Hungry and Thirsty

Jesus proclaimed that we are blessed when we hunger and thirst after His holiness, because He shall fill us (Matthew 5:6). We hunger for spiritual meat and drink, rather than spiritual junk food.

Junk food gives us the false impression of being satisfied. We feel full and enjoy the taste; yet it leaves us lacking in essential vitamins and minerals, which our body needs to function.

The same is true spiritually. If we dabble in religion, we get fat and malnourished. Yet, if we respond to the Holy Spirit when He draws us to God, we are filled with His goodness (John 6:44).

When we hunger and thirst for God we find His blessings, peace, joy and love. He gives us His eternal perspective. We live to do only the will of God with our life.

We align our life with His Word and His Spirit, praising Him with unceasing songs, hymns and spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:17-19). As a city sitting high on a hill, our light cannot be hidden (Matthew 5:14).

We are His Body and He works in and through us; continually drawing us to His side and filling us with His spiritual blessings and eternal presence (Ephesians 1:3).

We make a difference in our world, because we do the works of our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16; John 6:29). We see the fruit of our spiritual labors and we rejoice and are humbled to be of service to our King.

Prayer:
Father God, let our life be a shining light into the dark world around us. Help us to avoid sin at all cost and to live as a testimony of Your saving grace in our life. As we love You with all of our heart, remind us to lean on You and not on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Remove any pride and rebellion from our life, which hinders us from obeying Your Word. Help us to walk in Your Spirit, to live the Christ life in this world, to follow where You lead us and to rejoice ever more in the center of Your will for each moment of the day (1 Thessalonians 5:16-28).

Thought for the Day:
We can trust in the Lord because we know His name, nature and character and realize that He never forsakes those who seek Him. – Psalm 9:10

Continual Filling from the Rivers of Living Water

 

We receive God’s Spirit at salvation, which is the river of living water within us (1 Corinthians 12:13, Galatians 3:3). We receive all of Him, all of Christ and all of God at that very moment (Romans 8:9).

God’s Spirit seals our redemption in Christ (Ephesians 1:13-14). He gives His gifts and fruit to all Believers to enjoy and to share with the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:7-11; Galatians 5:22-23).

He reveals to us the riches, which the blood of Christ purchased for us, and which God prepared for all those who love Him and keep His commandments (John 14:12-17; 1 Corinthians 2:9-10).

He is the supplier of every spiritual blessing, which Christ has for us in heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3). These blessings provide us with everything we need for an abundant life of holiness (2 Peter 1:3-4).

Out of His presence within us flows rivers of living water (John 7:38). As we walk in the Spirit, we no longer carry out the desires of the flesh, because we follow Him one step at a time throughout our day (Galatians 5:15-25).

The world, the flesh or the devil may tempt us, but we rely on God’s Spirit to vanquish every foe. The fruit and gifts of the Spirit gain ascendancy over our former carnal nature, and we do only the will of God (Ephesians 2:10).

If we do not have the Spirit of God within us, we do not belong to God (Romans 8:9-10). If God’s Spirit abides within us, we are a watered garden with unfailing springs of living water flowing from us (Isaiah 58:11).

We shall never thirst again (John 4:14). We joyously draw life from His springs of salvation and share them with those around us who hunger and thirst after God (Isaiah 12:3; Ezekiel 47:9).
Prayer:
Father God, there is nothing in this life, which we desire more than You. We find our lasting peace and joy in the center of Your will. Everything else compromises our ability to enjoy the filling of Your Spirit each moment of our day.

Remind us that the pleasures we receive at Your right hand are lasting and fulfilling, and so much better than anything this world has to offer. What we once found entertaining or enjoyable loses its luster and we see it for the counterfeit that it really is.

Thought for the Day:
For the glory of God, our spirit and soul need to experience a continual filling of God’s Spirit as we daily lay down our life and anything in it that may grieve or quench God’s Spirit.
– Ephesians 4:30, 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:19

Living in Praise

Did you ever notice that Paul was the eternal optimist? The man worked hard, almost died several times, was stoned, shipwrecked and in the sea a day and night, constantly in danger, sleepless, hungry and thirsty, and exposed to both hot and cold elements (2 Corinthians 11:22-28).

Yet, he told us to rejoice always; to pray without ceasing; not to quench the Spirit; and to give thanks in everything: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thessalonians 5:16-19).

Does this mean to give thanks, because everything that happens to us is God’s will for us; or that giving thanks is God’s will for us? Either way, it is worth paying attention to this verse.

If giving thanks is God’s will, then when we praise the Lord, we are in God’s will; and when we do not praise the Lord, we are out of God’s will for us.

