Bible Ballistics: Vol. 17 No. 02 Choosing What To See???
I spoke recently at a ladies gathering to share my experiences of going through the murder of my daughter some sixteen months ago. It’s not a pleasant story, but it is a story of hope and confidence in our God, and the fact that we can “stand fast in the evil day”! It all comes down to knowing God through the Lord Jesus Christ and learning to see things through the lens of faith and a knowledge of God’s Word! I can choose how I look at things and how I will respond to my circumstances. I can choose to see things through eyes of faith in Jesus, or, as my former Pastor Brad McCoy used to say, “I can doubt, pout and drop out”! It’s your choice, but choose wisely, there is a test! I choose to proclaim with Paul:
“Who hath saved us, and called us
with an holy calling,
not according to our works,
but according to his own purpose and grace,
which was given us in Christ Jesus
before the world began,
10 But is now made manifest
by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ,
who hath abolished death,
and hath brought life
and immortality to light
through the gospel:
11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher,
and an apostle,
and a teacher of the Gentiles.
12 For the which cause I also suffer these things:
nevertheless I am not ashamed:
for I know whom I have believed,
and am persuaded
that he is able
to keep that
which I have committed
against that day.
13 Hold fast the form of sound words,
which thou hast heard of me,
which is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 1:9-13
In fact, this is almost an addendum to what Paul reminded Timothy of in verse 7:
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power,
and of love,
and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
It’s interesting that the phrase “sound mind” can mean “right thinking”, for we can choose what we think, and it is imperative that we guard our hearts and minds, and think biblically. How?
“Let this mind be in you,
which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God,
thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation,
and took upon him the form of a servant,
and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man,
he humbled himself,
and became obedient unto death,
even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:5-8
Even as Paul reminded the Galatians, we are to live a crucified life of humble reliance upon God, trusting to His sovereign control in all things—and while God never said all things would be good, HE did tell us that HE is working IN all things for our good. Will we trust HIM in all things? Will we die to self and live for, by and through the power that Jesus supplies?
“I am crucified with Christ:
nevertheless I live;
yet not I,
but Christ liveth in me:
and the life which I now live in the flesh
I live by the faith of the Son of God,
who loved me,
and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
But how do I live the crucified life? By the power of God and learning to control my thought life and the desires of our heart!
whatsoever things are true,
whatsoever things are honest,
whatsoever things are just,
whatsoever things are pure,
whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are of good report;
if there be any virtue,
and if there be any praise,
think on these things.
9 Those things,
which ye have both learned,
in me, do:
and the God of peace
shall be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9
We must understand that the battle will almost always begin in our mind—and while we can’t control what comes into our mind, I can control what I will permit to stay in my mind! As a friend says, check the devil at the door (of your mind!)! If he can’t pass the Philippians 4:8 test, give him the boot (so to speak). Yield to God’s Spirit and find victory!
“But he giveth more grace.
Wherefore he saith,
God resisteth the proud,
but giveth grace unto the humble.
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God.
Resist the devil,
and he will flee from you.
8 Draw nigh to God,
and he will draw nigh to you.
Cleanse your hands,
and purify your hearts,
ye double minded.” James 4:6-8
Paul gives us great advice for these spiritual battles of the mind!
“For though we walk in the flesh,
we do not war after the flesh:
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal,
but mighty through God
to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down imaginations,
and every high thing
that exalteth itself
against the knowledge of God,
and bringing into captivity
to the obedience of Christ;” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
The key is “bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”, and I would encourage you to commit Philippians 4:8-9 and 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 to memory—they are invaluable assets to have in your “memory” bank! They help us to keep our “seeing” straight, as we keep our “eyes” on Jesus, and as I’m often heard to say, keep looking up not around at the “lions”!
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about
with so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us lay aside every weight,
and the sin which doth so easily beset us,
and let us run with patience
the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus
the author and finisher of our faith;
who for the joy that was set before him
endured the cross,
despising the shame,
and is set down at the right hand
of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2
As we keep our eyes “Looking unto Jesus”, we can know that HE hears, HE cares, and HE is ever providing all that we need. Just as I could trust HIM in the tragic circumstance of December 19, 2019, you can trust HIM to ever supply your needs and comfort and encourage your heart, your mind, and your decisions!
“Seeing then that we have a great high priest,
that is passed into the heavens,
Jesus the Son of God,
let us hold fast our profession.
15 For we have not an high priest
which cannot be touched with the feeling
of our infirmities;
but was in all points tempted like as we are,
yet without sin.
16 Let us therefore come boldly
unto the throne of grace,
that we may obtain mercy,
and find grace to help
in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16
Knowing that with Paul, we can boldly say:
do all things through Christ
which strengtheneth me…
… “19 But my God shall supply
all your need
according to his riches in glory
by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:13 & 19
I pray that you will “see” through God’s lenses, and not let your circumstances distract you from running “the race that is set before” YOU! Remember it’s God who set your race and mine, and HE is always there for YOU, with YOU, and before you and behind you, if we will but heed HIS voice. Do you have eyes that see? I pray that you will!
“Hear now this, O foolish people,
and without understanding;
which have eyes, and see not;
which have ears, and hear not:” Jeremiah 5:21
Open our eyes Lord—to see YOU!
“And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said,
What will ye that I shall do unto you?
33 They say unto him, Lord,
that our eyes may be opened.” Matthew 20:32-33
Amen and Amen!