like many of you, I imagine. But in this post, I will zero in on a significant aspect within the category of Faith whose impact carried over into Family, Friends, and Country.

   It was about 9 years ago, when God first introduced me to the concept of fiery darts.  That instruction opened my understanding of how I had been victimized by my own thoughts. Negative thoughts or what I eventually began to see as fiery darts. I shudder to think the course my life would have taken, had I not been awakened to the destructive force of fiery dart thinking.

   As my training proceeded, I began learning how I had been deceived by my old nature (my thoughts and attitudes prior to my becoming a Christian), and the world’s concept of truth (a truth void of God’s Truth). I discovered that the world’s concepts of truth held more sway over my thinking than God’s concept of Truth.

   That deception was advanced by my lack of spending time with God in His word. Notice, I didn’t mention that I did not spend time with God in prayer! Because I spent a lot of time praying. But you know what that amounted to? I spent a lot more time talking to God rather than listening to Him. For we hear God’s voice when we read the Bible. 

   When my talking to God and my listening to God got in balance, then and only then, did I find my way out of the bondage I had placed myself in with fiery dart thinking.

   This balance impacted how I dealt with problems within the context of family  and friend relationships. It encouraged me to take those problems to God. Faithfully He would lead me to a particular scripture or scriptures that would shed light on how I should respond. 

   There hasn’t been an area in my life that this balance hasn’t impacted. For example, instead of despairing over the negativity of our recent political climate, God reminds me of 2 Chronicles 7:14. My prayers for my country are worded according to God’s Word, not my despair.  

   When disaster strikes our nation, I’m reminded of verses such as John 16:33. My prayers are worded with the hope found there, not my fears. 

   Knowing how to counterattack the temptation to think negatively about our problems, presents us with a perspective that will identify solutions. 

   My expressions of thankfulness this holiday will be centered on the gratefulness I feel towards God for opening my understanding to what fiery darts are and how to defeat them. For that knowledge has enhanced the gratefulness I feel towards

my Faith, my Family, my Friends, and my Country. 

Who do we believe?

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Why do we so easily believe the lies of fiery darts? But struggle to believe Truths from God’s Word?

   If the darkness of the world, Satan, and our flesh influences our thinking more than God’s Word, then our thoughts, attitudes, and actions will reflect that darkness.  Thus our focus will be on the darkness, blinding us to the light of God’s truth that lies beyond it. 

  Yet, if we desire to believe God over the lies of the enemy, we must do the following:  

We must seek God.

When God speaks we need to listen.

When God speaks we need to believe.

When God speaks we need to act on His words.

Take to heart the following:

…when you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you. Is 43:2 ESV

The LORD is the One who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you. Do not be afraid or discourages. Deut. 31:8

Don’t be afraid anymore, only believe. Mark 5:36 NASV

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16

   Yet sometimes the problems we face threaten to overwhelm us. We believe God,. We believe His Word. We go to it daily.  We talk to God about it a lot, but the hoped for solution evades us! What do we do in situations like that?

We wait!

   As we wait, we continue to pray and search the Scriptures. We focus on verses like the ones above. We become alert to the encouragement God sends us as we go about our day. Through those encouragements and God’s word, we grow in our faith and perspective of the problem.

   We learn to recognize the fiery darts and how to reject them. We learn to replace them with the Truth thoughts from Scripture that God directs us to.

   We may not feel so good about the way things are going, but we must remember that if God says He will never leave us, that He will not fail us, then in spite of how things look, we must take Him at His word. 

Our well being depends on who we believe!

 

God’s Will? or not! Sometimes you just have to get up and move!

 

Be Aware! The fiery darts are really tricky when it comes to discerning God’s will. For example:

 

Feel confused, troubled, or things just won’t clear up? 

Remember:  

1 Corinthians 14:33 “For God is not the author of confusion. (If confusion remains, then hold off on that decision.)

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Being rushed to make a decision but  we don’t feel ready?

Remember:

Psalm 37: 7a, Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him… 

(Be careful here. Sometimes we make a decision then ask God to bless it. Get the direction clear in your head first. A fiery dart will always push us to get the cart before the horse.)

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Feel we should take a step of faith, but we are too afraid?

Remember:

2 Timothy 1:7, For God has not given us the spirit of fear

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Feel we should take a step of faith, but we are bombarded with doubt?

Remember:

Mark 9:23, Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”

 

   When we face of time of decision consider this. If we have not been consistently and I mean daily spending time with God in prayer and His Word, then it’s going to be a bit harder. And it will take some time. Too many aren’t willing to give God that time. Satan takes advantage of that. Confusion, fear, doubt, are the tools of his trade. If there hasn’t been a daily going back and forth between us and God, then whatever has caused that needs to be faced and discarded. Then considered the decision.

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Oh! Be careful about over spiritualizing the situation. I use to be really bad about that. For instance,

   I was traveling all by myself for the first time to go visit my son. At the time he lived an 8 hour’s drive away. I don’t like traveling alone. But I strongly desired to go and see my son and nothing else had worked out. It was either, go by myself or stay home. 

   I thought, “If I’m just stepping out in my own will, then I won’t have God’s protection!” (Oh that’s a paralyzer!) I shared that with my son and this was something like his reply.

“Mom, do you want to come for a visit? 

To which I replied, “Of course, I feel very strongly about that.”

“Then get yourself in that car and come on!” was his pert reply.

   I had prayed and prayed and prayed some more about traveling to go see my son. (and he knew that)  My traveling alone was the only thing that had worked out. There was nothing left for me to do but get myself in that car and head out. God had opened the door, but the fiery darts of fear and doubt were paralyzing me. Sometimes, you just have to get up and move!

 

 

 

Suffering can make us stronger OR it can weaken us. We choose!

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John 16:33, I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.

    When God created our world, everything was perfect and in balance. This was His plan for us. He wanted so much for us to enjoy His gift of creation.

     However, Satan with his evil ways entered the picture and enticed Adam and Eve to sin.  Suffering was an unavoidable consequence of Satan’s intrusion.

So where did that leave us?

     Because of God’s great love for mankind, He came up with a plan to redeem us. He introduced His plan in the Old Testament with the promised Messiah. It was fulfilled in the New Testament by Jesus.

     Man’s sin, set in motion Satan’s evil plans to destroy mankind. Satan stays busy manipulating those unaware of his plan with the lies of fiery darts. Fiery darts originating with our flesh. That is man’s will not controlled by the Truths of God’s Word. Fiery darts expounded by the worldview of a society apart from God. Fiery darts introduced into our minds by Satan.

     These sources will attempt to convince us that suffering is to be avoided. When it happens we try to escape it. In doing so we deny ourselves the very thing that will strengthen our ability to live life more victoriously.

Therefore, suffering is meant to equip our faith to endure the trials of life in order to mature us! By desiring that God remove our suffering, we shut ourselves off from the opportunity to learn how to become more like Christ and to be a testimony to others who are suffering. p. 58 FD’s 3rdedition

     Souls nourished by the Truths of Scripture understand that suffering is a fact of life. It cannot be avoided. As we learn through our suffering, we are less likely to be overwhelmed by it. Instead we build a testimony of how to overcome suffering. A testimony that will comfort others with the comfort God gave us. 

He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:4