The Beauty

“Beauty so brilliant I can hardly take it in.”
from “You Are the Sun” by Sara Groves
I recently spent a week in Northern Minnesota. It was a wonderful vacation.
We stay at a house on Little Bowstring Lake, courtesy of some very generous and kind relatives. I bring my boat and, several times during the week, get up early and go exploring some of the many lakes in the area. There are many to choose from. In fact, if you pick up a map of Itasca County, it looks like a sponge. There are lakes everywhere.
On one particular morning, I ventured off down the main road to mile marker 17 and took a left down a minimum maintenance road. It took seven minutes to traverse the final 1.7 miles to the lake.
When I got to the lake, I found the boat ramp sloped at pretty close to a 45 degree angle and the ramp itself was at 90 degrees to the access road.
This would test my trailer-backing skills.
After three attempts (pretty good by my standards) the boat was in the water.
I pushed off, got my feet wet doing so, and hopped in the boat. After arranging all the various equipment, I stood up and looked out into the lake.
I was shocked.
The lake was flat and still as glass. My boat was sitting in a long, narrow bay flanked by towering white and red pines, balsam fir, and birch trees. The sky was a brilliant blue. I looked down into the clear water and the vegetation below me glowed a beautiful emerald green. I could clearly see the bottom of the lake. I glanced at the depth finder.
I was in 12 feet of water.
“Thank you, Lord,” I said as I stood in awe of the beauty around me.
It was so still and calm I could not bear to start the noisy gas motor. I put down the electric motor and silently coasted along the shoreline. I hadn’t gone very far and a fat crappie bit. I caught several more, in addition to largemouth bass, a rock bass, and a very large and beautiful pumpkinseed sunfish.

I probably trolled along two miles of shoreline that morning. It was one of the most beautiful mornings I have ever experienced.
As I was driving back along that bumpy, 20 mph forest road, the thought occurred to me,
“If God gives us this kind of beauty in a sin-filled world, I wonder what heaven will be like.”
And that’s the thing.
God put us in charge of this world and He never took away our free will. We can choose to preserve and protect  and enjoy places like this, we can choose to be beautiful in the words we speak to others, we can choose to lift beautiful praises to God, we can choose to act in love to our neighbors, or we can choose ugly words and ugly thoughts and ugly actions.
It’s our choice.
Sara Groves has another song on the same album called “Add to the Beauty.” Some of the lyrics are:
We come with beautiful secrets
We come with purposes written on our hearts, written on our souls
We come to every new morning
With possibilities only we can hold, that only we can hold…
And I want to add to the beauty
To tell a better story
I want to shine with the light
That’s burning up inside…

And this is grace, an invitation to be beautiful.

Do you have a story of being awed by the beauty of God’s creation? How do we keep the peace and beauty we find on vacation welling up inside us when we go back to our jobs?

Today’s post written by Dan Jones

Today’s Praise
Psalm 96:6
Honor and majesty are before Him; Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary

No God?


No God?
There are various forms of this story scattered throughout the internet. The author is unknown:
The dentist filled the man’s cavity and said, “There you go, all done.”
The patient said, ‘Thank God for that!”
The dentist said, “God? There is no god.”
“Oh, I believe in God,” said the patient.
“What kind of god would allow all the pain and death and suffering in the world? There is no god,” replied the dentist.
“Well then,” said the patient, “I don’t believe in dentists.”
“How can you not believe in dentists? My certificate is on the wall and I’m standing right here beside you.”
“Well, if there were dentists, why would they allow all the decaying, hurting teeth in the world?”
“I can’t help it if people won’t listen to what I tell them and won’t come to me when they need dental care,” said the dentist.
“So, your patients take care of their teeth of their own free will?” said the patient.
The dentist saw where the patient was going with this, but he had to agree.
“It’s the same thing with God. He doesn’t force anyone to listen to Him or come to Him. People take care of their souls of their own free will. He can heal the decaying, hurting souls of the world—if only they would just come to Him.”
One of the most common things atheists cite as proof that there is no God is all the awful things the world. How would you respond to such a statement?
Today’s Praise
1 Samuel 2:8 
He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the beggar from the ash heap, to set them among princes and make them inherit the throne of glory. “For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s, and He has set the world upon them.

