Heavenly Throne and Earthly Footstool

In this modern era, we depreciate God in every way. We see Him as the little man behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz. We tell Him what to do, berate Him as a child, and show our disdain and anger toward Him.

We forget that He created the entire cosmos. Mankind discovers more and more galaxies with each new powerful telescope and probe, which we send out into space.

We continually discover plant and animal species which we never knew existed. We see the magnitude of His glory in nature; and yet, this does not change our respect and honor for our Creator (Romans 1:20).

Today, God deigns to dwell on earth in the hearts of Believers (2 Chronicles 6:18). We cannot possibly hide from God. He sees our thoughts, words and deeds. He desires our pure and holy worship (Jeremiah 23:24).

People refer to a building where the church meets as the “House of God”, but this is far from the way God sees it (Acts 7:38). Heaven is His throne and He uses the earth as His footstool (Isaiah 66:1). The most elegant cathedral cannot contain Him.

He is our King and the ultimate Ruler of the Universe (1 Timothy 1:17). He stretches out between the vast expanse of time and space and interacts with His creation throughout the ages.

His Lordship and holy Presence should cause us to fall on our face before Him in humility, gratitude and praise; rather than to shout false accusations at Him, demean His character and blame Him for that misfortune which Satan causes on the earth.

God is totally engaged in each individual life and works by His Spirit to bring His truth and revelation to people in each generation since Adam and Eve. There is no reason for us not to love and honor Him with every breath we take.

Prayer:
Father God, what house could we possibly build for You (Jeremiah 7:4)? There is no way to contain Your essence in a building made with human hands (Acts 7:49). The heavens cannot even contain You, because You defy space and matter (1 Kings 8:27). You hold the universe in one hand.

Yet, Your eyes are on each one of us, judging our works and considering our needs, providing for Your children through Your magnanimous love and care (Psalm 11:4; 1 Peter 5:7). We give thanks to You that there is no good thing, which we need that You are not willing to provide for us (Philippians 4:19).

Thought for the Day:
God fills both the heavens and the earth and is not limited by time, space or matter; yet, He also revives the heart of the humble and penitent, and energizes our spirit with His Spirit as a down payment for all He has prepared for us both now and in eternity. – Jeremiah 23:24; Isaiah 57:15

Complete Trust and Rest

Our work in our own self-effort actually hinders the work of the Lord (2 Chronicles 5:14). We spin our wheels by attempting to make things happen on our own. We end up frustrated, anxious and even angry at times.

 

Yet, if we put our needs and the direction of our life into God’s capable hands, and allow His Holy Spirit to guide each moment of our day, we end up in the right place at the right time.

 

If we do not have what we want or what we think we need, we can be sure that God does not think we need it at this moment of time. We often get bored and want a change or feel desperate in some area and decide that we know what is best for us.

 

Yet, when we release all negative emotions and wait on the Lord’s direction, we end up receiving even more and infinitely better than we ever had in our whole life (Ephesians 3:20-21).

 

My sister-in-Christ needed a new house. She combed the papers daily and worked with several rental agencies, desperate to find a new place to live. She falsely believed that it was up to her to relocate her family.

 

After many months and an inordinate amount of stress and time of spinning her wheels, she gave up, prayed for God’s will and timing and entered His rest. She listened to His Spirit each succeeding day. Within a week, she had the perfect home for her family.

 

Another Believer had a similar story with a job. When she decided to abide in God’s rest, she lost her desperate drive. She joyfully turned down a few jobs that God made clear to her were not His will for her. Within a month she had the best job in which she ever worked in her entire life and is so fulfilled and joyful now.

 

A widowed Believer strongly desired a new husband. She tried every avenue she could think of to find a husband. Once she surrendered her need to the Lord, she had peace and enjoyed her life as a single person.

 

Two years later, she met her new husband at the sickbed of a dear friend. The ailing woman highly recommended each of her single friends to one another and they started dating.

 

Within a few weeks, they realized that they were very much in love, enjoying the complete peace of the Lord and were married at the bedside of their dying friend. Years later, they are still head over heels in love with one another.

