The Rest in the Battle

Featured on today’s post is a writing by Linda Wages. Linda has begun a series on The Warrior to help seasoned believers sharpen their armor of faith. She plans on compiling her messages into a book soon.  Her thoughts on the rest in life’s battle are quite interesting and valuable to every person who desires a faith that will not fail in times of need.

 

As I shared in my last blog “The Warrior”, the “rest” is in the battle.  Have you ever thought that the evil one will fight against us  —  even to the point of keeping us from engaging in battle?

Ask yourself, what is in the battle?  I can hear you saying anguish is in the battle, endless tears are in the battle.  The list is endless.  The thought of facing the battle terrifies us and we turn to run, never looking back.  But I have learned that when I am in the heat of the battle, when I am fully engaged, fully in the fight . . . it is then I become fully focused.  My only intent is to survive.

When I am fully engaged there is “no weapon formed against me” that will prosper or penetrate my drive or armor.  It is when I enter the fight and my mind is focused on “civilian affairs” that I am wounded in war.

So is the rest in the battle?  A warrior who is fully trained in his skills mentally, spiritually, and physically cannot fail; he knows the outcome is VICTORY!  So I “rest” in the battle knowing in order to gain the Victory I must fight!

The LION OF JUDAH is preparing an army of Soldiers like this, an army who knows that the rest is in the battle.  Therefore, I must engage.  I must be focused.  I see many who are being called and are engaged in this battle for the Kingdom of GOD.

Then David said, “to the Philistine, you come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of the hosts, the GOD of the armies of ISRAEL, whom you have taunted.”

This is our cry in the battle!  Stay engaged.

Linda

Once a warrior always a warrior

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A warrior’s weapon is the Sword of the Spirit! Photo source: FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Once a warrior always a warrior. In times past the warrior had to fight for his family to maintain or gain freedom.  He had to bring himself within striking distance of his enemy’s weapon.  Thus, to fight he had to risk his own life.  Death was a daily occurrence (powerful and important to understand).

Our enemy today is no less dangerous and skillful.  Our enemy today is first and foremost in the battlefield of our mind.  He tries to remove our freedom in God by opposing our spiritual values.  Sometimes our enemy is laziness, or our fears.  My enemy tells me I can’t accomplish something and there is no point to even try.  My enemy tells me not to stand up for what I believe in because it is unpopular, or to hide my values because they aren’t the “norm”.The modern day warrior examines his past and wonders whether he has done enough up to this point for the kingdom of God; if he is worthy of the challenge that lies ahead of him.

We as modern day warriors are similar to the ancient warrior.  Although our enemies are not as they once were, we still fight every single day.  We battle because that is our calling.  If you want to make a difference in the kingdom of God, you have to fight, slay, and conquer the spiritual forces wanting you to remain in bondage. Their goal is for you to quit combat.  To live you must fight!  It is better to live one day as a lion than a thousand as a lamb. These turbulent times dictate that we cannot remain in laziness and bondage if we are to learn our weapons of warfare.  The warrior of God must fight!  Only a man who wakes up knowing this is prepared to face it and can call himself a warrior of God.

Fear of the battle is a good thing, it sharpens our awareness to the enemy’s next attack.  Weakness does not exist anywhere in the definition of a true Warrior of God .  Moments of weakness of course, but not someone whose “essence” is weakness.  We can feel the pain and anguish as we push forward in our pursuit of becoming one of God’s warriors; but, also the satisfaction of growing stronger increases with each victory.  You will be challenged to the death in some battles, but you will gain the respect of a  seasoned Warrior.

