“This is How I Fight My Battles”

God Gold of the Day

12 always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. 13 For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, 14 who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.”

Colossians 1:12-14

Staying in Colossians again today, I know I’m surprised too that I haven’t got distracted and jumped around to other Scripture! Definitely seeing how awesome digging into one piece of Scripture and staying there can be because gosh!!! You can really dig so much of God’s gold out of it!

Stinkin blows my mind how these were the next verses in Colossians today because they seriously fit so well with the experiences I went through. I promise I’ll try not to bore you too much or ramble on but I’ve got to tell you how God was moving today and I pray in anyway at all that it be of some help to you for your day today!

I started off the day, did my class and went to work as usual. During my time from home to work I started having a lot of negative thoughts coming up. I’m not going to lie to you, I’ve been struggling some lately with all the stuff that’s going on in my life. I’m not complaining when I say this but daggum is it busy! With new a job, new possible opportunity to serve in a ministry setting, online classes, finding a new place to live and all the other adult things that come with getting married, oh and most importantly, I’M GETTING MARRIED TO THE MOST AWESOME AND BEAUTIFUL GIRL IN THE WHOLE WORLD!!! Sorry bout that, just needed to let that out because that day can’t come soon enough!! I wanted to tell you that to say that there’s more on my plate at the moment that I’ve ever had and some days trying to juggle it all with a joyful attitude is extremely difficult. You know what I’m talking about? We’ve all had seasons of life filled with a lot of change, busyness and with that can come a whole lot of worry.

I caught myself worrying about one thing this morning and then before I knew it that one little thought of worry, led to thinking about a whole bunch of worry filled thoughts. My mind was completely wrapped up with so much negative, insecurities and doubt and to be honest, I had no idea how to fight that battle. I’ve struggled with my thoughts like that before but this morning it kind of all came to a head, a lot of stuff that had been building up just exploded. You would think since I send you these messages every day that I could of found some scripture, prayed over my worry and everything would be just fine but seriously I couldn’t get over it. I was completely clueless on what to do or how to defeat this giant standing in front of me of worry. I wanted to just give in and give up. You been there before? I’m sure most of us have because if I’ve learned anything in this world, it’s that this world can chew you up and spit you out if you don’t know how to fight the battle. Being followers of Christ, we can expect to face resistance from the enemy, the devil. In that moment I wanted to look at all this stuff going on as scary, impossible, and complain about having so much on my plate because I simply played into the lies Satan was feeding me.

Then things began taking a turn……

On the next episode of God Gold of the Day…. Just kidding I wouldn’t leave ya hanging on all that negative!

I wanted to honestly go home, hop in my bed and crawl in a ball but God had different plans. He carried me throughout the rest of my day until I got to church with the youth group I’ve been fortunate enough to start serving with. The time hanging out with the kids and having fun along with the lesson brought by Pastor Matt, that’s why God kept pushing me. The lesson was so spot on to what I had been struggling with, talking about Jesus’ last words to His disciples at the last supper. Jesus gave them some big time words to them so they would be words that are remembered in the tough days of persecution and possible death that were to come for them. Jesus gave them something to hold onto, something to give them hope and a reason to keep fighting no matter how bad things got.

The song played beforehand in the worship time, “This is how I fight my battles.” A song that I’ve heard a whole bunch but I’ve never stopped to ask, “wait, how do I fight my battles?” These lyrics say it all;

In the valley I know that You’re with me
Surely Your goodness and Your mercy follow me
My weapons are praise and thanksgiving
This is how I fight my battles”

Our weapon, our weapon are praise and thanksgiving to Jesus who has overcome it all for us!!! In the moments when things got tough today I had no idea how to fight that battle. A simple question in small group time along with all the other moments before where God was working in such an awesome and mighty way, “Why is it important to remember what God has done for you?”

