Natural and Spiritual Mind

The natural mind cannot comprehend spiritual truth with the intellect. Without the Holy Spirit of God resident within our spirit, God’s truth seems foolish (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Without the Spirit of God, we pick and choose what we want to believe from the Bible, if anything at all. We attend church services to feel good and make friends. We may even find a place of service in the church and community.

Our inner being needs strengthening by God’s Spirit, so that we can receive Christ in our spirit (Ephesians 3:16). If anyone is willing to trade pride and rebellion for humility and submission to God’s Spirit we can experience salvation (Matthew 5:5).

Then God fills us through our entire being with all of His fullness and gives us the richest portion of His presence, so we become a body completely filled with all of God Himself (Ephesians 3:17-19).

As we are quiet before the Lord, He inspires us (Psalm 46:10). Christ abides within us by His Spirit, influencing our thoughts, words and deeds; helping us to fulfill God’s pre-ordained purpose for our life (Ephesians 2:10).

We stop stressing over life, or attempting to find God’s will, or to make a living and to amass worldly goods. We enter God’s rest, and He floods us with His peace and joy regardless of life’s circumstances.

God directs each moment of our day and provides for our every need (Proverbs 3:5-6). We are the only Bible some people will ever see, so let us live life in God’s fullness and righteousness.

We exemplify to them God’s reality, love and peace, which transcends all human understanding. We are the branch on the Vine, bearing fruit used by a lost and dying world to nourish their souls and strengthen their spirit, so that they too can believe (Ephesians 3:16; Galatians 5:22-23).

Prayer:
Father God, we realize that all of You dwells in every Believer at the moment of salvation; but Your Word teaches us that we can increase the intimacy of our union with You (Psalm 42:1-2; Zephaniah 3:17; John 14:21).

Remind us to pursue You rather than worldly gain, and to taste and see just how good You really are (Psalm 34:8; Hebrews 6:5). Your Word is sweeter than fresh honey to our mouth (Psalm 119:103). We delight in You always and rejoice in Your presence in us through every trial and tribulation we ever experience in this sin cursed world (Philippians 4:4; Psalm 37:4; Matthew 28:10).

Thought for the Day:
At the coming of Christ, the whole earth will be filled with His glory, just as the waters now cover the earth. – Isaiah 11:9; Jeremiah 31:34

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Avoiding the Pit of Depression

Three major causes of discouragement in this life are when our plans do not work out for us, our expectations are disappointed and our perceived desires are not fulfilled.

We hope that our life will turn out a certain way, and when it takes a course outside of our control, we get depressed or we fight tooth and nail to gain control again, which is impossible.

The little nagging issues that arise, setbacks that occur and people who disillusion us will wear our nerves thin and gang up to overwhelm us.

These issues etch away at our positive attitude and tear us down to the point of exhaustion. Rather than to succumb to them, we come up with witty mottoes to discharge our anxiety, such as: “Trouble only comes in threes.”

The remedy for plans going wrong is to stop making them.

We can avoid so many negative aspects in life by walking in the Spirit and seeking God’s counsel for each moment of our day (Proverbs 3:5-6). We consult God for His plans (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Through prayer, we find out God’s desires and walk in His Spirit, accomplishing so much more through His direction, inspiration and power than we can through our own human strength.

God’s love, instead of our human compassion, directs us according to His will. When we walk in His ways, we find the resources, words and ideas we need to accomplish His list for our day.

We set our priorities according to Biblical principles, and we keep Jesus as our first love. As we rely on God’s agenda and wisdom, rather than on our human capabilities, we live a life centered in Him.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us to do only those works, which You planned for us before we were even born (Ephesians 2:10). This means that we may say “No” to the good things and the dire needs presented to us, unless You tell us to say “Yes”.

Teach us that although we may feel guilty for not helping someone in need, even when we have the time and means to help, to obey You and not to step out of your will for them and for us by helping anyway.

As we wait on You, we never enter the pit of despair, because we view all of the opportunities, issues and demands in our life with the eyes of Your understanding and according to Your will for us.

Thought for the Day:
Rather than living under the tyranny of the next item on the agenda, or the next emergency, which presents itself, we dispel depression and stress by totally surrendering to God’s direction.

