Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Isaiah 49:16 See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me.
One day at work I was really down about something and I went to the restroom where I was praying and confiding in the Lord about the situation. I told Him that I really would like to have some kind of reminder that He was working in the situation and that He really cared about what I was going through. I went back to my desk and someone had sent me an email with the quote “If God had a refrigerator your picture would be on it!” I was reminded of His great love for me and thankful that He had heard my prayer and sent a special word of encouragement through another individual.
God cares about you! He has you engraved on the palms of His hands and His thoughts are ever of you!
Psalm 139:17, 18 NLT How precious are your thoughts about me, O God! They are innumerable! I can't even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up in the morning, you are still with me!
God thinks about you all the time! He is always there with you! He will not leave you to deal with life on your own, under your own power and ability. He is always working on your behalf!
Zephaniah 3:16, 17 “In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Do not fear; Zion, let not your hands be weak, The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”
The Lord your God is in your midst. He is the Mighty One, the One who comes to save, heal, deliver and set free! He rejoices over you with gladness and quiets you with His love, rejoicing over you with singing. You know, I've found that when I focus on the love that God has for me and how He is working in my life, the pressures of life grow less and the problems that I experience become smaller. Anytime I magnify God in my life I see His greatness and the difficulties that I am experiencing then have to bow their knee to the King of kings and the Lord of lords! Things just look better to me when I think about how great my God is!
In Luke chapter 1 we find the story of Mary, the soon to be mother of Jesus, as the angel tells her about the magnificent transformation that will take place in her body. Mary was about to experience what seemed like an impossible situation to her limited perspective when the angel of the Lord reminded her that “....with God nothing will be impossible.”
The word tells us in Proverbs 21:1: The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.”
We see things going on around us in the world and are inclined to see them as impossible situations, but God holds the king's heart in His hand. He is able to change people and situations to bring them around for our good. There is nothing too hard for our God!
Isaiah 59:1 Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear.
God hears and is able to save us. The problem is not in God's ability to do what we ask of Him. We are the ones who limit God. Many times we do not see Him as being able to save us out of the mess in which we find ourselves.
Psalm 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.
Is God's word true or do we allow our situations to over-ride the truth of God's word? Many times we don't see God moving bringing deliverance into our lives because we don't believe He is able or that He will do it for us. We put limitations on God based upon our own human perspective. Our vision and mindsets need to be renewed to the truth of God's word.
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
God's word is what renews our minds. We are transformed into agreement with God's will for our lives as we ingest the word of God into our spirits. It is at that time that we can understand what is His good, acceptable and perfect will for our lives. But as long as we continue to look at the enormity of what is happening in our lives, instead of God's ability to deliver, we will remain in bondage to the impossibility of deliverance from our problems. Faith must arise in our hearts for us to believe that God is able and willing to bring healing and deliverance into our lives.
Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
Our thoughts of what we are experiencing are not dependent upon our own ability to save ourselves. But God has given each one of us a measure of faith to use in believing Him to save and deliver. It is as we exercise our faith in Him that we will see a change in our situations.
Jesus told the man who had a demon-possessed son that the disciples had been unable to set free from the demonic influence that constantly threw the boy down and put him in seizures that “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believers”. (Mark 9:23)
We have a part to play in our own deliverance. It is to believe that God is able and willing to set us free! If we will do our part we can be assured that God will do His.
Elizabeth, Mary's cousin said of Mary in Luke 1:45 “Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.” Mary told the Lord in Luke 1:38 “....Let it be to me according to your word.” She readily received the word the angel brought her of God's plan for her life and exercised her faith to believe for it to happen.
We see the story of a man of great faith in the Roman Centurion that Jesus talked about in Matthew 8:5-11; 13:
Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.” And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. “For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come,' and he comes; and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it.” When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour.
Jesus said to the centurion, “as you have believed, so let it be done for you”.
The Roman Centurion knew that Jesus had the authority to just speak the word and his servant would be healed. Jesus said he had “great faith”! It is as we believe that we see God moving in our lives. Sometimes we see the negative and as a result it becomes a personal prophecy fulfilled in our lives when we would really like to see the hand of God moving in the direction of our salvation, healing or deliverance. But because we have “seen” the negative with our eyes of faith, that is what has transpired. Job said it this way:
Job 3:25 For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, And what I dreaded has happened to me.
