Month: March 2013

Weapons with a Purpose: Fight

Two Edged Sword

So in working with the youth band, I ended up doing a series on the weapons we have to fight the enemy that are sure to work: his blood, your testimony, his word, and your praise. These four have the ability to do serious damage to the schemes of the enemy.

His Blood: Revelation 12:11 tells the story of the fall of Lucifer. He was kicked out of heaven, fell on Earth and has brought destruction ever since. However, in this verse we learn that we overcome him by the blood of the Lamb. First and foremost, we must realize the power of the blood. It saved us and now protects us from the enemy’s schemes. Because of the blood, we are no longer guilty in front of God. This passage calls Satan the accuser; he regularly goes to Heaven and questions the things we do, trying to convince God that we are not His. But then God looks at us, but the blood of our defender makes us not guilty; we are free from the bondage of sin. So live in victory, knowing that you may mess up, but we are God’s children forever and He will never leave us. Nothing can separate us from His love.

Your Testimony: Revelation also mentions another weapon that defeats the enemy – our testimony. I often come across people that are reluctant to share their testimony, because they are ashamed, or they feel that it is insignificant. However, I am here to tell you that sharing your testimony of how God has delivered you or sustained you or kept you is a mighty way of defeating the enemy. When you walk and talk, and embrace the power of God and what He has done in your life, you break the chains of Satan, not only you, but someone else can be encouraged just by hearing what God has done for you. Don’t be afraid of your testimony.

His Word: Ephesians 6:17 specifically calls His Word the sword in the armor of God. The greatest example of this, is Jesus himself. He conquered Satan when he was tempted in the wilderness (Luke 4). Each time Satan tried to make him fall, Jesus responded “it is written,” and eventually the Devil left. Satan is the father of lies so when he comes for us, even as an angel of light, when we know and understand the Word for ourselves, that is the fail proof way to make the Devil flee.

Your Praise: 2 Chronicles 20:12, 18-20 tells the story of King Jehosophat. The Israelites were facing and army they could not defeat, nor did they have a clue as to what to do. Thus Jehosophat went to God and simply worshipped God and commanded the people to do the same. During their worship, God himself fought for them and they were victorious against their enemies. The same goes for us. Many times there are obstacles and things in our lives that are too big for us to handle. But, the sure way to confuse the enemy is to go to God and worship Him in the midst. Joshua also did so in Jericho; they praised God and the walls came tumbling down. So the encouragement is to use a great weapon that is often times down played or overlooked: praise. Praise and worship is so critical, because it’s a defense mechanism, and it gives us the power to stop the giants and enemy in their tracks.

Know that greater is He who is in you than He that is in the world (1 John 4:4), and if you forget, you still have these four weapons to literally destroy your baddest enemy, Satan and his demons. Be encouraged and fight. Satan knows God has an amazing purpose for you and wants to hinder and destroy it every opportunity he gets. Fight. We have the victory.

Phoenix

I am a huge ‘X-Men’ fan and I was floored when I was able to make the parallel of Jean phoenix5Grey and Phoenix, to [my] life as a Christian. It was really life changing, if I may say so myself. I’ve explained it several times, and each time it amazes me, thus, I’m putting it to writing to share with you.

When you think of the ‘X-Men’ plot, the two most significant characters are Professor X and Magneto. Particularly in the last movie of the trilogy, lets assume Professor X to represent God, and Magneto lets assume him to be Satan. In the beginning of the movie, we see the Jean Grey as a young girl. She knows she is different, but doesn’t really understand or know how to handle and or accept it. Nonetheless, she is introduced to and put under the care of Professor X. Just in that, like me and many other we were saved at a young age. We grew up and embraced the Christian lifestyle, like mutants. And not much different than today’s society, the rest of the world didn’t like Christians, just like they persecuted mutants. In the same breath, just as some Christians, some mutants hid their identity and didn’t want to be labeled or persecuted – closet Christians blend in and you won’t know them to be Christians unless you ask. – Likewise, you have Professor X and Magneto fighting for their alliance.

Furthermore, years go by and Jean Grey develops her skill and matures in every aspect, as one should. However, in the second movie she starts to have random visions and starts to lose control. It’s not until the last movie that she learns she has so much more power than she ever knew: the Phoenix. Professor X and Magneto knew this as well. Most importantly, there is the scene where they are fighting over her. Confused and lost, she chooses to go with Magneto who would allow her to lose control and do whatever she wanted. Magneto’s main defense was the fact that, Professor X had known Jean Grey’s power all along but kept it under control, still, Professor X said it was for her own good.

