Secret Intents and Motives

When we depend on someone else for our sense of value, we put our self into bondage to that person. Our motives, goals and opinions revolve around that person’s whims.

People come and go in our life. They have unrealistic expectations of us, tire of us and dump us on the curb like a useless sack of trash.

However, Jesus never ever leaves us or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5). He died for us in spite of our self and our failings. He approves of us in Christ and fully accepts us with all of our idiosyncrasies (Hebrews 13:8).

We can also put our self into bondage to religion by attempting to earn God’s love and acceptance. We drive our self endlessly to work harder and to do better to please Him.

The truth is that our “self” is already crucified with Christ (Colossians 3:3; Galatians 2:20). At Salvation, we are fully accepted in the Beloved of God (Ephesians 1:5-7). God’s Spirit fills us to the brim and overflows on everyone around us.

We prove that we love Him by our obedience to His Word (John 14:15). We do not always keep each letter of the law all the time, but our motive in life is to walk in His ways (Galatians 3:24; Psalm 86:11-17).

God sees our whole heart – including our secret intents and motives (1 Samuel 16:7). He encourages us to keep our self unspotted by the world. (James 1:26-27).

Jesus loved us even when we did not love Him (1 John 4:19). We feel secure in His love, because it is not dependent on whether we earn or deserve it. It is a free gift, which lasts forever (Romans 3:23, 6:23).

Prayer:
Father God, the world values human attributes like popularity, physical features, power, influence and financial abundance; but You reward faithfulness to Your Word. You discern our secret intents and motives and discipline or bless Your children according to the desires of our heart (Jeremiah 17:10).

Help us to shed the trappings of this world that we carry with us into our relationship with You. Purify our thoughts and teach us Your ways, so that we want only what You want and value only those things which bring You honor and glory forever and ever.

Thought for the Day:
We attempt to justify our motives and actions, but the Lord weighs them on His scales; as we consult the Lord, He will guide our steps and establish our plans in His will. – Proverbs 16:2-3

Healing from Our Past

Humans often function on automatic pilot. We repeat tasks hundreds of times and pay no attention to the details along the way. Sometimes, “the devil is in the details”.

We get tied up in the details; and the good things we run around accomplishing rob us of the best things, which God called us to do with our life.

We wear different hats according to the requirement of the moment at work, home, church and play. We segment our soul and personality to meet the expectations of those around us.

Some of us dissociate from parts of our identity and suppress the expression of those personality characteristics. Sometimes, we experience trauma from which we use dissociative amnesia to escape the memory.

We cannot remember parts or all of our past; and, at times, even present events. We function on automatic pilot in multiple personalities in order to fit in or to cope. We lose part of our true self with every trauma we experience in life.

Some of us are schizophrenic, we hear our different ego states conversing with one another and we fear we are going crazy. One part of our self may sabotage or fight against the other.

This dissociative identity disorder attempts to save our life from the extreme pain of our past. Once the Holy Spirit moves into our spirit, He sorts through the various alter egos we create to protect our self.

He heals the pain of our past and allows us to release our grasp on various personalities we used to defend our self. We realize that God is here to protect us now and we have no need to hide behind alter egos.

Prayer:
Father God, the indescribable pain which human beings inflict on one another is caused by rampant sin and suggestions by the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). Regardless of what we experience, however, there is healing in Your wings (Malachi 4:2; Psalm 91:4); and we can hide beneath them until we heal and gain the strength to face this world with Your perspective.

We sing for joy as we snuggle into your feathers and find safety, comfort and security from this world, which often frightens us (Psalm 63:7). Help us to serve as a lifeline to others who also face traumatic events in this life, and give us opportunities to share Your comfort with them in very real and tangible ways.

Thought for the Day:
We can ask God to strengthen the inner being of those we love by His Spirit, so that Christ may dwell in their hearts and they may also find His eternal healing. – Ephesians 3:16

Created for God

Did you ever wonder why the earth’s axis holds its exact degree of slant and stays in its exact obit? If it did not do this, we would all be frozen or burned up.

It is only due to God’s great love and compassion that we are not consumed. His care for us never fails. It is new every single morning because God is faithful. This fact gives us unending hope.

The Lord is our provider as we wait upon Him. He is good to those who quietly hope in Him and concentrate the largest portion of our energy on seeking Him and the fullness of His salvation (Lamentations 3:21-26).

At times, we feel like the Lord does not really care about us. That is only because we have unrealistic expectations of Him that are not part of His will for our life.

