Out of the Darkness

Photo of Pod of Dolphins

God calls us to come out of the darkness and into His glorious light (1 Peter 2:9). We see the truth better in the light, stumble less on our path in life, and have revelation from God illuminated to us in ways that are easy to understand. If we allow it to, His presence permeates our life.

When we find it hard to hear from God, we can lean closer, listen more intently, and enjoy His companionable silences. At times, we get too chatty, and we forget to hear from Him. We come away from our private time with the Lord feeling like something is missing.

This is because we did all the talking, and we forgot to listen. It takes perseverance to receive direction from Him in His timing; and sometimes, we get impatient or bored just sitting there in silence. The last time this happened to me, I asked the Lord why He was silent.

He told me that He loves “hanging out” with His Saints in intimate peace and quiet. Now, when He is quiet, I smile and start praising instead of chatting. He loves the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3). He has angels around His throne who praise Him day and night (Revelation 4:8). 

God does not ignore us, nor is He a distant and uninterested God. He cherishes every moment that we spend with Him. That is why God chose to abide within us, and to walk with us through every moment of our life. 

Our intimacy with our Daddy God grows as we realize the truth of this fact of His union with us. We stop taking Him for granted, or only seeking Him in a crisis, and we start enjoying His constant and consistent company throughout every day and night.

As we rearrange and modify our priorities and focus in life, we let go of our expectations and adopt a submissive attitude toward God’s Lordship in our life. We accept the pain along with the blessings that are hidden in every trial, because the pain propels us into the arms of God and enriches our union with Him (John 16:33).

Prayer:

Father God, remind us to stop seeking Your blessings, and to increase our desire to seek a deeper relationship with Your presence in our life. Our greatest blessing is our personal, intimate union with You. Jesus is our whole life (Colossians 3:3-4), and You are all that we need, now and throughout eternity. We delight in You, depend on You, and consult You before and during every endeavor that You plan for each moment of our day.

We love You with all of our being. Thank You for Your Body of Believers that stand with us in tribulation, encouraging us and praying for us to bear the burdens of this earthly existence. We trust in Your Word and find direction, comfort, inspiration, wisdom and strength from what we read and meditate on throughout the day. Thank You for Your love and provision for us.

Thought for the Day:

God is close to us – abiding in our spirit, transforming our soul and healing our body; He answers our prayers as we call out to Him, cling to Him, and consult Him each moment of our day; we trust Him with every concern, because He cares for us in all of our ways.

  • 1 John 3:1

Putting Doubts to Rest

Scenic View of Landscape Against Sky

Doubts hinder our walk with the Lord. They debilitate us sometimes, limiting our faith, and narrowing our belief in God’s ability to effectively guide us through the troubled waters we are facing. When we have doubts, we can dissect them one at a time.

What are we afraid of? What are we expecting to happen? What loss are we anticipating? Why can’t we trust God in this situation? Why do we think that fretting about it will help the situation? God is faithful, so why are we worrying and struggling to maintain control? 

God has plans for us that lead us into higher and deeper intimacy with Him. Doubt puts the brakes on our journey, and it causes us to miss out on God’s blessings. Living in the center of His will for us is the happiest place on earth.

God often blesses us in spite of our doubts, but it grieves Him (Matthew 8:26). He wants us to walk in obedience and to totally trust in Him with our whole heart (Proverbs 3:5-6). As long as doubt takes up room in our heart, we are not trusting Him with all of our heart.

It is only as we lean on our own human reasoning and understanding that doubt can enter our soul. Unanswered prayers are not a lack of faith, but the result of our doubt that God cares for us, that He is personally invested in our life, and that He wants to bless us.

Sometimes, what we want is not good for us (James 4:3). God will not grant these desires, because He has better plans in store for us (Jeremiah 29:11). If we take a few deep breaths and relax, waiting on His provision, we will be wonderfully surprised that His provision is infinitely better than we ever imagined (Ephesians 3:20). 

Prayer:

Father God, You inspire in us a faith in Your faithfulness. We do not want to attempt to control life, because that is impossible, and just wastes our time and energy as we end up “spinning our wheels” and getting nowhere. You know exactly what we need, and You will supply it exactly when we need it. If we do not have what we want or think that we need, it is because You have better plans in store for us (Jeremiah 29:11).

