High Calling of God

Every day, God gives us the opportunity to stop sowing the destruction of sin into our garden of life. He provides new and nurturing experiences for us to use the pieces of our eternal weight of glory to honor Him.

 

We press on toward the goal of the high calling of God in our life (Philippians 3:14), until our journey ends. This is when He transforms us into the image of Christ as we breathe our last earthly breath and enter our celestial home in heaven (2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

Until then, we spend our days in holy living, worshipping our true and living King, and abiding according to Biblical and eternal priorities. This occurs regardless of our trials and circumstances.

 

We count everything as joy, even when we fall into various temptations, knowing that the trial of our faith produces patience; then patience has her perfect way with us, teaching us to “let go and let God” have His way in our life (James 1:4).

 

When we walk in the flesh, we tax our spiritual, emotional and mental energy, which effects our physical energy as well. We divide our energy between carnal and spiritual concerns.

 

God wants to hold the preeminent place in our life in order to insure our success as we enter into His rest (Hebrews 4:10). Then there will be no division in our soul and no stress on our physical well-being.

 

Happiness in this life requires a whole-hearted focus and commitment. We set our mind on the Kingdom of God and then He provides us with everything we need to experience fulfillment and success (Matthew 6:33).

 

Prayer:

Father God, Jesus gave His life at such a young age and died a cruel death in sacrifice upon the cross, so that I will never have to die the second death (Revelation 2:11; 20:6,14; 21:8). Because of You, my eternity is in Heaven’s glories rather than in hell’s torment.

 

You awake in me the desire to serve You all the days of my life. I rejoice in You, my God and my Savior. I enter Your presence with the confidence of a child, and I dwell in Your Holy Place forever (Hebrews 10:19-20).

 

Thought for the Day:

If we have an idol in our life – something we focus on more than God; or are overly concerned with “me, myself and I”, we will miss the high calling of God’s will and suffer the loss of fulfillment which only He can provide.

 

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

 

Do Feelings Control Us?

We often experience feelings which we cannot express. We can communicate our basic mood such as happy, sad, mad, glad, frustrated, etc. However, we cannot distinctly and clearly share how we really feel unless we develop a more detailed vocabulary

( http://wire.wisc.edu/quizzesnmore/emotionwords.aspx ).

 

What type of happy do we feel? Glad or elated? Are we simply sad or actually depressed or devastated? Are we mad or annoyed or fuming? Expressing in more detail how we feel helps us to better understand our self, and allows others to better understand us.

 

Our feelings can totally overwhelm our soul. We believe that we must act on them or explode. Sometimes we do explode and end up wounding other people that we really care about.

 

Feelings are red flags to enable us to see how our environment is effecting us. We do not have to act on them, but we can use them to change our environment for the better.

 

We cannot control other people, but we can control our choices. If someone makes a choice that is intolerable to us, we can make our own choice to temporarily remove our self from that situation until it is resolved.

 

Our feelings do not define us, but they do express how our environment is affecting us. As we are aware of and describe what we are feeling, we can make changes to turn our negative feelings into positive ones.

 

We may change our focus, or we can change the situation, or we can pray for God’s deliverance from an unhealthy or unholy or unsuitable situation or environment, which we cannot change.

 

Journaling helps us to sort out our feelings; then if want to keep our feelings private, we can rip the page to shreds or burn it in the campfire or a coffee can!

 

The important point is to acknowledge and provide for our desires, which are using our feelings to indicate what we really need. When we validate our self, we affirm that we are special and deserve tender loving care.

 

God gave us feelings for our good, and we should pay attention to our soul and how life is impacting us. This gives us a feeling of being cared for, if by no one other than our Daddy God and our self. Sometimes, that is all we really need.

 

Prayer:
Father God, as we trust in and rely on You to know what is best for us, You always hear us from Your holy hill and You turn even the worse situation into blessings for our eventual good. We come to a breaking point in our life where we let go of control and dive into the current of life. Instead of fighting the circumstances, we go with Your flow as You use us for Your Kingdom work.

 

At times we cling to our feelings as a defense or as a reason to hide from reality or truth. We use them as a weapon and slay with our words what we perceive as the opposition. Your Word encourages us that a soft answer turns away wrath (Proverbs 15:1). Teach us to respond with a soft answer, no matter how upset we feel, and remind us that we are Your special children and that You love us beyond words.

