Battle Call!

An army of such magnitude of size that there seems to be no end… Soldiers standing, shields locked, shoulder to shoulder. Then “Aslan” roars! The soldiers lift their swords as one, while they unite their voices in one triumphant battle cry… As one, they step forward while one name shines forth with blinding brilliance… The name of Jesus is emblazoned across their breasts, and it is His name they cry. He is calling His warriors, and today is their day! Today is His day! Hear the roar!

This is not a physical battle, but it is a battle of epic proportions: it is the battle for the souls of mankind in this fallen world.

Soldiers, it is time to put on your armor and to claim the victory that Jesus won for you.  Erect His standard upon every area of your life.  This is not a time for defeat or apathy.  This is your time.  This is His time!

Wear His name with unshakable confidence!

What We View As Faith In God Is Often Not About God At All



As my sleepy body was awaking this morning, I began to contemplate faith again…

This topic is weighing heavily on my mind and probably because it is something that I, myself, have still much in which to grow.

As I was pondering faith, the thought came, “What we think is faith is often not about God at all but about us.”  Let me explain…

Often when we think about faith, we think in terms of how much faith we have or in our ability to trust.  In other words, we look at ourselves — our ability to trust or have faith.

The truth is faith isn’t about you or about me.  It’s about God.

Faith is recognizing God for who He is, and it’s staking your mind on the promises of God — regardless of your present circumstances or feelings of “faith.” 

Faith is deciding to live the truth of God’s Word.  It’s anchoring your soul to its truth — no matter what is going on around you.

Faith is what keeps the enemy’s lies from “hitting their mark” and causing us great harm.  (See:

We are often so unprepared for the battle because we revert back to looking to ourselves — our abilities to fight the battle.  We forget that the battle is the Lord’s, and that it can only be fought in His strength and by using His “weapons.” 

Yes, we have our part to play in the battle.  We have to resist the enemy, and we have to put on our armor.  In doing so, let’s not become confused and think it’s a matter of our own faith that will keep us. 

In looking at our own abilities to have faith, we begin to take our eyes off Jesus, and we will begin to “sink,” as Peter did.  Instead, we need to keep our eyes on our God — on His greatness, His power, His victory, His forgiveness, His grace, His righteousness, His love, His truth.  It is then not difficult at all to trust in so great a God!

It’s Not A Matter Of How Much Faith — Rather It’s A Matter Of Having Faith

Mustard Seeds

( van dobbenburgh)

Twice today, I read references to the Matthew 17:20 verse that speaks of having faith as a mustard seed.  At first glance, it’s easy to overlook the significance of the analogy used in referring to faith.

So often when we think about faith, we want to quantify it. 

We worry about having enough faith to face certain situations or whether we have “enough” faith to be used mightily by God in a situation.

That’s why the analogy given in Matthew 17:20 is so insightful.  The mustard seed was one of the smallest seeds known to the common people during Jesus’ time on earth.  Jesus tells the people that if they had faith as [small as] a mustard seed, they could command a mountain to move, and it would.

The mustard seed wasn’t known for its greatness of size but rather for the opposite.  It was known for being insignificant in size; yet, it existed.

The analogy or truth being made is that it’s not the size of our faith that matters; it’s the fact that we have faith.

If we’re honest, we’ll recognize that when we are trying to determine whether we have enough faith for God to use us, move in our lives, or respond to a request, it’s really not about having more faith.  It’s really an issue of having faith, period.

The fact, we are doubting our faith may indicate that our faith itself is at risk.

God doesn’t quantify our faith.  He just tells us we have to faith.

That’s why we are told that we just need faith as a mustard seed.  The point is: we just need to have faith.

If you are struggling with trusting in God, perhaps the question you need to ask yourself is, “Who is my God?”

Start reading about Him and getting to know Him personally.  Let Him speak to your heart and reassure you that He is indeed a God in whom you can trust.

Matthew 17:20

20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief;[a] for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.


