Our Strong Tower

As an infant, most of us are properly cared for by our parents; although, more often in these days in which we live, children are no longer cherished and nurtured.

Regardless of our upbringing, however, life rarely pulls its punches. It deals out a lifetime of hard knocks, abuse, neglect and disappointments.

We learn to keep more to our self, in order to give people and circumstances fewer chances to hurt us. We want to stay safe from a world, which often frightens us.

We continue to reach out to other people, and to help them in any way we can; but suspicion taints the way we view people and opportunities, which come our way.

We are programmed to believe that the good times will never last, because they never did in the past. We stop looking forward to things; and we never believe promises, because they rarely if ever happen.

We miss opportunities, which we would enjoy, because we are afraid to trust the leading of God’s Spirit. We stay home rather than to take risks to meet new people and to share God’s love with them.

We learn to build walls to hide behind in an attempt to protect our self. However, these very walls only serve to keep us restrained in the confinement of our own making.

We try to escape these walls through addictions, the wrong friends and mate, busyness, hobbies, projects and over-achieving in areas, which do not really matter.

We imprison our true self behind those walls, which were meant to keep us safe. We can never live a full life as long as we continue to hinder our whole body, soul and spirit from living free in Christ (Galatians 5:1).

Prayer:
Father God, we wall up our heart, because vulnerability makes us susceptible to victimization and neglect. You advise us to guard our heart from sin, but not from other people. You actually expose us to disappointment in this life to show us the magnitude of Your continual love and nurture for us.

Remind us that when we are the weakest and the most vulnerable, then You are the strongest and closest to us in order to fight on our behalf (2 Corinthians 12:9-11; Exodus 14:14; Deuteronomy 3:22).

Therefore, we can entrust our body, soul and spirit to You and Your protection and care (Psalm 55:22; 1 Peter 5:7). We can run into the safety of Your everlasting arms (Isaiah 41:10).

Thought for the Day:
We fear vulnerability; therefore, we hide our true self behind walls of our own making; but God protects us from our enemies and is a strong tower into which we can run and be safe. – Psalm 18:2, 10

Health and Well Being – Part 3

Our Spirit, Body and Soul are all interconnected and depend upon one another for complete health. God shows mercy on our troubled soul and infirmed body; and He wants us to respond when He calls us to help each other (Psalm 6:2-3). If we see the anguish in someone’s soul and do not obey the Spirit’s direction to help alleviate that distress, God finds us guilty of neglect (Genesis 42:21).

With God as our gentle shepherd, there is nothing we need, which He will not supply. He gives us more than we need physically; and He also restores our soul, after we experience a wounding and upsetting situation (Psalm 23:1-3). As we wait on God, He feeds our body and spirit as He delivers us from the prison of our wounded soul (Psalm 62:1, 142:7; Proverbs 13:25).

The more depressed our soul is, the more God encourages us to hope in Him and to praise Him through our trials. He brightens our emotions and body language, while He delivers our soul from grief (Psalm 42:5-6, 11). As we grow spiritually, we long to walk in the courts of our living God, and we cry out for a deeper union with Him (Psalm 84:1-2). Our intimate relationship with Him gives us a new perspective on life.

Attending church services, reading our Bible, praising God continually, fellowshipping with Christian friends and staying in tune with God all day long, through communion with His Spirit, will help to strengthen our spirit. This causes our soul to blossom and brings health to our body all at the same time (3 John 1:2).

Prayer:
Father God, Your sound wisdom and discretion give life and grace to our soul. You allow us to walk safely without stumbling, even during treacherous experiences throughout our lifetime (Proverbs 3:21-23). Remind us to be aware of our own and also our neighbor’s need for nurturing; and lead us by Your Spirit to help us in these times of necessity. We incline our ear to You and follow hard after You, so that we may hear Your life-giving Words (Isaiah 55:3).

Thought for the Day:
Our soul clings to God for comfort in times of both stress and distress. – Psalm 63:8

A Place of Abiding

We have certain goals in life, which often turn into an idol. We live, dream and breathe these goals, neglecting everything else in our life. We even neglect God in the process. This does not really help us to reach our goals, however; and everything starts to unravel after a while.

These idols also cause negative emotions to rise up in our soul. We get grouchy, intolerant and frustrated. We avoid anyone who threatens our agenda. Negative emotions are a clue that our soul is out of balance. We are either neglecting some aspect we need, or we are pursuing the wrong goals.

When broken dreams, heart-wrenching desperation, and a loss of appetite and sleep wear us down, we finally come to the end of our own resources. We look beyond our human capabilities and we finally trust in the Supreme Ruler of the Universe. God is intimately acquainted with our deepest needs.