The Tree

Psalm 1: 3 
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
For several years now, I have been praying that Kinship Christian Radio would be like a tree planted beside water—that it would grow and prosper and bear much fruit for the Kingdom of God.
I believe that it has and it will continue to do so as long as it is bathed in prayer and adheres to God’s Word.
I recently spent some time in the Kinship Christian Radio booth at the Faribault County Fair. We gave out music and printed materials and colorful children’s bracelets and pencils to fairgoers as they walked by. We even received some words of encouragement from listeners.
My car was parked near the south edge of the fairgrounds, and the Blue Earth River meanders along the back edge of that parking lot. The water was low and clear, and  (being an avid fisherman fascinated by rivers) it drew me to it. The bank was steep and high next to the river, but right behind the antique machinery building, the mown lawn gave way to woods where a trail sloped gently down through the greenery.
I walked down the trail, eager to get a closer look at the river.
As the trail leveled off next to the river, I came upon the most enormous cottonwood tree I have ever seen. Now, cottonwoods are common in damp areas and they frequently grow large. Having spent many hours fishing various rivers, I have seen my share of large, even giant, cottonwoods.
This one was beyond large. Standing at its base, I guessed it would take four people holding hands to encircle it. It reached up so high I could see, even from my vantage point on the ground, that it towered above all the other trees around it. The grooves and furrows in its bark where deep and dark and a vine had taken root in some of the soil deposited in one of those furrows during high water.
Fascinated by its awesome size, I began to walk around the trunk to get an even better idea of its circumference.
And there, right at eye level on the back side of the tree, resting comfortably in one of those deep, deep grooves as if to mark it and name it, was one of the Kinship Christian Radio pencils we had been giving away, proudly bearing the name of Jesus.

Do you have a story of how the Lord smiled on your prayers? How do you pray for the ministries close to your heart? Do you see a common thread in the way trees are mentioned in the Bible?

Todays Blog post written by Dan Jones

Today’s Praise

Revelation 22 

The River of Life

 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

The Fear Factor

1 Samuel 17:45
David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
Oh what I would do to have
The kind of strength it takes to stand before a giant
With just a sling and a stone
 (From “The Voice of Truth” by Casting Crowns.)
K.G. Wilson had been involved in drugs and gangs in Chicago. Then he came to Minneapolis where, eventually, he spent three months sleeping on a park bench praying that the Lord would let him die.
Then one morning, when he had not eaten for three days, he woke up, looked up into the clouds, and heard the Lord tell him he had work for him to do.
KG Wilson spent the next eight years holding prayer vigils for the families and friends of people killed in street violence. He worked for an end to the violence and the shootings, praying and speaking the word of the Lord.
On July 15, he quit.
He said he was tired of the greed of groups who “really didn’t want a solution” but were more interested in competing for funding to “stick a ban aid on the problem.”
On July 21, he came back—and was ridiculed.
Now, the news media never reported what KG thought the real solution was. But I know that at one time, he organized an event to bring 100 ministers and lay people into North Minneapolis to pray.
North Minneapolis is where a bullet came through the wall of a home and killed a five year-old child sleeping on a couch earlier this year. At the time of this writing, Nizzel George is among 17 killed in Minneapolis in 2012—and by the time you read this, it will almost certainly be more.
When I heard the story of KG Wilson, I wanted to contact him and offer prayer and help.
Then it came and it crippled me.
Fear.
Dark, incapacitating fear that said, “You can’t.” Fear that I would be laughed at, spit on, beaten, or even killed. Fear that they wouldn’t want my help, and even if they did, it wouldn’t do any good.
Those lies (and they are lies) are exactly the thing that cripple us as Christians. I can see the adversary trying to speak those very same lies to Jesus as He prayed in Gethsemane.
So fellow Christian, how do you overcome the giants in your life that mock God when all you have is a sling and five smooth stones?  How could we, who might as well be from a different planet, cause the love of Jesus to change the culture of gangs and violence in places like North Minneapolis?
Today’ s blog post by Dan Jones 

