DayBreaks for 12/07/15 – The Weapons of Our Warfare

DayBreaks for 12/07/15: The Weapons of Our Warfare

Throughout the millennia, mankind has tried lots of things in order to try to spread their faith.  Sadly, tragically, even today there are religions that attempt to spread their influence and faith through the sword, the bullet, land mines and IED’s.  The blood runs through the streets of many cities around the world in the name of religious idealism.  As horrible as it seems, there are those who have waged warfare on their fellowman in the name of Christianity, too – witness the crusades and even the struggles between the Protestants and Catholics in Ireland.

We can watch the explosions and hear the stories on our television screens nearly every night.  And when we see such abuses in the name of faith, when we see the power that fear can have on millions of people, we may be tempted to think that there’s nothing we can do to change the world for the better.  In The Undoing of Death, Fleming Rutledge wrote in order to correct that mis-conception: “…it may be that you think there is no role for the small deed, the little contribution, the quiet gesture.  Never, never think that.  The big stuff has already been done by the Lord of heaven and earth.  He has already come with the heavy artillery.  Our part is mostly to be foot soldiers.  Just remember: the heavy artillery is not the weapons of the world.  The weapons of Christ are those of suffering love.

We sometimes forget that love is stronger than bullets, bombs, rhetoric and even fear.  And love is a weapon that we can all wield.

2 Cor. 10:2-5 – We are human, but we don’t wage war with human plans and methods.  We use God’s mighty weapons , not mere worldly weapons , to knock down the Devil’s strongholds.  With these weapons we break down every proud argument that keeps people from knowing God. With these weapons we conquer their rebellious ideas, and we teach them to obey Christ.

Copyright 2015 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

TODAY’S PRAYER: Lord, we are fearful creatures.  We feel intimidated by those who threaten us.  We sometimes feel that there is nothing we can do to change the spirit of hate that we see in the world because we forget that you are on our side, that you are our strength, that your wisdom is so much greater than that of the enemy.  Help us to not only share, but to fully experience the full power of your love.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

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DayBreaks for 7/14/14 – The Deadliest War

DayBreaks for 7/14/14 – The Deadliest War

2 Corinthians 10:4 (ESV) For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.

News flash: there is war in the Middle East.  There is fighting going on in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Israeli’s and Hamas are killing one another – Hamas launching rockets against Israel and Israel retaliating with bombs and tanks.  These things are nothing new to us.  We’re grown, sadly, rather accustomed to fighting in those places among the protagonists located there.  There is war and butchery taking place in numerous places in Africa and elsewhere in the world as Boko Haram and other organizations detonate bombs in their terrorist campaigns.  In the Ukraine, people are killing one another.  Sadly, tragically, there is a long list.

This is a world at war.  Almost on any given day the lead story on the evening news or the Internet feed is about fighting and killing.  And we think it is deadly for the simple reason that it is.  War, as someone once said, is hell.  (Though Biblically speaking, hell is much worse for hell is forever!)

What is the deadliest war ever fought?  I don’t honestly know.  Some think it was WW2 with as many as 72 million persons killed.  Others suggest that the Taiping Rebellion in China in the 1800’s may have yielded as many as 100 million slain.  Staggering numbers, to be sure.

But is those really the deadliest war ever fought?  In his new book, gods at war, Kyle Idleman wrote: The deadliest war is the one most of us never realize is being fought.  His point, in context, is about the idols we have in our spiritual warfare.  His 8-year old daughter was reviewing the Ten Commandments one night and took great comfort in the fact that she’d never made an idol.  As he pondered her statement later, he thought: What if it’s not about statues?  What if the gods of here and now are not cosmic deities with strange names?  What if they take identities that are so ordinary that we don’t recognize them as gods at all?  What if we do our ‘kneeling’ and ‘bowing’ with our imaginations, our checkbooks, our search engines, our calendars?

What if I told you that every sin you are struggling with, every discouragement you are dealing with, even the lack of purpose you’re living with are because of idolatry?

You see, as Eugene Peterson put Paul’s point in The Message: Ephesians 6:12 This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.

In a way Paul was right: we don’t fight against flesh and blood, but against powers in the spiritual realm.  But in another way, we are fighting against flesh and blood – our own – for what will have ultimate rule over our life and will.  We are fighting against the idols that would lure us away from running whole-heartedly toward God.

Why is this the deadliest battle ever fought?  For at least two reasons: first, though not everyone fought in WW2 or the Taiping Rebellion, everyone is engaged in this warfare; and second, the consequences of losing the fight are not just temporal, but eternal.

“The deadliest war is the one most of us never realize is being fought.”  That’s why it’s so deadly.  We can lose this war and never even know we were in it.  “Let Him who has ears to hear, hear!”

PRAYER: Lord, set off alarm bells in our heads to alert us to the war that not only rages around us, but within us, and help us see the severity and deadly nature of this conflict!  Then, search our hearts and reveal our own idols to us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and putS090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

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DayBreaks for 08/07/13 – When Facing Mortal Danger

DayBreaks for 08/07/13 – When Facing Mortal Danger

imagesIt is hard to get people’s attention these days.  Why?  Because so many things are clamoring for our attention that we tend to just shut down the input and switch off all except that which is of most interest to us, or that which we cannot shut down for some reason or another.  Some things we shut down pose great dangers to us!

