Micah 6:11 – “Shall I acquit a man with dishonest scales, with a bag of false weights?” (NIV 1978)
My Musings – Scales and weights. They imply accuracy and precision. Just because they allow us to cheat and get away with it, does not make it right. Not getting caught is not the same as being right.
My Advice – Make sure you are honest, not only in your personal life, but also in your professional life. Your job will require persuasion, make sure you do it honestly and not deceptively.
Ezekiel 11:11, 12 – “I will execute judgment on you … and you will know that I am the Lord, for you have not followed my decrees or kept my laws but have conformed to the standards of the nations around you.” (NIV 1978)
My Musings – We are constantly subjected to worldly standards that are contrary to God’s moral laws. We must be careful that our Godly standards are not worn down and eroded by the world’s standards.
My Advice – Do not conform to the standards of this world. You have been called to a higher standard. Bear the standard of God with pride. Conform your life to the image of His Son.
Genesis 2:9 – Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” (NIV 1984)
My Musing – Where are we, and how did we get here? Questions we need to ask ourselves periodically. Sometimes because we fall hard and quick and sometimes because we drift away ever so slowly. Maybe our response is to cover it up, ignore it, evade it, or just hide. But we really cannot successfully do any of these things.
How much does God want to know? He already knows all of it. But He wants us to know it too. He knew full well where Adam was. The point was, He needed Adam to know it too. And Adam did know, why else would he have tried to hide. We know it too. We need to face it, admit it, confess it, repent of it, ask forgiveness for it and get back to where we belong – walking with God in the garden in the cool of the day.
My Advice – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9, NIV 1984). Okay, so it’s John’s advice. But it’s good advice. Aren’t you tired of “hiding” from God?
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.
Nagging & Prodding
Judges 16:16, 17 – With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was tired to death. So he told her everything. (NIV 1978)
My Musing – The devil is persistent, so we need to be on guard. He’ll keep at us trying to wear us down. We need to continue to resist him so he will flee from us.
My Advice – Do not give in to persistent temptation. Each time you resist makes the next time easier. Each time you resist you are that much closer to gaining the complete victory over whatever you are being tempted with. Eventually, the devil will give up (on that one). But every time you give in you go back to square one.
Step 10: Hold Out Against Sin
Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
A: Discovering the Truth
B. Exploring the Truth
Of course we have all heard the old saying that “it is easier said than done,” which seems to be the case when trying to put down our sin nature. We seem to be powerless to resist. But this is lie from the father of lies (“you will not die”). The truth is, the only power temptation has over us is the power we give to it. Continue reading “Hold Out Against Sin”
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.