The same thing happens to us, but I pray we all choose the latter. As years go by, our faith is challenged by the world, a world that says we should be able to do what we want when we want no matter the cost. As individuals, God created us each with different powers and abilities, called gifts and talents. When we give our lives to Christ, through the work of the Holy Spirit, he desires to mold us and mature us, shape us and make us fit for the power locked inside of us. Without His control, we are prone to do crazy stupid things (Romans 1) just as Phoenix did in the “X-Men: The Last Stand.” On the contrary, the Devil, like Magneto, wants to use the same power to bring destruction.

Just like Jean Grey should have trusted the ways and purpose of Professor X, so should we trust the ways of God (Isaiah 55). Contrary to the lies of Satan, like Magneto, God is not looking to destroy who we are as persons and make us like robots; He wants to perfect us and the gifts He gave us so that we can be the most effective in His kingdom.

At the end of the movie (spoiler alert) we see that Phoenix has totally lost control and the only way to stop her antics is death, and so Wolverine kills her. Yet, when he kills her, before dying, she smiles as if to say “thank you.” That stands out to me for a couple reasons. I pray I never get so off track and off focus in doing my own thing, that I bring more harm than good and wind up in a space wondering how in the world I got there. Yet, if God forbid I get there, death is only option, death to self that is, so Christ may be resurrected in my life (Galatians 2:20). So the question would be, who is my Wolverine?

God has an amazing purpose for you. My prayer is that you won’t let Satan, or your Magneto, discourage you and make you doubt what God is doing in your life. There is a season for everything, and God knows the beginning and the end. So when you get anxious, and your mind starts to wonder and your heart gets confused, trust God and trust His heart. You have the amazing power of Christ in your life, whether you realize how great it is or not, and when God Himself says you are ready to release, the by all means fly and change the world. Who knows what good Jean Grey could’ve done if she would have stayed with Professor X. Likewise, don’t get to heaven and have God say if only you would have stayed with me…

A Caged Bird

caged-birds

So this post is kind of personal, so bare with me. Nonetheless, I am a natural thinker and so every situation I dissect and look to see what in the world the Lord is trying to teach me. That may sound a little cliché, but it is so very true. Last year especially, I was taught that in situations you don’t like and or understand don’t ask God why something is happening, but rather what it is He wants to show you and or do in, through, or for you. It inevitably changed my perception on so many things; my perception on life has matured and reinforced my mantel of purpose.

Needless to say, this current situation has made me feel like a caged bird. Although it’s already enough drama, I feel like I am walking on eggshells, even when I sing. In addition I want to write and express myself, but that is put under a microscope just as much. One thing, I am definitely realizing about myself is that mercy is not my spiritual gift. I mean I will be sympathetic and compassionate, but after a while people need a reality check and a push forward. That’s just me. Yet still, as much as I want to be me, I can’t. Like a caged bird, I feel locked up in my emotions and locked away from my passion, to spare others’ sensitivity.

Three quotes come to mind. This first one, I heard my dad preach in a sermon some time ago: “the goal in life is not to find your freedom, but to find your master, and in that you will discover your freedom.” So, when I look around I must ask who am I truly let govern me? Myself? The opinions of others? Or Christ? The most freedom I found is in Christ; He created me, so he knows me and what I need and even my deepest desires.

My younger sister blew my mind last night in our conversation when she said this, “freedom only comes from captivity.” This means that when I am locked up, one, it’s only for a season. Two, the glory will be greater and more effective when I come out on the other side. Freedom will be so sweet, in knowing what it means to be captive.

The last is from Dr. Seuss: “Be you who are and say what you feel. Because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” This reminds me to just be myself, and that those who need to be there will, and I won’t have to change who I am to accommodate someone else. And sidebar: truth hurts.

Yet, at the same time, I consistently question and monitor my own motives and attitude, because God can’t be glorified if I don’t have a mind of Christ and am not focused on Him. If my mind and spirit aren’t right, I can inadvertently compromise my testimony.

So all in all, if you feel like a caged bird, like I have lately, don’t be discouraged. God has a purpose and a plan, that He is setting up in the heavenly realm. He created you in such a way that some people just don’t understand, and can’t comprehend. But, know what God’s purpose is for you and stick to it. His opinion is the only one that matters. When He is ready, your time will come and the cage door will open, and the world will come to know His name by your name, which is why this caged bird sings: she has a purpose, and a gift that God calls irrevocable.