Divinity Dwelling within Us

God dwells in His children by the new birth we receive from Christ through Salvation (John 1:12). He rejoices as we grow in the knowledge of our salvation (1 John 3:2), but He waits for our realization that we are also the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).

 

Once we begin to submit to the Spirit for sanctification of our flesh, then He teaches us about the divinity of Christ, which dwells within us (Galatians 2:20).

 

We are not separate from Christ, obeying Him in our own power. He permanently dwells in us and expresses Himself through us (Colossians 3:3).

 

We are children of His death, but we are also children of His resurrection (Luke 20:36). We are transformed into Christ’s image in ever-increasing increments of glory, which come from the Lord’s Spirit.

 

Then, as unveiled mirrors, we reflect to the world the glory of the Lord within us (2 Corinthians 3:18). In our daily life, as His Spirit molds us into His image, we experience and express all of the attributes of God because He is within us (Romans 8:29).

 

Jesus gives us the glory that God gave Him, so that we are one with our triune God, just as they are one (John 17:22). If we do not recognize this divine power within us, then we will never live up to our full potential as Christians.

 

Jesus’ sacrifice enables us to share in His divine nature and to escape the corruption in the world caused by evil human desires (2 Peter 1:4).

 

As we mature, we attain to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ who dwells within us (Ephesians 3:16-19). We put on our new self, shaped by the Spirit to be like God, with all of His virtues and holiness within us (Ephesians 4:13,24).

 

Prayer:

Father God, we often limit our understanding of life to what we perceive through our five senses. We also rely heavily only on what our human mind envisions. We ignore the supernatural and the eternal aspects of Christ within us.

 

Therefore, we hinder the expression of Your power in and through us. Remind us that You impart Your Spirit to us in order to allow the glorious nature of Christ in us the freedom of expression through us (Colossians 1:27; 1 Corinthians 12:27).

 

 

Thought for the Day:

With Christ in us, it does not matter where we live, with whom we live or even if we live alone; Christ’s presence within us rises above the limitations of this earthly realm and our circumstances in it.

 

Disposable People – Part 1 – Those We Should Protect

There is a lack of commitment, appreciation and selflessness in our culture today. We treat people like a sack of trash and deposit them out on the curb when they no longer meet our needs.

No one is immune to divorce in this modern, disposable society. People want a “do-over.” They discard a mate as easily as an old pair of shoes.

I am blown away by the phrases associated with divorce nowadays. “We have a stale marriage”, “We hit a dead end”, “I am not in love with you anymore”, “I see no option for us, but divorce”, “We have grown apart”, “God wants me to be happy”, “I am not attracted to you now”, “You are too needy and I can’t deal with it.”

These are just a few excuses, which I have heard as a Pastor’s wife. You may know others. You may have even heard a few of them yourself.

People trade in their spouse like a used car. When the new model comes along, they have no qualms about making the switch.

They hope that the grass may be greener, or that maybe this new person will fulfill them or make them feel complete. They are willing to take the chance, excited about the possibilities.

Whenever two people marry they may eventually get comfortable, let their guard down and take each other for granted.

They get irritated with each other more often. Resentment grows and even anger. Old wounds from their childhood drive wedges between them unless they get healing for their past.

They may decide they would prefer to live alone than with their mate whom they do not understand and who no longer makes them happy.

They may feel an animal attraction when they meet someone new and wonder about the potential. In today’s society of easy-divorce, the sanctity of marriage is part of the past; but divorce is not part of God’s plan for us (Malachi 2:16).

Prayer:
Father God, You created each one of us by knitting us together in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-14). Even now, You know the exact number of hairs on our head (Matthew 10:30). Help us to cherish our intimacy with You and with one another too, and to recognize the beauty and strengths in each other.

Teach us to nurture one another and to appreciate the efforts we make to love each other to the best of our ability. Remind us that we are all wounded individuals attempting to survive in this painful world, and do not allow us to further wound each other by disposing of one another when our carnal strength fails us.

