Escaping Fiery Darts and Entrapping Sins

Satan attempts to use the sin in the world and in people dwelling all around us to inflict us with physical and emotional wounds. He delights in deceiving us and inflicting pain through the destruction of sin.

 

God tells us to draw near to him and to resist the devil, and the devil has to flee (James 4:7). We can avoid many of life’s tragedies and their consequences by walking in the Spirit instead of in the flesh (Galatians 5:15-25).

 

There are inevitable consequences of life on this sin-cursed earth, such as certain illnesses and death; yet, it is often the foods we eat and products we use on our body and in our home, as well as the people in our life, which contribute to our unnecessary illness and untimely death.

 

If we realize that we are raised with Christ and hidden with Him in God, we understand that God has ultimate control over our life. We keep our self free from the pursuit and love of money and escape undue stress and its effects on our body, soul and spirit.

 

Jesus calls us to seek Heavenly matters and wisdom from the right hand of God where He is sitting (Colossians 3:1-3). We learn to obey His Spirit and to live contentedly with what He provides.

 

God’s great love and compassion never fail and prevent us from being consumed by sin, the devil and the world. God faithfully provides His mercy for us each new morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).

 

We awaken to a whole new day of His provision and protection. As we are still before God and listen to His voice, we know God in an intimate relationship, and find His peace in uncertainty.

 

He never leaves or forsakes us and He abides within our spirit and protects our body and soul from the ravages of this world (Hebrews 13:5). Born of God, we overcome this world and enjoy His victory through our belief and faith in Christ (1 John 5:4-5).

 

Prayer:

Father God, life is so uncertain and we constantly wonder what will happen tomorrow to throw a wrench in the works. You give us the faith of Christ, which helps us to realize that life’s challenges are really adventures when You are involved in them with us. As we focus our faith in Your faithfulness, we enjoy life so much more.

 

You are Creator and Savior and are always in charge, even when we wander from Your will. Your love never changes and You always draw us back to the protection of Your straight and narrow road (Matthew 7:14). We look forward to You coming for Your Saints, but we thank You too for overcoming this world in and through us until You do.

 

Thought for the Day:

Christ in us enables us to escape the fiery darts of the devil and to protect us from reaping the destruction of the sins, which so easily trap us in their grip. – Ephesians 6:16; Hebrews 12:1

 

Waiting Continually on God

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 wants to hear our own words (Luke 16:15).

 

God places His burdens upon our heart for the lost people groups in our world, for those laden by illness, for people devastated by the loss of a loved one through death or divorce, and those suffering from other ill effects of this life.

 

Waiting continually on God all day long, we pray without ceasing, worship the beauty of His holiness, live in His presence and praise His holy name (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Psalm 16:11, 29:2, 138:2).

 

Once we entirely surrender to Christ in us, there is no limit to what God can do in and through us. We bow in humble adoration of our King and walk in perfect submission to His will.

 

He heals our diseases and nurtures our soul, lifting our head from the pillow of illness or a posture of depression; and putting a new song in our heart (Psalm 3:3-4, 40:3).

 

He takes our trials and tribulation personally, because He dwells within each one of us and experiences everything right along with us (Acts 9:4-5).

 

We hope in God alone as He sustains us, comfort us and puts a smile on our face (Psalm 42:11). As we find our delight in Him, He fills our soul and spirit with His glory and places His desires in our heart (Psalm 37:4).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You fill us with Your love in a world that is full of anger and hate. You encourage us when our soul is bowed with the cares of this life. You teach us to forgive when others fail to admit that they have mistreated us. You feel our pain and You carry us through our tribulation.

 

You lift our head from the pit of despondency and make our feet like hinds feet to climb higher still into Your presence (Psalm 18:33). We look forward to dwelling with you throughout eternity, because You are our great God, full of loving kindness and mercy (Psalm 95:3).

 

Thought for the Day:

It has been said, “When we go God’s way, we bump into the devil who is always trying to discourage us and derail our attempts to walk in God’s will.”

 

 

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.

Purpose in Suffering

There are many people who live with the persuasion that God intends for His Saints to live in perfect health. The first objection to this theory is Paul’s thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7).

Paul begged God to heal this physical infirmity. God had other plans, and reminded Paul that His grace was sufficient to help Paul live with this issue (2 Corinthians 12:9).

God often heals, but He also uses our affliction to teach us patience, to remind us to trust Him and to bring glory to His name (John 9:3).

God is not sadistic or unfeeling. He does not want to punish or afflict His people with suffering; however, God uses our attitude in our adverse physical conditions as a witness of His goodness and grace.

When we smile in our pain, continue serving Him in spite of our misery, maintain a positive outlook regardless of how much we are suffering, God gets the glory.

People are amazed that we keep going, when life smacks us down. They want to know how we can deal with this trial with such a confident stance. People bemoan their misfortune, but authentic Believers trust God always.

God will heal some illnesses; yet, allow others to get worse instead of better. Every person must succumb to death in one way or another. God knows the day and hour of our homecoming to heaven (Job 14:5).