 

As we cease from our striving and trade our self-efforts for surrender to God’s will, we start to serve God from a position of rest, daily obedience to His Spirit’s guidance and an uncompromising desire to live in the center of God’s will (Philippians 4:7).

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for teaching us to cease from living life in our own wisdom and strength, and from running through life with anxiety and stress, which make us unhappy and unfulfilled in every way. Help us to be grateful to You for every aspect of our life and to be satisfied with Your provision and timing.

 

Enable us to enter into Your complete trust and rest (John 14:27). Help us to be more concerned with Your will than our own, more eager to seek Your Kingdom than our own, and realizing that You will give us everything we need in Your timing and way (Matthew 6:33).

 

Thought for the Day:

Let gratitude for God’s daily provision, as well as the peace of the Lord, fill your heart to overflowing, trusting God to work out all things for your ultimate good. – Colossians 3:15; Romans 8:28

I’m Dying to Go to Heaven

We often say, “I’m dying … to go to the mall” (or for some ice cream, or for a new dress, etc). No one ever says, “I’m dying to go to Heaven.”

When we are ill, regardless of our age, we spend exorbitant amounts of money and time devoted to living. We applaud one another, saying, “She fought hard to live.”

When a person decides to allow their body to die, we say, “Oh, he just gave up” or “She had no more will to live.” We view life as the ultimate prize to be battled for above all else.

Yet, death is a Christian’s privilege (Philippians 1:21). The death of God’s Saints is precious in His sight (Psalm 116:15). We leave this temporal realm and enter into His eternal realm forever.

God made all of the intricate parts of our body, knitting them together in our mother’s womb. Our body, soul and spirit are wondrously complex and God’s workmanship in us is marvelous (Psalm 139:13-15).

Since God does not dwell in time, He saw us before we were ever born and laid out every moment of our life before we even lived one day of it (Psalm 139:16).

God views the day of our death as better than the day of our birth (Ecclesiastes 7:1). He sends us an angel escort to bring our soul and spirit into His presence (Luke 16:22).

His Saints will never die again, but live eternally in the same respect as the angels. We are children of the Living God, raised from death into true life (Luke 20:36).

God is our guide through death and forever and ever (Psalm 48:14). Even in death, He gives the righteous His refuge (Proverbs 14:32). When we die, our real life is just beginning.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that when we are ill, rather than dreading death or fighting it, our body, soul and spirit can be filled with joy. You do not leave us in the grave. You allow us to experience the joys of life, and then bring us into the peace and joy of Your eternal presence (Psalm 16:9-11).

We can confidently say that when we leave this mortal body, we shall be in Your glorious presence (2 Corinthians 5:8). We simply fold up this earthly tent, and then our soul and spirit go to Your house (2 Corinthians 5:1). Thank You, that at the coming of Your Son, we will leave our corruptible body behind and put on our immortal body to serve You for eternity (1 Corinthians 15:53-54).

Thought for the Day:
God is a refuge for the poor and oppressed in our times of trouble; we trust in Him because He never forsakes anyone who humbly seeks Him, not even in death.

– Psalm 9:9-10

Avoiding the Pit of Depression

Three major causes of discouragement in this life are when our plans do not work out for us, our expectations are disappointed and our perceived desires are not fulfilled.

We hope that our life will turn out a certain way, and when it takes a course outside of our control, we get depressed or we fight tooth and nail to gain control again, which is impossible.

The little nagging issues that arise, setbacks that occur and people who disillusion us will wear our nerves thin and gang up to overwhelm us.

These issues etch away at our positive attitude and tear us down to the point of exhaustion. Rather than to succumb to them, we come up with witty mottoes to discharge our anxiety, such as: “Trouble only comes in threes.”

The remedy for plans going wrong is to stop making them.

We can avoid so many negative aspects in life by walking in the Spirit and seeking God’s counsel for each moment of our day (Proverbs 3:5-6). We consult God for His plans (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Through prayer, we find out God’s desires and walk in His Spirit, accomplishing so much more through His direction, inspiration and power than we can through our own human strength.

God’s love, instead of our human compassion, directs us according to His will. When we walk in His ways, we find the resources, words and ideas we need to accomplish His list for our day.

