Christ is hard—sometimes so hard that we’re tempted to wonder if it’s worth the
sacrifice. It is, of course, but difficulties sometimes cloud that truth. Based
on my years of studying spiritual warfare, here are characteristics of
believers who don’t give up in the battle:
They’re solidly connected to a local
church. That is, they don’t just attend a
church; they participate in it. They’re involved in a
small group, and they serve in some capacity. They’re living for something
other than themselves.
They have a devotional life, even if it’s
not perfect. They might be struggling
with consistency, but they’re working at it. They make time to read the
Bible and pray.
They have somebody to walk with them. They
don’t fight the battle alone, because they have a Christian brother or
sister who stands with them. They share their burdens and their
struggles—which always lightens the load a bit.
They choose to believe what the Bible
says. Even when they may not
“feel” like it’s true, they make the choice to trust Bible truths like “I
will not leave you or forsake you” (Heb. 13:5) and “greater is he that is
in me than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
They rehearse God’s care in the past. It’s
easy to forget yesterday’s blessings when today’s hard, but those who
don’t give up fight hard to avoid that error. They continually remind
themselves, “God has never let me down in the past. He won’t now, either.”
They trust that when they are weak, God is
their strength (2 Cor. 12:10). They
may not like the battle, but they learn from the apostle Paul’s prior
experience. Weakness doesn’t bother them, for they know God’s power is
most evident when they are weakest.
They understand the witness of
faithfulness in the battle. They recognize that
somebody’s always watching them—and that their witness is most potent when
life is hard and their faith is stretched. Their faithfulness in the
valley catches the attention of the watching world.
They cry out to God. There’s
no pretense in their praying. They sugarcoat none of their words, and they
follow no formula in their prayers. They know God’s big enough to handle
their questions and their pain. He is, you know…
Hoe goed, hoe mooi is dit as broers eensgesind saam
woon! Dit is soos reukolie wat van die kop af in die baard afloop, die baard
van Aäron, af tot by die soom van sy klere. Psalm 133:1-2 NAV
Die Skrif gebruik die
beelde van die Heilige Gees om die seën en salwing op sulke verhoudings te
beskryf: dis soos die wydingsolie wat oor Aäron uitgegiet is, om hom vir die
Here af te sonder, soos die dou van Hermonberg wat op Sion val. So ‘n salwing
– en die eenheid en vrede wat daaruit spruit – is egter ook ‘n gevolg van ons
eie Geesvervuldheid: ons liefde, geduld, vriendelikheid, vergifnis, ons begrip.
**As die olie van die Heilige Gees ons gedagtes
verander het, vloei dit af oor ons hart en verander ons gevoelens; dit gaan sit
in ons klere en word deel van ons gedrag en benat dan die grond om ons as ons
…Dis my en jou taak om só onder die Heilige Gees se
invloed te wees! Dan sal ons verhoudings ook mooi wees…
Here, vul my met U
Gees! Seën ons met U eenheid en vrede, met U liefde. Amen.
recently meditated on Genesis 3.21 - and once again realised how
much God must have love His Adam and Eve.
When they sinned against their
Creator God did not turn His back on them - not at all. In fact He went
looking for them, even in their wrong. When they heard God walking in
the garden they hid from Him. How silly....He called them and asked
them why they were hiding...As if God did not know what they did and why they
What struck me about this was He
still went looking for them. He did not ignore them for a week,
giving them a cold shoulder, nor did He had a tit-4-tat attitude... no.
God wants to have fellowship with us and knowing thát I think God wanted to
restore the uneasiness and tension, He wanted them to feel save again - even in
their wrong, to restore peace.
God must have been disappointed
that they did what He specifically asked them not to
do. Surely He was must have been upset that they disobeyed Him. Yet God chose
to show mercy and kindness and love and forgiveness.
When God asked them 'where are you' --- this question might
as well be why are you hiding?
God loves us unconditionally - He
is not going to love us less when we did something wrong - maybe it’s
because we love conditionally, behave and forgive conditionally...
I will forgive you.... if you
promise never to steal again
I will take you back....if you
promise never to cheat on me again
I will wash the dishes....if
you make the bed
I will give you a star on your
chore chart....if you make your bed every morning
Will we ever get it that God wants
us to run to HIM when we did something we weren't supposed to?
I remember when I was a little
girl I would hide from my father when I did something that would upset him
knowing that he was going to spank me. I was terrified of him.
I know today that the hiding was
the consequence of the act/me being naughty...but at the time I hated him for
it because he was often unfair and very cruel in his methods of punishment.
As I grew closer to the Lord
and began to [try] understand His love for me, His thoughts, plans and
sacrifices He made for me, only then did I start letting go of the 'fear
that God would react as my earthly father did'. I had yet to learn that God is
not going to give me time out, or make me stand in the corner of the room, or
sit in the bathroom for hours - He wants to me to make it right with Him, right
away so I can go on with my day without living it in fear, without feeling imprisoned
by guilt and shame.
We need to adopt an attitude of
asking for forgiveness, apologise to God for our stubborn and rebelliousness
immediately after we have sinned; so that the sin cannot get a
hold on us ....."Sin is lying outside your door ready to attack.
It wants to control you, but you must master it" (Gen 4.7)