Today’s Praise
2 Timothy 4:18  The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

The Gratitude Experiment


Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

For the last several years, I have been conducting an experiment in human behavior, unbeknownst to all the world but me.
Upon meeting a friend, co-worker, or acquaintance on a nice day, I will say, “Hey, nice day, huh?”
By my purely unscientific methods, fully eighty percent of people hearing that comment will respond with, “Yeah, but it’s supposed to rain tomorrow.”–or something else in the negative.
Why are we like that? Even people with a fairly positive attitude will immediately point out the negative aspect of any positive comment.
I fully realize that this is Minnesota and if you don’t like the weather, wait ten minutes and it will change. But it goes way beyond the weather.
“Man, it’s great to be on vacation.”
“Yeah, but we have to go back to work in a week.”
“I’m glad to have a job to go back to.”
“Yeah, but it is soooo boring at work.”
Sometimes I think we’ve been infected with the Eeyore virus.
“Don’t blame me if it rains.”
It’s tempting to blame the media on this one, what with our daily dose of killings, war, car crashes, and on and on and on. It really makes it seem as if there is more evil in the world than good.
But that’s not true. There is more good than evil. It’s just that bad news sells. Which is why you never see the headline “Family Prays Together Each Night” or “Man Says Kind Word to Stranger.”
The fact is, we have soooo much to be grateful for.
At the risk of sounding like an old man who walked three miles through hip deep snow (uphill both ways) to get to school, consider the following:
In 1900, the infant mortality rate was 14%. That’s one in seven children who didn’t live to see their first birthday. In the 1950’s, it was about 3%, or one in 35. Today, infant mortality is less than seven-tenths of a percent, or one in 142.
In 1900, average life expectancy of men in the United States was 45. Women lived to an average age of 49. Today, those figures are 76 for men and 81 for women.
Somewhere between 20 million and 100 million people died of the flu in 1918. Today, that number is so low it’s difficult to know for sure. (The Center for Disease Control estimates somewhere between 3,000 and 49,000 deaths per year.)
Even though indoor plumbing has been around for over a thousand years, it was only for the very rich and even then it wasn’t truly perfected until the 1920’s because we had not figured a way to keep sewer gas from backing up into homes. Leprosy and scores of other diseases which are virtually unheard of today were caused by sanitation issues.
Approximately two million children die each year in developing countries as a result of improper waste disposal.
Most urban homes didn’t have electricity until the 1930’s and many farm homes didn’t have electricity until the 1950’s or 1960’s.
People in the United States didn’t even understand the role of germs in disease and infection (and the importance of washing their hands) until after the Civil War.
Even today, over three million people still die each year from disease which could be prevented by washing one’s hands with soap and water.
So, dear Christian, when was the last time you praised God for a bar of soap?
Or the S-trap under your sink which keeps sewer gas out of your house?
Or clean water uncontaminated by your own outhouse?
Or for the wholesome food in your electric refrigerator and freezer?
Or for your very life and the lives of your children?
Truly, we are greatly blessed.
Praise be to God!

Today’s post written by Dan Jones

Today’s Praise

James 1:17 

 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

What is YOUR favorite Kinship Christian Radio song?

I recently traveled to Brainerd and back. It was seven hours of driving with Christian radio accompanying they whole way up and back.  It got me to thinking how much some of the songs played on Kinship Christian Radio have truly touched my heart.
Here are some of my favorite lyrics:
When the hands of time wind fully down
And the earth is rolled up like a scroll
The trumpets will call and the world will fall
To its knees as we go home
Singing blessing and honor, and glory and power, forever to our God
Singing blessing and honor, and glory and power, forever to our God
(from “When the Stars Burn Down” by Phillips, Craig, and Dean)

