June 26, 2017

Girls with Swords: Chapter 9 – “Kill or Defend” (pgs 150-151)

I wanted to point out to you ladies that in the introduction to this chapter, Lisa explains that the machete is a formidable weapon for self-defense, capable of fending off assailants and wild animals and killing venomous snakes (pg 140).

This reminded me of something a friend told me last night.  I was explaining how sometimes I feel like I am in a tug of war with Satan.  I feel him wanting to wrap his slithering body around my arm and try with all of his might to pull me on his side, but God is not pulling my other arm, He is holding me securely in His mighty arms.

Her response was this: Satan is first mentioned as a snake in the Scriptures.  Did you know that when a snake gets its head cut off, it can still live.  They do not know that they are slithering around without a head.  Satan is walking around with his head cut off, he just doesn’t know it yet.  Genesis 3:15 says Satan will strike HIS (referring to Jesus) heels BUT HE (Jesus) WILL CRUSH HIS HEAD.  Satan is still trying to have you because he doesn’t know that he is dead, but he is.

YES!  He sure is dead.  There is something more powerful than the machete; the stained cross where our Precious Lamb was slain for you and me.  That same cross sliced the head of Satan the day He rose from the dead.  Jesus has overcome Satan’s many attempts to strike His heel, with His stained cross and empty tomb.  Jesus has freely given us this same victory over Satan’s many attempts to pull us on his path!

Satan is slithering around headless, he is dead, and he just doesn’t know it yet.  When he tries to wrap around your arm, that is when we, princess-warriors-in-training, MUST slay his grasp with the machete of God’s word.

When we are on God’s path for us, we will encounter the snake in many forms.  The snake wants us on his path.  He will pull out all of his tricks to discourage us on our path for God.  Lisa tells us on page 150 that even if the snake is not positioned to strike, it must be removed.  Snakes are a threat, but not to God.  When we are living our life for Christ, snakes lose their threat to us.  Especially when you know the snake doesn’t have a head!

We have all power and all authority of God behind us, ready to take on that headless snake!  Philippians 3:21  “The Lord Jesus Christ, who by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body.”  The same God who raises our bodies to be with Him in Heaven one glorious day, is the same God who has beheaded Satan’s body.  We have God’s mighty power behind us, the work has already been done, Satan is already dead.  We must continue on God’s path and be prepared princess warriors with the machete of God’s word in our hands and on our tongues at all times!

 

*****

Let’s pray Lisa’s prayer together:

Dear Heavenly Father,  direct my paths by the light of your Word, and instruct me in ways to leave a clearly marked trail behind for others.  I want to use your Word to create environments that encourage others to flourish.  I choose to guard my heart so as not to mistake co-laborers for competitors.  Open my eyes to see the fields surrounding my life that are white and ready for harvest.  In Jesus’s name, Amen.

AMEN!

Girls with Swords: Chapter 3 – “Heroes Have Something More to Them” (pgs 49-51)

When I read this part of the chapter, I wrote down five words and put them next to my bed.  Each night before I close my eyes for the day I am reminded of these words:

TRUTH, RIGHTEOUSNESS, PEACE, FAITH, and SALVATION…

…with the words, “live by these, apply these” underneath.  As I was reading The Message version of The Full Armor of God found in Ephesians 6:10-20, these words stuck out the most.  I love how this version tells us that these five words are more than words.  We must learn to apply them.  I have been thinking each night as I fall asleep, “What does it look like to apply these words to my life?”  Each morning as I awake, God shows me exactly what it looks like to use these words in my life by helping me put on His full armor.

Has God ever placed something in your life at just the right time?  This study has come into my life at just the right time.  I had been feeling this nudging to put on the Armor of God daily, but I was not sure what to do with this nudging.  Thanks to Lisa’s book, God is showing me what to do!  God is showing me how to be a hero.  No joke, some days I sit in my apartment and imagine myself with the prettiest pink, bedazzled sword you could ever imagine.  I picture my perfectly pink armor filled with sparkles, and I get this joy deep down in my heart because I imagine so clearly God’s words and actions of truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation covering every inch of that bedazzling pink armor and weaponry He has handpicked for me to use.  The Armor of God is out there, ladies, just for you!  What does yours look like?  Take the time to find out.  Take the time to use and apply God’s truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation to your life.  If you find yourself becoming more aware of Satan’s attacks and less aware of how to defend yourself against them: you must spend some much needed time learning what the Armor of God looks like in your life.

