NCFI Cares: Power Up!

As we stand firm in truth, righteousness, and peace we need a protective shield to guard our spirit from the flaming arrows of Satan. Thankfully we have a shield of faith. This is not the strength of our belief or faith as a defense weapon. Nor does it come from our ability to believe it works. Instead it is based on fidelity, “the character of the one who can be relied upon.” Thus, our shield of faith comes from the attributes or character of Christ. Jesus is all powerful, all knowing and demonstrates sovereignty over heaven and earth throughout all of time (Revelation 5:12-13; 22:13).

Outfitted with our nursing uniform for spiritual warfare, we might imagine ourselves as a children’s fictional superhero. Who, when confronted by an evil villain, transforms into a supercharged warrior. Our essential garment includes a helmet to protect our thoughts and we stand secured in the righteousness of our Redeemer. We expertly yield our sword while protecting our self with a shield of faith. We are fastened by truth found in Christ while attuned to where our peaceful sandals leads us (Ephesians 6:13-17)

Next time, we see flaming arrows of Satan locked onto our spirit. We can “power up” our nursing uniform fortified in the power of our Mighty Warrior.

 

Prayer: Our Lord is faithful to strengthen you and protect you from the evil one while directing your hearts toward his love and the endurance of Christ, amen. (1 Thessalonians 3:3-5)77ba6-ncficares_3bloglogo

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NCFI Cares: Sword Training 101

Fencing

There is intrinsic skill and strength required for sword fighting or fencing. Each person must have knowledge on how to use a sword. Learning the technique of sword fighting also takes practice. A participant can’t just read a book. Instead, they spend time in a safe environment practicing their new skills. These same concepts can be applied in using the sword of the Spirit, i.e., word of God to combat the enemy (Ephesians 6:17). Just like the sport or art of swordsmanship, using the word of God as a weapon takes knowledge, skill, and training.

Our sword training begins with an in-depth knowledge of scripture. Our education includes historical context and theological meaning, as well as appropriate application of God’s word to our lives. We also need godly wisdom in how to use scripture with each skirmish we encounter. Like a warrior yielding a sword, we need to discern the consequences of each strike.  For example, at certain times a quiet resolve within our heart is the best way to combat evil. While, at other times the strike of our sword is issued verbally. Like the art of sword fighting, these are carefully planned out strikes to halt or disarm the enemy, with minimal collateral damage.

As with any weapon, it takes knowledge, skill and discernment to appropriately use the sword of Spirit. And neither sword should be yielded inappropriately or used haphazardly.

Blessings, Carrie

Prayer: Our Lord is faithful to strengthen you and protect you from the evil one while directing your hearts toward his love and the endurance of Christ, amen. (1 Thessalonians 3:3-5)

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NCFI Cares: Sandals for Chicken Little

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We have fastened our belt and attached our breastplate of righteousness, now we are ready to secure the gospel of peace to our feet (Ephesians 6:15). These unique shoes or sandals are strong, sturdy and fortified with the message of Christ (Matthew 10:5-13).  Jesus did not come to judge, nor cause war or conflict (John 12:47). Instead, he brought healing, peace and forgiveness. This is the peaceful message we fasten to our feet (Acts 10:36).

One way we change shoes, is by not allowing our minds and hearts to be absorbed by stress, anxiety, or fear. All of these emotions and responses come from a spirit of fear and not the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 1:7). These are also emotions and thoughts that Satan capitalizes on.

I am reminded of a children’s story/folk tale entitled Chicken Little. It is about a chicken, who after having something fall on her head, runs in a panic yelling, “The sky is falling!” She runs to all her animal friends, Henny Penny, Turkey Lurkey, Goosey Loosey and others. Together they go to warn the King. Depending on the version, the animals either hide in a cave never warning the King; or they are able to warn the King, who explains to Chicken Little and her friends about the large acorns falling from the trees.

Obviously, Chicken Little and her friends forgot their peaceful sandals and the promises of Christ (Philippians 4:7). 🙂

Prayer: Our Lord is faithful to strengthen you and protect you from the evil one while directing your hearts toward his love and the endurance of Christ, amen. (1 Thessalonians 3:3-5)

Blessings

Carrie

Learn more about Chicken Little @https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henny_Penny

Carrie

Learn more about Chicken Little @https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henny_Penny

NCFI Cares: Our Nursing Uniform–Breastplate of Righteousness

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A breastplate covers and protects our vital internal organs and is a necessary component to our nursing uniform. This breastplate isn’t just a metal or physical protection, for our breastplate is righteousness. Satan loves to taunt us with our shortcomings, human desires, and anything that causes us to look at the depravity of our soul. Which is true—we are depraved human beings. BUT, we are righteous through Christ’s payment (Hebrews 9:11-14). This is our true shield of righteousness, the blood of the cross that has cleansed us (Ephesians 6:14; Hebrews 9:22).