I lift my eyes onto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
The maker of heaven and earth
I lift my eyes onto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
The maker of heaven and earth
I’ll praise you in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I’ve cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm
 (From “Praise You in This Storm” by Casting Crowns)
We will overcome by the blood of the Lamb
And the word of our testimony,
 (from “Overcome” by Jeremy Camp)
Shine your light and let the whole world see
We’re singing for the glory of the risen King, Jesus
Shine your light and let the whole world see
We’re singing for the glory of the risen King

You’re my Savior, You can move the mountains
God, You are mighty to save
You are mighty to save
Forever, Author of salvation
You rose and conquered the grave
Yes, You conquered the grave
You are mighty to save.
 (from “Mighty to Save” by Laura Story)
I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.
And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.
Till ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men.
And in despair I bowed my head
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”
 (“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”—lyrics by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, sung by many artists over the years since it was written during the Civil War. Longfellow’s wife died in an accidental fire and his son died as a result of injuries sustaind in the Civil War. This hymn was written shortly thereafter)

What about you? What songs or lyrics touch your heart? What does music mean to your faith and your praise of the one and only true God?

How do you worship?

As a teenager, when I had strayed from the Lord, I remember seeing an old school bus cruising around my home town that had been repainted purple and white. Up on the top, above the windshield, were printed the words “JOY BUS.”
I remember chuckling to myself, envisioning the bus filled with people waving their hands out the windows and singing.
I had been brought up in a Christian denomination where I can never remember using the word “joy” to refer to our relationship with God, even though the Bible uses the word over 200 times. To be fair, it may have been mentioned in my up-bringing, but we certainly never would have painted that word on a bus.
No, the focus when I was raised was on what awful sinners we all were—or at least that’s the way it seemed. I’m sure the joy of the Gospel was in there somewhere…
Later in life, as I grew closer to the Lord, I seemed drawn to churches outside my denomination. The first time I was in a church where people were raising their hands and singing, I had a feeling that is hard to put into words. It was like I was happy for them and embarrassed for them all at the same time. I sure wasn’t going to raise MY hands, no-siree– but I sang right along with “How Great is Our God.”
Then, during the sermon, people were shouting “AMEN!” while the pastor was talking!  
This was very different—very different indeed. People were emotional about God.
Then, I began reading things about how churches “like that” were all about entertainment and there was no depth to them.
I was conflicted. The happy church sure felt good. But, things that feel good are something I was taught to associate with guilt.
So, I checked the Bible:
John 15:11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
Those words are in red. Jesus wants us to have not just joy, but complete joy. Hmmm.
But, then there is this:
1 Peter 4:7 —The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.
That “sober” word pops up quite a few times. Paul even writes about seeing to it that we have orderly worship.
But then:
Psalm 33:3 —Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.
Oh, but let us not forget:
Luke 18: 9 Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ 13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
 I went back and forth on all this in my mind for quite a while.
Then, I remembered the first words in Rick Warren’s book, “The Purpose-Driven Life”:
“It’s not about you.”
Or to put it another way, Kinship Christian Radio Executive Director Matt Dorfner recently shared a Max Lucado quote:
“It’s not about me. It’s not about here. And, it’s not about now.”
And,
John 4:24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
So, after all that, I am left to wonder if all of the differences in the way different denominations worship are part of the devil’s plan to divide and conquer, or are they examples of God’s glory in that there as many different ways to worship Him as there are people? Is all worship acceptable as long as it’s done in truth and in the Spirit? Or, is it not about us at all, but about God?
Author: Dan Jones 
Today’s Praise 
Isaiah 12:4

 In that day you will say:
“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
    make known among the nations what he has done,
and proclaim that his name is exalted.

Are you a worry wart?


“Where have you been? We’ve been worried sick about you!”
“He about worried himself to death.”

