Whole-hearted Devotion

In the wilderness, the pillar of fire kept the Israelites warm in cold desert evenings, and the cloud gave them shade under the hot desert sun. They clearly saw God’s will when He moved the fire at night and the cloud by day to direct them (Numbers 9:20).

Yet, I think that we actually have more of an advantage of walking in God’s will than they did, because we have God’s Holy Spirit residing within us every second of every day.

Even in times of trouble and uncertainty, God is happy to generously give us His wisdom (James 1:5). He searches our heart and discerns our every desire, thought and motive (Jeremiah 17:10).

When we serve God with wholehearted devotion, a submissive will and an obedient mind, He tells us whether to turn to the right or the left to find His will for each moment of our day (1 Chronicles 28:9; Isaiah 30:21).

When our delight is in the Lord, He actually puts His desires in our heart (Nehemiah 7:5; Psalm 37:4). As we commit our thoughts, choices and feelings to the Lord, He leads us in His will for our day (Proverbs 16:3).

Some people enjoy physical abundance with more money and possessions than they know what to do with; however, they have a life filled with greed, strife and disappointment (Proverbs 15:16).

Even when we have few material possessions or advantages, we have an abundance, because it is covered with God’s love (Proverbs 16:8). Our ways are peaceful and full of God’s favor as we serve Him with wholehearted devotion (Proverbs 3:17).

Prayer:
Father God, You love us so much, that when we ask, we receive; when we seek, we find; when we knock, You open doors for us to walk in the center of Your will (Matthew 7:8). As we always look to You and seek Your face, we find our delight in Your presence within us (Job 22:26, 27:10; Proverbs 3:5-6).

When our thoughts, words and behavior please You, even our enemies live in peace with us, and You grant us our heart’s desires without withholding any of our requests (Proverbs 16:17; Psalm 21:2).

A baby bird sits in the nest, trusting its parents to fill its gaping mouth. As we have a similar trust in You and we open our mouth wide, as our Heavenly Parent, You always fill it (Psalm 81:10).

Thought for the Day:
Our life is not our own, and it is not up to us to make decisions and to plan our activities for our day; instead, we pray and God communicates to us where to go and what to do.           – Jeremiah 10:23, 42:3

God’s Comfort through Grief

The death of an intimate relative is one of the most challenging, disturbing, overwhelming, and painful experiences we may ever survive. Grief shakes our core foundations and creates devastating and sometimes unrelenting loss and chaos in our life.

For a period of time, depression dampens all of our activities and feelings, and it interrupts our normal schedule. Grief has even been known to hasten the death of the surviving partner or parent.

Our life may never totally recover after the loss of a loved one. At best, life will take a new course, which brings change and fear of the unknown. This change is often one we would never select if we had a choice.

Grief may even accompany the loss of a cherished personal possession, a pet, or even financial security or a part of our body. Aging also produces aspects of grief as we experience the loss of friends, health, physical appearance, energy, family support and memory.

Divorce is another loss from which some people never recover. It causes traumatic grief in most cases, which is similar to or even more distressing than a death, because our mate chooses to leave us.

Each person alive experiences grief in some form or other in their lifetime. Even minor losses will trigger heartache. Grief from former losses will accumulate over the years and add to the sorrow we feel in current losses.

That is why it is important to allow our self the time and opportunity to grieve until we feel closure from any loss as it arises. Ignoring or suppressing grief compounds this devastating emotion in our soul.

Taking our grief to God allows us to heal more completely than if we try to heal on our own. His solace provides peace and joy, which surpasses human reasoning and emotion. We feel His presence within us, filling us and lifting us up.

Prayer:
Father God, we thank You for walking with us through the valleys of grief we experience throughout our lifetime. Your comfort transcends any mantras we utter or human counsel we receive during these times of loss.

We come to You and Your Word and find our wellbeing through Your life-giving truth and wisdom. We know we will see our saved loved ones again, but please fill their void in our life with more of Your presence than we ever felt before now.

