Our Spiritual Ears

Preoccupation with the affairs of this material world will dull our spiritual ears to heed God’s Spirit in the spiritual realm (Matthew 13:15). This opens us up for Satanic deception, worldly influence and fleshly temptations.

 

We may even miss the coming of the Lord. He will come when we least expect Him, as a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:2-4). That is why God calls us to watch and pray.
We open our spiritual ears, watch and prepare for His guidance, comfort and coming. We live in holy anticipation and expectation. Our sole desire as we function in His calling for our life is His will.

 

A sign of the end times is spiritual apathy, which starves our spirit. We are so focused on our flesh and soul – our thoughts, choices and emotions – that we are spiritually asleep.

 

We put other pursuits ahead of our Bible reading, gathering with God’s Saints, prayer and obedience to God’s Spirit moment by moment throughout our day.

 

Circumstances constantly affect our fulfillment and contentment. We suffer from spiritual anemia. We measure our self-worth from our human accomplishments.

 

The future frightens us and we feel compelled to abandon the spiritual side of life in order to make provision for our physical and emotional needs first (Matthew 24:38).

 

We forget that we are created in God’s image as triune beings and that He has a perfect plan for our life (Ephesians 2:10). As we take care of His business, He takes care of ours (Matthew 6:26).

 

His Kingdom is our inheritance and His immortal provision will replace our mortal existence if we will place His will above our own. He calls us to occupy the earth for Him until He comes (Luke 19:13).

 

Prayer:

Father God, spur us to release our desire to settle for mediocrity in the spiritual realm in order to excel in the carnal world. Help us to take our foot out of the earthly realm and to plant both feet firmly on the Rock of Christ.

 

Remind us that there is no salvation in pretending to be a Christ-follower. Only a life dedicated to the pursuit of Your will can bear any lasting, spiritual fruit. We want to receive Your free gift of salvation, sanctification and glorification by faith and abide in You forever (Ephesians 2:8-9).

 

Thought for the Day:

Walking in spiritual completion allows us to persevere in times of trial and tribulation by the power of God’s Spirit within us. – Colossians 2:10

 

 

I am a Person too – Part 1 – Freedom from the Tyranny of the Past

Our whole life consists of relationships with our loved ones, acquaintances, co-workers, neighbors, authority figures, friends, family members and even with our self.

 

We have a chance of receiving wounds and/or blessings from all of these associations; and our past, even our subconscious conflicts, influences each of these interactions as well.

 

Our relationship with our self includes our body, soul and spirit. Our body has internal and external influences, our soul includes our thoughts and feelings and choices, and our spirit is either dead in sin or free in Christ (Colossians 2:13).

 

Events in our life, involving this multiplex of individual influences, add flavor to or diminish our joy in life. The way people react to us helps to form our concept of our self. We learned to love or despise our self from their actions and opinions.

 

Subconscious memories of these interactions continue to create our self-concept and the way we relate to people as an adult. We may live with a wounded, defensive attitude or a carefree, happy outlook or an angry, combative defiance.

 

Trauma changes the way we see our self and our future. We can diffuse and disarm these subconscious memories and the way they affect our relationships today by surrendering our life to Jesus Christ.
 

We do not have to blame current issues on our self or anyone else. They usually occur from woundedness in one or both of us. Issues in adult relationships often stem from childhood suffering; but childhood wounds do not have to control our adult life.

 

We can learn a new way to set up boundaries, exercise discernment, stop victimization, redefine our attitudes, change our behavioral patterns and gain a new perspective on priorities and what is important to us by allowing God to expose Satan’ lies and to renew a right spirit within us (Psalm 51:10).

( http://www.theophostic.com )

 

Prayer:

Father God, You want to create a clean, pure, simple heart within us; one not tainted by the world and painful experiences, but one of freedom in Christ (John 8:36). You delight in setting our soul free from the pain of the past and giving us a bright and promising future (Jeremiah 29:11). Teach us that when people are not trustworthy, we can still trust in You.

 

As children we were more vulnerable and had fewer choices in the actions perpetrated on us by others. As adults, we can take a more active role by surrendering our future to You and listening to Your Spirit each moment of the day. Thank You for giving us Your wisdom in place of our human reasoning and for teaching us to have boundaries and how to ensure that we have input into our daily experiences.

 

Thought for the Day:

Our past has power over us only if we give it permission to do so; coming to Christ for healing helps us to find freedom from the tyranny of the past.

