Day Five: Army of God

1Samuel 16:13 (NIV)
“So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David.”

“David had divinely guided insight that others lacked. Because of the Spirit of God working within him, he saw things others did not see (16:13). His perception of Goliath was dominated by what he saw with his heart, not his eyes.” [Bill Arnold, NIVAC: 1&2 Samuel]

Each of us are warriors that can be like David, because our Christian perspective is now in the Spirit. May we experience and know that it is truly by God that we overcome giants in our lives and in the lives of those around us. We can and are to fight together as his church – the army of God – through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, fill my heart with the courage to fight the good fight. I ask for divinely guided insight and the power to walk forward in the direction you lead. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Let’s also pray for the Spirit to fill our church with courage and renewed urgency to fight in the name of the Lord Almighty. Ask for God’s leading in our campuses, missional groups, and churches as you worship to “Fire Fall” by Planetshakers.

-JH

 

 

 

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Day Four: Terms of Engagement

1Samuel 17:47 (NIV)
“All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

“God’s way of salvation is different from the human method, not with a sword and a spear. God accomplishes his plan of salvation in his own way, eventually by Jesus Christ, the Messiah.” [David Tsumura, NICOT: The First Book of Samuel]

Who does the fighting and how in verse 47 above? Who is the warrior in your life?

We are called to fight but not in the ways we think, because the battle belongs to the Lord and not to us. The terms of engagement are not to be dictated by our own ability, situations, or the ways of our culture; but rather they are to be dictated by the Lord as the warrior. It’s about engaging/living with the Lord before, during, and after the fight, and especially within the context of the church as God’s army.

Prayer: God, you are the warrior king, who leads us from victory to victory. Help me to fix my eyes, ears, mind, and heart on your leading and change my perspective. You are truly greater and bigger than anyone or anything else. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Let’s worship to “Do It Again” by Elevation Worship.

-JH

 

 

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Day Three: This Day

1Samuel 17:16, 46 (NIV)
The Philistine came forward morning and evening for forty days and took his stand… [David said to Goliath] “This day the LORD will deliver you into my hands… and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.”

“Has the fear of a giant ever gripped you to such a degree that it prevented you from moving forward? Maybe you’ve experienced this before on your job, in your home, with your health… Whatever it is, the giant calls the shots, dictating your emotions and your actions (or lack of actions) … It’s difficult to score playing defense. A child of the King conquers his giants when he goes on the offense – which is exactly what David did.” [Tony Evans, The Power of God’s Names]

When we encounter opposition in our Christian walk that looks big in our eyes, we can’t just play defense and let it have a say over against who God is. It needs to be dealt with ‘this day’; otherwise, we’ll lose sight of the battle and the victory in God. The task doesn’t have to be as monumental as we think because we are not alone. Like David, may we fight with the assurance that ‘the LORD will deliver’ and ‘the whole world will know that there is a God.’

‘This day’ offer up any opposition against the Lord that you are facing (e.g., personal, relationships, campus, ministry group, church).

Prayer: Father, I offer up to you the opposition I’m facing. I receive again that I am a child of the King and I ask for your deliverance. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Let’s worship to “God of Revival” by Bethel.

-JH

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Day Two: Identify The Battle

1Samuel 17:45 (NLT)
David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”

“Goliath can’t believe his eyes! He mocks and threatens David. But David’s reply points out what the whole story is about: Goliath is challenging not just the army of Israel, but the God of Israel (as David had already said in v. 26). So the fight belongs to God, and so will its result.” [Christopher Wright, How to Preach & Teach the Old Testament for All Its Worth, 105]

Whose battle are you fighting?

David fights in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies – the God of the armies of Israel. What does this name mean in our own context/fighting?

We need to identify if the battles we’re fighting are the Lord’s battle, or if we’re even fighting or not. Sometimes we can be in the battle, but not engaged. As the Lord’s church, we are a part of his armies and are called to fight in the Lord. Pray that your fight would belong to God as well as its result.

Prayer: God, open my eyes to see your warrior-heart for your people. Help me to know that you fight for your people because we belong to you. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Let’s worship to “Lion And The Lamb” by Leeland.

-JH

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Day One: More Than Conquerors

Romans 8:37 (NIV)
… in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

“I remember standing. We were told to believe with just one word, that God could do it, that God could heal us and I remember just wanting that truth to be made real for me and as the speaker prayed this over us, I did sense the softening of my heart, the raising of my faith again. And when I went home that night and the next day, a joy overtook me. What Pastor Gus had looked like months before on the outside, I was experiencing that on the inside. I felt saved, I felt clean – it was the joy of the Spirit’s salvation, rescue, and healing bubbling up from within me. Our warrior won! God defeated the battles that raged in us, that raged against us, and most importantly God overcame us, he won us. As more battles do come, my faith and hope rests on knowing God is the warrior.” [excerpt from Anne Kim’s testimony]

What does it mean to be a conqueror? How are we to conquer in the Lord?

