If the devil had armor…

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If you are like me, you know nothing about armor, right? I had a friend whose father was a SWAT commander with the APD, and I have written my fair share of stories but I did learn a little from ministers. David went after Goliath whose staff was like weavers beam with only a sling shot, now that staff is double what you see in the movies. Saul’s armor was too large for a young man. It took God and His armor, though I watched a program that showed proficient Jews who could break things with one, a giant or evil spirit even the devil behind the person is not going to be brought down by a mere mortal. David came in the name of the Lord, Goliath hat no covenant with Him. Now, we have the name of Jesus and the Holy Spirit as our armor, and like the king’s armor, He can or situations can be too heavy for us, it takes Jesus in us.

I had to do some research for some of my stories as they are set in WWII, and warfare has increased and technology, I was thinking of armor piercing bullets and such. And nuclear war is likely at some point, why this post is important.

Perhaps you recall a bank robbery years ago in Los Angeles, the thieves in their body armor were the only ones killed that day, but the Lord intervened there. I heard an officer’s testimony, who as a believer, was no doubt protected by greater armor, he stated that he could feel the devil’s presence there. And while the greater one is in us, 1 John 4:4, the enemy is in the world too. Do we always call on Him to be our armor?

Let’s look at the Word on armor and also how the enemy blinds us. Not only unbelievers, but believers who are oppressed, our eyes have to be opened to his devices. I have seen a lot of Bible movies and in one old one they polish the shields to blind the army, the devil can’t create, he only copies, is he polishing his shield against us?

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. Ephesians 6:10-20 ESV

The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 2 Corinthians 4:4

And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming: 2 Thessalonians 2:8 KJV

Let’s look at Ephesians, the devil doesn’t want us to be strong in the Lord. His helmet is salvation, covering our heads, minds, will and emotions that make up the soul. The devil’s helmet is unbelief, chaos and confusion, fear. Not caution or concern but dreadful fear. And his belt is made of lies, breastplate, unrighteousness and what troubles the heart. And shoes, not the shoes of the gospel of peace, but soles that will steal souls.

We are to pray in the Spirit, and that does allude to the gift of tongues, which builds our faith. We are to be alert, and pray for all the saints or believers, this verse is how I believe that people have the idea of praying to saints. Jesus is the one to turn to and His weapons are powerful, and prayer is only one of them. The Holy Spirit prays for us. Romans 8:26, having had a life threatening hospital stay, and coming too close to death on a couple of other occasions, I have often ask Him to pray for me, because I don’t know what all is going on and He does. Now, the sword is the Spirit and above all the the shield of faith. God is protecting us, though we might feel like He is keeping us in the dark, the Spirit gives gifts when He chooses and see spiritual enlightenment. He knows if we study, believe and will apply it to our lives.

Jesus, by sealing us with His Spirit provided that shield. Shields were often soaked with water in order to deflect those fiery arrows or darts. The Spirit is the water, the living water that flows from us, and also the fire that we fight the fire with. It is up to us what we choose to profess and believe, Jesus could not do miracles where there was unbelief.

I have been told that believers cannot be possessed. I don’t think so either, but there are those who are not truly committed but claim to be, for whatever reason, I am not here to judge, God knows hearts, but we are to use wisdom and know fruit. I had some encounters in the hospital, and there were some words spoken over me, that I refused to believe. And one special moment before I was discharged. I told my mother about it and the person I think was most touched by my stay, though I didn’t get into witnessing or preachy, she told me that the person saw the Lord in me. For that, I am glad. And so thankful to be home, walking by faith, even if I need a walker and can’t drive, I walk by faith. And though I didn’t walk out of the hospital like I told the chaplain I wanted to , I am out because of that armor, and Jesus, by the Spirit took out that giant.

