Running to The Rock:

     Yes, He is Rock of Ages, cleft cleft for me and for you.

     He is so personal.

     The most important habit for you to develop is that of running to Him first.  Asking Him first.  Telling Him first.   Seeking His guidance first.

     I am constantly amazed how long Christians suffer before taking matters to the Lord. Sometimes it has to be hopeless before He is approached.

     At the first sign of illness, He should be asked to heal.  Then, go see a doctor.  Why would someone be praying about the matter for the first time from the doctor's office?

     You are a soldier of The Cross, and that makes you in full-time ministry.  Not the way the term is usually used, in that you might not hold any title.  But, as far as The Word of God is concerned, you are certainly His full-time Servant.

     So, why would you go to a meeting without coming before Him first?
     Would you attend a parent teacher conference without prayer first?
     How is it possible to organize your finances without prayer?
     You need to discipline a child?  You have no full sight until you have prayed about it first.
     Need to work out something with your mate?  Why go over and over it in your mind to make sure you are prepared?   You need His Wisdom, and He can fill your mouth or close it, as needed.

     We were created to be dependent.  It is so critical to remember that underneath are the Everlasting Arms.

     Soldier, take it all to Him.  Aloud.

     Start today and ask His help in this. Living without constant prayer about everything is like being blindfolded and striking at a pinata labeled "today".

     No time for self analysis.  Look up and move on!

 

Worry- the Believer's Quicksand:

     It is not possible to reach some kind of high spiritual plain that exempts the Soldier of The Cross from worrying.   

     So, relax.  You are not alone.

     Worry is first nature to the flesh.  The flesh is not going to last eternally, so it struggles, whines, and paws the ground in an effort to gain some control over matters that either haven't happened, or that have happened and are yet unresolved.

     The bottom line is, what does the Bible say?   I understand that you know the verses and could quote them to me.  But what does He say?

    He says,  “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened [by religious rituals that provide no peace], and I will give you rest [refreshing your souls with salvation]. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me [following Me as My disciple], for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest (renewal, blessed quiet) for your souls. For My yoke is easy [to bear] and My burden is light.”    Matthew 11: 28-30 (Amplified Bible)

     You were not created to bear the burden of worry.   The formula begins with going to him  and telling Him aloud that,  by faith and according to His Word, you will roll your burden over on Him.  You can remind Him that He said He would give you "quiet" for your soul.

     You  might need to say this to Him over and over.

     Peace is available to you.

     Absent a crisis, worry is habitual if the Soldier is not vigilant.  The first step is to recognize it.  The second step is to go immediately to the Lord.  The third step is to memorize verses for  each day (you might  not remember them the next day).  The Indwelling Holy Spirit will remind you of the verse, or perhaps a hymn that you need to sing at the top of your lungs.

     Chances are, the enemy is after your attention, and you have been sucked in.  Once you come to the Lord and admit you are helpless,  you are doling something about the situation. 

     Remember, this is warfare.  That armor is to protect you, and there is a helmet that protects the mind.

     The battle is in the mind.

     Soldier, as soon as you recognize your thoughts and run to the Lord, the Indwelling Holy Spirit will nudge you the next time.  If you are obedient and change your thoughts, you will begin to walk daily in a pattern of seeing what is really happening and also seeing that He will provide.

     You must approach Him aloud because your choice of words is the process of agreeing with Him.       
     Tell Him you want to be changed. 
     Tell Him you agree with Him that faith is the only way to know Him. 
     Tell Him you want to know Him and that you want to be a disciple more than anything.
     Ask Him to let you be aware of your thoughts.
     Ask Him to provide or solve the problem according to His Will.
     Most importantly, ask Him to do anything and everything to make you more like Him.

     Soldier, this is life changing.   Worry is spiritual cancer and it eats away at the soul and cripples the spirit.

     Tell Him today.   Aloud.                     

