FINDING TRUE NORTH

The entire universe is an example of design. It manifests structure and order that only the intelligent purpose of a personal Creator can account for. One only has to look at the lights in the sky and be in awe of God’s handiwork.

“Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things, who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; not one is missing” (Isa. 40:25-26). Just in the Milky Way galaxy alone there are over a hundred billion stars. Only God knows the true count and names of them all (Gen. 1:6, Ps. 147:4, Isa. 40:25-26).

                In the first mention of these heavenly bodies in Genesis 1:14-19, we’re told the Creator’s purpose for them was not only “to divide the day from the night, and give light upon the earth”; but they were set “for signs, and for season, and for days and years.”  The word for signs, ‘oth’, in Hebrew means ‘things to come’.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world”  (Psalm 19:1-4).

                You may find it interesting that prior to the written Scriptures (which began with Moses), God used the stars to reveal the hope of the promised seed which He pronounced in Genesis 3:15. The Zodiac (Mazzaroth) is a broad circle in the heavens, containing the twelve signs/constellations that correspond with the twelve months through which the sun passes in its annual course. In short it begins in the constellation of Virgo (the virgin’s promised seed) and culminates with the constellation of Leo (the Lion) and Messiah’s destruction of the serpent. Over time (after God’s written Word was given) the original teaching gradually faded away and evolved into cosmogonies and mythologies.

Important Note:

Like everything else that God has created for His purposes and glory, man has perverted for his own use. The Bible clearly shows that astrology is something that God does not approve of.  Astrology becomes another form of man trying to play God. (Ref. Isaiah 47:13, Daniel 1:20, 2:2, 2:27-29, 4:7, 5:7, 11, 15).

                The stars have also been designed by God to serve as seasons or cycles of time. These appointed times include the 24-hour day/night cycle, the solar and lunar cycles, the beginning of a week of seven days, etc. Chance cannot explain the existence of such beautifully timed precision. It took an intelligent being to construct something of such order, design, and purpose (Ps. 136:1, 7-9).

Navigating Our Way Physically: TRUE NORTH

God is the Creator who “makes the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades, and the chambers of the south;”  -Job 9:9-

“…and leads forth the Mazzoroth in its season and guides the Bear (Arcturus) with her train” -Job 38:2-

               The Big and Little Dippers are parts of the constellations Ursa Major (Big Bear) and Ursa Minor (Little Bear). They’re important groups of stars, especially to those who rely on them to find their way. With it one can locate Polaris, the North Star, situated almost directly above the North Pole of the earth. The axis of the earth’s spin is pointed near Polaris which marks the end handle of the Little Dipper. One can be very sure of their directions if they can identify the North Star.

Navigating Our Way Spiritually: TRUE NORTH—Where Christ Sits

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars which You have ordained, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?” –Psalm 8:3-4-

                As I was driving around in my car the other day I thought about the vastness of God’s creation. Human life seems small when we consider how many billions of galaxies are spread out through space. No wonder the Psalmist pondered, “What is man that you are mindful of him?” If we seriously think about the power and intelligence that it took God to create this immense universe, as well as the superiority of His mind and its familiarity with all the details of all of it—it really is mind-blowing! Yet even as we march about our daily lives like ants in an ant farm, God is mindful of us. He knows the very numbers of hairs on our head (whether we can see them or not) (Matt. 10:30). I’m so beyond thankful that His love and mercy matches His wisdom and power. He knows us intimately (even before we come into the world) and tracks our whereabouts better than any GPS (Ps. 139:1-18). Even though our present world is fallen and laden with sin God has not left us in the dark spiritually. He sent His only begotten Son into this world to die for our sins so we could be with Him forever. His Son, Jesus Christ (the True Light, and the Living Word), gives the light of life and protection for us in the spiritual realm (2 Cor. 4:6, John 1:1, 4, 9, 8:12, Rom. 13:12, 14, Eph. 6:11-17, 2 Tim. 1:9-10). God’s complete and infallible written Word not only reveals His redemption story but includes instructions for us so we can stay on the course He’s marked out for us (Ps. 119:105, 2 Tim. 3:16-17, 4:7-8, Eph. 2:10, 1 Cor. 2:14, 2 Peter 1:19).

Where is the location of God?

                “Is not God in the height of heaven? And see the highest stars how lofty they are!” -Job 22:12-

                The word ‘promotion’ is defined as: the act of raising someone to a higher position, grade, or rank. It says in Psalm 75:6 that promotion does not come from the east, west, or the south—therefore promotion must come from the north.

In Isaiah we find that Lucifer (Satan) desired to ascend to heaven and exalt his throne above the stars of God to sit upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north (ascending above the heights of the clouds to be like the Most High). He failed at this and instead fell because of it (Isaiah 14:12-15). Only Christ has ever ascended to this high and lofty realm (Eph. 4:10, Heb. 4:14). It’s so high up that Ephesians 1:21 tells us it’s “far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.”  What’s truly astounding is that in this age of grace when one becomes a believer their citizenship changes to a heavenly one—and not just heavenly but where Christ sits at the right hand of God (Phil. 3:20, Eph. 1:20, 2:4-6, Heb. 10:12, 12:2, Rom. 8:34, 1 Peter 3:22).

Just as the North Star provides one with direction traveling terrestrially, True North (where Christ sits) is where the believer’s focus and internal compass needs to be set to spiritually.

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1).

                May we come to see with spiritual eyes True North and the sacred position we’ve been promoted to in Christ Jesus. May we realize the unparalleled power and perspective God has in comparison to us and choose to trust in His direction and ways (Isa. 40:22, 25-26, 28, Prov. 3:5-7).

