Fall on the Rock

Do you ever feel like a meteor fell out of the sky and landed right on top of you? Is there trouble at every turn and nothing ever works out as it is supposed to happen?

Jesus advises us to fall on the Rock, before the Rock has to fall on us (Matthew 21:44). This insinuates that we can prevent certain negative events from occurring if we trust in Christ alone.

In the center of God’s will nothing will actually harm us and anything that rises up against us will not stand or prosper (Romans 8:31; Psalm 118:6). Outside of the will of God, Satan can attack us or cause us unpleasant experiences without God’s protection.

When we step outside of God’s will, He usually disciplines us in order to return us to the straight and narrow road of His choosing for our life. He does not discipline to harm us, but to keep us safe and to bless us.

As vigilant parents, we attempt to keep our children out of harm’s way and walking in safety, security and blessings. God disciplines us for the same reasons – for our good and to give us a life of peace and joy.

He is not vindictive or harassing us or seeking to punish us, but is focused on our protection and rewards. As the Bible repeatedly illustrates to us, God never, ever sends judgment without first giving a warning.

If we obey right away, we avoid the need for discipline or reaping the negative results of what we sow. We do not sow to the wind and reap the whirlwind, but the calm surroundings of green pastures and still waters (Hosea 8:7; Psalm 23:1-2).

God always restores our soul to equilibrium after the world attempts to inflict us with trials and troubles (Psalm 23:3). He showers us with new mercies with each new dawn (Lamentations 3:22-23). Sorrow is fleeting, and joy always comes with the morning (Psalm 30:5).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that if we insist on living life our own way, You will have no alternative but to reprimand us and allow us to reap the natural consequences of our disobedience. Only in the center of Your will do we find true joy and peace. Keep our feet from wandering off the straight and narrow road, which You prepared for us (Matthew 7:13-14).

Help us to totally surrender to You rather than to insist on living life our own way. Remind us that You have a perfect will for every member of Your Body, so that we will function together perfectly as we further Your Kingdom on the earth. Draw us ever closer to You and allow us to reap the fruit of our labors.

Thought for the Day:
God anoints our head with His peace and our cup overflows with abundance as He lavishness us with plentiful provision in the midst of our enemies. – Psalm 23:5

Fellowship with God’s Trinity

Prayer is the most important spiritual discipline we can accomplish. Prayer is speaking to God from our heart. Rote prayers and formulas for prayer are unnecessary. God already knows our heart and delights in hearing our own words (Luke 16:15).

As we mature in Christ, God places His burdens upon our heart for the lost people groups in our world, for those laden by illness and natural disasters, for people devastated by the loss of a loved one through death or divorce, and those suffering from other distresses caused by this sin-cursed life.

God gives us His heart and lays His burdens on us a bit heavier as time progresses. When we faithfully pray, the intense weight is terrible at times, but the fact that God trusts us with His heart is joyful and spurs us on to persevere in prayer.

As we acknowledge our dependence on Christ in all things, especially in prayer, we pray in the Spirit as well as with our human understanding (1 Corinthians 14:14-15). We see mighty answers to our prayers from a God who delights in bringing us joy (Psalm 149:4).

We stop limiting God by our doubts and carnal thoughts. We follow our Lord Jesus’ example and pray the prayer, which never fails, “Lord, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Luke 22:42)

God already knows our needs, but He delights in our dependence on Him. Our Father savors the words of praise and adoration, which we pour out in our prayers.

He delights in our companionable silence when there is no immediate need to lift up in supplication. We bask in the warming rays of His continual presence.

We yearn for intimacy with Him, and He snuggles us under the shelter of His wings as He showers us with His love (Psalm 17:8). We even experience the fullness of His glory from time to time.

We pray without ceasing all through the day, regardless of the circumstances in which we find our self. We look for His seed for a miracle in the negative aspects and rejoice in His provision and blessings in the positive experiences.

