That Feeling of Intimacy

So many people tell me that they no longer feel God’s intense presence like they once did, and they want that feeling back. They say that God left them alone in the wilderness, and they cannot find His presence. This is impossible. God lives within us (Colossians 1:27). There is no way that He would ever leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

If we do not feel His presence it is for one of two reasons. Maybe we sinned and grieved the Holy Spirit. When this happens, God turns His back because He cannot look upon sin (Habakkuk 1:13). The other reason is that He is enjoying some companionable silence with us; and in our insecurity, we fail to realize that He is still and always will be right here within us.

God is constantly near us. He sees us no matter where we are or what we are doing (Psalm 139:8). He fills the heavens and earth, and this includes the lives of those who put their trust in Him (Jeremiah 23:23-24). The first step in restoring our intimacy is to allow God’s Spirit to search our heart (Psalm 139:23-24). He will point out to us any idol or sin, which is blocking the connection between Him and us.

The second step is to relax and enjoy God’s companionable silence. We do not need goose bumps, constant revelation from His Word or His still, small voice within us in order to believe that He is with us. We have His promise that He is there, and that is all we really need. Rather than seeking a feeling, just spend time praising God, because our connection with Him can never be lost.

Prayer:
Father God, You inhabit the praises of Your people (Psalm 22:3). There is no quicker way to connect to Your presence in us than to praise You with an obedient heart full of gratitude and trust. Remind us that once we are free from unconfessed sin, empty of all known idols and trusting in Your goodness, we will bask in the waterfall of Your love, which You pour over those who rest in Your will.

Thought for the Day:
Never allow Satan to convince you that this perceived “dry spell” means that God is withholding His presence from you; confess known sin and then enjoy His companionable silence by sitting still and knowing that He is Your God now and forever. – Psalm 46:10

The Prince of This World

There are spiritual forces of darkness in this world, which influence us every day (Ephesians 1:18-19). In these modern times, they are even able to use multi-media, technology and college professors. People and life’s circumstances are not really our problem. We are actually facing rulers, authorities and powers of evil and darkness (Ephesians 6:12). Jesus gave us an example of how to overcome with spiritual warfare.

 

When Satan came to tempt Jesus after 40 days and nights of fasting and prayer in the wilderness, the prince of this world found nothing He could use to tempt our Savior (John 14:30). Jesus had no connection to the things of this world. Clothes, food, friends, family, housing, transportation and land were the last things on Jesus’ mind (Matthew 8:20). His total focus lay in the spiritual, heavenly realm.

 

Some people, who claim they are Christians, receive more joy from earthly pleasures and conveniences than from spiritual endeavors. They take pleasure in the fellowship of God’s people and the benefits their soul – thoughts, choices and emotions – receives from church attendance. However, when it comes to giving and sacrifice, they turn a deaf ear and only attend church services one hour a week.

 

Jesus lived on this earth, but He dwelt in the Kingdom of God. He calls us all to join Him in His Kingdom mindset and reality. He wants us to place our affection on things above, not on things of this earth (Colossians 3:2). We find our life and joy only in our Messiah, Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:3). When we do, Satan has no power over us. His fiery darts find no mark in us, so they just bounce right off (Ephesians 6:16).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You teach us that gratification and convenience are not worthwhile goals on our list of priorities. Neither are items that money can buy. The only valuable focus in life is to follow after You as our first love, and to seek to do Your perfect will. To do anything less gives Satan a foothold into our life. Remind us to live soberly and to watch out for the wiles of the prince of this world (1 Peter 5:8).

 

Thought for the Day:

Satan’s deception blinds our eyes to the authority and divinity of Christ in us, who is our hope of a glorious eternity with God. – 2 Peter 1:4; Colossians 1:27

Yielding to God’s Spirit

As human beings, we are programmed to preserve our life. It is a foreign concept to allow any harm to come to our body or soul – our mind, will and emotions. We fight to the death to preserve our autonomy and the control over our own life. We spend our lifetime combating people and forces, which attempt to harm us in any way. Dying daily is not something we readily embrace (Matthew 16:24; 1 Corinthians 15:31).

However, once we yield to the power of the God’s Spirit within us, we do not struggle with the world, the flesh or the devil. We realize that God is going to protect us and care for us through any issue in life. God may lead us into a catastrophe, such as Paul’s shipwreck, or into temptation like Jesus in the wilderness, or into torment like Paul in prison. Yet, we can rejoice in our tribulation, because His Spirit is leading us (Romans 5:3, 8:14).

We humbly follow God’s Spirit, even if we know persecution awaits us. We have the confidence that God always opens a way for us (Romans 8:28). Even through the raging rivers, which attempt to thwart our spiritual progress, we eventually cross on dry ground (Nahum 1:3; Isaiah 43:6). Jesus puts all of His enemies under our feet, including Satan and His minions (Romans 16:20; 1 Corinthians 15:25).