Fear is a hindrance to our faith. Fear, in essence, is saying that I have more faith in the devil's ability to harm me that I have in God's ability to save me. Joyce Meyer often says that fear is “False Evidence Appearing Real”. The devil always wants us to think the worst of our situations. If he can get you into fear then he has your faith that he will bring the worst into manifestation. Fear is one of the first weapons that Satan uses to bring discouragement and defeat into the lives of believers.
Romans 15:13 has brought hope and comfort to my heart so many times as I was standing in faith believing God for the manifestation of His promises in my life. He is the God of hope who fills us with joy and peace while we are believing so that we can abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. The biblical definition of the word “hope” is:
Hope – Greek word elpis—Strongs #1680 – Hope, not in the sense of an optimistic outlook or wishful thinking without any foundation, but in the sense of confident expectation based on solid certainty. Biblical hope rests on God's promises.
Biblical hope rests on God's promises. We find the promises of God in His word. Faith arises as we hear the word of God according to Romans 10:17:
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
So, we've come full circle back to Romans 12:3 where we see that God has given us a measure of faith and now we see that it is through hearing the word of God that our faith grows with hope, or the confident expectation based on the solid certainty of God's word, that brings the fulfillment of the promises! How awesome is that! God has given us the key to victory! It is as He has provided faith that we start out and then we exercise our faith as it grows from hearing God's word, and He gives the hope that is needed to confidently expect what we've seen in His word to come into manifestation in our lives! He has given us the victory! We just need to develop our faith to believe that He will do what He has said in His word!
Thank You, Father, for the faith that You have placed within each one of us. May we not ever again see our situations as being hopeless, but may we see You as bigger than any problem we might encounter. Thank You, Lord, for bringing deliverance and salvation into our lives as we believe what You have said. Thank You, for establishing us in hope while we are believing for the promise to come! You have equipped us to win! Thank You, Lord, for the battle is yours but the victory is ours! All praise, glory and honor be unto You, Lord Jesus, for You are worthy to receive it! Thank You, Lord, for hearing and answering my prayer offered up to You in the name of Jesus! Amen.
Monday, July 23, 2012
Deuteronomy 9:1-3 “Hear, O Israel: You are to cross over the Jordan today, and go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourself, cities great and fortified up to heaven, “a people great and tall, the descendants of the Anakim, whom you know, and of whom you heard it said, 'Who can stand before the descendants of Anak?' “Therefore understand today that the LORD your God is He who goes over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them and bring them down before you; so you shall drive them out and destroy them quickly, as the LORD has said to you.
Israel in the Old Testament is a type and shadow of the New Testament believer and the Church of Jesus Christ. The battles that Israel fought in the Old Testament are representative of the battles that the New Testament believer fights spiritually, not physically. People often look at the Old Testament as being a book of stories that happened to people long, long ago, but with no significance to their lives. When, in actuality, the Old Testament is filled with examples that God tells us in the New Testament were written for our admonition, or instruction.
1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
Romans 15:4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
God intends for us to look at the stories of the Old Testament and understand that He is telling us these things so we can learn from them and have hope. He doesn't want us to go through the same types of difficulties that His people in the Old Testament experienced, but instead that we might learn from their mistakes and battles and be strengthened and encouraged in our spiritual battles.
In the passage in Deuteronomy 9, God is speaking to His people about crossing over the Jordan to go into the Promised Land. There were giants in the land and He knew His people would be frightened as they saw the size of the giants and encountered the battles that were ahead of them. He wanted to assure them that they could fight and win the battles and that He would be going before them to assure them of the victories. That is the way that He is with us, His people today. He wants us to know that in our spiritual walk there will be battles, but He has equipped us to win. He is the God who goes before us and who walks with us through the difficult times. He has said in Hebrews 13:5, 6 “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear, What can man do to me?”