Learn the skills that remove the fear and doubt.  Quitting isn’t in the vocabulary of one of God’s warriors.  You create that endurance in your mind, body, and spirit, through the intense and heated study of God’s word, only then can you face the forces of hell that rally you to quit.  PUSH your spirit, your will, and mind through the battle … to go further … to be more focused on inflicting a mortal wound to the enemy you are fighting.  Work harder at becoming that Warrior of God.  In the kingdom of God, it is those that refuse to quit that succeed.  Endure hardships not because you have no other options, but with the focus that  these hardships are what make you one of God’s Seasoned Warrior’s.  It’s the hard times, that one day, will bring you to that place of VICTORY, SUCCESS and COURAGE in your spiritual battle.  EMBRACE them!  Rejoice that they are yours and no one else’s.  These long  hard roads are where the lessons are learned and God’s Warriors are trained.  What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

Shalom, Linda

Clocks In The Sky

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Nearly fifty-eight years ago an entire neighborhood witnessed a supernatural phenomenon in the sky: a gigantic white clock appeared in the heavens. I know this because I was there.

Being a young child of about five, I remember the crowd of people gathered in the street to observe this wonder. Neighbors came outdoors to view this huge timepiece hanging overhead (exhibiting roman numerals on its face) with their mugs of morning coffee in hand.  I saw the clock but my interest was primarily upon enjoying the free “street” play while adults discussed the significance of it all.

What really drew people’s attention was the placement of the clock’s hands.  The clock read five minutes to twelve.  I too noticed the hands’ placements, funny that at such a young age this captivated me. I recall my family pointing to it now and then as they conversed about its meaning with other folk in the community. The clock hung in the sky for most of the day and faded as the afternoon transitioned into dusk. If this marvel happened today it would go viral on the net!

Reader, stay with me a little while longer as I share the meaning of this true-to-life phenomenon.  I refer you to the story of The Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1-10) in the Bible. I’ll briefly recap the highlights:

As they set out to meet the bridegroom, five virgins in this tale were wise and prepared by taking oil with them for their lamps. Five foolish virgins took lamps but neglected carrying the necessary oil. The bridegroom delayed in appearing and the virgins began to doze off. At midnight there was  a shout, “Behold the bridegroom. Come out to meet him!”  The women jumped up to trim their lamps and those who lacked oil asked for oil from those who had it. The prudent five said they could not spare it and suggested they go buy some. And, they hurried off to do so. Meanwhile, the bridegroom appears and ushers the ladies who were prepared to the wedding feast; and the door was shut.  Later, the foolish ladies return but are not given entrance to the banquet.  As the scripture reads, “Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us. But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you. Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.” (Matthew 12: 11-13, NASB)

I recently heard a message by Dr. Owuor, of Kenya on the appearance of a golden clock he witnessed in the sky on May 3, 2007. However, the timepiece he saw displayed one minute to twelve. (Spiritually, we must note the time refers to evening – midnight.) Four minutes difference is not much by human reasoning but in God’s timing it is significant. As Dr. Owuor states, that one minute tells us that the day is almost finished and the new day is beginning — when the clock strikes midnight judgement begins.

You may choose to believe it or not regarding the physical appearance of clocks in the sky. People who know me realize I am not one to fabricate stories to the amusement of readers, unless I state it as such. Dearest reader, I believe our access to heaven’s gate is narrowing. As a warning to all, God placed this supernatural image in the heavens to awaken us from our present sleep. True, no one knows but God when Christ will return; but, the clock is ticking.  Will you be ready for His return?  I pray so.

Who Fathers The Dew?

IMG_6554 A mug of steaming coffee in one hand and my study Bible in the other, I step out onto the patio to read and meditate upon scripture. My favorite resting spot beckons to me. A lizard scurries away as I approach, jumping into the aloe plant for cover. I slowly ease myself onto the rocking chair positioning myself to read in comfort.

The cool morning breeze causes me to shiver so I take a quick swig from my cup to generate a little heat. I tilt my head back and close my eyes, allowing the sun to bathe my face with warm golden rays of bliss. I can hear the early song of the mockingbird filling the air and it brings a sense of peace to my mind and soul.

Today my study is in Job. I’ve read most of his woeful story. I’ve marveled at his ability to endure horrendous sorrow and pain. And, I’ve wondered if I would have been able to pass Job’s test. Now I’m to the place where God begins to dialogue with him. This is the climax to Job’s story and I’m curious to see how Job responds to God’s questions.

