VIDEO Strategies

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Ephesians 6:11

Dictionaries define strategy as a plan of action intended to achieve a certain overall goal. And such a plan usually involves multiple progressive steps that build on the success of the previous step. Masters of the game of chess, for example, often take a long time before making a move because they are planning a strategy; they are thinking several moves ahead.

The Bible says that the devil uses strategies, or wiles (a malicious type of strategy), to accomplish his goal. And what is the devil’s goal? To move the child of God in the direction of doubting the goodness or truthfulness of Him. This has been evident from the beginning—the devil (“the serpent”) planted seeds of doubt in Eve’s mind about the truthfulness of God’s words. Eve succumbed to the temptation, followed by Adam, and disobeyed God’s instruction (Genesis 3:1-5). Like any good strategist, the devil is thinking several steps ahead of his targets.

Be aware of your circumstances, thoughts, and choices. Who is behind them? What are the potential outcomes? What is your strategy for victory? Stand firm against the wiles of the devil.

We cannot stand against the wiles of the devil by our wits. Oswald Chambers

Ephesians 6:11 – In Depth – Pastor Chuck Smith – Bible Studies

Love of Learning

Let the wise listen and add to their learning. Proverbs 1:5

When asked how he became a journalist, a man shared the story of his mother’s dedication to his pursuit of education. While traveling on the subway each day, she collected newspapers left behind on seats and gave them to him. While he especially enjoyed reading about sports, the papers also introduced him to knowledge about the world, which ultimately opened his mind to a vast range of interests. 

Children are wired with natural curiosity and a love for learning, so introducing them to the Scriptures at an early age is of great value. They become intrigued by God’s extraordinary promises and exciting stories of biblical heroes. As their knowledge deepens, they can begin to comprehend the consequences of sin, their need of repentance, and the joy found in trusting God. The first chapter of Proverbs, for instance, is a great introduction to the benefits of wisdom (Proverbs 1:1–7). Nuggets of wisdom found here shine a light of understanding on real-life situations.

Developing a love of learning—especially about spiritual truths—helps us to grow stronger in our faith. And those who have walked in faith for decades can continue to pursue knowledge of God throughout their life. Proverbs 1:5 advises, “Let the wise listen and add to their learning.” God will never stop teaching us if we’re willing to open our heart and mind to His guidance and instruction.

By:  Cindy Hess Kasper

Reflect & Pray

What fresh truth of Scripture have you added to your knowledge recently? How can you continually pursue a deeper understanding of God’s truth?

Father, please continue to open my mind and heart to grow in knowledge and wisdom as I read from the Scriptures.

Grow deeper in your understanding of faith.

Building Lasting Friendships

Strong, godly friendships like Jonathan and David’s are a blessing from the Lord

1 Samuel 18:1-4

How many friends do you have? And I don’t mean the people you connect with on social media—I’m talking about the few who really know you and stick with you through thick and thin. Such mutual friendships are rare today. 

What does it take to develop this kind of relationship? There could be no finer example than the friendship between David and Jonathan, and three qualities stand out. 

1. The relationship was characterized by mutual respect. This often gets lost in today’s world, but the reality is that we can maintain a genuine friendship only with someone for whom we have high regard. 

2. David and Jonathan felt strong love for one another. Even though they weren’t related, these two friends shared a relationship as deep and loyal as a brotherhood. 

3. Their commitment to each other was genuine. These were no fair-weather friends. Their bond withstood even the attempts by King Saul to kill David. (See 1 Sam. 23:15-18.) Jonathan refused to let anything—not even his own father’s jealous fury—come between him and his friend. 

Think about your best friend. Is the relationship characterized by these qualities? If so, recognize that you have been given a blessing from the Lord. Praise Him for the gift of your friend. 

Jacob’s Ladder Dream

“And Jacob went out from Beersheba….And he lighted upon a certain place…and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.” (Genesis 28:10-12)

Prophetic dreams were uncommon even in ancient times (Hebrews 1:1) and were never for personal use (Jeremiah 23:16-32; Jude 1:8). Such dreams were rare until the book of Revelation.

Jacob had the most personal encounters with God recorded in Genesis, more than Abraham or any other patriarch. Jacob’s ladder was much more than a human construction. The Hebrew word cullam is used only this once. The root Hebrew word, culal, is similar, with the basic meaning of “highway” or “corridor” or “pathway.” The word carries the connotation of “lift up” (see Psalm 68:4).

Jacob’s “ladder” was probably a highway/causeway to and from the presence of God. Perhaps it was something like our science fiction ideas of a wormhole—a time warp in the fabric of space that permits nearly instantaneous movement from one spot in the universe to another.

The Creator would certainly be able to make a time warp channel for His messengers to get back and forth to Earth quickly. There may be many such channels. This cullam was “fastened” on the earth with its “source” in heaven. The angels of God were speeding up and down (through? on? in?) it.

