Too Vulnerable

One objection people have about completely surrendering to Christ is that it makes us feel too vulnerable. Men especially despise admitting that they need help. It makes us feel deficient and dependent in some way.

Yet, humility is always the best course of action in this life. Admitting that we are not self-sufficient and that we need a Savior is actually freeing and empowering (John 8:36).

We cast our cares on Christ, knowing that He cares for us enough to give His life for us and to submit Himself to the horrendous crucifixion in order to guarantee our salvation (1 Peter 5:7).

We can ask God for protection and provision and reject Satan’s lies in his attempt to discourage us with contempt and judgment for vulnerably admitting that we are powerless.

We come to realize that feeling emotions and admitting our needs is not weakness but strength. We acknowledge that we need our Father God, and possibly even a human confidant as well.

This helps us to heal and to feel less anxious, alone and shamed (2 Corinthians 5:20). We rely less on addictions and destructive behavior and have more inner fortitude to live our life for Christ.

God’s Spirit can then empower us to help other people who have similar needs as our own. Seeing God’s light and love shining in our life inspires them to trust Him with their life as well.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for caring for all of our needs as a doting Father who delights in us and even rejoices over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). We can pour out our heart to You with all of our hopelessness and fear, knowing that You care about everything, which concerns us.

Although You often require that we traverse the trial anyway, we are confident that You are walking through it from within us as well as beside us, completely surrounding us with Your love, wisdom, presence and power. You help us to look beyond despair to Your comfort, which is always more powerful than our burdens.

Thought for the Day:
When we come to Christ in our weariness and hopelessness, He hears us and comes to our rescue; He helps us to carry our heavy load of cares with His gentle humility, and we find true rest for our devastated soul. – Matthew 11:28-29

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A Reasoned Response

Most of my answers are soft (Proverbs 15:1); however, my life was filled with people who took me for granted and ignored me unless I YELLED and unleashed the full fury of my Italian wrath every once in a while.

I always wanted to have a sweet response when someone stepped on my last nerve, or yanked my chain one too many times, but people tended not to take me seriously unless I yelled.

Therefore, when the people in my life changed, I had to practice giving soft answers, to practice choosing to give a reasoned response, rather than letting my emotions build within me until I simply exploded (Psalm 116:7).

In the ensuing years, God allowed my children to grow up into responsible adults who live in their own homes. He also gave me a husband who nurtures and cherishes me.

God helped me to understand that I do not need wrath to get my point across. All I need to do is to quietly say, “I really want you to take me seriously, and listen to what I am saying.”

Our authority is in Christ, not in our self or the intensity of our words. In Christ, quietness is our confidence and strength (Isaiah 30:15, 32:17). When two people disagree, they can always find a compromise.

When we speak with God’s authority instead of our own, people listen. We get the person’s attention, share our needs and then relax in quietness and confidence that the Lord will fight for us, as we wait on Him (Exodus 14:14).

We can trust that God already placed the seed for a miracle in every trial, which we will ever encounter. If we water this seed with faith, patience and confidence in God’s faithfulness, a beautiful plant of blessing will grow.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that Satan battles for our soul through our mind, choices and emotions. He knows he already lost our spirit to You, but he wants to destroy our soul, and our witness for You (Proverbs 34:13). Help us to choose to step out of our self-effort and into Your authority by the guidance of Your Spirit (Proverbs 16:23; Isaiah 45:22).

Wounds from our past and ever-occurring wounds in our present life – being belittled, discounted, deprived emotionally or physically, abandoned, insecure and frightened in our heart – will manifest in our words.

Yet, as we trust You, You help us to heal from our wounds. We will dwell in security and rest (Isaiah 32:18). May our thoughts and words be pleasing to You as we rely on You as our rock and Redeemer (Psalm 20:14).

Thought for the Day:
As God heals the wounds in our soul, as we relinquish our pet peeves and idols to Him, as we surrender control of our life to Him and realize that nothing can happen to us that is not already part of His plan for us (Isaiah 7:4), then we can think and speak quiet, confident thoughts rather than broiling negative emotions.

Take No Thought

How often do we worry our self sick over some issue in our life? We fret and plot and plan, trying to come up with a way to prevent some imagined or real impending doom.

Jesus advises that we take no thought for tomorrow (Luke 12:22). He tells us to ask, seek and knock, and He will provide our needs (Matthew 7:6-9).

He reminds us to pray in the Spirit as we make our requests to Him (Ephesians 6:28). Effectual prayers are persevering and bathed in gratitude for all that God already did for us (Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18).

We are confident that He not only started His work in our life, but He will also finish it (Philippians 1:6). We live a surrendered life for the praise of His glory, and He sanctifies us in stages (Ephesians 1:12; 2 Corinthians 3:18).

We are not occupied with this world and the desires of our flesh. Instead, we dwell in the Temple of our God and enter His presence through the outer court of Salvation, and minister to Him in the Holy Place (Psalm 135:2; Revelation 3:12).

However, there is one step further in our intimacy with God. We encounter the glorious presence of God in the Holy of Holies (Hebrews 9:3). Everything pertaining to life in this world is absent from this cherished place of abiding.

We dwell in this holy chamber, within our spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19). We never leave God’s presence as we walk in the Spirit and do only those works, which God calls us to perform (Ephesians 2:10).

Prayer:
Father God, although we have lost yesterday, never to get it back again, You have not lost it, because You are not limited by time as we are. We look forward to all of our tomorrows as we walk in Your Spirit and put aside the lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:15-25). We trust in Your faithfulness to work out all things for our good (Romans 8:28).

Our most meaningful and intimate times of worship will not be the dark days of trial and tribulation; but our times of loving fellowship with You alone, in the Holy of Holies within us. Once we surrender our life to You, You keep our heart from breaking and we never feel lonely or abandoned again, regardless of whatever experiences we encounter in this temporal life.

Thought for the Day:
We want nothing more from life than to dwell in the shelter of the Most High, and to rest under the shadow of the Almighty. – Psalm 91:1