Clinging to God

 

We tend to cling to God more during trials than when things are running smoothly. God uses the negative aspects of life to strengthen our soul, to increase our spiritual vision and to give us His divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).

 

As we take the focus of life off our self and place it on Christ in us, we are much less earthly minded and much more spiritually minded. God’s influence increases in us as we decrease and get out of His way (John 3:30).

 

God replaces the negative character traits of our personality with the fruit of His Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). We are no longer self-reliant, but we depend on the Holy Spirit to direct our steps.

 

We learn to depend on God instead of our human understanding and reasoning. People will fail us, but God never leaves or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5). He never changes and He is always reliable (Hebrews 13:8).

 

Pursuing peace, which the world gives, is elusive and fleeting. Only peace found in an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ is deep and dependable (John 14:27).

 

There is no requirement in order to form this personal relationship. We simply sit at His feet (Luke 10:42). We abide, motionless and clearing our mind and heart of clutter.

 

We give Him praise and glory for all He does for us each day. We pour out our gratitude to Him for His benevolence, grace and love.

 

Prayer:

Father God, let us follow the example of the psalmist and sing of Your excellent love and impartiality (Psalm 89:1), Your power (Psalm 59:16) and Your goodness (Psalm 100:5). As we give You a more intimate place in our heart and life, we gain more intimacy with You.

 

Remind us to have fun as Your child and to enjoy spending time with You. Our soul thirsts for You, our Living God (Psalm 42:2). Our flesh cries out for You and we attentively seek You (Psalm 63:1). You are so real to us that we can almost taste and see that You are good (Psalm 34:8). We love you with our whole heart.

 

Thought for the Day:

We can chat with God throughout our day even about the mundane issues we are facing or the most boring of chores or responsibilities; we ask His advice about hurdles we encounter, the best way to perform a task and for wisdom about issues with our personal relationships.

 

 

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Our Firm Foundation

Our spiritual maturity is validated by our ability to rest in God, even when negative emotions overwhelm us. God is never absent or distant.

He simply lets go of our hand occasionally, so that we can take some faltering steps on our own. God is always right there with us; in fact, He never, ever leaves or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5).

When we experience anxiety, sleeplessness, stress, unforgiveness and trials, it does not mean God went somewhere.

We simply stopped dwelling in our spirit and focused instead on our soul – our mind, will and emotions. Considering the needs of our soul is vital to a fulfilled life; but we cannot dwell there.

The tyranny of life keeps us tied up in knots, running in two directions at one time and burning the candle from both ends at once. This is a recipe for destruction.

If we focus instead on the finished work of Christ on Calvary’s cross and His resurrection from the dead, we have a solid foundation on which to build our life.

Prayer:
Father God, You meet with us in our spirit and You are with us always, but You help us to grow up into a mature person who lives with faith in Your faithfulness. You occasionally let go of our hand to teach us to walk in Your Spirit.

If we build our life on the instability of this world, storms will demolish all of our best laid plans and foundation. If we wisely choose Christ as our foundation, our life will stand firm regardless of the most torrential circumstance (Matthew 7:24-27).

Thought for the Day:
This world is not our true home; we are simply doing God’s will for our life now, as we progress toward our eternal Home in glory.

Fear Not

God’s plan for mankind is to live in us, to fill us with His Truth and Life, and to live in unity with our soul and spirit so that His Life is manifested through us.

He always hears our prayers and stores our tears in a bottle. He will avenge each transgression against His Beloved Saints (Psalm 4:3, 56:8). He gives us His compassionate heart, and we are His People and He is our God (Ezekiel 36:26-28).

We call out to God on His throne in heaven; and He hears and answers us (Psalm 3:4). He sustains us in every way, gives us sweet rest and never leaves or forsakes us, walking in us through every circumstance (Psalm 3:5; Hebrews 13:5).

Our God gives us relief from our distress and has mercy on us (Psalm 4:1). He delivers and blesses us, because He works out every circumstance for our good, even in death we go to live with Him (Psalm 3:8; Romans 2:28).

If we feel overcome by life’s problems, we focus on and cling to Christ in us (Colossians 1:27). Our labors for the Lord are not in vain; so we can live this life unmoved by its threats, unafraid in its trials and abounding in the work of the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:57-58).

Once we surrender our life to Christ, we realize that we are not on this earth to amass worldly goods, but to bring as many people to Heaven with us as will come humbly to God’s love.

If we are in Christ, we have no reason to fear the curse of sin or the god of this world, the devil (Mark 5:36). We live in His perfect love, which will diminish all of our fears (1 John 4:18).

