Seed

“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” – James 1:14-15

Temptation to sin (act against the will or instructions of God) does not ever come from God, it comes from the voice of the enemy. He speaks a word in your ear and entices you to receive it. Then once received that seed conceives something that grows inside of you until it births a work (or act) that eventually, when matured (allowed to play out over time) leads to death (destruction of others and hell for one’s self).

Yet does this work the same if you view it from the other perspective. That of truth, or the word of God, the good seed being planted in you. Once you receive it, if not plucked up by unbelief, eaten up by the lies of the enemy, or choked out by materialism, entertainment, or the cares of this life, will begin to grow in you until it is birthed in a work (or act) that eventually, when matured (allowed to play out over time) leads to life (blessing and deliverance for others and heaven for ones self).

James was able to clearly see this because that he was a son of Mary (the mother of Jesus). He heard the story and He could see it played out in his own family. God had spoken a word (the seed) to Mary. She had received it by faith. That seed of grace combined with her faith, conceived something that grew in her while no one else believed until eventually it was birthed through an action, a labor, her work was to give birth. To let this impossible thing that God had spoken come forth through her, and when she did, the word became flesh. It manifested into something that all men could see, but being yet small and humble could very few believe. Yet over time it did eventually mature into that which brought eternal life to everyone who would believe and receive the seed of it themselves.

So no, we are not saved by works because some works are evil being conceived by a seed (or word) planted by the enemy. Even when it looks good and tempting, like a pleasing piece of fruit hanging on a tree with a voice offering wisdom and notoriety for partaking. (Bad fruit will always cost you more then if offers you). Yet the true seed, when received and mixed with faith will conceive something, a labor of love and sacrifice, a travailing birthing of that promises manifested unto eternal life.

Jesus received a seed Himself. The Word that God had spoken to Him was travailed over in Gethsemane, it was labored for at Mt Calvary, it was birthed at the garden tomb and it grows even still, through me and you. Yet once you receive that seed you must also nurture it in the season when no one else can see it, but you can feel it. Feed it with prayer and supplication. Guard it with faith and dedication. Carry it with sacrificial determination and eventually it will birth a manifestation of the Word that God gave you into something that can be seen and believed by those around you. Then watch it mature into the fullness of the greatness of God’s promises in a way that will astound you bringing deliverance, hope, and life. Even through the hard times. Because that’s what God does. He revives. He surprises. He goes above and beyond all that we can hope or imagine. But it takes faith to get from the seed to the mature manifestation of the promise and the greatest part of it won’t even come until after our work in this earth is done. So no matter what part you are in, keep believing! Keep receiving the good seed and rejecting the wicked ones! Keep pressing forward and guarding, watering, and feeding those promises, because this one I know, the best is yet to come. For His Word, tells me so.

“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.” – Luke 8:11

“Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.” – Matthew 13:31-32

Uzziah’s Transgression

“And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father Amaziah did. And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper.” – 2 Chronicles 26:4-5

The whole of the 26th chapter of the book of 2 Chronicles is the story of King Uzziah. He sought the Lord and the Lord led and instructed and blessed him with great victories, inventions, and expansion in the Kingdom of Israel.

He became known for all his great works and wars won. He was renowned and respected because that the Lord was with him, for He did that which was right in the sight of the Lord. What a stark difference from most of the Kings in Israel’s history! How astonishing the story of his victories!

However, as we continue to read we see that pride snuck in. His heart was lifted up within him, the scripture says. He became arrogant, thinking that he could do anything. Forgetting that God was the one who really did these things and He chooses who He pleases. So that Uzziah went into the temple and burned incense (which was the priest’s function, the sons of Aaron) to offer prayers unto heaven.

He did the right thing but did it the wrong way. He got out of his role and took control and when one does that God equates it to witchcraft.

The priest came to Uzziah and confronted him. I fully believe that in this moment there was space for repentance. Even evil King Ahab, considered to be among the most wicked of all Israel’s King’s, was given a reprieve when he humbled and repented immediately at the word of the prophet. (Though he later returned to his sin and was judged for it.)

So that surely had Uzziah heeded the words of these priest and humbled himself before God in repentance then God would have excepted and fixed it. Our response when corrected is oh so very important, as we see in the difference between Saul and David who both sinned but their response to the Lords correction of it determined the end of the matter. David humbled and repented and Saul didn’t listen to the words of the prophet.

