Our Motivation in Life

As an authentic Born Again Believer, our motivation in life comes from one of four sources: the flesh, the world, the devil or God’s Spirit. At times, it is hard to discern which one is influencing our thoughts, emotions, desires and actions. We can discover the source of our motivation by checking on our responses to the situation.

Are our thoughts, words and actions mirroring the fruit of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21) or the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)? Negative emotions and behavior are definite clues that the flesh, the world or the devil is influencing us, rather than the Spirit (1 John 2:16). Fleshly conduct and demonic oppression in a Believer is the direct result of not walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:15-18).

When we recognize that we are out of the Spirit, we can confess our thoughts and behavior as sin, and ask our Father to renew a right spirit in us (Psalm 51:10). God is always quick to forgive us and to empower us with His Holy Spirit. Once we turn away from our carnal behavior and seek the Lord’s direction, He enables us to make amends to anyone we hurt, while we operated in the flesh.

We walk in the Spirit as we stay connected to the Spirit throughout the day. He will direct each moment and everything included in it, if we seek Him first (Matthew 6:33). The more we rely on the Spirit, the more victory we have over the flesh, the world and the devil (Ephesians 2:1-10). We are no longer motivated by worldly success, the balance of our bank account, or the number and type of our friends, but by God.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that we are an extension of Christ on the earth (John 14:12). We walk in obedience to You to the best of our ability, relying on the Holy Spirit to keep us on the straight and narrow and in the center of Your will (Matthew 7:13-14; John 14:15). Thank You for forgiving our shortcomings and inspiring us to focus on the eternal, rather the earthly aspects of our life. We want all that we think, say and do to bring You glory (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Thought for the Day:
Do not make plans; consult the Lord and follow His desire for every moment of your day. – Proverbs 3:5-6

God’s Presence In Us

We often implore our Heavenly Father to give us more patience, love, peace, joy, compassion, faith and strength. What we do not realize is that we already have all of the fruit of the Spirit resident within us through our salvation in Christ. God’s Spirit and all of the attributes of God are already available to us.

The issue preventing them from manifesting is our flesh. Our flesh often masquerades as God’s direction and we follow the wrong path. When seeking God’s will, we are looking for a billboard, a loud speaker or a flashing neon sign, but it never comes. Our human reasoning quickly drowns out God’s true guidance.

We second guess our first impression and miss God. God directs us from His Spirit within our spirit in a barely recognizable impression or thought. God’s is a still, small voice, which is often overwhelmed by the cacophony of life’s trials and demands. As we submit our desires and thoughts to God’s Spirit and obey His direction for each moment of our day, we live in peace and rest.

It is only as we decrease, that Christ in us can increase (John 3:30). The more we minimize the influence of our flesh, the world and the devil in our life, the more we are able to access the fruit, gifts and power of the Trinity within us. God already has our life planned out for us (Ephesians 2:10; Psalm 139:16). We never need to deal with life in our own wisdom and resources.

Prayer:
Father God, nothing occurs in our life that is not already part of Your plan for us. There is no need to fear, attempt to control or to worry about our present and future circumstances. We can take a deep breath and exhale all of the tension and stress caused by negative emotions and life’s events; then breathe in Your peaceful presence in all of its fullness. Even negative circumstances are a new adventure, because You are in control. You are not bound by time and You have an eternal perspective. You know the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10).

Thought for the Day:
Christ in us is our glorious hope for a fulfilled life and our eternal reality. – Galatians 2:20

Trusting in the Almighty

The Lord preserves our life and inspires our devotion to Him (Psalm 97:10). He is our God and saves everyone who trusts in Him (Psalm 86:2). Our eyes are on the Lord, and we take refuge in Him. He will never leave our soul – our mind, will and emotions – destitute (Psalm 141:8). He is our constant help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1).

Even if the earth erupts in multiple tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanoes, which level the mountains, surge the roaring waves from the sea and level the earth with quakes, we have no need to be afraid (Psalm 46:2-3). We simply cry out to Him, who is our provision for as long as we live on this earth (Psalm 142:5).

