Tag Archives: battle

2 Samuel 21-23; Psalm 18; Romans 3

I’m reading The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare with my youngest child. There is a scripture quoted in it repeatedly:

35 He trains my hands for battle;
    he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow. (2 Samuel 22:35, NLT)

I paused in my 66 Books reading today, because that scripture appeared in 2 Samuel and Psalm 18. I took a longer look at David’s men, described in 2 Samuel. Of his elite three, I noticed qualities of strength, loyalty, perseverance, and courage.

Next in rank among the Three was Eleazar son of Dodai, a descendant of Ahoah. Once Eleazar and David stood together against the Philistines when the entire Israelite army had fled. 10 He killed Philistines until his hand was too tired to lift his sword, and the Lord gave him a great victory that day. The rest of the army did not return until it was time to collect the plunder!

11 Next in rank was Shammah son of Agee from Harar. One time the Philistines gathered at Lehi and attacked the Israelites in a field full of lentils. The Israelite army fled, 12 but Shammah held his ground in the middle of the field and beat back the Philistines. So the Lord brought about a great victory. (2 Samuel 23:9-12, NLT, emphasis added)

I consider the army I thought would have been with me in my greatest battles. I remember the names of the elite who stayed.

He trains my hands for battle. He readies me for difficult tasks.

The Lord does bring about great victories. He’s looking for someone to stay (when they’re tired, to hold the ground when the army flees). Oh, times of testing reveal so much (I cast my cares upon him.).

True, some of them were unfaithful; but just because they were unfaithful, does that mean God will be unfaithful? Of course not! Even if everyone else is a liar, God is true. As the Scriptures say about him,

“You will be proved right in what you say,
    and you will win your case in court.” (Romans 3:3-4, NLT)

Lord, I fix my eyes on you. You are the source of my strength. You are my hope. You are true.

Courtney (66books365)

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Judges 3; Acts 7; Jeremiah 16; Mark 2

There are days the tasks I face are things like cutting the grass, doing the laundry, preparing school lessons. There are days the tasks I face are way harder–standing up under scrutiny and judgment, making decisions I never imagined I’d have to, pushing through circumstances that could truly change my heart.

These are the nations that the Lord left in the land to test those Israelites who had not experienced the wars of Canaan. He did this to teach warfare to generations of Israelites who had no experience in battle. These are the nations: the Philistines (those living under the five Philistine rulers), all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites living in the mountains of Lebanon from Mount Baal-hermon to Lebo-hamath. These people were left to test the Israelites—to see whether they would obey the commands the Lord had given to their ancestors through Moses. (Judges 3:1-4, NLT)

In the midst of a battle for my heart, my faith, my words, my actions (in sum, my life), I’m thankful that Jesus is my Savior, my light, my teacher. I look to these words about battles and testing, and I want to cling tightly to my God.

Lord, you are my strength and fortress,
    my refuge in the day of trouble!
Nations from around the world
    will come to you and say,
“Our ancestors left us a foolish heritage,
    for they worshiped worthless idols.
20 Can people make their own gods?
    These are not real gods at all!”

21 The Lord says,
“Now I will show them my power;
    now I will show them my might.
At last they will know and understand
    that I am the Lord. (Jeremiah 16:19-21, NLT)

Stephen recounts a history of God’s faithfulness and direction. Lord, don’t let me be so distracted by an enemy or a battle or a faulty perception that I forget all that you are and all that you have done.

You forgive.

Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.” (Mark 2:5, NLT)

You heal.

10 So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, 11 “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!” (Mark 2:10, NLT)

You lead.

14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Levi got up and followed him. (Mark 2:14, NLT)

You provide.

 27 Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!” (Mark 2:27, NLT)

You make all things new.

22 “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins.” (Mark 2:22, NLT)

Courtney (66books365)

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2Kings 9; 1Tim. 6; Hos. 1; Ps.119:73-96

How long do God’s promises stand?