Remind to love one another with Your Agape love. Help us to rekindle the flames of human love by doing special random acts of kindness for one another, by dwelling with each other with understanding and by meeting each other’s needs above our own.

Thought for the Day:
There are no disposable people. – Malachi 2:16

My Soul Waits – Filled with God’s Fullness

God chose us before the foundation of the world to redeem us, to transform us, to give us His divine nature and to use us in the work of His Kingdom (Ephesians 2:10; 2 Peter 1:4).

We no longer deflect His will with hurried lives and busy days. We grow spiritually and come to the place where we surrender our desires and embrace His heart and mind as our own.

We have a continual conversation with God as we share our heart with Him and listen to His answers and directives for our day. God’s presence satisfies our longing and fills our hungry soul (Psalm 107:9).

God redefines our plans and leads us in His Truth and everlasting way. He gives us a new name and nature with a heart of compassion and a willingness to do His will (Psalm 43:3; Revelation 2:12; Colossians 3:12).

Our focus switches from our self and our little place in the cosmos and increases to the world around us and the needs of the people involved in our everyday life.

We relinquish our hurt, bitterness, anger, and pride and walk in forgiveness, love and humility instead. This diminishes Satan’s hold on our life and increases our fellowship with our Father.

We empty our soul of the cares of this life, having faith in God’s faithfulness to work out every detail for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28). He fills us with His fullness and we change the world around us – one person at a time (Ephesians 3:16-19).

Prayer:
Father God, spiritual understanding is ours as we allow Your Spirit to discipline our carnal nature and strengthen our spiritual nature as You fill us with Your faith, hope and love (1 Corinthians 13:13). Help us to totally surrender to Your love and to trust You in the good times and the bad.

We know that only You hold the issues of life and death in Your hands (Psalm 41:13). We so enjoy the immeasurable intimacy which You share with those who love You and who keep Your commandments (John 14:15; Ephesians 3:8). We enjoy our fellowship with You and appreciate the showers of Your blessings on our daily life.

Thought for the Day:
Let us walk worthy of the Lord, pleasing Him in our thoughts, words and deeds, so that we can bear fruit by His Spirit through every good work which we perform; and may we continually increase in our knowledge, understanding and intimacy with God. – Colossians 1:9-10

Life’s Disappointments

Considering the disappointments of our past, the uncertainty of our future and the unexpected surprises which meet us with each new day, we often feel frightened by a world that can be very overwhelming.

We always wonder why God allows bad things to happen to good people. We search our soul to discover if we did something to deserve the trials we are experiencing. We shrink from the pain and suffering inflicted upon us.

Regret and anger over our past mistakes, depression and loneliness in our current experiences and hopelessness and fear concerning the future make us regret the day we were ever born.

Yet, when we allow God to open the eyes of our understanding and to open our hearts to His eternal love, our life takes on a whole new meaning.

Our compassionate Lord experienced the same degree of suffering and degradation, which we do; and He understands how we feel. He suffered so much more than we ever will and He did it all for us.

He uses the sin-caused circumstances of daily living to strengthen our character, perfect our patience and draw us ever closer to His bleeding heart (James 1:4-8).

He is our hope, and our expectations are in Him alone. Apart from Him, there is no joy and peace in this life. He satisfies our longings and fills our empty soul (Psalm 107:9).

He heals broken hearts, answers our doubts, calms our fears, strengthens our endurance and gives us hope for a tomorrow filled with His presence, regardless of our circumstances.

Prayer:
Father God, we depend on your mercy to see us through this life, on Your grace to make us victorious over every negative experience, and Your goodness to give us a miracle from every trial. From Old Testament examples and New Testament encouragement we realize that You are the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

You help us to remain faithful regardless of our experiences, never losing hope, never slandering Your name and always walking in Your righteousness; so we do not cause anyone to doubt Your goodness. Nothing can ever separate us from Your love except the distance that we put between You and us (Romans 8:35-39).

Thought for the Day:
As we are fully aware and present in each moment of life, we see how God is weaving them into a beautiful tapestry for us to enjoy.

