Our Strong Tower

As an infant, most of us are properly cared for by our parents; although, more often in these days in which we live, children are no longer cherished and nurtured.

Regardless of our upbringing, however, life rarely pulls its punches. It deals out a lifetime of hard knocks, abuse, neglect and disappointments.

We learn to keep more to our self, in order to give people and circumstances fewer chances to hurt us. We want to stay safe from a world, which often frightens us.

We continue to reach out to other people, and to help them in any way we can; but suspicion taints the way we view people and opportunities, which come our way.

We are programmed to believe that the good times will never last, because they never did in the past. We stop looking forward to things; and we never believe promises, because they rarely if ever happen.

We miss opportunities, which we would enjoy, because we are afraid to trust the leading of God’s Spirit. We stay home rather than to take risks to meet new people and to share God’s love with them.

We learn to build walls to hide behind in an attempt to protect our self. However, these very walls only serve to keep us restrained in the confinement of our own making.

We try to escape these walls through addictions, the wrong friends and mate, busyness, hobbies, projects and over-achieving in areas, which do not really matter.

We imprison our true self behind those walls, which were meant to keep us safe. We can never live a full life as long as we continue to hinder our whole body, soul and spirit from living free in Christ (Galatians 5:1).

Prayer:
Father God, we wall up our heart, because vulnerability makes us susceptible to victimization and neglect. You advise us to guard our heart from sin, but not from other people. You actually expose us to disappointment in this life to show us the magnitude of Your continual love and nurture for us.

Remind us that when we are the weakest and the most vulnerable, then You are the strongest and closest to us in order to fight on our behalf (2 Corinthians 12:9-11; Exodus 14:14; Deuteronomy 3:22).

Therefore, we can entrust our body, soul and spirit to You and Your protection and care (Psalm 55:22; 1 Peter 5:7). We can run into the safety of Your everlasting arms (Isaiah 41:10).

Thought for the Day:
We fear vulnerability; therefore, we hide our true self behind walls of our own making; but God protects us from our enemies and is a strong tower into which we can run and be safe. – Psalm 18:2, 10

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Be Still and Know

Salvation through Jesus Christ is a free gift; we do not earn it by our beliefs or our behavior (Romans 6:23). The gift of God’s presence, however, entails our obedience and love for Him. Walking in God’s Spirit allows us to maintain this constant communion with the lover of our soul (Galatians 5:16-25). It also helps to stop the good activities, which we are invited to participate in, from becoming the enemy of God’s best for us.

Constant busyness keeps us in continual stress and turmoil. Do we really need a two family income, a new car, family phones, premium cable channels, clothes from the mall, the hottest toys on the market, etc? Some people work two or three jobs to supply their family with the lifestyle they believe they need. When does the workaholic have time to spend alone with God, family and friends?

Our hectic lifestyle prevents us from entering into the rest of God’s presence (Hebrews 4:1-16); but as we love the Lord with our entire heart, having no idols in His place and ordering our steps to seek Him throughout the day, He will provide us with His love and guidance (Proverbs 3:5-6). We always walk in fulfillment and we find joy in the simplest revelation of His goodness.

Alone (All-one) time with God allows us to enter that place of abiding, which connects and fills us with His Holy Spirit. Abiding provides us with an opportunity to enter God’s rest, to soak up His presence and to operate from a sense of His peace. His joy gives us needed vitality to meet the trials of the day (Psalm 46:1-3). His wisdom and goodness help us to succeed.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us to make time every day to stop all activity and to cuddle in Your lap, like the little children that we are (Matthew 19:14). Help us to allow You to immerse us in Your love as we love You with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30). We admit that we are powerless and cannot control the events in our life, so we relinquish all control to You and Your perfect will for our life.

Thought for the Day:
Take time to be still and to focus on the fact that God is God and there is no other like Him. – Psalm 46:10

Alone With God

How often do we plan to spend some time alone with God, and some earthly distraction looms before us, demanding our undivided attention? We look wistfully at our little prayer chair or prayer closet or secret place and feel the draw of God’s Spirit on our spirit. However, the world pulls our soul – our thoughts, choices and feelings – away from our Beloved Father.

Whenever God claims our attention, Satan makes sure that our mind wanders and our affections are torn. We cannot even finish the train of thought in our prayers before demonic activity highjacks our attention. God longs to liberate us from the demands of our temporal life and to set us free to soar with Him in the spiritual realm. He wants to remove us from our busyness and give us His rest (Hebrews 4:10).

Martha, Jesus’ friend, was distracted by the duties in her world too. She demanded that Jesus order Mary, her sister, to help her to get dinner ready. Jesus told Martha that Mary already chose the best course for her time. There would be plenty of opportunities for domestic activity when Jesus was not in their presence (Luke 10:42). Our duties are always with us too; so schedule time alone with God.

God wants our undivided, focused attention with our vision and thoughts on nothing other than His face. Then God comforts us, inspires us, directs us and loves on us from the depths of our soul. We must jealously guard this time, setting it aside every day or even several times a day. We also commune with God without ceasing all throughout our day (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Prayer:
Father God, You call some of us to the ministry of intercession, and Your Spirit prompts us to lift up certain ones in prayer. Yet, we also spend alone time with You, because in Your presence is fullness of joy and pleasure forevermore (Psalm 16:11). You mold us by Your grace and replace our carnal flesh with the fruit of Your Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). As we contemplate Your glory, You shape us into the image of Christ, our Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18).

Thought for the Day:
Much is accomplished in the spiritual realm when we make the time to spend in the presence of God.