Saturday, November 09, 2013

November 9, 2013 … God’s Bootcamp

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 313

Devotional Song: Go to this link  – to see a video of a poignant song sung by Phillips, Craig, and Dean, He’ll Do Whatever It Takes, reminding us that God, with His grace, will take Christians through whatever it takes to shape or reshape us into His image.

Highlight Passage: Judges 3: 1-4 … [God’s boot camp of life prepares us to be warriors. ] … [NLT]  
3 These are the nations that the LORD left in the land to test those Israelites who had not experienced the wars of Canaan. 2 He did this to teach warfare to generations of Israelites who had no experience in battle. 3 These are the nations: the Philistines (those living under the five Philistine rulers), all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites living in the mountains of Lebanon from Mount Baal-hermon to Lebo-hamath. 4 These people were left to test the Israelites—to see whether they would obey the commands the LORD had given to their ancestors through Moses.  
 Highlight Passage: Judges, Chapter 3 … GO TO THIS LINK … [NLT] …

Reference Passage #1: 2nd Corinthians 12: 1-10 … GO TO THIS LINK … [NLT ...  [Yielding to God’s grace is the only way to garner the strength to do battle in life.]

Reference Passage #2: Ephesians 6: 10-20 … GO TO THIS LINK …[NLT] ... [Every day we need to use God’s full armor to do battle against the strongholds established by the enemy .] 

Reference Passage #2: Romans 8: 28 … [Life itself is God’s boot camp for life itself] … [NLT] …    
28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

My Journal for Today: For any Christian reading along with me here, if I were to ask, “How many of you know that we’re in a spiritual battle every day of our lives?” … could I sense all of you raising your hands in agreement and giving me a hearty “Amen?” Yes, my friends, spiritual warfare is an every day, every hour, every moment part of our lives, isn’t it?

So, if we’re in God’s army, how does He prepare His children to be warriors? Well, let me use the word picture of a military preparing young men (and regretfully now, women) to become soldiers. They send them through a boot camp experience, don’t they? And as pictured in the attached photo array, these young, many innocent and unproven, new soldiers are trained to be more hardened and ready-for-battle warriors. The bootcamp experience is hard and specifically designed to break the rookie soldier down and to rebuild him/her into a warrior who can be more effective as a soldier in battle.

And that’s what we read God was doing in today’s highlight reading passages after Joshua had passed on and God had to send a series of Judges to take God’s people through a series of “bootcamp” experiences to allow them to do battle against the many enemies who still remained for the Israelites to battle in the Promised Land.

Do you sense that there are some bootcamp-like episodes in your life when you’re put to the testing of life to prepare you for life itself? In the Ephesians 6 and 2nd Cor. 12 passages linked above, which I also referred to yesterday in my blogging, we read again today of the word pictures the Apostle Paul used to show Christians of his day [and to us now] that it was/is God’s grace which we, as God’s soldiers, must learn how to use so that we can fight the battles which Satan, the world, and yes, even our own flesh, put before us to try our souls.

My friend, are you wearing God’s full armor for battle today? Are your skills as a swordsman (or woman) honed well enough to fend off a very powerful enemy today? And are we willing to let God put us through the bootcamp, which is life, to prepare us to be warriors in life today?

I hope so, dear one; because today we’ll either grow stronger, becoming a stronger warrior for God; or we will choose to buckle under the training and we’ll become wounded soldiers on the field of battle for the Lord.

I’ll pray it’s the former.

My Prayer for Today … Lord, I see your bootcamp of grace to prepare me for the battles of life down the road. … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online blog entitled Today God Is First [TGIF], authored by Os Hillman. If you GO TO THIS LINK  on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read Hillman’s TGIF blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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