Fast Wednesdays: Week of August 31, 2016 — In the Presence of Our Enemies

Greetings Beloved!

With Labor Day looming before us on Monday, guess its just about time to say goodbye to the summer of 2016! I pray, despite all the clamor from politics, etc. you had a productive, restful, informative, memory making, financially, mentally, and spiritually successful, priceless one!

This past Sunday I visited my brother and his family’s church, the Living Word. The sermon was “The Necessity of an Enemy.” The pastor dug deep into the word of God and I was very blessed and encouraged. So much so that I thought I should share a little of what I received.

Despite what we may want to believe, it goes without saying, that we all have enemies, some right in our own family; maybe sleeping with us! But key to the message was how important it is for us to have enemies (our enemies can sometimes be the fire we need to make changes and growth in our lives) and how we handle them (with grace and mercy just like God handles us).

 
The Pastor asked, when we see prize fighters on the screen promoting their upcoming fights, what do we see and hear them doing and saying: “…I’m sacred and I probably won’t show up because he or she’s going to knock me out… ” LOL … of course not.

Remember Muhammad Ali … he said was going to “Float like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee” against his opponents and declared “I Am the Greatest!” Fighters and their promoters have been known to sell some outrageous “wolf tickets” to their opponents. Ali knew adversity can and will make you stronger. It goes without saying that he experienced his share but we never heard him being a coward in the face of his “enemies.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNpFiZDqcog
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2eKdCmKgcM

So, when we encounter our enemies why don’t we say “I’m going to crush him?” Or even speak the word “God is going to prepare a table for me in the presence of mine enemies!” Which indeed God does. Instead we spend our lives running from opposition instead of realizing it is our pathway to the next level in our lives.

What we need to recall is there’s an enemy behind our enemies. Jesus died for his and our enemies. He even asked God to “forgive them for they know not what they do.” And, this is exactly how we should pattern ourselves. God is with us. He sees the situation. He sees our enemies and he sees us. He wants us to act graceful and show mercy to our enemies. We are to glorify God by facing and overcoming our enemy. Yes, it is very hard, for me anyway, to show grace and mercy to folks who are coming at me. But I know that my problems and enemies are stepping stones to promotion! And, always remember, that your enemies enemy is a loser whom God has already defeated!

Come with me and go into THE RING “on purpose and thankful for our opposition and respective enemies.” Its our time to shine … that means winning and wearing our victories gracefully “in the presence of our enemies.”

Per the Pastor, remember: “You only see the power of God at work when you need the power of God to work.”

SCRIPTURE (Some on Handling or Being in the Presence of Your Enemies):

Luke 6:27 – “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.”

Exodus 23:5 – If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying down under its burden, you shall refrain from leaving him with it; you shall rescue it with him.

Acts 7: 60 – And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Ephesians 4:32 – Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Mark 11:25 – And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

Matthew 5:44 – But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you…

Psalm 23:5* – “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”

*God has and will not forsake you. No set of circumstances could ever isolate you from his loving presence. He rejoices over you with singing VICTORY!

Prayer:

Dear Lord, you equip us with everything we need but sometimes we forget this when we rely on our narcissistic, selfish selves, needs, goals and aspirations. We pray we lay these all down and pick up the peace which passes all understanding that you offer us liberally daily. Help us learn to cast our cares on you quickly rather than slowly so we can enjoy the manifold blessings you offer us as stated in Galatians 5:22 NIV But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness… 

As the summer of 2016 comes to a close, we are thankful for the family reunions, vacations, picnics, meals, date nights, camps, retreats, birthdays, anniversaries and other happy times. However, we also struggle to learn how to count it all joy for the pain and other losses we have suffered as well because God remained faithful with us throughout our trials and tribulations.

 

God bless the widows, orphans and missionaries.

Amen!

SONG:

My childhood friend, Cynthia Spearman Hall’s, brother is a minister and share’s “My Hump Day Hymn Offering” on Wednesdays on FB. I am paying today’s selection forward, Love Lifted Me…indeed LOVE lifted me today!

LA Mass Choir: https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search;_ylt=A2KLqIXZ28ZXWRIAK7wsnIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTBncGdyMzQ0BHNlYwNzZWFyY2gEdnRpZAM-;_ylc=X1MDMTM1MTE5NTY5MgRfcgMyBGJjawNmMXY4bnV0Ymt0dTFuJTI2YiUzRDMlMjZzJTNEbDAEZnIDeWhzLW1vemlsbGEtMDAxBGdwcmlkA3ZzM0ZWVmJyUXNPbk9tRU9SV3VHUEEEbXRlc3RpZANudWxsBG5fcnNsdAM2MARuX3N1Z2cDMTAEb3JpZ2luA3ZpZGVvLnNlYXJjaC55YWhvby5jb20EcG9zAzIEcHFzdHIDTG92ZSBMaWZ0ZWQgTWUEcHFzdHJsAzE0BHFzdHJsAzI4BHF1ZXJ5A2xhIG1hc3MgY2hvaXIgbG92ZSBsaWZ0ZWQgbWUEdF9zdG1wAzE0NzI2NTAzNjYEdnRlc3RpZANudWxs?gprid=vs3FVVbrQsOnOmEORWuGPA&pvid=V59sBzk4LjHw_Rf3V074NwrENzQuMwAAAAAYH9n9&p=la+mass+choir+love+lifted+me&ei=UTF-8&fr2=p%3As%2Cv%3Av%2Cm%3Asa&fr=yhs-mozilla-001&hsimp=yhs-001&hspart=mozilla#id=2&vid=47293311fd3e50c0d4e37edc494f39bd&action=view

