The Rest in the Battle

Featured on today’s post is a writing by Linda Wages. Linda has begun a series on The Warrior to help seasoned believers sharpen their armor of faith. She plans on compiling her messages into a book soon.  Her thoughts on the rest in life’s battle are quite interesting and valuable to every person who desires a faith that will not fail in times of need.

 

As I shared in my last blog “The Warrior”, the “rest” is in the battle.  Have you ever thought that the evil one will fight against us  —  even to the point of keeping us from engaging in battle?

Ask yourself, what is in the battle?  I can hear you saying anguish is in the battle, endless tears are in the battle.  The list is endless.  The thought of facing the battle terrifies us and we turn to run, never looking back.  But I have learned that when I am in the heat of the battle, when I am fully engaged, fully in the fight . . . it is then I become fully focused.  My only intent is to survive.

When I am fully engaged there is “no weapon formed against me” that will prosper or penetrate my drive or armor.  It is when I enter the fight and my mind is focused on “civilian affairs” that I am wounded in war.

So is the rest in the battle?  A warrior who is fully trained in his skills mentally, spiritually, and physically cannot fail; he knows the outcome is VICTORY!  So I “rest” in the battle knowing in order to gain the Victory I must fight!

The LION OF JUDAH is preparing an army of Soldiers like this, an army who knows that the rest is in the battle.  Therefore, I must engage.  I must be focused.  I see many who are being called and are engaged in this battle for the Kingdom of GOD.

Then David said, “to the Philistine, you come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of the hosts, the GOD of the armies of ISRAEL, whom you have taunted.”

This is our cry in the battle!  Stay engaged.

Linda

Once a warrior always a warrior

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A warrior’s weapon is the Sword of the Spirit! Photo source: FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Once a warrior always a warrior. In times past the warrior had to fight for his family to maintain or gain freedom.  He had to bring himself within striking distance of his enemy’s weapon.  Thus, to fight he had to risk his own life.  Death was a daily occurrence (powerful and important to understand).

Our enemy today is no less dangerous and skillful.  Our enemy today is first and foremost in the battlefield of our mind.  He tries to remove our freedom in God by opposing our spiritual values.  Sometimes our enemy is laziness, or our fears.  My enemy tells me I can’t accomplish something and there is no point to even try.  My enemy tells me not to stand up for what I believe in because it is unpopular, or to hide my values because they aren’t the “norm”.The modern day warrior examines his past and wonders whether he has done enough up to this point for the kingdom of God; if he is worthy of the challenge that lies ahead of him.

We as modern day warriors are similar to the ancient warrior.  Although our enemies are not as they once were, we still fight every single day.  We battle because that is our calling.  If you want to make a difference in the kingdom of God, you have to fight, slay, and conquer the spiritual forces wanting you to remain in bondage. Their goal is for you to quit combat.  To live you must fight!  It is better to live one day as a lion than a thousand as a lamb. These turbulent times dictate that we cannot remain in laziness and bondage if we are to learn our weapons of warfare.  The warrior of God must fight!  Only a man who wakes up knowing this is prepared to face it and can call himself a warrior of God.

Fear of the battle is a good thing, it sharpens our awareness to the enemy’s next attack.  Weakness does not exist anywhere in the definition of a true Warrior of God .  Moments of weakness of course, but not someone whose “essence” is weakness.  We can feel the pain and anguish as we push forward in our pursuit of becoming one of God’s warriors; but, also the satisfaction of growing stronger increases with each victory.  You will be challenged to the death in some battles, but you will gain the respect of a  seasoned Warrior.

Learn the skills that remove the fear and doubt.  Quitting isn’t in the vocabulary of one of God’s warriors.  You create that endurance in your mind, body, and spirit, through the intense and heated study of God’s word, only then can you face the forces of hell that rally you to quit.  PUSH your spirit, your will, and mind through the battle … to go further … to be more focused on inflicting a mortal wound to the enemy you are fighting.  Work harder at becoming that Warrior of God.  In the kingdom of God, it is those that refuse to quit that succeed.  Endure hardships not because you have no other options, but with the focus that  these hardships are what make you one of God’s Seasoned Warrior’s.  It’s the hard times, that one day, will bring you to that place of VICTORY, SUCCESS and COURAGE in your spiritual battle.  EMBRACE them!  Rejoice that they are yours and no one else’s.  These long  hard roads are where the lessons are learned and God’s Warriors are trained.  What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

Shalom, Linda

Clocks In The Sky

clock in sky 7

Nearly fifty-eight years ago an entire neighborhood witnessed a supernatural phenomenon in the sky: a gigantic white clock appeared in the heavens. I know this because I was there.

