Some ideas to turn “burdens” into the opportunities, to become the “more than conquerors” that God intends me to be, (for I am his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works that he prepared for me and prepared me for). Ephesians 2:10
- Start my day the night before. The Jewish day began at sundown. I need to look back on the day and thank God for: a. what he has helped me do./ b. thank him for the people he has placed in my life and for the grace he gave me to interact with them in a positive way, also stop and be grateful for anything others have done for me or just for the evidence of God working in people around me for positive character qualities./ c. thank him for the things he has given me and stop and savor them for a moment./ d. Thank him for who I am, warts blemishes struggles and all especially including things about me that just are, that are part of God’s design of me. (age, sex, family of origin, height, IQ, time in history, etc.) Thank him for the good and the bad, for the things about me and my support system. Thank him because he likes me warts and scars and all, then ask for grace to change and grow. But I need to quit trying to resent myself into growth.
- Promise God that the very first thing I will do when I wake up is take a few minutes to praise him.
- Upon awakening, when I finish praising him, I then put on the whole armor of God. Ephesians 6:10-18 My understanding of this is that I need to REMIND myself of the positional truths of who I am in Christ. First I put on the helmet by remembering that I am saved from sin’s penalties and power. Second remember that I live in a world of truth not just fluctuating educated guesses. Sharpen up my awareness of this truth through reading the Word. Third remember that I face the devil’s accusations by referring all attackers to Jesus, who seems to like me, and whose righteousness is sufficient to compensate for whatever the attack is about. I might think or say, “your attack makes sense to me because I am aware that I am the chief of sinners and without Christ I can do nothing, but take it up with God who disagrees with both of us and thinks that I am worth an infinite amount and I rest in his righteousness so why don’t you attack that?” Fourth I can go out into the filth and struggles of life because my efforts are worthwhile for I carry the message that eternal life is available for free to all and I do have this gospel of peace.
- During the day– take up the shield of faith: so what is faith? It is the type of belief that compels me to act even though: I fear that I will botch everything, look like a fool, lose all I have, be thought ill of. Even though obedience seems unfair and impossible. I obey anyhow because his ways really couldn’t be worse than mine and I owe him everything. (He is no fool who lets go of what he doesn’t really have to gain what he can’t lose). I yield my body parts according to a growing picture of God’s ways in action, then leave the results to him and get a good night sleep. Taking up the shield involves reminding myself of what God has done in the recent past and picturing the positional reality that (contrary to emotions and some slips) I am dead to sin and alive to God. (A true story that illustrates)Watchman Nee shares how he made everything a burden by getting up in the morning and purposing to act dead to sin and alive to God. Then at the end of the day he would beat himself up for his shortfall. After fasting praying for over a month, he gave up on figuring out the healthy balance. As he was breaking his fast, God came to him and said, “you can’t kill dead people” how would you ever figure out when the corpse had been properly “deaded”? What technique would be sufficient? So, instead of trying to be holy, he got up thanking God for the fact that he was already dead to sin and alive to God and found grace to rest in the accomplishments of God.
- Then there is the sword! This is the spoken word, spoken in song, spoken in prayer and spoken out loud but spoken practically and clearly. When tempted Jesus responded with a verse, when tempted the second time he responded with a verse, when the devil tempted him again and used a verse to back up his temptation Jesus responded with a more appropriate verse. I need to be patient and persistent and remember that no one becomes a skilled sword fighter instantly. I would do well to remember that it is not enough to pary the temptations I must thrust back or the devil will have no motivation to quit attacking me. Sooner or later I will get poked. So when attacked, I pray for my pastor or someone else, pray that God’s kingdom will thrive and the devil’s be defeated. Commanding him to leave in Jesus name. That is the first and easiest place to start with sword-fighting. I know of a missionary in the swamps of Borneo who broke a local taboo and was then attacked by a screaming demon. He froze and was sinking in the mire when he thought, ” I don’t know what they taught about this in seminary but greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world!” He cried out the name of Jesus and the demon was silenced and peace came to the jungle and freedom to his next effort to evangelize. I need to remember to sing, speaking to myself in songs and hymns and spiritual songs and making melody in my heart. Watch my “inner chatter” and pray without ceasing. It is good to set time aside but also talk constantly with my Lord.
- Above all there is the shield of faith. (see word definitions) I need to pause at lunch supper and bedtime and note what obediences God has helped me do. The feeble imperfect efforts he has empowered me to do based on what I believe. This review of faith efforts will help fend of the fiery darts of the enemy.
- Then at the end of day go back to step 1.