INTRODUCTION – YOU MEAN IT MAY NOT BE WRONG…
If It Isn’t Clear? – I go even further back than that. Ten years after The Great War, as we used to call it. Before we knew enough to number them. You miss that kind of action, sir? No, I miss that kind of clarity. (Wabash/Houseman and Higgins/Robertson – Three Days of the Condor)
If You Don’t Get Caught? – Boy, what is it with you people? You think not getting caught in a lie is the same thing as telling the truth? (Turner/Redford – Three Days of the Condor)
If It’s A Gray Area? – You are such a boy scout. You see everything in black and white. No, no, no! Not black and white Ritter, right and wrong! (Ritter and Ryan/Ford – Clear and Present Danger)
If… – What are some other ways that we Continue reading “Whatever Happened to Right & Wrong?”
Ephesians 6:12-14 – For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark-world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms, Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, (NIV 1978)
Preparing To Do Battle
- Why is it important to know our enemy (“not against flesh and blood“) when choosing our weapons?
- What is so important about using all (“full”) the armor?
- Are there instances where it is all right to give a little ground (i.e. to not “stand your ground”) in order to make greater gains in the long run? Why (or why not)?
- What happens when we go into battle with the wrong weapons (don’t take a knife to a gunfight and don’t fight spiritual battles with worldly weapons)?
All Dressed Up But Not Ready To Fight. Unless . . .
Ephesians 6:8 – And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. (NIV 1984)
- What role does praying “in the Spirit” play? Why isn’t the “full armor” complete without it?
- We have on the full armor. Our prayer life is dynamic. What happens if we are not “alert“?
Follow The Battle Plan
- God is our ultimate power source (“be strong in the Lord”).
- We need to be in full armor.
- Willingly giving ground is not an option.
- Prayer is vital to our preparedness.
- If we are not alert, all our preparations will be compromised.
- Don’t let the heat of the battle cause us to lose sight of why we are fighting in the first place.
The Battle Is The Lord’s
1 Samuel 16:47 – “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give all of you into our hands.” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – The advantage or victory is not always to the best prepared, the best equipped or the strongest. With God behind you, success is assured even without these “advantages.”
My Advice – Do not rely too heavily on learning, or wealth or strength or privilege or position to get ahead in life. Make sure you are going the way that God is taking you. He is more than an equalizer, He is the ensurer.
Ruth 2:12 – “May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – We will never be disappointed by God when we look to Him for refuge.
My Advice – There are so many places you can go for answers and comfort. Many will disappoint you or let you down. Go to the one source, God, who will never disappoint you or let you down. You may get answers that you do not like, but you will never get answers that are wrong.
Weakest & Least
Judges 6:14-16 – “Go in the strength you have. Am not I sending you.” “But Lord,” Gideon asked, “how can I. My clan is the weakest and I am the least in my family.” The Lord answered, “I will be with you.”
My Musing – Even in our weakness (or especially in our weakness) we can overcome obstacles, barriers and adversaries. Even though we may be weak, we “go in the strength we have” because God goes with us.
My Advice – Do not be afraid to admit your weaknesses. But do not let those weaknesses be an excuse for not doing what you know God wants you to do. His strength is sufficient. It is, in fact, made perfect in our weaknesses. This is because we rely upon Him and not upon our self-sufficiency.
You Can Drive Them Out
Joshua 18:18 – “Though the Canaanites have iron chariots and though they are strong, you can drive them out.” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – For most of us, the “Canaanites” that we face are those sins and habits that we want to hold onto, but deep down in our hearts we know that we should not hold onto. The desire to hold on (our sin nature) can be very strong, but not so strong that with the help of the Holy Spirit we cannot drive them out.
My Advice – Never let yourself become convinced that you cannot overcome a sinful habit or sinful nature. While it may seem like you will be going up against an “iron chariot” on foot, He who is in you is greater than any old iron chariot.
Is Your Backup In The Cloud?
Philippians 4:6, 7 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (NIV 1984)
Who’s got your back? As much as we want to be independent and self-sufficient, it is nice to know that someone has our back. But not just anyone, but rather someone who is both dependable and capable. For what good is backup if it cannot be relied upon to be there when needed, and also capable of providing the backup without “crashing?” For Christians, our backup is God. Not only is He dependable (always faithful), but He is capable (all powerful).
We also want personal attention. Not a “one-size reply all” type of attention. This too is something that we can count on from God. He knows all about us, every single detail and every single concern. For “[b]efore I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” (Jeremiah 1:5, NIV 1978). I like that.