Being a young child of about five, I remember the crowd of people gathered in the street to observe this wonder. Neighbors came outdoors to view this huge timepiece hanging overhead (exhibiting roman numerals on its face) with their mugs of morning coffee in hand.  I saw the clock but my interest was primarily upon enjoying the free “street” play while adults discussed the significance of it all.

What really drew people’s attention was the placement of the clock’s hands.  The clock read five minutes to twelve.  I too noticed the hands’ placements, funny that at such a young age this captivated me. I recall my family pointing to it now and then as they conversed about its meaning with other folk in the community. The clock hung in the sky for most of the day and faded as the afternoon transitioned into dusk. If this marvel happened today it would go viral on the net!

Reader, stay with me a little while longer as I share the meaning of this true-to-life phenomenon.  I refer you to the story of The Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1-10) in the Bible. I’ll briefly recap the highlights:

As they set out to meet the bridegroom, five virgins in this tale were wise and prepared by taking oil with them for their lamps. Five foolish virgins took lamps but neglected carrying the necessary oil. The bridegroom delayed in appearing and the virgins began to doze off. At midnight there was  a shout, “Behold the bridegroom. Come out to meet him!”  The women jumped up to trim their lamps and those who lacked oil asked for oil from those who had it. The prudent five said they could not spare it and suggested they go buy some. And, they hurried off to do so. Meanwhile, the bridegroom appears and ushers the ladies who were prepared to the wedding feast; and the door was shut.  Later, the foolish ladies return but are not given entrance to the banquet.  As the scripture reads, “Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us. But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you. Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.” (Matthew 12: 11-13, NASB)

I recently heard a message by Dr. Owuor, of Kenya on the appearance of a golden clock he witnessed in the sky on May 3, 2007. However, the timepiece he saw displayed one minute to twelve. (Spiritually, we must note the time refers to evening – midnight.) Four minutes difference is not much by human reasoning but in God’s timing it is significant. As Dr. Owuor states, that one minute tells us that the day is almost finished and the new day is beginning — when the clock strikes midnight judgement begins.

You may choose to believe it or not regarding the physical appearance of clocks in the sky. People who know me realize I am not one to fabricate stories to the amusement of readers, unless I state it as such. Dearest reader, I believe our access to heaven’s gate is narrowing. As a warning to all, God placed this supernatural image in the heavens to awaken us from our present sleep. True, no one knows but God when Christ will return; but, the clock is ticking.  Will you be ready for His return?  I pray so.

Who Fathers The Dew?

IMG_6554 A mug of steaming coffee in one hand and my study Bible in the other, I step out onto the patio to read and meditate upon scripture. My favorite resting spot beckons to me. A lizard scurries away as I approach, jumping into the aloe plant for cover. I slowly ease myself onto the rocking chair positioning myself to read in comfort.

The cool morning breeze causes me to shiver so I take a quick swig from my cup to generate a little heat. I tilt my head back and close my eyes, allowing the sun to bathe my face with warm golden rays of bliss. I can hear the early song of the mockingbird filling the air and it brings a sense of peace to my mind and soul.

Today my study is in Job. I’ve read most of his woeful story. I’ve marveled at his ability to endure horrendous sorrow and pain. And, I’ve wondered if I would have been able to pass Job’s test. Now I’m to the place where God begins to dialogue with him. This is the climax to Job’s story and I’m curious to see how Job responds to God’s questions.

You see, prior to this, Job and his friends argued and challenged each other’s faith and belief in God. Their questions were numerous on how God saw Job’s plight. Job grew angry with God, yet he trusted him. In the end, no one, especially Job, believed they could face God, nor stand before his presence to await his response. “Do you think I’m dumb enough to challenge God? Wouldn’t that just be asking for trouble? No one in his right mind stares straight at the sun on a clear and cloudless day.” (Job 37:22 MSG) Imagine Job’s response when God began to respond!

