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

Complain, complain, complain

 

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One of the triggers for my fibromyalgia is the rainy weather. The rain also starts the mold in the window sills that have to be diligently watched to keep clean. The rain makes me cold and once I get cold from wet jeans, it takes hours to feel warm. The rain makes the floors nasty when we are loading and unloading the car.  These are all my thoughts most of the winter and I complain, complain, complain. 

I complain without even realizing that I am complaining. It has become such a habit to be negative about the wet weather that when I rise and see rain ‘again’ my heart gets deflated. One year, I even cried when the first rain of the season arrived.

Then this morning! I woke up blurry eyed and sore and I looked out my window and saw the fog admit the greenery before my eyes. I saw golds and greens and the most vibrant colors and I realized, without all that rain my view wouldn’t be as breathtaking. 

It was a shifting and a reflection of myself. What other beauties am I missing with my complaining heart? What other joys, or moments pass by because I complain, complain, complain? 

*God wants me to give thanks in EVERYTHING!

1 Thessalonians 5:18- In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

This is the day to rejoice! This is the day the Lord has made! I should wake up with a song on my lips despite what is going on in the weather forecast. Yes, it hurts my muscles, but I can rejoice that I am able to rest when needed. Yes it is cold, but I am able to rejoice I have a warm home. I need to shift my thinking to be on my rejoices rather than my frustrations. The frustrations are going to be there weather I like them or not, but if I let them be my focus they have robbed my joy. 

*I am not shining if all I am doing is complaining.

Philippians 2:13-15 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Do all things without murmurings and disputings:

 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

 

Time to remember the things the Lord has placed in my heart and break the habit of complain, complain, complain. I am not picking that back up!

quote: Watch out for the joy-stealers: gossip, criticism, complaining, fault-finding, and a negative, judgmental attitude.
Joyce Meyer 

Do it anyway… with Rejoicing

We have had so many road blocks in the past few years at my church in the freedom aspect. Lives just torn down and discouraged with a heaviness that was tangible throughout the body, week after week. We would see some little glimpses of breakthrough and then a door would lock in our faces.

Recently there was some great advancements, the keys handed to us and we kept unlocking door after door. Families and relationships restored, jobs opening up and healing over different people. The joy bubbling forth in new ways, vision and passions being revived, hope abounding and the dancing, singing, art and musicians broke free. We were standing on reclaimed territory.

It was not very long before new and bigger physical battles arose. I feel God has taken us to a place of great strength spiritually, so the physical was under attack. Wearing us down, discouraging and all together bubble bursting.

Our pastor was hit in a very big way, my household has been hit in a very big way, the worship leaders home has been hit in a very big way. The list goes on and on and on.

We had begun new ministry direction and all the wars raging around us, knocking the leaders out, could have stopped the new opportunities in the tracks.

That is when God spoke very clear to me, “DO IT ANYWAY!”

I replied, “But God, I don’t know how to lead prayer, and worship.” God said, “DO IT ANYWAY!” So we had prayer and worship the very night the pastor had surgery. We felt something shift in the atmosphere. Rather than discouraged we were doing this without the leadership, I felt like a warrior, going into battle and taking ground, step by step by step. Things were shifting and happening and great victory came forth.

There have been many other opportunities that the Lord has told me lately… “DO IT ANYWAY.”
It does not matter that I hurt, it does not matter that I don’t know how, it does not matter that obstacles keep rising up. I WILL KEEP REJOICING. I WILL KEEP SINGING. I WILL KEEP OPENING DOORS FOR OTHERS TO HAVE OPPORTUNITY TO DO SO. I WILL DO IT ANYWAY!!!!!

My husband spent yesterday, all day in the hospital. We have more tests to pursue concerning his health.  The finances are in a horrible place as He has been out of work, had surgery and the bills are mounting around us. My pain was screaming like ever so often this morning and I wanted to stay home. But God said “DO IT ANYWAY,” So I went to church. I wanted to paint, but I have limits, but God said, “DO IT ANYWAY,” So I painted. I wanted to dance, but my body hurt and others were around, and God said “DO IT ANYWAY,” So I danced.

My JOY was filled to the brim. My circumstances faded in the background and like a little child dancing, painting and singing, there was no other thought than the one that I was doing it for. In my situation I was doing it for Jesus. Praising His mighty name despite all that surrounds me.

.  This is the painting that came forth during my worship.
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The message shared this morning after worship and my painting, was JOY.

I had no idea.

JOY JOY JOY comes to mind again and again.

The definition of REJOICE:
FEEL OR SHOW GREAT JOY OR DELIGHT!

Regardless of my situations around me, all that is flooding against me, in worship Rejoicing over my Lord and showing great delight; My joy bursts forth and that is exactly where I want to be.

1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18  Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Zephaniah 3:17
The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

He’s COMING!

We visited the zoo yesterday as a family. I do believe I had the greatest joy watching the little children more than looking at the variety of animals. I now have almost grown boys and to see the delight in the young faces was such a blessing.

One particular little boy had his faced pressed against the glass waiting for the sea-lion. His mama had been waiting with him for a while, watching the flipping pattern the sea-lion was enjoying as he communicated through the glass with the toddler.

With her hand held out, the mama asked the little boy ” are you ready to go to the polar bears now?”
The little boy said, “no I am waiting for the otter!” In a sweet expectant voice and he turns to the glass and exclaims, “He is coming!”

When the sea-lion pressed his nose to the glass face to face with the boy he gasped in awe, then as the sea-lion moved above the surface, his tail made a swoosh in front of the boys face as he moved on up to the top of the water and the boy giggled with glee. This continued a few times and each time the boy shouted and giggled, “HE’s COMING!” Each visit left the boy with joy.

 

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Mama held out her hand and told him it was time to move on to the polar bears. This moment of joy stuck with me as we moved along as well. We walked on and the polar bears were sleeping, at a distant. Nothing to see. No glee from the youngster. Just the knowledge that this was a polar bear. Then as the mama was walking ahead to the next animal, while her head was turned for just a second, she did not see the boy look back towards the sea lions and sigh.

How many times do I have an opportunity to examine the joys in my life, only to move on to the ‘next’ things? Do I engage in my moments of joy taking each moment at its full or do I press on and miss them altogether?

On Sunday at church we sang a song that I grew up singing as a child.  It was an old song and while my children’s generation may roll their eyes at the style… I was just bouncing with glee of the truths of the words and the great memory of myself as a child singing at church with a parent on each side. I was joyful in that moment, but my mind wanted to wander on the next thing. My parents were no longer together. How quickly I could have allowed my rejoicing in the Lord to evaporate.

This is the song we sang and this week I will continue to let it be alive in my heart. I will stop and declare just as that little one … HE IS COMING. I know my God will greet me each morning and walk every step with me throughout the day.

I will enter his courts with thanksgiving in my heart

I will enter his courts with praise

I will say this is the day that the LORD HAS MADE

I will rejoice and be glad in it