Sadly, when the priest came and spoke the truth to Uzziah, he did not humble and repent but rather grew angry with them and in the moment that his anger rose up, so did Leprosy. In this was he put out of the temple and made to live a part while his son stepped up into his role as King over Israel. How much more could there have been to this story of His if he had not gotten arrogant, or if he had been willing to humble and repent once he did?

Prayer:

Lord help us to not fall guilty of this, the sin of Uzziah. Who had been such a mighty man in Your kingdom as long as He trusted You to lead it. Yet once You had done miraculous things because he was humble enough to seek Your leading, did he start to move independently of the body that You Yourself had chosen and positioned to help him. Lord help us to never step outside of our roles thinking that we can do everything on our own. Forgive us of this arrogance and teach us to honor the limits You give us, because that we have all faith in the limitlessness of the one who positioned us. You know what you are doing. Help us to trust that enough to not try to usurp what You are doing with our own ambitions. Nor to reject Your voices of correction in arrogance, but to work together in perfection as a body who is led by the head of perfection, which is Jesus.

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” – Ephesians 4:11-16

Suffering

“But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” – 1 Peter 5:10

Many are they that are lied too, that come to a false version of the truth. They are told that if they believe in God then all their troubles in this earth will be over. He is painted to be a genie or a tooth fairy. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact the word genie was an ancient middle eastern word for “fallen angels” (like Lucifer). They offered material gain, fame, and fortune in exchange for adoration and ultimately, your soul. Because sin, selfishness, self indulgence, and self-centeredness, always cost you something.

First and foremost, it cost you the Holy Spirit because He will have no part in it. For Adam taking the pleasing but bad fruit and the promise of deity from the fallen one cost him his dominion over the planet and His fellowship with the Father. For Jesus, had He excepted Satans offer for the planet and bent the knee, it would have cost Him The Kingdom of Heaven. It always cost you something and what you stand to loose in the long run is always far greater then what you stand to gain in the short term. So be careful of a false gospel that focuses on pleasing you rather then the One who made you and is truly worthy to be praised. Yet with God it is the opposite, what you stand to loose here cannot compare to what you stand to gain over there. Here in, is the patience of the saints.

We know that Paul warned us to be ware of doctrines of demons and an easy, please me, serve me, bless me physically, materialistic gospel is one of them. But what is the real gospel of Jesus? Jesus said to love God first, to love others second, and to put self last, because that is the nature of love, real love.

True love is selfless. True love sacrifices self to help those it loves. God is love and He demonstrated that to us at Mt Calvary and if we have received His Spirit and He lives and breathes inside of us, leading our actions, then we will love and live sacrificially also and the selfish pleasure loving world will hate us for it because by it are they convicted of their own sin and selfishness.

“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had (known their) sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.” – John 15:18-22

So today I am here to set the record straight and speak the truth to you in love unto the edifying of your soul. As soon as you receive the true Holy Spirit it will lead you into a wilderness just like it did for Jesus. If you are willing to follow its leading it will take you into difficult situations where you will be despised and hated for Christ sake. It will call you to love those who persecute you and bless those who hurt you. This is the real gospel.

God does not desire suffering, sin brought suffering into the world, not Him. Yet because we are in the world we will experience it. More so, because we are not of the world will we be targeted by it, hated by the master of it. Yet does it give us the chance to shine as a light in the darkness. To be a witness against it. To show the difference that the Spirit of Christ has made in us. To be like Him as we are led by Him.

Don’t get me wrong it’s not all gloom. God is loving, kind, and amazing. He is faithful and does miracles daily. Yet will your blessings come mixed with persecutions because how else will you truly be able to demonstrate Him and His uncommon love to those who don’t deserve it and most need to see it? How else will you yourself be perfected and grow more tender, loving, compassionate, and patient? How else will you be refined and made ready for the greater work to come in God’s eternal kingdom? How else will you be tested and made less selfish? After all, the roses greatest gift to us, it’s heavenly fragrance, cannot truly be released until that it is crushed.

Yes trials and tribulations will come, but they are not worthless suffering for no reason. God is not cruel but moves in great wisdom, these things have their purposes in purifying and perfecting you for a greater use then you can know or imagine. So rejoice when you are trusted and chosen for trials of great reward. You cannot imagine what it is all for but you can trust in the God of love and more truly get to know Him in the fellowship of His suffering, and oh how great or the rewards of it for those who endure with patience the trials of affliction that come to try us. This is the real gospel. The good news is not of this world, for those who love the world will be judged with it. The good news is that we who believe will be redeemed from it into eternal glory in the presence, peace, power, and perfection of our King. Lord strengthen us daily to live for that moment regardless of what happens in the temporary.

“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” – 1 Peter 1:6-7

“Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” – Acts 14:22

“If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:” – 2 Timothy 2:12

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” – Romans 8:14-18

A Sharp Word

“Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.” – 2 Corinthians 13:10

Paul spoke very plainly in correcting the Corinthians. Choosing his words wisely in epistle because, as he states, if he were to come a third time to them in person to correct them it would be with sharpness. Yet would these harsh words be to edify and perfect them, not to crush and destroy them.

As a good father to his children, as a true servant of God fearing the judgment, was Paul willing to get serious with His correction because He knew the weight of the consequences of allowing them to continue in their rebellion.

Many have paid a great weight for the sake that the lost might be saved. Christ most of all, then after Him many a martyr and servant of the Lord. Many give up their time, energy, desires, ambitions, and lives to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost soul. So great is the sin of one who comes in and disrupts the work of the kingdom with assumptions, ambition, false doctrine, false words, contention, pride, arrogance, or a desire for attention.

Those who had not paid the price as Paul had to lay this foundation had come in and begun to dismantle it and he took it serious. As it was, yet did he also know that they were immature children in the faith, that though they needed correction, did he still desire to perfect them that they might grow up into their place in the Kingdom. Not simply to reject them. Yet to achieve this would he need to correct them and they would need to receive it from him.

Lord help us who have the experience to have the faith and boldness to speak what You give us to our spiritual children, that they not become reckless, rebellious, and dangerous to the work of the Kingdom. Yet likewise, let us determine to be humble enough to receive correction and instruction in righteousness.

Those who want disciples to follow after them will always be seeking to lead others, yet will they only ever lead them into error, deception, sin, and damnation because the Holy Spirit will not help them. Therefore will it always be another spirit that steps in to equip and use them to do this unto destruction. This is what kept happening in the church of Corinth and Paul was weary of continuously having to address it.

Yet the true maturing disciple of Christ will stop trying to lead everything and everyone and will be happy to simply follow after Jesus and if others tag along as they do, then so be it. When they begin to stray from pride, arrogance, ignorance, or ambition, and God reveals it to them, they will stop, get back in the classroom of the Holy Spirit (their proper position), cry out, repent, worship, and wait on Him to come and fix them and all that the enemy has messed up through their assumptuous actions. Know this, that the perfecting of the saint takes submission, humility, and more then anything, patience.

“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” – James 1:4

Be more willing to follow than to lead, pointing all men to Jesus and it will happen naturally. Anything else is counter to His character and teachings. God chooses who He pleases because He knows the end from the beginning. Trust His wisdom more then your own ambition. Desire the prayer closet more then a platform. Desire an audience with heaven more then an audience of men and women. Desire to minister to God and as you abide in Him, He will fill you with His presence and radiate through you in every situation so that He Himself will minister to men. After all, all we really have to offer them that has any real power or value, is Him.

“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” – John 12:32

The Pattern

Jesus life is a similitude of what they body will go through.

His ministry begins with a baptism and a wedding ceremony, then miracles, then ministry mixed with opposition yet protected by God and unstoppable by the enemy. Then the miracles get bolder and the message more difficult to receive. Miracle ministry, then healing ministry, then He raises the dead to give them faith for what is coming.

Then He preaches and pleads with the lost openly in Jerusalem as a witness against those who would reject Him, then persecution, then crucifixion. Finally the protection of God is lifted and the enemy is allowed to overcome Him. Then what looks like defeat even though He trusted what God said. Then resurrection and we see that He actually trusted God in a level greater then we comprehended; and He was right, and the enemy is defeated.

We are the body of Christ, and what He experienced is more than the source of our redemption. It is a type and shadow of things to come, of what we ourselves as the church or the bride will go through (from the releasing of His Holy Spirit until we see revelations fulfilled) as we follow after Christ refusing to leave our husbands side. Yet does the end of His story give us faith for the end of ours also. He was resurrected and given Kingship in God’s eternal Kingdom, and us with Him, who keep believing like He did. It’s not an easy commission, but it is worth it, and Jesus proved it. Do you believe it?

“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:” – 1 Peter 2:21

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14

“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.” – 1 Corinthians 15:20-23

“But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” – Romans 8:11

Do Your Part

“But now are they many members, yet but one body.” – 1 Corinthians 12:20

We have all heard the expression that no man is an island unto himself. Everyone needs help. The Bible is clear about this principle that two or better then one, because they can get more done for the kingdom, and a threefold cord is not easily broken. There is strength and accountability in the body and family of Christ.

Now that body is not a building but the members of God’s great congregation. The sheepfold is bigger then our small picture of it. Our preacher and congregation have their place in it rather they realize it or not for Paul tells us that a foot is still a foot even if it thinks that it’s not.

Further more, we have a part to play in praying for the greater body even if we are rejected by it, like Paul did from prison. He was despised and rejected by most, saying that only one or two still stood with him. Yet did he still intercede for them as the Apostle who had planted them. He was still a part of the body even if they didn’t think he was and he still had a roll to play as such. If you say to the eye that it is not the eye, does that make it not they eye?

We see this same mind in Christ who was despised and rejected even though He was chosen of God to be the head of all of it. Yet He still interceded for the whole of it and gave His life a ransom for those who rejected and abandoned Him. In His hour of greatest service, no man stood with Him. Even His disciples all fled and left Him. Yet still did He fight for them. Though he seemed to stand alone in that moment, like Paul in His prison, was he still a part of the body and he stood in His role in it.

These men loved and fought for those who had tried to separate themselves from them, those who had rejected and abandoned them. Those who had slandered and hated them. They sacrificed, suffered, loved, and interceded for them. Because the hand is still the hand and if it ceases to preform its function then is it dead and has become a hindrance and a serious problem to the body and is in danger of amputation. But the good news is this, that we serve a God of resurrection! So that that dead member does not need to stay that way. What does hinder you from being raised?! Simply ask, believe, receive, be revived, come alive, and step back into your function in the body of Christ. Your true function. The one that He (as the head) assigned to you. Not the one you wanted to do (because everyone wants to pick their part), but the one that the Lord equipped you for.

“And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.” – 1 Corinthians 12:21-25

Pulled Back

In my garden yesterday I noticed that my cucumbers had finally grown enough to start reaching and climbing the trellis that I had provided for them. So I picked them up off the ground and positioned them on the lowest level of the trellis.

Today after some time in prayer, I went back out into my garden. The first row of cucumbers had grown upward, climbing the trellis. Yet the second row, under the shadow of the first who had already begun climbing, had left the position that I had put them in and began making their own way to the right toward the other row to climb the other rows trellis as it reached for the sun the fastest way it could tell how.

However, from my view point from above, as the husbandmen of the garden with greater vision and experience, out of care and understanding, after it had fought so hard through the night to get itself over to the right side, I pulled it back to where I had placed it before and again reconnected it to its own trellis.

I know that it might seem like it’s getting more light by going to the right for the moment, crawling along the ground. It might see those other plants climbing high, but if I leave it there, it will die. Cucumbers need to climb. They need to reach for something, left on the ground they will be stunted, overshadowed, get diseased and eventually die. I needed to pull it back and put it back into the right position to grow the fastest, so it could climb higher!

The plant was trying, doing what it thought best by it’s nature, but from my larger prospective I knew that it needed to do something contrary to it’s nature and it just needed to surrender to what I was doing for it. It was for it’s good. It was to help it grow faster! To reach the light and heights that it needed in order to become fruitful and productive the quickest!

It needed something to reach for and that something was in the opposite direction from where it thought it needed to go. My friend, sometimes to elevate faster you have to allow God to bring you back to where you were before you started trying to achieve your goals on your own.

