Friendship and love · Life and other catastrophes · Parenthood · Relating to God · Spiritual growth and healing

Resolutions with a fighting edge

Whenever we move house it’s often a joy for my kids to discover old boxes of toys and drawings they’d forgotten about… memories unearthed…

When we start a new year we are reminded of the ‘old forgotten boxes’ of last year’s resolutions… Does it delight you to resurrect – or repackage – them? Or do they just remind you of dreams left by the wayside?

I don’t really mind if my resolutions are the same each year. Whatever my goals and aims, I would hope that within all of them I’m still growing, maturing and becoming more like Jesus Christ…

One of the resolutions we Christians often come up with to fulfil the aim of godliness is to ‘read the Bible more’.

Like the goal of omitting sugar, carbohydrates and fats from our diets, this one can tend to fizzle out quickly.

We all know reading the Word will help us learn more about God and become closer to Him… yet how often do we acknowledge the enemy which fights against us delving into it?

It should never be about picking it up because we should,  as yet another religious exercise which makes us feel like we’re better Christians…

But sometimes it does take effort and strength.

I like the idea that the Word is a weapon of warfare. In the description of the spiritual armour of God in Ephesians 6, we are directed in verse 17 to “take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

The sword of the Spirit is the word of God. The Bible. His inspired words for us.

Is anyone truly surprised that we find picking up the Bible hard sometimes? That Satan isn’t trying his darndest to turn one of the key weapons of warfare – the sword of the spirit – into one of the driest, most religious exercises we can think of?

Where’s the passion for getting to know the story of the one who saved our souls? Where’s the creativity when it comes to applying ourselves to learning and studying Him?
We have turned one of the most potentially joy-filled pursuits into a guilt-ridden religious directive. So often we hear ‘Read your Bible and pray more’ from the pulpit as if it’s a magic formula. But how often is such advice issued alongside a warning of the spiritual battle we’ll face when we try and go deeper with God in this way? Without an explanation of how gratifying, encouraging, peace-producing and character-building it is if we push through the inevitable enemy tactics we’ll first face…

In many countries God’s people are imprisoned and tortured for owning a copy of the Scriptures. Yet the average Westerner owns a Bible in every version imaginable. We have such treasures – invaluable resources. Insights into the heart of the best saviour, lover, companion, brother, friend and Lord we could imagine. And the enemy of our souls is scared of what will happen when we tap into these.

When Jesus and Satan entered a verbal joust following His period of temptation in the wilderness (Matthew 4), quoting scripture was key to His victory over the evil one in v.8-11:

“…the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. ‘All this I will give you,’ he said, ‘if you will bow down and worship me.’

Jesus said to him, ‘Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’  Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.”

How will you do battle this year? How will you allow yourself to fall in love with the Word, and with the power of prayer? Ask God for creative insights and inspirations suited just to you. I plan to journal more, blog regularly using scripture as my basis, copy words from the Bible by hand – and memorise. And not because I want to be a good, religious Christian girl – but because I want to fight against the one who would seek to tear away my joy and spiritual growth… and instead fall deeper and deeper in love with the One who will ultimately set me free.

My weapon of warfare for 2013.
My weapon of warfare for 2013.
Advertisements

16 thoughts on “Resolutions with a fighting edge

    1. Thanks Joy – and so glad you are in love with it and living its truth, as a blessing to others 🙂
      Happy new year to you too, and thanks for coming by.

  1. I really like the direction you went with this, Ali. I’ve found that the closer I get to God, the more the enemy increases his attacks–which I suppose has some kind of logic to it. One of our dearest sisters here on the blogs challenged me earlier this year, to make daily Bible reading a habit as though my life depended on it. I’m so glad I “heard”, and took the word from God to heart, as it’s now the part of my day I most look forward to. I could do more–I guess we all could–but now I don’t see it as a chore, with resulting guilt if I “forget”. There is no condemnation for us, and I’m just grateful I began a new habit I have no desire to break. Wishing you and your lovely family a most Blessed New Year–love, sis Caddo

    1. Thanks so much for reading it Caddo and reflecting. It does make sense that the ‘war’ is taken up a notch when we move out of complacency. And I know deep down I’d rather be on the frontlines than sitting back and letting life go by (sometimes we have no choice too I s’pose).
      I love that thought from your friend of our lives depending on our connection with the Word.
      That’s great, and I like that you say you look forward to this daily part of your life – a habit you have no desire to break – beautifully said!
      May we all keep loving all the resources that keep us in touch with His precious heart 🙂
      Thanks again and be blessed as you bless others so richly,
      Ali

  2. This was so good and exciting to me, dear Ali! Thank you! I keep thinking about how we can present His Word to others and each other, in a way that it sticks . .. just becomes a part of us, a part of who we are and what we do. I have a friend in Israel and as she shares with me, this is what always hits me . ..that God is so much a part of who they are as a nation and a people and a culture. God bless you , Ali, and all you do in 2013 that grows you in Jesus!

    1. I’m glad Debbie! Well, God has certainly answered your prayers and desire to present the Word to others in an impactful way. I love what you always bring from it each day for us – it is truly transformative.
      I love that, what your friend said. May we all live and breathe His truth like that too.
      Thank you, and may He continue to bless and prosper you also.
      In Christ,
      Ali

  3. I like how your approached this. I had a 365-day reading schedule printed out last year and I failed miserably. Part of the reason was the chunks were too big. Another reason is my frame of mind – instead of seeing it as a necessity I saw it as another ‘thing’ I didn’t have time to do. I look forward to reading the inspiration you’ll offer in 2013.

    1. Yes, I’ve had similar experiences. It’s easy to be put off when it becomes too ‘hard’, like a chore on the to-do list. I’m looking forward to approaching the Word as ‘bread’ and weaponry rather than just another task, as you say. Thanks again Janna, have a great day.

  4. This is exactly what has been on my heart for the New Year! How on earth do we manage to turn something so amazing into a dry, lifeless chore?! I cringe every time I see a 365 Bible reading plan… lol. So well put! May the Word be active and never dull this year!!

    1. Amen! So true. That’s great it was on your heart too. May God keep transforming our ‘sessions’ with Him, filling them with joy and purpose. Thanks so much for dropping by.

  5. Hi Ali.
    A great thought for 2013! The Word is our life and food. There are times when I just struggled reading the Word but I saw how lost I am without it. I love the Word but I have been challenged to go even deeper. The Word is my weapon for 2013 and forever!!!!! Great post.
    Rolain

    1. Awesome Rolain! May we all have that passionate fighting spirit to take up the sword He’s given us! God bless as you walk through the Word this year.
      A

  6. So true, the Word is amazing in so many ways, thanks for highlighting this. Heard this quote recently re the Word of God: “Called the sword of the Spirit because we are supposed to kill something with it”. -Wendy Backlund

Comment on this post?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s