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Vital signs- Wednesday, February 7th, 2024

Fact-Jesus has defeated death by His resurrection. God has already told us the end of the story though it hasn’t happened just yet.

In case you are concerned God may be mistaken about the end of events, He has proven Himself capable time and again. Going back to freeing the Israelites from Egypt through captivity, even as recently as 1948, God has shown His ability to look out for His people. The events found in Revelation my not have happened yet, but God is trustworthy to fulfill them. Given His trustworthiness, we know the war is won. We do not need to be concerned with the war!

So why is there still warfare and what is our role in all of this? We know the war is won, or more accurately going to be won. As I just stated, the war over death is already won. The rest is coming. We are just waiting for God to decide it is time. This could be anytime. You may not get the chance to finish reading this before Christ returns. Or we all may be dead decades before He decides the timing is right. We may not know when for sure, but we do know it WILL happen. Satan, being the very determined, resilient being he is, is determined to keep up the fight and try to reverse the ending. He is unable to admit to himself he is playing a losing game. He has no hope of winning.

Because of this, the war may be won but there are sill battles to be fought. We aren’t fighting for the end result. Not the big end result anyway. We are fighting for the salvation of those who do not yet know Christ. We are fighting for the quality of our daily lives and the closeness of our relationship with God. We are fighting to be more than just saved. We are fighting for our chance to become more like Christ.

If Satan can’t have our salvation, he will try and steal our joy, our calling, our close relationship with God, and our influence on others. That is what our daily fight is for. Now that we have the right perspective, now that we know the importance of being in the battle, now that we know our role in the battle, and now that we know our enemy it is time to take up our weapons and learn how to FIGHT!

I can’t rightly put prayer and reading the Bible in a satisfactory 1 – 2 order. I can’t determine which is more important. I call them easily equal.

“first prayer” for fear someone would think it more important than reading the Bible. The gap between all of these battle strategies is incredibly narrow. Not much more than a whisper separates them in regard to significance, however the other strategies are significantly less effective without prayer and being in the Word.

Prayer: Many a book has been written on the importance of prayer and how to pray. I am not going to try and recreate those here. I simply want to emphasize how important prayer is. Not just when things are going poorly. Not even just when things are going great. But pray always. Paul tells us at the end of his first letter to the Thessalonians “pray without ceasing (5: 17).” This is not exaggeration, this is not colorful language for “you should pray a lot,” this is literally “pray all the time.” What I am talking about is having a running dialogue with God. Ask Him quick questions about what your day entails. Thank Him when little things pop up through out the day that make you remember how good He is. Run stuff past Him before you speak it out loud. A lot of us might save ourselves a lot trouble by doing that. Say quick prayers for people you run across during your day. Something as quick and simple as “God bless that cashier.” “Lord give strength to that mother.” Prayers don’t have to be long and flowery to be effective. Jesus in Matthew 6:7 warns us of heaping up “empty phrases” reminding us it is not the amount of words we use which God considers. Instead it is our heart which gets God’s attention.

When you do have your structured time of prayer be sure to include listening time. Sometimes these are actual written lists, other times they are just mental lists. This is usually when people ask for things they need or want, pray for other people, thank God for various things, and often seek direction for their life. There is nothing wrong with any of these. However, even well intentioned, altruistic prayers when not a natural part of a relationship with God can take our focus off that which is most important. In regard to spiritual warfare, prayer is our communication to the Commander in Chief. Prayer is how we receive our marching orders. Prayer is how we know when to advance, when to rest, when to ambush, and when we need to resupply.

Reading God’s Word: You cannot have a relationship with someone you know nothing about. And He has given us a rather thick reference guide to begin to know Him better. This guide is the Bible. It not only tells us the story of sin and salvation, of Jesus and the end, but also of who God is. The Bible tells of the need and means of salvation, but it also lets us know who God is. This is the authority on the Authority.

The Bible is THE source for encouragement from God, a reminder of our victory, and strategies for overcoming. It is true the Bible doesn’t give specific answers for all problems. But the Bible spends a lot of time talking about wisdom and how to obtain it. If you have wisdom, then you either have the answers to those specific problems or know where to find them. The Bible also keeps us on the right path. Sometimes warfare requires us to go into enemy territory (please don’t do this unless we are well informed, well trained, and well supported). The Bible is our lifeline to not get lost in these hostile environments.

”All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.“

‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭3‬:‭16‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Team Wade loves you and is praying for you❤️👊

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