At times, You give us what we want, and we end up detrimentally reaping what we sow. These struggles of our own making teach us to trust in Your plans for us. Help us to hope in You, rather than to trust in our human resources. Teach us to consult You before we do anything, and to realize that Christ really is our whole life (Colossians 3:3-4). We praise You for Your provision for us in all things.

Thought for the Day:

We stand against the whiles of the devil, by first drawing close to God, then resisting Satan, and he has to flee from us; God has plans for us that include exactly what we need, so we can take deep breaths, relax and trust in our Savior with our whole heart.

  • James 4:7; Psalm 37:3

A Time to Wait

Red and White Petaled Flowers

We are so busy nowadays, that it is hard to wait. Often, we have to wait in a doctor’s office, the grocery line, the gas station, the traffic light, the lunch line, etc. It is hard to wait on God too. We want instantaneous answers to our prayers for people, places, things, healing, etc. Yet, God has His own timetable.

We often think that if we pray, God has to answer our prayers immediately. If he is not on our schedule, and if He is not interested in answering our prayers in the way that we expect Him too, we think that He does not care, or maybe that we do not have enough faith.

This is not the case at all. God does things in His own timing and way, and many times that requires that we wait on Him. Solomon learned through His years of walking with the Lord, that there is a season in life for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1). 

Delays often happen in order to put us in the right place at the right time for God’s Divine Appointments in our life. God opens and closes doors at the appropriate time to lead us according to His will and timing. He may also give us wisdom that leads us to a different door.

Or God’s Spirit may direct us in the way that we should go. God loves us and made plans for us before we were even born (Ephesians 2:10; Psalm 139). Once we surrender our life to Him, He fills us with His peace, joy, hope and purpose for our life. He does this one moment at a time.

Life throws us curve balls every so often. Some are easy to work with, and others almost knock us over. God cares about us, and He orchestrates the outcome of every one of them for us. Our soul clings to Him through every trial, and He holds us up in His righteous right hand (Psalm 63:8). 

Prayer:

Father God, teach us to trust You with every facet of our life on this earth. We so look forward to spending eternity with You; and at times, we’d like to fly up to You at the earliest possible moment. We know that You have Your perfect timing for everything, however; and for now, we live to do Your will on earth (Philippians 1:21).  

We are the branches, and Jesus is our Vine. Remind us that our only job is to patiently hang-out on the Vine, to allow the sap of Your Spirit to work in and through us, and to watch as Your fruit blossoms from our life. We want to bear much fruit for Your glory now and throughout eternity (Galatians 5:22-23). 

Thought for the Day:

God blesses our life as we cling to Him, follow the direction of His Spirit, and obey His every Word; when we patiently wait for Him and seek His will for our life, we remain in the Trinity of God and abide in Him, and Him in us, as He works out everything for our ultimate good, no matter how horrible it starts out or what we fear the outcome will be. 

-Lamentation 3:25

The Will of God

Pink Cluster Petaled Flower

What kind of personality do you possess? Are you a glass half empty sort of person, or a glass half full? Do you encourage others when they do something good, or do you overlook the good, and major on the minors by discouraging them when they disappoint you?

The will of God for us is to give thanks in every situation (1 Thessalonians 5:18). When we stop looking for what was not done, and we start thanking people for the efforts that they do make, they will be encouraged and make more of an attempt to repeat the activity for which we gave them praise.

With Jesus as our focus, our life also becomes one of praise to our God. We live in Jesus, our faith is established in Him, we are grounded in Him, and our roots are firmly planted in Him (Colossians 2:6-7). Even during negative trials, we give thanks to God for everything, knowing that He has our best interest at heart (Ephesians 5:20).

When Jesus was praying in the garden, just before Judas’ kiss, He felt so much anguish that He requested that God choose another way to pay the penalty for the generations of sins that He was about to take upon Himself; yet, He willingly carried out our Father’s plan. 

Jesus trusted in God’s wisdom and focused on the glory that awaited Him in eternity (Hebrews 12:2), rather than stressing out over the horrendous trial into which He was about to enter. He gave thanks to God for using Him to save those who would trust in Him for their redemption (John 17:9,15).

