Good morning all-
I talked to one of my oldest and dearest friends this morning. We have known each other since I was an awkward girl with no friends and low self-esteem. You know the girl, the one that sits in the corner wishing someone would say, "Hi." Well lucky for me, he did and it has been an honor to be his friend.
He is a warrior by nature and has traveled the world. He has been a center for me when my world felt like it was collapsing and through the years, I have prayed Psalm 91 for him. He has faced more danger and more enemies than I will ever face and yet, he goes one more time. I will be praying for him and I hope that all of you pray for the soldiers that protect your country. Not only do they serve but they give their lives for us. It is the ultimate sacrifice because they leave loved ones behind, move at a moments notice and are sent to regions far away from home. They live through command and stay under authority without a moments hesitation. They are the heroes that put their lives on the line and we have freedom because of them.
You may wonder how this relates to today's blog. Well, it just so happens that before getting on Facebook, I was in Philippians 2 again and re-read 14-18. It inspired me and then I spoke to my friend and I realized that we are all running a race and Christ is the center. Paul knew it and even spelled it out for us. His race was to pour out his life for Christ. The analogy is beautiful. Think about spilling your blood for your Lord. It makes me think about my life and how I never wanted to put myself in a dangerous position. I love to play it safe and only in the last couple of years have I been bold. Loss will make you bold but there are men and women that risk their lives every day, not for a country but for Christ. In America, we still have freedom to walk the streets and shout, "I love the Lord." "Jesus Christ has risen." In other parts of the world, not so much. They have to hide in corners to read their Bible or be fed Scripture by word not sight. We have it in front of us and if we take 20 minutes a day, we think we've given an immense amount of time.
I am well aware that I don't spend enough time with the Lord. I fail daily in trusting Him in all things and I find myself at least a hundred times a day saying, "I give my worry to you." What do I have to worry about? Everything. Giving it to God is like observing lent. When we give up something, we must replace it with the thoughts of Jesus. And although I didn't give up a drink, the Internet or television, I am learning to die to myself daily and trusting that God is enough.
Paul practiced this and wrote about it. He wasn't a saint, he was a man. He had all the trappings of being human but he had a desire to follow Christ and to praise and worship Him even in prison. He sent others before Him and sent letters to revive the church. He cautioned about the enemy and gained comfort in Christ. His life was not easy, as a matter of fact, it was similar to my friends. He was under authority to a power so much bigger than himself and through that power, he served men, not just then but through time. His words are a wealth of love, devotion and faith and it humbles me to read his words. As I stated yesterday, I have been struggling with serving others and then God leads me here to Paul's inner most thoughts. He would lay down his life for Christ and without a doubt so would I.
My life isn't that difficult. I'm not in prison and I don't have to go to other countries where I'm not welcome. I don't want for a place to lay my head or food to eat. I am blessed but just like you I fight the humanness that lives inside and with it, I am convicted because I don't want to be a complaining servant. In fact, I want to give until my heart is empty for I know that's the gift that was given to me.
May today find you well and may God bless you as you seek Him.
Philippians 2:14-18 NLT:
Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ's return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless. But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy. Yes, you should rejoice and I will share your joy.
My prayer today:
O, Lord I come before you praying for those that serve their countries and You. Like the commander in an army, You call us to follow You. We must obey without a word and follow You to the ends of this earth. Thank You for giving us Paul's wonderful letters and revealing to us the power behind the cross. You took a murderer and made him Your man. You gave him life to see You, ears to hear You and wisdom that has lasted centuries. You are to be worshipped and praised. Today, as we sit in our homes I pray that we are thinking about all those that have paved the way for our freedom. I pray that we will be dedicated to the troops all over the world and that women throughout the world will be praying for their men. I am asking You to heal nations and bring about a mighty revival in Your name. I know that someday every knee will bow and every tongue will confess You are Lord but until that day, make us women that are bold and bright for You. Give us the passion and the dedication to walk with You and to pray for the lost, the lonely and the broken. These are Your chosen and I pray that I would begin to live my life as Paul did. He wrote that he would pour out his life like a liquid offering and I pray that I would be courageous enough to do the same. There are women and men that need You Lord and I hope that they will find You today. Thank You again for saving me and for bringing people in my life that have meant so much. Thank You for taking the time to grow me into the woman I am today and thank You for all my sisters that pray and preach to Your people. I ask today that we would commit ourselves to praying for our soldiers and our missionaries who risk their lives every day for country and You. They understand what it means to pour out their lives for us and Jesus. Please, O, Lord, be with us today as we look for You! In Jesus name, AMEN