July 17, Sunday

mei lanEditor’s Note:  Today’s Quiet Time is provided by Mei Lan Thallman.  Mei Lan Thallman is originally from Taiwan and a graduate of Asbury College and Asbury Theological Seminary (M.A.) in Kentucky.  She is the wife of Pastor Kirt, who serves at Grace Covenant Church (Philadelphia).  They have two children, Nate (13) and Naomi (11).

Devotional Thought for Today

1 Peter 5:8-9 (NIV)

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

17I have been enjoying a new exercise class at the YMCA called Body Combat—a non-combat, martial arts-based fitness program with moves drawn from karate, tae kwan do, boxing, and muay thai. Prior to this class I had zero experience with any type of martial arts, yet I love this class for several reasons: First, exercising with others motivates me to keep going when I feel like giving up. Second, the class instructor always pushes me beyond my limit.  Just when I think I have given all I have got, she would challenge us towards the next level by pushing, kicking and working harder.   Third, I feel empowered as I learn and practice martial arts moves, like how to take basic defensive stance and offensive tactics— such as throwing punches, jabs and hooks with my hands, and different kicks with my feet. More than exercise, this class is equipping me to remain calm and have the confidence to defend myself in case of an assault.  Whenever I am throwing punches, however, I imagine my target practice as my arch enemy, Satan, and I begin to believe and act like a warrior.

Too often Christians take on a mindset of being a fearful, helpless, defenseless victim of Satan—the enemy of our soul.  The enemy tries to deceive believers into thinking that we are powerless to stand against his attacks. We are taking punches from him left and right, questioning why we are being attacked, and why God is allowing it to happen. Some even go as far as to blame God for their own fears and defeat.

God’s Word teaches us that we do have an enemy who is seeking for opportunities to strike against us: 1Peter 5:8 says, “Be self-controlled and alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”  Scriptures also give specific commands on how to fight back as a warrior of Christ, instead of a defenseless victim: 1Peter 5:9: “Resist him, standing firm in faith”; and Ephesians 6:10-18: “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devils’ schemes.”

As sons and daughters of the King of kings and Lord of lords, we are born again to become mighty warriors in Christ.  Let’s keep encouraging each other to daily sharpen our sword by taking the time to soak in the Bible and to know and live the truth, so that we would be transformed and free. When the lion seeks to devour us, may we stand firm to wield the sword, to throw the punches, and to live out our true identity as mighty warriors, through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit and the body of Christ.

Prayer: Indwelling Holy Spirit, keep reminding us the truth that we are no longer slaves to fear, but that we are adopted, beloved, empowered sons and daughters of God.  Through Christ our Lord, we have the power to overcome the enemy and to live consistently as God’s mighty warriors. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Psalm 112


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