Waiting Continually on God

Prayer is the most important spiritual discipline we can accomplish. Prayer is speaking to God from our heart. Rote prayers and formulas for prayer are unnecessary. God already knows our heart and wants to hear our own words (Luke 16:15).

 

God places His burdens upon our heart for the lost people groups in our world, for those laden by illness, for people devastated by the loss of a loved one through death or divorce, and those suffering from other ill effects of this life.

 

Waiting continually on God all day long, we pray without ceasing, worship the beauty of His holiness, live in His presence and praise His holy name (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Psalm 16:11, 29:2, 138:2).

 

Once we entirely surrender to Christ in us, there is no limit to what God can do in and through us. We bow in humble adoration of our King and walk in perfect submission to His will.

 

He heals our diseases and nurtures our soul, lifting our head from the pillow of illness or a posture of depression; and putting a new song in our heart (Psalm 3:3-4, 40:3).

 

He takes our trials and tribulation personally, because He dwells within each one of us and experiences everything right along with us (Acts 9:4-5).

 

We hope in God alone as He sustains us, comfort us and puts a smile on our face (Psalm 42:11). As we find our delight in Him, He fills our soul and spirit with His glory and places His desires in our heart (Psalm 37:4).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You fill us with Your love in a world that is full of anger and hate. You encourage us when our soul is bowed with the cares of this life. You teach us to forgive when others fail to admit that they have mistreated us. You feel our pain and You carry us through our tribulation.

 

You lift our head from the pit of despondency and make our feet like hinds feet to climb higher still into Your presence (Psalm 18:33). We look forward to dwelling with you throughout eternity, because You are our great God, full of loving kindness and mercy (Psalm 95:3).

 

Thought for the Day:

It has been said, “When we go God’s way, we bump into the devil who is always trying to discourage us and derail our attempts to walk in God’s will.”

 

 

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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

Filling the Void Within

God created mankind in order to enjoy our fellowship. He pursues us throughout our entire lifetime, calling us to surrender our will to His Lordship.

His law does not restrict us, but blesses us all the days of our life (Proverbs 16:3; Philippians 4:19; Deuteronomy 30:16). Abiding in the law of the Lord ensures our fulfillment in this life and the next.

We have a personal, cherished relationship with our Daddy God, who knows us intimately (Psalm 139:7-14). Nothing else can ever fill the void designed just for God in our life (1 John 2:15).

Even during persecution or trials, God’s presence in our life will walk in us through each negative experience. We can trust in God’s faithfulness through tribulation.

We learn about God through His Word, which thankfully, He gave us to guide our life. The Bible also encourages us, inspires us and strengthens us (Hebrews 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).

As new believers, our passion for a deeper relationship with God grows daily and continues throughout our lifetime, unless the flames are dampened by the cares of this world.

We prevent this by guarding our spirit, because out of it come the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23). We consecrate our every waking moment to the service of our King Jesus.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that we cannot save our self (Ephesians 2:8-9), and that You are our benevolent Father who wants to bless us with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3-6).
Help us not to trust in our self-righteousness or holy deeds to earn favor with You, but to realize that our worth comes only from our relationship with You through Christ and by Your Spirit (Romans 12:3-5).

Thought for the Day:
God righteousness assures us of all the benefits of an intimate union with Him. – Romans 3:22

A Seed for a Miracle

The trials of life are inevitable. Tribulation even comes to those who walk uprightly before the Lord (Matthew 5:45). Paul learned two secrets through the things, which he suffered.

First, he learned to be content whether he had plenty or when he had nothing, when he lived in comfort or when he suffered deprivation, and when he saw the fruit of his ministry or when he simply planted or watered (Philippians 4:11-12; 1 Corinthians 3:6-7).

Secondly, he learned to count every trial and tribulation as a joyous event (James 1:2-18). I never understood this insane view of suffering; until the day that I suffered the dissolution of my family.

This was by far the worst thing that could ever happen to me. I can bear physical pain and death, but I was inconsolable from the magnitude of my emotional loss when I was literally cut out of my family circle.

God previously tried through numerous trials to teach me to surrender all to Him, to enter His place of rest and to have faith in His faithfulness (Proverbs 3:5-6; Hebrews 4:10-11).

