February 19, 2018

How Sweet The Sound

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Yea though I walk through the valley
I know that You are always right beside me
And I will fear no evil
You’re my Rock, and my Strength
You comfort me

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
I hear You singing over me
I once was lost but now I’m found
And it’s beautiful
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
It covers every part of me
My soul is silent, I am found
And it’s a beautiful sound

You carry me through the waters
Where Your peace clears away all my sorrow
And nothing can separate us from Your love
Oh, Your love it will always be

You were healing in the pain
You were shelter in the storm
Hallelujah, You restore my soul

Citizens Way
Writers: Josh Calhoun / Ben Calhoun

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Yahweh your God is among you,
a Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will rejoice over you with gladness.
He will bring you quietness with His love.
(in His love He will be silent and make no mention of past sins, or even recall them)
He will delight in you with shouts of joy.
(He will exult over you with singing)
Zephaniah 3:17 HCSB / AMP

I have had the first part of this chorus stuck in my head for days now. I could not figure out why but I knew there had to be a reason. So I decided to look up the lyrics and suddenly I understood.

“…It covers EVERY part of me…”

Y’all, life is just plain hard sometimes.  Aging is hard.  Marriage is hard.  Exercise is hard.  Eating healthy is hard.  The big stuff, and the little stuff, is just downright hard.  I am pretty good about remembering to take the big stuff to God.  But the little stuff—the daily struggles, things that seem unimportant in the grand scheme of things—those I often try to handle on my own.  Right now, the hardest thing for me is eating healthy.  There is so much information available it is hard to know which opinion is right.  At every turn there is an ad or commercial encouraging me to reward myself with food.  This is a daily battle which I seem to have no motivation nor strength to fight.  Then boom!  Those 6 little words “It covers every part of me” hit me like a 2×4.  God’s grace covers EVERY part of me.  (Including my struggle to eat healthy.)

In my Bible study we have been talking about battles and how to fight them.  I have been learning so much.

  • I don’t have to be strong or do it own my own. God’s grace is all I need.

In 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NLT it says,
“My gracious favor is ALL you need. My power works BEST in your weakness…For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

  • I need to use the right weapons. God’s grace provides the weapons.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 tells us,
“We use GOD’s mighty weapons, not mere worldly weapons, to knock down the Devil’s strongholds. With these weapons we break down every proud argument…with these weapons we conquer every rebellious thought.”  (Note to self: right thinking leads to right eating – not arguments, or rebellious thoughts excuses,)

  • I must be sure I am covering myself in the armor God’s grace provides.

Remember the armor listed in Ephesians 6,
– Belt of truth
– Breastplate of righteousness
– Shoes of peace
– Shield of faith
– Sword of the Spirit – the Bible
– Helmet of Salvation
– To pray at all times
(Look y’all, God’s armor covers every part of us – from the top of our heads to the tip of our toes!)

Your battle may not be the same as mine.  My battle is subject to change in the blink of an eye.  But these battles are real.  And they aren’t just fought here on earth.  They are fought in the heavenly realm as well.  (Remember Gabriel’s battle in Daniel 10?)

Look at this Facebook post from 9/9/15 by Ben Carson:
“An eagle does not fight a snake on the ground.  It picks it up and changes grounds, then releases it back to the ground.  A snake has no stamina, no power, no balance in the air.  It is useless, weak and vulnerable unlike on the ground where it is deadly, wise and powerful.  Take your fight to the spirit realm (pray) and when you are in the spiritual realm God takes charge.  Don’t fight in the physical realm, change grounds like an eagle.”

There is so much to unpack in that brief post!  I love the visual imagery.  But the main thing to remember is that our very first strategy should always be prayer.  Our prayers take the battle to a Higher Authority.

God covers every part of us—every battle, every sorrow, every pain—with His grace.  His grace provides us the strength and the weapons to fight our battles, whether big or small.  He cares about each of our battles, even the ones we think are insignificant or mundane.  We do not have to fight them alone.  He does not expect us to handle them on our own.  He is always right beside us, our Shelter in the storm.  His grace covers every part.

