Living:

     The entire Bible teaches us how to live.

     Even the mature Believer is still learning.

     Why then are there so many miserable Christians?  So many who are depressed.  So many with terrible tempers.  So many who live in resentment and anger.  So many who need to control others. And many are afraid.

     I am grateful we can't earn relief from any of these dark places.  We have access to Grace and Mercy if we re available to receive.

     The Word of God is alive and full of Power.  And, it is  "A lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path . . ."    Psalm 119:105

     We always need to be reminded of the basics.  We are to be led.  One step at a time. 

     It is about today.
     It is about trust.  
     It is about being available to respond to the Indwelling Holy Spirit and stop talking back.
     It is about encouraging someone.
     It is about going beyond what is comfortable.
     It is about revealing the One who lives within me.

     Nobody has arrived.  That is not the issue or the goal.  It is about Him.  It is about others.

     Soldier of The Cross, look up and move on!

     Tell Him today- aloud.

  

 

 

In the End:

     For so many,  not giving people what they deserve is beyond comprehension.

     How easy is it to sling back a comment when something unkind or unfair has been said.  And usually that retort is more cutting than the first, because the offender "deserves" it.

     Homes are so full of this, that for many it is the norm.

     Oh, Soldier!  Not so for you.  There is no formula, but when only the Lord sees the heart, prayerful discernment is needed before addressing someone else's  sin or at best, lack of wisdom.

     When engaged in little gutter fights, there is no sight or hearing.  Actually, sometimes things that come at us in hurled unkindnesses can be God's discipline.  That is certainly not always the case, but we must not be hasty to respond.

     Isn't it about seeking Wisdom?
     Isn't it about learning to love?
     Isn't it about being a Living Sacrifice?

     Quite often, when something actually has to be said, it isn't in direct response to the offending comment, but rather it results from prayer and obedience.  The Soldier of The Cross has no investment in the result.  The result is the Lord's.  

     Tell Him today.
     Aloud.

The Mouth:

     There is much in the Book of Proverbs about the mouth.

     The most concise passage is probably in the first part of Proverbs 18: 21:

         "Death and life are in the power of the tongue . . ."

     I have actually had Christians say to me, "I just can't help it.  It just comes out before I can stop it!"

     You can stop it, but it is a matter of first wanting to have words that line up with His Word, and then wanting to be changed.  Being changed is never an overnight process and it is never without some skin-shedding.

     The battle does not begin with the tongue, it begins in the mind.   There has to be an awareness of what the thoughts are.  If the heart flows out of the mouth, it means that the heart is marinated in the thought life.

     And, we are told we have the power to control the thought life.  We can't always control what comes into the thoughts but we can certainly focus on what is godly and right.

     So many are Christianized, but have no regular feeding on the Word of God that is Alive and Full of Power.

     This is a life-long matter and critical to every walk of life.

     Take it to Him today.
     Aloud.   Aloud because that prevents wool-gathering, and the Holy Spirit will lead you in your choice of words.  It is one of the ways God speaks to us.

True Healing:

      “If you will turn and pay attention to my rebuke,  Behold, I [Wisdom] will pour out my spirit on you;  I
      will make my words known to you.
                          Proverbs 1:23 (Amplified Bible)

     Oh!  So hard on the Soldier of The Cross.  So anti-psychology!  Who can embrace rebuke?

     Soldier, this is the gracious, lovely, healthy, efficient and loving open door to healing, sight and the experience of Rivers of Living Water.  

     He who loves you intensely is in the business of wanting to bless your life with joy and peace. 

     Following Him means receiving all that He is and all that He offers in order to be changed into His likeness.

     Tell Him today.  Aloud.
     There is nothing else.

Following Him:

     You have crossed The Line.

     That means you have made the eternal decision to be a Soldier of The Cross, and to follow Him. 

     It means you want to be changed into His likeness. 
     It means you want to be a minister of Life and Love.
     It also means you are willing to tell Him daily that He may do absolutely anything with your life.

     Of course, you can't do this on your own.  So many try, especially those in "full-time Christian service".  The result is big time burn out and disappointment.  Or worse. No matter what your daily schedule is, once you have crossed The Line, you are a full-time Soldier of The Cross and have a full-time ministry.  Even if you are bedridden.  Even if you are incarcerated.  Even if you are in an abusive situation.  Old and young, it applies to all who are available to follow Him.

     You have the Indwelling Holy Spirit who without a doubt will lead you through the days and hours if He is allowed.  But, make no mistake -  His leading is not to guarantee success in everything or to avoid devastating situations.  Often wisdom comes from messing up.  Sometimes we have to choose a course that closes up to us or reveals something we know is off.  Those are precious times and the sting allows us to learn to choose wisely and follow a better path. 

     The Holy Spirit reveals Jesus.  We need to be seeing Him in private worship time and it is the Indwelling Holy Spirit who lubricates that time and opens our eyes and our spirits.

     Soldier, this is not about avoiding storms.  It is about passing through the storm by faith, and that is a learning process. 

     You were not designed to be independent.  You were designed to lean on the Everlasting Arms.  Ours is a protected learning process for those who will be led by the Holy Spirit of God.

     Get in The Word.  Not all second hand, but for yourself.  Memorize verses or pieces of verses and say them all day long- one per day.  You will be amazed what the Word of God does in the mind. 

    Is your life yours or is it His?

     You must tell him.  Aloud.
     Then, look up and move on!

 

Your Job:

     Soldier of The Cross, your job is to be a responder.

     When you take up The Cross and follow Him you are turning from independence to submission.  It is an affirmative act that agrees with God.

     The Indwelling Holy Spirit rarely storms our thoughts or feelings.  Rather, He is calm, firm, and much of the time can be heard only when one is deliberately listening for Him.  Responding to Him is a practice and, over time,  His guidance, comfort and illumination become more and more clear.

