Your Name Hidden in No Name

Have you noticed how many names are omitted in stories recorded in the Bible? Multiple times Jesus performs miracles for specific people whom we know only as a man or a woman. I want to suggest that this may present us an opportunity. God wants us to do more than read about these individuals. He desires us to personalize these stories. He is inviting us to insert our own names into these situations.

In John 4:1-16 we hear the conversation between Jesus and a woman – a woman from Samaria to be specific. Jesus asks the woman for a drink of water. However, He offers her Living Water. The woman asks Jesus who He is while He already knows who she is. Jesus answers her question in verse 26. The New Living Translation says, “Then Jesus told her, ‘I Am the Messiah!’

If you do not know Jesus as the Messiah and your personal Savior, this is a good starting point. Even though you may have a personal relationship with Jesus, are you thirsty spiritually? Your physical thirst may be satisfied but spiritually you are parched. Is there a situation in “some area” of your life that is depleting your supply of Living Water? Jesus is calling you by name and offering the Living Water of the Holy Spirit to satisfy your thirst.

Mark 3:1-5 records the healing of a man with a withered hand. We don’t know this man’s name, but Jesus does. He knows his name and his need. Jesus tells the man to stretch out his hand and He restores it.

Have you allowed a talent or a gift to atrophy because you have not used it for God’s glory? You may have to stretch your faith to ask Jesus for help. He is willing. He knows your name as well as your need.

In Luke 8:40-48 we read of another women without a name. We only know her as a woman who has been suffering with constant bleeding for 12 years. In desperation and in faith, she reaches out and touches the hem of Jesus’ garment. Her bleeding stops immediately. Jesus tells this woman in verse 48, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace. Did you notice that Jesus now gives her the name of Daughter? She is not nameless to Jesus.

The King James Version describes her problem as being an “issue of blood.” Is there some “issue” you have been struggling with for an extended time? Reach out in faith to Jesus. He will sense even a timid touch. Then He will touch you with His healing power.

We encounter a man by the pool at Bethesda in John 5:2-9. This man has seen sick for 35 years. Jesus approaches him and asks if he wants to be healed. His first response is that he has no one to put him in the pool, However, he must finally answer positively because in verse 8 Jesus tells him to pick up his mat and walk.

What is paralyzing you from walking in God’s freedom? Do you want to be set free? Hear Jesus calling your name and start walking in your new freedom.

Within each of these stories, we find a person identified by his/her problem rather than a name. However, God sees each individual as a person, not a problem. He sees you in the same way.

You can insert your name in additional verses throughout scripture. Sometimes a pronoun speaks your name.

I encourage you to insert your name into Isaiah 43:1. “But now, this is what the LORD says– He who created you, ______, He who formed you, ______: ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.’” I intentionally left a blank where the names Jacob and Israel was written in scripture.

The Lord says in Isaiah 49:16, “See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands.When Jesus hung on the cross with nails piercing His hands, He bore our sins. Our personal names were on the palms of His hands.

We all know John 3:16. But, do we take time to personalize it? Read the familiar words while replacing “whoever” with your name. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. How does this make you feel?

I have started to rewrite Romans 8:28. Now you can insert your own name. And I know that in all things God works for the good of (your name) who loves Him, who has been called according to His purpose.

Hear Jesus speak your name in Matthew 28:20. “Surely I am with you always.”

Where are you in the Bible? I know you are there. God knows you are there. He wants to help you just as He helped the men and women in the stories I have highlighted. Which person is an example of you? In which scripture passage do you hear the Lord calling your name? Max Lucado has said, “We have to admit who we are before Jesus can help us.”

God does not identify you by something you have done or some tragedy you have experienced. He knows your name. He sees your needs. Allow Jesus to have an active part in your life. He is calling your name.