A peaceful passing in our sleep, the result of a prolonged illness, a traffic accident or a natural disaster may claim our life. However, the end result is the same – we enter our eternal glory with the Lord.

We can thank God for our thorn in the flesh and live with it with patience as Paul did His. When God is through using the infirmity to work out His will in our life for His glory, He will heal us in this life or the next.

Prayer:
Father God, death is the ultimate healer. Some people look at death as defeat; but Jesus took the sting out of death (1 Corinthians 15:55-57). We no longer dread passing from this life to the next, because the end result is an eternity in Your presence.

We cannot thank You enough for sending Jesus to reverse the curse on this earth, which came as a result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. Although we may experience physical illness during our lifetime, we promise to trust in Your goodness as You use it for Your glory.

Thought for the Day:
Through suffering, our soul is strengthened, our witness pronounced, and our trust in God enhanced, as we realize that God’s love is greater than our affliction.

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

The Blessings of God’s Law

God did not give Moses the Law in order to restrict and burden the people with too many rules to keep. He gave the Law as wisdom and enlightenment of how we can live a healthy life in body, soul and spirit. Our Heavenly Father developed the Law in order to protect us from our self and from people who desire to perpetuate evil on others. The Law also leads us to our need for Christ (Galatians 3:24-26).

As we read His Word and meditate on His Law, God uses these words to caution and instruct us during our daily life. This keeps us from breaking the laws of our nation and ending up in jail, it stops us from contracting illnesses from other people, it prevents us from getting enslaved by addictions, it averts disasters in our personal relationships, etc.

God will circumvent His law in certain cases when He divinely intervenes in the circumstances of our life. For instance, if two cars are heading toward one another on a collision course, God can send His angels to prevent a wreck. We usually reap what we sow in life. Although because of God’s mercy and grace, He often protects us from our own, or someone else’s choices (Galatians 6:7; Isaiah 63:7-9).

In addition to His Word, God also uses His Spirit to speak to His Saints and to direct our choices (Proverbs 3:5-6). However, if we are not committing our way to the Lord and walking in His Spirit, then we will often harvest the results of our humanistic decisions. As we walk in God’s will instead of our own, we are filled with peace and joy, and our life is much more fulfilled.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for Your Law, which gives us the wisdom to live productive and blessed lives. You do not want us to make our plans and ask You to bless them. Instead, You want us to hear from You and to accomplish the works You created us to do (Ephesians 2:10). In order to hear from You, we need to quiet our body, ignore the thoughts and emotions in our soul, and focus on Your still, small voice communicating with us through our spirit. Show us Your ways, and teach us Your truths as we wait on You all through the day (Psalm 25:4-5; 27:11; 86:11).

Thought for the Day:
There is no conflict between the law and promises of God; the law shows that we are all controlled by sin, but those who believe in Christ will receive God’s promises. – Galatians 3:21

Victory through Life and Death

When we are Born Again by the blood of the Lamb, God’s Spirit replaces the carnal nature in our soul with the divine nature of Christ (2 Peter 1:3-4; Galatians 2:20). He is constantly perfecting us by His Spirit who abides in our spirit. He takes away our desire to sin, and unrighteous living no longer appeals to us.

God’s Spirit helps our weaknesses and illnesses. He searches our heart and knows our mind; then He prays for us according to the will of God (Romans 8:26-27). Prayer is speaking to God from our heart. Ritualistic prayers and formulas for prayer are unnecessary. God already knows our heart and wants to hear our own words (Ephesians 1:18).

God also places His prayer burdens on our heart for the lost people groups in our world, for the persecuted church, for those burdened by illness, for people devastated by the loss of a loved one through death or divorce, our unsaved loved ones, etc. Prayer prepares us for victory both in life and in death. Jesus removed the sting of death, and gave authentic Believers the victory over it through His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:54; Isaiah 25:8).

In fact, there is greater benefit for us to go Home to the glory of Heaven than to continue living life here on this sin-cursed earth. Dying is not the travesty of life; it is the benefit of a life lived in Christ. What the world views as death is actually victory to God and is used by God for our ultimate good, because God rejoices in the death of His Saints (Romans 8:28; Psalm 116:15).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You that, through Christ, death is swallowed up in victory. We know that Your Holy Spirit works in our heart, until the glorious day when either Christ returns for His Bride, or we come through the valley of death into Your glorious light (1 Peter 2:9; Isaiah 60:1). Remind us not to limit You by our thoughts and fears, but teach us to pray the words, which Your Spirit inspires us with and with which He breaks our heart (Romans 8:26).

Thought for the Day:
Once we realize our human limitations, we will rely on God’s Spirit to pray through us during our life and escort us through death to our heavenly Home in glory. – Romans 8:26-34; 2 Corinthians 5:1

Serving One Another

The work of God’s Spirit within us depends upon our cooperation with Him. We cannot produce fruit without His presence in us; but He cannot produce fruit in us, if we are not willing to surrender every area of our life to Him. As the Spirit gives us God’s character and special gifts, we use them to serve one another (1 Corinthians 12:4).