As we seek the face of Jesus Christ, we’ll shine brightly (lighting the way for others) until we arrive at our eternal heavenly home (Eph. 1:17-20, Phil. 2:12-15, 2 Cor. 4:6, Col. 3:1-4).    

Laura

FINDING TRUE LOVE

THERE ARE TWO KINDS OF LOVE that one can receive–one that’s a sham and one that’s for real. One of these loves is just a facade while the other has limitless dimensions from God. As you read on may you see what is true and embrace all the love that God has for you.

As we know and receive God’s true love, we can move forward in it with others. (Eph. 5:1-2, Col. 3:12-14, 1 John 4:7, 9, 5:2-3). Laura

Which Program Will You Run On?

                 Have you noticed that no matter how resolved we can be with our plans for the new year the unexpected can happen? So it may be helpful to ask yourself the following questions as your answers will be an indicator of how your year will go. 

· Will you base your decisions on fear or seek and trust God in faith? 

 “The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe” (Proverb 29:25, 2 Tim. 1:7).  

· Will you walk in weakness (your own strength) or God’s Almighty power?

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths” (Prov. 3:5-6).

· Will you look to your own limited and fallible thoughts or God’s infinite and righteous wisdom? 

“The Lord knows the thoughts of man, that they are futile” (Ps. 94:11). “Don’t be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil.  It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones” (Prov. 3:7-8).

· Will you live according to the world’s Godless ways or God’s grace and Word of truth? 

 “…the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one”   (1 John 5:19). “For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:16-17).

                Have you observed that no matter how hard we human beings try, we can’t control the weather, eradicate sickness or disease, or fix the problems of the world? We’re even incapable of bettering our own selves enough to stand before a righteous God. True wisdom acknowledges that we are in an evil age (Eph. 5:16) with corruption in our nature and condemnation as our rightful end. Just like a computer drive that’s become infected with a virus, humankind’s original ‘drive’ has been corrupted with the SIN virus. All born into the world default to a self-drive setting that programs them to run with commands of ‘be your own god’ and ‘direct your own life’ (Gen. 3, Rom. 3:5, 23, 5:12, 14). No amount of man-made tech support will help to eradicate it (Rom. 7:7-25). If anyone could fulfill all the requirements spelled out in God’s laws and commandments they’d have all the reason to trust and glory in themselves—but that’s not the case (Ex. 20:1-17).

                God established the law to be a tutor to bring us to Christ (Gal. 3:24-25). By the deeds of the law no flesh can be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin (Rom. 3:20). The apostle Paul said that he would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. He wouldn’t have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”  Yet still he wanted to covet.

                The Creator already had a brand new program in mind providing access through Jesus Christ (Eph. 4:24, Col. 3:10, John 14:6). There’s no cost involved—just a willingness to receive it. (Rom. 3:23-26, Eph. 2:4-9).  A new identity is issued in this program with new instructions for living and God’s continual grace and support (Rom. 12:2, Eph. 4:24, Col. 3:10, 2 Cor. 12:9, 1 Tim. 1:14, 2 Tim. 2:1).

                A word of caution: the old corrupt program will still be in our ‘system’ so precautions need to be taken to continually keep it in ‘disabled’ mode. Signs that one has fallen back to the old default settings will be apparent when they switch into self-drive—becoming ’selfie’ focused, self-promoting (outwardly virtue signaling), as well as self-pitying (which is also self-centered). The Trojan Horse trying to access, enable, and execute the corrupt program is no stranger to fraudulent activity as he first introduced the SIN virus to mankind (Gen. 3, John 8:44). He’ll never be able to gain access to affect the believer’s eternal security, but he can thwart the execution of the good works that God has prepared for us to walk in while on earth (Eph. 1:13-14, 2:10, Phil. 2:13, 2 Tim. 1:9, 1 Pet. 5:8). Satan knows that diverting believers to self-driven mode is effective, especially when it’s under the guise of ‘good works’ that are not from God (2 Cor. 11:3-4, 14, Matt. 23:5, 28). These may look outwardly good to the world, but bring glory to the work in the believer rather than glorifying Christ and His finished work in them. The true work of the Holy Spirit produces Christ-consciousness, not self-consciousness and humility, not selfish ambition (Phil. 2:3-4).

                All labor is profitless if it doesn’t yield treasure in heaven. (Matt 6:19-20) “For what is a man profited if he will gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Matt. 16:26) The Christian passes through trials so that he/she may learn to lean harder and more completely upon the Lord.  When God said, “Be still” in Psalm 46:10, He meant “Desist—cease your efforts”, adding “and know that I am God” (and you aren’t’). The beautiful picture in Matthew 11:28-30 shows us that when we look to Christ and come to Him, He provides us with rest. When we take His yoke upon us and learn from Him, there will be true rest for our souls for His yoke is easy and His burden is light. When resurrection is realized as the goal of God and the entrance into true life, then one can patiently perform God’s good works and endure with all patience, suffering, and joy.

                The believer can only run in ‘safe mode’ when they continue to turn to and have faith in God’s written Word. Satan owes so much to technology as it’s the perfect vehicle to distract and divert the believer’s mind, focus, and time (Eph. 2:2, 2 Cor. 10:3-5). So many use the excuse that they have no time to read or study God’s Word, yet they spend hours listening to others on podcasts, YouTube videos, TikTok, scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, online shopping, online gambling, playing games where they reach levels and receive artificial prizes, as well as binge-watching TV shows (Matt. 13:22). What a waste of time and an empty return on investment.

