Living in Total Surrender

We cannot save or sanctify our self, and neither can we walk in the Spirit by performing works of the flesh (Galatians 3:1-3; Ephesians 2:8-9). Therefore, God causes us to come to the point of helpless hopelessness in our life, so that we will totally surrender to Him.

Then, He does it all, a complete perfecting work in us and through us (Colossians 2:10). Our role is to desire more intimacy with Him and His glory, and He responds by answering our prayers in amazing ways.

We live a life singing continual praises, submitted to His Word, listening to His Spirit’s direction for each moment of our day, and rejoicing in Him, even in negative circumstances. Then, He does the rest (Proverbs 3:5-6; Philippians 3:1, 4:4).

We read and meditate on scripture as we work and worship Him all day long; and His joy fills every fiber of our body, soul and spirit; bringing health in every way (Psalm 147:1).

A melancholy personality like me has to work a bit harder at overcoming the negative impulses in our soul; but gradually, the Holy Spirit replaces our negative personality traits with God’s character and divine nature (2 Peter 4:1; John 15:11).

God transforms us into the likeness of Christ and brings us to the point of total surrender, until we are in such union with Him that He actually lives His life in and through us (Romans 8:29; Galatians 2:20).

Like the woman at the well, we are tired of looking for fulfillment in the things of this world; and we are longing for living water, which quenches our otherwise insatiable thirst (John 4:14, 7:38).

Prayer:
Father God, draw us by Your love and remind us to respond to it, rather than learning through discipline and suffering. Help us to come to the point where we passionately call out to You in complete surrender. We know without a doubt that You will never, ever let us go (Hebrews 13:5).

Help us to communicate to others the necessity of total surrender to You, so that they too may come to a place of rest. Do not allow them to continue to strive or to fill their life with empty pursuits and vain attempts to amass this world’s goods; but to seek You with all of their heart until they find You.

Thought for the Day:
The joy of the Lord is our greatest strength. – Nehemiah 8:10

Presence of Christ within Us

God taught me over the years to live life in full awareness of the immense potential available to us through our union with Jesus Christ.

Jesus within us breaks the chains of every type of satanic or earthly hindrance, which attempts to steal our spiritual freedom from us (Psalm 107:14).

He encourages us to take His yoke upon us, and to learn from Him; so that we can find rest for our soul (Matthew 11:29). We live a life of thanksgiving and praise to God.

Jesus is poised to deliver us from the bondage of every negative emotion, wound and circumstance we experience, and to bring us astounding joy that defies description and is full of His glory (1 Peter 1:8).

Our supply for each circumstance, and the wisdom to deal with it comes from Christ in us, our hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). We can look at our problems as adventures rather than as challenges.

God works them all out for our good, just as He promised He would (Romans 8:28). Jesus, in the full power of God’s divine nature, dwells within each authentic Believer.

His divine nature in us infuses our body, soul and spirit. Once we realize this, we rise above the dissonance of our concerns and we enter a new realm of being led by the Spirit of God.

Life is not about you or me. It is about proclaiming God to the world. He provides us with the wisdom, energy and power to teach and admonish others about what we learn from Him (Colossian 1:28-29).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that Christ lives as a light within us, showing us the way You would have us to walk in this world. Help us to use Your wisdom in everything we say and do.

Remind us to make the most of the time You give us and not to foolishly use time for our own selfish gains. Show us Your will for our life and help us to walk in it by the guidance of Your Holy Spirit within us (Ephesians 5:14-17).

Thought for the Day:
Our problems are God’s opportunities to prove His love to us and to demonstrate His glory in the earth; this fact changes our focus and attitude about our trials.

This Life So Often Scares Me

Growing up as a melancholy personality, I viewed life from an overly dramatic lens. Intense fluctuations in emotions warped my perception of events in my life.

Living with an overbearing and controlling father made me fear my own shadow. My mom enroll me in Girl Scouting, and even served as troop mom when necessary, to help me to develop self-esteem and confidence.

