My Hiding Place

 

Most people have a Happy Place. That one place on earth that makes them feel free, happy and safe. A place in nature, the mall, at home, a favorite restaurant, the back pew at the church facilities, etc.

 

Destruction can come to these natural places, however. They are illusive at best. Contrarily, if we find our Happy Place in the presence of God, it will never be destroyed. It goes with us wherever we go and no one can take it away from us.

 

Our Hiding Place in God preserves us from trouble. God comforts us with songs of deliverance in our spirit (Psalm 32:7). He keeps us safe as our shield, as we hope in His Word (Psalm 119:114).

 

His presence is a shelter and shade from the struggles and stresses which parch us, and a refuge from the storms of life (Isaiah 4:6). God shelters us from the tempests and gives us the refreshment of the waterfalls of His love and contentment during dry spells (Isaiah 32:2).

 

When disasters destroy our habitat and water floods our natural hiding place, He offers us the plumb line of righteousness and the measuring stick of His justice to help us to rebuild on the foundation of Christ in our life (Isaiah 28:17).

 

We hope in the promises of His Word and wait on His instructions when darkness surrounds us on every side (Psalm 18:11, 119:114). His presence provides us with a constant secluded place to keep us safe (1 Samuel 19:2).

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us that Satan will hide as a lion in his lair in order to catch the afflicted, many of whom he wounded from his constant assaults on their life (Psalm 10:9). He lies to us and we believe his corruption. Yet, You provide us with a hiding place from the destroyer (Isaiah 16:4).

 

At times, You will even use people to present us with a hiding place from life’s discouragements and insecurity (Deuteronomy 32:38). Yet, more often than not, if we look to the natural world, we trust in a lie for our safety and wellbeing (Isaiah 28:15). Keep us ever mindful of Your love, surround us with Your angels, and shower us with your blessings in the midst of this dry and desert land.

 

Thought for the Day:

If we hide the light of Christ within us, we fail to shine His saving grace to the world around us; so let us represent a city on a hill with a promise of a true and secure Hiding Place, as we offer solace to those God brings into our life (Luke 11:33).

 

 

 

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Meekness and Grace

God’s Spirit slowly transforms our life in Christ from one stage of glory to the next until we have the mind, character and nature of Christ in us (Romans 1:1, 6:18).

 

We are no longer slaves to the negative attributes of our human personality, but we are free indeed (John 8:36). We grow in meekness and grace in order to live in total surrender to the loving hands of the Master Potter (Isaiah 64:8).

 

God’s Spirit teaches us to draw near to God and to resist Satan’s temptations, so that he has to flee from us (James 4:7). We no longer live as slaves to sin, dancing to the beat of Satan’s tune.

 

We are free to live in Jesus’ holiness and righteousness, which He exchanged with us for our sin (2 Corinthians 5:17). We no longer live in habitual sin (1 John 3:9), because Christ poured out His love for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8).

 

God reconciled us to Himself through Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary’s cross (Colossians 1:20). He molds us into a spotless Bride for His Son. We end up as a glorious Bride without any blemish or wrinkle (Ephesians 5:27).

 

As we maintain our daily focus on Christ, He authors and completes our salvation in spirit, soul and eventually in body (Hebrews 12:2; James 1:4). We live in union with Christ and we purpose to further God’s Kingdom in the earth (Luke 2:49).

 

Like Jesus, we can do nothing from our own strength, wisdom or resources. We need our Father, our Savior and their Spirit. We are one with them now and throughout eternity (John 5:19, 10:30).

 

Prayer:

Father God, Jesus has Your mind and through His presence within us, we share Your mind as well (1 Corinthians 2:16). Our union with You increases and deepens as we keep our mind on You (Isaiah 26:3). Help us to repent of our dependence on our human wisdom and understanding, which limits our usefulness in Your Kingdom.

 

We want to walk away from our humanity, including our goals and good works, and embrace Your divinity within us. Teach us to follow Your Spirit as He guides us through every step of our day until we learn to acknowledge You in all of our ways (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

Thought for the Day:

We can learn to fellowship with the Trinity and to listen to God’s Spirit within us as we put on the mind of Christ and accomplish His will for each moment of our life.

 

The Buzzard Within

While sitting outside at a Veteran’s Day celebration, we all glanced skyward to view the Sheriff Department’s fly-over. In the thrill of this meaningful moment, I also noticed a majestic kettle of vultures.

 

Their wings spanned forty-eight inches and never flapped, as they soared on invisible wind currents. One of these birds nose-dived to the earth and landed within a few feet of me.

 

Once I recovered from the shock of his sudden close proximity to my chair, I realized that what I always thought was a beautiful, agile bird of prey actually had an awkward and grotesquely revolting appearance.

 

This reminded me of our unsaved heart. We disguise our disfigured soul within us with an outward coat of cosmetics and brightly colored clothing. Yet, we remain nothing more than whitewashed tombs (Matthew 23:27-28).