                Time spent reading, studying, and learning God’s Word is never in vain as it’s profitable not only in this life but in the life to come (2 Tim. 3:16, 2:15, 1 Tim. 4:8, 1 Cor. 15:58).  Without the knowledge of God’s Word, one will not be able to discern God’s perfect will (1 Tim. 4:1, 1 Cor. 2:14, Phil. 1:9, Heb. 4:12, Acts 17:11). Sadly without truly knowing God’s Word many are being led astray.  A helpful guideline for assimilating information that we hear from others (especially when it comes from God’s Word) is to search for ourselves to see if it lines up with what the Scriptures actually say—rightly divided, and in proper context (Acts 17:11, Rom. 15:4, 2 Tim. 2:15, Phil. 1:9-11).

                God’s Word is clear that a time will come when the crooked will be made straight and every work will be brought into judgment. God has a purpose and a work that transcends all our thoughts so we need to trust and wait patiently for Him (Eccl. 3:14, 12:13-14, Ps. 37). Have faith and be encouraged that no matter the plans and devices that man has in mind, ultimately the Lord’s counsel will stand and His purposes will prevail (Prov. 19:21, Ps. 33:11).

May you be resolved to “be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy…” (Colossians 1:9-11).

Laura

THANK GOD FOR GOODNESS’ SAKE

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; 
Praise Him, all creatures here below; 
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host: 
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

                God remains good and deserves our continual praise of thanksgiving even with the current state of affairs in our present fallen world. It’s easy to lose sight of who God is when the world’s focus is so set on praising and extoling humanity (the creature) instead of the Creator (Rom. 1:19-29). “Because when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful” (Rom. 1:21).

Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!” (Psalm 107:8)

                God stands alone and apart from mankind (and all His other created beings) as He is incorruptible (Rom. 1:23), righteous (Psalm 119:142, 160, 145:17), cannot lie (Titus 1:2, Heb. 6:18), cannot be tempted with evil (James 1:13), and the list goes on. Since God is the source and embodiment of good, all good things flow from Him (as the above doxology says). James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” The word ‘lights’ means underived (not from something else) and absolute (the opposite of darkness) and so used specifically of God (John 1:4-5, 8:12, 1 John 1:5). “For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light” (Psalm 36:9). The entrance of God’s words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple and illuminates and guides ones way (Psalm 119:130, 105). Through God’s word one receives understanding and learns to hate every false way (Psalm 119:104). The word used for goodness in the Bible is many times synonymous with ‘grace’ or ‘lovingkindness’. The Bible reveals a kind, benevolent God who is tenderhearted, full of mercy, and slow to anger (Psalm 103:8, 145:8, Joel 2:13, Jonah 4:2). Because God is purely good and righteous, evil cannot dwell with Him nor can He take pleasure in lawlessness (Psalm 5:4).

                Our Creator has made clear the boundaries that He’s set for mankind but has also allowed men and women the capacity to choose (either to obey His good word and stay within His boundaries or not). The angelic beings must have been allowed free will as well (Jude 6, Gen. 6:2, Rev. 12:9). Lucifer (Satan) proved that angelic beings could become corrupted. It was Satan’s pride of his beauty that corrupted his wisdom and he became the ‘father of lies’ (Ezek. 28:17, Isaiah 14:12-14, 1 John 3:8, John 8:44).  Mankind also revealed its corruptibility after the first created man and woman chose to disobey God’s words and heed Satan’s lies (one being the desire to be gods themselves) (Gen. 3, Rom. 5:12-19).

                It’s only when one comes to terms with their sinful nature as well as their lost and helpless condition that they can truly embrace the greatness and goodness of God (Rom. 5:6-11, Eph. 4:22).

In the Bible, there are many examples of this: the lost son (Luke 15:11-32), the tax collector (Luke 18:9-14), David (2 Sam. 12:1-13), and Isaiah’s vision (Isaiah 6:1-5).  Even the suffering and patient Job came to the realization of who he was in comparison to almighty God and so learned the great lesson that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful (Job 42:5-6, 10, 12). We too can find God’s amazing grace and goodness when we come with empty hands and a broken, contrite spirit (Isaiah 57:15, 66:2). “In mercy and truth Atonement is provided for iniquity; and by the fear of the Lord one departs from evil” (Prov. 16:6).

“In Christ we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7).

                “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,  that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 4:4-9).

“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Cor. 9:15, Eph. 1:6-7).

                                Mankind has so much to be grateful for at the hand of God. The 107th Psalm is a great template for us today. This Psalm begins the fifth and final portion of the Psalms relating to the book of Deuteronomy (*see below note), which extols “God’s word the only good”. Its opening verse is, “Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”  The following phrase is repeated four times in this Psalm, “Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!” (with testament of why in between vs. 8, 15, 21, 31).  The Psalm ends appropriately with “Whoever is wise will observe these things, and they will understand the loving kindness of the Lord” (vs. 43). In order to observe these things one must see that God’s word is the only good, and pursue and meditate on it habitually and continuously (with thanksgiving) (Psalm 1:1-3).   