The Warrior Is A Child

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Lately I’ve been winning battles left and right
But even winners can get wounded in the fight
People say that I’m amazing
Strong beyond my years
But they don’t see inside of me
I’m hiding all the tears

They don’t know that I go running home when I fall down
They don’t know Who picks me up when no one is around
I drop my sword and cry for just a while
‘Cause deep inside this armor
The warrior is a child

Unafraid because His armor is the best
But even soldiers need a quiet place to rest
People say that I’m amazing
Never face retreat
But they don’t see the enemies

‘Cause deep inside this armor
Deep inside this armor
Deep inside this armor
The warrior is a child

Twila Paris
written along with Gary Valenciano

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Today, here in the United States, Christians nation-wide come together in unity without any concern for denomination to stand heart-to-heart before our God and intercede on our nation’s behalf.  Now, more than ever, we must daily put on the armor that God has provided.

This is why you must take up the full armor of God,
so that you may be able to resist in the evil day,
and having prepared everything, to take your stand.
Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist,
righteousness like armor on your chest,
and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace.
In every situation take the shield of faith,
and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word.
Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request,
and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.

Ephesians 6:14-18

We are encouraged, in this passage, to put the Armor of God on each day.  We are reminded that the pieces of God’s armor are TRUTH, RIGHTEOUSNESS, PEACE, FAITH, and SALVATION—a strong foundation on which to take our stand.  And we see that, clothed with this Armor of God, we are equipped and enabled to stand, resisting all the tactics and wiles of the enemy.

Now, consider this…. We garb ourselves in this protective suit of armor.  We gather up our shield of faith.  We put on the helmet of salvation.  We take up the sword of the Spirit.  One would think that we are ready to go, right?  But then we are told to “pray at all times.”  Truly prayer is the final piece of the Armor of God—the item that links all the pieces together.  It reminds me of a football player…outfitted with all those pieces of his uniform (pads, helmet, cleats, etc.) that are designed to protect him…ready to head out of the locker room to battle his ‘enemy’—the other team.  And the coach says, ‘Take a knee.’

This final piece—prayer—is not a half-hearted whisper.  Rather, prayer is spoken with passion, with faith, with ‘strong purpose and perseverance.’  Prayer is uttered with humility and wholeheartedness to the One Who hears our prayers and answers our prayers.

So often when the Scriptures communicate to us on the matter of prayer, the words used are compelling.  As you read these next few verses see which words jump out at you.

Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything,
but in every circumstance and in everything,
by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving,
continue to make your wants known to God.
Philippians 4:6

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
Colossians 4:2

Rejoice and exult in hope;
be steadfast and patient in suffering and tribulation;
be constant in prayer.
Romans 12:12

Which words did you find grabbed your attention?  Were they words like, ‘every circumstance’ ‘steadfast’ ‘constant’ ‘everything’  and ‘watchful?’

So as you put on your armor, my sisters, never forget that the last piece—the prayer piece—is not put ON but rather put IN—into your heart!  Prayer is a truly important part of the equipping of a Jesus girl who desires to be a hero…a warrior.

  *   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

My prayer for you is that as you draw near to Your heavenly Father, seeking His guidance and direction, His help and protection, you would recognize how tenderly He looks on you…His daughter, His child, His warrior, His hero.  He loves you with an everlasting love, and He never EVER will leave you…You are His!

Weapons of God

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You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them,
because the One Who is in you is greater
than the one who is in the world.
1 John 4:4

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This past weekend I had the joy of enjoying the Priscilla Shirer simulcast from Huntsville, Alabama.  I love Ms. Shirer; she is funny and she understands the Bible very clearly.  She has this way about her that makes you think about the Bible in a totally different perspective.  This past weekend her topic was on the armor of God.

