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Armed and ready for war - Click on the link to see Gwen's description - she says "YES!" to art being warfare in the Spirit!
4. The exchange of weapons
Think about how we "battle" our fellow man...we might avoid someone, gossip, speak unkindly to them, even speak maliciously. We might yell, slam a door, even strike someone physically. Unforgiveness, hatred, bitterness, and wrath become the internal fruit of such behavior. In this step, we give up our weapons in exchange for God’s. The qualities of His weapons are listed in II Corinthians 10:3-5:
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,
Some of these weapons are:
Praise - Check out these verses! Isaiah 30:32 Psalm 149 Psalm 22:3
The Sword of the Spirit - which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17)...one author I have read said that the original language could be translated as "swords of the Spirit", meaning that any portion of Scripture could be used as a weapon, depending on the situation....
The words of our testimony - Revelation 12:11. Remembering what God has done for us and for others sure helps when the attacks of the enemy threaten to overwhelm our life and faith!
The Blood of the Lamb - Revelation 12:11. Remembering the price of our Redemption is a phenomenal weapon on any day!
Not loving our own life, even at the point of death - Revelation 12:11. Now this is a tremendous picture of someone who understands covenant! They are willing to lay down everything IN their life, as well as their VERY life, for the sake of the One they are in covenant with! There is so much more in the Bible about loving the world, loving the Lord, loving our fellow man...and each passage can be considered insight into this weapon of warfare.
The Name of Jesus - Philippians 2:10. At the name of Jesus, EVERY knee will bow!
I am sure I have missed one or two - of course any prayer is a weapon against the enemy!
Following the commands in Romans 12:14, 17, 19 makes room for God to fight our battles. See what these verses say:
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. (verse 14) Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. (verse 17) Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY," says the Lord. (verse 19)
Enjoy your thoughts as the Spirit brings more insights to your mind!
Together in battle (hands lifting the rod) - Click on the link to see Gwen's explanation of her picture.
3. The exchange of belts
The belt is the symbol of strength - see II Corinthians 12:9.
Belts were used to hold weapons (bow, arrow, sword, dagger). The belt also holds my armor together. So symbolically I’m giving you all my strength and pledging you all my support and protection. As I give you my belt, I’m saying, “Here is my strength and all my ability to fight. If anybody attacks you, they are also attacking me. Your battles are my battles and mine are yours. I will fight with you. I will help defend you and protect you.” And you do the same to me. (This paragraph is adapted from the book “The Miracle of the Scarlet Thread” by Richard Booker)
Wow, this is a little daunting - I like the idea that God will protect me, but the idea that His enemies are also now my enemies???? But yet experience says that this is true...I have to fight a spiritual enemy who hates me simply because I am made in the image of his enemy, and now that I am in covenant with the Enemy, the other hates me doubly! I think I REALLY need God in my life!!!!!
Scripture says that He has given us His divine nature - II Peter 1:3-4.
To the Hebrew, a person’s robe represents the person. By taking off my robe and giving it to you, I’m symbolically saying, “I’m giving you all myself. My total being and my life, I pledge to you.” And then you would do the same to me.
Also read Colossians 3:8-10; 12-14 for more information on His garments that are given to us, and that we need to reach for and put on ourselves!
Behold -A New Thing - artwork by Gwen Meharg. Click on the link to see her explanation of the painting!
1. Count the cost Read Luke 14:27-33. This passage is about considering the cost of entering into a covenant with someone... God initiates covenant with us - read John 1:1-5; 9-13.
Remember, if a person has considered the cost, and chooses to walk away, there is no covenant...if the parties move on to step two, the covenant is initiated and binding. Can you see how this applies to a person who has heard the Good News, and doesn't take the step to receive Jesus into their heart?
Here is another image by Gwen Meharg - a friend and inspiring artist.
I chose this image to illustrate a new study series I am posting about covenants as they were understood in Biblical times. Understanding the process of covenant deeply enriched my Christian walk, and helped me dig out even richer truth from well loved scriptures!
For today, I am giving you a simple list of the steps of covenant, and in the days that follow, I will explain in more detail each of these steps...
7 Steps of a Blood Covenant:
1. Counting the cost (you can decide not to go through with the covenant at this step. If you progress to step two, the covenant is initiated and considered binding to both parties.) 2. The Exchange of outer garments 3. The exchange of belts (the belt is a symbol of strength. It was used to hold weapons.) 4. The exchange of weapons 5. The walk of death: Berith (walking in a figure eight between the pieces of a sacrificed animal) 6. Covenant mark 7. Covenant meal
Intrigued? I'll be the Holy Spirit is already whispering the details to your heart!
Last Friday (October 9th) was our first Casa (the local theater that features plays for children throughout the year) field trip for the year - The Jungle Book! It was great! After that a trip to Central Market for lunch with Susan and Catherine and families. Sophia had her new heelys on, and told Angel that she got them at Ross...well Angel had been wanting Heelys for - like forever!....so when no one could come over for a playdate, we decided a shopping adventure was just what we needed...and we found two pairs - one pink and one blue. The blue ones were closer to Angel's size, yet still a little large but that was OK because she could just wear thicker socks for a while till she grew into them....
When we got home and Angel was trying them out, she remembered that Rosetta had a pair of heelys...and that is when we discovered that God had been ordering our steps all along! Rosettas heelys (purchased at the beginning of the year) were the same light blue color as Angel's!!!! She was so delighted! God is so good!
Well, today has been quite productive, after a week of being under the weather! Now fall is in the air, and I have the "re-organize, inventory, purge, simplify, sort" bug! Clothes - both Angel's and mine - have been sorted and some given away, some in a pile to embellish, and mostly, inventory for the cool weather has been accomplished!
Now today, the kitchen!!!! I have counters once again, the plastic container cabinet has been R.I.P.S.S. as well - mostly initiated by my younger son's generous donation of RUBBERMAID STACKABLE STORAGE CONTAINERS! Wow! That WAS organization!
I have decluttered countertops, decorated for fall, and even lit an apple-cinnamon candle....ahhhh, caramel apples coming up!
Here is the proof, my counters are clear! This is my first attempt to upload a video - and I think sound and video may not be working together...but at the very end, you will see my little girl's "Science Genius Lab" a.k.a a Barbie kitchen!
(Note the fall centerpiece - yes, I was on a roll!)
I just reviewed the video and there are dishes in the sink!!! Seed dishes...know what I mean?