How do God’s promises stand?

How can we tap into them in our lives?

Your word, LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures. Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you. ~ Psalm 119:89-91

 Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations; You established the earth, and it stands. They stand this day according to Your ordinances, For all things are Your servants. ~ Psalm 119:89-91

 If Your law had not been my delight, then I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have revived me. ~ Psalm 119:92-93

Revive means “to live, have life, remain alive, sustain life, live prosperously, live forever, be quickened, be alive, be restored to life or health.”

God’s promises stand firm FOREVER!  They stand because He ESTABLISHED them to do so.  We tap into them when we DELIGHT ourselves in God’s Words.

So of the things that mean “revive,” which one do you need?

I need them all.  I desire them all.  And since they are available to me, then I will stand on them all—and I will keep standing until they have been fulfilled in my life.

Father, thank you for your promises and that they stand firm forever.  Thank you for reminding me that I can choose to stand on them and not sink into the muck.  Do I believe that this is a battle? Yes.  Do I believe that I will continue to have to battle?  Yes.  Do I believe I have to lose?  No, because Your Words—which are buried in my heart—tell me that I am more than a conqueror and I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.  I pray that whatever parts of “revive” we need, that You would lead us to Your Promises and that we would be able to stand on them.  I pray that we would stand with and for and by each other.  Lord be with us today.  Give us comfort, protection, rest, and Your peace.  Continue to supply all of our needs.  It’s in Jesus’ Name that I pray, Amen.

Heatherpotts5

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2 Samuel 4-5; 1 Corinthians 15; Ezekiel 13; Psalms 52-54

Death has come because of what one man did, but the rising from death also comes because of one man. In Adam all of us die. In the same way, in Christ all of us will be made alive again

It is written in the Scriptures: “The first man, Adam, became a living person.” But the last Adam became a spirit that gives life. The spiritual did not come first, but the physical and then the spiritual. The first man came from the dust of the earth. The second man came from heaven. People who belong to the earth are like the first man of earth. But those people who belong to heaven are like the man of heaven. Just as we were made like the man of earth, so we will also be made like the man of heaven.

I tell you this, brothers and sisters: Flesh and blood cannot have a part in the kingdom of God. Something that will ruin cannot have a part in something that never ruins…

This body that can be destroyed must clothe itself with something that can never be destroyed. And this body that dies must clothe itself with something that can never die. 1 Corinthians 15:21-22; 45-50; 53 (NCV)

Death has been on my mind a lot lately. The recent passing of a dear woman from my home church in Pennsylvania and news of a mother in my MOPS group who was involved in a life-threatening accident brought the realities to the forefront of my heart.

There have been times in my life when the thought of dying was terrifying. There have been times in my life, especially in the midst of my fight against depression, that death has seemed a welcome thing. As a mother and a wife, the enemy is perpetually attempting to ensnare my mind with pictures of the potential horrors that ‘could’ happen – to my children, to my husband, to myself – it is a constant battle against anxiety and fear.

Death is inevitable in the process of life. Everyone will die because of the consequence of sin caused by the choices that Adam and Eve made. In some ways, I think that death is hardest for the living. We have to endure in life, a part of our heart missing. We have to find a way to process our grief, to move on but never forget.

…When you sow a seed, it must die in the ground before it can live and grow. And when you sow it, it does not have the same “body” it will have later. What you sow is only a bare seed, maybe wheat or something else. But God gives it a body that he has planned for it, and God gives each kind of seed its own body. 1 Corinthians 15: 36-38 (NCV)

For those who have accepted Christ in their heart, those who put their faith in the saving power of the Cross, there is hope. Death is no longer something to dread. It is a time for rejoicing. It is a time for a remembering the goodness in a person’s life and for celebrating a graduation into glory. It is a time for the earthly body to be ‘planted’ in the ground and be raised to a life that can never be destroyed; raised in glory, in power, and in spirit (1 Corinthians 15:42-44). Our loved ones become whole, renewed, and restored to perfection in heaven.

