Category Archives: Spiritual Growth

A Sword For The Battle: Insecurity


You don’t feel good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, or popular enough. You think your voice sounds funny. You don’t feel like you know enough about the Bible. You definitely don’t think you have what it takes to make a difference. You are completely uncertain and anxious about your contribution to anything and everything. You second guess your every move and doubt your insight and wisdom. In fact, you wonder if you even have any at all.

We’ve all been here. When you are in this place, this abyss of uncertainty, you are open to attack and the battle rages on. We allow the loudness of our insecurity to trump any quiet confidence we may have. After all, insecurity is boisterous and confidence is humble.

Here are some verses to help you battle through the insecure days. We pray you will see yourself the way God sees you for He created you in His image.

I will not worry about anything; instead, I will pray about everything. I will tell God what I need, and thank Him for all he has done. Then I will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything I can understand. His peace will guard my heart and mind as I live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

I will humble myself under the mighty power of God, and at the right time He will lift me up in honor. I will give all my worries and cares to God, for He cares about me. 1 Peter 5:6-7

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. Psalm 139:13-14

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. My old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17

It is God who enables me to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned me, and He has identified me as His own by placing the Holy Spirit in my heart as the first installment that guarantees everything He has promised me. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22

We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds me securely, and the evil one cannot touch me. 1 John 5:18

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within me, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6

A Sword For The Battle: Fear


It grips us. Beats us. Slays us. Torments us. Slaps us around.

It plays no favorites. It just wants to paralyze everything in its path. It makes us feel like we have no trust in our God. Fear and faith are very similar – they are just heading in the wrong direction. Fear says, “I know bad stuff lies ahead, and I wonder if God is with me.” Faith says, “I don’t know what lies ahead, but I know my God is with me.” 

Mark Twain said, “Do the thing you fear the most and the death of fear is certain.” We must battle against fear if we are to find victory in our lives. We must face our issues, concerns and discouragements and rise above them. And when we do this, fear will diminish in our lives. It will lose its hold on us. It will die, not us.

Here are some verses to help you battle through those fearful moments that probably come throughout the day. The more you battle, the less you’ll have to. It’s time to fight back with the Sword and start taking back ground today. (Pronouns in some verses have been changed to first person.)

I prayed to the Lord, and He answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. Psalm 23:4

The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? Psalm 27:1

But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. Psalm 56:3

I will not be afraid, for God is with you. I will not be discouraged, for He is my God. He will strengthen me and help me. He will hold me up with His victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10

I will be strong and courageous! I will not be afraid and will not panic before them. For the Lord my God will personally go ahead of me. He will neither fail me nor abandon me. Deuteronomy 31:6

For God has not given me a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

When I go through deep waters, God will be with me. When I go through rivers of difficulty, God will not let me drown. When I walk through the fire of oppression, God will not let me be burned up; the flames will not consume me. Isaiah 43:2

Stand Firm: Persistent Prayer

Written by Janet Findley

“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion.  Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” Ephesians 6:18

On a recent trip to Montana, we passed three wildfires, all of which had been started by lightning strikes. Three lightning bolts. Three fires. Homes, lives, and families all in the path of destruction. As we arrived at our destination, we found out one fire was burning in the bluffs above town where my friend’s sister and family live.  Kathy was at home watching the progress of the fire and it stampeded toward their home. We began to pray very specifically for this family, for God’s protection over them and that no harm would come to them or their home. We prayed continuously throughout the late afternoon and evening. Reports continued to pour in as the fire was came closer Kathy’s house.

In life and in leadership, storms rage, lightning strikes and fires are sparked. Maybe there is disunity in the church or on the staff regarding decisions that are being made and a storm is brewing. Maybe isolation and loneliness have struck like a lightning bolt straight to the heart. Maybe hurtful words or gossip are spreading as swiftly as an out of control wildfire. These storms and fires are part of the spiritual battle that we engage in as believers and leaders.

I haven’t always understood the power and responsibility I have as God’s daughter to pray all the time, for everything. I haven’t always grasped the power of praying persistently for everyone. After all, God knows everything I am thinking, everything going on inside me, so I don’t need to specifically go to him in prayer about each situation. As I really started diving into God’s word, I learned how wrong I was in those kinds of thoughts. The more I learned, the more I put prayer into action. The more I went to God in prayer for everything, the more I saw and understood the importance staying alert and persistent in my prayers was. As my eyes were opened, I saw God moving and doing things only he can do in my life and lives of others.

When we have storms and fires raging in our lives and leadership, our best weapon is persistent prayer. Prayer for unity among our church family. Prayer for our fragile hearts and that God would bring people into our lives we can lean on and trust. Prayer that truth will prevail, gossip will burn out, and hurtful words will cease. Prayer at all times and on every occasion.

