Drenched with the Presence of God

God diagrammed the course of human existence before He ever brought the first couple to His perfect Garden. Their sin did not surprise Him, and He already planned for Jesus to pay our sin debt (Romans 7:21-25).

Through Christ, we are Born Again – a spiritual rebirth of our human spirit. The Holy Spirit dwells within us, empowering us to walk in God’s will every moment of our day.

We are not drawn to the darkness, because Christ in us is our spiritual light. Satan no longer holds us as powerless captives, weak-willed hostages or rebellious infidels.

Carnal feelings, earthly desires and worldly longings are things of the past. The war in our mind ceases, because God’s Spirit in us wins battle after battle to renew our mind (Ephesians 4:23).

Once we accept Christ, we slowly get lost in the beauty of His holiness (Psalm 29:2). We exalt His name for His faithful love and grace toward us (Isaiah 25:1). Christ is our whole life (Colossians 3:4).

We think of nothing but Christ in our every waking moment. We follow His Spirit as He directs our steps in the very center of God’s will (Proverbs 3:5-6).

God is our eternal dwelling place and we are His Holy Temple (Psalm 90:1-2; 1 Corinthians 3:16). We are completely absorbed in Him and He fills every fiber of our being.

We behold His beauty as we dwell in His house and we meditate in His Temple (Psalm 27:4). He gives us a reason to hope during the trials, which we experience throughout our day (Jeremiah 29:11). We are drenched with His very presence.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for setting us free from the law of sin and death by Your Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2). We have less stress and striving in our life since we completely surrendered to the work of Your Holy Spirit in our life. We love Your Kingdom and we look forward to inheriting Your promises in eternity.

Keep us ever faithful to Your Word and Your life within us. Write Your laws on our heart and fill us to the brim with Your Spirit (Hebrews 8:10; Ephesians 3:16-9). Transform our mind to the mind of Christ and give us an abundance of Your presence until we overflow to the brim with Your love, grace and complete unity with You (Romans 12:2; John 17:23).

Thought for the Day:
Sin no longer tempts us, disobedience disgusts us and rebellion no longer motivates our behavior, because we love God with our entire body, soul and spirit and we detest what He abhors.

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The Perfecting Work of Patience – Part 2 Entering God’s Rest

 

The only striving the Bible encourages us to do is to strive to enter God’s rest (Hebrews 4:10-11). We do not use self-effort to arrive at any other phase of our Christian walk.

The reason we have to strive to enter into God’s rest is that it goes against our natural human tendency. Our pride and rebellion spur us on to do things our way, and submitting to God chafes our soul – our mind, will and emotions.

We want to feel accomplished and to believe that we earned the degree or trophy or crown of glory by our hard work and effort. The truth is that we will throw our crowns at Jesus’ feet, because we will finally realize that He, not us, earned and deserves them (Revelation 4:10-11).

In our free will, we can choose to disobey God’s Spirit at any time; but then we reap the consequences of sin, as well as discipline for our disobedience from our Father who loves us a His children (Hebrews 12:4-12).

On the other hand, attempting to discipline our self to walk in good works and obedience to God’s Word is often fruitless and counterproductive. The more we strive toward perfection the more our flesh draws us back into sin and rebellion.

We can only walk in perfection as we rely on the promises and Spirit of God (2 Corinthians 7:1; 2 Peter 1:4). Our obedience to God is both inspired and empowered by His Spirit within us (Philippians 2:12-13).

“Let patience have her perfect work” (James 1:4-8) is not telling us to be patient or to get patience. It is simply telling us to submit to God and to allow patience, which is a fruit from the Holy Spirit, to do its perfecting work in us (Galatians 5:22-23).

This takes all the stress out of life for us. We walk in freedom and joy, with God’s peace in our heart regardless of circumstances; knowing without a doubt that God has a seed for a miracle in the midst of every trial.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that our part in our spiritual walk is simply to surrender to the work of Your Holy Spirit in our life. We are but a lump of clay, and You are the Master Potter (Jeremiah 18:1-6; Isaiah 64:8). You are our Alpha and Omega and You give us Your living water as we thirst for You alone (Revelation 21:6).

Teach us that the Christian walk is not about self-effort, but about submission to You first and foremost in all areas of our life. We concede to You in everything we think, say and do; and You direct our path (Proverbs 3:5-6). We walk in Your ways now and serve You for eternity in Your new heaven and new earth (Revelation 21:1).

Thought for the Day:
By trusting in God to save and to perfect us in every way, regardless of the circumstances of our life, we enter His rest and remove all stress from our life.

The Family of God

God, our righteous Husbandman, grafts each of us as a branch into the vine of Christ (John 15:1, 5). He teaches us to balance our life. He reminds us to set apart time to worship Him, to fellowship with His Saints, to play with our family and friends and to help other people in their times of need. God gives us wisdom during our workweek, and shows us how to improve both the process and progress of our day.

God’s Spirit guides us supernaturally. He gives us power, as Christ’s Body on the earth, to perform greater works than Jesus did (John 14:12). We live for Christ, and He lives in and through us. We no longer strive, because we enter into His rest (Hebrews 4:10). We enjoy the transformed life with the nature of Christ in us. We do not rely on human effort and legalistic performances for salvation, but on Christ’s righteousness in us.

