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.

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Fruitatstic Personality

The Holy Spirit moves into our life at justification – when we repent of our sins and ask Jesus to save us from the penalty of them. He brings with Him the power, nature and fruit of God’s character.

His fantastic fruit will replace our carnal nature and make us a new creation (Romans 6:22). However, the weeds of sin, the world and the devil will rob the soil of our life and starve the spiritual fruit, preventing it from growing.

It is our choice to allow or to hinder this from happening. Negative emotions will crowd out His fruit by dominating our thoughts and preventing God’s Word from germinating (2 Timothy 3:2; Romans 1:30).

It seems to be easier to grow the weeds of sin than the fruit of the Spirit; but as we surrender our will and all of our human effort to God’s Spirit, it becomes unpleasant to sin and joyful to walk in holiness (1 John 2:17; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

We discover that God’s Spirit replaces hatred with love, discontentment with peace, irritation with patience, criticism with gentleness, backbiting with goodness, worry with faith, pride with meekness, and depression with true joy, as we are controlled and guided by Him.

What do these fruit actually mean to our life and personality? His love gives us affection for others; joy produces an exuberance in us for life; peace conveys a deep abiding serenity; patience provides us with the willingness to persevere.

Gentleness exudes compassion from our heart; goodness radiates kindness which pervades our entire being; faith comes from experiencing God’s faithfulness; meekness makes us humble in our service to our King; and when God’s Spirit guides us each moment of the day, we have self-control in every circumstance (Galatians 5:22-23).

It is a bit overwhelming to think of changing all of these attitudes in our life at one time. Actually, the Holy Spirit changes us from one stage of glory to the next, a little at a time, one degree at a time (2 Corinthians 3:18).

We end up with a fruitastic personality; and we can share God’s fruit throughout our lifetime with everyone we will ever meet. We will develop into a wonderful example of the love of God in an individual’s life.

Prayer:
Father God, our old nature prevents Your fruit from growing in our life. Help us to lay aside those negative emotions and character traits, which so easily weigh us down and to allow Your Spirit to transform our life (Hebrews 12:1). Thank You for helping us to focus on the positive viewpoint in Your Word whenever negative thoughts assail us (Philippians 4:8).

Help us to meditate on Your Word day and night as Your Spirit gives us the mind of Christ to replace the negative attitudes which come from Satan, the world and the flesh. Show us the root of every negative thought, feeling and outlook, so that we can surrender it to You immediately. This will prevent us from adopting a negative, complaining, stressed, depressed or grouchy attitude. Thank You for delivering us from our self.

Thought for the Day:
We can write verses pertaining to one fruit at a time and post them in obvious places where we spend time: like the bathroom mirror or kitchen window or refrigerator, or above our desk at work; so we can reread them daily as God’s Spirit transforms our life with them.

The Name of the Lord – Our Power

The Lord saves us and raises some people into prominence and authority for His name’s sake, so that He may make His power known in the whole earth; such as the little shepherd boy who slew the mighty giant by the power of the name of the Lord of hosts (Psalm 106:8; Romans 9:17; Isaiah 17:45).

God revives us, delivers us, forgives our sins and brings our soul out of trouble for the glory of His name (Psalm 143:11; Psalm 79:9). God gives His people, who magnify His name, rest like cattle who are fattened by the sweet grass of the valley (Isaiah 63:12, 14).

The Lord knows those who are His and helps us to abstain from evil (2 Timothy 2:19). Since we love Him and intimately know His name, He securely sets us on high and delivers us (Psalm 91:14).

We know and trust the Lord who will never forsake those who seek Him (Psalm 9:10). He helps us to resist our enemies and through His name we have spiritual power and might (Psalm 44:5, 118:12; Romans 16:20).

God gives a chance for repentance and forgiveness to all by proclaiming His name to all the nations (Luke 24:47). He blesses anyone who lives in His name and through them He blesses the whole earth (Psalm 72:19, 118:26; Joel 2:32; Luke 13:35).

When we rely on the Lord, we are overcomers. He makes us strong pillars in His church, and He writes on us His name and the name of His holy city (Revelation 3:12).

Prayer:
Father God, You will make Jesus the only Lord and King over all of the earth. His name will be the only one glorified among the nations (Zechariah 14:9). From the rising to the setting of the sun, we praise Your name, and we look forward to You reigning as King over all the earth (Zechariah 14:9; Malachi 1:11).

