God in the Details

God does not often show Himself strong for us during a trial. Initially, this hurts our feelings and causes us to doubt His love for us. However, God’s love is exactly what prevents Him from rescuing us from life’s hurts and challenges.

 

God is teaching us that this life is inconsequential in His larger scheme of the ages. His goal in our life is to transform our body, soul and spirit from this humble, earthly state into conformity with His glorious eternal plan for us.

 

He also shows us that all things, even our health, finances, comfort, suffering, family and life are subject to Him (Philippians 3:20-21). As His Spirit sanctifies us, we learn to submit to His will and to surrender our entire life to His wisdom and direction.

 

This give us hope in God, rather than despair from overwhelming circumstances, thoughts and feelings. He is constantly at work in our life, planting seeds for a miracle in all of our trials.

 

We just have to patiently wait for Him to reveal them to us. He longs for us to trust in Him alone, and to desire His will instead of our own goals and plans.

 

We eventually learn that our suffering in this world cannot be compared to the glory of living in God’s presence both now and throughout eternity (Romans 8:18).

 

Hardships are merely temporary and fleeting, especially as we keep our eyes on Christ and the prize of our inheritance of the Kingdom of God (Acts 17:11; 1 Peter 4:12-13; James 1:1-13).

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to meditate on the truth that You are in complete control of everything in this world. Allow this fact to penetrate deep within our soul – our thoughts, choices and feelings – so that we learn to trust You and not our human reasoning throughout every moment of our day. We do not need to understand Your thoughts, because they are so much more profound than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).

 

You simply ask us to remain open and willing to submit to and accept Your will and ways – even in the trials. You renew our human spirit by making Your truths known to us. We are created in Your image (Colossians 3:10), we have Your mind (1 Corinthians 2:16), and by Your Spirit we learn to walk as You would walk in our shoes (1 John 2:20).

 

Thought for the Day:

As the reality of the fact that our life is hidden with Christ in God becomes more of a reality every day, we draw away from the world, the flesh and the devil and find our true joy only in service to our King Jesus. – Romans 12:2

 

 

A Good Marriage – The Little Foxes that Spoil the Vine

Over the years of marriage, we recognize who our partner is and what they are not. We also develop a better understanding of our self and why we respond to people and events the way we do.

 

We come to identify what triggers negative reactions in one another, so we can avoid these issues whenever possible. We make concentrated efforts on working together to find mutually acceptable plans when our original personal preferences conflict.

 

We also fearlessly attack our personal issues and give the Holy Spirit full reign in our life, so that He can transform us with the mind of Christ. One way to recognize our faults is to pay attention to what our spouse complains about – do we procrastinate, withhold affection, watch too much TV, neglect to help one another with projects or daily chores?

 

Small adjustments in our schedule or habits will make a big difference in marital bliss and harmony. We can learn one another’s love language and show each other love in ways that will fulfill our mate’s needs and allow them to feel nurtured and cherished.

 

This will erase the small irritations which eventually erupt into major disharmony – the little foxes that spoil the vine (Song of Solomon 2:15). Do we expect too much from one another, forgetting that we are only human?

 

Do we greet one another as we would our best friend, or do we take one another for granted? We all appreciate being greeted with enthusiasm as someone who is highly cherished.

 

Do we agree to disagree or do we always feel like we are right and our partner is wrong? Do we need to have the last word, or do we stop talking when we have made our point?

 

No one like to live with condemnation, condescension, griping or constant belittlement. It is so good and pleasant when we dwell together in harmony (Psalm 133:1). This unity draws us closer to one another and makes us want to spend more time together.

Prayer:

Father God, teach us to recap once we calm down after a disagreement. Help us to honestly relate how we felt during the “fight” and what thoughts were going through our mind that we did not take the time to articulate. These thoughts fueled our emotional response during our discussion, and our spouse deserves to understand why we reacted as we did to their comment, behavior or reply.