As for believers, they can be oppressed and are affected by the enemies tactics and spiritual warfare. But our armor is is much better! If you are a believer, don’t let the devil deceive you. I have had people refuse to believe it is His will to heal, in tongues and spiritual gifts, which is why the Holy Spirit gives wisdom and discernment, there are many false practices. And I know everyone is not healed, He has mercy on many who are tired of the battle or just too hurt too survive years of surgeries or therapy or might remain vegetative, I don’t know everything. I had a friend who did not survive a third battle with cancer, and prayed for a handsome, thirty two year old missionary who did not beat malaria. I know they were prayer warriors and had experienced healing and the miraculous, and here I am still here, I celebrated my sixtieth birthday in the hospital,

I thought about that. People sometimes have survivor’s guilt. I don’t think that is me, I’m still here like Esther, for such a time as this. To proclaim His love and death until he comes and I believe He is on the horizon, and when the church is gone to meet Him, the catching away or Rapture, the lawless one will be revealed, and He will blind him forever returning in the Second Coming. Keep the armor of God on. He will blind our enemy.

photo from Canva

When the devil rails, Rest!

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This is something I learned in the hospital and even coming home. Needless to say and without going into detail, it was not only a health crisis, but spiritual warfare. It was like I was never going home. The two weeks I expected turned into two and a half months, and two surgeries on my leg was eight. Since I could not walk, I could not go home. 

The Covid outbreak had  shut out visitors, I had that too. People were having trouble getting into rehab. But I wanted to go home. Day after day, I struggled to walk, but then came the day when I made some steps down the hall, and at the end of January, I was home. And I praise God for it!

Now, it was just after Thanksgiving, and I spent my sixtieth birthday there, my mother’s birthday, Christmas and New Years, there. Did the railing stop? Actually, it ramped up. The enemy attacks were railing, but I had learned to rest. I had been studying healing for many years. But a lot of times were are not in His rest, and that is some of what happened to me. I had really started to study how the Israelites refused the Sabbath rest of God and how Jesus had finished His work on the cross, it is a daily way we can be close to Him and He is our rest. Not only in Matthew 11:28, but Hebrews 4. He is our High Priest. His flesh was offered for us and His heart pierced. His blood shed for sin, but His body was for healing and wholeness, shalom peace, which is why we take Communion, and yes, I have taken it daily many times. I do run out of crackers and juice, but He understands proclaiming His death until He comes. Many people take it and don’t live, not discerning it correctly and many others fear it, much less taking it on their own. But it is remembering Him.

Perhaps you recall the story of the ten lepers Jesus healed, only one returned to thank Him. He was not exactly the Hight Priest that had passed into the heavenlies, yet, but He had instructed him to show himself to the priest. It would have taken the priest to pronounce him clean. Leprosy was a death sentence, Jesus would not have been able to touch something dead under the law, even the woman with issue of blood. But He was fulfilling the law as the Word of God, and bringing  us grace and truth. We will get into that as we delve into the New Testament this spring. 

I have had lots of setbacks, side effects, had to relearn a lot of things, like reading, typing and even signing my name. Yes, it was that bad. I am still weak but He is strong, yes, Jesus loves me and while I have not been totally dismissed with outpatient visits, I still need help, have to use a walker. I have thank Him for healing me, when I was sick, well, heavier, lighter, younger and older. He had given me peace before I told my mother to call the ambulance, and her a lot as well. I wanted to be the one who returned to thank Him, how about you?

Is the devil railing against your health, finances, family or even faith? Let’s just rest in our High Priest, He is still on the throne, whatever the devil says, he remains a liar, the very father of them. We don’t have to rail, just rest on His promises and peace.

So, even today, as I type this post at my desk and sitting in a wheelchair because I don’t takes chances with computer chair, I fell out it, when I wasn’t even sick, I can take a break tonight and see my scarred legs, one with a deeper crease that was cut to remove infection and one that was used as a skin graft, and can thank Him for healing regardless and show myself to the High Priest, who pronounced me clean, from Isaiah 53 to 1 Peter 2:24.

