Cutting Through:

     Often it is the little annoyances of life that get to us.

     If that is justified or never dealt with, big blows are crippling.

     Stability is an obvious feature of the Soldier of The Cross.  It is the result of making choices that go against feeling but are good behavior and wise words.

     Stability does not mean never having extreme feelings.  It doesn't mean always avoiding mistakes.  It means being rooted in the Word of God which fuels prayer with resulting godly behavior. 

     It means forcing one’s self to move straight ahead doing the next thing according to the light and wisdom available.  That might mean a kind word when you can barely speak, or it might mean not speaking when you feel like eating someone's face off.

     We are sojourners and pilgrims.  We keep moving.  We can't avoid problems, but we move through them with the vast help available to us.

     You are being watched, not only by those around you, but by unseen powers of both darkness and Light.

     Fuel up and moved on.

     Take it to Him and do it aloud.  In so doing, you will choose your words carefully. He speaks to the petitioning heart by leading the choice of words.


God's Word is More Real Than The Way That You Feel:

     The behavior of most people is dictated by feelings or the lack thereof.

     This should not be the case for the Soldier of The Cross.  Feelings come from numerous sources, and often from the enemy.  Personal history accounts for much of human reaction and emotion.

     Soldier, this is not to imply all your feelings are false.  Actually, all your feelings are real. The issue is, how do they line up with God's Word?

     You feel what you feel.  If you learn to deal with this matter with the Word of God and in prayer and if you choose what He says, over time, you will not be driven by emotion.

     There will never be a time when you are not slammed by intense feeling.  It does lessen, and because of your determination to be changed into His Likeness, obedience allows you to recognize what is happening and you are then free to choose the right behavior even when you are feeling the wrong thing.

     What is it you want?   Do you want Him?  Do you want to be like Him?  It means tough choices.   When you choose what is eternal, the temporal shrinks to allow the light to dawn.  God's Word will come to mind.  The Indwelling Holy Spirit will present to you the option of obedience.  

     Then, freedom.  Healing.

     What else is there?

     Soldier, take this to Him in prayer.

Back to Basics:

     Why, oh why is it that so many Believers neglect spending time with God?

     And how can it be that most would agree The Word of God is alive and full of power (Hebrews 4:12) yet, so few have developed that habit of taking it in daily?

     Because it is alive and full of power, there must be a taking in of the Word and it must be in such a way that the mind will consider it during that day.  Reading a large amount is great, but probably not for devotional purposes.

     I am a vigorous advocate of memorization because the Indwelling Holy Spirit will burp it up all day.  

     Everyone ought to learn a number of the key verses to quote at any time, but in devotional reading, you don't need to wait for some verse that grabs you and makes your hair stand up on end.   Just select the next verse or one of the next few verses and write it down several times.  Say it over and over.  Even if you remember only a part of it, your life will be different and you will hear it in your mind all day.

     God's Word protects us from getting entangled in everyday life.  Living is one thing, but being entangled is entirely different and so unpleasant.

     True discipleship is not possible without meditating on His Word.  Meditation is not possible without taking it in afresh.

     Are His Promises true?  

     Learn them.

     Develop the habit of saying the scripture back to Him while in prayer.



Behind The Scene:

     We must always remember that God supports His own work.

     Hudson Taylor said "God's work done is God's way will have God's supply."   That was behind his policy of never asking for money for his missionary endeavors.  George Mueller operated the same way.

     God has assigned some of the weakest people to do the biggest things and He has won battles in ways we would never think possible.  
     What about Jericho?  Marching around silently and then playing a trumpet?  What?
     What about Gideon's defeat of the Midianites?
         "When three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers, they held the torches in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow, and they shouted, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!”
                             Judges 7:20   (Amplified Bible)
     And the enemy army clobbered each other and ran away!

     The list is endless.  God never does the same thing twice.  He is infinitely creative and watches carefully over the thing He has appointed.  

     We put one foot in front of the other in love and obedience, knowing He is clearing the way for the next step.

     God anoints His own for what is to be done and supports His own in the doing of it.

     Soldier of The Cross, the big issue is pursuing Him and desperately wanting to know and recognize Him more fully.

     He never hides.
     His attention to you is way, way more than you can imagine.

     Bring this to Him and do it aloud if at all possible.


Real Love:

     The test of the heart before the Lord is how you treat people.

     There is nothing in God's word that allows us to give back what is deserved.  In fact, we are told there is a blessing in loving our enemies.  What does that really mean?

          "You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor (fellow man) and hate your enemy. 44 But I say to you, love that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may show yourselves to be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on those who are evil and on those who are good, and makes the rain fall on the righteous, those who are morally upright and the unrighteous,  the unrepentant, those who oppose Him. 46 For if you love only those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, wishing them God’s blessing and peace, what more than others are you doing? Do not even the Gentiles who do not know the Lord do that? 48 You, therefore, will be perfect, growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character, actively integrating godly values into your daily life, as your heavenly Father is perfect."
                  Matthew 5:43-48

     This does not imply there needs to be any kind of warm feeling.  It is about behavior.  

     It is about affirmative action to help when needed and to pray for blessing on those who have abused us.

     Blessing is not a shower of stuff.  Real blessing means the revelation of who God is and what that means.  So praying for our enemies means putting aside the negative value of what they have done to us and moving forward in obedience.

     There are people who are so toxic, we must avoid them.  But we cannot avoid praying for them.

     Are you a real Soldier of The Cross?  When you told Him you wanted Him, did you mean it?

     This is a time for all out obedience.  You can take this to Him and ask Him for wisdom and empowerment.

     Do it aloud and do it now!