We set our priorities according to Biblical principles, and we keep Jesus as our first love. As we rely on God’s agenda and wisdom, rather than on our human capabilities, we live a life centered in Him.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us to do only those works, which You planned for us before we were even born (Ephesians 2:10). This means that we may say “No” to the good things and the dire needs presented to us, unless You tell us to say “Yes”.

Teach us that although we may feel guilty for not helping someone in need, even when we have the time and means to help, to obey You and not to step out of your will for them and for us by helping anyway.

As we wait on You, we never enter the pit of despair, because we view all of the opportunities, issues and demands in our life with the eyes of Your understanding and according to Your will for us.

Thought for the Day:
Rather than living under the tyranny of the next item on the agenda, or the next emergency, which presents itself, we dispel depression and stress by totally surrendering to God’s direction.

Renewing Our Mind

Paul admonishes us not to conform our thoughts, words and action to this world, but to allow the Holy Spirit to transform us and to renew our mind (Romans 12:2).

We feel remorse for our ungodly thoughts and behavior, repent of them as sin, and submit to God’s Spirit as He renovates us into the fruitful character and divine nature of Christ (Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Peter 1:4).

Satan uses the enticements of the world to distract us from our commitment to God. He lures us away through the lusts of our eyes and flesh, as well as our pride in our accomplishments (1 John 2:16).

When these temptations stop working on us, then the devil uses worthy responsibilities, as well as the expectations of others to sidetrack us to use our time for good things rather than to devote our time to God’s will for us.

If we say “No”, we may disappoint someone else, but we please our Lord and God. When we boldly choose to focus on God’s will, we submit to His Spirit as He renews our mind and directs our steps (Ephesians 4:23, 5:26; Proverbs 3:5-6).

As we regularly ingest God’s Word, we sorrow over our sin to the point of repentance, which helps us to walk in the good, acceptable and perfect will of God (2 Corinthians 7:9; Romans 12:2).

Our former Adamic nature dies and our soul is reprogrammed by Christ and His Spirit in us, as well as the life and light of scripture, which sharply divides our soul and spirit (Colossians 3:3; Galatians 2:20; Hebrews 4:12).

Prayer:
Father God, life gives us choices, on a daily basis, to either walk in Your Spirit or to succumb to the devil and our flesh. Thank You for convicting us when we walk on the path of destruction and for helping us to find our way back to Your true and righteous path for our life.

Help us to live according to Your ways and to cherish Your love throughout our life. We want to serve You with our whole being and to love You with our whole heart by Your Spirit, whom You graciously provided for us. We give You all of the praise and glory for the many benefits, which You shower on us with each moment of our life.

Thought for the Day:
In repentance, we find freedom from sin; and by reading God’s Word and hiding it in our heart, we renew our mind and walk in righteousness, peace and joy, which His Holy Spirit births in our soul and spirit. – Romans 14:17; Psalm 119:11;

Freedom from Sin

God gave us His law to prove to us that we cannot save our self. To reach holiness through the law, we must keep every word of it (Matthew 5:18; James 2:10).

When we trust in Christ, who did keep every letter of the law, as the perfect sacrifice for our sins, His Holy Spirit takes up residence in our body (Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 6:19).

Christ in us satisfied the law for us (Galatians 5:18). As we surrender to the leading of God’s Spirit, we are free to live in His righteousness (Roman 1:17, 8:14).

God’s Spirit never leads us into permissive living (Galatians 5:18). We grieve God’s Spirit when we use His temple for sinful purposes (1 Corinthians 6:19; Ephesians 4:30-31).

Our relationship with God is more important than any other aspect of our life. He fills us with His presence and we follow God’s Spirit moment by moment.

Increasing our intimacy with God is the best use of our time and efforts. His living water flows through us and out to the world around us (John 7:38).

As we love Him with our whole heart, soul and strength, He quenches our thirsty soul (Deuteronomy 6:5; Psalm 42:1-2, 143:6). Then we love our neighbors as our self and fulfill the second greatest commandment (Matthew 22:39-40).

We love each other as God loves us, and we serve one another and lay down our preferences, feelings and opinions for one another (John 15:12-13).

