Praying without Ceasing

There is a penchant in humanity to take things to the extreme. Many in our society will make desperate attempts to gain more intimacy with God to the point of neglecting their duties to family and society.

They will cloister their self from life and spend their time in their prayer closet, reading God’s Word and listening to sermons. In an attempt at holiness, they desert all aspiration to communicate with anyone other than God.

Yet, in doing this they prevent God from using them to reach the lost and dying world around us. God instructs us to pray without ceasing at the same time that we do every mundane task of life for His glory (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, 1 Corinthians 10:31).

Until the day on which He returns to claim His Bride for His own, God calls for His Saints to give Him a balance of devotional prayer in our closet and obedience to His will (1 Samuel 15:22; John 14:15).

Then He will take us home to be with Him for eternity. Our current position in Christ allows us to see life from God’s perspective and to choose our words and actions according to the will of God.

In this way, we are always moving toward perfection, which is the prize of the high calling of God (Matthew 5:48; Philippians 3:14).

 

Carrying on throughout our day, we pray without ceasing each moment in order to remain in His will (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Jesus taught the disciples how to pray using this formula (Matthew 6:9-13):

1.) Praising God’s majesty

2.) Anticipating the coming of His Kingdom

3.) Requesting our needs to be met

4.) Repenting of our sins

5.) Forgiving those who sin against us

6.) Acknowledging His Lordship

As we live in a place of communion with God during every waking moment, we have so much assurance of His love for us that we are able to rejoice regardless of the circumstance surrounding us (Romans 8:28).

Prayer:

Father God, as we walk in Your Spirit, we give thanks for everything that happens to us – the good, the bad and the ugly, because we know this is Your will and You always work out all things for our ultimate good (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17; Romans 8:28).

We rejoice and give You praise and thanksgiving for Your eternal care for everything that concerns us. We could never, ever repay You for Your personal love and care for each one of us. Thank You for taking a personal interest in our life and for providing for all of our needs.

Thought for the Day:

As we gather around the throne of Heaven, there will be a great innumerable multitude from every single nation, tribe, people and language group all standing there with us in worship and thanksgiving before our redeeming Lamb. – Revelation 7:9

Freedom from Anxiety

Anxiety robs us of our peace and joy, spawns other negative emotions and adversely affects our physical health. It is a “killer”. God has a tip for us to use to receive freedom from anxiety.

 

He advises us not to allow anxiety to enter our soul on any level (Philippians 4:6). He shows us the futility of worry by pointing out that anxiety cannot change anything anyway (Matthew 6:27). Then He tells us a secret.

 

We can avoid these debilitating, negative emotions. The first step is to continually rejoice in the love of the Lord and to realize that He has His best in store for us regardless of our circumstances (Philippians 4:4).

 

When we realize that the Lord is near to us, even dwelling in our spirit within, we walk in gentleness and peace (Philippians 4:5). We lift up every concern to God in prayer.

 

In faith, we thank God for dealing with the issue before we ever see the first sign of evidence that He cares about our immediate problem. We lay out our burdens and leave them in His capable hands (1 Peter 5:7).

 

He gives us the wisdom to know how to deal with the issues our self, or the courage to leave them for Him to resolve in His way and time. He may just give us grace instead of resolution, the way He did Saul’s thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthian 12:9).

 

When we compare our distress with the weightier matters of life, or the reality of eternity, we may see our anxiety evaporate before our eyes. The magnitude of eternity’s reality erases most concerns from our troubled soul (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).

 

God provides for the birds and flowers of the field; and He cares about us so much more, because we are made in His image. As we make His Kingdom our priority, He works out everything else for our good (Matthew 6:25-34; Romans 8:28).

 

Prayer:

Father God, draw us close to You and never let us go. Remind us of Your saving grace throughout our lifetime and build up our faith with this continual evidence of Your goodness and provision for us. Flood our soul with a waterfall of Your love and allow it to vanquish our fears (1 John 4:18).

 

The fruit of Your Spirit replaces our carnal nature and we find it easier to walk in Your Spirit and to trust in Your goodness rather than to fear the future. Remind us to ignore Satan’s lies and our negative self-talk, which pull us away from faith in Your faithfulness. Thank You for giving us Your freedom from anxiety concerning the temporal issues of this life.

 

Thought for the Day:

Consumed with worry, we cannot enter and remain in God’s rest; yet, if we walk in the center of God’s will, we abide in the happiest place on earth. – Hebrews 4:10-11

 

My Hiding Place

I have a secret hiding place. It is my safe house, my shelter and fortress, my place of rest and rejoicing. Whenever my soul is afraid, I run into it and find safety, balance and serenity.

My secret hiding place is called the spirit of man (1 Corinthians 2:11). Prior to our coming to Christ, this safe place is all boarded up and inaccessible. Sin destroyed it and it is uninhabitable.

