Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18) Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? (Matthew 6:27)
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! (Psalm 107:1) Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6) Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. (Colossians 4:2)
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)
Our Father in Heaven, We believe that in accord with your Word the hour has come for Your children to be received into glory and it is plainly evident to those with eyes to see and ears to hear. We ask that You would now glorify us that we may glorify You. We have greatly desired to be with Your Son, our Lord, and now we will see Him face to face. We have accepted Your Son and His message and have placed our faith in Him for the forgiveness of our sins. We know that He rose again from the dead and ascended to Your right hand. As surely as You live, we know He lives and reigns with You. And as surely as He rose He will come again. We have brought You glory on earth and have obeyed the commandment of Your Son to share the Gospel of grace with every nation.
Your Holy Spirit within us has convicted the whole world of sin. The world You love has rejected Your offer of forgiveness, but all of Your sheep have heeded the message and await the fulfillment of the promise You made to redeem our earthly bodies. We know that You will not lose even one of us. Free us from these bodies of sin and death and seat us with our Lord in the heavenly realms. Hide us with Christ on high. We accept Your irrevocable gifts of eternal life and the authority to reign over the nations. Clothe us in incorruptible and immortal bodies. Make us like Your perfect Son. Let us walk with Him clothed in white with new names and as everlasting pillars in Your heavenly temple.
We have fought the good fight and kept our faith to the end. We have overcome the world not by our works, but by our faith in Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. And now our accuser and his accusing angels are preparing a cosmic assault to destroy us, yet we are not shaken. We will overcome him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony. We have loved not our lives unto death. Together we cry “Abba! Father!” Deliver us from the wrath that is to come and count us worthy to escape all the things coming on the earth and to stand before the Son of Man. Purify and sanctify Your Church. Remove everything that divides us. Make us one just as You and Your Son are One. Make us one in the Spirit and in the truth. Keep us until the end. Let us faithfully follow You and Your Word, never flinching in the face of persecution and adversity.
For those who still refuse to come to Your Son to find life, we pray that You would now prepare them for the coming wrath. When we go to You, open their eyes and bring them to repentance. Let them finally recognize that You are the LORD of all the earth and no god was formed before You, neither will any god be formed after You. Open their blind eyes and unstop their deaf ears. Melt their hard hearts. Please show them great mercy even in the midst of wrath. Let them finally come to know You and let them hold fast to their faith in You even as great horror is unleashed upon the earth. Surround them with people and Scriptural knowledge that will help direct their path in the midst of great opposition and deception. Let them not be deceived. Keep them from taking the beast’s mark.
We pray also for protection for Your people Israel. Please bless them with abundance and let not their enemies triumph over them. Let them finally recognize that Jesus is their Messiah. Help them to fervently seek the truth despite what will be the greatest opposition they have ever faced. Protect the remnant and send on them provision for their every need. Keep them in the palm of Your hand.
Finally, we pray that You would stir up our hearts with faith and courage, so that in these remaining days we would share the Good News and the lateness of the hour with a greater fervency and zeal than we ever have before. Let us no longer just be fed ourselves, but let us go and feed Your sheep. Make each brother and sister aware of what they can do to alert the Church and the world to what is coming. Give them courage and provision to carry Your plans through to completion. Help them to deliver the message boldly. Help them to pray this prayer unceasingly.
Abba, we await Your Son from Heaven. We long for deliverance.
Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad. (Proverbs 12:25)Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55:22) Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all. (2 Thessalonians 3:16) And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. (Colossians 3:15)
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Worry… a great topic for me to meditate on this week. ….
1 Peter 5:6-8
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
To worry about the future is to sin against God.
Someone has said, “You can’t change the past, but you can ruin a perfectly good present by worrying about the future.” Worry does ruin the present, but even more important for the believer is to recognize that worry is sin. Let’s look at why that is so.
Worry means you are striking out at God. Someone might say, “Worry is a small, trivial sin.” But that’s not true. More important than what worry does to you is what it does to God. When you worry, you are saying in effect, “God, I just don’t think I can trust You.” Worry strikes a blow at God’s integrity and love for you.
Worry means you are disbelieving Scripture. You can say, “I believe in the inerrancy of Scripture. I believe in the verbal, plenary inspiration of every word,” and then just live your life worrying. You are saying you believe the Bible, but then worry about God fulfilling what He says in it.