When my brother died, early on in the stages of the never-ending healing process, God whispered to my heart – he is a planted seed, a seed that will reap a harvest. I knew that I would never see the whole picture, the big picture, but I trusted in that truth. He gave me His peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

“Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your pain?”…we thank God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:55; 57 (NCV)

True to His Word, my brother’s death was not in vain. Countless people have come to know the Lord, lives have been changed, hearts healed. My own testimony of trusting God has ministered to others, restoring hope and confidence in the Lord. I have seen first-hand His faithfulness conquering desperation and triumphing over loss.

Death has no victory. My victory is found in Jesus Christ. He defeated my enemy. He cleansed me, made me new and gave me everlasting life. My hope is in Him, the joy of my salvation. I rejoice in the Lord for He is good.

But I am like an olive tree

growing in God’s Temple.

I trust God’s love

forever and ever.

God, I will thank you forever for what you have done.

With those who worship you, I will trust you because you are good. Psalm 52:8-9 (NCV)

Blessings – Julie (writing from Sholavandan, India)

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Num. 22; Ps. 62,63; Isa. 11,12; James 5

The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]. ~ James 5:16 AMP

 The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. ~ James 5:16 NASB

 The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. ~ James 5:16 NKJV

 The prayer of a godly person is powerful. It makes things happen. ~ James 5:16 NIRV

 The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. ~ James 5:16 NLT

Over the past three weeks, in three different circumstances, God brought this verse to my attention three times.  I’m noticing a theme and the common denominator is James 5:16.

For what seems like forever, my husband and I have been praying and believing that God will move MIGHTILY in our lives.  We’ve believed for a “shift.”  This is not a mediocre, subtle movement, but a huge and powerful change.  And that time has finally arrived!  I know for certain, when we first began to believe for God to move mightily in our lives, to shift us, we never dreamed it would involve the things we are facing today…as most people don’t look to trials to move them.  But nevertheless, here we are and our choices are to sit still, wondering “when it will pass,” or to forge ahead, knowing we already have the victory!

After we got over the initial shock, we “strapped our armor on,” called close a couple of our friends, and asked them to stand with us on the Word of God.  In order for God to move mightily, we must believe mightily.  The word “fervent” means “intensity.”  War is not for the faint of heart, but for the armed.  With great intensity and mighty power, this war will be won—this trial overcome—through worship, prayer, faith, and courage to believe as we keep moving forward.

Thank you, Father God, for all the ways you have prepared us for this opportunity to run into victory.  Thank you for good friends who let me text them at midnight, just to ask for extra encouragement.  Father, I can’t wait till we have full victory.  To You be all the glory!  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Heatherpotts5

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2 Chronicles 17, 2 Chronicles 18, 2 Corinthians 6

Jehoshaphat…sought God…and walked in His commandments. Therefore the Lord established the kingdom in his hand. 2 Chronicles 18:4-5

 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 2 Corinthians 6:15

 “Come out from among them …And I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:17-18

 Read athttp://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2Chron17,18;%202Cor6&version=NKJV

2 Chronicles 17        Jehoshaphat…strengthened himself against Israel…he did not seek the Baals, but sought the God…and walked in His commandments and not according to the acts of Israel.

            At this time Israel was not following the Lord God but worshipping false gods.

            Talk about taking a stand! Jehoshaphat didn’t ignore Israel, give platitudes, agreements, or compromises saying ‘your truth works for you, my truth works for me’. – No, Jehoshaphat “strengthened himself against Israel”! Boldly Not being ‘politically correct’!  

            Jehoshaphat was a man of conviction and action! Not only was Jehoshaphat against Israel, but he was against the false gods in his own land AND he taught everyone about the Lord God!! “moreover he removed the high places and wooden images from Judah. So they…had the Book of the Law of the Lord with them; they went throughout all the cities of Judah and taught the people.”

