Into the Silence

The world is so noisy. All around us, even out in the country, social media, TV, car radios and stores are blaring advertisements and voices almost 24/7.

 

Many people have a noisy soul too. Their thoughts and feelings are bombarding them with negative issues that demand their immediate attention. They are weary and discover no rest, even in God’s presence.

 

In sleep they dream disruptive images, which come from their troubled soul. They argue with significant others in their life and even argue with their own self; finding no peace at all.

 

Only if we disappear into our spirit and immerse our self in God’s peace can we find ultimate silence regardless of the dissonance of circumstances around us.

 

As we sit in His presence, we get lost in Him and focus on His still, small voice within us. We worship with the angels and enjoy our front row seat with Jesus in heavenly places even now (Ephesians 2:4-7).

 

We sit in companionable silence with Him as we bask in the pleasure of God’s face shining on us as He takes joy in our company (Numbers 6:25; Psalm 80:3; Zephaniah 3:17).

 

Finding comfort in the silent presence of our significant others is also a joyful experience. We may chat amiably or snuggle silently and recharge our battery for the coming tasks which will demand our attention.

 

Holding our child as they drift off to sleep is one of the most satisfying experiences in life. We watch their peaceful features and enjoy their unconditional love as their breathing slows and their tiny eyes droop.

 

Yet, our most meaningful relationship is dwelling continually in God’s presence. He permeates us with a quiet peace, sane direction, cheerful thoughts and a holy existence. We pray or listen as the moment dictates and enjoy the constant fellowship of His company.

Prayer:

Father God, as we abide in Your presence we experience deep peace, unexplainable joy, and Your comfort and support as we share with You our tears of worship or burdens. You are kind to all of us who trust in and obey You. We wait patiently for You in our alone times and in the cacophony of daily living (Lamentations 3:25-26).

 

By faith, even in our worse trials and times of testing, we joyfully count on Your faithfulness to produce endurance in our soul (James 1:2). We dwell in our spirit and snuggle under the almighty shadow of Your wings (Psalm 91:4). You give us peace which overcomes human reasoning, and You shower us with Your blessings regardless of the hardships we experience in this life (Philippians 4:7).

 

Thought for the Day:
Times of silence give us rest, hope and strength to face the next trial.

 

Slow Down and Spend Time with God

The soul is the most overlooked aspect of our Christian life. Prior to salvation, we allowed our heart to advise us, control us and comfort us. This does not refer to our blood pumping organ, but our inner self of thoughts, choices and emotions – our soul (Proverbs 4:23, 15:13, 23:7; Matthew 12:34-35). This way of life is weak, at best, but all we had.

When we come to Christ, our spirit is Born Again, and we begin the adventure of living in and by the Spirit of God (Galatians 5:16-25). This is when we start to mistrust our soul, and rightfully so. However, we also ignore the needs of our soul, thinking that they are carnal and unholy. Some of our soul’s demands are unrighteous idols, which we lay at the altar for sacrifice (Romans 8:6-7; 1 Corinthians 3:3).

Yet, many of our soul’s desires are given to us by God, and He wants to supply them through His glorious riches (Philippians 4:19; Ephesians 3:16). We can nurture our soul by listening to praise songs, reading God’s Word, learning a new hobby, taking college courses that interest us, making new Christian friends, planting a garden, exercising to trim down and raise endorphins, serving in the ministries of our church, planning a healthy snack to look forward to every day, joining Bible study classes, etc.

The most powerful way to nurture our soul, however, is to be a friend of God. It takes time to develop this relationship, but it is so nourishing to our body, soul and spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23). Slow down and spend time alone with God. You will focus on the wholesome side of life, find peace and joy in the midst of negative circumstances and feel God’s presence in each moment of the day.

Prayer:
Father God, Satan has his agenda for our life, and we merrily follow his lead until we come face to face with Your invitation to accept Jesus as our Savior. Satan’s deception is no match for Your presence in our life. He fades into the background and loses the battles he wages for our soul. Your Spirit nurtures our body, soul and spirit as we follow Your direction for each new day. We love You and give You all the praise and glory for Your wondrous intervention in our life.

Thought for the Day:
God’s Spirit transforms our soul into the image of Christ throughout every moment of our life. – 2 Corinthians 3:18

The Gift of God’s Presence

A shooting star, a sale at the store on the exact item you need, a flower growing in the sidewalk crack, a simple solution for a giant problem, and so many more examples are all revelations of God’s goodness – a special kiss from Him just for us. He even uses a quick glance at a clock, with a special arrangement of the numerical order, to give me special hugs throughout the day.
( http://carm.org/what-biblical-numerology )

We do not need to earn the gift of salvation, because it is a free gift through Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23). However, the gift of God’s presence entails our obedience and love for Him. Walking in God’s Spirit allows us to maintain this constant communion with Him (Galatians 5:16-25). We walk in fulfillment and find joy in the simplest revelation of His goodness.

We must guard against allowing the good activities, which we are invited to participate in, from becoming the enemy of God’s best for us. The frantic pace of our world thwarts us from enjoying a contented life in God’s presence. The good people and events, which demand our attention, are robbing us of quality time with God, His Word and His perfect will.

