Just For Today
A Daily Approach to Prayer and Scripture
Friday, December 19
“Share in the troubles we have like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.”
2Ti 2:3 NCV
THRIVING IN THE COMBAT ZONE (1)
Salvation enlists you into the service of Jesus, the King of Kings. His battles become your battles, and His strategies your strategies. There are no exemptions; you’re “in for the duration.” Satan has declared war on you, and it’s “conquer or be conquered.” He will attack you on three fronts. Let’s look at each: The attack from the world. Ever feel like you don’t “fit in”? You’re not supposed to! “Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God” (Jas 4:4 NLT). The line has been drawn; there’s no peaceful coexistence in this war. What is “worldliness”? It’s not being in the world, but being like it. It’s not mixing with the world, but blending in with its self-centered values, its “relative” morality, and its attitudes toward God, His cause, His Word, and His people. The world’s hunger for power, popularity and self-promotion contradicts the principles of Scripture. “Genuine religion in the sight of God [is]…refusing to let the world corrupt you” (Jas 1:27 NLT). Jesus told us to avoid becoming swept up in the world’s obsession with material things, or its fear of not having enough to meet our needs (See Mt 6:25-34). You are called to be “salt” and “light” (See Mt 5:13-14). You are to be the influencer, not the influenced. When the world can’t tell you apart from them, your light has gone out and your salt has lost its flavor.
Saturday, December 20
“Make no provision for the flesh.”
Ro 13:14 NAS
THRIVING IN THE COMBAT ZONE (2)
The attack from the flesh. Your most vulnerable point is your “flesh,” which drives you to do your own thing. Its motto is “It’s all about me!” From start to finish it “looks out for number one,” always wanting to be “first in line.” That’s the genetic makeup of our flesh. And it can’t be saved, sanctified, or spiritualized because “that which is born of the flesh is flesh” (Jn 3:6 NKJV) and nothing else. “The Spirit and your desires are enemies of each other. They are always fighting each other and keeping you from doing what you feel you should” (Gal 5:17 CEV). So how do you control your “flesh”? (1) Make a choice. “Choose today whom you will serve” (Jos 24:15 GWT). During the American Civil War thousands of Yankee and Confederate soldiers were killed by “friendly fire.” Why? Because they lacked uniforms that identified the side to which they belonged. Be clear about which side you’re on, and let those around you know it. (2) Cut the supply lines to the flesh. In war time generals devote a lot of attention to blowing up bridges, highways, and railroads to deprive the enemy of the vital supplies they need to win. Your flesh can’t control you if you cut off its supply line. “Don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires“ (Ro 13:14 NLT). (3) Maintain regular communication with base command. Even well-trained soldiers with the finest equipment and best officers can’t win when they’re cut off from base command. So stay in touch: “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion” (Eph 6:18 NLT).