Ephesians6_10thru18

I love so much when Lisa says, “As the daughters of God draw their swords, the enemy draws back.”  Do you know where your sword is, what it looks like, how to use it?  There is no time for guessing; we MUST be quick to pull out all of God’s truth against Satan.  The last thing the enemy wants to see is the person God created you to be standing firm against him each morning.  Satan will do anything and everything in his awful power to keep you from seeing who God sees when He looks down at His precious hero.  However, God is doing everything in His mighty power, even at this very moment, to show you the something more you have been in search of: Himself.  If your whole heart desires to meet with God, think about how much more God’s heart desires to meet with you!  Don’t let Satan get in the way of meeting with the One Who loves you and created you to be His hero.

As impossible as this task may seem, with God we know all things are possible (Philippians 4:13).  Lisa tells us that prayer is not optional.  I believe prayer is what ties this all together and makes this all possible.  When you are finding yourself in that nearly impossible task, pray and ask God to show you His possible way.

Our prayers are our life-line to God: this is how we can keep in constant contact with Him.  I am learning that prayers are powerful and they are to be used constantly for all kinds of things.  Prayers are one of the best gifts we can give to our brothers and sisters in Christ.  When we pray for them, we are giving them Jesus’ aid, not ours.  Can you think of anything better that anyone would ever need?  Prayers keep God in the loop.  Prayers help us all get out of the prison Satan tries to keep us in daily.

I picture all of us: swords in hand, shields in place, bedazzled in GOD’S TRUTH, RIGHTEOUSNESS, PEACE, FAITH, AND SALVATION; standing tall, shouting prayers of all kinds to our Holy God in Heaven, as we leave behind all of Satan’s lies that fall in crumbles with the chains that kept us tied down from the something more we have been craving: God Himself.  Can you picture it?

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Let’s Pray:

Lord Almighty, thank You for the armor that You have prepared for each and every one of us.  Thank You for the privilege we have to come to You in prayer.  I ask that You help each and every one of us stand firm with our feet fitted with Your peace to crumble Satan’s evil’s schemes.  Lord, we need You every moment of every day for this battle.  Thank You for being there for us each and every moment.  We love You so much and desire Your truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation to be displayed in our lives for others to see, so that they will be drawn to You alone.  Please help us.  Thank You, Lord, that You are always there for us.

In Your Precious and Powerful Name, we pray,  Amen.

Girls With Swords: Chapter 1 Weekly Review – “You Are a Target”

Next Week’s Reading Schedule

Picture this scene:  The long awaited girlfriends road trip had begun. The five girlfriends had been planning this get-away together a whole year.  It was to be a time for studying the Word of God with other believers at the women’s retreat, plus a time of rest and relaxation from their busy lives being a wife, mother, and the many other hats they wore throughout the year.  They were riding down the road giggling so hard that their sides were splitting. 

Then all of a sudden, they saw a road sign up ahead that read: 

Prince of Darkness

The laughing stops as Jennifer, the driver of the car, pulls over to the side of the road. They all sat quietly for a few minutes, each absorbed in their own thoughts as to what they should do now. 

Finally Jennifer spoke up: 

Girlfriends, let’s face it!  We did not even have to leave our homes to know that a battle is waging. Satan is desperate.  He tries to discourage us and make us doubt our God and His goodness.

It is time to recognize that, as Christians, we are automatically targets of the enemy. Satan will stop at nothing to tear apart our relationship with the Lord. 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. If he sees a spot to weasel his way in, he will try to do it.

The Bible says that I have a weapon against any attacks from the enemy. That weapon is the Word of God.   I believe we can be a hero in God’s army. When we tuck God’s Word into our heart, we are able to defeat the enemy the same way Jesus did in the wilderness. He refuted Satan’s attempts at trickery by repeating the truth from God’s Word.  

We now have a choice to make.  We can choose to be a hero in God’s army of warriors or not. As for me, I choose to keep going. Who’s with me?

Teresa spoke up next. 

Look, at it this way, girls.  We must have something of value Satan wants to steal from us, kill us, and destroy us.  Personally, I think a  few of the reasons Satan puts a TARGET on us are:

  1. We are a target simply because we are human.
  2. God loves us and created us for a relationship with Him.
  3. Satan cannot fix his problem himself and be returned to a relationship with God.
  4. If he can’t have a relationship with God, then neither can we. NAH! NOT! Whatever!
  5. Satan knows that every soul close to God is capable of great and wondrous things.
  6. Satan knows how the story ends.
  7. Satan is fighting to keep God’s precious creation distracted, distressed, and demoralized so that we don’t experience the fullness of our place with Him in heaven.