It’s important to remember what God has done because this world and life along with Satan’s schemes against us will try everything possible to break us down and make us want to give up, feeling defeated. In those times it’s important to remember our weapon, the moments that God has broken through our struggles yesterday and delivered us, the moments God has completely carried us when we could go no more, carrying us into situations doing things for Him that we never imagine or do on our own power! It’s important to remember what God has done all the time but especially in your battles, praise Him for the the LIFE He’s given you, the places He’s taken you and all the blessings He’s so gracefully given us! Shout with thanksgiving pouring out of you heart at the life of abundance here and now, also in eternity with Him one day! Shout your praise for the God that has taken you out of the life you used to live, in my example, a life that was filled with low-living, addictions, sin and complete darkness and emptiness. He’s taken us out of the life we deserve and given us NEW LIFE with Him!!!! A life filled with His light guiding our every step and supplying us with more than enough to not just get through but triumph in His victory!!!! He gave up His Son, dying on the cross as a sacrifice for me and you, rising on the third day from death to life with our victory in hand just so we could live in the fullness and awesomeness that comes with having a relationship with Him as children of His!!!!

When the battle gets tough, remember what God has done and the victory that’s already been won!!!! Think and meditate deeply on the moments He’s delivered you, carried you and provided for you! Each moment where God made our impossible look soooo possible!!! Sing with thanksgiving and praise through your thoughts, and over your circumstances!!! That’s our weapon, to just remember that what God did yesterday, He’s more than capable to do the same thing today. Enjoy the peace that comes from knowing that, the confidence and joy that those memories of God give you, that’s how we keep moving forward and fighting back at whatever comes today!!! Looking back at God’s goodness and awesomeness yesterday in the sight of the eternal hope He’s given us for today and each day to come FOREVER!!!!

I didn’t know how to fight my battle, but thank God I do know!!!! Whatever battle you’re going through or may go through in the days to come, I know it may feel like God isn’t present and so far off at times but just know that’s another lie from the pits of hell. God is with you today just as He was with you yesterday! Play back what He has done and keep moving forward into the MORE God has for you!!!!

THIS IS HOW WE FIGHT OUR BATTLES!!!!! LET’S GET IT TODAY!!!!

PS- This pic today is from a memory God has given me to fight with!!! Getting engaged in Rwanda around some of the most beautiful people and the love of my life! That whole trip getting to serve with her was such an amazing picture of God doing what only He can do!!!! None of me, ALL OF HIM!!! Tell me God won’t do it!!!!!! And RWANDA WEEK coming soon! Get ready!

God’s Word

God Gold of the Day

“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,”

‭Colossians‬ ‭1:9-11‬ ‭

Hope everybody is having a Tuesday filled with so much daggum awesomeness!!! I was feeling so much of it that I’m going to do something never done in God Gold history, write from the SAME verses as yesterday! There is just so much Gold in these verses and in the book of Colossians I’m feeling like the richest man alive! I pray this Gold from Colossians is helping you in some big ways too in your daily walk! I’m going to try and post some reminders and the verses ahead of time so you can read through Colossians with me this week so I’m jacked to see what God has for us!

This letter coming from Paul to the believers at Colosse, Paul is writing this to help these believers grow in their relationship with God and in strengthening their daily walk with God. He’s practically telling them how to live as true born again Christians. Why does Paul take the time to do this? Well the church is undergoing some big time attacks from the world around them, people teaching them false ideas about God and they are being literally attached just for being a Christian. Let’s see the truth that is written here to strengthen us in the same way today!

Paul states how he is constantly praying for them but what is he praying for? “We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,”(v.9).

Paul being more of a seasoned veteran in his spiritual walk with the Lord and in God’s Word. it’s awesome how he tells these believers what they desperately need to hear because he’s been some things with God, he knows God and he knows without God these believers don’t stand a chance. I want to note real fast too, look at Paul’s example of love for these people. You know I read earlier that Paul never even met these people. Paul never even met these people and he still is praying for them, writing them letters to help them grow in their faith and attack the mission we have as followers of Christ to get the gospel out to others and live as an example of Christ in each thing we do. Paul prays for people he’s never met in this way, that made me question myself. How often do I pray for others and their needs with this much love? Do I ever pray for anybody I haven’t even met? The answer to the first is not nearly enough and the second, no. Something to think about and learn from Paul here.

