“Like” A Lion

“The Bible says the devil prowls around like a roaring lion. The keyword is like. He is a poser, and his bark is worse than his bite. Refuse to believe his lies or to cower to his intimidation. When he reminds you of your past, remind him of his future! Fight back with the words of faith. Fight back with songs of praise. …

“A lion’s roar is meant to communicate dominance—to assert its authority in a territory. And the only thing that will silence a lion’s roar is the roar of a more powerful lion. … satan may roar at you, but he cannot touch you. He is the one in a cage. You are the one that’s free.” —Mark Batterson, in Chase The Lion

Horatius Bonar On Spiritual Warfare

Horatius Bonar“The devil’s object in the present day is to persuade us that he does not exist, that we have to fight no such battle, that we need no sword nor shield, that we can do without anything beyond our own human power and skill.” [Ephesians 6:12]

“We must fight. There is no choice here. Whether we will or not, we must fight; for we are thrown upon a battlefield, and if we fight not, we perish. Woe be to the man who thinks there is no need of fighting now; that there is no danger and no enemy. Fight the good fight of faith.”

“satan persuades us that we can combat evil by the appliances of modern intellect and science and civilization. Let us beware. To try to suit religion to the spirit of the age, is to play into satan’s hands. Only divine weapons will avail in a battle with the powers of darkness.”

“Is the Christianity of our day of the lofty kind of which apostolic men have left us so bright an example? Is it not feeble, indolent, self-indulgent, second-rate? Is there in it anything of the presentation of ‘living sacrifices’ to God, which is our acceptable and reasonable service? Are we not seeking our own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s? Are we not feasting when the world is starving? Are we not at ease in Zion? Are we not sitting still and in luxurious comfort, when many noble and self-sacrificing ones amongst us are rushing into the toil or the war, and, for want of being supported by their fellow Christians, are sinking under the burden and heat of the day?” [Philippians 4:19]

“It is inner warfare. The 7th of the Romans is the description of this, the battle between faith and unbelief, between the spirit and the flesh. This war is private, solitary, with no eye upon the warrior; fought in the closet, on the knees, with the Bible as his weapon. …

“It is outer warfare. The enemies are legion; the world, with all its enmities, snares, pomps, pleasures; satan, with his principalities and powers; both of these in combination hating, persecuting, attacking. This is ‘the great fight of afflictions’ (Hebrews 10:32). Thus it is so far public, before men; ‘we are made a spectacle to the world, and to angels, and to men.’ …

“It is daily warfare. It is not one great battle, but a multitude of battles, constant warring: there is no intermission and no discharge in this war. The enemy wearies not, ceases not; nor must we. We wake to warfare each morning, and go out to warfare each day. Everywhere we find the enemy posted, sometimes openly, sometimes in ambush. The conflict is life-long, and it is daily. …

“It is warfare not fought with human arms. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal. We do not war after the flesh. It is in divine strength; with the sword of the Spirit; clothed in the whole armor of God. …

“It is warfare in which we are sharers with Christ. He first fought the good fight, as the Captain of our salvation, the Lord strong and mighty; the Lord mighty in battle. The inner warfare indeed was not His, but all the rest was. He fought, when here, the same battles as we; and it is into His warfare that we are called to enter.”

All quotes from Horatius Bonar’s book Light And Truth.

12 Quotes From “I Stand At The Door And Knock”

I Stand At The Door And KnockCorrie ten Boom was an amazing woman! To experience the horrors of a Nazi concentration camp, and still retain such a sweet, godly spirit is indeed a miracle of God’s grace. This beautiful spirit of hers come through loud and clear in her book I Stand At The Door And Knock (you may read my book review here). Below are just a few of the many quotes which I highlighted as I read.

“You see, if you and I want to be used, we needn’t rely on ourselves, because it is the Holy Spirit who does it. And that is why we can be at peace in our day-to-day lives. The fact that we wish to be used is a gift from the Holy Spirit in itself.”

“A piece of good advice is to forgive anyone immediately—and I mean immediately— if they say or do something against you. Then the devil won’t have a chance to keep a shadow in your heart.”

“Holiness can bring about a new conflict. We need to take care. The devil wants to lead us into the energy of our inner selves. Preaching yourself, relying on yourself, boasting about your faith, taking pride in your own experiences. And then the devil will say, ‘Revel in your own experiences.’ But that is not right. You should not rely on your past experiences. It may strengthen your faith, but holiness is living out the Jesus Christ living in you.” 

“Imagine, when I had a watchmaker’s shop, you came to me and you bought a gold watch with a gold strap. Imagine that when I wrapped it up for you, I removed the gold strap and hid it. When you came home, you saw that you only had a watch. What would you do? You would say to everybody, ‘Don’t ever buy something from Corrie ten Boom; she doesn’t give you value for money.’ If you and I do not give ourselves entirely to the Lord, we do not give Him the value He has paid for us on the Cross. We were bought at a very high price. That Cross was horrendous. It was an extremely high price to pay for you and me.”

“In my short-sightedness, I thought I had to do everything with my own power, according to my abilities. But everything depends on Hisability, Hispower.”