When the devil rails, I rest. How many times has thanks come from lips that were cracked and without lipstick? Remember, Covid stopped my visitors. I might not look it, sound like or even feel like it, but He paid a high price for healing, and by His wounds I am healed and resting.

Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:8.9 KJV

Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. 2 Peter 2:11 KJV

Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. Jude 1:9 KJV

I used the King James version because of the word  ” rail “. Other definitions are revile, abuse, insult, slander and reproach. Even to be vituperative, yes, I am a wordy. If even the angels don’t rail or get smart with him, or say he is blasphemous, we don’t have to.In other words, the devil is loud, obnoxious, prideful, but don’t have to be. Like the angels, we don’t have to accuse him as he does us, just say, ” The Lord rebuke you. ” Though Mark 16:6 says we can cast out devils, we have to recognize him, not fall into his traps or subtle lies, we have to know what to say and when, and let the Lord deal with him.  And I have found myself saying it three times, but even if I rebuke him, I’m asking the Lord to.

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photo / Canva

Bad Words

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I chose this picture of a girl in tears, not realizing at first that she was crying. She is not saying them but on the receiving end of them. We are often quick to judge others for saying those bleeped words and expletives. I don’t like them at all and find them offensive. One or two, I can understand, we are all guilty of something but I turn off television programs that have to bleep every other word but I am partial to old shows rather that the so called reality. Let’s look at the Bible’s take on it.

Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. Ephesians 4:29 New Living

I thought this version worked well and is in plain English. Does it get any more plain? I suppose we could hop on over to James and read about the tongue, how it is set on fire from hell. Or do we need a bit like a horse? The Holy Spirit has to rein us in, doesn’t He? But we have to let Him don’t we? We have to submit our will to God’s more and more. The more we walk and talk with the Lord, hopefully, the better our words will get as we focus on changing our mouths. Or reread Proverbs and see how much wisdom is there.

Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. Proverbs 18:21 ESV

Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. Ephesians 5:29 New Living

King James calls it coarse jesting, making me think of court jesters. But it is actually being abusive or offensive and saying, ” I was only kidding. ”  God has a good sense of humor but this is no joke. Do we really want to let the devil see how foolish we are? To entertain him? I think not. And I am sure he gets a few yucks after we run around wringing our hands and praying and then wondering what went wrong? However, I have found that God often has  a better way and time. Coarse jesting and an I was only kidding are not God’s idea of fun. No one likes being the butt of all the jokes. You can laugh at yourself or with others, but even self deprecating humor can hurt you.

So the foster mother who slices  a finger and lets the f word fly, while it is not good to say, her good is out weighing it and she is under grace, why I tell people to keep a repentant heart. People are quick to condemn but not Jesus, He paid the price, He know what we go through. Is she like the obscene men who could care less about God? No, God knows hearts. And mouths. And He knows there are better adjectives.

Words are weapons as much as nuclear bombs and can do major and life altering, even destructive damage to lives. Nothing is irreparable with Jesus. But sometimes, people don’t know Him or accept help or healing from believers especially if they have been wounded by one.  A few I love you’s or forgiveness, don’t always cut it. Some believers give others  a bad name. And some people are con artists who know how to get their way, and there are deeper issues where people lack conscience and compassion.

Words are seeds that grow flowers or weeds .Jesus was and and is the incorruptible seed, and guess what? We should be as well with the Spirit of the Living God in us, the very Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, and seals us for eternity with Him.

What are you saying? I am quick to criticize myself. I have been drawn into arguing my point of view, now I do my best to hold my peace or rather His gift of peace. It is so easy to compare and so simple to judge. But the one who judges the quick and dead know what is quick, what is quick witted or quickens and encourages us, and what words are dead and falls away, like dust or ashes, barren, fruitless, bruising and abrasive like a fist to the heart or soul. Take some time and listen, really listen to yourself, I will.