Worry afflicts many Christians. It’s so easy to worry. As one of our Kinship staff recently confessed, there was a moment in her young life when she was worried that she would have nothing to worry about.
Now, let’s be clear. We’re not talking about legitimate concern here. Your teenage daughter said she’d be home at 10:00 p.m. and it’s now 11:00. You’re driving your car and the oil light comes on and you hear a knocking noise from under the hood.  Those are legitimate causes of concern that require immediate action.
Nor are we talking about people with anxiety attacks. These are the result of a medical condition and are the reason God gave us doctors and trained professionals who can and do help.
No, were talking about those nagging thoughts that something bad is about to happen or could happen just because, well, bad things happen to good people.
The Bible tells us hundreds of times not to be afraid and not to worry. But for some people, they just can’t seem to help it. In some cases, it seems people worry because if they don’t, it seems like they don’t care. For others, it’s like an addiction.
Various studies have been done to determine how much of what we worry about actually happens. The best information I can find indicates that about 92% of the time, what we worry about never happens. So, 92% of the time, worry is a lie and a waste of time. And the other 8% of the time does worrying about it actually change the outcome?
Worrying undoubtedly steals the joy we have in the Lord, and worrying certainly steals praise and glory from God. Worry is the opposite of faith.
Numerous studies have shown worry is bad for the body. One such study in Australia found that people who worry excessively about their health make up somewhere between four and seven percent of those who need surgery and those people have health care costs ten to 13 times higher than people who don’t worry so much!
In fact, our English word, “worry” comes from a word that describes how a wolf clamps his jaws on the windpipe of his prey and kills it. It means, “to strangle.”
I’m sure we can all think of more than one Bible verse that tells us not to worry, but let’s look at Mark 4 where Jesus had just finished preaching to the crowd on the shore of the Sea of Galilee:

35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” 36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”
39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”

Peter, James, Andrew, and John were commercial fisherman. They were very, very familiar with boats and were also familiar with the Sea of Galilee. These were not a bunch of tourists out on a pleasure cruise.
The Sea of Galilee is eight miles wide, 13 miles long, and 150 feet deep. This is no little farm pond. Waves are beating into the boat and it is filling up with water. There are no life jackets, no bilge pumps, no life boats, no radio to call for help. The boat is moments away from sinking.
Cause for legitimate concern?
You bet! In fact, they didn’t just wake Jesus and say, “Ummmm Lord, we’re taking on a little water here, so you might want to get ready to swim.” No, they said, “Hey! We’re dying here! Don’t you care?!?!
Then, in one of the moments from the Bible that has engraved itself in stone in my mind, Jesus utters three words:

“Peace, be still!”

And the wind stops and the sea goes flat.
I can’t help but think that He intended those three words to be the same three words we think of when worry comes crashing over the sides of our boats and threatens to sink us.
I also think He went back to sleep on that pillow, but we don’t know that for sure.

Where is the line between legitimate concern and worry? How do you cope with the temptation to worry? What calms your crashing waves and brings peace to you? 

Today’s Post written by Dan Jones


Today’s Praise:
Psalm 66:2
Sing out the honor of His name; Make His praise glorious.