Prayer:
Father God, as we take time in Your presence more and more with each passing day, Your love shines in us and through us as a beacon to the lost and dying world around us. Your Word shows us that the Saints of old persevered in their anointing by abiding in Your presence. Help us to fully surrender to Your Spirit each moment of our day.

Remind us in the midst of our infirmities that the ministry of prayer and intercession is the most powerful task You share with Your Body. When we allow You to remove our need to stay busy, You use our whole being in this vital ministry. We do not need to be bed-ridden to be effective in prayer; it is simply a matter of priorities. Prompt us to cry out day and night for Your Kingdom to reign over all the earth.

Thought for the Day:
When we pray without ceasing, we abide in fellowship with the Trinity and access their power in every circumstance in our life.

Fall on the Rock

Do you ever feel like a meteor fell out of the sky and landed right on top of you? Is there trouble at every turn and nothing ever works out as it is supposed to happen?

Jesus advises us to fall on the Rock, before the Rock has to fall on us (Matthew 21:44). This insinuates that we can prevent certain negative events from occurring if we trust in Christ alone.

In the center of God’s will nothing will actually harm us and anything that rises up against us will not stand or prosper (Romans 8:31; Psalm 118:6). Outside of the will of God, Satan can attack us or cause us unpleasant experiences without God’s protection.

When we step outside of God’s will, He usually disciplines us in order to return us to the straight and narrow road of His choosing for our life. He does not discipline to harm us, but to keep us safe and to bless us.

As vigilant parents, we attempt to keep our children out of harm’s way and walking in safety, security and blessings. God disciplines us for the same reasons – for our good and to give us a life of peace and joy.

He is not vindictive or harassing us or seeking to punish us, but is focused on our protection and rewards. As the Bible repeatedly illustrates to us, God never, ever sends judgment without first giving a warning.

If we obey right away, we avoid the need for discipline or reaping the negative results of what we sow. We do not sow to the wind and reap the whirlwind, but the calm surroundings of green pastures and still waters (Hosea 8:7; Psalm 23:1-2).

God always restores our soul to equilibrium after the world attempts to inflict us with trials and troubles (Psalm 23:3). He showers us with new mercies with each new dawn (Lamentations 3:22-23). Sorrow is fleeting, and joy always comes with the morning (Psalm 30:5).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that if we insist on living life our own way, You will have no alternative but to reprimand us and allow us to reap the natural consequences of our disobedience. Only in the center of Your will do we find true joy and peace. Keep our feet from wandering off the straight and narrow road, which You prepared for us (Matthew 7:13-14).

Help us to totally surrender to You rather than to insist on living life our own way. Remind us that You have a perfect will for every member of Your Body, so that we will function together perfectly as we further Your Kingdom on the earth. Draw us ever closer to You and allow us to reap the fruit of our labors.

Thought for the Day:
God anoints our head with His peace and our cup overflows with abundance as He lavishness us with plentiful provision in the midst of our enemies. – Psalm 23:5

The Perfecting Work of Patience – Part 2 Entering God’s Rest

 

The only striving the Bible encourages us to do is to strive to enter God’s rest (Hebrews 4:10-11). We do not use self-effort to arrive at any other phase of our Christian walk.

The reason we have to strive to enter into God’s rest is that it goes against our natural human tendency. Our pride and rebellion spur us on to do things our way, and submitting to God chafes our soul – our mind, will and emotions.

We want to feel accomplished and to believe that we earned the degree or trophy or crown of glory by our hard work and effort. The truth is that we will throw our crowns at Jesus’ feet, because we will finally realize that He, not us, earned and deserves them (Revelation 4:10-11).

In our free will, we can choose to disobey God’s Spirit at any time; but then we reap the consequences of sin, as well as discipline for our disobedience from our Father who loves us a His children (Hebrews 12:4-12).

On the other hand, attempting to discipline our self to walk in good works and obedience to God’s Word is often fruitless and counterproductive. The more we strive toward perfection the more our flesh draws us back into sin and rebellion.

