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WISDOM

Another post from my Jehoshaphat v the Virus page 💥

1 Peter 5:5b-11….a little encouragement in these testing times.

5 …….be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

A few things we can extract from this to help us navigate the stormy conditions we are in:

(1) Be humble – humility is NOT being a doormat; neither is it being arrogant and aggressive. When we keep calm and act according to God’s word and character, this passage says God gives us GRACE, which is His enabling power to overcome the obstacles in our path.

(2) Cast your care on Him – this we can do in prayer and worship. It’s very difficult to worry and fret when you’re worshipping God. Doing things for other people is a good way to take your focus off your worries as well.

(3) Be SOBER and VIGILANT – stay alert and informed about what’s going on around you. I don’t watch the mainstream news, because I know it’s incredibly biased and often downright untruthful, but I do keep myself up to date with what’s happening. This helps me to know what to pray about and what to avoid.

(4) Now, about that devil…we know he’s behind all this, but this passage of scripture tells a couple of things about him. He wanders about AS a roaring lion (he isn’t one), seeking whom he MAY devour. If he does get the better of us, it’s because we gave permission by what we did or didn’t do. At the same time, he is not an adversary to be taken lightly – he’s been around a long time and he knows the ins and outs of the human psyche.

(5) RESIST him, STAND FIRM in the faith – Ephesians 6 gives us the armour of God, which is the Christian’s defence (and offence) against the devil. Familiarise yourself with it and remember, PRAYER and PRAISE are your weapons that will ultimately carry you to victory.

(6) That word SUFFERING shows up a couple of times – we don’t like that one. But these are hard times, and there are going to be some difficult and downright scary situations we must get through. These could be financial, employment or family-related, or physically dangerous – who knows? What we do know is that God will, after we have endured what’s ahead, RESTORE us, and make us STRONG, FIRM and STEADFAST.

It’s worth hanging in there – to give in and comply with the demands of a reprobate authority will lead to complete subservience. Be strong and courageous – there are many others with you in this fight!

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KINDNESS WISDOM

Virus thinking

Posted this on Jehoshaphat v The Virus this morning…..

Thinking this morning (as I do now and then 😄) about the world situation, and what the way forward is. It all looks pretty bleak, if you’re looking in the wrong direction. In my last post, I talked about “looking up”, keeping our focus on God and His power, and not on the circumstances surrounding us. Today, I want to briefly look at a Bible account of someone who did just that, and overcame the obstacle facing himself and his entire nation.

1 Samuel 17 gives us the story of David and Goliath, and how a young shepherd boy, who wasn’t even part of Israel’s army, fought and killed the towering champion of the invading Philistines.
I want to make some observations about what I see in this account that we can apply in our lives.

v 3-7 The APPEARANCE of Goliath was overwhelming – he was so much bigger than anyone the Israelites had ever seen before, and they assumed that his sheer size indicated invincibility.

v 8-10 Goliath spelled out the conditions of the encounter that would decide who won. Think about it – who said that HE could make the rules? But again, his size and arrogant, bullying manner made the Israelites believe what he said.

v 11 The result of the initial encounter – the entire nation, including their king, was scared out of their wits.

v 12-22 Describes how David came to get involved – he was going about his usual daily work, and his father sent him to take food to his brothers, who were all in the army.

v 23-24 David heard first hand what Goliath was bellowing out across the valley, and saw the terrified response of his countrymen.

v 25-31 David talked with some of the soldiers about the situation, upon which his oldest brother rebuked him. He probably resented David, who had shown courage in other situations in the past. The text seems to indicate that David was saying “It’s nothing but words” – all hot air, in reference to Goliath’s threatenings.

v 31-34 Word got back to Saul, the king, and he sent for David, wanting to hear for himself what the boy had to say. Saul was also looking only at the visible circumstances: when David said, “Don’t let anyone be afraid – I’ll go and fight with the Philistine!”, Saul said something like, “What? What can you do? You’re just a boy, and he’s been a warrior all his life!”

v 35-36 David put things in perspective – he told of how he’d killed wild animal predators when they attacked his father’s flock of sheep, and declared that Goliath was just another predator that needed taking down.

v 37 The key verse in the whole story: David said, “And the LORD, who delivered me from the lion and the bear, HE will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.” It must have struck a chord somewhere in Saul, because he said, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”

v 38-40 Saul was still looking at the natural order of things, however, and he insisted on covering David in armour, and a brass helmet, and a huge sword. David, however, clanked about and then took it all off, saying, “I can’t wear this, because I HAVEN’T PROVEN IT.” David needed to work with tools that he understood and was skillful in using.