Yet, through every trail I struggled, often in vain, to use my own human resources to remedy the situation. However, this time there was no repairing the rupture of my family unit through divorce.

This is when I learned the Serenity Prayer. I had no recourse but to hand this devastating trial completely to God to do with as He saw fit. What I learned from this situation changed my life.

Now when I experience a trial, I view it as a sidewalk. If I focus on the details of the journey, I experience fear and insecurity. If I remember that there is a seed for a miracle in every trial, I feel only hope and anticipation.

I look toward the end the trial with the eyes of faith (Hebrews 11:1), expecting to see a miracle just up ahead. I keep my mind focused on God’s Kingdom and His will for me in this trial.

I serve at the pleasure of our King Jesus. If He allows a loss or trial or tribulation in my life, it is for His glory and my good (John 9:3; Romans 8:28). I can count on Him, because He is always faithful (1 Corinthians 1:9).

God uses us in times of trial to share the Gospel with someone; to live through this storm as an example of Christ’s peace in us; and for God to form His character, the fruit of His Spirit, and Christ’s divine nature in us through the things, which we suffer (Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Peter 1:4; Ephesians 2:10)?

I count trials as a joyful experience now, as I focus on the eternal consequences and not the temporal aspects of each one. I look forward to the ultimate miracle, which this trial shall birth in my life.

Prayer:
Father God, trials also taught me that if I continually live in Your presence and walk by Your Spirit, I will experience far fewer trials than if You have to resort to trials to gain my attention.

Satan also uses circumstances to batter us with temptations and trials all throughout our life; but we thank You that Christ in us is greater than the god of this world (Job 2:3; 1 John 4:4). Remind us that Jesus already won the victory for us over every negative aspect of life (1 Corinthians 15:57).

Thought for the Day:
Trust your life to God’s capable hands.

Ask and Receive

God’s promises to us are positive and guaranteed (2 Corinthians 1:20). He tells us to ask and we will receive (John 15:7, 16:24). One of the favorite verses in today’s Christian ranks is that God will give us a hopeful future, that He has our best interest at heart and that He wants us to prosper (Jeremiah 29:11).

Due to this fact, many Bible teachers counsel people to stand on God’s Word. Of course, it is a good idea to read and pray God’s Word. The Spirit uses God’s Word to anoint our spirit, to encourage our soul – our mind, choices and emotions – and to strengthen our body.

However, many people will point to a verse in the Bible, hold the book up in God’s face and demand that He provide us with the humanistic fulfillment, which we interpret the verse to say. We take the verse out of the context of the rest of the verses around it, and we do not consider who the verse’s author is talking to when he wrote it.

Rather than demanding that God provide what we want, we can sit quietly in His presence and receive from Him what He chooses to give us. We praise and thank Him, even if His answer is hardship and suffering. We can give thanks to God for His love and generosity in the most dire circumstance, which life throws at us (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

God’s presence in our life is a more valuable treasure than any earthly, carnal provision we expect. Even if we are homeless, dying in a hospital bed or falsely accused and in prison, we can rejoice in the Lord always (Philippians 4:4-9). All of God’s promises come to us through Christ’s atoning work; and we give God the glory for whatever He provides for us (2 Corinthians 1:20).

Prayer:
Father God, trials are not a sign of Your rejection of us, our lack of faith or our immature spirituality. In this world, Jesus had tribulation, and we are not more privileged than our Lord (John 13:16). Help us to see the seed for a miracle in every trial You allow into our life (Job 1:8; 2:3). Thank You for teaching us submission to Your will, appreciation for Your blessings, and for molding us into the image of Christ through the things that we suffer (Hebrews 5:8).

You are our provision and protection, and our heart trusts in You and Your supply; we will sing songs to You, because our heart greatly rejoices in Your loving presence in our life (Psalm 28:7). Rather than demanding, grabbing or insisting on Your blessings, we will sit quietly in Your presence and surrender to Your will for our life.