What We Fear Reveals Truth About Ourselves


( Khramtsova)

As I was studying God’s Word today, spending time in prayer, and journaling what God was teaching me, God began once again to convict me and to show me some truths concerning a present battle I am facing.

I am facing the battle of fear concerning a particular situation.  Without relaying more details, let’s just say that this situation has been discouraging.  In fact, in referring to the situation, I have used hopeless terms to describe it.

This morning, God began to speak to me concerning this battle.  He began to reveal to me that the battle I am called to fight requires a long-term commitment and perseverance.  It’s not a battle that is going to be won with a few “skirmishes.”  Another way of putting it is that it’s not a “sprint” that I am called to run but a “marathon.”

God was reminding me that so often when God’s timing differs from mine, I begin to look to others, try to “help” God out by “fixing” the problem by my own methods or means, or begin to accept failure and mentally “check” the situation off as being a losing one and then try to find something else that appears to possibly be more successful.

God was speaking to my heart that the reason why I am not having victory is because I have written “failure” across the situation.  I have assumed the battle is lost or losing so I begin to “back pedal,” compromising my belief in God and His promises and as a result, compromising my actions.  Before long, what I fear comes to pass.

I believe God was prompting me to look at the significance of what I fear.

The question is, “What are we fearing today?”

What you and I fear will reveal the true condition of our heart and beliefs.  They will also be a good indicator of where we are headed.

If our faith in God is solid, we will be able to see past the temporary discouraging distractions of our present situations to the eternal or “bigger picture” of God’s purposes and plans.

Faith is the “key” that unlocks our “spiritual eyes.” 

We can know the truth, but until we believe/embrace it, we’ll never recognize or experience the reality of it personally.

Our relationship with God consists not in what we know about God but in Who He is to us.  What is He to you?

You may say and know that God is gracious, just, righteous, compassionate, etc…, but is He your grace, your righteousness, your compassion today?

Who is He to you?

Putting On Our “Primary Defense Weapons”…

Kendo armor 3

( Klevetova)

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog on the first pieces of our spiritual armor: the “breastplate of righteousness,” the “belt of truth,” and the “shoes of peace.”  (

Today, I want to share some insights on our primary defense weapons: “the helmet of salvation” and the “shield of faith.”

Prior to studying in detail the armor of God, I used to say, “We need to put on our armor,” but I didn’t really understand what I was saying.  I knew it had to do with God’s Word, faith, righteousness, and peace.  But what specifically did those things mean in relation to how I was to live my life victoriously?  I understood them in theory but not completely in actuality.

The following is a quote from Kay Arthur in Lord, Is It Warfare?  Teach Me To Stand:

The belt, breastplate, and shoes were essential clothing, but the shield and helmet were the soldier’s primary defense against the enemy’s attacks.  The breastplate alone couldn’t shield a solder from the enemy’s fiery darts, but the shield of faith was able to extinguish all of the them.

Back in ancient warfare, the enemy would often use fiery darts to attack a soldier.  Before going into battle, a soldier would prepare for battle by soaking his shield in water.  A soaked shield would extinguish the fiery darts of the enemy.  In fact, every dart would be extinguished when encountering the prepared shield.

In the Bible, God says that we have a “shield of faith.”  So what prepares us to resist the attacks of the enemy?  Faith!

I think it is also important to clarify what those attacks are.  What is the real attack?  Is it difficult circumstances, wounds inflicted by other people, disease, etc…?  So often, we “drown” in the “deluge” of our circumstances because we think that the attacks are the circumstances, the people, the events, or the objects.  In reality, the attacks are the lies that enter our minds in relation to the events, people, objects, and circumstances.

(Yes, the attacks may come as physical objects, circumstances, or people, but our battles are not fought in the physical realm but in the spiritual — the lies that are associated with those events, people, and objects.)

Let me repeat that because it is so relevant:

The attacks are the lies that enter our minds in relation to the events, people, objects, and circumstances that we face.

This is what we often do not understand and as a result, why we often do not live the “victorious” Christian life.  We don’t understand our enemy’s attacks.

Living victoriously is also more than knowing that his attacks are insidious lies, aimed at us personally to penetrate our “weakest links” in our armor.