God answers Job with questions, ones that force him to realize the identity of God. “I have some questions for you, and I want some straight answers. Where were you when I created the earth?” (Job 38: 3 MSG) Shut up! God’s speaking and I sense a whirlwind shaking the earth upon which Job stood.  As I read I visualize the morning stars singing, the light approaching from the east, the earth taking shape and robed in brilliant colors.  I see the churning of the sea with its bouncing white caps and I gaze upon the ominous gates of death. I lay the book down as my mind races from the intensity of the words, my heart wildly beating.  This is the sovereignty of my God!

Now the sun’s brilliance casts glimmering droplets of gold around my chair.  I stretch my legs to experience the full effect of its warmth.  As I reach over to pick up my cup of coffee, I see a drop of dew sliding downwards from a petal of my Calla Lily plant.  It sparkles and shimmers just before dropping onto the pavement. What a simple statement of beauty!  A question drifts on the breeze and swirls in my ear, “Who fathers the dew?”

I sat up.  In a split second I understood the meaning of God’s interrogation of Job.  It was not so much a reprimand as it was God asking Job, “do you love me enough to trust me with your life? I created the universe, can I not handle your life’s journey?

Whenever I feel overwhelmed from the problems I face and feel all alone in my sea of troubles, I remember the power of a God who shakes mountains yet fashions a delicate jewel of water.  Yes, he can awe me with the grandeur of his majesty, but I also know the gentle caress of his love which reminds me how much he truly cares.

 

 

 

Chocolate Tears

Thou has given me sweet droplets of love.

Thou has given me sweet droplets of love.

I am drowning in tears.  Strengthen me as you promised.  Psalms 119:28

My last view of him was a vivid flash of purple as he closed the door behind him on his way out.  The purple being my anger and resentment toward his casual retort regarding my request.   Why did he have to be so hard-headed when it came to these matters?

I admit, I do tend to look at things with poignant scrutiny causing him to quickly access a situation as thespian in nature.  I have been somewhat of a drama queen in the past, but I have changed.  Truly.  There was a time when I manipulated my requests using schemes akin to the serpent’s cunning insidious methods of persuasion with Eve.  But, I HAVE changed.

Now the question is: am I wrong to make such a request of him?  What does he see that I do not?  I exam my motives and intentions over and over seeking the answer.  I sense a fever besetting me, bringing an overwhelming feeling of misery and dejection.  My hunger for his love is waning and my heart is suppressing my true desires for his affection.  I cry out for wisdom: where was the blame, God?

I wander the rooms aimlessly without intention or purpose.  Long gone is the undertaking of setting the house in order.  I glance out the window to see the sun climb from its morning abode casting dazzling rays of gold across my winter garden.  Bright specks create shimmering diamonds causing my heart to ascend and I clearly grasp my beloved’s resolution.

Why was I so quick and harsh with my words?  Was it so important I get my way, even at the cost of his devotion?  I silenced him using plausible argument, so it seemed.  As I reminisce the morning’s scene, I wince at my use of feminine designs to persuade and plot my desires.  He was no fool.

How can I rectify this quandary?  Can I right what was cast down and renew his faith in me?  I don’t deserve his devoted affection.  Yet, I know him to listen with an open heart.  He always forgives and sweeps me away with his admiration for my uniqueness, those traits he finds so endearing.  My faux pas has broken our trust.

As I wait for the evening to fall, I prepare for my lover’s return.  I dress simply, yet with the beauty of a queen draped upon my soul, as I plan to express my admission of guilt.  I cannot afford to let the sun go down upon this transgression of shame.

The door opens, he steps through bringing the last ray of sunshine with him.  As I look upon his silhouette, I run into his arms and quickly speak my apology.  He pulls back, gazing into my eyes.  He embraces me once again and ends with a passionate kiss of forgiveness.  I return his affection with fervor and delight.

Turning to lead him to our secret chamber, he gently tugs at my arm and swirls me around so that I see a small recompense for the morning’s dispute: a red velvet box of chocolates.  I tumble to the ground weeping because I do not deserve this reprieve.  This acquittal leaves me crying chocolate tears, sweet pieces of love in response.

What Do I Do About My Saggy Body?

A sound mind makes for a robust body!

A friend of mine recently asked me, “How do I get rid of the saggy parts of my body?”  I was not really sure how to answer the question.  For one thing, I have saggy parts myself, I just manage to keep them under wrap and out of sight.

