Far More Power

Evil forces are attacking. Are you powerful enough to stop them? Yes, God’s daughter, you are!

Children, you belong to God, and you have defeated these enemies. God’s Spirit is in you and is more powerful than the one that is in the world. (I John 4:4, CEV)

When we accept Christ, we enlist as soldiers in a war we will fight every day of our lives on earth. But we fight to a certain victory; God’s Word reveals that He wins this war and grants His soldiers everlasting peace in Heaven. In the meantime, He gives us the power to overcome any attack. Tapping into His power enables us to experience far more life, even in the midst of the battle.

For His divine power has bestowed on us [absolutely] everything necessary for [a dynamic spiritual] life and godliness, through true and personal knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. (2 Peter 1:3, AMP)

The most powerful evil forces we face are those that attack our mind, tempting us to disbelieve, distrust, and disobey God. We are tempted to sin through unforgiveness, selfishness, hatred, worry, shame, fear, and more. These temptations are attractive, even irresistible, in areas where we hold erroneous core beliefs about ourselves and God. Those core beliefs were usually developed when we were young and our immature minds could not recognize them as lies. Over time Satan tempts us to interpret circumstances in ways that reinforce those erroneous beliefs; when he succeeds, the lie gains credibility and we experience pain rather than far more life. Here are some of the most common lies Satan tells us about ourselves:

  • I am alone.
  • I am unloved.
  • I am unlovable.
  • I am worthless.
  • I am not good enough.
  • I am helpless.
  • I am hopeless.

How do we fight these attacks? With God’s truth!

The weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood]. Our weapons are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5, AMP)

There are many Bible verses we can use as weapons against Satan’s lies. Here are a few:

Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (I Corinthians 3:16, NKJV)

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39, NIV)

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9, NIV)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23, NIV)

I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13, NIV)

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV)

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you. (Acts 1:8a, NIV)

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:17-19, NIV)

You are not alone. You are loved. You are lovable. You are valuable. You are good. You have help. You have hope. The verses above are just a sample of the weapons available for fighting Satan’s attacks. Memorize the verses that most powerfully communicate these truths to you so they are always available when you need them. That will allow you to more consistently experience far more life.

Sometimes we get ambushed and do not even realize we are engaged in battle until we have lost. We recognize we are not experiencing far more life but do not know how we got so far from it. This happens when Satan’s lies resonate with messages in our subconscious and we react without stopping to think about the underlying beliefs. How can we be more aware those ambushes? By monitoring our negative emotions. Whenever we feel angry, hurt, alone, ashamed, disheartened, worried, or other strong negative emotions it may mean our enemy is attacking us. Stop and ask, “Why am I feeling this way?” Digging into what you feel and why will reveal the underlying belief and enable you to compare it to God’s truth, win the battle, and continue walking in far more life.

Some battles are harder than others. You may have to fight through layers of negative feelings and painful beliefs to reveal the erroneous core belief. You may have to wrestle with doubts about God before embracing the truth from His Word. You may need help from fellow soldiers to penetrate the enemy’s lair and destroy his weapons. But take hope in this truth:

The Lord is with me; he is my helper. I look in triumph on my enemies. (Psalm 118:7, NIV)

God has secured the ultimate victory over Satan! In this lifetime, you will battle, but each battle takes you one step closer to final victory. Fight in His power — using His truth — today and celebrate far more life!

Sisters,
In your daily experience, is God’s Spirit in you more powerful than the forces attacking you?
How do you find far more life in the midst of battle?
What erroneous core belief is most tempting to you? What truth helps you overcome that false belief?
Pray that God will help you recognize today’s attacks and counter with the power and truth of far more life!
-Shari

Copyright 2019, Shari Damaso

Time to Invest

We all have 60 minutes each hour. 24 hours each day. 7 days each week. 52 weeks each year. We can invest our time wisely and reap huge dividends, both now and in heaven. Or we can spend it on pursuits that yield a temporary thrill at most. One choice lets us survive while the other helps us sustain far more life.

So be very careful how you live, not being like those with no understanding, but live honorably with true wisdom, for we are living in evil times. Take full advantage of every day as you spend your life for his purposes. (Ephesians 5:15-16, TPT)

People who spend their lives for God’s purposes do more than accumulate possessions and experiences during their time on earth. They understand their God-given purpose and mission is to love Him and share His love with others. Investing in God’s work may not generate instant results, but it does produce eternal rewards. The far more life we find as we take full advantage of each day reminds us that our hope rests in Heaven, not immediate gratification on earth.

Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. (Colossians 3:23-24, NASB)

Whatever you do. Life is not a collection of spiritual and non-spiritual activities. When the Holy Spirit lives inside us, everything we do is a spiritual activity. We can work for God, regardless of our job. We can recreate or rest for God. We can learn and grow for God. We can give and serve for God. We can also do each of these activities without God. The choice is ours; will we choose life or far more life?

It takes more than just showing up to maximize our eternal yield and walk in far more life each day. The heart behind our investment is a key factor in the yield. Mundane tasks — like laundry and changing diapers — can be more profitable than leading a Bible study; it depends whether we are simply doing the “right” thing with an empty heart or “taking full advantage” of opportunities to love God and others. We take full advantage by remembering His instructions:

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21, ESV).

Acquiring earthly treasures — belongings, experiences, even relationships — can bring us temporary pleasure. But investing our heart and time in God’s purposes leads to far more life and treasure that will last for eternity! We do not always understand the impact of our investment, but God is orchestrating the efforts of many individuals to accomplish His will.