Living victoriously involves knowing how we can extinguish the lies and guard against all manner of weapons in a full-frontal assault.  It means holding fast the position of victory that Christ already won for us at the cross.

Every piece of armor is vitally important for the well-being of the soldier against all attacks from the enemy.  If any piece is missing, the soldier is at risk.

Let’s look at the “Helmet of Salvation.”

Without a helmet to protect a soldier’s head, all attacks threaten to be mortal.

The “Helmet of Salvation” represents our position in Christ, otherwise known as our “identity” (who we are in Christ).

The following is a quote from Lord, Is It Warfare? Teach Me To Stand:

The helmet is the assurance of salvation, the confidence that salvation brings.  The helmet is symbolic of the fact that you belong to the Lord Jesus Christ and are a member of His forever family.  When you put on the helmet, you demonstrate that you know and embrace your position in Christ.

…When you put on your helmet of salvation, you acknowledge that the enemy cannot crush you, touch you, or do anything to you without your heavenly Father’s permission.

How important is it to understand your position in Christ?  Vitally!

There are three aspects/”tenses” to our salvation.  I love the way Kay Arthur summarizes them so clearly so I am going to borrow her wording:

The first is justification — you have been saved from sin’s penalty.  That’s the past tense — something which happened in your past, and because it did, you’ll never be condemned.

I recently wrote a blog post on the issue of eternal security.  I believe this is belief is vitally important for protection against the potentially mortal attacks of our enemy.  See:

The second is justification — the present tense of salvation.  You are being saved from sin’s power moment by moment as you live under His control and allow the indwelling Holy Spirit to lead you into all righteousness.

from Kay Arthur in Lord, Is It Warfare?  Teach Me To Stand

We can “quench the Holy Spirit by not letting Him carry out His will in our lives or by singular acts of sin … Your fellowship is broken but not your relationship.” (Kay Arthur in Lord, Is It Warfare?  Teach Me To Stand)

The third is glorification, and it is future.  You will be saved from sin’s presence and given a new body.  Someday, you’ll die and be at home with your heavenly Father and the family of God.  You’ll sin no more.

from Kay Arthur in Lord, Is It Warfare?  Teach Me To Stand

So what gives us confidence to “hold our head high”?  It’s the “protection” of understanding our identity in Christ.  No one can take that from us!

How do we practically live this?  We “walk according to the mind of Jesus Christ which became [ours] at salvation.”  (from Kay Arthur in Lord, Is It Warfare?  Teach Me To Stand)

Here’s an amazing quote from James Fraser, a missionary to the Lisu tribe in China, in the book, Mountain Rain:

…deliverance from the power of the evil one comes through definite resistance on the ground of the Cross.

To live a victorious Christian life, we have to be more than “name-only” Christians.  We need to believe the truth of God’s Word and understand our relationship to it and more importantly, to the God of the Bible — our God!

Let’s look at the “Shield of Faith” now and how that relates to us personally.

Earlier, I alluded to how the “Shield of Faith” was an essential piece of equipment for protection against the fiery darts of the enemy.

I think this refers to belief in God’s Word.  In other words, there is a difference between knowing the truth and being able to recite Scriptural truths and/or passages and actually believing/living according to them. 

You can tell others about trusting in God and that He is a good God, but when difficult times come, you can actually walk in doubt, questioning God’s “apparent” neglect.  You can judge God’s actions based on the seen rather than the “unseen” of what He is working within the spiritual realm.

There are purposes God has that extend beyond the present difficulties of your present circumstances to work something exceedingly better.  This is why we “walk by faith and not by sight.”

The physical realm is temporal, but the spiritual realm is eternal.

Faith is the key to seeing God’s purposes, operating simultaneously within the spiritual realm while using events within the physical realm to accomplish them.

The “Shield of Faith” uses the Word of God, through the power of God (Holy Spirit), to “quench” the attacks of the enemy.

The “Shield of Faith” is embracing the truth of God’s Word and living in the reality of it.

