Friday, July 19, 2013

ALL Things for Good

Have you ever heard that God works all things for good?  The Bible clearly states this in Romans 8:28:

Romans 8:28 (NET)
And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose,
What is your initial reaction to this verse?  Do you believe it? Doubt it?  Want to understand it better?
One three letter word jumps off the page at me: "all."  Did it stand out to you too?  We KNOW that ALL things work together for good for those who love God... (caps mine).  This verse can be a comfort during times of struggle... or a stumbling block, depending on where your mind goes during trials.  Let me explain how I got to experience God working ALL things for good with my Beauty War this week.  (Check out the post Beauty War Number ... for the story.
For better or for worse, my mom, sons, niece and nephew experienced firsthand the aftermath of my haircut.  They saw the angry tears and knew I was upset.  There was no way I could hide my true feelings because my emotions were quite raw and I hadn't reached fight mode yet.  I was in believing lies mode immediately following my hair cut.
After some processing with my hubby that evening, he pointed out that I may need to circle back with some people due to my behavior.  Not what I wanted to do, but I knew obedience was necessary if that was God's plan for me.  A seed was planted.
And an opportunity arose the next day at lunch.  While seated across from my oldest son and my nephew, I felt the need to address my hair behavior with them.  I shared that one of the lies I've believed during my life has to do with beauty and my hair can trigger those lies.  I explained that I was learning to fight back with truth.  And I asked the boys what lies they believed.  These two eight year olds immediately rattled off lies that filled their heads.  I was in awe of this reality... the lies that we believe take root at such an early age.  My Beauty War began when I got glasses at age 9.  And my son and nephew are already in a battle... Satan is already at work.  But did they know how to fight back?
I posed this question to them... do you know how to resist the lies?  And my son replied, "Satan, I resist you.  In the name of Jesus Christ, you have to flee from me."  Wonder where he heard that before?  It warmed my heart to know that he has some ammunition in his heart to fight Satan... and that my nephew discovered some techniques to fight back too during our conversation.
I then shared my Dog named Satan story (for more detail, check out A Dog Named Satan blog post:  They both got a kick out of me screaming James 4:7 at the dog and how the dog stayed put after I yelled scripture at him.  And they began planning out strategies to defeat the devil in their own creative ways. 
I also shared some Bible Verses to help them in their battles.  Bible verses are filled with truth that can replace the lies Satan whispers.  And as I'm writing this, I'm reminded to spend more time looking up scriptures they can use to defeat Satan's lies.  That way, their swords of the spirit are equipped and ready for action.  Just added that to my To Do list...
You know what?  I'm thankful for my haircut because God used it to teach two precious boys about Satan's lies and how to fight back with God's truth.  God truly did work ALL things for good in my book.  God is so good... I'm just amazed that He could use my tears and anger and bad attitude over a haircut for good!  I'm in awe of His grace and His love and His patience as I learn.  God doesn't expect perfection... He desires us to apply 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV):

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
I've experienced God's forgiveness, healing, and working all things for good this week.  His love for me... for you... is indescribable.  It's jaw dropping.  It's beautiful and constant.  Do you see all the ways He shows love to you each day?  If not, ask God to open your eyes. 
A few final questions for you today... What lies do you believe?  What lies do your friends, family, children believe? 
Are you ready to fight Satan's lies with God's truth?  Is God asking you to help someone else fight lies with His truth?  Then let's take some action!!  Find scriptures to help fight back.  Here are a few to get you started:

2 Corinthians 10:5 New International Version (NIV)

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 

Philippians 4:8 New International Version (NIV)

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

1 Timothy 4:4 New International Version (NIV)

For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,

Ephesians 6:10-17 New International Version (NIV)

The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

James 4:7-8 New English Translation (NET)

So submit to God. But resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.
Choose to believe that God works ALL things for good.  Ask Him to show you how He is doing this in your life.  Memorize scripture to help you defeat Satan and His lies.  And have complete confidence that NOTHING can separate you from God's love (Romans 8:38-39). 

1 John 3:1
See what [an incredible] quality of love the Father has given (shown, bestowed on) us, that we should [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are!


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