Water Waves and Wisdom Waves

Then He (Jesus) got into the boat and His disciples followed Him.
Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake,
so that the waves swept over the boat.
But Jesus was sleeping.
The disciples went and woke Him, saying,
“Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”
Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the waves,
and it was completely calm.
The men were amazed and asked,
“What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey Him!”
Matthew 8:23-27

As I read this account of Jesus calming the storm, I realize more is happening than the silencing of the sea. Join me as we dive into a deeper understanding.

Jesus and His disciples were in a boat upon the lake. Suddenly they were encountering a storm. Was this supposed to happen when Jesus was with them? They were no longer safe and secure on the shore. Wave after wave of water crashed over them. Turbulence surrounded them. They thought they would drown. Like the disciples, we encounter stormy experiences. Although we have a personal relationship with Jesus, spiritual storms can splash upon us. We are not exempt from turmoil. Jesus says in John 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Most likely, the disciples questioned how Jesus could sleep through the storm. When we are in stormy situations, we may feel as if Jesus is unaware of what is happening. In other words, we may think He is sleeping and is indifferent to what we are enduring. This was not Jesus’ message to His disciples. Nor is it His message to us. For the disciples, Jesus was the embodiment of peace in their presence. He was fulfilling Isaiah 9:6 that prophesied He would be called the Prince of Peace. Later Jesus would tell these men, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27) Philippians 4:6-7 tells us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Jesus spoke peace to the waves. He also revealed the spiritual peace He experienced in spite of the surrounding turbulence. Jesus spoke physical peace to the sea. He experienced and portrayed spiritual peace in His soul.

The disciples knew Jesus well enough that they were willing to call upon Him to calm the storm. Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” Today, we can call upon Jesus through prayer to calm our storms of turmoil and trials. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

In verse 26, Jesus addressed the fact that the disciples were reacting more out of fear than faith. Most of us will occasionally be fearful. Jesus knew what the disciples were feeling. And, He knows our feelings. Consequently, there is a multitude of scriptures telling us not to fear. He will help us overcome our fear just as He helped the disciples in their fearful moments. We have the promise of Isaiah 41:10. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. II Timothy 1:7 NLT reminds us, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”

The men in the boat were Jesus’ closest friends. They knew Him better than anyone. However, the conclusion of this stormy story reveals that the disciples still had more to learn about Jesus. Although they had just experienced His calming the water waves, they still asked, “What kind of man is this?”

No matter how long we have followed Jesus, we can always grow in our relationship with Him. The exclamation of Mark 9:24 is appropriate for us. I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief! Water waves may wash over us. However, we can ask for wisdom waves. Proverbs 2:6 tells us, “For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” When Jesus spoke words to calm the water waves, He was also speaking wisdom waves. May we allow wisdom waves to wash over us today.

This account of Jesus calming the turbulence of a particular storm is more than just His calming water waves. It is about releasing wisdom waves into the disciples’ minds and lives. The body of water in this story is the Sea of Galilee which is the size of a large lake. This is a waterway they would travel many times the remainder of their lives. They needed to know how to navigate these waters. They needed to know how to deal with physical and spiritual waves during the coming days and years.

We, too, will have water waves wash over us – possibly physical, but more likely spiritual. There will be stormy times that suddenly appear even though we have Jesus in our life boats. Wave after wave – we may feel like we could drown in our difficulties. Let’s not stop with this story just giving us information. Let’s allow it to bring transformation in us. When water waves crash upon us, may we plead for wisdom waves. This is how we will experience the peace Jesus extends. Hear and experience Mark 4:39. Then He (Jesus) arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.

Cups of Character

I spent time with Jeremiah the other morning. To be specific, I was in the potter’s house. While at the potter’s wheel, God spoke to both Jeremiah and me about shaping and reshaping clay into a usable pot. Jeremiah 18:5-6 says, “Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘O house of Israel, declares the LORD, can I not treat you as this potter treats his clay? Just like clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel.’” Let us declare the words of Isaiah 64:8. Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of Your hand.

