“But you, beloved, build yourselves up on [the foundation of] your most holy faith [continually progress, rise like an edifice higher and higher], pray in the Holy Spirit, and keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously and looking forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ [which will bring you] to eternal life.”
JUDE 1:20-21 AMP
Father thank You for waking me up today. Thank You for another day of lessons, demonstrations, reflections, setups and setbacks. You know what I’m going through right now. You know what the enemy is doing and what I’m allowing myself to get dragged into. You know how, when, and where I’m being attacked. You know which of Your children the enemy is using to help beat me down. You know the lies being told about me. You know the spitefulness and manipulation being directed at me.
Father, You know where I need Your help the most. You know my blind spots and weaknesses. You also know how strong I am, what I can bear, and how long I will endure from these attacks. Most importantly, you already know the outcome. You know my tomorrow and whether or not I have a next year, or next ten years.
Lord, I know that You and only You are my shield, armor, and sword. I don’t have to meet venom with venom. I don’t have to attack because I’m being attacked. I know that I’m to turn inward to You. I know that I’m supposed to build myself up on Your foundation, rise above the pettiness and darkness, pray, keep myself in Your love, wait for You and look forward to what You have in store for me.
Bring calm over me Father. Touch my heart and my lips so that I may speak with love, even when I’m faced with hate; that I might shine brightly even in my darkest hour, and that I turn to prayer rather than give in to the enemy’s plot.
Father You know as only You know. Please forgive me for my role in this pain being inflicted upon me. Forgive me for reacting rather than reflecting. Forgive me for not standing firmly in Your Word, so that the storm could pass. I pray for peace within so that I can endure this storm. I pray for peace within so that I’m prepared for what comes after the storm. In Jesus’ name I humbly and faithfully pray. Amen.
We will always face storms in life; the literal, the financial, and the spiritual. We will always have someone in our life who envies us and who is so focused on stealing our joy so that we can be just as miserable as them, or worse. We will always have people nearby who are disruptive. They are like mini tornados going by tearing up and destroying everything in their path.
We will always have someone testing our faith and conviction, to see where our weaknesses are and to determine if they can cut away at our strengths. We will always have bullies running up in our faces, challenging us, daring us, disrespecting us, and trying their best to make us feel as worthless as they do. We will always have people who think that they are more important and more valued and valuable than us. These people will always think that their mission is more important than yours. They will stand on your back and your head to elevate themselves. They will insult you even in their perceived compliments. The more you strive in life the more of these people you will find nearby.
But what do we learn today from the book of Jude?
We’re supposed to build ourselves up on God’s foundation, rise above the pettiness and darkness, pray faithfully, keep ourselves rooted and nestled in His love, wait anxiously for Him and look forward to what He has in store for us.
When we build ourselves up on God’s foundation, no one and nothing can tear us down without our permission and participation.
When we rise above the pettiness and darkness and choose instead to shine brightly reflecting God’s light, no one and nothing can force us to to drink from that poisoned cup. We instead walk tall, back straight, head high, as a soldier for Christ. No one can ride your back unless you bend over and let them.
When we pray, it’s our conversation with God, so that we can be prepared for what’s coming our way–like the soldier and the commander, and like the athlete and coach. We’re supposed to pray before we enter and exit each door; pray that the Holy Spirit goes before us, and that our thoughts are pure and our words are loving. We’re supposed to be praying for the strength and courage to resist the enemy’s temptation. The enemy is tempting us to sink down to its level, to be ugly and spew venom. We’re supposed to pray, rebuke the enemy, turn our backs and then walk away—ignoring the calls aimed to reel us into a trap.
When we keep ourselves rooted and nestled in God’s love, no one and nothing can rock us from His foundation, force us to be at their pitiful level, or deter us from praying.
When we wait anxiously for God and look forward to what He has in store for us, there’s a level of excitement that keeps us so focused on Him that we can’t be distracted by outsiders, and we can’t lose contact with Him. It’s like a child’s fixation. Remember your innocence as a child. Do you remember how steadfast you would be in your wait for whatever you wanted? It doesn’t matter if it was a doll, action figure, bike, skates, or microscope. You had a laser focus. You stayed on that straight and narrow path that you knew would get you to what you desired most at that time.
It’s the focus and anticipation that athletes have when visualizing their race, game, match, or event. They are laser-focused on securing that victory, they can visualize the win. That’s the level of concentration we need to have towards God. We need to be oblivious to the distractions and those who are trying their best to distract you.
For the past seven days the enemy has been working overtime on me. He’s used weak-minded people to distract me. In my distraction I’ve lost my footing and now I’m no longer firmly planted on God’s foundation; I’m no longer walking through my days prayed up; I’m no longer standing tall because I’ve allowed the pettiness and darkness to get the best of me. I’ve allowed the enemy to pull me down to the level of weakness. I’ve allowed the enemy to turn my eyes away from God, where I’m no longer anxiously waiting for Him, but instead frantically trying not to drown in muck.
When we’re attacked, our first line of defense should always be God. If we walk daily with our shield, we don’t have to rush to go find it. When you stay ready you don’t have to get ready.
I clearly was not ready and when I was blindsided by multiple attacks, I didn’t have my footing to stand secure to withstand those attacks; I didn’t have my shield up to protect myself from the attacks.
You may be under attack right now as you’re reading this. What is your first thought? What is your first response?
It should be to turn to God and let Him lead the way. But we struggle with this.
I know it’s difficult to be patient while the bully attacks you. We want to immediately fight back. I know I do. I don’t tolerate bullying of any kind. But the enemy knows this and uses this against me. It’s my Achilles heel. It may also be yours. So that’s where the concentrated force is directed to knock us down and disable us. You must protect all weak entry points. Our only true protection is God.
We must learn to step aside, regroup, remember what we’ve been taught, get into alignment with God, secure our armor and shield, and then let God do His thing.
Many times in our desire to fight back what we don’t realize is that while we’re trying to protect one thing, the bully is busy stealing the most important things you have:
- Your joy
- Your peace
- Your love
- Your hope
- Your faith
We cannot possibly withstand attack if we’re missing these five core, essential components of our being.
The enemy will always be defeated when we leave the fighting to God, and when we trust that God is more than a conqueror—He is our Protector and Healer. He can make right the wrong. He can calm the storm. He can settle the ground. There’s no one and nothing more powerful and present than our Heavenly Father.
So every single day we need to do these six things:
- Build yourself up on God’s foundation;
- Rise above the pettiness and darkness;
- Pray intently and consistently;
- Keep rooted and nestled in His love;
- Wait anxiously for Him, and
- Look forward to what He has in store for you.
Let God’s light shine brightly through you. Darkness will destroy itself.
I send this message to you with love!
Questions of the Day
1. What would you like to add to today’s prayer and/or reflection?
2. What are your thoughts about today’s message?
3. What do you think about the six steps outlined in today’s message?
4. How would applying these six steps protect you and prevent you from being dragged into toxic situations?
5. If you’re in a toxic situation right now, in what ways did you play an active role that led you to where you are?
Feel free to share your answers, prayers, comments, and reflections in the comment section below. You can also send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Copyright 2013-2016. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant, unless otherwise noted. Prior posts from 2009-2013 are copyrighted under the name Natasha L. Foreman. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com
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