Betrayal:

     If you have decided to serve the Lord no matter what, and if you have asked to be more like Him, you will already have run into one or more Christians who intend or have intended to do you harm.

     When I first met the Lord, a wise man told me that if I were  going into Christian service (that can be diaper-changing, as it is The Cross that matters), I should be prepared to see the ones I helped the most try to hurt me the most.

     How grateful I am to have been warned of this ahead of time.  It has certainly turned out to be true, but this is one of the things that can be pre-determined;  betrayal happen and it  must not slow you down.

     A living sacrifice does not lie on the alter and then whine about how he or she is being treated.

     There is work to do, and nowhere in God's Word does it say that the Soldier of The Cross will be protected from the dirtbags of this world.   It is the eternal that is protected.

     The enemy would do anything to slow you down and have you lick your wounds.  He invariably uses Christians, and most of the time it is a woman.   This is particularly true in matters involving the local church.

     Soldier, take Him at His Word.  No one can harm you  - everything will wash out in eternity.  For now, love much more,  pray much more, and do the thing in front of you with all your might.

     Commit this to Him in prayer.  Do it aloud.

    

The Body:

     You must go to church.

     Are you in a home church that is really a church?  Great.  Many or most have started that way.  What you may not do is make excuses for simply not going anywhere.

     Church is not about getting all you need.  Church is about laying down your life for the Brethren.  Your children desperately need to be raised in a church.  So, drive for an hour each way, but go to church.

     Soldier of The Cross, this is about being a Living Sacrifice.  Go somewhere and be the seed that dies.  Life will spring up around you.
    
     If you are not assembling together, you are opening yourself up to deception and a form of numbness.   The enemy loves it.

     Bring it to Him, and do it honestly - aloud.

Moving On:

     Soldier, you have absolutely no idea what the Lord has for you.

     The issue is, will you be available?  Is there a limit to what He can do with your life?

     You are either a Living Sacrifice or you are not.  It is a decision that must be made, and then you must state it in prayer day after day.   It involves trust.

     Even after singing and agreeing with all of the verses and the preaching, many don't trust the Lord.  So, can He be trusted?  What about you?

     Tell Him.  do it aloud.

     Today.

God is No Man's Debtor:

     What is money?  

     I have heard the wealthy say they feel poor, and must continue to gain more in order to feel secure.

     Very few Christians consider praying "give us this day our daily bread . . ."  So, because of a lack of prayer about this matter Believers often suffer needlessly.

     Soldier of The Cross, your investment must be in eternity.  This does not mean you can't have money.  Of course you must save, and investment is wise.  However if you should lose every cent, you must predetermine that the money is not yours, but that you have been a caretaker of it for the Lord. 

    Financial security does not come from having a lot, it comes from obedience.   The Bible makes it clear that giving is a huge part of financial security.   Those who give out of obedience are also those who know how to pray in their daily bread.

     The New Testament sets forth the obligation for the Believer to support the local assembly as well as other giving.

     Soldier of The Cross, that money is not yours.  f you don't' learn to  pray in your "daily bread", you will have the feeling that it is yours and comes from your own efforts. 

     Resist emotional please for money.  Support the local church - I am a big proponent of tithing.  It's a great place to start.  Then, give as the Holy Spirit leads.  Often you will be led to give what seems to be all you have.  It it is the Lord's leading, He will more than supply your needs, as He has promised.

     Is there one verse in the scriptures that justifies worrying about money?

     If you have a great deal and tomorrow there is another great depression,  predetermine that you are relying on His Provision, not on your bank account.

     There is no security like that of learning to lean on the Everlasting Arms.  Either His promises are reliable or they are not.

     Most do not pray about money until they think there is a crisis.  Prayer about our financial needs should be daily.  That is what we are taught by Him.    

     Do it today.  Aloud

The Biggest Blinder:

     Most Christians do not have an active private prayer life, and this includes many missionaries and pastors.

     The private prayer life is a decision and a commitment.  Most will agree, but more often than not, Christians agree with what is known to be scriptural and right, rather than because of personal experience.

     It boils down to a physical discipline.  We are good at praying together, and of course many things must be dealt with through corporate prayer.   The private prayer life is another matter. 

     Prayer is fueled by the Word of God, and of course, that is how we pray in His name and according to His will.

     If at all possible, prayer should be aloud.  In so doing, there is a specific choice of words, and the words are by spoken and heard by the one who has set aside this time with the Lord.   Often, the Lord speaks to the petitioner by the Holy Spirit's leading in the choice of words.

     In spite of good teaching, some don't really believe there is much to pray about if there are no pressing needs.

    Soldier, there are always pressing needs.  We just don't always know them.  For the Soldier who is willing to linger in prayer, the Holy Spirit if faithful to unfurl one sentence after another.  This rarely happens when the attempt to pray is silent.  Silent prayer almost always deteriorates into wool-gathering.

     There must be a daily declaration to Him that He can do anything with that Soldier's life.  There must be an acknowledgment of who He is and of His sovereignty.  Different ones will come to mind for intercession.

     It's so important to pray aloud and to have a place that is private.

     Private prayer is what sheds light on everything, and allows the of The Cross to walk in The Light.
     It allows the soldier to recognize the Lord more quickly.
     It brings a confidence that He listens.
     It is absolutely pure worship.
     It heals the deepest wounds.
     It reveals eternity.

