Jun 11, 2013

Tuesday SHINE....

Today's Reading: Judges 14, 15

Happy Tuesday, SHINE girls!

I told you Judges was getting juicy, didn't I? Keep reading, it's good stuff.

Speaking of good stuff--today we have some GOOD stuff!

It is my pleasure to introduce Christa Rooks today as our guest blogger. Christa is an absolutely precious woman of the Lord. She also happens to be one of our very own SHINE prayer girls! So, you need to know this girl. She prays for every single one of you! :)

Christa also sings at our church, and her voice is just as angelic as her sweet spirit.

She also has a website and a blog. Her heart is in her music and her writing. Please check her blog out when you have a minute. Take a listen to her CD as well. You will be blown away by her beautiful voice.

Be blessed by Christa's post today. I know you will be!

Snake & Angels
by: Christa Rooks

Have you ever spent time meditating on how many times God has protected you? And I’m not talking about the times that we can’t particularly pinpoint.  I’m sure those happen thousands of times daily, and we don’t even know it.  I’m talking about times where you experienced His hand covering you …

I think about it often.  And I think it’s good for us to reflect on His goodness and how He protects and loves us.  It draws us closer to Him.  It causes us to have a heart of gratitude to our Heavenly Father.

So you wonder what I’m talking about? Well, there is a spiritual battle going on that we are not always permitted to see.  So many times, we get caught up in our daily activities and busy lives.  It’s often too easy to forget that there is a spiritual war going on.  Satan and his demons come to kill, steal and destroy. (John 10:10) Evil lurks and has dominion over the earth.  Yet God’s goodness overcomes! And our God has assigned angels over us to encamp about us and combat the enemy (Psalm 91:11).

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!" … For you have made the Lord, my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place. No evil will befall you, nor will any plague come near your tent. For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, that you do not strike your foot against a stone. – Psalm 91:1, 2, 9-12

I’m so glad to serve a God who protects us against the enemy.  While He does allow us to suffer and go through very difficult times, even some to death, if our faith and trust is in Him, He ultimately rescues us from the snares of death and from the defeat of the enemy.  For if our faith and trust is in Christ Jesus, His blood shed on the cross covers us and makes a way.  Even though our flesh may die, Christ’s sacrifice lets us be with God for all eternity! Praise the Lord!

Christa & James
As long as we’re on this side of heaven though, we do live in a fallen world where the enemy is on the prowl.  There have been countless times in my life where I was able to clearly see God’s hand covering me.  And that’s what got this post started.  I can sit and remember many times over my lifetime so far. 

A few years ago when Noah, my first-born, was about two, we were swimming in my parents’ pool with my brother and his wife.  James, my husband, was playing with Noah while I was standing in the shallow end talking to everybody.  We were all laughing and having a good time.  James and my brother were playing with Noah and splashing.  And I remember they had been jumping off the diving board.  So the water in the pool was active and wavy.  In the midst of all the fun and commotion, I felt something brush over my left arm.  I glanced down to what looked like my wet hair at first, but a closer look revealed a brown copperhead snake slithering across my arm!! Yes! A snake was ON me! (If you know me, you know that snakes and spiders creep me out! I am that girl who is UH-FRAID of slithery, creepy creatures.) Oh my goodness! It gives me the creeps just thinking about it! Needless to say, you can probably imagine my horror.  I was out of that pool fast.  James said it looked like I walked on the water.  And I was worried about everyone else, especially my little boy!! It took me several minutes to calm down. 

The Rooks adorable little darlings!

 Well, I think it’s awful that a venomous snake was on me.  But how much more awful could it have been had the snake bitten me or one of the other people in the pool? I believe God’s angels were with us. 

And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been walking down stairs or downhill on a dangerous trek where injury would be inevitable, feeling myself about to trip and fall, and somehow I regain my footing without falling.  I remember that happening often on campus at UGA going to and from classes.  And now that my kids’ bedrooms are upstairs, it happens even more going down the stairs.  And it may seem silly, but I thank the Lord in the moment.  Whether under my breath or out loud, I thank the Lord that He kept my feet from slipping.

The Rooks! {aren't they just the cutest?!}

Or what about the times when you’re in your car heading somewhere and you are almost sideswiped by another vehicle?  And you can see before your eyes, as if in slow motion, how the hand of God or a line of angels was right with you keeping you from harm.  Those are moments that almost take my breath away.  And when I consider the magnitude of what just took place, I’m shaken with the reality that my God is surely right with me!

Those are just a couple examples right off the top of my head.  There are so many other instances of which I can think that God has intervened on my behalf.  Some big.  Some seemingly smaller.  And that’s just in my own life.  I can reflect on stories from family and friends who have been guarded and protected in so many situations. 

Read over and ponder the following verses for a moment:

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. Rom 8:5

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:7

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Col 3:2

See a pattern? It’s easy for our minds to be set on flesh or earthly things.  We live in this world with all of its enticements and temptations.  But if we have trusted in Jesus as our Savior, He has brought us to life in Him.  Our spirits are new.  And He tells us to set our minds on Him and what the Spirit desires.  God gives us the power through Him to accomplish this.  It’s possible with Him!

I fully believe God wants us to be aware and not forget about the spiritual battle that’s going on around us.  I challenge you to carve out some time to just sit in God’s presence and let Him reveal the many ways He has protected you, whether big or small.  And write it down so that you can come back to it.  In reflecting on His goodness and His power in your own life, I think it will help you remember all day long to thank Him. And it will keep our minds sharp. It will keep us from getting foggy and focused on ourselves and from doing things out of our own strength.  I want to live and operate in God’s power! I want to always remember that there’s a real enemy out to steal my joy and destroy others.  There’s a war for the souls of the lost.  God, activate my faith.  Help me see with my spiritual eyes.  Help me to always trust you and believe your word.  Lord, help me keep my mind on you and your ways so that I’m not distracted by all the things in this world vying for my attention and a real enemy that seeks to turn me away from You.  And God, help me to always give thanks for the many ways that You rescue and protect me in this life.  

Love this candid shot of them!

**All of these pictures were taken by Joy Neville Photography. Amazing, right?!**

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