Take Heart.

When you’re going through something or have a question about some topic, who do you go to? Sometimes your parents, someone you respect, or sometimes your friends (though they aren’t always the best people to answer your questions when they’re in the same boat). But my point is that when you have something you’re going through, you go to someone who is in authority on the matter, someone who’s experienced the same thing or something like it.

Well then, what do you make of this?

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

God has overcome the world. All the troubles, the heartaches, the drama, and the temptations. He has been there already…and he won. So, when things happen and you don’t know what to do, maybe before you ask your best friend or your mom, try asking God. He knows what to do to get through it because he already has. Isn’t that better than well meant, but sometimes unhelpful, words?

Just a thought for today. Love you all and may you not be content until you are content in Him.

-Cassidy

Prayer in the Battlefield

Recently, I’ve been thinking about prayer.

Two Sundays ago, at the Lakes, Roshad spoke about how important and powerful prayer really is. Personally, I’ve heard it a lot “prayer is the most powerful thing you can do”. And so, I do pray, and I do understand using prayer to talk to God, to have a conversation with the Almighty Creator (Really, whoa… but that’s a whole other ramble), but a weapon? It’s not that I didn’t believe, it’s that I didn’t understand. I couldn’t grasp the idea of a thought, a prayer, containing any power in it.

But that just shows how much more of the Bible I need to read… 😉

Roshad referenced a few verses that night, and these two were the big hitters for me:

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:10)

We, as Christians, don’t understand that when things happen to us, it really isn’t the obvious physical enemy you have trying to thwart your life—they usually don’t care that much. Really, it is Satan, trying to pull you towards him and throw off your relationship with God. Everything we do and come in contact with is not attributed to this world we see, but to another world, another realm I suppose, of spiritual things, where there is a battle raging daily. And not just any battle, begun with egos and “morals”, but a battle fought over you and your salvation by a God that wants to save you and rescue you so passionately, and an enemy that wants just as much to see you fall so hard and be eternally separated from your Creator.

But I digress…

Roshad also talked about Daniel 10, where Daniel had just seen a vision of a war and began to mourn and fast for three weeks (a fast where nothing is choice or extravagant, but just bare basics). Then, on the twenty-fourth day of the month, he was visited by an angel who said something quite interesting:

Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.” (Daniel 10:12-13)

And Roshad began to explain as I had never heard explained before about how our prayers take on a spiritual form and then go out to fight in this spiritual battle, and, as they were in Daniel 10, can be detained by the dark forces who oppose them.

All of this gave me a very interesting image in my head:

Envision a world at war. (After a small amount of research, because I am no history buff to be sure, I think World War II helps to paint this image best) You are a woman in America (sorry guys) whose fiancé just left to do his part in the war. Well you’re not just going to sit around, so you try to help out from your end, but, after a while, you miss him terribly and decide to try and write him. Pen hits paper and then it is signed, sealed and off across the pond. But now, watch that letter on it’s journey to him. I imagine a battlefield, treacherous and fearsome, weapons firing and explosions desecrating, as this little letter finds its way from hand to hand to make it to him. Obviously, no one’s just going to walk over and hand it to him and say “Oh yeah, here’s a letter from your fiancé she sent a few days ago”, but there will be obstacles, conflicts, and other happenings to detain your letter as it travels. But here you are, just sitting in America, wondering where your letter could be.

That’s how I envision prayer. We can’t physically see the spiritual battle going on, but it’s there. Our prayers survive spiritual attacks and warfare to make it through as they travel to their answer. That’s why prayer is important. Because imagine if that letter wasn’t just a love letter, but it contained a brand new weapon, the most powerful of all, in it. That envelope contains a victory for your side. In the spiritual world, that envelope would contain the weapon of prayer, the strongest weapon we have.

So suit up and ready yourselves. There is a war and we are fighting in it every single day. Where’s your weapon?

Be Still and Know

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

Very Christian, right? Predictable verse from Psalms, “God is good, la-dee-da”.

But I’ve been getting into this habit lately where I try to not just read famous (or cliché) verses, I try to understand them, to learn about them all over again.

As for this one, here’s how I see it:

BE STILL. And KNOW that am God.”

First of all, God’s calling my name. He says, “Cassidy. Chill out. Be still. Calm down.” So there’s step one. Okay, deep breaths, focus, calm down. Harder than it sounds for me, but I get it eventually.

Now, here’s the interesting part. “KNOW that I am God.” Think about it. Do you know that he is God?

I don’t even mean being saved and believing in what He did for you, I mean knowing that this person, this god, you’re praying to is the Maker of the Universe, the magnificent, glorious, never-ending and never-changing GOD.

Earlier in Psalm 46, it says:

Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.

He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shieldst with fire.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. (Psalm 46:8-11)

That isn’t even all of it. Think of a single person you know who “makes wars cease to the ends of the earth”. Our God takes care of us.

The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. (Psalm 19:1)

When you look up at the sky, and think of how beautiful it is, or how amazing it seems, that’s God’s. Everything he makes is beautiful. (James 1:17)

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Okay, wow. I just looked at Isaiah 40 and I’ll give you a few verses, but please, go read it. God is amazing.

13 Who is able to advise the Spirit of the Lord?t
Who knows enough to give him advice or teach him?

14 Has the Lord ever needed anyone’s advice?
Does he need instruction about what is good?
Did someone teach him what is right
or show him the path of justice?

15b He picks up the whole earth as though it were a grain of sand. (Whoa, what?)

 

21 Haven’t you heard? Don’t you understand?
Are you deaf to the words of God—
the words he gave before the world began?
Are you so ignorant?

22 God sits above the circle of the earth.
The people below seem like grasshoppers to him!
He spreads out the heavens like a curtain
and makes his tent from them.

28 Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.

29 He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.

 

 

God is amazing. That is basically what I’m saying.

“Be still and know that I am God.” Now that you’ve heard who God is, be still and know it. It can change your whole day.

What I Learned From Being Without

Yesterday morning, I had been laying around reading when I realized I hadn’t eaten yet all day and it was already 12:30. Suddenly, I had this feeling as if telling me to continue this-to fast. So, I did. That is, until I felt a pain in my side, scared my mom and Brian, and was told I had to eat something. For a while I was stubborn and refused, but then my mom compromised with me in saying I just had to at least have a smoothie. Finally, I agreed. And though this smoothie did help me not feel sick or pained, it did not satisfy the hunger. In that same way, I learned so much about God. We have this desire, this hunger, for him and his Word built into us. But, being beings of the world, we stuff our lives with random things that make us happy or satisfied or just seem nice. Yet it’s a different feeling that they fill for a moment. Just like the smoothie, it filled a different part of me that never made me feel full, but rather more sick when I drank more and more. These extra things end up at some point making us feel sick if we make them the only thing in our lives. God is the only one that can satisfy that burning desire, that hunger for more. He is the only thing that can give your soul contentment and peace. Just like a real meal would have satisfied me so much more than a sickeningly large cup of blended fruit. God is a four course meal for every moment of every day, free of charge. Don’t settle for the smoothie.