God walks with us through the battles of life. He is there to strengthen us and help us; to give us the assurance that there is nothing to fear. We can win if we will allow Him to lead us into the victory.
Romans 8:31-35 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
God is on our side. Many times we credit God with the bad things that happen to us in life, when we should be looking at it as a battle that is brought against us by the enemy of our souls, Satan, that old deceiver, who is still trying to condemn and defeat God's people today. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Just as the Israelites entered the battle with God going before them and walking with them through it, so He goes before us into the battles that we fight spiritually and is making intercession for us, helping us to fight and win the battles that we encounter today. There is nothing that can separate us from His love! His love enables us to fight and win in our spiritual walk through life.
Romans 8:37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
We are more than conquerors! There is nothing that the devil can throw against you today, Child of God, that God hasn't equipped you to win.
Romans 8:38, 39 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
There is nothing that you will encounter in life that will be able to separate you from God's love. The devil comes only to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10), but Jesus said He came to give you life and that more abundantly. When we come to understand that we are in a spiritual battle, but that God intends for us to win, we will be more well equipped to fight to the end knowing that the victory is ours in Christ Jesus.
Why does God want us to win these battles? Well, we find a key to that in 2 Corinthians 2:14-17:
Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.
God always leads us in triumph in Christ Jesus. He does that so that those around us will experience the fragrance of the Lord. He works through His people to show others that those who are perishing are experiencing death spiritually, so they will turn to the Lord and be saved. Those who are saved we are the aroma of life leading to life; a sweet smelling fragrance of how God is working through us to bring life to them. I have noticed that when I pray for people at the altar time at church that a certain fragrance comes upon my hands. I used to think it was from someone that I had prayed for, a certain fragrance from a ladies cologne, but I've realized lately that it comes when I lay hands on the people and pray for them, not from anything that they are carrying on their bodies, but from me. I sense the presence of the Lord during these times as He ministers through me to bring healing and wholeness to those in need. To me it is a reminder that He is there bringing the fragrance of Jesus into their lives, showing the world that He is real, that He is to be feared, revered and respected. He is God, working to bring the victory to His people.
What battle are you facing today? Have you seen it as an insurmountable obstacle, an impossible situation? God is with you; He is going before you into the battle. He will not leave you to fight alone. He told the Israelites that there would be giants in their Promised Land but that they should not fear them but go in an conquer them because He would be going before them to drive them out in preparation for the Israelites to win the battles. He is going before you into whatever situation you face today. Do not fear the battle, for God is with you, strengthening you to win.
God told the young preacher, Timothy, in 1 Timothy 6:12 to “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
We are called to fight the good fight of faith and lay hold on eternal life. Eternal life is our Promised Land. It begins the moment you come into the saving knowledge of Jesus. Jesus said in John 17:3 that eternal life is knowing God, the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom He sent. We have an enemy who fights us all the way into our Promised Land. His name is Satan, the devil. But we can win in our fights against him. A good fight is a fight that you win. God has equipped us to win, if we will be faithful to fight and not give up. Lay hold on eternal life! Don't let the devil steal from you what God has said is yours. Don't give up; don't quit and don't cave in! The battle is there, but with God you are mightier than anything the devil can throw at you!
Father, I thank You for equipping Your people to win in the battles of life. Thank You, Lord, for going before us and making our way successful and prosperous in all that we face. You are our God. There is none above You or beside You and if You are for us who could possibly be against us? Thank You, Father, for the victories that You make possible as we fight through our relationship with Your Son, Jesus Christ. I pray for my friends this morning who may be facing a battle. Lord, I ask You to show them that You are right there with them, enabling them to fight and win. Don't let them give in to the plans of the enemy for their lives, Father. Give them a vision, Lord, of the good plan that You have for their lives. Show them that winning is possible, Father! Help them to draw their strength from You so they don't try to fight through their own abilities. Show them how to win spiritually! Thank You, Father. I believe I receive the answers to my prayer as You have instructed me to pray in faith believing that whatsoever I ask in faith I will receive. Thank You, Father. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Sunday, July 22, 2012
As I was walking and praying recently, the Lord gave me a simple, little song to be sung back to Him as my prayer. Here are the lyrics:
Speak to my heart, Oh God!
