Keep Pressing On

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14 KJV).

In the Bible, we read of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

A few of my favorites are Joshua and Caleb, Gideon, Elijah, and Paul.

I have others, but when “pressing time” comes, I look to certain ones who stood against the odds and overcame the obstacles.

Keep Pressing On

In the Old Testament, they fought against flesh and blood enemies. But, in the New Testament, our weapons and enemies are not of this world.

Paul fought the enemy of his soul and was victorious. He told Timothy, I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.

Through His death and resurrection, to those who believe, Jesus gives the power to become sons and daughters, power over the enemy, and the armor of God. He did not leave us defenseless. We can be victorious!

Faith:

Fervent—we must be passionate in our pursuit of God

Aggressive—we must be bold and active

Insistent—declare the promises of God, never back down from the devil

Thrust—moving forward is necessary if we are to gain new ground

Heavenward—every action should move us toward Heaven

 

Scripture References

Luke 10:19; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; John 1:12; Ephesians 6:10-18; Revelation 3:16

 

The Battle of Attrition

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us (Romans 8:37 KJV).

The word attrition means the act of wearing away or the state of being worn away, as by friction; constant wearing down to weaken or destroy (often in the phrase war of attrition) attrition. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/attrition (accessed: March 24, 2015).

Sword of the Spirit Gail Johnson

Sword of the Spirit
Gail Johnson

Attrition will do two things. Either it will work for, or against you. In the case of the oyster, the constant rubbing of an irritant inside the shell eventually produces a pearl. On the other hand, the constant dripping of water wears away the hardest stone.   The difference is the oyster (active) produces something, while the stone (passive) eventually wears away.   The lesson? The longer the battle, the longer and harder we must fight.

The Weapon of Fear

When facing battles, we are often confronted with fear. The fear that we are unable to win. The fear that God doesn’t hear us. Fear of the unknown. Fear of the darkened places. But God did not give us a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV).

The Greek word for power in 2 Timothy is where we get our word for dynamite, mighty, strength, a miracle itself. (Strong’s Concordance) We have the power through the blood of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit to conquer fear. If not conquered, fear can make us forget what God has already done.

And the longer we fight, the weaker our resistance becomes, and fear soon gives way to acquiescence. Acquiescence is acceptance without protest. Our struggles, whether spiritual, physical, financial or emotional become the norm. We define ourselves by what we are going through and not what the Word says about us.

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us (Romans 8:37 KJV).

Conquerors: to vanquish beyond; gain a decisive victory. (Strong’s Concordance) Never give up! Wherever we are, God is there.

The psalmist wrote: If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me (Psalms 139:8-10 KJV).

God is with us! Keep fighting no matter how hard the battle. Be on guard for signs of surrender.

Warning Signs

When we don’t oppose, we settle. We circle the wagons and withdraw. Nothing gets in or out. We separate from fellow-believers. We become more vulnerable to attacks. Soon we become depressed and easily provoked. We become testy in waiting. Our tempers flare hot. We become the product of our circumstances.

Ever been there?

I have. Hindsight is 20-20.

The Solution

Remember His promises. …for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee (Hebrews 13:5 KJV).

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord (Psalms 37:23 KJV).

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (Philippians 4:8 KJV).

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1KJV).

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known (1 Corinthians 13:12 KJV).

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (John 16:33 KJV).

Prayer

Lord, I pray for strength for the weary, health for the sick, salvation for the lost, and freedom for the captive. I know You hear the cries of Your people. Your eyes run to and fro throughout the earth. There is nothing hidden from Thee. Nothing is too hard for Thee. When hearts are overwhelmed, lead us to the Rock. Teach us to rejoice in the midst of our troubles. Help us recall Your past blessings. Remind us that You are omnipresent and there is nothing that can happen to us that doesn’t pass through Your hands. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Steal, Kill, and Destroy Part 2

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (John 10:10 KJV).

The first time I heard Annie Johnson Flint’s story was during a Gaither Homecoming program. Gloria Gaither told the story of a courageous woman who supported herself through writing, even though she was stricken with debilitating arthritis that eventually left her an invalid.

In the end, when she couldn’t hold a pencil, she held a piece of chalk and wrote on a board suspended above her bed.

When you read Annie Johnson Flint’s poems, you do not hear “Woe is me” in her verses. What you hear, is a steady peace, an active joy, and a quiet trust. Annie learned faith as a child, as a woman she learned to trust.

The difference?

Faith believes God can, while trust rests in knowing He will. Many have learned faith, but struggle with trust. “I believe God can do it. I just don’t know if He will.”

And there’s the problem.

When my peace is disturbed, my joy dwindles. My focus turns inward. I no longer offer sacrifices of praise, but worship at the altar of self. My trust waivers. I question God. How long? Why? When? Will You?

Jesus never lied to His listeners. He promised troubles and tribulations. But the object is to overcome them, not be overtaken by them.

Annie knew that joy, like peace, is a fruit. It isn’t found in happy circumstances.

It’s found in Christ Jesus. It is proof of His Spirit working in our lives. It is us decreasing, Christ increasing.

Annie understood.

When the winds of adversity blew, rocking her to and fro, Annie, like a tree used it to her advantaged and sent her roots deeper into the softened soil. She raised her limbs heavenward and soaked in the Son. She drank the water of the Word and ate of the Bread of Life. She did not bend to self-pity but was strengthened by God’s Spirit. Her fruit remains with us today, a testimony to His faithfulness. And what a testimony it is!

What God Hath Promised~ Annie Johnson Flint~ Public Domain

God hath not promised skies always blue;

Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through;

God hath not promised sun without rain,

Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.

But God promised strength for the day,

Rest for the labor, light for the way,

Grace for the trials, help from above,

Unfailing kindness, undying love. Read more here

You can read more about Annie Johnson Flint by searching her name or her poems and songs, What God Hath Promised and He Giveth More Grace.

XOXO

Gail

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