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Fight the Good Fight

1 Timothy 6:11-12 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)  But you, man of God, run from these things, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the faith; take hold of eternal life that you were called to and have made a good confession about in the presence of many witnesses.

Everyone has that thing that is in their life that will not leave them alone. For some it is greed, others it is anger, some it is drugs/alcohol, but for me it is lust. It has taken me almost 39 years to be able to admit that this is ­my greatest struggle. In 2 Corinthians, Paul called his “thing” a thorn in the flesh. I believe King David had the same struggle that I have and God called him a man after His own heart.

I have asked the Lord to take this away many times, just as Paul did I suppose. From my experience, as I have prayed about this “thorn”, God has sent the right people at the right time to help me to get through and to overcome.  It seems as if the temptation has increased as I have drawn closer to God. Revelations 12:11 says that I will overcome this by the blood of the lamb and the word of my testimony. So that is where I will focus my attention. Therefore, my freedom is in the blood and also in my testimony.

My grandfather passed away when I was a young boy. I remember finding his billfold in a box at the top of a closet one day. As I was going through it I found a card that said the dirty old man club. Little did I know that my life battle would be trying to stay out of that horrible club. My grandfather on my other side has had many troubles with this issue as well. My dad has also struggled in this area. One might say that the cards were stacked against me, but I do not blame any of the three men for my troubles in life. I take full responsibility for everything that I have done and everything that has come out of my mouth knowing that I will soon answer for it all. My goal is that this generational curse ends with me. The difference between these three men and me is the words you are reading on this page. I acknowledge that I have done things that God is not pleased with; our sinful nature will always displease God and it honestly displeases me too. However, I know that it is only God’s Word that ultimately defines me, not my past nor my ancestors. I am blessed and highly favored!

Everyone has a struggle. You must find a friend that you trust to talk to about your struggles. I found that the more you talk about your issue(s) the more aware you are of it/them. Satan wants you to keep all of your dirty secrets inside so he can torture you for the rest of your life. As you bring these things out in the open with trusted friends, then your freedom truly begins. You never know, your testimony may help set your friends free as well.

We must fight the good fight and reveal our testimony often so that we can overcome and be counted not with the transgressors but with the saints of God. Only by the Grace of God will we win this battle!

Posted by Brad Matheny with 0 Comments
in Faith

Harmony

I asked my niece Gracie to paint me a picture a few years ago with the title Harmony. This picture now sits above my bed and reminds me that life is ever changing. The picture portrays all four seasons.

It starts with the spring. The leaves are budding out as the chlorophyll begins to enter the end of the branches of the trees.  This is the point when God is restoring what the winter has taken away. To me, this symbolizes when God is restoring my marriage, my body, or maybe just coming out of a low time of my life.

The second season on her beautiful painting is summer when the chlorophyll reaches its highest point. For the mature tree, it means the leaves are greener than ever. This symbolizes to me the high points in life. When thing are going great and nothing can bring you down. Most people love this season.

Then she painted fall. A great display of color as the leaves begin to change and then wither away. The wind blows and takes what was once great and makes it something average. This to me, is when I begin to let the ways and the thoughts of the past in again. God goes from first on my list to a measly third or fourth. Hope begins to fade.

Her continuation ends with winter. There is snow on the branches of the tree; everything looks dead and irreversible. This symbolizes to me the lowest part of life. When nothing seems to be going right. Hope seems to be lost and it seems that God is nowhere to be found.

The Lord promises us in Psalms 33:18-19 that he will sustain us as He does all of His creation. Harmony is when we stay in His presence no matter what season we are in. The seasons come and they go. We are sure to see each season many more times in our life. Sometimes they last longer that they have to, but Gracie really nailed it when she used the four seasons to portray harmony.

Behold, the Lord's eye is upon those who fear him {who revere am worship him with awe}, who wait for him and hope in His mercy and loving-kindness, to deliver them from death and keep them from famine. Psalms 33:18-19

                                                                                           

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