The one body area women seem to have more problems with is the under arm.  No matter how much we pump those weights, the bags seem to hang in there until the last bit of fat is trimmed down.  We wear clothing to cover them up so they don’t swing around when we wave hello — I mean “Hello!”  is what they say loud and clear if exposed!  I can just see many of my fellow peeps out there nodding in agreement, we can all relate.

This weekend I dined at a friend’s home.  She served the most incredible meal, complete with appetizer, salad, dinner, and dessert.  I didn’t hold back.  I fully indulged myself on cream cheese roll-ups, sweet salads, steak and potato, and a full dish of ice cream over cake to wrap it up.  The next day I was at the gym, running, stepping and lifting weights to work off those extra calories.  Honestly, I may have worked off  a couple of extra pounds, but not all of them.  It’s going to take a few more sessions this week to return to my former weight.

At one point, I looked in the mirror and I became frustrated with myself.  How could I let myself go and eat all that food without a thought about how it would affect me?  I lamented over favorite foods I would have to avoid in order to lose the extra pounds.  I hated the thought that I would have to spend extra time at the gym when I wanted to blog, work on my book, and hang out with my hubby.

When I got home from working out, I tossed my towel in the hamper and headed for the shower.  Ugh!  I could see the flabby arms again.  How despicable! Then a thought occurred to me, am I thinking too much about how I look?  A familiar Bible verse floated across my mind, “Exercise daily in God — no spiritual flabbiness, please!  Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever.”  1 Timothy 4: 8-10, MSG

Like a cleansing rain, I felt the truth of this statement flow over me.  I needed to put away the anxiety and put on the proper attitude of a disciplined life.  My spiritual training has taught me sagginess can exist in the mind.  When we exercise only certain strengths, other lessor parts may cause us to lag behind.   They sag.

The Online Dictionary defines sag as, “to yield through weakness, lack of effort, or the like: i.e., our spirits began to sag.”  I take this as a serious flaw in daily spiritual exercise.  If we, through lack of effort, fail to keep our minds focused, not practicing what we believe, then we will become weak in areas causing us to look and feel inadequate.  Exercise the mind!

I came across this verse in the Message version of the Bible (Proverbs 14:30): “A sound mind makes for a robust body, but runaway emotions corrode the bones.”  I had to look up robust.  It means: strong, healthy, hardy, vigorous, suited to requiring bodily strength, and endurance.   (OK, that is better than what I thought it meant: chubby.)  This was trumpeting loud and clear what I needed to do . . .  I needed to exercise my mind first and the rest would follow.

What am I talking about?  Simply, as you keep in God’s Word, study it and meditate upon it, you will balance out the rest of your life.  If your life is balanced, then all other things will come naturally.  Yes, the way you look at things, even eating, will make sense.  Your spiritual fitness will help you to strengthen out the weak saggy parts, both mentally and physically.

I hope I am making sense to you out there.  Just rambling a bit about my thoughts and some times they just seem to be out there — way out there!  Sharing from my experience is hopefully helping you in some way today.

Blessings,

Dee

Death of a Covenant

source: freedigitalphotos.net

This is a very difficult blog for me.  Nevertheless, I feel directed to share my story with you.

Four Tuesdays ago, I was called into my pastoral staff member’s office and was told that my husband had filed for divorce two months prior to the date.  It hurt.  I was crushed.  More so because he had filed without my knowledge.  At that moment, I felt like I had just been hit by a freight train.

As the day unfolded, the nightmare unraveled even more.  That very same afternoon I found out he had placed a restraining order against me.  He had me evicted from our home in conjunction with the restraining order.  I had to leave immediately, taking only what I could pack.  When I went to put gas into my car, I discovered he had withdrawn all our monies from our accounts.  An engulfing fear of the unknown blanketed me, where was I to go and what was I going to do for money?  I felt like I was living a nightmare, one from which I wanted so badly to awaken.  I scrambled to gain any kind of footing.

The finger-pointing in a failing marriage is ugly.  It seems once we leave our marriage unattended by the Power of Christ, Satan is quick to enter and his mission is to destroy.  Once Satan is allowed to enter, is not confronted and made to leave, the destruction begins and he works to kill.

And this is where our marriage was. 

