We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
The Armor of God. Entering God's rest is a joyful existence, for you're allowing the Spirit to guide you and you're watching Him destroy every lofty thing that rises up against Himself, as you cast all your cares upon Him. But can this be maintained or even achieved? Even my christian brother thinks I live in a fantasy land when I tell him to rise above the worries of this world. He tells me that I don't understand his situation, then he goes on to explain his woes. My heart sinks, because I know this joyful existence in the midst of the storms is true; I know it's even more real than the problems themselves. This joy is something deep down inside you where you know and accept that the Lord works through the struggles to teach and strengthen you in the faith. It's a welcoming of woes as they are the instruments of God, even an enemy attack, to refine you as pure as gold and lead you to the Kingdom of God.
Joy is Not Happiness. Life has it's ups and downs, and we've all experienced them. But joy is a calm river that flows within you, below the surface, at the depth of your soul. Happiness and sadness are as the clouds above, coming and going wherever the winds blow them. Joy is knowing the promise of God that He will never leave you nor forsakes you. The more you know and trust in the promises of God, the deeper and cooler the rivers of joy will be within you. They can begin to branch out in all areas of your life, as you surrender more and more of yourself to God. It's the trusting in the Lord, while knowing there will be sunny days and not so sunny days, but always remembering the Lord is using both to reveal Himself to you. And just as God is unshakable, so also will you become, for the worries of this world will not move you.
God Commands the Winds. One of the ways Jesus revealed Himself as the Son of God was having a command over the natural world. His miracles were a 'witness' of the truth of His claim to be one with the Father, so He turned water into wine, calmed the storms and walked on water. Mastery over nature, and mastery over sickness and disease, is what made His apostles abandon themselves regardless the cost. He had it all; He lacked no authority in this world including the power to raise Lazarus from the dead. Nothing was outside of His power of influence and the more they witnessed it, the stronger their faith grew. So it should be with us, for the bible was given to us to build our strength in the promises of God over the storms of our lives.
The Bible is a Witness. Paul taught his flock to use the events of his life as an example for themselves (1 Corinthians 11:1); (2 Thessalonians 3:7-9); (2 Timothy 3:14); (Philippians 4:9). I submit to you that we are part of his flock, for we are under his teachings with 3/4 of the new testament being written by God through him. We know that Paul suffered greatly, many a cloudy and stormy nights, but he allowed these storms to build him up not tear him down, and so it should be with us. The bible also teaches us to use the old testament as an example to show us how to live and strengthen our faith. It's been my greatest source of inspiration; knowing me is to know I love the old testament for I've leaned on the forefather's experiences to gain my wisdom and strengthen my resolve in the midst of the storm. Knowing the old testament, the Lord can call certain events to my remembrance, to shield me from the lies of the enemy, as He leads me through the storm.
Standing Upon Scripture. Once the Lord brings a verse or bible story back to your remembrance, then you're to 'stand upon it.' As long as the storm stays in your life, then the verse should remain in the forefront of your mind, even if it takes years. It's the helmet of salvation in your spiritual armament. The knowledge of God's faithfulness to guide and protect is your defense against the lies of the enemies, which he raises against God's holiness. The enemy wants you to believe that God is no better than anyone else, that He will let you down too and that He isn't to be trusted. When the enemy tells you the storm is bigger than the provision and providence of God, then he is telling you that God can't be trusted. When you look at the storm, instead of looking at God's promises, you believe the lie and the enemy wins that battle because he stool your joy and peace. When we hold the scripture in our minds, instead of the storm, we maintain the joy and peace of God. The bible tells us to subject yourselves to God, resist the devil then he will flee from us (James 4:7). This is to humble or to rely upon the Lord and not yourself; and when we do this the devil knows he can't defeat God so he leaves. He is a defeated foe who has limited time and limited authority.
Your Shield is the Lord. All things were created by Him, through Him and for Him: whether they are visible or invisible, rulers or authorities, or thrones or powers (Colossians 1:16; John 1:3). The attacks of the enemy, the storms of this life, are subject to God; we have NOTHING to fear but God Himself. When He is the Master of your life and you allow Him to lead you, then you KNOW that you're protected because He is with you. As a mother duck leads and her chicklings follow, so it is with God. He can tell the storm to leave and He can calm the waters, but He wants to lead you through them victoriously without fear of trembling for you will not be shaken knowing He is with you. Drink and eat of the Lord, and know that He is good. He is your shield. He is your rock. He allows the winds to blow, so He can calm them in your midst so that you will know and trust in Him alone. He wants to be known and honored. He is bigger than the storms of your life. He can be trusted. He is to be honored. He is worthy of all praise.
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12. Dear heavenly Father, help us to know and understand this verse; please make it our victory song. Please give us the strength to face the challenges of this life. Give us the courage to stand upright against the attacks of the enemy. Give us the desire to know You better, for You alone are good. Let us stand on Your promises so the rivers of joy and peace can flow throughout our being to calm the storm within us so we know that we are only dirt and water, which are nothing in the Hands of a Mighty God. AMEN
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