Sometimes You Just Have to Fight…


Recently, I found myself suffering from a physical issue I neither planned on nor expected. Being a believing believer, a self-professed son of God with power, I inadvertently found myself questioning how something like this could happen to me and further what I could do about it. I knew God’s promises to me yet continued quite uneasy with the rather unpleasant circumstances and the potentially life changing consequences should things not turn out right for me. So, as you might expect, I went to God in perfect prayer at significant lengths in order to figure out what to do next. During those fretful days that followed, I learned a lesson of paramount importance and inestimable value, namely that sometimes you just have to fight!

You may have found yourself at certain junctures in life besieged and assaulted by something that threatens to change your life forever or at minimum, take something away from you that you formerly enjoyed without question. In those frightful moments, what can you do? When you believe in God and have expectations for His care and protection in your life, especially when you’ve enjoyed a lengthy existence with virtually nothing negative ever happening to you (yes that is called being blessed), when something bad happens it can come as quite the shocker. It sort of knocks you off your feet and leaves you reeling for answers. How many people do you know that either begin to search within for possible causes or worse blame God for failing them in some capacity? Or, sadly, how many resign themselves to an awful fate and simply learn to live with it or live without it?

I think that in these moments, you sort of find out who you really are or maybe better, what you really believe. It’s all fun and games until the shit hits the fan. It’s all terrific in theory. It’s nice to talk about and tell others about. I mean it is the truth after all. But knowing the truth of God’s Word and preaching about it is one thing, but demanding it in your life is a whole other thing. So you are basically left with a choice. Are you going to hold fast to spiritual truth or are you going to faint in your heart based on the information supplied to your senses mind? The whole fight will be won or lost based upon your ultimate decision. But, there’s the clue. It’s a fight and in order to win sometimes you just gotta fight!

As I’ve said on many occasions, we are all in a spiritual contest between good and evil. Good proceeding from God wants you to be blessed, healthy and prosperous. Evil proceeding from the devil and his multiplicity of minions, wants you to be miserable, defeated, sick and finally dead! God wants to give to you and the devil seeks to steal from you.  How you vote determines the election! Unlike our dismal, present day political elections, yours is the only vote that counts. Who or what are you going to believe?

Now flash forward to a guy who already believes, wholeheartedly. Well, maybe I should add, wholeheartedly wants to believe. Imagine that this guy is generally passive in nature and seeks rather to avoid the fight than get in one. He aint no punk, but by nature he loves peace and harmony. Yet now he finds himself assaulted! What should he do? Well, first in his quest is to recognize that he is in fact being assaulted. He has to remember he is in a spiritual contest and that his opponent plays for keeps. He has to look beyond the five-senses portrayal of events and see things spiritually. Now, with God’s help and clarity, he has to do what anyone finding themselves assaulted needs to do. Fight back! He cannot spend another moment considering and dwelling on where he may have gone wrong or what in his life allowed this to happen (though it will prove useful to learn this after he wins) but instead has to get into the fight. He must perceive the insidious nature of his opponent and resolve himself to fight until the end, no matter what it costs, until he wins. There is no other reasonable solution. God has given him spiritual power with which to fight, but he has to get off his mental ass and swing!

It is futile for him to wish God would simply remove the barrier and bring back his ease and comfort. God never promised he wouldn’t be assailed at times, but instead promised no matter the attack, he could always win. God doesn’t need to make an obstacle in order to strengthen him to win, but rather uses the obstacle from the dark side as a means to make all things to work together for good, provided his man or woman is willing to fight. It’s sort of like you going to get your Dad’s help in a conflict and him telling you to get your ass back out there and fight! However, this is always a spiritual fight and requires you to tap into your spiritual Father’s power if you are going to be able to win. By your own self, you can do nothing!

In that great fight, taking place in the arena of your mind, you have to stop vacillating between what could be or could go wrong and instead gird up the loins of your mind with what God says is true. Don’t fall into the fallacy that you can overcome your opponent with your logic. He will eat you for breakfast. The logic of your senses mind is his home court. He will squirrel up your thoughts so bad you won’t be able to even stand up, let alone fight! No, no, no! You fight with God’s Word with no backup plan, no settling and no negotiation. You stand on, with all that you are and could ever hope to be, what God says is true, which in this case is to heal you. The doctor says your recovery is doubtful (and maybe it is according to the factual world), so you quickly duck and fire back (in your mind) with, “I am the Lord that healeth thee!” Your conditions don’t seem to be getting better or maybe the pain persists, so you duck again, dismiss it and throw your haymaker, “Jesus Christ suffered torture so that the devil would never again have access to my physical body to cause me to suffer!” And you just keep punching that bastard until he backs down as he necessarily must because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world!

