Fight the Battle

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One thing I have discovered with life… there is always something.
There is always an opportunity of one kind or another to fight the battle ahead.

When the battles seem overwhelming our nature may be to retreat. Some of us are fighters and some of us need to learn how to fight. Others are natural warriors that don’t see anything but victory ahead in the midst of it all. This is how I want to fight the battle.

I want to be the warrior that sees their victory ahead of the attack. Just as a good coach, sees victory for his team and focuses on the win rather than the idea of loss, I want to set my sight on a glorious outcome rather than the moment I am fighting the battle.

How do I walk this out? How do I fight the battle, when I feel the onslaught of ‘life’ coming at me from every side?

*RECOGNIZE
I used to bury my head in the sand, instead of looking at the battle head-on. I used to make excuses, and except the battle as just a part of life. Yes, our battles are a part of life, but I don’t have to accept the defeat before even entering the ring. I can’t roll over and just keep getting kicked while I am down. I must stand up and fight not only for myself for all those around me that a defeated outlook or blindness to the situation will effect. If I roll over and am exhausted by the battle, with just a smile on my face, I am affecting my family, my ministry team and others the Lord has placed in my life. It is like a soldier watching everyone get shot around them with a smile on their face that all is fine. NO, it is not fine. It is a battle and I am going in!! This is how we fight the battle. We recognize we are in one!!

Ephesians 6:12- For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

 

*EQUIP and Position

This is the time to take out all the resources in your tool belt! A soldier going to war would not do well if He forgot all his equipment, and just showed up for battle in his shorts and flipflops.
In this same line of thought, a soldier or a team needs all their partners in the battle. Know your team members. Share your heart, let them back you. Know your source of support. This is key to fight the battle. The most important member you can have to back you is the heavenly creator, that has purposed for you to be victorious. He has a battle plan. He has the equipment ready for you to put on and take your stand. Even if all the other team members have run from the fight, you still have that coach pushing you on. He is ahead of the battle. The battle is HIS to fight. We need to ready our ears and hearts to listen and fight the battle.

Ephesians 6:13-18 

The Whole Armor of God

13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,

* FAITH
Be ready to fight! Posture your heart in readiness. Walk in boldness that you are mighty in victory. Know that the battle belongs to the Lord and the outcome is always victory. It may not look like it at the moment, but the battle is won, when we are ready to win. When we are ready to fight the battle when we are ready to take ownership of victory. We have won. It does not matter what we are seeing. We see with a different lens. It does not matter what we are feeling, our feelings are fleeting. It does not matter that it all is crumbling and falling down around us, we have a master builder, that is ready to remodel and build fresh and new. The fight in the battle is knowing we have won!

Proverbs 21:31- The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
    but the victory belongs to the Lord.


*CELEBRATE- 

Rejoice in your victory! Be thankful the battle is won. You may not see it yet, well, set your eye on the other side. Celebrate your last victories! See what has worked in your favor. Celebrate how you have come out a victor before in your battles. Your battle does not own you. Your battle does not define you. Your battle is what you walk through and you already have the tools to overcome! Celebrating the one that sees you through, is a mighty weapon in the fight of the battle. Praise and worship, it goes before me. I am equipped and ready. I am the victor and I am seeing the victory ahead! I know the victory may look very different than I expect, but it is mine and I will take it and praise Him for it.

2 Chronicles 20:21- Jehoshaphat asked the people for advice. Then he appointed men to sing to the Lord. He wanted them to praise the Lord because of his glory and holiness. They marched out in front of the army. They said,

“Give thanks to the Lord.
    His faithful love continues forever.”

BE ENCOURAGED WITH THIS ONE : This is how I fight my Battles

COMMUNITY

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“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much” – Helen Keller.

I had started a very basic purple painted canvas on the first day of spring.
I asked my social media friends, to share what color they wanted on the picture, fully intending to see who matched what was on my mind for the painting. The interesting thing, everyone had a different idea for the secondary color than mine. As I stood and stared at the purple canvas, deciding which color I would pick, the name of the piece came to me, “Community”. 

