Spiritual Awareness

As God proves His Faithfulness to us, our intimacy with Him grows. We feel safe and we trust Him with every aspect of our life. This makes it easier to submit to His will (Ephesians 2:10). We spend time in prayer, Bible reading, fellowshipping with His Saints and continually seeking Him. We also develop a confident intimacy with our Father God, which deepens over the years.

Spending time with God increases our spiritual awareness. We learn His ways, and He transforms our nature by His Spirit into His fruit and divine nature (Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Peter 1:4). His Spirit illuminates His Word for us. He gives us discernment to make good judgments (John 7:24). Living in His presence brings us total satisfaction as we joyfully die to our flesh and to this sin-filled world (Romans 8:13).

Eventually, our union with Christ takes priority over everything else in our life (Colossians 3:3-4). We are a better mate, employee, friend, child, parent, employer, etc because of our relationship with Him. Since He dwells within us, we live a fuller and more fulfilled life. We come to realize that He is our all in all (Ephesians 4:6; Ephesians 2:8-9). We can do nothing without Him (Philippians 4:13).

God is our high tower. We run to Him and are safe (Proverbs 18:10). Under His wings we trust (Psalm 91:1,4; Proverbs 29:25). He is our Rock, stronghold and deliverer in whom we take refuge (Psalm 61:3; 91:2; 144:2). He is our shield and the horn of our salvation (Psalm 18:2). Our love and respect for the Lord provide our children and us with a secure future (Proverbs 14:26; Deuteronomy 5:10, 7:9; Exodus 20:6).

Prayer:
Father God, lead us by Your Spirit into a richer relationship with You. You promised that everyone who believes in and trusts in You will enter Your eternal life (Hebrews 4:1-11; John 3:16-18). Bring us to the end of our striving and allow us to enter into the rest You already prepared for us (Matthew 11:28-30). It is only then that we can experience an intimate relationship with You and enjoy a keener spiritual awareness.

Thought for the Day:
God calls us to be still before Him and to patiently wait on Him. – Psalm 37:7

The Call to Salvation

Due to the first Adam’s sin, we are all born with a spirit dead in this sin (Ephesians 2:5). Our spirit must be Born Again for us to be a fulfilled human being with a living body, soul and spirit. Until we experience conviction for our sin, we live in self-righteousness. In our self-righteousness, we will never recognize our need for a Savior. We try to live a good life, earning our own salvation (Acts 4:11-12; Ephesians 2:8-9).

This prevents us from realizing our need for the indwelling Spirit of God. Though we live a moral life, we still need Jesus as our Savior. Unless our spirit is Born Again, we cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven (John 3:7). When this conviction finally comes to our conscious awareness, then we do not need to listen to friends and family who try to talk us out of it.

Salvation requires more than a formal, mental relationship with Jesus. We cannot connect with Him personally if we rely only on church services. We need a heart-changing revelation of who He is and what He means to us. Once this occurs, Jesus takes all of our sins, all of our fears, all of our needs and earthly cares and turns them into blessings.

God calls us to know Him intimately on a daily basis. He heals the deepest recesses of our soul and gives us His new life, one day, one moment at a time (Psalm 23:3). When we see Jesus, we see Calvary. We recognize the world for what it is, a cursed place. We no longer belong to this world, but are accepted into God’s beloved family (Ephesians 1:6).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for revealing to us that salvation has nothing to do with our human effort or human love at all. When we base our salvation more on feelings than Biblical truth, the devil takes advantage of us and draws us away from You. Teach us to provide discipleship classes and to intercede for all new Believers. The intercession of Your Holy Spirit for the Saints in this present evil world can only be made through authentic Believers filled with Your Spirit (Romans 8:27). Remind us to pray diligently for them.

Thought for the Day:
As authentic Believers, we cannot help but to speak about the things that we hear and see Jesus do in our own life.

Worldly Gain or Eternal Power

Money, fame, relationships, employment, ambition, pride, rebellion, reputation, worldly goods, houses, etc. are all parts of our carnality, which Believers continue to cling to in this world. God calls us to give up worldly gain for His eternal power. There really is no contest between the two! God also gives us the power to relinquish our will to His.

Where He sends us we will go, even if we do not want to go there; and we will not go where He does not send us, no matter how much we want to go. Jesus died for us, so that we can die in Him. Our new life belongs to Him, not to us. We wait before the Lord each new day to hear His will for each moment. We surrender each facet of our self to Him and He purges us and breaks sin’s hold on us (Isaiah 6:5-7).

