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The Word For Today

Winning life's battles 2



'We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.' 2 Chronicles 20:12 NIV

Second, admit your own inadequacy. The only people God can't help are those who don't think they need his help. King Jehoshaphat said, 'We have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you' (2 Chronicles 20:12 NIV). Often our eyes are on everything and everyone - except God - the one who can solve our problems.

Your circumstances are like a mattress: if you're on top you can rest easy, but if you're underneath you can suffocate. Keep your eyes on the Lord and you'll win out over your circumstances. Remember, it's 'not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord' (Zechariah 4:6 NIV). You can't live the Christian life in your own strength because you have a power shortage. You need the power that comes from letting God's Spirit live through you. Try to imagine a glove. On its own, it is limp and powerless. But once a hand fills that glove it becomes useful and effective.

Jesus said, 'You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you' (Acts 1:8 NKJV). Jesus often spoke of the Holy Spirit as 'the Helper', so when you don't know what to do, stand on his promise: 'The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name...will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you' (John 14:26 NKJV). If you fight in your own strength, you'll lose. But when you draw on the power of God's Spirit that's within you, you'll win.

Soulfood: Rom 12-14, Matt 15:1-14, Ps 5, Pro 5:1-2

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Winning life's battles 1



'We have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us.' 2 Chronicles 20:12 NIV

With God's help, King Jehoshaphat overcame not just one army, but three! And his victory teaches us how we can win life's battles.

First, identify the enemy. Many of us have no clue who the real enemy is. We think it's the person who is interested in taking our job, our spouse or our money. But many times the enemy is our own attitude! It's not so much what's happening that gets us down, it's our response to the situation. Before you can win on a personal level, you must identify the enemy. Note how Jehoshaphat reacted when he heard 'a vast army' was coming against him. He was 'alarmed' (2 Chronicles 20:2-3 NIV). It's a fairly typical human response. We see a big problem, panic and become fearful about what's going to happen to us. And in truth, fear isn't all bad unless we deal with it in the wrong way. We can use it to motivate us to conquer the problem and drive us closer to God. It's when we get discouraged, give up, get angry and start asking, 'Why me, Lord?' that fear defeats us.

If you're in a situation that's filling you with fear and anxiety, remember - God doesn't respond to need; he responds to faith. So stake your faith on his unshakeable Word and stand on his promise: 'Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand' (Isaiah 41:10 NKJV). Unshakeable trust in God's Word brings his help.

Soulfood: Rom 9:17 - 11:36, Matt 14:22-36, Ps 149, Pro 4:25-27

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'Rush hour'



'The Lord will bless his people with peace.' Psalm 29:11 NKJV

Why is the late afternoon time called 'rush hour', when nothing moves? For many, the real rush hour occurs when we arrive home. Early evening is when everyone is hungry and tempers are short. Two working parents come home irritable and tired, but their children are unsympathetic and need immediate attention. It's a setup for conflict.

There are some things you can do to help defuse this rush hour time bomb. First, if you work, call your children before you leave work in the afternoon. This can give you a head start in dealing with any troubles that might be brewing at home. Second, make a conscious effort during the 'rush hour' to disengage from the responsibilities of your tasks and the cares of the day. Third, concerning the dinner meal, it's wise to do as much as possible in the morning or the night before. Slow-cooker type dinners that have simmered all day, or those that can go straight from the refrigerator to the oven, will relieve pressure at a time when stress is the greatest. The quicker everyone can eat and raise their blood sugar, the better. Then spend some time with the kids before homework and bath time begins. You might take the dog out on a neighbourhood walk or play football in the garden. Finally, get the kids in bed and reserve a few moments of tranquillity for yourselves.

There's no easy way to get through rush hour five nights a week, but with a little planning it can be less stressful. And here's a rush hour promise: 'The Lord will give strength to his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace' (Psalm 29:11 NKJV).

Soulfood: Isa 40:9-11, Isa 42:1-4, Ps 18:31-35

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