Laura

                                *The Psalms correspond with the first five books of the Old Testament (The Pentateuch). Book One: Genesis corresponds with Psalms 1-41 and concerns Man; Book Two: Exodus corresponds with Psalms 42-72 and concerns Israel as a nation; Book Three: Leviticus corresponds with Psalms 73-89 and concerns The Sanctuary; Book Four: Numbers corresponds with Psalms 90-106 and concerns Israel and the nations of the earth; Book Five: Deuteronomy corresponds with Psalms 107-150 and concerns God and His Word. The counsel of God re: His word shows that all blessings for man (book 1), all blessings for Israel (book 2), and all blessings for the earth and the nations (book 4) are bound up with living on the words of God (book 5) (Deut. 8:3). Disobedience to God’s words is the source of man’s sorrow (book 1), Israel’s dispersion (book 2), the Sanctuary’s ruin (book 3), and earth’s miseries (book 4). To study this interesting aspect of the Scriptures further, see The Companion Bible notes by E.W. Bullinger that precede the book of Psalms and are prior to each section of the five groupings.

The Haunting Grounds of the ‘Other Spirits’

“If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed.

If you look within, you’ll be depressed.

But if you look at Christ, you’ll be at rest.”  —Corrie ten Boom—

                I have found all these three statements to be true. I can turn on the news to become distressed with the world’s worrisome and wearisome ways. I can become depressed when I look within my own fallible and flawed understanding. I can (thankfully) experience true peace and rest when I look to the risen Christ (Col. 3:1-3, Phil. 4:6-7).

So why do I still find myself tempted to look at the other two less satisfying options?

THERE ARE OTHER SPIRITS THAT DESIRE TO CONTROL US

The Bible tells us that there are ‘other spirits’ that desire to control us (2 Cor. 11:4, 1 Jn. 4:2-3, 2 Jn. 7). 

These other spirits are at work for our deception and misdirection— “seducing spirits—doctrines of devils” (1 Tim. 4:1).

These other spirits are principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this age, and spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places (Eph. 6:12).

These other spirits are some serious, heavy-duty evil entities. So much so that in order for the believer to stand against them, God had to provide protective spiritual armor (Eph. 6:11-17, Rom. 13:12-14). 

One is foolish to think that they can mess with or do battle with these evil spiritual beings on their own (Eph. 6:10-11). The method, strategies, or wiles that these other spirits use come directly from the evil teaching of the ruler of the power of the air —the devil himself (Eph. 2:2, 4:14).

The sphere that they haunt is in the area of the flesh. 

“…the whole world lies in the wicked one” (1 John 5:19, John 14:30, 2 Cor. 4:4).

“…beguiling unstable souls…they allure through the lusts of the flesh…servants of corruption…” (2 Pet. 2:14-19).   

                The flesh is one of the names of the old (fallen) nature that each of us is born with (as an offspring of Adam) (Rom. 3:23, 5:12). This nature’s understanding is darkened because it’s alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that’s in it (Rom. 6:6, Eph. 4:22). The nature of its heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9, Matt. 15:19). Its nature is corrupt according to the desires of the deceiver and in it dwells ‘no good thing’ (Eph. 4:22, 6:12, 1 John 3:8, Rom. 7:5, 18, John 6:63).  It can’t be improved or justified in the sight of God as it’s antagonistic to Him (Isa. 64:6, Rom. 3:20, 8:7-8, Gal. 2:16, 5:17). The wicked one’s strategy is to attack the flesh and stir up emotional responses to incite “sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like” (Gal. 5:19-21, 1 John 2:16). These spirits entice in subtle, often unrecognized ways, often masquerading as ‘ministers of righteousness’ (2 Cor. 11:13-15).

                The only antidote to this nature is to be reborn with a new nature “not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” through belief in the sinless One (John 1:12-13, 2 Cor. 5:17, 21, Eph. 2:1-10, 4:22-24, Col. 3:10, 1 Jn. 3:5). This new nature is Divine and cannot be changed with the believer’s eternal salvation being sealed (John 3:6, Eph. 1:13). As the new nature is implanted, the presence of the old nature is revealed and conflict arises (Gal. 5:17). The apostle Paul wrote of this in Romans chapter seven expressing that this new nature (the mind of the inward man) delights in God’s law while at the same time the old nature (the flesh) delights in obeying its own law. Thus this clashing duality of natures is in a constant war against each other. “For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do…it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells;… For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice…” (vs. 15-20).  Paul ends the chapter with thanks to God through Jesus Christ his Lord who is able to deliver him from this struggle. He now had the choice to serve the law of God through his mind (the new nature) even though the law of sin (the old nature) was still present in his body. 

So although this conflict will persist until our death and resurrection (1 Cor. 15:54-57), God has equipped His saints with powerful spiritual weapons. “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God…” (2 Cor. 10:3-5; Eph. 6:12-17). We may not have much control over many things in our world today, but we do have control over what we focus our minds and time on. Paul warned the Colossians of directing their attention on the rudiments of this world where man’s philosophies, vain deceit and tradition dictate their lives instead of Christ in Whom the Godhead bodily dwells. We are complete (lacking nothing) in Christ, Who is head of all principality and power (Col. 2:8-10).

So why would we choose to fix our minds on man’s words (or even great thoughts) that are useless in the spiritual realm? 

                Our aim and agenda should be properly placed on reading and knowing God’s Word. This is the nourishment that the new nature thrives on and the old nature is weakened by, so it’s important to keep up with “daily doses” (Rom. 13:14). As we do we’ll be able to discern truth from lies (Eph. 6:17, 2 Tim. 3:16-17, Heb. 4:12). When we feast on God’s rich, living words of truth (feeding on it for ourselves, not as a by-product from another) we’ll be equipped for any (and every) emergency, difficulty, temptation, or trial that comes our way (Rom. 11:33, 1 Cor. 1:30, Col. 2:3, 2 Tim. 3:16-17, Matt. 4:1-11, Prov. 2). 

 “Folly is joy to him who is destitute of discernment, but a man of understanding walks uprightly” (Prov. 15:21).