The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. (I Corinthians 3:8, NLT)

Investing in God’s work of planting and watering spiritual seeds can take more than our time; it can be physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. We know there will be an eventual payoff, but we can still grow weary from our labor. How do we maintain far more life in those conditions?

A wise friend once shared an “energy equation” that has been helpful to me. She explained that we all experience three types of interactions/activities: those that energize us (+3); those that are neutral, neither adding nor taking energy (0); and those that draw more energy than they give back (-3). If we are regularly in the hole, we are guaranteed to burn out and miss far more life. To be healthy, the sum of these interactions must consistently be zero or above. To experience far more life and have all we need to invest in God’s kingdom, we need a positive balance.

When my energy equation is below zero I often read or play mindless computer games to “rest”. But while my brain is distracted by those pursuits, I remain tired and reluctant to re-engage. Since they are not refreshing, those activities are probably a 0 rather than the +3 that I need. But if I invest the same amount of time exercising, meditating on God’s Word, writing, or napping, I find myself energized and ready to re-engage. Rather than “unplugging” by retreating into a virtual world, I am learning to ask myself, “What do I need right now to truly energize my body and spirit?”

As you look at your calendar and commitments, be intentional about your time investments. Prayerfully consider what you have to give each day and the refreshment you need to live far more life with a God-pleasing heart. Allowing time for connecting with God, eating healthy food, exercising, laughing, and sleeping is important for sustaining far more life. Remembering to include those in your daily energy equation will enable you to consistently join God in investing in His kingdom…people. Those are the only investments that will continue paying dividends for eternity!

Sisters,
Is most of your time spent or invested? Are you consistently experiencing far more life?
Are your treasures primarily on earth or in heaven?
What is your energy equation right now? What will truly energize your body and spirit?
Pursue far more life today as you invest in God’s kingdom!
-Shari

Copyright 2019, Shari Damaso

Refocus!

Last week I was feeling spiritually blah and wanted a verse to meditate on that would help me refocus. I searched on the word “hope” and found this gem:

…fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (I Peter 1:13, NASB)

Let’s break it down and meditate on it.

  • Fix means to set definitely or focus. When something is fixed it is secure rather than wavering. It is solid rather than shifting. My emotions have been fluctuating recently and that has caused my mind to vacillate as well. This is a factor in feeling spiritual blah. I want to experience the peace and calm that comes from fixing my mind on what comes next in this verse. I trust that will lead to far more life.
  • Hope is more than a wish. It is a confident expectation. It is not blind, but is based on evidence. Often my well-being is hanging on whatever I am hoping in. When I hope in temporary things, I feel good temporarily. But that is not satisfying! God has given me a desire for permanent hope. If I am to “fix my hope”, it must be placed in something that is more secure. Far more life recognizes that hope must be placed on the eternal. That is the only trustworthy source of hope.
  • Completely. If there can be only one object of hope, this verse is getting ready to define it! Whatever is ahead is worthy of all my hope. It will not disappoint. It will be firm. It will be consistently available. This word promises that far more life is within my grasp if my hope is fixed in the right place!
  • On the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Christ Jesus. This is the key to the whole verse. It is the best possible object of my hope. The revelation of Christ Jesus will definitely occur at His second coming. He will be revealed as The Messiah, Lord of Lord, King of Kings, Redeemer, and more. He will rescue God’s children — including me! — from this wicked earth and take us home to Heaven. I will be rescued from the power, presence, and penalty of sin forever. All who have denied Christ — or ridiculed me for following Him — will realize their error. I look forward to the day when He will return and the object of my hope will become visible!

When I pull this all together, far more life is placing my hope in the grace of Jesus Christ. It is knowing that eternity with Him is my ultimate goal. That allows me to take the challenges of this life in stride, knowing they are preparing me for the future that He already knows. I recognize that I am on a journey, a road trip, through this world. It is my current, temporary home, but something much better awaits me. I experience good and bad, and while both can bring personal growth, neither defines or fulfills me. Rather my connection to God is the source of my identity and fulfillment. When I remember all this, the spiritual “blah” feelings evaporate and I am able to see life through the lenses of joy and thankfulness.

Here are a few more verses on hope:

…godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance. For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers. (I Timothy 4:8b-10, NASB)

Godliness leads to far more life now and for all eternity. God is trustworthy. If He says something is valuable, I can believe it is. When I fix my hope on Him, my efforts to become like Him will pay off.

Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. (I Timothy 6:17, NASB)

When I consider worldwide economics, I am rich. Yet this should not be a source of pride. I should not fix my hope on money or possessions to make my life secure. Remembering that God is my ultimate provider is a key to living far more life. He is generous and wise; He knows exactly what I need and always supplies enough. I can expectantly look for and find His provision in every situation I face.

And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (I John 3:3, NASB)

Because my hope is in Jesus, I am pure. What a wonderful statement and promise! Jesus has purified my heart and enables me to rise above spiritual “blah” to far more life! When I stop to think about what He has done for me, I cannot stay in an emotional funk. God has already forgiven me for failing to remember all Jesus has done for me. But once I recall the price He paid and the benefits I received, my heart is eager to thank Him and notice all the ways He blesses me. Those moments of thankfulness are moments of far more life. May my day — and yours — be filled with them!

Sisters,
What verse or spiritual truth helps reset your vision?
Where is your hope? Is it on temporary things or eternal ones?
Do you believe that God will supply all you need? If not, what do you need that He has not supplied? What source have you turned to for those things? Did that source give you far more life?
Join me today in thanking God and focusing on far more life and the hope it brings!
-Shari

Copyright 2019, Shari Damaso
Photo Credit: JenJoe Marsh