Prayer: Lord, you are the warrior. Thank you for your victory. As a child of your kingdom, I am called to be more than a conqueror where your love overcomes. Let your salvation work bubble up from within my heart in praise and worship. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Let’s worship to “There’s Nothing That Our God Can’t Do” by Passion.

-JH

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Day Five: Put Off, Be Renewed, Put On

Ephesians 4:22-24 – You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

“Now that they are ‘in Christ’, they have the responsibility, in the power of the Spirit, to take off the old lifestyle, the old way of being human, like someone stripping off a shabby and worn suit of clothing. It may have become comfortable. You may be used to it, and even quite like it. Familiar old clothes are often like that, and brand new ones often feel a bit strange. But if you want to live as a new person in and for the king, the old suit of clothes has to come off, and the new one has to go on.” [NT Wright, Ephesians for Everyone, 52]

Do you see that God has your life in mind even more than what you have in mind… even more than what you see and think? No matter how young or long we have been a Christian, God has something new for every single one of us – that’s a given – but are we willing to let go of the old or even what we currently know? Put off the old and let God make your mind new. Say yes to the Father for the new he has in mind and walk into it as you worship to “Here Again” by Elevation Worship (Click here).

– JH

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Day Four: Truth That Is In Jesus

Ephesians 4:20-21 – That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.

“This isn’t a matter of university degrees and paper qualifications, helpful though they may be. It’s a matter of the heart and mind being open to the ever-wider range of insight and imagination that comes with ‘learning the king’ (verse 20) … So what Paul is urging the young Christians is that they allow this teaching of Jesus to have its full effect in their lives.” [NT Wright, Ephesians for Everyone, 51-52]

What makes up ‘the way of life’ that the Ephesian church learned? Is there an ‘ever wider range of insight and imagination’ that is filling your heart and mind as you learn the truth that is in Jesus?

Take time to pray for the truth in Jesus to fill your heart and mind with an ever wider range of insight and imagination for his kingdom. Likewise, take time to pray for this truth that is in Jesus to affect even more the lives in your church, missional group/campus ministry, and those in your immediate context as you worship to “There’s Nothing That Our God Can’t Do” by Passion (Click here).

– JH

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Day Three: Self-Emptying

Philippians 2:5-8 – In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!

“Conversion is a renunciation of a self-centered identity in favor of a Christ-defined identity. All that shapes us is given over to Christ, and his mindset of self-giving love becomes our mindset. Conversion is the restructuring of a person’s thinking by the Holy Spirit as the result of a direct encounter with the love of God in the person of Christ.” [K. Snodgrass, NIVAC: Ephesians, 240]

Because Jesus emptied himself for us and because ‘his mindset of self-giving love becomes our mindset,’ we can empty ourselves through the Spirit. This self-emptying love is being on point as a Christian. Take time to empty yourself before the Lord of specific thoughts, feelings, concerns, preferences that need to be let go of. Let God fill you with his love and thoughts as you worship to “Better Than Life” by Phil Wickham (Click here).

Prayer: Lord, thank you for giving yourself so that I would be filled with life. Let your love change my thinking to give myself for your purpose. May there be more of you and less of me. It’s in Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

– JH

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Day Two: Given Themselves Over

Ephesians 4:18-19 – They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.

“Christianity is a religion that emphasizes on the one hand the futility and distortion of humanity without God and on the other hand the value of humanity in God’s eyes and with God… We [humanity] give ourselves to trivialities and diversions. Our minds are given to sports, movies, and sitcoms to avoid thought. Our self-centeredness alienates us from God. We do not acknowledge our need of God, do not have time for him, and if we think about him at all, our thought is juvenile. Having lost sensitivity to God and fellowship with him, we give ourselves to sensuality… We are caught in an increasing downward spiral of serving ourselves.” [K. Snodgrass, NIVAC: Ephesians, 237, 239].

Paul paints a very bleak picture of those who are separated from God. Do you agree with the strong language that Paul uses? How would you view yourself and those around you in the truth and love of God?

Take time giving yourself over to God’s truth and ways. Ask God for his perspective for the people around you in your life as you worship to “This We Know” by Passion (Click here).

– JH

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Day One: Insist On It

Ephesians 4:17 – So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.

“Paul asks his Gentile readers not to live like Gentiles! This sounds strange, but obviously “Gentile” could be used both in an ethnic sense and in a moral sense, somewhat akin to the earlier flexibility of the English word “pagan.” … While Paul could address them as Gentiles ethnically (2:11), he did not want his readers to be like the Gentiles among whom they lived.” [K. Snodgrass, NIVAC: Ephesians, 229]

What’s the difference between ‘in the Lord’ and ‘in the futility of their thinking’? Why did Paul insist that the Ephesian church no longer live and think as the Gentiles do?

If you are a student, then don’t just live like other students around you. If you are a working professional, then don’t just live like others in your workplace. As Christians, we are to be different from the world in how we live ‘in the Lord.’ Take time to reflect on any areas/thoughts that might be challenging your faith in God. Pray and insist that your thoughts and living be in the Lord as you worship to “Who You Say I Am” by Hillsong Worship (Click here).

– JH

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