Christianity Is Not for Wimps

christianity not for wimpsGod warns us that in this life we will have troubles, hardships and distresses; beatings, imprisonments, dishonor, and false accusations come against us. Our own selfish motives, the choices of others, as well as spiritual forces in the heavenly realms can bring you down!

The Christian life isn’t for wimps!

People in the church, making a difference for God, are under attack. For example, after Rick Warren wrote the second best-selling book of all times, next to the Bible, his wife, Kay, was diagnosed with cancer. The Pastor of one of the largest churches in America, Pastor Rick has faced accusations and conflict inside and outside the church. Most recently and tragically, Pastor Rick and Kay have lost their beautiful son, Matthew (27), who ended his life through suicide. In an email to his congregation, Pastor Rick shared that Matthew battled mental illness and depression for most of his life. Even with many attempts by healthcare professionals and fervent prayer, Matthew chose to take his life to gain peace in the presence of Jesus.

Our choices can cause other people pain. 

An entire Christian community grieves alongside Rick and Kay, lifting them up in prayer and providing for their needs. What sets the church apart from the rest of the world is that we are a spiritual family. We come together in unity to reflect the love of Jesus and glorify the Father. We mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice.

Expect trouble when following Jesus.

Satan, the enemy of this world, uses tactics to deceive, destroy, distract, and discredit the people of God. He whispers lies and false information that we dwell upon if we are unaware of the reality of the spiritual realms. God’s Word says,

“Cast all your anxiety on Him [Jesus] because He cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (1 Peter 5:7-9).

Expect the enemy to attack, but know you’re not alone.

When we look at the life of Job in the Bible, Satan destroyed Job’s family, took his wealth, and caused him to suffer horrendous pain. Yet God restored Job as he stood firm in his faith and obedient to follow God.

As Christians, God will give us strength and comfort to endure the hardships of this world as we obey Him. We are not alone. God gives us a spiritual family, sisters and brothers in Christ, to do life together. For this reason, it’s important to be involved in a small group community in your church. God designed the church to encourage and pray for one another, to study God’s Word to grow deeper in love with Jesus and share that love with others. And God calls us to gently speak the truth in love when our sisters or brothers are sinning (Matt. 18). As a church we want God’s best for our spiritual family.

Promises from God

Jesus said,  “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you…I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 15:18-19, 16:33).

After you accept that Jesus paid the price for your sin, you invite Him into your heart to live. With a relationship with Christ you have the power, wisdom, and comfort of the Holy Spirit of God living in you. You can’t follow Jesus in your own strength and withstand the enemy of this world and the people and circumstances that come against you. That’s why God gives you a spiritual family and the Holy Spirit to guide and direct your path as you trust that God loves you. God says,

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (1 John 4:4).

How do you overcome the challenges you face daily with temptation, oppression, and false accusations? God clearly says to put on the full armor of God to fight your spiritual battle.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Eph. 6:10-13).

Six steps to Overcome a Spiritual Battle:

  1. Stand firm with the belt of truth buckled around your waist. Satan wants you to believe his lies, but stand firm with Jesus who will fight your battle. Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Jesus spoke creation into existence. John 1:14 says, “The Word of God became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
  2. Put on the breastplate of righteousness. Satan wants you to think that sin has no consequences, but know that sin leads to destruction and spiritual death. Your obedience to God will protect you against the consequences of unrighteous behavior. Don’t let the enemy devise schemes through unlovable people to distract you from God and His plans and purposes for your life. Stay obedient for God to show Himself to you (John 14:21).
  3. Have your feet fitted with readiness with the gospel of peace. Satan wants us to live in fear and be anxious, but when we know what Christ did on the cross we stand firm in our salvation, ready to share the reason for our peace. We can feel safe and secure knowing that God is with us and in us and for us. His peace is evident through our gentleness with unlovable people and the way we handle the troubles we face.
  4. Carry the shield of faith that extinguishes the flaming arrows of the evil one. Faith in God is complete trust that He loves you and desires the very best for you. Satan wants you to doubt God and His promises, but I beg you to believe and trust God in whatever circumstance you face. Christ loves you and He’s got your back.
  5. Wear the helmet of salvation. The helmet represents your mind, what you believe and your thoughts. Satan wants you to forget who you are in Christ Jesus. Claim the truth that you have the power of “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” You have the mind of Christ (Colossians 1:27, 1 Cor. 2:16). You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Phil. 4:13).
  6. Wield the sword of the Spirit. The Word is powerful and life-giving. We command authority and power when we speak the Word of God in our prayers. Meditate on His Word to stand secure and confident in Christ against the devil’s schemes. If Jesus created life by the spoken Word then God’s Word gives life when we speak it out loud.

Prepare for battle. Start your day by spending time with God. Read His Word, pray His Word, and trust His Word. God’s Word works! Get connected with your spiritual family. You are not alone. God says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

Learn more about walking in confidence to overcome the battle that is vying to take you away from victorious living. Order Kirsten Strawn’s book LOVING THE UNLOVABLE, Transforming difficult relationships with God’s Truth from Amazon.

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