We are a fellowship of like-mind, authentic, Born Again Believers, and a Body with a common goal. We commit to prefer, honor, love, accept, agree with, serve, bear with, submit to, forgive, admonish, encourage, build up and fellowship with one another. We are humble, sympathetic, compassionate, hospitable, and devoted to each other (2 Corinthians 5:21; John 13:34-35; Romans 12:10, 15:7; 1 Corinthians 1:10; Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 4:2, 5:21; Colossians 3:13, 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 10:25; 1 Peter 3:8, 4:9).

God gives us the discipline of forgiveness to keep our relationships in right standing with Him and one another. We face the wounds and feel the grief deeply in our heart. Then we choose not to allow the offender to live rent free in our heart. If we do not forgive, He cannot forgive us (Matthew 6:14). We do not let him/her off the hook, but we put them in God’s capable hands to mete our His revenge on them (Romans 12:19).

Prayer:
Father God, You amaze us in Your goodness to us. You think of everything we need; sometimes even before we realize we need it (Isaiah 65:24)! We are so grateful to You for making us fellow citizens in Your Kingdom. We are no longer outsiders and aliens in this world, because You made all of us members of Your own household (Ephesians 2:19). Your Word helps us to make sense of this world. We look forward to living with You in the new heaven and the new earth (Revelation 21:1).

Thought for the Day:
Behold how good and pleasant it is for the family of God to dwell together in unity. – Psalm 133:1

Just the Way We Are

Just the Way We Are

Living in fear of someone discovering our true identity often drives us just this side of insanity. We dread someone else realizing that we are just “not enough”. Not pretty enough, not smart enough, not strong enough, not kind enough, not capable enough…not enough. Jesus came to give us good news. We all fall short of the glory of God.

There is no one good enough, not even one (Romans 3:10-12, 23). Even people with a high opinion of their self have issues with insecurity. We all have little nagging doubts, which corrode our confidence and whittle away at our self-esteem. We live under a cloud of negative self-talk. We hide behind superficial masks, in hopes that no one will ever uncover just how deficient we really are.

Once we come to Christ, we can stop pretending, stop striving to be good and throw our self on the mercy and grace of God instead. He accepts us just the way we are (Romans 5:8). We need no pretenses with Him. He loves us in spite of our failings. God is our Father who cares for us, nurtures us and provides for all of our needs: spiritually, physically and in our soul – our mind, choices and emotions.

Our Heavenly Daddy gives us a sense of security as we dwell in Him and He dwells in us. His love fills in the gaps in our self-esteem and changes our opinion about our deficiencies. We no longer need to fear life and its consequences, to listen to any negative self-talk or to believe anyone else’s negative opinion of us. We are complete in Christ (Colossians 1:27, 2:10).

Prayer:
Father God, we drink from the living water of Your Word, which calms our soul and fills our spirit with godly character, Jesus’ divine nature and the fruit of Your Holy Spirit (John 7:38; 2 Peter 1:3-4; Galatians 5:22-23). When fears creep in to cripple us and render us ineffective for You and for a productive life, we can run to Jesus, who is the Rock that is higher than we are (Psalm 61:2). He gives us power over these demonic attacks and He strengthens us to prolifically bloom where You plant us.

Thought for the Day:
God provides His people with a Sabbath rest from our weary labors; for when we enter God’s rest, we stop spinning our wheels and trust Him to bless our lives with His fullness. – Hebrews 4:9-12

Fathomless Tranquility

The life of the authentic Christian is one of complete dependence on God. This dependence develops a deep restfulness that permeates every area of our life. There is no reason to struggle and strive in life. When stress tries to overwhelm us, we can go to our solid Rock who is higher, stronger and more stable than we are and find rest for our soul (Psalm 61:2).

God gives us a firm footing on which to walk in this unstable world in which we live (Psalm 37:23; 40:2). He makes our path level so we do not stumble or fall (Isaiah 26:7). He guards our feet. It is not by strength that we prevail, but by the power of God in our life (1 Samuel 2:9). When we hide God’s Word in our heart, our feet do not slip as we work to increase the Kingdom of God by His Spirit’s direction (Psalm 37:31; 66:9).

We do not use obnoxious gimmicks in ministry, but we simply present the gospel in a kind manner to whomever will give us their time to listen. It is not our responsibility to make anyone believe. They come only as the Holy Spirit draws them (John 6:44). However, it is our responsibility to go into the entire world and to make disciples for Christ of anyone who wants the blessings and relationship we have with Him.

The Vine and branch is such a special, reciprical relationship mutually benefitting one another; and we rest in our union with the Vine. He is also the Potter, we are the clay; and we rest in His hands as He molds us into a vessel of His choosing. Another analogy is that He is the Head and we are His Body. Our body never moves unless our mind tells us to do so. This is the same as with our relationship with God.

We depend on God entirely for our every need. The deeper our union, the more we listen to His Spirit. We never move unless He directs. Our love for Him and our passion for winning the lost and growing His Body increases with each passing day. The days get sweeter and even in negative circumstances, we maintain the positive attitude, which faith provides.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, we sit at Your feet and learn from you, just as Mary did when she chose the wiser part in your visit to Your friends’ home (Luke 10:39). We bask in the peace and rest, which increases in us as our knowledge of You and relationship with You increases. We give you all of our anxieties, because You care for us (1 Peter 5:7). Give us Your divine promises, love and abilities in order to affect a change in our world.

Thought for the Day:
We rest in our relationship with God in fathomless tranquility.