Puzzling Pieces

When I assemble a puzzle, I start with the corner piece; then I build the frame of the puzzle before attempting to find all of the inner pieces. This brings order and clarity to the puzzle.

Our walk as Christians follows this same principle. Jesus is the main cornerstone on which we base the rest of our life (Ephesians 2:20; Matthew 21:42). He helps us to line up the other three corners and to build the framework of a successful lifestyle.

We use God’s Word to place the parameters within which we frame our thoughts, words and deeds. These are not restrictions, but a simple plan, which gives our life order and clarity.

The inside pieces are a beautiful tapestry, which God weaves throughout each moment of our day by His sanctifying process; adding brilliant colors and beautiful scenery which enhances our existence.

Each new piece that He adds makes the panorama come to life and brings logic to some puzzling pieces that made no sense in the past. The enigmatic life experiences in our future fall into place with ease when each new aspect is added.

With the safety of God’s spiritual border around our life, our fears and insecurity fade, anger diminishes, earthly focus switches to spiritual focus and dependence on God replaces self-reliance and codependence.

Through our total commitment and surrender to God’s will we experience the richest measure of His presence, the multi-dimensions of His love, and the magnitude of His mercy, grace and peace (Romans 8:35-39; 2 John 1:3; Ephesians 3:16-19, Amplified Bible)

Prayer:
Father God, thank You that our true identity is found only in Christ and that Your Holy Spirit continues Your sanctifying work in us. Teach us to follow Your voice each moment of the day and to do the works You created us to accomplish before we were ever born (Ephesians 2:10).

The parameters of Your love give us peace and security and help us to experience the fullness of Your presence and Spirit within us. Give us Your wisdom and understanding to enable us to walk worthy to wear Your name, to please You completely and to bear spiritual fruit through every good work we do (Colossians 1:9-10).

Thought for the Day:
In the midst of the puzzling aspects of life on this earth, God gives us healing from our past, trust to face the future and clarity of thought in each new moment.

Clinging to God

 

We tend to cling to God more during trials than when things are running smoothly. God uses the negative aspects of life to strengthen our soul, to increase our spiritual vision and to give us His divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).

 

As we take the focus of life off our self and place it on Christ in us, we are much less earthly minded and much more spiritually minded. God’s influence increases in us as we decrease and get out of His way (John 3:30).

 

God replaces the negative character traits of our personality with the fruit of His Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). We are no longer self-reliant, but we depend on the Holy Spirit to direct our steps.

 

We learn to depend on God instead of our human understanding and reasoning. People will fail us, but God never leaves or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5). He never changes and He is always reliable (Hebrews 13:8).

 

Pursuing peace, which the world gives, is elusive and fleeting. Only peace found in an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ is deep and dependable (John 14:27).

 

There is no requirement in order to form this personal relationship. We simply sit at His feet (Luke 10:42). We abide, motionless and clearing our mind and heart of clutter.

 

We give Him praise and glory for all He does for us each day. We pour out our gratitude to Him for His benevolence, grace and love.

 

Prayer:

Father God, let us follow the example of the psalmist and sing of Your excellent love and impartiality (Psalm 89:1), Your power (Psalm 59:16) and Your goodness (Psalm 100:5). As we give You a more intimate place in our heart and life, we gain more intimacy with You.

 

Remind us to have fun as Your child and to enjoy spending time with You. Our soul thirsts for You, our Living God (Psalm 42:2). Our flesh cries out for You and we attentively seek You (Psalm 63:1). You are so real to us that we can almost taste and see that You are good (Psalm 34:8). We love you with our whole heart.

 

Thought for the Day:

We can chat with God throughout our day even about the mundane issues we are facing or the most boring of chores or responsibilities; we ask His advice about hurdles we encounter, the best way to perform a task and for wisdom about issues with our personal relationships.

 

 

Understanding Peculiar People

When we experience a negative event, which is stressful, abusive, unexpected, out of our control or happens regularly, we give it the term “trauma”. Devastating traumatic experiences will cause permanent damage in our soul, which medical practitioners call Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This will often cause people to exhibit eccentric and sometimes abusive behavior.

