About Tim Burt

Friday, October 25, 2013

The “Why God?” Questions

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Ever find yourself asking the questions “Why God?” "Why is this happening?"

I am sure that most of us have at one time or another. When hurt or disappointment is present and questions that you can't get answers to come, beware! Why? Because the "whys” have the potential to confuse and undermine your faith. I’m not saying that asking God about things you don’t understand is bad. No, to the contrary, that is a good thing to do.
Sometimes when we ask God questions, we are inadvertently asking them out loud to the world or to people who don’t know God. The answers they try to come up with will be confusing, random based on speculation, and most often, an undermining force to your faith in God. You can’t force or simply figure out answers to questions that only God knows the answers to.

Some time ago we prayed for a couple who were pregnant with child that had received an evil report. We prayed with them and stood in faith with them. When the child was born, everything was wonderful. It was declared by the doctor as a miracle. Another time later, we were asked to pray for another couple that like wise had received an evil report. We also stood in faith with them. When their child was born, it lived for less than an hour. It was a painful and sad experience. The good experiences cause us to rejoice. The hard experiences lead to the “why” questions. They work to discourage our faith.

David himself went through troubled times as King Saul was chasing him to kill him. David was told he would become the King of Israel by Samuel the Prophet. Instead he is being hunted like a criminal. How could this all make sense? The "whys" led David to cry out, "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help?"  (Psalms 22:1 (NLT)) Deep down David knew that God was with him. He had seen God deliver him time and time again. But even David had his moments of discouragement that led to asking "Why?"
If you've heard ridiculous answers to God questions, you know that they never settle well within you. They almost have the ability to make you mad because they make God look insane or evil - like He doesn't know what He is doing. I’ve heard way too many over the years. I remember a pastor once explaining at a funeral that this young lawyer who died, did so because “God took him home because He needed another lawyer in Heaven.” I knew that this ridiculous answer even made the family mad and spiritually confused others.

If I make unreasonable demands for answers God is not ready to give me, I'll end up over analyzing and intellectualizing everything and creating false answers that will confuse me and lead me away from God. When asking God questions, its important to do so with a child-like faith. What do I mean by that? What provokes a "Why God" question often comes at a time of pain or confusion. A loving Father would comfort a child with the explanation they were able to understand. That might be a partial answer if the child couldn't grasp the full answer at their level of maturity. But he would eventually give that child the answers they need as they became able to comprehend them. You may be an adult but your spiritual maturity might not be able to grasp the answers God would give you because He speaks and teaches us through His Word.

So, as you ask "Why?" you need to read His Word asking the Lord to show you the answers you seek. You need to accept His timing in giving you the answers you seek. They might not immediately come. Only He can give you the answers to those difficult questions that could otherwise be confusing to your faith and understanding of Him. It is the Holy Spirit who teaches us the ways and heart of God. So, the thing to do when those questions arise is ask the Lord, then tell the Lord you will patiently await the answer. Some answers will come quickly, and some over time. Either way, the Lord is faithful to answer your questions through His Word.
In this way, your faith will be intact and you will receive true revelation and insight from the heart of God that will help you understand while making your faith stronger!

Psalms 20:6 (NIV) "Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; He answers him from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand"

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

God's Will? Have a Great Marriage!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


As a Pastor, I have been asked to give spiritual guidance to couples that are struggling in their marriage. Sometimes you have both the husband and wife really wanting to make things work. This is best case scenario. Other times you have a husband that wants to fight for the marriage but his wife doesn’t or a wife that wants to fight for her marriage but the husband doesn’t. These marriages are extremely difficult to help. In any case, I am obligated by the Word of God to point couples to Jesus, to His Word, and to believe for a miracle of resurrected love that can only come when hearts are open to learn and be corrected by God’s Word. The Word of God simply doesn’t give me permission to say – “Just hang it up – you two will never make it.” Only in cases of infidelity or when one person is married to an unbeliever, does God show allowance through His Word. (And by the way, this is not to condemn anyone who is remarried or who has been divorced. Look forward – not back!)