“The devil may laugh at our plans. He smiles when we are up to our eyes in work. But he quakes when we pray. When we are faithful intercessors he often says to us, ‘Shouldn’t you stop? You have been doing this for such a long time, and can’t you see, the Lord doesn’t listen.’ But he is a liar. Not one of our prayers is lost. … satan laughs when we try hard. He mocks our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray.”

“While I was imprisoned during the war, I knew the Morse code, but it didn’t really help me. What actually supported me was every text and every Christian song I knew by heart. Learning Bible texts and Christian songs by heart is a preparation which we can all do today.”

“Lord Jesus, please forgive us that we so often live a life poor in You, while You suffered so heavily on the Cross so that we would become the King’s rich children. Holy Spirit, open our eyes. Give us a vision, an understanding of our wealth.”

“Religion is no security. The Antichrist will be very religious. A world religion will develop, and he himself will become its god.” 

“Jesus said, ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled.’ Our citizenship is in heaven. We are heaven dwellers. Our home is there.”

“The Bible says, ‘Be filled with the Spirit’ (Ephesians 5:18), which means not only do I have the Holy Spirit, but also does the Holy Spirit have me?”

“We should not rely on our capacities, but on God’s capacities. We shouldn’t draw from our limited resources, but from His immense power.”

I will also be sharing some of Corrie’s quotes on Twitter and Tumblr, so follow me there for more great content.

Thursdays With Oswald—Christ’s Temptations And Ours

Oswald ChambersThis is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

Christ’s Temptations And Ours

     The first temptation of Our Lord comes to us on this line—“Be sensible, You are here for the service of men, and surely it is the most practical thing to feed them and satisfy their needs.” The clamor abroad today is all on this line, “Put man’s needs first; never mind about the first commandment, the second commandment is the all-important one” (see Mark 12:29-31). … The insistent demand in the world today to put men’s needs before God’s will is the outcome of the reasoning of human wits and wisdom…. So long as our wits and human solutions are on the throne, to satisfy the needs of men is ostensibly the grandest thing to do. … 

     Our Lord was then asked to compromise: “You will become the King of men and the Savior of the world by judicious compromise; build Your kingdom on broad-minded lines; be judicious, You know there is evil in the world; then use it wisely, and don’t be so intense against sin; don’t talk about the devil and hell; don’t be so extreme and say a man needs to be born from above. Tolerate my rule of the world, call things ‘necessary evils’; tell man sin is not anarchy, but a disease; fall down and worship me and my way of looking at things, and I will withdraw and the whole world will be Yours.” … Will the Church that bows down and compromises succeed? Of course it will; it is the very thing that the natural man wants. … 

     satan tried to put Jesus Christ on the way to becoming King of the world and Savior of men in a way other than that pre-determined by God. The devil does not tempt us to do wrong things; he tries to make us lose what God has put into us by regeneration, the possibility of being of value to God. When we are born from above the central citadel of the devil’s attack is the same in us as it was in Our Lord—to do God’s will in our own way. … 

     Every temptation of satan will certainly seem right to us unless we have the Spirit of God. Fellowship with our Lord is the only way to detect them as being wrong. 

From The Psychology Of Redemption

Wow! Lots to contemplate here!

What do you think about the temptation of Jesus? Have you seen the same sort of temptations come your way?

One more thought from Chambers: “Temptation must come, and we do not know what it is until we meet it. When we do meet it, we must not debate with God, but stand absolutely true to Him no matter what it costs us personally, and we will find that the onslaught will leave us with higher and purer affinities than before.

10 Quotes From C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis(When is it ever not a good day to share C.S. Lewis quotes?!)

“There is either a warning or an encouragement here for every one of us. If you are a nice person—if virtue comes easily to you—beware! Much is expected from those to whom much is given. If you mistake for your own merits what are really God’s gifts to you through nature, and if you are contented with simply being nice, you are still a rebel: and all those gifts will only make your fall more terrible, your corruption more complicated, your bad example more disastrous. The devil was an archangel once; his natural gifts were as far above yours as yours are above those of a chimpanzee.” —C.S. Lewis 

“The monstrosity of sexual intercourse outside marriage is that those who indulge in it are trying to isolate one kind of union (the sexual) from all the other kinds of union which were intended to go along with it and make up the total union. …You must not isolate that pleasure and try to get it by itself, any more than you ought to try to get the pleasures of taste without swallowing and digesting, by chewing things and spitting them out again.” —C.S. Lewis

“On the contrary, those who are seriously attempting chastity are more conscious, and soon know a great deal more about their own sexuality than anyone else. They come to know their desires as Wellington knew Napoleon, or as Sherlock Holmes knew Moriarty; as a rat-catcher knows rats or a plumber knows about leaky pipes. Virtue—even attempted virtue—brings light; indulgence brings fog.” —C.S. Lewis

“For there are two things inside me, competing with the human self which I must try to become. They are the Animal self, and the Diabolical self. The Diabolical self is the worse of the two. That is why a cold, self-righteous prig who goes regularly to church may be far nearer to hell than a prostitute. But, of  course, it is better to be neither.” —C.S. Lewis

