Posts Tagged ‘Strength’

accept it
“Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change”

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:6-8) NIV

The famous “Serenity Prayer” is repeated over and again throughout the world in hearts, homes, and public meetings. How the words minister to our hearts. Yet this morning, God spoke yet again to me about the “peace that passes all understanding” and how this peace is found in one word of that beautiful prayer- accept!

I have been praying of late that God would send His comforting peace into my soul, for it seems to be evading me. So many cares and concerns and worrisome things about us, constantly bombarding us. Not only are we concerned about our economy, the moral backbone of our society, the wars and turmoils engulfing our world, but just in our daily lives, in the local news and even with our closest and dearest friends and loved ones; situations and problems and evils that seem so out of our control and at times even hopeless. Sometimes I ask myself the question, what it the point of it all?

And to make it all the more difficult to face, just as the Bible predicted over 2000 years ago, because sin abounds the love of so many is growing colder and colder. Human relationships are becoming more shallow all the time and true, intimate and lasting relationships are scarce. Loneliness abounds and suicide is at an all time high. How, tell me how is one to find real peace in the midst of a world such as this? You are growing older and know that your time here is limited. You believe in God. You’ve done your best to forsake sin and follow him. You trust you belong to him, and yet, sometimes it still feels like there is no peace. Why is that?

Acceptance! God says, we must accept the good and the evil. We must accept this world as it is. When He first spoke this to me, I drew back. “What? How could this be? How could Almighty God, holy and good, be telling me to just accept the evil? Was there Bible for this? Yes!

One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, and the Sabeans attacked and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The fire of God fell from the heavens and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
may the name of the Lord be praised.”

Job 1:13-21

…So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.

His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”

He replied, “You are talking like a foolish  woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”

In all this, Job did not sin in what he said. (Job 2:7-10)

Job had learned from God to accept the life God gave to him, whether it was good or evil, for it all belonged to God anyhow, and it all returns to God. He still suffered, but he ultimately retained his peace of mind, the peace that passed all understanding. He did not understand at all why God was allowing these horrible things to happen in his life. He did not understand when or if they would ever end in this life. But he had peace. How do we know that? Because in Job 19: 25-27 he declares,
“I know that my redeemer lives,
and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God;
I myself will see him
with my own eyes—I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!”

There are other Bible examples as well- Joseph was sold into slavery and then imprisoned for a crime he had not done; Moses was banned to wander the dessert the remainder of his life;  David was pursued by the very King whom he won a great victory for; Esther was given to be wed to a heathen King; And what about Jesus? He was tried, convicted and crucified, for a crimes no one could find him guilty of; And then, there are all of the apostles- their trials, persecutions, imprisonments and deaths. All these retained their peace because they were able to “accept the things that they could not change.” They accepted them because they knew in it all, God was in charge and it all was a part of God’s purpose and plan.

Acceptance doesn’t take away pain, tears, sorrow or anger. It doesn’t make us complacent. But acceptance will give us a peace that will transcend the physical boundaries of this world and culminate into a higher and more beautiful reality.

Serenity- calm, tranquil, composed, at peace

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.”

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calm sea

“Then he (Jesus) arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm . . . “

Why are ye so fearful,
oh ye of little faith?
Jesus flies upon the winds
and walks upon the seas;
He lifts the broken from the shards,
brings the pompous to their knees.

Why are ye so fearful,
oh ye of little faith?
Jesus passes through the fires,
and tromps on serpents heads;
The meek he strengthens by his power;
The proud he fills with dread.

Why are ye so fearful,
Oh ye of little faith?
Jesus has all power o’er all
and for all of eternity
So do  not fear little flock of God
What man can do to thee.

Written by Elizabeth A Van Cleve

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Stop trusting in man

Sometimes this takes a long time to really learn. God is very clear in his word that we are not to place our trust in men. We can believe men, when they are bringing forth good fruits in their lives, but our trust needs to be solely in God. When we do that, we will never just blindly follow any man, but will ever look to God first.

We are not in the Old Testament dispensation anymore- we have no high priest that acts as the mouth piece of God in our lives. We have Christ in our hearts, reigning and ruling. He will witness to us what to follow and what to wait on.

There will always be leadership in all walks of life that is to be respected; but we individually are the temple of God- we are priests over our own temple. We will give an account to God for our own lives before God. To set up men as Gods mouth piece over your life is to set up a popish old testament system.

Thank God we can have godly counselors and leaders to guide us, but Christ is ever our head. King David had counselors, but ultimately he made the decision and answered to God alone. The counselors were a safety net about him, but God gave him reasoning and a mind to think and pray and seek and weigh things out.

When Christ’s law is written on our hearts and we allow him to rule our lives, our fruit will be holy. Holiness is simply the absence of sin.

Trust God. Put your trust in Him alone. Ultimately you will be able to trust all situations, for God will be the ruling factor in it all.