I have never hidden the fact that Renee and I had problems in the first years of our marriage. We were passionately in love yet plagued by immaturity. We were stubborn and selfish and had slightly delusional ideas of how marriage was supposed to work as we entered marriage. Most everyone thinks they can figure out how to be married. They think love will conquer all – that is until they face a brutal awakening.


There were times where each of us would occasionally be haunted with the thought, "We might not make it." We didn't say it out loud to each other, but later we both found out that it was a thought we both had to cast out! We hated the thought. We wanted to make it but those kinds of thoughts do come when you feel like your feelings of love for each other have become faint to non-existent.   So what kept us fighting for our marriage? Probably some of the same things that keep many people in a marriage.

Being Christians, we didn't want our marriage to fail. What kind of a testimony to God’s love and power is that? We didn’t want to suffer the embarrassment. We didn’t want to be failures. We didn’t want to be viewed as phonies and hypocrites. Those were all poor reasons for wanting to have a good marriage and yet I am glad they were there. They were a peer pressure – good or bad that helped us hang in there.

There were also the right and most important reasons that we couldn't quit. First, we knew it was not God's will. We believed there had to be a way to turn it around. We believed and had faith in that. Secondly, strange as it may sound, in the midst of the turmoil, I knew that I had loved my wife and that love still had to be in there. Until those feelings were resurrected, I had to live out of the commitment that comes with love. Love is more than some elusive feeling. Third, we truly believed God always has the answer you need and He is always there and not just willing, but desiring to help you get it right! Always! The question was, were we willing to humble ourselves and seek Him in whatever way it took to get the answers and help from Him to turn it around? We were! I was! I love God. I have always been determined to not let Satan eat my lunch. I have always been determined to fulfill God’s will. Renee was the same way.

I got before the Lord and being the head of my family and marriage, I sought the Lord often asking Him to change me and help me do whatever it took to turn our marriage around. In the midst of marriage troubles, it almost always feels like your spouse is the problem. I went to the Lord not asking Him to change her, but to change me.  To do that it took spending time in prayer and God's Word. Honestly, most people aren't willing to pay this kind of price. But the price to co-exist unhappily is higher than the price to seek God for the answers and strength to change what needs to be changed. Some men have given up and already mentally and emotionally checked out of their marriage. They have looked around at other women. They have played mentally with the thought of moving past their wife into affairs, pornography, flirting, masturbation, or whatever.

I stayed before the Lord. He helped me. He opened my eyes to look at things that bothered me with new and fresh perspective. He helped me be more patient and kind in my temperament. He helped me value the good I saw in Renee and look past the little quirks she had. I had them too! We all do! He helped me in ways that I don't have words for. He restored our love for each other. Within a couple of years of being newlyweds, with God's help, we were able to inwardly change and mature and watch our marriage mature. Our marriage got better every year. We now have a awesome marriage and we have matured in our love in more ways than I can describe. It makes me so thankful to God.

The Word of God can be so powerful and alive! In John 14:26, the Holy Spirit is called "the Counselor who will teach us in ALL things." Think about that. He is the Counselor. In other words, the advice, the wisdom, the help, the perfect counsel from the one whom is ALL KNOWING is available to those that seek Him! That is why we could not quit. We knew God had every answer we needed! We knew He wanted us to have it. I knew I had the grace as the head of my marriage and family to stand and fight for our marriage. I knew I could and had to do whatever it took to get it right. God honored that and now I have the marriage I have dreamed of when it was the marriage I toyed with throwing away.

I have learned that I can't make anyone believe God when He says, "All things are possible to Him who believes," but I know it's true and I do believe it! That's all I can do. I always hope people can take hold of what I say, but if they won't listen to God why would they listen to me? And yet I keep saying it. I pray they won't quit. I pray that they ask God to renew their hope and then go from there. The true spiritual guidance any of us need for any area of our life is present within us if we have Jesus as our Lord and the Holy Spirit as our Counselor!

Mark 10:7-9 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, October 21, 2013

God's Voice: An Invaluable Treasure From God to You

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


There is not one day in my life that goes by where the Lord doesn’t speak to me. I don’t mean in a spooky way. He reminds me of a verse, or opens my mind to its meaning. He flashes a picture of something I would have forgotten. He speaks to me through a Christian friend. I hear Him addressing something in my life through a sermon I am listening to. He leads me to a verse that speaks the wisdom I was seeking. Somehow, because I am trying to listen, He finds a way to talk with me.

