Monday, January 02, 2012

The best Year of Your Life!

It’s a new year, with new opportunities and possibilities. Where is Your focus? What is important to you? What are your spiritual priorities in life? What are you doing for eternity? What are you doing now that will truly matter 150 years from today? What do you spend your efforts on? Will it last? What do you think about most of the time? God… or stuff…?

The enemy of our souls wants to distract us from what God would have us do. Some years ago, I came across this article that serves as a reminder to realign our priorities.

The Devil's Convention

by Richard J. Enrico
Satan called a worldwide convention. In his opening address to his evil angels, he said, "We can't keep the Christians from going to church. We can't keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth. We can't even keep them from conservative values. But we can do something else.
We can keep them from forming an intimate, abiding relationship with Jesus Christ. If they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken. So let them go to church, let them have their conservative lifestyles, but
steal their time, so they can't gain that experience in Jesus Christ. This is what I want you to do, angels. Distract them from gaining hold of their Savior and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!"
"How shall we do this?" shouted his angels.
"Keep them busy in the
nonessentials of life and invent countless schemes to occupy their minds," he answered. "Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, then, borrow, borrow, borrow. Convince the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to work six or seven days a week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their lifestyles. Keep them from spending time with their children. As their family fragments, soon their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work."

Over stimulate their minds so they cannot hear that still small voice.  Entice them to play the radio or CD player whenever they drive. Have them keep the television on at all times, and their computers going constantly."

"Have the DVD and CD  and MP3 players running. And see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays non-Christian music constantly. This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ."

"Fill their coffee-tables with magazines and newspapers. Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day. Invade their driving moments with billboards.

"Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, sweepstakes, mail order catalogs and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering, free products, services, and false hopes."

"In their recreation, let them be excessive. Have them return from their recreation exhausted, disquieted and unprepared for the coming week. Don't let them go out in nature to reflect on God's wonders. Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, concerts and movies instead. And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences and unsettled emotion.
"Crowd their lives with so many good causes they have
no time to seek power from Christ. Soon they will be depending on their own strength, sacrificing their health and family unity for the good of the cause."
It was quite a convention in the end. And the evil angels went eagerly to their assignments causing Christians everywhere to get busy, busy, busy and rush here and there.

Has the devil been successful at his scheme?

It’s up to you to take control of your spiritual life. The Word of God teaches us that we are to be lights in the darkness. But too many of us are like the foolish virgins who were awaiting the marriage with their lamps and oil, but they carelessly failed to prepare for the long wait. They needed more oil. They needed to trim their lamps. They were at risk of being out in the darkness with no fire in their lamps.

Fill your vessel with fresh oil. Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit in the scriptures. When a person is born again, the Holy Spirit draws us to Christ. He comes along side us to teach us and to help us be bold witnesses. He sheds light on the Word of God and helps us to understand it. In the parable of the 10 virgins, the wise ones had vessels filled with extra oil. The oil in the lamps was insufficient. As we move into a new year, we need to be sure our lamps are filled and we are also prepared with extra oil. If we only have enough oil for our lamp, we risk darkness and burnout. How do we get all this oil? By seeking the Holy Spirit’s fullness. Don’t be satisfied with just a little dab of oil. Bring your empty vessels. Fill them at the altar. Our failure to prepare for the midnight hour will result in sadness, rejection and darkness. We do not know what this year will hold for any of us. For some there will be job losses. Other may face medical crises. Some may lose loved ones. But when our vessels are filled and ready for the midnight hour of our lives, we will have light in the darkness and not be caught unprepared. When the times of trial and testing come, we can e ready to face tomorrow. We can cling to the promises of God: "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, And a light unto my path". - Ps.119:105

We all have good intentions. So did the 10 virgins—but in reality only five were really ready. Only five went in to the wedding feast. Only five had made preparation. What are your plans for the coming year? Is your lamp filled? Is your extra vessels also filled in anticipation of the midnight hour? Have you trimmed your lamp so it will burn brightly in the darkness? This year can be the best year of your life or the worst. The choice is yours. Find your way to the place where fresh oil is found. For Jesus, it was Gethsemane, the place of crushing, For you, there is a place where you must also find the oil, and it may take a crushing to bring out what you need for the midnight hour. There you will find the anointing oil, and the enemy will flee. If you are a wise virgin, you will seek the Holy Spirit’s fullness in your life—your vessel. He will not fail those who are sincere and intentional. Those who just try to get by with the bare minimum will find themselves stumbling in the darkness. It was at midnight Jesus was taken before  Ciaphas. It was at the midnight hour that Paul and Silas prayed and praised God in jail.

Let your light shine brightly...1 “Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see.
For the glory of the L
ord rises to shine on you.
2 Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth,
but the glory of the L
ord rises and appears over you.
3 All nations will come to your light;
mighty kings will come to see your radiance.
Isaiah 60:1-3

J. Johnson

Praise reports and prayer requests…..
Pray for revival!  Pray for those who are struggling with forgiveness,  anger and doubt.
Pray for the Johnsons as they seek a new place of full time ministry...a church that needs strong leadership. Pray for grieving families who have lost loved ones....Pray for Evangelists, Missionaries, and Teachers. . Pray for US Army Chaplain Steve Maglio.
Pray for those needing a healing touch in their bodies:) Jeanne Deike (cancer-stage 4)  Dave Barth (cancer),  Joyce Johnson (healing from cervical cancer...radiation) Pray for those dealing with chaos, anger, abuse, temptations and carnal sinful habits.  Pray for the nation, for the President, for our service men and women, for Israel, for Christians in Muslim countries, for the unsaved,  and don’t forget to Praise and thank  the Lord! Put on your armor! And get your lamps ready…..

No comments: