Without the Power of God

When God’s Spirit convicts us of the debauchery of our sin, it is easy to feel remorse and to say a prayer of repentance. Everyone “believes” in God in one way or another. Even the demons believe, and tremble in His presence (James 2:19).

 

Although many are convicted at some point in their life, few are authentically converted. They do not express a heart-felt contrition. They do not totally surrender their goals, dreams and plans to God’s will for their life.

 

It is impossible to feel God’s conviction, to pray a saving prayer, and to walk away from sin unless the power of God’s Spirit emboldens and inspires us (Philippians 2:12-13). Authentic salvation and conversion require that we receive the faith of the Son of God, who loves us and gave Himself for us (Ephesians 5:2; Galatians 2:20).

 

A hypocrite is an actor, an imposter, a phony. Most of us are hypocrites, living life in our own wisdom and understanding, playing at religion and putting on a holier-than-thou face in order to impress God and other people. God knows us; and people with discernment see right through us.

 

The way to discern that we are truly Born Again is to “try” the spirit to see if it is from God (1 John 4:1-5). Does the peace of God, which has nothing to do with our circumstances, rule in our heart (Colossians 3:15)?

 

Is the anger gone, that once consumed our soul; traded for the love of God for our self and for other people? Do we have joy in trying times and patience to withstand the test of time?

 

Do we pray about our choices before making them (Proverbs 3:5-6), or do we still march to the drum of Satan in our life? Do we crucify the deeds of the flesh or do we capitulate to them without resistance of any kind (Romans 7)?

 

God is waiting at the door of our heart, ready to come in and feast with us (Revelation 3:20). Are we ready to the open the door wide to Him now, or do we want Him to come back later once we had more time to wallow in sin and its degradation?

 

Prayer:

Father God, we can work out our own salvation with fear and trembling only because You give us both the will and the power to walk in Your ways, in Your timing and in Your truth (Philippians 2:12-13). Your Holy Spirit changes our life in increments (2 Corinthians 3:18); some are smaller segments while others are giant leaps of faith with remorse over our sin and a determination to obey Your Word.

 

We prove our love for You by our obedience (1 John 5:3). Walking in Your will is the happiest place on earth. Our good works actually prove that our faith is in You rather than in our self (James 2:18). You do not need our good works, but we need Your power and the faith of Your Son in order to accomplish good works for Your Kingdom (Galatians 2:20).

 

Thought for the Day:

We sell our self short by living half-heartedly for God, or for seeking His will only when our plans do not pay off, and we find our self in the middle of some traumatic trial; we can do nothing without the power and anointing of God in our life. – Romans 7:18; John 15:5

 

 

Victory and Sufficiency

When we view our life from the perspective of our responsibilities, world disasters, terrorist unrest, failing economy and relational issues with family, community and at work, our heart fails us for fear (Luke 21:26).

 

We prefer to stay in bed in the morning, hiding under the warmth and security of our covers. We want to roll over and continue to sleep like Rip van Winkle and wake up to a whole new world.

 

Our familiar companions throughout our day are fear, insecurity, doubt and trepidation. Our broken life and world tend to overwhelm us with hopelessness and doubt.

 

We have no guarantee that our greatest fear or the unexpected catastrophe will not catch us off guard and put us flat on our back or in the hole financially, emotionally or mentally.

 

Some of us rely on addictions to get us through the day. We adopt bad habits that relieve pressure on the surface, but actually compound our problems in the long run, because we end up reaping the negative aspects, which we sow.

 

We are too proud and stubborn and rebellious to turn to God and follow His will for our day. We think that we are safer when we remain in control, but this is merely a false illusion to which we cling.

 

Once we come to God for salvation and allow Him to hide us in the cleft of His Rock, Jesus Christ, the scales fall off our eyes. We clearly see the road to destruction which we formerly followed.

 

We are filled with His peace and joy overflowing from our spirit and soul as we trust God with our life (Isaiah 43:2). We sing His praises night and day.

 

As we increase our love and devotion to God, we grow spiritually and the false illusions of this world slip into proper perspective. We realize that as we hide our self through Christ in God, nothing which occurs can touch our life unless it is His will (Colossians 3:1-4).

 

We walk in unity with His Spirit and grow in our faith in His faithfulness. He gives us the strength, wisdom, provision and mercy we need to face each moment of the day in victory and sufficiency.

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us that we must uproot sin in our life without compromise or sympathy. These little foxes spoil the vine (Solomon 2:15) and prevent us from bearing fruit for You through our life. We cannot perfect our self (Galatians 3:1-3), but we can submit to Your Holy Spirit’s sanctifying work (Romans 8; Philippians 2:12-13).

