Three Warning Signs

The doctor takes a blood test, which informs him of our health issues. We have the choice to heed his advice, or to ignore it and reap the consequences. We often look in a mirror and see the stress in our soul reflected in our face; yet we do nothing about it. There are spiritual signs in our life too, which let us know that our spirit is dead in Adam’s sin (Romans 5:15).

If we ignore these three warning signs, we will perish (John 3:18). We fail to believe the blood test, the signs of stress in our face or the spiritual death of our spirit within, and we continue to live life after our own plans and goals. We struggle to find true happiness, and we neglect what is important in life to pursue the trappings of this world.

God calls everyone to come to Christ for His redeeming life. The Word of God will alert Believers in this same way. It informs us that our spirit is sick from our sin. If we surrender to God, He gives us an entirely new life. We will stop pursuing fleshly desires and worldly gain, which make us spiritually unhealthy. People see a difference in our life and they want that same blessed lifestyle, which we found in Christ.

Connected to the Vine of Christ, we produce the fruit of His Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). We magnify the Lord in our thoughts, words and behavior, and God blesses us for our faithfulness to Him (Psalm 35:27). He wants us to come to Him with our needs and to ask Him to meet them. When we do, we receive His overwhelming love and His generous provision (John 16:24; Matthew 6:33).

Prayer:
Father God, until we completely surrender to You, we do not realize that Your plan for our life is absolutely perfect (Ephesians 2:10; Psalm 139). True significance, peace, satisfaction and success are ours, even if none of our humanistic goals are ever achieved. We feel Your Fatherly pleasure in us, and this love and acceptance mean more to us than anything this world can offer. We never have to wonder if You have a minute to listen to us, because You have a whole lifetime full of them.

Thought for the Day:
If we pay attention to the guidance of Your Spirit within us, and walk away from our sinful lifestyle, we find spiritual life as well as physical energy, joy and clarity in our soul. – 1 Thessalonians 5:23

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Two Extremes

There are two extremes of human attitudes, which end up as liabilities to the work of Christ, rather than as a blessing. Satan tempts us in our thoughts with the sins of inferiority and superiority. Our misguided beliefs about God, the world and our self shade the thoughts in our mind. This also affects our words and actions.

Some of us are insecure, and shrink from the limelight, rarely volunteering to help in church ministries. We end up disparaging, censuring and condemning our abilities and our feeble attempts to serve. We doubt God’s love for us. We fail to walk in the will of God, because we believe that we cannot accomplish what He is calling us to achieve (Proverbs 23:7).

On the other hand, there are those with prideful thoughts who exalt themselves and brag about their accomplishments (Galatians 6:3: Romans 12:3). We have spiritual pride and remove our self from fellowship with the Body of Christ, because we look down on them and criticize their efforts for the Lord. We think that we are too good to function in God’s true calling for our life (James 1:26).

Jesus pointed out that what is in us, comes out of us, either good or bad (Matthew 12:35). If we listen to Satan’s lies, we will live in defeat or arrogance. God’s Spirit deals both with inadequacy and pride in the authentic Believer (Hebrews 4:12). The balance between these two extremes is to have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).

Christ can heal us and deliver us. We can function through God’s Holy Spirit, who leads us into all truth and directs our every step (Galatians 2:20; John 16:13; Romans 8:14). We no longer struggle to live in this world. God’s Spirit replaces our carnal disposition with the divine nature and mind of Christ (2 Peter 1:4; Romans 12:2).

Prayer:
Father God, after our spirit is Born Again, allow us to surrender to the transforming work, which Your Spirit accomplishes in our soul. This way we will cooperate and exhibit more and more of Your spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22-23). Remind us to place our mind on spiritual and eternal issues, not on earthly aspects (Colossians 3:2). Help our mind to dwell only on what is factual, moral, accurate, divine, positive, admirable and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8).

Thought for the Day:
If we focus on the negative, we reap death; but if we focus on the positive and spiritual, we will enjoy rest and peace. – Romans 8:5-6

Filled with the Spirit – Part 1

God promises to give us His Spirit (1 John 5:14-15). We receive the Holy Spirit from God at the moment of Salvation (John 14:16, 7:37-39; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 3:2). Jesus sits on the throne of our life and fills us with the fullness of His Spirit (Galatians 5: 15-25). The Holy Spirit is a Believer’s down payment of our inheritance of the Kingdom of God (2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 4:30).