Those who reject the gift of this new nature from God are hostile to Christ Jesus and the godly teaching of the Bible. They’re blind (in the dark) and destitute of discernment allowing an open door policy for the ’other spirits’ influence (John 3:19-21, Rom. 1:28, Eph. 4:17). Because they’re starved of the truth, their flesh feeds on the lies that these ‘other’ spirits infect them with, “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Eph. 4:14). On the contrary, as the word of God abides in those with the new nature, this same sin is impenetrable as they are resistant and able to overcome it (1 Jn. 2:14, 4:4, 5:4, Eph. 6:10-11). 

The apostle Paul encouraged the Corinthian believers to trust “by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left” (2 Cor. 6:7). Your old nature (the flesh) will remain powerless in you as you choose to live and walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16, 24-25).

                Living a godly life in Christ Jesus will not prevent you from experiencing suffering and persecution (rather count on it) (2 Tim. 3:12, 1 John 3:1, 13). Don’t allow the ever-changing events and experiences of the present conflict to steer you off course. As long as you keep your focus off the world, off yourself and on the ‘things above’ you’ll remain living and walking in the spirit and thus in the will of God (Rom. 12:2, Col. 3:1-3).

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (and the time we can say ‘good riddance’ to our old nature for good!) (Titus 2:11-13).

Laura

Knowing God–Is it Possible?

                How do we get to know someone—anyone? 

I think the artist Georgia O’Keefe was on to something when she said, “Nobody sees a flower – really – it is so small it takes time – we haven’t time – and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.”

It takes time to really get to know someone. Through time spent really listening to someone we can learn a lot about the things that they’re most passionate about, what matters most to them, and the things they may not like or even hate. We can learn about someone’s true character the longer we spend time with them. But can we ever truly and fully know someone? The only One who can truly know us is our Creator God Himself (Ps. 139).

                How do we get to know God?

So if only God, our Creator, can truly know us, how are we expected to know Him? Romans 1:19-20 says that “what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” It’s true that when we take time to really look, study, and ponder what God has created we can learn something about Him and His eternal power. But even in this, we are limited as our senses of smell, hearing, and eyesight are dependent on the proximity of things.  So how can we know God, Who is invisible and seems far from us? (Acts. 17:27, Ephesians 3:18)

                                God has provided the gift of knowing Him through the revelation of His Word. The full knowledge of God is revealed and found only in the person of Jesus Christ. “For God Who commanded light to shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). Christ the Son is the brightness of God’s glory and the express image of His person (Heb. 1:3, John 1:1-2, 14). Only in the person of the Living Word and in the pages of the written Word can we come to know God. We can’t acquire the knowledge of a complex, triune God by our limited human reasoning any more than by our limited human senses. As an infinite God He can never fully reveal Himself to finite beings. In revealing Himself at all to us He has to condescend to the level that we have the capacity to understand. In God’s written Word He uses figures of speech called anthropopatheia that speak of Himself as a man so that we can comprehend something beyond our limited capabilities. When He speaks of His “nostrils”, His “bosom”, His “repenting”, or other human actions it’s used to help us understand an idea of reality. It’s the same when God speaks of Himself in three modes of being as Father, Son, and Spirit. Each display different activities yet are connected as one. Throughout God’s Word we see how the whole Godhead is revealed and engaged in gaining and attaining the access of all His children to Himself. 

Salvation is created FOR us by the WILL of God the Father (the Source).

                It is brought TO us by the WORK of God the Son (the Channel).

                It is realized IN us and secured for us by the WITNESS of God the Holy Spirit (the Conveyor).

Without the work of Christ the will of the Father would not have been done for us. Without the witness of the Spirit the Father’s grace would not have been known by us (Eph. 2:18). It’s only through God’s Spirit that man or woman can comprehend the thoughts of God. “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14). It’s the one who trusts in Christ (after hearing the word of truth, the gospel of their salvation) and believes. They become sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise (the Guarantor of their inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession) (Ephesians 1:13-14). It’s only through the Spirit from God that one might know the things freely given to them by God (1 Cor. 2:12, Eph. 1:17-21, Phil. 3:10). This includes God’s love—”to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge” (Eph. 3:19). It’s the Spirit’s direction that’s essential to the knowledge of the love of God (Rom. 5:5). It’s in Christ alone that this love can be experienced (not based on anything from us) (Rom. 5:8, Eph. 2:4-9). As the Spirit directs the believer’s heart into the love of the Father, the true measure of this love is comprehended (Eph. 3:18). We also learn that it’s a love that’s here to stay (Rom. 8:38-39).

Though we might not be able to understand fully or even explain fully, we are by grace empowered to believe and experience what God has revealed. “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known” (1 Cor. 13:12). The last use of the word ‘know’ in this verse means to fully know (Greek epignosis). This means to know thoroughly and accurately—to recognize. The same meaning of ‘knowledge’ in Ephesians 1:17, and Colossians 1:9 is used in the prayers of the Apostle Paul for believers to be ‘given the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him” and to be “filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” To recognize someone and know them thoroughly and accurately requires an investment of time. What an opportunity to know our loving Creator, Savior, and Renewer! Faith is built each moment spent in His Word and those who diligently seek Him out are rewarded (Rom. 10:17, Heb. 11:6). We’d be foolish to not take advantage of the opportunity to develop the healthiest relationship we’ll ever have. So turn off the TV and set your phone, devices, and any other distractions aside. Open up God’s Word and get to know Him better. There’s no wiser use of your time than to know and enjoy God (Phil. 3:8, 1 Tim. 4:7-10).

