That Dreaded "S" Word:

     Are you willing to go through whatever He brings, in order to be able to receive the blessings you are praying for?

     You want to be like Him, and are praying to be transformed.
     You desperately want to learn patience.
     You know you must learn to be wiser with your tongue and want to be more careful to avoid listening to gossip.  That means there will be people who will not like you.
     You are praying for wisdom with money.  Giving when you don't have enough is costly to the flesh.

     We could go on and on.

     The bottom line is, there is a cost to all worthwhile gain.  The battle is in the mind.  Jesus becomes more real to us, as the Holy Spirit turns our gaze upon Him.

     The Glory of the Lord distracts from the discomfort as He leads us on.

     Soldier of The Cross, there is simply nothing else.

     Present this to Him today.  Aloud.  
    Then look up and move on!
     

That Tiny Tongue:

     "I just couldn't help myself- I had to say something and it just came out of my mouth!"

     Control of the tongue is a raging problem in the Believing community.  Unlike modern psychology which promotes expression of just about everything,  God's Word contains verse after verse about setting a guard on the mouth.

     For most, it begins in childhood, and parents are remarkably slack about dealing what comes out of their children's mouths.   And of course, so many children hear parents constantly and are accustomed to hearing complaining, bickering, gossip and worse at home.

     Soldier of The Cross, words are critical to the Christian life.  After all, He is The Word. 
                       
                         "He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God."
                                                                          ( Revelation 19:13, Amplified Bible)

     It is not an easy habit to change, but as soon as you begin to study the verses and pray about it, you begin to hear yourself.   This is a change that brings healing to the obedient Soldier, and freedom to those around him or her.

     It is critical.  We can be led in all areas, including all speech.

     Bring it to him today.  Aloud. 
     

The Word:

     No matter what you want, there is no sight or hearing apart from the fresh taking in of the Word of God.


     In addition, there can be no fuel for prayer without the taking in of His Word.


     This is about the basics.  Like all else in this world, the basics determine what is supported by  structure.  This means that absent the most basic of spiritual disciplines,  all else is fragile.


     Soldier of The Cross, do not compromise in this area.  Having a problem with private prayer?  We have all been there.  Get into the Word.  Read it aloud.  Then ask the Lord to reveal Himself and go to prayer.  You will be amazed.


     We all need to be changed.  It cannot happen without a supernatural work of the Indwelling Holy Spirit, and He never barges in uninvited.


    You need insight having to do with your children?   Do not look to the world system.  Look to the Word of God.

      
     Oh, Soldier of The Cross!  Let Him know you want to be changed.  Then, prepare for the divine and glorious test.


     What do you want?


     There is nothing else worth having, and certainly nothing else worth fighting for.


     Tell Him right now and do it aloud.


     Then, move on and do not look down! 


     

Because He IS:

     Soldier of The Cross,  it is always tempting to evaluate the situation based on what you see and hear.  


     That is the reason we are so often reminded that faith takes us beyond the known and familiar.    Without the willingness to turn away from what seems to be reality, there can be no availability to faith's sight and solution.


     Today is no exception.


     We must be led by the Indwelling Holy Spirit of God.  


     There is no other way to live.


     Tell Him today- aloud.

Time With Him:

     It never gets easy.

     Because of the profound value of time spent alone with the Lord, the flesh always resists, and so often the enemy throws up interference and distraction.

     Although a spiritual exercise, it is really first a physical effort.  The getting alone, opening that Book, and then letting the Holy Spirit lead in prayer.  If the prayer is not aloud, it almost always turns into wool-gathering. 

     It must become a habit.  Inasmuch as this time is so attacked, making this a habit results in a protective fence around the devotional life.

     A curious development has taken place in the modern Church:  with the advent of music and scripture posted on a screen in front of the assembly,  there is no need to open a Bible.  No need to bring a Bible.  So, compared to previous generations, many lack even the most basic familiarity of The Word because they simply never physically open it.

     Without this time with the Lord, there is no power for the Battle;
     Without this time with the Lord, there is no Light to see what is real;
     Without this time with the Lord, there is little if any wielding of The Sword;
     Without this time with the Lord, there is always self-doubt instead of momentum;
     Without this time with the Lord, the perishable seems more real than the eternal.

     Soldier of The Cross, we are on the move.  There must be fuel for the journey.

     Meet with Him today- and talk to Him aloud.  Always, we must be praying about our relationship with Him. I heard one of today's most highly respected apologists talk publicly about the effort it takes him to be consistent in this area.

     It never gets easy.

     Now, look up and move on!
   

   

 

Just Now:

     Oh Soldier, just look at Him.

    [We are writing] about the Word of Life [in] Him Who existed from the beginning, Whom we have heard,    Whom we have seen with our [own] eyes, Whom we have gazed upon [for ourselves] and have touched with our [own] hands. I John 1:1, Amplified Bible.

    You are not doing this alone.  It is not about those around you, it is about the One who called you, went after you, and to Whom you have responded.

     Why do you want to be like Him?  What is it about Him that wins you?    Are you telling Him that?

     Soldier, your life is not about your ministry- your life is about your relationship with the One who holds the stars in place.  Make sure your decisions are not based on circumstances, but are based on His Word, His leading and His Presence or the lack thereof.

     This is not about success, it is about obedience.

     Stand before Him and tell Him.  Aloud.
     Today.

 

    

The Real Issue:

     Do not lose perspective.

     You are a Soldier of The Cross, which means you have made the decision to cross The Line and serve Him no matter what.

