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05/16/14

Permalink 08:40:31 am, Step(s): 11 Prayer and Meditation, 424 words   English (US)

Seeking God

"...he who comes to God must believe that he is, and that he rewards them that diligently seek him." (Hebrews 11:6 )

For me, it is relatively easy to have faith in the word of God, as expressed in the Bible. I grew up with the Bible and believe that it's writings are inspired by God. But where it's harder to have faith is when the "rubber hits the road", so to speak. When life gets hard; when bad things happen; when my will is crossed; those are the times when faith becomes more of a challenge. Those are the times when my trust in God and His Holy Word is tested.

It is vital for me to diligently seek God. You see, if I have not been improving upon my "conscious contact with God" by regularly spending time in prayer, and Bible study, then my faith becomes weak in challenging times. But, If I have been spending quality time with God, then my faith is stronger. I'm much more likely to trust God when trouble comes. I'm much more likely to hear His promptings and to "die to self", choosing to follow His leading.

There is a lot of talk these days about relationship, and I need a saving relationship with God. But some of the talk in Christian circles tends to minimize the role of the Bible (particularly the Ten Commandments) and denies the existence of satan and his host of evil angels. Of course if there were no tempter, things would be different. But, since there is, it is difficult for me to always know which voice is speaking to me. It could be the voice of God, but it could also be the voice of evil telling me things that sound pleasing. Or, it could also be the voice of my own thoughts and feelings, based on my learning history. Because of this, it is VITAL for me to be grounded in the Word of God. The Bible is the only place I can be sure to find truth. Maybe that's why the apostle Paul said, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15 ).

Continuing in this kind of saving relationship with God involves choices that go against what I want to do or say, but God is faithful to give us what it takes to make good choices (1 Corinthians 10:13 ). And when we follow through, making those hard decisions to follow God's leading, it is our privilege to enter into the peace that only God can give. "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:7 ). And, in times of trouble, what could be better than that?

"Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out." (Step 11)

02/21/14

Permalink 08:06:27 am, Step(s): 11 Prayer and Meditation, 336 words   English (US)

Anxious for Nothing

"Be [anxious] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." (Philippians 4:6 )

It's tempting for me to be anxious when life gets hard, forgetting that no matter how hard it gets, God is still there for me. I must remind myself that "... God is faithful, who will not suffer you [or me] to be tempted above that [we] are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that [we] may be able to bear it." (1 Corinthians 10:13 ).

It's easy for me to get anxious about all the things I think I need to do. But am I seeking God's will as to what HE would have me to do? Maybe I'm taking on more than what He has directed me to do.

Whenever I humbly seek God in prayer -- letting my concerns be known to Him, surrendering my anxiousness to Him, and seeking His will for me -- He gives me wisdom. "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." (James 1:5 ). And, He gives me peace. "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:7 )

The Father's presence encircled Christ, and nothing befell Him but that which infinite love permitted for the blessing of the world. Here was His source of comfort, and it is for us. He who is imbued with the Spirit of Christ abides in Christ. The blow that is aimed at him falls upon the Saviour, who surrounds him with His presence. Whatever comes to him comes from Christ. He has no need to resist evil, for Christ is his defense. Nothing can touch him except by our Lord's permission, and "all things" that are permitted "work together for good to them that love God." (Romans 8:28 ). {Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing 71}

For these things, and so much more, especially the infinite sacrifice that Jesus made to save me, I am eternally grateful to God. So, when life gets tough, and when life gets hectic, I must look to the author of my eternal salvation (Hebrews 5:9 ), and focus on the best things...

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." (Philippians 4:8 )

"Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out." (Step 11)

12/06/13

Permalink 08:52:56 am, Step(s): 11 Prayer and Meditation, 304 words   English (US)

Partaking of the Divine Nature

As I search for God's will for my life, my first consideration is the ten commandments (Exodus 20:1-20 ). Then I recall that, "... this is the will of God, even [my] sanctification..." (1 Thessalonians 4:3 ). More specifically, the apostle Paul tells me that God's will is that I should be transformed by the renewing of my mind (Romans 12:2 ), and that I should do the will of God from my heart (Ephesians 6:6 ). He also said that, no matter what happens, I should give thanks, because that's God's will (1 Thessalonians 5:18 ).