You see, us peace-loving folks aren’t always looking for a fight, but when we find ourselves in one, we stand up on our spiritual haunches and fight back!

If you want to live the more than abundant life God has promised you, and you have some need to be fulfilled, sometimes you just have to fight and fight and fight until you win! That’s the only reasonable, logical conclusion. Don’t faint in your heart because of what it looks like for nothing is impossible with God.

We win folks, we always win…

Just some good thoughts…

 

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Your Life… Your Beliefs… Your Results!


factory-1Warning! This blog post may offend you, but my hope, of course, is that it will enlighten you! So here goes… The life that you are presently living is a direct reflection of your beliefs. What you believe will happen in your life is exactly what happens in your life. If you are enjoying success, you have believed for and are experiencing success. If you are struggling and not living the life you want, you have believed for that also and are experiencing the results of your beliefs. Life is not random. There are no accidents and there are no coincidences. A belief on the positive side produces a good result. A belief on the negative side (fear) results in a negative result. So the point is, if you are presently struggling and not enjoying the life you want, it is your own fault! Now, before you go batsh*t crazy on me, hear me out…

All of us believe something. I’m not talking about your religious beliefs, I’m talking about belief in its basic essence; the things you believe to be true. It does not matter at all if what you believe isn’t really true, because what you believe is what comes to pass in your life. All humans, good and bad, manifest into their lives the results or fruit of their beliefs. You can whine, revile, complain, argue, fuss and fume, but that is how God set this whole thing up (see Bible). Getting angry with God over some negative circumstance in your life is as futile as whipping the dog for some food you left out within his reach. Bottom line, he’s a dog, he always seeks food, and, YOU LEFT IT OUT! When things are going poorly in your life, you left something out – belief!

Let’s say you have been struggling financially. You know you need more money than you presently have. Truth Newsflash: The amount of money you presently have is exactly, precisely, mathematically as much as you believed you could have. The problem isn’t the economy, your lack of education or degree, your upbringing, or the company for which you are presently slaving! The problem is you, more specifically your belief concerning money. We all probably want more money, but we don’t all believe we can have more. That belief, which for you is true, is the source of your problem. You want more, but if you are honest, don’t believe you can get more or simply think (or have been conditioned to think) that money is hard to come by, doesn’t grow on trees, etc., etc., etc. Can’t you right now think of someone who has minimal education but makes a fortune? Don’t you know that guy that is by all accounts, dumber than a box of rocks, yet still makes a lot of money? Ever asked yourself why? Wait no, I get it. He is just lucky… Definition of luck? That which happens by chance. Definition of chance? See luck. Haha you are smarter than that…

This isn’t a criticism of anyone. Rather it is a reality that you have to understand. As long as you think that life is random, full of scary twists and curves, is as long as you will be twisting and curving. Belief, positive belief, puts an end to it. If we only knew that, right? As humanoids we have all been carefully conditioned and trained to believe everything that our five senses minds promote. However, belief is not based on what it looks like or what the circumstances are promoting as true, belief is based on a decision that you make. You might not think you made a decision, but you did! All belief is a decision. The trouble is you made a decision based on faulty reasoning. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it’s a duck right? Not in the spiritual world from where the secret of life resides. This old world is run by the enemy of good times called the Devil. He didn’t start out as its ruler, but he’s ruling the joint now. His only mission, because he is still pissed at God, is to steal and to kill and to destroy. Every time you believe something negative and suffer defeat, he stole something from you. Every time! And that ol’ bird knows how much you rely on your five senses as your only avenue for learning and with that, works you over like a sieve.

You and I (for that matter) have to be completely honest with ourselves about what we really believe. True belief, positive belief is the end of the struggle. Not that you won’t be challenged again and again, but by believing rightly can overcome any hurdle that is thrown in your path. It is time to get serious about learning how and what to believe, then putting it into practice.

Just the other day I found myself struggling with how hard it was to get what I wanted and how the open doors didn’t seem to be opening for me like they were opening for others. Then, thank the good Lord, it dawned on me. “Tony, if you don’t really believe you can get what you want, you aint ever gonna get what you want!” You see the problem was me, oh Lord. Prayer was never supposed to be an exercise in futility. Prayer must be backed with believing or NOTHING is going to happen and then we are just back to getting angry with God! How silly…

I challenge you right now, today, to ask yourself what you are struggling with. Then, ask yourself what you believe about your situation. Be honest because no-one is listening except you and God maybe. Your honest answer and I mean brutally honest answer is your current reality. But the good news is you can always, always, always change your reality. When you believe, nothing is too hard for God and I don’t care what the doctor said! Nothing!