Speak to my heart, Oh God;
Speak to my heart and reveal what You will,
Speak to my heart, Oh God.
Show me Your ways, Oh God!
Show me Your ways, Oh God;
Show me Your ways that I may walk by Your side,
Show me Your ways, Oh God.
Psalm 25:4,5 Show me Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day.
The Psalmist had a desire to know God through understanding His ways and being taught to walk in His truth and along paths that God had chosen for him. In order for us to know Him, we must have a desire to also apply what see in Him to our lives so we can walk together in agreement.
Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?
We can't effectively walk with the Lord until we are walking in agreement with Him. He does not compromise and will not adapt to our ways; we must conform to His!
Likewise, Moses had a relationship with the Lord where he walked and talked with God. The children of Israel were afraid to get too close to the Lord. They had seen His acts; what He did to the Egyptians to get them released from bondage and they were afraid of Him. They wanted His protection and provision but not His presence. They wanted Moses to go before the Lord on their behalf and then come back and report to them what God had said.
It is said in Psalm 103:7: He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.
Do you want to know God and be able to walk in His ways or are you afraid of the closeness of relationship with Him and just desire to see His acts? He will let you get as close to Him as you desire, but He will not force Himself on you.
Father, I desire to know You, the One true God and Your ways that I may walk closely with You. I long to hear Your voice and understand Your ways that my life might reflect You in all I say and do. Help my friends to draw near to You that they may know You as well. Dispel their fears and reveal Your love to them so they will have a desire to really know You and understand how You think and feel so they may walk closely in agreement with You. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Galatians 1:10-12 AMP Now am I trying to win the favor of men, or of God? Do I seek to please men? If I were still seeking popularity with men, I should not be a bond servant of Christ (the Messiah). For I want you to know, brethren, that the Gospel which was proclaimed and made known by me is not man's gospel [a human invention, according to or patterned after any human standard]. Nor indeed I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but [it came to me] through a [direct] revelation [given] by Jesus Christ (the Messiah).
Are you a people-pleaser or a God-pleaser? Many times throughout my life I have been guilty of trying to please the people around me to the point of totally ignoring my own needs or what I felt God wanted. This has been an area of weakness in my life and as I've sought the Lord's directions He has reiterated to me that only what He wants from me is important. This morning as I was praying the Lord spoke this to my heart:
“Quiet yourself before Me, Child, and I will speak to your heart. Focus your eyes on Me and not the things going on around you. Still yourself in My presence and lean on Me. Be not pressured to conform to the world or the demands or expectations of other people. For I am your God! You are answerable to only Me. Do not hesitate to do My will at My direction. Be not afraid of men! Do not look at their faces or listen to their words. Listen only to Me and follow My directions. Speak boldly whatever I tell you with confidence that You are safe in Me. Be the leader that I have called you to be. Do not cave in to please man. Be firm and stable in your walk with Me. Be confident in who you are in Christ. I will direct you and lead you in the way you should go. Look not to the right or to the left, but look straight into My eyes. I will direct you with My eye upon you.”
Paul said in Galatians 1:1 “PAUL, AN apostle--[special messenger appointed and commissioned and sent out] not from [any body of] men nor by or through any man, but by and through Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and God the Father, Who raised Him from among the dead--
Paul marched to the beat of a different drum, so to speak! He recognized that His calling and commission came from God alone. It was not through any group of men, but God Himself called him and sent him out to be His special messenger. God picks those that He wants to use, but sometimes we feel pressured to do what people think we should do regardless of what we feel God wants from us.
1 Thessalonians 2:4-6 AMP But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the glad tidings (the Gospel), so we speak not to please men but to please God, Who tests our hearts [expecting them to be approved]. For as you well know, we never resorted either to words of flattery or to any cloak to conceal greedy motives or pretexts for gain, [as] God is our witness. Nor did we seek to extract praise and honor and glory from men, either from you or from anyone else, though we might have asserted our authority [stood on our dignity and claimed honor] as apostles (special missionaries) of Christ (the Messiah).
