For the last week we have been talking about spiritual battle and what it's going to take to stay in the race. I have been contemplating it a lot lately and many thoughts have come to mind but then God gave me a word picture. This weekend my son participated in a basketball tournament in Kansas City. At the last minute, I just couldn't stay home and met my husband and him in Kansas City. I love to watch him play basketball but as I was watching Sunday morning I realized something very vital. They won their first game with little effort, so when the second game came, they thought they were going to be able to put in the same effort and win. Wrong! The other team had been watching, knew their weak spots and went for the attack. By half, we were in a seven point spread. At the end we were 30 points down and lost miserably.
After we got home and I had three hours to think, I wondered why my son had given up, so I asked. He replied, "We were down so far and no one thought we could get back what we had lost." Interesting response. How often are we going along, having faith, believing God can do anything and then the game changes and things aren't quite going our way. Often, we lose focus and start believing that we can't win or worse, that God isn't who He says He is. I think if it's a short battle, no problem, we're on our game and we know who God is. We have faith that He will rectify the situation and move us forward. But if the game gets away from us, little by little that great faith begins to waver and then we begin to doubt and think God has forgotten us. Has He? Absolutely not, we have forgotten Him. Harsh I know but think about it, if Hunter and his teammates had stayed in the game with passion and a belief could they have won? Probably but we won't ever know because they gave up far before the game was done.
That's us in a spiritual battle. I think we often give up too soon. I know I have in times of great battle. But as the Lord has molded me I have learned to stay in the battle, not always gracefully, but in it nonetheless. How did Paul stay chained in that prison? How did Peter walk around and talk about Jesus after He had denied Him three times? How did David kill Goliath? What did they have in those moments of great trial that we need today to be the warriors God is calling us to be. They had faith! They knew that God was with them and any sacrifice was worth being in God's presence. Did they do everything right? Of course not, Paul killed Christians, David had an affair and killed Bathsheba's husband and Peter denied Christ. I wouldn't say that's a winning record, would you? And yet, Christ does. They all found their faith, repented and went on to be great men of God.
Just because we doubt or don't have faith today doesn't mean God won't grow that kind of faith in us. Of course, we will have to work on it too. We will have to read our Bible and pray. It's all a decision. We spend time doing the things we love or that make us feel good. I was thinking about that last night. Whether it's eating right, walking or just sitting down and having time with God, its all a choice. We choose what's most important and then we put our time into what we love. That got me to thinking about what I spend time doing and how much this blog has been a blessing unto my life. I'm constantly trying to find time to write it. So I get up at 5:30 just so that I can spend 30 minutes with God. The thoughts come easily because He puts so much on my mind. But in the end, 30 minutes isn't anything in a 12 to 15 hour day. But it's my time to really align my thinking with His.
If you have been thinking about how you find time for God, look at the things you do spend time on. If you have 30 minutes for television, you have 30 minutes for God. The television can't make you a mighty warrior, help you through a battle, or grow you spiritually. All it can do is take your focus off your cares for a little while. God can help you cast your fears, move mountains and give you courage for tomorrow.
I hope this day finds you well. Our strength comes from our Lord and if we aren't spending time with Him we will be weary and frustrated. I would rather walk one day in His presence than be on a journey full of me. Take heart my sisters, He is near!
1 Corinthians 9:24 NKJV:
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.
Philippians 2:16 NKJV:
holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
My prayer today:
O, Lord, we are running and often in the wrong direction. Help us to make wise choices and to choose spending time with You daily. We often lack the discipline to put You first but no one would go out and run a race without preparing. And yet, we run and are not prepared. The battle field is full of temptations and wrong priorities. If we were in real battle, the preparation time would be long and hard. Therefore, come to us and help us understand what we need to prepare for battle daily. Open our agendas up to You. Give us time to spend with You and help us make You a priority. We want to run this race well prepared. We want to believe that You are everything You say You are and more. So today, help women all over the world find You. May they take time to prepare and spend time in the word so if they do need You, they know where to find You. I thank You for Your word that You lay on the hearts of man and I just pray that every nation will bow to You. May we be a blessing and may we make choices that lead to You. In Jesus name, AMEN