 

Remind us to seek You in all of our decisions and discussions; not to rely on our own understanding, but to allow You to direction our thoughts, words and actions. Help us to be led by Your Spirit rather than to react in our flesh; but if we do act carnally, encourage us to ask for forgiveness from one another and to calmly discuss the situation until we find an equitable solution.

 

Thought for the Day:

Looking into each other’s eyes during a discussion enables us to see within the windows of each other’s soul; speaking honestly about how our partner’s words and actions make us feel will help us to understand one another better too and to make our interactions more intimate and productive. – Matthew 6:22-23

 

Maturing in Christ

When we attempt to overcome the sin in our life that so easily ensnares us, we often fall back into temptation; then we feel shame both for the sin and for failing to overcome it.

 

We are admonished to be holy as God is holy, yet we can only do this by allowing the Holy Spirit to give us both the desire and the power to walk in increasing realms of God’s glory each day (Philippians 2:12-13).

 

The foolish Galatians had to learn to trust God to sanctify them with the same faith that allowed them to trust Him for their salvation (Galatians 3:1-3). We are to live in this same manner.

 

Paul struggled with walking in a manner worthy of the Lord (Colossians 1:10). The duality of flesh and Spirit within him kept him on a roller coaster most of the time (Romans 7); however, he finally realized that the Spirit of life in Christ already set Him free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).

 

He no longer needed to struggle with sin, but to walk in the Spirit who frees us from the law of sin and death. As we draw near to God in dependence, worship and praise, then we resist the devil, and he is bound to flee from us (James 4:7-11).

 

Through Calvary’s cross, Christ exchanged His righteousness for our sin; we simply need to access this free gift by confessing our sin and trusting in Jesus for salvation (John 17:11-23; 1 Corinthians 6:17). Then, the Holy Spirit brings us into ever increasing maturity in Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

We learn to walk in the Spirit each moment of the day, led by the still, small voice of God (1 Kings 19:12) within our spirit (Galatians 2:20). We know we are in God’s will when we follow that perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3), regardless of what our mind is telling us to do, or what conventional wisdom or human reasoning wants us to do.

 

Jesus gave us His righteousness and we now live as Jesus did in the world. We are an expression of His divine nature, because He lives within us (1 John 4:17; 2 Peter 1:4). This allows His living water within us to fill us to overflowing and to spill out into the world around us (John 7:38).

 

Prayer:

Father God, we thank You for Your vigilant watch care over us (Psalm 121:4). You protect us from Satan’s wiles and temptations (Ephesians 2:2). Help us to realize that Christ in us enables us to live a life free from the demoralizing and destructive sin that tries to entrap us (2 Corinthians 4:10-11) and to actually, factually not just positionally, live a holy life, just as Christ in us is holy (Matthew 11:28-30; 1 Corinthians 6:17).

 

Thank You for keeping us, strengthening us, guarding us from our flesh, the world and the devil (Isaiah 42:11; Psalm 4:8). We give You all of the praise and glory for the maturity we attain over our lifetime. We strive only to stop following our human reasoning and to enter Your rest (Hebrews 4:10).

 

Thought for the Day:

We no longer struggle with life on our own, because the Trinity of God abides within us, and the Holy Spirit gradually but consistently replaces our negative attributes with Christ’s righteousness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lord Preserves His Faithful

The Lord preserves His faithful, those who love Him and keep His commandments (Psalm 31:23). He does not want us to obey for His sake as much as He does for our own sake.

 

We avoid so many troubles and trials when we do things His way. After all, Father really does know best. He created us for His purpose and when we walk in His will, our life proceeds so much more smoothly and effortlessly.

 

Our soul finds rest in God alone. He is our only rock and salvation, our fortress that prevents life from shaking our faith. We have strong courage to face life’s issues, because God strengthens our heart as we hope in Him (Psalm 31:23, 62:1).