Satan wants us cower in fear and shame. When in contrast, we stand holy and pure before God. For he sees us through the blood lens of Christ. When we beat ourselves up because of sin, or try to “work” to be holy, we are playing into Satan’s hand.  I also think when we judge others for their sin, then we have forgotten the basic truth of righteousness; “ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (John 3:17; Romans 3:23).

Our breastplate is a shining, holy assurance radiating from Christ which permeates through us, bringing a warm welcoming grace to patients, families, and colleagues (Revelation 1:13-15; Exodus 34:29)

p.s. To access the scripture online, try Lumina/Bible.org.

Our Nursing Uniform–Belt of Truth

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Paul, the writer of Ephesians, was imprisoned in Rome and surrounded by Roman soldiers. He used the constant presence of a soldier’s outfit as a metaphor for a Christian soldier’s battle armor (Ephesians 6:11). Like a soldier our armor contains a belt, breastplate, sandals, shield, helmet, and the sword. As we put on our nursing uniform and ready ourselves for spiritual warfare, we need to understand each article of our armor.

This first piece of our outfit is the belt of truth which holds our armor together and is foundational to our faith (Ephesians 6:14). “Set them apart in truth, for you are truth” (John 17:17). This simple, yet profound statement was included in Jesus’ prayer for the disciples and us. For not only is the bible true, but God and scripture is Truth, meaning without error, accurate facts, and never changing. ‘Truth is what God says, and we have what God says (accurately, but not exhaustively) in the Bible’ (reference: Systematic Theology).

In contrast, Satan would have us believe his lies and the lies of the world (John 8:44; Revelation 12:9). Whether it is incorrect facts about the character of God, the divinity of Christ, or the workings of the Holy Spirit, Satan would have us doubt, be misinformed or worse, uninformed of Truth! Don’t forget, Satan can also twist scripture to deceive and confuse us (2 Thessalonians 2:9). Jesus’ temptation found in Luke 4:1-13 is an excellent example of Satan’s misuse of scripture.

We fasten our belt of truth to our nursing uniform by memorizing scripture and Bible study (Psalm 119:105). Thus we are equipped to discern the storms of mistruths found in the world.

NCFI Cares: Active Vigilance

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How can we stand firm in the trenches of spiritual warfare? Engaging four important participles–“fastening, putting, fitting, and taking” found in Ephesians 6:14-16. Unlike a passive bible study or time of prayer, this is active engagement. It is not a time of boredom, like waiting in line. Instead, it is a focused vigilance.  Similar to when we are observing a patient who is very sick. We watch their vitals for changes while monitoring their signs and symptoms. Attentively we use our nursing knowledge and assessment skills to watch for complications. We are taking notes and ready to respond if our patient becomes critical. This is the same attentiveness needed to guard ourselves against the lures of Satan.

Like Jesus Christ, we will be enticed by Satan to sin (Matthew 4:1-11) and trust the Lord to strengthen and guide us. The Lord not only helps us during temptations, he seeks to develop our faith through the process. According to Keathley, a Bible scholar, the Lord uses Satan’s lures: (a) to prove us or strengthen our faith (1 Peter 1:6-7; (b) to teach us (4:12-13) and (c) to increase our love for God (James 1:12). Satan tempts us to sin and taint our witness for Christ, whereas the Lord uses our response to mature our faith and trust in him. Let’s stay actively vigilant and ready to respond to Satan’s temptation.

Prayer: Our Lord is faithful to strengthen you and protect you from the evil one while directing your hearts toward his love and the endurance of Christ, amen. (1 Thessalonians 3:3-5)

Here is the link to a great resource in understanding the biblical teaching of Satan. Satanology by J.H. Keathley at Bible.org

NCFI Cares: In The Trenches

In both Peter and Jesus’s teaching on Satan (1 Peter 5:8; Luke 22:31-34) we are reminded of an important aspect of standing firm against Satan, the comradery of our Christian brothers and sisters.  Whenever we are feeling discouraged by the attacks of Satan, or our faith is being tested we know our brothers and sisters around the world are also “in the trenches.”

I am unsure how many people are familiar with the expression or metaphor “in the trenches.” It is a reference from World War I when front-line soldiers lived and fought in deep ditches or trenches. These were the men who fought the daily battles. They were dirty and bloody, malnourished, wounded and sick, yet their bravery and determination would help them overcome the enemy.

This same reference can be applied to Christians around the world who are fighting against Satan in God’s holy war. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens” (Ephesians 6:12).

All of us are in the trenches resisting Satan and staying faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ. Next time, you feel like you are spiritually bruised and tattered; hold fast for you are not alone. For across the border, beyond the continent, and around the globe millions of our brothers and sisters are fighting the same war. We are in the trenches together standing firm in victory.

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