October 17, 2017

Take Heed

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As for God, His way is perfect:
The Lord’s Word is flawless;
He shields all who take refuge in Him.
Psalm 18:30 NIV

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Here we have David, in the midst of singing praises to God for delivering him from his enemies.  I believe David stated the most important reason for that victory—!

God’s way, as the following Scriptures state, is His very own method and style.  God’s way of doing something has no comparison.

LORD, there is no one like You!
For You are great, and Your name is full of power.
Jeremiah 10:6 NLT

Among the gods there is none like You, Lord;
no deeds can compare with Yours.
Psalm 86:8

He is the Rock, His works are perfect,
and all His ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong,
upright and just is He.
Deuteronomy 32:4

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
“And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so My ways are higher than your ways
and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8-9

God’s Word is flawless, unbroken, unimpaired, and whole.  It is beneficial to us.  This is in sharp contrast to the lies of the enemy.

God is not man, that He should lie, or a son of man,
that He should change His mind.
Has He said, and will He not do it?
Or has He spoken, and will He not fulfill it?
Numbers 23:19

All Scripture is breathed out by God
and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction,
and for training in righteousness,
that the man of God may be competent,
equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17

God is our Shield.  Just as a king is trusted as the protector of his people, so we who put our faith in God are to trust Him as our Protector.

But You, Lord, are a Shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
Psalm 3:3

Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in You.
Psalm 84:12

But let all who take refuge in You be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread Your protection over them,
that those who love Your name may rejoice in You.
Psalm 5:11

Because God’s way is perfect, and His word is flawless, and He has promised to protect His children, we need to take heed.  Yes, like David, we have enemies—whether in the physical or in the spiritual—who try to “entangle us with cords of death” (Psalms 18:4-5).  But if we take heed of God and His Word, He will ”avenge us, and save us from our enemies” (Psalms 18:47-48).  When we are faithfully in God’s Word, then we will know God and experience His deliverance.

It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
Matthew 4:4

Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord.
Joyful are those who obey His laws and search for Him with all their hearts.
They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in His paths.
You have charged us to keep Your commandments carefully.
Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect Your decrees!
Psalms 119:1-4

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Dear God, our Father and Protector, we come before You with humble and grateful hearts.  There is no way that is more perfect than Your Ways.  There is no word that is more flawless than Your Words.  We are Your children, and You desire nothing more than for us to trust You wholeheartedly so that You can be our Protector.  Help us by Your Holy Spirit to “take heed” of Your Word for us, so that we will know You better and follow You more closely.  We want to be joyful daughters of integrity “…who obey Your laws, and search for You with all our hearts.”  Thank You for Your Word and Your Holy Spirit, so that we can know You better.  In Jesus’ Precious Name, we pray, Amen.

Girls With Swords: Chapter 8 – “Sword Words” (pgs 121-125)

Click HERE for this week’s reading assignment

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Part 3 – ARMED

 It’s time to break camp, Warriors!  We have been called. We have been trained.  We have been forged into a weapon to be used against the forces of darkness.  We are “ministers of hope whose words are seasoned with salt and light and sound foreign in a world peppered with darkness” (Bevere, p. 121).  How is it that we have these sword imageries and our weapon is one ofwords?  Have you ever stopped to think that the words coming from your mouth directly reflect the heart inside your body?  That is pretty powerful stuff.

Lisa tells us that “words are invisible, but if misused, they can prove deadly.”  Have you killed someone with your words?  Have you left walking wounded?  It’s time we thought about this for a little while, take stock in our words and let the Holy Spirit reveal areas of our speech we need to work on.  Take time to do that now.

(pause)

My Bible tells me that we were all created with one language in the beginning.  We spoke the same language as God, the Father.  We knew His voice.   We could recognize Him as He walked with us in the garden.  I like to think God whistled as He walked in the cool of the day, asking Adam and Eve how their day had been.  I say “we” because we are descended from Adam and Eveand God the Father.  We are here, now, because of themback there.  “God has given us His language… He has framed the words in strength and carefully structured each sentence so that every syllable is woven with power and punctuated by promise.”  (p. 122).

I think that makes our words pretty powerful!  They are the words of our Father, they are powerful, and we should be sharing them with the world.  How will we know what to say?  Where will we find the answers to our questions???  2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us:

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.  It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.  God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”

You have been forged as a SWORD.  Are you ARMED???

I was asked these questions last week, “If the Bible is my guide book to life does that mean I should follow all the ideals set forth?  Do I pick and choose which ones I like and which ones I don’t?  If I do have to follow all of them, how do you translate those stories to apply to modern day living?”  So many good questions from one seeking person.  After our basic training, and now our warrior training, how would YOU answer these questions?