You know, Lisa Bevere says, “I believe that the attacks on your life have much more to do with who you might be in the future than who you have been in the past.  That statement made me realize that God created me for a purpose in this time.  I have a choice to fulfill that purpose and live a rich and satisfying life that God wants to give me or I can let Satan steal, kill, and destroy me. 

I choose to be a HERO!  I’m with you, Jennifer; let’s keep going!

Tonya spoke up next.

Okay, girls, the reality of the situation is that we, do, indeed, have a target on our backs. We are women, we are Christians, and we are determined to take up our swords and fight back. These three combined make us a very real threat to Satan and he will do what he thinks he can do to throw us off of our path.

But, there is a bigger reality than this onethe reality that we have God on our side, the reality that His promises are stronger and more powerful than any threat Satan has made. “There is no way we can or should fight this battle alone.” We don’t have to, we don’t need to, and we can’t. We NEED God’s heavenly support.

We as women are faced with a choice, “Will we be an unarmed civilian, victim, prisoner of war, or a hero”?

There is a target on our back, but the swords we hold are bigger and stronger than the weapons being thrown at these targets. Our swords, our prayers must not be influenced by what is around us; they need to be powered by looking to the One who created us to be warriors

“I’m with Jennifer; let’s move forward!”

Diane spoke up next:

“Hey girls, you know what just occurred to me?  Hebrews 12:1 says that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, which is the faithful followers of God whom we learn about throughout the Bible.  They were people just like you and me throughout the Bible who have run their race and won!  Each one of these people had one thing in common—they lived by faith and not by fear.  They let God control their lives, and not fear.

Satan will never be able to live for God.  He has no choice but to live by fear.  His fear drives Him to attempt to destroy God’s chosen ones.   That is what he is trying to do to us now—implant fear in us to keep us from going ahead with our journey.

I’d say we must follow the examples of the faithful followers of our heritage, put on the full Armor of God, and trust that God has a plan for our lives, one in which we are a Hero for God.

I’m with you, Jennifer.  Let’s keep going.

I, Martha, was the fifth girl on that trip.  I had sat silently while my friends were discussing our options for continuing our journey. I now had to make a decision.  As I saw it, I must decide if I wanted to enter this territory where I was marked as a target, or get out and walk back the way our car had come from—alone!  These gals were determined to go forward.

As each of my friends had spoken from their hearts, I saw something different in them. No longer were they just friends, giggling on a road trip; they had caught a glimpse of who they were in Christ, and were not afraid of facing an enemy who had already been defeated anyway. They had convinced me that we were warriors!

Without a speech, I just said to Jennifer:  “Crank her up, Jen.  Let’s keep moving.”

Let’s Pray:

Father, God, we thank You for each lady who has signed up for this course.  Having read their comments this week, I know that, they, too, are ready to move forward using the sword that You have given us, defeating all the attacks the enemy tries to throw at them.  I pray Your blessings on each of them as we continue our journey together.  In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

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Girls with Swords: Chapter 1 – “Old Tactics” (pgs 12-15)

As I re-read this section of the book over again, I am reminded of Hebrews 12:1 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 perseverance the race marked out for us.

When first learning this verse I wondered who this great cloud of witnesses was exactly.  As I asked God to show me, he taught me that this great cloud is the faithful followers of God whom we learn about throughout the Bible.  Yes, Moses is included in the cloud!  We see countless examples of people just like you and me throughout the Bible who have run their race and won!  The more I read the stories of these faithful ones, the more I stand in awe of our inspiring heritage.  Each one of these people has one thing in common—they lived by faith and not by fear.  They let God control their lives, and not fear.

Satan will never be able to live for God.  He has no choice but to live by fear.  His fear drives Him to attempt to destroy God’s chosen ones.  He knows the power God’s chosen ones possess.  You and me, we are included as God’s chosen ones.  1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.  Let us bask for a moment in the glorious truth that we belong to God, not Satan!  We are living in God’s wonderful light not the darkness of our past.  No matter what way Satan attempts to win our soul, if we belong to God and choose daily to live for God alone, Satan will never win.  His attack will never produce victory.  Our victory is with God.

RightPath_MeyersAs much as I truly hate when Satan attacks me, without His attacks, I would not be certain that I am on the path God has called me to.  Satan will make war on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus (Revelation 12:17).  I know I am on God’s side in this war.  I was not always though.  Even at my weakest points, Satan never had me, but neither did God.  It was like my soul was caught in the middle of the war at one point in my life.  Satan knew that ultimately God would win and get me back for good, but I had to figure that out for myself.  The moment I chose to take the path of a hero was the same moment I realized the power of the Armor of God.