Quit believing (fearing) what you don’t want and start believing for what you do want. Don’t give yesterday another thought… It is your one life, they are your beliefs and they are producing your results. Open a new factory!

Just some good thoughts…

Our Messy Life…


Life-Is-Messy-657x309_02Our modern electronic era guarantees that we are going to be fed a multitude of images and words about how the ideal life should be. We become convinced of this image regarding how life should work; what we should have and what we should be able to do. In this Hollywood version of life, difficulties are usually solved and almost everyone gets a happy ending (LOL not that kind!). Yet, despite being daily bombarded with these images, life is really quite messy when you get right down to it. Things don’t always work out as planned. There are obstacles, set-backs, and challenges. There are illnesses, frustrations and seemingly unsolvable problems. We face challenging detours, changing environments, in a world that takes another form as soon as we figure the last one out. Real life is messy.

Have you ever wondered why things are the way they are? Seems to me that we could get along so much easier if we didn’t have to deal with all this mess. I mean, imagine a world where there was no pain; no suffering. Imagine if everything you attempted was supremely successful and things always worked out. Think how awesome it would be if you got everything you ever wanted and it came easily without stress and strain. Imagine…

It makes me chuckle when people think that because I love God, things always go in my favor. It’s like, life with God means not having to deal with problems. Or worse, quote a few scriptures over the trouble and it immediately goes away. Or, say a quick prayer and disaster is averted. That could not be further from the truth and perhaps a major reason the world thinks most Christians are nuts! We believer types face the same obstacles and challenges everyone else faces. We get pushed and pulled out of sorts; we get frustrated and at times even defeated. You see, God never promised that life would be without struggles. What He promised is that He can help you (and me) overcome any challenge that comes our way. In other words, He will help us clean-up up our messy life. God is love and as such is only good to people and incredulously just as good to “bad” people as He is to “good” people. Ponder that for a minute…

The reason our lives are messy is because we have an adversary; an opposing spiritual force that is ever at work to screw things up. And, whether you think he exists or not, is working on you to make a mess of your life. He steals your prosperity. He convinces you, you aren’t good enough for God or His blessings. He ruins your relationships. Every evil or bad thing that every person ever did was based on his influence. He is behind all sickness, disease and death. He makes the mental prisons you find yourself in and specializes in frustration. He gets you addicted and makes the ruts that are so hard to escape from. He promises you that things will be so much better if you can find this person or get that job or move to a new place. He convinces you that if you follow his ways you will get the happiness you so ardently desire. The problem is that he is ALWAYS lying to you and when you follow his advice it burns you 100% of the time, in every case, always. And still behind all of his shenanigans, most folks don’t even think he exists. Well he does and your life is a mess because of it.

On the contrary, God is ever at work to show you what is real and to reveal the true source of your problems. The problem with problems is that we think we can use the same thinking to escape them that got us into them in the first place. Our difficulty persists because we haven’t yet discovered the true cause. God is able to show you the true cause! Because God is all knowing, He can completely and totally eradicate the difficulty. Yet we fail to get the answers we so desperately need because we either think we know better (according to our limited understanding); or dismiss the answers we do get in a variety of forms. When God answers the question or provides a solution, it is a full and complete solution. God’s deliverance is very real and available to anyone who dares to believe. Don’t you want to get things straightened out? I know you do.

This messy life we find ourselves living can be throughly straightened out. There are answers and deliverance from anything that ever plagued you. With God nothing is impossible! Stop settling for life’s “good enough.” Stop concluding that every feeling and thought you have must be true. Stop rationalizing your problems away or distracting yourself from dealing with them. Instead seek; truly seek the real solution from God! He wants to help you more than you even want to be helped, but you have to meet Him halfway with some humility.

This life is way too short to live in a perpetual mess. Put away your broom and your cleaning rags and get the help you need. You owe yourselves that much, ya think?