Miracles

Psalm 91:
1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
In the Spring of 1940, over 300,000  British troops were trapped on the beaches and in the harbor of Dunkirk, France. The German Army was less than 12 miles away and the British and French troops were backed up against the English Channel with nowhere to go. On May 26, 1940, the King of England called the entire nation to pray fervently for the trapped soldiers.
Winston Churchill told the British public that they would only be able to rescue less than one-tenth of those soldiers. The Nazis had sunk so many British ships in the harbor, destroyers and large military vessels could not get into the harbor and the beaches were so shallow that large ships could not get even close to swimming distance from the beaches. Hitler’s army was advancing rapidly and all seemed hopeless.
And the nation prayed.
Then, a funny thing happened.  One of Hitler’s generals ordered the advancing army to halt. The plan was to send in the Luftwaffe to shoot the soldiers from the air. Hitler validated the order. Then, another funny thing happened. A dense fog rolled in, grounding most of the Luftwaffe’s planes. At the same time, yet another funny thing happened: the 21 miles of open water separating England from France suddenly went a flat and calm as a small pond.
Every boat that would float was sent from England to Dunkirk to rescue those soldiers. Over 700 fishing boats, pleasure craft, and merchant marine craft participated.
In the end, 338,226 British and French soldiers were rescued form Dunkirk over a period of nine days.
Yes, there were periods when the Luftwaffe was able to bomb and strafe the beaches. The soldiers there didn’t just pray Psalm 91—they shouted it at the top of their lungs. A chaplain was among them and told how he laid on the open beach for what seemed like forever as bullets and shrapnel rained down all around him. Stunned and dazed by the deafening roar of the concussions around him, he stood up in amazement to find –not a scratch on him and the perfect outline of his body in the sand. It was, to quote Psalm 91 God’s Shield of Protection “the only smooth and undisturbed spot on the entire bullet-riddled beach.”
Last Thursday, my 17 year-old daughter was driving home when a strong storm came up. There was no driving around it or turning back to run from it. I prayed the protection of Psalm 91 over her. She arrived safely home and reported that there were clouds of pink and brown around her. (This indicates dust suspended in the air very strong updrafts.) She noted that she had driven past more than one tree which was still smoldering after being hit by lightning.
Kinship Christian Radio is no less a miracle. If Maury Schwen had stepped into a local bank in the early 1980’s and asked to borrow money to start a radio station in Blue Earth, Minnesota, financed entirely by donations because he had been given a vision by God, the only result would have been a good laugh at the local café when the banker told the story to his buddies.
But Maury and other believers prayed. From the beginning, Kinship Christian radio was “bathed in prayer.”
Yes, Kinship Christian radio is a miracle and the glory and praise goes to God, just as it should for Dunkirk and for my daughter’s safe return last Thursday night.
Thank you, LORD!
How about you? Are you in need of a miracle? Has there been a miracle in your life you could share here to encourage other believers? Are there “little miracles” we all take for granted but which deserve praise to God?
(Thanks to Sherry Wegner for the book Psalm 91 God’s Shield of Protection by Peggy Joyce Ruth and Angela Ruth Schum. This is an excellent book for any believer.)
Blog post written by Dan Jones
Today’s Praise
Psalm 71:8
Let my mouth be filled with Your praise And with Your glory all the day.

Resisting the Devil…

In my previous two posts, I focused on the power of praise. For me, a big part of the power of praise is resisting the adversary. If you think about it, there’s probably nothing the devil hates more than good, honest, glorious praise of the LORD.
That’s one reason I’m a fan of Kinship Christian Radio. There’s a lot of praise on Kinship Christian Radio, and it helps me take delight in the Lord—both with the music and the teaching.
I’m sure many of you are familiar with James 4:7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
“Resist” means to stand firm and oppose—to not back down. When it comes to temptation, I cannot do that alone. I need Jesus. Years ago, when I was struggling with trying to be free of a persistent sin, I would say out loud, “Satan, get behind me.”
I said it out loud because the devil is not omniscient. He doesn’t know my thoughts like God does. And, I chose that verse because that’s what Jesus told Satan when He was tempted in the wilderness. (Luke 4:8)
Then one day, it occurred to me that I really didn’t want the devil following around behind me all day. So, I began saying, “Satan, go stand behind JESUS.”
That worked a lot better.
Not only does it resist the devil, it brings Jesus into the picture, which is the only way it works for me. When I say it, in my mind’s eye, I picture Jesus standing between me and the adversary and the devil taking a spot far, far behind the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Now, I have to admit I’m not perfect. Praise God, I have been freed from the bondage of that sin, but for some reason the most difficult test of my Christianity is often when I’m behind the wheel of my car. When the guy behind me tailgates me for seven miles trying to decide whether to pass me or not just because it says B-U-I-C-K on my rear bumper, I have great difficulty remembering, “Bless and do not curse.”
I confess that even though I love the Lord and I am not ashamed of the Gospel, I cannot bring myself to put a Jesus fish on the Geezermobile because it seems that’s the place I am often the worst Christian I can be—even though the radio is tuned to Kinship Christian Radio.
How about you? How do you resist the devil? Do you have a way of putting on the full armor of God that works for you? Do you have a certain place or situation where you find it the most difficult to be a good Christian?  How do you cope with that?
Author: Dan Jones