Thursday, March 13, 2014

Muscle Like Faith

I took a fall recently.  And I hurt my back.  And the next few hours were okay.  I was in pain, but only when I moved the muscle.  So I went to the gym and tried to do a workout, ending up only on the treadmill.  But did you know that walking affects the muscles in your back? I had not realized that until I tried doing so.

I endured about 45 minutes of walking on the treadmill and by the time I got home, my back was roaring.  I soaked in some warm tub water and when I got out, I basically only hurt when I bent over.  By the time the evening rolled around, the pain was practically gone.  Praise God!

In all this, God brought to my remembrance how we must work our muscles.  Though sometimes things come on us and causes us some pain, if we would work through the pain, it eventually goes away. 

The pain we feel in our bodies stems from a muscle that must be used, that must be worked, in order to stretch and to tighten.  The muscle must be exercised to be made stronger.  So like our faith.  Our faith is like a muscle.  And in order to work our faith we have to exercise it.  We have to allow it to be stretched, to be pulled, to be tightened, so that it can be (and we can be) stronger.

When things hurt us in our walk, we have to continue to believe God’s Word through it.  That’s how we work our faith muscles.  That is how our faith will be made stronger.  And eventually the pain does go away.  I’m a witness!

But what God also taught me is that muscles are supposed to hurt when you exercise them.  When muscles are worked and begin to get tired, it is not supposed to feel comfortable.  When our faith muscle is being tested and tried, it will not feel good.  Who in their right mind gets excited and feels good about tests?  Especially faith ones!  BUT, God said, holding on releases some of the pressure.  When I held on to the arms of the treadmill, it released some of the pressure on the muscles in my back.  When we hold on to God, when we hold on to His Word, when we hold on to the promise that He has made us, it relieves some of the pressure.  Hallelujah!

God helps us to exercise our faith.  He helps our faith to get stronger, if we lean on Him through our tests.  Remember that the next time your faith is being stretched.

God is SO real!  And He is with us through the test.    

A servant of the Lord,

Sis. E

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Opened Windows Opens Doors

The enemy is always on the prowl.  He is always looking for a way into our lives that he might be able to wreak havoc, so that he can do what he does, kill, steal and destroy. Lives, homes, finances, health, relationships.  If you can name it, he will attempt to destroy it.  Nothing is off limits.  But in order for him to do this he has to do what he does best, deceive.  So what he does with us, as he did with Eve, is take that Truth that God spoke to us and twist it just enough for us to believe that it might be true.  And he does this in various ways.  He uses people.  He uses our own imagination (which is why the Word tells us that we must take every thought and subject it to the obedience of Christ), but the enemy uses what he will and twists what he can to get us where he wants us to be.  In a bad place.  Out of the will of God. 

The thing is this, sometimes we see it and while we don’t fall for it hook, line, sinker, we yet fall for it.  We try to stop his evil work, by casting him out.  And for a time we think it works, because things are still.  They seemed to have settled.  The atmosphere is ‘quiet.’  But in the meantime the enemy is yet walking around our house waiting and watching for another opportunity.  Because what we have failed to do in our casting out is humble ourselves.  We have allowed ourselves to be deceived, because the Word says that we can stomp on the serpent’s head and if we put on the full armor of God we will be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  And what the deceiver did was tell you that, because it IS the Word, but he failed to tell you the whole Word.  (We have to know and do ALL the Word, otherwise we won’t be able to fully operate in ALL the power God has given us).  The enemy didn’t whisper that God gives grace to the humble.  He didn’t tell you the part in the Word that says you have to submit yourself to the Lord, to resist the devil and then he will flee.  The enemy told you just enough Truth to make you believe you have done the will of the Lord.  So your casting out did not work.  Your window is still open. 

There is an order with God.  It is not until we humble ourselves and submit to the Lord that the devil will flee.  So whatever else we try to do is insufficient.  The enemy has not gone anywhere, because our open window was not adequately shut.

The open window, that he has been able to break in, lift up, or however else you want to word it.  And now he has been in our house for a time, when we are not even aware that he is still there, and often by the time we will realize it, he has not only opened our window, but opened our door.  Because we have let him.  Opened windows opens doors.  And now it’s not only him, but it’s his companions as well and they walked right in your front door. 

The devil has found a way in through your open window and now he is walking about your house, opening the door, to more of his demonic forces.  So while it might have been pride that set us off, now that the door is opened, it’s bitterness.  It’s disobedience, it’s unforgiveness, it’s hostility, resentment, anger, greed, lust.  All kinds of other feelings could have walked in your door, because your window was opened.  But get this not only feelings but other things too.  Since you may have stepped from under the protective hand of God when you did not submit to His Word, sickness, poverty, lack, may also enter in because your window was opened. 

Be careful.  If you find yourself feeling some type of way, if all of a sudden things are just not good enough, people are an issue, you might have an open window.  If you find yourself confused and not knowing what to do, if you're lacking peace, your house might be a little drafty from the open window.  Whatever it is, ask the Lord to show you.  He will.  And then get it right His way.  Submit yourself to the Lord.  Submit to His Word and to His will.  Humble yourself, before you unwillingly and unbeknownst extend an open invitation for some very unwanted visitors to drop by.

Close your windows and your doors will stay closed too.

God is real.

A servant of the Lord,

Sis. E