 

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.

 

 

God Calls Us All

God calls the foolish, weak, dishonorable and despised person in order to shame the wise, strong and important, so that we will not boast in our abilities and take credit for what God accomplishes in and through us (1 Corinthians 1:27-29).

Satan will attempt to influence us to take the credit, but it belongs to God (Ephesians 2:8-9). When we hear Satan’s whisper in our mind, we realize the lie that it is and humbly thank God for using us.

Gideon was an illegitimate son in an insignificant clan of the tribe of Manasseh, and he even called himself the least in the family. Yet, God called Him to deliver Israel from the Midianite bondage.

David was a little shepherd boy when he killed Goliath. Moses was a murderer and could not speak well. Paul was very educated and had many accomplishments to his credit.

Yet, they all realized they were nothing without our Almighty God (Philippians 3:7-8). God even uses children and babies to prove His existence and to silence the God-haters (Psalm 8:2).

God foils the plans of the wise, exposes the supposed miracles of false prophets and plainly reveals the nonsense of pseudo-intellectuals (Isaiah 44:25; Jeremiah 8:9).

God shows us the foolishness of the wisdom of the world, and saves us through what the world considers the foolishness of the Gospel (1 Corinthians 1:20-21, 2:12).

God chooses the poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the riches in His Kingdom, which He promises to those who love Him and keep His commandments (James 2:5; John 14:15).

Prayer:
Father God, You expose the lofty who take credit for what You do for us and You continually do marvelous works on our behalf (Isaiah 26:5-6; 29:14, 19). The poor are always with us, to remind us that we are just a breath away from destitution, unless we trust in You (Matthew 26:11; Zephaniah 3:12).

You give us wisdom when we ask for it and hide Your treasure within us, in order to prove Your authority and Kingship over our life (James 1:5-6; Luke 19:39-40; 2 Corinthians 4:7). Then you give us weapons that are not for carnal warfare, but spiritual; so that we can triumph over all of our enemies (2 Corinthians 10:4, 5, 10).

Thought for the Day:
In the Kingdom of God, there are no big “I’s” and little “U’s”, but we are all equal with the same Holy Spirit residing within us and leading us throughout every moment of our day.

Unreached People Groups

In this modern world, it seems impossible that there are still people who have never heard the gospel of Christ (Acts 4:12). They have had little to no opportunity for outreach and evangelism (Revelation 15:4).

An unreached people group is one that has less than 2% of Believers in their country and has no church planting capabilities or Bibles in a language, which they can understand.

Jesus told His disciples to go out into all the world and to preach the gospel to every nation (Matthew 24:14, 28:18-20). Christians in every succeeding century have followed suit.

Of course, America and England sent out the most missionaries so far. However, in today’s spiritual climate, other countries are now sending missionaries to England and America, due to our lack of faithful, committed Believers. Churches are continually closing here.

We are afraid to speak to our friends, relatives, associates and neighbors about the difference that Christ makes in our life, and how God’s unconditional love provides us with so many benefits both now and in eternity (Romans 15:21; Psalm 67:1-3).

The Apostle Paul is a great example to us, since he took several missionary journeys covering large land areas and started over 50 churches to carry on the ministry of spreading God’s Word to the masses (Romans 1:5).

God calls all Believers, even today, to reach as many people in our area of influence and to plant as many churches as there is a need, in order to take as many people to Heaven with us as we possibly can (Revelation 5:9, 7:9-10; Mark 13:10; Acts 13:45-47).

Prayer:
Father God, as we go about our day, remind us to preach, saying that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand and then to heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead and cleanse the lepers (Luke 24:45-47; Matthew 10:8).

Help us to be strong and courageous, because wherever we go, You are there with us and in us (Joshua 1:9). Move by Your Holy Spirit in the lives of people we know and those unreached people groups all over the world, so that the soil of their lives will be ready to receive the seeds of the gospel, which we commit to spread as sowers of Your Word (Matthew 13:18-23).

Thought for the Day:
All the ends of the earth shall remember what Jesus did and turn to Him, and all the families of the nations of the world shall worship before Him. – Psalm 2:8, 22:27, 67:5-7, 98:2-3

Proof of God’s Love – Part 2

God absolutely cares about us and the matters, which are important to us (1 Peter 5:7). He has our best interest at heart.
God’s discipline is a proof of His love for us (Hebrews 12:6).

