Victory

In the deep, dark expanse of space, a small group of rag-tag people works together to infiltrate a massive super-weapon. They are massively outnumbered, surrounded by all sides, and the odds of all of them getting out of there alive, are frankly, astronomically small.

You could say the danger radar is going off the charts.

The Life of a Teacher: As Told By Star Wars – Bored Teachers

While we may never experience a rescue mission like Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Han Solo, and the droids, there are plenty of instances in life where our own “danger radar” goes off.

Whether it be something that is physically happening to us – moving to a new location where we know no one, someone we love has a serious illness, doing something outside of our comfort zone; or something more emotional and mental, like overcoming a phobia, losing someone, or just anxiety and fear in general. Any and all of these instances can cause our inner danger meter to skyrocket.

When that happens, our natural instinct can be a variety of reactions from panic, to taking action, to feeling overwhelmed – and at the root of it, a desire to protect ourselves.

Protecting ourselves via feelings of anxiety or fear, can be a good thing. After all, we don’t run into a busy street because anxiety tells us that if we did that, we would get hurt. We don’t touch a hot stove, because fear reminds us that we’ll get burned. Anxiety and fear can be protection mechanisms, given to us by God to make sure we do not do, well, stupid, risky things.

See the source image

However, the downside to this can be that in situations in which we really are safe, in which, logically, there is nothing to worry about, anxiety can, for many people, pop up and convince us that something bad is going to happen, that this really is something we need to worry about.

Psalm 32:7 says,

“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me withLove the silhouette - entrance to cave // I pulled away the ivy, the long strands hid a cave. It sparkled like millions of fireflies. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. I could not use words to describe. songs of deliverance.”

When we feel scared, God is saying that He is our hiding place. He is our refuge away from the storm – the one we can run to when our circumstances seem out of control. Even if we feel embarrassed, or feel like He’ll think our fears are silly (I know I have), God still wants us to come to Him.

After all, as our Father, He cares about all aspects of our being – both physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.

In Philippians 4:6-7, Paul inspired by the Holy Spirit writes,

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

I think it’s really interesting that Jesus is saying that we both need to communicate our worries to Him, and praise Him. Expressing gratitude habitually, is actually shown to reduce anxiety (see here), and combat depression, so that’s really cool that God included that in the Scriptures before science ever knew it!

Jumping back to Psalm 32, I love the last part of the verse, “surround me with songs of deliverance.”

At any point when we feel overwhelmed, and like we’re never going to get through ____ (fill in the blank), that everything is done for, God surrounds us and says, no. I have already won the victory at Calvary. You are free! Delivered. Victorious. 

In fact, Elisha and his servant experienced this very thing in 2 Kings 6:11-18. The king of Aram was at war with the king of Israel, and the Arameans king became furious since all of his plans to attack Israel were not working. Demanding his men of which had betrayed them, they answered that none had, but that Elisha, the prophet, told the king of Israel everything that he had planned.

Naturally, the Aramean king was not a happy camper. He found out where Elisha was staying and at night, surrounded the city with chariots, horses, and soldiers.

As most of us would do, Elisha’s servant began panicking.

“When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.”

Elisha replied,

““Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”

In our day-to-day life, there are going to be times that we feel like there is no hope, that we are surrounded on all sides by enemies – whether literal or figurative. When that happens and our danger meter is off the charts, let us call to mind that the Lord is our protection and refuge, and though we might not be able to see Him physically, He is always with us, at our side.

~ Southern Dreamer

 

 

Victory in Jesus

Yesterday, as I was sitting in the car, my mind began to wonder. Sometimes when that happens it’s a good thing, a creative idea will come to me or I’ll remember something I had forgotten. Other times, when my thoughts drift off, they’ll jump onboard the “Fear/Anxiety Train.” Unfortunately, I was on my way to the plush cushioned seats of Worry.

So that’s where I was mentally.

As my eyes glanced at the radio, I noticed what song had started to play…”No Longer Slaves” by Bethel. Just to give you a quick preview, the chorus of this song says:

I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

From my mother’s womb
You have chosen me
Love has called my name
I’ve been born again into your family
Your blood flows through my veins

Yeah, pretty awesome. I started to sing the words and the Spirit reminded me of something really awesome. Are y’all ready?

The same power that raised Jesus from the dead, lives in us! Like, WHAT. I think many times we gloss over this, or don’t understand the actual meaning. But y’all, the power that raised our Savior from the grave? That brought him back to life? LIVES IN US.

“If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you,” ~ Romans 8:11

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth,” ~ Acts 1:8

It made me feel so empowered! And I could feel my fear being washed away as I meditated on this thought. Life can be really hard, and once in a while it’s wise to remind ourselves of whose we are. Children of the Most High. Princes and princesses of the King of kings. Creations of the Bright and Morning Star. Co-heirs with Christ (aka God of the universe). Friend of God.

And because of that, we have the privilege of being the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). God’s Spirit, to those who believe, resides in us. We can live in the victory of Jesus’ death and resurrection! We are truly free! In the life of Jesus, we have complete confidence of triumph. When we go through trials, struggles, pain, and suffering, let us remember that at the end of the day, in God, we are victorious! As Paul said, “perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).

Perhaps you fight battles that no one knows, save for yourself and our Lord. Maybe you’re struggling with something that you think no one can possibly understand. Or it could be that right now your life is going perfectly. Everything is coming together exactly as you thought it would, and you couldn’t be more excited! Whether or not you find yourself in a season of waiting or one of great joy, let us never forget that in our Savior, we are VICTORS. CONQUERS. OVERCOMERS. WARRIORS.

