Is He Really:

     Is the Lord really the center of your life, or is your life the center of your life?

     In order for Him to be first, there has to be an ongoing pursuit of God.  In much of my contact with missionaries and pastors, I have found it is too easy for most to hit the ground running each day and neglect the devotional life.

     His correction must be precious.
     His Word must be fresh, otherwise prayer is stale.
     The desire for Him to make any change needed must be consciously embraced and expressed in prayer.
     The smallest task must equal the greatest honor.     

     If I am to be made into His likeness,  I must take up The Cross and follow hard after Him.  That means the death of the flesh-  a disciplined mouth, disciplined thoughts and the pulling away from the things that cheapen a godly life.  

     There is a cost, but the Peace is glorious.

     Soldier, tell Him all the time.  Tell Him what you love about Him.  Tell Him what you love about those who love Him.  Corporate worship is just a gesture unless there is private worship first.

     Tell Him aloud.

Get a Backbone:

     Division and much damage among Believers is caused by gossip.

     Your job is to refuse to listen to it.  It isn't easy when someone wants to tell you something, and they are in the process of talking to you.

     It isn't often productive to explain your refusal to listen, because it creates defensiveness. But it is possible to interrupt by holding up your hand or by changing the subject.

     If you listen, you participate by letting the words plant themselves in the ground of your mind.  And when you see or think about the person who is the target of those words,  you invariably see them through the glasses of what you have heard.

     This may cost you a friendship and some will think you are insensitive.   It is obedience to the Word of God.

     I have had situations that called for me to get up and leave because the other person would not stop.  

     Gossip does not mean it has to be a rumor.  Gossip is sharing information that is intended to reveal something unknown to the listener that may reflect poorly on the subject individual.

     I actually had someone make an appointment with me to talk to me about why they and others did not like someone in the church.  

     Those who treasure time with the Lord avoid traps, and gossip is a big one. 

     We must be vigilant and always prayerful about this.

     Soldier, take it to Him today.



Decide Ahead of Time:

     Because we are born into another dimension and  have the Indwelling Holy Spirit, we have the instruction and the Power to pre-determine a number of things.

     There will always be something that blindsides you.  If you are wholly determined to serve the Lord and are willing to let Him completely have His way with your life, you will find that sometimes the folks you trusted the most or helped the most, will hurt you the most.  It's always painful and we mustn't tiptoe around expecting to be betrayed.  But if you understand this and have given it to the Lord before anything happens, it is possible to carry on without it affecting your stride.

     We must pre-determine that when we are misunderstood or gossiped about, we are not going to have a flesh-flash over it,  but it is to be immediately given to the Lord.  If He so leads, perhaps there can be restoration.  But it has to be His leading.

     So many have not taken hold of the precious Light in God's Word about how to live. 

     Years ago, one of the families in our church moved into a beautiful new home.  A great harp and new piano also.  Shortly after the move, all four of them came to spend the night in the guest house.  Early the next morning, authorities where they had moved were calling on the phone to see if they were alive.  A fire that started in the new garage completely burned down the new house, including the harp and new piano.  The parents and the two children were fine.  When they moved into the new home, they dedicated it to the Lord and gave it up to Him.  They lost absolutely everything, but there was no typical devastation.  They had pre-determined their reaction by giving it up to the Lord before they moved in.

     Soldier, this principle applies to areas of child-rearing, illness, financial matters and so much more.

     We were created to live above situations, even while they are happening. This life will never be without completely unexpected trials.

     It is about The Cross.  The death of the flesh.

     Bring it to Him today.  Aloud.

Your Thoughts:

     Soldier of The Cross, you must govern your thoughts.

     We are told to take every thought captive and lead it away.

           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 Christians are not aware of their own thoughts.  It is critical to be constantly in the Word, so as to have His thoughts foremost in your mind.   This is a matter that is changed by prayer

     Oh Soldier!   You have decided to really take up The Cross and follow Him. That means the most basic of issues decide all else.  

     There is nothing else.  We are preparing for eternity, and He wants us to have a Now life of release and joy.  

     That means a thought life that is governed according to His Word.

     Tell Him today.


Provision For The Journey:

     Your statutes are my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.
                                                            Psalm 119:54 (Amplified Bible)

     We must always be reminded of the basics, one essential of which is, we are sojourners and pilgrims.  How the flesh longs to settle down and plant deep roots in this life.  Security and comfort mask themselves as the goal, and without regular feasting on God's Word there is no Light to choose faith instead.

     Soldier of The Cross, it is critical to remember you are on the move.  

     Your life is not about you.
     It is not about the problem in your family.
     It is not about that horrible misunderstanding.
     It is not about the illness.
     It is not about finances.
     And it is not about being abused or having been abused.

     It is about getting to know Him and being available to reveal Him in any way He leads. 

     That is not possible when the goal is building a human fort around what masks to be a safe and secure life.

     We have a High Tower and our Fortress.  And we are foot Soldiers.  
     Our home is there.  Not here.

     Move on, Soldier!

     Tell Him today.  Aloud.






     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.

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!