It has to be a unified battle to save a marriage. I found myself questioning everything about my marriage.  I felt abandoned and lonely, overcome with so many emotions.  I just wanted to hear him say “I did not mean it I am sorry!”  But those words never came.

The rejection I felt ripped at my heart.

I cried because the vows we took were broken.  He spoke and said, “for better or worse!”  Where was the commitment?

The lack of romance and intimacy had left our marriage the preceding four years.  I believe my husband mentally abandoned our marriage two years prior to the acknowledgement of his filing.  Their was no compromise on his part in any way.  I begged God to show me other ways to love him even if it meant no intimacy, but I started to go downhill fast because nothing was returned.

A failing marriage is very pitiable.  I wish I could say that I was faultless in everything, but I cannot.  There was a lot of baggage on both of our parts that needed to be settled prior to joining in marriage.   But, it did not happen.  It was an ongoing run-away train at this point.  Nothing we did seemed to slow it down. I saw things in our marriage that were excessively unhealthy and could not be allowed to continue in the manner it was headed.

N0t until something happened, turning the tide (I choose to believe it was God that intervened). 

What I discovered was extremely painful, but it made me realize that either I had to do something for myself or I was going to lose my marriage.  I started going to christian counseling in May to unpack my worn luggage and seek a solution.  But what I expected to change in a few months, I now realize required a long-term, united commitment on both our parts to work.   At this point,  he was extremely bitter, angry and unwilling to bend to any guidance by leadership, or otherwise; and so ended our marriage.

Looking back, I always felt it was something I did or did not do that caused our lack of intimacy,  but I did not comprehend it this was his choosing.  I did not realize he didn’t love me, and when he admitted it to me . . .  I was crushed.

But God in his love knew what was happening here; I know that God does not approve of divorce, but the ongoing damage  had to be stopped.  I did not want to leave my marriage, God removed me.   When he did, I left my home evicted but walked right into the hands of a loving, accepting God.  I serve an amazing God.  HE already had everything set up for me as I stepped out.  I submit everything inside me into his love and care.  The tears still flow because our “vow” was broken.

Moving forward is never easy.

I could choose to stay in this insanity or go forward in Christ and give him my hurts, hate, bitterness, and so much more.   I desire healing and honesty.

My Sister Dee sent me a necklace with the inscription,  Jer 29:11:  “For I know that plans I have for you (Erme), to prosper you (Erme), to give you (Erme) hope and a future.”  This necklace is my constant reminder of whose I am.  I am a marked woman for God!!

This is what I choose and for a soon to be ex-spouse: I leave him in the hands of God.  I wish him no harm, nor do him any harm, nor treat him unjustly.  I pray that his heart will open up to God allowing God’s  healing to take place in his heart.

I have witnessed many ex-wives, who were wronged, fail to move forward.  They continue to treat their ex with hate and treat them horribly.  I  will not allow this to be a part of my life.  “I can do all things through CHRIST who strengthens me.”

Now, I will walk this life with Christ in great EXPECTATIONS!!

Be Blessed,

Erme

The King’s Advisors

Whose counsel do you seek in protecting your life’s castle? (source: wikimedia.com)

The King bellowed the command, “Bring me a flask of wine and call my counsellors to the throne room!”  The messengers scattered speedily throughout the corridors and into the courtyards beckoning the advisors to heed the king’s command.  Within minutes, the royal court was filled with counsellors brimming with excitement, awaiting the king’s bidding. 

The king arose from his throne and spoke one phrase:  Should I make war or peace with Kauldron?

The advisors immediately began to converse with one another over the proposition presented to them.  They argued for a good part of the morning, many of them refusing to alter their opinion.  The king leaned over and spoke to his chief scholar, asking for his perception of the court proceedings.  The scholar retorted, “I believe they lack clear vision.”

Proverbs 15:22 states, “Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.”   A king depended upon the advise of his counsellors to help him make important decisions such as policy, war and judgment.  Counsellors were selected depending upon their character, wisdom and experience.  Often, a matter of life and death weighed heavily upon the counsel of these consultants.  At times, they lacked clear vision or direction on how to advise the king.

Today, we do not have the personal privilege of a king’s counsel to guide and inform us when life’s difficult problems present themselves.   However, we can seek advice from those we know who demonstrate a Godly life, success based upon character, and righteous living.  We call them mentors.