We treat Him like a genie in a bottle created to grant our wishes, rather than as our Lord and King who created us to do His will with our life.

If we align our will with His, we are never disappointed in the answers to our prayers, because we pray in the Spirit rather than in our flesh.

We are taught by false prophets to claim Biblical promises, as if this puts God under obligation to us to do our will. He provides His promises to encourage us, not to give us some weapon to use against Him; which by the way, does not work and just leaves us frustrated.

God never changes. His mercy never fails us. His goodness is everlasting. His love is eternal. He is under no obligation to grant our wishes or to do our bidding. Instead, He requires that we lay down our life every day, take up His cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:24; Numbers 23:19; Hebrews 13:8; James 1:17).

Prayer:
Father God we often weave a tangled web with the circumstances of our life and then expect You to get us out of the mess we made. When we live in the center of Your will, Christ strengthens us to accomplish everything which You call us to do. You make us more than conquerors over the issues of life which You allow us to encounter, not over the jumble we create by our self-centered pursuit of this world.

In You we find peace, joy and boldness to walk in Your ways, which are so superior to our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). Remind us that at the moment of salvation You move into our life, abiding there and desiring for us to get out of the way and to allow You to use us to accomplish all that You created us to do.

Thought for the Day:
As we live fully in each present moment, with no expectations or goals of our own, we can more easily follow the leading of God’s Spirit and walk in the center of His will; we hope in God alone, instead of hoping that He meets what we think are our needs.

Focusing on Christ in Us

The Christian walk does not involve us living for Christ, but Christ living in and through us. We are not motivated by desires, obligations or expectations, but by the will of God.

We keep our focus on what Christ did for us on Calvary, and we no longer pursue this world or its benefits. We daily walk in God’s Spirit and live in the eternal realm now.

Grace overcomes the stress in our life and leads us to receive whatever God has in store for us each day. We live, move and have our being in Christ alone (Acts 17:28).

We surrender control over our life, as well as the outcome of our efforts, to Christ. Jesus keeps us in victory, even during negative issues, which we encounter.

God replaces our carnality with His spirituality, our flesh with His Spirit and our motivation and desires with His good, acceptable and perfect will for our life (Romans 12:2).

God’s guiding hand leads us by His Spirit and blesses us with the fruit of our labors in Him. As a new creature, we shed the weight of our carnality and walk in the newness of His life in us (2 Corinthians 5:17; Psalm 128:2).

Prayer:
Father God, we thank You for giving us a new nature through Christ in us by His redeeming work on Calvary’s cross. We no longer live in the flesh or pursue the issues of this world; because they have no more appeal to us.

Remind us that we died in Christ and we now abide in His resurrection power (Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 15:20-22). We live, move and have our being in Your Spirit, doing only those works, which You prepared for us before we were ever born (Ephesians 2:10).

Thought for the Day:
As we focus on Christ throughout our day, we do not have to make plans or provision; we simply follow His Spirit’s direction, as we obey through one word or action at a time, and He supplies all of our necessities and the direction, which we need.

Freedom from Perfectionism

Being perfected into the image of God is certainly Biblical (Matthew 5:48, 19:21). However, the tendency toward human perfectionism in our daily life is fueled by a demon. Perfectionism drives us and everyone around us to perform obsessive and irrational actions.

This puts burdensome requirements on us, our family and our co-workers (Colossians 2:20-23). We are constantly stressed and worn out, and this adds to the negative atmosphere around us. Perfectionism and stress cause physical ailments. We spend too much time and money in doctor’s offices searching for a medical reason for our illness caused by perfectionism.

One great way to break this driving force is to start doing things less than perfectly. Allow the flatware in the drawer to slip to the side rather than insisting that it stay perfectly stacked. Stop using hair spray and allow your locks to dance with the wind (1 Peter 3:3-4). Wear shoes that do not perfectly match your outfit once in a while. Vacuum once a week rather than every day.

You get the idea. Stop attempting to perfect everything in your life. You will make so many other people happy and free, including yourself. If someone judges you for this deviation in perfection, that is their problem, not yours (1 John 4:18). If someone is upset because you are a few minutes late, this will free them from their perfectionism.