I still felt like a little mouse in a huge and frightening world. What I viewed as overwhelming difficulties hung like anchors around my neck. Trials devastated me.

As I aged, I viewed life and people suspiciously. I taught people to abuse me because of my insecurities; then, I followed my dad’s behavior and used anger to protect myself.

Thankfully, God redeemed me at age 18. He started to sanctify me from one stage of glory to the next (2 Corinthians 3:18) and brought increasing healing to my soul ( http://www.theophostic.com ).

I gradually realized that I am already dead, and my life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3-4). I have an everlasting refuge under His wings, which shelter me from life (Psalm 91).

He taught me not to depend on human might and reasoning to solve problems, but to wait on Him and to trust in Him (Matthew 28:20; Proverbs 3:5-6). He will successfully settle every issue for my eventual good (Romans 8:28).

Now, I embrace life’s negative events with faith and serenity, knowing that the Lord Jesus Christ dwells within me with all the power of the triune Godhead (Colossians 1:27).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for teaching me the Serenity Principle: You give us healing, courage, wisdom and divine revelation to resolve issues, which arise in our life; or the opportunity to give them to You by leaving them in Your capable hands.
(http://www.lords-prayer-words.com/famous_prayers/god_grant_me_the_serenity.html )

Remind us to realize that You already pre-arranged for a solution for every problem, which would ever happen to us. Help us to realize that we are just fine in this moment of time, and You abide within us to help us in every trial. You know the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10), and You have a perfect plan for each and every life (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 2:10).

Thought for the Day:
God gives us a seed for a miracle with every trial He ever permits in our life; we just have to look for it. – Job 42:12

Our Union Life with Christ

John explains our union life with Christ as a branch on a vine. We cannot live a fruitful life without our intimate connection with Him. God is the vine dresser and He prunes us to make us even more fruitful (John 15:1-8).

Jesus prayed for our union with Him through His Body. He wanted those who believe on Him to live in unity with one another and with Him, just as He is in God, and God is in Him (John 17:20-24).

We enjoy the glorious union with Christ; and He calls us to live in unity with one another (John 17:25-26). This will only occur as we lay down our life for one another. This union life is a witness to the dying world around us that there is reality in our faith and practice.

God already crucified us with Christ, so that we no longer need to live by struggling in this life. We live a fulfilled life in Christ. We live by the faith of Christ, God’s Son, who loved us enough to give His own life in ransom for us (Galatians 2:20).

God calls us to walk in the Spirit and do the works He ordained for us to perform before we were ever born (Ephesians 2:10; Galatians 5:15-17). This takes all the guesswork out of life. We simply wait on God to reveal to us His divine purpose for each moment of our day.

Prayer:
Father God, You gave us Your Holy Spirit to dwell in our body, which is His Temple. Therefore, it is only right that we glorify You with our body and soul – our thoughts, choices and emotions (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Remind us to obey Your Spirit’s direction through each moment of our day. Give us a true revelation of our union with Christ.

Thought for the Day:
Our union with Christ is a great mystery, but a reality nonetheless.

Christ Richly Dwells in Us

God wants us to abide in Christ, who dwells in us, and is the wisdom of God for us. Jesus, who had no sin, took the shame of our sins upon Himself and nailed them to Calvary’s cross. As we grow in Christ, our former accomplishments become meaningless, and we gain the righteousness of Christ in exchange for our sins (Philippians 3:8-9).

God blesses our union with Christ, which gives us all of the power and authority resident in the Heavenly realm (Ephesians 1:3-4). This merger with Christ begins with regeneration and progresses through our obedience to His predetermined will for our life (Ephesians 2:4-5, 10). We do not boast of our own accomplishments, because we see our self as we really are in God’s eyes.