Seeking those who would consider our cause, pray over it and help guide us to a good decision is valuable and priceless.  A good counsellor will not tell us what to do, but advise us as to the pros and cons of the situation.  Ultimately, we make the decision based upon what we hear and consider to be the best option.

There are those of us who tend to make decisions based upon our emotional status, upon the word of casual acquaintance, even the advice of a stranger rather than to seek out someone with proven wisdom in life matters.  Based upon the former advisors mentioned, we head down the wrong path to a dismal ending.

“But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?”  (Job 28;12)  Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart?  (Job 38:36)  No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom is above rubies. (Job 28:18)  Yes, where do we get priceless wisdom to help us understand our problem completely?  How can we truly trust any man with such intricate matters of heart?

Daniel, a man of God and counsellor to King Nebuchadnezzar, knew where to find wisdom to guide him in life,  ” . . . blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding. . . O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king’s matter.”  (Daniel 2: 20-23)

When we seek advice, it would greatly benefit us to seek out the Lord’s counsel before making any final decision.  In fact, we should pray to him first, prior to sharing our concerns with and asking the advice of mentors.  Men (and women) will give us good counsel, but if not coupled with God’s  — we may be headed down the wrong path.

God is able to see what you cannot, he knows what lies ahead.  He also knows your strengths and weaknesses.  Who better to advise you on how to proceed?  He desires the best for you.  “I know what I’m doing.  I have it all planned out — plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.  when you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen.. . I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed. ” (Jer. 29:11-14, MSG)

Seek God’s counsel first, your counsellors/mentors second, and your decisions will be wise and successful.

Blessings,

Dee

Ziklag

“Pursue; for thou shalt surely overtake them!”

Recently, in my devotions, I have been studying in first Samuel about a place called Ziklag.  Metaphorically, Ziklag is a place in your life where as you are fighting one fight, there is another on the other side you are battling, parallel to the  present.  Ziklag is a place where you are hounded by adversity, hounded by troubles, and pushed to your breaking point.  This is the condition King David was in when he was in this place called “Ziklag.”   He barely came out of one battle —  just to come home to face another.

Nothing comes without struggle.  Nothing comes without conflict.  If you can make it through Ziklag, God’s glory will come.  Fighting is exhausting.  Even if you win it is exhausting and you acquire some damage.  Victory isn’t easy as you draw close to God in time of hardship.

We get an insight into how David did it in Psalm 103.  We need to reassure ourselves of the goodness and faithfulness of God before we are able to hear from him and receive counsel for the way out.  First, work on your heart before looking to God for guidance.  This is what David did (verse 6).   When King David came back from battle and saw that they took his wives and children, he had no one to believe in him.  The Bible states that he encouraged himself.

Have you ever looked for comfort and ran into conflict?  If  you are not careful, you will stop looking for comfort because you don’t ever expect anything to get better.  BUT  again,  the Bible states, “King David encouraged himself!”

There is one truth I have come to realize:  “weeping may endure for a night but JOY comes in the morning.

Ziklag is a place where no one wants to go.   Ziklag is a place where you have to encourage yourself.  Ziklag is a place where you want to die.  Everything is about to break and you feel like giving up.

But I am confident that when the Lord takes me to this place called Ziklag in my life, it is where I learn the most.  It is a place where I have to encourage myself.  I am forced to find my strength in the Lord.  I hurt so very much that I scream out to God, “Please, God, take me out of this place!  Don’t you see how much I am hurting?  Can’t you see that there is no joy in this place?”

My Ziklag taught me that I cannot run from this place.   I have learned that I must  learn how to deal with my pain.  Not only deal with it, but learn from it.

The scripture (I Samuel) goes on to say that David encouraged himself in the Lord. I could never understand how David encouraged himself with all of his people blaming him and wanting to stone him for what happened. What could David ever think about that would encourage and strengthen him to go and take back what the enemy had stolen?  A seemingly impossible mission!  I personally believe one scripture that David remembered was: “This is the day that the Lord has made.” And then it dawned on him. It’s the third day!  Three always means divine; and anything that’s divine has supernatural power within it.  If this is God’s timing for the enemy to come against us to steal, then it must be God’s timing to take back what the enemy has stolen!  A parallel event.  Ziklag!  David went on to recover all that the enemy had taken from them and destroyed the enemy!