You see, prior to this, Job and his friends argued and challenged each other’s faith and belief in God. Their questions were numerous on how God saw Job’s plight. Job grew angry with God, yet he trusted him. In the end, no one, especially Job, believed they could face God, nor stand before his presence to await his response. “Do you think I’m dumb enough to challenge God? Wouldn’t that just be asking for trouble? No one in his right mind stares straight at the sun on a clear and cloudless day.” (Job 37:22 MSG) Imagine Job’s response when God began to respond!

God answers Job with questions, ones that force him to realize the identity of God. “I have some questions for you, and I want some straight answers. Where were you when I created the earth?” (Job 38: 3 MSG) Shut up! God’s speaking and I sense a whirlwind shaking the earth upon which Job stood.  As I read I visualize the morning stars singing, the light approaching from the east, the earth taking shape and robed in brilliant colors.  I see the churning of the sea with its bouncing white caps and I gaze upon the ominous gates of death. I lay the book down as my mind races from the intensity of the words, my heart wildly beating.  This is the sovereignty of my God!

Now the sun’s brilliance casts glimmering droplets of gold around my chair.  I stretch my legs to experience the full effect of its warmth.  As I reach over to pick up my cup of coffee, I see a drop of dew sliding downwards from a petal of my Calla Lily plant.  It sparkles and shimmers just before dropping onto the pavement. What a simple statement of beauty!  A question drifts on the breeze and swirls in my ear, “Who fathers the dew?”

I sat up.  In a split second I understood the meaning of God’s interrogation of Job.  It was not so much a reprimand as it was God asking Job, “do you love me enough to trust me with your life? I created the universe, can I not handle your life’s journey?

Whenever I feel overwhelmed from the problems I face and feel all alone in my sea of troubles, I remember the power of a God who shakes mountains yet fashions a delicate jewel of water.  Yes, he can awe me with the grandeur of his majesty, but I also know the gentle caress of his love which reminds me how much he truly cares.

 

 

 

Chocolate Tears

Thou has given me sweet droplets of love.

Thou has given me sweet droplets of love.

I am drowning in tears.  Strengthen me as you promised.  Psalms 119:28

My last view of him was a vivid flash of purple as he closed the door behind him on his way out.  The purple being my anger and resentment toward his casual retort regarding my request.   Why did he have to be so hard-headed when it came to these matters?

I admit, I do tend to look at things with poignant scrutiny causing him to quickly access a situation as thespian in nature.  I have been somewhat of a drama queen in the past, but I have changed.  Truly.  There was a time when I manipulated my requests using schemes akin to the serpent’s cunning insidious methods of persuasion with Eve.  But, I HAVE changed.

Now the question is: am I wrong to make such a request of him?  What does he see that I do not?  I exam my motives and intentions over and over seeking the answer.  I sense a fever besetting me, bringing an overwhelming feeling of misery and dejection.  My hunger for his love is waning and my heart is suppressing my true desires for his affection.  I cry out for wisdom: where was the blame, God?

I wander the rooms aimlessly without intention or purpose.  Long gone is the undertaking of setting the house in order.  I glance out the window to see the sun climb from its morning abode casting dazzling rays of gold across my winter garden.  Bright specks create shimmering diamonds causing my heart to ascend and I clearly grasp my beloved’s resolution.

Why was I so quick and harsh with my words?  Was it so important I get my way, even at the cost of his devotion?  I silenced him using plausible argument, so it seemed.  As I reminisce the morning’s scene, I wince at my use of feminine designs to persuade and plot my desires.  He was no fool.

How can I rectify this quandary?  Can I right what was cast down and renew his faith in me?  I don’t deserve his devoted affection.  Yet, I know him to listen with an open heart.  He always forgives and sweeps me away with his admiration for my uniqueness, those traits he finds so endearing.  My faux pas has broken our trust.

As I wait for the evening to fall, I prepare for my lover’s return.  I dress simply, yet with the beauty of a queen draped upon my soul, as I plan to express my admission of guilt.  I cannot afford to let the sun go down upon this transgression of shame.

