Our Spiritual Ears

Preoccupation with the affairs of this material world will dull our spiritual ears to heed God’s Spirit in the spiritual realm (Matthew 13:15). This opens us up for Satanic deception, worldly influence and fleshly temptations.

 

We may even miss the coming of the Lord. He will come when we least expect Him, as a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:2-4). That is why God calls us to watch and pray.
We open our spiritual ears, watch and prepare for His guidance, comfort and coming. We live in holy anticipation and expectation. Our sole desire as we function in His calling for our life is His will.

 

A sign of the end times is spiritual apathy, which starves our spirit. We are so focused on our flesh and soul – our thoughts, choices and emotions – that we are spiritually asleep.

 

We put other pursuits ahead of our Bible reading, gathering with God’s Saints, prayer and obedience to God’s Spirit moment by moment throughout our day.

 

Circumstances constantly affect our fulfillment and contentment. We suffer from spiritual anemia. We measure our self-worth from our human accomplishments.

 

The future frightens us and we feel compelled to abandon the spiritual side of life in order to make provision for our physical and emotional needs first (Matthew 24:38).

 

We forget that we are created in God’s image as triune beings and that He has a perfect plan for our life (Ephesians 2:10). As we take care of His business, He takes care of ours (Matthew 6:26).

 

His Kingdom is our inheritance and His immortal provision will replace our mortal existence if we will place His will above our own. He calls us to occupy the earth for Him until He comes (Luke 19:13).

 

Prayer:

Father God, spur us to release our desire to settle for mediocrity in the spiritual realm in order to excel in the carnal world. Help us to take our foot out of the earthly realm and to plant both feet firmly on the Rock of Christ.

 

Remind us that there is no salvation in pretending to be a Christ-follower. Only a life dedicated to the pursuit of Your will can bear any lasting, spiritual fruit. We want to receive Your free gift of salvation, sanctification and glorification by faith and abide in You forever (Ephesians 2:8-9).

 

Thought for the Day:

Walking in spiritual completion allows us to persevere in times of trial and tribulation by the power of God’s Spirit within us. – Colossians 2:10

 

 

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Our True Identity in Christ

 

We find our true identity and self-worth in Jesus Christ. We are a stem on the Vine of Christ (John 15:5), a slave to Jesus, our Master (Romans 6:16-18), a holy place for the Holy Spirit to dwell (1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 5:1).

 

We are dead to self-effort through Christ (Romans 6:4; Ephesians 2:8-9). Jesus perfects us, and He is the author and finisher of our faith as we focus on Him and His will for our life (Hebrews 12:2).

 

God sent His Son in the form of human flesh, in order that the law may be fulfilled in Him (Romans 8:3). As we obey God, we will not walk according to the law or in the sinful passions of our flesh.

 

We will walk instead according to the leading of God’s Spirit moment by moment throughout our day (Romans 8:4). We have no righteousness of our own merit, but we walk in the victory of the cross and in dependence upon our union with Christ.

 

A committed Believer wants to do God’s will above all else. That is our goal in life. Our every waking breath and the desire of our heart is to further the Kingdom of God in the earth.

 

Though we may fall short of God’s glory now and then, we surrender our life to Christ in order for Him to perfect us through sanctification (Philippians 3:12-14).

 

Our thoughts, words and behavior match our desires. We put away sinful pursuits and seek holiness. We live life surrendered to God’s unconditional love, unqualified forgiveness and perfect will for our lives.

 

Through the Spirit of God, we are transformed into the fullness of Christ from one degree of glory to another through the process of sanctification (2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

Prayer:

Father God, as a container we show that the all-surpassing power in us is from You and not from us (2 Corinthians 4:7). As we totally surrender our life and plans to You, we find all the riches and wonders we could ever want during both this life and the next.

 

Nothing is impossible with You, and we constantly reap the benefits of Your unconditional love for us (Matthew 19:26). Thank You for allowing us to be a part of Your glorious plan of redemption for the earth.

