God, help me. I don’t know what to do.

October 25, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
(James 5:16b (NIV))

I don’t know about you, but there are many times that I just don’t feel effective. I simply feel overwhelmed, overpowered and overshadowed by the things in my life. These are the things that have a tendency to make us grown in agony because we simply have no other response that we can bring forth. I simply utter a few simple words and they always help me through whatever I am facing.

“God, help me. I don’t know what to do.”

Have you ever uttered these or similar words? I often wonder just how many people do say things likes this on a daily basis. I believe that everyone utters words like this at some point in their lives, whether they believe in God or not. I firmly believe that those who are strong enough in their faith to admit that we need God each and every day are the ones who will usher up simple prayers like this on a daily basis. We might even find ourselves saying them all throughout the day.

Perhaps this is what makes someone righteous in the eyes of God. We turn to Him daily because we cannot make it without Him. Contrary to what the world may say, I do not see this as a weakness. I see this as a strength that is firmly rooted in a hope and a faith that this world does not understand. When you see acts of terrorism, do you rejoice in what the world is doing or do you offer up a prayer to God? When you see wars and rumors of wars, do you find comfort in the circumstances or do you go to God and ask for peace? When you see injustice, do you think that this is how it should be or do you ask God for the strength to help you change it? When you see the lost, do you turn up your nose and think that they deserve what they get, or do you pray that God will touch them through you?

These types of prayers do not take long, but they show your heart. It shows a desire for the things that God calls righteous. If you seek the things that God calls righteous, then it stands to reason that God will call you righteous. It is when you pray for God’s Will that you find your prayers become powerful and effective, even when you do not feel powerful and effective.

Do you feel effective? Keep praying those short prayers asking for God’s help. He will show you His Will and then you will be effective.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you prepared to recognize the enemy?

May 29, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
(Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV))

We must remember that we are in a battle. This battle may show no physical signs of war such as physical destruction, wounds and death, but we are in a battle just the same.

Preparation is the way to win at anything. Athletes train in order to be prepared for the big race. Soldiers train in order to be prepared for the battle. Firefighters train in order to be prepared for the big fire. We, as believers, are in the Lord’s Army and we must prepare for the day and time when we will face the battle. We must train in order to face the enemy whenever and wherever he may present himself.

How do we train to face Satan? By fully relying on God! Rely on His promises. Rely on His Word. Rely on His Son, Jesus Christ, and rely on the Holy Spirit. If we fully rely on God and trust in all that He has promised, we will be prepared to face the enemy. We will also be able to recognize the enemy, for he is crafty and deceiving. It is not unlikely that we have already faced the enemy and we did not recognize him because we had not yet followed the instructions that Paul gave to the Ephesians. In fact, we face the enemy every day, whether we realize it or not.

Are you prepared to recognize the enemy and repel his attack?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is your armor ready?

March 6, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
(Ephesians 6:13 (NIV))

Armor is something that is thought of as protection, as impenetrable. In the physical world, armor is often associated with metal, and is imposing in nature. In the spiritual world, armor is not something that you wear, but something that you carry. You carry it in your hands and in your heart. This armor is the Word of God and is a strong foundation on which to build everything that you do. The strength and protection that you receive from this armor is from fully knowing that God always keeps His promises, and that He always protects His children. It is this knowledge, and the faith to hold onto this knowledge no matter what the circumstances, that is the strongest armor that has ever been created.

All throughout history, men in armor have fought bravely and valiantly for something that they believed in. Even today, men in armor (military vehicles) continue this tradition. They are fighting for earthly causes. How can we, when equipped to battle in the spiritual realm with God as our commanding officer and protector, not fully train to be part of the battle? We must keep our armor ready for we do not know what tomorrow may bring.

Is your armor ready? Do you have the right equipment for the coming battle?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Don’t forget your armor!

February 7, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
(Ephesians 6:10-11 (NIV))

This is particularly important to me right now. I am positive that it is also very important to others as well. We must be strong in our faith no matter what the enemy tries to send our way. He will lose if we simply call upon the name of the Lord to fight our battles for us.

I just realized something.