We can only walk in perfection as we rely on the promises and Spirit of God (2 Corinthians 7:1; 2 Peter 1:4). Our obedience to God is both inspired and empowered by His Spirit within us (Philippians 2:12-13).

“Let patience have her perfect work” (James 1:4-8) is not telling us to be patient or to get patience. It is simply telling us to submit to God and to allow patience, which is a fruit from the Holy Spirit, to do its perfecting work in us (Galatians 5:22-23).

This takes all the stress out of life for us. We walk in freedom and joy, with God’s peace in our heart regardless of circumstances; knowing without a doubt that God has a seed for a miracle in the midst of every trial.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that our part in our spiritual walk is simply to surrender to the work of Your Holy Spirit in our life. We are but a lump of clay, and You are the Master Potter (Jeremiah 18:1-6; Isaiah 64:8). You are our Alpha and Omega and You give us Your living water as we thirst for You alone (Revelation 21:6).

Teach us that the Christian walk is not about self-effort, but about submission to You first and foremost in all areas of our life. We concede to You in everything we think, say and do; and You direct our path (Proverbs 3:5-6). We walk in Your ways now and serve You for eternity in Your new heaven and new earth (Revelation 21:1).

Thought for the Day:
By trusting in God to save and to perfect us in every way, regardless of the circumstances of our life, we enter His rest and remove all stress from our life.

Loved and Forgiven

When we actually come face to face with God’s glory, we realize just how sinful we are. This encounter changes our very countenance, attitude, behavior, focus and prayer life (Exodus 34:35; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Ephesians 4:31-32).

We trust our life on earth to God’s perfect plan for us (Ephesians 2:10). We find fulfillment, peace and joy through His love and forgiveness (Romans 14:17). We keep our eyes on Jesus, regardless of our circumstances (Hebrews 12:1-2; Philippians 3:9).

We never pay back evil with more evil, and we do things in such a way that everyone can see we are filled with the honor, grace and love of God (Romans 12:17). We no longer condemn others, because we realize that we are sinners too.

We think and act with mercy, grace and compassion. We also realize the magnitude of God’s love for us, and we express His glory by allowing His love to flow through us to others.

The love of God is multi-dimensional with width, length, depth and height (Ephesians 3:17-19). It completely surrounds us in every way. There is no escaping the love of God.

We collapse into God’s waiting arms with the confidence that He will catch us and never, ever let us go (Hebrews 13:5). He abides in our spirit and makes a huge difference in our life both now and throughout eternity (Romans 8:11).

God does miraculous works for and through those who love Him and obey His Word (Deuteronomy 28:1-13; Hebrews 11:6). Our inheritance in His Kingdom is full of His glory (Acts 20:32).

When we flee from temptation and please God, we increase in the grace and knowledge of all that the Lord means to us (2 Timothy 2:22-24; 2 Peter 3:18). He is miraculous, amazing, magnificent and incomprehensible in human terms. He is the great I AM (John 4:26; 6:20; 8:24, 28, 58; 13:19; 18:5).

Prayer:
Father God, You are our peace and Christ is our very life (Ephesians 2:14; Colossians 3:4). Thank You for Your eternal covenant with Your Saints through the crucified body and shed blood of Jesus Christ. You are the great Shepherd and we feel so secure as Your people and the sheep of Your pasture (Psalm 100:3).

You equip us with every good thing, which we need to walk in Your perfect, pre-planned will for our life (Ephesians 2:10, 13:21; Philippians 1:6). You work out of us anything which displeases You, until we are holy in Your sight through our Lord, Jesus Christ. We will glorify You forever and ever (Hebrews 13:20-21).

Thought for the Day:
God never disciplines from anger or vindictiveness, but with the purpose of drawing us back to His love and forgiveness.

Words Matter – Part 2

Education and breeding allow us to learn self-discipline and to measure our words carefully, regardless of how we think and feel. We speak cultured words, which do not offend, unless we lose our temper.

However, the Spirit of God is our continual restraint in our thoughts, feelings and actions. He helps us not to blurt out whatever comes to our mind, which is usually crafted by Satan to cause trouble (Proverbs 17:27).

Yet, no human is always able to restrain our tongue, because it is intolerant, immoral and full of lethal venom (James 3:8). Only the work of Jesus, living within the Believer, gives us the power over our tongue.

Once we accept Christ as our Savior, the negative aspects of life control us only if we allow them to do so. When we belong to Jesus, His life-giving Spirit frees us from the power of sin, which leads to death (Romans 8:2).

Salvation also frees us from living in conformity to this world, because we are transformed by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:2). Jesus actually renews the spirit of our mind (Ephesians 4:23).

He always gives us a choice, along with wise counsel about which choice to make. If we guard our words and keep our tongue, we avoid calamity (Proverbs 21:23).

The Bible encourages us to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1:19). Wise words win good things for us; and if we guard our lips, we guard our life (Proverbs 13:2).

When our thoughts are excellent and worthy of praise then this affects what we say and do, as well as how we feel emotionally and physically (Philippians 4:8).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that it is better not to be quick to speak or hasty in our heart to think anything negative. When we walk in the Spirit, the fruit of our lips fill us with good things, as surely as the good work of our hands rewards us (Proverbs 12:13-14).

We give You the praise and glory for the transforming power of Your Spirit within us. We can never thank You enough for drawing us to Your heart and including us in Your family for eternity (John 6:44; Ephesians 2:19).

Thought for the Day:
God watches us from heaven as we are on earth, so let us be wise and let our words be few. – Ecclesiastes 5:2

Proof of God’s Love – Part 2

God absolutely cares about us and the matters, which are important to us (1 Peter 5:7). He has our best interest at heart.
God’s discipline is a proof of His love for us (Hebrews 12:6).

He helps us to cast down the idols in our soul (2 Corinthians 10:5). I know that I have an idol in my life when my feelings get hurt and when other negative emotions start popping up in my heart.

If something irritates me, angers me or stresses me out, I can be sure there is an idol at the root of the issue, which I need to surrender to God.

Many times the issues, for which I am crusading, are best left as a matter of prayer, rather than trying to influence someone to accept my ideas or to act a certain way.

Another idol of mine is organization and schedules. I keep lists and calendars. I love order and proficiency. I feel secure and they keep me from forgetting appointments. They help me to have what we need, when we need it.

However, other people in my life are more impulsive and extemporaneous. They live a fluid life, and my need for order restricts them.

I had to surrender this idol to God and then learn to be more adaptable, flexible and spontaneous. This helped me to have more fun.

Of course, my ability to keep schedules helps us to stay organized, but I had to learn to be less inhibited and to lay down the idol of my need to attempt to control life.

God is also healing me from codependency. I am learning not to serve others by putting their interests and needs above my own to the point of depriving myself of the peace and joy of walking in God’s Spirit. ( http://www.amazon.com/The-Christian-Codependence-Recovery-Workbook/dp/1936451050 )

God is teaching me to live interdependently with other people and to hear His will for my involvement in their lives. Many times, the discernment He gives me is a matter of prayer rather than action.

Prayer:
Father God, I am learning to trust that You are faithful to restore balance and peace in our life in Your own way and time. Thank You for reminding me that You love the people I care about more than I do.

You have a perfect plan for each life, and You will work out everything in their life for their good (Romans 8:28). You may use me to help in some situation; but more often than not, You choose to do the work in their lives as I pray for them.

Thank You for the freedom from idols that You provide for us. Help us to walk in Your Spirit, so that we will not fulfill the carnal impulses of our flesh (Galatians 5:15-21).

Thought for the Day:
As we monitor the negative emotions, which disturb the peace of God in our soul, we can rely on God to reveal the issue at the root of them, so that we can lay down these idols at His feet.
( http://www.theophostic.com )