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

 

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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Steal, Kill, and Destroy

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).

 

Wave Ivan Aivazovsky public domain

Wiki Commons

Worry is often like a trebuchet’s projectile against a castle wall. An unexpected problem explodes in my life and sends my world careening. The invading circumstance steals my peace and imprisons my joy. Furthermore, if I allow it to continue disrupting my thought life, it threatens my trust as I become dissatisfied with my circumstances and begin questioning God.

Worry verb (used without object), worried, worrying. 1. to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts; fret. 3. to torment with cares, anxieties, etc.; trouble; plague 4. to seize, especially by the throat, with the teeth and shake or mangle, as one animal does another Dictionary.com

After reading the definition, I envisioned worry as a predator. Have you ever felt as if something had you by the throat and wouldn’t let go? I have. Until I realized the goal of the enemy is to destroy me, but the Lord promised me an abundant life filled with the fruits of the Spirit, including joy and peace.

 

Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3

Peace is a fruit that must be cultivated. It doesn’t grow from nothing. Neither does it mean having my world in perfect order. It’s thinking differently about my world. It’s pondering on Him and His promises rather than dwelling on my problem.

 

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 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; 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

Doubt doesn’t line up with the Word, so I must discipline my mind to think of good things. Jesus didn’t doubt His Father’s love or ability to take care of Him. I must do the same. When I do, I will have peace in my spirit although the storm rages about me.

 

And the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

“The better we understand God’s Word, the more comfort we find in it. The darkness of trouble arises from the darkness of ignorance.” Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Bible

God has promised us true peace that can only be found in Him. Do you know that peace?

 

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