February 22, 2018

Girls with Swords: Chapter 10 Weekly Review – “Sword of Light.”

Welcome to Campground USA

Log Cabins, Nature Trails, Canoes,

Paddle Boats, Bikes, Fishing

Yes, here we are at the campground listening to the birds chirping every morning, as well as sipping coffee, taking walks along the nature trail, and above all, learning so much about our Sword from Lisa Bevere.  No doubt each woman has their own special chapter that might have ministered to them the most.  For me, it was Chapter 10, our current chapter.  So, let’s head on down to the bonfire to see what my 4 girlfriends have to say about it.

Teresa 

“We can’t see the whole picture NOW (the earthbound temporal realm). Because there is more than what meets the eye, “we need the sword of light and discernment”  to see what our eyes are missing in the Big Picture.  (Lisa)

If we do not recognize the Light, the darkness will overtake us and the ones we love.  Paul’s letter to Timothy described the last days as:

People will—-

  • love only themselves and their money 
  • be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful 
  • consider nothing sacred 
  • be unloving and unforgiving
  • will slander others and have no self-control
  • be cruel and hate what is good 
  • betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God
  •  act religious, but will reject the power that could make them godly (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

These are not issues brought about by circumstances of where you live, but about where your HEART is.  Just as Lisa said: 

  • The Word of God is the lamp that lights our paths while it judges our actions as surely as it discerns our hearts.  Without the light of God’s Word, we would all be running around in the dark, afraid of what we cannot see. 
  • Without the insight of God’s Word, it is easy to mistake an enemy for a friend and someone’s past for their future, because the shadow realm distorts our perspective.  But when the light is brought to a situation, you see what is actually before you.

Jennifer 

Satan uses his schemes, plots, and tactics to divide us from God and each other.  Lisa presents three methods of countering Satan’s attacks.

1.  Love – – Biblical love teaches us what true love really is in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and Mark 12:31. 

  • “Hate lives in the dark; love lives in the light.”  (Lisa)

2.  Power – – Satan attempts to make us think we are not worthy or good enough by using our past sins against us.  Remember:  “We are descendants of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession”  (1 Peter 2:9). 

  • Our #1 assignment is to be an ambassador for Christ and to let His will be done in our lives.
  • “You are his prized possession, redeemed to proclaim all that He did when He called you out of a life of darkness to live forever in the glory of His light.  That’s the power of your testimony.”  (Lisa)

3.   Sound Mind – – Our thoughts can breed a multitude of negative thoughts.  “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.  Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect His will really is”  (Romans 12:2).

  • “The Word of God has the power to renew your mind and change it from unsound to sound.” (Lisa)

 Tonya

We are a society that almost automatically labels those around us; we label ourselves just as much. Often times these labels focus on our negative characteristics, what we or others may see wrong on the outside, or on our brokenness. But there is more beyond those labels.

Lisa says:  “Discernment is about knowing what is really going on, so that heroic daughters can turn what others see as a disadvantage into an advantage. The discerning warrior will know how to turn evil around for good.”

God gifted us with discernment so that we could see the good and the bad, so that we could help encourage the good and help us see ourselves and those around us for what He created us to be. 

As the much loved scripture says: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

Diane

The following words from Lisa are ones that stuck out the most to me:

  1. Discernment and true intercession have the power to release restrained captives into their destiny.
  2. Throughout His earthly walk, Jesus discerned the work of the Evil One, then interceded by bringing light, truth, and healing into the darkened days of earth.
  3. Discernment realizes when others are blind and then intercedes based on their ignorance rather than on their actions. The cross ended our separation from God, but his intercession didn’t stop there; Jesus not only rose from the grave; he ascended into heaven and is interceding for us.  (Romans. 8:33-34)

(Diane’s testimony sums up ‘Discernment and Prayer’ beautifully)

  • I was once held captive, restrained by Satan’s slithering grasp. I was so blinded by the darkness my life was quickly becoming. 
  •  I cried painful tears every single day.  Every time I cried, I wished someone would see me crying, and then maybe someone would pray for me; I had no strength or words to pray for myself.
  • Then I came across this passage:  In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.  And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.  (Romans 8:26-27)
  • I then realized that God saw every tear that fell from my eyes, not only did He catch them in His hands, but He also prayed each one away.  In those teary moments, God’s spirit interceded for me. He was the One I was wishing for all along to pray for me – -I just didn’t know it at the time.
  • Because of the dark we find God’s light.
  • Because we have found God’s light, we are able to help others find God’s light.

IntercedeForOthers.jpg

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After Diane spoke, Praise and Worship began.  This is usually the time I reflect on what my friends have just spoken about.  As I said, this chapter really touched my heart.  To be honest, I have never considered myself an intercessor. Oh, I talk to God all day but, sometimes I have this vision of intercession as being on your knees hours at a time.  But, Lisa listed other ways we intercede:  speak up for another as an advocate, speak into a conflict that needs resolution, stand up for the downtrodden and silenced. 

Oh yes – -I am an intercessor!  I get great pleasure doing that!!  I walked back to the cabin in the moonlight and felt the presence of the Lord all around me. 