He helps us to cast down the idols in our soul (2 Corinthians 10:5). I know that I have an idol in my life when my feelings get hurt and when other negative emotions start popping up in my heart.

If something irritates me, angers me or stresses me out, I can be sure there is an idol at the root of the issue, which I need to surrender to God.

Many times the issues, for which I am crusading, are best left as a matter of prayer, rather than trying to influence someone to accept my ideas or to act a certain way.

Another idol of mine is organization and schedules. I keep lists and calendars. I love order and proficiency. I feel secure and they keep me from forgetting appointments. They help me to have what we need, when we need it.

However, other people in my life are more impulsive and extemporaneous. They live a fluid life, and my need for order restricts them.

I had to surrender this idol to God and then learn to be more adaptable, flexible and spontaneous. This helped me to have more fun.

Of course, my ability to keep schedules helps us to stay organized, but I had to learn to be less inhibited and to lay down the idol of my need to attempt to control life.

God is also healing me from codependency. I am learning not to serve others by putting their interests and needs above my own to the point of depriving myself of the peace and joy of walking in God’s Spirit. ( http://www.amazon.com/The-Christian-Codependence-Recovery-Workbook/dp/1936451050 )

God is teaching me to live interdependently with other people and to hear His will for my involvement in their lives. Many times, the discernment He gives me is a matter of prayer rather than action.

Prayer:
Father God, I am learning to trust that You are faithful to restore balance and peace in our life in Your own way and time. Thank You for reminding me that You love the people I care about more than I do.

You have a perfect plan for each life, and You will work out everything in their life for their good (Romans 8:28). You may use me to help in some situation; but more often than not, You choose to do the work in their lives as I pray for them.

Thank You for the freedom from idols that You provide for us. Help us to walk in Your Spirit, so that we will not fulfill the carnal impulses of our flesh (Galatians 5:15-21).

Thought for the Day:
As we monitor the negative emotions, which disturb the peace of God in our soul, we can rely on God to reveal the issue at the root of them, so that we can lay down these idols at His feet.
( http://www.theophostic.com )

So Much More

Some of us accept the free gift of Salvation offered by God through Jesus Christ, others reject Him altogether, and some of us try to earn Salvation through our own merits and good works (John 3:16-18; Ephesians 2:8-9).

People blame God for the suffering in this world. Once we put aside our pride and rebellion, we can influence our children, family and friends to use prayer to solve their problems rather than to resort to blame, violence and carnality.

We teach them to aspire to use their vocation and hobbies to make the world a better place. Even more important than this, however, is teaching them the Word of God.

Life is not about doing, but about being. God has a perfect plan for each person ever born (Ephesians 2:10). If we branch off in our own direction, we end up spinning our wheels.

However, if we focus on what God is doing in and through our life each moment, we discover His divine appointments throughout the day as we follow the leading of His Holy Spirit.

Through the blood of Christ and the word of our testimony, we can heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead and cast out devils all in Jesus’ name and through His Holy Spirit (Matthew 10:8).

Christ in us is the light of the world (John 8:12). God places His authentic Believers in a candlestick, which He can move as He wills, to give the whole world an opportunity to come to Christ’s Light.

As His church, we are a city set on a hill, which cannot be hidden. We can let His light in us shine so brightly that people will see our good works and give God the glory (Matthew 5:14-16).

Prayer:
Father God, we have assurance that You hear our prayers. Not only do You give us what we ask for, if it is according to Your will, but You also give us abundantly more than we request (Ephesians 3:20). We see the truth of this in Your answer to Solomon’s prayer (1 Kings 3:11).

How often we place our affections on this world’s wealth and resources. We labor more for mammon’s trappings than for the eternal matters of Your Kingdom.

How much better it is for us to put our treasure where moth and rust do not destroy (Matthew 6:19-20). Remind us that prayer, witnessing, Christian relationships and mentoring others for Christ are the true jewels of life.

Thought for the Day:
The Word of God truly is the mightiest sword. – Hebrews 4:12

Lightening Our Load

There are times when circumstances overwhelm us. Our life is riddled with disease, broken relationships and material losses. Negative emotions fill the void left behind by these severe issues. They cause us to withdraw, to lose hope and to feel weary and uninspired. We cannot seem to lift our head up off the pillow.

There are thousands of people in your sphere of influence, who all feel the same way that you do. They are looking for someone like you who will understand the place that they are in and to reach out to them and pray for them. You can take tiny steps at first. Go to your small group and share your experience. You may find others there who can relate to your experiences.

