Spirit over Matter

Our spirit is our dwelling place with God. When we live in the center of God’s Will, we dwell in the heavenly realm and everything that happens to us is in the sphere of His purpose and control.

As we view any circumstance from within our spirit, the physical and emotional and mental aspects of the event are outside of our dwelling place and have no real effect on who we really are in Christ.

We know without a doubt that He has an eternal purpose for us in any experience and that He will work out all of the details for our ultimate good.

Even physical illness, loss, relational issues, financial disaster and every other negative incident which may occur are in His control. We can rest in His everlasting arms through it all.

If we happen to slip out of our spirit and allow our self to feel the emotion or physical pain of the experience, then it affects us negatively. But in the spirit, it cannot touch us.

Jesus experienced loss and grief a few times in His life. His good friend Lazarus died and Jesus wept (John 1:35). He looked out over Jerusalem and grieved for the coming destruction of His beloved city (Luke 19:41).

He sweat drops of blood as He faced the cross and begged our Father to release Him from the anguish of taking on the sin of the whole world and being rejected by God (Luke 22:44).

Yet, once He stepped back into His spirit in all of these situations, He accepted God’s will over His own desires and no longer suffered any negative consequences from the trials of His body and soul (Hebrews 4:15).

This happened in my life. After an auto accident, I was bruised, bleeding, had half a face full of glass, broke my little finger and eleven ribs, and suffered a concussion and a punctured lung.

I totaled my car, but I was out of the hospital in one day, back to work as a secretary in one week, and I never took one pain pill as I slowly healed over the next three months.

That was spirit over matter with a generous helping of God’s grace (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Prayer:
Father God, we know that nothing catches You by surprise and we can relax and look forward to the miracle, which You place within every trial that we encounter. You are in control regardless of what the circumstances look like or how much suffering and turmoil we experience.

As we view the experience from within our spirit, Your Spirit buffers any loss to our body or soul. We know that the suffering is occurring, but it has no effect on our attitude because we count it all joy (James 1:2-8).

Thought of the Day:
A Christian does not experience life through mind over matter, but through spirit over matter; because though we suffer loss in this world, it does not affect our eternal existence now or in the world to come.

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.

My Soul Waits – Part 1

In our stressful lifestyle in this modern society, we are often too busy with too many responsibilities to find a place of solitude in our spirit.

We maintain the illusion that we are satisfied with our lifestyle, but our soul is dying within us, because we are spiritually bankrupt.

We care so much about this world that we starve our soul and spirit. The cacophony in our soul – our mind, choices and emotions – is deafening and dulls our spiritual connection to God’s Spirit.

The remedy for this is to develop a deeper connection with Christ through His Holy Spirit. We can quiet our soul and focus on Christ dwelling within us, even through the storms of life.

Throughout each moment of the day, our soul waits in silence for God alone (Psalm 62:1). Our focus changes from earthly goals and desires to spiritual ones.

God’s Spirit transforms our thoughts into the mind of Christ, fills our emotions with His fruit and directs our choices to walk in God’s will (Romans 8:29; Galatians 5:15-25; 1 Corinthians 2:14-16).

Christ is our all in all (Colossians 3:11). Nothing this world has to offer compares to the joy and peace, guidance and fulfillment that comes from living a life dedicated to the Lord.

Listening for God’s voice requires that we still our soul and enter our spirit, where God’s Spirit abides. We totally surrender our will, goals, fears, dreams and aspirations to the will of God.

Silently waiting on God throughout our day reduces our anxiety, silences the negative self-talk, teaches us patience and reshapes our mind into the mind of Christ.

He nourishes our body, soul and spirit as we meditate on His Word, trust Him for our daily bread and enter into union with His Spirit.

Prayer:
Father God, teach us how to empty our soul, still our mind and wait on Your Spirit’s direction each moment of our day. Silence the negative thoughts and emotions, which Satan uses to distract us from Your will for our life.

Fill our soul with Your peace and help us to restructure our priorities to put You first and foremost above our soul’s pursuits. Remind us that Your Kingdom is the only true reality in this life and everything else is simply wood, hay and stubble to be burned up in the end (1 Corinthians 3:12-13).

Thought for the Day:
Physical solitude is not necessary in order for us to wait on the Lord, because He is available any time or place.

