Today's devotional comes from my friend in San Diego, D. Andrews, she has such a testimony to tell.
Good Morning Ladies (and few gents),
Today’s devotion included below “Facing the Unknown with God’s Promises” is a reminder from GiG Elisa that, “Our thoughts left unchecked can spiral instantly and produce crippling anxiety.”
Oh, she has hit the nail on the head in saying, “…we need to take captive our thoughts and make them obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).”
GiG, I’m God-inspired to share what I’ve been learning lately about facing the unknown.
As most of you know, I’m a “Jersey Girl” through and through. And God didn’t discount my NJ attitude, tenacity and grit, but instead used it in my transformation. After all, He planned the specific time and place in history where I’d be born, grow up (Acts 17:26). So as a Jersey girl, I could be heard saying things such as: “Oh no you didn’t”, “Oh where does it say I can’t, watch me”, or “Don’t underestimate me, I can go from lady to Jersey in 2 seconds.” OUCH! Oh, but then the transforming power of Jesus took hold of my life. I’ve been redeemed, transformed by the renewing of my mind into what I’ve come to label Berean Bombshell. By the way, that’s the name of the new ministry God has birthed that I look forward to sharing soon.
There is a formal definition and an informal one for the word—bombshell. I’m identifying with the formal definition: an overwhelming surprise or disappointment. Depending upon who you talk to I’m viewed as either one or the other—surprise or disappointment. OUCH!
What brought revelation to this identity—Berean Bombshell, was having had time to reflect upon where I’ve come from (against all odds), where I am, and where God wants to take me. In addition, reading an article some time ago that pointed out five important lessons Christians must learn from the Bereans. Here is the highlight reel from DEA’s World. As a believer, I:
must be separated from the world (in it but not of it)
must be more open-minded, teachable, and humble. God’s way needs humility (aka fair-mindedness)
need to study the Bible daily (treat it like a nutritious meal not a dreaded diet plan)
need to prove all things (yet not out of rebellion, pride, or for the sake of starting an argument)
need to allow my example to influence others for good
“And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul's message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.” Acts 17:11 NLT
I choose to approach life keeping this verse and the five things I mentioned above in mind, in some form or fashion. And as Sharon Jayne writes in her book, Enough: Silencing the Lies That Steal Your Confidence, “I am not responsible for the outcome of my obedience. God is.”
With that said, back to 2 Corinthians 10. Here are verses 3-6 in two translations.
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” NIV
“The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.” MSG
I don’t know about you, but for me, and those who really know me, the latter translation screams “JERSEY GIRL!”
GiG, we’re like Paul—merely weak humans, but we don’t need to use human plans and methods to win our battles, which include battles that take place in our minds. There are far too many people young and old with thought lives that are not fruitful but fretful. Remember if you can’t say Amen, say OUCH! God’s mighty weapons are available to us as we fight against Satan’s “strongholds.” And whatever that “stronghold” might be in our lives.
There is a bottom line I want to encourage us with today: as believers, we must choose whose methods to use—God’s or the worlds. It’s not hard to see which one a lot of Christians seem to be choosing today. OUCH or Amen!
Paul assures us that God’s mighty weapons (prayer, faith, hope, love, His Word, the Holy Spirit) are powerful and effective. So when dealing with our own issues or the walls that Satan builds to keep loved ones and friends from finding and following God, let’s not be tempted to use our own methods. Nothing can break down barriers like God’s weapons. God must be the commander in chief, not the executive officer (XO)—second in command!
God’s Got It…so we can HOPE—Whatever the odds, never let the odds determine our destiny.
Called to serve and encouraging others to thrive,
Check out today's Coffee and Conversations: God Does Provide: https://youtu.be/qv4jQ31COjQ