 

Thought for the Day:

We can acknowledge our emotions and allow them to explain how our situation is affecting us, but then we can let them go and pray for God’s wisdom to see more clearly what action is needed to rectify the situation.

 

Your Life Matters

As we grow up, we tend to put away childish things. As adults, we take on too many responsibilities and we neglect our self. Eventually we have a break down.

 

We may physically run away from our responsibilities or our soul may make our body sick in order to escape the pressures of daily life. There is a much more effective way to stop the feelings of being overwhelmed by life.

 

We can simplify our life by removing any activity or responsibility that is not necessary for the well-being of our self or our family. Also, be sure to make time for play in the midst of the daily grind.

 

We often have our children in too many activities. Simplify by enrolling them in just one extra activity other than school. They do not need sports and dance and music classes all at one time. See what they are really interested in and just do one class.

 

A birthday party does not need to be a momentous event involving elaborate decorations, special themes and their whole class. It can be a few of their closest friends and a simple cake, ice cream and juice.

 

Are we too involved at work, going the extra mile to impress our boss, working late or extra shifts in order to get that promotion, raise or coveted praise? Simplify by maintaining the required hours and then going home.

 

Do we function in too many ministries at church? We all have a place to serve, but none of us can do it all. Pick just one thing that you are passionate about and serve in that ministry. You can always change to another ministry later on if you have more than one passion.

 

Maybe we feel abused, misunderstood, unappreciated, neglected, insecure or fearful. These are valid feelings and we can acknowledge them as such and validate that we are a person too and that we matter.

 

Do not allow negative self-talk to belittle or to criticize your feelings. Your feelings are real and deserve to be validated as valuable and important. What is stressing out your soul right now? What is causing the negative emotions currently plaguing your soul?

 

Spend some time getting to know your inner soul – your thoughts, feelings and choices. Journal and write uncensored thoughts about how you are feeling, what you are thinking and why you are making your current choices.

 

Follow the Serenity Prayer and correct anything in your power to change, accept those things you cannot change by changing your focus about them, and trust God to change or to empower you to face those impossible challenges in your life.

 

Give yourself little breaks during the day to prop up your feet, have a soda or cup of tea, take a walk in nature, rock or swing on the porch or at the park, sit in the sun for a few moments and soak up those healing rays, do some deep breathing exercises, listen to your favorite music, watch a movie or read a novel just for fun.

 

Start a new hobby that gives you time for yourself, but make sure that it does not add to your already stressful schedule. Just something simple like a craft, an adult coloring book, needlework, walking, swimming, gourmet cooking class or baking a special dessert and sharing it with those you love.

 

Climb a tree, jump rope, learn to paint or play an instrument, cuddle a stuffed toy, pet the cat, make a batch of cookies or jam, frame photos of yourself as a child and hang them on the wall with your other photos, wrap up in your favorite blanket or quilt and take a short nap,

 

Grieve your losses, no matter what they are – big or small they are all important. Give yourself permission to cry; tears are healing and they wash away our grief. They also help us to relieve pent up stress and emotion.

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to treat our self as a human being rather than as a machine. Remind us that the good thing in life often become the enemy of the best things. You have a special plan for each life, so help us to walk in it. Give us wisdom in making our decisions, prevent us from overly scheduling our day with too many activities. Help us to take breaks and to give our self a little treat or to take time to breathe in Your Spirit and to give You praise.

 

We want to honor You with our life and to stop allowing the good things to rob us of walking by Your Spirit and fulfilling Your plan for our life. Teach us to care for our own needs as well as everyone else’s and prevent us from being so busy we cannot enjoy our time with family, friends and especially with You.

 

Thought for the Day:

Never fill your life so full of activities that you actually feel overwhelmed by all of the responsibilities that you have accepted as your own.

Praying without Ceasing

 

There is a penchant in humanity to take things to the extreme. Many in our society will make desperate attempts to gain more intimacy with God to the point of neglecting their duties to family and society.

 

They will cloister their self from life and spend their time in their prayer closet, reading God’s Word and listening to sermons. In an attempt at holiness, they desert all aspiration to give or to receive with anyone other than God.

 

Yet, in doing this they prevent God from using them to reach the lost and dying world around us. A balance of devotional prayer and obedience is what God calls for from His Saints, until the day that He returns to claim His Bride for His own.