New Life in Christ

God loved us while we were still sinner; but if we do not walk away from our sinful lifestyle, then we do not belong to Him (1 John 1:9, 3:9). God demands whole-hearted commitment from His Saints (Philippians 3:8-9).

We prove our love to God by our obedience to Him and His Word (John 14:15). Once we come to Christ for salvation, His Spirit fills our spirit and soul, and we learn to walk in step with Him (Galatians 5:25).

We discard our old nature, the personality we are born with, and we put on our new nature, which God creates in us through His Spirit (Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 3:9-10).

God’s Spirit changes us from the inside out. His divine nature and the fruit of His Spirit replace our weak human character (2 Peter 1:4; Galatians 5:15-25). We ask God to try us and test us and examine our heart and mind (Psalm 26:2).

We learn to walk in His truth and enjoy His love, which is always surrounding us (Psalm 26:3). We look forward to spending eternity with Him and enjoy His eternal life even now on this earth (John 17:3).

Nothing will ever separate us from God’s love; not even adversity, demonic activity, earthly circumstances, personal relationships or evil people devising our demise (Romans 8:35-39).

We live, move and have our entire being in Christ (Acts 17:28). We consult God for His plans for every moment of our day (Proverbs 3:5-6). We walk in joy and peace in the center of God’s will.

Prayer:
Father God, the fact that You love us while we are still sinners helps us to realize that You desire that no one will eternally perish in the lake of fire (John 3:16-17). However, we often condemn our self by insisting that we live life our own way, instead of in Your will for us (John 3:18).

We attempt to fit You into the mold of our image for You, rather than to allow You to conform us to the image of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Remind us to humble our self under Your mighty hand (1 Peter 5:6; James 4:10), and to serve You until our dying breath (Psalm 146:2).

Thought for the Day:
When we come together as Believers, let us share what God is doing in our life, how we recently sensed His presence in our life, how His grace saw us through a particularly trying experience, what He is teaching us from His Word and what He is perfecting in our life.

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.

Blooming Like a Garden

Human beings are slaves of whatever entity we obey: either Almighty God or the god of this world – Satan. Allowing the devil to entrench us in sin leads to destruction both now and for an eternity in the lake of fire (Romans 6:16).

Instead, we enjoy life so much more as slaves of God in obedience and holiness. This allows us to live in the Spirit rather than in the flesh, since God’s Spirit abides within us (Galatians 5:15-25).

Whoever does not have God’s Spirit does not belong to Christ (Romans 8:9). Yet, as we totally surrender our humanity to Christ, He saves us and adopts us into His family (Ephesians 1:5).

Satan continually attempts to draw us away from God through our body and soul. He trips us up with a single temptation. Then, it is easier for him to tempt us in the future to follow his will for us.

Yet, Christ in our spirit gives us a way to escape temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). As we ignore Satan’s lies and keep our mind on Christ, we are not tempted by his fiery darts and lies.

Our thoughts and emotions affect the decisions of our will. The decisions of our will determine our behavior, which motivates every area of our life: financial, relational, emotional, spiritual, physical, etc.

When we walk by the faith of Christ in us rather than by our human reasoning, we avoid so many of life’s pitfalls and live in a serene and victorious existence (2 Corinthians 5:7).

God gives us a free will both to choose His salvation; and then to choose to live in His will, rather than to follow Satan’s or our own plans for our life.

By submitting to God’s Spirit within us, we reap the blessings of His will. He sanctifies our soul and fills our spirit with His power, so that, as His Body, we bloom like a spectacular garden (Romans 12:1-2; Jeremiah 31:12).

Prayer:
Father God, we want to present our bodies to You as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1), to do Your will and to live in Your ways all the days of our life. Teach us to submit to the leading of Your Holy Spirit and draw us ever closer to Your presence within us.

Thank You for Your Spirit, who abides in our midst and fills Your house with greater splendor and glory than Solomon’s Temple (Haggai 2:4-9). Remind us that, as Your Body, we are perfectly joined together with Jesus, the chief corner stone, into Your dwelling place (Ephesians 2:19-22).

Thought for the Day:
As we walk in God’s Spirit, joined together by His love, we bloom where He plants us in His garden. – 2 Corinthians 2:15

Consuming Union with Christ

God spews out of His mouth anyone who lives a lukewarm life (Revelation 3:16). Our union with God is so intimate that He consumes us into Himself.