God listens to our prayers and pays attention to our requests. He faithfully answers us with His righteous choices (Psalm 143:1). He allows those who trust in Him to experience His unfailing love with each new morning. As we lift up our thoughts, choices and feelings to Him, He reveals His direction for our day (Psalm 143:8).

God’s hand deals out blessings and trials as we need them for our perfection. He allows defeat to mold us into His divine nature. He uses adversity to prove His faithfulness and to increase our faith in Him. Our weakness proves our need for His strength. Our independence melts in the furnace of affliction and we depend on Him more each day.

Prayer:
Father God, help us to listen to Your Spirit so that we may decrease as You increase in our life (John 3:30). Give us a hunger for Your life-giving Word of Truth, which nourishes and satisfies the longing of our soul (Psalm 107:9). Replace our hardened heart with one of flesh that is pliable under the nurturing of Your Holy Spirit (Ezekiel 11:19).

Thought for the Day:
We will not harden our heart to the Truth of God’s Word, but respond to every phrase, and trust in the Almighty as we follow the direction of His voice. – John 10:27; Hebrews 3:15

Consulting the Lord

Joshua took over the leadership of Israel from Moses. He followed in Moses’ footsteps and sought God’s direction for each decision he made and every action he took. He had no confidence in his own ability and He generally relied on God’s counsel. God promised to give Joshua every part of the land where he set his feet. God also declared that no army would stand against him (Joshua 1:3,5).

Therefore, with a few successful battles to his credit, Joshua’s fame traveled throughout Canaan (Joshua 6:27). This caused his heart to swell with pride, and He got overly confident. He started believing the praise awarded to him, rather than giving credit to the Lord. The unconventional warfare God told Joshua to use at Jericho (Joshua 6:20) puffed up his confidence. Therefore, at the next battle, in the tiny town of Ai, Joshua did not bother to consult the Lord.

He relied on his own wisdom instead. He sent up an army of about three thousand men, expecting to hear of their anticipated victory. However, God taught Joshua a lesson through this and allowed the few men of Ai to defeat Joshua’s army (Joshua 7:3-4). God humbled Joshua, and he ended up embarrassed and dejected. It happened again when the Gibeonite ambassadors tricked Joshua by their deceptive words (Joshua 9:14-22).

Joshua foolishly believed he could handle these decisions without the Lord’s direction. We do this too. We forget to pray and to seek God’s counsel when salesmen pressure us, friends and family manipulate us and those in authority over us demand things from us. True success in life only comes when we seek advice from the Lord before making a decision, and follow His advice even if it is not popular or seems not to make sense. Hindsight always proves God right.

Prayer:
Father God, as Your children, we will need to make some important decisions throughout our lifetime. We have the choice of following a humanistic plan of action or of seeking Your divine direction. Remind us to trust in You with all of our heart and not to lean on our own understanding. Help us not to be wise in our own eyes, but to consult You (Proverbs 3:5-7). That way we will not be anxious about anything, but we will pray about everything and present our requests to You (Philippians 4:6). When we lack wisdom, we can ask You, because You give it generously to all without finding fault (James 1:5).

Thought for the Day:
Consult the Lord in whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.
– Proverbs 16:3

Yielding to God’s Spirit

As human beings, we are programmed to preserve our life. It is a foreign concept to allow any harm to come to our body or soul – our mind, will and emotions. We fight to the death to preserve our autonomy and the control over our own life. We spend our lifetime combating people and forces, which attempt to harm us in any way. Dying daily is not something we readily embrace (Matthew 16:24; 1 Corinthians 15:31).

However, once we yield to the power of the God’s Spirit within us, we do not struggle with the world, the flesh or the devil. We realize that God is going to protect us and care for us through any issue in life. God may lead us into a catastrophe, such as Paul’s shipwreck, or into temptation like Jesus in the wilderness, or into torment like Paul in prison. Yet, we can rejoice in our tribulation, because His Spirit is leading us (Romans 5:3, 8:14).