Living in the Moment

The Serenity Prayer, the whole prayer and not just the first paragraph, teaches us to live in the moment. This is the key to living a life full of the peace and joy of the Lord.

The next moment does not yet exist; five years ago only exists as a memory and can no longer really affect this current moment; unless there are unresolved issues from our past, which still haunt us today, and which God wants to heal.

The only true reality is now…this one moment in time. We may pass from life one moment from now; so living this current moment fully is imperative to our joyful existence.

The excitement about this one moment of time is that we do not have to wait for it. It is already here. We can make of it what we choose. We can live in God’s perfect will for every single moment of time (Ephesians 2:10).

As we pay attention to this exact moment, we take note of our breath. Is it shallow and tense or peaceful and deep? What thought is in our mind? Are we concerned about an issue or enjoying the presence of God?

What emotions accompany our thoughts? Are we angry, anxious, addled or are we basking in the love the Lord? How does our body feel? Is there pain, are we tired, do we have an unusual amount of energy?

As we learn to be present in the moment with our self, then we can take the next step of being present in the moment with God’s Holy Spirit. Abiding within us, He gives us creative options, inspirational direction and Godly wisdom.

Do not be afraid of paying attention to who you really are inside. You may not like yourself, but God loves you. So you have value, which you never explored or acknowledged, just waiting for you to discover.

We do not need a mask, addictions or an escape to deal with our negative emotions or circumstances. This only postpones the inevitable need to face who we really are. Take time to look in the mirror and to love your self.

Living in the present helps us to care for our own needs, as well as the needs of people God brings into our life. We will look deeper than the manifesting emotions, into our own heart and into the heart of others.

God will give us discernment about the true needs in our soul or in the life of our family, friends, acquaintances and even total strangers that we meet along the way.

God will show us how He wants to use us to help, heal, provide for, or to pray for these needs. As we walk in His Spirit every moment of every day, we further His Kingdom.

Prayer:

Father God, most of us have calendars that are so full of activities and responsibilities that we have no time to just “be” in Your presence. We rattle off a quick prayer as we rush out the door, but we have not truly connected with our self or with You.

Teach us to fully abide in each moment of time. Help us not to regret the past or fear the future. Remind us that You have a perfect plan for every moment of our life, and teach us to walk in Your Spirit through every one of them.

Thought for the Day:

God calls us to adopt the attributes of a little child – to trust the Lord without reservation, to be open to new experiences in life, to enthusiastically enjoy our current activities, and to joyfully, lovingly and freely walk in His Spirit moment by moment throughout the day.

– Matthew 19:14; Galatians 5:15-26

Surviving Lonliness

When we lose a loved one, our job, our home, our church family or a beloved pet, depression often hinders our mind from seeing any joy in life. We wallow in self-pity and hide under the covers, nursing our wounds. Of course, we have a right to grieve, and it is very healthy for us to do so; but we often carry it way too far. We may even turn to addictions to erase our pain.

We can choose to be lonely, or we can choose to reach out. A smile will change our whole attitude. Of course, a fake smile will wear thin and tears will often wash it away. The smile must come from our heart; therefore we need to think of something or someone that honestly makes us happy. The fact that Jesus saved us for eternity always puts a smile on my face.

Serving in our church family puts a song in our heart and a smile in our steps. Reading our Bible and other spiritual books, listening to praise music or watching inspirational movies and testimonies will also help to bring us up from the pit of depression. In addition, we can return to a previous interest, start a new hobby or get together with former, cherished friends. Making new memories and meeting wholesome new friends can also change our life.

Often our friends are too shy to reach out, or do not know what to say or how to help us. So, please communicate how you feel, return calls, invite people over for dinner or go out with the crowd and get lost in it. Some former friends may drift out of your life, but let them go. God has new friends for you just around the corner. Trust in Him to see you through this trying time and to bring you safely to His eternal joy.

Prayer:
Father God, You always use the negative aspects of our life for our good (Romans 8:28). We may not see anything positive at this time, but in hindsight, it becomes very clear that You had a purpose in it all (Proverbs 5:21). We often want the answers now, but You have Your very own time and way to meet all of our needs (Proverbs 3:5-6). Remind us that rather than doing all of the talking during our times of prayer, that we need to listen in order to hear Your voice.

