Battle

Psalm 34:1-4

I will praise the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips. I will boast in the Lordthe humble will hear and be glad. Proclaim Yahweh’s greatness with me;
let us exalt His name together. I sought the Lord, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears.

2 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given to us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and soberness of mind.

delivered.jpeg

Bondage is such an unnecessary self-imposed trap! Christ holds the keys to victory! In the Psalm above, David even stated that he sought the Lord and God delivered him from all his fears! Even more, we know that God does not give us this evil spirit but one of power, love, and sound mind!

Satan might be deceivingly clever but his attacks remain constant – kill, steal, and destroy! There are many avenues to accomplish this which include multiple spirits to impose doubt and fear – remember the battle is in the mind!

Therefore, we too can construct a battle plan. However, a believer’s battle plan is already written in God’s Word – Just as David said in this Psalm, we are instructed to simply seek the Lord. I say simply because God already holds the keys. The hardest part is to let go and let God…the rest is…well…victorious!

Therefore, rebuke fear in Jesus name and it will flee for the Word says to resist the devil and he will flee.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Perspective

Matthew 6:25-34

25 “This is why I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? 27 Can any of you add a single cubit to his height by worrying? 28 And why do you worry about clothes? Learn how the wildflowers of the field grow: they don’t labor or spin thread. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these! 30 If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t He do much more for you—you of little faith? 31 So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For the idolaters eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. 34 Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

worry

Attempting to control one’s life is a fundamental misstep in the practice of faith…and yes, I’m speaking from experience! God’s Word bathes us in His love and faithfulness; yet, we continue to rely on our own understanding thereby causing extreme anxiety and pain. At times, this life is filled with pitfalls and heartache, some more than others, yet God is ultimately in control!

There are multiple passages directing, not suggesting, that we focus on the cross. Here in this passage we read, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.” These “things” do not imply or even suggest worldly possessions to make us happier as that goes against God’s character. Matthew 6:19-21 says, “Don’t collect for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But collect for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t beak in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

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~Faith is a practice. Practice takes discipline. Discipline is a mindset. 

Therefore, let us have the mind of Christ and relinquish control today!

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Even If…

Daniel 3:14-18

14 Nebuchadnezzar asked them, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, is it true that you don’t serve my gods or worship the gold statue I have set up? 15 Now if you’re ready, when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, drum, and every kind of music, fall down and worship the statue I made. But if you don’t worship it, you will immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire—and who is the god who can rescue you from my power?” 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied to the king, “Nebuchadnezzar, we don’t need to give you an answer to this question. 17 If the God we serve exists, then He can rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire, and He can rescue us from the power of you, the king. 18 But even if He does not rescue us, we want you as king to know that we will not serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up.”

hot

This is simply jaw-dropping to me! I have read this passage multiple times; yet, it means so much more at this present moment in my life – FAITH! Not only did these men exhibit the utmost faith in believing while not seeing but they also demonstrated something that most of us long for our entire lives- obedience by acknowledging God is ultimately in control. We hear too many stories in the media and in our current culture of how God “didn’t show up” when in fact He was in charge and in control the whole time. I am afraid to say that we have assigned God’s job description for Him instead of the other way around. We sadly blame Him when He doesn’t meet our expectations especially when it comes to waiting on His voice or rescuing us!

Isaiah 55:8-9, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways.”
This is the Lord’s declaration. “For as heaven is higher than earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

These men demonstrated the “even if” better than most!

Even if God doesn’t rescue us, He is still worthy!

Even if God doesn’t rescue, He is still in charge!

Even if God doesn’t rescue, He is omniscient!

Even if God doesn’t rescue, He is not wrong!

Even if God doesn’t rescue, He is still sovereign!

Even if God doesn’t rescue, He didn’t fail!

Even if God doesn’t rescue, He still loves!

Why?…because He didn’t rescue His own Son, Jesus, from death to save you all along!

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

By His Nature

Hebrews 1:3-4

“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of His nature, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. So He became higher in rank than the angels, just as the name He inherited is superior to theirs.”

