Week 7: The Sword of the Spirit
I'm sad to say that this is the final week of newsletters and devotionals for our New Years Revolution program. My least favorite thing in the world is to say goodbye, so we will hold off on wrapping things up until February 26th at our Candlelight Yoga Event. Speaking of... I am so excited to connect with each of you in person, so be sure and register today!
I can’t believe how fast the past 7 weeks have gone, and I am praying that you have experienced some shifting in your life. You see… our God is a God of great exchanges. Although He never changes, He can change EVERYTHING for us. He lavishly gives grace, righteousness, and forgiveness to account for our rebellion and sin; beauty and goodness for our ashes of brokenness, and true joy for our grief and mourning. He takes a distant, bone-dry, and underwhelmed soul, and fills it with His fullness and perfect love - making our lives like a “well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring (Isaiah 59:11). Nothing is too big or difficult for Him to redeem and we are never too far away for Him to get to us. In fact, Romans 10:6-7 says that “the Word that saves us is right here, as near as the tongue in your mouths, as close as the heart in your chest.” He pursues us, and all we have to do is slow our roll and BELIEVE. It’s then, in His amazing grace, that we become a part of His Great Exchange.
The fabulous thing is that God doesn't stop there. He equips us, protects us and gives us everything we need to be more than conquerors in this lifetime! Over the past 6 weeks, we've talked about the mighty weapons that God provides to us and we've uncovered how we can be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might (Eph. 6:10) If you haven't had the chance to listen to the video devotionals on the Belt of Truth, The Breastplate of Righteousness, The Shoes of Peace, The Shield of Faith, and the Helmet of Salvation, I encourage you to catch up. You've got an enemy that seeks to take you down, and he is very strategic in the way he wreaks havoc over your life. Don't you think it's time to pick up all that we've been given and fight back?
This week we take up the final piece of the Armor of God. It's our one offensive weapon (besides fervent prayer) that we can use against the devil- and it is the one piece of armor that can revolutionize your heart, soul, mind and spirit. It's the Word of God!
"The Word of God is alive and moving; sharper than a double-edged sword; piercing the divide between soul and spirit, joints and marrow; and able to judge the thoughts and will of the heart." ~ Hebrews 4:12 (The Voice)
We have got a very powerful message for you this week about God's Word. Please click on the video below to hear my sweet friend, Rebecca Goodenow share her thoughts on the Sword of the Spirit.
Rebecca has one of the most beautiful souls that I have ever met. Her love for the Lord is sweet and runs so deep that it seems as if every fiber of her being is infused by Him. She's got an anointed tongue, a heart for God's gals, and I dearly dearly love this woman!
Here are a few more words that describe the precious lady that we get to hear from this week:
- Prayer Warrior
- Friend & Sister
She's also the Women's Director at Mountain View Christian Church & the Teaching Director of the Highlands Ranch Community Bible Study (CBS) - You should come and join us every Thursday from 9:30-11:30 (I'm just saying). I guarantee, you'll hear her once, and you'll seek her out to hear some more.
Detox & Nourish: LENT
I feel like the concept and practice of Lent is perfect for our Detox & Nourish challenge. As many of you know, the Lenten season is comprised of the 40 days prior to Easter. It's a time of fasting, removing - or in our case detoxing from something in order to move Christ to His proper place in our lives (as our #1 greatest delight, the One who receives the most adoration, the single most important relationship & Person to us). It can also be a time of adding to- or nourishing. Lent is not a Biblical command, it's not a requirement or an essential to our faith, but I feel like it is a beautiful practice in self-control and reliance on God. It's an intentional practice that we- as Christians, can use to glorify God. So here's what I propose:
From now until Easter, can you identify one thing that holds a higher place in your heart than Jesus?
Ask yourself what you spend most of your time, attention, or money on? Sit with that for a moment.....
Bingo..you found your "thing". Resolve to detox from that person, food item, habit, TV show, or social media platform.
Speaking of Social Media, I read a study about Facebook the other day that shocked me. In 2008, Facebook had 100 million users; by 2014, it had grown to an unimaginable 1.4 billion users! And in a recent survey of those users, 21 percent of them confessed that they checked Facebook in the middle of the night, and 34 percent said it was the first thing they do in the morning! Let’s think about that… In the middle of the night, 1 out of 5 people feels compelled to check their friends’ latest updates. And over 1 in 3 check out the updates on their Facebook feed before they do anything else, like brush their teeth or go potty! That’s just amazing to me!
"Turn my eyes away from worthless things." ~ Psalms 119:37
My favorite part in the Lent practice is the adding to- or the nourishment. You can choose to do the detox or nourishment part of what I'm proposing, but I feel like it could be most advantageous to do both. Once upon a time, when I was a working professional, I designed a public health tobacco cessation program for the state of Oklahoma. As we worked with people one-on-one to help them quit tobacco use, we would help them plan activities/strategies that they could use to replace their habit and combat the withdrawal symptoms that they would be experiencing. I feel like this practice would definitely apply for us as we fast- or detox from our "thing".
What would happen if we allowed God to replenish the space our "thing" once held?
Zephaniah 3:17 says, "The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing."
I don't know about you, but I want that scripture to be true in my life. I want to feel God's presence, I want Him to quiet me with his love, and even the thought of Him singing over me just brings me to tears. Sweet sisters we can have all of that if we sit with Him. From now until Easter, let’s nourish our souls and enrich our lives by talking to Him (praying) and by reading God’s Word.
Add a prayer, or quiet time reading God's Word- not a devotional, not a Christian book- GOD'S WORD. I want you to hear what GOD has to say to you- not another person's thoughts or flowery words.
Next month, we will be rolling out a fun and powerful way to let the Word of God take root in your life. We will be spending 15 minutes mediating on the Word of God. There's no discussing or chatting, it's simply you, the Holy Spirit and a verse from the Bible. (You may be thinking to yourself that this exercise might not be too fun... Give it a try- I promise your heart will sing)
Here's what you can expect: I will read a verse from the Bible several times and you get to sit with God and let His Word and the Holy Spirit feed your very soul. I have been doing this personally for the past 6 weeks and it is too wonderful and powerful for words. I have set up an individualized conference call line so we can do this together. We will record this call and I can email out the link if you have to miss. Please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested, and I'll provide you with the call in number and password- stay tuned for the date and time of our first call.
Weekly Workout is YOGA: Click on the video below to do the Sword of the Spirit Yoga Flow with us:
Recipe of the Week: AMY'S ROASTED CHICKEN & ROOT VEGETABLES
1 Whole, Organic, Free Range Chicken, Halved
4 cloves garlic, minced
handful of fresh herbs (basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary – whatever you like) or two TBSP dried herbs
1/3 cup olive oil
3 Sweet Potatoes (peeled and chopped)
5 Carrots (peeled and sliced)
1 pound of brussels sprouts, ends removed, cut in half
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Click HERE to watch the instructional video.
Love in Christ,