Lisa poses an interesting point:  If we knew we were going to live out the rest of our days in a foreign country we would take the time to learn the language and the culture and learn to communicate.  As born-again believers, we KNOW we are going to live out our days in heaven with our spiritual family.  We need to be learning how to communicate.  Our Father speaks a heavenly and holy language.  We need to learn heaven’s language NOW.  “We lift swords when we lift His Word:  ‘Death and life are in the power of the tongue’ (Proverbs 18:21)” (p. 123).

So let’s go back and apply what we have learned in our training.  Let’s use the language we are learning to shine a light for a lost soul.  Give me some Sword Words to support your answers to this person’s questions.

  1.  If the Bible is my guide book to life does that mean I should follow all the ideals set forth?
  2. Do I pick and choose which ones I like and which ones I don’t?
  3. If I do have to follow all of them, how do you translate those stories to apply to modern day living?

This language may seem foreign to you right now.  Or it may come naturally and you have suppressed the sound of the Father’s voice.  Either way, let’s put our hearts together and help this brother out with his questions.  I would like to see how you WARRIORs put your SWORD to use.  Are you ARMED?  We need to light the path, ladies!!!

Our Call to Arms for this week comes from Hawk Nelson and Bart Millard (Mercy Me):

Let’s Pray:

Heavenly Father,  I want to remember Your voice.  I want to hear the language of Your heart coming from my mouth.  I want to be a light to draw others out of the darkness and onto Your path.  Give us the desire to love our neighbors, to share Your words with those around us.  Let our words point the world back to You.  You have given us every weapon we will ever need to survive this world.  Give us a willing heart to take up those weapons and use them for Your glory.  In Jesus’ Holy Name we pray, AMEN.

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If you would like to join us for the “Girls with Swords” Online Bible/Book study, click HERE to be taken to our sign-up page.  Once you complete the enrollment process, we will email you further details.  We hope you will join us!

Girls With Swords: Chapter 1 – “You Are A Target” (pgs 3-6)

Our daily reading schedule for this week can be found by clicking this link.

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Eph6_13

We do not have to leave our homes to know that an epic battle is waging. On any given day, point your internet browser to any major news website and you will see how desperate Satan is. Violence, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, envy and judgment seem to permeate our society. In fact, it may even discourage some of you; make you doubt our God and His goodness.

Sisters, it is time to recognize and understand that we are a part of this battle. As Christians, we are automatically targets of the enemy. Satan will stop at nothing to tear apart our relationship with the Lord. That is his business. It is his only job. He wants to keep us away from reading the Bible. He wants to prevent us from fully participating in a Bible/Book study by distracting us. He does not want us to be in fellowship with other believers so he will use our insecurities or past hurts to prevent us from moving forward in our faith journey. Anything is up for grabs. Not one of us is immune. If he sees a spot to weasel his way in, he will try to do it. I use the word *try* because we hold the ultimate power. We can look to God to help us through these difficulties, or, we can allow the situation to take us captive and restrict the Spirit’s work in our life.

Which will you choose?

I say this not to scare you, but to warn you. The battle is being waged. Thankfully, we have a Mighty Savior who sends us to the frontlines fully equipped to fight the enemy and to beat crush him at his own game.

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Ephesians 6:13-17 NLT

The Lord gives us many defensive weapons in our arsenal to fight the enemy. We have a belt, body armor, shoes, a shield, and a helmet. However, there is just one offensive weapon: the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

What is the Word of God?

  • For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12, NKJV).
  • All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work (2 Timothy 3:16 and 17, NLT).
  • Your Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path (Psalms 119:105, NLT).
  • In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through Him, and nothing was created except through Him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it (John 1:1-5, NLT).

When we tuck God’s Word into our heart, we are able to defeat the enemy immediately when he tries to attack us. Before Jesus started His ministry, Satan tempted Him in the wilderness. For forty days and nights, He fasted and was very hungry (Matthew 4:2). He refuted Satan’s attempts at trickery by repeating the truth from God’s Word. “Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus” (Matthew 4:11). By claiming God’s truth and promises and wielding them as a weapon to the enemy, Satan had no choice but to flee.

Can I get an AMEN to that?!

Ladies, I know life is difficult. It can be busy. I truly hope and pray that you will delve deeply into this study. Commit to it. Make it a part of your daily quiet time with the Lord. It has the potential to impact your life in a radical way. God wants to use us to reach the lost, to save those that we may think seem gone forever. No one is beyond saving. No one. We can be a hero in God’s army of warriors. But, ultimately, it is our choice.

Who’s with me?

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Let’s Pray:

Heavenly Father, as we begin our study of this book, please let the truth from Your Word soak into the depths of our souls. We want to be prepared for the battles that are coming our way and to be a hero fighting for You, Lord. Please remove anything that will prevent us from focusing solely on this study. Help us find a daily quiet time with You to read and study what You want to teach us through this book. We know You have already won the battle, Lord. We thank You that You are a God who loves us so much and who equips us with all that we need to fight the enemy. We have all that we need in You. Guide and lead us in the weeks to come. We pray this in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

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If you are interested in joining us for this online Bible study, please click HERE to complete your enrollment.