God is greater than all in the world.  He is greater than man and greater than all disasters and sin on the earth.  It is hard to protect ourselves from the world.  Yet, when we accept God we are from God. He sends us to spread His message, and we must be prepared.  The armor of God is a set of weapons that we can use to protect ourselves with and be part of the one who is greater than us.

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,
with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith,
with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.
With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me
so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel,
for which I am an ambassador in chains.
Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
Ephesians 6:14-20

Our weapons are spiritual.  If we gird ourselves with the Truth of God we can’t be touched.  All we have to do is have faith in God and His Living Word—Jesus.  We are made ready when we get into the Word of God.  The Word of God is our Shield and Sword.  The Word of God protects us by teaching us how God wants us to live.  It is the Sword that lets us protect ourselves from the enemy.  Prayer is one of the greatest weapons…it is our direct line to God.  We can praise Him and ask Him for anything when we pray to Him.

All we have to do is become part of God and put on His armor.  His armor—truth, love, faith, the Word of the living God, and prayer—are the weapons that we are equipped with to protect ourselves from sin and to spread the good news about God to others.  The armor shields us from sin and allows us to be godly example to others.

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Dear Heavenly Father: I put on Your armor when I step out of the door every day.  I remember Your words and let them guide me.  I let Your truths wash over me and cleanse me.  Your Spirit is my Sword and salvation.  Without it, the world would consume me.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

ChristLife: Prayer Warrior

saturdayprayersandpraisesshortAnd pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.
With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Ephesians 6:18

This verse is given at the end of a passage of Scripture that we all know and love—the putting on of the Armor of God. Whenever I read through these verses I am so strongly reminded of the provision of God. After all, it is His Armor…not mine. I just take it and put it on. The Scriptures tell us that this Armor is TRUTH, RIGHTEOUSNESS, PEACE, FAITH, and SALVATION—a strong foundation on which to take a stand. And then, clothed with this Armor of God, we are equipped and enabled to stand.  Then we are told to pray.

This final piece of the Armor of God—prayer—is not the half-hearted whispering of a prayer. But rather it is prayer spoken with passion, with faith, with ‘strong purpose and perseverance.’ It is prayer uttered with humble wholeheartedness to the One Who hears our prayers and answers. It is prayer with faith and believing, with expectation and trust.

So often, when the Scriptures communicate to us on the matter of prayer, the words used are compelling. As you read these next few verses see which words jump out at you. (Hint: they are NOT the words outlined in red!)

Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything,
but in every circumstance and in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
continue to make your wants known to God.
Philippians 4:6

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
Colossians 4:2

Rejoice and exult in hope;
be steadfast and patient in suffering and tribulation;
be constant in prayer.
Romans 12:12

Which words did you find grabbing your attention…were they words like, ‘steadfast’ and ‘constant’ and ‘everything’ and ‘watchful?’  Yes, these are the attitudes of prayer…the mindset of a prayer warrior.  This is how we prepare our hearts so that we can take on the ministry of prayer and intercession.  And we remember to do so guarded with LOVE, with GRACE, and with MERCY.

But you, beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith,
praying in the Holy Spirit; Guard and keep yourselves
in the love of God; expect and patiently wait for the mercy of
our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah)—[which will bring you] unto life eternal.
Jude verses 20-22

So put on the Armor that God has provided for you, my sisters!  Never forget that the final piece of the Armor—the prayer piece—is not put ON but rather put IN…into your heart!  Prayer is a vitally important part of the equipping of a woman who desires to be a prayer warrior.  Never doubt that you CAN do this.  Don’t let lies get placed into your heart. God has equipped you; you are enabled. And there is much praying to be done for ‘all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying….’

 

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Prayer is the Final Piece

Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by the strength of His might.
Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil.
For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities,
against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.
This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist
in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand.
Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist,
righteousness like armor on your chest,
and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace.
In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able
to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word.

Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request,
and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.

