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Archive for February, 2012

Training for War

21 Question Test of Spiritual Maturity

Training for War

Fact: Be strong in the Lord.  The enemy is on the prowl–ready to attack, so we as Christians have to always be prepared so we don’t lose any ground.

 

Ephesians 6:10 (The Amplified Bible)
10In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provide].

 Identify Your Enemy and Know His Mission

The devil hates us because we belong to God.  In addition, the devil represents the opposite of everything the Lord has given to us (through salvation).  The devil’s longstanding focus is to attack us with lack, confusion and doubt.  His ultimate goal is to steal the life that Jesus died for us to have.  The devil wants us to approach life in a fleshly way, being shaken by what we see, hear and feel.  He wants to keep us limited and in a constant state of fear.  In Numbers 13 and 14, the selected Israelites went to the promise land and mistook the tall people and large, juicy produce for a gigantic and unrealistic life that they could never live in. They saw themselves as grasshoppers and never able to have what the Lord had given them.  Don’t adopt the grasshopper syndrome.  If we rely on the Lord and let Him prepare us, we can overcome the enemy!

 Training Gear

We are in an ongoing spiritual war, but some people have not been trained.  We are ready for training when we are connected to God.  Even though seasoned saints get trained, they have to work to maintain their stamina.  Our connection to the Lord gives us defense and protection.  When we are linked to Him, He infuses us with His power and wisdom.  After a while, we are strong enough to go on the offense.  Below is a list of our spiritual training gear.

  • Consistent church attendance
  • Warfare prayer  (Jude 1:20, Luke 22:44)
  • Reading the Word of God
  • Know your weaknesses
  • Set parameters around your life (James 3:2)
  • Confession (Confess the Word of the Lord until your life follows suit.)
  • Discern the enemy through prayer and application of the Word (Ephesians 3:16)
  • Close the breech walls (in your life) that are caused by unforgivness (2 Corinthians 2:10)

Love,

Dr. Joyce Oliver

 

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21 Question Test of Spiritual Maturity

Deliverance from People

Fact: People lose themselves to become something they were never meant to be.  God is looking for a standard bearer.

Luke 9:25 (The Amplified Bible)
For what does it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and ruins or forfeits (loses) himself?

Real Identity

We all seek approval from others, but it has to be balanced in our pleasing the Lord first.  When people don’t have balance, they follow the culture of the world.  The key to deliverance from people is seeking to please God (Galatians 1:10).  Be true to yourself and who the Lord made you to be.  Don’t compromise your standards or beliefs to please others.  Finally, understand that oftentimes, when you stand for something (in terms of godly prinicples), you stand alone.

1 Thessalonians 2:4 (The Amplified Bible)
But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the glad tidings (the Gospel), so we speak not to please men but to please God, Who tests our hearts expecting them to be approved].

Loneliness vs. Acceptance

When we hunger for approval, we fear disapproval.  However, if we are mature in the Lord, then we are never really alone because the Lord is always with us.  The more that we stand for the principles of the Lord, the stronger our confidence becomes in Him.  However, in order for us to stand strong, we have to consistently hear the Word and respond to it.  When people hear the Word and don’t respond to it, they are not allowing themselves to be developed and stretched (Matthew 9:17).

No matter, what we do, we will never be able to please everyone.  That is why our confidence in the Lord is key.  Our confidence in Him helps us to become leaders for His kingdom.  And true, mature leaders dare to be themselves in spite of being unliked.  What some people may not know is that pleasing people leads to rebellion (1 Samuel 15).  Fear of people, their comments and opinions will cause people to reject the Lord and miss out on their purpose.  Remember Peter when he cursed and denied the Lord?

Pleasing One Another in a Godly Context

It is okay for us to please one another if we are building each other up.

Romans 15:2 (The Amplified Bible)
Let each one of us make it a practice to please (make happy) his neighbor for his good and for his true welfare, to edify him [to strengthen him and build him up spiritually].

Be Delivered from People

In order to be free from people, we have to let go of the past.  For every person that we are not delivered from, we are tied to, and they are not neutral, objective influences in our lives.  Our ties to them bind us prevent and us from being who the Lord called us to be.  Salvation is the first key to freedom.  In becoming saved, we find that our identity is in the Lord and His Word should be the final say in our lives-not people.  Deliverance from people is also found in our emotions; therefore, we have to stay built up in the Word of the Lord so that our feelings will not fall prey to what people say and do to us.  Finally, being free from people will affect our relationships.  We will have to be delivered (and possibly separated from) people in our lives who are prideful and who may try to trample on our self-esteem or demand inappropriate expectations of us.  Be grounded in the Lord, so you can live the full, kingdom life that was specially created for you.

Love,

Dr. Joyce Oliver

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