Becoming Resilient - Purity 932
Purity 932 01/04/2023 Purity 932 Podcast
Purity 932 on YouTube:
Today’s photo of a waterfall over a large
outcropping of rock with trees drawing close to get a drink, under blue skies
comes to us from Fred Dimmick who captured this view on January 1st during
his new Years day visit to Cliffside Lake in Highland NC.
Being unfamiliar with the lay of the land around Cliffside
Lake, its hard to say but based on the other photos Fred shared of his trip, it
looks to me that Fred may have had to “climb down into it” to get this shot but
whether it required much or little effort to capture it, I appreciate it, and
thought it was a good visual representation of arriving at the first “hump day”
of the new year as I am finally returning to work after an extended Christmas stay-cation
and for me it not only feels like I am going up hill but it feels like there is
some rushing resistance to going in and resuming my regular work responsibilities.
Well, it’s Wednesday, and due to my vacation and some
creative scheduling at work it feels like a Monday because I have had a few
irrational thoughts and temptations to “not go in”. The flesh or the devil was suggesting I extend
my vacation, call in sick, or just quit to remain in the peace of “doing nothing”.
But while God has given us free will to choose our
path, I know that any efforts to “feel good again” or “to be happy” that only
involve creating pleasant circumstances and that ignores logic and our
responsibilities is either selfish or the schemes of the enemy and will usually
lead to feelings of dissatisfaction if not out right negative
Sure I could call in sick, but I’m not sick, that
would be a lie. So we can’t or shouldn’t do that. Once we start living a lie,
we open the door the enemy and disrupt our harmony with God. Disciples of Jesus
follow the “Truth”, The Way, and The Life, Lying and living dishonestly is the
polar opposite of the way we should go and not only goes against the word of
God, it is in direct opposition of who we are in Christ. It’s not only denying God’s word, lying and
being dishonest denies our identity as adopted children of God’s royal family.
It is behavior most unbecoming for children of the King, and it leads to
trouble. So let’s not do that.
Sure I could use up more vacation time, but should I? I don’t think so. The truth is I think I have had too much time
off and unfortunately because I was in “vacation mode” I unwittingly took a
vacation from one of the core disciplines of my daily spiritual practice which
I believe was a big reason or at least a contributing factor of why I seemed to
abandon my senses and over indulged in sweets and foods that I know that pack
on the pounds.
So this morning as much as the flesh and the devil
tried to convince me to “take one more day” or to “just quit!”, I am going back
to work, in more ways than one. Not only
am I going back to my “day job”, I have already returned to my senses in terms
of the foods I will consume and have started the practice that I allowed to go
by the wayside over the last week.
Yesterday, I realize hadn’t been praying in the
mornings like I normally do. At my
countryside home my “prayer closet” is literally that – a closet – and while TammyLyn
has made space for me there with a desk and enough space to pray because the
set up is different than my place down by the River, I let my morning prayers
What’s so important about morning prayer?
Well, besides drawing close to God to thank Him for
all that He does, my morning prayers also include a “stronghold buster” that
sets my intention to be mindful of my health goals. So during my vacation, while I did manage to
exercise in the cramped confines of the living room, I failed to pray like I
normally do and would just go straight to Bible Study and blogging. The technological limitations of countryside
made the overall process slower so even though I didn’t pray, I ended up
finishing around the same time or much later that I normally do while at my
place in Stuyvesant. So I quickly
adapted to not praying and didn’t even realize I wasn’t doing it and the consequences
of not setting my intention to “break that stronghold” resulted in compromise.
So yesterday, I was highly convicted about this “vacation”
and decided to repent and resume my prayer life and to take the last day of my
time off to do a mini retreat in my home.
I spent the work day hours yesterday in my room fasting, praying, and reading/listening
to John Eldredge’s “Resilient”.
I have his book on Kindle and Audible so after I
uploaded yesterday’s blog and podcast, I shut off my phone and started
listening and reading through “Resilient”, highlighting the key points in the
text on Kindle while I listened to Eldredge read through his work on
The audiobook is actually an extended edition of the
book and includes Eldredge leading you through the “skills” at the end of each
chapter and in other places in later in the book. The “skills” are guided prayer/meditation
sessions that draw you closer to the Lord. Eldredge has developed an App. “One Minute
Pause” that you can download for free and use to make these “skills” a part of
your faith walk. The App even includes a
free program of these “skills”, “30 days to Resilient”, where you can build
your capacities of mental and emotional resilience through your faith with morning
and evening “pauses”.
So as I read through, highlighted, and listened to
Resilient, I also “paused” at each “skills” session to go through the guided
prayers/meditations. I started the “retreat”
around 6:30 am and even though the audiobook is only 6 hours and 41 minutes
long, I didn’t finish the book and the “retreat” until 4:30pm or so. So I spent the whole day, about 10 hours, just
being fed some really good teaching based on God’s word and in prayer. I only
took a few breaks to fill my water bottle and to use the bathroom and did a 20
minute cardio session as I drew close to the end. Chapter 9 is a longer chapter
and Eldredge in his audio book suggests taking a break midway through and I took
So how was it?