As we focus on staying alert to the will of God for us, and to praying without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), we live in gratitude for who He is, what He does for us, and for our opportunity to spend eternity with Him. The will of God for us is to give thanks in everything (Psalm 34:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Colossians 4:2).

Prayer:

Father God, teach us not to worry about anything, but to put our trust completely in Your goodness and faithfulness to all of Your Saints. Help us to come to You throughout our day for Your guidance and provision as we make our requests known to You (Philippians 4:6; Proverbs 3:5-6). We know from Your Word and by our experiences with You, that You will never abandon or neglect us (Hebrews 13:5).

We realize that Your will for us revolves around gratitude in our heart toward You, but it also includes a walk of holiness (1 Thessalonians 4:3), which will silence the ignorance of foolish people who refuse to put their faith in You (1 Peter 2:15). Help us not to live our life on this earth by chasing after worldly gain, treasure, admiration and lusts, but by pursuing Your will for our life (1 Peter 4:2).

Thought for the Day:

Whatever we do in our thoughts, words and actions, we do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ; and by Him, through Him and in Him, we give continual thanks and praise to our Father God, who loved us enough to plan for Jesus to pay our sin-debt before the world was ever created.

  • 1 Peter 1:20; 2 Timothy 1:9; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17 

Higher than the Heavens

Cloudy Skies

God is amazing enough to hold the entire universe in the palm of His hands (Ecclesiastes 18:3). He cares so much for us that He intervenes in the smallest of details, and bids us to fully surrender to His will, and to completely trust in His love. He brings us peace through every anxious moment. 

We can draw near to Him and trust Him whenever we are afraid (Psalm 56:3). He gives us His peace, wisdom and courage to trust in His mercy and grace regardless of what we experience. In our times of uncertainty, He gives us confidence and direction that is perfect for every situation.

As we humble our self, admit that we need Him, and relinquish our cares to Him, He pours out to us His abundant blessings even in the midst of our trials. We can truly trust in Him, because He proves His faithfulness to us on every occasion. 

With a steadfast soul, we can continually sing and make music in our heart to the Lord (Psalm 108:1-2). We awaken our soul by reading His Word and reminding our self of His dependability throughout our entire life – even when we did not live for Him. 

God loves the whole world and does not want anyone to perish either now or in eternal damnation (2 Peter 3:8-10). Yet, it is our choice to make (John 3:18). He gives us a free will to decide for our self if we will believe in Him, or in the disparaging words of the disillusioned in this world who attempt to draw us away from our Heavenly Father (1 Timothy 1:4; 2 Timothy 4:4). 

God calls us to praise Him among the nations, and in the midst of all the people of the world. In this world of technological advances, we can do this from the comfort of our living room recliner through the internet. Using a free blog, we can document the miracles that God plants for us in all of our trials.

Then, those whom He leads to read our journaling, will discover a link between us and their own life, and God can draw them to Himself by our witness to the world. Their own pride and rebellion are the only things that will keep them from trusting in God’s goodness for themselves (Psalm 108:3-4).

Prayer:
Father God, we want to live as a beacon of light, set upon a hill; not hidden under a basket of cares, busyness and fears, but empowered by Your Spirit and Truth (Matthew 5:14-16). Your love for us is higher than the heavens and Your faithfulness exceeds the skies. We applaud you, Blessed Lord, and pray that You are exalted over all the earth, as Your glory fills our life (Psalm 108:5).

Thank You for loving us, saving us, providing for us, redeeming us and delivering us from this degrading world of sin, shame and brokenness. We no longer depend on humanity for our help, satisfaction, happiness, provision or care, because people are flawed and let us down so often. However, in Your constant care, we gain the victory, contentment and fulfillment that we so need and desire (Psalm 108:12-13).

Thought for the Day:

We can determine in our heart to trust God completely, celebrate with Him the victory that He gives us through every circumstance, bask in His unconditional love, draw our strength from His salvation, revel in His faithfulness that knows no end, honor Him with our praise and devotion, and walk in His victory every day of our life.

