Driving Our Self Crazy

Satan rose up in rebellion against God and earned a place in hell with all of the angels who rebelled with him. Adam unwittingly gave Satan control of the earth by eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

 

Now the devil roams the earth seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). Satan perfected his art of deception. We are not protected from His lies and we can fall for them just like Adam and Eve did.

 

Add to this devilish seduction to our own lusts and the powerful temptations from living life in the world, and it is amazing that anyone ever actually chooses to surrender their life completely to God.

 

Our sin nature doomed us to failure since birth; but Jesus Christ set us free from sin and death by His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension (Romans 8:2).

 

Our only protection from the devil’s lies is to walk in the Spirit of God and to weigh the thoughts that come into our mind with the standards of the Bible and the peace of God that guides our spirit (Galatians 5:15-25).

 

Once we come to faith in Christ, we still often hesitate to relinquish to Him the power over our existence. We have a lifetime of experience with people letting us down, disappointing us and breaking their promises and commitments to us.

 

Only the Spirit of God can break down our defensive walls of fear and mistrust and allow us to fully embrace a relationship that starts with our total submission to God through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

 

As we learn to trust in the Lord with all of our heart, God rewards our faith with health and abundance in every area of our life. Rather than relying on our own strength and understanding, we seek His will for every minute of every day (Proverbs 3:5-8).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You know that we will drive our self crazy, if we continue to attempt to maintain control over our life. According to Your Word, those who trust in their own efforts are foolish (Galatians 3:1-3). However, those who walk in Your wisdom are kept safe. We eventually learn to give You every fear and insecurity that plagues our life, because we come to understand that You really do care about us (1 Peter 5:7).

 

You help us to understand Your ways and to know You intimately. You exercise kindness, justice and righteousness on our behalf (Proverbs 28:26; Jeremiah 9:23-24). You delight in us and we are Your people. You are our Good Shepherd and we are the sheep of Your pasture (Psalm 95:7, 100:3). We live for You and follow Your voice all the days of our life.

 

Thought for the Day:

Eventually, God’s Spirit leads us to the point in our life where we step over the boundary of our fear into the freedom of faith and trust in Him.

 

 

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For the Glory of the Lord

We can feel pride about all of our accomplishments during our lifetime, until we realize that it is God who always gave us these victories (1 Corinthians 1:31). Even as a non-Believer, our success came from God.

 

Until the sanctifying process does its perfect work in us, we all slip out of the Spirit and into the flesh from time to time, especially if we try to live the Christian life in our own strength.

 

The good news is that by His death on the cross Jesus demolished our need to strive to be good. Jesus is the radiance of God’s glory and God’s exact image (Hebrews 1:3).

 

God’s Spirit guides us and fills us with His fruit – the character of God. As love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, self-control and faith permeate our personality, the glory of God is manifested through us (Galatians 5:22-23).

 

When we live in unity with the Trinity, and enter into His rest, His glory is manifested in us and through us (Isaiah 60:1; Luke 10:27; Acts 1:8). We were created for His glory and everything we do, even if it is as simple as what we eat and drink, is all done for the glory of God (Isaiah 43:7; 1 Corinthians 10:31).

 

Once we surrender our life to God through faith in Jesus Christ, the Spirit of God moves in. Daily, we grow more like Christ by the transforming work of His power within us (Romans 8:30). Therefore, God’s glory grows more radiant in us as well.

 

Prayer:

Father God, You take our negative thoughts and transform them into the mind of Christ. Our behavior is influenced by our thoughts, so You renew our actions too. We end up with a calm confidence in the power and position we have in You with Christ living within us, which is actually our hope of living in glory for eternity (Colossians 1:27).

When we live to Your praise, everyone recognizes that Your glory is manifested in and through us (Philippians 1:11). All of us, who had that veil of sin removed from our eyes through faith in Christ, can now see and reflect Your glory. Your Spirit makes us more and more like Jesus each day, and we are changed into Your glorious image (2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

Thought for the Day:
When Christ, who is our life, appears, He will set up His Kingdom on the earth; we also will appear with Him in glory and serve Him for eternity. – Colossians 3:3-4

 

God’s Ways are Amazing

We are now the excited owners of a restaurant in our tiny village in Illinois. We originally intended to sell our Florida home and buy the property to use as an outreach restaurant and ministry tool to introduce people to salvation in Jesus Christ.

 

We realize now that if we had done this, people may have interpreted it as an act of self-sacrifice and given all the glory to us. However, God allowed hurricane Irma to destroy much of our Florida home, and this vision died in the aftermath of this devastating storm.

 

Hearing what happened from relatives, a visitor to our little church felt called by God to donate the money to purchase the property with the understanding that it would be deeded to the church when we could no longer personally use it for a ministry outreach.

 

The day that the title company transacted the sale of the land and restaurant, we started the process of assessing our needs, discovering the pitfalls we inherited, and cleaning of the building and its scant contents.