Trauma colors our view of life, blows current events out of proportion and causes suspicion, insecurity and fear. We are permanently stuck in a flight or fight mode in dealing with life. Our soul uses anger, depression, insomnia, nightmares, anxiety, mistrust, unpredictable behavior, physical ailments and sometimes self-inflicted injury to attempt to protect our self from future abuse.

The effects of trauma not only upsets those of us who suffered the ordeal, but we also traumatize the significant others in our life, when they unwittingly scratch the covering off these deep-seated, emotional wounds. Our negative response to current issues is much more intense than the problem warrants and people wonder why. We may react in intense anger or physical blows to protect our self from perceived injustices.

Putting time and space between us and the people or events, which continually trigger our pain will help us to calm down and get in touch with the reality of the present moment. We can take a walk, go for a drive, sit alone to journal or spend the night at a friend’s house. Then, we can go home with a clear mind and brainstorm with our significant others on how to prevent these flare-ups in the future.

They can help us by realizing that our over-reaction is prompted when their behavior causes us to flash back to the pent up pain in our soul. This way, they will not take our reactions personally and they will dwell with us with understanding; they will help us to calm down and see the reality in the situation; they will stop their behavior, which triggers our past pain; and they will provide us with patience, unconditional love and a calm, stable environment.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for revealing to us the lies, which Satan planted in every one of those negative events in our past, and for speaking Your truth, which displaces those lies in our soul and sets us free from the pain and effects of the trauma we experienced ( http://www.theophostic.com ). Your Spirit helps us to put the trauma of our past and the current behavior of others into an eternal perspective, so it will not bother us so much.

You also teach us not to judge other people who get on our nerves, who do not respect our boundaries or whose behavior makes us feel abused or misunderstood. Remind us to allow You to use us to pour out Your love and understanding on these wounded individuals, and thank You for putting people into our life who help us to heal from the trauma of our own past.

Thought for the Day:
Negative emotions in our soul, signal an issue, which we need to bring to God for healing or for repentance and surrender.

Worthy of Our Love

Authentic Christians are so in love with God that things in this world lose their appeal. As we contemplate His goodness, the memories warm our heart. We burst out in joyful songs because of His righteous treatment of us. He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and great in loving kindness. He is good to us all and all of His works are full of His tender mercy (Psalm 145:7-9).

God is the Lord of hosts of angels and His magnificence fills our hearts with respect and awe (Isaiah 8:13). As we read about His work through the ages, we realize that His thoughts and methods are much higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). Sometimes they do not make sense to our finite, human mind; however, hindsight always gives us a glimpse of His wisdom.

We trust in God’s loyal love and rejoice in the salvation that Christ’s redemption provides for us. We sing of the benevolent and bountiful ways in which He deals with us (Psalm 13:5-6). He hears our prayers and is our shield from danger and our strength to deal with life’s unpleasant experiences. Our heart trusts in His goodness, because of the ways He always works out everything for our good (Psalm 28:6 Romans 8:28).

We cannot help but to rejoice in God’s bountiful provision and give Him continual thanks night and day for all that He does for us (Psalm 28:7). God is high and lofty above the earth and lives in a high and holy place with our Lord Jesus Christ. Our Father inhabits eternity, yet cares enough to revive the spirit of the depressed and to forgive the heart of the contrite (Isaiah 57:15).

Prayer:
Father God, heaven is Your throne and our earth is Your footstool. You made all of these things by Your wisdom, understanding and power, or they would never have come into existence (Jeremiah 10:12, 51:15; Isaiah 66:1-2). You are the one and only, true living god, our eternal King. The earth and nations tremble at Your righteous anger, and many come to You in repentance (Jeremiah 10:10).