The door opens, he steps through bringing the last ray of sunshine with him.  As I look upon his silhouette, I run into his arms and quickly speak my apology.  He pulls back, gazing into my eyes.  He embraces me once again and ends with a passionate kiss of forgiveness.  I return his affection with fervor and delight.

Turning to lead him to our secret chamber, he gently tugs at my arm and swirls me around so that I see a small recompense for the morning’s dispute: a red velvet box of chocolates.  I tumble to the ground weeping because I do not deserve this reprieve.  This acquittal leaves me crying chocolate tears, sweet pieces of love in response.

What Do I Do About My Saggy Body?

A sound mind makes for a robust body!

A friend of mine recently asked me, “How do I get rid of the saggy parts of my body?”  I was not really sure how to answer the question.  For one thing, I have saggy parts myself, I just manage to keep them under wrap and out of sight.

The one body area women seem to have more problems with is the under arm.  No matter how much we pump those weights, the bags seem to hang in there until the last bit of fat is trimmed down.  We wear clothing to cover them up so they don’t swing around when we wave hello — I mean “Hello!”  is what they say loud and clear if exposed!  I can just see many of my fellow peeps out there nodding in agreement, we can all relate.

This weekend I dined at a friend’s home.  She served the most incredible meal, complete with appetizer, salad, dinner, and dessert.  I didn’t hold back.  I fully indulged myself on cream cheese roll-ups, sweet salads, steak and potato, and a full dish of ice cream over cake to wrap it up.  The next day I was at the gym, running, stepping and lifting weights to work off those extra calories.  Honestly, I may have worked off  a couple of extra pounds, but not all of them.  It’s going to take a few more sessions this week to return to my former weight.

At one point, I looked in the mirror and I became frustrated with myself.  How could I let myself go and eat all that food without a thought about how it would affect me?  I lamented over favorite foods I would have to avoid in order to lose the extra pounds.  I hated the thought that I would have to spend extra time at the gym when I wanted to blog, work on my book, and hang out with my hubby.

When I got home from working out, I tossed my towel in the hamper and headed for the shower.  Ugh!  I could see the flabby arms again.  How despicable! Then a thought occurred to me, am I thinking too much about how I look?  A familiar Bible verse floated across my mind, “Exercise daily in God — no spiritual flabbiness, please!  Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever.”  1 Timothy 4: 8-10, MSG

Like a cleansing rain, I felt the truth of this statement flow over me.  I needed to put away the anxiety and put on the proper attitude of a disciplined life.  My spiritual training has taught me sagginess can exist in the mind.  When we exercise only certain strengths, other lessor parts may cause us to lag behind.   They sag.

The Online Dictionary defines sag as, “to yield through weakness, lack of effort, or the like: i.e., our spirits began to sag.”  I take this as a serious flaw in daily spiritual exercise.  If we, through lack of effort, fail to keep our minds focused, not practicing what we believe, then we will become weak in areas causing us to look and feel inadequate.  Exercise the mind!

I came across this verse in the Message version of the Bible (Proverbs 14:30): “A sound mind makes for a robust body, but runaway emotions corrode the bones.”  I had to look up robust.  It means: strong, healthy, hardy, vigorous, suited to requiring bodily strength, and endurance.   (OK, that is better than what I thought it meant: chubby.)  This was trumpeting loud and clear what I needed to do . . .  I needed to exercise my mind first and the rest would follow.

What am I talking about?  Simply, as you keep in God’s Word, study it and meditate upon it, you will balance out the rest of your life.  If your life is balanced, then all other things will come naturally.  Yes, the way you look at things, even eating, will make sense.  Your spiritual fitness will help you to strengthen out the weak saggy parts, both mentally and physically.

I hope I am making sense to you out there.  Just rambling a bit about my thoughts and some times they just seem to be out there — way out there!  Sharing from my experience is hopefully helping you in some way today.

Blessings,

Dee

Death of a Covenant

source: freedigitalphotos.net

This is a very difficult blog for me.  Nevertheless, I feel directed to share my story with you.

