My Soul Waits – Part 1

In our stressful lifestyle in this modern society, we are often too busy with too many responsibilities to find a place of solitude in our spirit.

We maintain the illusion that we are satisfied with our lifestyle, but our soul is dying within us, because we are spiritually bankrupt.

We care so much about this world that we starve our soul and spirit. The cacophony in our soul – our mind, choices and emotions – is deafening and dulls our spiritual connection to God’s Spirit.

The remedy for this is to develop a deeper connection with Christ through His Holy Spirit. We can quiet our soul and focus on Christ dwelling within us, even through the storms of life.

Throughout each moment of the day, our soul waits in silence for God alone (Psalm 62:1). Our focus changes from earthly goals and desires to spiritual ones.

God’s Spirit transforms our thoughts into the mind of Christ, fills our emotions with His fruit and directs our choices to walk in God’s will (Romans 8:29; Galatians 5:15-25; 1 Corinthians 2:14-16).

Christ is our all in all (Colossians 3:11). Nothing this world has to offer compares to the joy and peace, guidance and fulfillment that comes from living a life dedicated to the Lord.

Listening for God’s voice requires that we still our soul and enter our spirit, where God’s Spirit abides. We totally surrender our will, goals, fears, dreams and aspirations to the will of God.

Silently waiting on God throughout our day reduces our anxiety, silences the negative self-talk, teaches us patience and reshapes our mind into the mind of Christ.

He nourishes our body, soul and spirit as we meditate on His Word, trust Him for our daily bread and enter into union with His Spirit.

Prayer:
Father God, teach us how to empty our soul, still our mind and wait on Your Spirit’s direction each moment of our day. Silence the negative thoughts and emotions, which Satan uses to distract us from Your will for our life.

Fill our soul with Your peace and help us to restructure our priorities to put You first and foremost above our soul’s pursuits. Remind us that Your Kingdom is the only true reality in this life and everything else is simply wood, hay and stubble to be burned up in the end (1 Corinthians 3:12-13).

Thought for the Day:
Physical solitude is not necessary in order for us to wait on the Lord, because He is available any time or place.

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The Perfect Balance

Have you ever wondered if this world is the only stage on which our life plays out? Our body is a temporary dwelling place, such as a tent (2 Corinthians 5:1). We live in it only during our time on this earth.

Within our body is our soul and spirit. Until we surrender to Christ, our spirit is dead in Adam’s sin. Once we walk away from our sinful lifestyle and dedicate our life to Christ, our spirit finally comes to life (Ephesians 2:1, 5).

Our body’s health is affected by our emotional, mental and physical decisions. Our spiritual decision or indecision in this life determines our eternal destination (John 3:18; Luke 6:45).

When we die physically, our body goes to the grave and turns to dust. Yet, our spirit and soul go on to eternity in either heaven or hell, depending on our belief or unbelief in Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9).

Our moral decisions in this life are based on whether we allow our soul – our thoughts, decisions and emotions – or our spirit to direct our paths.

We can choose to walk according to the dictates of the world, the devil and the desires of our flesh, or we can walk in the Spirit of God (Galatians 5:15-25).

Through sanctification, our soul is transformed and we have the mind of Christ and the fruit of God’s Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23; Romans 12:2, 1 Corinthians 2:16).

As the redeemed of the Lord (Psalm 107:2-8), we talk about the incidents of God’s blessings in our life with anyone who is interested in listening.

Some of these people may decide they want this same blessed life and ask us how to get it. We simply share the gospel with them: “Repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved” (Mark 1:15).

Prayer:
Father God, Your Word, the Bible, tells us that when we see Jesus, we shall be changed, because we shall be like him (1 John 2:2-3). Jesus is in an immortal body, which never ages or gets sick. Your Saints shall have an immortal body for eternity too (1 Corinthians 15:53).

Remind us that, while we dwell on earth, You have a specific purpose for our life. We should not clutter our days with endless activity, but we do not sit passively either, as life passes us by. Instead, we walk in the Spirit and fulfill Your will for our life (Galatians 5:15-25).

Thought for the Day:
Satan will try to tempt us to walk in immorality or to detrimentally occupy all of our time with busywork, rather than walking in obedient devotion to God.

A Little Child Shall Lead Them – Isaiah 11:6

​God tells us that unless we act and think as a little child, we cannot enter His Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 18:3). He is not suggesting that we throw temper tantrums or act self-centeredly.