Thought for the Day:
God is always nearby and never far from any one of us, even though He fills both the heaven and the earth. – Jeremiah 23:23-24

Consulting the Lord

Joshua took over the leadership of Israel from Moses. He followed in Moses’ footsteps and sought God’s direction for each decision he made and every action he took. He had no confidence in his own ability and He generally relied on God’s counsel. God promised to give Joshua every part of the land where he set his feet. God also declared that no army would stand against him (Joshua 1:3,5).

Therefore, with a few successful battles to his credit, Joshua’s fame traveled throughout Canaan (Joshua 6:27). This caused his heart to swell with pride, and He got overly confident. He started believing the praise awarded to him, rather than giving credit to the Lord. The unconventional warfare God told Joshua to use at Jericho (Joshua 6:20) puffed up his confidence. Therefore, at the next battle, in the tiny town of Ai, Joshua did not bother to consult the Lord.

He relied on his own wisdom instead. He sent up an army of about three thousand men, expecting to hear of their anticipated victory. However, God taught Joshua a lesson through this and allowed the few men of Ai to defeat Joshua’s army (Joshua 7:3-4). God humbled Joshua, and he ended up embarrassed and dejected. It happened again when the Gibeonite ambassadors tricked Joshua by their deceptive words (Joshua 9:14-22).

Joshua foolishly believed he could handle these decisions without the Lord’s direction. We do this too. We forget to pray and to seek God’s counsel when salesmen pressure us, friends and family manipulate us and those in authority over us demand things from us. True success in life only comes when we seek advice from the Lord before making a decision, and follow His advice even if it is not popular or seems not to make sense. Hindsight always proves God right.

Prayer:
Father God, as Your children, we will need to make some important decisions throughout our lifetime. We have the choice of following a humanistic plan of action or of seeking Your divine direction. Remind us to trust in You with all of our heart and not to lean on our own understanding. Help us not to be wise in our own eyes, but to consult You (Proverbs 3:5-7). That way we will not be anxious about anything, but we will pray about everything and present our requests to You (Philippians 4:6). When we lack wisdom, we can ask You, because You give it generously to all without finding fault (James 1:5).

Thought for the Day:
Consult the Lord in whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.
– Proverbs 16:3

A Place of Rest for Our Soul

In the Old Testament, Believers worshipped in temples of stone and mortar. Their contact with God was from the first five books of our Bible. It is different today. We have 66 books of God’s Word to encourage and instruct us. God dwells within us in a personal, intimate relationship, not in temples made with human hands (Romans 10:9).

We are God’s “living stones”, and Jesus is the chief cornerstone on which we are centered (1 Peter 2:4-6). As God’s Temple, we have a deepening understanding of the reality of what it means for Christ to abide in us (Colossians 1:27). This truth changes our outlook on life and affects our body, soul and spirit. We enter God’s rest forever (Hebrews 4:9-10).

God rested after He created the universe. Jesus rested after carrying the burden of our sin to the cross. Now, we can rest from serving God from compulsion and serve Him from a place of love instead. The doorway to this rest is through total surrender to God’s will and to Christ in us, which is our hope of living in glory now and in eternity.

Our humanity is dead and we are a new creation with Christ living in and through us (Galatians 2:20). We decrease daily, so that He can increase (John 3:30). We cease from our human striving and follow God’s Spirit through every moment of every day (Galatians 5:16-25). However, our ultimate rest will be when we leave this sin-cursed world behind and live instead in the presence of God in glory (2 Corinthians 5:8).

Until then, we dwell in Christ as Christ abides in us. We die to sin with Christ and He raises us to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4). Living by the faith of the Son of God, we enjoy His love and redemption (Ephesians 5:2). He directs our paths, as we seek Him in everything we think, say and do (Proverbs 3:5-6). The peace of God rules in our hearts, dispelling all of our doubt and fears (Colossians 3:15; Philippians 4:7).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us not to strive in life, but to submit our will to Yours each and every day. Help us to accomplish the works, which You prepared for us to do before we were ever born (Ephesians 2:10). Bring people our way to whom we can share Your love and give us the boldness to proclaim Your truth to them.

Thought for the Day:
Yoke up with Jesus and find rest for your soul. – Matthew 11:29