Not only do we have a spiritual union with Jesus through salvation, sanctification and eventually glorification; but we also enjoy an even more intimate unity as we consume Him into our self.

Jesus calls us to eat His body and drink His blood (John 6:53-59). During communion, we symbolically drink the juice and eat the bread, which represents His body and blood (Romans 12:5).

Life is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11, 14; Deuteronomy 12:23). We receive eternal life through the blood, which Jesus’ shed on the cross (John 3:16).

There is one bread, Jesus, from which the whole body of Christ partakes (1 Corinthians 10:16-17). We are Christ’s body and each of us is an essential part of it (1 Corinthians 12:27; Ephesians 4:4).

We commemorate His sacrifice through the ordinance of communion, but we also have spiritual communion with the Lord each moment of every day.

When we consume Jesus, we have eternal life, because He is an integral part of our very being (John 6:57). Our intimacy with Christ sustains us individually and as His corporate Body – the visible expression of Jesus on the earth.

Jesus made it clear that His food is doing the will of our Father (John 4:34). Even at a young age, Jesus found satisfaction by living in the center of God’s will (Luke 2:41-52). God’s will is our food as well.

Prayer:
Father God, when we thirst for You, our Almighty God, Your living water quenches our thirst (Psalm 42:2). We hunger for Jesus, our bread of life, and You fill us until You satisfy our longing (Luke 6:21; John 6:35).

We ingest Christ’s flesh, which He gave for the life of the world, and we live eternally (John 6:51). We drink the living water, and we are intimately united and completely satisfied (John 4:13-14). Teach us the reality of this intimate union with you.

Thought for the Day:
Completely satisfied through Christ in us, we never hunger or thirst for anything this world has to offer us. – Colossians 1:27; Galatians 2:20; Revelation 7:16
#Many thanks to my brother-in-Christ and mentor, Dan Busey, for helping me to see the revelation of this total intimate unity with Jesus.

Whole-hearted Devotion

In the wilderness, the pillar of fire kept the Israelites warm in cold desert evenings, and the cloud gave them shade under the hot desert sun. They clearly saw God’s will when He moved the fire at night and the cloud by day to direct them (Numbers 9:20).

Yet, I think that we actually have more of an advantage of walking in God’s will than they did, because we have God’s Holy Spirit residing within us every second of every day.

Even in times of trouble and uncertainty, God is happy to generously give us His wisdom (James 1:5). He searches our heart and discerns our every desire, thought and motive (Jeremiah 17:10).

When we serve God with wholehearted devotion, a submissive will and an obedient mind, He tells us whether to turn to the right or the left to find His will for each moment of our day (1 Chronicles 28:9; Isaiah 30:21).

When our delight is in the Lord, He actually puts His desires in our heart (Nehemiah 7:5; Psalm 37:4). As we commit our thoughts, choices and feelings to the Lord, He leads us in His will for our day (Proverbs 16:3).

Some people enjoy physical abundance with more money and possessions than they know what to do with; however, they have a life filled with greed, strife and disappointment (Proverbs 15:16).

Even when we have few material possessions or advantages, we have an abundance, because it is covered with God’s love (Proverbs 16:8). Our ways are peaceful and full of God’s favor as we serve Him with wholehearted devotion (Proverbs 3:17).

Prayer:
Father God, You love us so much, that when we ask, we receive; when we seek, we find; when we knock, You open doors for us to walk in the center of Your will (Matthew 7:8). As we always look to You and seek Your face, we find our delight in Your presence within us (Job 22:26, 27:10; Proverbs 3:5-6).

When our thoughts, words and behavior please You, even our enemies live in peace with us, and You grant us our heart’s desires without withholding any of our requests (Proverbs 16:17; Psalm 21:2).

A baby bird sits in the nest, trusting its parents to fill its gaping mouth. As we have a similar trust in You and we open our mouth wide, as our Heavenly Parent, You always fill it (Psalm 81:10).

Thought for the Day:
Our life is not our own, and it is not up to us to make decisions and to plan our activities for our day; instead, we pray and God communicates to us where to go and what to do.           – Jeremiah 10:23, 42:3

Redemption Story

On Calvary’s cross, Jesus paid the ransom for our sins and gave us freedom in Him (John 8:36). As our Refuge, He is our redemption and He replenishes, rejuvenates, re-establishes and restores us.

