It Is Finished Audio

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Lies Entangled in Truth are Lies

Ephesians 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; (NIV)

        God made a wonderful world for man to enjoy. It was full of life, beauty, and splendor. It represented all the things that God embodies and was given to man for his pleasure. From the birds in the sky to the grass in the field, they spoke of the magnificent Creator and His glory. God wanted a creation who would not only love Him, but worship him and appreciate all the things He had made especially for them. God even handmade a special mate for the first man with whom he could enjoy the pleasures of God.  

        Adam and Eve didn’t have a care in the world. Everything was all taken care of. There were no bills, pain, tiredness, death, or sorrow. The only thing they knew was joy, peace, and serenity. No unnecessary anxieties were in their minds for God was their provider. All God required was for them to be obedient to his command of not eating from the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. How hard could that have been? With a garden full of delights, to leave one tree alone, at the request of their creator, would seem to be an easy task. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as easy as it seemed once the devil came on the scene. 

        The devil was lurking around the garden to find a way to destroy God’s creation. If he could find one small loophole then he would accomplish what he set out to do. Who would he attempt to manipulate first, Adam or Eve? Well, he first had to have a vessel to use that would be able to gain their curiosity because he couldn’t come as himself. The decision was made. He would enter into a snake who was a very wise creature. Next, he had to decide if Adam would be the easiest to deceive first or Eve. Well, Eve won out, so the race began to influence her of what she was missing out on by not being able to eat the fruit of that one tree. 

         The devil began by presenting Eve with a question that he already knew the answer to. Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’ ” Eve should have run at the thought of a serpent talking to her to begin with and therefore, could have avoided the disaster to come. James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (NIV) Eve should have known that something was wrong with that picture. However, curiosity got the best of her and she began the dialogue with the serpent.
        The devil proceeded to mix truth with error to Eve by telling her that she would be like God with knowing both good and evil, and that she would not “surely” die. The truth was that she would know both good and evil. The lie was that she would be like God. As Lucifer in Heaven, he had already tried that, but had miserably failed. 

Isaiah 14:14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High. (NIV) Therefore, he told Eve this same lie that he made himself believe, which got him kicked out of Heaven. The devil knew that disobedience to God would cause a separation from God for he had experienced it firsthand and therefore knew the end result. Even if she didn’t die right away in the physical, she would experience a death in the spiritual. Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. (NIV) If only Eve had run from the deceiver, she would have been spared such heartache and suffering. 

            The Apostle Paul lets us know that we must stand firm with a belt of truth. Notice that he didn’t say partial truth. Partial truth is no truth at all. Not only did he tell us to have the belt of truth, but he let us know that it was to buckled around the waist. This means that we must be secure in what we know as truth from the Lord because He is truth and no lies are found in Him. John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (NIV) Only then can we wear the breastplate of righteousness. For by holding on to the truth, which is Jesus Christ can we fully surrender to Him and walk in His righteousness that will guard us against the enemy’s venom. Proverbs 8:20 I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice. (NIV) As women warriors of God, let us be careful to not listen to the lies of the enemy, but wear the garments of God, which gives us protection against the enemy’s deception. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Grass May Be Greener, But I’ll Pass

Ephesians 6:14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist and with the breastplate of righteousness; (NIV)

            A drought came to the land of Judah where Naomi and her family lived. In order to have a better life  Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, decided to take his wife and their two sons to live in the country of Moab. While there, the sons married two Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth. Unfortunately, the father and then the two sons eventually died. This left Naomi with no other family but her two daughters-in-law. 
            After hearing that God had blessed Judah to be able to once again have food, she decided to move back to her home. Her daughters-in-law where going to accompany her on the journey back to her homeland. However, Naomi had a change of mind, while they were in route, and told them to return to their homes where they could marry once more.Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye and returned to her native land. Ruth, however, did not return, but was persistent in letting her mother-in-law know that wherever she went, she was going to follow. Naomi’s people would be her people. Naomi’s God would be her God and wherever Naomi would be buried, so would she. 