Outside of receiving Jesus Christ as Lord as Savior, there is no greater privilege and honor than being able to hear and be led by the voice and spirit of Almighty God through His Holy Spirit. God wants us to embrace and learn to become thankfully confident in this privilege. Romans 8:15-16 says, “So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God's very own children, adopted into his family—calling him "Father, dear Father." For His Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God's children.”
If we’ve received Jesus as Lord, then we have His Holy Spirit indwelling within us as told in 1 Cor. 6:19 “Or don't you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself?” 

As a young excited Christian, I wanted to break away from all my sinful ways. Romans 8:7-8 says it like this. “For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God's laws, and it never will. That's why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.” It wasn’t easy but because my heart was determined to please God and get it right, I could sense His voice and the leading of the Holy Spirit in scripture speaking to me as well as through my Pastor’s sermons, through the counsel of Christian friend’s, and through much that I read in learning to grow in Christ. God found many ways to speak to me. As Romans 8:14 says, “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.”

It was critical then to learn to know and distinguish between the three voices that I heard – that we all hear speaking within us. I had the voice of my human reasoning going on in my head. I had the voice of the Holy Spirit wanting to lead me. And then there was the voice of Satan trying to confuse and lead me into a sinful life outside of God.

God’s voice is like that of the perfect parent. I grew up with great parents. They always wanted good for me. They gave me wise counsel. They corrected me when I was headed down a wrong path or had wrong thinking or a bad attitude. They encouraged me in everything that was good and right. They helped me in any way they could, whenever they could. That is how the voice and leading of God is, only exceedingly beyond anything parents could feel and know. God wants good for you!

You have your own voice within you. It is the voice of your conscience –  what some call the soul. It is trained by your intellect and emotions – all the information that feeds into your life on a daily basis. It is what you were led by prior to receiving Jesus and His Holy Spirit. That voice alone will lead you astray! I was and still am capable of wandering and going astray. We all are and have! Without the voice of God leading us, that is what we do. That is why Jesus had to save us. Isaiah 53:6 “All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God's paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on Him (Jesus) the guilt and sins of us all.” We will go astray without God’s voice and loving guidance. That is why God gave us the Holy Spirit – so we aren’t left to our own voice.

Satan’s voice? Jesus described him best in John 8:44 by saying, “…He was a murderer from the beginning and has always hated the truth. There is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.”  And John 10:10 tells us more about the enemy of our soul.  “The thief's (Satan’s) purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My (Jesus')  purpose is to give life in all its fullness.“

What is each voice that is trying to influence your thinking and actions speaking to you? Is the voice you are listening to leading you to be faithful or diligent or loyal or committed spouse, employee, or friend? Is it telling you its okay to call in sick when you are not? Is it thinking angry, or hateful or revengeful thoughts? Is it thinking about how to lead someone to Jesus or seeking about how you can be a better Christian? Is it speaking of restraint or encouraging you to please your flesh and satisfy every lustful desire? Is it telling you to check out that woman in the office that is not your wife or telling you that checking out porn on the Internet is just an innocent “guy thing?” Is it telling you that playing around on chat lines with someone you don’t know is okay? Is that voice trying to legitimize your sinful sexual life outside of marriage? In all these, check what the voice says by asking the Holy Spirit about it. Check your heart, your motive, and what the Word of God says, and you will know who you are listening to. There is no benefit in listening to Satan or those infected by his influence. There is little benefit in listening just to yourself. The benefit is in listening to the still small voice of God.

John 10:27 says, "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." God will not accuse you or condemn you. He will not yell at you or raise His voice. He will not scream at you. He will speak to you in a still small voice if you learn to listen for it continuously.  He will encourage you, teach you, reveal His love to you, lead you and guide you in every thought and decision you bring before Him. What He says will align with the Word of God in scripture and will help you discern those voices. When you learn to sort out these voices and discern the voice of the Lord, you have found an invaluable treasure! 

Psalms 95:6-7 (NLT) "Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our maker, for he is our God. We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care. If only you would listen to his voice today!"