Even if we allow God to fight our battles with Satan, we are still to put on the full armor of God.

Think about that.

In a battle, unfortunately, those not directly involved will still get hurt. God’s armor will allow us to take that stand. It will allow us to bravely confront Satan and remind him that God will be our champion. Without that armor, would you confront Satan? Without a bulletproof vest, would you confront an armed robber? It is the same principle. God’s armor is our defense, our safety, our shield, and our salvation.

We are in a battle every day. Some days, it is just a little more obvious, but you never know when it will escalate. Always be prepared. Always put on the full armor of God. Stand firm in your faith because you have spent the time to know God and His promises.

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.
(2 Corinthians 1:20 (NIV))

Don’t forget your armor!

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What do you know?

October 25, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.
When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won’t torture me!” For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you evil spirit!
(Mark 5:1-8 (NIV))

Don’t you find this story just a little ironic?

Think about that for a moment. Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. He came to overcome the powers of sin and death. He came to defeat Satan and his demons. He came into this world to wage a battle for the very soul of each and every one of us, yet those whom He came to save did not recognize Him. Yet, those whom He came to wage war against knew Him and were afraid of Him.

Why do we, as created humanity, fail to recognize the divine when it is in front of us, yet we often embrace the sin before it even begins to get close to us? I find it amazing, yet sad, that the demons fear Jesus and far too many people could simply care less who He is. Sadder still, is that many people mock Him.

With this in mind, it is said that you cannot defeat your enemy unless you know your enemy. Do we, as the Body of Christ, know the enemy as well as the enemy knows Jesus? Do we proclaim the power that is ours through the atoning blood? Do we stand firm in the faith that Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords? Many battles throughout history have had decisive outcomes based on lies and deception – spies who infiltrated the ranks and helped to sabotage the other side. This is also true in the spiritual war that is being waged. We must know the enemy so that we can avoid the lies and the deception. We must know Jesus and God’s Word.

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
(Ephesians 6:11 (NIV))

The enemy is counting on us not being able to recognize the deception.

We must fully clothe ourselves in the Light of Jesus so that we may know His grace and mercy and also so that we may know the enemy.

What do you know?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you fully dressed?

July 19, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
(Ephesians 6:11 (NIV))

We all think that we could recognize the devil’s schemes. Sometimes I wonder if that is possible without putting on the full armor of God.

Think about that for a moment.

When we put on the full armor of God, we clothe ourselves in God’s Word. We fully embrace the Holy Spirit’s presence within our lives. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus is the Messiah. He is our personal Lord and Savior. In other words, we long to know God and His commands. We should be able to discern what is from God and what is from the enemy. It should be second nature to us. We should know the voice of our Lord, Savior and Master.

Now consider that Satan will often masquerade as an angel of light. Is our faith and understanding of God strong enough to distinguish a false angel of light from the voice of God? I would like to think that each of us is to that point in our faith. I would like to think that we are fully clothed in the full armor of God so that Satan cannot catch us off guard through one of his deceptions. Unfortunately, none of us is perfect. We can fall if we let down our guard.

We must be prepared!

Study God’s Word. Pray for guidance and discernment. Pray for wisdom. Be ready to recognize God’s voice and reject the devil’s schemes.

Are you fully dressed in the armor of God or do you have areas that leave you vulnerable to attack?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Put on your armor

June 7, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
(Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV))

No soldier in history has ever won a battle by not being prepared to face the enemy. We are in a battle. We either choose to accept God’s Son, Jesus Christ, as our personal Lord and Savior, or we reject Him. By rejecting Him, we have allowed the enemy to have victory.

Even if we accept the gift that God has given us, we must be prepared to face the attacks of the enemy. A good soldier will ready his weapons and his body for combat.

We are in spiritual combat. How do we prepare ourselves for this combat? By embracing the sword that is the Word of God. The more that we read and study, the more that we will be prepared to determine what is from God and what is from the enemy.

Soldiers have instructions on how to maintain and use their physical weapons. We also have instructions on how to use our spiritual weapons. Read the Bible and meditate on the meanings that the words have even today, for God is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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