 

The good news is that Christ died to make us a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). Our spirit is washed anew in the blood of the Lamb of God (Revelation 22:14). Through His sanctifying work, God’s Spirit makes our soul beautiful in His timing and way (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

 

On this earth, God’s Spirit crucifies our soul and frees us from slavery to sin. He makes us holy and frees us from the bondage and destruction, through which sin hinders and overwhelms us.

 

He unites us with Christ through the new birth and provides us with the blessings and promises of eternity both in this life and the next. He frees us from dwelling on our past or fearing the future (Isaiah 43:18).

 

In heaven, He will glorify our body by giving us an immortal existence with Him forever. We look forward to a body free of age-related issues, illness and fatigue.

 

We look forward to continuing to live in God’s presence, adding the physical existence to our soul and spirit’s enjoyment of His presence now. Our salvation will be complete in body, as well as in spirit and soul, and we will dwell with Him for eternity.

 

Prayer:

Father God, we live in Christ with Christ in us, and death has no more mastery over us. We also die to sin and live for You. Then in eternity, You glorify our body and provide us with immortality for our body, as well as our spirit and soul (Romans 6:4-11).

 

Thank You for forgetting who we used to be and giving us a new identity in Christ (Isaiah 65:17). You give us a new heart and put Your Spirit within us (Ezekiel 36:26). We rejoice at the thought of seeing Your Kingdom in all of its glory, since we are born by the blood of Your unblemished Lamb (John 3:3).

 

Thought for the Day:

God buries our old, carnal nature in Christ by baptizing us into His death; then He sanctifies us through one stage of glory to another and gives us a new, resurrected life.

 

 

Hope for our Future

Basking in the life, the presence and the Word of God are essential for the authentic Believer’s well-being. Our body and soul cry out for our living God (Psalm 84:2).

 

God’s presence is the only commodity, which will satisfy our longing and fill our hungry soul – our thoughts, choices and emotions (Psalm 107:9).

 

People fail to devote their whole life and soul to God for many reasons, including living in the whirlwind of vocation, pleasure, family issues, material possessions, etc.  Some are even riddled with doubt, debt and cynicism.

 

These are all modern idols and false gods. When we serve false gods, God sends plagues of all types in order to get our attention; yet, we often harden our heart all the more.

 

We view trials as punishment, rather than the Surgeon’s skilled knife which brings repentance of sin and complete healing to areas of our life where Satan lied to us.

 

God desires to fulfill His glorious promises in us, which are full of mercy, grace and truth. His plans bring us prosperity rather than punishment, and they give us a hopeful future (Jeremiah 29:10-11).

 

However, we must first return to our first love, to pray for forgiveness for our sins and to call on Him. Then, He will listen to us. When we seek Him with our whole body, soul and spirit, we will always find Him (Jeremiah 29:12-13).

 

In God’s everlasting arms, we enter His rest because He provides us with hope for our future, security for our spirit and peace for our soul. There is always hope in the Lord.

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for allow us to rest in Your everlasting embrace. You provide us with Your peace as we walk in Your Spirit, guidance as we consult You each moment of the day, and joy as we abide in Your presence within us. You restored us to Yourself and we glorify Your name and love You with all of our heart.

 

We live our life in worship to You, seeking first Your Kingdom rather than building our own kingdom (Matthew 6:33). We consult You in all of our ways and we want to do only Your will for our life. We make You our top priority in life and we diligently seek You in times of peace and turmoil alike.

 

Thought for the Day:

God never promises us a struggle free life; in fact, He made it clear that we would experience many trials and tribulation; yet, He always gives us His peace, which helps us to stay focused on Him rather than to depend on our own human understanding. – John 16:33; Philippians 4:7

 

Authentic Worshipers

 

God is looking for authentic worshipers who will live for Him by His Spirit and in His Truth (John 4:23). He wants to raise up an army united in Christ, not a bunch of Lone Rangers doing their own thing.

 

As we allow the nature of Christ in us to infiltrate every area of our life, we decrease so that He may increase (John 3:30). We serve God by His Spirit moving within us and through us (Philippians 2:12-13; Act 17:28).

 

When we come to truly understand that we are dead, and that our life is now hidden with Christ in God, we live in God’s power, which works in and through us (Colossians 3:3; Galatians 2:20).

 

God will use our body, soul and spirit by His Spirit to work in the lives of people we encounter each day. He will give us His words to speak to them that we cannot possibly know in our human capacity.

 

This opens doors for us to witness to people and to bring Christ into their life, so that He can change their heart, lives and circumstances for their good.

 

We put no confidence in our fleshly abilities; and we do not boast in our own accomplishments, because we achieve all things through Christ in us (Philippians 3:3; 2:12-13).

 

Sinful mankind, who are lost in pride, arrogance and the exploitation of others, consider their own needs more frequently than anyone else’s (Romans 12:3). However, God brings everyone down to the same level through the grave (Isaiah 14:15).