We humbly follow God’s Spirit, even if we know persecution awaits us. We have the confidence that God always opens a way for us (Romans 8:28). Even through the raging rivers, which attempt to thwart our spiritual progress, we eventually cross on dry ground (Nahum 1:3; Isaiah 43:6). Jesus puts all of His enemies under our feet, including Satan and His minions (Romans 16:20; 1 Corinthians 15:25).

We no longer fear Satan or march to the beat of his drum, because we are free indeed (John 8:36). We view our afflictions as new adventures in growing in Christ. Jesus did nothing on this earth without following our Father’s direction. We are also children of God and co-heirs with Christ of the Kingdom of God (1 John 3:2; Romans 8:17). We only succeed in this life as we truly follow His example, and live and move and have our being in Him (Acts 17:28).

Prayer:
Father God, we have a problem with loving our flesh more than we love You (Ephesians 5:29). Teach us to nourish and cherish our relationship with You more than we cater to our own desires. Remind us of Your faithfulness and allow us walk in Your ways regardless of the trials or the temptations, which we face in our life. Help us to yield these issues to You, our Savior and our King, who lives within us with all power and might.

Thought for the Day:
We triumph over Satan and our flesh by the blood of the Lamb and our evidence that Christ reigns in us, because we do not love this life, even when faced with death. – Revelation 12:11

God’s Truth or Satan’s Consequences

There is no mystery in life for the Born Again Believer. The Spirit will prompt us each moment as we ask for His direction, wisdom, insight and inspiration in every task we face. The Bible teaches us about nine fruit, which the Holy Spirit gives to us as He chooses (Galatians 5:22-23). He also gives us gifts for the benefit of God’s Body (1 Corinthians 12:7, 31; 14:1,39).

The Spirit also protects us from the devil, who roams the earth seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Satan comes as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14) to deceive us and to sidetrack us from experiencing God’s Truth. His counterfeit tactics will give us the impression that what we are experiencing is from God, when it is actually drawing us away from God.

One way to detect whether an experience is from God is if it brings peace or confusion. Satan is the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). If you hunger after more of God, then you are safe. If you want more of a person or a certain experience, then it is Satanic. If your experience does not align with God’s Word or if you feel a red flag in your spirit, don’t walk away…run!

God inspires us to go deeper into His Word while Satan encourages us to spend more time on our self and to neglect God’s Word, our family and our church family. As we sit in God’s presence and walk in His Will, then His Spirit empowers us to do the works, which God chose for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). As we pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), we commune with God throughout the day.

Prayer:
Father God, give us discernment by Your Spirit to know when something is of You or Satan’s counterfeit. In these last days, he wants to draw away as many people from You as he can. He is sending false prophets into the world to preach a false doctrine and to cause people to focus on their self instead of on You. Help us to relinquish everything in our life, which hinders us from growing in our relationship with You. Remind us to walk in Your truth each moment of the day, so that we do not reap the consequences of an evil life.

Thought for the Day:
Doing things God’s way is much more productive than doing them to the best of our human ability.

Resting on Faith

The best way to discern God’s Will is to pray and hear from God. We cast our cares upon Him, because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7; Psalm 55:22).

God commenced our life at conception with each day already planned out and the entirety of our days numbered (Psalm 139:13,16). He created us with a specific purpose in mind, and He has a perfect will for each and every one of us (Ephesians 2:10). Are we fulfilling that purpose?

 

Christ will live this wonderful purpose through our life by His Spirit. He gives us both the desire and the power to accomplish God’s Will for our life (Philippians 2:13). We abandon all confidence in our self, our flesh and our human abilities. When we choose to totally relinquish our plans and surrender to His faithfulness, we enter into His divine rest (Hebrews 4:10). We live in reverence to Christ as our Lord (1 Peter 3:15).