Thought for the Day:
Jesus comforts us with the consolation He received from our Father; and we can turn around and comfort others with the same reassurance He gives to us in our time of need. – 2 Corinthians 1:4

God’s Truth or Satan’s Consequences

There is no mystery in life for the Born Again Believer. The Spirit will prompt us each moment as we ask for His direction, wisdom, insight and inspiration in every task we face. The Bible teaches us about nine fruit, which the Holy Spirit gives to us as He chooses (Galatians 5:22-23). He also gives us gifts for the benefit of God’s Body (1 Corinthians 12:7, 31; 14:1,39).

The Spirit also protects us from the devil, who roams the earth seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Satan comes as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14) to deceive us and to sidetrack us from experiencing God’s Truth. His counterfeit tactics will give us the impression that what we are experiencing is from God, when it is actually drawing us away from God.

One way to detect whether an experience is from God is if it brings peace or confusion. Satan is the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). If you hunger after more of God, then you are safe. If you want more of a person or a certain experience, then it is Satanic. If your experience does not align with God’s Word or if you feel a red flag in your spirit, don’t walk away…run!

God inspires us to go deeper into His Word while Satan encourages us to spend more time on our self and to neglect God’s Word, our family and our church family. As we sit in God’s presence and walk in His Will, then His Spirit empowers us to do the works, which God chose for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). As we pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), we commune with God throughout the day.

Prayer:
Father God, give us discernment by Your Spirit to know when something is of You or Satan’s counterfeit. In these last days, he wants to draw away as many people from You as he can. He is sending false prophets into the world to preach a false doctrine and to cause people to focus on their self instead of on You. Help us to relinquish everything in our life, which hinders us from growing in our relationship with You. Remind us to walk in Your truth each moment of the day, so that we do not reap the consequences of an evil life.

Thought for the Day:
Doing things God’s way is much more productive than doing them to the best of our human ability.

The Holy Spirit Within

God gives us His Spirit when we admit our sinful state and cry out to Him for forgiveness and salvation. God gives us pardon for our past sins and His guarantees for our future. This provides deep peace, which never fades as long as we keep our mind on Him (Isaiah 26:3). He wants complete control of every part of our life. We hold nothing back.

As we live in total surrender to His direction and guidance, He orchestrates our body, soul and spirit. In exchange, we live in the joy of the Lord, which defies human description (1 Peter 1:7-9). It is never ending joy, which resides deep within our spirit and influences our body and soul. This is the same joy, which God gave Jesus when he faced the cross of Calvary (Hebrews 12:1-3).

When God’s Spirit moves in, He brings holiness, contentment and triumph with Him, which transcends every circumstance we ever encounter in life (Romans 14:17). These are not fleeting emotions, nor do they depend on any aspect in our life. They are resident within us by God’s Spirit no matter how devastating our life becomes. The Holy Spirit is an ever-present help in times of trouble. 

Continually dwelling within us, God’s Spirit transforms our carnal nature with His fruit and Christ’s divine nature (2 Peter 1:4; Galatians 5: 22-23). He provides the unity and love we receive from our relationship with the Lord of glory (Isaiah 60:1). God is our provider, protector, sufficiency, inspiration, peace and joy. We place our secular life under God’s Spirit’s direction and He leads us to succeed in every area of life.

The Holy Spirit is also the sanctifier who rules in our spirit and soul and gives us grace and mercy in our time of need. His joy is our strength (Psalm 28:7) as we face trials and tribulation. Through His Spirit, Jesus cherishes us with all of the benevolence, patience and love that a bride groom has for His bride (2 Corinthians 11:2; Mark 2:19; Revelation 19:7; Ephesians 5:22-33).

Prayer:

Father God, as Your Spirit transforms us with the mind of Christ, we have a Christ-like attitude at home, work and play, which makes a positive difference in the world around us. Your Spirit forms Christ in us to the extent that we live, move and have our entire existence in Him (Acts 17:28). He conquers sin within us, and casts out any idol, which we still cling to, as long as we willingly surrender it to Him. Help us to give every negative experience to Your safe keeping and remind us to respond in Your Spirit to everyone who comes against us.

Thought for the Day:

We give Jesus our whole heart and He gives our life back to us with more fulfillment and peace of mind than anything we could ever imagine.