Stand firm in Christ. Scripture: Isaiah 52:7; Romans 10:15
It’s Christmas time, but no time to compromise. It’s really Christmas 365 days a year to the believer. We have the gift of Jesus and the power of standing on His Word. We must stay in peace to keep our walk with the Lord pure and holy. And learn to stand in agreement with GOD in prayer. We must heed the warnings of God however He sends them…through a check in our spirit, an uneasiness or burden we sense, a dream, vision, through His Word, or voice. Never ignore the warnings and promptings from God. Keep your heart pure and your feet shod with the gospel of peace at all times so you can hear the Voice of God.
When was the last time you heard a message about feet? You might be reminded of the time in Scripture when Jesus washed the feet of His own disciples. Some of you might think of walking on sand in the heat of the day and coming in to a refreshing bath. Some of you might be thinking about coming in from a ski trip out in the snow—with your feet by a fire and a cup of hot chocolate.
The Apostle Paul did not avoid the subject of feet. He made feet a focal point of one of his most powerful messages. We must learn to stay in peace…with our feet shod with the gospel of peace, at all times. We must not allow the wind and waves of life to get inside us…no matter what we are facing in life. No matter what battle is raging, what attack has happened, or what you are seeing all around you, don’t allow the raging seas to get inside your heart. Keep your eyes focused on Jesus and don’t allow the enemy to abort God’s plan for your life. Look at what Scripture says about standing firm.
You can read about it in Ephesians 6:10-18—about the armor of God. Let’s take a closer look.
The Bile says it four times in four verses (verses 11-14 NIV), Paul declares that the armor’s purpose is to help us “stand,” “stand against the devil’s schemes,” “stand [our] ground,” and “stand firm.” Armor would be incomplete without shoes. Paul identified this as “the preparation of the gospel of peace” (verse 15). Paul knew that we would need to be equipped and have a firm foundation in Christ to face opposition. And you get rest assured, if you are still breathing, you will face opposition.
The Roman soldier’s sandals had a long spike at the heel of the shoe. The purpose was to allow the warrior to plant his feet firmly in the ground when an opponent approached. The soldier would have an obvious advantage with his feet secured in the ground. He would be able to stand in the face of opposition and not be moved. This part of his uniform enabled him to keep his footing even in the face of the enemy and danger.
That is precisely what our Father God wants for every one of His children today: the ability to stand firm in the face of troubles and opposition. This is possible when we plant our feet on a firm foundation—the foundation of faith in Jesus Christ—the Solid Rock on which we stand. That’s what happens when we are in a life or death situation, we can cry out to God for help. We know WHO to turn to when problems arise because we know WHO we are IN CHRIST and we belong to HIM. We must learn to live by faith.
Ask yourself this question: “Is my faith well grounded?”
With the evil that has escalated across America and the unrest across the nations, it is imperative that we are secure in Christ and learn to stand firm in Him. We are also to be identified by the fruit of our lives—the way we act. (See Luke 6:44 and Matthew 7:16). The Holy Spirit has graciously given us love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23). When we are faced with extreme adverse circumstances, any of us can act inappropriately. Often times our fruit can be anger, conflict, sorrow, defensiveness, harshness, impatience, and even rudeness. We could say it may be anything but self-control. Oh, and let’s not get in the seat of judgment and pretend to know how it feels to walk through a crisis of one sort or another. You really don’t know how you would respond or react till you walk in the same situation. So ZIP IT now….God doesn’t call us to be jury and judge. We are called to pray for one another.
We also must not pretend the enemy does not exist…like an unwise person who walks up on a python and thinks it is okay to play with it. We are not called to ignore the enemy or his tactics. We must know that the deceiver can use our wounds from the past, agreements we have made, weaknesses in our flesh, and the lies we have believed of the enemy to keep us locked in a negative cycle of sinful behavior and wrong choices.