     The mind is always bombarded.  We do not need to listen to it all.  We must learn to be responsive the Him. Only then will the psi go down on the onslaught of the pressure hose to the mind.

     It takes The Word of God.
     It takes The Word of God.
     It takes The Word of God.

     Make no mistake.  The Word is Alive and full of Power.  No Word = crippled response.

     Take it to Him in prayer.
     Aloud.
     Today.

  

    

It's Your Choice:

     The thought life determines everything else.

     And, the thought life is determined by the presence or lack of freshness in God's Word.

     So many Christians are miserable and focus on the problem, repeating familiar verses over and over like mantras, hoping to exert some power over the circumstance.

     I was 22 years old and had just arrived in Rochester New York.  I remember taking a package to a basement mail room in McCurdy's department store, and handing it to a man who must have been close to 70 years old.  His hands were gnarled and badly twisted.  He could barely manage to do his job, but it was clear he was filled to the brim with joy.  I knew it was supernatural.  Today, it is as clear as it was then.

     Years later I had a close friend who was an atheist.  One day he told me he had quit his job of taking care of a quadriplegic man who was a Christian.   When I asked my friend why he quit, he said  "I can't stand it- the guy is so happy all the time!"

     About a year before I gave my life to the Lord, I answered a knock at my door to find one of the ugliest young men I have ever seen.  His face was badly pitted and his features looked misplaced.  I mean, it was really bad.  He asked me if he could come in and tell me about Jesus.  I said a firm "No!" and told him not to come back.  But I will never forget the unbridled joy and love that poured out of those gray-blue eyes.

     We all have times of sorrow and even grief.  No one is expected to be above it all a hundred percent of the time.  And there are those who have a need for medical help- Amy Carmichael said she thought God's gift to the 20th century was medical drugs!

     We have the gift of submission to a sovereign God.
     We have His Word that is alive and full of Power.
     We have the Body of Christ.
     We have the Hope of Eternity.
     We have the Indwelling Holy Spirit.
     We have the stunning privilege of prayer.     

     Ours must be an active journey.  We must take hold of the Hand extended to us.  We must be filled afresh with the Word that is "Alive and full of Power".  What an amazing statement!   Is it really true?

     Soldier of The Cross, be encouraged today.  
     Claim what is yours. Act.
     Do it aloud and before Him.
     Then, look up and move on!

The Thought Life:

     Your thoughts do not all originate with you.

     You can be influenced by everything and everyone, including  the enemy.  Nonetheless,  we are instructed to be aware of every thought and to exercise discipline in this area.

     Not some thoughts- all thoughts!
                        
                  "We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up  against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ . . ."             

                                       II Corinthians 10:5 (Amplified Bible)

     Most are unaware of their thoughts and dive into the emotions of the movie screen that is in the mind.  This is a matter for much prayer, as it determines how life is lived.

     The Soldier of The Cross must learn this.  And we never arrive.   It is an ongoing, daily discipline.  What a blessing that we are not alone in this.  We have the  Indwelling Holy Spirit to bring to mind the Light of The Word.

     Nothing of value comes without prayer.

     Tell Him today, and make this part of your daily prayer life.
     Tell Him aloud.

     Then, look up and move on!

     

 

     
 

Entangled:

     No soldier in active service gets entangled in the [ordinary business] affairs of civilian life; [he avoids them] so that he may please the one who enlisted him to serve.
                                                                                       II Timothy 2:4 (Amplified Bible)

     How is this possible? 
     Must we ignore the things that scream for our intervention?
     What about the personal affairs of those closest to us.  Shouldn't we get involved and do what we can?

     There is no formula.  The answer comes from prayer for wisdom and for sight.  We are so tempted to rush in with experience and knowledge, especially when feelings surge.  Soldier, one bottom line rule has to be the refusal to be injected by someone else's anger against another or against an idea.  To submit to such is to be immediately allowing the soul to be infected, and that means, no sight.

     How easy it is to sit and listen to someone who is upset about someone else, and then take a position after hearing only one side.  The balance is not found in listening to both sides, rather the answer is often found in not listening to the angry report of the first person.

     It is easier to listen and be influenced than it is to refuse to be a sounding board for what may be an emotionally coated conscription.

     It doesn't mean we never listen or get involved.  It does mean we must be prayerful about the matter.

     If the Lord is leading, it becomes clear that a certain thing must be said or done regardless of the outcome.

     Beware of second hand anger.  It leaves the listener with a prejudice concerning the situation and opens the door for distraction, at best.

     Take it to the Lord.  Aloud.
     Then move on and  wait for Him.

Our Ever The Same, but Never The Same God

     How wonderful that we can be confident in His being the same yesterday, today and forever.

     Period.

     Yet, everything He does is different than He has ever done before.  When He answers prayer, it is always different than expected, and with dimensions that could not have been imagined.

     Many refuse to pray for the impossible, not realizing that all He does is the impossible.  Those who know Him well, recognize Him quickly, but most have other explanations. 

     Two may be praying for the same thing to be done for each of them.  They may use the same words, and both may seem to want the same result.  He never duplicates Himself. 

    Faith is a frontier.  The prayer of faith is one that launches a trustful request to the One who knows so much better how to articulate the need.   Resist the urge to describe to Him how the prayer should be answered.  In so doing, some pray amiss and miss a greater blessing.

     Soldier of The Cross, it is about His design and His method.  We are not responsible to craft the answer.  We are to make our requests known, and then we are to look for Him.   

     There has to be a momentum to each day- it is the taking up of The Cross and the following of the One Who knows where to go and how to get there..

     Tell Him today.  Aloud