A Good Marriage – Three Aspects of Love

Photo Of Deer On Snow

Love has several facets, and each one is purposeful and fulfilling. However, having one aspect without the other makes love lopsided and unbalance. Complete love is very enjoyable and lasting, and it is available to every adopted child of God.

Philia Love

The trait of love that is most commonly felt is Philia love. This is the affection that we feel towards many different types of relationships. It includes our family, special friends, close neighbors, particular workmates, church family, the community in which we live, our country, etc.

Philia is a loyal love, a deep love driven by commitment and common interests and activities. We share our successes, overlook each other’s faults, and help one another to bear our burdens. We pray, play, laugh and cry together. 

Eros Love

Of course, Eros, or physical and passionate love, includes sensual desires and longing. It is also vital in a marriage. Having this type of love outside of marriage lacks the meaning and commitment needed to sustain it.

Agape Love

Agape love is unconditional love, and it mirrors the type of love that God has for His family. It is a deep sense of sacrificial love that goes beyond the physical and friendship love described above (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). 

True love includes these three aspects and needs constant attention and nurturing. At times, Agape love is the only type of love we can rely on in a relationship, because we wound or disappoint each other in so many ways. 

Seeking God together, eradicating our expectations of one another, accepting each other just as we are, showing compassion for our mate, preferring each other, finding a third option in decision-making rather than insisting on our own way, and walking in the Spirit all insure our loving marriage. 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to nurture our love between our self and our spouse to include friendship, passion and unconditional love. As we submit to Your will for our life, and as we reprogram our carnal expectations with the mind of Christ, we feel physical, emotional and mental love for our spouse. 

Teach us how to resist Satan’s lies that someone else will make us happier than our spouse (James 4:7). We want our marriage to have the same characteristics as Your love for Your Bride, the Church. Help us to love our mate as we love our self, to spend the time and effort needed to nurture our love for one another, and to live as an example to others of the true meaning of love.

Thought for the Day:

A marriage including Agape, Eros and Philia love is lasting and sincere; the feelings of Eros and Philia may come and go throughout our relationship, but Agape lasts forever.

– 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Facing the Future

Scenic View Of Mountain

When we pay attention to all that God does for us throughout our day, we find our soul overflowing with love and gratitude to Him. We rejoice in Him, His provision, His peace and His joy that He showers us with each moment of our day. He is our source of rejoicing.

The Trinity of God is available to us every moment of the day, because God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit abides within us. He provides everything for us exactly when we need it – in His perfect timing and will. 

Each day is a new surprise, as we put our trust in Him with every hurdle we come up against. Thanks to God’s Spirit, we have fathomless riches because of who He is and what He does for us each day. This is all possible only because of what Jesus, the Son, did for us on Calvary’s cross. 

Once we totally surrender to our Father’s love, our supply of His blessings is instant and eternal. Jesus is our Good Shepherd. Our Father God intimately knows us, because He knitted us together in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139). 

We recognize the Holy Spirit’s voice, He leads us, and we follow (John 10:4). God’s Trinity goes before us, to ward off any approaching enemy, and we feel protected and secure in His love (Psalm 27:1-3). He makes a way for us over every towering mountain pass, flooded creek, and even the darkest valley (Psalm 23). 

God makes the crooked places straight for us (Isaiah 45:2), He knows ahead of time all of the events of our tomorrows, and He keeps us close to Him (Proverbs 18:24). We even slumber and sleep in His eternal peace. He provides all of our needs.

Since God knows what lies ahead of us, we thrive in His mercy, truth, and grace through every circumstance that we face. He heals us in body and soul and spirit, reduces the pain of our trials, and uses us as a testimony of His grace and provision (Philippians 4:19).

Prayer:

Father God, it is a comfort to know that we are not a nameless entity who drifts around in this stress-filled life until the day that we die. We are not strangers in the throng of humanity surrounding us, but we are known by You, provided for by You, saved by Your grace, and we will spend eternity in Your service. In the center of Your love, even death is not our enemy, because Jesus overcame death and He abides within us (1 Corinthians 15:19-23).

Thank You for walking with us and in us, during every step of our life on this earth. You are our Helper, Hope and Expectation. We need You to care for us each moment of the day, and we thank You for all You have done for us, in us, and will do for us in our future. We have the confidence to face whatever the future holds for us, because You are working our Your purposes for our life. We look forward to worshipping You, with the angels around Your throne (Revelation 7:11), for all of eternity.