Ephesians 6:10-18

In our current study of Lisa Bevere’s book, Girls With Swords haven’t we SO loved looking at this encouraging section in the Scriptures?!?  We have considered the various pieces of the Armor of God.  We have been encouraged to put them on each morning as we prepare for our day. We have been reminded that they are TRUTH, RIGHTEOUSNESS, PEACE, FAITH, and SALVATION—a strong foundation on which to take our stand.  We have seen that, clothed with this Armor of God, we are equipped and enabled to stand, resisting all the tactics and wiles of the enemy.

Now, consider this…. We garb ourselves in this protective suit of Armor.  We take up the sword of the spirit.  And then we are told “pray.”  One would think that we are ready to go, right?  But truly prayer is the final piece, the item that links all the pieces together.  It reminds me of a football player…outfitted with all those pieces of his uniform (pads, helmet, etc.) that are designed to protect him…ready to head out of the locker room to battle his ‘enemy’—the other team.  And the coach says, ‘Take a knee.’

This final piece—prayer—is not the half-hearted whispering of a prayer.  But rather it is prayer spoken with passion, with faith, with ‘strong purpose and perseverance.’  It is prayer uttered with humble wholeheartedness to the One Who hears our prayers and answers.

So often when the Scriptures communicate to us on the matter of prayer, the words used are compelling.  As you read these next few verses see which words jump out at you.  (Clue: they are NOT the words marked in red!)

Philippians 4:6
Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.

Colossians 4:2
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

Romans 12:12
Rejoice and exult in hope; be steadfast and patient in suffering and tribulation; be constant in prayer.

Which words did you find grabbing your attention…were they words like, ‘steadfast’ and ‘constant’ and ‘everything’ and ‘watchful?’

prayer

So as you put on your Armor, my sisters, never forget that the last piece—the prayer piece—is not put ON but rather put IN—into your heart!  Prayer is a truly important part of the equipping of a Jesus girl who desires to be a hero…a warrior.

My prayer is that as you draw near to Your heavenly Father, seeking His guidance and direction, His help and protection, you would recognize how tenderly He looks on you…His daughter, His child, His warrior, His hero.  He loves you with an everlasting love, and He never EVER will leave you…You are His!

Praying for each of you!

coleen

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If you would like to send a personal message to Coleen, you may email her at: Coleen@girlfriendscoffeehour.com, or leave a comment below.

Girls With Swords: Chapter 3 Weekly Review – “You Might Be A Hero”

Click Here for Next Week’s Reading Schedule

What a road trip this has been for the five girlfriends—Jennifer, Teresa, Tonya, Diane, and Martha—who started out going to a women’s retreat!  As they traveled down the road toward their destination, their “side-splitting giggles,” suddenly came to a halt as they saw a road sign that read:

Prince of Darkness

 

Voting unanimously to continue their journey, despite knowing they were a TARGET, they realized the key to being victorious in battle against the enemy was choosing the right WEAPON.  To get their thoughts together, they pulled over at a rest stop.

It was here that they had a surprise visit by approximately 125 women.  “We’ve heard about your decision to enter into the Prince of Darkness Territory, and we want to join forces with you,” Christi said.

Much discussion went on between the two groups about the choice of weapon, ranging from the purchase of  heavy artillery guns to God’s Word.  The five girlfriends stood their ground about their choice of weapon—God’s Word.

Finally, Christi stepped up on top of a picnic table, and gave a roaring speech:

“We should be seeing the sick healed, the lame walk, the blind see, cancers falling off of people, lives miraculously changed because of Him!!  We should be laying hands on the sick and through the power of the Holy Spirit, see them become whole again!  We should be spreading the gospel so much more than what we are.”

It was then that the two groups were united and a choice of a weapon was decided upon:  God’s Sword (God’s Word).