The pot I thought about was a cup – not just a bowl. A cup is a bowl with a handle attached. Jesus says in John 15:5, I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.I imagined myself being a cup. The handle of my cup was where God placed His hand. Isaiah 41:10 tells me, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

I meditated upon my being a cup held in God’s hand. I am a usable cup that can fulfill a purpose because I am held in God’s hand. What fills my cup? Jesus answers my question in John 7:37-39. “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” I am filled with the Holy Spirit so I can fulfill the plans and purposes God has for me according to Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Each of us is a unique cup formed in the Potter’s hand for a specific purpose. The Lord says in Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.

I think about my cups and mugs. Let’s look closely at a few of these containers to discover the various purposes portrayed.

One of my most cherished mugs features a picture of a heart puzzle. Each piece of the puzzle has the name of one of our six grandchildren. Proverbs 17:6 NLT says, “Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged; parents are the pride of their children.I desire to pour out my love upon these precious ones and invest in their lives.

I spot my husband’s favorite liquid container. It is a sturdy dark green mug with a yellow John Deere emblem. He grew up on a farm with a John Deere tractor. He is still a farmer at heart. A farmer works in fields plowing ground, planting seeds and harvesting crops. Matthew 13 records parables related to seeds and weeds. Jeremiah 4:3 NLT says, Plow up the hard ground of your hearts! Do not waste your good seed among thorns.Plowing is a spiritual metaphor for repentance.

I handle another mug our son gave my husband. It is a clear thick mug with a sports emblem. Athletes are physically strong. There is also a need for us to be spiritually strong. Joshua 1:9 says, Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

I inherited a small collection of teacups from my mother. Teacups are delicate and easily broken. I do not trust just anyone to handle these fragile cups. Maybe God has entrusted me with T cups that are containers of my Time, Talent and Treasure. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.

I have a teacup that belonged to my mother-in-law. There is an image of the World Exposition 1893 imprinted on it. It reminds me of Jesus’ words in Mark 16:15. Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

I also have a couple of child-sized teacups. I felt privileged when I received them as a child. They were like my mom’s cups – only smaller. Small but still special. Zechariah 4:10 NLT warns, “Do not despise these small beginnings.” I Timothy 4:12 says, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” Jesus says in Matthew 19:14, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.

Each of us can be described as a cup or a container. I have described several of my cups. Our cups and lives have a greater purpose than to just occupy space. We are to be used in the Potter’s hand as well as held in His hand. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

We must be sure our cups are clean. No one wants to drink from a dirty cup. II timothy 2:21 NLT says, “If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.” We are to be vessels of honor who fulfill God’s purposes. We are fashioned to be containers of the Holy Spirit. We are not to be cups full of conceit and selfishness.

Cups can be filled with either hot or cold drinks. If I let a cup of coffee set too long, it becomes lukewarm and is not desirable. If I have a mug of iced tea and the ice has melted, it is no longer refreshing. Revelation 3:16 says, “So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of My mouth.I don’t want my faith to become lukewarm!

I desire to be a cup held in God’s hand. I want to be filled with the Holy Spirit because apart from God I can do nothing. It is a blessing to have my life placed upon the Potter’s wheel and made into the vessel God designs.

My Reader, what kind of cup would describe your life? Don’t be a disposable cup! Disposable cups are not good for the environment of Christ. God has a plan and purpose for you.



Two Ships

If you were to embark upon a seafaring vessel, would you choose a boat of peace or turmoil? Whether we realize it or not, we each make a choice. As we navigate upon the waters of life, we encounter two ships. We can sail upon a wor-ship or a war ship.

Our vessel of peace is known as worship. The vessel of turmoil is a war ship. I realize I am taking liberties with words. However, I believe God has a message for us through this play on words.

A war ship is waiting at the docks of our lives. There are numerous seafaring battles to fight. In history, we read of many battles fought upon the waters. Ships sinking and the sailors drowning were (and still are) possibilities. As spiritual sailors, we are involved in spiritual warfare. I Peter 5:8-9 tells us, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.” Ephesians 6:12 NLT says, “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”

This results in a violent voyage. However, we can be encouraged by II Chronicles 20:15. “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” Psalm 34:19 says, “The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all.” In Ephesians 6:10, we are told to be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.

