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:

 

Finding Relief:

     Soldier, here is the bottom line:  God's Word is More Real than the Way that You Feel.

     Period.

     This fact doesn't cheapen all feeling, but it does compel a comparison between waves of emotion and God's Word.

     This is a confrontation. How are you going to live out the rest of your life?

     What if you are misunderstood?
     What if someone lies about you?
     What if your authority is usurped?
     What if your children are not living as you know they should?
     What if there is a serious illness?  Or death?
     What if your mate has betrayed you or worse?

     Soldier of The Cross, you are not expected to be a walking around with a toothy smile.  You are expected to live and make choices according to His Word, no matter what you are feeling.   This is absolutely  impossible without taking the matter to the Lord, claiming His Word, and pouring your heart out to Him with the intent of agreeing with Him.

     In the middle of the storm, there has to be a reaching out to the Lover of Your Soul for the purpose of agreeing with Him.

     Soldier, it is about walking in The Light.   As soon as you take it to Him and tell Him your goal is to agree with Him and submit no matter what the feeling,  all you have to do is to say it.   He'll take it from there.  Of course the feeling will probably not go away immediately. This is a faith issue, not a Dr. Phil situation.

     You have crossed the line and have decided to take up The Cross and Follow Him.  That happens in prayer.

     So Soldier, tell Him today and do it aloud. 
     Then, look up and move on.

 

     Tomorrow:  Our Children

    

Money:

     God is  no man's debtor.

     Is the money yours or is it His?

     He absolutely promised to take care of you.

     Money seems to be such an obstacle for so many.   He has set it up this way to allow us to walk by faith, while we are at the same time  being obedient to His Word with regard to money.

     Let's get this one out of the way now:  tithe.   This is not hard.  I would never consider  holding back tithe, and I have many months when tin income cannot possibly meet the outgo.  

     I am a lawyer and a symphony musician, but I do staggering hours of pro bono.  There is never enough to meet the bills.  I was a professor for 41 years and all of what would have been retirement has gone to missions.  Every cent.

     Every bill is met every month.

     The One who multiplied the flour and oil in the story of Elijah and the widow, is still able to do that for you.

     This is not a health and wealth spiel.  It is a simple matter of obedience.  The New Testament also teaches us about the use of money.  Remember the widow's mite?

     You hear things on television about giving lots of money and getting lots back.  I am not so sure about that.  I don't tithe because I want money back.   I tithe out of obedience. 

     The New Testament only mentions tithe once, and the other references are about giving.

     Soldier, the issue is whose money is it?  Why is it a problem for you? 
    
     It is pretty clear in the New Testament.  First you give to your local assembly. Then after that, you give to other things as you are led.
    
     Today, the believer is bombarded with emotional reasons to give to all sorts of seemingly noble and Christian efforts.    First you must support the local church even if there are thing you want to change.  Then you will be led of the Lord if there are other thing you need to support.

     Soldier, it is about obedience.   Everything is about obedience, and then the rest is up  The One Who Holds The Stars in Place.

     So,  Soldier of The Cross, take your financial concerns to Him, and talk to Him aloud.  If you are withholding tithe,  you'd better take thta up with Him.

     I promise He will answer you.  Tell Him today.
     Aloud   

 

    

It's Not Over Yet::

     What a blessing it is to have Someone to whom we can go: 

     Someone who change circumstances;
     Someone who can heal;
     Someone who can make something out of nothing;
     Someone who can set the prisoner free;
     Someone who can comfort beyond description.

     Why then is it that when things appear to go wrong and then even more wrong, we tend to go from distressed to frantic?

     Was He absent when John and Betty Stam were beheaded?
     Did He fail to realize Watchman Nee was imprisoned for many years and died there because he was set up and convicted for adultery by the government?
     What about the Jim  Elliot and the other four who were martyred in Ecuador?
     Consider what Paul went through:

       23. . . . I am talking like one beside himself,   [but] I am more, with far more extensive and abundant labors, with far more imprisonments, [beaten] with countless stripes, and frequently [at the point of] death.
       24.  Five times I received from [the hands of] the Jews forty [lashes all] but one; [Deut. 25:3.] 
       25. Three times I have been beaten with rods; once I was stoned. Three times I have been aboard a ship wrecked at sea; a [whole] night and a day I have spent [adrift] on the deep; 
       26.  Many times on journeys, [exposed to] perils from rivers, perils from bandits, perils from [my own] nation, perils from the Gentiles, perils in the city, perils in the desert places, perils in the sea, perils from those posing as believers [but destitute of Christian knowledge and piety];   
       27. In toil and hardship, watching often [through sleepless nights], in hunger and thirst, frequently driven to fasting by want, in cold and exposure and lack of clothing.
       28 And besides those things that are without, there is the daily [inescapable pressure] of my care and anxiety for all the churches!
       29 Who is weak, and I do not feel [his] weakness? Who is made to stumble and fall and have his faith hurt, and I am not on fire [with sorrow or indignation]?
       30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that [show] my infirmity [of the things by which I am made weak and contemptible in the eyes of my opponents].
       31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ knows, He Who is blessed and to be praised forevermore, that I do not lie.
                        