When our soul is in anguish and we see no way out, or when we are lost in a cave of darkness and are chilled to the bone, our God is right there with us (Hebrews 13:5).

Sometimes, our determination wanes and our body grows weary (Psalm 31:10). We may cause our self to suffer physical illness, if we do not surrender our disappointment and stress-filled life to God.

As we weary of living with the consequences of our mistakes, we stop attempting to live life for our own purposes, with our human resources and in our own power and effort (Psalm 31:14-20).

When we learn not to take even one more step in our human strength, we cast all of our cares on God and He proves His care for us by changing our life for the better (1 Peter 5:7).

Once we are surrendered to Him, even when our pillow is drenched with tears caused by physical, mental, financial and emotional suffering and disappointment, God is in control (Psalm 56:8).

We totally surrender to God, not holding back or relying on our self in any way. Then, our God of grace restores us and re-establishes our life in the center of His will (1 Peter 5:10).

We often look for fulfillment on this side of Heaven. We may succeed in certain areas, but complete fulfillment only happens for those who totally surrender to God and walk in His Spirit.

Sometimes, for His glory, God allows us to walk in continual trials until His ultimate healing in Heaven (John 9:3). Even then, we have the power of His Spirit within us to find His joy and contentment in our circumstances.

When we place our faith in God’s faithfulness, His presence within us gives us His peace, wisdom and power, and He strengthens our body to accomplish those tasks, which He calls us to do (Proverbs 31:17).

Prayer:
Father God, Your Word is our truth and our hope (Psalm 119:114). Keep us safe from destructive people and accusing tongues (Psalm 31:20; Proverbs 29:25). Watch over us and shade us from the fiery darts of the enemy (Psalm 121:5). Continue to provide a refuge for the poor and needy all the days of our life (Isaiah 25:4).

When we serve You with our whole heart, mind, spirit and energy, You lift our burdens and bring us continual new life. We offer back to You the gifts, which You give to us, and we ask you to empower us to perform every ministry, which You lead us to do. Remind us to breathe out life’s stresses and to breathe in Your calming presence all throughout the day.

Thought for the Day:
In this world, we are guaranteed to have problems at home, work and in society; but as we trust Christ’s complete redemption, His joy is our strength, and He is our refuge and fortress forever. – John 16:33; Nehemiah 8:10; Psalm 18:2, 91:2

Quiet Moments

The hardest practice for modern humans to develop is to sit still! In times past, once the chores were done, families sat around on the porch and talked, sang and told stories.

We have no time for that anymore. We are overly scheduled with activities that will not matter in eternity. God tells us to be still and to know that He is God (Psalm 46:10); however, we rarely take the time to abide in His presence.

If we sit quietly in God’s company, He floods our spirit and soul with His attributes and the fruit of His Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). He warms our entire being with His presence and He guides us through each moment of our day.

The curse, which Adam and Eve brought upon the earth affects creation, as well as humanity. We all long for the return of Christ as Lord and King, with the government on His shoulders (Isaiah 9:6).

Even nature responds to God’s love. The stones will cry out if God’s people refuse to praise Him (Luke 19:28-40). All of creation actually groans for the revelation of the sons of God (Romans 8:19-22).

Our new birth in Christ fills the aching void in our life and makes us complete in Him (Colossians 2:10). Our hungry soul changes from desiring more of the world to craving more intimacy with Him.

This only occurs when we increase the quiet moments in our day. We wait on God between each activity, to seek His will for our next endeavor.

We ask Him to guide everything, which we think, say and do. We walk in His Spirit and find our joy in the center of His will (Galatians 5:15-25). He alone is worthy of all our glory, honor and praise (Revelation 5:8-14).

Prayer:
Father God, help us not to conform our thoughts and behavior to the values of this world, but to allow Your Spirit to transform us by renewing our mind until we walk in Your good, perfect and acceptable will (Romans 12:2).

Remind us not to plan our own life, but to realize each day that Your Spirit resides within us and will control our life as we completely surrender to You. He will heal our soul – our mind, will and emotions; direct our steps and help us to live in Your eternal peace, joy and righteousness (Romans 14:17).

Thought for the Day:
God is worthy of our quiet attention all throughout the day, and He deserves the glory and honor for all that we accomplish in our life, because He gives His power to all of His creation. – Revelation 4:11