Worry means you are being mastered by circumstances. Let the truths of God’s Word, not your circumstances, control your thinking. By worrying, you make the circumstances and trials of life a bigger issue than your salvation. If you believe God can save you from eternal Hell, also believe He can help you in this world as He has promised.
Worry means you are distrusting God. If you worry, you’re not trusting your Heavenly Father. And if you’re not trusting Him, perhaps it’s because you don’t know Him well enough. Study God’s Word to find out who He really is and how He has been faithful to supply the needs of His people in the past. Doing so will help give you confidence for the future. Allow His Word to indwell you richly so that you aren’t making yourself vulnerable to Satan’s temptations to worry.
Meditating on reminders of who I am as God sees me has re-ignited my joyful freedom in Christ. Satan loves to attack in our weaknesses (the old man in us), and I am so thankful there are so many reminders of God’s truth in the midst of doubt, to help us stop looking through our own self defeating eyes and rejoice that God loves us so much and because of His love, by His sincere gift we are free!
I want to close this week with a beautiful summary of those reminders.
I pray these reminders have brought joy to you as well.
And because I felt like doing a hallelujah dance, I want to include a song celebrating the joy I feel. Please take a moment to join in a bit of celebrating our joy and freedom in Christ with me… Praise Jesus… We are free indeed!!!!
Clap your hands and stomp your feet till you find that gospel beat!!!
I’ve noticed a lot of backlash over those who predicted the rapture yesterday at the solar eclipse. Although I didn’t anticipate it, I certainly did hope, same as I do every day. After seeing the unfortunate attitudes Christians have had at others pointing toward potential rapture days, I began to feel a bit angry at those who are scoffing at people just wanting to go home.
Let us consider, that we should live every day with anticipation of His return. I mean, who knows if the rapture will be the end of YOUR time on earth.
Looking at the senseless attacks on people world wide, natural disasters claiming lives, drunk drivers wiping out an innocent family because they selfishly thought they were fine to drive. (I used to be one of those people sadly). Simple tragic accidents that no one was at fault, happen every day as well. Then there are natural causes… My father died unexpectedly from an onset of pneumonia. My grandpa was at the dinner table when his heart simply quit, falling face down in his dinner. I have known countless people who have heartbreaking stories of loved ones gone too soon. Some are children, young adults, mid life and old.
We should live each and every day in readiness to meet Jesus face to face. The signs of the times do make for an impending forefront focus, but let us never forget, God numbers our days. So the real question is, if your last day is today, are you living prepared for it? Are you sharing the Gospel, are you letting His light shine wherever you go? Are you living with a constant longing and readiness to go home?
Let us not attack each other over if we got it wrong. But let us be inspired by others excitement, to keep us focused. Even if it is a daily focus till the day we die.
• I am no longer a slave, but a child and an heir.
So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if you are a son, then you are also an heir through God (Galatians 4:7).
• I have been set free in Christ.
For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1).
• I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.
Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ (Ephesians 1:3).
• I am chosen, holy, and blameless before God.
For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love (Ephesians 1:4).
• I am redeemed and forgiven by the grace of Christ.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace (Ephesians 1:7).
• I have been predestined by God to obtain an inheritance.
In Christ we too have been claimed as God’s own possession, since we were predestined according to the one purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will (Ephesians 1:11).
• I have been sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.
And when you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation)–when you believed in Christ–you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13).
• Because of God’s mercy and love, I have been made alive with Christ.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, even though we were dead in transgressions, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you are saved (Ephesians 2:4-5)!
But to all who have received him–those who believe in his name–he has given the right to become God’s children … (John 1:12).
• I am a branch of the true vine, and a conduit of Christ’s life.
I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me–and I in him–bears much fruit, because apart from me you can accomplish nothing (John 15:1, 5).
• I am a friend of Jesus.
I no longer call you slaves, because the slave does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because I have revealed to you everything I heard from my Father (John 15:15).
• I have been justified and redeemed.
But they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:24).
• My old self was crucified with Christ, and I am no longer a slave to sin.
We know that our old man was crucified with him so that the body of sin would no longer dominate us, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin (Romans 6:6).
• I will not be condemned by God.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).
• I have been set free from the law of sin and death.
For the law of the life-giving Spirit in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).
• As a child of God, I am a fellow heir with Christ.
And if children, then heirs (namely, heirs of God and also fellow heirs with Christ)–if indeed we suffer with him so we may also be glorified with him (Romans 8:17).
• I have been accepted by Christ.
