God is in Control

There are many areas of life, which we desperately attempt to control, but they end up controlling us instead. Circumstances, people, illness, our supervisor, spouse, children, traffic, waiting in lines, etc. all influence our day in positive and negative ways. We often end up frustrated and hopeless because nothing we do will change the negative issues we are facing.

The best solution for these problems is to pray the Serenity Pray and to ask God to give us wisdom to know what situations we can change, and which we must leave in His capable hands. We can request that He give us the strength deal with the issues that He reveals are our responsibility and the courage to turn the rest over to Him with an attitude of acceptance of His will.

If we cannot change the issues, we can praise God for them, in them, and through them. For instance, our spouse is transferred to a city far from friends and family, and we and the children are resentful about moving. The only way to overcome the bitterness that is surely to follow is to realize that God has a new mission field for the family. A fresh place in the world to make a difference for Him.

The move is no longer a problem, not because we got our way, but because we changed our focus from carnal to spiritual, from earthly to heavenly. God cares about every aspect of our life. He is not unsympathetic about our concerns. He knows what we need, when we need it, and He will supply all of our needs according to His glorious riches (Philippians 4:19).

Prayer:
Father God, help me not to attempt to control life, but to live each moment of it in the center of Your will. When something or someone disturbs Your peace in me, remind me to keep my mind focused on You (Isaiah 26:3). Help me to walk in Your Spirit; and when something bothers me, give me the courage to lay down that idol at Your feet. I have the confidence that You will always either change me, or change my circumstances for my good (Romans 8:28).

Thought for the Day:
When negative feelings assail our soul, they are attempting to communicate that something is wrong within. We can ask God to show us the root of those feelings and the idol causing them. Then, we simply surrender to His control, as we wait for His provision as only He can supply.

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Missing Out on God’s Blessings

Carnal people may have prayed for salvation, but they skip one important step…salvation also implies obedience (Romans 8:5-7). If people refuse to walk away from their sin and to believe in God, they are probably not Christians (1 John 2:3,3:6-9; Ephesians 5:5). They constantly grieve and quench the Holy Spirit with their sinful choices (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19).

A carnal person is too proud or fearful to trust God. They rely on their own efforts, because they do not want to bother God. They live a roller coaster life, stressed out and weary. They are either very legalistic or very undisciplined. They only open their Bible on Sunday. When given a choice, they slide into sin, because it is easier than following God’s way out of temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).

The problem with living a carnal life is that we miss out on the abundant blessings of living a spirit-filled life. God loves us and planned every day of our life before we were ever born (Psalm 139:16). Life is so much easier when we live it God’s way. His Spirit indwells us at salvation and fills us with each new day (John 3:1-8; Ephesians 1: 13-14; 5:18; Romans 8:8-10).

We cannot fill our self with God’s Spirit through human effort (Acts 8:18-24). God’s presence in our life demands obedience. Without it, God’s Spirit is quenched. The still small voice of God is always there to lead us, if we will just listen and obey. God’s Spirit guides and empowers each step we take as witnesses and ministers for God’s Kingdom (Acts 1:1-9; John 1:12, 14:16-17; Colossians 2:9-10).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for birthing us by Your Spirit as authentic Believers. Your peace fulfills us as Your Spirit glorifies Christ through us (John 7:37-39; 16:1-15). As baby Christians we mimic the sinful behavior of the world, but we are constantly growing in love and obedience to Your Word (1 Corinthians 3:1-3). We struggle with our carnal desires, but we eventually realize that we are already free in Christ, who took our condemnation and gave us His righteousness (Romans 7:15-8:1). We want to walk in Your Spirit and in Your service every day of our life.

Thought for the Day:
When we obey God’s Spirit, we do not gratify the lusts of our flesh or desire what is contrary to God’s Word, because living by God’s Spirit is the opposite of abiding in a sinful lifestyle. – Galatians 5:16-18