More of How to Feast on the Word

June 13, 2013 | Categories: Church Blog. Tags: faith, fight, and Scripture.

Here’s another way to feast upon the word of God, and fight the fight for faith.

Memorize the word. Why memorize when we have easy access to a copy of the Bible? Jesus’ example in Matthew 4:1-11 offers the best answer. When Satan drew near to tempt him, what did Jesus do? He fought back by recalling from memory specific verses to combat the devil in this fight for faith. Just look at how many times we read the words, “it is written.” Like Jesus in the wilderness, and just like Adam and Eve in the Garden, we also hear some form of the serpent’s question, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’ (Gen. 3:1)?” So we’d better be able to recall what God has said–from memory, because the temptations are the toughest when we don’t have a copy of the Bible around.

For instance, what will you do when you’re on your way to work and temptations arise to doubt God? You’ve finished your devotions, said “goodbye” to your family, and are driving in your car. Then the enemy comes near to whisper into your ears, “Does God really have your best interests at heart? How could he let something like this happen to you?” You pull an arrow out of your quiver that reads,

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28).

And you let it fly.

But then he comes back with, “Are you sure that God loves you? Why should he? Didn’t you fail him this morning?” And so you grab another titanium arrow that reads,

“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1Jn. 4:10).

And still another one that reads,

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom.8:38-39).

And you keep firing away, arrow after arrow–withstanding the attacks of the enemy. As you do so, they leave an aroma of God’s faithfulness, of his worthiness, of his goodness that penetrates your very soul. The Holy Spirit takes those verses, and calms your soul. He builds you up, or convicts you of unbelief. He encourages you to endure and to carry on.

When you do this, you’re fighting the fight for faith. You’re waging war against unbelief. And through it all, you are feeding your soul with the word of God.

 

Fighting for Faith by Praying Scripture

June 9, 2013 | Categories: Church Blog. Tags: fight, prayer, and Scripture.

The word of God is an incredible aid in prayer. There are several reasons for praying through the Scriptures. Here a few.

It’s biblical. Jesus did it. While on the cross, he prayed Psalm 22. “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me” (Matt. 27:46)? And so did the early church. “And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, “‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’ (Acts 4:24-26). That comes directly from Psalm 2.

Praying Scripture helps to direct your train of thought. All of us struggle with maintaining our train of thought when praying. What do you do when this happens? Too often we’’ll probably give up after a while. But if you’re using the word as your guide in prayer, then you have an answer for this problem. If you loose track of what you’re praying about, or get distracted, just return to the Scriptures and pick right back up again. Simply go right back to the next verse, and start praying again.

It allows God to direct our prayers. Perhaps he has more insight into what we need than we do? Instead of going to God with a list of things to pray about, maybe sometimes it would be wise to talk about the things he wants to talk to you about. If you do, you’ll probably find that along the way he ends up addressing the very concerns that were on your mind to begin with.

Fighting for Faith

June 8, 2013 | Categories: Church Blog. Tags: fight and trust.

The fight for faith is different than a fight for the faith. The fight for faith occurs within your own soul on a daily basis. Ours is a spiritual struggle–a fight for faith. This is different than fighting for the faith, i.e. defending the truth of the gospel against false teachers or the world. There is a different, more deadly fight. This fight takes place within our own souls. It’s a daily struggle within our own souls to trust in God and to believe his promises in the moment of temptation. It is a fight for faith. Scripture speaks of this fight:

  • “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you” (Jms. 4:1)?
  • “So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members” (Rom. 7:21-23).
  • “Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul” (1Pe. 2:11).

We are fighting for faith on a regular basis. In other words, we are fighting to obey the command of Proverbs, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding” (3:5).