 

Stir a hunger and passion in us to do only Your will with our life, and to dedicate our heart to Your Word and love. Remind us that you are not only in charge of our life, but of the entire world in which we live (Ezekiel 38:4). You have the ages and times in Your capable hands and we can have faith in Your faithfulness.

 

Thought for the Day:

God instructed Israel to complete destroy the nations currently inhabiting the land, which He gave them, because He knew their sin would infect Israel and pull their hearts away from Him and His truth; in the same way we rid our life of the sins which so easily hold us back. – Deuteronomy 7:22, 11:16; Hebrews 12:1

 

The Devil in the Details

It is the details of life, which often bog us down. Our priorities are sidetracked by the little demonic foxes that spoil the vineyard (Song of Solomon 2:15). They sway our thoughts and emotions until we lose our peace, fall out of God’s rest and end up drowning in stress.

 

The good things in life become the enemy of the best things. They demand our attention away from what is important. We fail to walk in God’s Spirit or perform His will for our day, because the details scream for our attention.

 

It is difficult to ignore those little nagging issues, which arise during the day and night. They are like a flashing neon sign that continually pull our focus back to them and away from God’s best for us.

 

We end up reaping physical illnesses, negative emotions in our soul and our spirit is malnourished from neglect. We feel like a failure and often start believing that we are hopeless. Yet, there is always hope in God.

 

Many details can be eliminated; for instance, immediately throw away that advertisement or catalog, which came in the mail; dust and vacuum once a week, and do not allow the gathering particles to bother you that collect in every corner and flat surface of the room until that day.

 

Separate the laundry in bins and only wash when the bin is full; wash dishes as you cook, so there is not a pile at the end of the meal; and, if necessary, allow yourself to leave the sink full of dishes and go to bed to get your needed rest for the next day.

 

Do not answer the telephone every time it rings – caller ID helps us to distinguish if our child needs our attention and everyone else can leave a message for us to hear at a more opportune time.

 

Make a grocery list and shop once a week or month or quarter, rather than running to the store every other day for some forgotten or needed item.

 

Making more little changes in the details of our home life, vocational activities and church ministries – as God gives us wisdom, changes our mindset and schedule.

 

We put our priorities in the proper order and we have more time for spiritual pursuits. Our life is more fulfilled and our spirit is nourished by our close intimacy with our Heavenly Daddy.

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for pointing out to us the areas where Satan uses the zillion details of the day to distract and discourage us. Give us Your wisdom to know how to organize and to make Your plans our priority. Help us to stay focused on the spiritual rather than on this earthly realm.

 

We want our day to start and finish in Your perfect will for us, accomplishing all that You called us to do at work, home and play. Draw our hearts to You and never let us go, as our intimacy with You deepens and our spiritual focus increases.

 

Thought for the Day:

Be aware of the minute details that tend to destroy us from the inside out, to interrupt our home life and relationships, and to spread the roots of apathy in our churches.

 

 

Renewed Mind – Part 2 – Healing for Our Wounded Soul

Satan plants lies in our soul throughout the experiences of our life. These misconceptions cause us to over-react irrationally and with intense emotion in our current life situations.

There are personality issues and woundedness in every person’s soul, which may trigger our wounds and hinder us, or our partner, friend or relative from changing or growing spiritually.

We need to see life through their eyes, not only through our own. God will give us His agape love to accept them for exactly who they are. Then we can also pray for them to be all that God wants them to be.

If we put their needs above our own, He gives us the patience to love them through their episodes. We realize that they are reacting from fear and woundedness, which our behavior triggered; and we do not take their rage or sullenness or impatience personally.

We pray for them and love them even more when they are behaving badly than we do when they are rational and kind. They have no idea why they are acting this way, but God does.

All negative behavior is a red flag to alert us of the woundedness in our soul. It may also be a false belief that is now an idol in our soul, because we give our pet peeves and misconceptions too much importance in our life.

We can take these irrational beliefs to God and gain His perspective on them, asking Him to change our focus about them until they lose their importance to us.

During rational moments, when no one is in a hurry or in need of our time, we can offer to pray with our spouse, friend or family member about their negative emotions.

They may be as clueless about their behavior as we are. They can start by journaling what they were thinking during their outburst. What thoughts were going through their mind? What did we do that triggered this reaction in them?

As we pray together, these problems are resolved as God reveals their root and origin, uncovers Satan’s lie for us to see and then speaks His truth to our soul.
( http://www.theophostic.com )

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that our soul longs more for a relationship with You than with a person. We often go from one person to another in this life, trying to find our soul mate, or someone to complete us.

Yet, the only way we can feel fulfilled is through deepening our commitment and our relationship with You. This is true even for married people. The more we find acceptance and develop satisfaction in our relationship with You, the more we can serve our mate out of our love for You (Ephesians 5:22, 6:7; Colossians 3:18, 23-24).