At the source, Jacob saw none other than the Yahweh (the I AM) of eternity standing in His “official” glory (compare Revelation 1:10-16). This vision verified to Jacob that God was with him and that God Himself would secure the eternal promises made to Abraham. This dream is unique in all Scripture. Jacob was an unusual man. HMM III

Song of Security

In Life And In Death

Protect me, God, for I take refuge in You. I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good besides You.” Therefore my heart is glad, and my spirit rejoices; my body also rests securely. For You will not abandon me to Sheol; You will not allow Your Faithful One to see the Pit. You reveal the path of life to me; in Your presence is abundant joy; in Your right hand are eternal pleasures (Psalm 16 vv. 1-2, 9—11).

How can I be secure in life when I know I will someday die and when I feel at times that I am only an animal, a machine, or a combination of molecules? Death fascinates me, yet I was shocked by my mother’s sudden death. Death seems to be an assault on humanity, impossible to grasp and comprehend.

Though aware of my mortality and fallenness, I know that I bear God’s image. As St, Augustine reminds me, my heart has a God-shaped vacuum that will never be satisfied apart from the Lord. In short, my security must be in him. My profound need to be loved and accepted must be met by God,

How will he meet my deep longing for security?

  1. He assigns me my portion and holds my future (v. 5).
  2. He gives me a beautiful inheritance (v. 6).
  3. He helps my conscience instruct me (v. 7).
  4. His presence is at my right hand (v. 8).
  5. He gives me a glad heart, and my spirit rejoices (v. 9).
  6. He watches over my body—even after death (v. 9, also Acts 2:22-37).
  7. He reveals the path of life to me; His presence is abundant joy; at His right hand are eternal pleasures (v. 11).

Therefore, I will place my faith in these promises and let the Lord be my reference point. I will let him integrate, authenticate, and inform my life. As he brings wholeness, my insecurities will be transformed into peace and rest. My fears will begin to disappear, and I will be able to face life and even death with confidence.

Personal Prayer

Lord, I praise you because I am one of your loved ones. Help me to count on the fact that because I am in you, no one could be more secure.

Heart of the Matter

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding.—Proverbs 3:5

What is the essential difference between the heart and mind? Many believe there is no difference and that they are really the same thing. But I see a clear difference between the heart and the mind: the mind is the part of us that thinks and reasons; the heart is the part of us that contains our deep longings and desires. Although the mind is important, the heart is even more important because it is the engine room of our personality—the part from which come our drive and motivation. That is why our Lord says, “The mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart” (Mt 12:34).

Christ said that the words He spoke were the words given to Him by His Father (Jn 14:24). Does this mean the Father wrote out the words which He wanted Christ to say, and then Jesus had to learn them by heart? No—the heart of Jesus Christ was the very heart of God the Father; consequently, the words Christ spoke were the exact expression of God’s thought. Jesus’ tongue was always in its rightful place. He spoke not just from His head but from His heart; His heart and His mind were one.

Oswald Chambers put it like this: “The heart is the central altar and the mind the outer court. What we offer on the central altar will show itself in due course through the outer extremities of personality.” In the search for unity of purpose and integration, there is no doubt that the heart of the matter is the matter of the heart.


O God, help me to be like Jesus, to pass on to others not just the things that come into my head, but the things that flow out of my heart. Bring my heart in closer contact with Your heart, dear Father. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Further Study

Mk 7:14-23; Pr 4:23; Rm 10:10

What comes from the heart?

What was Jesus’ teaching?

Face to Face

1 Corinthians 13:12

Could anyone question the assertion that there is a great deal more sorrow in the world than joy? A pall of sorrow covers the world. We learn from this statement of Paul, first, that no soul is left totally in the dark. Though as “through a glass darkly,” (1 Cor. 13:12 KJV) yet we see. Abundant mercy has swung in the conscience a lamp which gleams in every man’s path and has fastened a guiding star in the horizon of every man’s soul.

Second, I learn in this “glass darkly” that this world’s clearest and best vision is but a misty and imperfect one. How sadly too many have lost their hold of God simply because they could not trace the full meaning of His dealings, either concerning themselves or those dear to them. How much safer and better do we remember that it was within the planning of God’s love that we should not know now, but know hereafter. This world is not our home—it is a place of sojourn.

Lastly, I see that there is to be an inestimable and indescribable difference between our present day and our eternal tomorrow. We are to enter into His presence; we are to look upon His countenance, nothing between—no glass, no cloud, no time intervening—but “face to face” with Jesus! Now the beclouded view, then a fadeless shining! Now the tumult and the strife, then the rest and eternal life! Now the weeping and the sighing, then the song and the tearless eyes! Now the children dying, then no more parting! Now the graves’ hearts breaking, then the resurrection greeting! Morning with an eternity in it!

Oh, the transforming touch of that hour! We shall find our bereavements; they will meet us as reunions. We shall find our loss rebounding in eternal gain. We shall find our hidden struggles crowned in open victory. We shall find the complete fulfillment of every promise of the Bible, verifying the fondest dreams of the saints. The gates of strife will be closed behind us, the boundary crossed, the veil torn, the morning broken.

Sight unequaled, sound unparalleled, light unrivaled, as the heavenly orchestra catches the strain of the numberless multitude and bursts in with the chorus of the Hallelujah anthem. Oh, it is the “face to face” time! No one can describe the glory. The redeemed break out as every eye is cast on the wounded hands, the riven side, the thorn-pierced brow of the conquering Lord.

Evangeline Booth, Love Is All