Focusing on the Eternal

I was born with a melancholy personality. Over the years of my life, God’s Spirit transformed many of the negative melancholy characteristics into His fruit. I went from a reclusive introvert to a spirit-filled extrovert.

I used to drown in depression, but now I only experience brief moments of melancholy. My former pessimism is swallowed up by optimistic faith in God’s faithfulness (Hebrews 12:2). It is all a matter of our focus.

Do we see the glass half empty or half full? We make innumerable choices every day, all day. If we use the Philippians 4:8-9 formula, we will choose to think about, say and do only positive words and deeds.

We keep our mind on eternal matters, rather than on worldly, carnal aspects of life. “God promises that if we take care of His business, He will take care of ours” – Kevin Bradley (Matthew 6:33).

Unless we are reaping some corruption, which we sowed into our life, there is nothing that will happen to us, which is not already part of God’s plan for us. Give the truth of this statement some time to sink into your soul.

We no longer tremble in fear of the next natural disaster, relational issue or financial loss devastating us. God has all of this, every single part of it, under His sovereign control. He has a perfect plan for our life (Ephesians 2:10).

Although the destruction accompanying trials seems horrendous at the time, there is always a seed for a miracle in the midst of the catastrophe, and it will eventually turn out for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28).

Prayer:
Father God, you never allow Your Saints, whom You make righteous in Christ, to go hungry (Proverbs 10:3; Psalm 37:25). When we honor and obey You, we lack no good thing (Psalms 34:9-10). When we trust in You, we prosper in every area of our life (Proverbs 28:25). We are Your adopted children, because of our position in Christ (Romans 8:29; 1 Corinthians 15:20). You are our good and loving Father and You care about every aspect of our life.

Thought for the Day:
We serve a living Savior and minister at the pleasure of our King.

Strengthened by God’s Might

One benefit of an eternal relationship with Christ is that we have the fortitude to face the issues of life here on earth. He strengthens us to accomplish everything He calls us to do (Philippians 4:13; Ephesians 2:10). When we are weary and weak from prolonged trials, God fills us with His the power of His might (Isaiah 40:29).

In times of sorrow, God’s Word gives us hope (Psalm 119:28). His mighty power within us makes us strong (Ephesians 6:10), because His power is perfected in our weakness. His grace is sufficient to see us through every test (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). Our heart trusts in His power and protections, because He always helps us.

We jump for joy and sing God’s praises, because He works on our behalf (Psalm 28:7-8). Even young people find life daunting at times and they stumble and fall; yet, if they trust in the Lord, they will soar on wings like eagles and not grow weary or faint (Isaiah 40:29-31). God is not only our strength, but also our salvation both through trials and for eternity (Psalm 118:14).

God is gracious to us, and He renews our strength every morning (Isaiah 33:2). He gives us the ability to traverse the mountain of issues we face each day as easily as a deer frolicking on a mountain slope (Habakkuk 3:19). He is our shield, our helper and our glorious sword (Deuteronomy 33:29). His arms strengthen us and keep us secure at all times (Psalm 18:32; Ephesians 3:16).

Prayer:
Father God, You are our light and our deliverance; therefore, we have no need to dread anyone or any circumstance, which life brings our way. You are our strong tower, so we do not have to be afraid (Psalm 27:1). We find our joy in You, because You help us to ride triumphantly through life and to feast on Your glorious provision (Isaiah 58:14). We thank You for calling us into Your family and for putting Your desires into our heart (Psalm 37:4).

Thought for the Day:
Only the Lord provides us with salvation in hard times and the power to live through them; so those who turn their back on God or rail against him will not receive His help and will live in utter shame. – Isaiah 45:24

Unity with God’s Trinity

God already knows when the world as we know it will end, and our time is in His hands (Is 46:10; Ps 31:15). He is eternal with no beginning or end. As Believers and followers of Christ, we start to see life from an eternal rather than an earthly perspective. We do not regret the past or fear the future. We live in the here and now in the precious arms of God (John 5:25).

We walk in His light, just as He is in the light (1 John 1:7). There is no lack in our life, because He supplies all of our needs according to His glorious riches (Philippians 4:19). Our old nature molts away, layer after layer with each new season of Biblical revelation. We walk in the truth that it is no longer I, but Jesus Christ who lives in and through us (Galatians 2:20).