Just Plain Love:

     There are times when Love is quiet.

     People are often flattered when asked for advice.  When asked for direction, most folks will fall all over themselves to help.  I have often had bad directions from the most well-intended helpers.

     Similarly. when one Believer shares personal difficulty with another, there is often too much eagerness that results in a ministry of death.  More often than not, the "right answer" is the wrong thing to say.

     There are spiritually gifted counselors.  Those Servants are careful to avoid trite truisms.  They are not necessarily going to console the listener by saying what the troubled soul wants to hear.

     The Lord is the same way with us.  We want short-cut answers that stop the bad feelings and we want security about the future that will insure no need for faith.

     Of course He speaks through His Word and His servants.  But the Soldier of The Cross must be willing to minister selflessly during times of waiting to hear from the Lord. 

     It isn't about our  problem-solving ideas..  The most loving Problem-solver has a Plan to make us like Him.  That Plan goes far beyond anything we can describe with words.

     So Soldier, take it to Him, even frequently.  While you are waiting to see Him in the situation,  step forward one foot at a time and serve.

     He has already answered.  You just can't see it now, because of this rich choice-making element called "time".

     Be sure you are praying aloud.

     Now, look up and move on.

Everything Counts:

     Soldier of The Cross, you have no idea of the value all of your thoughts and words.

     Amy Carmichael wrote her most profound poetry and books while she was paralyzed and in chronic pain for 19 years.   (Rose From Briar)

     Consider Paul, who wrote four stunning Epistles from prison, and not a nice prison!

     And what about John, who wrote from Patmos, and had been boiled in oil and banned from civilization?

     When I was in high school, I went to a Christian and Missionary Alliance church near my house.   I was not born again, but I was an MK and knew all the right answers.  I could quote hundreds of verses and had won awards for that from the time I was 2 years old.

     I  thought I was fine.

     Her name was Shirley and she was retarded and had a harelip.  I was always bothered by her because she was about 45 and wore her bobby socks wrong.  I was 17, and these were the 60's.  Bobby socks were incredibly important.

     The thing was, Shirley was the only person in the church who understood I had never been born again.  It wasn't that I was faking it, as there was that there was nothing to fake.  I knew the answers, sang loudly, and did not rebel.

     No parent went with me, but for some reason, I was there every time the door was open.  And when it was time for Wednesday night prayer meeting,  I tried to figure out how not to be in Shirley's group, because I knew she would pray for me vigorously.

     I was consistently unsuccessful.   I got stuck in her prayer group almost every week and hated it. She would pray and pray and pray for me until I thought I would die.

     At 29, I met the Lord. I was shocked. One of my first thoughts was about Shirley, and how she had prayed for me.  No on else knew.

     There were others just before I came to Him.   They have no idea how effective they were.
    
     Oh, Soldier, put on the Armour, give yourself to Him in the morning (aloud) and give the result to Him.

     Stand before Him about this and do it aloud.
 

             

His Choice:

     Soldier, in the long run, He is over all.

     It is so easy to denigrate our leaders.  The reality is, there must be a tighter grip on the tongue.

     What does God's Word say?  We are to pray for those who are in fact, allowed to be in power because He has allowed it. I have been stunned at some of the social media postings by Christians.  Lots of them are just plain nasty.

     The Soldier of The Cross has to hear what he or she is saying all the time.  There is  not one verse that says we can take a stab at a public figure that is disrespectful and makes fun of that person.  Obedience does not do that.

     This is not to say the one in such an office is sacred.  This doesn't mean discussion has to be avoided.  It simply means that there is no room on the front lines for vitriolic language spewed out and this is always without original knowledge.

    The Christian who slams or trashes public figures is also likely to complain about the weather, and whine about any number of things.

     The tongue ought to be dedicated to the Lord each day.

     This is a good day to begin this habit.

     Tell Him- today and aloud.

Loneliness:

     No one else lives in your body.