By being filled with the Spirit, I am not referring to speaking in tongues or any public manifestation of spiritual gifts. I also do not mean having God’s power in order to show off how great we are. I am referring to spiritually entering the Holy of Holies of God’s Heavenly Tabernacle (2 Corinthians 5:1). This is the Holiest Place, the Sanctuary where we dwell in holiness for the rest of our life.

The Bible instructs us to keep on, continually being filled with God’s Spirit on a moment-by-moment basis (Ephesians 5:18), and to yield possession and control of our life to Him. Our obedience allows God’s Spirit to freely work in and through our life. With the Spirit’s filling, we also have the mind of Christ in every situation and decision we face (1 Corinthians 2:15).

We cannot cause the Spirit’s filling by exerting our will power or by doing good deeds. God fills us with His Spirit as we completely surrender to Him. God grafts us into the Vine of Christ (John 15:5). This makes us Christ-centered Believers. We love God’s Word, we trust Him in every area of our life and we are filled with His fruit (Galatians 5:22-23).

Prayer:
Father God, You promised to give us the Spirit and You commanded that we be filled with Your Spirit (Hebrews 11:6; Romans 14:22, 23.). Thank You for helping us to get off the throne of our life and to follow the direction of Your Spirit in everything that we think, say and do (Psalm 19:14). You ordained for the Spirit-filled Christian to experience Christ’s abundant, powerful and fruitful life flowing in and through our life for Your glory and honor. We ask that You continually fill us with Your Holy Spirit.

Thought for the Day:
To live in the fullness of God’s Spirit requires complete consecration of our life to Him.

The Pinnacle of Spiritual Heights

At the moment of our salvation we received the fullness of the Trinity with all of the spiritual fruit, power, strength and love we will ever need (Romans 8:11). The God of light in us is greater than all of the satanic spiritual forces of darkness, which formerly ruled our life (Ephesians 6:12). We receive a fresh filling of God’s Spirit to do God’s will during each moment of the day (Ephesians 5:18).

Regardless of our human failings and foibles, God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things (Hebrews 11:1-40). The indwelling presence of Christ in us allows us to execute greater works than Jesus did while He lived on this earth (John 14:12). His power and anointing in the collective Body of Christ multiplies His presence in the earth now that He sits at the Father’s side (1 Corinthians 12:27; Mark 16:19).

Every trial we suffer proves our faith to be authentic and produces praise, glory and honor when Jesus returns. Although we have never seen the Lord, we know Him because He dwells within us. We love Him, because He first loved us. He fills our heart with wondrous joy and peace, which defies human logic and description (1 John 4:19; 1 Peter 1:5-9; John 3:18). Our union with Him sets us apart.

Our faith in Christ secures our eternal salvation. God is our righteous Father who wants obedient children to totally trust in and fully surrender to Him. The closer we draw to our Father God, the more we cry out for more intimacy with Him. We can never experience all of God until eternity; yet, we climb ever higher toward the pinnacle of spiritual heights.

Prayer:
Father God there is never a moment in our life when we are not in Your presence. We try to hide from You at times, ashamed of our behavior, but You are always there (Psalm 139:1-16). We never experience one negative or positive aspect of life alone, because You dwell within us. Daily, we ask Your Holy Spirit to control our every thought, word and deed for Your glory (Colossians 3:17). Compel us by our absolute love for You (Mark 12:30) and Your love in us for others (1 John 4:7) to share the Gospel of Christ with whoever will listen (Matthew 28:19-20).

Thought for the Day:
Walk in the Spirit and you will live in the love of God as you reside in the will of God.

The Emotions of Our Soul

God made human beings as a trinity, much as He is. The soul is one of the most spectacular parts of this trinity (body, soul, spirit). The soul includes our thoughts, decisions and emotions. These aspects of the human life are amazing when you consider the depth and ramifications of each of them. Our mind is an impressive, intricate physical organ made up of chemical charges and cells, which store every single word and event that ever occurs in our life.

