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Start Fighting on Your Knees

Affray, battles, conflict, defensives, riot, skirmish and violence are all words associated with fighting. Fights could be physical in nature where two opponents come together to settle a score. On the other hand, fights tend to be more passive aggressive where individuals practice back biting using gossip and slander as a weapon. In a letter to the Church at Ephesus, the apostle Paul urges Christians to start fighting on their knees, Ephesians 6:10-20.

When I heard this, I sat down and wept and mourned for days and fasted and prayed [constantly] before the God of heaven, And I said, O Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God, Who keeps covenant, loving-kindness, and mercy for those who love Him and keep His commandments, Nehemiah 1:4-5.

Upon receiving news of Israel’s defeat at the hands of Babylon, Nehemiah immediately lifts up his troubles to the Lord. Feeling helpless as a servant to the king of Persia, Nehemiah weeps, mourns, fasts and prays. When you’re not in a position to take action, your next best option is to start fighting on your knees. According to chapter 1, Nehemiah fasted and prayed for 4 months until he received a clear vision on how to respond to this dire situation.

Let Your ear now be attentive and Your eyes open to listen to the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You day and night for the Israelites, Your servants, confessing the sins of the Israelites which we have sinned against You. Yes, I and my father’s house have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against You and have not kept the commandments, statutes, and ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses, Nehemiah 1:6-7.

In the 2015 film War Room, the tradition of Nehemiah is brought to light in a modern manner. An elderly woman of prayer develops a relationship with a younger woman whose family is falling a part. I guess when someone is desperate, you’ll try anything to turn your life around. Subsequently, this war room is a quiet place in your house that is devoted strictly to prayer. Once established in your current residence, you too can start fighting on your knees.

by Jay Mankus

Where Do We Go Now?

 

In recent years, great advancements have been made in business, medicine and technology.  Self help books, the internet and you tube videos have helped make life a little easier than in previous centuries.  However, these new resources have also crippled the human mind, replacing hard work, research and time with a click of a mouse.  The art of problem solving, trouble shooting and preventative maintenance have been replaced by computer and phone apps, calling on others to do what families once did on their own.

So where do we go from here?  Should culture continue on its current hi-tech / hi-touch path or will common sense take over, clearing hidden paths, left and forgotten by overgrown brush?  If this decision is put off, another crossroad will intersect at some point down the road, offering another choice for change.  In the movie the Patriot starring Mel Gibson, there is a touching scene between father and daughter.  Not wanting to see her father to die like an older brother, Susan begs him to stay.  Unfortunately, there are times one must face battles, giants or wars before you can resume a normal life.

If your life is anything like mine, I often find myself living the movie Castaway, standing at a 4 way stop, not sure where to make the next turn.  Each choice that is made, Deuteronomy 30:15-16, either moves you closer or farther from where you really want to go.  For a while, each will provide flashes of brilliance and possibly pleasure, yet in the end only one road leads to satisfaction, Psalm 34:4-8.  May we find each other there one day.

by Jay Mankus

Did God Really Say vs. It Is Written

Until God gave Moses the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20, any command, decree or law was passed on by word of mouth from generation to generation.  In the book of Genesis, God spoke directly to people like Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jacob and Joseph informing each of His will and plan for their life.  Therefore, when a serpent began to speak with Eve in the garden of Eden, she knew the boundaries God established in Genesis 2:16-17.  Thus, the battle between did God really say and it is written began.

Using the same main strategy of deception that worked in the garden, Satan meets his toughest opponent in a desert east of the Jordan River, Matthew 4:1.  Jesus prepares for this battle for the masses with 40 days of prayer and fasting, enabling Him to be spiritually in tune with God the Father.  Hungry but not weak of mind, Jesus reminds Satan of his rules violation at the beginning of this conflict, Matthew 4:4.  Not deterred, Satan pushes on with plan B.

Conforming to his challenger’s playbook, Satan quotes the Bible hoping to place Jesus into a corner, forcing Him to act.  Alert and confident in the Spirit’s leading, Jesus squashes Satan’s efforts by correcting the words of scripture taken out of context, Matthew 4:7.  In one last desperate move, Satan offers Jesus the authority Adam lost in the Garden of Eden, a consequence of original sin.  Cool as a cucumber, Jesus knocks Satan out of the arena with a jab using the right scriptural response, Matthew 4:10.

Unfortunately, this battle rages on today in public education, on college campuses and in the liberal media.  Satan has persuaded historians to rewrite the events of this battle, confusing the minds of countless, convincing the uninformed that Did God really say has won.  If you want to set the record straight, you must test everything, 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22, cling to what is good and boldly proclaim it is written as the victor, Acts 4:29.

by Jay Mankus

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