Our only boasting is actually about His goodness and love for us (1 Corinthians 1:30-31). Our carnal nature slowly dies through sanctification, and Christ lives out His purpose in and through us (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:3-4). We no longer follow our own agenda or dreams for our life, but we focus solely on the will of God for each moment of our day.

Through His love, God draws us to Himself by His Spirit and desires that we share with Him the glorious blessings He arranged for us to enjoy with Him in eternity. No human mind has ever conceived, nor has any eye ever seen, nor has any ear ever heard of the extent of these benefits, which God prepared for us (1 Corinthians 2:9).

By faith, Christ richly dwells in us, and He deepens our roots in Him and establishes us in His love. Out of His glorious riches, God strengthens us with power from His Spirit within us (Ephesians 3:16). God’s Spirit gives His power to all of His Saints, so that we can comprehend the fathomless dimensions of our Father’s love (Romans 8:38-39).

Prayer:
Father God, those of us who persevere in our union with Christ will appear with Him, and rule and reign with Him in Your Kingdom for all of eternity (John 10:27-38; Romans 6:14; Colossians 2:11-12, 3:1-3). Remind us not to rely on human effort, but on Christ’s finished work on Calvary’s cross, and the effects of His sacrifice in our life. Help us to walk in Your Spirit each moment of every day (Galatians 5:15-25). Fill us with the fullest measure of Your complete character and nature (Ephesians 3:17-19).

Thought for the Day:
As we see our self in the wide scheme of God’s eternal plan, we lose all anxiety over the here and now.

The Flesh is Already Dead

The carnal person lives in rebellion to God’s desires for our life. The natural person resists God’s redemption and forfeits His peace and joy both on earth and for eternity. The focus of carnality is on the self and everything that benefits the flesh, regardless of any spiritual priorities or needs. Even Born Again people often cater to their flesh more than their spirit.

 

However, this carnal focus will not continue in the life of an authentic Believer. Our union with Christ makes a huge difference in our life. God’s Spirit will continually convict the sinful soul of His priorities. We find the freedom of forgiven sin, the contentment of acceptance in God’s Family and the security of our identity in Christ’s character within us (Galatians 5:22-23).

 

God’s Spirit renews our mind (2 Corinthians 4:16; Titus 3:5), transforms our emotions (Ephesians 3:16-20) and heals our body (Psalm 103:3). We enjoy worshipping our King more than serving our flesh. We willingly lay down the deeds of our flesh, because we realize that in Christ our flesh is already dead (Colossians 3:3-4). Spiritually alive, we experience victory over both sin and death (1 Corinthians 15:57).

 

Prayer:

Father God, by Your divine power, You provide us with every resource we need to live a godly life (2 Peter 1:3). The fact that You dwell in us by Your Spirit and that You will perfect us in spirit, soul and body relieves so much pressure from us on a daily basis (Ephesians 1:14). We do not have to perfect our self. You give us the desire and the ability to work out our own salvation, as we live in respect for Your authority and power in us (Philippians 2:13).

 

Thought for the Day:

Be filled with the Spirit and speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs; singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. – Ephesians 5:18-19

Complete Dependence on God

Even in the midst of the most chaotic of circumstances, Jesus is still as present with us as if we were sitting alone by an ocean or a wooded stream. He makes His presence real to us if we take time to seek Him. He helps us to walk in the supernatural realm rather than in human wisdom and strength. We will not fail, because His Spirit enables us to live in the will of God each moment of the day.

 

Union with Christ requires dependence. If we have an ounce of independence left in our nature, we will struggle. However, there is no need for self-incrimination and condemnation. With each struggle, we learn valuable lessons, which we avoid the next time we are in similar circumstances. We can call on God in our trouble and He will answer us and show us great and mighty things (Jeremiah 33:3).

 

Eventually, the power of Christ in us will overcome the issues in our flesh with which we struggle. We walk in victory over that pesky sin that defeated us for so long. Not because of power in our own strength to overcome it, but because of our complete dependence on Christ in us. Our faith cannot save us; only complete trust in our Father can save us.