 

God is our hiding place and He preserves us in trouble by encompassing us with songs of deliverance (Psalm 32:7). Whenever we are afraid, we can trust in Him (Psalm 53:3).

 

Yet, He allows the proud and arrogant who refuse to believe in Jesus for salvation to reap the results of their choices – even to the point of eternity in the fires of damnation (John 3:18; Psalm 31:23).

 

We are crucified with Christ and share in His death to sin, even though we still live on this earth. Christ lives in us and we live by His faith in us (Galatians 2:20). We are dead to this world and our life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:1-3).

 

As we delight our self in the Lord, God puts His desires in our heart (Psalm 37:4). We make the effort it takes to clear our heart and mind of things of this world, and instead to love the Lord with all of our heart.

 

We walk in His ways, keep His commandments and cling only to Him. He orders our steps and He delights when we walk in His will (Psalm 37:23). Even if we fall in spirit, soul or body, we shall not be entirely cast down, or cast out of His Kingdom, because God holds us in His hand (Psalm 37:24).

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for giving us the opportunity to be risen with Christ and for helping us to seek and set our affections and desires only on heavenly, eternal aspects (Colossians 3:1-3). You make our steps firm, when You delight in our thoughts, words and deeds.

 

Always keep us in the center of Your will; not drawn away by our fleshly desires, but kept on the straight and narrow road, designed to protect us by its simple parameters. Allow us to hear Your still small voice whispering “this is the way, walk you in it.” We always want You to delight in us, and in our ways; so You will keep our steps firm and our footing sure (Psalm 37:23).

 

Thought for the Day:

God’s river of salvation protects us in any fiery trial, and He alone is worthy of all of our trust.

 

 

Life’s Simple Pleasures

Many people question my sanity. I am weird by their way of thinking. I have two pair of shoes – one for home and one for dress. I buy all my clothes at the thrift store or clearance racks. I make my own jewelry, unless it is a gift. I clean my own home and cook most of our meals myself from scratch.

 

My husband has this same mindset. We have basic cable; we live in a trailer without a mortgage, instead of an expensive house; and we do not go to movies or pay exorbitant amounts of money for entertainment. He even makes his own Folgers coffee at home.

 

We have no expensive “toys”, but spend our free time walking in nature and rocking on the front porch. We have one car and paid no interest on it. We also take staycations instead of lavish trips – of course, it helps that we already live in Florida.

 

We live below our means, tithe even on financial gifts and bonuses, and share our savings with missionaries and the needy in our community and around the world. Why do we do this? Do we have a spirit of poverty or a martyr complex?

 

We simply came to the realization that we are not of this world (1 John 2:15-17; Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 9:19-23). We find joy in life’s simple pleasures and would prefer to spend time with people than things. We have no desire to partake in the allurement of this world; it does not interest us at all.

 

We find more joy in listening to worship music, writing our devotional blogs, discussing God’s Word, ministering in our local church and being involved in our community, so that God can open doors for us for His divine appointments.

 

We are Saints, not because of our habits, attitude and focus, but due to what Christ did for us on Calvary’s cross. Our chosen lifestyle is a result of His character and nature within us. He gave us the mind of Christ, and we love what He loves and are not interested in the excesses of this life.

 

Prayer:
Father God, whatever we do, it is for Your glory, even something as mundane as eating and drinking (1 Corinthians 10:31). You do care about what we eat and drink, because You want us to care for our body, which is Your temple (1 Corinthians 6:19). You bring health to our bones (Proverbs 3:8).

 

In the beginning, we loved You because You first loved us (1 John 4:19). Then, we gradually grew deeper in love with You until we can honestly say, “Though You slay me; yet, I will serve You” (Job 13:15). This is when we knew that we are living in union with You alone (1 Corinthians 10:31). We enjoy serving You, our Savior, who are also our help and deliverer.