After a time of worship under the moonlight in that roadside park, these two groups, who had met as strangers in the night, realized that this had not been a chance meeting. It was as though God, Himself, had ordained this meeting, and they all felt that their previous plans should be canceled, and they were to spend an extended time together.

It was decided that they would check into a nearby campground, and study Lisa Bevere’s book, Girls With Swords, which some of them had brought along with them on their trip.  The others, whipped out their Kindles, and quickly ordered it.

And so it was, on the first night they gathered around the campfire at the campground,  their discussion centered on Chapter 3 in Lisa’s book, You Might Be a Hero. Lisa defined a female hero as:  superwoman, champion, conqueror, star, protagonist, lead, and brave woman.

Jennifer started the discussion off by giving her own personal testimony:

“At age 24, I was told I would never bear a biological child. Too stunned to form a coherent thought, the next eight years of my life went by in a haze of depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. I was lost, and there was no light at the end of the tunnel. My lifelong dream was to have a baby who looked like me with my husband who loved me. I had plans! I had dreams! I had hopes! In an instant, all seemed lost.  But, He alone rescued me the moment I turned my burden of infertility over to Him, and decided not to carry it on my back anymore.

Just as Lisa says: “Your journey toward becoming a hero begins when you simply grant God permission to have His way.”

Ladies, I share my story with you because I need for you to know something very important:  “Right now, where you are, you are living part of God’s story.”

Teresa:  I don’t know about you, but when I read Hebrews 11 and recount the heroes of the faith, the last thing I see is ‘nobodies.’

Each of the people listed in the Hall of Faith died not even knowing the impact their life would have on the world.  All they knew was that they were chosen by God to go wherever He asked, do whatever He needed them to do, protect whomever He needed them to protect, feed whoever was hungry, build what He said build, stand when He said stand and FIGHT when God said fight.

THESE are our ancestors.  They passed the torch on to us normal people of God to continue the fight.  This mild-mannered Jesus girl may look ordinary on the outside, but I have a HERO living inside me that needs to save the world.  We cannot lead people spiritually where we have not gone. 

Tonya:  What does it take for us as women to feel like heroes?  Is it our ability to multi-task throughout our day, our ability to utilize the sixth sense that women are said to possess?

It all boils down to this:

Zechariah4_6

Yes, we are called to be heroes in our day, to wield swords, to be superhuman, and to be brave. This can be terrifying. But, our superhuman abilities come from—His Spirit, the power of our sword comes from—His Word and, in times of fear, we need to remember who we can run to, who we answer to—the Lord.

Diane:  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.

Some days I 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.

Ephesians 6 says:

  1. God is strong, and He wants His daughters to be strong.
  2. His weapons are supreme.
  3. With these weapons in hand, nothing the enemy throws at you will knock you off your course.
  4. You are in a spiritual battle between life and death.
  5. If you prepare now, you won’t be caught off guard.
  6. You can’t do this in your own human strength.
  7. True, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are life’s applications.
  8. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon.
  9. Prayer is not optional.

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 kept us tied down from the something we have been craving:  God Himself.

 After Diane spoke, other women in the group spoke up:

  • What I loved about Jennifer’s story was that, not only are our lives a gift, but also the story that we are in.  God has already written us into the story of faith heroes—we all have a story He can use.
  • I liked what Lisa said about having to fight a battle more than once to win. Most of us want to give up when we don’t succeed the first time.
  • Tonya’s words were spoken like a true hero.  Sometimes it is hard to remember that we do have the source and strength to be superheroes if we would just ask.
  • I’m not going to be able to envision putting on my armor again without it being pink and bedazzling!

And on into the night, as these women sat around the campfire, many women spoke out about their desire to be a hero. They agreed to meet back the next night to continue their study. This group who were once strangers in their natural habitat, had now been united “in one accord as sisters in Christ.”

*****

Let’s Pray:  Father God, we are so grateful that You have united us together. As we study Your Word, may we become “doers of Your word, and not just hearers.”  As we do, we rest with assurance that we can quench all the fiery darts of the enemy.  In Jesus’ name, I pray.  Amen.

