Monday, January 16, 2012

prepare for battle (lessons from a hero – MLK)


For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.

I was not in the military, yet I appreciate and am grateful for those who have served our country and fought for our freedom.  Freedom comes with a price.  All freedom, that is, comes with a price, and often the price is high.

As Christians, we are in a battle.  If we chose to deal correctly with this Spiritual battle we are involved, we must prepare ourselves.  Maybe you have noticed as I have that the closer you get to God and the more you pursue God the more difficult the battle gets.  This fact means that we need perspective.

The battle is on.  It is happening as I write and as we live.  Do we recognize it or do we avoid it?  Better to acknowledge the battle than to allow it to knock you out.

 Let scripture change your perspective!

For we are not struggling against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Stay alert!  Watch out for your great enemy, the devil.  He prowls about like a roaring lion, looing for someone to devour.

The battle is real, and we have to deal with it head on.  What do you do with the thoughts that come your way that are wrong?  God gives us ways to deal with those thoughts.

We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised against the knowledge of God and we are taking captive every thought to the obedience to Christ.

Taking thoughts captive and believing what God says is crucial to dealing with the battle.  We DO HAVE the power over what we think about and over what we do.  Believing what God says and acting upon it helps us be stronger each day.

So letting your sinful thoughts control your mind leads to death.  But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.

Being led by and controlled by the Spirit of God is not some mysterious thing or a special something you do that makes you more special or better than others.  Yet following the Spirit does open our lives.  Following God opens us to the battle.  Following God gives us help in the battles we face.

I want to share with you today one of my heroes.  Martin Luther King, Jr. took a stand and led others to stand up for things that are right.  Often the battles we face are only in the mind or the spiritual world, but these battles many times play out in the physical world. 

God teaches us in the Bible to care for people who are hurting and oppressed.  Each of us must start a revolution by helping people see the hope they can have in following Jesus.  Dr. King’s famous speech said “I have a dream”.  We ought to be helping people reach their dreams and dream even more.

Here are some quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that have inspired me:

  • Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
  • Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?”
  • Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or darkness of destructive selfishness.
  •  To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.
  • The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.
  • We must face the sad fact that Sunday morning when we stand 2 sing, we stand in the most segregated hour in America.
  • Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

(Thanks to my friend Scott Williams for sharing these quotes.)

May God help us live out of dreams.  And may our dreams help us help others be strong members of society and people who are sold out to God who loves us!

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