 

Then He will take us home to be with Him for eternity. Our current position in Christ allows us to see life from God’s perspective and to choose our words and actions according to the will of God.

 

In this way, we are always moving toward perfection, which is the prize of the high calling of God (Matthew 5:48; Philippians 3:14).

Carrying on throughout our day, we pray without ceasing each moment in order to remain in His will (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

 

Jesus taught the disciples how to pray (Matthew 6:9-13) by focusing on these aspects:

 

1.) Praising God’s majesty

2.) Anticipating the coming of His Kingdom

3.) Requesting our needs to be met

4.) Repenting of our sins

5.) Forgiving those who sin against us

 

As we live in a place of communion with God during every waking moment, we have so much assurance of His love for us that we are able to rejoice regardless of the circumstance surrounding us (Romans 8:28).

 

Prayer:

Father God, as we walk in Your Spirit, we give thanks for everything that happens to us – the good, the bad and the ugly, because we know this is Your will and You always work out all things for our ultimate good (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17; Romans 8:28).

 

We rejoice and give You praise and thanksgiving for Your eternal care for everything that concerns us. We could never, ever repay You for Your personal love and care for each one of us. Thank You for taking a personal interest in our life and for providing for all of our needs.

 

Thought for the Day:

As we gather around the throne of Heaven, there will be a great innumerable multitude from every single nation, tribe, people and language group all standing there with us in worship and thanksgiving before our redeeming Lamb. – Revelation 7:9

The Benefits of the Christian Life

Our relationship with God in the spiritual realm is more vital to our life here on earth than any other person, place or thing. Yet, we often focus more on pursuing the world, and we suffer in body, soul and spirit.

 

Repenting of our sins and trusting in Jesus to save us, opens the door for this intimacy with the supreme Ruler of the universe. Then devoting our thoughts, words and actions to Him maintains our union.

 

Any rivaling carnal thoughts, words and deeds suck the spiritual life right out of us. Satan attempts to keep us earth bound or pushes us to be religious rather than spiritual.

 

Yet, Jesus made it clear that our goal in life centers on loving God with our entire heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30). Then, we function in our ministry for Him by sharing His love with our mate and children, as well as our parents and siblings.

 

We serve them as God’s Spirit directs our steps. We meet their needs in Jesus’ name. Then we branch out to our church family, workmates and acquaintances, neighbors and strangers as the Spirit directs us.

 

All the while we guard against substituting good activities, which side track us from God’s will for us. The best activities are those which are spirit led and directed (Proverbs 3:5-6). Then we never get too busy to worship, praise and pray.

 

In God’s plan for our life, every piece fits snugly together like the pieces of a puzzle. We may not readily see God’s purpose for trials or opportunities, and we end up feeling frustrated, angry or hurt.

 

However, if we walk in the Spirit, we begin seeing spiritual fruit from our labors. We learn lessons, overcome desires to sin, fall in love with Jesus more every day and watch God use us to further His Kingdom on the earth.

 

We gradually realize that we are dead to the old nature and that Christ is now our whole life (Colossians 3:3-4). We give God complete control of our life, even through the severest of trials and persecution.

 

We trust in His goodness, even though life often wearies us and fills us with fear and insecurities. God continually pours out on us His magnificent love and lavishly showers us with the fulfillment of His precious promises.

 

He gives us everything we need to live a life of contentment and holiness, which costs us nothing, because He already paid the price for everything on Calvary’s cross (John 3:16-18).

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to follow in Jesus’ footsteps and to become obedient to Your Spirit each day (Philippians 2:8). Draw us ever closer to Your heart, so that we daily increase our devotion, grow in our faith, understand Your mysteries and live a life of trust in and worship of You.

 

We release our heart into Your care; trust You to work out everything for our ultimate good, even if we never understand the why; come to You to reveal to us the source of our negative emotions; and realize that You give us a Kingdom focus which guarantees us that eternal life starts at salvation.

 

Thought for the Day:

If we feel unloved by the world around us, we can always look within and experience the amazing love of a God who took the form of a human being and suffered and died in our place, in order to give us His eternal life.

 

 

Our Union with Father and Son

God is not as interested in what we do for Him, as He is in who we are in Him. A relationship is more important than a ministry (Matthew 22:36-40). It takes more time and effort, but worth the price.