Bishop Hezekiah Walker and the Love Fellowship Choir: https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search;_ylt=A0LEVi9n2MZXOSYA9zknnIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTByMjB0aG5zBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzYw–?p=Love+Lift+Me&fr=yhs-mozilla-001&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-001#id=11&vid=97ed00f338f64f60e9837354f354387a&action=view

J J Hairston, Tye Tribbett and Youthful Praise: https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search;_ylt=A2KLqICn3cZXOUAAWiMsnIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTBncGdyMzQ0BHNlYwNzZWFyY2gEdnRpZAM-;_ylc=X1MDMTM1MTE5NTY5MgRfcgMyBGJjawNmMXY4bnV0Ymt0dTFuJTI2YiUzRDMlMjZzJTNEbDAEZnIDeWhzLW1vemlsbGEtMDAxBGdwcmlkA3h6cWJYR2dTU0plM2VmVkRYUm1KaEEEbXRlc3RpZANudWxsBG5fcnNsdAM2MARuX3N1Z2cDMARvcmlnaW4DdmlkZW8uc2VhcmNoLnlhaG9vLmNvbQRwb3MDMARwcXN0cgMEcHFzdHJsAwRxc3RybAMyNgRxdWVyeQNqaiBoYWlyc3RvbiBsb3ZlIGxpZnRlZCBtZQR0X3N0bXADMTQ3MjY1MDc3MwR2dGVzdGlkA251bGw-?gprid=xzqbXGgSSJe3efVDXRmJhA&pvid=5JIy6jk4LjHw_Rf3V074NwQlNzQuMwAAAAAzqmvB&p=jj+hairston+love+lifted+me&ei=UTF-8&fr2=p%3As%2Cv%3Av%2Cm%3Asa&fr=yhs-mozilla-001&hsimp=yhs-001&hspart=mozilla#id=4&vid=eee0d943b44f937aaf8eeb045a50c08b&action=view

Benita Washington: https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search;_ylt=A2KLqIQF38ZXRQQAd3csnIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTBncGdyMzQ0BHNlYwNzZWFyY2gEdnRpZAM-;_ylc=X1MDMTM1MTE5NTY5MgRfcgMyBGJjawNmMXY4bnV0Ymt0dTFuJTI2YiUzRDMlMjZzJTNEbDAEZnIDeWhzLW1vemlsbGEtMDAxBGdwcmlkAzNNLnhHWDRnVERXU2xOVUk4S01xX0EEbXRlc3RpZANudWxsBG5fcnNsdAM2MARuX3N1Z2cDMARvcmlnaW4DdmlkZW8uc2VhcmNoLnlhaG9vLmNvbQRwb3MDMARwcXN0cgMEcHFzdHJsAwRxc3RybAMzMgRxdWVyeQNsb3ZlIGxpZnRlZCBtZSBiZW5pdGEgd2FzaGluZ3RvbgR0X3N0bXADMTQ3MjY1MTAzOAR2dGVzdGlkA251bGw-?gprid=3M.xGX4gTDWSlNUI8KMq_A&pvid=9Rvp6jk4LjHw_Rf3V074NwHwNzQuMwAAAABIhGt4&p=love+lifted+me+benita+washington&ei=UTF-8&fr2=p%3As%2Cv%3Av%2Cm%3Asa&fr=yhs-mozilla-001&hsimp=yhs-001&hspart=mozilla#id=1&vid=6ed7408098516bdcbb695cda621de492&action=view

Kenny Rogers and The Muppets: https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search;_ylt=A0LEVi9n2MZXOSYA9zknnIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTByMjB0aG5zBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzYw–?p=Love+Lift+Me&fr=yhs-mozilla-001&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-001#action=view&id=44&vid=9d7a797676a0d0a8794299315fd0c237

Love Lifted Me Lyrics:

I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore,
Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more;
But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry,
From the waters lifted me, now safe am I.

Refrain:
Love lifted me! Love lifted me!
When nothing else could help,
Love lifted me.
Love lifted me! Love lifted me!
When nothing else could help,
Love lifted me.

All my heart to Him I give, ever to Him I’ll cling,
In his blessed presence live, ever his praises sing.
Love so mighty and so true merits my soul’s best songs;
Faithful loving service, too, to Him belongs. [Refrain]

Souls in danger, look above, Jesus completely saves;
He will lift you by His love out of the angry waves;
He’s the master of the sea, billows His will obey;
He your Savior wants to be, be saved today. [Refrain]

Love, Joy and Peace,  

Debra J. Fuller Ellis

Reminder AND/OR for those of you just joining us:

The purpose of Fast Wednesdays is to draw near to God on this specific day of the week fasting and praying in whatever manner the Holy Spirit is leading you as sisters (and some brothers) in Christ…some have fasted from social media, coffee, or observed a traditional fast with no eating from sunrise to sunset with only liquids for the day, no deserts, etc. I know many of us, for various reasons, participate every week but in different manners. This has still been beneficial and the blog continues to grow!

The key ingredient is that we are doing this together as sisters, of all ages, in the Lord, both chronologically and spiritually in accordance to: A God-Filled Life Titus 2:3-5 “Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior.”  Note: Please share Fast Wednesdays with your friends and/or send me names to add to the distribution list. For now, I will post in three places: email (djf52055@gmail.com), Facebook (Debra Fuller Ellis) and blog in Word Press: https://fastwednesdays.wordpress.com

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