I really want to do God's will because "he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever" (1 John 2:17 ) and because Jesus said, "For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother." (Mark 3:35 ). I want to be tight with Jesus. I want to do the will of God. I want to be transformed/sanctified. But, can I actually accomplish this? A short answer was given when, "Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." (Mark 9:23 ).

So, I must ask myself: How great is my trust in God? Will I trust Him enough to choose to do His will, even when it seems impossible? Do I really believe in His great and precious promises?

"According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." (2 Peter 1:3,4 )

"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." (1 Corinthians 10:13 )

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:13 )

As I continue to search for God's will for my life, and the power to carry that out, once again I come back to surrender -- I want to die to self and be alive to God. I think Paul said it best, when he said: "I am crucified with Christ: neverthless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20 )

Is it possible to do God's will -- all the time? With all the evidence given me in Holy Scripture, I must answer "Yes". My ability to do God's will is directly proportional to how much I empty my life of "self", because that's just how much He can fill me with His sweet Holy Spirit. That's how much He can "will and to do of his good pleasure" in my life (Philippians 2:13 ).

"Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out." (Step 11)

09/05/13

Permalink 09:55:21 pm, Step(s): 11 Prayer and Meditation, 255 words   English (US)

Liberty

Webster defines "liberty" as "the quality or state of being free: the power to do as one pleases..., the power of choice".

In my carnal nature, I lacked liberty. My power of choice was diminished by the bad habits I had cultivated. Thankfully, God provided a way to restore my liberty, and yours. The apostle Paul taught that we all can "... be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God." (Romans 8:21 )

Jesus, quoting Isaiah 61:1 and applying it to Himself, said, "... the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;" (Isaiah 61:1 ).

As we learn to trust God to lead us in the way that we would choose for ourselves if we could see the end from the beginning, more and more we seek only His will for our lives and trust Him implicitly to provide the power to do as He asks. As a result, captivity to our old faults is diminished and our liberty increases. Our power of choice is strengthened, for our good and for the good of those close to us.

"... Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the LORD." (2 Corinthians 3:17,18 ).

"But take heed lest by any means this liberty of your's become a stumblingblock to them that are weak." (1 Corinthians 8:9 )

"Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out." (Step 11)

06/14/13

Permalink 06:54:29 am, Step(s): 11 Prayer and Meditation, 342 words   English (US)

Quiet Communion With God

"All who are under the training of God need the quiet hour for communion with their own hearts, with nature, and with God. In them is to be revealed a life that is not in harmony with the world, its customs, or its practices; and they need to have a personal experience in obtaining a knowledge of the will of God. We must individually hear Him speaking to the heart. When every other voice is hushed, and in quietness we wait before Him, the silence of the soul makes more distinct the voice of God." Ministry of Healing, p. 58

In my life, it is very easy to let all my busyness -- work, family, ministry, and more -- crowd out "the quiet hour for communion with ... God". It is easy to forget that it is actually in my best interest, both long-term as well as short-term, to spend this time in contemplation of my standing with God and with those near me. But my days are always better when I get up in time to spend the time I need in quiet communion with God -- reading His Holy Word, praying, seeking His will, and listening for His still, small voice. When I start the day with God, it seems like I stay closer to Him all through the day. Not only is this good for me, but it is good for those around me as well because I'm more likely listen to God's leading and follow in His ways.

I want God to "to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13 )in my life, but I must remember that He will not do that against my poor choices. I must continually choose to accept the choices of His "good pleasure". I must continually choose to trust and obey His leading. It is then that He steps in and makes it all happen in ways that I have no power to do. Praise God! All of this is much more likely when I start the day in His hands.

"Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work." (2 Thessalonians 2:16,17 )

"Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out." (Step 11)

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