(II Corinthians 11: 23-31, Amplified Bible)
 
     We must take it all to Him.  Of course we ask for relief and rescue unless we have a witness of the Spirit to the contrary.
     Of course we ask others to pray. We weep.  We suffer
 
     In the end, it is a matter of agreeing with God no matter what. 
 
     I know what it is like to be in a situation where a loved one might be killed or worse.   I've had the compulsion to beg Him every several seconds.  To think of nothing else.
 
     He understands that.   But for the Soldier of The Cross, there comes a whisper of the Holy Spirit who reminds that Soldier that he or she must agree with God no matter what.   Even when tragedy strikes, there is no release or deep healing without agreeing with God.
 
     When He does not answer in a way that lines up with our desires, we must remember that this is not the end.   The end is in our real Home.
 
     That is when we will be allowed to see how He not only answered prayer, but far, far more magnificently that we could have imagined.
 
     It will be worth it all when we see Jesus!  
    
 

More of Him and Less of Me:

     Oh Lord, as I stand before you tonight, I ask again to be changed.

     Only you know what needs to be done.  I want to agree with you in everything.  As I grow older, I want to be more and more available and not retreat. 

     I long to be a Soldier of The Cross until my dying breath, and I know that means your work in the deepest places.  Wanting you means yielding to the death of the flesh, and the flesh seems so sticky.

     But Lord, I trust you.  I predetermine to deal with things in prayer, and I know your deepest work is divine surgery.

     I'm so grateful you haven't let me see all that needs to be done by your Hand, as I probably couldn't handle it.

     I do love you, Lord, and want to be more like you.  I want to recognizes you more quickly.  I want to love more unconditionally.   So many things about you I love.

     I love your people.

     Please change me, whatever it takes.   Do anything with my life that honors you.

     My Lord and my God.

The Interpreter:

     Before I met the Lord,  I had a library most pastors would envy, and I could quote hundreds of verses.

     I had been raised in a missionary home, and knew all the right answers.

     But the day I met Christ at twenty-nine years old, I was in for a shock.   I was alone, and had just finished  accepting Him as my Savior and Lord.   As I raised my knees up from the fake red tile kitchen floor in Waterville, Maine, I  grabbed my old Bible that just  "happened" to open it to the passage in John about the man blind from birth.   If you remember the story, the man was healed and suddenly, he could see.

     I could hardly contain myself, because everything was different. 

     I knew the story.  I could have quoted the story.  I had told the story.   But now, the
Indwelling Holy Spirit was interpreting.  It was no longer information, it was the Living Word and was burning oin my being.   I'll never forget it.  And, I had been that blind man.

     Soldier of The Cross,  we who have our being in Him, must be immersed in His Word.  Not for information's sake, but for revelation and to hear from the One who is The Word.

     Yes, you have time.  Otherwise, He would not have commanded you to make it a priority.

     Take the matter to Him afresh.  Memorize something each day, even if just a sentence from your regular reading.   Read the Bible straight through, as opposed to hopping around according to plans that are popular, but avoid the way He intended it to be read.

     And always come to Him before and after.
     And do it aloud.

Moving on:

      Soldier,  this world is not your home.

       This is something that has to be brought to Him in prayer daily.  Otherwise, it is simply a teaching rather than a reality.  The fact is, we are Sojourners and Pilgrims, and you must not forget this critical truth..

        This fact puts it all in perspective.

        According to His Word, we are headed somewhere.  Why then, are the immediate issues that seem so crucial,  demanding all of our thought life and emotional energy?

         Are you a Soldier of The Cross or not?  Have you crossed that line?   Have you made the decision to agree with God no matter what?

         It doesn't make you a spiritual giant, it just mean you know   where you are headed.  And Soldier, when it comes to the daily thought life,  agreeing with God no matter what means you have access to Peace, even when you are in pain.  There is such a thing.

         So, agree with Him.  Tell Him.

         You must tell Him aloud unless you are in a physical situation such as prison, where  you have no privacy to do so.

        You can tell Him an infinite number of times for your own assurance, but be sure to do it aloud.

        Now.