The Holy Spirit enables us, by the grace of God, to be good managers of His diverse gifts within us (1 Peter 4:10). God instructs us to care for others, but He also cautions us to care for our needs as well (Matthew 22:39; Philippians 2:3-6). If we neglect our own salvation, or our physical, emotional and mental needs, then we will have no resources to share with others.

We will run out of emotional and physical energy. We will end up bitter and resentful, because we will do all of the serving. It is important for us to care for our self too. Some believe it is selfish to care for our self. I used to think that as I served others, they would serve me, and both our emotional tanks would be full.

This put an undue burden on others to give to me as much as I gave to them. They did not have the resources within them to do this, so we all ended up losing. My expectations were constantly disappointed and I battled to keep myself encouraged and motivated to continue serving anyway. What I finally learned was that codependence with other people is an illness.

We are to depend only on God in our life. We are to obey His Spirit’s direction each moment of the day. If we serve someone, without His direction, we may divert God’s dealings in that person’s life. As we function in God’s spiritual anointing, we never run out of energy to serve those to whom God leads us to minister. We can even meet our own needs as God’s Spirit brings them to our attention.

Prayer:
Father God, teach us to rely on You for every need in our life. Please encourage us with the truth that it is acceptable to ask for our needs to be met too, and to meet our own needs if no one else will. Help us to make friends who will bring blessings into our life rather than those who suck the life right out of us. Teach us to erect boundaries for those toxic people who attempt to take advantage of us. Remind us that we should minister to others only as Your Spirit directs us throughout the day. We will show the love of Christ to others as You make a way, not as our human compassion demands.

Thought for the Day:
Authentic Believers dwell in, exhibit and function from the righteousness and holiness of God in our service to those God brings our way.

Live Well with a Positive Attitude

I am so concerned about people who live from one day to the next in more pain and misery than they did the day before. Things never go right for them and they are always focusing on the negative aspects in their life. I know that some people are genuinely ill; but I have seen others, in the same position, with a smile on their face and a jaunt in their step.

If we do all we can to prevent the pain or circumstances in our life, then we can look to God to deliver us from them. He may surprise us by taking us home to heaven, or allowing some major decision to be made that will affect our life drastically. However, we can continue to live a positive life by focusing on the pure, lovely aspects, which He constantly supplies for us (Philippians 4:8).

Expectations ruin our life and our health. We expect deep relationships, abundant finances, stellar health and increasing spiritual growth each day of our life. When this does not happen, we are devastated. Then depression settles in, coloring every other aspect of our life. Our spiritual, emotional, physical and mental health are all affected by our negative attitude.

We also get too involved in too many aspects of life; and this tires us out, pressures our schedule and makes us feel used and abused. We end up getting tension headaches, stress-related illnesses and our soul gets disheartened and miserable. We get grouchy, irritable and too sick to do anything. The answer is to live each moment in gratitude and praise, led by God’s Spirit in every aspect of our life.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us to cast our cares on Your shoulders. You promise to take care of them and us (1 Peter 5:7). That means that we can thank You for the answers before we ever get them. If we focus on our troubles, we live in a negative spiral that can only get worse. This causes tension, fear, unhappiness and despair. However, if we live with our faith in You, we maintain a positive attitude. Then we will reap many more positive results in our life with Your love filling our soul with joy.

Thought for the Day:
Prayers of gratitude keep our focus on God’s Presence in our life rather than on our circumstances. – Matthew 6:25-33; Luke 12:22-31

Trials are not Punitive

Some people think that if someone is going through a prolonged illness, time out of work, heart-wrenching grief or a trial of some sort, that God is trying to teach them something; and that once they learn it, they will be freed from the trial. Those in the trial beat themselves up by thinking they need to pray more, read their Bible more or make some attempt to appease God’s wrath.

This causes people to doubt their connection to the Lord and gives them hours of unrest and soul searching. Trials are not only times of correction and repentance, but also of renewal and sweet fellowship with our Father God. God is jealous and enjoys having us all to Himself. We find our self lost in the presence of God. We surrender all control to Him.

During times of trial, we have an abundance of time to spend with God. When we think back on those days of horrid illness, stress or persecution, we smile; not because we are masochists and love pain, but because our normal schedule is totally interrupted and we have free time. We are isolated from the world and able to spend that sweet time of oneness with the Lord.

Often, the Lord will give us a “holiday” through a trial, during which we can spend focused time worshipping the Beloved of our soul. During trials, do not trust in your own efforts or expect generosity from family, church and friends. Instead, wait with your whole soul – your mind, will and emotions – and put complete hope in the Lord and His Word.

Prayer:
Father God, You hear our voice in the morning, as we lay our requests before you and wait expectantly on You (Psalm 5:3). You love to spend all of Your time with each one of us. The next time we are without work, isolated by sickness or find our self alone through the death of a loved one or the devastation of divorce, we will take this time to spend entirely with You. When we do, we always find our self irrevocably changed in spirit, soul and body.

Thought for the Day:
We walk in the ways of the Lord and wait for Him, because His name and fame are the desires of our heart. – Isaiah 26:8