Four Tuesdays ago, I was called into my pastoral staff member’s office and was told that my husband had filed for divorce two months prior to the date.  It hurt.  I was crushed.  More so because he had filed without my knowledge.  At that moment, I felt like I had just been hit by a freight train.

As the day unfolded, the nightmare unraveled even more.  That very same afternoon I found out he had placed a restraining order against me.  He had me evicted from our home in conjunction with the restraining order.  I had to leave immediately, taking only what I could pack.  When I went to put gas into my car, I discovered he had withdrawn all our monies from our accounts.  An engulfing fear of the unknown blanketed me, where was I to go and what was I going to do for money?  I felt like I was living a nightmare, one from which I wanted so badly to awaken.  I scrambled to gain any kind of footing.

The finger-pointing in a failing marriage is ugly.  It seems once we leave our marriage unattended by the Power of Christ, Satan is quick to enter and his mission is to destroy.  Once Satan is allowed to enter, is not confronted and made to leave, the destruction begins and he works to kill.

And this is where our marriage was. 

It has to be a unified battle to save a marriage. I found myself questioning everything about my marriage.  I felt abandoned and lonely, overcome with so many emotions.  I just wanted to hear him say “I did not mean it I am sorry!”  But those words never came.

The rejection I felt ripped at my heart.

I cried because the vows we took were broken.  He spoke and said, “for better or worse!”  Where was the commitment?

The lack of romance and intimacy had left our marriage the preceding four years.  I believe my husband mentally abandoned our marriage two years prior to the acknowledgement of his filing.  Their was no compromise on his part in any way.  I begged God to show me other ways to love him even if it meant no intimacy, but I started to go downhill fast because nothing was returned.

A failing marriage is very pitiable.  I wish I could say that I was faultless in everything, but I cannot.  There was a lot of baggage on both of our parts that needed to be settled prior to joining in marriage.   But, it did not happen.  It was an ongoing run-away train at this point.  Nothing we did seemed to slow it down. I saw things in our marriage that were excessively unhealthy and could not be allowed to continue in the manner it was headed.

N0t until something happened, turning the tide (I choose to believe it was God that intervened). 

What I discovered was extremely painful, but it made me realize that either I had to do something for myself or I was going to lose my marriage.  I started going to christian counseling in May to unpack my worn luggage and seek a solution.  But what I expected to change in a few months, I now realize required a long-term, united commitment on both our parts to work.   At this point,  he was extremely bitter, angry and unwilling to bend to any guidance by leadership, or otherwise; and so ended our marriage.

Looking back, I always felt it was something I did or did not do that caused our lack of intimacy,  but I did not comprehend it this was his choosing.  I did not realize he didn’t love me, and when he admitted it to me . . .  I was crushed.

But God in his love knew what was happening here; I know that God does not approve of divorce, but the ongoing damage  had to be stopped.  I did not want to leave my marriage, God removed me.   When he did, I left my home evicted but walked right into the hands of a loving, accepting God.  I serve an amazing God.  HE already had everything set up for me as I stepped out.  I submit everything inside me into his love and care.  The tears still flow because our “vow” was broken.

Moving forward is never easy.

I could choose to stay in this insanity or go forward in Christ and give him my hurts, hate, bitterness, and so much more.   I desire healing and honesty.

My Sister Dee sent me a necklace with the inscription,  Jer 29:11:  “For I know that plans I have for you (Erme), to prosper you (Erme), to give you (Erme) hope and a future.”  This necklace is my constant reminder of whose I am.  I am a marked woman for God!!

This is what I choose and for a soon to be ex-spouse: I leave him in the hands of God.  I wish him no harm, nor do him any harm, nor treat him unjustly.  I pray that his heart will open up to God allowing God’s  healing to take place in his heart.

I have witnessed many ex-wives, who were wronged, fail to move forward.  They continue to treat their ex with hate and treat them horribly.  I  will not allow this to be a part of my life.  “I can do all things through CHRIST who strengthens me.”

Now, I will walk this life with Christ in great EXPECTATIONS!!

Be Blessed,

Erme