If Paul is saying that we should give thanks in good times and in adversity, because all of these circumstances are the will God for us, then when we do not praise Him, we are missing out on part of the miracle, which God has for us through this trial.

Recently, our air-conditioning was out for two days during the hottest November on record in southwest Florida. I was dripping sweat, irritable and claustrophobic – because the heat imprisoned me and I could not escape it.

This caused me to remember my childhood and first pregnancy; when we had no air-conditioning at all, because of our lack of income. My mom used a wet wash cloth on her neck, so I did too. It helped this time too.

As I prayed during this inconvenience, God brought Paul’s exhortation to my mind. I realized that I was not to grumble or to allow my flesh to get the better of me; and I was to walk in the Spirit and praise God, even in the suffocating heat.

Easier said than done; but I have been learning to live through my spirit and not my flesh and this was just another opportunity to practice. I truly was thankful that the circumstances were not even more dreadful.

Prayer:
Father God, I really wanted Your permission during this trial to be grouchy and to feel sorry for myself. I wanted to complain and gain sympathy from family and friends. However, I knew this would only make others miserable too, and I would not grow in my spirit with negative behavior or remain in Your will without praising.

I know that You were building character in me and preparing me for future events in my life; therefore, I chose to change my focus and to praise You with each drop of perspiration. I was even able to thank You that it cools down in southwest Florida on November evenings, and that I still had electricity and could run the fans. Thank You for living through this trial with me.

Thought for the Day:
Regardless of the circumstances, we are to do all things without grumbling and complaining (Philippians 2:12-16), and to walk in the Spirit each moment of the day (Galatians 5:15-25).

Focusing on Christ in Us

The Christian walk does not involve us living for Christ, but Christ living in and through us. We are not motivated by desires, obligations or expectations, but by the will of God.

We keep our focus on what Christ did for us on Calvary, and we no longer pursue this world or its benefits. We daily walk in God’s Spirit and live in the eternal realm now.

Grace overcomes the stress in our life and leads us to receive whatever God has in store for us each day. We live, move and have our being in Christ alone (Acts 17:28).

We surrender control over our life, as well as the outcome of our efforts, to Christ. Jesus keeps us in victory, even during negative issues, which we encounter.

God replaces our carnality with His spirituality, our flesh with His Spirit and our motivation and desires with His good, acceptable and perfect will for our life (Romans 12:2).

God’s guiding hand leads us by His Spirit and blesses us with the fruit of our labors in Him. As a new creature, we shed the weight of our carnality and walk in the newness of His life in us (2 Corinthians 5:17; Psalm 128:2).

Prayer:
Father God, we thank You for giving us a new nature through Christ in us by His redeeming work on Calvary’s cross. We no longer live in the flesh or pursue the issues of this world; because they have no more appeal to us.

Remind us that we died in Christ and we now abide in His resurrection power (Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 15:20-22). We live, move and have our being in Your Spirit, doing only those works, which You prepared for us before we were ever born (Ephesians 2:10).

Thought for the Day:
As we focus on Christ throughout our day, we do not have to make plans or provision; we simply follow His Spirit’s direction, as we obey through one word or action at a time, and He supplies all of our necessities and the direction, which we need.

Our True Reality in Christ

There is no need for us to frequent the “self-help” shelf at the library or bookstore, because the Holy Spirit is changing us through His sanctifying process, until we come to the fullness of Christ in us (2 Corinthians 3:18).

When we come to the end of our self, God’s Holy Spirit, who dwells in us, becomes our comforter, guide, wisdom, encourager and the voice of Christ, who also dwells in us by His Spirit, as our way, truth and life (Colossians 3:4; John 14:6).

Christ in us is not a separate entity from who we are. He is as much of an integral part of us as He is to our Father God (John 17:21). Living in the center of God’s will is the happiest place on earth.

We surrender the control of our life over to God, because to think that we actually have any control over our life is ludicrous! Life happens and is always out of our control.

Just as Jesus did nothing of Himself, we follow His example. We die to our self and trust only in God. We live in union as one person with Christ in us. He is our whole life (Colossians 3:4).

The sooner we come to this place of total surrender to the will of God, content in the circumstance which He provides (Philippians 4:11), the freer and more joyfully we experience each day, captivated by His Spirit and His will.

As we decrease in our desires and control over our life, He will increase His control and put His desires in our heart (John 3:30; Psalm 37:4). Christ in us is our only true reality now and in eternity.

We are dead, and He now lives in and through us (Colossians 4:3-4). There are no formulas to follow, no effort on our part, no striving or quoting Bible verse, which can make this happen.

