The Devil in the Details

It is the details of life, which often bog us down. Our priorities are sidetracked by the little demonic foxes that spoil the vineyard (Song of Solomon 2:15). They sway our thoughts and emotions until we lose our peace, fall out of God’s rest and end up drowning in stress.

 

The good things in life become the enemy of the best things. They demand our attention away from what is important. We fail to walk in God’s Spirit or perform His will for our day, because the details scream for our attention.

 

It is difficult to ignore those little nagging issues, which arise during the day and night. They are like a flashing neon sign that continually pull our focus back to them and away from God’s best for us.

 

We end up reaping physical illnesses, negative emotions in our soul and our spirit is malnourished from neglect. We feel like a failure and often start believing that we are hopeless. Yet, there is always hope in God.

 

Many details can be eliminated; for instance, immediately throw away that advertisement or catalog, which came in the mail; dust and vacuum once a week, and do not allow the gathering particles to bother you that collect in every corner and flat surface of the room until that day.

 

Separate the laundry in bins and only wash when the bin is full; wash dishes as you cook, so there is not a pile at the end of the meal; and, if necessary, allow yourself to leave the sink full of dishes and go to bed to get your needed rest for the next day.

 

Do not answer the telephone every time it rings – caller ID helps us to distinguish if our child needs our attention and everyone else can leave a message for us to hear at a more opportune time.

 

Make a grocery list and shop once a week or month or quarter, rather than running to the store every other day for some forgotten or needed item.

 

Making more little changes in the details of our home life, vocational activities and church ministries – as God gives us wisdom, changes our mindset and schedule.

 

We put our priorities in the proper order and we have more time for spiritual pursuits. Our life is more fulfilled and our spirit is nourished by our close intimacy with our Heavenly Daddy.

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for pointing out to us the areas where Satan uses the zillion details of the day to distract and discourage us. Give us Your wisdom to know how to organize and to make Your plans our priority. Help us to stay focused on the spiritual rather than on this earthly realm.

 

We want our day to start and finish in Your perfect will for us, accomplishing all that You called us to do at work, home and play. Draw our hearts to You and never let us go, as our intimacy with You deepens and our spiritual focus increases.

 

Thought for the Day:

Be aware of the minute details that tend to destroy us from the inside out, to interrupt our home life and relationships, and to spread the roots of apathy in our churches.

 

 

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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.

Answers to Life’s Questions

There are several questions that every human being wants answered. Who are we? Where did we come from? What are we here for? Where are we going? Scientists, philosophers and researchers spend inordinate amounts of time looking for answers.

God is the source of all of our answers. He created us as His Children, for His glory and to spend eternity with Him in His Kingdom (Galatians 3; 2 Corinthians 5; Romans 8).

Everyone who chooses to believe in Christ and His sacrifice for us on Calvary’s cross finds our true identity in Him. Those who refuse to believe condemn themselves to eternal darkness (John 3:16-18).

God is constantly perfecting us by His Spirit who abides in our spirit. He takes away our desire to sin, and it no longer appeals to us. We are alive to God and we desire intimacy with Him more than the temporal pleasures of sin.

God’s Spirit helps us to walk away from our weakness and addictions. He searches our heart and knows our mind and prays for us according to the will of God (Romans 8:26-27).

We are Born Again by the blood of the Lamb, and God’s Spirit replaces the carnal nature in our soul with the divine nature of Christ. Our eternal destination is heaven (2 Peter 1:3-4).

Jesus swallowed up death, and gave us the victory through His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:54; Isaiah 25:8). What the world views as the finality of death is actually the ultimate victory for God’s children.

Leaving this earth is to our benefit, because God rejoices in the death of His Saints (Romans 8:28; Psalm 116:15). In truth, there is greater advantage for us to go Home to the glory of Heaven than to continue living here on this sin-cursed earth (Philippians 1:21).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for making us a new creation in Christ, for filling our life with Your peace and joy, and for exchanging our sin for the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Through His resurrection, we have assurance by Your Spirit of enjoying everlasting life with You both now and for eternity.

You rescue us from violence and deceit, because we are precious in Your sight (Psalm 72:14). Your mercy and grace are our mainstays and ground us in this life with stability and normalcy, which only You can give. We cling to Your promises and enjoy the divine nature of Christ in us (2 Peter 1:4). Continue to mold us into sanctified servants for Your Holy Kingdom.

Thought for the Day:
Accepting who we are in Christ, and why we are different from those in the world, helps us to make an eternal difference in our world.

Disposable People – Part 1 – Those We Should Protect

There is a lack of commitment, appreciation and selflessness in our culture today. We treat people like a sack of trash and deposit them out on the curb when they no longer meet our needs.

No one is immune to divorce in this modern, disposable society. People want a “do-over.” They discard a mate as easily as an old pair of shoes.

I am blown away by the phrases associated with divorce nowadays. “We have a stale marriage”, “We hit a dead end”, “I am not in love with you anymore”, “I see no option for us, but divorce”, “We have grown apart”, “God wants me to be happy”, “I am not attracted to you now”, “You are too needy and I can’t deal with it.”

These are just a few excuses, which I have heard as a Pastor’s wife. You may know others. You may have even heard a few of them yourself.

People trade in their spouse like a used car. When the new model comes along, they have no qualms about making the switch.

They hope that the grass may be greener, or that maybe this new person will fulfill them or make them feel complete. They are willing to take the chance, excited about the possibilities.

Whenever two people marry they may eventually get comfortable, let their guard down and take each other for granted.

