Strength in Prayer – Progressing to Breakthrough - Purity 938
Purity 938 01/11/2023 Purity 938 Podcast
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Today’s photo of a young woman fishing in waters that reflect the glory of heaven above comes from us from, former Emergency Room Nurse, and Emerging Christian Writer, Jennifer Schreiner, who shared this photo of an outing with her daughter on social media back on July 31st of 2022.
I met Jennifer at my local church during a Christian doctrines class and discovered that she not only had a keen eye for capturing scenes that give God glory from his creation, she also has a deep desire to encourage Christian women in following the Lord. Jennifer’s mission is to support, equip, and encourage Christian women. You can follow her on Facebook with a link to her ministry page (https://www.facebook.com/Official.Jen.Schreiner) that I am sharing on the blog today, or you can just go to https://jenschreiner.com/ where you will find her blog, a collection of Bible Verses for the different seasons of life she has compiled, and other free resources such as lessons Jennifer has created and Free Printable Scripture Art Prints.
Well, it’s Wednesday again and because of my participation in the Pray Together Prayer Event the days are long but the week seems to be flying by! However, paradoxically, I haven’t been worn down by the full days because I believe I am being restored and empowered by the Lord because my days have been filled with prayer!
Last night the event moved to Grace Chapel and the untied body of Christ came together to share communion and to pray for our children, their schools, their teachers and administrators, and ended with prayers for our Christian leaders.
As much as we are petitioning the Lord with prayer in these specific areas, for others, I feel that the Lord is also using these sessions to cause us all to personal repentance as these sessions bring our faith to the forefront of our attention. We believe in God. We believe in the power of prayer. And so we are drawing close to Him and to others in the body of Christ through our gathering.
If you are local to the capital district I am sharing the link to this week’s “Pray Together prayer event. ( https://starpoint.church/events/?fbclid=IwAR2Bi4rGW8KfvIZKXwIe8njRlmmYvMb8MRTESB5b2WDLvRdCytqKB9_oQ-g?sapurl=LytlMzE4L2xiL2V2Lyt3MzNoM3ljP2JyYW5kaW5nPXRydWUmZW1iZWQ9dHJ1ZSZyZWNlbnRSb3V0ZT1hcHAud2ViLWFwcC5saWJyYXJ5LmNhbGVuZGFyJnJlY2VudFJvdXRlU2x1Zz0lMkI5emdrZ3I1) Consider it my invitation to you to “Come and See” what the Lord may do in this event. Tonight, we will be praying at Faith Church in Rexford and it is my prayer that even more Christians will come out in unity to pray.
Personally, I am being blessed by this event and by my decision to go through the “30 Days to Resilient” Program on the One Minute Pause App as these concentrated effort to be in prayer and meditation seems to be renewing my convictions, building up my spirit, and preparing me for the new prayer ministry training I will begin next week and the next round of the Freedom in Christ course I will begin facilitating at the end of the month.
Sometimes we can begin the new year overwhelmed by the idea that “it is starting all over again” or by the unfinished business that wasn’t resolved, but when we draw close to the Lord in prayer and repentance, we can draw on His strength and wisdom to assist us in another’s year’s journey.
2023 seems to be full of potential thus far as I am excited by the new opportunities to grow and to serve the Lord and am hopeful to progress to breakthrough status with a few areas that have carried over from the past.
Because it is “hump” day, and because I have been up and down the mountain of yo-yo dieting for most of my life, I am seeking to break the chains and shift the paradigms regarding food once and for all.
My pattern seems to be of literal gains and losses with the ebb and flow of discipline and compromise. History reveals that I keep fighting over the same ground, as complacency and passivity leads to surrendering the progress that was so hard fought for. I seem to get to a certain place and just stop. I have success but than I hit a wall. I make progress but I don’t “break through”
As someone who has overcome other addictions and had genuine success with my health at times, it is frustrating to be in a Romans 7 situation with this “body of death”, this flesh.
I joined the “swipe up to see my video” – V shred program and although I feel stronger from the work outs, my diet over the holidays was way too festive, and mindless, and now I have to go back to the drawing board, again in terms of being mindful and intentional and disciplined of what I eat. And thus I am confessing it all here. I want this year to be the year that I have the breakthrough. I want to have the same success over food that I have with my former addictions.
So things might get a little crazy, things may get a little extreme. But that really is a matter of opinion. The “indulgent” society of mediocrity and comfort foods discourages what works. It speaks of moderation and balance but in truth it opens a door to complacency, passivity, and failure. Hard truth.
Moderation doesn’t work for the addict. Ask me how I know.
I know this from experience but because of the pressures of an indulgent society and the personal weakness to want to indulge the flesh I have ignored the wisdom of it.
There are some “extreme” things an addict needs to do to be set free and to stay free. We are not like the rest, and actually – the vast majority of people live in bondage or ignorance – so we don’t want to be like the rest.
Addicts need to eliminate, not moderate, the things that trip them up. They need to make the “wise choice” to say an emphatic and eternal “No” to the things they have discovered that cause them to fail.
Me, I am currently do the “smoke the whole carton” thing at my place down by the River - when it comes to food. I bought a bunch of food items that I shouldn’t have for my adult children to enjoy in my absence during my recent holiday break. But they didn’t eat them. Granted they didn’t ask for them… but this stronghold of “not wanting to waste food or money” kicked in which caused me to eat what I shouldn’t have as sort of a punishment for both wasting the money and buying the food.