             Why would Jehoshaphat do this? Because “his heart took delight in the ways of the Lord”. Jehoshaphat’s heart couldn’t be happier because he ‘heard’ the Lord and walked in His Ways. He didn’t need any one else’s approval or relationship. Jehoshaphat’s HEART DELIGHTED in the LORD. The center of Jehoshaphat’s core had delight, joy, peace and the Presence of the Lord God! It is what motivated him to do all he did! 1 

             Aren’t I supposed to be this way too? Of course! Especially since I have tangible blessings from the Lord God: The full Bible. The knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ by His Word. The God’s promises for the end of His story. The revelation of  Who my Atonement is. The indwelling 24/7/365 Presence of the Holy Spirit within me.  Yet I rejoice in Jehoshaphat! What a man for God! May I be at least as much as he is!!  2 

             And what was God’s response?

Faithfulness, loyalty and fruitfulness to Jehoshaphat and his realm of influence.

The Lord established the kingdom in his hand

The Book of the Law of the Lord was taught to all the people.

The fear of the Lord fell on all the kingdoms of the lands that were around Judah, so that they did not make war against Jehoshaphat.

Some kingdoms brought Jehoshaphat presents, tribute, and more

Jehoshaphat became increasingly powerful,

Jehoshaphat had much property and mighty men of valor

2 Chronicles 18                   By marriage Jehoshaphat allied himself with Ahab.  After some years he went down to visit Ahab in Samaria;  

             What happened to this valiant man of God? God’s Word tells us, “Jehoshaphat had riches and honor in abundance.” Trading righteousness for pleasure and pride, Jehoshaphat unwittingly subverted his own resolve against Israel “by marriage he allied himself with Ahab”, the king of Israel.

             The effect is heard: Jehoshaphat answered Ahab, “I am as you are, and my people as your people; we will be with you in the war.”  What? How did this happen? Some years before Jehoshaphat was delighting in God and independent of the powers around him, standing valiant against sin patterns. Now Jehoshaphat has fallen so far that he views himself and his people as being like Israel! 3

             The Lord’s gifts became the source of Jehoshaphat’s joy instead of his heart continually delighting in the Lord God. When I let my physical senses distract me from Fear of the Lord, it causes spiritual blindness, misplaced trust and unholy alliances. 4

2 Corinthians 6            Lord God Almighty, may I never misconstrue blessings to be for my own gratification. You alone are my very Great Reward. You command me: I am blessed to be a blessing. I am to work together with Jesus Christ to plead for others “not to receive the grace of God in vain. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” I will accomplish this through many types of pain, discomfort, by God’s truth, power and more, and within every possible circumstance. 5

            Lord Jesus, You have shown me the deep pain of eternal souls who live for Very temporary pleasures. Hell is for real, just as Heaven is. I take Your advice to heart: You are restricted by your own affections…Do not be unequally yoked…For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. 

            Lord Jesus thank You for calling me to grow more intimate with You daily and go far away from surface pleasure and pride. I desire to Live, exist and have my being in Your Word and Holy Spirit, abiding in Your Love. Lord, have my eyes open to the walking dead around me, my ears attentive to Your Voice of Truth and wisdom, and my heart submitted to Your compassion so You will move through me for Your great work to be done, now and always for Your delight and glory! Amen 6

Dear Reader, God pleads with you and me today:

Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.”“I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.” 

1-  Psalm 37:4, 2 Chronicles 17:4, Nehemiah 8:10, Psalm 1, Psalm 119:16

2-  Romans 3:21-26; Hebrews 2:17; 1 John 2:1-2; 1 John 4:9-10; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Isaiah 6:8

3 – 1 Kings 18

4- Romans 1; Revelation 2:4; Genesis 15:1; Psalm 37:4; Philippians 2:12

5- 2 Corinthians 6:4-10; Genesis 15:1; Genesis 12:2; Romans 1:16

6-   1 Peter 2:9; Acts 17:28; John 15:1-17

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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