They get irritated with each other more often. Resentment grows and even anger. Old wounds from their childhood drive wedges between them unless they get healing for their past.

They may decide they would prefer to live alone than with their mate whom they do not understand and who no longer makes them happy.

They may feel an animal attraction when they meet someone new and wonder about the potential. In today’s society of easy-divorce, the sanctity of marriage is part of the past; but divorce is not part of God’s plan for us (Malachi 2:16).

Prayer:
Father God, You created each one of us by knitting us together in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-14). Even now, You know the exact number of hairs on our head (Matthew 10:30). Help us to cherish our intimacy with You and with one another too, and to recognize the beauty and strengths in each other.

Teach us to nurture one another and to appreciate the efforts we make to love each other to the best of our ability. Remind us that we are all wounded individuals attempting to survive in this painful world, and do not allow us to further wound each other by disposing of one another when our carnal strength fails us.

Remind to love one another with Your Agape love. Help us to rekindle the flames of human love by doing special random acts of kindness for one another, by dwelling with each other with understanding and by meeting each other’s needs above our own.

Thought for the Day:
There are no disposable people. – Malachi 2:16

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.

 

 

More Intimacy with God

As human beings we long for deep connections and we attempt to discover this link with other human beings, a career, a pet or a cause. We can try for a lifetime and find fulfillment in many ways, but we are still left unsatisfied and wanting more.

As a single person, our life is not deprived; and as a married person, our life is not fulfilled. Our social, occupational, financial and marital status, nor the number of children or grandchildren in our life, cannot bring us true and abundant fulfillment.

Our greatest human need is to intimately connect to the family of God, because we are all one Body of Christ with each of us linked in as an integral part of the Body. When one member is not there, the whole Body suffers.

We start by forming a love bond with God, our Father, through the sacrifice of Jesus, our Brother, by the connection to them afforded to us by God’s Holy Spirit through salvation (Matthew 22:37-40).

Following our own or Satan’s plan for our life will leave us lifeless and depleted; but walking in the Spirit brings fullness of joy (John 10:10). Only God can grant us the premier and most fulfilling rewards in this life and the next.

God does not require that we make our self holy before experiencing this intimacy, which He makes available to us. However, we do grieve and quench His Spirit through disobedience to His Word (Ephesians 4:30-31; 1 Thessalonians 5:19).

The greatest gift of all is Christ in us in whom we find abundant life in spirit, soul and body. He wants no competition for our affections and is jealous of our time spent away from Him pursuing things of this world (Exodus 34:14).

He is always there within us (Hebrews 13:5), comforting us in our tears, nurturing us in our fears and insecurities, turning us from sin, loving us unconditionally and guiding us by His Spirit.

Prayer:
Father God, You speak to us in our soul when we read and meditate on Your Word; through Your Spirit in our spirit during prayer; and in our body, soul and spirit through the circumstances of our life (John 10:27-29; 1 Peter 5:6-8). Teach us to pay attention and to obey Your every prompting; so that we do not reap the destruction of disobedience (Romans 12:2).

Thank You for Your mercy and grace, which cover a multitude of our sins (1 Peter 4:8); and for not making us reap everything which we sow in disobedience. Only You can save and perfect us (Matthew 27:1-66; 1 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:1-3). We desire intimacy with You more than anything else this world has to offer; because only through Your presence in us do we find a truly fulfilling life.

Thought for the Day:
Being in intimate fellowship with other Believers helps us to develop more intimacy with our Father and His Son by His Spirit.

Walking in an Intimate Relationship

The fulfilled Christian life is not about religion, joining a church, serving in a ministry, memorizing Bible verses, getting baptized or hanging out with Christian people.

These will all improve our lifestyle and help us to reap more positive rewards during our lifetime; but they will not reap an eternal home or rewards.

The venom of sin infects every cell of our being and leads us down paths of earthly ruin and imminent immortal death. Our sole hope of salvation is to look up to the cross of Christ (John 3:14).

True salvation only comes by admitting our sinful condition, repenting of our disobedient lifestyle and submitting to the Holy Spirit’s direction in our life.

Our relationship with the indwelling Holy Spirit is the key to living a fulfilled Christian life. Our renewed lifestyle in Christ allows us to avoid the pitfalls of sin and to enjoy holiness at its best.

Walking in an intimate relationship with God, we enjoy the help of the Holy Spirit to adopt the attitudes, character and divine nature of Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:4; Romans 12:2).

This allows us to think, talk and act consistently with the Word of God. We surrender our goals and dreams to the leading of God’s Spirit and walk in obedience to God’s amazing plan for our life (Ephesians 2:10; Genesis 12:1-4).

If we walk in the Spirit, we will not fulfill the desires of our old nature, which war against the desires of the Spirit. Instead, we exhibit the fruit of God’s Spirit and experience ultimate life and peace (Galatians 5:15-25, 7:23).

Prayer:
Father God, You provide the only cure for sin and death through Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on Calvary’s cross. Help us to focus on Jesus, and to be saved. Then remind us to keep our focus on Jesus, remembering His sacrifice for our sake, honoring Him with the fruit of our lips and laying down our life for You and for Your children.

Help us to seek You for Your direction for our life and then to walk in it. We prove our love for You by obeying You, keeping Your Word and living in Your Spirit (John 14:15, 23). Intimately knowing You is what eternal life is all about (John 17:3). Abiding in Your perfect will for us is the happiest place on earth.

Thought for the Day:
Living with continual gratitude for the work of Christ on the cross reminds us to hear and walk in God’s Spirit each moment of our day.