Receive one another, then, just as Christ also received you, to God’s glory (Romans 15:7).
Laminin….it is an amazing molecule. The following is the definition of Laminin, as found on wikipedia:
Laminin is a protein found in the extracellular matrix, the sheets of protein that form the substrate of all internal organs also called the basement membrane. It is the major non-collagenous component of the basal lamina, such as those on which cells of an epithelium sit. It has four arms that can bind to four other molecules. The three shorter arms are particularly good at bindingto other laminin molecules, which is what makes it so great at forming sheets. The long arm is capable of binding to cells, which helps anchor the actual organs to the membrane.
Structurally, the Laminin protein is made up of three polypeptide chains – α, β and γ, giving it a total of six “ends”, accounting for a lot of its flexibility in connecting various molecules.
They are a family of glycoproteins that are an integral part of the structural scaffolding in almost every animal tissue. Laminins are secreted and incorporated into cell-associated extracellular matrices.
Laminin is vital to making sure overall body structures hold together. Improper production of Laminin can cause muscles to form improperly, leading to a form of muscular dystrophy.
Now it is amazing what the function of this little molecule is…Laminin is responsible for holding all of our body structures together…basically, it is the rebar of our body’s….
But what is most amazing is actually what Laminin looks like, or the sight of it. Laminin is actually in the shape of a cross. Laminin, the very thing that holds our bodies together.
This is such an important reminder for the days we are living in. Media, social media, friends, family and society all confront, with misguided opinions and agendas. It can be so hard to keep the heart guarded with so much fighting to distract us.
Father, I thank you for your precious word and your Holy Spirit which keeps my heart guarded and focused solely on you. I thank you for your peace and assuredness through Jesus Christ. In a time of rising evil which is bringing so much confusion, fear mongering, hate and lies,I rest on your promises with boldness… no matter what the enemy does around me.
Romans 3:20-24 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it — the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus
Romans 4:15-17 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression. That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”— in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.
Romans 5:1-2 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Romans 5:12-21 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Ephesians 2:4-9 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
There are some believers who falsely believe that if they have a lot of faith they will not undergo any suffering, severe tests or satanic attacks. Nothing could be further from the truth! Actually, the opposite is true.
For example, in the book of Job chapters 1 and 2, God actually asks Satan if he considered His servant Job. Hence, God brought Job to Satan’s attention, not because Job was in sin, but because Job was the greatest servant of God on the earth at that time (read Job 1:6-12; 2:3-6).
Furthermore, Acts 19:15 illustrates how Paul the apostle was not only known in heaven, but also in hell! He had their attention! First Peter 5:8-9 teaches that Satan roams the earth seeking someone to devour, which also goes along with the Job narrative (Job 1:7). When we read the context of all these passages, especially in regards to the satanic focus on both Paul and Job, we can come to the conclusion that the devil’s main focus is to thwart, divert, distract and disarm the servants of God who are promoting the rule of God on the earth as it is in heaven. Heaven is the only realm in the universe where everything is perfectly aligned under King Jesus, since the devil was displaced from there (Rev. 12:7-12).
Consequently, when someone on earth wants to bring the influence of the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven, Satan erupts with fear and anger against them since he doesn’t want to be thrown out of another place!
This is why it seems as though a person following the will of God will sometimes have the most difficult tests, trials and resistance, as opposed to some saints who are casual seekers of God. Satan is no dummy, why should he attack a Christian who is a bad example to others and who is already deceived and in his grip? He will focus the most on those who are the biggest threats to his desire, to do a power grab from God over the earth realm! Remember: God gave Adam a commission to have His rule over the whole earth (Gen. 1:28), and immediately after that the devil came and convinced both Adam and Eve to disobey God and abandon their posts as God’s vice regents over the earth (Gen. 3:1-8).
Since that time Satan has been jealously attempting to protect his control over the earthly realm he stole through subverting Adam, including its systems of government, commerce, media, the arts, science and education. Those who attempt to bring God’s influence in these realms will most likely experience some of the highest levels of satanic resistance. The apostle Paul had a messenger from Satan follow him everywhere he went that caused riots and persecutions (2 Cor. 13:1-8), only because he was turning the present world system upside down (Acts 17:7).