 

I document this event to let you know the wonderful power of God’s will in spite of Satan’s attempt to destroy the vision through the whirlwind in Florida. I also want to let you know in advance that due to this extra responsibility, I may not always post on my blog as regularly as I previously did.

 

My time is now full of cleaning two “homes” and reaching out into our community with my husband to serve up good food, fun, fellowship, laughter and pleasant smiles along with the love and nurture of Christ.

 

I look forward to practicing “true religion” (James 1:27) in our community and to witnessing God changing lives through His love, peace and joy that are forever ours when we surrender our life to His watch-care.

 

Prayer:

Father God, I am so glad that Your ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9); and that Christ in us is greater than the devil and his minions who reign in dominion of our earth at this span of time, by Your will, and in Your spiritual economy (1 John 4:4; 2 Corinthians 4:4). We give You all the glory for this event, and we thank You for giving us Your wisdom and guidance and for continuing to provide for all of our needs according to Your glorious riches (Philippians 4:19).

 

We count it an honor to be part of Your desire to use us to further Your Kingdom in our world, and we trust in You to give us the spiritual fruit of our labors. We desire to impact every life that enters the doors of our little restaurant; and we vow to use every penny of our actual profit to reach out to our community at every age level and in any way that You inspire us to minister.

 

Thought for the Day:

The devil may attempt to derail the vision and plans that God gives you; but be encouraged by this testimony and realize that God will accomplish His plans in such supernatural ways that He will blow your mind.

 

Surrendering to God’s Holy Spirit

The body of every Born Again Believer is the temple of the Holy Ghost (1 Corinthians 6:19). When the Trinity moves in and dwells within us, we reflect His glory to the world around us (2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

Our fleshly carnality actually dies with Christ and our life is now hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3-4). We place our hope only in the glory of the Lord (Romans 5:2).

 

Once we surrender our life to God through faith in Jesus Christ, the Spirit of God moves in. Daily, we grow more like Christ by the transforming work of His power within us (Romans 8:30).

 

Therefore, God’s glory grows more radiant in us as well. We can do nothing to create these conditions in our life. If we try, there is a danger that people will label us as a hypocrite, because our flesh and spirit still war against one another.

 

As humans, we are drawn toward delusion, and we often seek false gods (Psalm 4:2). This penchant protects us from heeding the convicting work of living by God’s Truth. We veer off the straight and narrow road and join the masses on the wide road to destruction, and we do not even realize what we are doing (Matthew 7:13).

 

The remedy for this is to enter into God’s rest. We enter His rest simply by surrendering to the Holy Spirit within us. In this place of peace, we cease from our striving (Hebrews 4:10-11; Galatians 3:1-3).

 

We focus instead on ministering from the perspective of our rest in Christ (Hebrews 4:3). Then, as we surrender our will to God’s, and draw near to Him and obey his calling on our life, we abound in and are filled with the fruits of our right standing with God.

 

Now He can do more through us than we could ever manage on our own. He gives us His wisdom, courage, guidance, peace and grace to accomplish all that He calls us to achieve (Romans 2:8-10).

 

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, You are the Word of God, and yet you became a human being and made Your home among us. You are full of unfailing love and faithfulness. We thrill with hope and cry in humility that the Creator of our vast universe is also the lover of our soul.

 

As Your Spirit does His sanctifying work within us, we see Your glory revealed in our lives. We walk as Jesus walked, speak Your oracles rather than our own words, and we follow the guidance of Your Spirit every moment of our life. May we always reflect Your glory as we fulfill Your purpose for us during our lifetime.

 

Thought for the Day:

“So if the old way of the law, which has been replaced by the Spirit, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new life through the Holy Spirit, which remains forever!”

– 2 Corinthians 3:8

 

 

 

 

The Purpose of Negative Emotions

Many people misunderstand the purpose of negative emotions that we experience. They are red flags from our soul to alert us to a situation that needs our attention.

 

We may have unresolved conflicts from our past that are causing our soul’s current unrest, but God gives us wisdom when we take these issues to Him in prayer.

 

Feelings such as anger, fear, resentment, hopelessness, rejection, confusion, invalidation, bitterness, depression, etc. alert us to issues festering in our soul.

 

The root of these emotions is hidden in an experience, which muddied the peaceful stream of our soul. Until we find this root of unrest, and bring it to God to heal, it will continually stir up strife in the depths of our soul.

 

The moment that God speaks His truth to us about this situation, however, the passion within the negative emotion is extinguished and the joy of the Lord returns.

 

When we rid our soul of the splinter of experience that is still festering deep in our subconscious mind, our current emotions lose much of their power over us, and we react to life less violently.

 

We are also able to enjoy each moment as God gives it to us, because we are unencumbered by negative emotions. We experience the freedom of soul that God intends for us to enjoy.

 

Prayer:

Father God, teach us the importance of daily inventories of the symptoms of our body and our soul. Remind us to follow the trail of tears from the negative emotions that are disturbing our peace, back to the experience where Satan planted his lies that are causing them.