Many come in Your name in order to mislead the foolish (Luke 21:8; Matthew 24:5; Mark 13:6). Therefore, we must use discernment to realize who is speaking Your truth. Remind us not to follow any one person, but to feed from the life given to us in Your Word.

Thought for the Day:
The Son of righteousness has risen with healing in His wings, and enables us to dance with joy like a playful calf. – Malachi 4:2

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

Worthy of Our Love

Authentic Christians are so in love with God that things in this world lose their appeal. As we contemplate His goodness, the memories warm our heart. We burst out in joyful songs because of His righteous treatment of us. He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and great in loving kindness. He is good to us all and all of His works are full of His tender mercy (Psalm 145:7-9).

God is the Lord of hosts of angels and His magnificence fills our hearts with respect and awe (Isaiah 8:13). As we read about His work through the ages, we realize that His thoughts and methods are much higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). Sometimes they do not make sense to our finite, human mind; however, hindsight always gives us a glimpse of His wisdom.

We trust in God’s loyal love and rejoice in the salvation that Christ’s redemption provides for us. We sing of the benevolent and bountiful ways in which He deals with us (Psalm 13:5-6). He hears our prayers and is our shield from danger and our strength to deal with life’s unpleasant experiences. Our heart trusts in His goodness, because of the ways He always works out everything for our good (Psalm 28:6 Romans 8:28).

We cannot help but to rejoice in God’s bountiful provision and give Him continual thanks night and day for all that He does for us (Psalm 28:7). God is high and lofty above the earth and lives in a high and holy place with our Lord Jesus Christ. Our Father inhabits eternity, yet cares enough to revive the spirit of the depressed and to forgive the heart of the contrite (Isaiah 57:15).

Prayer:
Father God, heaven is Your throne and our earth is Your footstool. You made all of these things by Your wisdom, understanding and power, or they would never have come into existence (Jeremiah 10:12, 51:15; Isaiah 66:1-2). You are the one and only, true living god, our eternal King. The earth and nations tremble at Your righteous anger, and many come to You in repentance (Jeremiah 10:10).

Thought for the Day:
God is always nearby and never far from any one of us, even though He fills both the heaven and the earth. – Jeremiah 23:23-24

Balancing the Soul and Spirit

Our spirit, the third entity of our existence (body, soul, spirit), is originally dead in sin, until we repent and come to Christ as our Savior. This starts a gradual process of total surrender to God’s will for our life. We no longer follow our heart, but listen to God’s Spirit instead (Jeremiah 17:9). The Spirit keeps us grounded and focused in comparison to the fickle and wayward emotions, which guided us in the past.

At salvation, Christ unites us with Himself in one Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17; John 17:11, 20-23). Then, God’s Spirit fills us with His fruit (Galatians 5:22-23). We have a more peaceful and secure life now. Our spirit is filled with love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, meekness, self-control and faith, regardless of the emotions presenting in our soul. We can take the emotional wounds of our soul to Christ and allow His Spirit to exchange them with His fruit through our spirit.

Sometimes we still allow our soul’s emotions to dominate over God’s spiritual fruit in our spirit and to dictate our behavior. This is a common human malady. One of the goals of our Christian walk, however, is to surrender our soul’s emotions to God and then to walk in the Spirit and to express the fruit of God’s Spirit. Our spirit is not angry or depressed, our soul is. It is not hypocritical to be joyful, even when we feel depressed, or to show love to someone we feel anger toward.

This is part of the higher calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14). We cannot produce the fruit of the Spirit, only God can, but we must choose to exhibit them rather than negative emotions. We do this by walking in the Spirit all day long. Our spirit is always exhibiting the nature of Christ, the fruit of God’s Spirit, and can overcome the negative feelings in our soul

Negative feelings are a direct sign that we are not taking care of our soul. We feed our body food all day long, and we study the Bible to feed our spirit, but our soul needs care too. We do this by paying attention to how we feel. Then, use the Serenity Prayer Principle. If you can fix the situation causing your soul stress, fix it. If not, then submit that need or feeling to God for Him to heal or to fulfill.

Prayer:
Father God, our spirit is eternal and connects with Your Spirit in our inner man (2 Corinthians 4:16), our true spiritual self. You deliver us from the power of darkness and open the door for us into the Kingdom of Your Son (Colossians 1:13). We are Your emissaries to the world in which we live. Your love flows like a river through us to those You place around us. Remind us that our self-life is dead and we no longer live, but Christ lives in and through us (Galatians 2:20).

Thought for the Day:
God cares for us abundantly more than we could ever ask or think (Ephesians 3:20-21). He will meet the needs in our soul.