Hello and welcome to Grown Up VBS 2018!
If you are new to the blog, I did this last year and some people liked it a lot. (I see both of you waving a thumbs up in the corner of my eye…)
So if you are interested in checking out that series you can do so here
There is a week of posts on the 2017 theme which was about when we feel we are “lacking” something and what God has to say about it. You just move through the prompt at the bottom to go to next post. Because I can’t imagine you have anything better to do than that, right?
This year our theme will be “Battles” and it all started with a note I took in my quiet time from A. W. Tozer’s September 11 devotion in a book called Tozer on the Almighty God, compiled by Ron Eggert.
Based on Mark 6:31:
And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.
There are two amazing quotes from Tozer that I took down and chewed on for quite a while and oh, how I hope and pray this is not a copywrite issue…but here they are…
“The whole Bible and all past history unite to teach that battles are always won before the armies take the field. The critical moment for any army is not the day it engages the foe in actual combat; it is the day before, or the month before or the year before.” *
“Preparation is vital…We can seek God today and get prepared to meet temptation tomorrow; but if we meet the enemy without first having met God, the outcome is not conjectural; the issue is already decided. We can only lose.” *
I can relate to this clearly in the minor skirmishes of a relatively normal day and the train wrecks of life that have side-lined me for a couple of years…or more.
In my mid-30’s, when I realized I needed a daily time in God’s word, I began reading the Our Daily Bread devotion each day.
With three small children to tend, sometimes I didn’t get to it until the end of a day and invariably on those days I would discover exactly the counsel I could have used at some point that would have guided me into a wiser choice.
I learned by experience that, for this girl, starting the day with Jesus is better for me and everyone around me.
An example of preparation that happened months before would be the timing of our church doing an intensive read through of the New Testament in 90 days.
It was a push, but I dug into that challenge whole heartedly and with gusto.
Shortly after we finished, I inherited the role of caregiver for my aunt (severe dementia), my father (stage 3 of Alzheimers) and my mom (completely broken down mentally, physically and emotionally from trying to care for the other two for too long.)
With children ranging from 7th grade to freshman in college, I had little to no time for personal spiritual development when I desperately needed it…but God.
We got through the initial crisis that brought them to our town and the hard days ahead of finding different facilities and while I was completely overwhelmed, my head stayed above the waters.
I knew without a doubt, God had bolstered me good in those 90 days to face a battle I did not even see on the horizon.
So this week we are going to look at some other people’s battle stories found in Scripture.
As I have been preparing this series in my thoughts and prayers, I am led to listen to the new Michael W. Smith song.
It is so simple I didn’t think much of it the first few times I heard it because he repeats the same line over and over…”this is how I fight my battles…” and I kept waiting to hear how he fights them and then with more repetitions, I would get distracted and think I missed the key phrase.
But finally I heard it enough times that I finally got the point…
This is how I fight my battles…I sing.
I repeat the simple truth that makes up the rest of this song…
“when it looks like I’m surrounded, I’m surrounded by You….”
I hope this week we will see that no matter how complex the battle is, the strategy is always the same ….
Now go grab your goldfish crackers and google the song by Smitty and meet me back here tomorrow <3
* from : Tozer on the Almighty God a 366-Day Devotional compiled by Ron Eggert; Wingspread Publishers 2004