I can assure you that if you have any knowledge of God at all, when faced with a crisis, most people will call upon God. Even America called on God in prayer right after September 11th…and churches were filled to overflow for about three weeks. Then life went back to what the world thought was normal. But it is anything but normal.
We must seek godly counsel and wisdom, along with prayer and ministry to find lasting help. For immediate help, prayer is the first thing we must do. No matter if you personally believe it or not, Satan is real and so are his evil tactics. He uses a hierarchy of fallen angels for his evil purposes because he doesn’t have the authority, power, and abilities of God. Satan is not omnipresent. And don’t think Christians cannot be harassed, oppressed, or afflicted. If you think that way—you are already deceived.
The enemy comes like a roaring lion—seeking those he may devour. So what can we do when it is obvious that we are being attacked? What can we do when we are acting out in ways that are not in our character as a born-again believer of Jesus Christ? Get on our knees in prayer—cry out to God for help.
Pray Psalm 91 and Psalm 59. Say them out loud. The spoken Word of God cannot return void. What else can we do? Put on the armor of God. (See Ephesians 6:11-18) The shield of faith, the helmet of salvation that guards our mind, will and emotions, shoes of peace, and the belt of truth are defensive weapons. The Word of God is an offensive weapon. We need to stay close to God…read His Word and study the Bible on a daily basis. Our other offensive weapon is prayer. Choose to cultivate a life of prayer that goes far beyond praying over meals and crying out to God only in a crisis. Talk to God all day long. When you wake up in the night time, tell the LORD that you love Him. Talk to Him throughout your day. Each day of life is a gift from our Father God.
The Bible and prayer will do more to help show the true fruit of who we are than anything else we can do in this life. We must ask God to help us cast aside any of the rotten fruit of Satan and enjoy the precious fruits of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Choose to enjoy Christmas—365 days a year. Choose to enjoy family and friends. Make wise choices and stand firm—planted on the solid Rock—Jesus Christ.
#Christmas365 #telltheworldaboutJesus #AbidingInChrist
(Excerpts from all three books…)
Stand strong in the Lord,
BOOKS BY DEBORAH STARCZEWSKSI
GOD’S PRICELESS TREASURE (How To Overcome Challenges, Be Transformed and Know Your Purpose)…learn to move from drama to destiny. Learn that you can make right choices and change your life through turning to Jesus Christ. You can overcome the pain of divorce, heartache and loss. Learn to triumph through trials and tribulation by turning to Jesus.
A LEAP OF FAITH (25 Days At The Mercy Seat)…the full account of God raising my husband from death, healing him from two strokes, and the walk through two open-heart surgeries. Read the amazing ways the Holy Spirit led us—through our son’s first open-heart surgery….and through the loss of a loved one—my daddy. The amazing ways God led us will encourage you and give you hope to believe God for yourself, for your loved ones and for the world around you.
THE MIDNIGHT HOUR (Will America Turn Back To God?) …a must read for ALL!
Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, www.starministriesinc.com and other distributors.
Animals look to the light as you can see by the picture of my dog Prince Christmas “BEAU” gazing up at the lights on one of our Christmas trees. I love Christmas! Don’t you? I enjoy the decorations, wrapping gifts, festivities with family and friends, and all the celebrations in honor of what Jesus did when He came as a baby, gave His life on the Cross, and is seated at the right hand of the Father—interceding for us that our faith would not fail.
Jesus came that we might be set free and have life and more abundantly. In Him we experience all God intended for our lives when we choose to look toward Him and totally surrender our lives to Him in obedience.
If you want to enjoy Christmas this year with family and friends, choose not to be offended. Yes, it is a choice. Being offended blocks your ability to hear God and blocks your blessings from Him as well. When you are offended at someone, you are unable to receive from that person as well. You might be offended at a coworker or even your boss, but choose to forgive.