Just an anecdote to a messy life…

Football and the Great Competition of Life…


81e6f2665c8838fd8c572d63c354cbceHaving a son that played Division One football, I can tell you that football is a rough sport.  Once you get to a certain level, everyone is fast; everyone is strong and everyone can hit you hard!  And the closer you get to the action, the more brutal it becomes. You see, football, unlike many other sports, offers serious physical consequences if you make a mistake.  The threat of actual physical danger enhances the competition and don’t get it twisted, it is a serious competition!  When the commentator says, “the quarterback is running for his life” he means it…  So what do football and life have in common? Are there some parallels that we can learn from it?  What is it about football that keeps us glued to the TV set?  And best of all, what lessons are contained in a competitive, physical sport that apply to the great competition of life?

I think most of us are very interested in being happy, pursuing happiness and spending time perplexed about why we aren’t happy.  And in our quest we continually search for principles and keys that we can discover and apply to make life better.  Yet, sadly we lose sight of one great reality that surpasses all of the others, namely that we are a spiritual competition.  Your life, my life, takes place amidst a spiritual competition.  And whether we choose to compete or not, we are in it!  For a football team to be successful, they have to study their opponents and discover their tendencies, their patterns, their methods of attack.  They spend hours analyzing film looking for weaknesses and ways they might exploit those weaknesses.  In short, they understand that they cannot be successful until they have gained a good grasp of what their opponent is trying to do to them and then planning in advance to thwart those efforts.

Life is like that, yet how many of us understand it and make intentional plans to overcome the challenges?  Most people (and I don’t think I’m exaggerating here) have been lulled to sleep with false beliefs that there is no such thing as evil or that evil only exists in our minds or that evil is something men came up with to explain things they don’t understand? Almost everyone is okay with speaking of God or of love or the universe, yet refuse to consider that evil exists in the world.  Remember the movie quote, “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” Well, he does exist and what you don’t know (or refuse to know) does hurt you!  Let’s say you get inspired by some book or a speaker and decide to make some positive changes in your life.  Your excited about your possibilities and off you go to make a change.  Then, the adversary (that does exist and has been responsible for the defeat you are experiencing) decides to come with an all out blitz and down you go, back to yesterday’s defeat!  Yet, incredulously, instead of recognizing your opponent, you scratch your head, look to the heavens and ask God why you cannot get ahead! You have failed to plan for your opponent, or worse, refuse to recognize that you have even an opponent!

The spiritual competition of life is simply stated as two spiritual forces at work and allowed access into your life by what you believe.  God is always at work to bring you the good you seek and the adversary is always at work to defeat you and bring you into bondage.  The adversary’s three-fold ministry is to “steal” to “kill” and to “destroy.”  He is at work to steal your happiness; steal your prosperity; steal your health.  He does so by working over your mind, day by day, with wrong beliefs, wrong thinking and negative expectation.  And he is damn good at it!  So good that you won’t even recognize that he is doing it.  You think it’s just life but it’s not life, it’s a lie he got you to believe.  And thus believing you continue on in defeat.  Can you imagine setting up your play on offense and then being surprised that your opponent also has a play designed to beat your play? He pretends to blitz, then drops back into coverage and intercepts your pass.  Why me God?  Ummm because you have an opponent?

We all have certain weaknesses, certain tendencies right? We have areas of our lives that aren’t so good and behind them false beliefs and ideas that aren’t so good.  The sooner we recognize that, the sooner we are going to find that happiness we are after.  And they way we recognize is by taking the time to think about what we have been thinking about.  What thoughts have already gone through your head today?  “I’m so fat!”  “I am undisciplined and lazy!”  “I’m not smart enough!”  “God is mad at me!”  “Why did I drink so much!”  “No-one respects me!”  “I just can’t get ahead!” And on and on and on…  Those thoughts, stealthily encouraged, are your opponent talking you out of the good God has planned for you in life!

So, my friends, whether you like it or not or believe it or not, life is a spiritual competition.  Every moment of every day you are competing and you win or lose by where you let your mind go or better where you decide to take your mind (intentional living)!  You have an opponent, a personal opponent, that is seeking to blast you as a defenseless receiver and he doesn’t care if he gets a penalty flag!  (15 yard penalty, but you aint getting up!)

Now instead of spending another moment asking God – why????? – recognize and acknowledge that you have an enemy and that maybe, just maybe he is behind the defeat you are presently experiencing.  Don’t be afraid, however, just decide to change your thinking!  Change your mind, thought by thought and quit allowing negativity access to your head!  You can do it folks…you have to!

There he goes, to the fifty, the forty, the thirty, the twenty, the ten, the five, touchdown!!!   (Loud cheering!!!!!)

Just some good thoughts and go Cowboys!!!! ( 😉 )