So, if you are sold out for God, don’t be discouraged when you are attacked or allow yourself to be deceived into thinking that the only reason you are in intense spiritual warfare or tribulation is because you may have missed God. It may be the opposite. You are being targeted because you are hitting the divine bull’s eye! This is why Paul admonished believers to stand strong in the Lord: “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against principalities, powers and the rulers of darkness in high places” (Ephesians 6:10-13). Notice: Paul said “our struggle” meaning he was including himself in this struggle. Every time there was an open door for ministry he had many adversaries. This is a biblical principle (read 1 Corinthians 16:9).
Do not ever think that just because God is calling you to do something that it will be easy. Jesus did the will of God and He was crucified, and church history tells us Paul was beheaded! It’s not how many years we live, but what we do with the years we live that matters!
So, what do we do when we are in a time of spiritual warfare that Paul calls “the day of evil” in Ephesians 6:13? Paul tells us in this passage to be strong in the Lord and to stand firm; in other words, do not quit (Eph. 6:10-13).
The apostle Peter also tells us to resist the devil, standing firm in the faith (1 Pet. 5:9). Peter knows firsthand that faith in God is the key to standing firm in the midst of the day of evil because, when he denied Christ three times, Jesus prayed for him that his “faith” would not fail (Luke 22:31-32).
So, do not be afraid when you are in tribulation, because Jesus has already overcome the world (John 16:33)!
The paths of total solar eclipses care not for political borders or conflicts, often crossing over war-torn lands.
Such was the case a century ago this week on August 21st, 1914 when a total solar eclipse crossed over Eastern Europe shortly after the outbreak of World War I.
Known as the “War to End All Wars,”—which, of course, it didn’t—World War I would introduce humanity to the horrors of modern warfare, including the introduction of armored tanks, aerial bombing and poison gas. And then there was the terror of trench warfare, with Allied and Central Powers slugging it out for years with little gain.
But ironically, the same early 20th century science that was hard at work producing mustard gas and a better machine gun was also pushing back the bounds of astronomy. Einstein’s Annus Mirabilis or “miracle year” occurred less than a decade earlier on 1905. And just a decade later in 1924, Edwin Hubble would expand our universe a million-fold with the revelation that “spiral nebulae” were in fact, island universes or galaxies in their own right.
Indeed, it’s tough to imagine that many of these discoveries are less than a century in our past. It was against this backdrop that the total solar eclipse of August 21st, 1914 crossed the eastern European front embroiled in conflict.
Solar eclipses have graced the field of battle before. An annular solar eclipse occurred during the Battle of Isandlwana in 1879 during the Zulu Wars, and a total solar eclipse in 585 B.C. during the Battle of Thales actually stopped the fighting between the Lydians and the Medes.
But unfortunately, no celestial spectacle, however grand, would save Europe from the conflagration war. In fact, several British eclipse expeditions were already en route to parts of Russia, the Baltic, and Crimea when the war broke out less than two months prior to the eclipse with the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand on June 28th, 1914. Teams arrived to a Russia already mobilized for war, and Britain followed suit on August 4th, 1914 and entered the war when Germany invaded Belgium.
The Great American Solar Eclipse, Monday August 21, 2017 is (not surprisingly) not significant to the Hebrew calendar as far as feast days are concerned. That is because this is a sign to gentile nations, particularly the USA. 33 days after this eclipse the Revelation 12 sign alignment occurs. This day is Yom Teruah, Day of Trumpets Rosh Hashanah. The Civil New Year (Celebrated as the birth day of the Messiah because of the sign in Revelation 12:1-2. Yes, despite the Judaism rejection of the New Testament they are aware of the sign). It has traditionally been held that Yom Teruah in Year 6000 (5777), which we are in at the time of this publication, will herald the coming of the Messiah. It begins 10 days of awe to make wrongs right before Yom Kippur. The following day is…
The fulfillment of the great sign in Revelation 12. September 23, 2017.
6 days after the Revelation 12 sign on September 23, 2017, on September 29, 2017, we come to Yamin Noraim, Days of Awe. Shabbat Shuvah or the “Sabbath of Repentance.” It is the Sabbath before Yom Kippur. The last Sabbath before Yom Kippur to make things right between yourself and Elohim, and between yourself and your brother.
This is then followed by…
Yom Kippur, or the “Day of Atonement”, which is 7 days after the Revelation 12 sign on September 23, 2017. It is the Sabbath of Sabbaths, and was the only day when the High Priest went into the Most Set Apart Place to make atonement for Israel. This foreshadows a future work that the Messiah will do for Israel. Yom Kippur 2017 will start the evening of Friday, September 29, 2017.
