Bible Devotions

Spiritual Attacks

When spiritual attacks come, do we recognize them for what they are?

Our enemy prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  But those steadfast in Christ shall not be shaken.  Everything bad that happens to us isn’t necessarily a spiritual attack.  There are consequences we reap due to our own poor choices.

A spiritual attack is different. It’s usually all encompassing rather than focused in one area.  For example, there might be a relational problem growing larger than life, a miscommunication at work that tarnished your reputation in the eyes of some, and an unexpected health problem all happening at the same time.  If you have children, you might experience rebellion around parental authority on top of all the other stuff going on.  These are just a few examples.

When several things occur in rapid succession, there’s a good chance you might be on the verge of doing something of significance in God’s kingdom.  For these attacks never happen when we sit back and do nothing to glorify God.

Sometimes we might forget about this enemy is real.  As a result, we attempt to correct, or adjust our situation by sheer will power and self effort, even if we are committed to the Lord and study His word each day.  These attacks can still catch us off guard.

There is some comfort knowing we are not the first to fail like this.  The children of Israel failed repeatedly.  Even though God had every right to let them be completely taken over by their enemies, He always stepped in to help when they cried out for it.

So it is with us.  When we cry out to the Lord, he hears us.  While some issues may linger, He strengthens us to endure it.  He brings others to support, encourage and pray for you.  God is faithful to sustain, to deliver, and to set free His chosen people.

So what can we do when we’re under attack?  We can remember what Jesus said in Matthew 5:10-12 and John 16:33.  We can praise God during the attack because we know He will make sure we come through it.  We can talk with other believers who will remind us to take it to the Lord.  We can draw closer to Jesus through prayer. For what the enemy meant for evil, God uses for good.

I pray your next spiritual attack results in a stronger faith, a deeper commitment to Jesus and a closer walk with God Almighty.

Recommended resources:

 

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc is a 501(c) (3) Public Charity helping you grow in knowledge and understanding of God’s Word.

 

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The Next Thing

Doug Fields wrote this wonderful little book called Refuel.  It talks about the practical relationship with God we can and should have.  In one section, he described how we can get stuck feeling overwhelmed by all it takes to follow God.

Think about it.  We’re supposed to pray, read the Bible, go to small group, tithe, go to church, be nice, and do all sorts of good things. Phew! All of these are very good things unless they have become a duty.  Sometimes that’s what our good works become, a chore, a must do, or an obligation.

Doug shares a great tip for overcoming that mindset, even if you don’t think you suffer from that mindset.  He says do not worry about all of it.  Instead concentrate on just the “next thing.”  In each moment of life we have a choice to follow our will or God’s will.  If we would stop and silently ask God for His help, direction or strength in the moment, God will surely answer.

Let me illustrate from my own experience while reading this book with my small group.  As background you need to know I have a physical problem with the muscles in my right arm that makes most movement painful.  In fact, even writing this physically hurts.  Okay now to get to my “next thing” moment.

One day standing in my kitchen I noticed how dirty the cabinets had become.  The doors have a molding detail that is great at collecting dust and dirt.  Did I mention the cabinets were white?  As I stood looking at the dirty kitchen cabinets I prayed, “Lord, you know the problem with my arm.  You know my husband desires cleanliness.  Would you please help me clean these cabinets?” Well, I got to work.  You know what? God gave me the strength in my arm to clean those cabinets.  Not only that but there was no pain later on either!

This is one example of how we can turn to God in the moment and give Him our “next thing.” No matter what you are facing, stop and give it to Him.  He will lead you through, give you wisdom, or provide the strength it takes for that moment.

If you haven’t read Doug’s book yet, you might want to get your own copy today.  I highly recommend it for individual or small group study.

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc is a 501(c) (3) Public Charity helping you grow in knowledge and understanding of God’s Word.

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Wholly Surrender

Kay Warren’s book Dangerous Surrender covers so much ground it probably could have been more than one book.  It’s the story of how God got Kay’s attention to the HIV-AIDS crisis leaving millions of orphaned children in its wake. But it’s more than that.

Kay shares intimate thoughts, ones most people would run from.  She is wide open, flat-out honest about herself.  You know what? I wish more people were! I can relate to her inner struggle for purity, to finding evil within and not being happy about it.

This book is chronicles several trips abroad as Kay learned first hand the devastation of HIV-AIDS.  I love how candid she is about all she learned along the way – the passion that burns, the depression from serving from own power, and the joy in serving the Master.

While I can understand why “Dangerous Surrender” was chosen for the title, I think “Wholly Surrender” is a far better fit.  Through Kay’s journey she learned to surrender more of herself to God through every trial and circumstance.