Paul said that he has done his best to please God, not man, because God is the One who tests the hearts. In doing that he had to overcome the temptation to flatter men and say things that would lead to his own promotion in the lives of the people to which he was ministering. He also faced the temptation to receive praise and glory for himself instead of pointing them to the Lord. Those types of temptations always come with the ministry. People flatter you and if you do not nip it in the bud at the very beginning you will begin to feel special and above all the rest, as if your ministry is “yours” and not the Lord's!
Jeremiah 9:23, 24 Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the LORD.
1 Corinthians 1:26-31 refers back to the Jeremiah verses:
For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.”
God chooses people to proclaim His gospel by His own standards, not the world's standards. He does that so that He can receive the glory from them as they fulfill His calling in their lives. He wants the glory to go to Him, not to man. It is only as we follow His leading that we will be able to please Him only. Man cannot have any hold over us if we want to be God-pleasers. Sometimes what God asks us to do makes no sense whatsoever to the minds of men, but we must be God-followers to be God-pleasers!
Have you ever been guilty of trying to please men over God? It is an easy trap to fall into! At this point in my life I am getting better at being bold enough to stand up and say, “no, I feel that God wants me to go in this direction, or say this”. It is with that in mind that I am seeking the Lord's directions regarding this blog, whether it should continue to be a daily teaching blog or if I need to put some variety into it with a shorter blog on some days with a thought challenging statement instead of a full-blown teaching. If I am not careful my desire to feed the sheep will over-ride what I feel I am hearing from the Lord. There comes a time in people's lives when God expects them to come to Him for revelation and not be dependent upon others to feed them.
There is a website that has a camcorder set up in an eagle's nest in Decorah, Iowa. It is a great way to watch the eagles from the time they lay their eggs until the babies are thrust out of the nest as they mature. The mother and father eagles take turns in staying with their babies 24/7 until they are old enough to get ready to leave the nest. They bring in fish to feed them and when they are little they pick the bits of fish off the bones and put it in the mouths of the little eagles. But as they grow older they bring the fish in and lay them in the nest and the babies are responsible to pick the meat off the bone themselves and feed themselves. The parents prepare their babies as they mature or they will not be able to provide for themselves when they leave the nest. So it is, with teachers of the Word. It is our responsibility to direct people to the Lord so they can get the manna from Him themselves. We feed the sheep but not to the point where they become dependent upon the teacher, but as a road sign that shows them the way to the Master. It is my desire that I be a teacher of the Word that leads people into the presence of God so they may gain understanding and revelation directly from Him.
Father, I continue to seek Your directions for this blog. I ask You to speak to my heart clearly the direction You would have me to take. I give the glory to You, Lord, for all that You are doing in the hearts and lives of people through what You say through me. Lord, I desire that You be exalted and that people's eyes are turned to You and not to a person such as me. Father, I pray for my friends that they would seek You for their daily manna, a fresh word from You each day. I know the temptation is there for them to read devotionals and gain understanding of You through another person, but the ultimate revelation comes directly to them from You, Lord, not through anyone else. You want them to hear Your voice, not the voice of the Priest. That's why You tore the veil into in the Temple when Jesus died on the cross, so people could come directly to You and not have to go through a Priest. Father, may I always turn people's eyes to You, Lord, so they can learn to come directly to You and not be dependent upon what I say that You have spoken to me. I desire that they have a living and vital relationship with You, Lord, for themselves. Thank You for drawing them by Your Spirit to Yourself. May You be glorified in all that I say and do. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Friday, July 20, 2012
Psalm 16:11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Directions for life; fullness of joy; and pleasures forevermore all flow from being in the presence of the Lord. Are you trying to make it through life on your own; under your own power and ability? The Lord says in His word that you can have all that you need and want from Him, as you come into His presence.
