Reflect

Helping women discover a deeper faith, freedom from their past and victory for their future.


Activate your Armor

Put on the full armor of God

 

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. Ephesians 6:10-11 

Put on the full armor of God, Ephesians tells us.  That sounds perfect! Armor is to protect us from getting hurt and empowers us to do super human things, right?

Paul wrote of the armor, I imagine he had seen plenty of soldiers during his tumultuous life! I love how he pieces together the spiritual armor that is necessary for Christians to fight on a daily basis.

We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).

Sometimes, the battles can feel overwhelming! How are we to stand up against inequality, harassment, sickness, death and all that the world tries to weigh us down with? How can we possibly stand up against everything the world has to throw at us and still expect to emerge victorious? Is it even possible to be victorious?

Recently, I have felt weighed down by the responsibility that has been given to me. Like a heavy weight that sits on my shoulders the responsibility has lately felt like a punishment rather than an opportunity to serve.

The result of looking at the weight and not at the joy set before me has resulted in frustration, stress and quite honestly, anger. Like Peter looking at the waves and not at Jesus, I have begun to sink!

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” Matthew 12:22-23

This is why I need the Armor. I can’t do it on my own!

Romans 8:37 tells us that we are more than conquerors!  Lord dress me in your armor!

The directive is to Put on the full armor of God.  The phrase put on refers to one sinking into the clothing. It sounds like putting on your favorite jeans or comfy robe. You literally just sink into them.  The armor should become that comfortable for us to wear.

Thank you for the gift of the armor, Lord teach me how to wear each piece as I study about them.

To read more about the Armor of God

Activate your Breastplate

Activate the Helmet

Activate Your Shoes

Activate your Shield

Activate the Belt of Truth

Activate your Sword of the Spirit

Activate the Armor of Prayer

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Activate your peace in me

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We have heard the verse, “be still and know that I am God” many times.  I wonder if you experience something similar to what happens inside of me when this verse comes to mind during a stressful time? The conversation between God and myself goes like this.

Be still Jann

I know I should be still and trust you

Let me take away the burden of worrying, striving and the stress that goes with it

That sounds so lovely.  I want to be still, but…

Be still and know that I am God

You are pretty awesome God! When I think about who you are I am comforted and the stress seems to melt away.  I have this need to fix things.

Be still Jann

Okay I get it, you can do things with out my help! You are God after all!

Be still and know that I am God.

ahhhhhh, rest, peace, love.

Activate your peace in me. 

  • Peace to trust your promises are true
  • Peace to live in abundant hope
  • Peace to fill me with joy
  • Peace to calm anxious nerves and a deep seeded fixing addiction
  • Peace to cover any situation

So what is the secret of having peace?

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. . Philippians 4:6-7

In every situation

Instead of being anxious-Pray

Instead of trying to fix everything-Praise Him

Instead of stewing on something-Lay it at His feet

 

Recently I began dreaming about a possibility.  It took over my thoughts and I began plotting and scheming to see how I could make it happen. Notice the emphasis on I.  Yes I prayed about it, but I wasn’t resting in His promises nor was I trusting that He would make a way.  Then I looked up and saw a picture that has the words be still on it.

 

Don’t you love when He reaches down into our messiness and reminds you of His presence? In an instant I am reminded that His plans are so much better than mine and He is trustworthy.

 

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What do I do when these anxious thoughts return?

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Philippians 4:8

I return to what I know about God and focus on His promises.  Thinking about these things fill my mind with His goodness, His plans and purposes.  Then there is little time to focus my attention on whatever I was fixating on.

I Love the words of this Bethel Song

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well

So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name

Activate your peace in me today Lord!

 

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Activate your Loving Kindness in me

Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips will praise You. Psalm 63_3 NASB

Because Your loving-kindness is better than life, My lips will praise You. Psalm 63:3 NASB

Does anyone remember the Marantha Music song Thy Loving Kindness? It’s been in my head all day long. You can listen to the original here. It’s dated but the lyrics are exactly what I needed today.

Thy loving kindness
Is better than life
Thy loving kindness
Is better than life
My lips shall praise thee
Thus will I bless thee
I will lift up my hands
Unto thy name.

Today was one of those days where I didn’t have the strength to lovingly redirect my mom.  I had watched her struggle for over 30 minutes to complete a job that would have taken me 5 minutes. I honestly thought that I was being patient and kind as I suggested that maybe she take a break.  But, the whole time I kept thinking, “When she walks away I’ll just finish it and she will never know!” Here was the problem, she didn’t walk away so I started plotting how I was going to take over.  I am embarrassed to tell you that when my head felt as though it was going to explode, I simply reached in and finished it in front of her.

Not surprisingly, a few minutes later she blurted out, “I can’t do anything right!”  Really, Jann this is how you honor your mother? This daughter was so very impatient and unkind! I don’t deserve any awards for sharing loving kindness today!

We learn how to be kind by observing how God has been so patiently kind to us.  Jesus modeled his loving-kindness over and over to us.

He was patient with his family when they didn’t understand him

He was patient with the religious leaders when they scrutinized his intentions and plotted against him

He was patient with the disciples when they had their own plans for the kingdom of God

He was patient with God as he waited for his plan to unfold

He is patient with us as we learn to trust him

He is patient with us knowing that we are in process.

On my own I am one big hot mess!  Selfishness and impatience come so easily to me and loving-kindness is a far off dream.  Thank you Jesus for rescuing me from myself!

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