Tag : god

Armor of God by Mayada Naami

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take 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 dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people (Ephesians 6, 10-18, NIV).

A friend of mine shared a story with me this weekend and it fit in perfectly with the blog that the Lord had already placed on my heart to write that morning. She was telling me about the childhood trauma she had carried with her all her life which had manifested itself into a reoccurring nightmare for over 20 years. I won’t go into the details of the nightmare, however, during one of her night terrors, when confronted with the evil assailant, she fled and ran for her life. As she was approaching the light, almost free, she heard God say to her, “Go back and face your enemy, tell him you are covered in the blood of Jesus.” She turned around and went back and faced the assailant. When she told him she was covered in the blood of Christ, he disappeared. That was the last night she saw the assailant and her nightmares ended.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin (1 John 1:7, NIV).

When faced with a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat, our body reacts with a natural physiological response to fight back or flee. In my friend’s case she was fleeing, which is what most people do when they are afraid. We run—hoping that we can escape, and sometimes we never stop running for fear that the threat is still at our heels. The interesting thing is that when we put on armor, the only thing exposed is our back. Consequently, when running away from our enemy, we are exposing our back. Why not put on the Armor of God and face your enemy with the sure knowledge that the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6, NIV).

Categories: Blog

Setbacks Don’t Have to Take You Down by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

My husband and I visited our son, daughter-in-law and new grandchild, William, over Easter weekend and decided to take a walk around their neighborhood. There’s a pond in their development, but in order to get to the walking path around it, we had to cross a field. That seemed simple enough, but halfway to the pond I found myself on the ground, writhing in pain. My foot apparently got caught in a hole, cleverly disguised with a grass covering. As a result, I badly injured my foot.

At first I thought my foot was broken because it hurt so bad, but I was able to stand and walk back to the house—slowly.

Three days later, it is bruised and still swollen and I leave tomorrow for a speaking engagement in Atlanta.

How should I handle this?

Should I complain to God?

Should I cry because I am injured going into a speaking event?

Or should I be grateful that I have the ability to still walk?

I have chosen the latter. I know “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

Setbacks are a part of life and we can choose to trust God in the midst of them or feel sorry for ourselves. Peter said, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.”

Looking back on Easter, Jesus suffered far worse than a sprained ankle on my behalf.

So if you are dealing with any kind of setback, you have a choice to move forward in God’s strength or to allow it to shut you down. God’s strength can always see us through any trial.

Categories: Blog

The Fall (Part 2) by Mayada Naami

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body (Ephesians 5:21-30, NIV).

Last week I wrote about “the fall” and the role of men and women. The blog triggered different reactions from friends and family, so I dug deeper into the Bible for answers. In Ephesians 5, the Bible clearly says to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ and explains in detail what that means for both men and women. Jesus is the Son of God and so was Adam. Both were fathered by God’s Spirit and God spoke directly to both of them.

So, what is the difference between Adam and Jesus? If we look at the creation, Adam and Eve were made in God’s image and so was Jesus. So why did Adam’s decision cause eternal separation from God (sin) and Jesus, being the “second Adam” redeem fallen mankind by living a perfect, obedient sacrificial life? The answer is that it was Adam’s job to watch over the Garden of Eden but he allowed Eve to lead, rather than protect her from sure death. Meanwhile Jesus submitted to God’s directive for His life, and ultimate sacrifice for our sins.

Regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God tells Adam “in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17). The Bible does not say God spoke directly to Eve, so we can assume that Adam told Eve what God said. God gave him clear instructions and gave them both free will. Adam failed to obey God and protect his woman, and that is when Adam was no longer trustworthy.

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered (1 Peter 3:7, ESV).

In this verse, the Bible says to show honor to women as the weaker vessel. The world takes offense to the term “weaker,” however the Bible honors weakness. Jesus honored women and submitted to God’s will in all things. If the man is trustworthy and is head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church, then he will strive to be “like” Jesus and the woman can safely submit her will to his will. He may make mistakes, but he will repent and seek the head of his body, Christ.