At salvation, God raises us up to sit in Heavenly places with Him. We are no longer concerned with earthly issues, but we seek first God’s Kingdom (Ephesians 2:1-6). Our salvation is provided in justification and our self-life is crucified during sanctification. God fills us with His Spirit’s joy and power, which is our strength to accomplish His works with our life (Ephesians 2:10).

As we give God’s Spirit full reign in our spirit, soul and body, He takes up residence as His Temple (1 Corinthians 6:19). Without reservation, we surrender to God’s Spirit, and offer our soul’s submission without any reservation (Romans 12:1). He renews our mind with the mind of Christ, and our character is replaced with God’s nature, which is the fruit of His Spirit and the divine life of Christ in us (2 Peter 1:4; Galatians 5:22-23).

Prayer:
Father God, when You call us to Yourself, we lay our sinful nature and our natural talents at the Cross. Although it is hard to relinquish our life to You, we know You simply require a willing attitude. Christ slowly becomes our whole life (Colossians 3:2-4). We live, move and have our being only in Him (Acts 17:28). Your Spirit in us enables us to enter into Your Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 10:19).

Thought for the Day:
We work out our own salvation, but it is God who gives us both the desire and the power to do this. – Philippians 2:12-13

Depending Only on God

Sometimes, we feel invisible, as if God does not see us or hear our prayers (Isaiah 40:27). We think that He has forgotten us, because our circumstances are out of control and we need His intervention. Yet, He still tarries. Life is not limited to our time on this earth. We do not need to “get ahead” during this lifetime. God honors those who honor Him and despises those who dishonor Him (1 Samuel 2:30).

Our tendency in a trial is to work it out in our own efforts. However, we usually end up making things worse. We are broken, even if we will not admit it, and God calls us to lean on Him (2 Kings 18:21; Isaiah 36:6). God looks for those who are living by faith in Him. Even the atheists live by faith in something. However, our trust in God is the only faith, which produces eternal results.

If we put our trust in our self, or in other people, we are depending on the flesh rather than on the Lord. We end up worn out, devastated, poor and lonely. However, if we trust in the Lord, He blesses us wondrously (Habakkuk 2:4; Proverbs 29:25). We are rooted and secure. We flourish and are prepared for life’s trials. We have no worries, so we thrive and bear God’s fruit in our life (Jeremiah 17:5-8; Galatians 5:22-23).

We can relax and live in God’s peace, entering His rest, even in the worst of circumstances. He always works out everything for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28). Trials are opportunities for God to prove His love for us. If we view them through His eyes, we will see His mighty hand in the midst of them (Psalm 136:12; 1 Peter 5:6).

Prayer:
Father God, teach us not to rely on our human strength or the wisdom of friends, but to follow Your Spirit’s leading in every area of our life (Zechariah 4:6). When our activities are inspired by Your Spirit, we see Kingdom results. We depend solely on You for our life and our future. Bring our flesh into submission to Your will.

Thought for the Day:
When we depend on God alone, we put our faith in His faithfulness; since He is our trustworthy defender, we shall never suffer ultimate defeat. – Psalm 62:5-12

Raised to Walk in a New Life

– Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12

Jesus poured out His life on this earth for all of mankind. During three years of ministry, He had no place to lay His head (Luke 9:58). He was criticized for eating with publicans and sinners (Matthew 9:10). He experienced rejection, even from his own people (Matthew 13:57). Jesus ultimately laid down His life on Calvary’s cross for the salvation of anyone willing to accept His redemption (Rev 22:17; Acts 17:11).

Then on the third day, He raised up His own life again to exactly fulfill the Biblical prophecies about His life, death and resurrection (Isaiah 7:14, 53:12; Psalm 49:15, 24:7-10). Jesus then delivered those who died prior to His death and set them free (Ephesians 4:8-9). He became the first child of God to raise from the dead (Colossians 1:18). Then God lifted Him up to the greatest measure of His glory and authority (John 17:5).

God raises us to walk in a new life as well. Since Christ now lives within us by His Spirit, His power and authority are working in the life of every authentic Born Again Believer. As we walk in His Spirit, we fulfill the will of God. We mature in our walk of faith and we realize the awesome attributes of God in us. This humbles us and causes us to bow to Him in complete surrender.

God’s Spirit points out sin in our life, and then we cooperate and allow His Spirit to transform us both with the mind and character of Christ (2 Peter 1:4; Philippians 2:12-13). He frees us from sin and the corrupt desires of our flesh. He cleanses us from the root issue causing our penchant for sin. We die to our humanity and allow God to mature us in the Spirit, so we can live in the fullness of His resurrected life (Ephesians 3:19).