I sense the Lord saying. “The worst day of your life always falls on the third day on my calendar! I am always one step ahead of the enemy. That’s why I tell you, do not look back for I go before you to make the crooked things straight!”

“Encourage yourself! It’s the third day! A day of power when all things are possible! Don’t wait for someone else to encourage you for everyone is fighting their own battle. The battle on the field is won in the prayer closet. I will meet you there and speak to you, and you will no longer hear the voice of strangers or the enemy taunting you.”

It was the “third day” when the stone was rolled away and Jesus himself was raised from the dead.  If God can raise the dead . . . what else can’t he do?  The “third day” Jesus led the captives out of hell, taking back what the enemy thought he had stolen.  On the third day, Jesus made our enemy our footstool.  Take a break from your worst day and rest your feet on the devil’s neck!  The devil is really not that big, he fits underneath your feet!  You will recover all that the enemy has taken from you. The longer the devil keeps what belongs to you, the more interest he has to pay when you take back what he has stolen!

I hear the Lord saying: “Pursue; for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail, recover all!”

Blessings,

Erme

(photo source: freedigitalphotos.net, markuso)

The Prince of Hearts

source: Prince Of Persia movie trailer

A favorite movie of mine is The Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time (2010).  The storyline is similar to many fairy tales where the prince rescues the princess from evil.  The prince is handsome, dashing, strong and eventually wins the heart of the princess.  This type of movie is always a win with women.

I think women look for this type of character in men from early childhood, as young as ten years of age.  We look for Prince Charming or Valiant to come riding up on his white horse, sweep us off our feet and carry us to his castle.  As we begin to seek out relationships we compare men to the image of a storybook prince.  Not a bad guideline, but is it realistic?

What should we look for in a man?  What are the values and characteristics that make him a true prince?  Here are some of the values women cherish in a man:

  • Chivalry
  • Friendship
  • Honesty
  • Truthfulness
  •  Humor
  •  Manners

I would also add respect and cleanliness to this list.  We expect total perfection and nothing less from the man of our dreams.

I think we can find some men who almost fit this image but I would dare say that any one man could fill this description totally.   However, there is one man who walked the earth that did fit all of the requirements of a prince.  Jesus.

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.  For those who lived in a land of deep shadows – light!  …. He’ll take over the running of the world, His names will be Amazing Counselor, Strong God, Eternal Father, Prince of Wholeness.  His ruling authority will grow, and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.  .. He’ll put that kingdom on a firm footing and keep it going with fair dealing and right living, beginning now and lasting always. Isaiah 9: 2

And Jesus is still reigning from his throne in heaven:

God set him on high at his side, prince and Savior, to give Israel the gift of a changed life and sins forgiven. Acts 5:29-32

It isn’t fair to hold any man up to this standard of perfection, but it is admirable for a man to want to live according to the standards set by Christ Jesus.  Christ protects, provides, comforts, nurtures, listens, is loyal, has  a great sense of humor, is truth, chivalrous, a friend, very pure (clean), and respectful.  A man who follows the examples of Jesus will become a reflection of wholeness that is attractive to women.   The old saying goes, “no man is perfect.”, it is true.; but, a man who looks to Jesus as his guide in life will mature spiritually to encompass the essence of what really counts in life:  love.

What is love? 

I Corinthians 13 states that love is long-suffering, kind, doesn’t envy, not prideful, is chivalrous, unselfish, controlled, loves truth, is strong and never fails.  This is what we value, as women, in men.  It is the heart of a prince.

It doesn’t matter if a man is wealthy, wise and attractive if he fails to demonstrate these traits in his life.  His heart is empty.  And, if his heart is empty there is coldness within his soul.  Women cannot find warmth from his being to kindle the fires of her romantic heart leading to a happily ever after.

There are men who do not own mansions, who do not hold prominent roles in society and who are not built like Mr. Universe, but nevertheless, they are a prince at heart.  They understand what is truly recognized as manhood and strive to live it out before others.

I don’t know who I am speaking to regarding this message, but I believe that there are still men out there whose heart’s desire is to become the image of the true Prince.  Looking for Prince Charming is fruitless, he doesn’t really exist.  But, there are men out there who have the heart of a prince and waiting for him is truly worth it all.

Blessings,

Dee