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I’ve heard tell that some American Indian tribes when they came upon white men, were more apt to destroy them if they sensed the white men were afraid of them. Why? Because they knew that what one fears, one will seek to either control or to destroy. So the white men that showed the most fear would eventually become their biggest threat to survival.

Many religious people are led by a spirit of fear. Their decisions and actions are made from a place of fear and self-preservation.

But the word of God tells us, that when we receive His spirit, it is not a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of sound mind. (2Timothy 1:7)

If you are operating from under a spirit of fear, you are fast headed for deception if you are not already there.

The Pharisees ruled the people from a spirit of fear- a fear of being dethroned and put on the same level as a common man if they were not obeyed. They ruled the people with fear. They brought the peoples consciences under the bondage of their own traditions and ideas through a spirit of fear- fear that if they did not obey,  they would be thrown out of the Synagogues and be an outcast in society. They would be disowned by everyone that was dear to them as well, because, their loved ones operated under the same spirit of fear.

Jesus Christ was forced to go “outside the gate” because he would not allow His conscience to be brought into subjection of the religious Pharisees of His time. He knew that he did “always those things that pleased the Father.” He did not have to answer to those who had usurped the authority of God. (John 8:29, Hebrews 13:12)

Therefore, Christ leads the people away from a spirit of fear, and into a spirit of mercy and LOVE. The Bible says:

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

In order for us to be effective workers in the kingdom of God, we must cast out fear; We must be made “perfect in love.” But that is much easier said than done. As soon as you attempt to seek the Father’s grace, to identify the places in your heart that are being led by fear rather than love, the things you fear will surface, and fear is a nasty spirit to contend with. Fear spirits are well guarded in spirits of bondage and accusations. They will unleash on you their hellish screams that you are going to perish and be lost forever. They will do all that they can to keep you under their lock and key.

But Christ has the remedy for Satan and all his hosts:

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. James 4:7 -8

When God shows you the fear that is ruling your actions, he will show you what to do about it and it will be basically- go into the fear and conquer it. Do exactly what you are so afraid of doing. When we know that God is leading us in a certain direction, no matter how much we fear we must submit to God. Submit to His will and all the while draw nigh to God. And the promise is, the devil will flee from you. Do you know what happens? The devil shows himself to be afraid. He is the one so FULL of fear.

Remember the story of the three Hebrew boys that would not worship the idol the king had commanded them to? With boldness they submitted themselves to God- in the face of being thrown into a fiery furnace. I would say that is facing a HUGE fear.

You see the King began to tremble under their boldness, because immediately he had the fiery furnace turned up and ordered his strongest men to bind them and throw them in. The king showed his fear by his actions. And when he saw them walking around in the death chamber, alive and well and the Son of God with them, he trembled and the devil fled. The king made a new decree- that those who would not show respect to the God of these Hebrew men, would be destroyed. (Daniel 3)

Fear is a devilish spirit that must be conquered. It is something that MUST be overcome. The reason being, there is no fear in love and God is love. If we are going to be a proper representative of God in this world, we need to be able to operate from a spirit of love and trust, not fear and unbelief:

He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. Revelations 21: 7-8

No man, or human organization on earth has the right to usurp the Spirit and leading of Jesus Christ in your conscience. Do not allow anyone to bring your conscience into the bondage of anything but the Spirit of Jesus Christ. And if it has been brought captive under a spirit of fear, it is time to rise up and do battle. Defeat it in the name of Jesus Christ!

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Mount Up as Eagles

. . .[M]y heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. . . .Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee;. . .They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God. . .For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee. Psalms 84

“From strength to strength” -not from strength to weakness. But How, when I feel so weak? How, when I feel I cannot go on another day? How, when my heart hurts? How, when my body is wracked with pain? How, when sorrow engulfs me? Where is my strength?

In God! Our strength is found when our heart and flesh cry out for the living God- when we continue to trust God, placing our cares in his hands, enduring hardness as a good soldier, doing what is right inspite of how we feel. Our battle is won in our secret closet of prayer. Our battle is won in God.

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:28-31

The days are evil. Darkness surrounds us. But did not the Lord Jesus Christ warn us of this? Can we not take courage that Christ has told us, “be of good courage; I have overcome the world.” Don’t lay down your armour dear soldier. Do not go AWAL. Hang in there. The Lord will never leave us nor forsake us. Get on your knees and gather strength from God. Be a proper representative of Christ in this present world. Press the battle on!

I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. Psalms 27:13-14

From strength to strength, we sometimes go;

Then again, we’re sinking low

In the shadow, of a mountian

looming high above our head.

We need not fear, what lies ahead;

For the word has clearly said,

That our faith, would be sufficient

to make the mountains disappear.

Speak to the mountain,

You’ll not triumph over me;

Be thou removed from here to yonder

disappear into the sea

Speak to the mountain

Speak with authority

and the mountain must move

and you shall claim victory!