Thought for the Day:

We do not know what the future holds for us, but we do know who holds us in our future; He knows the number of hairs on our head, He rejoices over us with singing, and He allows us to come boldly to His throne in our every moment of need. 

  • Luke 12:7; Zephaniah 3:17; Hebrews 4:16

Resolving Negative Emotions

Photo of Pink Roses in Vase

Negative emotions usually mean that we are ignoring some part of our spirit, soul or body that needs our attention. Maybe we failed to protect our self from some clueless person who inadvertently wounded our soul, maybe we are hungry and were too busy caring for others to take care of our own needs. 

Or maybe we filled our hours with duties and responsibilities and took no time to be in nature, or to do something that we consider to be wholesome fun. In this instance, listening to music, or creating with art, woodwork, technology, mechanics, needlework, music, etc. may help to resolve our negative feelings and to restore our positive feelings.

Journaling our feelings each day will show us patterns of thoughts that are fueling our feelings, and our behavior that they cause. Reading in our journal about the negative thoughts, which are affecting us, will give us an understanding of what is causing our issues at this time in our life.

When we receive understanding, then resolution and freedom from the tyranny of our past or our current concerns occurs. As we spend time alone with God over each troubling thought, He will help us to see His Truth about the problems bothering us; His truth is not imparted to us mind-to-mind, but by His Spirit to our spirit.

Merely distracting our self from our feelings is a temporary fix, but it does not deal with the underlying issues that need resolution in order to bring a total change to our emotions – from negative back to positive. Dealing with the underlying cause will change our thoughts and emotions, and our behavior follows suit. ( https://www.transformationprayer.org/preparing-journey-introduction/ )

When God imparts His wisdom and Truth to our soul, and we follow His directives to settle the concerns bothering us, we are set free indeed (John 8:36). He helps us to see what triggers our thoughts, emotions and behavior, and how to heal our wounded soul.

Prayer:

Father God, help us to see that negative emotions have adverse consequences on our spirit, soul and body. You gave them to us to signal our dismay and grief in some part of the intricate system You created as our human disposition. Give us Your wisdom on how to resolve the difficulty in each situation that we experience, which will help us to find answers for future causes as well. 

You know us better than any living being, and You want what is best for each of us. You often use adversity and trials to allow patience to have its perfect work in us (James 1:4), and to increase our trust in You. Show us where our disturbing thoughts come from, and how to settle these issues by discovering their root and origin. We know You love us, and we love You best and foremost.

Thought for the Day:

Our thoughts cause our mood to waffle back and forth between a positive and negative mindset; however, God’s Word gives us a thread of advice on this topic that is a sure way to filter our thoughts: to meditate only about what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely admirable, excellent, and worthy of praise.

– Philippians 4:8

Communicating with God

Pink Rose

God not only gave us physical ears, but when we come to Christ for salvation, He gives us spiritual ears as well. When we use our spiritual ears, we are better able to understand spiritual concepts, to hear His Spirit’s direction, and to flourish in our Christian walk.

Those who carefully listen will end up obeying our Lord and Master. We have ears to hear Biblical truth, and we have a heart ready to walk in His precepts. Spiritual indifference occurs when we tune out the voice of God’s Spirit, and we turn a “deaf” ear to His directives.

An intimate union with the Trinity of God enables us to change in increments – from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). He transforms us from a disappointing child and a discouraged carnal believer to an authentic Born Again Believer. We are in tune to every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). 

When we consider who God is, and what He has done for us in our personal life, our soul is filled with joy. We live in righteousness through our full devotion to His will for us, through our focus on what He means to us, and by seeking His voice each moment of our day. 

We find fulfillment, peace and joy that exceeds anything this world has to offer (Deuteronomy 7:12). The alternative is to forget to consult the Lord, to pursue worldly gain, and to erect carnal idols that we construct from our own personal worldview and goals, which we end up worshipping.

We miss out on the glorious riches that God has prepared for us, because we are not devoted to the One True God – Jesus Christ, who deserves all of our love and devotion. He is the Creator of all things, and He sustains all things by the power of His Word (Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:3).

