I. Living each day with Jesus. (Knowing the Truth: "the Lord is my Shepherd")
Ps. 3:3 (calendar)
But first let me tell you about my first retreat: 5 minutes. In a crowd this large, I am sure some of you feel as intimidated as I did the first time I left home to spend a weekend with a large group of strange women. Can any of you identify?
You know God has made His people with all kinds of personalites, strengths and weaknesses. He has given us spiritual gifts that we may never discover until He fills us with His Spritit. In fact, sometimes He equips and send us out on missions we would never choose. He asks us to do the hardest things – the things we fear the most. But in the midst of it, He proves His faithfulness, love, wisdom, and all sufficient strength. That’s actually how we learn to know Him, isn’t it.
He never makes mistakes. Psalm 139: Even when He doesn’t open our eyes to know Him until late in life has passed.
When I was a new Christian, I wanted nothing more than to know Him. Know what? He can use even the early years without His spirit to show Himself to us. For example,
My father almost did. For his part in the Norwegian underground, he was tortured and kept in three different concentration camps.
These gifts of understanding is important to our main topic, because they help us put on the first part of the armor: TRUTH – especially Jesus Christ who is Himself “the Way, the Truth and the Life.”
But first, look at the whole armor:
Ephesians 6:10-12 (read together)
Orders of Angelic Beings
Our enemy: Satan
Truth – the first part of the armor has two parts.
2 Tim 4:3-4
That’s why it’s so important for us to know truth, meditate on truth, our minds and hearts with His truth – the written Word which takes life in us and reveals to us the living Word, Jesus Himself.
Father: Godmother taught the Lord’s prayer. Stalin
Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Savior: Disillusionment, receive Christ
Shepherd: Ps 23 VA hospital: started the next day visiting veterans in hospital and psychiatric wing. It was a lot easier to have a specific purpose and message among strangers than to mindle with a group of women. Many were into the occult, others simply doubted or mocked Christianity. They would call out their questions and challenges they had planned as soon as I walked into the ward. And countless times I had to promise – I’ll look that up and give you the answer next time. So I read and studied the Bible and began to memorize the passages I needed all the time..
In fact, before I left for that horrible retreat, God had prompted me to learn my very first Scripture. It was Joshua 1:9, and it took me whole week to learn it. I carried a little 3x5 card in my pocket and looked at it whenever I stopped for a red light, stood in line, even playing tennis. I have a terrible memory for facts and names. But it became an advantage in learning Scriptures. Because I was forced to repeat it to myself so many times that the message became part of my thinking.
My Shepherd led me to a local meeting one day. It had something to do with a strange conference called Basic Youth Conflicts. Never heard of it, can’t even remember how I happened to be there. The speaker was… guess who! Ena Moody. She said things I had never heard, and I wanted desperately to understand and follow those guidelines. Prayed She was standing at the door, alone. Counseling. We continued to meet and study together.
Not the first time He demonstated His love as a Shepherd, nor the last, but one of those wonderful encounters that helped me see and know Him..
My Armor: Among the Scriptures He impressed on my mind in those early days was Ephesians 6:10-12. Because I needed Him so much and could get so discouraged with myself and my weaknesses, I wanted to understand everything He offered me.
He showed me that when I gird my loins or put on the belt of truth I am putting on Jesus Christ (clothed with Christ and hidden in Christ).
“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ….” Rom13:14
You are my hiding place;
You shall preserve me from trouble;
You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.” (Psalm 32:7)
My Shield: Polarity
Blessed be the Lord my Rock…
My lovingkindness and my fortress,
My high tower and my deliverer,
My shield and the One in whom I take refuge,
Who subdues my people under me….”
2. An everlasting relationship with Jesus.
(His Righteousness and Peace in me)
Theme: His righteousness for my failure and sin
Breastplate of Righteousness;
It’s so easy to think all is well, then put aside discernment and guardedness. The armor is God’s wonderful protection, but it would be foolish to presume it will do
David – Beetlejuice
1 Samuel 11:1-5 Read one of saddest passages:
“It happened in the spring of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him…. and they … besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.
Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king’s house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold.
So David sent and inquired about the woman. And someone said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?”
Then David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her… and she returned to her house. And the woman conceived; so she sent and told David, and said, “I am with child.” 1 Sam 11:1-5
How could David do such a thing? Is this the person God commended as “a man after my own heart who does all my will.”