God’s Spirit cleanses us and accomplishes His will in our world. He will deliver us from our self, and His Spirit will exchange our carnal nature with the divine nature of Christ (2 Peter 1:4). When we make Jesus Lord, He always give us more than we could ever imagine. When we totally surrender to the work of God’s Spirit in our life, we arrive at the place of abiding.

Prayer:

Father God, bring forth Your Spirit’s fruit in our life until we exhibit them to the world around us, instead of the fruit of the flesh (Galatians 5:22-23, 5:19-21). Once we surrender our idols, which are causing us to sin, Your intimate presence fully returns to our life. Remind us not to lower Your Word to our level of experience, but to elevate Your Word as life-giving Truth.

Thought for the Day:

Temporary disappointments are not failures, but stepping-stones toward the ultimate mountain top experience of abiding in Christ.

Spiritual Healing – Part 1

Understanding Bitterness and Anger

Once we repent, our sins are always forgiven (1 John 1:9). However, some sins often continue to plague us relentlessly for two reasons. They are caused by a subconscious lie from the pit of hell, and this lie is still affecting us every day of our life. What is the sin, which so easily ensnares you? (Hebrews 12:1) What happened in your past that draws you to that sin over and over again?

For instance, my besetting sin is anger. I use anger to protect myself from abuse and neglect. Why do I do that? I had incidences in my life of both abuse and neglect. My soul – my mind, will and emotions – do not want to experience either of these issues again. Therefore, I use anger to fight against anything that even remotely appears to resemble either exploitation or abandonment.

I fight the circumstance and I clash with the person whom I perceive is abusing or neglecting me. I do not even think about it before I react. I automatically over-react to any behavior that involves me, which even hints at being abusive or negligent. This over-reaction in anger is a sin, because it is telling God that I do not trust Him to care for me. I want to control the situation to keep myself safe.

As humans, when something upsets us, it triggers the wounds from our past. We react from the anguish of our soul and complain bitterly about the current issue, because of these ancient wounds (Job 7:11). This bitterness, rooted in the hurtful experiences of our past, will spring up and cause us all sorts of trouble. It will even spoil our current relationships and hinder our walk with the Lord (Hebrews 12:15).

Prayer:
Father God, bitterness and anger reside in our heart over past wounds. Show us the root of Satan’s lies, which stand against Your truth (James 3:14; http://www.theophostic.com ). We need Your forgiveness for sin, as well as Your healing and cleansing from the root of the sin, which allows that sinful behavior to perpetually manifest in our life. Remind us that when Your Son sets us free, we are free indeed (John 8:36).

Thought for the Day:
God wants to cleanse our soul from bitterness and anger and allow His sweet, living water to flow from our soul instead of putrid, bitter water from the painful experiences in our past. – James 3:11

In Times of Trouble

In this life full of trials and tribulation, we often adopt an angry attitude and walk around with a huge chip on our shoulder. We had noble and worthy expectations coming out of high school; plans and dreams and aspirations of health, wealth and success. How dare life stand in our way? We often blame God for our failures, never realizing the magnitude of blessings He actually, already provided for us.

We struggle on, hoping that tomorrow will be different; that we get our bonus, raise or promotion soon. We pray for a baby; and when God answers, we wish He’d take it back – sleepless nights and a mountain of dirty diapers were not in our original bargain. Humans are never satisfied, always upset and rarely ever happy. We take out our disappointment on those we love, expecting them to forgive us.

God’s antidote for this poisonous existence is for us to search for Him and His strength, to seek Him in every area of our life (1 Chronicles 16:11). He allows us to struggle and to attempt to succeed on our own. However, He patiently waits for us to call out to Him in our times of trouble. He is anticipating that we will need Him to rescue us. When He comes, we are filled with praise and we give Him all the glory (Psalm 50:15).

There are so many people in other countries that are not reaping the blessings provided for them, which our ancestors guaranteed for us in America (Exodus 20:6). If you think that your life is poor and miserable, take a trip to a third world country. I guarantee that you will return with the high praises of God on your lips. Remember, in the times of blessings in your life, that many people need your help in theirs.

Prayer:
Father God, You reign forever. You established Your throne and You judge the world by Your righteous standards. You govern us with justice and mercy and provide for all of our needs. You are a refuge for the abused and neglected. You are a fortress and you protect us in our times of trouble. Anyone who knows You will put their trust in You, because You have never, ever, not one single time, by no means at all, forsaken those who seek Your will for their life (Psalm 9:7-10).

Thought for the Day:
The Bible has the answers for us, if we only take the time to ferret them out.