Let’s look at what Paul does say though. Paul prays not just for these believers to have knowledge of God, but that God fills them with the knowledge of His will. Paul states this before ever saying do this or do that because without knowledge of God, who He is, what He’s capable of and what He wants, how could we ever please Him? Shouldn’t we desire deeply to know what pleases God before we run off trying to please Him? We can try to understand God and His will in a ton of different ways but the only true way to know more of God and His will is through God’s Word. God gave us His Word to see His heart, who He is and how He feels about us. We also see there what pleases God, what is good and what is bad, what is right and what is wrong. It’s a lot more fun to talk about Christian living, being stronger, more courageous, beating tough circumstances we have in our life, living this life of freedom and victory that God has given us. But to do that we must first completely immerse ourselves in God’s Word, it’s the knowledge and wisdom from God’s Word that changes our lives, that changes the way we live, the way our minds think, the way our mouths speak. It’s God that’s given us life in the first place, so why don’t we go to Him first and more constantly to live this life in a way that pleases the God who gave us everything.

I’ll be honest, majority of the time in my life I talk a big game about wanting to be better, impact more people by the way I live but I feed myself with junk and turn my dependence to things of this world to live the life God wants me to live. To simply live in His will. The most awesome part about this is we don’t have to rely on our experiences, other people’s opinions, or worldly things to find out what God’s will is and how to live it. God has given us HIS WORD. His literal Word as a map of where to go and what to do, a biography almost of who He is and what He’s about. That’s why Paul’s prays for these believers to learn through the power of the Holy Spirit within them, giving them discernment and understanding to what God is telling us in His Word, He is showing us Him and His will. It honestly makes me sick to think about all the times I go other places, leaning on things or what I hear another person say when I’m struggling with something and seeking an answer, when I’m hurting and need help, when I don’t know what to do and need guidance and wisdom. WHYYY????? WHAT’S THE POINT???? This is what I ask myself but as humans we all do this. Ask yourself the same question. It may not feel great to be wrong but daggum does it feel a whole lot better to be on God’s side being right in His eyes!!!

I love how Paul says this foundational truth that these believers can go to, fully immersing themselves in the Word of God to transform the way they think, eat, and sleep. That big SO going into verse 10, to live a life pleasing to God, pleasing to God in EVERY way, even the ways that pleases us that may hurt to give up. Understanding better who God is and the fullness of LIFE He’s given us isn’t it worth it to lay down our opinions and our wants to live a life pleasing to Him? Bearing fruit in every work we do, being an example to other’s around us who may not know God, or His will, who may not have experienced life in this magnitude. Who honestly may not even know of the doom that awaits them after death or the possible eternity that God gives us freely instead. Bearing fruit in every good work!!! Fruit is the change God brings into our lives that overflows out of us into the world around us. Once again how do we know if a work is good or bad if we don’t know God and dig deeply into His Word?

Continuing in the results that come from better understanding God’s will by diving head first into His Holy Word. To grow in knowledge of God, to experience God more deeply in each moment of our days, to see how God takes seemingly impossible situations in our lives and makes them possible, and so many other moments. The more we grow in knowing Who God is we see just how capable He is, how much He deeply loves us and works everything for our good. And so we are strengthened with His glorious power, me and you are strengthened with God’s glorious power!!! God’s power! Think about that?? The same God with the same power that created the heavens and the earth and everything we  see around us!!!! And also so we can run this race of life with great endurance and patience. If you haven’t figured out, we face some tough days in this life, we face hard decisions and we face hard battles. And as Christians we are constantly being hit by the schemes of Satan because He doesn’t want us to live this way or grow in the knowledge of God because with that knowledge comes LIFE!!!! When we dig deeper into God’s Word, learning more of who He is and what He wants, like I mentioned earlier our thinking changes completely. The things that used to get us down and hurt us, we know see through God’s will that we stand in confidence of who God is and in the reality of the life that is to come outside of this world. We see struggles different and we handle them different. People of the world who don’t know God handle them differently than children of God do so don’t fall into the surrounding example. God shows us how to have joy in trials, how to attack the daily grind no matter what comes our way, God is growing us and strengthening us. We know better of who God is so we are able to be patient in our trials, run the race with peace and security knowing that yeah, to the world this may not look that great but God is working things for our good so we can keep on keeping on knowing that our current experiences are nothing compared to the power of God and the eternal glory that awaits.