Even if you don’t drink or never swear, you sin. But Jesus loves you anyway, refusing His love will get you to hell faster than a few bleeps. There are lots of bad words aren’t they? I tell people who have fallen into habitual foul language to learn new words, like flumadiddle,  nonsense or persnickety, fussy. We could all use some serendipity, something unexpected and good.

And please don’t think I am being trite or giving pat answers, whatever your wounds are His were deeper still, and He was the only one who kept a perfect confess, even when He was angry and being beaten. He opened not His mouth. So you don’t have to say everything we think, if we can’t say something, say nothing at all. It is my prayer that all the bad words spoken over us will fall at the feet of the cross, and be of no effect, because His are and they are Spirit and life.

Alireza Dolati / Unsplash

 

Malachi

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Here we are at the end of the Old Testament. What a contrast from creation and perfection. Now, the Jews are away from God. Malachi is also a post exile book and he encourages them to turn their hearts back to God.

He addresses theirs sins, even those of the priests and prophesies about God’s messenger coming, which is John the Baptist, who precedes Jesus, the Messiah and Lamb of God. He also mentions tithing, that you can rob God. I know people who do and do not, I think that is true in most instances, but there is a verse that allows you to use your tithes as well, it is an individual choice, bu sow into good ground. Deuteronomy 14:23-28

That is in with food laws and other ones Jesus fulfilled. Many paid tithes but for the wrong reasons, why He is quick to mention the widow.

“He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.” Malachi 4:6

That verse is relevant in our day.

I have a few posts to finish out March, and we will move into the New Testament. Thanks for reading. And I almost forgot, Zechariah speaks of God’s Book of Remembrance. He hasn’t forgot us at all, if fact, He could be scrapbooking right now.

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https://preciousinhissite.wordpress.com/2022/04/03/mocha-on-malachi/

Zechariah

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Zechariah was written before and after the temple was completed. He was interested in the reinstating of the priesthood that was forgotten during a seventy year captivity. He records the coming of the Messiah, saying He will be call the Branch. Interestingly enough Jesus calls Himself the vine and us the branches.

Yet the allusion is to the menorah, Jesus, the branch or center candle that is first lit and then the others. It is also called the servant candle, we think we serve Him, but He serves us or looks after us as well.

Salvation is also a name for Yeshua or Jesus. It was offered first to the Jews, then Gentiles and while we were grafted into the Branch by becoming believers, the Jews will also be grafted into the Messiah, if only a remnant or perhaps many as He returns one day to place His foot on the Mount of Olives. Acts 1:11

The last chapters are in reference to the end time prophecies and the fact that He will have a throne and reign as enemies are destroyed. ( Of you look closely, this Bible is in German, we need to pray for all nations. )

Haggai

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Unlike our other books, Haggai is a post exile narrative. Written in in 520 B. C. it is one of the more accurately dated books of the Bible. Though it too is a short read, Haggai is called by God to encourage the people to finish the temple.

It is the one Jesus will mentioned and destroyed in 70 A.D. A third temple is expected to be built sometime during the reign of the Antichrist as he attempts the false peace with Jerusalem. I have seen programs with many of the vessels, they are all in place. The Ark of the Covenant remains missing, though some claim it is in Ethiopia.

The principals in the book are Haggai, one of my favorite names, Zerubbabel, and Joshua. The Lord promised His Spirit was with them and the temple was completed in five years.

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https://preciousinhissite.wordpress.com/2022/03/26/haggai/

Zephaniah

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Zephaniah is another prophetic book written in about 630 B.C. shortly before the fall of the Southern Kingdom. It is another short read, and though I combined a couple of the minor prophets I could have done more as this book is only three chapters.

He declare the words of the Lord as to their complacency to sin and ultimately what the Lord gives to sinners, mercy. Soon we will be in the New Testament where Jesus introduces grace, something that, like mercy is not to be abused.

