Not long ago, I stood in the church sanctuary and sang the words: "draw me nearer; use me; make me more like you". How many of us have sung these words and thought nothing of it, really? We all want to be closer to God, but did you ever wonder how he accomplishes this? Do we just wake up one morning and say, "Wow, I feel especially close to you today, Lord?" Not exactly. How do we grow close to our family members or our friends? By sharing our lives with them, by sharing our hearts, by going through things together...you feel close to them because of a shared experience or an encouraging word during a difficult time. Well, it's the same with God. I believe that sometimes, we go through things because He wants us to look to Him for our strength, to lean on Him, to gain a greater understanding of just how much he cares and how awesome He is. Sometimes when we feel there is no way out for us, He comes shining through in a way we could've never thought with our limited imaginations and all we can say is.."WOW-Only God could've done this!" Trials are part of the learning process. Not fun, no, but the victory will be worth it all. How often do we get comfortable and think we're strong enough to handle anything, then with the first punch, we're down for the count and we see just how weak we really are. We are nothing in ourselves. We need to keep Jesus fresh in our lives everyday. We need to be strengthened everday, not once a week or that time last month when we got slain out at the altar, but everyday. You just never know when something is going to come your way and try to take you down-will you be prepared? Will you be wearing your spiritual armour? Did you just set it down for a minute to rest? In this day and age, we can't afford to take it off for an instant! We have to be ready in season and out of season. You never know when the enemy will try to sneak something in that eventually festers and grows into a full-blown trial that threatens your very salvation. Be aware! Stay Alert and always at the ready. Don't get comfortable and relaxed, that's when you're a prime target and the enemy will jump when he sees any sign of weakness. The devil is trying to deceive "even the elect" in this end day, but we as christians need to be paying attention-see it for what it is (an attack) and stand strong and fight. How are you going to know that you're under attack if you don't stay in tune with your general. You'll think it's nothing, just the wind. But it quickly worsens and soon you can't even stand up for the fierceness of it. Pray. Know your Bible. Stay in tune with God-keep that line of communication open. Pay attention to the still, small voice. Know what God has to say about things-don't be swayed by popular opinion but know the truth for yourself. When the enemy comes, quote the word of God to him and shoot him down. Our God is greater than anything that comes our way. Like the song says: "Our God is greater, higher, stronger than any other" Whatever the enemy has put in your path to make you stumble, DON'T YOU QUIT. So you stumbled or made a mistake because you let your guard down, realize it-repent and GET UP, start walking and singing and praising the Lord. Our God WILL be victorious! He's already won the battle. He has a master plan and will work all things together for our good if we keep serving Him. Keep on believing! Give Him your situation and leave it there, don't pick it up again. Trust Him to take care of it. Don't let your situation rule you, your God is greater than ANY situation. You speak the word of God to your situation. Trust Him to do the rest. You keep on believing! There's no God like Jehovah! Let this be YOUR year of Jubilee! God bless you.