How Much Can YOU Handle?

Held by Natalie Grant

Daily Devotions April 3, 2012

Ephesians 6:10-18

10 God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.

13-18Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

 

I’ve got a few pet peeves.  Probably more than a few truth be told.  One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone says, “God will never give me more than I can handle.”  Says who?  It’s not in the Bible anywhere, so who decided that God will never give us more than we can handle?

 

There are people all over the world lying in hospital beds that are facing more than they can handle.  There are millions of people dying from the unsafe water sources they must rely on.  There are more people alive right now that are dealing with more than they can handle than the total population combined just a generation or two ago.

 

Try telling an abused child that God will never give you more than you handle.  Tell a mother whose baby just died that God will never give her more than she can handle and I bet she won’t give you a smile back.

 

The promise of God is not that we will never be given more than we can handle.  Watching my beloved husband die one day at a time for 365 days from terminal brain cancer was more than I could handle…. Alone.

 

God’s promise is that He will help us handle whatever life gives us.  Ephesians 6:13 tells us exactly what life will give us.  “13Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own.”

The enemy spends endless energy trying to give us more than we can handle and his greatest desire is that we blame God when we get too much.  “Why did God do this to me?”  God didn’t do it to you.  The enemy is doing it to you so you will turn your back on the one true God.  We are also told what to do when life gives us too much.  We are to be prepared, we are to, “Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life.”

 

Where are we to find these tools?  “God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare.”  The Bible is where we find the strength God is offering to us to make it through this earthly life.  Life is hard, God is good.

 

Dearest Lord, Thank you for the weapons that You offer to us for our battles in this life.  We ask that you nudge us every day to spend time in Your word that we may learn how to apply Your armor and be prepared to enter the battle.  In Jesus’ name…. Amen

What do you do with your old clothes?

Clothing in history
Image via Wikipedia

Galatians 3:25-29 The Message (MSG)

But now you have arrived at your destination: By faith in Christ you are in direct relationship with God. Your baptism in Christ was not just washing you up for a fresh start. It also involved dressing you in an adult faith wardrobe—Christ’s life, the fulfillment of God’s original promise. In Christ’s family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. Among us you are all equal. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ. Also, since you are Christ’s family, then you are Abraham‘s famous “descendant,” heirs according to the covenant promises.

Who doesn’t love getting new clothes? I love clothes. I love shopping the outlet pages of my favorite catalogs on line. I love when the new clothes arrive. I love digging them out of the box, taking them out of the plastic bag and trying them on. Sometimes I’m thrilled with the fit and look of the new clothes. Other times I’m not so thrilled. The anticipation of the new garment did not get validated in the way the garment looked on me. This is not the garments fault of course, it’s me. My anticipation of how wonderful the garment would look on me was not realistic. Even if the garment fits perfectly and I enjoy wearing it, the excitement doesn’t last. The garment isn’t new for very long. My closet is a living testimony to my search for something new to wear that will stay new and exciting to wear. How easy it is for me to walk into my closet, look at the clothes and think…. “I’ve got nothing to wear”.

We try to do this with our faith too. We search for the right song, the right verse, the right moment to hang onto , pouring our religion into that song or verse or moment. “This is what it’s all about!” But soon the song becomes boring, the verse becomes mundane and the moments fade. We look around our “closet” and think, “I’ve got nothing to wear”. So we search again. I love this version of the Bible; I love the expressive-ness of it. “Your baptism in Christ was no just washing you up for a fresh start. It also involved dressing you in an adult faith wardrobe.” I would venture to guess that the majority of us don’t have a clue to what an adult faith wardrobe is. We won’t find it in any outlet catalog. As much as music is soothing and inspiring, we won’t find this wardrobe on YouTube either. The only place this wardrobe can be found is in the Bible. It’s not just a couple of verses that clothe us in the adult faith wardrobe, it’s the entire Bible. That is where we will find Christ’s life, the fulfillment of God’s promises to us. The next time you feel like you’ve got nothing to wear, open God’s Word instead of the latest catalog. It’s better for the soul and the budget.

Gracious God, thank you for our ability to clothe ourselves in Jesus!  Remind us daily that the only garment that makes a difference is salvation.  In Jesus’ name, Amen

Been Through the Water ~ Kyle Matthews