     Even if you are surrounded by wonderful people and have unusually satisfying relationships, you are still alone in ways.

     You were created to seek Him out and agree with Him.   That is something no one else can do for you.  

     Your life has a private side that no other person shares.  Your thought life. Your nightly dreams.  Your moments of guilt, regret and anxiety.

     So Soldier of The Cross, He who loves you so, has designed you in such a way that there is a part of you that only He can see and touch.

     The areas of decision are those that are so critical.  In the depths of private moments, no other person is there to advise you, or make the decision for you.

     Hallelujah that we have the Indwelling Holy Spirit to minister, lead and comfort.   But Soldier, you and you alone are responsible for your decisions. 

     Have you chosen to serve? 

     There are times when you are the only one who sees what is real. 
     There are times when the ones you have helped the most will hurt you the most. 
     There are times when you do everything right, and the bottom still falls through.
     There are times when even your most stalwart fellow Soldier turns tail and runs away from Him.

     These are lonely moments.

     He see, He knows, and He listens to your thought process.. Then He draws you to prayer about the matter.

     Yes, you are lonely, but you are not alone.

     Soldier of The Cross,  run to Him now.  Aloud.

     Then, look up and move on!

The Leading of The Holy Spirit:

     Soldier of The Cross, the big question is,  if He leads, will you follow?

     If there has been prayer that longs for the opposite of independence, there is no question that He will lead.

     He leads according to the Prayer of the Servant. Are asking for leading to gain a certain matter, or are you abandoned to His Will?

     You have to be careful about praying for your design with regard to how you think the problem should be solved.  I have often cringed when hearing people pray that  a particular college would accept someone else's son or daughter.   Or that so and so would be able to go on a vacation to a chosen spot.

     We can and should ask for things according to His Word, but we must be careful about praying for junctures in the lives of others.

     We know only what we know and nothing more.

     The issue is, what honors Him?  What Glorifies Him?

     Here is the hardest and most controversial thing- are you ready?

     The leading of the Holy Spirit is often like the tiniest and  most delicate silver thread in the thoughts, and it does not leave for a while.    If you pray about it, He will make it more attractive and you will have to look into it to discover if it is the Lord.  If you choose to ignore it, it will dissipate after a while.

     He is not cheap.

     If you are a Soldier of The Cross and you are in open for whatever He has for you, He will lead.  The best news?  It is usually something impossible.

     He is the God of the Impossible.   He makes the way through the Wilderness.

     Oh, Soldier.  He is looking for those who are willing to be available for anything.  So, are you available, or are you longing for comfort and predictability?

     There is no safety except in the following after Him.

     Tell Him. Today.
     Make sure it is aloud.

     Tomorrow:  Loneliness

 

Time:

     What an ingenious thing is our God's creation of time.

     Time means a lifetime of decision from the earliest to the last days.

     Because you are a Soldier of The Cross, time is different for you.   You are investing in Eternity.  You are preparing for Eternity.  Your Home is in Eternity.

     And He has extended His hand to you in order to absorb the momentum of passing through time.  

     Every person has in his or her heart an awareness of eternity, even if not admitted.  Otherwise, no one would be aware of the passing time.   People say to each other "Where has the time gone?" and we are all conscious of this element in which we live.

     Soldier,  this doesn't make you a hyper-spiritual jerk.  It makes you free.  You will live in freedom to the extent you give Him your time in prayer.   He is able to multiply time given to Him, just as he blesses the rest of your money after you have given His portion back to Him.

     When we learn to trust the Everlasting Arms, we live a Life that is supernatural.

     This happens in prayer.   There should be a time each day when you consciously and affirmatively give that day to Him.  Aloud.

     When you have done this,  you have asked in His Name and according to His Word.  Your sensitivity is heightened to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

     You are calmer.  And, you have discernment to chose the important over the urgent.