 

Our eternal destination is determined by our earthly beliefs. If we live for self, we reap corruption; if we live for Christ, we reap eternal life and serve God as Authentic Believers (John 3:16-18).

 

Prayer:

Father God, it is not difficult to sustain a constant relationship with You as our living Lord. Every moment of our day is authentic worship to You. Living with honor and respect for You gives us a secure life with protection from lasting harm (Proverbs 19:23). Even negative circumstances turn around for our good (Romans 8:28).

 

You give us everything we need to live in contentment through a genuine Godly life (1 Timothy 6:6). You are our strength and shield. We trust in You with all of our heart. You fill our soul so full of joy that we spontaneously burst forth into songs of praise and thanksgiving to You (Psalm 28:7).

 

Thought for the Day:
Christ in us gives us joy in tribulation (Romans 5:3), hope in devastating trials and loss (Romans 15:13) and a bright vision for our future (Jeremiah 29:11).

 

The Battle is the Lord’s

In a war, the soldiers sometimes surrender a battle but sometimes they actually surrender the whole war. Spiritual warfare is very similar to a physical battle.

 

If we surrender in a battle, we live to fight another day. If we surrender the war, we leave the outcome to a higher power. God is our Higher Power, and He desires that we completely surrender our life, love and will to Him.

 

Our Father knows best, and He wants only the best for us. He will never leave or forsake us, and He provides for our every need as we trust exclusively in His provision and care (Hebrews 13:5; 1 Peter 5:7).

 

The alternative is to fight the war from our own strength. This predictably ends in us suffering from battle fatigue with no more strategy to win the war.

 

Even if we surrender temporarily, with aspirations to return to the war in our own strength once we recoup, we end up right back where we are now…exhausted, discouraged and feeling overwhelmed.

 

We must come to the end of our self at some point in our life and totally surrender to God every thought, word and deed – led by His Spirit in everything we think, say and do.

 

We accomplish so much more with our remaining life than we ever did during all of the years on our own recognizance. We waste so much time when we live life our way instead of God’s (Ephesians 2:20).

 

Yet, if we completely surrender all of our life to God at a young age, and walk only by His Spirit with ceaseless prayer, we are so much more effective in furthering the Kingdom of God in the earth with better health, a more mature spirit and a fulfilled soul.

 

It is never too late to surrender, however, no matter how old we are. Sometimes, it takes us a while to learn to “let go and let God”. The point is to totally surrender every battle to the Lord and we will eventually win the war as well.

 

Prayer:

Father remind us to trust only in You with our whole heart, not to rely on our human intuition or wisdom, to totally surrender to Your will and purpose for our life, and to allow You to direct every battle of the spiritual warfare in which we are embroiled (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

We cannot trust our heart or our mind to safely lead us (Jeremiah 17:9). Only in Christ do we have half a chance of making a lasting difference in this world (Philippians 4:13). You give us Your wisdom and Your Word, directed by Your Spirit with a failsafe battle plan every time (James 1:5; Psalm 119:105).

 

Thought for the Day:

True power and wisdom come from Christ in us, not from our own resources; so the wise will totally surrender to Him each moment of life and wait expectantly on Him alone. –  John 15:5; Psalm 46:10

 

Our Faithful God

Negative emotions are God’s red flags to alert us to some negative aspect in our life. Maybe we failed to obey the Lord and are now reaping the consequences of living outside of His will.

 

Possibly, we neglected our own needs or are taking things that other people say or do too personally. Maybe there is an unresolved conflict in our soul that is piggy backing on some current event.

 

Pray about the negative emotion. What are the words in your mind associated with that feeling? These are clues to the source of the problem. Then ask God to reveal His truth about the situation.

 

We may have erected an idol in our life and God is using the circumstances to dethrone it from its position. Surrendering the issue to the Lord, who cares about every aspect that affects our body our soul and spirit, will put things into a proper perspective.

 

As we trust God to work out these issues with His victory, He will give us His peace and joy in the midst of them. We relinquish our will to His and enjoy His many blessings.

 

God’s guidance always brings us inner peace, even if we do not like what we must do. With Christ in us, we experience true contentment all through the day (Philippians 4:12). We give thanks to God, even for the negative aspects we face, knowing that He will work out all of them for our good (1 Thessalonians 5:18; Romans 8:28).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You are our sanctuary and strength, our constant protector and provider, especially in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1). Due to Your dynamite power within us, we are no longer slaves to sin, but bondservants of the Living Lord (Romans 6:6; 2 Timothy 2:24).

 

Those who hurt us will fade like the grass and die away, because we trust in You (Psalm 37:1-5). Your promises protect our life (Psalm 119:50). You keep us in perfect peace as we keep our focus on You regardless of the people and circumstances around us (Isaiah 26:3).

 

Thought for the Day:

We rejoice in the Lord in the midst of our trials as we trust God’s faithfulness and obey the leading of His Spirit; we relinquish the need for human understanding and we acknowledge and accomplish His will for each moment throughout the day. – James 1:2; Proverbs 3:5-6