What Are You Wearing Into Battle Today?

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The women attending the retreat were expecting a seasoned speaker. Hours of study and preparation for the messages were behind me and I now faced the ultimate dilemma. What do I wear?

What I wore was important because I wanted to make a good impression and convey professionalism. Nothing that I wore, however, would make me a good retreat speaker. I had to be secure in my heart, in my thoughts, and in my attitude. My confidence had to rest in God and could not come from external things.

Rely on God to be your armor. Click To Tweet

The importance of what we wear extends far beyond the actual clothing we put on. The battleground of life is sometimes easy and sometimes really, really hard. If we are not properly outfitted with the right thoughts, attitudes, and heart, we will be woefully unprepared when challenging times come.

In any given situation, others will attempt to define who we are and what we should “wear.” We will be tempted to put things on that don’t quite fit emotionally or mentally. Knowing who to listen to and how to properly armor ourselves is of paramount importance.

The story of David and Goliath found in 1 Samuel 17 gives us three key strategies for effectively preparing for the battleground called life.

I am honored to be featured in this month’s Refresh online magazine. Join me over there for the rest of this conversation and learn what these three important strategies are.

Blessings,

Denise

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Believing Big When You Feel Small {Guest Post by Suzie Eller}

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I am so excited to have Suzie Eller sharing today from her new book Come with Me. Thank you Suzie!

Believing Big When You Feel Small

A well checkup revealed something not quite right, and that led to tests and a biopsy. The doctor assured us that good news was more than likely, so we squeezed the doctor’s appointment onto our calendar.

Unfortunately, the biopsy revealed that Richard had cancer.

A few minutes later we stood in a parking lot. I closed my eyes, holding tight to the man who makes me laugh until I have to run to the bathroom.

The person I love second, after Jesus.

We hadn’t budgeted time for much more than that embrace. Richard had clients waiting. I had women arriving at my home in an hour for Bible study.

Richard and I climbed into our respective cars and turned different directions on Interstate 49. Suddenly I realized that I couldn’t see. I pulled off at the next exit and found a safe place to park. I rested my head on the steering wheel and wept like a baby.

I made it home in time for Bible study.

We gathered around the table and opened our Bibles, flipping to the Scriptures for the day’s study. I numbly read the passage in front of me. It was the story of the second miracle of fishes and loaves.

About this time another large crowd had gathered, and the people ran out of food again. Jesus called his disciples and told them, “I feel sorry for these people. They have been here with me for three days, and they have nothing left to eat. If I send them home hungry, they will faint along the way. For some of them have come a long distance.”

His disciples replied, “How are we supposed to find enough food to feed them out here in the wilderness?” Mark 8:1–4 NLT

Jesus had multiplied a little boy’s lunch into enough to feed thousands just a few days earlier.

Now there’s another opportunity.

Same problem as before. Too many people. Too little food. Not enough faith.

I often write in the margins of my Bible. In bold letters I saw my own words staring up at me.

How did they forget the first miracle so soon? ch-6-enough-300x300

The page blurred. I stood next to the disciples, except this time I was in a parking lot in Fayetteville, Arkansas, with my arms around my husband.

I had forgotten our first miracle.

You see, twenty-three years earlier, I was sick with cancer.

We beat the odds, and that was a gift. For a long time, I thought that was the big miracle, but later I realized the true miracles came as we dug deep into our faith and came up with enough to make it through the day—or the hour if that was what was required.

That was our loaves and fishes, multiplied beyond our meager supply.

My friends at Bible study didn’t know what to think as I sat there, holding open my Bible, tears dropping onto the page.

In that moment I was a modern-day disciple holding up my not-enough faith.

Faith is birthed in the trenches of our not enough

Surrendering all that we have from the very beginning is a big move of faith, no matter what we are facing.

Over and over in Scripture, Jesus asks the disciples to give what they don’t seem to have and he calls it BIG.

What Jesus sees as big is different from what we see as big

When Richard was first diagnosed, I didn’t have enough faith, and it’s okay to acknowledge that. As long as I was willing to give him what I did have. Every hard place. Every strikingly beautiful moment.

What does God want?

All of it.

When we feel small, we carry our “not enough” to God on a regular basis.

Whatever big thing we are facing, God not only sees it, but is waiting for us.

We step toward him with our hands raised high, no-holds-barred, bringing him every uncertainty, every hope, all our fears, all our strength, every aspect of our situation.

The “big” is birthed inside of us as we believe that he can do something with the little that we do have. Whether it leads to a lame man leaping to his feet (healing), a few loaves multiplied by thousands (provision), hymns sung in the darkness of prison (hope), or standing near to Jesus while everything around us seems to fall apart (courage), our faith becomes an anchor.

Download a free chapter of Come With Me

Download a free copy of Prayers for Come With Me

BIO: Suzie is a Proverbs 31 Ministries writer, ECPA bestselling author and blogger. She’s been featured on Focus on the Family, Aspiring Women, Harvest Show, 100 Huntley Street, KLOVE, Daystar and numerous other programs. Suzie is a regular contributor to KLRC radio’s Words that Make a Positive Difference.

She is an author of eight books including her most recent, Come With Me: Discovering the Beauty of Following Where He Leads.When she’s not writing, you can find Suzie playing with her six grandbabies, all under the age of five. Find out more about Suzie and Come With Me: Discovering the Beauty of Following Where He Leads at www.tsuzanneeller.com

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I Don’t Wait Anymore {Book Review & Giveaway}

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“Why do we settle so many times for down there when there’s all this up here?” Good question.

Why do we settle for so much less than God? Because choosing God takes work. Grabbing hold of God’s free gift of amazing requires determination to dig into His Word, His character, His love.

We were made to want more and there's a reason for that. I Don't Wait Anymore by Grace Thornton Click To Tweet

So writes Grace Thornton in her soul-stirring book I Don’t Wait Anymore. Her journey of discovering God with a profoundly personal and life consuming passion ignites in us a desire to never settle for less than God.

But she’s right. It is easier to settle for nice over amazing. Through her poignant personal IDWA-7[1]reflections, we can all pinpoint places in our lives where we have settled for less than all of God. In our singleness, in our marriages, in our jobs, in our families. Her challenge stirs in us a desire to know God the way she has come to know God. For our pursuit of God to surpass our pursuit of anything else.

Grace Thornton’s perspective rises from the ashes of broken dreams for marriage and family but her words will resonate with anyone regardless of marital status. We all have deep longings that are not fulfilled in this world. We all have stories that are being written by God and we all need and want our stories to bring us more of Jesus.

I love that she shares a glimpse of what having more of Jesus looks like. She makes me believe I can have more. She’ll make you believe it too.

Read the first chapter of her book here:  I Don’t Wait Anymore – Ch 1   You’ll be hooked!

Leave a comment below about when you have maybe settled for a little less than all of God. How do you feel about that? I have a book to give away!

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