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, October 18, 2013

Making of a Champion: Seattle Seahawks

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


The video I have posted IS NOT just for sports lovers. It is for God-lovers.  I assure you this is an amazing and heart warming video that will bless you and that you will want to share! Watch ever minute of it and be blessed by it!


In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, October 11, 2013

You - Before and After!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


On one of my birthday’s, Renee gave me this new health book Fit for Life. In this book, they have an entire picture section of people that have been through the program this book offers. You see all the before and after pictures of all these people. I love looking at before and after pictures of people that have purposed to change. It is so inspiring! In three to six months of hard work, these people look completely different and so much better.

In 2 Corinthians chapter 5 we read about God giving us a brand new life as we receive Jesus as our Savior. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT) "This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!"

God empowers us by His Holy Spirit to live it out. His Word says we are to be transformed. As I was looking at the before and after pictures of the people in this book, I had this thought: every one of us is working toward one of those two pictures. We are either creating a before picture or an after picture of our current life. Have you ever thought which picture you are presently creating? Think back to five years ago in your spiritual life, your physical life, and your mental state of mind. Have you gone backwards and are creating a picture you’d rather have as a “before” picture, or have you progressed in your life and it’s definitely an “after” picture?

In the book of the Acts in chapter 26, the Apostle Paul is giving his testimony while on trial. He is verbally painting the before picture of his life and then the after picture after Jesus got a hold of him. It became his testimony. Everyone that changes from a before to and after has a testimony. How powerful it is when our testimony is about what the Lord has done in us!

I am definitely living in an after picture. I say that because if anyone saw me now compared to thirty-five years ago before I knew the Lord, they'd tell you I was a completely different person. I am happy for that. At the same time, internally I feel like I am in a before picture compared to what I believe the Lord still wants to do within me and through my life. I realize that's good. Otherwise I would be sitting in pride of how great I think I am and probably look like a Pharisee.

The after picture is our ongoing goal that we see in our hearts that God helps us paint. It is the shaping of our thoughts and desires to conform to His Word, His Will, and His purpose for our lives. It's a path and a process in which we will continue to be changed as we pray and seek Him and purpose to live according to what He speaks to us through His Word.

Phillipians 1:5 reminds us that God is there if we will have confident faith in His supply of supernatural help. “…being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” As this verse reveals, it’s God who had began and will continue to work in you – that is if you have confident faith in His helping you.

An aimless and purposeless life outside of the Lord will always result in a before picture. Pressing toward God's will for your life will help create after pictures. An after picture is not the end of all. It is actually only a step to the next after picture. What does your next after picture look like?

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, October 07, 2013

God Wants to Meet Your Needs!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt
 

Have you ever noticed that some people seem to carry an unjustified confidence about everything they think and do – and possibly an ego to match? Confidence is a huge and necessary character quality in life. Without confidence, leaders, athletes, professionals, nor anyone, will rise to the fullness of their potential. Yet confidence is not supposed to be based on vain imagination or inflated ego. Confidence is to be based on a number of factors having to do with knowledge, understanding, ability, skill, and potential. 

There are two foundational things confidence must be built on. First, we must be confident from the promise of God’s word, that He loves us and cares about every detail of our lives. Secondly, we must know that as Jesus said, "...without me you can do nothing." (John 15:5) Every good thing that touches our life is because of God's grace – His divine mercy and love helping us. Not because we are so smart or cool or because we deserve it. 


Pride, ego, and boasting shuts God out of one’s life. Jeremiah 9:23 warns us, "Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches…”Let me tell you a powerful truth. God hates pride. Satan’s original sin was pride. Pride shuts down God’s ability to work in our lives. James 4:6 says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."

Proverbs 14:26 says, “In the reverence of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. “The words “strong confidence” literally means “mighty assurance.” What this verse is telling us is that when we put our faith in the promise of God’s Word, we can have mighty assurance or confidence.

Strong confidence rooted in anything outside of God is nothing more than disguised pride. Pride boasts about what it knows and about what it can do. It boasts about its future and its greatness. James 4:13-16 says, “Look here, you people who say, 'Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.' How do you know what will happen tomorrow? For your life is like the morning fog it's here a little while, then it's gone. What you ought to say is, 'If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.' Otherwise you will be boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil.”