Thought for the Day:
As we change our focus from temporal to eternal aspects of life, things of this earth will fade in their importance to us. – 2 Corinthians 4:18

Our God in the Valleys

We often confuse a temptation, and the verses dealing with it, with trials and tribulation. People quote the verse that God does not tempt us and use it to mean that God does not allow overbearing tribulation and trials in the life of an authentic Believer (James 1:13). They insist that trials are an attack of our archenemy – the devil.

However, temptation is an allurement to sin, and tribulation is a negative circumstance through which we are forced to live. There is a difference. Some preachers and teachers attribute all adversity in our life to Satan and his minions. However, even if Satan does cause the difficulties, he can only function with God’s permission (Job 1:8, 2:3).

Although God does not tempt us, God does ultimately allow trials, tribulation and rejection in our life (James 1:13; James 1:2; 1 Peter 1:6; Romans 12:12). The key to entering the depth of intimacy with God, which we all desire, is how we handle difficulties. If we lose our joy and peace when life tilts out of our control, then we are trusting in our self, and in our misconception that God will not allow His people to suffer.

God does allow tribulation and persecution in order to prove His love for us as He did for Job, or to teach us that He always walks through tribulation with us and turns everything around for our eventual good ( Acts 14:22; John 16:33; Romans 8:28, 35-37). He is our God even in the valleys of life. He teaches us to view life as He sees it, temporary and fleeting, and He instructs us not to trust in this world for our fulfillment (James 4:14).

Those who suffer most in this life learn the best that we rejoice in God’s presence and not in His presents, which He provides for us. Everything He gives us can disappear in smoke, but no one and nothing can take His presence away from us (Romans 8:38-39). The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away, but God’s Saints bless the Lord either way (Job 1:21).

Prayer:
Father God, we can put all of our trust in You because You are the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). You live within us and go through every trial and rejection with us, encouraging us from the inside out. No matter what we lost yesterday, we find Your mercy and grace with each new morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). Whatever You allow to be taken away from us, You replace with more intimacy with You.

Thought for the Day:
Every trial is a seed for a miracle that God has planned for our life.

Rejoicing in Negative Circumstances

I used to think that if I rejoiced in my negative circumstances that I would not be honest with my true feelings. I did not want to pretend to feel the opposite of how I really felt. Yet, Paul admonishes us to rejoice in our tribulation (Romans 5:3). I could not figure out how to express joy without pretending an emotion, which I did not truly feel.

It took a major trial in my life to teach me the key to rejoicing always (Philippians 4:4). After 22 years, the love of my life decided that he could no longer live with my Italian emotionalism. A wall of constant misunderstandings stood between us, so he determined that there was no option for us but divorce. To say that I was shocked is an understatement; yet, I did not want to live where I was not loved.

In the ensuing years, God taught me to be thankful even for these overwhelming negative circumstances, to rejoice in His hope, to have faith in His faithfulness, to be patient through every ordeal and to pray without ceasing (Romans 12:12). He instructed me to focus on the moment, rather than feeling depressed over the past and fearing the future.

I discovered that God is the only true anchor of my soul, and I would always dwell in the inner sanctuary of His Temple, regardless of my marital status and the earthly success of my life (Hebrews 6:19). I experienced the truth that nothing could ever snatch me out of God’s hand, and that I would always enjoy total security in His love (John 10:29). Now, those are real reasons to rejoice forevermore (1 Thessalonians 5:16-28).

Since then, I started looking at every trial as a seed for a miracle, which is just waiting to sprout. I know that there are situations more devastating than the loss of a mate; but I am convinced that Jesus, the Lover of my soul who saw me through that time in my life, will enable me to honestly rejoice through any future negative circumstance, large or small (Matthew 11:28; Psalm 23).

Prayer:
Father God, You have a divine purpose for everything that happens to Your children. Thank You for teaching me to trust You regardless of how negatively my circumstances develop. You filled me with Your presence through every moment of that nightmare, and You guided me by Your Spirit in all of my ways (Romans 8:14). Although I still grieve over the dissolution of my family unit, You restored my ministry as a pastor’s wife and You gave me a new husband who gives me more love than I ever imagined was possible on this side of heaven.

Thought for the Day:
There is no negative circumstance in our life that God is not orchestrating for our good. – Romans 8:28