He wants us to lay down our selfish pride, humble our self under the mighty hand of God, and live with child-like trust in our Father God (1 Peter 5:6-7; Psalm 131). He wants us to live in the moment according to His Will for it.

God calls us to forsake the love of all earthly attitudes, people, possessions, pride and self-centeredness for the sake of Christ in us (Luke 14:26, 33). Our carnal flesh is dead and hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3).

There is no need to perfect our self, because we are already dead to sin through Christ (Galatians 2:20). We simply draw near to God and resist the devil’s temptation, because God always gives us a way to escape (James 4:7-8; 1 Corinthians 10:13).

Christ is our whole life during every moment of our earthly existence (Colossians 3:4). God carries out His perfecting work in our soul by His Spirit (Hebrews 13:21).

We have no concern for our self-worth apart from Christ in us (Matthew 19:17). Any self-effort will only accumulate carnal treasures, which are actually wood, hay and stubble, according to God’s opinion (Galatians 6:3; 1 Corinthians 3:12).

We are totally incapable of working for God through human power. Our human endeavors stink in God’s sight (Luke 16:15).

Therefore, we do nothing from our self-efforts, and everything according to the will of God, by the power of God working in us (John 8:28; Zechariah 4:6).

Prayer:

Father God, You have no interest in the power of our flesh, because You fight our battles for us (2 Chronicles 32:8). This is so evident when we read about the Battle of Jericho, and so many other battles, which Israel fought in Canaan land.

We fight many spiritual battles during our lifetime, but if we are wise, it is only and always by Your Spirit (Ephesians 6).

If we act like prideful and disobedient children, and carry out our own plans, choose our own mate and increase in sin daily, we do not belong to You (Isaiah 30:1-2; 1 John 1:6).

Authentic Believers do not rely on our human talents to do Your Will, but only on the power of Your Spirit within us (1 Corinthians 2:4).

Thought for the Day:

Christ is the hand, and we are the glove; the glove is perfectly molded to the hand and moves only as directed by the hand.

Healing Relationships – Part 1

There are four types of human relationships. We all fit into one of them, or a combination of several:
Independent – self-sufficient
Codependent – live for others
Dependent – despise living alone, have no personal identity                                 Interdependent – mutual, reciprocal relationships

These relational types describe how we relate to other people. If we are already functioning in interdependent relationships, we are healthy and have healthy interactions.

Otherwise, we are in needy, dysfunctional relationships, which are unhealthy for us and the other people in our life. Changing our beliefs about life and our self, and altering our attitude will bring needed healing to our soul.

In dysfunctional associations, we expect the magic of a fairytale existence; we pride our self in living as the martyr or savior; we give sacrificially and then feel anger and bitterness when we do not receive the love we believe we are owed in return.

In unhealthy relationships, our self-worth is based outside of our self, in people, places and things. We desire financial security, privacy, status in society, respect, degrees or popularity. We resent any change or adjustment required of us.

However, everything in life is fluid, temporary and undependable. We even disappoint our self. We cannot look to external values and relationships for our security.

When we concentrate on maintaining the status quo, we fail miserably every time we try. That is why the Serenity Prayer has grown in popularity.

Following its advice will ensure that we keep our focus on eternal matters, rather than on temporal issues, which cannot help but to disappoint us. We will also walk in God’s will each moment of every day.
Serenity Prayer:

“Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.
Amen.
– by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr

Thought for the Day:
Attempting to control our environment and relationships will guarantee that we suffer from stress-related issues, as well as to alienate those who mean the most to us.

Deep Inner Peace and Fulfillment

God orchestrates every nuance of our life. His abundant light overcomes the densest gloom. His power and majesty slay every demon in spiritual darkness, which comes against us (1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 1:3).

He encourages us to take our focus off our mortal frailty or our competent human abilities, and to concentrate on the reality of Christ in us (Colossians 1:27). God’s presence in our life provides us with deep inner peace and fulfillment.

Nothing this world has to offer can take the place of His goodness and grace. When the issues of life become more than we can bear, we sit on our Heavenly Father’s lap and snuggle in the safety of His arms.

I love to spend time in the night watches praising, praying, writing blog posts, and crying or rejoicing in the presence of our Father God (Isaiah 26:9). We are in Him and He dwells within us (Galatians 2:20).