As a young woman going through so many challenges in my life, I would get up early in the morning, while it was still dark and sit in my rocking chair in front of the sound system listening to worship music; just rocking back and forth basking in the presence of the Lord. It was at those times that my soul was quieted that I could feel the presence of the Lord. During those restful moments was when I gained the strength to face the day, wisdom for the decisions of life and the assurance that whatever life brought to me, my God was there with me to help me through the tough times. As I set a pattern for my life through those devotional times, I have learned to draw strength from the quiet times with the Lord in the morning. His word has become a life-line to me as well as His presence. The Holy Spirit saturates me with His anointing as I worship Him and fills me to overflowing with His love and compassion. He is my strength and salvation, my stronghold in the time of trouble. Won't you draw near and receive the manna that comes through hearing His voice?
Isaiah 30:15 For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” But you would not.
It is in returning to Him and resting in Him that salvation comes. Quietness and confidence are both by-products of returning to the Lord and resting in Him. But so many times we are too busy to quiet ourselves before the Lord to hear from Him. We insist on “doing” things our own way and under our own power only to find that we are frustrated and disappointed when things don't work out the way we think they should.
Psalm 63:1-5 O GOD, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness. And my mouth shall praise You will joyful lips.
Here the Psalmist is proclaiming the love that he has for the Lord and how he longs to be in the presence of God. He knows that the satisfaction and contentment for his soul only comes as he communes with the Lord. Praise and adoration for God flow from his lips in his personal time of worship. He comes to the Lord early in the morning and basks in His love until he is filled with worship and praise.
As I read and write about the Lord I feel a stirring within my belly. A drawing of spirit to Spirit. My soul is satisfied with the Lord and I am refreshed. He has become my life, my breath and my reason for living. I am constantly drawn to Him with a hunger and thirst that is unquenchable, and when I come into His presence I am filled to overflowing. Cares and concerns fade into His capable hands and I am comforted in knowing that He is my God, my refuge in the times of trouble. When I am with Him I am safe and secure in His care.
Acts 17:24-28 “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. “Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, “so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; “for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring.'”
God created us with a God-shaped vacuum within that only He can fill. And yet, so many times we run around trying to fill it with all sorts of other things: shopping, food, relationships, bigger and better “things”. Those things will never fill the void that He created for Himself that He might inhabit His people and bring satisfaction and contentment as we “live and move and have our being” in Him. He is not far from us, just a prayer away!
Friend, are you searching for something today that will bring contentment into your heart? Look unto Jesus; draw near to Him and He will fill the void within. Worship Him and bask in His presence and He will fill you to overflowing. He will take away the cares of the world and replace them with His joy, His strength and His peace. Paul said in Philippians 4:11-13 that he had found the secret to contentment:
Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
He learned to be content and satisfied regardless of life's conditions because he came to Christ and drew his strength from Him.
The Amplified Bible says it this way in Philippians 4:13: I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient through Christ's sufficiency].
Do you lack strength for the journey? Come to Jesus and let Him fill you with His strength! Are you tired and overwhelmed with cares for family and friends? Christ will infuse you with His inner strength so you will be ready to face whatever lies ahead. He will give you the sufficiency, His very own, so that you can meet and exceed the problems and challenges of life. Come to Jesus and receive life and that more abundant!
John 10:10 AMP The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, til it overflows).
Father, I thank You for giving Jesus to die for us that we might experience Your life and that in abundance! Thank You, Lord Jesus, for laying down Your life for us that we might trade our sin for Your righteousness! You are the Lord and are worthy of my praise and adoration this morning! I yield myself to You for You to fill me to overflowing with Your very presence. Fill in all the nooks and crannies of my heart today, Lord Jesus. Grant me Your vision for the future, Your compassion for the lost and hurting and Your ability to overcome the challenges of life. Thank You, Lord, for the fullness of joy that I find in Your presence. I pray for my friends this morning that You would reveal Yourself to them as all that they need in this life, Lord. Cause their eyes to be opened to the deceit of the enemy who is trying to pull them away from You. Give them a hunger and thirst for You that is unquenchable and cause them to desire to come into Your presence to worship You and be refreshed. Thank You, Lord, for hearing and answering my prayer this morning. I believe I receive when I pray because Your word tells me that if I will come to You praying in accordance with Your will that I will have those requests that I have made of You. Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my requests! In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
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