GOD HELPS THOSE WHO HELP THEMSELVES.

This is probably one of the most quoted “verses” of all time, yet, you won’t find it in the Bible…

Go ahead! Take a minute and try and find it, if you can I will donate all of my earthly possessions to the charity of your choosing.

Just like that misquoted scripture, isn’t it interesting how we can be so sure of something, yet find out later we were completely wrong?

Growing up in the church from a very young age, I was confident in my knowledge of the Bible.

I must have heard the Gospel a thousand times over, I’ve sat through all the felt-board Sunday school lessons ever taught. (Sidenote: as a kid I loved the story of David told through felt.)

As I grew older I became more and more confident in my knowledge of the Word. On  occasion I would even express my knowledge in spirited discussions during my short stint in Bible College.

But here was the problem: My “knowledge” was about a book,  not its true content.

Sure, I could tell you about the 40 inspired authors that make up the 66 books in the Bible, and that there is a New and Old Testament, along with the Gospels that tell the story of Jesus.

See I knew facts about the Bible, but I did not KNOW the Bible.

I personally believe there are millions of Christians out there who were just like me.

All this “head knowledge” of mine led to confusion about how God works and what my purpose was here on earth.

I was just like the early church that Paul wrote about in Galatians 1:6: “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel.”

This is definitely not type of “marvel” you want to portray.

I never took the time to truly study God’s Word, I always felt that reading the Bible was just a task in order to please God.

When in fact the reason we should study the Word is so that we can take refuge in knowing that whatever we are going though good or bad, we can stand firm in God’s grace.

We do not need to know facts about the Bible, we need to know the true heart of God and how He wants us to live a life of joy, and not heartache.

When we study, we begin to learn the promises of God, and in turn we start to live in those promises.

Studying the Word prepares us for when the enemy tries to attack. When we live in God’s promises and know His true heart, we will not be defeated.

We will begin to truly believe that “no weapon formed against me shall ever prosper” (Isaiah 54:17) Or that all my needs are truly met. (Philippians 4:19) And that God will give me the desires of my heart. (Psalm 37:4.)

These promises are all predicated to one thing and one thing only: FAITH.

Romans 10:17 Instructs us on how to strengthen our faith, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

This verse is twofold, we are to hear the Word of God, and we are to speak it from our personal study of the word. When you do this, your faith is strengthened.

Here is an example of always being prepared for when the trials hit: While I was deployed in Iraq, we were told one day at our morning briefing, that intel had came in and that our base was going to be attacked by upwards of 4,000 insurgents. The commander put everyone one on alert.

This meant that everyone was to be armed.

Now this may seem like a smart move, but the truth is there are Airman that have careers in the military where arms training is not a priority, and only pick up a rifle or a handgun once a year for certification purposes.

This was a problem for me, I am trusting these fellow Airmen to remember how to fire, clear, and reload their weapon, in order to protect me and my fellow Airmen.  Thankfully the threat was neutralized before the attack, and no lives were lost.

My point here is that if we are going to go into battle with the enemy we HAVE to be prepared.

We cannot just have a yearly certification or a weekly certification and expect to be effective in battle.

In Ephesians 6:10-17 The word explains that our battles are not of flesh and blood, but they are actually spiritual battles. This passage also gives us an inventory of the armory in our possession. We need to know how to use these items and become masters of them.

If you ever have the privilege of meeting an elite serviceman like a Navy SEAL, a RECON Marine, or an Air Force Para-Rescue Jumper, you will notice that they are not scared to get into a fight or meet the enemy head on.

The reason is because they are constantly training and have become masters of their trade.

As Christians, we need to become masters of our “trade.” We are to be witnesses to the uttermost parts of the world.

In order for us to be effective in that, we need to “train” and study the Word of God.

Because if we can’t win the little battles in our own lives, how can we fight the bigger battles in our community, city, state, nation, and around the world?

Jeremiah 12:5 says If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?

God has given us the His strength to overcome all obstacles, its time we rely on His strength and not our own.

Change your mindset

I love you all and if you have any prayer requests, questions, or would like to comment, please leave them in the comment section below. I enjoy reading them. God Bless!

 

Shawn Bordges

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