You may be in a tough situation and not like the way people or even family are treating you, but choose to forgive and give God the room to make every crooked place straight. Look to Jesus and choose to share the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ by loving people right where they are in life. That doesn’t mean you condone sin or wrong behavior, it simply means you choose to walk in the love of God where they are held accountable to God.
Emotions can run high and conflicting schedules can cause tempers to flare and voice tones or even words to escalate in volume. Choose to be a peacemaker and look to the light—asking the Holy Spirit to reveal the real issue of heart. People who are hurting about past issues or those who are not choosing to forgive can react to anything and with wrong perception, they can hear and see everything as negative—even words that are not intended that way.
People can flip out like a switch over packaging tape and all sorts of minor things; from parking places to not remembering where they placed their phone the last time they used it. Sometimes people are not emotionally whole and they can become crazy makers…do you know any? You might be one yourself. People can be nice one minute and erupt like a volcano the next when they are dealing with too much stress, are overly tired, or when they are not emotionally whole in some area. People can also flip out when being convicted by the Holy Spirit, and become defensive rather than repenting.
I taught a class recently on being emotionally whole and a couple asked me to share the information in hopes it would encourage someone else as it did them. The Book of Galatians is our book of study and we have been focusing on salvation because of Grace and simple faith in Jesus Christ alone. We have also studied how the Law and Grace do not mix—but bring about confusion.
People can get offended over stupid stuff, minor issues, everything from the way someone looks at them or doesn’t acknowledge them, the lack of a returned phone call, to rigid schedules. We live in trying times with hurting people hurting others.
The enemy comes to divide and destroy from within much like the Trojan horse that was used to bring about the destruction of Troy. Many times people blame the devil for their actions, when in reality it is the flesh and a heart that is hardened in some area or wounded from something in the past. Satan gets blamed for many things he doesn’t even do. You must choose to have a heart that is tender toward God and that is not going to be offended at mankind. It is a choice—much like the choice of making your marriage work, friendships, relationships, to going to work on a daily basis.
We are living in a time Jesus warned us about that would happen in the last days—where even family members have turned on one another, and we must choose to come to the unity of faith in order to accomplish what God has called us to do with Him in this final hour. He has called each of us to do something with Him specifically. He has called us to occupy (be “a doer” as a Christian and not merely a hearer and professor) until He comes.
God has a divine plan and purpose for every person and every person matters in the tapestry of life. I shared about this in my first book: GOD’S PRICELESS TREASURE (How To Overcome Challenges, Be Transformed and Know Your Purpose). We must choose to lay aside resentment, bitterness, backbiting, choose to forgive all, and lay aside all sin as far as it depends upon us so that we may seek peace with all mankind.
(One woman who read my first book shared how God used it to heal her from 25 years of living with an unforgiving heart that she didn’t realize she had.) Forgiveness is a choice—just like choosing not to be offended.
We must humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God and watch Him avenge us, bring about reconciliation like only He can do, and flow in His anointing to defeat the spirit of antichrist that has risen up against believers. We do this on a daily basis by submitting and surrendering to the leading of the Holy Spirit and by standing up in our God-given authority because of the finished work of Jesus Christ.
Whatever God has called you to do, “just do it.” (John 2:5) If He has spoken to your heart to start a new business, choose to do it. If He has spoken to your heart to open a counseling office, move forward and do it. If He has spoken to your heart to run for a political office, do it. If He has spoken to your heart to publish a book or books, start writing and do it. Whatever God has spoken to your heart to do will bring light to someone else and meet needs. It will bring hope and encouragement to others.
Look to the light this Christmas and every other day throughout the year. Choose to be like Jesus to others and live like it is Christmas on a daily basis. Let me remind you of something vitally important; if you choose to be offended, your focus will turn to self and off of God and helping others. Turn to Jesus. Turn to the light and allow the light of His Word to shine brightly in you and through you to a world that is in need of a touch from the Master—His Name is Jesus! He is the light of the world!
I pray you enjoy this Christmas with family and friends!