Such a time as this

Today I am teaching a class on campus. This is the first onsite class I have taught since my trip to Nepal. It was in Nepal that I had a dream that changed the way I “do church.” I used to only attend Bible study and Sunday morning worship, and I read the Bible sporadically; but since that dream my husband and I read the Bible together every day and then we pray, and at night I read the Bible on my own. I also attend evening worship and Wednesday services.

I believe that my armor is continually getting stronger and my sword is more sharpened than it was in the past. My desire now is to go to this class and allow God to speak through me so that every one of the students there can be changed. I think this is appropriate because the class focuses on personal adjustment and changes, and it is taught in a Christian university.

Could it be that all this preparation was meant for “such a time as this”? (A reference to Esther 4:14). I will go to this class as if I am heading into a spiritual battlefield.

What kind of preparations have you been taking to enter your battlefield? What have you been doing to strengthen your armor and sharpen your weapon?

Copyright © 2013 M. Teresa Trascritti

Be prepared

I ran the farthest today than I had ever ran before—8.25 miles. This was not an easy feat for me— I remember when I could barely run a mile. My training had not been very consistent in the past.  I would run for a while and make some progress, but then I would slowly stop running.

It made me think about my Christian walk. I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior when I was 19-years-old. Even though I had some periods of growth, I also had years of stagnation. Even though I had recommitted my life several years after professing Jesus, I went back to reading the Bible sporadically, praying occasionally, and going to church only on Sunday mornings.

It took a scary dream for me to realize that all those things (church services, regular Bible reading, and daily prayer) are a form of training for Christians. I need to read the Bible, pray, and go to church services on Sunday and Wednesday nights because they will help me to prepare for spiritual attacks.

The apostle Paul stresses to us, “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm” (Ephesians 6:11-13, NLT).

Just like I have to keep up with my running in order to prepare for another race, I have to keep up with the things that make me a stronger Christian so that I can be spiritually prepared for any possible attacks. What about you—are you prepared?

 

Copyright © 2013 M. Teresa Trascritti

Belief

I have been looking at these Scripture verses for a couple days now:

“…For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night. So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded.

 Night is the time when people sleep and drinkers get drunk. But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation” (1 Thessalonians 5:5-8, NLT).

The last part of the passage reminds me of a dream that I had many years ago. It was a time in my life when I wondered if what I said that I believed about Jesus was really what I believed. People can say they believe in Jesus, but what do they believe about Him in their heart? I wondered this of myself.

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I was on a really high mountain—so high that I was surrounded by clouds. A person who was standing an arm’s length away from me asked, “Think about… isn’t it possible that Jesus will return in a space ship?” I paused before I answered. I can see that he thought I would agree with him and he started to smile. I responded, “No, I believe He will return on a cloud.” Immediately, I woke up from my sleep. I knew then that I truly believed in Jesus. Even when I was asleep, I was still “awake.”

To me, 1 Thessalonians 5:5-8 is referring to our mind and our heart— is what we know in our mind (protected by a helmet) aligned with what we believe in our heart (protected by armor)? Do you really believe what you say you believe?

Copyright © 2013 M. Teresa Trascritti