We simply surrender all to Him by letting go of our anxiety, negative emotions and idols, which imprison us, and letting God have His way in our life.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for revealing to us that this life in not about us; it is totally and abundantly about You in us (Colossians 1:27). You free us from bondage to the devil, the world and the flesh; and You allow us to walk intimately with Your Trinity abiding within us (Galatians 5:15-25).

Surrendering to Your rest is the only step we need to take to enter into this union life with You (Hebrews 4:10-11). We stop our stress, strain and list-making and follow Your Spirit during each moment of our day. When we walk in the center of Your will we find true peace, joy and rest in Your Spirit (Romans 14:17).

Thought for the Day:
It is no longer I, but Christ who lives in me, because we are unified as one being; He is the head and I am the body, which He uses for His glory. – Colossians 3:3-4

A Little Child Shall Lead Them – Isaiah 11:6

​God tells us that unless we act and think as a little child, we cannot enter His Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 18:3). He is not suggesting that we throw temper tantrums or act self-centeredly.

He wants us to lay down our selfish pride, humble our self under the mighty hand of God, and live with child-like trust in our Father God (1 Peter 5:6-7; Psalm 131). He wants us to live in the moment according to His Will for it.

God calls us to forsake the love of all earthly attitudes, people, possessions, pride and self-centeredness for the sake of Christ in us (Luke 14:26, 33). Our carnal flesh is dead and hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3).

There is no need to perfect our self, because we are already dead to sin through Christ (Galatians 2:20). We simply draw near to God and resist the devil’s temptation, because God always gives us a way to escape (James 4:7-8; 1 Corinthians 10:13).

Christ is our whole life during every moment of our earthly existence (Colossians 3:4). God carries out His perfecting work in our soul by His Spirit (Hebrews 13:21).

We have no concern for our self-worth apart from Christ in us (Matthew 19:17). Any self-effort will only accumulate carnal treasures, which are actually wood, hay and stubble, according to God’s opinion (Galatians 6:3; 1 Corinthians 3:12).

We are totally incapable of working for God through human power. Our human endeavors stink in God’s sight (Luke 16:15).

Therefore, we do nothing from our self-efforts, and everything according to the will of God, by the power of God working in us (John 8:28; Zechariah 4:6).

Prayer:

Father God, You have no interest in the power of our flesh, because You fight our battles for us (2 Chronicles 32:8). This is so evident when we read about the Battle of Jericho, and so many other battles, which Israel fought in Canaan land.

We fight many spiritual battles during our lifetime, but if we are wise, it is only and always by Your Spirit (Ephesians 6).

If we act like prideful and disobedient children, and carry out our own plans, choose our own mate and increase in sin daily, we do not belong to You (Isaiah 30:1-2; 1 John 1:6).

Authentic Believers do not rely on our human talents to do Your Will, but only on the power of Your Spirit within us (1 Corinthians 2:4).

Thought for the Day:

Christ is the hand, and we are the glove; the glove is perfectly molded to the hand and moves only as directed by the hand.

The Mind of Christ

Our thoughts are as important in our walk with God as our words. God stresses their importance in many Bible verses. We need to guard our thoughts as well as our words (Proverbs 4:23).

Satan plants thoughts of temptation in our mind. Will we act on it and sin, or will we “draw near to God and resist the devil, so he will flee from us?” (James 4:7)

We keep our mind in peace by dwelling only on issues, which are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8).

I often hear people say that God does not speak to them, or that God stopped speaking to them. Have we grieved God’s Holy Spirit by our thoughts, word or deeds? (Ephesians 4:30-31) Are we walking in the will of God? (2 Corinthians 6:16). Or is this a quiet time?

I believe that in the quiet times, God is telling us to wait, to trust, and to rest in His love as we enjoy His companionable silence. We sit in silence and just enjoy His presence while we focus on His goodness in our life. Almighty God, Creator and Master deigns to fellowship with us each moment of the day.

God delights in sharing with us all the needed tidbits of information to enable us to serve Him during our day, or in the coming weeks. He gives us the wisdom we need or some counsel on an issue in our life.

God’s Spirit within us calms our fears when we worry about the future and we succumb to the anxiety surrounding the unseen issues, which disturb our peace. God remedies this by giving us the faith of Christ who dwells within us (Romans 2:20; Colossians 1:27).

Prayer:
Father God, we love belonging to Your family. Everything else on earth fades when compared to this privilege. You always know when we need Your spiritual strength for the next bend in the river. You are the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). As fear rises in our heart during some daunting experience, thank You for continually abiding within us, and enabling us to do whatever You call us to do (Philippians 4:13).

Thought for the Day:
God gives us the mind of Christ. – 1 Corinthians 2:15-16