Sow & Gather


Whose Opinion Shapes Your Decisions?

Fighting BattlesMarci AnthonyComment
#sowandgather #fighttherightfight Pride Goes Before Destruction. Whose opinion shapes your decisions?

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.  Proverbs 16:18 (NASB)

Living in a suburb, I see many bicyclists.  Talking to my friends who participate in the sport, I admire the passion, dedication, and health benefits that motivate them to ride.  However, as I have often discussed with them, I find myself frustrated when trapped behind them on a two-lane highway with no option to pass.  A refreshing discovery is that while they are acutely aware of this sentiment, they refuse to make their decision to ride based on what car drivers think.

I really just want to soak in the ability they have to ignore what people think. I desire to let it infuse every thought that I have.  I find so often I begin my decision-making process with one question:  “What will they think?”  When fighting battles, this question is not the beginning of success.  Popular opinion is like attempting to stand still in hurricane force winds.  I might experience the calm of the eye for a brief period, but only until societal thought changes once again.

The very source of the question at hand is pride, my pride.  Proverbs 16:18 states “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.” 

I have made countless decisions that have ended disastrously because I wanted people to think well of me.  Honestly, this life isn’t about me. Until I can learn that I must be humble before an amazing God and let my choices be driven by obedience to His desires, then I really won’t be as useful to Him as I wish to be. 

Winning the battle means laying my life down so that I can become what He needs regardless of what others think. 

Dig Deeper |

Matthew 27:1-31  How did Pilate let his pride and popular opinion sway his decisions?  What were the results? 

Action Item |

Be aware of what information you base your choices on.  Practice having the compassionate courage to do and say what may go against popular opinion always conveying the love behind the thoughts.

Prayer |

Dear Loving Father, convict my heart that this life is not about me but about You and Your glory.  Help me be brave to do what will reflect well on You even if it means that I am rejected.  Remind me on a regular basis that You experienced rejection and showed me that true discipleship is costly.  Help me to be more devoted to Your ways and to love You greatly.  In Jesus name, Amen.

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Picking Our Battles and Fighting the One Fight That Matters

Fighting Battles, encouragementMarci AnthonyComment
#sowandgather #fighttherightfight Fighting The Right Fight Means Knowing What We Fight For

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.  1 Timothy 6:12 (NIV) 

Middle school lurked on the horizon for my oldest son.  This would be uncharted territory for our family, and I must admit fear crept into my mind on occasion.  With all of the unknowns, all of the questions and all of the fears, I did have one comfort.  I KNEW the school that he would be attending. 

The comfort of knowing teachers and even the building, created some sort of relaxation for me until that dreaded day.  The day I received notice from the school that the school lines had been redrawn and my son would be going to a different school.  Oh mercy, it seems so trivial as I look back, but in the moment, it felt like a giant problem.  I joined the other moms in the neighborhood and began a fight with the school district.  The fight felt like a worthy one in the moment.  Hindsight tells a different story-- a story of wasted time! 

Have you ever fought a fight you regretted? The description above is certainly one of many that I have participated in that goes down in the books as complete and utter lack of judgment.  Over the years, God has taught me a thing or two about fighting fights.  As I spend more and more time in HIS word and in HIS presence, I am discovering that God has amazing plans for believers regarding fighting. 

According to God’s plan, there is only one fight to be fought.  It is, “The Good Fight of the faith.”  Recognize that in the verse above the word fight is singular.  There truly is only one fight worthy of our time. 

Our fight is not a physical fight but a spiritual one.  “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”  Ephesians 6:12 

As believers, we fight with spiritual weapons.  “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” 2 Corinthians 10:4 

My dear sweet friends, with the culture in which we find ourselves, there is much to be angry about.  There is much to be upset about.  There is quite simply much to fight about.  BUT, there is only one fight that we are called to, the fight against Satan. This very moment, Satan and his dark forces are quite literally doing all they can do to destroy you, destroy your family and make you completely irrelevant. 

As Paul is sitting in prison in Rome, penning the letter to the Ephesians, he exhorts them to be ready to fight the good fight.  He gives them instruction in suiting up for battle with the full armor of God.  Then, he concludes by saying, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:18. While it seems completely contrary to everything within us, the most powerful position in fighting this good fight is on our knees.  Moment by moment, calling out to the God of the universe, asking Him to fight for us, to go before us, to protect us, to use us, to empower us, to strengthen us and to make us ready for all. 

Even as I sit here typing, I am moved at the very thought of asking THE God to fight for me and to fight for my family.  I encourage you to resist the urged to get distracted with all that surrounds us in this incredibly perverse culture, and simply join God in conversation daily, continually.  Fight the Right Fight.  Choose well my friends. 

Dig Deeper |

Ephesians 6  

Action Item |

Are you involved in battles that are “wasted time?”  Evaluate your schedule and determine if you are involved in fighting the good fight. 

Prayer |

Dear Jesus, fight for me!  Please give protection to my family.  Protect me from the attacks of Satan.  Help me, Lord, to be relevant for you.  Help me to protect my time and to fight the good fight.  Amen.

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Gather with us by sharing your "Action Item" or "Prayer" by clicking on the Comment link at the top of the post.