It always comes back to grace

“And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. I have become foolish; you yourselves compelled me. Actually I should have been commended by you, for in no respect was I inferior to the most eminent apostles, even though I am a nobody.” 2 Corinthians 12: 9-11 NAS

Oh that sweet, sweet grace.  Today, let me be bathed in grace – that amazing grace that is sufficient. It is enough.

I have some sinus congestion, and with the changing of weather, the pressure in my head is… well, let’s just say it is noticeable. That compounded with a rough week, added to with some worrisome (for lack of a better word) news from my family – I did not sleep well last night.  Late this morning when I woke up, I received news that my sisters in Christ also had a strange (again lacking a better word) night. But ‘JOY comes in the morning’! But did it though?

I feel: Tired. Weak. Worn out. And even a little discouraged.
I sat down hoping to open my Bible and have a refreshing flood pour out and grace – yes grace – poured from the pages!!! As I am only human, and weak, and worn down, and a nobody –   And Christ says ‘but I am glorified as My power is perfected in weakness!’ AMEN!
And look again at verse 11 – even though I am a nobody, I can be lifted up like Paul (who wrote the book) was. 

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31 NIV

Lift – like the wind under the wings of eagles. And look at this grace: The Lord will renew our strength! Thank you Jesus!

To paraphrase Isaiah 44:21 – “Remember these things, for you, are my servant. I have made you, I will not forget you.”  God saw this week, last night, and my struggle. He has been right here by my side. He not only see me, He made me and knows me (Psalm 139). He has heard my prayers and hasn’t forgotten.

Oh – those prayers – As I persevere in prayer for the prodigals and try to build the faith of my brothers and sisters in Christ, did I forget that it would probably make a few demonic powers mad? Did I forget this is a battle? 
What do we know about battle strategy? Maybe that is something I should study up on.
But I know a good leader will stagger his troops out so that each individual can get rest enough to keep going.  Today I rest in that grace.  So I can stand therefore ( a military term meaning, when the battle is over get back up and be ready because you do not know if there is a second wave or another battle).

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” Ephesians 6:10 KJV
Notice how is doesn’t say be strong in our own might and there is grace in this verse sufficient for our weakness! In His power which is never failing, never weak, and never stops working – this is what we are to be strong in!

And as we grow strong in the Lord, despite our weakness – we should expect a disturbance in the force (yes, a Star Wars reference).  The battle to stop your growth and prayer should increase! If it isn’t, are you even being effective? Are you making some demons mad with your prayers? Are you praying down stronghold that are stopping up salvation, transformation and those waters of life?! 
Let us encourage ourselves in the Lord! When you think you cannot pray any harder… keep praying – it is time for an awakening! Wake up and get dressed…

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. 21 But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things: 22 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts. 23 Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.” Ephesians 6:10-24 KJV

If you, like me, do not have strong military battle strategy knowledge – God provided us with the basics. Here is the uniform – and it is also the rules of the battle. Glory! He provides guidance! (Some who know me in person know I often say – read the Bible because it has our directions for the day. If you didn’t read it, then how do you know what to do?)

Those repeated terms – the ones we are all catching and coming together and sharing – please take notice that in this battle preparation passage are some of these key terms which shall define this time that we live in:

WATCH AND PRAY – in verse18 we see the word watch again and this time there is more direction on how to pray: “praying in the spirit”.  This verse is over full with important information. And high on that list is to pray for all saints. We are all in this battle – pray for me; I pray for you. We must have each other’s back in these battles. We must lift each other up in prayer.

BOLD – in verse 19 “open my mouth boldly” and in verse 20 “speak boldly, as I ought to”
This is a prayer for himself and all Christians – this is also a command from our leader in this battle.  We shall pray it and do it!

And then after the battle preparations and encouragement and lessons – in verse 23 he prayer for peace for them. Not the kind of peace that means there will not be a battle – No. There will and is a battle.  This is for peace in the battle – peace in the storm.

Verse 24 – grace. I can never get enough of this grace!!! 
He prays over them, and all in the battle including us, for God’s grace! This is also a lesson for us – pray grace over our brothers and sisters, pray grace over the battle, and bathe in grace!

In our weakness let Jesus be strong. Be encouraged. Be lifted up. Be submerged in grace!  Ultimately, ‘the battle is Mine, says the Lord.’  And the final battle was already won on the cross – through the ultimate act of grace.  Keep our eyes on the prize.

As the church awakens and is refreshed, as the prodigals come home, and as the spirit moves again with the power of fire – keep looking up my friends our salvation draws near!

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

~Grace be with you ~
~Thank you for reading ~ Be healthy and blessed ~
~ Pray for our nation ~ Pray Psalm 91 ~

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