Prayer:
Father God, You never, ever leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8; Hebrews 13:5). We have faith in Your faithfulness. We rely on You and relinquish to You our worries, fears and insecurities (Matthew 6:25-34). Your love provides us with safety in the storms of life, as well as the provision we need in order to walk in our new life on this earth. Help us to glorify You on this earth just like Jesus did (John 17:4).

Thought for the Day:
Love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, meekness, self-control and faith are not dependent upon our circumstances or our feelings or even our health, but only on the Holy Spirit within us in our new life.

My Soul Thirsts for God

Prayer is our method of communication with God. We pray in one of two ways: monologues or dialogues. A monologue prayer is one-sided. We recite a litany of needs and tell God what we want and how He should provide it. We even give Him the game plan that we think is His best alternative. Of course, a dialogue is two-sided, and we are quiet long enough to hear from God.

God calls us to be still and to know that He is our Almighty God (Psalm 46:10). His words to us never contradict His words in the Bible. If we think we hear from God, and it is contrary to His Biblical words, then we know that Satan, the counterfeit, is trying to lead us away from God’s Truth. God’s sheep know His voice; and the more we listen, the more we recognize that He is speaking to us (John 10:27-33).

Have you ever been very, very thirsty? You mowed the lawn or cleaned all the windows or walked for several miles in the heat and your body is crying out for water. As we mature spiritually, our soul – our thoughts, choices and emotions – comes to this same place of thirsting for God (Psalm 42:1-2). The soul of a spiritual Saint is consumed with longing for more intimacy with God (Psalm 119:20).

We want all of our being to be filled with all of the fullness of God, to have the richest measure of His presence and to become a person entirely filled with God (Ephesians 3:19). Our soul yearns for God, even as we sleep; and our spirit seeks more intimacy with Him both day and night (Isaiah 26:9). Our body and soul ache for Him and cry out for our living God (Psalm 84:2).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that intimacy infers honesty. We cannot have a personal union with You without an agreement to completely expose our life to Your Holy Spirit. We cannot hide anything from You, because You already know everything about us (Jeremiah 1:5; Psalm 139:13). Thank you that Jesus invites those of us who thirst after Him to come to His living water. Even those with nothing to offer to Him are welcome (Isaiah 55:1), and He freely gives us all things (Romans 8:32).

Thought for the Day:
Our intimate interludes with the Lord are our favorite times of the day.

Behavior Does Not Define Us

I used to think I was a bad girl, because I occasionally did bad things. It took me years to come to the realization that I am a good girl, even though I do bad things sometimes. I did not realize that I am a separate entity from my behavior. I thought that my behavior defined me. I tried to earn my goodness by my behavior; then, when I failed, I felt utterly lost and worthless.

On a glorious day in February of my 18th year of life, God made real to me the fact that He bought me by the blood of Jesus and redeemed me by His Son’s resurrection (1 Corinthians 6:20; 1 Peter 1:19). He came to live in me and He started the process of converting my carnal nature into the nature of Christ. He set my feet on high places (Psalm 18:33), and renewed my self-image to my true identity in Christ (1 Corinthians 6:17).

I am no longer burdened by the notion that I need to be perfect in order to be loved. Father God, who created me, and Jesus, my Brother, who laid down his life for me, both love me unconditionally. I am not a mere mortal, but I am empowered and indwelt by the Spirit of the Living God (2 Corinthians 3:18).

I am not the person that I was at 18. Over the successive years of my life, God freed me from the tyranny of self-effort (Ephesians 2:8-9). He taught me that I am not a bad person, but I simply do bad things now and again. He is faithful and just, and He always offers me forgiveness for my transgressions at the very moment I repent of them (1 John 1:9).

We never have to allow satanic influences to condescend, criticize or bully us into thinking that we are “less than” we should be. We are actually complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10). We are “more than” conquerors through Him, because He loves us (Romans 8:31-39). With Christ in us, we are lovable, interesting and sufficient individuals (Philippians 4:13) who are loved by the eternal King of the universe.

Prayer:
Father God, we thank You for redeeming us and making us special and unique individuals in Your Family. You give us victory each and every day (1 Corinthians 15:57). We continually walk in Your love and bask in Your fellowship. Thank You that Jesus also loves us and gave Himself up for us, as a sacrifice to atone for our sins (Ephesians 5:2).
Thank You too that we are the apple of Your eye (Zechariah 2:8; Psalm 17:8).

Thought for the Day:
We are crucified with Christ and our flesh no longer lives, because Christ lives in us and freed us from our sins by His blood. – Galatians 2:20; Revelation 1:5