Inventory Time

A colorful crown.

Our father had a Jewelry store in Kennewick, Washington in the 1960’s. It was called Robert’s Jewelers and was located downtown right across from the JC Penny’s store. The whole family would share in the work...

 ...We knew that the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas was when the bulk of the sales were made for that year. We went to “mall-like” hours, being open until 9 pm and even on Sundays. Normal hours were until 5:30 pm and closed on Sundays. After the rush for Christmas, we had a few days breather, and then right at the beginning of the year, we had to do a full store inventory.

This was necessary for tax reporting purposes and to plan for the coming year by informing us what we had to do to restock the rings, watches, costume jewelry, and other items for sale.

The lesson for me is that our life is like the store needing regular inventory. It makes good send to take an inventory of what is happening in our spiritual walk with the Lord and evaluate the progress (or sliding back).

I know that there is a battle being waged to nullify our witness. It is a fierce one. The enemy seeks to attack us both directly and even from the side to distract us, dissuade us, and keep us from doing everything BUT sharing the Gospel.

Here is a brief inventory list to consider in your walk with the Lord:

  1. Am I Being Divisive?

If there is one strategy Satan comes back to, again and again, it’s creating division. And why wouldn’t he? It works.

  1. Am I Growing Arrogant? Arrogance can creep in so easily.

The most difficult test of character is not failure, it is success. Here is why. It is pretty easy to be humble when you are failing. It is just far too easy to take all the credit when things go well.

  1. Am I starting to blur moral lines?

Occasionally Christians move from relatively deep obedience to an extraordinary moral breach overnight, but usually, it’s far more subtle than that. As C.S. Lewis says in the Screwtape Letters, “The safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”

  1. Am I Discouraged?

The Enemy loves to take you out from the side. One of his favorite weapons is discouragement. Discouragement says:

    • I am no good
    • I am not making a difference
    • I always mess up
    • What is the point?
    • I might as well give up.

We have all been there. But I believe that none of those messages are from God.

  1. Am I Full of Self-Pity?

If discouragement is left unchecked, it grows. Self-pity is discouragement on steroids. Self-pity chisels in stone what discouragement whispers. It tells you there is no out. That this is the way it will always be. And it simultaneously tells you it is all your fault and none of this is your fault. Paradoxically, you believe both. Self-pity is dangerous because it moves you to the sidelines. Living in a state of self-pity means you do not need anyone to take you out of the game of life because you’ve taken yourself out.

Dressing for Battle; Preparing for war.

By Charles Stanley

“Each morning when I first awaken, I say something like this.

Good morning, Lord. Thank You for assuring me of victory today if I will but follow Your battle plan. So, by faith I claim victory over................................(I normally list some things I know I will be faced with that day.) 

To prepare myself for the battle ahead, by faith I put on the belt of truth. The truth about You, Lord- that you are a sovereign God who knows everything about me, both my strengths and my weaknesses. Lord, You know my breaking point and have promised not to allow me to be tempted beyond what I am able to bear. The truth about me, Lord, is that I am a new creature in Christ and have been set free from the power of sin. I am indwelt with the Holy Spirit who will guide me and warn me when danger is near. I am Your child, and nothing can separate me from Your love. The truth is that You have a purpose for me this day-someone to encourage, someone to share with, someone to love.

Next, Lord, I want to, by faith, put on the breastplate of righteousness. Through this I guard my heart and my emotions. I will not allow my heart to attach itself to anything that is impure. I will not allow my emotions to rule in my decisions. I will set them on what is right and good and just. I will live today by what is true, not by what I feel.

Lord, this morning I put on the sandals of the gospel of peace. I am available to You, Lord. Send me where You will. Guide me to those who need encouragement or physical help of some kind. Use me to solve conflicts wherever they may arise. Make me a calming presence in every circumstance in which You place me. I will not be hurried or rushed, for my schedule is in Your hands. I will not leave a trail of tension and apprehension. I will leave tracks of peace and stability everywhere I go.

I now take upon the shield of faith, Lord. My faith is in You and You alone. Apart from You, I can do nothing. With You, I can do all things. No temptation that comes my way can penetrate Your protecting hand. I will not be afraid, for You are going with me throughout this day. When I am tempted, I will claim my victory out loud ahead of time, for you have promised victory to those who walk in obedience to Your word. So, by faith I claim victory even now because I know there are fiery darts headed my way even as I pray. Lord, You already know what they are and have already provided the way of escape.

Lord, by faith I am putting on the helmet of salvation. You know how Satan bombards my mind day and night with evil thoughts, doubt, and fear. I put on this helmet that will protect my mind. I may feel the impact of his attacks, but nothing can penetrate this helmet. I choose to stop every impure and negative thought at the door of my mind. And with the helmet of salvation, those thoughts will get no further. I elect to take every thought captive. I will dwell on nothing but what is good and right and pleasing to You.

Last, I take up the sword of the Spirit, which is Your Word. Thank You for the precious gift of Your Word. It is strong and powerful and able to defeat even the strongest of Satan's onslaughts. Your Word says that I am not under obligation to the flesh to obey its lusts. Your Word says that I am free from the power of sin. Your Word says that He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world. So, by faith I take up the strong and powerful sword of the Spirit, which can defend me in time of attack, comfort me in time of sorrow, teach me in time of meditation, and prevail against the power of the enemy on behalf of others who need the truth to set them free.

So, Lord, I go now rejoicing that You have chosen me to represent You to this lost and dying world. May others see Jesus in me and may Satan and his hosts shudder as Your power is made manifest in me.”

(Excerpted from

 So, let us encourage one another in the bonds of love to go forward in Christ and boldly bring the message of salvation to those who desperately need hope for today.

Steve Cohen

Steve Cohen is the founder of Apple of His Eye

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