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Updated April 17th, 1999
Dear Pastor Malone:
As a Christian, I find it difficult to keep focused on God's will on a daily basis. It seems that I am constantly trying to keep satan off my back and the pressures of life off my shoulders. I find myself living in doubt of my salvation at times and seem to be up and down most of the time. Do you have any spiritual advice?
Thanks for visiting our website. Many Christian's have this very problem. You find yourself spending most of your prayer time trying to overcome personal struggles instead of praying for those who need Christ. Of course, it is important to pray that you be an over comer, that you may be a help to others. Let's face it, if you are under constant attack by the devil you are ineffective in the Lord's work, and that's exactly where satan wants you. As a Christian, he (satan) can't take away your salvation, but he can neutralize your walk with the Lord and your effectiveness in His service.
Let me give you an outline of what I do on a daily
basis. First of all, I come before the Lord with praise and thanksgiving. I then
ask the Lord to fill me with the Spirit. This is a command of God. Many believe
this is a one time filling, but this is incorrect
, and the
reason many live a roller coaster Christian life, up one day and down the next,
always looking for that next Spiritual high. You don't have to live like that.
This is what the Bible says regarding this subject in Ephesians 5:17-20,
"Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord
is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the
Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing
and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things
unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ". As with
being drunk, eventually the effects of the wine wear off. You must start all
over the next day to get drunk again, unless you're a lush. It's the same way
with being filled with the Spirit. It's a daily filling and refilling! Well you
may say, "I don't always feel like I am filled". Like salvation, being
filled with the Spirit is not a feeling.
The next thing I do is to ask the Lord to place the whole armor of God on me. I visualize the Lord placing each piece of armor on me. Here is my outline of Ephesians 6:11-18 you may use as your guide:
1. Girt my loins about with your truth
2. Place on me the breastplate of righteousness
3. Shod my feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace
4. Protect me this day with the shield of faith
5. Place the helmet of salvation upon my head
6. And help me to use correctly the sword of the Spirit today
I then bring my petitions unto the Lord. These are usually selfless petitions and not a shopping list. Many people today think God is a personal shopping assistant who will grant their every command, as long as they have the faith to believe. The truth is, God isn't up in heaven contemplating over whether or not to grant your prayer for that new car or house. He knows your needs before you ask. You will find that the closer you get to God, the more you will fall in line with His will and you'll stop trying to persuade Him of what your needs or wants may be.
Remember, satan has no power over you, unless you give it to him. That's why it is important to guard your heart and mind from things that can give him a stronghold in your life. Of course, end your prayer with thanksgiving and praise. This is a basic outline of what I do daily. I hope this has helped you.