 

Thought for the Day:

The good things in life often become the enemy of the best things; let those who love God’s salvation magnify Him with our body, spirit and soul – thoughts, choices and emotions – so that we do not partake in the excesses of this world. – Psalm 70

 

 

A Surrendered Life

Once we are Born Again, we are one Spirit with Christ who dwells within us (1 Corinthians 6:17). He strengthens us to continually overcome the sinful desires and evil spirits that threaten and tempt our flesh (1 John 5:4; 2 Corinthians 2:14; Romans 8:37).

 

Every time Satan finds something to use to tempt us to sin, it is an idol in our life. These remaining secret unconfessed and unsurrendered sins still dwell in us, which the Spirit has not yet brought to our attention.

 

We brought those idols with us from our old life and they are still causing issues now in our new life (Genesis 31:34; 2 Corinthians 5:17). God calls us to willing lay down these secret sins as His Spirit draws them to our attention.

 

He will complete the work He started in our soul, just as He did in our spirit and will also do with our future immortal body (Philippians 1:6). Daily, He carries out His work of perfection until there is no longer any entrenched sin in our body or soul.

 

We simply enter Christ’s rest each moment of our day and submit to His Spirit’s mercy, grace and direction (Colossians 1:27, 2:2). As we walk in the Spirit moment by moment, we will never fulfill the lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:15-25).

 

Then, God’s Spirit and the divinity of Christ within us renovate our thoughts, choices and emotions from carnal ones to those, which are spiritually minded (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23).

 

Prayer:

Father God, without You in our life we are hopeless and undone (John 15:5). We thank You for giving us Your Spirit to perfect us day by day. We thank You for Jesus’ life and character that overcomes unrighteousness within us and presents us as a spotless Bride (2 Corinthians 4:7).

 

As we mature spiritually and enjoy a deeper and more intimate relationship with You, we will more clearly see Your purpose in our life. We learn to rejoice during trials and times of difficulty, because we know that patience is having her perfect work in us and seasons of great victory follow seasons of spiritual battle.

 

Thought for the Day:

Rather than box with the winds of adversity, we embrace them; the Bible has current answers for us regardless of the questions that plague our mind, if we will only take the time to search them out.

 

 

 

 

Total Surrender to God’s Spirit

The Bible declares that if anyone claims to be a Christian, yet lives a worldly life, they are liars (Romans 8:9; 1 John 2:4). Even demons believe and tremble at the name of Christ (James 2:19).

 

We might believe in God. We might be convicted of our sin. We might like going to church and listening to religious music. However, we are not Born Again.

 

If we are Born Again, we live by the Spirit of God in everything we think, say and do (Romans 8:9).  There is continual intimacy with the living Lord and growth in our character and actions, which are led by His Spirit.

 

Our humanity is already dead with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). God is love and if He abides in us completely, we have no need to strive to show His love to others (1 John 4:8). His love fills us and overflows into the lives of everyone we meet.

 

Christ in us expresses the fruit of the Spirit in and through us. We are a vessel containing the living Lord of the universe with all the dynamic power of the triune God resident within us (Ephesians 3:20).

 

We learn greater sensitivity to God’s leading. Our Heavenly Father is always faithful to lead us in His perfect will. However, we must be willing to spend all day praying without ceasing, worshiping at His feet, communing with Him in prayer, and waiting patiently for His direction.

 

Prayer:

Father God, the only person that may call him/her self a Believer is one with a vital and vibrant intimate union with You. If we live according to our own plans for the day, and attempt to work You into them, we gravely miss many opportunities to allow You to work Your plans through us.

 

Remind us to converse with You moment by moment throughout the day as You orchestrate the adventures in our life to fulfill Your purpose in and through us. We hunger and thirst for a deeper relationship with You, so that we may walk in the fullness of Your Spirit and to enable You to accomplish Your will on the earth through us.

 

Thought for the Day:

Total submission to the control of Christ in our daily life is the next step after our salvation; so let’s completely surrender to the work of God’s Spirit. – 1 Corinthians 15:22-28