Sunday, April 23, 2006

Vanquished but Dangerous

He is very real and he hates you. He prowls about like a lion seeking someone to devour. He waits till you are weak and attacks at the most opportune time. He comes as an angel of light and never, ever fights fair. He uses lies and deceit to blind you. He has the experience of thousands of years of spiritual combat. He never sleeps, he never quits, and he always hates. Yet...your sword can parry every one of his lies, your shield of faith can deflect every one of his flaming arrows, your obedience can send him fleeing, your prayers can stop his progress. Jesus defeated him on the cross, prayed God's protection over you in the battle, and assigned you take him on. When a disciple walks in the power of the Spirit, equipped with the armor of God, saturated with God's Word, and focussed on His Kingdom, he cannot be beaten. But watch out! You drop your guard and this vanquished foe becomes very dangerous. He can't take your soul, but he will neutralize your influence in this world and kill you if he can.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Advanced Training or Not?

If God has called you to a lifetime of serving Him it seems prudent to invest 3 years to get a Masters of Divinity (or some such) degree from the best institution you can find. There are some very rare, high-gifted leaders that can excel without advanced training. And they often make the innocent mistake of thinking everybody can do it like they did. I honestly believe it is their humility that drives the idea that they are no different than anyone else....but everyone else knows different. When a called person spends time with an accomplished spiritual swordsman, they will reach another level. Seminary doesn't give you character, it's not to be used to "clarify" a call, or build passion for Christ. You should go into seminary with those things. What it will do is sharpen your sword and your sword skills. You will be affected by the deep love for the Lord Jesus Christ in the faculty, their continued service to their churches, their passion for the lost, and the excellence with which they handle God's Word. The battle needs men and women who love the Lord Jesus Christ, are surrendered to the power of the Spirit and know how to wield a dangerous sword. Find a place with master swordsmen and level up.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Accurate Truth, Sharp Sword

"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth."
2 Timothy 2:15

It is vital to develop the skill of accurate biblical interpretation and application. Since God's truth defines reality it is essential to get it right. We need to learn to bring surrendered and obedient hearts and to partner with the Holy Spirit as He guides us to all truth. Also essential to this is the ability to suspend our own biases and pre-conceptions and to hear God's voice with a trusting heart. More often than not we "color" our interpretation with our own opinions and thus go to war with blunt swords. We are ineffective and don't bear lasting fruit. We don't want men's ideas that are supported by scripture. We want to hear God's mind and heart and allow Him to transform our very lives from the innermost being to our actions. Let's be diligent. Let's work hard at the skill of bibilical interpretation and application. Let's keep it fresh, real, practical, and power-filled. Go onto the spiritual battlefield with a razor sharp sword, for His glory.