 

In us, in our flesh, nothing good dwells (Romans 7:18). Apart from Christ, we can only fail. Facing our failings chases us into the waiting arms of our Father God. By faith in God’s faithfulness, we walk in His Spirit each moment of our day. Our union with Christ empowers us to live in harmony with Biblical standards. We abide in continual fellowship with the Trinity and the power of God.

 

Prayer:

Father God, humility comes once we recognize our helpless state without You. Help us to avoid wandering in the wilderness of sin and deprivation by immediately revealing our lost state to us. Help us to obey when Your Spirit tells us to cross over Jordan (Joshua 3:1-4:24). Remind us that without You living in us, we can do nothing (John 15:5); but because you abide in us, we can do anything You call us to do (Philippians 4:13).

 

Thought for the Day:

Don’t spend a moment of your life wandering in the wilderness of sin. Live, move and have your being in God’s Spirit and walk in the victory of Canaan’s rest and abundance.

– Acts 17:28; Hebrews 4:1-13

Making Plans

Our salvation was paid for by the work of Christ on the cross. It is a free gift from God for anyone willing to humbly admit their sins and truly submit to Him throughout their lifetime (Romans 3:23; 6:23). This results in a relationship rather than religion. Most of the world’s religions are based on teachings, which require good works to procure salvation. Anyone caught up in religion is not Born Again.

Nothing in this world exists of its own volition. God started and maintains it all (Genesis 1:1; Colossians 1:17). No one can come to Christ without God’s Spirit drawing us, and we are not perfected without the Spirit’s work in our soul (John 6:44; 2 Timothy 1:12). We do not wake up one morning and decide to go to church or to live a holy life. Those desires come to us from God.

We can never do enough good works to deserve heaven. Unless the Spirit of God leads our efforts, we have no hope of achieving Godly results. Our union with Christ leads us to perform only those acts, which His Spirit leads us to do (Ephesians 2:10). Regardless of our vocation in life, God will use us in this calling to fulfill His work (Exodus 31:1-6). It is only as we choose to walk in God’s will that we live in success.

We often disregard the elementary teachings of the faith (Hebrews 6:1-2). We slowly slip back into a carnal lifestyle, and are in danger of walking back into sin as a reprobate and denouncing the name of Christ (Romans 1:28, 8:9). However, if we start our day in prayer, acclaiming our faith in God’s faithfulness, He will keep us steadily maturing in Christ.

We repent of our sin as God convicts us, and we walk in His Spirit each moment of our day (Galatians 5:16,25). We connect with God through the constant practice of prayer, rather than living according to our own plans. Our life is then a demonstration of God’s Spirit and power. The One who promises is able to minister through us and to use us to deliver the lost world around us (2 Peter 3:9).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for sending Your son to pay the penalty of our sins, in order to give us confidence to approach Your throne (Hebrews 4:16). We have a personal relationship with You that transcends the body and soul and rebirths our spirit. We have true fellowship with You, the creator of the universe (Genesis 1:1), every moment of every day of our life.

Thought for the Day:
The Bible is not a decoration for our home, but a source of life to our body, soul and spirit.

His Exact Replica

After Salvation, we often focus our attention outwardly. We see God on His throne in Heaven, but we see our self as struggling alone in life and in need of His divine help. Some people say we are nothing but puppets, forced to serve as our Divine Manipulator dictates. However, we are more like a glove. Christ exactly fills us and we are perfectly molded to His character and nature (2 Peter 1:4).

Our union with Christ involves our spirit, soul and body. He unites them in vision and purpose with Christ. Through this union, God expresses His heart through us in sympathy for the hardships of others, in patience in tribulation, and in devotion in Bible study, prayer and fellowship with other Saints of God. Consequently, God fulfills through us His purpose for us in the earth (Ephesians 2:10).