Wow, all that from just seeing what happens when we don’t just pick up God’s Word to say we did it or read for cool facts, but when we pick up God’s Word to deeply seek Him through it, grow in our knowledge of Him and His will, living a life that pleases Him, living a life that makes people turn their heads and ask questions. Live a life in the fullest and most awesome ways. Yep. All that from God’s Word. And don’t pat me on the back for this gold, it didn’t come from me, it came from God’s Word!!!!! Stinkin blows my mind.

Just Plain Out Awesomeness

God Gold of the Day

“You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, and who also told us of your love in the Spirit. For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,”

‭‭-Colossians‬ ‭1:7-10‬ ‭

I’ll be honest with you, today’s gold may go a lot of different directions but I don’t know! All I do know is God and this life with Him is just plain out awesomeness! Hope something in this wild God Gold can be an encouragement for your Tuesday!

Continuing in Colossians;

We talked yesterday about how in this life following Christ it’s better to live together and heavily invest in the relationships God has placed in our lives. And the football reference, how are we going to catch a touchdown pass if we don’t have anybody throwing us the ball? How is anyone else going to score if we aren’t there to throw them the ball? We need each other, we need passes of encouragement and faith to be thrown our way because without them we would be in serious trouble, living a touchdown-less life and God gave us this life to live in daily touchdowns with Him!!!

Taking the football analogy even farther, just like Paul is throwing the church at Colosse a letter of encouragement and faith strengthening Word in this letter, say the church at Colosse catches it right. Say someone throws us a pass similar to this, we catch it. But how do we take it and run for a touchdown????

So often in life I look into God’s Word, listen to Sunday sermons simply to pick up knowledge, but what good is a bunch of knowledge sitting around in our heads like a loaf of bread going out of date and expiring? Just like the date on the bread, so this Word we have from God, the bread of Life, it never expires but our days on this earth do have an expiration date. Instead of wasting time getting smarter, why not take God’s Word, His truth and apply it to our lives? That’s what it’s meant for, to give life and be lived by us. If not applied we waste this precious time we have on this earth getting smarter only to look back years down the road and wonder why we didn’t LIVE in it? So how do we take this life-giving Word and live it? Not just catch the ball but run for the touchdown????

It’s cool to see Paul mention this man by the name of “Epophras.” It says in the verses above that he was a “faithful minister” to these people at Colosse. He taught them and grew them in their faith through teaching God’a Word. Just like Paul is writing this letter to not only throw them a pass, he’s writing it to show them how to apply God’s truth to their lives and run for the touchdown.

Paul and Epophras are examples of people who have lived this life with Christ, they have learned and experienced God in so many ways, and as they know this race we are running can be hard at times, catching passes and scoring touchdowns aren’t easy especially for believers who don’t know left from right. These are guys who don’t just throw the pass but put the pass on the money so the people who are receiving it have almost no chance of dropping it but catching it and running for the TD!

It’s so cool seeing Paul mention his prayers for them, how much he cares about these believers and how much he wants them to grow in their understanding and knowledge of God, and His will. Paul prays for this because he knows everything starts with God, how we see God, how we know God and how we come to God. Paul says all that then puts a big SO in there. With understanding and knowing God more deeply and what He’s capable of, the awesomness of this relationship you have with Him, know that SO that “you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,”

 

SO they can not only know God but live lives for God. Not only know the Word and what it says but apply these awesome truths to their lives.