*****

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 – “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.

*****

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 4 – The Messages of our Wounds

Three years ago, I stepped into the office of my counselor.  Nervous and excited (but mostly nervous) I was there to discuss my past relationships with men.  I was there to figure out how to forgive myself for the sins of my past.  I was there to talk about my ex-boyfriends and the issues in our relationships.  Boy, was I surprised when my counselor threw me a curve ball. We spent the majority of the time talking about the messages, rather the lies, I had come to believe about myself, about forgiveness, about relationships, and about God.

Our wounds produce the messages we believe.

These messages are exactly what the enemy wants us to believe, defend, and keep alive.  As we defend these messages daily through our actions and thoughts, we give the enemy victory.  But here’s the truth: the only power Satan has over us is the power that we give him.

I don’t know your story, I don’t know how you’ve been hurt in the past, and I don’t know how you may even be hurt in the future.  But God does.  God has messages for you to hear, too.  He’s waiting for you to trade in those evil messages that try to control you.  He wants to exchange those messages for His messages of affirmation, love, beauty, strength, boldness, self-worth, and perfection in Him.

Paul defines our methods of war against the enemy and his lies in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to DEMOLISH STRONGHOLDS <aka the messages, the lies>.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

So these weapons with which we fight…what are they? They are the spiritual armor of God found in Ephesians 6:14-17: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit.

Psalm34_4

 

So how do we gear up? I believe before we try to pile on all of the armor, we have to get rid of the stinky, smelly, worn-out rags we’ve been wearing until now.  They stink!  I encourage you to spend time today taking off those rags, removing those messages or lies that you’ve come to believe.  Some of the strongholds in your life may be apparent and some you may not know.  Ask God to reveal them to you.  Ask Him to remove the rags, to cleanse you, and prepare you for the future battles waged in your mind and in your heart.  David writes in Psalm 34:4, “I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” He will deliver you, too.  All you must do is surrender your strongholds to Him, and let Him heal your heart.

Praise Him,

Carissa

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Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, we praise You for the power You have and the power You’ve given to us through Your son, Jesus.  Father, the enemy’s lies are all around us; reveal those lies to us.  Help us to denounce each and every one of the strongholds in our lives, surrendering them to You.  Take them, Lord, they are Yours.  Cleanse our hearts and renew our minds as You have promised. In your precious Name, Amen.

Your Assignment

Sit with God today and ask Him to reveal the messages you may have come to believe. Denounce and surrender those messages to Him.

What are the things you have come to believe about yourself through hurts you experienced as a little girl?

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GCH: What’s on Your Plate? – Food for Thought by Christi

~FEAR NOT ~ STAND STILL ~

~HOLD YOUR GROUND~


Exodus 14:13  — Moses told the people, Fear not; stand still (firm, confident, undismayed) and see the salvation of the Lord which He will work for you today.

Ephesians 6:13-14…Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place]. Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God.

Every Friday, here at Girlfriends Coffee Hour, is my prayer day where I pray over every single prayer request that has come in that week.   I take each prayer request and hold them in my hand, and pray over each and every one of them.  I then place them in my God Box, after they’ve been prayed over, as a symbol of placing each request at the foot of Jesus, and leaving them there.

Some of these requests just break my heart.  I cry over them!  I can’t imagine the pain that some people are going through.  Broken marriages.  Wayward kids.  Cancer.  Financial strain.  And so much more!

What I hear most from those posting the requests is, “What do I do when I’ve done all that I know to do?”  I’ve always answered “You leave it in God’s hands and let Him work!”

Sometimes it is easier to leave it in God’s hands, than other times.

As you can see from the two scriptures above, we are instructed after having done all that the crisis demands, we are to STAND!  STAND FIRM.  DON’T WAVER.  DON’T BUDGE!  HOLD YOUR GROUND!

