Strategy for Times Like These

Few of this generation understand how to face and deal with the issues of this life. Not claiming to be one of the few but needing to know and use what our Creator has promised during these times, I write as I seek His kingdom and His righteousness. Only as we look to and receive His instructions can we discern the times and overcome our opposition.

Life is a constant battle (and has been since our first parents joined the forces of the enemy against God). The antithesis reveals the presence and power of God ~ good against evil. His grace and His glory are continually revealed in every generation whether through individual tensions or worldwide onslaughts.

The origin is the same. We each are dealing with our own thoughts ~ who we are, why we are, and how we are to live. It all boils down to self. Each heart beats to its own battle cry.  Each is bound and instructed by its own thoughts of what we see life to be. We walk according to the flesh. We respond to everything according to our own desires. And we buy, hold to and defend all we think will keep us alive.

This is the reality when the battle becomes prevalent and worldwide. We cannot escape the news of death and degradation when it mushrooms around us, but we can know and respond differently than the multitudes.

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

If we are aware of the battle in our lives during peaceful times and have learned to overcome the fleshly war, we are more apt to respond in faith and wisdom in times of crisis.

2 Corinthians has been a constant reminder of the greatest warfare we face. It teaches us that we are captives to the stronghold of our minds ~ thoughts that control us and keep us bound to ourselves and at enmity against God.

“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

Paul spoke these words to the Corinthian Christians, knowing their need to deal with their former lives and their selfish desires. For every Christian, the power of the Holy Spirit works, teaching us through God’s Word, the strategy we are to use when facing the enemy.

We have this divine power available today as real as it was with Paul.

We must recognize the enemy within ~ thoughts that rule. Self has to be brought captive to Christ, in repentance and faith. We must ask and receive His Holy Spirit to bring us captive and teach us through His Holy Word.

We must spend time in His Word and prayer for the necessary instructions. When we overcome the enemy within (pride, fear, and unbelief), we will be confident in facing whatever the odds may be against us.

As we wait in times like these for what may come next, we must prepare.

Just as a soldier learns to use his weapon, we must have our weapon ready. Study and memorization of His Word is necessary for overcoming the enemy.


“Fear not, for I am with you;

    be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,”
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10

We have the promises and assurance of our Father’s presence and power with us at all times. They are for our consolation and comfort though we may have to endure sickness and death. Christ has been through suffering and death, leading us through the most treacherous of times we could ever face, excluding the eternal wrath of God.

When He wins the battle in us for our souls and minds, we become living sacrifices with all His people, seeking His kingdom and His righteousness to rule in the world.

 “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking,
but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Romans 14:17

What promises of God’s Word do you use as a weapon of your warfare?

Gracious Father, forgive us as your people, living at enmity with you. Rend the heavens and come down to make yourself known to the adversaries ~ beginning with us, your children. Turn us from our selfish desires to receive all that you have prepared for us. Be merciful to us and all your enemies. For your glory, and our joy. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Fran

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Grazing in the Right Pasture

Like sheep, my thoughts often wander. When the Lord gets my attention, I realize that I have left the green pastures to dwell on what is going on around me. My thoughts take me wherever they want to go. They must be trained by the Shepherd, so that I stay close to Him.

The apostle Paul tells us, “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

When the things of the world come to mind I am easily led into the barren fields among the rocks and thistles. In the cares and distractions of this world, I forget that my thoughts should be on that which is true, honest, just and pure, that which is lovely, of good report, of virtue and worthy of praise.

When my thoughts dwell on what I hear of the world, I am negating the Word of God, nurturing the seeds of the tares and wasting time that I could be sharing the good news of God’s grace.

Our Lord teaches us to remember whose we are. Once we were sheep without a shepherd going our own way, led by the god of this world through a barren wilderness, but now are returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls.

Jesus, our Lord, has prepared green pastures and still waters; He restores my soul and leads me in the paths of righteousness.

Yes, we pray for our enemies and those who despitefully use us, but we don’t take up their lament, captive to the lost region in this world. Instead, we bring our thoughts captive to Christ so that we may speak the truth of God’s Word in love and compassion to those who live in this wilderness. This is our weapon against the stronghold in which the enemy would keep us bound. We focus on and praise our Lord for His goodness and His wonderful works to the children of men (Psalm 107:8).

The less we speak of what is happening in the world, the opinions and arguments ~ its grazing habits ~ the more we experience the obedience and happiness in our own pastures. Through our witness of Him, He draws others to Himself.

Gracious Father, we praise you that you have bought us, sought us, caught us, and brought us to Christ and taught us how to live as your children, your sheep in your pastures. Let us proclaim the legacy of your kingdom, so that you may draw more of your sheep to Christ where you have every good thing prepared for us. In Jesus’ name we pray and praise you. Amen.

Related Article: A Sheep’s View

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