Lately God has been giving me “strategies” for certain types of situations in life. I feel like it comes one strategy at a time, one situation at a time until I have learned how to best use the strategy for a particular situation. And then, we’re on to another situation with another strategy and yet more learning.
I’ve been thinking on strategies a lot lately because I have weathered some difficult times in the past four years. As of late it has been my joy to help others through storms as well. My thoughts have led me to this conclusion: It’s just too easy for us Christians to throw out phrases such as “know your identity” and “just have faith” and “rise up warrior of God.” Easier said than done in most cases, and that’s only when we actually understand what is really being said. I mean, HOW does a person know their identity? What exactly is “identity” and how can you “rise up” in it? Telling a person to “have faith” is one thing – teaching them to do so is different.
I’m not entirely sure of the full plan that God has in teaching me these strategies. However, I am certain that as I grow and test them, they are tools that will indeed help others on the journey to freedom. Thus, below is a STRATEGY FOR DARK TIMES. This is one that I will candidly admit I have used many times over the past year. And I can finally say that it has become such second nature to me now that I hardly have the need to use it anymore.
The more you learn to fight, the stronger you become and the quicker you get at fighting the next battle. Before long you realize that you actually have the victory and you will then understand that because of Jesus, you are more powerful than you thought.
It is also good to point out that we need to be careful of what we are feeding ourselves during this time. Television, radio, social media, friends – even world news can be something that the enemy uses to feed you with fear, doubt and angst. Worship music, Christian podcasts and friends who have your best interest at heart are the healthiest “food” during the dark times. Certainly fast from these things, but don’t isolate yourself!
Some of these steps are harder than others, and sometimes when the darkness has overwhelmed a person for a long period of time it will be harder for them to accept this strategy at all. One thing that God promised me as I was coming out of the dark times is a beautiful picture from Isaiah 45 (NLT), and I believe it is a promise for you as well. Meditate on it and use it for yourself if you need. God never lies.
2 This is what the Lord says:
“I will go before you…
and level the mountains.
I will smash down gates of bronze
and cut through bars of iron.
3 And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness—
I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord,
the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.
Been studying the Gospels during my “journey”, and I must say that the Pharisees were a trip. They may have had good intentions. They may have loved and been devoted to God. They even may have meant to obey God. But the truth of the matter is that they were so focused on their commitment to very limited parts of The Law and all the stuff they added to it, that they became blind to Christ, even when he was right there in their midst. Instead of receiving the message joyfully with the intent to help spread it, they chose to do all they could to stop the message and the Messiah.
We, as believers, have to be careful how we handle Christ and The Gospel. Are we so caught up in the rules of religion…specifically those which have little, if any, biblical basis…that we ignore the Message of the Messiah? Are we bitter, and even deadly, when people don’t do it the way we do? How many souls have we turned away from Christ because of our self-righteousness? Think about it!
Judith Williams Sherman
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