It is when we are drawing nigh unto God that battles come causing us to draw away from the things of God. Our adversary sees us drawing closer and closer to the Lord and wants to move us from that deep place of intimacy.
Lies the enemy speaks to us are to draw us away from our closeness with the Lord, and they are attached to a no need to declarative statement. It’s the enemy’s list of all the things we don’t need to do when we are in the midst of a trial: go to church; read and study The Word; rest in the Lord; pray; worship and many many more. Yet, it is the opposite that is true. In those times, drawing nigh unto the Lord is what we need to do more than any other thing because it’s only in His presence that we find peace and joy.
The greater the battle, the more we are to seek and remain in a face-to-face encounter with our Lord. We draw nigh unto Him with our whole heart. Even in situations where we can’t seem to find the time for prayer and worship, we can trust God sees the longing of our hearts and blesses us with His presence. It’s about quality, not quantity. Whenever there is anything pulling us back, let’s move towards our Lord, from glory to glory!
Hebrews 7:19 “…for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.”
As members of the Body of Christ, we are the light of the world. The light exposes darkness and darkness has to flee. Our adversary attempts to hide our light under “bushels,” but the Lord increases His glory, reveals the light and removes the darkness. Understanding the battle that is going on helps us deal with the opposition we face, and the conflict we are to conquer.
We carry the light of Jesus and the people around us react in many different ways. Some may appear to be offended, and their behavior may be difficult to comprehend. We question, “Did I do something to them? Are they mad at me? What is going on?” We’ll discover the answer to these questions, and many more, is nothing. It’s the light in us that is troubling the darkness.
As the light of the Lord shines brighter in and through us, bushels can no longer keep the light hidden. The bushels can be other’s reactions such as: unbelief, critical attitudes, negative behaviors, envy or offenses. The answer to all questions is Jesus. When a conflict arises, we let our light so shine that our Father in heaven will be glorified, from glory to glory!
Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
We are battled before and after we obey the leading of the Lord. Most of the battles take place in our minds. Our minds look at things in the natural and tell us we are not going to accomplish what the Lord has called us to do. After we rebuke the liar, obey the leading of the Lord and walk into what is laid before us, we find another great battle awaits us.
The battle that comes after our obedience attempts to stop us from doing anything for the Lord again. Because the anointing increases as we allow the Holy Spirit to move through us, the enemy attempts to stop us from continuing in our steps of obedience. He uses fear without ceasing. His lies pertain to self, insecurity, guilt and inadequacy. The way to go through this warfare is to focus on who the Lord Jesus is: yesterday, today and forever.
The warfare is great after we do anything in the name of Jesus. That after is also the before of the next leading we will obey. The Holy Spirit often empowers us by multiplying His instructions so that we move in the Spirit from one thing to another, with no time in between. The before and after is eliminated by our moving forward, back to back, leaving no time for the adversary. We are more than conquerors, from glory to glory!
Deuteronomy 11:12 “… a land for which the LORD your God cares; the eyes of the LORD your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year.”
For us to know and believe the love God has for us, He gives us a sure foundation in our salvation and His promises. God so loved the world He gave His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting life. Jesus is our Chief Cornerstone, a sure foundation.
Every battle we face comes to provoke us to question this foundation. Without a sure foundation the structure of a building cannot stand. The size of the building doesn’t matter; it’s the foundation that supports the building. When the foundation is secured, the storms may cause some cracks to appear, but they can be repaired. We cannot stand against the enemy if we are not secured in Christ. We cannot trust our tomorrow if we are not secure in the safety we abide in today. When we sense something is cracking, including ourselves, we can trust the foundation is sure and our foundation is Jesus Christ.
We have to know, that we know, that we know the love God has for us keeps us in peace in the midst of turbulence; in love in the midst of loneliness; in faith in the midst of fear; and in Christ in the midst of our humanity. He fills every crack with His love and makes us whole, from glory to glory!
1 John 4:15-16 “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God and God in him.”
Whatever battles we find ourselves in, the battle in our mind may add vain imaginations to the situation making it seem even worse. Be mindful of the things of God and not the things of men. This is the key for victory in our minds.
The Greek word phroneo means to exercise the mind; that is, entertain or have a sentiment or opinion; to be disposed more or less in a certain direction, and to intensively interest ourselves in a matter. When Jesus rebuked the enemy working through Peter, He expressed the offense as being mindful of the things of men. When we meditate upon what is seen in the natural, we magnify its potential impact. If we over-think our ways, and the ways of others, we become fearful and quench the flow of the mind of Christ in our lives.
Our aim is always to be mindful of the things of God. We do so by reading and speaking forth the Word of God. We exercise our mind until we are disposed to think in the direction of the Spirit, more than the direction of the flesh. We do not walk by sight but by faith. We do not think excessively on the human aspect, we focus on the spiritual, from glory to glory!
Matthew 16:23 “But He turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.’ ”