A U.S. Army officer told of the contrast in his pupils during two different eras of teaching at the artillery training school at Fort Sill, Oklahoma (Home of the Field Artillery). In 1958-60 the attitude was so lax that the instructors had a problem getting the men to stay awake to hear the lectures. During the 1965-67 classes, however, the men, hearing the same basic lectures, were alert and took copious notes. What made the difference in the class of 65? They knew that in less than six weeks they would be facing the enemy in Vietnam.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about spiritual warfare.  You know the verses: Ephesians 6:11-12 (NLT)- Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12  For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.  You see, the problem is that we apparently don’t think that those evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world are after ME.  They are very active, we’d say, in those who bomb, kill and maim innocent men, women and children.  They are active in those who pledge to wipe entire nations off the map.  They are active in the woman who straps her children into their car seats and lets the car roll into a lake, or who drowns them in a tub.  They are active in the man who abducts young girls and holds them prisoner in a cell in his home for years, abusing them in every way imaginable (and some unimaginable).

All those things are true.  It is equally true that those evil powers are interested in you and me.  It’s time we start to believe it and wake up, pay attention and take notes or before we know it, we’ll find ourselves locked in mortal combat unprepared and unable to respond.

If you knew that Satan was coming after you this very night, what would you change?  News flash: he is coming.  You’re not going to avoid it unless you die first.  Are you paying attention? 

PRAYER: I fear, Lord, that one of Satan’s greatest weapons against us is to lull us into a sense of safety and security that causes us to drift off and be spiritually and intellectually lazy!  Blast the trumpet and awaken us to the raging warfare in which we are engaged!  In Your name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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NOTE: Galen is working as a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) (medicalambassadors.org) and is responsible for raising own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation on his behalf.  One-time donations may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html and look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Then look for “Galen Dalrymple”.  Click his name and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can donate to his support.  If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International (a 501.c.3 non-profit – meaning your donations are deductible) and put S090 in the Memo field.  Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368. 

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DayBreaks for 07/20/12 – It Makes a Difference

DayBreaks for 07/20/12 – It Makes a Difference

It makes a difference…

Ephesians 6:12 (NLT) – For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

There is a story that is told about a U.S. Army officer regarding his pupils during two different eras of teaching at the artillery training school at Fort Sill, Oklahoma (Home of the Field Artillery). In 1958-60 the attitude was so lax that the instructors had a problem getting the men to stay awake to hear the lectures. During the 1965-67 classes, however, the men, hearing the same basic lectures, were alert and took copious notes. What made the difference in the class of 65? They knew that in less than six weeks they would be facing the enemy in Vietnam.

If we were to apply this to the Christian, it would go something like this: If you really believed that tomorrow you would be wrestling with the Devil himself, how would you spend today?   How would your worship be different?  How would your devotional life be different?  How about your prayer life?

How did you worship this past Sunday?  This week have you kept your quiet time with Him daily because you knew that every day when you woke that you would be facing all the wiles of the evil one?

Maybe our problem is simple: we don’t really believe we are in a battle.  We may think it’s a nice little analogy that is meant to manipulate us into awareness and action, but we don’t really believe there is an enemy that is just waiting to tear us to shreds like an angry grizzly mother defending her cubs.  Satan is that real, and more.

How will we prepare for the battle today?  If we believe Ephesian 6:12, we’ll be deadly serious and pay attention to the Manual and the Teacher!

PRAYER: Create in us the sense of seriousness that is appropriate for the real battle in which we are engaged!!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 05/30/12 – The Uprising

DayBreaks for 05/30/12 – The Uprising 

We live in a world at war.  Yes, there are wars where bullets, bombs and guns are used and, I suppose, there always will be until the end.  They are terrible.  We have just “celebrated” Memorial Day in honor of the men and women who have fought and served…and those who gave their lives in the “last full measure of devotion.”  That is one kind of war…and all war is deadly and to be hated.  Some soldiers live after their war is over and others don’t.

We are also locked in a great war that has gone on since the garden…the war between good and evil, right and wrong, life and death.  This war is a war that we are all engaged in by virtue of our birth.  If you are a human being, there is no way out of this war except death.  We make choices in this war daily.

There are times when we feel that this war is being lost.  The forces of the enemy would seem to grow stronger each day.  They seem to advance in uncountable hordes, attacking on the left, right, from every direction.  And, it does often seem that the victories they are racking up will inevitably lead to a victory.

Be not deceived.  You see, the outcome of the war, the end of the war, was written two thousand years ago on a cross and in an empty tomb outside Jerusalem.  Yes, there are still skirmishes, but the outcome of the war has been sealed for nearly 2000 years.  We can take hope and comfort in that truth.

That doesn’t mean, however, that we are to just sit back and wait for the final outcome.  We are still on the battlefield.  What can we do that will have any impact?  We can live lives that imitate our Commander in Chief and that honor Him.  We can wage war against evil, death, hatred, injustice whenever we confront it.  But the greatest weapon at our disposal is one that perhaps we don’t employ nearly enough.  Karl Barth described that weapon: “To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.”

Isn’t it time that we all take up this great weapon of our warfare and wield it with great power and might and passion?  Let us renew ourselves in our determination and dedication to pray for daily victories…and for the hastening of the dawning of the day of ultimate victory’s realization!

1 Timothy 6:12 (NLT) – Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses.

PRAYER: Jesus, as we await the great victory celebration, hear our prayers that each day we will see the cross advance, that we will engage in prayer and in battle with the enemy who shall fall before your great and mighty power!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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