 

Our human achievements do not impress Him and do not aid in our relationship or walk with Him. If what we do is not motivated by God’s Spirit and done with His fruit-filled attitude, it is better left undone.

 

We cannot control the thoughts and behavior of other people, although we often try desperately to do so. The only one we have influence over by God’s Spirit’s direction is our self.

 

It is important to keep our focus and priorities spiritually minded and not blanketed in carnality. This is only possible because Jesus purchased us by His blood and God adopted us His children (1 John 3:1; John 8:44; Ephesians 2:3).

 

God, being a Trinity in nature and function, is still one God (Deuteronomy 6:4). We are joint heirs with Jesus of all that belongs to our Heavenly Father, which is hard to completely comprehend (John 16:15).

 

Jesus has the same relationship with our Father that we have with Jesus – He is in us and we are in Him, just as God is in Jesus and Jesus is in God (John 10:38; John 14:10, 23).

 

Jesus loves us as much as the Father loves Him (John 15:9). The Father loves us too, because we love Jesus and believe that He came from God (John 16:27).

 

Prayer:

Father God, eternal life begins when we come to know You and Jesus whom You sent (John 17:3). We are in Christ; and therefore, in You (Romans 8:10-11). Jesus loves us even as You love Jesus (John 17:23). Jesus reveals You to whomever He chooses (Matthew 11:27). Through Jesus we have access to You at any time or place (Ephesians 2:18).

 

Jesus was with You before the world began (John 1:1-2). He made His appearance on the earth many times, even before Abraham was born (John 8:58). You and Jesus are one. Once we see Jesus, we have seen You (John 10:30, 14:5-14). We look forward in great anticipation to living throughout eternity with You.

 

Thought for the Day:

Jesus is in us, and the Father is in Jesus – so that we may be brought to complete unity as One Body; then the world will know that God sent Jesus into the world. – John 17:21; 1 Corinthians 1:30

Emotional Honesty

Emotional honesty is an oxymoron. We are so adept at hiding behind masks that we do not even know how we really feel or how to express that to other people. Journaling our true feelings is a good way to start.

 

We can also meet regularly with a trusted friend and verbally express our true feelings and deepest thoughts. We may even surprise our self when we discover our deepest feelings.

 

Talking, drawing, music and writing releases our soul from the bondage of playing games and pretending to be someone other than our true self. We release pent up emotional energy that formerly robbed us of physical energy.

 

Then, staying in touch with our true feelings allows us to find the root causes of all of our negative emotions. We can deal with the issue, or put it in God’s capable hands.

 

Imperfection brings with it a certain vulnerability, shame and fear of not surviving. Perfectionism is a demonic plague on humanity. Once we rid our self of the need to be perfect we can breathe a refreshing breath of pure air. We allow God’s Spirit to do His perfecting work in us (Matthew 5:48).

 

We also learn to accept life as God allows it to play out in the moments of our day. We stop resisting and attempting to control the issues. Instead, we find out what God is saying to us through them. We look for the seed of a miracle in each one of them.

 

When our perspective on life changes, so do our attitudes, thoughts, feelings and actions. We stop trying to force God into our box. Our paradigm, expectations and goals remain fluid in order to obey the leading of God’s Spirit.

 

We learn to cherish every aspect of who we are, even our failings. We are kind to our self and learn to have more compassion on other people. We see life from their perspective and stop judging them and our self, but relate to them with God’s mercy and grace.

 

Prayer:

Father God, our fears are not rational or logical; and often, not even conscious. We react in fear because our current circumstances trigger the memory of an event from our childhood. People look at us as if we have two heads and judge us as emotionally unstable, unpredictable and unbalanced. Yet, the fact is that we are simply wounded children.

 

Help us to rid our soul of the painful memories which litter our past. Teach us to cling to You as our defense rather than to defend our self. That way, no enemy can prosper against us (Isaiah 54:17). You are our comfort and the lifter of our head (Psalm 3:3). You heal us from the inside out and cleanse us all over. You make all things new and bring us into Your holy hill in Your perfect time and way (2 Corinthians 5:17; Psalm 24:3-6).

 

Thought for the Day:

When we pass judgment on our self or someone else, we are taking God’s place and abusing and wounding our self and others more deeply than the pain we already experienced in our past.