We no longer fear Satan or march to the beat of his drum, because we are free indeed (John 8:36). We view our afflictions as new adventures in growing in Christ. Jesus did nothing on this earth without following our Father’s direction. We are also children of God and co-heirs with Christ of the Kingdom of God (1 John 3:2; Romans 8:17). We only succeed in this life as we truly follow His example, and live and move and have our being in Him (Acts 17:28).

Prayer:
Father God, we have a problem with loving our flesh more than we love You (Ephesians 5:29). Teach us to nourish and cherish our relationship with You more than we cater to our own desires. Remind us of Your faithfulness and allow us walk in Your ways regardless of the trials or the temptations, which we face in our life. Help us to yield these issues to You, our Savior and our King, who lives within us with all power and might.

Thought for the Day:
We triumph over Satan and our flesh by the blood of the Lamb and our evidence that Christ reigns in us, because we do not love this life, even when faced with death. – Revelation 12:11

God’s Deliverance

God does not only deliver us from bondage to sin, Satan, the world and the flesh, He also brings us into rest and victory in the name of Jesus. He does not do this one time, but continually, day after day as we sit in His presence throughout our busy schedule. He takes our anxiety, stress and responsibilities on His shoulders and gives us His Spirit to comfort and direct us.

 

So often, we get so settled in our mediocre life that we loathe to leave it behind and walk deeper with God. However, when we finally weary of our wandering in life’s wilderness and call out to God, then He delivers us from all of our enemies. He showers us with His presence and faithfully provides for all of our needs.

 

If we are spending more time out of God’s presence than in it, He is calling us to completely surrender to His will for our life. It may be scary. It may be nerve wracking. It may be inconvenient and take us out of our comfort zone. However, we find a new serenity and comfort in God’s presence that is never available to us outside of His daily fellowship.

 

Walking away from the flesh and into the presence of God by the direction of His Holy Spirit brings us more freedom, joy and peace than we ever thought possible. We submit our will and goals for our life to God and embrace His will for us instead. He guarantees that we will love His plans much better than our own plans. He will amaze us with His kindness and love.

 

Prayer:

Father God, we are wholly willing to completely follow Your plans for our life (Ephesians 2:10). We know that the result of our plans and dreams bring endless futility and frustration to our life. Thank You that Your law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus is greater then the law of sin and death, which reigned in our body and soul prior to our salvation (Romans 8:2). Help us to get rid of the residue of the flesh in our life. Teach us to live as spiritually-minded children who walk only in Your ways (Romans 8:6-10).

 

Thought for the Day:

God helps our unbelief (Mark 9:23-25), and leads us on a level path because of our enemies (Psalm 27:11).

The Prince of This World

There are spiritual forces of darkness in this world, which influence us every day (Ephesians 1:18-19). In these modern times, they are even able to use multi-media, technology and college professors. People and life’s circumstances are not really our problem. We are actually facing rulers, authorities and powers of evil and darkness (Ephesians 6:12). Jesus gave us an example of how to overcome with spiritual warfare.

 

When Satan came to tempt Jesus after 40 days and nights of fasting and prayer in the wilderness, the prince of this world found nothing He could use to tempt our Savior (John 14:30). Jesus had no connection to the things of this world. Clothes, food, friends, family, housing, transportation and land were the last things on Jesus’ mind (Matthew 8:20). His total focus lay in the spiritual, heavenly realm.

 

Some people, who claim they are Christians, receive more joy from earthly pleasures and conveniences than from spiritual endeavors. They take pleasure in the fellowship of God’s people and the benefits their soul – thoughts, choices and emotions – receives from church attendance. However, when it comes to giving and sacrifice, they turn a deaf ear and only attend church services one hour a week.

 

Jesus lived on this earth, but He dwelt in the Kingdom of God. He calls us all to join Him in His Kingdom mindset and reality. He wants us to place our affection on things above, not on things of this earth (Colossians 3:2). We find our life and joy only in our Messiah, Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:3). When we do, Satan has no power over us. His fiery darts find no mark in us, so they just bounce right off (Ephesians 6:16).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You teach us that gratification and convenience are not worthwhile goals on our list of priorities. Neither are items that money can buy. The only valuable focus in life is to follow after You as our first love, and to seek to do Your perfect will. To do anything less gives Satan a foothold into our life. Remind us to live soberly and to watch out for the wiles of the prince of this world (1 Peter 5:8).

 

Thought for the Day:

Satan’s deception blinds our eyes to the authority and divinity of Christ in us, who is our hope of a glorious eternity with God. – 2 Peter 1:4; Colossians 1:27