The Battlefield of Coasting – Every Man Ministries – May 8

The Battlefield of Coasting

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. – Proverbs 16:18

Many of us have stories of God’s supernatural intervention and reassurance in times of fear. As God’s men, we will know this kind of battle pressure if we are on the attack and serving Him on kingdom battlefronts. Like a submarine after receiving battle blows then springing a leak, we need to surface for repairs. Having fought and won some major battles for the kingdom, God’s men commonly become overconfident in our successes. At these times, the challenge is continuing to work through the stages of our spiritual journeys, allowing God to direct us to our next missions.

If there is one aspect of spiritual battle that remains more hidden than others among Christians, it’s coasting.  The thought goes like this. I can become the man God wants me to be by remaining who I am. In this realm, the danger is not doing what is wrong; it’s the pride that comes by doing all the right things. When you have a large level area of the spiritual high ground, you can lose your focus on the real world.

The fact is, spiritual growth, exciting victory and exciting new experiences in Christ await. This new foe will not be looking so much to exploit your failure but to get you resting on your success. The enemy doesn’t lie down and rest just because we have a good routine going. God does not help those who help themselves.

Father, help me never to depend on myselfI am spiritually clueless without you.

“Are You Jesus?”

NIGHT LIKE FOR COUPLES

“Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” 1 Timothy 6:18

After their meeting ran late, five out‐of‐town salesmen hurried as fast as they could to catch their train. As they raced through the terminal, one inadvertently kicked over a slender table on which rested a basket of apples. It belonged to a ten‐year‐old blind boy who was selling apples to pay for his books and clothes for school. The salesmen clambered aboard the train, but one felt compassion for the boy. He asked his friends to call his wife and tell her he would be late getting home.

Then he jumped off the train and returned to where the boy was standing. As the salesman gathered up the apples scattered across the floor, he noticed that several were bruised or split. Reaching into his pocket, he said to the boy, “Here’s twenty dollars for the apples we damaged. I hope we didn’t spoil your day. God bless you.” As he walked away, the boy called after him,

“Are you Jesus?”

We are most like Christ when we show compassion and generosity to others. Jesus said, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40). We reflect His character whether we’re helping someone less fortunate or giving our mate a back rub at the end of the day.

Just between us…

  • How do our interactions with others reflect the character of Jesus?
  • When was the last time we stopped to help another person in need?
  • How do you feel when you show compassion to someone else?

Lord, we ask that Your extravagant love would flow through us each day to touch those around us. Show us how to serve, to help, and to give without expecting anything in return. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Illustration from The Signature of Jesus by Brennan Manning (Sisters, Ore.: Multnomah Books, 1992). Reprinted in Stories for a Man’s Heart, comp. Al and Alice Gray (Sisters, Ore.: Multnomah Publishers, Inc., 1999).

Space Flight

NIGHT LIKE FOR PARENTS

“The righteous will live by faith.” Romans 1:17

The early days of the American space program were thrilling times. John Glenn and other astronauts would blast off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral into the “last frontier.” Their return voyages were especially dangerous. When a spacecraft reentered earth’s atmosphere, only a heat shield on the bottom of the capsule protected it from temperatures exceeding one thousand degrees Fahrenheit. During this phase, communication with earth was blacked out for approximately seven minutes. The world would wait anxiously until a reassuring voice finally announced, “This is Mission Control. Everything is A-OK.”

Your kids are a bit like those early astronauts. They one day climb aboard a capsule called adolescence and lift off into uncharted regions of space. Soon you as parents are going through the scariest experience of your lives—you’ve lost all contact with the “capsule.” The same kid who used to talk nonstop has now reduced his vocabulary to “I dunno,” “Maybe,” and “I forget.” It’s a period of great apprehension for those on the ground!

This is the time to remember the words of the apostle Paul: “We live by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). You haven’t failed as a parent; your child is simply going through the social and hormonal turbulence of adolescence. If you have raised your kids by God’s principles, your teaching and patience will be rewarded. When the time is right—perhaps in your son or daughter’s early twenties—you will likely reestablish communication and discover that everything is indeed A-OK.

Before you say good night…

Do you feel like a failure because your child is in a “blackout” period?

How can you help each other stay confident in your roles as parents?

Father, please forgive us when we forget that You are in control of the lives of our kids. Help us to have a firm faith in You, in Your Word, in the roles You have given us as parents, and in our children. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Parents, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

Pray Powerfully – Ed Young Television Devotional – 5/8

Ed Young Television Devotional

Pray Powerfully

“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”  James 5:16

THINK
A popular poll found that many of us are very picky about who we will pray for. For instance, the poll revealed that we typically pray for:

  • 82% of the time: Family and friends
  • 74% of the time: Our own problems and difficulties
  • 37% of the time: Our enemies
  • 21% of the time: Win the lottery
  • 13% of the time: Victory for their favorite sports team [source: Christianity Today]

The Bible is how God clearly communicates His will for your life. Prayer is how you speak clearly to God. You have access to speak to the God of the Universe today. He longs to hear from you, and he cares about every detail of your life. Are you praying? What are your praying for?

Maybe you’re wondering HOW to pray.

  • Pray Continually – Invite God into every situation of your life.  Pray as you go, wherever you go.
  • Pray Strategically – Use this acrostic: P.R.A.Y.

Praise – Thank Him for who He is, what He’s done, and what He’s promised to do.
Repent – Admit the ways you have sinned against Him and commit to change.
Ask – Ask for His help, wisdom, and action in your life and the lives of others.
Yield – Express your trust in Him and surrender to His plan for your life.

It has been said that prayer is not a means to control God; it is a means to allow God to control you.

PRAY
Ask God to help you understand the power of prayer.

ACT
If necessary, develop a new determination to prayer. Make it a priority today by finding a strategic time where you can clearly speak to God.

For more information about Ed Young Television please visit FellowshipChurch.com.

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