Time With Him:

     It never gets easy.

     Because of the profound value of time spent alone with the Lord, the flesh always resists, and so often the enemy throws up interference and distraction.

     Although a spiritual exercise, it is really first a physical effort.  The getting alone, opening that Book, and then letting the Holy Spirit lead in prayer.  If the prayer is not aloud, it almost always turns into wool-gathering. 

     It must become a habit.  Inasmuch as this time is so attacked, making this a habit results in a protective fence around the devotional life.

     A curious development has taken place in the modern Church:  with the advent of music and scripture posted on a screen in front of the assembly,  there is no need to open a Bible.  No need to bring a Bible.  So, compared to previous generations, many lack even the most basic familiarity of The Word because they simply never physically open it.

     Without this time with the Lord, there is no power for the Battle;
     Without this time with the Lord, there is no Light to see what is real;
     Without this time with the Lord, there is little if any wielding of The Sword;
     Without this time with the Lord, there is always self-doubt instead of momentum;
     Without this time with the Lord, the perishable seems more real than the eternal.

     Soldier of The Cross, we are on the move.  There must be fuel for the journey.

     Meet with Him today- and talk to Him aloud.  Always, we must be praying about our relationship with Him. I heard one of today's most highly respected apologists talk publicly about the effort it takes him to be consistent in this area.

     It never gets easy.

     Now, look up and move on!
   

   

 

Just Now:

     Oh Soldier, just look at Him.

    [We are writing] about the Word of Life [in] Him Who existed from the beginning, Whom we have heard,    Whom we have seen with our [own] eyes, Whom we have gazed upon [for ourselves] and have touched with our [own] hands. I John 1:1, Amplified Bible.

    You are not doing this alone.  It is not about those around you, it is about the One who called you, went after you, and to Whom you have responded.

     Why do you want to be like Him?  What is it about Him that wins you?    Are you telling Him that?

     Soldier, your life is not about your ministry- your life is about your relationship with the One who holds the stars in place.  Make sure your decisions are not based on circumstances, but are based on His Word, His leading and His Presence or the lack thereof.

     This is not about success, it is about obedience.

     Stand before Him and tell Him.  Aloud.
     Today.

 

    

The Real Issue:

     Do not lose perspective.

     You are a Soldier of The Cross, which means you have made the decision to cross The Line and serve Him no matter what.

     You are finding yourself feeling responsible for those to whom the Lord has assigned you.  Make sure you have your priorities straight.  Your first priority must be to take up the Cross and follow hard after Him daily. 

     There is a balance that only the Holy Spirit can provide.  The flesh wants so badly to succeed, and at the same time, the Lord has us ministering sacrificially and attending to the needs of the Body of Christ.

      Soldier,  the release is in the pursuit of God.  Go after Him.   Press into Him.  Tell Him you want more of Him,  and tell Him you want to recognize Him more easily.  After all, what else is there, and is there Power apart from Him?

     So often the ones you help the most will hurt you the most.  Do not break your stride.    It is not your problem, even thought is certainly does feel like it.

     One foot in front of the other, but gazing upon Him who gave Himself for you!  The basics!

     Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader {and} the Source of our faith [giving   the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising {and} ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.   (Hebrews 12:2,  Amplified Bible)

    Oh, Soldier, Look up and move on- otherwise, there is no Peace or Power.

     Tell Him today and make sure it is aloud. 

     

 

    

  

Really Thanking Him:

     It is easy to preach about thanking the Lord for everything.

     When tragedy strikes and you can barely put one foot in front of the other, it is not so easy.

     The bottom line is,  do you really believe He has only the best for you?
     Do you really believe He will withhold no good thing? (Psalm 84:11)
     Can He be trusted, or is He an inconsistent God?

     It may sound simple in seasons of calm, but when the unthinkable happens,  even the most stalwart of Soldiers feels crippled.

     Inasmuch as our walk is one of faith, there are times when we must come before Him and do what can feel like going through the motions.   I remember being a very young woman and a Christian of only a few years.  I found myself dealing with staggering loss, and it was so penetrating that I wondered how I could even drive or teach my classes.  