I had such an awesome experience tonight where these verses came to life, at some point when we began following Christ we had certain people that helped us, taught us, and encouraged us much like Paul and Epophras have done. I remember when I first began following Christ and pursuing Him just two years ago, my “Epophras” was a guy named Justin Driver. He had went through a similar story with God that I had. Years of living a wild life of how we wanted to live then outta nowhere God came in, changed his life, called him to serve in Ministry. I remember being so on fire and so hungry to know more of God but I was so fresh in my faith I had no idea what to do with all this fire God had given me. Justin took time to sit down with me, talk, answer my questions, share his experiences, and give me awesome wisdom and encouragement to understand God better but also run for the touchdown by applying it to my life. I remember how hard it was during that stage of my walk with the Lord because I was so confused coming into a completely new world from the one I had been living in. But Justin helped me so much and until tonight I didn’t even realize how much he truly helped me.

Had one of my buddy’s sitting at our MAN group which is a cool way to say our Bible Study. Christ has come into his life recently and he has been on FIRE in pursuing Christ. I sat there and listened to him, he was so hungry to know more, he had so many questions he wanted to know more about. And his faith was so simple and pure. I sat there thinking holy crap!!! That sounds exactly like I did when I was going through those first moments with Christ being on fire. In those moments I wanted to help him in anyway I could and what came to mind? What my “Epophras” had taught me during that time. I began saying the exact same things that Justin had told me. It blows my mind how God uses moments and experiences like that, the lessons of encouragement we’re taught by someone else on how to apply God’s truth to our lives and experiences that are sometimes lessons learned the hard way. God takes us through that to be the “Epophras” for someone else, to encourage others who are so on fire but not exactly sure what to do with it. How awesome is God!!!

Even bigger than that my buddy Taylor who was showing his fire for the Lord, hungry to know more and asking questions, he was a huge encouragement to me! He asked a few questions where I was taken back at the realness and simpleness of what He was thinking. It made me realize that lately I’ve gotten caught up in this “knowledge mentality” with no need to know more because I already know so much (WRONG). He inspired me and stirred my fire back up in me to be hungry and never stop asking questions! You never know it all and there is always more to learn. I haven’t been LIVING as much lately because I saw no need to hunger for the bread of Life, God’s Word and learning about Him on deeper levels.

It’s so crazy how God works in our lives, uses people to teach us and grow us stronger in our faith, then turning those moments around to pour into others who are where we were not too long ago while also getting your fire reignited by new believers. There is great power in always asking questions no matter where you are in life, what title you have and how much you think you know, God is so big and awesome that there’s too much awesomeness to ever uncover it all. Also saw how in those moments when Justin was pouring into my life, he could’ve thought those seeds he was planting weren’t doing anything but this experience gives me confidence in the seed we plant out of faithfulness for God and to strengthen other believers that it’s faith in the seed.

We may not see the seed grow immediately, but God takes care of the growth and he’s always working in our lives. The seeds you plant in others lives that you may think are worthless because you can’t see any growth, faith is in the unseen, God could grow those seeds in someone’s lives sprouting into His awesomeness, 1 year down the road, 5, 10, even 50 years down the road so never stop learning and never stop planting seeds! It’s not just knowledge we have with God and His Word, it’s LIFE in the fullest of ways!!!

Pigskin Tossing

God Gold of the Day

“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To God’s holy people in Colosse, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ: Grace and peace to you from God our Father. We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.”

‭‭-Colossians‬ ‭1:1-6‬

Hope everybody had an awesome weekend! Time to get another work week started and praying that everyone is able to get up and get after it each day this week! I’m excited to share with you the upcoming God Gold’s, I’ve always had a problem with staying in one certain book or area of God’s Word and not bouncing around. I blame some of it on my ADD because I get distracted pretty easily but this week the Lord has laid on my heart to stay in one place. I’m praying this will give you the chance to dig in deeper to this book from the Word, prepare ahead of time and read before or alongside of me as we see what awesome truths God has for us here! I’d love to know if you get something different from the reading because the more perspectives on it just widens the lens for God Gold!