This painting wasn’t about one or two solid ideas, but about combining the creativity of many into something of beauty. I took each color that my friends had suggested and I thought of them and prayed as I painted their color. I sought where the Lord would have them impact the piece and prayed for individual situations. A few friends had chosen teal, it didn’t matter, as I applied the color again, a new friend came to mind. Another, shared her idea for the technique to add dimension and direction. This was a wonderful example of community, each contributing, every individual uniqueness adding a new depth and detail as we collaborated. 

This piece alone reminded me of how important it is to be in community with one another. I could have said, ew I don’t like that color, it would never look right, but looking at this painting, it needed every single color whether at first, I thought it would belong or not. As I looked at the painting with each layer I was timid to place more colors, yet a sense of belonging came over me as I saw the work coming together. 

You would not know that two years ago, I had my self hidden away, shying away from the world, from being hurt, from being ignored and passed over. I had a horrible sense of my self. I had lost the knowledge of my worth somewhere on the journey of surviving grief and illness that had reared its ugly head like never before and the depression wanted to take over. In the past, I was swallowed by that depression. I cut everyone and everything off and literally wanted to die.

The amazing thing, this time, depression could not stay! While I started blocking people out of my life, there were the solid, the community that would not let me. There were the people who reminded me of who I am. There were the people that pointed out when I was being flat-out ridiculous and that I needed to stop identifying with what I was facing and start identifying on who God says I am. It was my community that picked me up and reminded me how much ground I have gained and even in this hiccup, it was safe to spread my wings and fly again. 

Community: A feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

Romans 12:5-
so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

Do I always agree with everything they do? No. Do I enjoy every single personality within my community at every moment? No.  Do I share every single belief and value? No. 

Do I drive people in my community crazy at times? Ah, YAH! 

However, when in the community, despite our human differences we can choose to stay united with a common goal. Intentional to build together, to hold one another up by carrying each other’s burdens and remind each other there is hope in a sea of unknowns.

When the going gets tough, we can be tempted to run from our communities, but all that brings is isolation and loneliness, which in turn becomes bitterness and anger. I think this is why the Lord mentions not forsaking the gathering of our brethren. He knew that we needed far more than to hear our own voice whisper silently to the wind. 

Hebrews 10: 24-25-
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 
not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

 

 

A different lens: Perception

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I recounted a story that changed my perception years ago, at Shaey Anthony on YouTube.
If you are interested, give it a view as it places this blog in a fuller context.

VISION

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We have been created with a purpose. We have been given passions, interests, and abilities unique only to us.

Psalm 139:13-16 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

How exciting that God KNOWS us. He KNOWS what we need and how we will impact this world around us. He placed hopes and dreams within your heart and He desires for you to have a vision and purpose.

 

What is vision? Vision is the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom.
 When you are vision minded, you are able to dream and imagine. You are able to plan your future and know what you want. However, there are seasons in our life, and some of them may leave us feeling stuck. We may be unable to imagine or even hope for our future. We may have had revelation but through heartache or lack of knowledge, we have let it sit on the wayside. That was my last 10 years, I knew what I wanted, but I just didn’t go after it. I had my eyes in many different directions and I didn’t know how to grasp and walk out my plans or hopes. This is where the enemy wants to keep us. Frozen in place, unable to see our plans come to pass. 

Proverbs 29:18
Where there is no revelation (vision or understanding), people cast off restraint (self-control). But blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.

In order to reach your goals, plans or purposes the Lord has for you, you need to understand what they are. When that understanding arrives, you keep your sights on it and take action to achieve it.
You must be self-controlled and disciplined to see the fruition.
If you allow your vision/passion/understanding to die or be hidden by the busy everyday life, you stop taking the steps to achieve that which has been revealed to you to achieve. Eventually, the vision is forgotten altogether or, becomes an afterthought with a sigh. “That would have been nice.”

Matthew 6:33- But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

The Lord has produced incredible visions in my life as I have sought Him first. Through prayer and fasting, and sinking into His word, He has made my way known. He is providing the instruction I must follow to see my personal plans and visions fulfilled in my life. I allowed His dreams for me, to become my dreams. In some ways they are so big, I feel completely inadequate, but God. This is where His instruction is so important, I don’t have to be able, because He will give me instructions to become able.

