How great would it be to go through life unwounded and unfazed? What if, more than fending off physical threats, we could take direct emotional/spiritual hits and keep stepping forward? That's not a foolish dream. If we get wrapped up and armored up in God's soul suit, we'll undoubtedly flinch but we can keep moving with victory.

There's a few things we've gotta get branded into our thinking:

1. People are NEVER the enemy. "Our battle is not against flesh and blood". We can see people's actions and hear their words but the power behind every shot we take is from a force of darkness. We need to look through people, almost make them translucent to the minds eye, and see that they are only pawns of spiritual "principalities" (Ephesians 6:12)

2. We must remember that we have all been a pawn of darkness at some point in time. Jesus didn't tell Peter to "get behind me satan" because he was the devil. Peter, in a weak moment, was being driven by personal agenda. He was hasty and off the page of God's plan and God's agenda. (Matthew 16:23)

3. If we fight flesh and blood with our own wisdom and strength we're going to get beaten badly. Sceva's boys got rolled and bloodied because they came to a fight in their own prideful power. If we take on dark forces, even if there's 7 of us, we'll hear the words "who are you" right before we get our spiritual keister kicked. (Acts 19:15)

Within each of us is the capacity to hold deep reservoirs of rich and powerful faith. To be so filled with the power of God that we see things for what they are. To recognize that well meaning people can harness a personal agenda and ride right over the top of others. To respond, not just in the name of God, but also with the words that flow from the God who indwells us.

We will never be fully bulletproof. But we can suit up in armor from the inside out. Yes, we can fend off direct emotional/spiritual hits and keep stepping forward!

Die To Live

Die...because whoever loses His life will find it! It's not the usual invitation to greatness...but it's the only one that works. There is nothing so hopeful as the future with God...but there is nothing so painful as putting ourselves to death. Old ways of thinking...of relating...of surviving...of working...of striving...they all have to be held with an open hand. God will justly cull through the life we've made for ourselves. He'll save the pieces that mirror His image...He'll sever the massive chunks of sin. And just when you wonder if He has anything to work with...God rescues the forgotten...redeems the broken...renews the beaten...and plants seeds of transformation.

Die...so that your deepest desires have a chance to live. All wrestling in our own strength must come to a crashing end...so we can see God for who He truly is...and what He alone can truly do! Desires of our heart are met and exceeded when we find God to be our delight. And delighting ourselves in God...begins when we're finally done depending on ourselves. The death of self and sin may well alter or adjust our desires...but the desires born out of our death will never disappoint...God loves to deliver good gifts to His kids! 

Die...it's the delivery system to another world. The ways of God run counter to the crowds. Dying is all about swimming against the current of commonness. It opens us up to a new view...new people...new life...the new you. There is no goal worth pursuing...no dream worth chasing...without first dying. Great turnarounds require steep descent. Blue sky is appreciated most...when we've corkscrewed into the darkness of self-will...only to be pulled out by the awesome grace of God. So the goal is not to live to see tomorrow...it's to catch a glimpse of new-world living ...and it just so happens...that requires dying!

Matt. 16:25, I Peter 2:24, Gen. 1:27, Ps. 37:4, II Cor. 1:20, Rom. 12:1-2, Phil. 2:1-11

Fight With Light

Get in the fight for faith and never leave, until we break through to the other side! The only thing worse than facing an enemy is the wounding we receive when we turn away. Don't walk away from the goals you've discovered. Never stop dreaming. Don't doubt your gifting. Never neglect your calling. The price God paid to get you on this path was high and the promises of God are too rich to be denied. Each day may appear like a flat-line trajectory, but even holding the ground we've gained can be a lift-hands-high victory. Fight for faith!

There is one thing that changes everything in our fight for faith. God shines light into the darkness. He doesn't leave us groping and guessing. God let's us see that our fight for faith is..."against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." So let God's illumination be your ammunition. If you have a sliver of God's light of truth, stand in it. If you hear the darkness uttering lies, speak the light of truth into it. If you feel the forces of evil deceiving you, ask Jesus to shed the light of truth directly on it. The greatest way to fight for faith is with light.

Every word of God you speak into "this present darkness", lights a torch of truth that let's you make a little more progress. God's word is "a lamp to our feet and a light to our path", so get some light on every situation. Guess and grope no more. Open up the truth, pour in the truth, speak out the truth, and watch your world light up! In our fight for faith, God is not constrained by the weapons of common warfare. Flip on the switch of truth, fight with light, and I'll see you on the other side!

Eph. 6, Ps. 119