          Ruth could have gone back to her native land just as her sister-in-law had done. After all, she was no longer bound to accompany Naomi since her husband, Naomi’s son, was dead. Ruth could have stayed in the land that was most familiar to her with people she knew, friends she had, and could have possibly built a life with another husband. However, Ruth did not take the easier road. She decided to take the road less travelled. She stood firm in her decision to follow her mother-in-law wherever she would go and kept her word in doing so. As a result, she was tremendously blessed by marrying Boaz, and became the great-grandmother of King David, through whose bloodline the Son of God would come to save His people from their sins. 

            The Apostle Paul lets us know that we are to stand firm with the belt of truth around our waist and the breastplate of righteousness. During Roman times, the soldiers wore a belt (cingulum) around their waist in order to hold their sword. It is important for us to ensure that we are surrounded by the truth of God, so that we will not be deceived by the enemy. John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (NIV) That truth is secured through the Word of God, which is our active sword. Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (NIV) There are many deceiving demons in the world who are going about deceiving the masses. This great deception will lead many into the lake of fire. Right is being called wrong and wrong is being called right in total defiance against the Word of God, which represents total truth for God cannot lie. Numbers 23:19 God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? (NIV)

            We are also to wear the breastplate of righteousness. During the Roman era, the soldiers wore breastplates to ward off attacks made to their vital organs, which would have been sure to deliver a verdict of death if pierced. Wearing the breastplate of righteousness for Christians mean that we are walking in alignment with the will of God in an uncompromised state, so that when the devil’s darts are thrown our way, they will not destroy us spiritually, but bounce off without penetration.Isaiah 54:17No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.” (ESV)

            As women warriors for Christ, the devil is constantly at war with us for we are the seed carriers. Rather that be in the natural or physical, it is important that we protect ourselves spiritually by wearing our proper gear to keep the enemy from destroying the seed that God has placed on the inside of us. God has given us the tools we need to be able to defeat that devil at a 360 degree angle. Remember to stand firm just as Ruth did despite the grass looking greener on the other side. What God has in store for those who are faithful will far outweigh the seasons of change. 
Matthew 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (KJV)

Monday, October 26, 2015

Take Your Stand!

Ephesians 6:13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (KJV)

            The Bible tells the story of a man named Job who was upright in the sight of the Lord. He was very careful to stay away from the appearances of evil and God found no fault in him. Despite his attempt to live an upright life, Job encountered trials that were far beyond what he could possibly understand. He lost everything that he had including his ten children. Not only did he lose his material possessions and family, he also became ill with painful boils all over his body. 

            No one could understand how Job, being an upright man, could encounter such an attack. His friends thought that surely he had done something wrong against God and was being punished for his unrepentant sin. However, this was not the case and Job unsuccessfully tried to explain this to his friends. Nevertheless, they still didn’t believe him. To make matters worse, Job’s own wife told him that it would be better for him to curse God and die. A God who would allow such pain and suffering to be placed on someone who had done all they could to reverence Him surely wasn’t deserving of such loyalty or was He? 

            Did his wife have a point? Was God to blame for the misery that Job was going through? Was God a cruel taskmaster who didn’t care about His loyal subjects? Was she correct in saying that he was better off dead than alive? Of course not! And Job let her know as much by calling even the thought of being defiant to God foolish talk.Job 2:9-10 His wife said to him, “Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!” He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (NIV) In the midst of pain and heartache, Job still stood firm in his faith in God. He could have given up and followed the advice of his wife, but he was not about to let even a loved one deter him in his loyalty to God. 

            Paul lets us know that by putting on the whole armor of God, it helps us to stand our ground against the wiles of the enemy. In the case of Job, the enemy was using his wife to make him doubt God and turn against him. If Job had listened to the advice of his wife, he would have forfeit the restoration of blessings that God was going to give to him. However, just as Job stood firm and did not turn away from God, we must also do the same. As women warriors for Christ, we must maintain full military gear and be ready to fend off the darts of doubt, unbelief, and fear that will be thrown at us in the face of trials. The devil will sometimes use those closest to you to throw you off course. Nevertheless, we must stand firm and never give up on the plans that God has for our lives even when it becomes difficult. 1 Corinthians 16:13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. (NIV) 

Even though the above passage says, “Be men of courage,” it also applies to us as women. We are to be women of courage because we have a Heavenly Father who has our back and will fight on our behalf. Romans 8:37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (NIV) Don’t let the enemy get you down. Stand firm and know that God will fight for you.

These Devotions for Women will be available in print at December 2015. Nice gift to add to your Christmas stocking.