How do I reach my vision:

1. FIRST Seek FIRST the Lord. Ask Him to reveal His vision for you. Sometimes you may actually get a prophetic vision or a word from others that propel you into His plans, or you may just start with stirring in your Spirit. Pay attention to how He is speaking to you.

2. Make sure your vision lines up with the Lord’s will in your life. Make sure you are running after the things He has placed in you to do.
This again is found by spending time with the Lord. It is in this process, that you can ask for open doors for your vision and for divine instruction. You do not want to spin your wheels or spend your time pursuing things, not for you. It will exhaust and distract you from your full gift of His plans for your life. You may actually hinder more than help. When we line up with the desires of His heart and pursue fully, it is amazing to see the plan move forward into completion. 

3. Write it down. Write your vision down. Put it where you will be reminded of it.

4. Make a plan. Using the wisdom the Lord has given you and the tools around you, make a plan to obtain your vision. I created a list of my goals and steps to get there.
For me, I have some learning to do, so research is on my list. I have to take action so a laid out plan is on my list. Be clear on your steps. If you don’t know what steps to take, research, ask the Lord and ask others walking in a similar vision or goal.

5. Share it with other’s that will build you up. It is very important you guard your vision, or that you are mature enough that if other’s tear you down, you don’t let it stop you. If you are one that is easily discouraged, make sure to share your vision with like-minded people, or people who are your cheerleaders in life. It is easier to pursue a vision for your life when you are hopeful, the right people can be a great support in remaining faithful to your call.

6. Be diligent. It takes time to ‘arrive’. We all get busy and have distractions. Life happens. But I encourage you to take time every single day to do something in pursuit of your vision. Spend time in prayer regarding your vision and build your skills or do a bit of work. It will not happen if you are not actively working towards it.

7. Be okay with setbacks, and starting over. Every experience is a learning experience. I have sat on my gifts for years and felt guilt over it, but you know what, each season has given me new tools to pursue that passion and vision now. I will take everything to apply it to my now. There is a purpose in all we walk through, now let’s use it.

I made my first vision board, I know I want to be published, so that was my topic. I looked for encouragement and quotes to keep me on track. I look at that board (paper) when I feel discouraged. It is a tool. Not my everything, but a tool to keep me focused. I also have a plan written out for each of my visions/goals in life. I am pursuing, I am doing and I will see an impact. Even if not in the lives of others, at least in my own life.

Now that I have begun moving… I am determined to arrive!
I can feel it in my bones he is about to move : ) <—— Give a listen to Spirit move
My Live on my Youtube channel: Topic Vision

 

Unwavering Part 2

You have faith in your GPS. You put in your destination with a confidence that your GPS will get you to your desired location. Even after that one time your GPS took you on a trek into the unknown and rerouted you over and over only to end up in the middle of a suburban neighborhood and not the desired hip restaraunt you were hoping for, the very next journey you still trusted that GPS  and entered your desired destination point again. You hoped in that GPS to do what was required of it. 

As I was writing part one of unwavering, the words unwavering faith kept resonating in my spirit and I decided to dive deeper into that topic. Through prayer and study, God pointed out to me how quickly we trust in things, other people and even ourselves, but how do we trust God in the same way?
God calls us to have faith in Him.

Mark 11:22- And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God.”

The Greek word for faith is Pistis meaning trust, to believe, have faith or rely upon.

Let us look at the word unwavering: Steady or resolute- fixed, firm, constant, steadfast, enduring, abiding, unyielding, relentless, tireless.

I am one that must admit I have walked with Jesus as my savior since childhood, but I have not walked in unshakable faith. My doubts through crisis have risen up often.
So how do I continue to walk with Him when my doubts rise?
The answer I believe is to keep walking it out. Rely on Him, even when doubts try to rise. Believe in Him even when I do not see the results that I think I should see.

Unwavering means to be fixed, firm and constant, can’t that apply to our actions as well as our thoughts?  Even when I doubt with my thoughts, my heart is fixed on Him. I am firm in my belief that I can go to Him. I am constant in my cry out to Him. 

