Arm Yourselves

Intro

Take time to interact with the resources below.  [wpex more=”Why?” less=”Why?”]

Every one of us has a different learning style and are affected in different ways by different things at different times. With this in mind the “into” part of this section is intended to look at the content brought up by the book from multiple angles. Video clips, blogs and other interactions will help bring this information from our heads (information) to our hearts (transformation). You are encouraged to relate your story, your emotion, your perspective to the current content and see where God brings you.

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Training

We all want to be this clear on our mission, this confident in our abilities, and this fully a part of a brotherhood.  And when we are, we can bring our strength on behalf of our families and others.  But don’t forget what it took to get here.

In this short documentary clip, it describes part of the process of training that special forces go through.  Do you want to be trained in ways of the Kingdom of God?  Take a moment to write down a few things in your journal that you noticed in the comparison of the training of special forces and your daily life.

How much shit are you willing to shovel?

Boots-and-Pitch-Fork

still don’t get it: watching parades is like crack for my kids.  Any of you in this season of parenting know what I’m talking about: St. Patrick’s Day, Fourth of July, Memorial Day—you name it, the kids go crazy.

Granted, where else can you join throngs of people cheering as the fire truck goes by with sirens blaring, lights blazing, and smiling firefighters running up to you with handfuls of candy?

Confession: I’m terrible at being a spectator.  I’d rather get dirty on some single track than sit in a folding chair and watch others live life.  But the humility and desperation of parenting small children finds us, yet again, stroller to stroller with other exhausted parents on a good handful of early Saturday mornings.

And in this decade of character over kingdom, there is one man in every parade who is catching my attention and earning my admiration above all others: the guy who pushes the wheelbarrow and carries the shovel.  Read more the rest at Becoming Good Soil.

Key Points

Review the key points for this section.

We live in a fog most of the time
We need to ask Jesus for eyes to see
The offer of Christ is life to the full and it begins now
There is something set against us, warfare is the context of our everyday lives
It is your choice whether or not you will enter into the offer of clarity, life and the battle that it will take to get these

Journal Questions

Pick a few of these questions to react to.  Write down your unedited responses.  [wpex more=”Why?” less=”Why?”]

We don’t often take time to push the “pause” button. This puts us in a position of having an overwhelming amount of stimulus and an underwhelming amount of time and space to process life. Journaling takes the thoughts, emotions and even actions and captures them for a moment, giving us time to become more self-aware. The more self-aware we are, the more we can connect with God. There are no right or wrong answers so take a moment to write down your unedited response to these questions.

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Write down some of your unedited thoughts about this chapter
Can you relate to being in a fog? Are clear about the direction of your relationships?   Family? Career? Relationship with God?
Prior to reading this chapter, why do you think life is so hard sometimes?
What is something that has happnened to you in the recent past that has caused you to lose heart?   Explain in a few sentences.
How did this event make you feel? How did you handle it? Who did you blame, yourself or God?
What have you believed is the offer of Christianity? Did you categorize eternal life as something only experienced in the future?
How could it change things for you if you were able to be filled by the life of God in everyday life?
Dream for a moment, what would it look like to live this type of life in your family, relationships, spiritual life, emotional life?
Do you want this life enough to fight for it? Why or why not?
What is your reaction to the warfare worldview?
Can you see a plan or themes in your life woven together for the single purpose of stifling your glory?   Are you willing to start fighting back?

Solitude

Find a quiet space and time to spend with God.  Ask Him questions and then listen to God and your own heart.  Have your journal ready to capture what surfaces.  [wpex more=”Why?” less=”Why?”]

Often times the way God communicates with us is described as a still, small voice. We may be tempted to believe that God doesn’t speak anymore, but what if we just aren’t taking the time and effort to listen. Just like a small child learning to speak their native language, over time there becomes a familiarity and ease in which communication happens.

Sometimes a quiet place is a quiet room in the house or a walk in the woods. Allow your heart and mind to be quiet. If you get distracted from God or the question you want to ask, don’t beat yourself up, this is natural. Just say, “Okay God, I come back to you”. Ask the question again and notice your heart, thoughts, images, or words that come to mind and see what God is saying to you.

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Spend time with Jesus. Start by finding a quiet place. Then, taking deep breaths, invite Jesus in your own words.   Invite Him to speak to you and see what he says. Spend time here before moving on to questions for Him.
To get the conversation going ask Him what needs clarity in your life, what this “new life” looks like and what in your story has been assaulted?

Worship

A few times a week pause your life to worship and connect with God.  Recalibrate what is most true about you, the world and God.  [wpex more=”Why?” less=”Why?”]

Taking time to worship God by ourselves in our everyday lives is essential to continue to move towards the intimate connection to God that we need. In watching the video, meditation or interacting with some other form of worship is not intended to be prescriptive. You don’t have to sing along, just be present. Instead of trying to make something happen, we want to have a posture of open receptiveness towards what God has for us. We can just soak in the goodness of worship with God and it does something to our hearts whether we know it or not.

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Fall Afresh

Watch this worship video and notice how refreshing God can be when we turn towards Him.

Life

Watch this meditation video.  Do not feel like you need to learn something or “get the point”, just let it wash over you and receive whatever God has for you.

Iraneous

Take a moment to describe your takeaway from this section in the comments area below.  What did you learn?  How can you apply it in everyday life?   [wpex more=”Why?” less=”Why?”]

When we share with others our own perspectives it allows us to process in a different way.  When we get a chance to experience someone else’s perspective ours is broadened.  In just a few sentences we can practice synthesizing down what we have learned to a 30,000 foot overview.

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