I hope this help to redefine what “submit” and “weaker vessel” means from a biblical perspective and not through a worldview lens. This does not negate the God-given leadership skills of women, their intelligence, or their other gifts and talents. Women are a very important member of the body of Christ.

Categories: Blog

Overtaken by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

There are a lot of things that can overtake us.

We can be overtaken with fear.

Overtaken with guilt.

Overtaken by an enemy, as what is happening in Ukraine right now.

But why don’t we put a positive spin on the concept of being “overtaken” today?

In Deuteronomy 28:2, God says He wants to overtake us with blessings.

“Then all these blessings will come upon you and overtake you, if you listen to the voice of ADONAI your God. Blessed will you be in the city, and blessed will you be in the field. Blessed will be the fruit of your womb, the produce of your soil, and the offspring of your livestock—the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed will be your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed will you be when you come in, and blessed will you be when you go out” (Deuteronomy 28:2-6, TLV).

That about covers life. There’s just one little catch. We need to listen to the voice of God. That means spending time with Him and doing what He says.

This week I felt overtaken by blessings as my documentary about antisemitism was named a nominee for an award at the International Christian Film Festival. I was overtaken with emotion when I received this honor, because I remember how the process started. It was during my morning quiet time when I heard the voice of God. I had a ten-minute video project to do for a class on antisemitism, and felt the Holy Spirit saying that He wanted me to take it further than what the assignment required so the video presentation could go out on our television platforms. He provided all the details for putting the documentary together. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qa-7pRy4iOM&t=48s

Today, I am overtaken by God’s goodness and blessings for my obedience.

In these days of uncertainty with another COVID variant looming and as we helplessly watch the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, we might be ready for some good, not bad. Today, will you take some time to sit in the presence of God? Get into His word. Pray for direction. Then do what He says. It’s the formula for being overtaken—with blessings.

#

Hello everyone! Thanks for reading the POP blog. We’d also love for you to check out our most recent POP Talk television show: “From Transgender to Transformed.” It’s an amazing story about how Laura Perry spent nine years as a transgender named “Jake” until God turned her life around. It looks like Facebook as blocked this one from getting out to the public, so here’s the link in case you’d like to watch this powerful testimony. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyGrAxagM28&t=10s Blessings! Lisa Burkhardt Worley

Categories: Blog

Three Things to Pray for Ukraine by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

What is going through your mind as you watch news reports about the Russian invasion of Ukraine?

I am feeling helpless and wish I could do more to assist the people. We’re too far away to take in refugees. I don’t personally know anyone there, and I’m not trained for the military.

However, we are all trained to war in prayer, so here are three things we can pray for Ukraine:

Pray that God will fight this battle for them. “Then I said to you, ‘Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.”

Today as I was reading the recap of the Israelites journey to the Promised Land, I realized that while God gave them the victories, they still had to fight and put the work in. Ukraine is holding its own. According to NPR, airstrikes have not gone as planned and the Russians are experiencing food and fuel shortages [1]

Pray for the truth about this war to come out. There are a lot of conspiracy theories running around that flip the scenario of who is “good” and who is “bad.” I am praying for God’s truth and clarity to emerge from this scenario.

Pray for the Ukrainian refugees fleeing the country. With over 50,000 Jews living in Ukraine, many of these refugees are Jewish and are heading to Israel. This is a fulfillment of prophecy. In Ezekiel 38:8 it says, “In future years you will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and now all of them live in safety.” God’s ways are not our ways, and it is possible that He has used this war for good, to move His people back to the Land. We need to pray for open doors, provision and shelter for all refugees.

I have always said prayer should not be the last resort, it should be the first resort. Matthew 21:22 says, “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

So in the end, we’re not helpless. We can battle for Ukraine as we have been given the right to appeal to our Almighty Defender through prayer.


[1] https://www.npr.org/2022/03/02/1084033803/the-war-in-ukraine-hasnt-gone-well-for-russia-but-it-has-more-weapons-it-can-dep

Categories: Blog