His Nature

There is no greater name than the name of Jesus. After reading the first chapter in Hebrews, I felt as though I was transformed into the presence of the King. God has allowed me to discern great truths from His Word because it is alive. However, today was different. To be fully honest, sometimes I approach my quiet times with the selfish idea that the Holy Spirit is supposed to reveal a profound life application to help me or others with the struggles of this world. Yet, today I was humbled…

While reading the first chapter in Hebrews, God simply said, “Reverence!” As I entered even further into His throne room, I continued to hear “Awe!” – revealing an overwhelming feeling of admiration and respectable fear. As I entered through the vestibule, I cautiously approached expecting to hear life’s application to the world’s problems…instead…I bowed.

The Father simply yet profoundly announced the power of His Son, which is the exact expression of His nature as described in verse 3 above. One cannot stand when in the presence of such splendor. The Father clearly reveals His Son’s position even as beautifully described in Philippians 2:8-11, “He humbled himself in obedience to God   and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

So my friends, I did learn a very valuable life application lesson today. It is good and pleasing to simply bow in awe, reverence, and respectable fear before the Lord soaking up His nature, which is the exact expression of Father God. It is here that we understand our true place, calling, and position. I am thankful for worship through His Word. Let us remain prostrate before the one and true Lord Jesus Christ today – everyday – because His nature alone demands it. The day will come when pride will flee from every soul causing every knee to bow in His presence. I encourage you to submit to His authority today.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Love Is…

1 Corinthians 13:7-8

“It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for languages, they will cease;

as for knowledge, it will come to an end.”

love is

Most of us know this chapter well – The Love Chapter. I use the word “know” cautiously because do we really understand it? The type of love referenced in this chapter is agape love – selfless and sacrificial. As believers, have we allowed society to taint our call to love selflessly and to act sacrificially?

We are bombarded daily with multi-modal means to destroy and deceive our spiritual understanding and joy. For example, it would be considered acceptable to shun your fellow man out of revenge according to the world’s standards. Yet, God provided the greatest example of love by sending His Son, Jesus, to take upon the sins of the world. He died for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). Even more, He rose victoriously three days later to restore a broken relationship. Yes, this is our faith and cornerstone – all wrapped around love.

Ephesians 5:1 says, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”

I cannot get this beautiful picture out of my mind. Satan continues to convince the world that he is in control as he wreaks havoc in and around our lives. Yet, faith tells me differently. Romans 8:38-39 says, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

So what is love? The Son of God who came down in full obedience to the Father to give His life as a sacrifice for the world – a world full of sinners! Therefore, we must see everything and everyone through the eyes of Christ:

-But my friend really hurt me!

[I died for him too.]

-But my body is failing!

[I created your body, and I’ve ordained your days so it’s perfect and exactly as I planned.]

-But my neighbor seems to get all the blessings in life!

[I work everything out to its proper end – Proverbs 16:4]

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Challenge: Dear friends, its time to refocus on the cross!

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

 

I Shall Not Want

[Part Two: Continuation from yesterday’s post: “So I’ll Wait…”]

Psalm 23:1

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

psalm 23

From a world that teaches egocentrism…

-I shall not want.

From a flesh that rises up against all things holy…

-I shall not want.

From a weak mind allowing Satan’s playground…

-I shall not want.

From fellowship filled with dishonesty and lies…

-I shall not want.

From the word impossible…

-I shall not want.

From a life filled with worldly treasures…

-I shall not want.

From the feelings of inadequacy…

-I shall not want.

From the veil of confusion and division…

-I shall not want.

Psalm 34:8, “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”

Dear Lord, the shelter of the Most High is sweeter than honey on our lips. The strength in your mighty right hand is strong enough to protect us from evil yet gentle enough to wipe away our tears before they fall. We find rest in your arms. You alone are the great Shepherd and we praise you.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

So I’ll Wait…

Psalm 27:14

Wait for the LORD; be strong and courageous. Wait for the LORD. 

waiting

Lessons while I learn to wait!

W – Worship God Almighty because He alone is worthy

A – Armor of God is firmly in place to prevent the enemy from attacking my mind

I – Intercession from the Holy Spirit as He groans in my absent language

T – Truth is my foundation as I rebuke the lies of Satan

Adding to my 2018 spiritual goals:

  1. Discernment
  2. Teachable Spirit
  3. Waiting on the Lord

These all have a common theme – relinquishing control and allowing Christ to have His way! What are you learning early on this year?