     One morning while I was meeting with the Lord, I thought to thank Him for the thing, even though it was the last thing in the world I felt like doing. As I did so, I was reminded that He only has the best for us, and this must have been His best.  

     About a year later, I sat at the kitchen table with a regional director of a very large world-wide Christian organization.   It was three in the morning and he had been weeping for at least two hours and was pouring out his heart about a matter.  He was expressing doubt that God paid attention to us at all.   Then he began to question the reality of God.  Over the years, I have found this is not uncommon among Believers, or even those in ministry.  
     
     We have the Indwelling Holy Spirit, who gently and powerfully leads us as we move forward into the frontier of faith.  

     And, we can only learn to be truly thankful when we are able to thank Him in prayer.  That is obedience, and then there is more room for the Healer.  

     You are a Soldier of The Cross,  you have made the decision to follow Him. You told Him you want to be a disciple.  

    Ask Him to continue to reveal to you the taking up of The Cross.  Always be asking Him to continue to teach you about and lead you in prayer.

     Ask Him Aloud. Today.

    Then, look up and move on!

   

     

     

     

 

The Real Issue:

     There is a serious false teaching in the church today.

     There is no biblical teaching of love of self.   Psychology has corkscrewed its way into the most essential element of discipleship, and that is the taking up of The Cross daily and following Him.

      Matthew 22:36  is not a commandment to approve of one's self.  The verse does not lay out a pre-condition to loving and caring for others. When considering all scripture to interpret this verse,  Ephesians 5:29 is one of many verses that put things in perspective:

       " After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church."  (Amplified Bible)

     We have an enemy whose goal it is to do anything he can to keep us from serving with abandon. And he can absolutely project feelings.  It is possible to feel unlovely and inadequate and still move on and care for others because feeling good about yourself is not a prerequisite to service. 

     The Cross is the place of the death of the flesh.  You are a Soldier of The Cross.  You made the decision that your life would  not be your own, and that you would follow and submit to the Lover of Your Soul.  Submitting to the surgical knife of that Lover certainly does not feel good and does not lend itself to self-love.

     Those who are following hard after Him are always, always ministering to others.  How can a Living Sacrifice (Romans 12: 1, 2) lie on the altar, self-examining before service?

     Having dealt with men and women in ministry for over 40 years,  I have observed that those who have freedom are those who walk in obedience.  Many, many have left behind any substantial devotional life, and rely on knowledge and experience rather than the freshness of the Word and the leading of the Spirit.  

     He disciplines us because we cannot discipline ourselves in our deepest places. 

     Self-examination and repentance are a must for the Soldier of The Cross, but certainly not to assure self-approval.  It must be to let go of all that encumbers and it must be in obedience. 

     God's Word is more real
     Than the way that we feel!

     Soldier, take it to Him and do it aloud.

     Today. 

     


    

     

Your Choice:

     While things around you seem so difficult, the Indwelling Holy Spirit empowers you to choose  according to God's Word.

     Even in grief, misunderstanding, false accusation and extended dearth, there is choice.

     We are always on the move.  Eternity is already Now.   

     The most effective way to deal with emotional pain is to be aware of your countenance and reach out to comfort or encourage someone else.  Resist the temptation to think and talk about  the situation.  The more you think and talk about your problems, the more likely you are to fantasize a solution or fill in the blanks about someone's motive.

     Of great importance is the duty to pay attention to Now, and to look for opportunities to minister.

     Consider the apostle Paul.  Imprisoned.  Beaten.  Deserted, he tells us.  Yet, his letters explode with ministry to and concern for the Brethren.

     You are serious about taking up The Cross and following Him.

     Get out there and do it.

     Tell Him today.  Aloud.
 

   

His: Will:

     Many Believers think they want God's will when in fact, they are looking for a guarantee of success and are wanting the absence of discomfort or mistake.

     Soldier of The Cross, your job is to present yourself as a Living Sacrifice, and you must agree with God whatever that means.  Then and only then, you are free to see where He is and you can easily follow.

     Often wisdom comes from making mistakes.  Some choices bear a sting and result in the determination to seek anything but what has caused pain.  Other choices blast open doors that lead to explosive Glory. 