As we follow the Lord in our thoughts, words and actions, we live in victory, because He lives within us (Luke 8:50). He works out everything for our ultimate good (Romans 8:29).

Prayer:
Father God, life wounds us and Satan keeps us in bondage to those wounds. Remind us that You will reveal Satan’s lies, speak to us Your truth and set us free from the fear of the unknown future, free from regrets or hurts from our past, and free to walk in the new life, which Christ earned for us through His passion and death.

Teach us the fullness of our life in Christ’s resurrection. Fill us through our entire being with all of Your fullness (Ephesians 3:16-19, Amplified Bible). Empower us to be a light set on a hill and use us to draw everyone to You (Matthew 5:14-16; John 12:32). Help us to live in the purpose You have for our life instead of our own plans (Ephesians 2:10).

Thought for the Day:
The Lord who walked on water and calmed the raging sea lives within every authentic Believer; He heals, empowers, guides, helps our unbelief and fulfills every one of us; then He sets apart His true Believers as a special and holy priesthood.
– Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 6:17; John 10:30, 1 John 3:1-3, 4:17; Colossians 2:10; Luke 8:30; Mark 9:23-25

That Feeling of Intimacy

So many people tell me that they no longer feel God’s intense presence like they once did, and they want that feeling back. They say that God left them alone in the wilderness, and they cannot find His presence. This is impossible. God lives within us (Colossians 1:27). There is no way that He would ever leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

If we do not feel His presence it is for one of two reasons. Maybe we sinned and grieved the Holy Spirit. When this happens, God turns His back because He cannot look upon sin (Habakkuk 1:13). The other reason is that He is enjoying some companionable silence with us; and in our insecurity, we fail to realize that He is still and always will be right here within us.

God is constantly near us. He sees us no matter where we are or what we are doing (Psalm 139:8). He fills the heavens and earth, and this includes the lives of those who put their trust in Him (Jeremiah 23:23-24). The first step in restoring our intimacy is to allow God’s Spirit to search our heart (Psalm 139:23-24). He will point out to us any idol or sin, which is blocking the connection between Him and us.

The second step is to relax and enjoy God’s companionable silence. We do not need goose bumps, constant revelation from His Word or His still, small voice within us in order to believe that He is with us. We have His promise that He is there, and that is all we really need. Rather than seeking a feeling, just spend time praising God, because our connection with Him can never be lost.

Prayer:
Father God, You inhabit the praises of Your people (Psalm 22:3). There is no quicker way to connect to Your presence in us than to praise You with an obedient heart full of gratitude and trust. Remind us that once we are free from unconfessed sin, empty of all known idols and trusting in Your goodness, we will bask in the waterfall of Your love, which You pour over those who rest in Your will.

Thought for the Day:
Never allow Satan to convince you that this perceived “dry spell” means that God is withholding His presence from you; confess known sin and then enjoy His companionable silence by sitting still and knowing that He is Your God now and forever. – Psalm 46:10

Love from the Inside Out

Our salvation has nothing to do with a mental assent, church attendance, Bible reading or believing in doctrine. We are saved only by faith in Christ’s redemptive work for us on Calvary’s cross. After salvation, we inevitably start sharing in our Savior’s sufferings. Our friends forsake us and many in our family consider us out of our mind.

God does not send us alone into rejection, peril, illness or catastrophe; but He walks through trials with us and in us. God’s love is always enveloping us. He surrounds us with His ministering angels to protect us and to provide for us, even in places like jail, the hospital or a mental institution (Hebrews 1:14). When those we know and love turn against us, Jesus will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

Prior to Salvation, we did not see God’s love in the perils of life. We did not look for the good in our trials and we blamed Him for them (Romans 8:28). Only the humble will hear of God’s faithfulness and be glad (Psalm 34:2). We all know that life in this world is very insecure. No one can prevent difficulty. Hardships come to us all. However, Jesus is the advocate, which never fails us (Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1).

God loves us and uses us to share His love with the world around us.
God’s divine nature in us is the supreme guarantee of His presence and nothing is higher or more powerful than Him. God’s Biblical promises and prophecy, His trustworthiness, archeological evidence and personal testimonies of His dealings with humanity all converge to give us a solid basis for our faith in Him.

Prayer:
Father God, our human tendency is to trust in our self for our well-being. However, life throws us curve balls, projected by sin and the curse bestowed on us by Adam and Eve. The wise soon learn not to lean on our own wisdom, but to put all of our faith in Your faithfulness (Proverbs 3:5-6). The proud have no place in Your Kingdom (James 4:6), so teach us to submit humbly to Your will for us, because Your love is greater than we can ever imagine.