As the hectic pace of life increases, we need more alone (all-one) times with our Lord and Christ. We schedule times of the week as a priority to spend with God. We may not have an entire day, but we can find several hours where we rest and breathe in His presence (Psalm 46:10). The Spirit will open up opportunities for us if we will watch for them.

After hearing from God in our quiet place, there is no need to strive to walk in the Spirit. We are used to hearing His voice and He loves to commune with us. As we delight in the Lord, He puts His desires in our heart (Psalm 37:4). He works out His will in us for His glory. God’s Spirit controls our thoughts, words and deeds more and more often.

Intimate communication with God will nurture peace in our soul. If we make the time and effort to be still before the Lord, His strength infuses our spirit (Psalm 46:10). We have no need to fear, even if our whole world turns upside down (Habakkuk 3:17-19). Jesus Christ becomes for us our refuge and our tower of strength to help in any time of trouble (Psalm 46:1-3).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us to allow You to crucify our flesh so that we can walk in unity with Your Trinity. You commune with us, not in a loud oppressive voice, but in Your still, small voice that confidently tells us which way to go. As we follow Your directives, we end up walking in Your Spirit to accomplish Your will on the earth, rather than living to fulfill the lust of the old, dying fleshly human nature (Galatians 5:16-25).

Thought for the Day:
Even while playing Scrabble I learn to discern the voice of God as I obey that still, small nudge to form letters into words that I do not even know; and this carries over into every day life as I read His Word and follow His direction throughout the day.

Wise Wisdom

At times, we stay up all night with our mind whirling with issues that need a wise solution (Ecclesiastes 2:23). Solomon, the wisest man in the world, realized that following the world’s wisdom is like following the wind (Ecclesiastes 1:17). He pursued God’s wisdom instead. God’s wisdom is the opposite of the world’s wisdom, and it often takes faith to walk in it.

The Apostle Paul tells us that the rationale of this world is futile. He advises us, when directed by God’s Spirit, to dare to be unwise in certain temporal matters. This way we may truly become wise in eternal matters (1 Corinthians 3:18-20). Heavenly wisdom is not tainted by the world. It is pure, serene, tender, steadfast, sincere, sensible and full of mercy and the fruit of God’s Spirit (James 3:17).

So many people miss the opportunity in their life to come to Christ, because they are so dependent on the wisdom of the world, that they miss the simplicity of the Gospel (1 Corinthians 2:21). Jesus Christ became the wisdom of God for us (1 Corinthians 2:24, 30). An intimate, personal relationship with the Son of God gives us wisdom of which unbelievers have no concept.

Mankind throughout the ages spent countless generations attempting to figure out the meaning and origin of life. All along, the answers to mankind’s most perplexing issues are already described and answered in God’s Word. God reveals His deep wisdom to anyone who seeks Him with all of his or her heart (1 Corinthians 2:10; Jeremiah 29:13)

Prayer:
Father God, Your wisdom instructs us to consider more than what meets the human eye. You want us to read between the lines, to think outside of the box and to envision Your reality instead of what we see in human terms. What we can see is merely temporal and earthly, tied to this finite world. That which is discerned only by Your Holy Spirit is eternal and lasting (2 Corinthians 4:18).

Thought for the Day:
God gives us His wisdom through natural events (Romans 1:19,20), the miracle of His Son (Luke 10:22; Galatians 1:16), His written Word and personal revelation, which He only gives to authentic Christians.

The Pinnacle of Spiritual Heights

At the moment of our salvation we received the fullness of the Trinity with all of the spiritual fruit, power, strength and love we will ever need (Romans 8:11). The God of light in us is greater than all of the satanic spiritual forces of darkness, which formerly ruled our life (Ephesians 6:12). We receive a fresh filling of God’s Spirit to do God’s will during each moment of the day (Ephesians 5:18).

Regardless of our human failings and foibles, God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things (Hebrews 11:1-40). The indwelling presence of Christ in us allows us to execute greater works than Jesus did while He lived on this earth (John 14:12). His power and anointing in the collective Body of Christ multiplies His presence in the earth now that He sits at the Father’s side (1 Corinthians 12:27; Mark 16:19).

Every trial we suffer proves our faith to be authentic and produces praise, glory and honor when Jesus returns. Although we have never seen the Lord, we know Him because He dwells within us. We love Him, because He first loved us. He fills our heart with wondrous joy and peace, which defies human logic and description (1 John 4:19; 1 Peter 1:5-9; John 3:18). Our union with Him sets us apart.