God’s precepts are for our protection and are only restrictive if we want to continue to sin. When we choose to live in God’s freedom in righteousness, we are no longer under the oppression of Satan’s abuse.

Prayer:
Father God, prior to our salvation through Christ, we served the devil and His will for our life. We may not have committed evil, but even our responsible, ethical life was inspired by his desire to keep us from coming to Christ.

If we return to the bondage to Satan’s lies (Galatians 5:1), we forfeit our freedom from sin. You can no longer bless us, although Your desire is always to give us all good things (Psalm 84:11; James 1:17). Draw us to completely surrender our life to You.

Thought for the Day:
When the righteous return to a sinful lifestyle, we muddy the springs of living water within us. – Proverbs 25:26; John 4:14, 7:38

We Will See Jesus – Part 3

God speaks to us in so many ways: His quiet voice, a thought from a friend, a verse from His Word, a song or a sermon, the numbers on the clock, a particular bird, a butterfly, a blooming flower, etc.

He knows exactly how to show His love to each one of us. Jesus is God and a part of the Trinity (John 8:58). He did not steal equality with God (Philippians 2:6). He is an integral part of the great I AM (John 8:24).

The Godhead is eternally present with us all. As Believers, His presences is within us and is our guarantee of experiencing the glory of our Lord (Colossians 1:27). Our life, past and present and future, belongs to Him.

God pardons our yesterdays and gives us hope for our tomorrows. He encourages us to ask for whatever we need through the authority of His name, and He will provide it for us (Matthew 7:7).

God does this in order to insure our joy now and throughout eternity (John 16:24). He turns our mourning into happiness, our need into abundance, our talents into a ministry and our powerlessness into His anointing (Psalm 30:11-12; 1 Peter 4:10; 1 John 2:27).

Jesus is the Bread of Life, who satisfies our longing and fills our hungry soul (John 6: 35; Psalm 107:9). He is the exact representation of the Godhead, purifies us from our sins, sits at the right hand of God and sustains all things by His powerful word (Hebrews 1:3).

Prayer:
Father God, You are our peace, and You have broken down every wall, which prevents us from seeing Jesus (Judges 6:24; Ephesians 2:14). You are our rock of refuge, fortress of safety, deliverer from sin and shield from fear and our salvation, when we have no other (Psalm 18:2).

Jesus is the brightness of Your coming and the express image of Your person (2 Thessalonians 2:8; Hebrews 1:3). We want nothing more than to see Jesus arise and shine within us as we reflect His glory (Isaiah 60:1-22; 2 Corinthians 3:18).

Thought for the Day:
Once we truly see Jesus, we do not desire anything this world has to offer. He is enough, and He satisfies the longing of our soul (Psalm 107:9). He is our life, and He is all we need (Colossians 3:4; Philippians 4:19).

Living in the Center of God’s Will

Living in the Will of God is not difficult, but it does take practice. The biggest hindrance is that we humans want to do things our own way.

We make a pros and cons list in our head about any action before we do it; and that usually causes us to miss God’s will. Human logic has no place in walking in the Spirit.

As we live in God’s will, the only consideration we make, when a thought enters our mind, is do we feel complete peace about it and is it aligned with God’s Word.

If we have any reservations or if the thought is not scriptural, then that thought is from the world, our flesh or the devil. In this case, we need to continue to wait on God in prayer.

Did you ever notice that God is never in a hurry? God also never gives us a detailed plan for His will ahead of time. He rarely tells us what to do until the moment He is ready for us to do it.

This is for our safety more than anything. Otherwise, if He revealed His will before His timing, we would jump ahead of Him or attempt to do it for Him.

Even if the task God calls us to do is unpleasant, His joy is our strength and His peace is our confidence (Nehemiah 8:10; 2 Corinthians 3:4).

Satan may attempt to distract, discourage and derail our attempts to walk in the will of God (Luke 4:13; 1 John 2:16). However, God always helps us to discern His truth over Satan’s lies (Galatians 6:9; 1 Corinthians 10:13).

Living in the center of God’s will is the happiest place on earth.