It was quite the experience. I highly recommend “Resilient”
and would encourage everyone listening or reading this message to go out and
get it. I am so on board with the “skills”
that I learned that I downloaded the “One Minute Pause” App and started the “30
days to Resilient” this morning.
While I would still recommend Dr. Neil Anderson’s “Victory
Over the Darkness, Bondage Breaker, Freedom in Christ – The Steps to Freedom in
Christ” for anyone new to the path of Christian Discipleship to learn the
paradigm shifting truths of the reality of the spiritual forces of darkness, who
we are in Christ and to establish our freedom in Christ by going through “The
Steps” first. I would recommend “Resilient”
and suggest that it’s “skills” should be experienced and be considered for
possible integration for one’s spiritual practice.
While I am new to the material and realize that
every Christian path is different, I would say that “Resilient” needs to become
part of the library of anyone who is serious about following the Lord. While the skills – prayerful – meditations –
may not be for everybody, your free to choose that for yourselves, the material
in the book, which addresses the trauma of the Covid-19 pandemic and the possible
dangers that face the body of Christ in its wake, makes “Resilient” more than
worthy for purchase. Simply stated, I
believe “Resilient” is necessary reading for the church in the 21st
As compelling t\as he implications that our recent
and current events may mean in terms of prophecy and the return of Jesus Christ,
Eldredge’s book should be read simply because of the fundamental truths it
contains regarding the ability for the Lord to empower us and to make us
resilient in these days and times.
So its back to work and back to reality, but I go back with a renewed sense of hope and the assurance that the path of Christian Disciple is the way to go. In these days and times we need to be “resilient” – to be able to withstand and recover quickly from difficult conditions – and when we keep walking and talking with God we receive the strength, guidance, and love to be just that.
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible
Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verses are:
Timothy 2:3-4 (NLT2)
3 Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
4 Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them.
Today’s verses encourage us to endure suffering as a good Christian
soldier and indicates that we shouldn’t get tied up in the concerns of this
world but seek to please the One who enlisted us.
Yup, we’re in the army now, Christian soldiers, but before you look to put a “whippin’” on somebody
realize that our battles involve enemies that are not flesh and blood and that
most of the fighting we will have to do will be on the battlegrounds of our
hearts and minds.
And the Apostle Paul “gets it”. He knows that resisting the flesh,
the enemy, and this world system isn’t easy. It will involve suffering that
simply we will have to endure.
The world will increasingly hate us for following Christ but even
though the world will reject you, keep in mind that this world is temporary and
we have been “drafted” into an eternal kingdom by the highest authority and
power that exists, God. So listen to
Paul and don’t get “tied up in the affairs of civilian life” and seek only to
march to God’s calling and to please Him.
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.
SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD
By ARTHUR W. PINK
GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY DEFINED, continues
sovereign in the exercise of His love. Ah! that is a hard saying, who then can
receive it? It is written, “A man can receive nothing, except it be given him
from heaven” (John 3:27). When we say that God is sovereign in the exercise of
His love, we mean that He loves whom He chooses. God does not love everybody*;
if He did, He would love the Devil. Why does not God love the Devil? Because
there is nothing in him to love;
because there is nothing in him to attract
the heart of God. Nor is there anything to attract
God’s love in any of the fallen sons of Adam, for all of them are, by nature, “children of wrath” (Eph. 2:3). If then there is nothing in any member of the
human race to attract God’s love, and if, notwithstanding, He does love some, then it necessarily follows that the cause of His love must
be found in Himself, which is only another way of saying that the exercise of
God’s love towards the fallen sons of men is according to His own good
In the final
analysis, the exercise of God’s love must
be traced back to His sovereignty or, otherwise, He would love by rule; and if He loved by rule, then is He under a law of love, and if He is under a law of love then is He not supreme, but
is Himself ruled by law. “But,” it
may be asked, “Surely you do not deny
that God loves the entire human family?” We reply, it is written, “Jacob have I
loved, but Esau have I hated” (Rom. 9:13). If then God loved Jacob and hated
Esau, and that before they were born or had done either good or evil, then the reason for His love was not in them, but
That the exercise of
God’s love is according to His own sovereign pleasure is also clear from the
language of Eph. 1:3–5, where we read, “Blessed be the God and Father of our
Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly
places in Christ: According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation
of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him. In love having predestinated us unto the
adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself according to the good pleasure of His will.” It was “in love” that God the Father predestined
His chosen ones unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself,
“according”—according to what? According to some
excellency He discovered in them? No. What then? According to what He foresaw they would become? No; mark
carefully the inspired answer—“According to the good pleasure of His will.”
Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage
Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the
at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts
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