Let’s Pray: 

Father God, how we thank You for Your Sword of Light.  May we become a discerning daughter, and ready to be a vessel to set free those who are being held captive by the enemy.  In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Girls With Swords: Chapter 10 – “Sword of Light” (pgs 153-156)

Have you ever turned the wrong way on a One Way street?  I have.  It was unintentional, scary, and very dangerous.  However, I have turned the wrong way on a one way street on purpose, too, as a means to an end.  I took a shortcut to get me to where I needed to be or turned in the direction I wanted to go.  Was I wrong when I was going the wrong way?  Yes!  Whether I found myself on the wrong road intentionally or unintentionally…I was still going the wrong way.

If you have ever done this at night, you are very familiar with the sea of headlights coming at your lone car in the opposite direction.  What a panicky feeling.  No bueno.  It is very possible that you are on the right road and EVERYONE else is going the wrong way, but not likely.  The laws and rules of the road are there for a purpose—safety.

In this world, there are two ways to look at this illustration.   If you are a Christ-follower, you should be headed the same direction as other followers—after Christ.  We will all move in the same direction as we follow the Leader.  If you find yourself going the opposite direction of other believers, you are probably headed in the wrong direction.  Ask for help; we are all in this together.

The other way to look at this is, as a Christ-follower, we will be going against the traffic and in an opposite direction from the world.  If we find ourselves acting and saying things that make us indistinguishable from the ones around us, then our headlights are blending in to the mass of other headlights.  That one car on the road going in the opposite direction is attempting to shine the Light for others to see and your headlight is one of the obstacles needing to be avoided or removed on the road to Jesus.

Lisa uses the light illustration to say this, “This means that now we can’t see the whole picture.  Yet there has never been a more desperate need for us to perceive or discern what we do see accurately” (p. 153).  Because there is more than what meets the eye, “we need the sword of light and discernment” to see what our eyes are missing in the Big Picture.

I have to share with all of you….  This book study has illuminated every topic we have studied together in my family.  As we learned about the reason for swords, there was an application in my family.  As we learned about being a hero, there was the opportunity to be a hero in my family.  As we recognized the battleground, my family became a battleground.  Part Two addressed ‘Becoming a Warrior’ and ‘Forging a Sword’ and I became renewed to defend my family, protect them from the enemy, and guide them to the right path.  This section, ‘Armed,’ truly has been an application of what we are learning.  I am noticing the brambles, vines and serpents.   I find that I am getting weary in one way and empowered in another.  The struggle saddens me for the ones on the wrong road, but overjoyed that God loves them enough to turn them around and point them in the right direction.

Do not give up!  If we do not recognize the Light, the darkness will overtake us and the ones we love.  Paul’s letter to Timothy spoke volumes to me this week:

You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times.  For people will love only themselves and their money.  They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful.  They will consider nothing sacred.  They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control.  They will be cruel and hate what is good.  They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God.  They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly.  Stay away from people like that!  2 Timothy 3:1-5, NLT

Young Timothy needed to know that there would be difficult times, people would only love themselves and their money,  they will be boastful and proud, disrespectful to God, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, foul-mouthed and cruel.  Why did Paul pass this knowledge on to Timothy?  Why not let Timothy find this out on his own?  Paul cared for Timothy.  Paul cared for the common purpose they both shared.  Paul and Timothy were on the road to following Jesus and the shared knowledge gave Timothy a light to keep him on the right road.  Timothy didn’t have to blaze a new road, he just had to maneuver the road he was already on.

Timothy needed to recognize the serpents, briars, and stubborn roots that could trip him up along the way.  Did you notice the main issues with the people Timothy would encounter while he ministered?  Selfishness, boastfulness and pride, disobedience to God and their parents…and UNGRATEFUL?  These are not issues brought about by circumstances of where you live, but about where your HEART is.  People have a heart problem and only the Good Physician can heal them.

Just like Timothy, we need to be aware of what can trip us up.  We have to be on our guard and give careful attention to God’s Word to be able to recognize dangerous areas.  We need to have a healthy respect for these dangers, but know that God is in control and has made a way for us to successfully navigate this road of life.  The Word of God is the lamp that lights our paths while it judges our actions as surely as it discerns our hearts.  Without the light of God’s Word, we would all be running around in the dark, afraid of what we cannot see” (p. 155).

Lisa says something else that was very prevalent in my home this week, “Without the insight of God’s Word, it is easy to mistake an enemy for a friend and someone’s past for their future, because the shadow realm distorts our perspective.  But when the light is brought to a situation, you see what is actually before you” (p. 155).

Friends, practice looking into the Light.  Let the Word become instinctive in your life.  I pray that your discernment sensors are sensitive and accurate.  When your spirit tells you something is a danger, take note.  It’s important.  Teach those around you how to recognize the hurtful areas so they can lift their sword and learn to use it.  Let’s all learn to be “In the Light”:

Let’s Pray:

Father God, we thank You for loving us when we are going the wrong way…either by accident or intent.  Give us a heart that yearns to see your Light, follow Your Light and share your Light.  Go with us as we learn to apply the truths we are learning in our book study.  Forgive us when we fail.  Thank You for the sisters you have placed on this road to travel with.  I pray that we can all keep each other headed in the right direction as we learn to follow the Light.  We love You, Lord.  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!