God gave us so many emotions. Each main emotion branches off into dozens of nuances. Take anger for instance. Anger can be expressed in tones from mild annoyance all the way to extreme and violent rage. Here are some other emotions, which come in between these two extremes:

Soft Anger
Annoyed, Frustrated, Cross, Apathetic, Peeved, Irritated, Cranky, Crabby, Bored, Impatient, Critical, Cold, Displeased, Rankled, Detached, Indifferent

Mood State Anger
Angry, Mad, Offended, Antagonized, Bristling, Sarcastic, Aggravated, Arrogant, Indignant, Inflamed, Affronted, Resentful, Incensed, Exasperated, Riled up

Intense Anger
Hostile, Aggressive, Livid, Outraged, Furious, Belligerent, Hateful, Appalled, Bitter, Ranting, Raving, Contemptuous, Disgusted, Vengeful, Vindictive, Violent, Irate, Menacing, Seething, Vicious, Spiteful

See what I mean! Feelings are aroused by verbal and physical signals, which we receive from stimuli, such as photos, nature scenes, people, pets, etc all throughout our day. Even inanimate objects like a car, jet plane or places elicit emotions from our soul.

The problem is that we often base our choices and decision on feelings. They are transitory and temporary at best, but the selections we make because of how we feel affect us for the rest of our life. God replaces our negative responses with the fruit of His Spirit. He calls us to temper our emotional responses with spiritual direction from His Spirit.

Prayer:
Father God, we have emotions that are so intense at times that we do not know what to do with them. We erupt in a negative emotion or wallow in self-pity and depression because we feel so overwhelmed. Help us to submit our soul to You for sanctification and to come to Your Spirit to receive Your fruit (Galatians 5:22-23), the character of Christ, in place of our negative human emotions.

Thought for the Day:
God’s Spirit replaces our negative attributes with His positive fruit.
– Galatians 5:22-23

For more info on other emotions, see this page:
http://karlamclaren.com/emotional-vocabulary-page/

The Divine Nature of God in Us

The trauma, inconsistencies and callous aspects of life, wear on our human soul, which intensifies over the years of our lifetime. Since conception, the abuse, injustice and deprivation turn us from skeptics to raging maniacs. We shut down emotionally or we allow negative habits to rule our behavior. We over-react to situations through our habitual self-defense mechanisms.

God is love. (1 John 4:8). His love for and in us removes our reasons to fear, which is the root of all of our negative emotions (1 John 4:8; Romans 13:10). As we surrender to His love, God’s Spirit fills us with more and more of His divine nature. Love banishes our selfishness, envy, pride, and rebellion, and fills up our soul – our mind, will and emotions (1 John 4:20). God displays His love through us to the world around us (1 John 4:12).

We cannot achieve this love in our own power or effort, but only as a gift from God through His sanctifying power (Romans 5:5). God’s Spirit within us sanctifies us, and gradually gives us the divine nature of our Father God (Philippians 2:12-13; Ephesians 2:10). This results in a mind, which is set on holy and spiritual thoughts and desires (Colossians 3:2). God’s Spirit does not change our carnality overnight.

God’s Spirit imparts one aspect of God’s divine nature to us at a time. He peels away our sin nature one layer after another, replacing each earthly characteristic with His fruit (2 Corinthians 3:18; Galatians 5:22-23). He exchanges our carnal tendencies with a display of spiritual fruit. He reveals them in our behavior each time we allow Him to do so. The entire gamut of spiritual fruit, the nature of God, is in Christ in us.

Therefore, we already have each of these fruit resident within our soul through the abiding Holy Spirit. God replaces hatred with love, depression with true joy, discontentment with peace, irritation with patience, criticism with gentleness, backbiting with goodness, pride with meekness, excess with self-control, and worry with the faith of God as we are controlled and guided by His Spirit. The closer we walk in God’s will, the more holiness and spirituality we exhibit.

Prayer:
Father God, the perfect triangle of Your love for us, our love for You and our subsequent love for one another is a witness to the world of Your power (John 13:34-35). Heal our wounded hearts and remove any lies in our soul, which Satan planted in our subconscious mind. Share with us Your Truth about the trauma we experienced in this sin-filled world, and pluck Satan’s lies right out of our belief system. Allow us to view our self as You see us…as perfected in Christ.

Thought for the Day:
God’s divine nature in us is not something we use for personal gain or reputation, like so many people in this modern society, but for the glory of God and to further His Kingdom in the earth.