     Soldier, you can have all the right answers, but without a consistent private prayer life, you will often miss the Lord and you will put up your sail for the enemy's breeze.

     Take the matter to Him and ask Him to lead you and to train you to please and know him in prayer.
     Ask Him aloud.  Today.

    

What Others think:

     One of the most successful crevasses the enemy uses to invade is, what do others think of you?

     For many, the issue is credentials. For others it is appearance. Perhaps it is behavior. Usually is, do they agree or disagree?

     For the Soldier of The Cross, this cannot be an issue.

     Yes, you are not to be a stumbling block.  And you are  to point others to the Lord. 

     I am speaking only of the insecurity that comes when others disapprove, or when there is a fear of disapproval. 

     For those in "Full time Christian Service"  there is always the concern about financial support.   Maturity often forces that hand, but it is an issue for all Soldiers.

     What are you depending on?
     To whom must you prove yourself?
     If that one or those several do not agree with you, what is the cost?

     Soldier, you have been given as assignment fro God.  The One who holds the stars in place has issued a directive, and there is nothing that can touch that. In Glory, you do not account to any one else.

     Take it to Him and do it aloud.
     Today.

    

 

Always Happening:

     You are a Soldier of The Cross.  You have crossed the line and you have told Him you want Him to have your life and do anything He wills.

     This means the enemy is always lurking around you and hates you.  The world is always there. The flesh always wants to cling to security.  This is not going to change.

     The encouraging thing is, you are being trained to see heaven.  To invest in eternity.  To resist the gravity of this world.

     Soldier, if you are not taking in His Word afresh, you are limping through this life.  Get with the program.

     Tell Him aloud you will agree with Him and will feed on Him.
     Tell Him today.
 

Power:

     Power is in learning to lean on the Everlasting Arms.

     Today's congregations are peppered with teaching about success and being empowered to "achieve".

     Soldier of The Cross, the flesh is driven to be in control.

     Who was in control when Paul was imprisoned, beaten, and deserted by Christians?
     Who was in control when Isaiah was sawed in half?
     Who was in control when Peter was crucified upside down?

     What about John on the isle of Patmos?

     Success is measured by Heaven's standards and reaps eternal results.  Human success is worth nothing in itself.  The only godly empowerment is that which is supplied by the Indwelling Holy Spirit.  He enables the Soldier to obey.

     Real power has to do with the choices made in private obedience.    

     The health and wealth preachers on TV may be interesting and entertaining, but they do not reflect what is set forth in the Word of God.

     Tell the Lord you give up all interest in what others think of you.  It's a life-long series of obedient choices.

     Tell Him aloud. Today.
     Keep moving.
 

 

Blessing

     Soldier of The Cross, there is little more dangerous than thinking blessing is defined by being healthy,  having money in the bank, and having everyone like you.

      Yes, it's wonderful to know we can ask, and He will supply our needs. Yes, we should  ask for healing unless the Holy Spirit restrains us.   As much as possible, we should be at "peace with all men."

     It is equally important to receive hardship and heartache as blessing.  It is a matter of believing God's Word and agreeing with Him.   It's foolish to look for trouble, and it is not noble to take on unnecessary pain.

     Our children need to see us thanking the Lord for times when we are misunderstood or when there is loss.  We must learn to agree with God.

     How rich is the experience of being able to thank the Lord for difficult situations.  After all, He has allowed it.  Yes, He can lead us out, but it has never been His intent for us to avoid the things that chisel us.

     We are being watched by both the seen and the unseen.

     It bothers me so when in periods of financial comfort and health, Christians tend to say they are "so blessed".    

     We are blessed because we are born into The Kingdom of His Dear Son.
     We are blessed when we recognize Him.
     We are blessed to have One to whom we can come to ask for provision.
     We are blessed because we have the Bible, which is "alive and full of power."
     We are blessed because we know He is preparing a Place for us.
     We are blessed because we have each other and can lay down our lives for each other.
     We are blessed because we have prayer.
     We are blessed because we have the Indwelling seven-fold person of The Holy Spirit.

     We must teach our children to seek real blessing. 

     Blessing is learning to be content with both much and with little.

     Commit it to Him, and do it with and in front of your children.  Aloud.

     Today.    

The Real Goal:

     How easy it is to lose sight of the most important thing - knowing Him.  This is especially true of those who consider themselves to be in ministry.

     When you are with a Brother or Sister who is pursuing Him rather than pursuing Christianity or ministry, there are always the fireworks of fellowship.  That is because He is present.

     Taking up The Cross and following after Him is an affirmative, all-consuming sphere of living that is not possible without yielded and explicit prayer. 

     The Cross is the place of the death of the flesh, and I can't clobber my own flesh.  It is a supernatural work that takes place as I agree with God.  I don't have to understand it all first.   I must obey, and then I will walk in The Light and understand a few things.

     Soldier, the busier you are, the more you must pray.  The less you have, the more you must give.  And the deeper the hurt, the more you must seek out someone to love and to serve.  Remember, we love the unlovely.  I can certainly tell you I was actively and consciously rejecting Him when He touched me and drew me to Himself.

     There is nothing else worth anything.  Taking up The Cross gives wisdom for family matters, puts relationships in perspective and invites God to make the deepest changes in the heart.

     Go to Him with this now and do it aloud.
     Then, look up and move on!