“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Everyone fights some type of battle.
Too often we blame our circumstances on someone or something, when the Truth of the matter is that every battle comes from the same source.
Spiritual wickedness is real, and the devil is our real enemy.
He is the root cause of whatever struggle we face today.
What are you battling today?
Possibly the easiest weapon in his toolbox is causing us to move our focus onto anything but what truly matters.
1 Corinthians 10:13
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
It is so easy to look around us and hang our heads. This wicked world has nothing to offer us but defeat. Look to Jesus today.
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
Though few admit to this ailment, many feel the weight of depression upon them. You are not alone in the battle.
2 Corinthians 10:5
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”
Stress is more than just a buzzword. Our flesh craves anything that deters us from calling out to the Lord for help in our situation. Help is available if only we will call out to Him.
“In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.”
Sometimes our situation is because of our own choosing. When we give in to temptation, our actions have consequences. We must confess and repent of our iniquities.
“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.”
When health decreases, we can turn to the Great Physician. He desires to hear the prayers of His children for those who are sick.
“And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
No one likes to wait, but the reality is that our timetable rarely, if ever, lines up with His. Choose to trust His timing, for He knows what is best. He is working all things for our good and His glory.
“Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”
Whatever battle you are facing today, the Lord has the solution for He is the Answer to every problem.
Exodus 11-12 | Matthew 10
“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.”
In spite of the desire of our enemies for us to suffer destruction, the Lord prepares a table from which we can feast.
What a picture of the abundant blessings we receive from the Lord!
“The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.”
When we make praying for others a priority, we will see a difference in our lives as well.
Picture a few glasses side-by-side, each filled with differing levels of water.
One glass nearly full, two about half-full, and one with just a small amount of water inside.
If the levels of water represented how our week was going and the level of encouragement and blessings we possessed today, which glass would best represent you?
Is your glass half-full or half-empty?
Are you full almost to brim, or just barely getting by?
Those days when our glass is nearly full are the times when we can pour ourselves into other people so that they too can remember to find comfort in the Lord.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
Sometimes we need a friend to remind us that the Lord is our Shepherd that is Able to restore us.
“He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.”
The abundance of the Lord’s blessings will make our cup overflow.
When our cup runs over, drinking from the saucer should make us want more of Him.
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”
Exodus 9-10 | Matthew 9
“And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.”
Have you ever really thought about what happens when we pray?
Think about Who hears our prayers…the Lord Himself, Jehovah hears the cries of His children.
The Creator hears His creation.
What could happen as a result of our prayers?
“And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”
If we will bind together to pray for our churches, we will see them shaken for the glory of God.
The church in Acts were of one heart and one soul.
They prayed together for one purpose… that the Lord would get the glory.
1 Peter 4:11
“If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”
Too often we focus on praying for our own needs.
What could happen if we made praying for others a priority?
Our churches could be shaken, if we will pray.
Our families could be shaken, if we will pray.
Our relationships could be shaken, if we will pray.
What are you praying about today?
Who are you praying for God to bless?
Pour yourself into someone else who you know is struggling this week.
If the Lord brings a name or face to your mind, reach out to them.
Exodus 7-8 | Matthew 8
“We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,”
Intercessory prayer cannot be overvalued.
Paul knew how important it is that we make praying for others a priority in our lives.
He prayed purposefully.
“For this cause…”
He prayed immediately.
“…since the day we heard it…”
He prayed consistently.
“…do not cease to pray for you …”
How often do you pray for others?
In the first chapter of the Book of Colossians, the Apostle Paul pinned down a recipe for how we can pray for others.
“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:”
Pray for them...
…to seek the Lord and His will. – v.9
…to walk with the Lord. – v. 10
…to be fruitful. – v. 10
…to grow spiritually. – v. 10
…to be strong in the Lord. – v. 11-12
If you have not made praying for others a priority, start today.
It will bless your heart as you see the Lord moving in their lives, just as you prayed He would.
Send a text to someone today letting them know you are praying for them.
Exodus 5-6 | Matthew 7
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.”
Just as there are divine appointments, there is also without a doubt divine protection.
Think of the many people on 9/11 that had situations arise that prevented them from getting to work at the World Trade Center towers that fateful day. What they thought was an inconvenience absolutely saved their lives.
The LORD orchestrates peculiar events in order to protect His children.
“Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.”