In this manner, the union between the Creator and the created, the divine and the human, the eternal and the temporal is complete (Colossians 2:10). The Spirit directs us, and we move as His exact replica on the earth. Jesus also walks beside us, as well as living within us. He completely surrounds us, finishing His work of sanctification in our soul. We live, move and exist in Him (Acts 17:28).

Christ redeemed us from sin by the cross, and He works out His intentions in us and through us (Ephesians 2:10; Colossians 2:9-10). Jesus is our all in all (Colossians 1:17). He justifies our spirit; sanctifies, inspires and directs our soul; and will eventually glorify our body. Jesus is the expression of God’s glory and the exact image of God’s being (Hebrews 1:3). He speaks the oracles of God through our voice (1 Peter 4:11).

Also, Jesus heals a sick body through the laying on of our hands (Mark 1:41; 6:5; 5:3; 7:32, 33; 8:23, 25; 16:18; James 5:15). He sees a need and meets it through the resources He provides for us (1 John 3:17). He will even raise the dead, cleanse the leper and cast out demons in and through us (Matthew 10:8). As we walk in union with Christ, by the direction of His Spirit, we walk as shining stars, shedding His light in the dark, lost world around us (Colossians 1:27; Philippians 2:15).

Prayer:
Father God, Your will flows from a combination of Your divine love and wisdom. Harmony in our relationship with You increases as we live in union with Christ. This guarantees that more accord abides between our will and Yours. We soon find that our purpose is to do nothing more in life than to allow Christ to work through us. Fill us with the spiritual gifts and fruit of Your Spirit, and help us to lay down our plans and expectations, so You can use us for Your purposes each moment of our day.

Thought for the Day:
If we only focus on Christ on the cross, we may forget the fact that the risen Lord dwells within our spirit.

The Indwelling Spirit

When we reach the place of trust in Christ alone, we enter the rest offered to us by God in His Promised Land. We enjoy plentiful provision and we lack no good thing (Psalm 34:10). Our life no longer has deprivation or turmoil. As we follow the Holy Spirit’s direction, we win every battle and experience complete victory. Through our union with Christ, we accomplish everything He calls us to do (Ephesians 2:10), because He works through us in His strength (Matthew 19:26).

We could never provide any of this for our self. There is, however, a chance that we might fall short of entering into this rest of God because of our unbelief (Hebrews 4:1,11). Entering God’s rest takes a life of total surrender, as well as faith in God’s faithfulness. God’s first step is to bring us out of the world, and then to bring us to salvation through His work of redemption in our life. He fills us with His Spirit’s anointing and power.

Many Christians stop short of entering God’s rest by concentrating only on His elementary truths, so they never reaching spiritual maturity (Hebrews 6:1). God calls us to lay at the altar everything, which would separate us from Him, and then to embrace each Word of His Truth. He calls us to seek first His Kingdom, as He provides us with everything we need (Matthew 6:33). God’s Spirit conforms us into the likeness of Christ and we reflect His glory, which is full of grace and truth (John 1:14,17).

As we surrender to God’s goodness and power, we give up all for Him. We walk in His love. Like Jesus, we return love for hatred and blessing for cursing (Luke 6:28; Romans 12:14). We can only accomplish this as we maintain fellowship with Christ throughout our day. We cannot enjoy God’s presence at the same time we indulge in the sins of this world. God’s indwelling Spirit transforms us into the humility and holiness of Christ along with all of His spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22-23).

Prayer,
Almighty Father God, living for You in every moment of our day, we enjoy the greatest fulfillment available to us in this life. Yet, we often flee from times of aloneness with You in order to seek the momentary pleasures of this world. However, once we submit to You, the power of Your Spirit fills us and draws us to holiness and contentment with all that You provide for us. Your Spirit gives us both the power and the anointing to live in Your will for our life.

Thought for the Day:
There is no strain in living life for God according to His precepts, because it is indeed freeing to throw off the shackles of corruption.