     Talk to Him about this and commit each day to Him.   Develop the habit of greeting Him in the morning for the purpose of an obedient walk. 

     We all want freedom.   We have been bought with a Price, and we are children of The Light.   Any other kind of Christian life is like walking through thick mud. So exhausting.

     Tell Him today.  Aloud.

          My Lord knows the way through the wilderness,
          All I have to do is follow.
          My Lord knows the way through the wilderness,
          All I have to do is follow.
          Strength for today is mine all the way,
          And all that I need for tomorrow.
          My Lord knows the way through,
          All I have to do is follow.

    

 

Your Busiest Days:

          There is  no one who can tell you that every day of your life, God will give you time for a quiet time with Him.  

     There are situations in the military,  in prison,  if your home on fire, when you have twins with diarrhea, in medical emergencies, and many other times.  So, this is not a legalistic or religious ritual.

     The simple fact is, you were created to rely on The One Who created you for the purpose of fellowship with Him.  So, if your private time with Him is not active and you are not seeking Him daily, you are walking in a heavy fog, and need a Lamp unto your feet and a Light unto your Path.    (Psalm 119:105)

     Soldier, do you have any idea how many Christians do not have a consistent private prayer life?   And, so few take in His Word daily.

      This is not about maintaining a perfect record. This is about the Pursuit of God.   This is about priorities.

     A devotional life is a commitment.
    
     It's a much bigger decision than having a baby.  Or deciding on a career. 

     Soldier, we are preparing for Eternity.  We are talking about Forever.

     You must come before Him and declare your intent so that the Indwelling Holy Spirit can remind you and encourage you in this area.

     No devotional life, no Lordship.  And the absence of a devotional life always leaks out of the mouth.

      Tell Him.  today.
      Aloud.

 

     Tomorrow:  Our Time:

Our Children:

     Our children must learn that no means no.

     Yes, the paramount issue is love.  But love is far more than a feeling.  

     Whose children are these? Yours or His?  That is a decision that must be made.

     One of the worst things that can happen is for you to want to be your child's best friend.  The child needs to know where the limits are.  He need to know that if he touches that electric fence, there will be a jolt.   Your job is to train him so that you can teach him (or her) according to God's Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

     A couple of months ago, I witnessed one of the worst things that can happen to a child apart  from sexual abuse.  In the entry of my church, there was a display of an antique  wooden holder that contained a super attractive world globe the size of a small cantaloupe.

     I stood there and watched a 3 year old take the globe off he display table.  Mom said "No!" The child looked at Mom and tried to bounce the globe on the floor.   Mom kept saying no, while the child kept bouncing the globe.

     Finally Mom took the globe from the child, and he proceeded to scream and kick.  Mom  immediately gave the globe to the child.  He bounced the globe, while Mom said no about 10 times.

     I was thunderstruck.  Eventually  the child got to keep the globe and I turned away.  It was horrible.

     How true is God's Word that  foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child.

     Oh, Soldier,  even if you have the most difficult of impossible children. you have  a protection if you say and do the thing that honors the Lord.   If you have a child who simply will not obey, it doesn't mean you are a failure.  It just means that you must say and do the things that line up with God's Word.

     You may need to issue restrictions over and over,  Can't force the child to obey?  He only needs to learn that every single time he does not obey, there is a consequence.  Once you understand that, you are released, and so is the child.  Your responsibility is not to get the child to do what you want.  Your responsibility is to teach that a lack of obedience reaps a negative result every time, even if it is dozens and dozens of times.

      Do  not let your children pout or whine. 

     Train the child when he is tiny so you can teach him as he grows.

     And give your children to the Lord by name. Do it aloud, and describe each child to Him.  Agree with Him that they are His and not yours.

     What do you want for your children? Success?  Happiness?
     Both are worth nothing if not eternal.   Raise then to be Soldiers of The Cross!

     Do this aloud.  And do it today.

     
     Tomorrow:   The Busiest of Days: