The Attack Is Proof of the Promise

VAULT

Scammers intrigue me, and here’s why: two things, first, nobody runs scams on people with nothing worth taking. Maybe you’ve heard it said before that thieves don’t rob an empty vault, but truly, if someone is running a scam on you, then you must have something worth their effort. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy… {Jhn. 10:10, NIV}. That means there’s SOMETHING you have that’s worth stealing, something yet alive he wants to kill, and some hope you’ve clung to that hasn’t been destroyed.

Secondly, scammers aren’t committing robberies or burglaries, even. The scammer’s goal, your enemy’s goal, is to get you to give up by CHOICE, something he CANNOT take by force! He cannot wrestle the victory from your hands, but he CAN deceive you into releasing your grasp on everything God’s promised you.

For example, one of the ways God uses me is to bring healing to others, and any time He’s up to something new or what seems big to me, my health and personal healing is attacked. I believe the enemy attacks us in the areas God most intends to use us for His glory, so if you’re feeling attacked in any area, know there is a correlating promise the enemy wants you to give up on because he cannot take it from you; he can only get you to release your grasp.

So, my encouragement to you is this: anchor yourself in the Word. Resolve that your faith will be unmoved by the winds that blow, because the winds will blow. The enemy wants you to believe God’s promises are not for you, but instead of believing that, repeat God’s promises aloud, make your mouth tell your mind that every thought will now be captive to the obedience of Christ! Boss your feelings around and show the facts who’s boss in your life. Your enemy’s attack is proof of God’s promises for you; don’t forfeit the victory that’s already yours!

1.5 minute Video: https://www.facebook.com/DrDeeKnight/posts/10154813778356492

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Pursued by Purpose – Jonah

man drowning

Never forget the great big fish saved Jonah’s life! What you think was sent to punish you was sent to preserve you. The pit and the prison were necessary for Joseph’s dream to be fulfilled. God isn’t punishing you. He’s purposing you. Jonah was drowning, seaweed wrapping around his head, when God sent a life boat in the form of a huge fish.

God’s purpose pursued Jonah to the port of Joppa, pursued him out on the waters, pursued him to the depths as he was drowning. Purpose pursued Jonah and pursues you! {Jonah 2:5,6; Gen. 45:5-8}

Christ Didn’t JUST Come Down; He Moved In

“The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood…” ~John 1:14 (MSG). Think of a neighborhood you’ve wanted to move out of or wouldn’t want to move into. He didn’t just come to clean us up; He desires to dwell with us, long-term. The God of the universe moved into the middle of the mess we made for ourselves. That’s commitment. That’s love. {Lev. 26:11-12; 2 Cor. 6:16; Rev. 21:3}

You Were Claimed Before Being Cleaned

The good news of the gospel isn’t just that God loves you, but that He loves you as much as He loves Jesus, and that when He looks at you, He doesn’t see your sin; He sees His Son. It’s good news that Christ cleanses us, but even better that He claimed you before cleaning you. He saw your mess and said, “You’re mine!”{Rom. 8:17; Jhn. 17:22-24; 1 Jhn. 3:1-3; Isa. 43:1}

“Hanging upon the cross, Christ was the Gospel.” ~Ellen G. White

Dirty Fingernails: For mechanics in Afghanistan filthy hands means finished repairs

Biblical Intimacy Looks Like 2 Things: Sacrifice and Redemption

Cross Died Crown Love Heart Bible Thorns Shadow

I N T I M A C Y will look like 2 things: SACRIFICE and REDEMPTION. Growing close, deepening love, fully knowing and being known will look like restoration. It’ll look like the Word becoming flesh and moving in, like being naked and vulnerable…on a cross, like fighting death and hell to claim what’s yours.

3-Minute Video of How Our Intimacy with Others Mirrors Our Relationship with God:

Boundaries: Avoiding Pain Is NOT the Endgame

man head downB O U N D A R I E S are important, but avoiding pain is NOT the endgame of a Christian. Restoration requires sacrifice. It’ll cost you something to love others well. Sometimes, the biggest thing it’ll cost you is your pride. The children of Israel exalted the things God sent to bless them above God Himself (worshiping Gideon’s ephod to celebrate God’s victory, honoring Moses’ bronze serpent God sent for their healing, etc.). You can exalt the fences so high that what should bless you (boundaries) becomes an idol – something you trust MORE than you trust God’s design of restoration. Boundaries are good, but only if governed by God.

3-minute message:

What Happens in the Normal Life, If You’re Lucky, Maybe…

black-girl-flower

“I despaired at the thought that my life might slip by without seeing God show himself mightily on our behalf.” ―Jim Cymbala, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire

Jim Cymbala captures the heart of every soul seeking something more, yearning for significance to rise from all of life’s heartache, desiring the God of the universe to show Himself strong. While living a normal life, you find yourself hard pressed on every side, cast down, even perplexed, and if you’re lucky, the glimmer of hope in the goodness of God will shine brighter than the burdens you bear. Maybe this is the trajectory most often traveled in bringing God absolute glory. Perhaps, our problems equally beckon us to either “slip by” relatively unscathed by the clamor of desire or to embrace the center of our suffering with a heart still anchored in hope, still searching for miraculous intervention in the middle of life’s searing storms.

How unfortunate it is to go through life untouched by tragedy. Not that you must intentionally familiarize yourself with trauma, but wholehearted living requires embracing both beautiful and bitter morsels of your journey. In the normal life, trouble will darken your doorstep, and how unlucky you’d be if sorrow never swept your way between stretches of deep satisfaction and great achievements. That’s right. Unlucky if you remain unchanged by the pain that daily surrounds you and implores you to purpose it. Unlucky if you haven’t a single problem or unmet need that keeps you ever seeking our Sovereign Savior, ever stretching to reach beyond your grasp.

What a terrible waste of unlimited potential to skate safely through the life experiences that change so many others at the core, to never be transformed by loss, or heartache, or practicing to delight in the minutiae of seemingly mundane events. In the normal life, distance from Eden’s untainted perfection will ravage your soul and scar you deeply. If you’re lucky, you won’t be too rushed to “keep calm and carry on” or too willing to hide your heart at the first pinprick of pain. If you’re lucky, your agony won’t be invisible. Others will see your broken places, and maybe catch a glimpse of God shining from the cracks you refuse to conceal.

In the normal life, you’ll chance upon conflict. If you’re lucky, you’ll engage in loving confrontations that bear lasting fruit of deepened friendships, and maybe you’ll grow from the thing you didn’t avoid. In the normal life, doubt will visit your toughest decisions. If you’re lucky, repentance will swiftly follow the heels of remorse, and maybe you’ll choose your regrets more wisely when chasing second chances with those you love. Cruelty and cynicism swirl all around us, mingled with joy and generosity, and if you remain unaffected by it, you’ll miss the beautiful ways you were meant to reveal God’s glory. So, this is an invitation to open your heart to the things you’d rather avoid, to embrace every part of your story, especially the seemingly nuisance interruptions, to acknowledge the pain wrought by living a few thousand years past paradise, a summons to live with your whole heart expecting to be awed by God in the intricate details of your story, a request to open your heart to both the tragic and transformative nature of a normal life.