Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Climbing Up

 "God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It's a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God. It's a good thing when you're young to stick it out through the hard times."
Lamentations 3:25 (The Message)

Before dusk creeps into trees and settles onto cooling earth he climbs up high. Poised above the ground in sturdy wood his eyes survey the land--perspective broadens--heart hopes.

In silence, all-surrendered, mending heart feeds on heaven's bread and lifts a prayer. Forgive my unbelieving, my small faith. Thank-you for this quiet beauty--your creation. And he waits.

God's grace abounds--gathers all around--His great bounty spread on bedded ground. A sacrifice of life to death, God's provision resurrects the fallen faith.

When our faith falters, sinks into the darkest depths how do we climb back up?

  • Identify our Enemy. Ephesians 6:12 says, 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.
  • Clothe ourselves for battle. James 4:7b says, Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. But how do we do that? Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:10-19 to put on:
    • the Belt of Truth (the sincerityor integrity of our faith that holds all the other armor together; rid ourselves of anything that would trip up our faith).
    • the Breastplate of Righteousness (total obedience to the will of God; not out of duty but in loving response to Christ).
    • the Feet of Readiness that come from the gospel of peace (awareness of the happiness promised in the message of salvation. This alone should make our feet tireless and ready to run over any terrain).
    • the Shield of Faith (protect your entire body by shielding it with rememberances of God's provisions in the past and relying on that for your future).
    • the Helmet of Salvation (the present hope that salvation is already ours through Christ. This helmet identifies us as children of God, now).
    • the Sword of the Spirit (the active words of God prompted in our hearts and minds through the work of the Holy Spirit to give an answer in battle against the enemy).
Lord, when our hearts are troubled, our faith small and we sink into a deep, dark pit--come. Remind us of your great faithfulness and stretch out your hand into our despair and clothe us with your grace from head to foot. Help us grab hold of your promises and weild the sword of your Spirit and climb back up.

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