March 28, 2016
Good Morning Princesses!
C.S. Lewis once said, “Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done.”
Every day we must put on the full armor of God and pray.
What an amazing two weeks. We have hit the ground running and are literally running with our latest series. As we approach Week 3, we will focus on the breastplate of righteousness. Begin thinking prior to working on Week 3 what is the core function of a soldier’s breastplate? Before we begin talking about the “the belt of Truth” (core), let’s step back for a few minutes to discuss Holy Week.
As you recall, last week was Holy Week and yesterday was Resurrection Sunday.
For this week’s praise and worship, take a look at the words to the song below. It’s also listed in your worship play list below. As you read the words below, mediate on these words.
Worth (by Anthony Brown)
You thought I was worth saving
So, You came and changed my life
You thought I was worth keeping
So, You cleaned me up inside
You thought I was to die for
So, You sacrificed Your life
So, I could be free
So, I could be whole
So, I could tell everyone I know
In John 11:25-26: Jesus said to Martha (sister of Lazarus), “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
The backdrop of this question comes at the heal of Lazurus’ death. Jesus arrives after Lazarus dies and Martha is wrestling with his death and Jesus’ arrival. Martha states in verse 21-22, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.”
Martha’s response to Jesus’ question in verse 26 was, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” (verse 27)
As the rest of John 11 reads, Jesus does make his way to Lazarus’ tomb and well, you know the rest of the story…
Jesus said to her (Martha), “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."
The Belt of Truth
Speaking about CORE and the belt of Truth, the homework this past week was all about the core. If you have ever done any strength training, particularly Pilates or Yoga, the entire focus of these exercises are to strengthen the core. The first time I took a yoga class, I thought, “Oh, this is going to be easy!” After all, on the television and in the magazines everyone looks so relaxed, calm and peaceful. Needless to say, when I walked into my first class, I went straight to the front, rolled out my mat and thought, “yes, I can take the next 45 minutes to just unwind.” NOT. Within the first 5 minutes we went from the downward dog, to warrior, to downward facing dog/right leg up, to tree pose and then the plank! Ugh!!
For those of you that have ever done a plank (yoga style), it looks easy when you are watching someone else, but my first time holding the plank for 5 minutes was sheer P-A-I-N! It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t relaxing, and I sweated the whole time. As I held the plank beads of sweat dropped from my forehead onto the mat, my hands started to shake and I kept thinking how much longer, call time, please?!
Finally, the instructor called time and I laid on the floor for what felt like only two seconds before we started the next round of poses. By the time the class was over, I was completely done for the day. What was supposed to be a relaxing 45 minutes turned into over analyzing, sweating and pretending to not need a wall to hold up me up from falling over. At the end of the day, my core had met its match. I decided for my next class, to check my ego at the door, focus on building my core and to sit in the back of the room for at least the next 10 classes! So, what’s the point to the story? Well, our core is essential to our balance, strength, posture, stability and resilience. (See, Day 1 – Strengthen Your Core and Day 2 – Truth CheckUp).
How’s your Core?
Truth is your core support
Let’s start with our memory verses. The best way to firm up our core is to know God’s word. The truth…
The Whole Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
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.
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. Ephesians 6:10-13(ESV)
Week 2 Recap
Here’s a quick recap of last week 2… The Belt of Truth
The over-arching principle present in all of Satan’s attacks toward us is deception.
Satan is the master illusionist.
Satan can craftily make you think that God does not meanexactly what He says.
Satan’s suggestions can never stand up against the light of God’s Holy Word.
God’s truth is the light.
Snapping on the Belt of Truth
Gives you the freedom you wouldn’t have otherwise
When we “gird up” we can walk freely in God’s truth. It gives us stability, freedom and relieves us of the world’s pressure, but it frees you to walk in faith and trust in God. God’s truth, HIS opinion is all that matters. With this information, we need to apply this to our Actionable Intel prayer strategy.
VisionDiscernmentDisciplineOn Guard (proactive and ready)Kryptonite
Every week, I will list the Actionable Intel from our meeting so that you can use to create your prayer strategy, the “linchpin that holds our armor together”. Remember, in Session 2 “Living Beyond” our daily prayer strategy- Pour out, Pour In and Pour Forth.
"Life is in the Spirit" (James 2:26)
Prayer “empowers and ‘charges up’ every other piece so they can be used effectively against the enemy. Without prayer…your armor, cannot, will not, be infused with the power that only God’s-Spirit can give.”
Lord give us the courage to daily hold up the banner of truth over our lives. Help me to daily walk lock step with the Holy Spirit, to trust you Lord in ALL things. (Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths).
Let my ears hear your voice daily and my let my vision be clear to see you so that I can walk in the path that you have called me to. (Isaiah 30:21- And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.)
Know that through the Holy Spirit you can:
• do things you couldn't;
• feel things you didn't; and
• know things you wouldn't.
For your praise and worship:
Nobody But Jesus/Real/Peace Be Still- Vanessa Bell Armstrong
Worth- A. Brown
Trading My Sorrows- I. Houghton & New Breed
Spread the word and invite someone to Session 3 (March 15- April 2016) as we continue our conversation and study about life in the Holy Spirit. Bring your prayer journal with you!
NEW ONLINE FEATURE FOR SESSION 3---We have an online feature for our next study for those of you that live out of town and want to participate in the study. Just register and purchase the book. Send me an email if you wish to join online a week before the next session so that we can ensure technology is in place.
See you on Tuesday, March 29th - Week 3 of The Armor of God, Stark County Library Main Campus, INNOVATION CENTER.
Remember, each day is an opportunity for us to...
Lead, Serve, GO!
Each day we have an opportunity to be the light and salt God has called us to be to others. Matthew 5:13-16 (NIV)