In the midst, of the battle

When the foe is gaining ground

Look up!!! and see the MIGHTY

hand of GOD, reaching down

Speak Gods name, Satan trembles;

Speak God’s word and watch him flee.

Once again, our GOD delivers

The mountains crumble at our feet!

Author Unknown

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Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.

Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.

The Kingdom of God would advance a lot faster and with more power if the subjects of this kingdom would really take time to understand what our weapons are and what they are not. Much damage is done and battles become more difficult to overcome because of a lack of this basic understanding.

Problems arise when people begin to fight this battle without understanding the word or recognizing the true leading of the Holy Spirit. In the beginning of the New Testament, God’s people were instructed first to wait unit they were given power from on high- wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Don’t run out and begin working out of your own strength, and your own ideas. Wait! And in the meantime, they prayed. They gathered together, worshipped and prayed for that power and then for the next step they were to take. And when the power came down, many souls were saved. The Kingdom of God advanced rapidly.

When we do not wait for God, when we allow fears, or the pressures of other mens opinions and expectations of us to cause us to move forward without knowing that we are right in the center of the will of God, we are headed for a long,weary, and pretty fruitless path.  We will not be fighting the “spiritual” battle, but rather a “carnal” battle- a battle against flesh and blood. The battle will be with people, without power, and we will become disillusioned and discouraged and eventually may grow completely cold in our love for God and his work. It is so imperative to “tarry until you are endued with power from on high.”

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

How do we know if we are using carnal weapons?

And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 1Corinthians 3:1-6

When the fruit of our warfare is not advancing the Kingdom of God, but rather producing a lot of strife, envying and division, we can know beyond a doubt that we are fighting a carnal battle. When men are being lifted up and hailed instead of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are leaning on our own strength and understanding. If people are not being saved and delivered from the strong holds of Satan, we are fighting with carnal weapons. Chances are great that our message has become carnal. There is no power in carnality. (Isaiah 26:18)

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; Ephesians 6:10-18

Our battle is against the devil. We are not fighting against people, but seeking to rescue them from him. Our strength is in the Lord; our power is in HIS might;We wrestle against principalities-a territory ruled by a prince; In this case the prince of darkness. We are wrestling to take spiritual ground from him- to take souls back for Christ. We are wrestling against “spiritual wickedness in high places” -people who have set themselves up as a “mighty one” or a “spokesman for God” but in reality they are power-hungry liars! We are wrestling to take souls away from their damning influence.  (Matthew 23:15)

Our spiritual armour is an earnest desire to know truth; It is a heart that is purified and full of righteousness; It is preparedness everyday in the word of God and prayer before we head out into the world or to our daily duties; It is faith that what God has promised he will fullfill; The helmet is knowing that we have been saved from sin, we have been changed.

Our weapon is the word of God–  Christs word dwelling in us in abundance (Colossians 3:16)- and always praying; always seeking God’s help and power and resources and direction.

A lot of problems would dissolve in the Kingdom of God and a lot of progress could be made, if people were more careful to make sure that the weapons of their warfare are not carnal. Conversely, so much damage has been done throughout time because of ones who claimed to be fighting the battle of the Lord, but in reality, were only fighting carnal battles with their own self and their own understanding leading the way.

Its so easy to start fighting a carnal battle because we are living in a carnal world and a carnal body. But Christ made the way for us to be FILLED with HIS spirit and to fight this battle on His terms and His way.

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Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:13

PREPARATION TO STAND is done when we bow– bow to the authority of Jesus Christ; Bow to his judgement, his truth, his way, when we “die daily” to our self, that Christs life may be manifest in us, when we put on the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the girdle of truth, when we shod our feet to walk upright, through studying and rightly dividing the word of God, when we unsheathe our sword of truth and practice raising our shield of faith in the face of adversity.

Like the song says:

“I believe in spite of the circumstance,
FAITH is there in place of the evidence,
in the face of the storm,
and though battered and torn;
I can stand on the ROCK, for I BELIEVE GOD!”

Have you studied your Bible today? Have you prayed? Have you put on the armor of God?
Be prepared- this is a battlefield for your soul!

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Psalms 18: 1-3

I will love thee, O LORD my strength.

The LORD is my rocksomeone I can lean on, hold on to, he will never be moved

The LORD is my fortressa safe place to run and hide from the enemy

The LORD is my delivererhe rescued me from the hand of the enemy, and will bring me to safety

The LORD is my GodI worship and adore him

The LORD is my strengthmy security and safety

In whom I will trust!!!!

The LORD is my bucklera leader who protects me; he’s “got my back”

The LORD is the horn of my salvationthe one I praise and give all glory and honor to

The LORD is my high towerMy place of vision, my ability to see and to rise above circumstance

I will call upon the LORD who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies!


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