Isn’t it time you wholly surrendered to God?

Caution: This book may cause the weak emotional ones among us to become upset.  Keep the tissues handy.

Order yours now. Know someone who might be ready for this? Buy it for them.

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Jesus Calling – Do You Hear Me Now?

Jesus Calling by Sarah Young is a most delightful devotional read.  It is written as though Jesus, Himself, is speaking these words directly to you.  There were many occasions when the message for the day was exactly what I was facing on that particular day.  Sarah Young is a gifted writer and anointed devotionalist.

If you are looking for a fresh start or jump start in your quiet times, this book is it.  This quick read will get your mind focused on God, His presence, His power, His plans, His peace and many other facets of His being.

Start your day out right. Seek God first by reading Jesus Calling each day.

Order your copy today. Or buy one as a gift for a friend.  You won’t be sorry.

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What’s Your Next Thing?

Doug Fields wrote this wonderful little book called Refuel.

Doug Field's book called RefuelIt talks about the practical relationship with God we can and should have.  In one section, he described how we can get stuck feeling overwhelmed by all it takes to follow God.

Think about it.  We’re supposed to pray, read the Bible, go to small group, tithe, go to church, be nice, and do all sorts of good things. Phew! All of these are very good things unless they have become a duty.  Sometimes that’s what our good works become, a chore, a must do, or an obligation.

Doug shares a great tip for overcoming that mindset, even if you don’t think you suffer from that mindset.  He says do not worry about all of it.  Instead concentrate on just the “next thing.”  In each moment of life we have a choice to follow our will or God’s will.  If we would stop and silently ask God for His help, direction or strength in the moment, God will surely answer.

Let me illustrate from my own experience while reading this book with my small group.  As background you need to know I have a physical problem with the muscles in my right arm that makes most movement painful.  In fact, even writing this physically hurts.  Okay now to get to my “next thing” moment.

One day standing in my kitchen I noticed how dirty the cabinets had become.  The doors have a molding detail that is great at collecting dust and dirt.  Did I mention the cabinets were white?  As I stood looking at the dirty kitchen cabinets I prayed, “Lord, you know the problem with my arm.  You know my husband desires cleanliness.  Would you please help me clean these cabinets?” Well, I got to work.  You know what? God gave me the strength in my arm to clean those cabinets.  Not only that but there was no pain later on either!

This is one example of how we can turn to God in the moment and give Him our “next thing.” No matter what you are facing, stop and give it to Him.  He will lead you through, give you wisdom, or provide the strength it takes for that moment.

If you haven’t read Doug’s book yet, you might want to get your own copy today.  I highly recommend it for individual or small group study.

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Character Matters

Recently I discovered a wonderful author, Katie Brazelton.  She has a heart for encouraging others to become the best people God intended.  Her new book called Character Makeover – 40 Days with a life coach to create the best you is a great resource.  Not only does this book outline daily exercises for developing 8 godly character traits in your life but she has a website containing additional tools for each chapter.

 

In the first week of study, we are working on humility.  All of the exercises would make great devotions for you, my audience.  However, a portion of today’s exercise is especially helpful and might challenge you as it did me.  I share this to pique your interest and perhaps encourage you to become your best you by picking up this book for yourself at ThinkOnIt Devotions Book Store.  Just click on the Character category and her book will be the first one you see.  Enjoy!

 

Preparation for the exercise: (This is my value-add.)

Merriam-Webster’s definition of HONOR says (1) a good name or public esteem, reputation, (2) person meriting respect, recognition, (3) a person of superior standing or high office, (4) a person whose worth brings respect or fame, credit, (5) chastity, purity, (6) a person with keen sense of ethical conduct, integrity.

 

Verse: Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.  Philippians 2:3 NKJV (Note: The author uses a different translation, but I’m partial to NKJV.)

 

Ponder Point: If you were to make a list of your actions designed to give you honor and one for when your actions give others honor, which list would be longer?

 

Question: In what ways do you give more honor or esteem to others?

 

Read the verse several times.  Think about the question.  Pray for God to reveal your true condition.  Do you honor yourself more than others?  Do you give more esteem to others instead?

 

There were many more exercises that went with this one, but I choose this one to share because it’s the beginning of becoming others-centered.   I hope you will consider this book.  It is well written, easy to follow and biblically soul-strengthen. 

 

Lord, I thank you for spirit-led authors like Katie Brazelton, who have stepped out in faith to follow your direction for their life and give back to others by sharing what they have learned.  May we do the same as we set our hearts and minds on you.  In Jesus’ name Amen.

 

© Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.  For more devotions, bible studies and a recommended book store, visit http://www.ThinkOnItDevotions.com today.

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