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ,” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:57

As we celebrate this fourth of July, remember where the true freedom lies. Between biting into a juicy hamburger and dipping your glistening silver spoon into a bowl of cold, soft ice cream, do not forget the high price that Jesus paid. When you watch the fireworks explode in beautiful displays of red, blue, and white, thank God for saving us from a lifetime of misery and sin. He set us free, and His freedom is the most valuable kind. Because even if the world goes to hell, the government crumbles, and everyone is in a panic, as Christians, we can still stand tall and say with confidence that we are free.

We know the truth and we have been delivered. Let us never forget the priceless gift of being a Child of God. We are free.

~ Southern Dreamer

Judeo-Christain Foundation

“It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible,” ~ George Washington

george washington

Many people today are declaring that America was never a Christian nation, that it was not founded on Judeo-Christian values. And if people’s eyes are not opened to the truth, then this falsehood could become even more rooted in the minds of Americans.

John Quincy Adams said, “I have myself, for many years, made it a practice to read through the Bible once every year,” and, “My custom is, to read four or five chapters every morning, immediately after rising from my bed. It employs about an hour of my time, and seems to me the most suitable manner of beginning the day” (Letters of John Quincy Adams to His Son on the Bible and Its Teachings).

john quincy adams

Even Benjamin Franklin, who many consider to be an unbeliever, said as recorded by James Madison, “We should remember the character which the Scripture requires in Rulers, that they should be men hating covetousness.”

On November 26, 1789, during his Proclamation for day of Thanksgiving, George Washington said, “It is the Duty of all Nations to acknowledge the Providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his Benefits, and humbly to implore his Protection and Favor.”

In fact, when the war with England cut off their supply of English Bibles, Congress in September of 1777, determined to import 20,000 Bibles from Holland, Scotland, or other countries because, “the use of the Bible is so universal and its importance so great” (pg. 60, Building Godly Nations).

George Washington Carver, born into slavery just before the end of the Civil War, discovered over three hundred uses for the peanut. The story of how this came about is remarkable.

“I asked the Great Creator what the universe was made for.

‘Ask for something more in keeping with that little mind of yours,’ He replied.

‘What was man made for?’

‘Little man, you still want to know too much. Cut down the extent of your request and improve the intent.’

Then I told the Creator I wanted to know all about the peanut. He replied that my mind was too small to know all about the peanut, but He said He would give me a handful of peanuts. And God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of the earth…to you it shall be for meat…I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.’ I carried the peanuts into my laboratory and the Creator told me to take them apart and resolve them into their elements. With such knowledge as I had of chemistry and physics I set to work to take them apart. I separated the water, the fats, the oils, the gums, the resins, sugars, starches, pectoses, pentosans, amino acids. There! I had the parts of the peanuts all spread out before me.”

george washinton carver

His story continues:

“I looked at Him and He looked at me. ‘Now, you know what the peanut is.’

‘Why did you make the peanut?’

The Creator said, ‘I have given you three laws; namely, compatibility, temperature, and pressure. All you have to do is take these constituents and put them together, observing these laws, and I will show you why I made the peanut.’

I therefore went on to try different combinations of the parts under different conditions of temperature and pressure, and the result was what you see.”

Peanuts

In other words, God had revealed to him the means by which to use the peanut for and in metal polisher, plastics, ink, shampoo, shaving cream, a dozen beverages, and synthetic rubber among many more.

When he testified before a committee of Congress, in 1921, the Chairman inquired:

“‘Dr. Carver, how did you learn all of these things?’

Carver answered: ‘From an old book.’

‘What book?’ asked the Senator.

Carver replied, ‘The Bible.’

The Senator inquired, ‘Does the Bible tell about peanuts?’

‘No Sir,’ Dr. Carver replied, ‘But it tells about the God who made the peanut. I asked Him to show me what to do with the peanut, and he did.'”

Another important American that believed in Christian values was Noah Webster. Father of American Education, in 1836, he wrote, “In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government, ought to be instructed…No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.”

In his 1828 dictionary, “Noah Webster used thousands of Scriptural references and gave Biblical definitions, in contrast to humanistic definitions in modern dictionaries” (pg. 69, Building Godly Nations).

noah webster

Noah Webster also wrote, “The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.”

“Dr. Donald Lutz conducted an exhaustive ten-year research of about 15,000 political documents of the Founders’ Era (1760-1805), and recorded every reference our founders made to other sources. This list of 3154 citations reveals those writings and men that most shaped the political ideas of our founders. By far, the most quoted source of their political ideas was the Bible, 34% of citations. The next most quoted sources were from men who largely derived their ideas from the Bible (Montesquier, 8.3%, Blackstone, 7.9%, and Locke, 2.9%). In fact 80% or more of all the citations were from the Bible or Biblical thinkers” (pg. 74, Building Godly Nations).

If that isn’t enough for you, then why Harvard College was founded should be. In 1636, New England Puritans founded Harvard College for the purpose of training ministers for the Gospel. “They thought the greatest curse that could come upon the land would be an impotent, ignorant clergy” (pg. 67, Building Godly Nations).

The original rules at Yale College, also show the importance placed on the Bible. “All scholars shall live religious, godly, and blameless lives according to the rules of God’s Word, diligently reading the Holy Scriptures, the fountain of light and truth; and constantly attend upon all the duties of religion, both in public and secret” (Annuals of America, Volume 1).

In all, out of the first 108 colleges founded in America, only two were not based on the Christian faith. 106 were.

I could go on and on about other people, events, and facts that support the claim that America was founded on a Judeo-Christian heritage, but, of course, that would be a much longer post. I hope this has opened your eyes to the truth of our country’s history. And as we celebrate the fourth of July, let us remember the brave men and women who came before us.

Happy 4th y’all!

~ Southern Dreamer

Note: All of the information (unless stated otherwise) came from Building Godly Nations by Stephen. H. McDowell. Thank you for doing all of the hard research that allows people like myself to discover it!