On Guard

security guardI’ve entered into situations that I wasn’t sure was safe. I’ve been to homes trying to show where there was a dog, that was “friendly” and wouldn’t bite – I was on guard. I’ve been with people who appear harmless, but something just “felt weird” so I was on guard. I see being “on guard” as a preparatory phase prior to “fight or flight”. On guard means my awareness is the highest alert stage.

Paul was reminding the church at Corinth in his first letter to be on guard regarding attacks on their faith. Check this out….

13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. 14 And do everything with love. (1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NLT)

This is a simple couple of verses that packs a powerful punch. I think he is reminding the church to be on guard against assaults on their faith. I think he is reminding them that they will battle fear. He is also reminding them to lean into the strength and Presence of the very Spirit of God. He wraps a bow on it as he says, “do everything with love”.

When I read this I felt encouraged, inspired and motivated. My faith must be proactive. I can’t be passive. I have to be aware that I have an enemy and he wants to steal, kill and destroy my faith. He wants me to cower in fear. He wants me to “wimp out” instead of lead on. He wants to fill me with hatred, jealousy and envy. I have to be keenly aware and on guard as the enemy uses many approaches to come at me. It’s like I need an alarm system that trips when the enemy makes a move on me.

I believe that the Word of God prepares me to be on guard. I’m reminded in His Word that the enemy is real. I’m reminded of his schemes and his tricks. I’m equipped with the powerful Word of God that equips me daily.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Called To Serve

Waiter with trayI still remember the pivotal night in my life when I believed that God was real and that He was calling me to serve in His Kingdom. I was 18 years old and I was watching a part of a passion play when Jesus was crucified. I had been living off the faith of my parents and grandparents up to that point. I remember telling the Lord that I would go where He wanted me to go and do what He wanted me to do. It was a life-changing event for me and my faith became very real. Fast forward to today and I believe that the Lord is calling me daily to serve in His Kingdom. Some circumstances beyond my control happened and I felt called to serve my children and in order to do that, I would need a different career path. I landed as a sales person in Real Estate nearly 15 years ago and I’m still being called to serve others even today. I believe that Real Estate is a serving profession. My calling from the Lord is still in place today, even though my “day job” has changed.

Jesus had just been baptized before going into the wilderness to fast and pray. He comes out of that experience ready to begin His ministry. He first goes home to Nazareth. I think He was connecting with His mom before His ministry began in full force.  He then starts building His team of disciples. Check this out…

18 One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. 19 Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” 20 And they left their nets at once and followed him.

21 A little farther up the shore he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, repairing their nets. And he called them to come, too. 22 They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind. (Matthew 4:18-22 NLT)

I believe that the Lord still calls people today to serve in His Kingdom. I believe He calls people to serve others every day. I believe He opens up opportunities every day. A call from the Lord is deeply personal. A call from the Lord can also be public as in being part of His church called to serve in our community.

I believe that the Lord also equips people He calls to serve. He told Peter & Andrew that He was going to “show you how to fish for people”. He calls us and equips us to serve.  I’m part of something that is way larger than I can see or imagine. I need to be faithful to keep serving where He leads and calls me to serve.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Repent & Be Alert

 

Prepared Not UnpreparedThis book of Revelation is a challenge to understand. It is choked full of symbolism, tied together with truth. John didn’t have the luxury of having seen things like he’s seeing in these visons and in the revelation. I suspect that he had trouble sleeping at night after seeing these beasts and wild creatures.  I read to day about the 7 bowls of wrath – I’m wondering if these are huge mixing bowls. I’m wondering what they looked like. The Lord’s judgment is a part of Who He is. I’m thankful that His Grace comes before judgement. It’s hard to believe, but there are people who are stubborn and will not repent before the Lord. He is a God of Grace, but He is also a God of Justice. Check this out…

15 “Look, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who is alert and remains clothed so that he may not go around naked and people see his shame.” (Revelation 16:15 CSB)

I talk to the Lord throughout the day every day. I want to make a routine out of repentance. In repentance, I’m humble and grateful for Who He is and the fact that He doesn’t punish me as my sins deserve. I have been forgiven much and He wants me to be alert to what He’s doing in my world as well as the fact that He is coming again. I won’t get off this earth alive unless He returns. My soul lives on either way. I want to lay down my pride and live in repentance and humility before Him. I want to notice what He’s doing and be ready when He returns.

I’m going to clothe my spiritual body with the Presence of God – His Spirit.

I’m going to prepare my physical body and be ready – Serving Him by serving others.

I’m going to live like I’ll die tomorrow;

Die knowing I’ll live forever. (Rich Mullins)

I want to be alert and filled with repentance before Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Be Prepared

Project preparationThe Cub Scout motto has been around for many years. I remember learning it as a child being introduced to the scouting program at my home church in Kentucky. Those two words were very easy to remember. I do not always fulfill them, however, if I am prepared for whatever it is I’m planning to do, it almost always goes much smoother.  Peter speaks about being prepared as well. Check this out…

15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. (1 Peter 3:15-17 NIV)

 

I’ve grown over the years in my depth of understanding of the heart of God. I have deep respect and honor for God and I’ve noticed how He’s constantly working behind the scenes to protect and provide for me. His Presence is constant. His Patience is long. His Love is beyond describing. I love God and I want to honor Him with my little life lived out big and loud! I want to always be prepared to speak a good word on His behalf.  I want to be prepared for anything that comes my way. With His Presence in me, I can do just that!

Pressing On!
Dwayne