When God Fights For Us

When God fights for us, we simply can't lose. The greatest personal battles in life can't be won unless the Lord wages war on our behalf. Some battles are lost simply because we move into the wrong field of war. At other times we move into the right field, but it's just not the right time. And at times we will lose a skirmish or two, but never because God is unable to deliver. God will allow setbacks or apparent loses. There might be lessons to learn, character might need to crafted in us and perseverance is always born through resistance.

Some saints have been called from righteous battles straight into the eternal presence of God. We can't know the mind of God, but moving in the will of God is the only way to forge ahead in a world filled with spiritual war. If we trust God with our life both now and for eternity, we only need to know that we are in step with God. God wants to remove the angst and fear that creeps into our mind and consumes our soul. God wants to fight for us and if God is for us, we simply can't lose.

There are a few simple spiritual way-points that can confirm we're tracking with God. What follows is a quick application from one chapter (Joshua 10) of Joshua's life:

  1. Consecration - God never demands perfection, but he does want our affection. Consecration looks to God in all his holiness and takes a knee. Consecration brings to mind all our aspirations, dreams, sins, wins, and offers them up without shame or reservation. Consecration postures our heart in a way that God can shape it and direct it. It's here that the masters work begins.
  2. Mercy - God loves the hurting and he helps those who run to the aid of people in pain. Any mission that moves toward the needs of people is a mission from God. Any mission or vision that God gives, will ultimately be aimed at the benefit of the hurting and disenfranchised. God's eye is to save the world and his ear is inclined to the brokenhearted. When our heart flows with mercy, we're in the river of God.
  3. Magnitude - God loves to put us into situations over our head. It's when we're faced with things beyond our capacity that we fall into a deeper sense of dependency. Never look at something daunting as anything but a chance for God to put his power and conquering might on display. We need to see God at work. You and I were made to witness and be in awe of God's strength. What we see God do today can humble us and prepare us for even greater battles tomorrow. God shows some of his most amazing power against our biggest foes, and often in the eleventh hour.

So this is the challenge for us today, and yes, even tomorrow. Simple but true...Consecration, Mercy, Magnitude. When God fights for us, we simply can't lose

Break Free (part 1): Look At The Ugly

This is a small series of blogs to walk us through a normal road to true life-change. It’s not pretty, sanitized, and religious people who like it clean will find it rather dirty. But it’s the way God changed (and still changes) my life, and he may do the same for you!

We can only break free from what’s killing us, after we’ve seen how ugly it truly is. Jesus led a woman at a well to rehearse the pain of her past. Memories flashed through her mind of the five husbands she’d had and even the man she was now shacked up with. All the pain of being used, abused and reinvesting her soul into that which could never deliver, must have pained her deeply. The prospect that now again her heart was about to be broken over her shame, would have been brutal to bare. But instead of running away from more condemnation, she heard the voice of truth dripping with compassion. This precious woman was about to break free from what was killing her, but it required a deep look into just how ugly her sin (and the sin others visited on her) really was, and how damaged her soul had become.

That long deep look into our sin is not a sadistic game that God plays, it’s a small price that positions us for the priceless freedom we can only find in Christ. No one can see their need for someone to save them, unless they’re certain they’re sinking. God will only show us the depths of our depravity, in order to reveal the inestimable heights of his mercy and love. 

God lifted the fog from my life over several months in the early eighties. But the more I could see, the less I could envision any kind of solution or future with genuine hope. It was at the bottom of empty that I came to grips with my life–I had to “look at the ugly”. The escape of Cocaine had no more pop. Now I was only more paranoid with every line that I snorted. The desired effects of alcohol was no longer for social release, it was for emotional relief. I drank to dull the pain and passing out was fine by me. No one saw any of this like I felt this, and that's why it is so important to have freedom as we’ve truly dreamed, not as we hope others perceive.