v 40-44 David went down to the place where Goliath was bellowing out his empty threats – and Goliath was more than a little put out that a mere boy had been sent to oppose him. Like everybody else in the valley, he couldn’t see things the way David saw them, because he took into consideration only what his eyes told him. He “cursed David by his gods” and told him what he intended to do with him.

v 45-47 Whereas Goliath’s assessment of things was based only on his own natural strength and past conquests, David gave ALL the glory for what was about to happen to God alone. Look at some of the things he says to Goliath:
“I come to you IN THE NAME OF THE LORD OF HOSTS, whom you have defied”
“Today THE LORD WILL DELIVER YOU into my hand”
“That all the earth may know that THERE IS A GOD IN ISRAEL”
“And everyone will know that the Lord doesn’t need a sword and spear, BECAUSE THE BATTLE IS THE LORD’S, and He will give you into our hands.”

v 48 David’s goading made Goliath stride toward him – he was going to get this upstart out of his hair! Didn’t worry David – he RAN TOWARD Goliath! He knew what was going to happen.
Of course, we know that David’s accuracy, powered by God, killed Goliath, and that, true to character, the Philistine army fled. No loyalty among the enemies of God – they’ll turn on each other at the drop of a hat.

How does all of this apply to us?

  1. Don’t be deterred by the empty threats and lies that the enemy is so good at propagating.
  2. Be encouraged by past victories that God has won for you.
  3. Don’t let the fear of those around you affect your thinking and your faith.
  4. Don’t let people put you down and tell you that you can’t do anything about what’s happening.
  5. Use your God-given abilities to achieve what you need to do; don’t try unfamiliar ways (unless God says otherwise, of course).
  6. Give God the credit for the victory – without Him we can do nothing.

We are most certainly facing a massive Goliath today – but it’s just another obstacle that needs to be cleared out of the way. Don’t think for a minute that it’s insurmountable and that we must comply with the enemy’s conditions. Have faith in the power of God to overcome it, and make yourself available to play whatever part He has for you.

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Peace Truth

Morning Meditation ✨✨

Thinking this morning – it was much nicer when the end times were something you studied in the Bible: getting your chronology right, interpreting the symbols, memorizing the relevant scriptures. It’s not so much fun to be living in it as it unfolds all around us. But that’s exactly what’s happening and, as Jesus taught us – “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift your heads because your redemption is drawing near.”

Yes, all that’s going on is a positive sign of the truth of the Bible narrative, somewhat more reliable than the mainstream media


Now, the days ahead are not going to be easy. Here in Australia, we are experiencing a “tightening noose” of restrictions, in the guise of public health measures, but intended to exert more and more control and surveillance. Most of the liberties we had have been removed or had strict conditions placed on them. There’s a rocky road just around the corner, but we have to stand strong.

Jesus told us that to “affection action our life in this world” is to lose it for eternity, meaning allegiance to the world’s systems and lifestyle goes against loving Him. Yes, there will be hard choices to be made, perhaps even affecting our ability to survive – who would have thought even two or three years ago that this would be happening now?

So, “stand up and lift up your heads” – the King James version says “Lookup”, and that’s where our focus must be now. When we draw near to God, He will draw near to us and He will guide us in the best way (not necessarily most comfortable) for us.

If we are communicating with the Lord in prayer and the word with an honest heart, then we can trust that wherever we are is where we’re meant to be.

Be strong and very courageous, because the Lord is with you, wherever you go…. (Joshua 1:9)

Amen
Categories
KINDNESS WISDOM

Friends in need✨

Don’t live only focused on yourself: my goals, my problems, my trouble at work.

Get your mind off yourself and go be a blessing. Sow a seed.

Go visit that loved one in the hospital, cheer them up.

Call that friend and speak life into their dreams.

Take that elderly neighbor’s dinner each night.

Make an extra plate for them!

Categories
KINDNESS WISDOM

Power 💥

The scripture says, “The strength of the wicked is being cut off, and the power of the Godly is being increased”.

Everything that’s trying to stop you, you need to see that power as being cut off. It may be hindering you now, but it’s only temporary. It’s not going to last. It has lost its source. Every day, it’s withering. Every day, it’s getting weaker. On the outside, it may look the same, but on the inside, it’s drying up!