“May the LORD, the Spirit, direct your hearts into the love of GOD, the Father, and into the patience of CHRIST, the Son” (2 Thess. 3:5). And we all need the patience of Christ in the evil times that we live in (Eph. 5:16).

Patiently waiting for His glorious appearing, Laura    (Lam. 3:25-26, Titus 2:13)

FAITH and FEAR can’t Coexist

We’re living in a time where fear is running rampant. Unseen viruses and their variants are everywhere we turn. Corruption, chaos, and fighting surround us. Fires, floods, and storms are wreaking havoc. All of these and more create an environment rife with fear— but fear does not come from God. 

                There’s much truth in the phrase “Fear is a Liar” as fear comes from the Deceiver (John 8:44, Rev. 12:9, 20:3, 8, 10). God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7).  This is where the battle of faith over fear lies—in the mind.  What you focus on is what you’ll see, what you think is what you’ll say or do, and what you say and do is what you’ll feel.  BUILD FAITH, NOT FEAR.  Fear builds up when the mind is set on earthly things and worldly thinking. On the other hand, faith builds up when the mind is turned to and tuned in to God’s Word (Rom. 10:17). That’s why the steps to building faith require hearing and understanding what God has provided for us in His Word:

· Cast down and take captive deceitful thinking

Imaginations, false messages, and arguments that are contrary to the knowledge of God must be cast down. When the focus is put more on the world and its way of thinking, the mind becomes conformed to wrong conclusions. These errors in thought need to be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).

· Put off the old nature

Faith and fear can’t coexist — one or the other must be ‘put off‘ (Gal. 5:17). Ephesians 4:22 tells us where wrong thoughts grow fertile and directs the believer to, “…put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts…” The key word deceitful again emanates from the deceiver, not God. The flesh is the area of darkness that Satan desires to work in and is corrupt in nature (Rom. 6:6, 13:12-14). The flesh is the handicap of the believer until resurrection and so one shouldn’t place any confidence in it (Phil. 3:3). It needs to be ‘put off’, as worry and anxiety thrive in this realm. “Cast all your anxiety upon Him; for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). Any (and all) anxious thoughts need to be given to God so His peace can reign and guard one’s heart and mind through Christ Jesus (Phil 4:6-7).

· Put on the new nature and renew the mind

After the old is put off and the deceitful thinking is taken captive, it can be replaced with something new. The new nature (or new man) that’s created after God in righteousness and true holiness is the perfect replacement. This spiritual attire is needed for the mind to be equipped for continual renewal with the knowledge of God’s truth (Eph. 4:23-24, Col. 3:10, Rom. 12:2, 2 Cor. 4:16). God’s Word is the living and powerful antidote to the false and the only weapon to counteract fearful thoughts (Heb. 4:12, Eph. 6:17, Rom. 12:2). 

· Increase Faith

Proverbs 1:7 says that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” This fear (or reverence) toward the Lord is the only type of fear a believer should exhibit.  As holy fear or reverence is given to God (acknowledging Who He is), everything is placed in its proper perspective. The only way to truly know who God is comes from reading His Word, the Bible (Rom. 10:17). So it’s no surprise that fear, not faith, will grow if one isn’t in God’s Word daily. 1 John 4:18 says that perfect love casts out fear.  God is love and His love was manifested toward us in sending His only begotten Son into the world to be the propitiation for our sins so that we might live through Him (1 John 4:8-10, 18). We can trust a loving, almighty, and infallible God rather than the alternative of fallible men and women. Put on the Armor of Light (which is the Lord Jesus Christ) and there’ll be no vacancy for the flesh to fulfill its lusts (Rom. 13:12-14, Gal. 5:19-21). When there’s no room for the flesh, fear will decrease and faith will have plenty of room to grow as the Spirit reigns and produces its fruit (Gal. 5:22-23).

· Set your mind on things above

To keep one’s mind in faith over fear mode the focus needs to be kept upward where Christ is (sitting at the right hand of God).  The mind should be set on things above (that are eternal), not on earthly things (which are temporary) (Col. 3:1-3, 2 Cor. 4:18).  Stop focusing on all the bad news of the world and instead meditate on the things that are: true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy (Phil. 4:8).

                Sounds simple? Well it’s not. Keeping the faith is a fight. One doesn’t truly realize where they stand in faith until it’s tested. It’s only in the midst of trials that the believer’s dependence on the Invisible becomes apparent. It was by faith alone that those listed in Hebrews chapter 11 could endure all the physical things they did. The apostle Paul used military terms when he wrote his second letter to Timothy, “…you therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier” (2 Tim. 2:3-4)As a soldier who wrestles against evil spiritual entities (rather than the flesh), the fight of faith requires God’s spiritual armor (2 Cor. 10:3-4, Eph. 6:12-13). This is the only effective attire that will equip one to stand against the wiles of the devil and quench all the fiery darts he throws (Eph. 6:11, 17). As the apostle Paul could rightly say in his last days, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).

                Before freaking out when all hell seems to be breaking lose and fear tries to slip in—stop and BE STILL (desist; cease your efforts, knowing God is Almighty) (Ps. 46:10). BE PRESENT to God’s presence. He’s a present God that IS with us. Listen for His direction through His Word and prayer (Prov. 3:5-6, Phil. 2:13). BELIEVE (even when you cannot see) that God is working (in diverse ways that we cannot always understand) (Isaiah 55:8-11, 2 Cor. 5:7, Heb. 11:1, 3, Phil. 4:19-20). Memorize and repeat this truth, “God IS our refuge and strength, A very PRESENT help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear” (Ps. 46:1-3).