Like Zephaniah’s hope to the returning remnant from captivity, so it will be when Jesus comes to defeat the Antichrist. Only God knows where the lost tribes are and He has them sealed, the one called to deliver the message during the Tribulation, just as believers are sealed with His Spirit. There are many events unfolding and there will be many events taking place as we approach the day of the Lord.

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https://preciousinhissite.wordpress.com/2022/03/24/wiggles-in-zephaniah/

Habbakuk

Habakkuk begins with asking God why He tolerates wrongdoing. This is a question we have probably asked ourselves if not God. And we know the answer, He keeps His Word and people have a free will. He sent Jesus and He will judge the unrighteous. His answer to Habakkuk is that he raises the Chaldeans, we know how bad people often turn on each other. God promises that He is doing great things that he would not believe, and He still is. It is another short book, written before the fall of the Southern Kingdom.

Like many regions today, Babylon was the superpower of the day. Though Israel’s heart was not right with God, he asks them to trust Him. And so must we. Here is a favorite verse.

For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
it hastens to the end—it will not lie.
If it seems slow, wait for it;
it will surely come; it will not delay. Habakkuk 2:3 Verse 2:20 speaks of the earth being silent before the Lord, and chapter three is also interesting. He praised God for answering tough questions.4nrkta67u9f8qjvn7w5g

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https://preciousinhissite.wordpress.com/2022/03/24/habakkuk/

Micah – Nahum

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The book of Micah was written around 742-686 B.C. shortly before the Northern Kingdom’s fall in 722 B.C. and concerns all the people of Samaria and Jerusalem.  Micah was to proclaim warnings and judgments to both the Northern and the Southern Kingdoms. If the message sounds familiar, he was a contemporary of Isaiah.

First, he explains specific judgements and then in chapter 5, he accurately prophesies the birthplace of the Messiah. He teaches that the Messiah is an infinite Savior, from everlasting, to everlasting, the eternal Messiah.

And in the last two chapters, there are only seven, he speaks of the salvation that is coming to his people, after he tells them…He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8.

Nahum is about a hundred and twenty years after Jonah, he prophesies the destruction of the wicked city of Nineveh, it has fallen back into its old ways. And within fifty years it is decimated and not rediscovered until the 19th century, still in ruins.4nrkta67u9f8qjvn7w5g

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https://preciousinhissite.wordpress.com/2022/03/23/micah-and-nahum/

The Story Of Jonah

The Story Of Jonah

We have all heard about the one that got away, but Jonah really did. And people can swap fish tales all day. I fished as a girl but now I’d prefer the walk on the beach. I caught a five pound blue catfish once.

Jonah was called of God to go speak to the wicked people of Nineveh and decided not to go. He was probably afraid, but no doubt more so as he boarded a ship and made haste to avoid God. The trouble is, you can’t hide from Him, not yourself or your heart. So when he had boarded the vessel and the storm came, he told the crew to toss him overboard, that God was angry with him, fisherman were extremely superstitious, like when the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water. I recall a video I would sow children, and the puppet getting tossed over got lots of laughs, but it was not funny in reality.

God sent the great fish, or whale to swallow him, in case you didn’t know, he was dead, drowned in the sea. That is why Jesus is referred to as being in the tomb three days and nights, like Jonah in the belly of the whale. And most people don’t realize that the days are in twelve hours and the nights. That used to throw me about Good Friday to Sunday morning.

God dealt with Jonah during that time and his heart changed and as we know from both Lazarus and Jesus, three days is as long as He waits. He did not leave Jonah in the whale or Jesus in hell where he took back Adam’s authority and the keys of death, hell and the grave.

So Jonah was spat upon the sand and off he went and many in Nineveh repented, sadly within a hundred and fifty or so years, it had fallen back into sin and was destroyed, to this day, there are no remnants of Nineveh that I know of. Jonah is a an easy read, understandable to older children and entertaining for younger one, see the link, and give Jonah another chance, God did.

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https://preciousinhissite.wordpress.com/2022/03/22/jonah-and-a-bookworm/