 

Help us to see that they may not be rooted in the current situation we are experiencing, but in some instances they stem from issues, which are far back in our past. Give us courage and wisdom as we seek Your healing for all of the negative emotions that rob us of our joy in the current moments of our day.

 

Thought for the Day:

We are able to enjoy each moment as God gives it to us, if we are encumbered by negative emotions that act as chains to bind us to our past.

 

An Eternal Focus

Christians often think that to enjoy the features of living on this earth is to be earthly minded; and to pray, read the Bible and do Christian work is to live a holy, spiritually-minded life. This is not necessarily true.

 

God created all good things for us to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17). He put us on this diverse and beautiful planet so that we can enjoy His glory and majesty surrounding us. All creation points us to the reality of His existence (Romans 1:20).

 

God also gifts us with talents in music, mechanics, giving, art, engineering, caring, teaching, technology, preaching, serving, etc. We actually balance out our earthly pursuits when we do them with a spiritual mind, in response to the leading of God’s Spirit and for His glory (1 Corinthians 10:31).

 

Our soul – our thoughts, emotions and choices – requires times of leisure and recreation in order to maximize its effectiveness. If our soul does not prosper, our body and spirit will suffer also (3 John 1:2).

 

The problem arises when we only focus on this world and our soul. The type of recreation and the amount of time and money we put into earthly pursuits determines whether or not we are catering to the flesh.

 

We relate to our physical world with our five senses and also involve our desires, instinct and intellect. We interact in the spiritual world through our spirit, which is Born Again at the moment of salvation.

 

If our focus is consumed with the natural aspects of life, our spirit will suffer, and our body and soul will endure deprivation as well. If we attempt to perfect our self through the flesh, rather than through the Spirit of Christ in us, all that we reap is more flesh.

 

As we focus on God’s will for each moment of our day, He works out His sanctification and perfection in us, and gives us a fulfilled life that blesses everyone that comes in contact with us.

 

Prayer:

Father God, lead us to live a healthy life in body, soul and spirit. Help us to see that if we primarily focus on fleshly, carnal aspects of life – even positive things such as our job, church, family and hobbies – they become idols. If we focus on religious aspects of life, we grow self-righteous and judgmental. You give us balance if we seek You and Your will for each moment of our day.

 

You desire that we carry Your spirituality and will into every detail of our daily lives (Colossians 3:17). We do all things through the strength and energy You supply for us. In this way, we cannot take any credit, but we will give you all of the glory and power forever and ever (1 Peter 4:10-11). We thank You for Your comfort, and ask You to comfort others through us (2 Corinthians 1:4).

 

Though for the Day:
If we trust in our own abilities and wealth, we will fail; but as we step aside and allow God to bless others through us, we will prosper as well. – Proverbs 11:28

 

Finding Freedom in Surrender – Bible Paradoxes

Surrender has never been a positive word or concept. If we surrender in a war, we admit that we are the losers. If we surrender to a major illness and it takes our life, we are considered as weak and that we gave up rather than fight for our life.

 

Yet, in the Christian walk, if we lose our life, we gain life (Matthew 10:39). This is called a Biblical Paradox – two contradictory statements that are surprisingly both true!

 

There are many paradoxes in God’s Word:

  • Living in full surrender to the Trinity, we are freed from our flesh, the world, and the devil – John 8:32-36.
  • If we give away, we gain; if we keep for our self, we tend to poverty – Proverbs 11:24; Acts 20:35.
  • To truly live, we must die – Philippians 1:21
  • Depending on God in our weakness gives us His true strength – 2 Corinthians 12:10.
  • As bondservants of the Lord Jesus Christ we find fulfilling freedom – Romans 6:18.

 

 

In order to surrender, we first learn humility. God resists the proud; but blesses the humble (James 4:6). Jesus humbled Himself to take on human form and die for our sins (John 3:16-17), and now He is exalted, as we will be also in eternity (James 4:10; Philippians 2:8-9).

 

Unreservedly surrendering to Jesus Christ, without any hesitation or attachment to this world, brings us true peace and joy that is never available without fully surrendering to Christ in us (John 14:27).

 

Surrendering all to Christ, we gain His forgiveness, peace, provision, blessings, character and identity. We lose our insecurities, pride, self-centeredness, etc. and gain His love, power and sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

 

Prayer:

Father God, surrendering to Your wisdom and love gives us peace that does not depend on our earthly circumstances. We relinquish our goals, opinions and dreams and fully embrace Your will for our life. Help us not to resist Your Spirit’s guidance or to rely on our human understanding, but to trust in Your mercy and grace, which is new every single morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).

 

Jesus is our all in all. He is our whole life and we need nothing and no one else to live a fulfilled life (Colossians 3:3-4). We find our center, our “true north”, our equilibrium and our gratifying path in life in full surrender to Your will. Help us also to find freedom from Satan’s lies that keep us captive to fear, so that we can walk in Your perfection and freedom.

( http://www.transformationprayer.org )

 

Thought for the Day:

God uses trials and adversity to bring us to the end of our self-sufficiency, so that we are willing to permanently throw our self totally into surrender to His love and care every moment of every day.