                                “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21). 

Laura                    

STAYING FREE IN A WORLD HELD HOSTAGE TO THE LIE

· “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” -Benjamin Franklin-

· “…because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts…Professing to be wise, they became fools…exchanging the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator…”             –Rom. 1:19-32-

A FOOL SAYS IN HIS HEART, “THERE IS NO GOD” -Psalm 14:1, 53:1-

                God has clearly revealed His eternal power and Godhead through His visible creation so men and women are without excuse. History teaches time after time that when a nation turns its trust away from the Creator and toward the created enslavement (not liberty) is the result. The recorded history in the Bible confirms this. The nation of Israel fell into captivity repetitively when they ‘did evil in the sight of the Lord’ and turned to idols (Judges 2:11, 3:7, 12, 4:1, etc.). King Solomon is an example of an individual who loved the Lord and was given great wisdom, but whose heart turned away when he strayed from God’s guidance (1 Kings 3:6-14, 11). Thankfully he came back to his senses and came to this conclusion: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.” (Eccl. 12:9-14).

THE FOLLY OF FOOLS IS DECEIT -Prov. 14:8-

OPPOSITION TO GOD’S WORD IS SATAN’S SPHERE OF ACTIVITY

                The name Satan means adversary and rightly so. His sphere of activity is opposing God’s Word. He’s been effective in this aim since he was in the garden and QUESTIONED God’s Word, PERVERTED God’s Word, and CONTRADICTED God’s Word. These tactics caused Eve to be deceived and the Fall to occur (Gen. 3, 2 Cor. 11:3). God’s allowed Satan to be the evil influencer of this present fallen age— an age where mankind is allowed free will to choose to be a fool or to be wise (Prov. 1:7, 10:21, Matt. 7:24-27). A deceived and foolish heart turns away from God and feeds on ashes (Deut. 11:16, Isa. 44:20). The mind that is antagonistic to God and His word is open to influence from the spirit of Satan to do his bidding (2 Cor. 4:4, Eph. 2:2, 2 Tim. 2:26).              

Some of the philosophies generated by this spirit are: Adolph Hitler’s Nazism, Karl Marx’s socialist philosophy Communism, and Mao Zedong’s Maoism. These philosophies are all just aliases for Atheism. The common precept promoted through these ideologies is, “There is no God.”  

                As a child, the Russian author, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn recalled hearing a number of older people offer this explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: ‘Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”  It took him years later as a Soviet dissident to realize the truth of this statement and the cause of the ruinous Revolution that exterminated some 60 million of the Russian people.

                Communism, Nazism, and Maoism have been responsible for the violent and sadistic deaths of at least 100 million+ people (via starvation, persecution, prison labor camps, and mass executions). These flawed philosophies are culpable for the closing and burning of tens of thousands of churches, as well as killing people based on their ethnicity and beliefs. For those of us living in a free society the lessons of this history must not be missed. Atheistic philosophies cleverly use thought control in the most practiced forms to assert political control, ideological influence, subversion, and propaganda that infiltrate every construct of society (i.e. in the educational realm, the media/press and economic area, etc.).  History also shows that the Communist leaders (dictators) were hypocrites. They didn’t adhere to the programs they imposed on their people, but rather they lived in splendor, wealth, privilege, and comfort. Even today, The Chinese Communist Party follows many of these tenets.

                The apostle Paul told the Colossians to beware of deceptive and vain philosophies that were after the tradition of men and the rudiments of the world and not Christ (Colossians 2:8).

 WHERE TRUE FREEDOM LIES— ONE NATION UNDER GOD—IN GOD WE TRUST

                The United States of America’s Founding Fathers strove to place their trust in God and look to Him and His Word (the Bible) as its source for its founding documents (The Constitution), as well as foundational principles of governing.  The Declaration of Independence confirms that the Founders acknowledged the Creator as the Giver of all good things, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.

                The early educational system in America was also centered on instilling Biblical principles. The New England Primer was the first reading primer designed for the American colonies. It became the most successful educational text book published in the 17th century colonial U.S. and the foundation of most schooling before the 1790’s, drawn straight from Biblical wisdom. The founders and original mottos of leading American universities were Christian in content. Harvard’s original motto was “Veritas Christo et Ecclesiae” meaning: Truth for Christ and the Church. (It has since been changed to just Veritas). Princeton’s founding statement: “Cursed is all learning that is contrary to the cross of Christ.” Incorporated into Columbia’s seal is: “Yahweh” and Psalm 27:1 in Hebrew, Psalm 36:9 in Latin, and 1 Peter 2:1-2.  The three branches of government were based on Isaiah 33:22, “The Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our Lawgiver, the Lord is our King.”  The basis for civil authority was based on Romans 13:1-7, which says that rulers are not God’s servants, they’re His instruments. This passage directs civil authority to punish evil and condone good (The imperative being that the civil authority must know the basis for calling something good or evil).

John Adams said this, “We have no government armed in power capable of contending in human passions unbridled by morality and religion… Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Daniel Webster wisely observed, “To preserve the government we must also preserve morals. Morality rests on religion; if you destroy the foundation, the superstructure must fall. When the public mind becomes vitiated and corrupt, laws are a nullity and constitutions are waste paper.” It’s important to note that ‘religion’ when spoken of during this time referred to the Christian religion of the Bible. Even Thomas Jefferson (who leaned more toward Deism than Christianity) wrote this in a letter dated June 28, 1813, “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity.”