     You are finding yourself feeling responsible for those to whom the Lord has assigned you.  Make sure you have your priorities straight.  Your first priority must be to take up the Cross and follow hard after Him daily. 

     There is a balance that only the Holy Spirit can provide.  The flesh wants so badly to succeed, and at the same time, the Lord has us ministering sacrificially and attending to the needs of the Body of Christ.

      Soldier,  the release is in the pursuit of God.  Go after Him.   Press into Him.  Tell Him you want more of Him,  and tell Him you want to recognize Him more easily.  After all, what else is there, and is there Power apart from Him?

     So often the ones you help the most will hurt you the most.  Do not break your stride.    It is not your problem, even thought is certainly does feel like it.

     One foot in front of the other, but gazing upon Him who gave Himself for you!  The basics!

     Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader {and} the Source of our faith [giving   the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising {and} ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.   (Hebrews 12:2,  Amplified Bible)

    Oh, Soldier, Look up and move on- otherwise, there is no Peace or Power.

     Tell Him today and make sure it is aloud. 

     

 

    

  

Really Thanking Him:

     It is easy to preach about thanking the Lord for everything.

     When tragedy strikes and you can barely put one foot in front of the other, it is not so easy.

     The bottom line is,  do you really believe He has only the best for you?
     Do you really believe He will withhold no good thing? (Psalm 84:11)
     Can He be trusted, or is He an inconsistent God?

     It may sound simple in seasons of calm, but when the unthinkable happens,  even the most stalwart of Soldiers feels crippled.

     Inasmuch as our walk is one of faith, there are times when we must come before Him and do what can feel like going through the motions.   I remember being a very young woman and a Christian of only a few years.  I found myself dealing with staggering loss, and it was so penetrating that I wondered how I could even drive or teach my classes.  

     One morning while I was meeting with the Lord, I thought to thank Him for the thing, even though it was the last thing in the world I felt like doing. As I did so, I was reminded that He only has the best for us, and this must have been His best.  

     About a year later, I sat at the kitchen table with a regional director of a very large world-wide Christian organization.   It was three in the morning and he had been weeping for at least two hours and was pouring out his heart about a matter.  He was expressing doubt that God paid attention to us at all.   Then he began to question the reality of God.  Over the years, I have found this is not uncommon among Believers, or even those in ministry.  
     
     We have the Indwelling Holy Spirit, who gently and powerfully leads us as we move forward into the frontier of faith.  

     And, we can only learn to be truly thankful when we are able to thank Him in prayer.  That is obedience, and then there is more room for the Healer.  

     You are a Soldier of The Cross,  you have made the decision to follow Him. You told Him you want to be a disciple.  

    Ask Him to continue to reveal to you the taking up of The Cross.  Always be asking Him to continue to teach you about and lead you in prayer.

     Ask Him Aloud. Today.

    Then, look up and move on!

   

     

     

     

 

The Real Issue:

     There is a serious false teaching in the church today.

     There is no biblical teaching of love of self.   Psychology has corkscrewed its way into the most essential element of discipleship, and that is the taking up of The Cross daily and following Him.

      Matthew 22:36  is not a commandment to approve of one's self.  The verse does not lay out a pre-condition to loving and caring for others. When considering all scripture to interpret this verse,  Ephesians 5:29 is one of many verses that put things in perspective:

       " After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church."  (Amplified Bible)

     We have an enemy whose goal it is to do anything he can to keep us from serving with abandon. And he can absolutely project feelings.  It is possible to feel unlovely and inadequate and still move on and care for others because feeling good about yourself is not a prerequisite to service. 

     The Cross is the place of the death of the flesh.  You are a Soldier of The Cross.  You made the decision that your life would  not be your own, and that you would follow and submit to the Lover of Your Soul.  Submitting to the surgical knife of that Lover certainly does not feel good and does not lend itself to self-love.

     Those who are following hard after Him are always, always ministering to others.  How can a Living Sacrifice (Romans 12: 1, 2) lie on the altar, self-examining before service?

     Having dealt with men and women in ministry for over 40 years,  I have observed that those who have freedom are those who walk in obedience.  Many, many have left behind any substantial devotional life, and rely on knowledge and experience rather than the freshness of the Word and the leading of the Spirit.  

     He disciplines us because we cannot discipline ourselves in our deepest places. 

     Self-examination and repentance are a must for the Soldier of The Cross, but certainly not to assure self-approval.  It must be to let go of all that encumbers and it must be in obedience. 

     God's Word is more real
     Than the way that we feel!

     Soldier, take it to Him and do it aloud.

     Today. 

     


    

     

Your Choice:

     While things around you seem so difficult, the Indwelling Holy Spirit empowers you to choose  according to God's Word.

     Even in grief, misunderstanding, false accusation and extended dearth, there is choice.

     We are always on the move.  Eternity is already Now.   

     The most effective way to deal with emotional pain is to be aware of your countenance and reach out to comfort or encourage someone else.  Resist the temptation to think and talk about  the situation.  The more you think and talk about your problems, the more likely you are to fantasize a solution or fill in the blanks about someone's motive.

     Of great importance is the duty to pay attention to Now, and to look for opportunities to minister.

     Consider the apostle Paul.  Imprisoned.  Beaten.  Deserted, he tells us.  Yet, his letters explode with ministry to and concern for the Brethren.

     You are serious about taking up The Cross and following Him.

     Get out there and do it.

     Tell Him today.  Aloud.