Thought for the Day:
God brings physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual healing to us in every instance of grief we experience during our lifetime.

Freedom from Strongholds

When Satan tempts us with a fleeting thought, we have two choices: we can ignore and dismiss it or entertain and dwell on it. If we dismiss it, we are free from its bondage. If we entertain it, we are in danger of falling under its oppression; and those who are not Born Again risk the possibility of possession by demonic beings (2 Peter 2:18-19).

It only takes 3-6 weeks to develop both good and bad habits. These habits develop a stronghold in our soul, and often in our body as well. Breaking negative habits is often a difficult and expensive endeavor. Even if we push these negative habits into our subconscious mind and stop them for a season, current events may trigger these old feelings and habits again.

We will revert back to them as a form of comfort, rebellion or a desire to be in control of some aspect of our life. Each time these habits resurface, they deepen the scars in our soul, and it is increasingly more difficult to extricate our self from them (2 Peter 2:20). Life triggers issues from our past and we respond to current conflict with unhealthy behavior patterns. ( http://www.theophostic.com )

We can completely escape from the strongholds of these habits only as we surrender them to God for healing and allow Him to guide us to resolve the inner conflicts, which connect us to them. If we repent of our sins and relinquish control of our life to Jesus Christ, He will slowly replace the negative aspects of our personality and soul with His divine nature and spiritual fruit (2 Peter 1:4; Galatians 2:22-23; Ephesians 4:13).

Prayer:
Father God, Jesus Christ, our Prince of Peace, is our only hope and solution for freedom from this sin-cursed world. Help us to put on our new self in Christ and to walk in Your true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:24). We look forward to being like Christ when He returns (1 John 3:2). People today close their ears to Your Truth, deceive others as they are deceived, and seek solutions for their problems apart from You (Jeremiah 6:10-14). However, You always give strength to Your people and bless us with peace regardless of the circumstances we encounter in life (Psalm 29:11).

Thought for the Day:
Only those who surrender their life to the Prince of Peace will ever experience true peace in this life and in the next.

Filled with God’s Spirit – Part 2

Once we surrender possession of our life to God’s Holy Spirit, our total motivation in life changes. We are directed each moment of the day to walk in the center of God’s Will. The still, small voice within us whispers our marching orders (Isaiah 30:20-21). The Spirit permeates our life and dictates our thoughts, words and deeds (Romans 8:14).

If what we hear contradicts the Word of God, we never act on it (John 16:8-11). Satan is an angel of light and His whole purpose in life is to deceive. He will give us promptings that will lead us to a ruined life. God’s Word is our measuring rod to gauge what we hear (John 16:12-15). God’s Spirit will never oppose His Word.

The power of God’s Spirit within us allows us to make wise choices for our life, to live by Godly principles and stewardship, to have a word for the weary in due season (Isaiah 50:4) and to witness to people in every situation, which God provides for us (Acts 1:8). Through God’s Spirit we have a new song in our heart (Psalm 96:1).

We speak to one another in spiritual songs, giving continual thanks to the Lord (Ephesians 5:19-21). God’s Spirit teaches us God’s ways, conforms us to the image of Christ’s divine nature and keeps us on a solid footing on the rocky road of life (Romans 8:29; Psalm 27:11; 2 Peter 1:4). God’s Spirit is our guarantee and assurance that God abides in us (1 John 4:13; Romans 8:16).

Prayer:
Father God, if we follow the vain idols, which this world offers to us, our heart will faint away and we will end up in desolation. Only You give us Your eternal life and salvation (Jonah 2:7-9). Teach us to continually walk by Your Spirit (Galatians 5:15-25). Help us to hear Your Spirit and to walk in Your statutes (1 Kings 8:61), and to memorize Your Word and to hide it in our heart, so that we will never sin against You (Psalm 119:11; Acts 20:22-23).

Thought for the Day:
God’s Spirit will teach us God’s ways, so that we can have faith in His faithfulness, and walk through life with our focus on the glory of His name. – Psalm 86:11