Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Winning The War With Pearls

Have you ever gotten to the end of a day and felt like you’ve been in a war?

Most of us are not in a physical war, but if you’re a Christian you are fighting a spiritual battle every day. When Christ returns, He will destroy Satan and all of his weapons.  Until then, we need to stick together and stand strong, helping each other resist attacks from the enemy.

You might be imagining an explosive kind of attack and sometimes that’s how they come, but usually our enemy is much more subtle.  The more subtle he is, the more division among Christians he can cause, even among people who have been loyal to Christ for many years.

How can we fight? Be a PEARL.  

Each pearl is different from another, like a fingerprint, and they are hard to break when they are genuine.  

Just like us..
PEARL: Pray, Employ, Analyze, Release and Love

Prayer is not just talking to God, it is also listening.  By drawing near to God, He will draw near to you.  Stay in His word and in prayer every day, because apart from God we will fail.  You might frequently find yourself brought to your knees by life circumstances.  However, that’s a great position to start waging warfare in prayer.  The process of pouring your heart out to the Lord in prayer will draw you closer to Him and strengthen your resistance to things not of Him.

Use the power of the Holy Spirit that lives in you.  He lives in you, and His services have been paid for.  Jesus took care of that bill and paid it in advance.  As a Christian, your actions and words are usually good reflections of one who loves and follows Christ, but your thoughts are more fertile ground for Satan if we aren’t careful.  Resisting the enemy is not done alone. 

The enemy only has the control that we allow him to have.  When you feel overwhelmed, verbally say “Get away from me, Satan, in the power of Jesus’ name, you have no authority over me.”  It works.  He has no power over the name of Jesus.  The Holy Spirit will get rid of him.

One of the most subtle and tricky ways we are attacked is through our thoughts. Our enemy is a master at taking our actions and words and twisting them to make us feel inferior.  Our hearts and thoughts are ever so close together.  When your heart is hurting about a situation, your thoughts tend to marinate on that topic far too long. Really think about what is hurting you and capture each thought before you say things you will regret or let that thought invade your heart.  This requires humility by admitting the negative thought first, praying for the power to overcome it, and then allowing God to work.  That is when your thoughts can be straightened.

This might be the hardest of them all.  In order to be humble and receive help from God, we have to release the issue into His hands, giving Him control of the situation which means that we have to stop trying to manipulate the outcome.  Humble people don’t manipulate.  Prideful people do.

Do we trust that He hears us and that He has the perfect answer and the perfect plan? We say “YES”, but still struggle because we want it our way.  When it comes to praying for our loved ones, we can be divided between what we want and what God has planned.  Our goal should be to pray, listen for the answers, release control of the situation, and ask for the strength to handle God’s plan.

We need to walk in love.  Love never fails.  NEVER.  When conflict arises, choose love.  Choose to speak to people from a place of love, not of hurt and anger, and when you do speak out of hurt and anger, be humble and apologize.  When people look at you, do they see a person who is loving and loyal to Christ or someone who allows themselves to be divided between Christ and our world?  Our witness and our love can be the difference in someone coming to the Lord or not.  By the way, we will all fail at this from time to time.  Because of Christ’s love, we can ask for forgiveness and start over with a clean slate.

I encourage you to be like a PEARL, a genuine individual that is hard to break and can stand strong by Praying, Employing, Analyzing, Releasing and Loving.

Passages to Ponder:
James 4:7-8  “So humble yourselves before God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Come close to God, and God will come close to you.  Wash your hands, you sinners, purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.”
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 “We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.  We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God.  We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.”
Ephesians 4:22-24 “Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception.  Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.  Put on your new nature, created to be like God- truly righteous and holy.”

Contributors: Karen Bromby, Catherine Caracio, Kathy Derda, Jodi Dunbar, Susan Haynes, Michele Killion, Kim McClure, and Brooke Radnor

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