                Even the origins of America’s laws were based on the natural laws of God. English jurist, judge, and Tory politician, William Blackstone’s, “Commentaries on the Law” greatly influenced the Founding Fathers (as well as Abraham Lincoln). Here are some of Blackstone’s comments, “…as man depends absolutely upon his Maker for everything, it is necessary that he should, in all points, conform to his Maker’s will. This will of his Maker is called the law of nature…this law of nature…dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their authority…from this original.” 

“Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation, depend all human laws; that is to say, no human laws should be suffered to contradict these.”

Sadly when Darwin’s theory of evolution came out, this atheistic philosophy permeated into law… case law. In 1870 when Christopher Columbus Langdell became head of the Harvard Law School he didn’t just introduce a new method of teaching law—he introduced a new faith regarding law. He believed that man, led by the ablest scholars and judges, could discover and determine the laws governing human affairs. He took God’s authority and absolute truth out of the mix—believing the lie of Darwin’s theory of evolution to be the key to all life, including the law. One of Langdell’s colleagues, John Chipman Gray said this, “The law is a living thing with a continuous history, sloughing off the old, taking on the new.”

FALLING FOR THE FAKE

“You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?

This persuasion does not come from Him Who called you.” -Galatians 5:7-

                When man forgets God and turns to his own fleshly ways there is not liberty, but bondage as the works of the flesh are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissension, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries and the like (Gal. 5:19-21). The apostle Paul urged the Galatians to, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty (2 Cor. 3:17) and it’s much more appealing fruit consisting of: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23).  

We were created for so much more. A loving God, Who loved us even as we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together in Christ—by grace we have been saved. We don’t have to work for it or have our ‘act together’ before we receive it. It is by grace and through faith—a gift of God. We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. We won’t be able to walk in them if we buy into the ways of the world (Eph. 2:2-10). And that is precisely why Satan uses distraction so effectively.

                The one true God is the real thing. So why are so many duped into believing the fake—the lie?

SATAN (and all he represents) is FAKE, even masquerading as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14). He’s like the practiced illusionist—all about smoke and mirrors—but in reality one is being tricked.  

Genesis is not only the beginning book of the Bible, but describes the genesis (beginning, birth, origins) and foundation of all that God created in our present age. Genetics is a form of this word and deals with the special coding (instructions/DNA) that God, the detailed and purposeful Creator, built into all living things (preset design features, functions, and programs). Genetics refers to what is natural and inherent (Psalm 139:13-16). Sadly due to the Fall, man’s default settings have been corrupted. Unless he/she reboots with the new program God has created (John 3:5-6, 8, 1 Cor. 2:9-16, Eph. 4:22-24), the temptation to run on the old corrupt program (under the devil’s influence) will win out (Eph. 2:2-3, 2 Tim. 2:26, 1 John 2:16). Satan’s a prowler and a destroy-seeking missile (1 Peter 5:8). He will stop at nothing to keep the minds of unsuspecting souls blinded so they’ll continue to foolishly buy into his lies and not embrace the light of God’s truth (2 Cor. 4:4).

                Is it any surprise today that men and women embrace the theory of evolution that takes God out of the role of Creator and replaces it with something coming from nothing and evolving into something over time on its own? “Fools die for lack of wisdom” (Prov. 10:21).

                Is it any surprise today that fake genders (that are also ever evolving and causing ‘gender confusion’) are replacing the two real and unique genders that God created for His purposes? (Gen. 1:27-28, 2:18, 21-24, Rom. 1:26-27, 1 Cor. 14:33). “Shame shall be the fools legacy” (Prov. 3:35).

                Is it a stretch today to see the rise of fake foods replacing the real food that God designed compatible from the ground with a similar composition to man and woman? (60 elements found in the human body are all found in the earth’s crust) (Gen. 2:7-9, 1:11, 29-30). The fake meat being promoted today is high in sodium and low in nutrition and many of the crops have been genetically modified (by injecting them with DNA from various foreign organisms such as a virus and bacteria). Toxins in GMO crops have been linked to immune system problems.

                Just because man packages an item and calls it something doesn’t make it so. A lie is a lie.  

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life” Galatians 6:7-8

So how does one stay free in a world held hostage by the Lie?

If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? -Psalm 11:3-

                We shouldn’t be ignorant of Satan’s devices (2 Cor. 2:11). Proverbs 29:25 says that the fear of man is a snare. When we place our trust in God and not man we place it on the Rock of Salvation. This will enable us to stand against the devil’s wiles and not be shaken (Acts 2:25, Prov. 3:5-7, Ps. 62:1, Eph. 6:11-17). We should boldly (and in love) speak His Truth with all patience and longsuffering. George Washington said this, “Truth will ultimately prevail where there are pains taken to bring it to light”.  Don’t be afraid to bring truth to light to those around you (2 Tim. 4:2). Let God’s Word be your guide to help you discern the true from the false and the real from the fake (2 Tim. 3:16, Eph. 4:15, Heb. 4:12). 

Here are some of my ‘go to’ verses that encourage me:

For the importance of renewing the mind with God’s Truth so His perfect will is known, see Rom. 12:2.

For a reminder to cast down imaginations and wrong thoughts that do not come from God, see 2 Cor. 10:3-5.

For a safety reminder to wear God’s spiritual protection, see Eph. 6:10-17.

For when anxiety strikes, see Philippians 4:6-7.

For things to meditate on, see Philippians 4:8.

For a hope that is real and sure, see 2 Cor. 4:16-17, Colossians 3:1-4

To keep fighting the good fight, see 2 Tim. 2:3-4, 4:7-8

“I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;

                “My God, in Him I will trust.” Psalm 91:2

Laura