Without a steadfast faith in God, you will be unable to reject, resist, or “extinguish” the lies of the enemy from penetrating past the other pieces of armor into the vulnerable areas of your soul.  The enemy knows where those weak “links” are, and he will go for them, using many different means.  Each of his attacks can be defeated by effectively using the “weapons” God has given to us.

We often think the battle is out there, but the real battle is fought within.

If we take captive our own thoughts with the “weapons” God has given to us, we’ll have guaranteed victory.  Our victory is not dependent upon others and their responses, upon the difficulties of our circumstances, the physical sufferings we might be experiencing, and the wounds of our pasts.

Our victory is always won within us.

Today, let’s embrace the truth of God’s Word, live confidently as His sons and daughters, have the faith to see the “bigger picture,” and be “refreshed” by the Presence of His Holy Spirit that enables us to walk by faith.  May today be lived in the victory of Christ!

2 Corinthians 10:4

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

2 Corinthians 10:5

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

2 Corinthians 5:7

(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

1 Corinthians 2:5

That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

Ephesians 3:12

12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

Ephesians 3:17

17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,






Dear Atheist

Religious Atheist or Agnostic on checkmark royalty-free stock photo


Dear Atheist,

We had a discussion this week that I found to be an incredible experience.  I loved how it gave me the opportunity to dialogue with you and to get to know you on a more personal level.

First of all, I want to say that I respect the intelligence you have and also the tone of our discussion.  Your respectful consideration was noted and appreciated.

At the closure of our discussion, you challenged me to be open to other view-points.  You felt I had limited my thinking.

I respectfully must respond to you by asking you a question, “If you have seen the sun, which I assume you have, but someone else has never seen it and denies its existence, would you change your view to satisfy their denials?”  What if that person lives in Alaska too and rarely ever feels the warmth of the sun so they deny the existence of the heat of the sun?  What if you try to tell them that there are those who live who do see the sun, such as yourself?  What if you tell them that when it gets warmer in the “summer” and “spring” months that it’s because of the sun?  What if they then tell you that the warmth could be explained away by other means of energy?  If that person is unwilling to consider the possibility that there might be a sun, then it does not matter how many times you try to tell them the proofs (heat, seasons, gravity, etc…).  They’ll come up with another reason or theory to support the lack of its existence.

What if you tried to tell them that the reason why they are alive is because the sun gives warmth?  What if they then replied that it could be explained by some other means of energy and so they come up with theories and mathematical equations to equal their “expected” result?  To that person, you might appear as very irrational, with a “Lack of Imagination,” and with great “bias.”

The point, my dear friend, that I am trying to make is that it is impossible for me to prove God’s existence to you because you are unable or unwilling to consider its plausibility.

I have experienced and seen the God of the Bible, and I cannot deny His existence just because you do.  You can accuse me of being psychotic and imagining all of this in my head, but that does not concern me.  I am willing to base my life on the undeniable reality that there is a God who created life, who holds the universe together, and who loves me personally and unconditionally.

You challenged me to see other viewpoints, and I recognize that there are challenges to proving God’s existence.  It is a challenge to prove His existence and Biblical record to those who have excluded the factor of His force (influence) upon all mathematical equations in the scientific realm.

Perhaps, I should challenge you instead to see a different viewpoint.  What if instead of looking at the world with the assumption that God doesn’t exist, that instead you view the world with the assumption that He does?  Assume there was a huge flood that covered the entire world.  Assume that the earth is “young,” but that the trees, rocks, mountains, etc… were created in a mature state with an unknown amount of carbon.  Assume that God divided the continents for His purposes, as He states in the Bible, and that it wasn’t a Continental Drift but a God-division.  Assume that the stars were created the way they were — whether as a Supernova or a “new” star.  Assume that God created the species just as He said He did.  The list goes on…  Assume the Bible is correct.  Look for archeological evidence to support many Biblical records.  Consider how fossils are formed — not over millions of years — but over a catastrophic event like a flood.  Consider how we see floods that do cut away at cliffs and plunge houses into ravines as a result.  (See California floods.)  Consider why there are fossilized wave patterns that are visible in Colorado.