Creating With Words:

     "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it and indulge it will eat its fruit and bear the consequences of their words."
                                               Proverbs 18:21   (Amplified Bible)


     And, God's Word also tells us that everything was spoken into being.  Hebrews 1:3 says that He whose name is The Word, keeps everything in existence by the Power of His Word.

     Soldier of The Cross, this is a threshold that requires an affirmative decision.  Will you cross this line?  Will you take your ability to speak before Him and ask that you be transformed in this area?

     If God's Word is to be taken as absolute Truth, this matter is one of stunning power to heal or to wound.  In dealing with decades of missionary problems, I have found that in the homes of many Christian servants, the tongue is aloud casual abandon because it is the home.  How are you at home?  When there is something annoying do you express things that are not productive? 

     When you are angry does that tongue let loose and allow a flood of cursing and anger?

     How can this change?  Perhaps you have had a lifetime of volcanic verbal expression.

     Being furious does not excuse the unleashing of things that ought not to be said.  The discipline in this area is for you.  It is for your good.  It is so you can be used of God in every situation.  You are the only Jesus many of the people around you are seeing.  

     Including some of your families.

     So, what are they seeing?  Or hearing?

     Oh Soldier, when you told Him He could have your life, you meant it.  So take this matter to Him, and trust the Indwelling Holy Spirit to lead you through the Word of God and to remind you when things get rough.

     It's not about being right or religious, but it is about clearing out things that quench the Spirit.  The process is supernatural.

     Look up the verses about the mouth and the tongue.  Write one down each week 10 times and memorize it.  Then next week, do another.

     Make sure you take this to Him today. 




Something Out of Nothing:

     “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah;
      From you One shall come forth for Me [who is] to be Ruler in Israel,  His goings forth (appearances) are from        long ago,  From [a]ancient days.”
                                     Micah 5:2   (Amplified Bible)

     This text is critical in God’s Word in that it indicates that the Messiah would be born in one of the most unlikely towns in the country- Bethlehem.

     Have you decided to be a disciple and take up The Cross and Follow Him?  Have you told Him and did you mean it?

     Now you are a Soldier of The Cross.  Consider this:  God has never chose the most qualified or the most talented or the most highly achieved.  He has always chosen those who would hear Him and obey Him.  

     One person can make a stunning difference in the lives of unnumbered people.
     Think of Paul who had persecuted Christians;
     Think of Peter who had a mouth that would not stop;
     Think of David who, though anointed King, caved in to a weakness of the flesh;
     Think of Elijah who tried to succumb to depression after great victory.

     The lineage of Jesus does not reveal God’s need for perfection but rather assures us that He makes whatever He wants out of whomever is available.

     Soldier of The Cross, might that be you?

Truth is Greater Than Fact:

     When you decided to follow the Lord and commit your life to Him, you were born into a realm that often requires standing on what He has said rather than what you see.

      Agreeing with God often requires the deliberate turning away from figuring it out.  Whatever it is.  

          "Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever]."
                                                 Romans 8:6  (Amplified Bible)

     The flesh craves the illusion of being in control by attempting to come up with reason.  The problem is, most of the time this thinking has to do with another person, and the mind tends to fit the best explanation into the blank space.

     I often hear " He thinks. . ."   But actually you don't know what he thinks.  You are taking some facts or what you think are facts, and attempting to patch together a credible reason.  

     Why is it that we are to love and pray for our enemies?  How logical is that?  
     Why is it that we are to give, even when we have little?    How is that logical?
     Is it reasonable to return good for evil?   

     The unregenerate mind cannot operate in the realm of faith and obedience, and the Indwelling Holy Spirit does not operate in any other dimension.

     This is not to cheapen good old common sense, but it is not Holy Spirit common sense unless it is in agreement with God.

     Most people are not aware of their thoughts and first hear them when they come tumbling out of the mouth.

     Soldier of The Cross, there is little time to waste.  It is a lifetime of learning to hear and waiting to see. It's exciting and eternal.

     Take it up with Him and ask Him to remind you when your thoughts try to build an artificial reality.
     If at all possible, do it aloud.






No Wound-licking:


   If you are serious about following and serving the Lord, the will not only be people who will not like you, but you will be the target of all sorts of schemes.

     We have an enemy and  he loves to use other Christians against the Soldier of The Cross.

     There are some basics to follow, all of which are found in The Word:

          Stop talking about the offense or the offender;
          Stop reviewing it over and over in your head;
          Stop fanticizing about how it could have been avoided;
          Do pray for the offender(s);
          In prayer, affirmatively forgive them.

     Remember, forgiveness is not a feeling and it does not mean a restored relationship.  Forgiveness is evidenced by your thoughts and actions, not by your feelings.

     If you predetermine to handle these things according to the Word of God, when it happens, and it will happen, the worst of the sting will have already been removed.

     Soldier, what else is there in all existence other than serving The One who gave Himself for us and has promised He will see it all through?

     Hanging on to an evil done to us is counter-productive and we must learn to handle it His way.

     Tell Him in prayer.  Aloud.

     Then, look up and move on!


Not Your Battle:


     Oh Soldier, you are not alone and this is not your Battle!

     II Chronicles 20:15 says: 
          "He said, “Listen carefully, all you people of Judah, and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and King Jehoshaphat. The Lord says this to you: ‘Be not afraid or dismayed at this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s."                                                                        
                      (Amplified Bible)

     How hard is this?  It takes an affirmative standing before the Lord and giving it to Him and if possible, aloud.  With words that are chosen according to His promises.

     The flesh so resists this.  

     There is relief and freedom, but not when we have to hang on to control.  This is so critical.

     You must tell Him and aloud.
     Today.  Then move on.