Courageous.

This morning while I was driving and thinking about needing to work out, I turned on the rock music station and blasted the volume. I thought about making a new rock mix to pump me up before a work out while aggressive music poured against my face. I thought for a while about it and eventually switched back to the local Christian station where “Courageous,” by Casting Crowns was playing. So I quickly found that a song about how strong I am and how powerful I am going to become can pump me up until I’m ready to go pummel tree trunks, the line in the song, “The only way we’ll ever stand is on our knees with lifted hands,” can bring me to tears. We rely so heavily on our own strength and what we can do that it’s so easy to forget that the strongest stance we can ever take is being prostrated before Christ.

” Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,” 1 Peter 5:6

I am in no way saying not to work out, I highly encourage it, but I was reminded that exercising the Spirit is much more important. Why? Because we’re still warriors and we’re still on a battlefield. The Devil is very real and his Demons are very real and the souls they are claiming are really going to Hell. How do I know? The Bible says so.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

The song talks about rekindling passion, and here is where passion usually fails. New Christians usually go around telling everyone they see about how sinners should repent lest they go to Hell but soon they hit a block where constant rejection of the Word has discouraged them, or maybe a family member or friend is truly hurt to be called, “a bad person,” and it’s easy to want to step away in order to keep friendships alive. Where’s the middle ground?

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23

Sometimes it’s so easy when we’re talking about God to use that verse more in a, “You have sinned and You fall short,” kind of way and that’s why it’s so easy for the world to hate Christians. Things to remember: We are ALL born into sins. All sins. For some people lying is prominent and murder is dormant and probably won’t ever show itself, but the liar still has the capacity to murder and a murderer still has the capacity to lie. So next time we condemn someone for struggling with homosexuality we should try to remember that we struggle too.

Who is the enemy? Sin, temptation, the Devil and his Demons. Be passionate about that. As far as an unsaved soul goes, your job is to love them, lead them by example, and share the Word with them. If they want to keep sinning after you’ve done that, that’s between them and God. Don’t worry about it because it’s likely you have your own sins to ask forgiveness for.

From one of  my favorite video games of all time, there is a cut-scene that I’ve always loved watching because it was just so powerful to me. Loki (god of mischief – Norse Mythology) has amassed an army of giants and is attacking Asgard. You see two sentries at the gate, one of whom sacrifices himself to save the other from the gate as it falls. Once the gate is open, Loki and his army charge the wall. The sentry runs out to meet them with his war hammer trailing behind him, all very epic, and slams through the front-lines of the giants, taking more than a few down with him before they overwhelm him.

This is the courage and the passion I want. In the morning when my daughter isn’t awake yet, do I sleep an extra twenty minutes, or do I get up and study God’s Word? When I’m stuck in traffic do I groan about getting home fifteen minutes later or do I use that time to see why God wanted fifteen extra minutes of my attention today? It’s the little things, where we can choose to sharpen the Spirit, that we need to be aware of. Those small victories that can make the difference in our spiritual war.

I hope you guys liked the post, I feel like I may have digressed a little in the middle, but I feel like it all needed to be said. Thanks for reading, let me know what your thoughts are.

God Bless

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Moving On.

Well first of all, let me apologize for such a large gap between posts… hopefully it won’t happen again. Next, I’d like to thank everyone that has followed this blog. It means a lot to have you guys with me.

 

“But the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had spoken to Moses.” Exodus 9:12

When I started studying the Bible again, this verse gave me a lot of trouble because I had never imagined, or heard of, God manipulating someone’s heart for any reason. I thought free will was absolute and that was that. I brought the question to my pastor and he pointed these verses out to me.

“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” Romans 8:29-30

So what does this mean? It means that when God created you, the End was already in His mind so He knew where you’d be standing. “Foreknew”
So He lines up your life, from the family your born into (I’m sure something we all question now and again) to the people you’ll interact with.
“Predestined”
Now with your life experiences there is a job for you to do. Someone else could do it, but He wants you.
“Called”

Put simply, God knows if someone is going to choose to follow Him. It’s your choice, but He knows and He can plan accordingly. The Pharaoh was just someone who wouldn’t ever choose to follow God so God used Him for His glory. How does this apply? No matter where you are in life, God is working on you and through you. Try not to let yourself get caught up in the little things and always remember that the long-term goal is knowing you played your part in God’s kingdom.

(there are two other keywords that went beyond the point I was trying to make, but I didn’t want to leave them out as they are also infinitely important.)

This calling plays a part in the kingdom of God, so who’s to say you’re worthy of it? God did, when he sent Jesus to die for you.
“Justified”
And finally, through this process you’ve become a new creation, a child of God.
“Glorified”

Where are you going to go from here? Wherever it is, do it in prayer and with the hand of God leading the way. Thanks for reading, let me know what you guys thought.

God Bless