Perhaps, the scientific community is not as open-minded as they think.  They base all of their findings on their assumptions that there is no God; thus, their equations have much room for error.

Perhaps, I should ask how many times you have personally experienced or seen the Big Bang Theory?  Maybe, then I could accept your rationale.

There are many renowned scientists that believed the inerrancy of the Word of God and His Biblical record for mankind.  (See Newton, Faraday, Maxwell, Kelvin, Boyle, Dalton, Ramsay, Ray, Linnaeus, Mendel, Pasteur, Virchow, Agassiz, Steno, Woodward, Brewster, Buckland, Cuvier, Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Herschel, Maunder, Pascal, Leibnitz, and Euler. These men were renowned in the fields of physics, chemistry, biology, geology, astronomy, and mathematics.)

With all due respect, I cannot deny the reality of the God of the universe because I have “encountered” Him.  I see evidence of Him in my daily life, the world around me, in the very existence of life, and in the God-initiated Christian “Law of love.”  Call me “narrow-minded,” but I am unapologetic for what I know to be true.

You see, my belief in God isn’t only based on the historical record of the Bible but also in the confirmation of my own personal experiences with the God of the Bible.



Science Is Based Upon Many Abstracts Just Like Our Faith…

Abstract Motion


I find it fascinating how God reflects His story and existence within every part of His creation.

It is amusing to me that so many atheists are proclaimed scientists, who wish to base all their beliefs on scientific reasoning and formulas.  Yet, science itself is based upon many abstract concepts that cannot be proven by all five senses.

My son and I are studying the chapter on “Energy & Motion” in his science book.  In this chapter, we are studying how forces are necessary for motion.  Without forces, life wouldn’t exist nor continue.

I loved this one quote from the science book:

Forces themselves are invisible.  They cannot be smelled or tasted.  Forces can only be felt. — Investigating God’s World

So much of our physical world functions on invisible forces.  We acknowledge these invisible forces because of their results or effects upon tangible objects.

As a Christian, I believe in God’s existence because I see the effects of His influence and “force” upon life itself, in my own personal experience, in the experiences of others, in the tangible Bible, and in the concepts of love and goodness.

I believe that so many scientific concepts have their parallel in spiritual concepts.  Take gravity, for instance.

Gravity is the force of attraction that exists between any pair of objects.

Investigating God’s World

My faith in God exists because of the “force of attraction” or love that God has shown to me, which has caused me to respond to Him.

There are also forces that work against each other in the physical world.  Friction is the force that resists motion.  There are positives and negatives to friction.  Friction is necessary for the function of many objects.  In fact, friction can impede the performance of some forces of motion, but it can also enable other forces of motion.

For example, you cannot drive a car or write with a pencil without friction.

This might be a stretch and certainly there are more and better analogies to this concept, but I believe that the diversity of God’s character works the same way.  His mercy and justice, His grace and truth, and His holiness and love are all “forces” that work in perfect harmony and contrast to make our very existence possible and to bring us into the fullest measure of “functionality” within His purposes.

We may not be able to physically touch God, but we can see His effects.  His existence can be felt!

The Connection Between Pride And Fear


I believe God gave me one of those “light-bulb” moments when I began to realize there is a big connection between pride and fear.

At first glance, they can seem like total opposites.

Pride seems to indicate self-reliance and an over-inflated ego/view of oneself.

Fear, on the other hand, seems to speak of the opposite.  It speaks of self-doubt, doubt of others, circumstances, objects, and events.

The opposite of these two negative qualities is that of faith and humility.

Humility speaks of a sweet submission, a concern for others, and love.

Faith speaks of trust, reliance, and a measure of humility as well.

Just as pride and fear go hand-in-hand so do faith and humility.

When people are self-absorbed, we would call them proud.

What produces an obsession with self?

I believe that a lack of contentment and resting in the Lord brings about a preoccupation with ourselves. 

When we are “complete” in Him, we are secure in who we are in God, and we don’t need the validation of others.  It is insecurity that causes us to be preoccupied with ourselves.