David had been faithful to God through all the hard years. Alert to danger all those years when he
guarded his father’s sheep,
· fought a lion and a bear singlehandedly
· spent nights alone under dark and stormy skies
· sang to the jeaoulous and tormented King Saul
· fled from Saul’s armies
· waited for God to fulfill his covenant promise that he indeed would rule God’s people.
Now he was king. Instead of drawing on the strength God had taught him through the hard years, he put down his guard. He took off his armor and stayed home. He stopped fighting the battles God called him to fight.
In other words, he couldn’t handle the prosperity.
Must be alert to potential spiritual dangers, and one of them is simply to put our mind on “cruise control” and ignore the assaults that come when we least expect it.
1 Cor. 10:12
“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” 1 Cor. 10:12
Calvin & Hobbes: “I’m getting nervous about Christmas” x2
1 John 5:19
“be sober, be vigilant”
Fine line between being devasted by something we have done or minimizing sin as insignificant
The big dangers are not the big obvious temptations, but all the little ones that we don’t even notice. Like black ice in the winter. The kind that leaves a thin invisible buildup of ice on pavements during frosty mornings and after sundown in late fall. (See Eureka retreat)
You know the rest of the story. Having yielded to the first two temptations, he sent for Uriah, who refused to enjoy his wife while his friends fought on the battlefield. That should have shamed David, but instead he tried to get him drunk to break down his principled convictions.
When that didn’t work, he sent Uriah back to the battlefield carrying his own death warrant. Sin had made David desperate. He would do anything to cover it up.
Afterwards he seemed oblivious to what he had done. So God, in His mercy, sent the prophet Nathan, brought conviction to David’s mind, and broke his heart.
Psalm 51:1-4, 10
Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge my transgressions,
And my sin is always before me.
Against You, You only, have I sinned,
And done this evil in Your sight—
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
God forgave. There is always forgiveness with God for those who repent and confess. He takes our weak and stumbling lives and gives us His wonderful triumphant life. He takes our sins and fairlures and fills us His holy and righteous life.
church board “constant crusading…”
chart – spread of earthcentered spirituality
sin of separatism – Gore
Bush: “Nations that stick to….”
1 John 1:9
Hudson Taylor – spiritual secrets.
Armor: Put on the Breastplate of Righteousness
What does it really mean? How can a piece of armor me clean on the inside?
Actually it works the other way: We ask Him to clean the inside, and when He does, He replaces our sin with His holy life on the inside, even as He covers us.
3. Through the dark valleys with Jesus. ( Faith and Salvation both for today and eternity)
Ps 23:4 “Valley of Death I will fear no evil”
Does that sound like faith? A place we almost go.
“called not just to believe but to suffer…” Phil 1:29?
Shield of faith --- what I know is that
The Lord is my Shepherd – whole psalm (look for armor)
Ps. 62:5-6 Have you ever felt that way? I have. Becoming a member of God’s family not as good as I thought it would be from what God showed me in His Word
Personal: speaking, aloneness,
Word – a reminder
Treasures from 1 Cor. 1
2 Corinthians 1
2 Cor. 1:3-4 “Praise be to… the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” 3-4
· Lead the women at PBC
· My third son - a lot of struggles
· Bible study leader
· Fourth year: headaches, fatigue, confusion, depression,
“We do not want you to be uninformed… about the hardships we suffered in Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life…. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God…. 8-9
“Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills.” Hab 3:17-19
o Linda S., betrayal, cancel conferences….end of ministry? Never met them, but they hated me (Australia). Tried to call to reconcile, but used my words against me. Asked other to pray for peace , but they said impossible. She vehemently believes that I am an evil person.
A Table before me
On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” 10-11
2 Cor. 4:7-10
Ps. 27:1, 4
4. Victory through oneness with Jesus. (The power and comfort of His Word)
2 Cor 2:14:17
Armor – Lord’s Prayer (meditation for Twist – chpt. 10)
Gifts that do good
Sun-moon winter solstice
Is 42:5, 8
“Basis for faith” chart & quotes: “A God that Looks like me”
No longer teaching facts
Declaration of Religion
What will take the place…?
Starhawk & Star Wars
3 Paradigm chart
Alberta quests for animal spirits
2 tim 3:1-5
America’s Spiritual Slide
2 Tim 3:12
2 Chron 20
Beneath the cross