Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Wielding a Two-Edged Sword

If you are like me, there come days where I feel so helpless. So drained from the challenges. So unequipped to deal with what I face. It is a very vulnerable feeling.

At those times, I can reflect on the lack of preparation on my part to plug into my power source--to seek wisdom and discernment from the One who gives it freely. Our sovereign, holy Lord has given us to power to be more than conquerors through Jesus Christ. We do not have to feel helpless and unequipped. We just have to find our strength in Him. God has given us two specific "weapons" to use each day as we face attacks and challenges--the ministry of the Holy Spirit and His inspired word.

Hebrews 4:12 states, "For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart."

How wonderful that His word is living and active! It is an effective weapon to fight "the schemes of the evil one."

II Timothy 3:16-17 states, "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work."

We don't have to feel unequipped and vulnerable to our challenges. Sure, there are tought times we will go through, pain we will experience. But we have the tools to face them and overcome through His power in us!

The key, though, in wielding a two-edged sword is training. "Wielding" is described as "using with skill or ease, or using effectively." To wield His word, we must be familar with it. We must "train" daily to use it effectively.

God has convicted my heart in this area. It is an area that requires surrender and discipline, or the distractions of the world take over. I have found two books that have been encouraging to me in the area of developing and prioritizing a daily Bible study and prayer time.

  • A Place of Quiet Rest by Nancy Leigh DeMoss - The BEST book I have read on developing a daily devotional life from an outstanding Bible teacher. It is scripturally based and extremely practical!
  • Shopping for Time by Carolyn Mahaney - This thin book can be read at one sitting and provides wonderful advice on best using your time, including prioritizing to include time with the Lord every day.

My husband and I have recently committed to getting up together at 5am to have time to spend in Bible study and prayer. We do this separately, but it is motivating and encouraging to do the getting up together! Early mornings are harder for me, but I am finding this time to be precious and I feel so much more equipped entering my day. Rather than waiting until later in the day, I "wield the sword" first thing! I will be striving to grow stronger and more effective in using His word.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Beginning Again

Autumn. This is absolutely my favorite time of year. In conventional thought, spring represents new beginnings and rebirth, but for me, autumn brings a wonderful sense of anticipation. In many ways, I think I operate on the school year calendar-August is a time of beginnings. There is something refreshing about a clean slate, a new school year, watching the old fall away seen symbolically in the splendid colors of the fall leaves.

Spiritually, I am so thankful for new beginnings. For grace, forgiveness, and a chance to cast off the old and be transformed by the renewing of our minds and hearts. What an amazing and sovereign God we serve! His love is incomprehensible!