DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: August 11
Soldiers for Christ
2 Timothy 2:1-4
Today's passage is from Paul's letter to Timothy. The apostle encourages the young man—and, by extension, every believer—to face difficulty as a good soldier. The military term "soldier" implies that we are in a battle. And in fact, the combat started before Adam and Eve's lifetime.
We see the first evidence when almighty God, who had created all the celestial beings, nevertheless allowed Satan and other angels (thereafter known as "demons" to rebel against Him. They established their own kingdom and waged war with the Lord.
Later we see this strife extend to all humankind. In the Garden of Eden, Satan tempted Eve to violate God's command by eating forbidden fruit. Her disobedience corrupted mankind's innocence, and ever since, all human beings have been born with a nature bent away from the Lord—and with a profound need for a Savior.
Tempted by Satan in the wilderness, Jesus modeled how to be victorious in spiritual conflict: by means of Scripture. God's Word gives us everything we need to win—from offensive and defensive weapons (Eph. 6:10-17) to the proper perspective on our adversaries' real identity: "Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the . . . spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places" (v. 12).
When we see ungodliness in our society, the Enemy may at times seem to be winning. Yet we who are saved have assurance that we belong to Him who is greater—and who will have the final victory (1 John 4:4; John 16:33). View daily battles biblically and look to God, who is mightier than all evil.from Dr. Charles Stanley,Prayer and Meditation
Although it's too seldom taught or practiced, our communing with God consists of two equally important parts: prayer and meditation. Prayer is our talking to God. Most of us have this aspect down. Meditation is our listening to God. And here most of us need a bit of work.
Have you ever been in a relationship where the other person does all the talking? There's an up side to this: you become a good listener, and the other person feels great comfort and ease sharing personal issues with you. But there's a down side too: as you're called upon to always listen and never talk, you can begin feeling unknown, perhaps a little unloved, and sometimes, even used.
Now, think about how this scenario might apply to your relationship with God. Are you doing all the talking, without ever taking the time to listen? If you're sharing with Him from the depths of your heart, and seeking guidance and wisdom, that's fantastic! By all means, keep it up. Just make sure, that as you do this, you're also taking the time and training the ears of your heart to listen to God as well.
Remember, God tends to speak with a still, small voice; He very rarely shouts at His children. That's why meditation is such an important aspect of prayer. It teaches you to develop a quiet, patient heart and an open attentive ear. These are essential components of the mature Christian.
- Steve Arterburn