Our faith in Christ secures our eternal salvation. God is our righteous Father who wants obedient children to totally trust in and fully surrender to Him. The closer we draw to our Father God, the more we cry out for more intimacy with Him. We can never experience all of God until eternity; yet, we climb ever higher toward the pinnacle of spiritual heights.

Prayer:
Father God there is never a moment in our life when we are not in Your presence. We try to hide from You at times, ashamed of our behavior, but You are always there (Psalm 139:1-16). We never experience one negative or positive aspect of life alone, because You dwell within us. Daily, we ask Your Holy Spirit to control our every thought, word and deed for Your glory (Colossians 3:17). Compel us by our absolute love for You (Mark 12:30) and Your love in us for others (1 John 4:7) to share the Gospel of Christ with whoever will listen (Matthew 28:19-20).

Thought for the Day:
Walk in the Spirit and you will live in the love of God as you reside in the will of God.

Giving God Control

There are people who live in every generation who want to know God. They explore several venues provided by Satan and his minions, and many are taken captive by empty philosophies and spiritual sounding half-truths, which come from human traditions and the god of this world, rather than from God Himself (Colossians 2:8). These people stop short of the truth; and, instead, cheerfully believe a lie.

Then there are those who claim to know Christ as their Savior, but they have not made Him the Lord of their life. He is their helper and their insurance policy in times of trouble; they trust Him and they believe in Him, but He is not their Master and King. They have not yet come to a place of absolute surrender of every known area of their life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

However, if we want to live in a place of perfect peace, we will keep our mind constantly in tune with the Spirit of God (Isaiah 26:3). We will do the works, which God created for us to do. We will seek His pleasure in all things, rather than to seek our own pleasure in this life (Ephesians 2:10). Believers realize that the temporal, earthly aspects of this life are all passing away and only the eternal components will last.

Believers are living stones, fitted together into the dwelling place of God (1 Peter 2:5). We walk worthy of the calling He gives us (Ephesians 4:1). We avoid sin and deprivation by walking toward the Light of life (John 1:4; Matthew 5:16). Jesus died in our place and gives us the victory over both sin and death (1 Corinthians 15:57). We have faith in His faithfulness and walk in His divine power within us (2 Peter 1:3).

Prayer:
Father God, I totally surrender every part of my life to You. I want You to have it all. I want to walk in Your divine will and to do the works You created for me before I was ever born (Ephesians 2:10). I devote my every waking moment to You to use at work, at home and at play. Fill my heart with Your love for those You want to love through me.

Thought for the Day:
Everything in our life, which we surrender to God’s control, will come back to us refined and renewed.

Growing in Christ

When we come to Christ for salvation, our desire to sin wanes over the next few weeks and months. In some people, it disappears completely right away. Others have sins that easily overcome their resolve to live a holy life; and it takes them longer to surrender those desires to the sanctifying work of God’s Spirit.

Eventually, we come to a place of total surrendered to God’s will. We are so tired of reaping the consequences of our decisions that we decide to trust God instead. We struggle to learn to pray, thinking we must use a specific formula, not knowing we can converse with Him as we do our best friend.

We gradually learn that Father God really does know best and that He has our best interest in His heart and will for our life (Jeremiah 29:11). Gradually, our thoughts turn more toward eternal, spiritual matters than to carnal, earthly issues. We view our problems from God’s perspective. We live to please Him rather than our self or someone else.

God’s everlasting arms and eternal grace lift us ever higher above the negative issues of life. Even in the most horrendous circumstances, we maintain a positive attitude and outlook by faith in Him. His thoughts become our thoughts and we perceive the issues of life from a Biblical worldview.

We abide in Christ and walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-25; Colossians 2:6), living according to the grace of God. We see His merciful hand in every area of our life. Our fears and doubts gradually subside and we adopt more and more of the mind and faith of Christ as our own (Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 2:16).

Prayer:
Father God, as joint heirs with Christ, we inherit all things that You prepared for us before the world ever began. You provided Adam and Eve with Paradise and wanted them to enjoy the blessings there forever. However, their pride and self-will fell to Satan’s temptations and they lost Paradise for us all. Thank You that Jesus died to redeem us and to restore to us everything Satan stole from Adam and Eve.

Thought for the Day:
No issue in life is really our problem to solve; it is merely an opportunity for God to prove His miraculous love for us.