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Uncertainty

Psalm 23:2

“He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.”

peaceful meadow

During times of uncertainty, I am reminded that our faith champions God’s peace and tranquility. Granted, I didn’t say that we become exempt from trials. In fact, James 1:2-3 says, “Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” We are instructed to lean upon God’s perfect understanding (not ours) as he gently leads us by peaceful streams and allows us rest.

I have been reminded several times today through providential occurrences that we are not exempt from trials of any kind…but nothing surprises God as all things must pass through His hands before it reaches you or me.

Joshua 1:9

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Deuteronomy 31:6

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.

Philippians 4:7

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Earlier today, I was also challenged by a passage sent from my accountability group. Philippians 1:20, “My eager expectation and hope is that I will not be ashamed about anything, but that now as always, with all boldness, Christ will be highly honored in my body, whether by life or by death.”

This added to my 2018 God-honoring goals. No matter what is happening around me or within me, I pray that Christ will be highly honored…it’s always about a testimony!

Challenge: As you begin a new year, challenge yourself to fully submit to Christ and live boldly for Him.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Teachable

Psalm 143:10

“Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God. May Your gracious Spirit lead me on level ground.”

level ground

I’ve only ridden a horse a handful of times in my life. Thinking back on these experiences, I can remember excitement paired with extreme anxiety for sure; I felt rather out of control to be fully honest. I felt much safer brushing or feeding these powerful animals while my feet remained firmly planted on the ground. When I gathered enough courage to ride one, my perspective changed. They are much taller than one might perceive. They are most certainly powerful, and it doesn’t take long for your autonomic nervous system to question your decision making skills. You begin to think, “Why did I think it was safe to get on top of this animal when I really have no idea what I’m doing?” Yet, thankfully I was riding horses that had years of training and were under their master’s control who provided commands nearby. So, all my experiences were positive and completely fulfilling. I’m thankful that I did not succumb to my fears.

After reading this passage today, I couldn’t help but think about my 2018 goals. 2017 brought insight into discernment, and I know I’m only scratching the surface. This year, God continues to draw me into the gift of discernment; yet, He has added “teachable spirit” to this growing list. As a believer, we have the Holy Spirit as our guide. However, how many times do we ignore the Spirit’s voice and end up being guided by our flesh? My 2018 goal is to be teachable!

We do have a choice! We either live in the flesh and fulfill our fleshly desires including but not limited to pride, idolatry, selfishness, lust, jealousy, anger, divisions, negativity, etc. Galatians 5:17 says, “For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.” I refuse to sit where it’s comfortable any longer. I choose to be filled and guided by the Spirit at all times. The journey may cause me to be rather “uncomfortable” as He stretches and teaches…but all for His glory.

Will you remain on the sidelines because you are afraid of what God will actually do in your life? Allow the Spirit to hold the reigns! You have a choice to make:

  1. Remain on the fence watching others being filled by the Spirit through their obedience.
  2. Stepping into the arena but refusing to let go of your control thereby keeping your feet firmly planted on the ground out of pride and fear.
  3. Crucifying the flesh and releasing the reigns while you ride atop the Spirit’s will for your life.

Question: What is/are your 2018 spiritual goal(s)?

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Preparation

Galatians 5:16-18

16 I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

tough choices

Merriam-Webster defines preparation as, “The action or process of making something ready for use or service or of getting ready for some occasion, test, or duty.” In life, we are tempted by the evil one and by our sinful desires. James 1:13-15 says, “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”

It is a known Biblical fact that we live in a fallen world. Evil appears to jostle for our devotion nearly every second of the day. How are we supposed to make the right choices and have the strength to follow through? The answers lies in Christ. Psalm 28:7 says, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” Our hope is in the One who has overcome the world! Therefore, the key to daily victory is preparation.

Refuse to let your guard down! I truly believe that one of Satan’s biggest attacks is during times of tranquility. What does this look like in your life: (A) missed quiet times (B) interrupted prayer time (C) detachment from faith family/friends. It is during these times when Satan and his armies ambush. Why, then, are we surprised?

I encourage you to prepare today…everyday! I talk a great deal about fighting the invisible war – frankly because God allows me to see it! Yet, our number one goal is our relationship with Christ! Prepare daily to build your relationship – first and foremost – then He will fight and equip you for battle when needed!

Question: Are you remaining prepared and building your relationship with your Father?

Thankful,

Christian Armetta