So it is 40 days exactly from
The day of the solar eclipse August 21, 2017, to…
The Day of Atonement September 29, 2017.
Much of biblical and secular history is circular (repeats itself). It is interesting to note that in the year 687 BC God sends Jonah to the people of Nineveh with a warning because of their violence and their wickedness…. Jonah declared…in 40 daysthy destruction cometh. “Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. ” Jonah 1:1-4. They repented, and God spared them judgment.
God warning is coming upon the USA to repent and turn back to Him. Will The USA repent and be spared God’s judgment?
I heard the idea that during the High Holidays, God writes one’s name in a book. Where does this concept come from, and how can this concept bring meaning to the holidays for me?
The Aish Rabbi Replies:
The Talmud (Rosh Hashana 32b) says that on Rosh Hashana, God inscribes everyone’s name into one of three books. The righteous go into the Book of Life, the evil go into the Book of Death, and those in-between have judgment suspended until Yom Kippur.
Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year—the day on which we areclosest to God and to the quintessence of our own souls.
It is the Day of Atonement—“For on this day He will forgive you, to purify you, that you be cleansed from all your sins before God”(Leviticus 16:30).
Musaf, which includes a detailed account of the Yom Kippur Temple service; Minchah, which includes the reading of theBook of Jonah; and Neilah, the “closing of the gates” service at sunset.
We say the Al Chet confession of sins eight times in the course of Yom Kippur, and recite Psalms every available moment.
The day is the most solemn of the year, yet an undertone of joy suffuses it:
a joy that revels in the spirituality of the day and expresses the confidence that G‑d will accept our repentance, forgive our sins, and seal our verdict for a year of life, health and happiness.
The closing Neilah service climaxes in the resounding cries of “Hear O Israel . . . God is one.” Then joy erupts in song and dance (a Chabad custom is to sing the lively “Napoleon’s March”), followed by a single blast of the shofar, followed by the proclamation, “Next year in Jerusalem.” We then partake of a festive after-fast meal, making the evening after Yom Kippur a yom tov (festival) in its own right.
“Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Many believers often quote this passage from James 4:7 to those who are struggling. They encourage others to, “resist the devil.” For if you, “resist the devil,” the result will have to be that, “he will flee from you.”
On the surface this sounds wonderful; however, I believe these well meaning believers have taken this passage out of context far too often. First of all, note only the last part of verse 7 was quoted. The first thing we are called to do is, “Submit ourselves to God.” The only way we can truly, “resist the devil” is by “submitting ourselves to God.”
Many of the problems we face today can be solved not by resisting the devil, but rather by submitting to God. James asks in James 4:1, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?” The problem is we find ourselves on a physical or fleshly level instead of a spiritual plain. The passage continues by stating we kill, covet, quarrel, and fight all because we want things which we do not have.
We, as Christians, have become too friendly with the world. James continues in verse four, “Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” The choice is ours. Are we friends of the world or friends of God? Sadly, our focus is often on earthly pleasures and desires. Even in our prayer life, we do not submit to God, but rather, “ask with wrong motives.” In James 4:3 we read, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”
The key to resisting the devil is found only in submitting to God. Believers in Christ, have the spirit of the living God inside them. In 1 Corinthians 6:19 we read, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?” See also James 4:5.
It is only when we submit to God and have the power and spirit of God living inside us that we are able to resist the devil. In James 4:10 we read, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.” This can only be done when we come near to God and purify our hearts. Light and darkness cannot dwell together. We are called to not be a double-minded people, but are to, “Come near to God and He will come near to you.” See James 4:8.
Mark 5:24-34 tells a story of a woman who had suffered a tremendous amount. It had been twelve long years of suffering. This disease was only getting worse, every dime had been spent in an effort to find a cure, there was none. No physician or amount of medicine was helping or would help. All hope was beginning to fade and the future looked bleak. The Bible does not tell us her name or her back story. However, from the little information that we are given, we know that she had come to a point in her life where she was desperate and out of options. This is a story of not only suffering, but faith and courage. This woman seeks out the one whom she has not only heard has healed many but believes it to be true. Her pursuit of Christ gives us a picture of what it means to be driven by our faith and to hang on to God’s faithfulness.
There are three main lessons that I wish to highlight from this story.
To be desperate for God’s help
Our faith is to be rooted in Christ’s power to work out any trial we face
God lovingly welcomes us when we come to Him.