This state of abiding in Christ is accomplished by one swift act of total surrender. It may take a deep trial, a layoff from work, rejection from a mate or a week-end retreat; but when our soul yearns for God, we readily relinquish our will to Him.

Once we make up our mind to allow Christ to live His life in and through us, our life starts changing – both in miniscule growth, as well as leaps and bounds (1 Samuel 16:7). We exhibit more and more of Christ’s divine nature and we never, ever leave His presence (2 Peter 1:4; 2 Corinthians 5:17).
Prayer:
Father God, You only want what is best for Your children. Every action You take in our life, even the trials and tribulation, is an act of Your love. You wound, but You never break, and You always heal (Job 5:18). You fill the void within each of us and You satisfy the longing in our soul for something greater than this temporal life (Psalm 107:9). Your affection and provision never fail us.

Thought for the Day:
God’s children sing of His mercy and strength, which is new every morning; and we praise our loving Father for being our stronghold, refuge and fortress in all our times of trouble. – Lamentations 3:22-23; Psalm 59:16-17

Our Union Life with Christ

John explains our union life with Christ as a branch on a vine. We cannot live a fruitful life without our intimate connection with Him. God is the vine dresser and He prunes us to make us even more fruitful (John 15:1-8).

Jesus prayed for our union with Him through His Body. He wanted those who believe on Him to live in unity with one another and with Him, just as He is in God, and God is in Him (John 17:20-24).

We enjoy the glorious union with Christ; and He calls us to live in unity with one another (John 17:25-26). This will only occur as we lay down our life for one another. This union life is a witness to the dying world around us that there is reality in our faith and practice.

God already crucified us with Christ, so that we no longer need to live by struggling in this life. We live a fulfilled life in Christ. We live by the faith of Christ, God’s Son, who loved us enough to give His own life in ransom for us (Galatians 2:20).

God calls us to walk in the Spirit and do the works He ordained for us to perform before we were ever born (Ephesians 2:10; Galatians 5:15-17). This takes all the guesswork out of life. We simply wait on God to reveal to us His divine purpose for each moment of our day.

Prayer:
Father God, You gave us Your Holy Spirit to dwell in our body, which is His Temple. Therefore, it is only right that we glorify You with our body and soul – our thoughts, choices and emotions (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Remind us to obey Your Spirit’s direction through each moment of our day. Give us a true revelation of our union with Christ.

Thought for the Day:
Our union with Christ is a great mystery, but a reality nonetheless.

​A New Creation – Part 1

As a child, I felt insecure and fearful about tomorrow. I desperately attempted to control my life in order to feel as safe as is humanly possible. I did not want to leave anything to chance, because it usually turned out badly. I focused inwardly and took care of my own business.

Introverted and analytical, I lived a very cautious life with intense self-discipline and attention to details, so I would not cause anyone to get upset with me. I disliked change of any kind and I reacted in anger when my security was threatened in any way.

My favorite activity was to sit in our giant China-berry tree in our back yard, engrossed in a book until sunset. I also enjoyed crafts of all kinds. My mom and grandmother taught me to do needlework, and I learned to do many other crafts from the instructions in library books.

Throughout childhood, I was way too sensitive, felt too deeply and cared too much. I had no real friends except my cousins and my Girl Scout troop. I had no dreams or aspirations, except making it through the day in relative peace and calm. These traits followed me all through high school.

In adulthood, my loyalty to God, friends and family served me well as a Born Again Believer. I still do not need many friends, but I am merciful, caring and loyal to all of my acquaintances. I am still easily embarrassed and shy. I feel overwhelmed in a group and I prefer talking to people one-on-one.

However, God impressed on me the importance of stepping out of my shy persona and allowing His Spirit to minister to people through me. Ironically, He called me to serve Him as a greeter in social gatherings, and as a Pastor’s wife, living in the limelight under microscopic scrutiny.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for using these years of my life to transform me with the mind of Christ. My penchant for perfectionism made me, and everyone around me, tense and uptight, until You mercifully delivered me from that demonic plague. You taught me that doing my best was all that anyone could ever expect from me. Then, You took it one step further and encouraged me to walk in Your Spirit as You transform my life.

Thought for the Day:
In Christ, our old personality is dead and we no longer live for our self, because the Spirit of God abides within us and we are buried in Christ and raised to walk in a new life. – 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:4