 

Depending completely and ceaselessly on God, we do the works, which God calls us to perform with our life (Ephesians 2:10). We love those He leads us to love, pray for whom He calls us to pray for, share the gospel with those whom we feel Him nudging us to talk to and serve those He directs us to serve. Our whole goal in life is to bring God glory in everything we think, say, feel and do.

 

We live in victory, which Jesus won for us on Calvary’s cross, and we do greater works than He did because His Spirit abides in us. There are no expectations in our heart, no demands or requirements that we hold out for God. We do not dictate to Him what He should do, but we entirely surrender to His will for our life. The more we walk in the Spirit, the more we want to walk in the Spirit.

 

Our confidence in God comes through the faith of Christ in us (2 Corinthians 3:4). We entertain no ambition or desires apart from knowing Christ (Romans 15:13). Having a productive day in the things of God and for the Kingdom of God is the most fulfilling time we can ever experience. We wait on God’s direction, through His Spirit within us, and we see His hand on everything in our life.

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for filling us with Your Spirit at the moment we open our hearts to accept Christ’s sacrifice for our sins. Thank You for leading us each moment of the day by Your Spirit and for keeping us in the center of Your will. We enjoy the fellowship of Christ and we dwell in You as Your Spirit dwells in us. We depend on You absolutely and we trust You to give us both the desire and the power to serve You with our life (Philippians 2:13).

 

Thought for the Day:

We rest in the faith of the Son of God, who loves us and gave Himself for us. – Galatians 2:20

God’s Deliverance

God does not only deliver us from bondage to sin, Satan, the world and the flesh, He also brings us into rest and victory in the name of Jesus. He does not do this one time, but continually, day after day as we sit in His presence throughout our busy schedule. He takes our anxiety, stress and responsibilities on His shoulders and gives us His Spirit to comfort and direct us.

 

So often, we get so settled in our mediocre life that we loathe to leave it behind and walk deeper with God. However, when we finally weary of our wandering in life’s wilderness and call out to God, then He delivers us from all of our enemies. He showers us with His presence and faithfully provides for all of our needs.

 

If we are spending more time out of God’s presence than in it, He is calling us to completely surrender to His will for our life. It may be scary. It may be nerve wracking. It may be inconvenient and take us out of our comfort zone. However, we find a new serenity and comfort in God’s presence that is never available to us outside of His daily fellowship.

 

Walking away from the flesh and into the presence of God by the direction of His Holy Spirit brings us more freedom, joy and peace than we ever thought possible. We submit our will and goals for our life to God and embrace His will for us instead. He guarantees that we will love His plans much better than our own plans. He will amaze us with His kindness and love.

 

Prayer:

Father God, we are wholly willing to completely follow Your plans for our life (Ephesians 2:10). We know that the result of our plans and dreams bring endless futility and frustration to our life. Thank You that Your law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus is greater then the law of sin and death, which reigned in our body and soul prior to our salvation (Romans 8:2). Help us to get rid of the residue of the flesh in our life. Teach us to live as spiritually-minded children who walk only in Your ways (Romans 8:6-10).

 

Thought for the Day:

God helps our unbelief (Mark 9:23-25), and leads us on a level path because of our enemies (Psalm 27:11).

Fathomless Tranquility

The life of the authentic Christian is one of complete dependence on God. This dependence develops a deep restfulness that permeates every area of our life. There is no reason to struggle and strive in life. When stress tries to overwhelm us, we can go to our solid Rock who is higher, stronger and more stable than we are and find rest for our soul (Psalm 61:2).

God gives us a firm footing on which to walk in this unstable world in which we live (Psalm 37:23; 40:2). He makes our path level so we do not stumble or fall (Isaiah 26:7). He guards our feet. It is not by strength that we prevail, but by the power of God in our life (1 Samuel 2:9). When we hide God’s Word in our heart, our feet do not slip as we work to increase the Kingdom of God by His Spirit’s direction (Psalm 37:31; 66:9).