Prayer:
Father God, we have so much assurance that we can trust You with the specifics of our life. Thank You for keeping us in the palm of Your hand and that no one can deter us from living in Your perfect will for our life (John 10:28-30).

We are so grateful that our security and our future do not depend on our human capabilities, but on You and Your faithfulness to us. Remind us not to rush ahead of You, or to work for You, but to follow Your Spirit each moment of every day.

Thought for the Day:
Our future is in the capable hands of our Creator and our hope is secure in Christ. – 1 Corinthians 15:19

God’s Intervention

God knows the future, and will prepare us in so many ways for the unexpected occurrences in life. Sometimes, He even gives us an inner knowing about what lies ahead. Some people attribute this to moments of intuition. Others give themselves credit for exceptional wisdom and foresight. These events will happen much more often, if we testify to others about God’s intervention in our life.

For instance, one lady told me that God warned her to slow down her car, and she narrowly missed being involved in an accident. Another woman told me that God prompted her to buy extra groceries; then she had enough food for her unexpected guests who showed up unannounced. A few months ago, I felt led to buy a black slip at the thrift store that I did not need; then on this week’s trip to the thrift store, I found three dresses that needed that black slip.

Complaining will give us a life of drudgery, mishaps and more trials. Yet, gratitude to our Heavenly Father opens us up for more of God’s blessings and joy in our life. One way to do this is to spend time alone with God throughout the day. Withdraw to the copy room at work, to the bathroom when the kids clamor for your attention and to the bedroom while everyone else is in the family room watching television.

Take a few moments to read God’s Word and meditate on a verse, or to pray for your needs and the needs of your loved ones. Spend time praising God and quietly listening for His voice, by stilling your mind of your thoughts and allowing Him to speak His mind to you. Spend time all day long in worship to God for His intervention in your life.

Prayer:
Father God, You give us air to breathe, sun to warm us, food for energy, creation to delight us, work to challenge us and love from family and friends. We can never have enough time in this life to properly thank You for our salvation, our multitude of blessings and the provision You supply for all of our needs. Remind us to walk in Your Spirit, so that we will not submit to Satan or our flesh (Galatians 5:15-25). Help us to keep our focus on You, and to live a life of gratitude for Your continual intervention in our life.

Thought for the Day:
The past includes our histories; the unknown future is still one of life’s mysteries; but what we have now is a present from God to be enjoyed and to spend in praise to Him for His involvement in our daily life.

In His Presence

All power belongs to God. Evil men try to usurp His authority and oppress His people, but they will come to their end (Psalm 62:9-10). His loving kindness is readily available to us. His joy, peace and love envelop us every moment of our life. He relates to us in proportion to our belief in Him and our faithfulness to Him (Psalm 62:11-12).

Our Heavenly Father reaches down and touches our soul, forever changing how we view life and respond to circumstances; yet, we ignore Him unless we have a problem, which we cannot handle. God is the rock of our salvation. He wants us to patiently linger only with Him. He calls us to wait on Him in silence (Psalm 62:1-2). However, we are often too busy to spend time with Him.

If we do enter His presence, our life would improve dramatically. In His presence, we are never seriously shaken. He is our hope and our stronghold (Psalm 62:5-6). Our deliverance and future rests on Him. He is the rock of our strength and our refuge in any trouble. We can trust in Him at all times. He listens when we pour out our heart to Him. He is our almighty sanctuary (Psalm 62:7-8).

Our soul cries out, even craves for the presence of our Living God. More than anything else, we desire to dwell in His courts. Even our body longs to be in His presence (Psalm 84:2). We groan along with all of creation for the revealing of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the ruler of the universe (Romans 8:19-22). We long for His imminent return to rule and reign over the new heaven and the new earth (Revelation 21:1).

Prayer:
Father God, every pursuit in this life pales in comparison to spending time with You. Our fulfillment is found only in Your presence. You are the very air we breathe (Psalm 136:25). You gratify our cravings and You fill our famished soul (Psalm 107:9; 103:5). Remind us of the joy of a life in service to You. Teach us that amassing this world’s goods will only take away from time better spent with You.

Thought for the Day:
The more we wait on the Lord, the more deeply we come to feel His presence in our life.