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I just wanted to leave these thoughts with you today. I received an excellent challenge small group on Friday night.

“We are in a spiritual battle. Our battle is with the principalities and powers (Ephesians 6:10). Yet, because the devil and demons have been disarmed of their power (Colossians 2), they have no power over us unless we allow sin or old sinful habits to have a place.”

“Do not allow a stronghold of sin for the enemy to gain control. After we came to Christ, we are new creations in our spirits. Our minds and souls need to be redeemed.”

“Be like the eagle. Fly high like the eagle, where the arrows and guns cannot reach the eagle. Jesus said that he hates lukewarm Christians. Give yourself totally to the Lord and seek the spiritual heights where the enemy cannot reach you!”

The verses that came to me this morning to support these thoughts are:

Colossians 3:1 - 5 (Amplified)
1
IF THEN you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
2
And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth.
3
For [as far as this world is concerned] you have died, and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God.
4
When Christ, Who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in [the splendor of His] glory.
5
So kill (deaden, deprive of power) the evil desire lurking in your members [those animal impulses and all that is earthly in you that is employed in sin]: sexual vice, impurity, sensual appetites, unholy desires, and all greed and covetousness, for that is idolatry (the deifying of self and other created things instead of God).

GALATIANS 2:20, 21 (NKJV)

20
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
21
I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

***
Thank you for the note you gave on Ephesians 4

I like Ephesians 4:17, 18 (NIV)

17
So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.
18
They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.

**
We have the literal life of God within us because we have yielded to Chirst—the literal Presence of Jesus in earthen vessels!
We can, if we become spiritually lazy, become separate from the life of God within!

FLY HIGH!

“I surrender all. I surrender all. All to Jesus, I surrender. I surrender all.”

Vance

Isaiah 48:12-50:11

Today’s passage includes the third and final verse that spoke to me mightily when I first read through the Bible. Verses 14 through 16 spoke to me through the pain of abandonment. Although a lot of years had past since my childhood the feelings that being abandon caused still lay beneath the surface and caused me to create very superficial relationships. As suicidal thoughts raced through my head and all the destructive behaviors stemming from the mindset of those desperate thoughts,I came upon this passage and collapsed in a torrent of tears knowing that God loved me even when I didn’t love myself, even though I doubted my family loved me or even wanted me.

I love the way these three verses read in the Amplified or the King James Version:

But Zion [Jerusalem, her people as seen in captivity] said, The Lord has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me. [And the Lord answered] Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yes, they may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have indelibly imprinted (tattooed a picture of) you on the palm of each of My hands; [O Zion] your walls are continually before Me. (Isaiah 49:14-16 AMP)

I can’t say that rational thought took over when I read this but there was a warm burning deep within my very core that let me know that God was speaking these words directly to me.

This passage, Psalm 27:4 and Galatians 3:28 began a process of setting me free and renewing my mind but also propelled me to read God’s Word for myself. I now know from my experiences with these three passages that God will send His Holy Spirit to not only speak to me through His Word but bring understanding in due season.

Ephesians 4:17-32

We must be active in putting away our sin and worldy behavior. Yes we pray for strength and empowerment through the Holy Spirit but essentially we must put away the behavior that is of the world.

A lot of times we try to lay there charges that Paul writes about on unbelievers. We demand in subtle ways that they clean up their act, but they can’t because they are sinners and are only doing what sinners do. Paul’s letters, this letter was written to Christians. It is Christians that Paul is telling to stop stealing; it is believers Paul is telling to stop cursing and using coarse language. Believers are being admonished to put away bitterness, rage, anger harsh words, slander and malicious behavior.

Paul tells us to put these things away, which must mean we have to ability to do what he is asking. We cannot use the excuse, “I just can’t help myself,” or pass the buck and thus the responsibility and consequence of bad behavior by saying, “He/She/They made me do it.”

Psalm 69:1-18

When I read this Psalm, I could not help but think about all the people caught in the floodwaters caused by Hurricane Katrina or the Tsunami. Although many died in South East Asia and some died in the Gulf Coast, many had their cries attended to by God and found themselves plucked from the mire and the floodwaters up to their neck.

Proverbs 24:5-6

5 wise man is mightier than a strong man, and a man of knowledge is more powerful than a strong man. 6 So don't go to war without wise guidance; victory depends on having many counselors.

Nothing is every secured by brute force. The history of Israel fighting against her enemies attests to that. To be wise one must have wisdom, and perfect wisdom is the Wisdom of God. Nothing can defeat God’s Wisdom and that Wisdom is Jesus Christ.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

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