Sometimes the fastest way to go forward is to go backwards. Reaching for the light was beneficial for the Cucumber for a short season while it was growing and developing the arms it needed to reach the wire, but once it had grown enough to start climbing, it needed to go back in order to go up.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.” – Proverbs 3:5-8

Keep Praying

“Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity. I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.” – 1 Timothy 2:7-8

There is great power in the unified prayer of the saints. No great move of God ever came without it. All the ingredients of the power of Paul’s ministry or summed up in these two passages. Speak the truth of God’s word by preaching the message, testimony, and teachings of Jesus. And call for unified prayer without fightings among the brethren or doubt in your heart.

“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” – 1 Corinthians 1:10

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” – Matthew 5:9

Heal the heart of a church and you will plug them into the power source of the Holy Ghost. Pray for unity and you pray for revival. Pray for purity and you pray for the survival of the ones who will follow you. You are the example that they will look too. Make sure that what you show them is humility, holiness, and unity among the brethren. A solid and selfless family. To stand apart from sin is to be in Union with God, yet must it always be done in love, rightly reflecting His character and Spirit.

Men be humble before the women and children. Woman be respectful before the men and the children. Children be reverent before the elders. Elders be patient and holy before the children. Function as a unit, each supporting and fighting for the other while being led by the head which is Christ Jesus. Even as a body does for all its members and you will move in the fullness of God’s power made available to us who believe and trust Him and are willing to walk humbly to demonstrate His teachings.

You gain these things in prayer. You maintain these things in prayer. You fight for others to obtain these things in prayer. All the power of the kingdom comes to us through prayer. So no wonder the devil fights it so much and seeks to bring distraction and devision among us. Know the tactic and don’t let it happen. Not on our watch, Satan… we will keep praying!

“Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18

Honor the King

“And David was then in the hold, and the Philistines’ garrison was then at Beth–lehem. And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Beth–lehem, that is at the gate! And the three brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Beth–lehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: but David would not drink of it, but poured it out to the Lord, And said, My God forbid it me, that I should do this thing: shall I drink the blood of these men that have put their lives in jeopardy? for with the jeopardy of their lives they brought it. Therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mightiest.” – 1 Chronicles 11:16-19

These three men risked their lives to provide a drink offering for the one they saw as their king, but David would not take it. Instead he poured it out as a drink offering to the true King, God.

It is good to honor and reverence your leaders, blessed is the man who has leaders that he can reverence. However, when it turns to praises that leader is obligated to reject it and turn those praises back toward Jesus. David dare not receive this gift, less he encourage others to do it also. May this story remain in our hearts (who are of the faith) the next time someone comes to flatter us, or to shower us with praises. We have nothing to glory of, but the Lord. Therefore let the praises we receive always be deflected upward.

David knew that his victories were not of his doing, but of the Lord. God had promised him kingship and it was by God’s grace that it was being accomplished. Therefore did he have no reason to think himself mighty, but only to give God all of the glory. The drink offering needed to be given to the one who really deserved it.

Oh, how often do we fail at this? Do we take credit for what God actually did? Do we allow the praises of men to penetrate our defenses? I assure you of this, that when flattery gets in, so will the enemy follow after it. So reject it quickly! Boast only in your infirmities, and in the power of God to achieve His promises regardless of them.

I can truly say with all honesty that I have no revelation but what God Himself has given me. I have no gift but what He gives when He sees fit. I have no strength but what He lends when I need it. I have no understanding but what He reveals when He gives me eyes to see it. I have no possession but what He has gifted me. I have no victory but what He has afforded and granted to me. I have nothing, and yet He turns my nothing into something amazing daily! That’s the power of my King. All glory, honor, and praise belongs to Him.

“He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and he hath set the world upon them. He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.” – 1 Samuel 2:8-9

“Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are nothing, to bring to nothing things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” – 1 Corinthians 1:25-31

“For though I (Paul) would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:6-10T

“Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.” – Zechariah 4:6-7

”And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” – Luke 4:8

The War : Soldier Up

“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” – 2 Timothy 2:3-4

A soldier looses all his rights when war starts. When he is called he must answer and do as he is told. You signed the papers and then went back to life as usual, but when war starts you have to leave it all.

We are soldiers of the cross of Jesus Christ. We are called the fight the good fight. We can’t just do as we please. We might get an occasional leave but if we don’t quickly get back to our position then we will be counted among the defectors. Lord help us to be courageous. Help us to be contenders. Help to be selfless. Help us to be soldiers.

“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” – Jude 1:3

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” – 2 Timothy 4:7-8