Our hectic lifestyle prevents us from entering into the rest of God’s presence (Hebrews 13:5). It is only 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, that He will provide His guidance and protection while showering us with His peace and love (Proverbs 3:5-6; Psalm 62:5-8).

Prayer:
Father God, what you desire from us more than anything else is for us to love You with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30). Remind us to walk in Your Spirit’s filling, which is new every day, and to live in the center of Your will. Help us not to forget that only one thing is needed in this life, and Mary made the better choice. Thank You for promising never to take away from us our intimacy with You (Luke 10:42).

Thought for the Day:
At times, we cannot hear God’s voice, due to the roar of people’s expectations requiring our time and talents.

To Apprehend Christ

Every person alive, no matter how good their behavior, deserves to go to hell. That may sound harsh, but it is our ultimate destination. Our load of sin is too heavy for us. We can never atone for it by ourself. That is why God became a man. The Word became flesh (John 1:14). He is our substitute, our sacrificial Lamb, who paid for the sin of the whole world.

Unfortunately, many people are too smart for their own good. They see no need for a substitute to die in our place. People cannot reconcile in their mind how Jesus can be God, and yet commune with the Father as a man all at the same time. Have you ever talked to yourself? Had a conversation with yourself, asked yourself a question or tried to give yourself some advice?

One man can be a son, a father and a grandfather – three persons in one man. Even so, the Trinity is made up of the Father, the Son and the Spirit, working together in three separate aspects of one Holy God. This holy God demands justice and restitution for sin. In the natural realm, we pay the penalty when we break the law. In the spiritual, Jesus wants to pay your penalty for breaking God’s law (James 2:10; Galatians 5:3).

If we die in unbelief, then we pay our own penalty in hell for eternity (John 3:16-18). Our body goes to the grave, but our soul – our thoughts , desires and feelings – goes to hell. However, if we surrender to Jesus, believing that he is the God in the flesh, then the angels will carry our soul to heaven with our Born Again Spirit.

Once Jesus returns to the earth, the soul of both Believers and unbelievers will unite with our own immortal body. Can you imagine eternal torment in a body that will never die? That is what happens to those who do not repent of their sin and trust Jesus for salvation. Those who do repent and surrender to Jesus will live with our immortal Trinity forever.

In the meantime, Jesus dwells in our Born Again spirit. If we are willing to walk after His Spirit instead of according to the depravity of our fleshly, carnal nature, He will not only atone for our sin, but also live His perfect life in and through us (Galatians 4:16,25). Jesus lived His own life for the glory and honor of His Father (John 4:34). Now, He lives His life through us for His glory, as we have faith in His faithfulness.

Prayer:
Father God, we are willing to perfectly trust in Jesus to not only pay the penalty of our sins, but also to live in and through us by Your Holy Spirit (Luke 22:42). We willingly lay down our self-life in order to live the life You prepared for us before we were even born (Ephesians 2:10). Thank You for loving us so much.

Thought for the Day:
Accept Christ in all of His fullness, and allow Him to live and move and have His being in you both now and forevermore. – Acts 17:28

Authentic Devotion

God calls us to a place of authentic devotion. He desires worshippers who sincerely come to Him through His spirit (John 4:24). He honors those who love Him by keeping His Word (John 14:15). He always provides a way to escape temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). God promises that, as we humble our self before Him and resist temptation, Satan will have to flee from us (James 4:7-8). We abandon our heavy burden of self-imposed labor; and, instead, enter into God’s rest (Matthew 11:28; Hebrews 4:10).

God is always faithful and He keeps His promises (1 Thessalonians 5:24). We have no need to waiver in our faith, because He is worthy of our trust. He desires nothing less than our whole-hearted devotion to Him in every area of our life. God does not wink at sin; He is appalled by it. He cannot look upon, nor dwell where sin resides (Psalm 5:4). We grieve the Holy Spirit with every compromise we make in our life (Ephesians 4:30-31). Therefore, do not break God’s heart by sinning.

In our modern society, we spend more time serving God on our own terms, than in obeying God’s direction. We rely more on our self-effort than on God’s strength within us. We also grieve Him when we plan our life to the minute and have no time for fellowship with other Believers or even reserve a few moments for Him in daily devotion. We frantically pray for God’s blessing on our plans as we rush from one event to another throughout the day.

Instead, God wants us to yoke up with His Spirit and do only those works, which He prepared for us before we were even born (Ephesians 2:10). In this way, we find rest for our mind and heart, which are wearied by the demands of the world (Matthew 11:28; Hebrews 4:10). It is only as we return to the center of God’s will that we find complete rest. In this place of quiet confidence, we find our strength (Isaiah 30:15). He is always present to help the humble that depend only on Him (Isaiah 5 7:15).

Prayer:
Father God, You love us with Your everlasting love and draw us with Your kindness (Jeremiah 31:3). You offer us a place of repose, a resting place for the weary to find solace (Isaiah 28:12). The righteousness of Christ in us offers us peace and brings with it the quiet confidence we need to face the issues of life (Isaiah 32:17). Therefore, we walk in the Spirit, so that our soul – our thoughts, choices and emotions – can find rest in the Lord, who is always good to us (Psalm 116:7).

Thought for the Day:
We remain calm and do not lose heart, when we circumspectly walk by the direction of God’s Spirit. – Isaiah 7:4; Ephesians 5:15-20