Tag Archives: relationship

Choosing for Change

Psalm 123:1-2 “I lift my eyes to you, O God, enthroned in heaven. We look to the LORD our God for his mercy, just as servants keep their eyes on their master; as a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal.”

How do we look to the Lord? As the slave girl looks to her mistress for the slightest signal. Maybe you aren’t sure exactly what your relationship is with God. Maybe you don’t like who you are. By looking to the Lord you will know him better, and you will change for the better.

How we see God depends on him. Unless God looked at us first, we would not be able to know him. We were born slaves to sin and all kinds of righteousness. God the Father sent Jesus his Son to die for us and take away our sin. Through Jesus Christ, we can see God. We can look upon him without looking away!

When we have agreed with God that we have sinned and accept Jesus Christ as the one sent to take away the sin, God gives us his own Holy Spirit to live inside us. The Holy Spirit teaches us to see and hear the Lord clearly. We grow in grace and truth, able to look more and more steadily at perfect God. The Holy Spirit is sent to seal us to God for eternity, and he is also sent to help us. Whatever we need, we reach for him and he is as close as he can get, inside us. Always right here, always ready to help.

Romans 6 tells us that whatever we obey is what we are slaves to. Think about it. Whatever or whomever you follow has your attention, and your full cooperation. We can choose whom to follow, right? Or what to follow. When we belong to Jesus, lover of our souls, who will never let us down, and keeps us unto eternal life, it makes sense to stop following the world and follow him.

John 8:12 “Jesus said to the people, ‘I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t be stumbling through the darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.’ ”

Have you ever tried to walk through a field at night? It is easy to get disoriented by the dark and walk in circles. However, if there is a light at the point of your destination, you can look at the light and find your way. Jesus is a bright, close up light before you and all around you and in you. He puts the darkness right out so you can see clearly.

To obey the Lord, to keep our eyes focused on him, we need to know what his will is; what is right to do. What pleases him. God’s will is not a mystery! He has given us plain instruction, but we have to obey it or it becomes obscure to us.

An example of God’s will made plain to us is Romans 12:1-2. “Dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice – the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.”

Another example is Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all you ways, acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.”

Our human bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. We can walk in love and worship, or we can walk like the world. When you are at church, lifting your hands and voices in praise and worship to God, you probably have a better attitude toward God than when you are running to work and someone in the street asks you for money. When your life focus is on the Lord, however, you will be tuned in to the Holy Spirit and have the wisdom to respond appropriately to people, according to God’s will for them and for you.

We can keep looking intently at Christ by studying the scriptures. Jesus is the Word. When you read your Bible, you are looking at him. The longer you look, the better you will be able to see him. In the scriptures, your mind is renewed by God.

When we get focused on Jesus, he becomes the highlight of who we are, and distractions fall away. He is our treasure. We know him, because we see him and follow him. Everyone who comes into contact with us will have his light shed around them, too.

Choose to follow Jesus Christ. Say it out loud now, “I choose to follow Jesus. I will never turn back. The world is not what I want. Jesus is what I want. Now matter what, I am a follower of Jesus Christ.” Now you have verbalized your decision. It’s out there. It’s in the air. The reward of knowing God will last forever, and your life will be surrendered to Christ to have all the fullness you desire. Now follow him.

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How to Handle Snakes

A small child found a snake in some tall grass. It was lying still, quiet in the sun. The child didn’t know anything about snakes, and he was very interested in seeing one so very close up. He decided to pick it up and look it over. Now, this particular snake was not poisonous, but when the child picked it up, it immediately bit him and then slithered out of his grasp and away across the grassy field. The child screamed. His daddy was close by and came to him. The child kept screaming and screaming and his daddy could not even hold him. “It bit me! It bit ME!” the child screamed, as he writhed and kicked and turned red from anger and hurt. “I HATE it!” His daddy could do nothing for him in that rebellious state. Finally, after several minutes, the child wore out from screaming and then his daddy took him in his arms and examined the bite mark, which had not even broken the skin, and then he quietly carried the child to their house. They sat down in a rocking chair on the porch, and the daddy rocked and rocked the child until he was calm. Then they just sat there together, the father holding the son, resting together.