 “A great deal of our anxiety to make excuses comes from not really believing in it, from thinking that God will not take us to Himself again unless he is satisfied that some sort of case can be made out in our favor. But that would not be forgiveness at all. Real forgiveness means looking steadily at the sin, the sin that is left over without any excuse, after all allowances have been made, and seeing it in all its horror, dirt, meanness, and malice, and nevertheless being wholly reconciled to the man who has done it. That, and only that, is forgiveness, and that we can always have from God if we ask for it.” —C.S. Lewis 

“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” —C.S. Lewis

“The human lives in time but our enemy destines them to eternity. He therefore, I believe, wants them to attend chiefly to two things, to eternity itself, and to that point of time which they call the Present. For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity. Of the present moment, and of it only, humans have an experience analogous to the experience which our Enemy has of reality as a whole; in it alone freedom and actuality are offered them. He would therefore have them continually concerned either with eternity (which means being concerned with Him) or with the Present—either meditating on their eternal union with, or separation from, Himself, or else obeying the present voice of conscience, bearing the present cross, receiving the present grace, giving thanks for the present pleasure.” —C.S. Lewis

“War creates no absolutely new situation; it simply aggravates the permanent human situation so that we can no longer ignore it.” —C.S. Lewis

“The rescue of drowning men is, then, a duty worth dying for, but not worth living for.” —C.S. Lewis

“Christianity does not simply replace our natural life and substitute a new one; it is rather a new organization which exploits, to its own supernatural ends, these natural materials.” —C.S. Lewis

Life Or Death?

Life or deathSince Jesus predicted His death on a Cross, and His resurrection from the dead three days later, and since that really happened(!), I think that it would be wise to consider the other words Jesus said!

Here’s an important one—The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (John 10:10).

It’s a pretty clear distinction: One way brings death and the other way brings life. But not just any kind of life.

The Greeks had three words for “life”—

  1. Bios from which we get our word biology. We can see when something is alive because of its biological growth.
  2. Psuche from which we get our word psychology. Plants might be biologically alive, but they don’t have the psychological life of a human.
  3. Zoe. This is the word Jesus used in John 10:10. It’s the word that means “life force” or better stated it’s God’s life.

God is a Triune God: Father, Son, and Spirit. When God created humans, we were created in His “trinity” image—Let Us make man in Our image (Genesis 1:26). Adam was created with bios, psuche, and zoe life. God told Adam and Eve that if they sinned, they would die (Genesis 2:17). When they did eat that forbidden fruit, they remained biologically and psychologically alive, but the zoe life force was cut off.

Jesus came to restore that! He came to bring us back to the state God originally intended for us, which meant He had to go to the Cross to become our sin, so that we could be forgiven and brought back to life.

Placing your faith in Jesus Christ’s work on the Cross means a complete about-face. The devil wants to steal from you, kill you, and destroy your soul for eternity. But Jesus came that you could have zoe in a way that was above-and-beyond, super-abundant, extraordinary and uncommon!

To get this life, Jesus asks us to do something that He did—If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me (Matthew 16:24).

Jesus isn’t calling for our hands and feet to be nailed to a wooden Cross. But He is calling for our selfish thoughts to be crucified (Matthew 16:23), and for us to give no more attention to our old sinful life.

I think this passage in Romans captures that thought so well—

Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the Cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin’s every beck and call! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ’s sin-conquering death, we also get included in His life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, He took sin down with Him, but alive He brings God down to us. From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That’s what Jesus did. That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don’t give it the time of day. Don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time—remember, you’ve been raised from the dead!—into God’s way of doing things. Sin can’t tell you how to live. After all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer. You’re living in the freedom of God. (Romans 6:6-14)

The choice is yours: the rip-off, destruction, and death the devil offers OR the abundant, overflowing, extraordinary, more-than-is-needed, zoe life that Jesus offers.

Life or death. Your choice.

Thursdays With Oswald—The Power Of Your “Say So”

Oswald ChambersThis is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

The Power Of Your “Say So” 

     Many of us are on the verge of a spiritual vision the realization of which never becomes ours because we will not open our mouths to “say so.” We have to “say so” before we “feel so.” … If I will not confess with my mouth what I believe in my heart, that particular phase of believing will never be mine actually. Assurance of faith is never gained by reserve but only by abandonment. 

     If you want to encourage your own life in spiritual things, talk about them. … If you have not received, ask; if you have not found, seek; if the door is shut, knock. When you are up against the barriers, the way out is to “say so,” then you will be emancipated, and your “say so” will not only be an emancipation for yourself, but someone else will enter into the light.

From The Place Of Help

Oswald Chambers is urging Christians to not just believe what they believe, but say what they believe. Say it out loud!

The tongue has the power of life (Proverbs 18:21).

For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony (Revelation 12:10-11).

O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His compassion and lovingkindness endure forever! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so (Psalm 107:1-2).

You need to hear your “say so” in your own ears to energize your faith. The enemy needs to hear your “say so” to defeat him. Others in need around you need to hear your “say so” to encourage them.

Don’t keep quiet! “Assurance of faith is never gained by reserve but only by abandonment.” Abandon your reserve and “say so” for all to hear!

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