“Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.”
—Colossians 2:8 NLT
I love this week… the week I work on my goals and strategies for the coming year. I have read so many books over the years looking for the magic bullet to get myself organized to achieve my goals. Full confession: I was not given the gift of administration when God was handing out stuff. So, I look for philosophies and good thinking to give me some direction.
There has been some tension in my life over the past few years as I have had good leaders (men of strong faith & spiritual maturity) challenge me to test these philosophies and practices, from what might be worldly sources, against Scripture. It has been an interesting and ongoing process.
What I am learning is I have to start with knowing God's principles and commands first, which has required regular and ongoing time in the Bible. As I do that more, I find I can spot when something is on track with God's Word and, more importantly, when it isn’t. A lot of advice from secular sources lines up really well with God's instruction while others don’t. A quote I heard from a radio preacher named Chip Ingram has stood out to me over the years: “God's principles lived out in any context work.”
So don’t throw out a good secular book—take the time to test its advice against God's principles.
This approach has also taken an important role in how I look at traditions in the church. I realized a few years ago there were things I had accepted from my church traditions that might be human tradition “rather than from Christ.” Additionally, I began to spot things in Scripture that might have been left out of my traditions. Have you ever taken the time to explore your traditions and find out where they came from?
So the warning I take from this is to not be “taken captive” by any thinking I have not vetted through my personal time in the Word. I’ve also learned the value of testing what I get from the Word in the company of some good Christian brothers, especially ones who will call me out if I might be getting it wrong.
Daily Battle Order:
As you plan for 2024, take time to talk to God and ask for His plan over yours. Hopefully they already line up, but make adjustments if they don’t.
Be sure a part of your plan is to spend time with God, in the Bible, and in prayer at least 4-5 days a week. Ask some friends to hold you accountable by getting together to share (test) what you are learning on a regular basis. This is an ongoing process and not just an end-of-year planning session.
Please receive this Christmas Present from TJC:
We join you in celebrating the amazing gift of our Savior, who became like us, so we could become more like him.
We want to personally thank you for being part of The Joshua Commission in 2023. This year, we focused on deep change in our lives and building great men out of conflict. We expanded that theme into our Battlefield Campaigns at Chickamauga, Manassas, and Gettysburg. Our Daily Battle Orders have taken us on a journey through every book of the Bible, concluding this April.
The Daily Battle Orders for the rest of 2024 will then focus on our very first ministry, in our homes and community. We will dive deep into becoming better disciple-makers as husbands, parents, mentors, and neighbors. We will be introducing new battlefield programs that will then include our wives, children, and family as our first line of responsibility which must be done together as family and community.
Our gift to you this Christmas is a free registration to join us on a Battlefield for your spouse or family member. When registering for one of the Battlefields, please use GIFT2024 as a coupon code to register that person.
We are very fortunate to offer this gift to your family through the generosity of dedicated and generous donors who know and help expand our ministry. We invite you to help extend our outreach by donating so others may be gifted through this link:
Our Daily Battle Orders reach several thousand readers each day, and several hundred men have joined us on a Battlefield. We pray our gift to you this Christmas will be used and loved as you join us in person in 2024.
From everyone in The Joshua Commission, we pray and share with you a wish for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.