The book we’ll be in this week; Colossians.

Colossians is one of the many letters to churches written by Paul. It’s cool how Paul wrote these letters to the early churches to help them grow and strengthen their faith in Christ as they were just beginning their journeys with the Lord.

Noticed something pretty cool today while throwing football with some buddies. We were playing like a 2 on 2 game with the 5th guy as the quarterback. Whether you know anything about football or not, it’s pretty common to know that the quarterback throws the ball to wide receivers so they can catch it then run for a touchdown.

It hit me that just like Paul sending this letter to the church at Colosse, he is throwing them a pass filled with spiritual insight, encouragement and faith building wisdom so these believers can catch it and run for the touchdown!

It’s the same way with relationships in our lives, without others throwing us passes, how can we ever run for touchdowns? We’re all in this fight of faith together, and together we are much stronger than alone. It’s like the old saying “the strength of the wolf is the pack.” One person by themselves, might put up a little bit of a fight but a group of people, in this case a pack of believers, the chances for world changing, Christ-like impact on others is increased the more the pack is increased. It’s simple, we are better together.

Relationships are everything in this life. God created us for relationships, relationship with Him and with others, that’s why He created Eve to go alongside Adam, not just for the reason of multiplying but He says in Genesis 2:18, “it is not good for man to be alone.” Look at how Paul addresses these believers at Colosse; he calls them “brothers.” That’s not just a churchy word but the extent of the importance and purpose of relationships as believers. We are to be like brothers and sisters to one another just as the early Christians were.

“Brothers” aren’t just good buddies but they are so much more. The guys I was throwing the pigskin around with today, they are brothers to me. We get together each week for Bible Study, we aim to keep each other accountable, they encourage me and move me forward in my life with Christ. Not only that, they pray for me. One of the guys called me last week and without even telling him my struggles, he knew that I had a lot on my plate and was already praying for me. That’s the definition of “brothers.”

Paul here is kind of like the quarterback throwing the pass to the believers in Colosse. You see how Paul says, “we always thank God for you?” This is how we see how important working and living in togetherness, how it can help us. Paul is throwing them touchdown pass with this letter but he tells them of the pass of encouragement they have thrown to him. By hearing of the faith and the love these believers show, their faithful example moves Paul forward in his walk with the Lord. Paul thanks God for them because of the big impact they have on his life.

The role of quarterback and wide receiver is constantly switching hands in our lives, one Day you may be throwing the passes to help others, the next day someone is throwing you passes. And the result of living in togetherness with the relationships we have in our life, in verse 6, “the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world.

How does the Gospel message of Jesus Christ get out and change lives??? Not by just tossing the football around to yourself. It’s relationships, brothers and sisters living and working together, throwing passes of encouragement, wisdom, and truth to each other. Multiple people united as ONE in Christ Jesus, that’s what changes lives, changes world around us! It’s one pass, one person at a time, and with each catch the Lord shows us how to magnify His Good News, to run for the touchdown!!!

Dig into the relationships you have around you in your life, the “brothers” or “sisters” you have. Invest heavily in others and relationships. Life is way more fun when you got somebody helping you out throwing you passes that you can catch and run for the touchdown! At the end of the day anyways, how can you run for a touchdown if nobody throws you the pass? How can others run for touchdowns if you don’t throw them a pass? Who wants to live a touchdown-less life???

“The strength of the wolf isn’t the wolf, it’s the pack!” We’re so much better together and the Good News of the Gospel goes farther and reaches into lives of so many more people along the way!! And as you already know, the Good News is touchdown central!!!! Let’s dig into relationships and enjoy the touchdowns God has given us to score!!!!