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Spiritual Bootcamp – Strength for the Battle

I’ve been posting about the spiritual battles that we find ourselves in.  We need to be prepared for them.  We’re going to face hardships whether we’re ready or not.

It’s unfortunate that many Christians wait until they’re in the middle of a spiritual firefight to learn how to be victorious.  You can’t wait for a fight and download the Karate program.  It doesn’t work like that.

How do we prepare for the challenges ahead?  The same way a soldier does.  Bootcamp consists of two aspects – knowledge and work.

For us, it’s knowledge of the Scripture and God’s voice.  Then we have to work at implementing what we know to do.

You may be thinking, “That’s not an easy thing to do.”  You’re right.  In most cases, it turns out to be beyond our ability.  But that’s why understanding the spiritual battle is so important.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Ephesians 6:10

I’m glad that we’re not told to psych ourselves up and power our way through the challenges.  I don’t want to have to rely on my willpower.  I’ve got an advantage that the world doesn’t have.

I’m told to be strong in the Lord.  Sometimes this goes against our nature.  We want the ability to brag about our accomplishments.  We want to say that our intelligence or strength was what it took to overcome the obstacles before us.

That’s why so often we make our plans then ask God to bless them.  Wouldn’t we be much better off if we asked the Lord for His plan right at the start?

If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.  If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.  To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever.  Amen.
1 Peter 4:11

The fact is that it’s not about my glory, but His.  If I were able to lay hold of my own destiny, why would I need Christ?  The work before me is too much for me by myself.

When we finally learn to admit this truth, life gets so much more enjoyable.  Not that I can sit back and let God do all the work, but I know He’s there to cover my weaknesses.  I don’t have to worry about whether I can handle the problem or not.

If I’ll draw on His strength and listen to the Holy Spirit, then there’s nothing that can stop me.  We need to rest in God’s ability and not our own.

For a few posts, I’ll be going through the section of Ephesians, chapter 6, which talks about the armor of God.  The Apostle Paul understands what it takes to walk in victory.  We need to apply these principles to our lives.

We know that we’re going to face struggles.  The time to prepare is now.  Don’t let life take you by surprise and knock you down.  Do what it takes to get yourself ready for the road ahead.

Question: What are you going through right now that’s too big for you to handle?

© 2019 Nick Zaccardi

 

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Are You Tired?

ClimberI don’t know about you, but sometimes I just get tired. Tired of the battles, the problems of life, and everything that society throws at me. It’s times like that when I need to seek the encouragement of the Word of God.

Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joy.
Colossians 1:11

The Apostle Paul understood how to live victoriously in spite of all the stuff that was happening around him. He knew where to go to receive strength in his time of need.

One of the things that the Holy Spirit desires to do in us is to build us up in our inner man. He wants to give us the power we need to stand our ground for Christ.

This life is very draining on people. I don’t believe that there’s any such thing as an easy life. Of course, as the saying goes, the grass is always greener in someone else’s yard. We look at other people and think that they have it so easy.

The reality is that we’re all different. We all see life from a different perspective. The things that you find difficult to deal with, I don’t have any problem with. And some of the things that trip me up, you don’t struggle with at all.

The simple fact is that everyone needs an abundance of endurance, patience, and joy. Those are the qualities we seem to lose so easily. Yet that’s exactly what the Lord wants to bring into our lives.

Apart from the Holy Spirit we would give up too soon. I want to see the finish line and cross it with strength. I don’t want to barely finish then collapse in exhaustion.

Finishing strong requires me to rely on His strength for my life. I must come to the realization that without Him I can do nothing.

It’s a humbling experience to tell the Lord that you need Him. But that’s why Scripture teaches that if you humble yourself before Him, He will exalt you.

That’s why we need to run to God’s Word. The verse above is especially encouraging. I’m so glad that the apostle didn’t say, “Being strengthened with some power according to my best efforts.”

When I draw on the power of the Spirit, I have access to all power – all the power I need overcome in every area of my life. This power isn’t based upon what I can do. It’s all because of the Lord’s unlimited resources. He’s the One I look to for help.

Draw on the power of the Holy Spirit today. Spend quality time in His presence and watch what the Lord can do in a life that is yielded before Him. Make use of His promises. Let Him grant to you His endurance, patience, and joy.

Question: How have you seen the difference between living in your power vs. the Holy Spirit’s?

©Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
 

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Give Your Life a Solid Foundation

In my last post, I talked about true Biblical faith.  We learned that you can’t just “set it and forget it”.  Instead, it’s a process that must be walked out on a daily basis.  Here is an illustration that Paul used to describe it.

In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Ephesians 6:16

Think about faith like a huge wooden shield, big enough for you to hide behind in the raging battle.  What is it protecting you from?  Paul says that it’s the flaming arrows of the enemy.

What does flame do to wood?  We all know that wood is a fuel.  As the weapons of the enemy hit it, the shield begins to wear away.  If you just stand still in your Christian walk, you begin to lose ground.  What you believed last year, you may not believe this year.  Your faith begins to fade.

Scripture tells us that we must continually maintain our faith.  That’s why prayer, reading the word, and fellowship with other believers are so vital to our walk with the Lord.

We need to continue in all of those things just to stand still.  If that’s the case, then I really need to build my faith for moving forward in God.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1

The words being sure in this verse literally mean setting under.  The scriptural definition for hope is our expectation of what God is going to work out in our lives.  So, in actuality, what this verse says is that faith is our support or foundation.

Faith is a support for our expectations.  How can I continue to expect God’s best in the middle of the struggles of life?  My expectations must be supported.  It’s only through faith in what God has said that I can have this kind of foundation.

We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.
Hebrews 3:14

This is really what we want from God.  We want to share in what Christ has provided for us.  The only way this will take place is if we hold firmly to our support.  That’s why we need the shield.

If faith is not held firmly, it can be knocked out of our hands.  Make sure that you are maintaining your faith.  It’s what you need to support you through the rough times.

Question: How has your faith in God supported you in the past?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2012 in Encouragement, Faith, Spiritual Warfare

 

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