     We are sojourners and Pilgrims.   The Fall happened.  We are not intended to walk the perfect path on some kind of high level that rides above misunderstanding, failure and betrayal.

     Remember this precious song?

     Sometimes the day seems long, 
     Our trials hard to bear. 
     We´re tempted to complain, 
     To murmur and despair. 
     But Christ will soon appear 
     To catch his bride away! 
     All tears forever over 
     In God's eternal day! 

CHORUS: 
     It will be worth it all 
     When we see Jesus! 
     Life's trials will seem so small 
     When we see Christ. 
     One glimpse of his dear face, 
     All sorrow will erase. 
     So, bravely run the race 
     Till we see Christ. 



     At times the sky seems dark, 
     With not a ray of light; 
     We're tossed and driven on, 
     No human help in sight. 
     But there is One in heaven, 
     Who knows our deepest care; 
     Let Jesus solve your problems, 
     Just go to him in prayer. 



      Life's day will soon be o're, 
     All storms forever past; 
     We'll cross the great divide 
     To Glory, safe at last! 
     We'll share the joys of heaven: 
     A harp, a home, a crown; 
     The tempter will be banished, 
     We'll lay our burdens down.

 

     So Soldier, Look up and keep moving!

Today:

     Today should not be all about preparing for tomorrow.

     Even when executing plans for a future event, there is release in doing the thing that is immediately before you.

     The people around or those who come to mind need encouragement and prayer. The issue is, moving through the present moment with a thought life that lines up with the Word of God.

     In order to line up with His thoughts, there has to be a taking in of His Word. Christian radio and television are not enough. Church is not enough.

     In actuality, we prepare for eternity by striving to enter into the Sabbath Rest (Hebrews 4) and that means living each Today in obedience and looking toward eternity. If we take Him at His Word, we follow Him. We look for Him.

     Soldier of The Cross, be willing to live in newness. And He must reveal to you what that means for you. That happens by prayer.

     Tell Him. Today.

     Aloud.

The Frontier of Faith:

     Faith will take you place that common sense will not go.

     Your walk of faith is unlike any other.  There is no duplication. 

     Most Christians are reluctant to allow the Lord to bring them into the fullness that awaits the eager follower. 

     It is not easy for the flesh.  The flesh kicks and screams for predictability and wants assurance that all will go well.  The flesh craves the approval of others and  fights a vigorous battle to try to get it.

     You must decide what you want. 

     What is beautiful to you? 
     What is eternal?
     How available are you to be led by the Indwelling Holy Spirit?
     Do you actually believe Hew can be trusted?  

     Soldier, there is no possible way you can even imagine what the Lord has for you.  He will never lead you into anything that is apart from His own Life. 

     If you really, really believe He can be trusted and that His Word is true, you can be like the leaf on the tree, available to be taken wherever the wind wants to take it.

     What freedom.

     This will never happen without deliberate affirmative prayer that involves telling the Lord you want a faith-walk and that you will follow Him.

     Tell Him aloud. 
     Right now.

Real Peace:

     There is no Christian nirvana where the Believer is no longer rattled by things.

     But there is a Sabbath Rest (Hebrews 4.)

     There is supernatural freedom when the Soldier of The Cross agrees with God and yields to the surgical knife of the lover of his or her soul.

      Firstly, is God's Word true?
  
     Then, does God listen?
     Is He consistent, or can He be distracted?
     Is He possibly unaware of the extreme results of the situation?
     Do I need to know why, or can I agree that He knows far better than I and that It is ridiculous for me to see if I approve of His reasons?
     Does He really provide what I need or am I being neglected by Him?

     The seen and the unseen worlds are watching you, and the thoughts you choose in your most private moments are the thought that will rule your life.

     Listen to your own thoughts and choose words that agree with God. Look at Him. Tell Him why you have decided to follow Him. Let Him know you want to be changed.

     Remember, the most hearty Soldiers are needed for the most vigorous battles. You keep slinging that Sword and let Him do the rest.

     And sing. At the top of your lungs. It drives the enemy away.

     Peace is not a condition, it is a place from which the Christian lets God be God.

     Tell Him
     Today. Aloud.
     Keep moving.

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