What is faith — the true definition of faith?  Is it not a complete trust in the Lord and submission to Him?

Pride relies or trusts only in itself and will not allow itself to be mastered by anyone else.

It takes faith to humble ourselves before God.  It takes humility to submit ourselves to the care of God.

Faith is submitting oneself to the care of someone or something.

Fear, on the other hand, refuses to completely surrender to anyone or anything other than its own rationalizations or self-preservation.

For example, if I have an improper fear of riding in a car, I will refuse to get in one or will ride in it while anxiety roils through me.

There is no sense of security or peace while I am encountering the object I fear.

When I am proud, I am relying on myself — my own rationalizations, self-preservation, and strength to protect me.  I am my own “master.”  As my own “master,” I instinctively know that I cannot control everything or anything; and thus, I live in fear of the things that I can’t control.

Let me reiterate that again because it’s worth repeating:

As my own “master,” I instinctively know that I cannot control everything or anything; and thus, I live in fear of the things that I can’t regulate, contain, or dominate.

An indication of both fear and pride being alive in my life is if I struggle with “control.” 

Those who are able to put their trust/faith in the Lord and surrender to Him (in humility) experience the greatest peace and flexibility.  They understand that relying on themselves is the greatest position of weakness, but relying on God, the Great I am, is their greatest source of security.  They are confident and “relaxed” because they are “resting” in God — in Who He is — rather than in who they are themselves.

Pride produces fear.  It’s that simple.  It’s also a good chance that if you “suffer” with pride, you “suffer” with fear.  The opposite is also true: if you “suffer” with fear, it’s a good chance you “suffer” with pride.

Humility and faith are two of some of the best characteristics for walking in freedom.

Humility frees us from the bondage of self.  Faith frees us from the bondage of everything else, including ourselves.

Knowing the above truths have caused me to look more closely at my own heart and life and to be convicted of more areas that need to be yielded to the Lord.  It’s not from fear or “self-righteousness” that I confess these things but because I desire to walk in greater freedom in my spiritual walk.

The Nature Of Our Relationship With God

Clouds of Glory


What is the nature of our relationship with God?

Is it active — what we do for God?

Is it passive — He does it all in us and uses us without any response on our parts?

I believe it’s a responsive relationship.

God invites; I respond.

God convicts: I repent.

God forgives; I am set free!

God inspires; I live it.

God speaks; I listen.

I speak; God listens.

I request; God answers.

I obey; God empowers and blesses.

I “hunger”; God fills.

I surrender; God’s uses me.

How Our Worship Might Change…


I have been considering the concept of worship a lot lately.

True worship is incredibly beautiful!

Worship is also a very important part of our relationship with God.

Worship fulfills our purpose in life, which is to worship God.

Worship helps to “re-align” ourselves with God (brings us into submission/surrender to Him).

Worship brings us into fellowship with God.

For all of its significance in the Christian’s life, it is amazing how little we really practice true worship.

I believe that a lot of what we think is worshipping God is more our own words, formats, and programs.  Let me explain…

A couple of weeks ago this so struck me.  I was pondering how we come to “worship meetings” with our “cups” already filled with our own thoughts concerning God.  In other words, we look at Scripture from our perspectives and pull out of it what we think “worship” should sound like or look like.  We then bring our thoughts and present it as worship to God.

I believe we often come to “worship” God with our “vessels” already filled with ourselves — what we think sounds “worshipful”?

What if instead, we spent quiet time alone with God, simply “resting” in His Presence, listening to Him, seeking Him in His Word, and waiting for Him to fill us with His thoughts, desires, and Presence?

What if we, from the outpouring of abiding in His Presence and His filling us with His Words and excellencies, then proclaimed this in heart-felt response to Who He is?  Wouldn’t the “flavor” or “tone” of our worship be more authentic and be what truly glorifies God — rather glorifying our own words?

Matthew 15:9

And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”[a]

Mark 7:7

And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’[a]

John 4:23

23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.

John 4:24

24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”