Yet, when we surrender our life wholly to God, our spirit is born again. We meet God there. From the moment of our salvation, He dwells with us in our spirit by His Holy Spirit and He never leaves (Romans 8:9, 16; Hebrews 13:5).

As we mature in our walk with God, we no longer live through our body or soul – our mind, choices and emotions. We do not depend on our human skills, talents or capabilities, but we give God full reign in our life.

We walk this earth in our body in union with God’s Spirit who abides within us; but we function in life through our spirit rather than our body and soul (1 Corinthians 3:16).

God still uses our body and soul for His purposes in the earth. He transforms our personality and capabilities and makes us a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).

We are no longer tied to the earthly realm, influenced by sin and hindered by human insufficiency. Our external world my fall down around our ears, or people and experiences may attack our thoughts or emotions; but like Paul, we rejoice in the tribulation.

We experience life from our safe place: our spirit within us (Galatians 5:25). Our carnality is dead and it is no longer us, but Christ who lives in and through us (Colossians 3:3).

We are controlled, guided and filled through our entire being with all of the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:16-19). We experience eternal life as a reality even now, by intimately knowing the only true God and His Son, Jesus Christ, whom He sent (John 17:3).

Prayer:
Father God, due to Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary’s cross, we can leave behind the cares of this temporal world and touch the glories of Heaven. Our spirit is filled with Your Spirit and we feel safe and right at home there (Revelation 3:20). We live in step with Your Spirit from within our spirit, separated from our body and soul and viewing them as from a distance.

Regardless of what the world, the devil or our flesh attempt to entice us to participate in, or the amount of pain and grief they try to distract us with, they have no effect on us or lure for us, because we live in our spirit by Your Spirit and no longer through our flesh.

Thought for the Day:
Christ is our whole life and we live by His faith; He gave Himself for us, because He loves us completely and unconditionally.
– Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:4

Take Courage

With persecution of Christians increasing in the world, including in the good ole USA which was founded on religious freedom, we have to remember that the main thing is still the main thing: God will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

Regardless of how many God haters rise into power, God is still in control of our individual lives. Our fears and anxiety will only add to the stress and ill health caused by their persecution.

If we learn to enter God’s rest now, while we still have our freedoms, it will enable us to better traverse the unknown treatment, loss and deprivation which we may face in the future.

God reminds us that we are actually blessed when we are persecuted for His sake. We take courage from the example set by lives such as Paul and the Old Testament prophets (Matthew 5:10-12).

We rejoice, because although we may face scarcity now, we are storing up rewards in heaven for eternity. This concept allows us to rejoice and continue to serve as the salt and light of the earth (Matthew 5:12-15).

God uses us to preserve the lives and to light the path of those around us and to lead them to Him. When they see His love, peace and joy in our life, regardless of circumstances, they too will honor our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us to take the focus off our self and to share Your love with those who are also suffering all around us. Remind us that the endurance of Christ fills our soul, because He abides within us. Any persecution is light and momentary when compared to the glory You prepared for us in Heaven.

As Your righteous ones, we live by faith and You preserve our soul, so there is no need for us to shrink back in fear but to continue to show Your love even to our persecutors (Hebrews 10:32-39).

Thought for the Day:
Regardless of those who are elected as our officials, how much power terrorists gain in the world or how many laws are passed against us expressing our faith with words, buildings, external crosses or religious trappings, nothing can separate us from the eternal rest and love of God dwelling within us. – Romans 8:35-39; Proverbs 21:1

No Help for Us in God

Throughout the ages, scoffers and God-haters say that there is no help for us in God (Psalm 3:2). They deny His part in creation and they belittle the testimonies of His provision in the lives of His Saints.

However, those who are genuinely seeking for real answers in life find true solace in the everlasting arms of the Lord (Deuteronomy 33:27). He is our shield against the arrows of the devil (Psalm 91), surrounding us on all sides with His protection (Psalm 3:3).

When we faithfully shout praises to the Lord, with all of our trust and might, His answers are so miraculous that they thunder down from His holy mountain (Psalm 3:4).

We bask in His presence and enjoy all of His blessings (John 15:9; Psalm 103:2). Even in dire and frightening circumstances, we trust in Him with all of our heart (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Since God is our only salvation, we have no fear as we trust in Him. We stretch out on our bed in solace and enjoy sweet sleep, waking with energy, confidence and stability (Psalm 3:5; Proverbs 3:24).

Regardless of the circumstances, we stand firm on our Rock, fearless in any time of danger, or financial and relational loss, or just in our daily life. We plant our fist squarely in the face of the enemy (Isaiah 17:10; Psalm 3:6).

We are confident that true and timely help always comes to us from our Father God (Psalm 3:8). He clothes us with salvation and holiness, as we continually delight in Him (Isaiah 61:10).