COME TO GOD IN DESPERATE NEED OF HIM
Scripture tell us that she had gone through all the options that one had to find a cure to her disease. The account in Mark says she had
“suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse.”
During this time period, it was common practice for those who were diagnosed with difficult medical cases, to consult with numerous different doctors. They would undergo many forms of treatments and the supposed cures were often very abusive and would lead to the patient feeling worse then before. This woman was so desperate that she not only went to so many different doctors but spent all of her money to find a cure. The account in Luke 8:43 suggested that the woman could not be helped because her condition was incurable. She was left feeling hopeless and desperate to find an answer. There was literally nothing that could humanly be done to help her and from a human standpoint, she was out of options.
It was only until she had heard about Jesus coming that she became aware that this would be her last and final attempt at being made well.
“She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment.”
The passage tell us that there was a large crowd of people. This woman, on the point of death, who was most likely physically and emotionally exhausted, pushed through a crowd of people to get to Him. There was a sense of desperation to get to Jesus because of her faith that only He could bring her the hope that she was looking for.
Her eager attempt to push her way through the crowd was a true picture of someone who is in desperate need of Christ. The true lesson is not in our own ability to bring a solution to the trials we face, it is in coming to God with a hear that longs and yearns for Christ to come in and fill the void, sadness, or hardships that we go through. It is crying out as the Psalmist did in chapter 63:1.
“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”
This is a cry of desperation and longing for God. Furthermore, a desperate heart for God hangs on to the truth fond in Psalm 62:8 “Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.” We know that when we come to God, desperate and open, we can also trust Him fully with our lives and find rest in the one who is our true refuge.
OUR FAITH IS TO BE ROOTED IN CHRIST’S POWER TO WORK OUT ANY TRIAL WE FACE
Verse 28 tells us that her faith was so deeply rooted in Christ’s power to save her from her trial,
“For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well”
The one and only true source of where our faith can truly be placed, is in Christ. As a human, the common thing to do when you’re sick, is turn to medicine and make a doctors appointment. We go there expecting a clear answer to why we are feeling sick and a cure to our ailment. There is almost a a sense of hope that is placed in the doctor. I am not against modern day medicine at all. The point here is that ultimately despite her diagnosis, her faith was set on the one who knows her biological make up better then any doctor. God is the creator of our human bodies and knows exactly what we need.
This woman recognized that despite her best efforts to get help from many doctors, Christ was the true source that could help her through this difficult trial. Whenever we are faced with a situation that seems almost impossible to face, we are sometimes driven to look to other things to bring us a solution or peace to our circumstance. This woman’s faith was so strong that notice how in verse 28, she mentions touching his garments, not even Christ himself. She believed that in Christ’s unlimited power that her words held no doubt that if she touched Christ’s clothes, she would be made well. The main lesson here does not lie in the outcome of her faith. This woman could not foresee the future. The Bible does not tell us that her faith predicted the future. What scripture does tell us is that her faith was so strong that she knew her answers lied with Christ. The end goal was to turn to Christ and look to Him for strength regardless of the outcome.
GOD LOVINGLY WELCOMES HIS CHILDREN
When she was confronted with the fact that Jesus had asked who had touched Him, He was not asking because He did not know, He was beckoning her to come to Him. Jesus is all knowing and sovereign, yet He still wants us to come to Him with an open heart. He wants to hear us pour out our hearts, it is indication that we trust Him when we come with our burdens and joys. Her approach to Him is described as being fearful and notice how the text says that she “fell down before him and told him the whole truth” (vs 33).
Her admission to touching His garments is so much deeper then the physical. It also shows us a picture of what a true, repentant sinner looks like when being convicted of their sin. She makes no excuse, she does not try to run, she comes and surrenders it all to Him. Surrendering our sin, anxieties and worries about life is not a natural human reaction. We tend to come kicking and screaming before God, as a last resort because our own attempts have failed. Regardless of our attitude, when we finally plead for God’s help, His response is always filled with Grace towards His children. Here he looks at this woman and lovingly says,
“Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed for your disease”
She is not only cleansed physically but in that moment has experienced salvation in her life.
You too have that same opportunity to come before God and surrender it all to Him. Like this woman, you try and live life your own way, rejecting that there is a God who has been there along. The God who loves you and paid the penalty for our sin by dying a painful death so that we would not have to. If we choose to place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, the one who has the answer to life’s struggles and our reason to experience joy. He also looks at us and in the same way says