January 1

In every situation take the shield of faith … and the sword of the Spirit, which is God's word.

Ephesians 6:16-17

This book is about developing an action verb faith. It's about getting out there where we can feel the wind of God's Spirit blowing in our faces. It's about learning that we don't have to put down the Sword of the Spirit (the Word of God) to raise up the Shield of Faith.

The way I see it, that's why God gave us two hands. If we want to live abundantly, we must pick up both. To pick up the Sword of the Spirit without the Shield of Faith is to shrivel and dry up in the desert of legalism. To pick up the Shield of Faith without the Sword of the Spirit is to try walking on quicksand.

January 2

This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth … for then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do.

Joshua 1:8

Is it working? Your belief system? Is it really working? God's intention all along has been for His children to succeed. So I ask you, is your Christian life feeling successful? Are you achieving and experiencing what Scripture says you would?

God stated unapologetically that conditions exist under which "you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do." But the only way we are going to impact our generation is to prove that our faith in Christ is real and that it works.

For countless Christians, I'm convinced it's real. My concern is whether or not we have the fruit to suggest it works.

January 3

Watch out, brothers, so that there won't be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart that departs from the living God.

Hebrews 3:12

Why isn't our present practice of Christianity working? Why don't we see more of God's promises fulfilled?

It's the same reason why the practices of the Israelites in the wilderness didn't work and why they never reached the land they'd been promised. Like them, we can be dramatically delivered from bondage, leave our Egypts, and yet never make it to our Promised Lands. We, too, can find ourselves lodged in a desolate wilderness between the two. Scripture supplies the one-word explanation: "So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief" (Heb. 3:19).