SO this morning I am happy, shamed, and embarrassed to report that all the holiday food is gone. Sometimes you have to hit “rock bottom” to start your way back up. So I am drawing on the strength that the Lord is giving me with my increased emphasis on prayer and am going to pour it into being disciplined in this battle of the flesh. I
t is my intention to resist the world, the flesh, and the devil and take this year and use it to overcome and to get to a place that I have been before, to accomplish a healthy lifestyle that will result in the elimination of my sleep apnea machine. This was my goal over the last two years and it is my intention to try to “get ‘er done” and break on through to the other side like I have never done before.
So, rather than surrender to failure, I am going to keep walking and talking with God in prayer to draw on His strength, guidance, and wisdom to overcome and to not fall into those old familiar traps that would cause me to slip and fall again.
I believe in prayer. I believe that God can help us. So if you are facing new or old struggles this year, let me encourage you to lean on the Lord and to help you progress beyond progress and find the breakthrough and victory that He has for you.
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
Ephesians 3:16 (NLT2)
16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.
Today’s verse really kicks off the “new intention” quite nicely. God has UNLIMITED resources to empower us with inner strength through His Spirit.
If we need strength, we get it from God. And today’s verse tells us how: prayer!
So let’s pray to God, abide in Him, and keep praying the inner strength that He has for us that will cause us to do the “impossible” in our lives.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from A.W. Pink’s “The Sovereignty of God”
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.
THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD
By ARTHUR W. PINK
SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD IN ADMINISTRATION continues
2. God governs irrational creatures
What a striking illustration of God’s government over the animal kingdom is found in Genesis 2:19! “And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air: and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.” Should it be said that this occurred in Eden, and took place before the fall of Adam and the consequent curse which was inflicted on every creature, then our next reference fully meets the objection: God’s control of the beasts was again openly displayed at the Flood. Mark how God caused to “come unto” Noah every specie of living creature “of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, of every creeping thing after his kind: two of every sort shall come unto thee” (Gen. 6:19, 20)—all were beneath God’s sovereign control. The lion of the jungle, the elephant of the forest, the bear of the polar regions; the ferocious panther, the untameable wolf, the fierce tiger; the high-soaring eagle and the creeping crocodile—see them all in their native fierceness, and yet, quietly submitting to the will of their Creator, and coming two by two into the ark!
We referred to the plagues sent upon Egypt as illustrating God’s control of inanimate matter, let us now turn to them again to see how they demonstrate His perfect rulership over irrational creatures. At His Word the river brought forth frogs abundantly, and these frogs entered the palace of Pharaoh and the houses of his servants and, contrary to their natural instincts, they entered the beds, the ovens and the kneadingtroughs (Ex. 8:13). Swarms of flies invaded the land of Egypt, but there were no flies in the land of Goshen! (Ex. 8:22). Next, the cattle were stricken, and we read, “Behold, the hand of the Lord is upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep: there shall be a very grievous murrain. And the Lord shall sever between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt: and there shall nothing die of all that is the children’s of Israel. And the Lord appointed a set time, saying, Tomorrow the Lord shall do this thing in the land. And the Lord did that thing on the morrow, and all the cattle of Egypt died: but of the cattle of the children of Israel died not one” (Ex. 9:3–6). In like manner God sent clouds of locusts to plague Pharaoh and his land, appointing the time of their visitation, determining the course and assigning the limits of their depredations.
Angels are not the only ones who do God’s bidding. The brute beasts equally perform His pleasure. The sacred ark, the ark of the covenant, is in the country of the Philistines. How is it to be brought back to its home land? Mark the servants of God’s choice, and how completely they were beneath His control: “And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners saying, What shall we do to the ark of the Lord? tell us wherewith we shall send it to his place. And they said.… Now therefore make a new cart, and take two milch kine, on which there hath come no yoke, and tie the kine to the cart, and bring their calves home from them: And take the ark of the Lord, and lay it upon the cart; and put the jewels of gold, which ye return Him for a trespass offering, in a coffer by the side thereof, and send it away that it may go. And see, if it goeth up by the way of his own coast to Bethshemesh, then He hath done us this great evil: but if not, then we shall know that it is not His hand that smote us; it was a chance that happened to us.” And what happened? How striking the sequel! “And the kine took the straight way to the way of Bethshemesh, and went along the highway, lowing as they went, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left” (1 Sam. 6). Equally striking is the case of Elijah: “And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, Get thee hence, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to fee thee there” (1 Kings 17:2–4). The natural instinct of these birds of prey was held in subjection, and instead of consuming the food themselves, they carried it to Jehovah’s servant in his solitary retreat.
Is further proof required? then it is ready at hand. God makes a dumb ass to rebuke the prophet’s madness. He sends forth two she-bears from the woods to devour forty and two of Elijah’s tormentors. In fulfillment of His word, He causes the dogs to lick up the blood of the wicked Jezebel. He seals the mouths of Babylon’s lions when Daniel is cast into the den, though, later, He causes them to devour the prophet’s accusers. He prepares a great fish to swallow the disobedient Jonah and then, when His ordained hour struck, compelled it to vomit him forth on dry land. At His bidding a fish carries a coin to Peter for tribute money, and in order to fulfil His word He makes the cock crow twice after Peter’s denial. Thus we see that God reigns over irrational creatures: beasts of the field, birds of the air, fishes of the sea, all perform His sovereign bidding.
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