New series starting! I will discuss the Whole Armor of God and how we need to apply it within the framework of our lives. Each week I will go over one piece of armor at a time. To get started I recommend reading Ephesians chapter 6:10-20. It’s short so go ahead and study the whole chapter! 🙂
David’s legacy started with one moment. That one moment not only changed his life but changed the world. When David was young his job was to watch over his father’s flock of sheep. Protecting a flock wasn’t easy back then given the limited tools and weapons they had. According to scripture David protected his flock from the mouth of a lion and from the paws of a bear. Armed with a stone and a sling, he must have had tons and tons of practice to perfect the way he used them, especially against predators like he encountered. He also had a heart for the Lord and a passion to protect. He knew his purpose was to be a protector so he perfected the way he used his sling in every way that led him to that moment when he stood up against Goliath. God groomed David through his own passion by testing him with challenges such as the confrontations with the lion and the bear. God groomed him for that moment of perfection that changed his life. David had a relationship with the Lord and as you read 1 Samuel 17, you can see his passion for the Lord in the moments that led up to his triumph over Goliath.
Perfection is a word that scares a lot of people. Most people say that you can’t be perfect, and I believe it is true but that idea should never excuse someone from applying the kind of effort that strives for perfection. Striving for perfection and fully understanding your purpose results in quality effort in anything you do. David must have applied quality effort into every rock that flew out of his sling. God could have guided that rock himself to strike Goliath’s forehead but I don’t think He wants to work that way. He wants us to perform the work through our passions. He wants to see us put in the effort and strive for perfection as we glorify His name in everything we do just as David did as a young man.
Fear is a slow torturing death that lays dormant in the back of your mind and comes out when you start thinking of the possibilities of fulfilling your dream and purpose in life. Thinking of the happiness and joy of accomplishing goals that can be difficult, is the first step to progress toward your dreams. When you start thinking about the difficulties more than the joys of accomplishing your goals, fear slays those thoughts and sends them to the far back of your mind. This can happen over and over again and is the reason why it can be a slow tortuous death throughout your life. Understand this: the reason why you are being held back is because there is a force that doesn’t want you to fulfill your purpose because your purpose is God’s destiny for you. As you go back and forth in your mind with fear and think of all the little evils that come with it such as doubts and uncertainties, there is a battle going on in your heart. Your heart wants to move forward but the iniquities of fear that lurk in your mind are keeping your heart docked into a position where it cannot reach the freedom of joy.
But if you can hold on to those thoughts of having happiness in accomplishing those goals, your life can change. Hold on in faith! Understand that God has a purpose for you. He gave you those talents. He gave you a heart for those talents so you can grow them into something He needs you to be for His kingdom. Look to the Lord Jesus Christ for strength and courage!
Your character defines who you are as a person, but there is true character and there is acting. True character is what’s in your heart and the only one that can fully see it besides yourself is God. The question to ask yourself as a Christian is, do you consistently project your heart out to the world? Or do you have a spiritual valve in your heart that you open and close depending on your surroundings? Does your character change depending on who you are around? This can be confusing because it makes you wonder who you really are sometimes. I know this can be common with new believers but as they progress, they will eventually realize and reshape their character by re-aligning their values as they freshly read the Word. That’s because it’s that fresh fire inside as they learn about Jesus for the first time and feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. We all felt it in the very beginning, and it is an awesome feeling. But if you don’t maintain the knowledge and don’t live it consistently, that flame begins to diminish over time and world distractions begin to take over the time you use to spend with God, so that feeling goes away. You have to be diligent in the Word to transform your character and to live under righteous principles and values.
The point of all this is that the principles you set for yourself must be consistent daily. Keep that feeling going! You need to consistently feed your mind and heart. Take in the knowledge and live it. If you become wise in the Word, then you have established a strong foundation for your life.
Lets tie in your dream with your character. Lets say you have a dream and you have found your purpose in this world as you become consistent in God’s Word. By welcoming Christ into your life, you have become a temple for the Holy Spirit, and have developed this very special relationship with God. Your faith is strong, you have found your purpose, and the Lord is right there with you every step of the way. This doesn’t mean everything is going to be easy and perfect in your eyes. The Lord will test you. He wants to be sure your faith is strong, not just toward Him, but faith in yourself as well. Sometimes these tests and trials can be hard and devastating and cause us to suffer in many ways. The Lord will allow us to go through this to make us stronger and build us up spiritually. It is up to you to figure that out through knowledge and wisdom by being diligent in feeding yourself with His Word. By reading the Word, you will understand that there is hope because you’re confident in God’s promises. You will understand that God is strengthening your character as you persevere through whatever pain is in your life at that point of time. Paul describes it best to the Romans:
Romans 5:3-5 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character, and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Any structure that is upright needs a strong foundation. Having a strong relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ is the foundation that everyone needs to be upright.
When you have a relationship with the Lord, He becomes a part of you and you a part of Him. If you think about relationships, what really makes up a relationship? To have a relationship with someone means you have some significant connection with them. You communicate with them, you think about them, and you can associate feelings for them and with them. This is how the Lord wants to have a relationship with you. If you feel guilty and have a sense of regret for the sin that you have done in God’s eyes, then that is repentance. Repenting is feeling regret, remorse, and sorry for what you have done, especially if someone else’s heart is involved. If this is how you feel when you sin in God’s eyes, then a relationship is there. If you are trying your hardest to turn away from sin, He can see that and He wants to help you just as anyone that you have a strong relationship with would. He wants the relationship to grow and wants you to ask Him for strength and to know that He is right there with you no matter what the conditions are.
A relationship with the Lord provides you with a foundation that will hold your framework upright and together. The more you allow the Lord into your life the deeper the relationship becomes. The deeper the relationship, the deeper the foundation. The first building block to a strong foundation with the Lord is obtaining knowledge of His Word.