Prayer:

Father God, open our spiritual ears to hear what Your Spirit is saying to us. We do not want to see and hear and discern by our natural humanity, but only by the leading of Your Spirit. We want to walk in Your ways for our life and thus fulfill Your desires for our world (Ephesians 2:10). We long for more intimacy with Your Trinity within us, because we know that only Your direction is in Your perfect will for us. 

We can actually experience the fulfilled life that we crave in our inner being as our soul longs after You, like the deer pants for water from the brook (Psalm 42:1-2). Your laws protect us, keep us healthy and safe, and prevent us from reaping the ill effects of the humanistic choices that we would otherwise sow. We prove our love for you by keeping Your commandments (John 14:15, 21), and You deliver us from evil as You watch over us each moment of our life (Matthew 6:13).

Thought for the Day:

We are wise when we constrain the cacophony of noise and distractions of the world around us, and we prevent them from diverting our walk with the Lord, and limiting our ability to hear from God, who is always able to care for us. 

  • 1 Peter 5:7

God’s Heart is Our Home

Clouds

In this world, which often frightens us, we have a hard time feeling safe, secure, peaceful and free from worries on all sorts of topics. We try to remain positive, but Satan fills our mind with negative anxieties, in hopes of debilitating us and ending our fruitfulness for God’s Kingdom.

Fear is a potent emotional response to an imagined or very real threat. It intensely effects our spirit, soul and body. God intended fear to protect us by motivating us to use caution, and to accelerate our adrenalin for a jolt of energy during emergency situations.

A problem arises with fear when it sidetracks our thoughts and controls our life. This may cause a lack of appetite, sleep, concentration, vocational success or social life, educational opportunities, or our enjoyment of life. It may also affect our health and mental wellbeing.

We may fear natural disasters, health pandemics, hidden tumors in our body, failure of the function of some bodily function, etc. There are other issues such as public speaking, taking a test, asking someone out on a date, our child’s participation in some potentially dangerous activity, etc.

Fear, anxiety, worry and other negative emotions cause us to take shallow breaths, our heart rate to increase, acid to sour our stomach, perspiration to break out on our body, our muscles to tense or to weaken, our imagination to run wild, our mood to darken, sleep to escape us, etc.

The remedy for fear is multifaceted. We start by identifying our fear, what is causing it, and sorting out the problems contributing to this emotion. We dissect these issues and look for a resolution for them. If we cannot resolve the problems, we can make a commitment to go ahead with what God’s Spirit is leading us to do, even if we are afraid. 

God’s heart is our home. He will strengthen us to do His will, and He will hold us up with His strong hand of righteousness (Isaiah 41:10). He will come to us in our plight to see us through every trial. With the Trinity of God abiding within us, we have the victory.

Therefore, we can be strong and reject fear (Isaiah 35:4, 43:1; Joshua 1:9; Psalm 34:4). Jesus left us His peace that surpasses anything this world has to offer to us (John 14:27; Matthew 6:34). God calms our emotions, gives us clarity in our thoughts, leads us by His Spirit, and comfort us with His Word

Prayer:

Father God, we live in a mixed up and chaotic culture right now, with threats all around us; yet, we have no need to be afraid, to worry, or to allow anxiety to overwhelm us, because You are with us and in us, wherever we go (Joshua 1:9; Isaiah 41:10). Thank You for giving us Your power, love, and stable mind to strengthen us during frightful circumstances (2 Timothy 1:7). 

We want to enter Your rest now and to abide there always (Hebrews 4:10). We give You our individual struggles and challenges, and we seek Your wisdom on how to navigate them successfully. Thank You for showering us with love, joy, peace, patience, comfort and wisdom during our troubling times (Galatians 5:22-23). We trust in You with our whole heart. 

Thought for the Day:

The Lord is our light, salvation, and stronghold, and we can put all of our anxieties into His faithful care; therefore, neither life, death, angels, demons, supernatural powers, current or future trials, or any other created presence can separate us from God’s love in Christ; so we have no need to fear anything that life on this planet can do to us.

  • 1 Peter 5:6-7; Romans 8:38-39; Psalm 27:1