We do not use obnoxious gimmicks in ministry, but we simply present the gospel in a kind manner to whomever will give us their time to listen. It is not our responsibility to make anyone believe. They come only as the Holy Spirit draws them (John 6:44). However, it is our responsibility to go into the entire world and to make disciples for Christ of anyone who wants the blessings and relationship we have with Him.

The Vine and branch is such a special, reciprical relationship mutually benefitting one another; and we rest in our union with the Vine. He is also the Potter, we are the clay; and we rest in His hands as He molds us into a vessel of His choosing. Another analogy is that He is the Head and we are His Body. Our body never moves unless our mind tells us to do so. This is the same as with our relationship with God.

We depend on God entirely for our every need. The deeper our union, the more we listen to His Spirit. We never move unless He directs. Our love for Him and our passion for winning the lost and growing His Body increases with each passing day. The days get sweeter and even in negative circumstances, we maintain the positive attitude, which faith provides.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, we sit at Your feet and learn from you, just as Mary did when she chose the wiser part in your visit to Your friends’ home (Luke 10:39). We bask in the peace and rest, which increases in us as our knowledge of You and relationship with You increases. We give you all of our anxieties, because You care for us (1 Peter 5:7). Give us Your divine promises, love and abilities in order to affect a change in our world.

Thought for the Day:
We rest in our relationship with God in fathomless tranquility.

Thy Word is a Lamp

Depending on the mood of the moment, the Bible is often held up to public ridicule or contempt. However, to authentic Born Again Believers, God’s Word is a light to our path to keep us going in the right direction and a lamp for our feet to keep us from stumbling or falling (Psalm 119:105). The wisdom in its words teaches us to walk carefully as the wise, to make the best use of our time and to understand what the will of the Lord is for our life (Ephesians 5:15-17).

God’s Word answers all the vital questions in man’s soul. How did we get here? (Genesis 1:27) Why are we here? (Ephesians 2:10) Can love last forever? (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) Can marriage survive betrayal? (Matthew 6:14) Do I have to love unlovable people? (Matthew 5:44-48) Can I live with someone I love without being married? (1 Corinthians 6:18) Aren’t I supposed to be happy in life? (John 15:11) When do I become an adult? (1 Corinthians 13:11) Can I marry someone of my same sex? (Romans 1:25-28)

Can making money make me happy? (1 Timothy 6:10) How can I say, “I’m sorry”? (Psalm 51:3; Proverbs 28:13) Is it ever okay to betray a confidence? (Esther 21:23) Can I steal for a good reason? (Exodus 20:15) Is it okay to drink alcohol? (Proverbs 20:1) Who should I marry? (2 Corinthians 6:14) Can I get divorced and remarried? (1 Corinthians 7:12-16) Which religion is the right one? (James 1:27) Which version of the Bible is from God? (2 Timothy 3:16)

The words in the Bible are a mystery to most people, boring to some, and considered historical to others and fiction to a few. Without exception, however, God’s book is the most spectacular book ever written. It survived multiple attempts to annihilate it over the years, and it is always the best selling book ever published. The words in it are inspired by God and given to us in order to have a successful and fulfilled life in service to our King Jesus (2 Timothy 3:16; Proverbs 3:13-14, 19:20).

Prayer:
Father God, Your Word is sharper than a two-edged sword, because it can divide our humanistic soul from our eternal spirit (Hebrews 4:12). There is no one that we can trust like we trust You. You alone have the words, which are full of the Spirit and eternal life (John 6:63, 68). From the correlation between the prophecies of the Old Testament and the accounts of the New Testament, we know with certainty that Jesus is our Messiah, who is coming again (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). Lead us by Your Spirit on a firm footing, teach us Your ways and guide us until You come again to receive us to Yourself (Psalm 143:10; Micah 4:2; John 14:3).

Thought for the Day:
I will hide Your Word in my heart, so I will not sin against You.
– Psalm 119:11