According to II Corinthians 4:8-9, we will encounter times when we are hard pressed on all sides, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. Jesus says in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

It is time for us to embark upon the wor-ship! Psalm 95:6 invites, “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.” Psalm 96:9 instructs us to, “Worship the LORD in the splendor of His holiness; tremble before Him, all the earth.” Psalm 105:1 encourages us to “Give praise to the LORD, proclaim His name; make known among the nations what He has done.” John 4:24 says, “God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

Throughout our lives, we will be onboard both ships at various times. Prayer includes praise and petitions. Our prayers will burst with praise when we are on a wor-ship. II Samuel 7:22 says, “How great You are, Sovereign LORD! There is no one like You, and there is no God but You.” However, our prayers will include plenty of petitions when we are on a war ship. Romans 5:20 says that where sin increased, grace increased all the more. That describes a spiritual battle. Prayer is asking God to speak to the chaos of our lives. Prayer fights both outward and inward forces. The fervency of prayer will overcome the ferociousness of the enemy.

We will encounter violent waves of a vicious enemy. Ultimately, however, we will ride upon God’s victorious waves. There will be a tsunami of triumph. I encourage you to read Romans 8:31-39. I highlight a few verses. Verse 31-32 asks, “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, freely give us all things?” Verse 35 asks another question. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? Verses 37-39 answers, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I John 5:4 NLT declares, “For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.”

With a renewed fervency of prayer, we will defeat the enemy’s ferociousness. I believe a big wave of revival will soon crash upon our nation. Living water will flow across our land. Isaiah 44:3 promises, “For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and My blessing on your descendants.”

We are spiritual sailors upon the seafaring vessels of wor-ship and war ships. Using another another play on words, let me ask a question. Are we embarking upon a seafaring or see-faring vessel? Do we have spiritual eyes with which to see what is happening in the heavenlies? Paul says in Ephesians 1:18, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people.”

When the war ship tries to steer you into tumultuous turmoil, claim Psalm 91. I encourage you to proclaim the complete Psalm but I quote verses 2 and 3. I will say to the LORD, “You are my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler, and from the deadly plague.” The captain of wor-ship is waiting for your arrival. Jesus promises in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

I suggest that wor-ship is the best place to be when we encounter war ships. The best wor-ship is also a war ship because worship is a form of spiritual warfare. Philippians 2:10-11 says, “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” This is a picture of the final victory of all worldly battles. There will be no more turbulent seas. In Revelation 4, we find a description of the Throne of Heaven. Verse 6 says, “in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.” Around this sea are four living creatures who worship God saying in verse 10,Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.”

In closing, I include a few lines from two current worship songs. The first is Battle Belongs by Paul Wickham. The song begins, “When all I see is the battle You see my victory.” I also like the lyrics, “So when I fight, I’ll fight on my knees with my hands lifted high. Oh God the battle belongs to You.”

The other song is Defender written by Bethel Music vocalist Steffany Gretzinger and recorded by Francesca Battistelli. I highlight the following portion. “You go before I know that You’ve even gone to win my war. Your love becomes my greatest defense. It leads me from the dry wilderness. And all I did was praise. All I did was worship. All I did was bow down, oh All I did was stay still.”

Welcome aboard to the wor-ship!

Build Your Own Sword

Most of us are familiar with the armor of God described in Ephesians 6. Some of us may even put on this armor for spiritual protection as we begin our days. But, do we really use it? Are we aware that we are daily involved in spiritual warfare?

We are exhorted in Ephesians 6:10-12, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can make your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Today, I want to highlight one specific piece of our spiritual armor. Ephesians 6:17 says, “And take … the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”

I recently listened to an online message by Ron Zondervan. He challenged his listeners to build their own spiritual swords. We can gain some insight for how to build a spiritual sword by looking at how military swords were made in the past.

