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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)

03/15/13

Permalink 08:56:14 am, Step(s): 11 Prayer and Meditation, 216 words   English (US)

Going Deeper With God

"Lord, what would you have me to do?" (Acts 9:6 )

Early in our recovery process, we tend to rely heavily on our group, our sponsor and/or trusted friends. But as we progress, be begin to become more comfortable with God, understanding that He truly is the loving Heavenly Father that we long to be with.

More and more, we choose special time with God, getting to know and love Him more deeply. We progressively learn that He can be trusted to be the ruler of our lives. As He gives us direction, we realize that He has our best interest in mind. As we trust Him more fully, we pray more for wisdom and understanding (James 1:5,6 ) of His will for us (Acts 9:6 ), realizing that He will provide a way for us to do what He asks (1 Cor 10:13 ).

Often, through prayer and meditation, I ask for God's will concerning decisions I need to make, problems I need to solve, or directions for my life. Often, it takes some time to understand His leading, but He always comes through. Sometimes, I don't know how I will be able to do it, but I trust that "Whatever is to be done at His command may be accomplished in His strength. All His biddings are enablings. {Christ's Object Lessons 333.1}

"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." (2 Cor 12:9 )

"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)

12/21/12

Permalink 09:04:40 am, Step(s): 11 Prayer and Meditation, 249 words   English (US)

That Sweet Hour of Prayer

"... Morning by morning he wakens me and opens my understanding to his will." (Isaiah 50:4 ) One of the greatest factors in my recovery process has been in allowing God to wake me in the morning to spend time with Him in prayer and meditation.

I didn't write this, but I wish I did, because it really expresses how I feel about "that sweet hour of prayer":

"In humble abandon, I come to the throne,
bringing my joy and my care,
seeking the heart of my Savior alone,
in that sweet hour of prayer.

Turning my heart from the charms of this life,
nothing could ever compare
to meeting the Father by faith drawing nigh,
in that sweet hour of prayer.

In that sweet hour of prayer,
knowing my Jesus is there;
the treasures of Heaven lay open and bare,
in that sweet hour of prayer
such a sweet hour of prayer.

Let us not become weary in trusting His way,
given to doubt and despair.
We can find strength and courage for each day,
in that sweet sweet hour of prayer."
(by Dick and Melodie Tunney)

Without this daily communion with my Savior, Lord and Friend, life is much more stressful and I am much more prone to fall to temptation. But when I start my day with God, and as I continue to seek Him and His will for me throughout the day, He gives me wisdom (James 1:5-7 ) and courage to deal with the challenges of each moment.

"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)

09/28/12

Permalink 06:32:42 am, Step(s): 11 Prayer and Meditation, 189 words   English (US)

To become like Jesus

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly" (Colossians 3:16 ).
"... Lord, what would you have me to do? ..." (Acts 9:6 ).

As we meditate upon the perfections of the Saviour,
we shall desire to be wholly transformed
and renewed in the image of His purity.
There will be a hungering and thirsting of soul
to become like Him whom we adore.
(Steps to Christ, 89)

The times of prayer and meditation in my own experience have been (and continue to be) a blessing to me throughout my recovery process. It's a time when I process my thoughts and feelings with God and seek to understand what His will is for me in my life today. It's a time for me to study and seek to understand the writings of inspired writers. It's a time for me to ask God if there are any sins that I have neglected to confess. And, it's a time for me to dwell on the incredible work that Jesus has done and is doing on my behalf.

I invite you to join me in a commitment to more deeply enter into the process of prayer and meditation.

"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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