These verses aren’t telling us not to plan. They are telling us that without praying for God’s participation, guidance, and grace in our day-to-day plans, we are out on a trip all by ourselves. Prov 16:9 says “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” Prov 16:3 says, “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” 

God wants blessing, provision, and protection for our life. He wants this abundantly for our lives. Jesus revealed the nature of Satan and his will for us vs. Jesus and His will for us in John 10:10. “(Satan)The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I (Jesus) have come that they may have life, and have it to more abundantly.” You will never extend your faith in His promise beyond what you truly believe God wants for you. This has got be become one of the most settled issues of your heart. You then need to learn to trust and stand on these promises of God. As you do, you will see God manifest His blessings in your life. 

From the time Renee and I were married we believed and trusted God for our provision. That doesn’t mean we sat around twiddling our thumbs waiting for a mystical magical check to show up in our mailbox. God teaches us to work diligently, to honor authority, and to treat everyone – even those who seem to oppose or be against us, with love and respect. He teaches us to always give our best effort. He teaches us to seek Him through prayer for wisdom and direction. When we develop a lifestyle of following God’s ways like this and then we are faithful to become rooted in a church where we bring our tithes and offerings, God will direct us on a supernatural path of spiritual growth, provision, protection, and blessing. 

When I was a young minister, I couldn’t afford suits yet I needed to wear them. Renee and I were young marrieds with four young children. I worked and she stayed at home with the kids. We lived meagerly, yet we praised God and thanked Him daily for bringing us into a place of abundant promised blessing. We had strong confidence that He would meet all our needs because He promised He would. Psa 115:11-15 “You who fear him, trust in the LORD He is their help and shield. The LORD remembers us and will bless us… He will bless those who fear the LORD small and great alike. May the LORD make you increase, both you and your children…”We believed God would bring increase to us in every areas of life - spiritual growth, maturity, and provision. 

Renee and I decided to make lists of everything we needed – those things relating to our daily living and those things related to serving Him more effectively. We built those lists, hung them in our kitchen and thanked God daily for supplying our every need as promised in Philippians 4:19. “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

At this time suits and ties was something I had put on the list. A short time after I did, a man from church called me. “Tim, I was praying and God told me to call you and see if I could give you some of my suits.” This man had awesome taste in clothes and beautiful suits. He gave me three suits. The same thing happened with Renee concerning dresses. We may have not had a lot in those days, but we looked better than our bank account reflected.

Over time we would see the Lord provide those things on our lists – over and over again. As soon as one list was filled, we’d create another. We did this to honor Him as our provider! We still do this after all these years. We could probably afford much of what we need now but we are not relying on ourselves. We rely on God for all our provision. This is where our strong confidence is. Let Him become your strong confidence and provider!

Proverbs 14:26 “In the reverence of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.”



Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, October 04, 2013

Hilarious! "The Apology"

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt



Someone sent me these apology notes between spouses and it really made me laugh! Maybe you've already seen this but even so, I hope you enjoy it!


Hi Sweetheart,

I am sorry about getting into an argument about putting up the Christmas lights. I guess that sometimes I feel like you are pushing me too hard when you want something. I realize that I was wrong and I am apologizing for being such a hard-headed guy. All I want is for you to be happy and be able to enjoy the holiday season. Nothing brightens the Christmas spirit like Christmas lights! I took the time to hang the lights for you today; and now I will be off to the golf course.

Again, I am very sorry for the way I acted yesterday. I'll be home later.

Love you……


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Her response:   

Hi Honey,

Thank you for that heart-felt apology. I don't often get an apology from you, and I truly appreciate it. I, too, felt bad about the argument and wanted to apologize. I realize that I can sometimes be a little pushy. I will try to respect your feelings from now on. Thank you for taking the time to hang the Christmas lights for me. It really means a lot. In the spirit of giving, I washed your truck for you; and now I am off to the mall.

I love you too!



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I guess this is why God instructs us to: Ephesians 4:31 (NLT) "Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior."