That extra-long traffic light, flat tire, or simply getting “stuck” by a train could be a delay that prohibits you being involved in an accident down the road.
Thieves breaking into cars is an inconvenience, but a blessing when the alternative is them carrying out a terror attack on a congregation.
“For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.”
Children of the Lord have a hedge of divine protection around them. Anything the devil tries to threaten or discourage them with must first be given permission by our Heavenly Father.
Have you ever been aware of divine protection in your life?
Perhaps there may not be a specific instance that comes to mind, but in reality, there are many times the Lord had protected us from harm and we are simply unaware.
He protects us in love by His mercy and His grace.
Thank Him for divine protection today, and every day.
Exodus 3-4 | Matthew 6
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.”
Have you ever had a divine appointment where you knew without a shadow of a doubt that God had orchestrated every detail?
His power is evident when things happen and there is no other explanation but Him alone.
Sometimes it is…
…a specific amount of money just before an unexpected bill is due.
…crossing paths with someone you haven’t seen in years hundreds of miles from home.
…speaking with a waitress about the Lord as her eyes fill with tears.
…a phone call or text of encouragement just when you need it.
…just riding in a car with your best friend thanking the Lord for some quality time together.
The Lord has no limits.
There is nothing that He cannot do or accomplish if He desires.
He is willing and able to create divine appointments for us every day if only we will yield ourselves to Him, allowing Him to order our steps.
“Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.”
Being in the right place at just the right time does not happen by accident.
There are no coincidences with God.
Yet, He has given us the freewill to choose whether we will allow Him to guide and direct us.
“Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.”
Who is ordering your steps today?
Exodus 1-2 | Matthew 5
“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”
Life is such a precious possession, yet in the day we live in we must fight for the sanctity of human life.
Never before has the satanic attack on the life of a baby in the womb been so prevalent.
The breath of life is a gift from God.
“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
He makes no mistakes.
“As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.”
Regardless of the circumstance, when life begins, God has a purpose.
May we pray today for every mother who is contemplating the future of her child.
We are made in the image of God. We are His creation.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
May we choose to fight to protect the right to life of every child that He has created, for each of them are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Genesis 49-50 | Matthew 4
1 Peter 5:8
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”
The moment we are fully persuaded that the Lord is Able to meet our need, the devil takes notice of our faith.
Like a bullseye on our backs, he is after us with the intent to devour us any way he can.
Target is more than just a controversial shopping place.
We must be sober and vigilant.
1 Peter 1:13
“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;”
If we are not calm and collected in our spirit, we will not be aware of when the fiery darts of the wicked are being thrown at us.
We must resist him with purpose.
“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
There is no excuse for attempting to stand defenseless against him when we have been given specific instructions and equipment at our disposal.
Failing to place the armour of God upon our lives will only lead to heartache and defeat.
“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
It is not our responsibility to defend ourselves when the Lord is willing and able to fight for us.
“The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.”
When we try to fight for ourselves, we surrender the perfect peace that only He supplies.
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”
Genesis 47-48 | Matthew 3
“And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.”
When situations around us cause doubt and discouragement to creep into our spirit, our level of persuasion that God is Able to meet our every need begins to decrease.
It is in these times that we must be conscious of our condition, and remind ourselves of the ability of our Saviour.
2 Timothy 1:12
“For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”
We must be fully persuaded that He is Able.
When He begins something, we can be certain that He will finish what He started.
“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”
How persuaded are you today?
May we be able to say that we are fully persuaded that He is Able.
Genesis 45-46 | Matthew 2
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
When it comes to this verse, most of the time we jump straight to focusing on “that all things work together for good”, often jumping right over the first three words.
“And we know…”
Well, what do we know?
“…that all things work together for good…”
If we truly know that, how come we so often need the reminder of the Truth of Romans 8:28?
We know… but sometimes we forget.
We forget that the condition to the blessing in this verse is that we must first love God.
Without a love for Him, we have no promise of all things working together for good.
With a love for Him, we are never alone; no matter what may come our way.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
We forget that God is always working out the details of our lives for our good, and ultimately for His glory.
Sometimes that means things do not happen like we want, and rarely as quickly as we desire.
It is His purpose that truly matters, not ours.
That Truth hurts sometimes to be reminded of, but His purpose is so far greater than ours, and anything we could imagine.
We forget He is Able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or even think.
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,”
Instead of forgetting…
May we remind ourselves today what we know to be True.
Genesis 43-44 | Matthew 1
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