The Lord is our strength and defense (Isaiah 12:2). When we walk in His truth and obey His Word, our peace is like a river and His benefits overwhelm us like the waves of the sea (Isaiah 48:18).

Prayer:
Father God, even in times of discouragement, when feelings of uselessness and hopelessness threaten to overwhelm us, our reward is in Your hand and You liberally supply us with all of our needs (Isaiah 49:4; Romans 8:28). We will continually rejoice in You, as our Lord, and find our joy in You, as our Savior (Habakkuk 3:18).

Although people persist in ridiculing us for our faith in You, and they look at us incredulously and mock and insult us, and sometime even take advantage of us in our weakness, we pray that You will draw them to Your bleeding side (Psalm 17:11, 22:7-8).

Thought for the Day:
A person’s animosity towards Christians is often birthed from conviction, and our Godly response to them may help them to surrender to God’s unconditional love.

No Longer Condemned

Regardless of our struggles as Believers in Christ, no action on our part can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:31-39). We are no longer condemned, because Christ set us free (Romans 8:1).

When certain sins continue to entice us, we can ask God to reveal the need in us, which they supply. He gives us wisdom on how to meet those needs in a Godly fashion, and we no longer desire sin.

All sin is rooted in unbelief, because whatever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:22-23). Satan will even attempt to condemn us with shame for our lack of faith; yet, we can cry out to God, “I believe, help my unbelief” (Mark 9:23-25).

We reject the devil’s condemnation, and respond with repentance and surrender to the conviction of God’s Holy Spirit. As we strive to enter God’s rest, we abide in His peace and joy (Hebrews 10:4; Romans 14:17).

Choosing to refrain from running off on our own tangents, we reduce our need to cry out to God to find us and restore us back to a life in the center of His will (Luke 15:4).

Centering our life with our source in Christ in us, we do only those works, which God preordained for us to do (Ephesians 2:10, 3:17). We walk in the Spirit instead of in the flesh (Galatians 5:15-25).

We find our fulfillment in this life by walking the straight and narrow road (Matthew 7:14). We rejoice in the Lord always in every situation, because of His love and presence residing within us (Philippians 4:4).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for providing for us the pearl of great price to pay the ransom for our sins and to set us free from Satan’s lies (Matthew 13:45-46). We rejoice in knowing that we are wholly Yours and that You have a purpose for our individual life (Ephesians 2:10).

Remind us that we no longer live, but Christ lives in and through us, directing our day and giving us the desire and the power to accomplish Your will for each moment (Philippians 2:12-13; 2 Corinthians 4:11). We give You all of the praise and glory forever and ever.

Thought for the Day:
Satan tells us that we will never measure up and be enough, but Christ died for us and reminds us that in Him we are complete. – Job 19:26; Colossians 2:10

The Cost of Compassion

Consideration for others is a lost art today. We are too busy to care too deeply for anyone, not even for our self. We streak through life fast enough to repel anyone, which we think will weigh us down.

One group of people are so focused on themselves that they have no time for anyone else. They plan their day, follow their agenda and fall asleep at night with little interaction with the people who love them.

There are video games, overtime at work, television series, sports, hobbies and extra-curricular activities, which keep us so occupied that we take everyone else in our life for granted.

Another group of people are so wounded from their past, that they have little emotional energy to expend on anyone else. The cost of showing compassion is too high, and they are emotionally bankrupt.

When we see a need, which God directs us to meet, yet we walk away, the love of God does not dwell in us (1 John 3:16-17). We are unwilling to pay the cost of compassion.

We have another purpose for our time and money and do not want to share with anyone else. Sadly, our joy from our own plans will quickly fade; and since we are out of the will of God, we cannot prosper.

Jesus gave us the example of the Good Samaritan and the father of the Prodigal Son to teach us to care about other people and to give them a second chance (Luke 10:25-37, 15:11-32).

As we walk in the Spirit, we will give away more and more of our self, and we will receive more of God in return (Luke 6:38). God is love, and the more love we share, the richer we enjoy God’s presence in our life (1 John 4:8).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that negative emotions within our soul come from the wounds in our past, placed there by the devil. They will prevent us from showing Your love and compassion to others (Ephesians 4:26-27). Help us to seek Your truth about every satanic lie, which births these destructive feelings within us ( http://www.theophostic.com ). Once we are free from this woundedness, we are also free to receive the fruit of Your Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

Remind us that whether we are preoccupied with pain from the past or our current self-centered pursuits, obedience to You is the only way we can reap Your rich rewards. When we empathize with the pain and rejoice in the joy of others, and share Your kindness and mercy with our self and them, we will truly and eternally prosper (Romans 12:15; Luke 6:35-36).

Thought for the Day:
If we say we love God, yet hate someone else, then we are a liar and do not know God; yet, if we are truly in love with God, we will love His children too. – 1 John 4:20-21