In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

God's Way of Overcoming Weariness and Relational Schmism

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


When I was 20 years old, I was playing in a broom ball match that got quite heated. A fight broke out between a couple of guys next to me and before I knew what happened, it seemed like everyone started fighting. As I was turning my head looking around, I instantly saw a punch coming right at me. It hit me in the mouth and almost knocked out my tooth. That unseen punch was called a “sucker punch.”

We’ve all been there! We’ve all be sucker punched! We’ve all been suddenly hit with what we didn’t see coming, that had the potential to knock us out. The enemy of our soul tries to manipulate those kinds of attacks against our life. The Lord knows this and out of His love for us, tries to instruct us how to defend ourselves and then defeat these attacks. Yesterday I wrote about how not to be weak kneed after the first punch, but how to instead instantly gain strength from the Lord before you do anything else. I want to continue from there today.
When a demonic attack comes against our life, it’s purpose is to try to torment our mind and emotions, steal our peace and joy, and undermine and get us to abandon our trust in God. At that moment, we may feel weak-kneed but God wants us to first rise up in His strength – not our own. He says, "Be strong in the Lord's mighty power.” That strength comes from knowing God cares about every detail of your life including your present situation. He loves you and wants to help you!

Then, through the Apostle Paul, God reveals more. He informs us that God has weapons for us to use in this attack. The Bible calls them the weapons of our warfare. Eph. 6:11-12 says, "Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.”

When an attack comes, we are instructed to make sure we have put on our armor – God's spiritual protection for the attacks that come in life. Then He immediately instructs us hold on to the right mind-set – recognizing that the people that seem to be the source of our problem aren’t the problem. He informs us that we are fighting spiritual forces behind the attack.
That is so important to know. When you know that, you won’t look at them as your enemy. You can hold on to your love walk. Don’t get mad at the person. Instead, pause and lift your heart to the Lord. At that moment, draw strength from God and say, “Lord, I know these people are not the source of this and I won’t react or act like the devil in response to them. Help me manage this situation in a way that glories you and draws further direction from you later.” If you can learn to do this, you will head off a multitude of potential problems you might have otherwise created. You will also avoid the mental warfare of playing negative situations over and over in your head.

Think for a moment: If you were being protected by a group of soldiers or policemen, would you want them to freak out at the first shot of a bullet or would you want them to be calm and use the God-given skills to think rationally and protect you? You have to do the same thing. When you do, you’ve won the first round of the fight.

This is a great truth forgotten on a daily basis. People are not our enemy. If we truly understood that, we would deal with the battles we fight in a completely different way. We would become by default, people of prayer – praying through obstacles and setbacks before we tried to fix or deal with them. We’d fight battles in the Lord’s strength and in a way that glories God – through love and prayer. We’d have faith that He would help us deal with theses problems.

People live in unforgiveness, strife, and division for years and years because of how they initially and poorly dealt with a negative attack. The roots of bitterness grow deep. The hurt and pain  is replayed in the mind countless times and the pain of that hurt 15 years later is as fresh as if it happened yesterday. It keeps people from forward progress and blessing in their life. 

Putting a target on a person only creates division and strife and draws you into the wells of self-justification. It throws logs on a fire. You know this! Some situations are impossible to fix without making things worse. You need God's help and intervention so that you don't make matters worse! So, again, pause and pray in faith and then respond as the Lord leads you!

The enemy is the enemy of our soul. Our battles are first spiritual. That means we have to learn to put on the weapons of our warfare and at every point of conflict, remember who we are, who are enemy is, and who people are. People are to be the target of God’s love operating though us – even when it seems they are coming against us.

This is why Jesus spoke these words to us in Luke 6:27-36 says, "But if you are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you… Do for  others as you would like them to do for you. "Do you think you deserve credit merely for loving those who love you? Even the sinners do that! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, is that so wonderful? Even sinners do that much! .."Love your enemies! Do good to them… Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for He is kind to the unthankful and to those who are wicked. You must be merciful and compassionate, just as your Father is merciful and compassionate."

Conflict, evil reports, negative situations, are real. They do show up in our life, often as a sucker punch. But, the Lord wants you to be strong in HIS might, put your armor, and know that people are not your enemy, the devil and his cohorts are. When you feel those fiery arrows in your life – pause, draw strength, and pray! More tomorrow…

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

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