Military swords were crafted uniquely for each sword bearer. A different size, shape and weight for each weapon. Steel forged with an anvil and hammer. Grinding, hammering and heating changed a piece of metal into a weapon. Heat applied to the blade was critical. The craftsman started applying heat at a low temperature and then gradually increased it. Finally, the blade was sharpened with a whetstone. A coarse grit stone was first used. Gradually, finer grit stones were used to achieve the sharpest blade.

The steel for our spiritual swords comes from the Bible. However, we must open the Bible and learn His promises if scripture to be our effective weapon. II Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” All verses have the potential of becoming material for a spiritual sword. However, each of us will craft a sword that is usable for our own battles. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

The Holy Spirit is the fire applied to the sword we are constructing. In Acts 2:3-4, the Holy Spirit descended like tongues of fire at Pentecost. Today, the Holy Spirit is our Helper who gives us understanding of the scriptures we use to build our spiritual swords. The Holy Spirit knows just how much “fire” to apply for the best spiritual sword. We must be careful to heed I Thessalonians 5:19, “Do not quench the Spirit.”

Finally, our spiritual sword needs sharpening with a whetstone. Jesus is our stone.
I Peter 2:4 describes Jesus as the living stone who is precious in God’s sight. Verses 6-8 continue, “For it stands in Scripture: ‘See, I lay in Zion a stone, a chosen and precious cornerstone; and the one who believes in Him will never be put to shame.’ To you who believe, then, this stone is precious….” Ephesians 2:20 emphasizes, “Christ Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone.”

In summary, the sword that Jon Zondervan encourages us to build is a sword composed of scriptures found in God’s Word, refined by the Holy Spirit and sharpened by Jesus Christ. The result is a powerful spiritual sword!

II Corinthians 10:3-6 reminds us, “For though we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh. The weapons of our warfare are not the weapons of the world. Instead, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We tear down arguments and every presumption set up against the knowledge of God; and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

The sword of God’s Word is a sword of truth we can pull out whenever needed. Jesus declares in John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” The truth reminds us who we are and the power of God that is working with us and for us. It reminds us that we are victorious. Truth reminds us that the devil is defeated.

As we take a closer look at Ephesians 6:14-17, we will notice that the sword of the Spirit is our only offensive weapon. It is all we need. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” This special two edged sword penetrates and implants God’s Word into our souls. It also pierces and cuts out what is not of the Lord.

So, how do we wield this spiritual sword? We skillfully handle our sword through praise, proclamation and prayer.

There is power in praise. It is good for us to fulfill Psalm 103:1. Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. According to Psalm 22:3, the Lord inhabits the praises of His people. Join me in declaring Psalm 71:14, “As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise You more and more.”

God’s Word is alive and needs to be proclaimed. Isaiah 45:21 says, “Declare what is to be, present it– there is no God apart from Me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none but Me.” Matthew 10:27 tells us, “What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.” The words we speak out loud are powerful. Our words change us and our circumstances.

I Thessalonians 5:17 simply says, “Pray continually.” Philippians 4:6-7 encourages us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” James 6:16 says, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” Specific scriptures are effective prayers. Praying God’s Word back to Him is a powerful weapon against the forces of evil that surround and attack us.

In Matthew 4:1-11, Jesus used the Word as His sword when fighting spiritual battles. Three times (verses 4, 7 and 10) satan tempted Jesus and each time Jesus fought back with a specific scripture. Jesus knew the scriptures well. His spiritual sword was sharp.

My Reader, have you built your spiritual sword? Philippians 2:10-11 says, “Be ready to speak to the enemy. Then be ready to skillfully handle your sword as you fight the enemy.” I encourage you to take time to study God’s Word. Scripture is “God-facts” – not just stories. God’s Word is a sword to pull out when you are tempted or discouraged. Find specific verses that will help you overcome such hindrances as fear, doubt, worry. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you to the appropriate verses. Then speak these words with the authority of the name of Jesus.