We cannot fight this battle alone.  We have the power to win but we must prepare.  We must read the Bible to learn Satan’s ways.  The Bible tells us what we need to know about Satan:

  • He is limited by God (Genesis 3:1)
  • He is defeated by Jesus’ death and resurrection (Revelation 12:11)
  • He rules the evil, spiritual world (Ephesians 2:2)
  • He will meet his doom in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10)

Satan knows us very well; the more understanding we have of our enemy, the more we can prepare for his attacks against us.  The best way to withstand his attacks is to put on the full Armor of God daily.  There will not be a day that goes by that Satan will not attempt to destroy us.  We must follow the examples of the faithful followers of our heritage, and put on the full Armor of God and be strong in His mighty power.  We must trust that God has a plan for our lives, one in which we are a Hero for God.

I don’t know about you, but I am so excited to be on this journey with you.  I am ready to learn from God’s Word.  I desire to be armed for God, growing in His strength, and giving Satan something to really be fearful of—becoming the hero God created me to be.

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Let’s Pray:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the examples You have given us in Your Word of not only how to withstand the evil one, but how others have found victory in You alone.  Help us and guide us through this journey to find victory in our lives with You.  Lord, enable us to embrace the life that You created us for.  Let us get rid of any hindrances and run the race You have marked out for us!  Thank You for giving us what we need always.  Thank You for loving us.  Thank You for choosing us to be a hero for You!  I pray that each and every one of us also chooses to be that hero for You, every day!  In Your Precious Name, Amen.

 *****

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Captivating: Chapter 11 Warrior Princesses – “Relational Attacks” – “A Warring Bride” (pp 193-197)

Sword and Roses

Whoa. When I read what Stasi and John shared in the “Relational Attacks” section, my mind flooded with past situations with roommates, boyfriends, family members, and friends where the Spirit of Accusation applied.  I bottle things inside of me.  I let those negative feelings fester, and I dwell on the situation at hand.  How dare she not take out the trash after I’ve done it the past five times! If he really cared about me, why would he have said those things? He said, she said…the situations play on.  This Spirit of Accusation doesn’t just occupy our heads.  It occupies our hearts.  As the prophet Jeremiah reminds us, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure” (Jeremiah 17:9). Many times, what we harbor in our hearts are lies and evil.  But there is freedom in Christ.  There is freedom in prayer.

Do you believe that there is a spiritual war that rages around us?  Even when you sit alone in your room, supposedly secure from all physical danger, the war ensues.  But we have no reason to fear; we have power in Christ.  So no matter what she didn’t do or what he said, God has given us power over those evil thoughts and negative feelings. This chapter really brought to light the power of prayer.  When we call on His name, He is faithful to deliver us

I’m ashamed to say that my first reaction to unhappy situations is not always prayer.  I usually let my feelings overwhelm me until I have time to “cool down.”  This chapter has challenged me though.  The next time a situation arises, I want to take a step back, denounce the evil that is at work, ask for the Lord to take the situation and help me see how He wants me to handle it.  Just as Jesus was tempted in the desert, we, too, are tested in our faith daily.  Satan knows our weaknesses, but we are not to give him a foothold.  Let’s take the power that is already ours in His name and use it! I love the quote from our authors on page 196:

“Christianity is not a passive religion.”

We know that oftentimes the Lord will allow hardships so that we may grow in our trust and faith in Him.  Even Paul speaks of a “thorn” that tormented him:

“To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 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” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

Ladies, God is so good! He will never give us more than we can handle.  Do you believe that?

Do you also believe that we are warriors in Christ?  We have His strength to sustain us when we feel we can’t take another step, another breath, another disappointment, another insult, another negative feeling.  He is with us always, and His power is available to us through our communication with Him. Talk to Him, share with Him, rest in His presence and in His control over things that may seem uncontrollable.  Nothing is too much to handle for our God.

Praise Him,

Carissa

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Let’s Pray:

Father, thank You for who You are and for offering Your power and Your strength to us.  In Your Name, I pray that we take hold of that power daily.  Lord, as situations arise to test our faith, that we will stand firm in the knowledge of Your presence and protection.  Let us be warriors for You.  Thank You for Your strength that sustains us through the everyday battle called “life.”

Your Assignment:

Is there a situation in your life that you need to turn to God?  Do that today. In love, work to reconcile relationships, and know that you have power in Christ to do all things.

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Have you signed up for our next Online Bible/Book study yet?  If not, you will want to right away!  This is going to be an amazing study!!  The study begins March 24th!

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GWS