So I humbly ask you to “look at the ugly”. Grasp how empty that food addiction has become. Get ahold of how far that ladder-climbing in business and material pursuit has pulled you from the family you love. Take an honest assessment of how numb and self-absorbed that fantasy and/or pornography has left you. Get sobered up for a moment over how much that substance you pour into yourself has become a crutch that you can’t imagine not leaning on. Stop blaming others long enough to see that the very things you desire to receive you rarely give away. Look at the ugly. But look only long enough to realize that there is a voice calling into the dark night of your soul. And when you turn to see it, you’ll be utterly amazed.  

John 4

Let God Fight For You

When God fights for us, we simply can't lose. The greatest personal battles in life can't be won unless the Lord wages war on our behalf. Some battles are lost simply because we move into the wrong field of war. At other times we move into the right field, but it's just not the right time. And at times we will lose a skirmish or two, but never because God is unable to deliver. God will allow setbacks or apparent loses. There might be lessons to learn, character might need to crafted in us and perseverance is always born through resistance. Some saints have been called from righteous battles straight into the eternal presence of God. We can't know the mind of God, but moving in the will of God is the only way to forge ahead in a world filled with spiritual war. If we trust God with our life both now and for eternity, we only need to know that we are in step with God. God wants to remove the angst and fear that creeps into our mind and consumes our soul. God wants to fight for us and if God is for us, we simply can't lose.

There are a few simple spiritual way-points that can confirm we're tracking with God. What follows is a quick application from one chapter (Joshua 10) of Joshua's life:

  1. Consecration - God never demands perfection, but he does want our affection. Consecration looks to God in all his holiness and takes a knee. Consecration brings to mind all our aspirations, dreams, sins, wins, and offers them up without shame or reservation. Consecration postures our heart in a way that God can shape it and direct it. It's here that the masters work begins.
  2. Mercy - God loves the hurting and he helps those who run to the aid of people in pain. Any mission that moves toward the needs of people is a mission from God. Any mission or vision that God gives, will ultimately be aimed at the benefit of the hurting and disenfranchised. God's eye is to save the world and his ear is inclined to the brokenhearted. When our heart flows with mercy, we're in the river of God.
  3. Magnitude - God loves to put us into situations over our head. It's when we're faced with things beyond our capacity that we fall into a deeper sense of dependency. Never look at something daunting as anything but a chance for God to put his power and conquering might on display. We need to see God at work. You and I were made to witness and be in awe of God's strength. What we see God do today can humble us and prepare us for even greater battles tomorrow. God shows some of his most amazing power against our biggest foes, and often in the eleventh hour.

So this is the challenge for us today, and yes, even tomorrow. Simple but true...Consecration, Mercy, Magnitude. When God fights for us, we simply can't lose.

Our Finest Hour?

I have a couple thoughts pounding in my heart as I watch the sickening news of two massacred officers in NY and juxtapose that with good friends who have truly felt the lingering effects of racism.

We have more than a race issue, we have a sin issue. And sin divides people without respect to color alone. But God's word illuminates our real problems, it's relevance is staggering. The scriptures apply to national social issues, relational conflict of any kind and personal battles that rage in our heart and mind. I believe there are at least two lessons for all of us.

1. Where we have "disorder and every evil practice" we have clear evidence of "envy and selfish ambition" (James 3:16). When we try to lift ourselves up, build a career or establish a platform that feeds disorder, it reveals a flawed motivation. We can't diminish or rationalize any action that causes disorder and evil. Disorder can be calmed when we stop distorting truth, gossiping and feeding anger. This is true at every level and each of us have been party to or victims of someone's personal agenda.

2. God loves "justice, mercy and humility" (Micah 6:8). Calling for justice without equal parts of humility and mercy, can only foment vengeance. We don't do vengeance well at all, it's God job alone. This is why we all benefit from growing in grace and truth. Humility alone leaves us weak and always capitulating. Mercy alone is absent of truth and breeds enabling. Justice alone creates a frenzy and is dividing.

There is a vacuum of hope today. We have a golden opportunity to spread the message of redemption and reconciliation. I've been awakened to the shocking reality that our nation is relatively unreached with the gospel of life and liberty. Just recently I had the joy of sharing Christ with a group who had no real idea what Jesus can do. Let's live and share the good news. Our nation's finest hour could be just ahead.