That evening as we drove through Montana’s wildfires, we received a phone call from Kathy telling us that she and their home were safe. She said, “I was sitting in our garage watching the progress of the fire toward our house. When it got about 500 yards away, it was like watching the fire hit a wall. It literally turned and went back the way it came as a small wind came up. I have never seen anything like it! No sparks, no embers or anything crossed that line. The fire changed direction, and it continued burning away from our house in the total opposite direction!” Thank you God! Our prayers were answered.

Only God can halt a raging fire. Only God can transform disunity into unity. Only God can change loneliness into community. Only God can turn the tearing down of others into building up instead. Only God.

So let’s pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. No prayer is too insignificant for God. He hears the cries of our hearts. Any time and all the time is a good time to pray. He may not answer prayers as immediately or dramatically as He did for Kathy and her family, but He does hear and does answer.

What will you start doing in your life today to stand firm and persistent in your prayers?

Stand Firm: Sword of the Spirit

“…and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” Ephesians 6:17

“At the end of my life I want it to be said that I fought with my hand frozen to the sword.” I saw this quote from Mandy over at Suburban Stereotype. When I saw it I cried out, “YES! This is my desire!”

With each passing year of my life, I find myself more desperate and hungry for God’s Word. Maybe it’s because I realize just how little I know as each birthday comes and goes. Sure, I thought I knew it all at the ripe age of 17 but now? Now I am so utterly aware of everything I do not know and how much more I need to learn.

So I run to the Word. It is my source, my strength, my hope, my truth, my life. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that it is “alive and powerful…sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword….cutting between soul and spirit…it exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” Friend, we have a sword at our disposal for all of life’s worries, questions, concerns and fears and yet we too often don’t use it as it was meant to be used.

Allow me to share some things with you that you might find helpful as you “take the sword of the Spirit” and do battle:

Dive into the Word. Nobody has enough time these days. But we do make time for what’s important. Spending time every day in God’s Word is vital. This is a must for the Christ follower. To not spend time in God’s Word as people leading others in ministry is dangerous. We have to know what God’s Word says so we can share the hope we have from it to a lost and dying world. Meditate on it by asking God to reveal new insights to you. You will be amazed at just how much He wants to speak to you through His word. Journal about it. Write down verses in different translations and compare them. Read a chapter a day and ask God to have a verse or two jump out at you then write about it. Start today.

Pray the Word. I have a journal where I write down prayers for my sons. I take scriptures and put their names in. From Psalm 51:10, I would pray, “Create in Noah, Jack and Seth a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within them.” Now, that doesn’t mean that immediately their hearts will be pure. What it does mean is that I am faithful to do my part and trust God to do His. His Word never returns void in our lives. Never. (Is. 55:11)

Stand on the Word. As Christ following women, the Word of God must be our standard, our guide. When we are facing situations in life, we must go directly to God’s Word for the truth. When we receive advice from someone, we must make sure it lines up with the scriptures. When our circumstances overwhelm us, and they will, we must make sure we don’t wrap God’s Word around them. Instead, we need to wrap our circumstances around God’s Word.

In what ways are you yielding the “sword of the Spirit” in your life? Are there improvements you need to make in this area as you lead people within your churches, organizations and families?


Stand Firm: Helmet of Salvation

Written by Jenni Clayville

“Put on salvation as your helmet…” Ephesians 6:17

I won’t let my sons play American Football. Even though it appears that I’m overbearing, I do have legitimate reasons. First of all, I am a 5’2” American born Chinese woman and my sons have my genes. Believe it or not, I am also one of the tallest people in my family. I’m still praying for my husbands “taller than average” genes to kick in for them. And secondly, it seems unwise to allow my children to play a sport that requires a large amount of girth and power. Of which they have little.

Even with all of the protective gear that football players wear, it’s still an incredibly dangerous sport to participate in. Take the helmet for a football player. Yes, it has some cushion on the inside but it’s really just a hard piece of plastic. Plastic, people. It seems that football players need more than just plastic protecting their heads. Because our heads control everything.

In Ephesians, chapter 6, we learn about the armor of God. Much like football players have protective gear to wear during competition, God provides armor for us. Author and speaker Joyce Meyers says that the battlefield is in our minds. The helmet of salvation protects our minds. When we put our helmet of salvation on, it protects us from damaging blows from our spiritual enemy. His attacks are directed at our minds hoping that our security and assurance in Jesus will be doubted. When our spiritual enemy can get us to believe a lie, he’s succeeded.

The helmet of salvation provides hope, which is so vital to us as Christ Followers. Our minds need protection from things that would destroy us, including discouragement and disillusionment. Even when we put it on, we still have to take action. We can’t just stand there. We still have a choice in the matter. Thank God for giving us the proper resources for battle in the spiritual realm. We are not left stranded.

The strength of the believer’s helmet is the final purpose of salvation. The HOPE in the promise of salvation. If we lose hope in the future, then we lost security in the present. In 1 Thessalonians 5:8, Paul also calls the helmet the “hope of salvation”. We will be victorious in the end against Satan. These “light and momentary” struggles won’t last forever.

How can you best use your Helmet of Salvation? How does this resource help you do what God has really called you to do?