37: 50 Days of 3:16

All too often, and I can attest to this, we work to strengthen ourselves up with earthly riches. The quote goes something like, ‘he who has the money has the power’. The strength we receive on earth from material things is very temporary. With the snap of a finger or the stroke on a keyboard, it can all be gone. We tend to put our trust in our earthly power and hope that is enough. Yet outside of God’s grace, this is all they have. It is all they know.


I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,

Ephesians 3:16


I have fallen into a trap of the comfortable. It is not an easy trap to get out of when as a believer you want to do so much more. It is very easy to be complacent and just let life just move forward. This complacency leads to lazy believers who think only of their own faith and are not too interested in making waves and sharing it with those who may have an opposing viewpoint. To much work. Too much effort. We fill our lives with entertainment satisfying our earthly bodies desires drowning out the voice of the Holy Spirit that is calling us to so much more. We go to church on Sundays out of routine and cry out asking God why we cannot hear His voice during the week yet truly are we listening? If you were to chart out your time in a week what priority would God have? I know that sadly in my life God would not be number one. This breaks my heart to write yet pushes me to make it right.


On our own, we are going to fall over and over again. Unless we reconfigure our lives from the inside out we are bound to go through this life on a loop. Paul understood this, he says many of the new converts making the same mistakes and was writing to remind them that in their own strength they will keep failing. Until we draw on the strength given to us personally by Jesus through the Holy Spirit, only then can we break the loop that binds us to complacency.  Take some time today to read Ephesians 3:14-20, Paul knew that together we are strong. We build one another up and keep each other accountable for our actions. He saw the power the Jesus has for us when we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us. We must embrace the Holy Spirits power in our lives, only then will our inner being be strengthened and the power we desire given.


There is also a part we need to play. Turn off the distractions that are keeping us from hearing God. Set limits to your entertainment time if you cannot go cold turkey. Prioritize God in your life. Spend to much time watching TV? Video games? Sports? Hobbies? Whatever it may be God needs to be glorified, those things cannot be put ahead of His love. He wants to talk to you, empower you to do the mission of reaching the lost and we must get out of our homes to do it.


Father, forgive me for my complacency, I have fallen into the trap of lazy faith. I want so much more and willingly turn from those things that keep me from haring your voice. Holy Spirit I invite you to call me out on these things, push me to grow in my faith and let go of the things that hold me back. I trust that what you have to offer is much more valuable then what the world is offering. I pray that eyes are opened today to this and lives changed. Use me to be a vessel of love to those around me and witness to your grace. Let me be the salt and light to the world around me. Amen

22: 50 Days of 3:16

We are quick to defend our opinions and our “rights”. We get so caught up in self-defence that we sometimes forget that we have a God by our side who is ready willing and able to defend us. Just like an earthly father would defend his son or daughter would not our Heavenly Father be ready to do the same for us? There are some things that we can defend on our own, but it is recognizing that there are some battles what we need help from our Father.


Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.”

Daniel 3:16


The book of Daniel is a great example of when we can defend ourselves and when we need to step aside and let God defend us. Think back to when Daniel and his three friends arrived in Babylon, they were sent for training where they were going to be forced to eat all the rich foods. Daniel and his friends stood firm and offered their alternative which with hesitation was accepted and eventually convinced their masters that it was a good diet. Daniel stood firm in his defiance of the Kings orders that everyone was to only worship him. These battles and defences were their own, they relied on their faith and God blessed them for it.

Here is today’s verse, we see the boys stepping aside and letting God defend them. They knew that there was nothing they could do or say to convince the King that they shouldn’t bow before his statue. They knew that it was wrong, and that was enough for them, to defy God by bowing to another was not a compromise they were willing to offer. This infuriated the King so he tossed them in the fiery furnace. We see no protest from the young men as they were sent towards the furnace. Even when the guards who escorted them burnt up they did not resist. Why? They had a hope and faith that the God of their fathers was their God and would either rescue them or take them to where He was. If they had of perished they may have been the first recorded martyrs. Yet they did not and their faith was defended by God, showing the who Babylon city that God was more powerful than the King and any statue he created.

The second story of God defending that Daniel offers is one where Daniel’s defiance of the Kings order that all should worship him alone sentences him to the lion’s den. Not this practice was not for just any criminal but for the scoundrels that needed to be made examples of. These lions would have been hungry as they feed them just enough that when they tossed someone in they would ravage that man or woman. So one would have expected that once Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den he was a goner and there would be nothing left but bones come morning. The King would have known this yet Daniel was his favourite and it was trickery that forced his hand. He hoped that the God Daniel served would protect him, that is why we see him rush to the den the next morning. Of course, Daniel like the three boys is alive and well, not a scratch on him. The King is dumbfounded and rescues him from the den.


What it is in your life that you need to battle today? Is something you can do in your faith, or something you need to ask God to defend you for? God gives you the strength to take on daily battles, He reminded us that to do this we need to put on the full armour of God. It is hard to defend yourself if you’re not the least bit prepared. If the young men had not been praying and preparing their hearts, trusting God in all things, when they had seen the guards and were threatened to be burned alive they may have changed their choices. But they trusted God and gave the choice back to Him to defend them in that matter because they knew they were doing what was right. If you’re in a battle prepare yourself and give it to God, He will help you through it. He will show you what you can do and He will do what needs to be done. You can get through it. You are not alone.


Father, today we are all fighting some sort of battle. We pray from strength and wisdom to defend ourselves. Remind us daily that we need to put on the full armour. If we leave just one part out, that area will become a target of the enemy looking to weaken us. We ask Holy Spirit that you join us in our battles, protect us from the enemy’s attacks. Help us to be ready willing and able to tell others about your love for them. Let our lives be an example of a God who loves and defends His people. Amen