Thought for the Day:
Every other love in our life is from the outside, but Jesus lives in us and loves us from the inside out.

The Eternal Marriage

One of the great mysteries of the Bible is the connection between Jesus and the Church in a marriage. A husband is exhorted to love his wife in the same manner that Christ loves the Church (Ephesians 5:25). Jesus literally laid down His life for the Church. How many husbands actually do that for their wife? Most of them get frustrated with their wife’s idiosyncrasies and opt out of the marriage?

 

There is not a problem in a person or a marriage that cannot be resolved with intentional counseling and mutual submission. Except in life or death situations, no reason is good enough to justify divorcing one’s mate. It is a lazy, superficial, self-centered person who files for divorce. They are unwilling to work at becoming one flesh. A time of separation and a forgiving heart will help to iron out even the worst marital issues.

 

Reserving nothing for Himself, Jesus gave His life for His Bride before we even knew or loved Him. His love is unconditional, regardless of our behavior, attitude or expressions. He will never, ever leave or forsake us for any reason or in any way (Hebrews 13:5). Spouses are to follow suite and care for one another’s physical, emotional, mental, financial and spiritual needs despite the reception we receive from our mate.

 

The husband honors the wife as the weaker vessel, and he protects her from the pain and confusion of the world (1 Peter 3:7). He listens to her and cares about what she cares about. The wife respects and encourages her husband. She keeps his home and cares for his children. She supports him even when she disagrees with the direction he is going. Although she does have the option to separate for a time if she feels threatened in any way.

 

There is no man or woman alive who does not grab his/her toe when it is stubbed, or jerk away from something hot or cringe from a hand raised in anger. We are to protect one another in the same way that we love and protect our self (Ephesians 5:28-33). We care about each other’s needs, often anticipating them before the desire is even expressed. God will help us to work out every negative issue in our marriage if we totally surrender our will to His.

 

Prayer:

Father God, You give us a perfect example of loving a flawed mate. Israel failed You over and over; and yet, You continually loved her and honored Your commitment to her. Remind us to feel each other’s pain and confusion as if they were our own and never to break our marriage vows to one another, even when we do not like one another very much!

 

Thought for the Day:

There is no one that loves us better, or cares for our welfare more than Jesus Christ, our Kinsman Redeemer. – Leviticus 25:25; Ruth 1-4

God Loves Us So Much

God always causes the Godly to flourish like a palm tree. We grow tall and He transplants us into His own Heavenly garden, so that we are under His personal care (Psalm 92:12-13). King David realized that throughout his lifetime, He never saw a righteous person forsaken or his descendants begging bread (Psalm 37:25). God provides for His children. He also blesses thousands of generations of descendants belonging to those who love and serve Him (Exodus 20:6).

Even in our old age, God uses us to produce fruit and to remain productive and vital. Our success honors the Lord because it shows the world that He cares for His own (Psalm 92:14-15). We get acquainted with God’s ways, and we put our trust in Him. He never forsakes anyone who seeks Him (Psalm 9:10). We hope in our Lord, because He keeps every promise He makes to us with as much certainty as He keeps the world He created in perfect balance (Psalm 146:5-6).

When someone threatens God’s beloved, He takes it very personally (Zechariah 2:8). We are precious in His sight (Isaiah 43:3). God gives justice to the poor and oppressed, and food to the hungry. He heals the sick, lifts the burdens of those crippled under life’s weight, protects immigrants and cares for both orphans and widows. The Lord loves His righteous people and is their defense (Psalm 146:7-9). Those who refuse to obey Him are oblivious of His wonders (Nehemiah 9:17,31).

We believe in God’s faithfulness, because He always cares for those who seek Him (Psalm 9:10). Jehovah made the mountains and heavens; and yet, is mindful of all mankind (Psalm 8:4-6). He gives His angels charge over us, so that we never stumble or fall (Psalm 91:11-12). He never sleeps, but watches over us day and night. He cares for us and defends us, keeping us from evil and preserving our life. He keeps his eye on us as we come and go, and guards us in all of our ways (Psalm 121:2-8).

Prayer:
Father God, we will never forget Your promises, Your mercy, Your grace or the marvelous works You perform (Psalm 111:4-6). Your loving kindness is forever and ever to those who reverence You. If we live faithfully in Your covenant and obey Your precepts, Your salvation is for us, as well as our children if they will accept it (Psalm 103:17). Your love stand firm forever and you establish your faithfulness in Heaven and earth and it endures forever (Psalm 89:2, 119:90).

Thought for the Day:
God’s will is not achieved by momentary spurts of self-effort, but by a lifestyle of obedience.