As you feel better, you can learn a new hobby. You will meet new people in the classes you take, which are potential new friends. Some of them will encourage you, and you will encourage others. You can join the YMCA or a fitness club and lose weight. That will enhance your self-image and physical well-being. Volunteer at your church by serving in a ministry or helping in the office or the nursery.

Play a game on the computer to improve your mental concentration and to bring some joy into your life. Get interested in your neighbors and lighten their load in some way. Giving your time and attention to others will also ease your burden and give you less time for Satan to drench you with self-pity. Follow your passion and get involved, so you can put down your heavy burdened, and feel less lonely.

Prayer:
Father God, help us to turn to You in our time of need. You provide these trials to draw us closer to You. Remind us that being busy is helpful, but spending time with You is even more appealing. We grow in our intimacy and love for You and we receive direction from Your Spirit. Remind us to allow You to use us to lighten the burden from someone else’s shoulders (Galatians 6:2).

Thought for the Day:
As we help others to deal with their issues, we will help our self at the same time.

Her Cherished Treasure

The wise woman makes her husband her priority second only to God. He will see her love for him in her eyes, in her tone of voice, in her caring touch and in the amount of time she wants to spend with him. He is her most cherished treasure and is highly esteemed in her priorities. She respects, prefers and values his presence in her life.

Men want to be appreciated, and to feel trusted, believed in and admired. When a husband feels disrespected, he feels humiliated and will often react in anger or withdraw within himself. Often, his own behavior causes these feelings, but a wife can still attempt to support him in his endeavors. We believe in him, even when he doesn’t believe in himself.

Men are more vulnerable than they will admit or than most women realize. They crave verbal affirmation and encouragement. This gives them security and confidence. Some men believe that if their wife will stand with them, then the whole world can stand against them and they will not care. Many men will seek genuine affirmation from another woman, if they do not receive it from their wife.

Men want to be romantic, but fear humiliation. A wife’s encouragement, even in his frailest attempts, will encourage a husband to do even more. A man needs to know that his wife wants and desires him. This helps him to feel loved and gives him the confidence to succeed in every area of life. Due to her appreciation, he will not feel trapped by the innate need to provide for his family.

Prayer:
Father God, You created marriage to give men a helpmate (Genesis 2:18-22). Enable women to focus on the positive character in our mate and to build him up and appreciate him at every opportunity. Remind us to be grateful to him for each romantic gesture and every moment that he wants to spend with us. Assist us in maintaining a positive attitude, even when our husband disappoints us.

Thought for the Day:
When a wife accepts the influence of her husband over the household, even an unbelieving husband will be impressed; and may be won over to the Gospel because of his wife’s respect. – 1 Peter 3:1

Our Great I AM

Many believe that Jesus was a man, a good man, but human and temporarily influential in this world. Jesus had a higher opinion of Himself, however (John 8:23). He shared God’s glory and considered Himself equal with God (John 10:30; 1 John 2:23). Jesus told us that the He is the physical manifestation of God (John 14:9). Reminding us that He is not of this world, He also mentioned that He existed eternally (John 6:62, 17:5,16).

The great I AM existed before Abraham (John 8:58). Jesus is Immanuel, the human manifestation of God (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). He left behind His heavenly glory and came to earth as a humble servant (Philippians 2:6-8), giving His life to allow anyone, humble enough to repent a believe, a way to enjoy eternal life (John 14:6). He also gave us His example. The least shall be the greatest; the servant shall be chief (Matthew 20: 26-28).

We live in peace with everyone (Romans 12:18), as far as it depends upon us, which includes forgiving them for any infractions they perpetrated on us. This way God can forgive us as well (Matthew 6:14-15). Living according to God’s standard for our life is the result of His Spirit conforming us to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). His grace makes us who we are (1 Corinthians 15:10).

Jesus never attempted to live by cultural norms during His life. He knew the status quo was as far from the Kingdom of God as it could get. He had nothing nice to say to or about the religious leaders and He never conformed to their image for Him. He left us this example as well…to please God rather than man (Matthew 23:33; Galatians 1:10). We abide as a living sacrifice and honor God (Romans 12:1).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for becoming a man and dying in our place. Knowing that You are our great I AM gives us so much peace, joy and confidence to live life according to Your perfect will for each of us. Conform us to the image of Your Son. Help us to follow Jesus’ example and to please You rather than people.

Thought for the Day:
Follow God’s will with total abandon.