It IS okay to ask the Lord to help our unbelief. The very act of asking puts our faith into action. We are trusting Him to answer us. 

Mark 9: 23-24 Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”

Just like the GPS gives us instructions and we follow those instructions to get to our desired location. The Father gives us instructions to remain in Him. He teaches us how to walk, how to abide, how to grow, and how to reach our final destination (heaven). 

We can not please God without faith. 
Hebrews 11:6- And without faith, it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

Faith is the requirement to walk with God, for in order to walk with Him we must trust in who He is,  we must believe in Him. His word is true and all that is written in the word is for our benefit. 

My final thought concerning unwavering faith is that faith is a choice. You consciously decide that you will believe in something or someone. 

 In my personal situation, my faith in God is absolutely merited. I have seen His work, I have experienced His comfort, His miracles, I have the very breath of His life in me.

Persistence is the key to walking out my faith and remaining in Him.
Luke 21:19- By your endurance, you will gain your lives.

So today I leave us with this… let us walk it out…Steady, resolute, fixed, constant, steadfast, enduring, abiding, unyielding, relentless and tireless.
Give a listen: Faith

Mountain (1)

 

More

33248955_10216228639453667_8634740846178074624_nBy Writing for joy: Instagram @awakened_arts

 

I was at church Sunday and the word that kept rising in my heart for a young man was more.
“More God?” I asked, and he replied in my spirit, “yes, more, more, more.”
God kept nudging me to share and I had no idea this young man was in the process of being taught about coming to Jesus at the moment by another.

I walked up to him and said God wants you to know that you can ask for more. That He wants to give you more. Just as you look at your little baby and want everything for her, this is how the father looks at you. He doesn’t want you to miss out on anything.

I went home and the thought kept pondering in my mind. More, more, more.

Ephesians 3:19-20
And to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do infinitely more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.

Just like this father looking at his tiny baby, our heavenly father looks at us. He wants the best for us, He wants his gifts for us, He wants more for us than we in our human minds, don’t think to ask for. 

I want to walk in my kingdom identity as His daughter, with His inheritance as my stepping stool to launch me into His work for my life. I want to know His love in infinite ways. God holds nothing back from me as His child, seeking Him first, He holds everything to give to me at the right time.

If I walked up to a stranger and asked for the inheritance to his life’s work, he would look at me with disdain and say, “who are you to ask such a thing?” 
But my heavenly father says… “YOU ARE MINE. All you have need of, ask. All that you can imagine, ask.
This isn’t about seeking the savior for what you get..it is about receiving because you have sought Him first and He is yours and everything that that entails. 

So as I say “yes Lord, I will receive your more, more more.”
He answers me,
 Now you have revelation it is time, live your life today by Kingdom standards, not earthly limits! ”

“Yes, Lord!”

He Says

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You believed for your miracle far longer than you ever imagined you would have to. You have yet to see the fruition of your faith. You called out to God in your trial, the struggle weighing heavy on your shoulders. You say, “God please, I can’t take this anymore. Where are you?” 
You are tired. You are weary. You ask, “Why am I still waiting?”
You look at your every fault. You look at your every lack. You see only pain and heartache.
“You say, I am done.”

He says…
“I hear you!  I see you! I have not forgotten you. I will cover you with my Grace and walk with you in this season. You have much to learn and you are more than able.

He says…

You will see the fruit of the promise, but you must stay steadfast. I am building a stronger you. I am building my child that does not waiver in the storm but stands strong, with my banner lifted high.

He says…

You will declare my joy in the midst of your pain. You will declare the promise before you see it. You will believe your promise once again with a great faith that you have yet to know.

He says…

Your faith will rise into the new places. Hold on to that which I have promised you. Don’t let my truth fall to the wayside. Seek me first and I will meet you. Call to me and I will answer you.

1 James 1:2-3

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

  He says…

You are not weak, for I have made you strong.
I have not created a child of fault, I created a child that is an overcomer.
I have not created a child full of lack, but a child that is more than able to do all that is required.

I have created a child I hold dear. My love is unwavering. I am a God of the impossible.

I am the God of miracles.

Yesterday, today and tomorrow I will keep my promises.

Now let your faith arise!