Thought for the Day:
Our support and acceptance of our partner’s, friend’s or relative’s shortcomings will do much to improve our attitude, as well as to improve their behavior through our love and consideration of their needs above our own.

Free at Last

In our society, God’s name is used more to damn some person, place or thing than to bless them. The last few generations have no concept of sin. Wrong is right, and right is often viewed as wrong.

Sin is the norm for many, and church is foreign (Ephesians 4:21, 6:1; Colossians 3:9). They view Christ’s death on Calvary’s cross as a waste of a life, rather than as the ultimate sacrifice for our salvation.

Until we understand that God’s Word is our ultimate authority, we will not comprehend our disobedience to it, and our need to ask Jesus for forgiveness (John 14:15, 23).

Even the law of our land teaches us that there are consequences for our behavior. The police and courts hold us responsible to uphold the law or we are punished.

When we transgress God’s law, we deserve to suffer the penalty of death. Yet, Jesus suffered our eternal punishment for us (John 3:16-18). He gives us His life in our spirit, which was formerly dead because of Adam and Eve’s sin (Ephesians 2:1; Galatians 2:20).

When we decide to live for God, rather than for our self, our spirit is no longer dead in sin and separated from Him. Jesus makes it possible for us to spend eternity in Heaven (John 3:16-18; Romans 10:13).

We are dead to sin now, and free from its strangle-hold on our life (Romans 6:6, 11, 18). We are able to discern right from wrong and to walk in holiness by the help of God’s Spirit within us.

When we die physically, we will not die spiritually. Our last breath on earth is followed by our first breath in Heaven (Matthew 25:46). We will live forever in the almighty presence of our Living Savior and God.

Prayer:
Father God, there are not enough days in our lifetime to show our appreciation to You for all that You do for us each day. Remind us not to take Your goodness and grace for granted. Teach us to praise You for all of the blessings You shower on us each and every day.

Help us to learn to discern the leading of Your Spirit as we commit each day to You (Proverbs 3:5-6). We do not want to depend on our human reasoning, because this reaps mediocre results at best. We want to walk in Your Will by the direction of Your Word under the power of Your Holy Spirit.

Thought for the Day:
God improves our spiritual, mental, emotional, financial and physical health as we trust Him, follow the guidance of His Spirit, and live, move and exist in Christ alone. – Acts 17:28

Free at Last

In our society, God’s name is used more to damn someone or thing than to bless them. The last few generations have no concept of sin. Wrong is right, and right is often viewed as wrong.

Sin is the norm for many, and church is foreign (Ephesians 4:21, 6:1; Colossians 3:9). They view Christ’s death on Calvary’s cross as a waste of a life, rather than as the ultimate sacrifice for our salvation.

Until we understand that God’s Word is our ultimate authority, we will not comprehend our disobedience to it, and our need to ask Jesus for forgiveness (John 14:15, 23).

Even the law of our land teaches us that there are consequences for our behavior. The police and courts hold us responsible to uphold the law or we are punished.

When we transgress God’s law, we deserve to suffer the penalty of death. Yet, Jesus suffered our eternal punishment for us (John 3:16-18). He gives us His life in our spirit, which was formerly dead because of Adam and Eve’s sin (Ephesians 2:1; Galatians 2:20).

When we decide to live for God, rather than for our self, our spirit is no longer dead in sin and separated from Him. Jesus makes it possible for us to spend eternity in Heaven (John 3:16-18; Romans 10:13).

We are dead to sin now, and free from its strangle-hold on our life (Romans 6:6, 11, 18). We are able to discern right from wrong and to walk in holiness by the help of God’s Spirit within us.

When we die physically, we will not die spiritually. Our last breath on earth is followed by our first breath in Heaven (Matthew 25:46). We will spend eternity with God.

We can trust our life on earth to God’s perfect plan for us (Ephesians 2:10). We find fulfillment, peace and joy through His love and forgiveness (Romans 14:17).

We collapse into God’s waiting arms with the confidence that He will catch us and never, ever let us go (Hebrews 13:5). He abides in our spirit now and makes a huge difference in our life (Romans 8:11).

Prayer:
Father God, there are not enough days in our lifetime to show our appreciation to You for all that You do for us each day. Remind us not to take Your goodness and grace for granted. Teach us to praise You for all of the blessings You shower on us each and every day.

Help us to learn to discern the leading of Your Spirit as we commit each day to You (Proverbs 3:5-6). We do not want to depend on our human reasoning, because this reaps mediocre results at best. We want to walk in Your Will by the direction of Your Word under the power of Your Holy Spirit.

Thought for the Day:
God improves our spiritual, mental, emotional, financial and physical health as we trust Him, follow the guidance of His Spirit, and live, move and exist in Him. – Acts 17:28