What does it mean to STAND?  Do I just stand around waiting for God to do something?  What it means to me is that we CHOOSE to believe God.  We choose to trust Him.  We choose to believe that He has our best interest at heart.  We choose to believe that He loves us and His plan for our life is for a fulfilled future, and hope!

We don’t allow our circumstances to cause us to waver to the left, or to the right.  We don’t waver with “But God….”  “What if…..”  “Maybe I should just ….”  NO!  None of those!  You simply do all that God has commanded you to do in that situation, and when you’ve done everything that you know to do….You Step Away From It and ALLOW GOD TO MOVE!!!

Do not allow Satan to lead you astray in taking the situation back again.  Maybe God isn’t working as fast as you think He should be.  Maybe you’re not seeing the results you had hoped you would.  Whatever you are seeing, do not allow Satan to lead you away from God and what He is doing in your life.  REST in knowing that God Is In Control!  He does have YOUR BEST INTEREST at heart!  Trust that.  No matter how hard it may be.  TRUST HIM!  STAND FIRM.

May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else.  May He strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all His holy ones.

Be blessed!

Christi Wilson

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Winning Him Without Words: Basic Training

But in your hearts set Christ apart as holy [and acknowledge Him] as Lord. Always be ready to give a logical defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope that is in you, but do it courteously and respectfully.

Our verse comes from 1 Peter 3:14-16, but I pulled out verse 15 because this is what it’s all about ladies. When someone questions your faith, your beliefs, your God, you need to be ready to give a logical answer that explains the hope and love you exude for Christ. BUT…you have to do it in a courteous and respectful way. Have you ever listened to someone who was trying to make their point by yelling at you or trying to degrade you by telling you what you believe is wrong? No, probably not. I know I haven’t. I just shut down and stop listening.

There is a lot to be learned when you have a conversation with someone who doesn’t believe the same as you. Not only will you learn about the theories behind what they believe, but also you will be driven to learn a bit more about what YOU believe. You are given a chance to hone up your basic training.

We’ve been talking this week about putting on the full armor of God. The helmet, the breast plate, the belt of truth and the shield. Today we will talk about the weapon God has given us to fight our battle. The sword.  Also known as the Word of God. It is so important to arm yourself with the Word. If you don’t know what is written in the Bible, you have nothing to use in defense of your beliefs. You have to dig deeper than just what you hear in church or from your most knowledgeable Christian friend. You need to educate yourself on what is said between the pages of the good book.

By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set – apart ones). Ephesians 1:18

These are the basics of basic training! Just like a student studies his textbook to get an A in class, you need to study your bible to be able to spread God’s Word in a logical way. When someone asks you questions, you have to be prepared to answer and explain how powerful God’s Word is. If you are a believer, you are a soldier of Christ. The mission He has given you is to spread His message of love, hope and faith. To complete this mission, it is important to know scriptures and the meanings behind them. Then, once you have sharpened your sword with the Word, you are then able to present His Word logically and courteously. And God will be so pleased with you, His soldier.

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Let’s Pray:
Lord, sometimes we are happy to just know we believe in You. But Dineen has showed us in this chapter that it is important to not only know You, but to really dig deep, read Your Words, study them and gain an understanding of them. When we do this, wonderful things happen. Truths are discovered, our love for You is deepened and our relationship with You is strengthened. We promise to continue to stay in Your Word every day Lord and then go out and spread it far and wide. In Your Son’s precious name we pray, Amen.

Your Assignment:
For today’s assignment I’d like you all to share your life verse. You know, the one that you read and almost felt the earth shake when you were finished! Then head over to our secret Facebook group where we’ll discuss those verses further!

Godspeed,
Sarah

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For the “Winning Him Without Words” Online Bible Study, you will need the book, your Bible, pen or pencil, a highlighter and a quiet place. You can order the book right through our website by clicking the sign-up here button at the top of our webpage, which is also where you can sign up to participate in this awesome bible study!