 

Integratiion with God’s Spirit

When we detach from the belief that we are only the sum of what we think and feel, we are able to integrate our true inner self with God’s Spirit within us.

 

We see and forgive the causes of our faulty thinking and behavior and are healed. As we accept our feelings and idiosyncrasies without judgment, we can submit them to God’s Spirit for sanctification.

 

We stop fighting our self and start growing in Christ. God’s Spirit sets us free from the bondage of Satan’s lies which controlled us for most of our life ( http://www.theophostic.com ).

 

We align our thinking with God’s Word. Our days take on a hue of joy and peace unfamiliar to us in the past. The presence of God’s Spirit within us helps us to see our faulty thinking and behavior without negative repercussions or condemnation (Romans 8:1).

 

We relax and trust in God’s goodness and compassion. We pull the plug on the power which our negative feelings once held over our life. We learn to reject Satan’s lies and to embrace God’s Truth.

 

We no longer entertain them as real and important; and instead we view them as red flags which signal a deeper problem within.

 

Our realization, that our strong over-reaction to a person or experience comes from old wounds and unresolved conflicts, gives us more balance in our life and priorities.

 

We face our fears head-on and allow God’s Spirit to diffuse them for us. We see the idols we erected in our life for what they are, and we cooperate as the Holy Spirit tears them down.

 

Patience does her perfecting work in us and things of this world no longer grip us with the former, inordinate, over-powering importance which the earthly and material issues used to hold in our life. We look forward to the miracles God plants in all of our trials.

 

Prayer:

Father God, we find joy in our tribulation (Romans 5:3), because of Your presence in them with us. You hold us in the safety of Your hand and shelter us under the shadow of Your wings (Psalm 139:10). We realize that the disappointments and wounds of our childhood hold no more power over our current moment, because You set us free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).

 

We forgive those who hurt and used us; and we look forward to a new chapter in our life, full of Your blessings and new possibilities. Teach us to walk in Your Spirit every moment of the day and to do the works which You created us to do before we were even born (Ephesians 2:10).

 

Thought for the Day:

As we face the grief of our past with a spiritual viewpoint, the intensity of it diminishes and we are freed from the power of negative emotions, which used to infect our life.

 

Practical Faith

How can faith be practical as well as spiritual? When we get into our car and turn on the ignition, we have faith that the motor will start and take us to our desired location.

If we previously had trouble with our car starting, we still attempt to start the car, hoping beyond hope that the engine will turn over and the car will transport us to our destination.

This is how faith works in the spiritual realm as well. We hear the gospel story, and we realize the potential we could have in life if our spirit was actually Born Again rather than dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1; Romans 8:10).

We put our faith in God to fill us by His Spirit, to regenerate our spirit and to save us from the penalty of our sins. It is more than blind faith, because we see the results of our belief in changes in our desires, thoughts, words and deeds.

This change is not affected by sheer will power or human determination. It is a spiritual change that has nothing to do with our body or soul (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

It is something, which God does for us. It is a walk of faith, which does not depend on our human understanding or effort (Proverbs 3:5-6; 2 Corinthians 5:7; Ephesians 2:8-9).

We cannot be good enough, wise enough, rich enough or powerful enough to earn our way to heaven. It is a gift from God just for us (Romans 6:23).

God’s Spirit empowers us in the same way that the engine empowers the car. The power in the car energizes a dead hunk of steel into immediate life; and the Holy Spirit revives our dead spirit to live, move and have our being in Christ both now and for eternity (Acts 17:28).

Our life bears fruit for the Kingdom of God and our attitude and thoughts change from carnal to spiritual ones. The peace and joy of God flood our life.

We leave the world of dark, destruction, influenced by sin and Satan’s lies; and we enter the brilliant light of Christ, our ultimate Truth.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for planting our feet firmly on the Rock of Christ, so that neither temptation from the devil nor the storms of life can shake the bedrock of our foundation on Your Word and Your Spirit.

You removed the weight of sin from our shoulders by the righteousness of Christ, which You freely provide for us. Thank You for revealing to us by Your Spirit what Christ actually did for us on the cross, and how this revolutionizes how we view life and the activities we enjoy both now and in eternity.

Thought for the Day:
Faith in Christ impacts our daily life now, as well as determines our eternal destination; it is practical and influences the peace and joy in which we live our life.