God wants to deliver us from this demonic oppression. We simply need to cooperate with Him to find our freedom. Do not hesitate to say, “No” to someone’s request, if it is not God’s Will. This gives someone else a chance to bless the person and to reap the blessing for themselves; and gives you some time to be still and know God more intimately (Psalm 46:10).
Prayer:
Father God, we allow so many issues and people to dictate our daily schedule instead of Your Holy Spirit. Remind us to seek Your will for each moment of our life, rather than to insist on our own agenda or to be a slave to someone else’s expectations (Proverbs 3:5-6; Ephesians 2:8-10). Help us to give others, whom we were attempting to control by our perfectionism, the ownership for their own lives. You make us perfect; it is not our job to perfect our self or anyone else around us (Psalm 18:23). We are confident that You started a perfecting work in our life and will complete it in Your way and timing (Philippians 1:6, 3:12; 2 Corinthians 7:1).

Thought for the Day:
Do not put an emphasis on perfectionism in this life, or you will be foolish, destroy yourself, be overworked and die before your time; the person who avoids extremes trust in the Lord. – Ecclesiastes 7:16:18; 1 Corinthians 13:6

Hope for Tomorrow

If the Gospel of Christ is not true, then there is no forgiveness or reconciliation for our sins and we have no resurrection to look forward to. We have no joy for our current life or for the next, and there is no expectation of living in the Father’s house in the future (Romans 10:9; I Corinthians 15:17-19; John 14:1-2, 12). Life without Christ is a life without hope.

There are countless people experiencing depression and mid-life insecurities because they place their hope in our culture, a bank account, a philosophy, their employment or worldly religions. This house of cards is shaky at best, and the ensuing insecurity drives people insane, gives them heart attacks or destroys their relationships.

However, the Gospel of Christ is gloriously true. Jesus suffered and died to set us free from Satan, the flesh, sin and death. We now have hope for tomorrow. As we walk in the light of God’s Truth, we have no fear of darkness or evil, because Christ in the authentic Believer overcame Satan and evil on Calvary’s cross. Even negative aspects of life now work out for our good (Romans 8:28).

A life based on God’s Word has a stable and firm foundation (2 Timothy 2:19). As we walk by the direction and power of God’s Spirit, we will not fulfill the dictates of the devil or the flesh, but we will luxuriate in the continual blessings of God (Galatians 5:15-26). As we focus on His plans for our life with a pure heart, He uses us according to His will (Psalm 51:10; Ephesians 2:10).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for giving us the opportunity to live in Christ and to become a new creation. We rejoice that our old habits, sins, negative emotions and personality are made new by Your Spirit (2 Corinthians 5:17). When we trust You with our life, You destroy the deprivation, which devastated us and You mature us in the likeness of Your Son (Romans 8:29). Thank You for claiming us as Your own and for making it possible for us to spend eternity with You.

Thought for the Day:
Therefore, even when we are simply eating or drinking, or whatever we decide God wants us to do, we do it all for His glory.
– 1 Corinthians 10:31

Opposites Attract

God made men and women with differences. We compliment each other’s weaknesses with our individual strengths. We serve in different functions in our union, which enhances our productivity. Men and women actually have the same basic needs, but we want them provided for in different ways. Sadly, these differences often drive a wedge between two people.

When a woman thinks of romance, she envisions sweet gestures, thoughtful gifts and romantic words. They want focused attention and help around the house. When a man thinks of romance, he pictures a trip together to the sporting goods store, or the fishing hole or the hockey game. Many men believe that “bringing home the bacon” is enough work for one person and they resent family expectations.

Women want their man to look nice; but whether he is in jeans or a fine suit, it does not really matter. Most men like their women to look like a supermodel. They do not want their wife walking around with uncombed hair and no make-up, or in a tattered t-shirt and jeans. Men appreciate it when women make an effort to look and smell their best.

There are exceptions, but women usually find it easier to express their feelings and to communicate what they need and want. Many men find it hard to communicate. It is easier for them to show their love than to say it. Some even bottle up their feelings and an avalanche of accumulated resentment finally buries their love. The couple ends up frustrated and growing apart.

As virtual strangers, the only hope we have is for both genders to honestly communicate with each other and to volunteer how we feel and what we need rather than to keep our partner guessing. We can ask our mate to stop doing something that offends us, to start doing something we are failing to receive or to change the way we both do things and to serve one another as Christ serves the church (Galatians 5:13).

Prayer:
Father God, You are preparing us as the Bride of Christ. We are learning Jesus’ character and how to communicate with Him on an intimate basis. Our love for Him grows with each passing day and we honestly share with Him what we think and how we feel. Help us to do this same thing with one another. This will improve our relationship and prevent many divorces. Remind us to pray, praise and worship together.

Thought for the Day:
One way to create a mutually edifying relationship is to learn how to communicate your feelings and needs effectively.