Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Dear Fellow Christians, Am I the only one?

Am I the only one that is feeling this heavy cloud of discouragement from the events that are happening in our country?  Am I the only one that gets confused by all the dissension among our fellow believers in Christ?  Am I the only one that feels there are false prophets, false teachers, deceived Christians and other well-meaning Christians getting away from the Word of God? Am I the only one that is often tempted to cover up my head and hide away from it all? I didn't think so!

Social Media can be a blessing or a curse.  On one hand it is nice to keep up with old friends and family, hear prayer requests, and so forth.  On the other hand, the barrage of comments, opinions, and discussions can be really confusing and lay heavy on your heart.  Even when we turn on the radio and television, we are constantly being bombarded by opinions that are peppered with media bias.  Furthermore,  even when all your devices are turned off, you only have to go to the store or visit with different people to realize that our world is in turmoil. 

Today, I felt led to write this post to encourage Christians, born-again Jesus followers.   I want to encourage you to realize that our enemy is firing away at us constantly because the battle is real and intense. (Read Revelations)  I want to encourage you to get in the Word of God, ALOT! I want to encourage you to base your belief's on God's Word and nothing else.  Be careful not to get swept away with all the "glittering gold" out there....even in the Christian world. Are you leading them to praise you or to praise and lift up God?   We have a great Shepherd who deserves all our praise and all  our focus.  However, we the sheep, are often very busy promoting  "sheep" instead; how to be the best sheep you can be, how to be financially stable, how to be attractive, how to be cool and not offend the world.   All the while, our focus veers off to self!  It's not about self, it's about Jesus. When we focus on HIM, HE will do all the changing and work inside us that is needed.   He died to give us all we need.  Only Christ in us can do anything of eternal value anyway.  So what if everyone thinks we are not successful or that we are not "enough"...as long as we are walking in right relationship with our God.  We will answer to God alone.

 Most of us know well what Ephesians 6 talks about...putting on the full armor of God and how the enemy is waiting and watching to take advantage of our weakness.  However, sometimes we need a reminder:  VICTORY REALLY IS IN JESUS!  Just because we don't feel great doesn't mean our God is not great.  I believe Satan wants to discourage us all the way to the sidelines.  He would like us to sit on the bench and look at our feet and wonder what is wrong with us.   All the while, we are out of the game while the enemy advances.   I want to encourage you today to look to Jesus....and KEEP looking to Him.   In Isaiah 26 we are reminded that when we keep our mind on our Lord, He will keep us in perfect peace.  Philippians 4 gives us even more encouragement and reminds us that trusting God can and will bring us peace.  It is very easy to get discouraged in the upside down world  we are living in where people (even Christians) say wrong is right and right is wrong.  However, instead of tagging out and running away, just take a breather.  Take some time to regroup with the Lord.  Let Him fill you back up.  Confess your sins and wrong belief patterns and simply let Him love you.  Then, STAY in HIS WORD and PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in HIS mighty power.  Put on all of GOD'S armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all the strategies of the devil.  For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.  Therefore, put on every piece of GOD'S armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil.  Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.  Ephesians 6:11-13