 

Remind us that once our “self-life” is dead, we no longer live, but Christ lives in us and through us (Colossians 1:27; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Galatians 2:20). Jesus uses our hands, our feet, our words and our actions to further Your Kingdom in the earth.

 

Thought for the Day:

The only way for every child of God to fully live is to completely die to our own desires, ambitions and goals, and to hide our life with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3).

 

 

 

 

Forgiveness and Boundaries

Human beings tend to suffer in silence. We fear rejection and criticism, so we internalize our thoughts and feelings rather than confiding in one another.

Inner voices, which do not line up with God’s Word, are lies from Satan Himself. The only way to dispel His lies is by speaking God’s truth (Philippians 4:8; 1 Timothy 4:1).
( http://www.theophostic.com )

Once we receive our forgiveness from God through repentance and faith in exchange for our sins, then God receives us as His own precious children (1 John 3:2).

We have Jesus’ example in order to forgive those who harm us. If they are repentant, we allow them back into our heart. If they refuse to repent, then we forgive them for our sake, but keep them at a distance.

Even though we forgive them, we do not condone their behavior toward us, and we certainly never allow them any opportunities to harm us again.

We derive our self-worth through Christ in us, rather than through our own achievements. This way our esteem does not depend upon people, circumstances or meeting our goals.

It depends on God’s faithfulness and the presence of Christ abiding within us. We are secure in who we are through Christ. We live the life to which He calls us (Ephesians 2:10).

This way too, we have no need to attempt to manipulate and control the behavior of others in order to make our self feel better, safer or more secure.

Prayer:
Father God, people do tend to maliciously use us, but You encourage us to love them with Your agape love and to forgive them and pray for them (Matthew 5:44). However, we can also be wise as snakes and gentle as doves in our dealings with them (Matthew 10:16).

We point them to Your love for them, but we never again allow them to take advantage of us or to use us for their evil gain. Their opinion of us does not matter anymore, because our identity and our good name come from You (Proverbs 22:1; Psalm 52:9).

Thought for the Day:
No one is more deceived than the person who will not admit that he or she is wrong; but we can forgive them anyway and erect boundaries to keep them from harming us again.

A Little Child Shall Lead Them – Isaiah 11:6

​God tells us that unless we act and think as a little child, we cannot enter His Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 18:3). He is not suggesting that we throw temper tantrums or act self-centeredly.

He wants us to lay down our selfish pride, humble our self under the mighty hand of God, and live with child-like trust in our Father God (1 Peter 5:6-7; Psalm 131). He wants us to live in the moment according to His Will for it.

God calls us to forsake the love of all earthly attitudes, people, possessions, pride and self-centeredness for the sake of Christ in us (Luke 14:26, 33). Our carnal flesh is dead and hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3).

There is no need to perfect our self, because we are already dead to sin through Christ (Galatians 2:20). We simply draw near to God and resist the devil’s temptation, because God always gives us a way to escape (James 4:7-8; 1 Corinthians 10:13).

Christ is our whole life during every moment of our earthly existence (Colossians 3:4). God carries out His perfecting work in our soul by His Spirit (Hebrews 13:21).

We have no concern for our self-worth apart from Christ in us (Matthew 19:17). Any self-effort will only accumulate carnal treasures, which are actually wood, hay and stubble, according to God’s opinion (Galatians 6:3; 1 Corinthians 3:12).

We are totally incapable of working for God through human power. Our human endeavors stink in God’s sight (Luke 16:15).

Therefore, we do nothing from our self-efforts, and everything according to the will of God, by the power of God working in us (John 8:28; Zechariah 4:6).

Prayer:

Father God, You have no interest in the power of our flesh, because You fight our battles for us (2 Chronicles 32:8). This is so evident when we read about the Battle of Jericho, and so many other battles, which Israel fought in Canaan land.

We fight many spiritual battles during our lifetime, but if we are wise, it is only and always by Your Spirit (Ephesians 6).

If we act like prideful and disobedient children, and carry out our own plans, choose our own mate and increase in sin daily, we do not belong to You (Isaiah 30:1-2; 1 John 1:6).

Authentic Believers do not rely on our human talents to do Your Will, but only on the power of Your Spirit within us (1 Corinthians 2:4).

Thought for the Day:

Christ is the hand, and we are the glove; the glove is perfectly molded to the hand and moves only as directed by the hand.

Healing Relationships – Part 3

Any time that we give power over our self-worth to another person, rather than to God alone, we are making that person an idol in our life.

As we discover our healthy self-worth in Christ, based on knowing His Word and how He feels about us, then we can follow the Holy Spirit’s direction in forming safe relationships.

We will still experience negative feelings, such as hurt, fear, anger, loneliness, etc. These feelings are an integral part of life, and they come with the human experience.

It is impossible to love without opening our self up to be hurt. When we choose to love someone, we are giving him/her the power to love us and to look to us to be loved.

However, we can love without also giving them the power to hurt us or to allow their words and actions to cause us to feel insecure, angry or frightened.

When someone’s words or behavior trigger a negative reaction in us, this is a sign that something is very wrong. We can take that negative emotion to God and ask Him to reveal the origin of this sensitivity in us.

There may be an unresolved conflict from our past, which is still very much alive in our subconscious mind; or it may rise from some current situation that is causing this negative feeling. ( http://www.theophostic.com )

Once we submit to God’s healing, these slights and rejection no longer have the power to devastate us like they used to, because we have a spiritual perspective now.

God helps us to resolve our negative feelings, and we have peace within once again. At the same time, we can keep communication open between our self and others.

We can even mention, in a non-accusatory manner, that their behavior or words triggered a fearful or hurtful reaction in us. However, we do not have to attack them or cause a negative reaction in them, just because we are hurt.

Prayer:
Father God, it is so difficult to heal emotionally once we are in a caustic relationship. Our mate expects us to act as we always do. They feel threatened and confused as we start to change.

Remind us to share with them what we are learning and how we are changing, so they will not be surprised by any sudden transformation in our behavior. Create in both of us a clean heart that lives only to serve You in this life.

Thought for the Day:
The best motivation for mutual change in a relationship is to realize that change gives us a better connection.

For more information on our identity in Christ read:
http://fulfilledchristianlife.blogspot.com/2015/02/normal-0-our-identity-in-christ-alone.html

No Higher Honor

Have you ever met a “control freak”? They attempt to subjugate the people and events around them. Some of them desire to wield power. Others are insecure and endeavor to control their environment to ensure their safety. A third type of control freak was oppressed as a child; and, as an adult, vowed never to allow that to happen again.

The greatest problem with control freaks is that they are rebellious to God’s authority in their life. They do not seek His will, but they make their own plans and move mountains to attain them. Some of them manipulate, demand, steal and finagle to get their own way. Their motivation is to preserve their concept of their own self-worth, because their value comes from their achievements (Colossians 2:8).

Control freaks actually believe that God let them down; therefore, they must make their own way in life. Satan reinforces this confusion by using commercials, billboards, social media, office politics, family expectations and a host of other worldly standards to force the unwitting to base their value on earthly concepts.

The problem is that even the richest, most powerful, successful and beautiful people in the world never really believe they have attained the pinnacle of acceptance they so crave. The devil convinces them that they are actually unlovable and unacceptable in order to keep them on the rungs of that illusive ladder of success.

They even perceive rejection from others when it is not there. A muddle of inferiority, hopelessness, insignificance and self-criticism overwhelms them. It is only in the very center of God’s will that we find our true joy and contentment (Philippians 4:11-13). He redeemed us from our sinful lifestyle and adopted us into His very own family (1 John 3:1). There is no honor in life higher than this.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for creating us with Your purpose in mind (Psalm 139:13; Ephesians 2:10). You gave each of us gifts and talents, which we need in order to accomplish Your will for our life (Romans 12:6). There is no need for us to strive to achieve success that is out of Your will for us. Even when we accomplish our goals, they will ring empty and hollow. Thank You for adopting us as Your children. Help us to find our worth only in our relationship with You.

Thought for the Day:
God’s Biblical principles are our standard and give us wisdom for living; apart from Him we are nothing. – John 15:5