The next day, the daddy took the child to a book store and they bought a book about all the creatures who live in grass and pond and ground. Each day they studied the book until the little boy understood the ways of small creatures, and how they protect themselves. He learned about being safe around wild things. He learned that it is always safest to ask his daddy first before picking up something he does not know about yet. And he learned many other things as well, for after they read together, the daddy would speak to him about many other things, teaching him his own wisdom.

No matter where we go in this world, we will find snakes in the grass. Some will be poisonous, and some harmless. Before we pick one up, we should know how to handle it so that it is not afraid and does not bite.

Have you listened to your Heavenly Father today, learning his wisdom? Are you able to discern the manner of creature you see in the grass upon which you walk?

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

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The Practical Presence of God

Today we must all walk ourselves into the whole environment of the Lord’s Presence. No matter what. There will be people clamoring for attention: submit our responses to the Lord before we allow the persons to take us somewhere because it will be out of the Presence. They only know they want attention and do not know they are being needled by the enemy to take us out. Therefore, when we submit to the Lord before we start walking where these people want us to go, He will have compassion on us and them and all will come out right for all good and God’s glory.

Have you ever been lied to and found out much later after it has caused great harm because you accepted the person speaking the lies at face value? As you continually submit yourself into the Presence of God in Christ Jesus, lies become more and more evident and that kind of thing does not go far with you any more.

Have you ever had to make a decision you felt would not be right if you base it on the facts available? Submit yourself to the Lord and he will give you wisdom and insight beyond all facts. Understand what it means to make your decisions based on the Lord and not on what your own sight. His eyes are available to you, and he sees perfectly.

Coming into his Presence requires continual submission to him on our part; someone said it takes 21 days to make a new habit………….you are challenged now to start making his presence your habitation for the next 21 days………. I think you will be moving in permanently.

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OMG and Relationship With God

How do we know we have fellowship with God? When do we know we are okay with him and not off on the sidelines somehere?  When can we be sure and more sure of God’s active power and glory in our lives?

Everyone wants a relationship with God. He is real, he is the creator, and he made us in his image so that whether we admit it or not, we want to know him.  You have heard the expression, “There are no atheists in foxholes.”  If you will look around you and listen, you will always hear people who never give God any credit saying, “Oh, God!” as the first thing out of their mouths when trouble strikes. Maybe you are one of those people.

Do you flippantly write and text “OMG” all over the place? Do you know that God hears that and takes it with its full meaning, that you are either calling him or blaspheming him? God is real, and he knows even how many hairs are on your head. Think of this: suppose your name is John. Suddenly there is a whole culture of people using your name as an expletive or slang expression. You can hear each one, everytime it happens. Millions of people saying or texting, “Oh My John” millions of times a day. Yet they aren’t paying any attention to YOU, the person they are using to express whatever it is they are expressing. You can’t really help them, and most of the time, it’s meaningless anyway. Yet you keep hearing it and hearing it and hearing it. Do you have a relationship with these people? No.

Now think how God feels. He wants a relationship with everyone. He wants to be a loving Father to each and every person on the planet.  His name comes up continuously, yet he is not given any opportunity to respond.

Praise God, he can also read our hearts, and not just our text messages. He can pour his own Spirit into our hearts and help us and comfort us and draw us into relationship with him.

I John 1:6-7 says that we are lying if we say we have a relationship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness. Think of this: anyone who is expressing an opinion and says “OMG” is claiming a relationship with God. Otherwise, how could you say God shares your opinion? Yet God says that when you keep going in spiritual darkness, you are lying about that relationship.

Most people who go on in spiritual darkness do so because they think God will make them stop doing some of the things they like to do. Well, that is true. However, God also shows you a better way, and then those things you thought were so important no longer matter.

Doing things that hurt your body, or hurt other people, or are just plain immoral or selfish (and don’t say it’s relative, because in your heart you know better) are things that keep you in spiritual darkness. Your Father God wants to deliver you from darkness and give you a path of light to walk in. God never lies, so you can always have fellowship with him in that manner. I John 1:7, those who are truly lving in the light of God’s presence also have fellowship with each other. Ahhh. So there we find we can have true relationships with other people, too.

How do we get into relationship with God? Through Jesus Christ his Son.

For God SO LOVED THE WORLD that he gave his only Son so that whoever believes in him will not die but have everlasting life. By agreeing with God and confessing out loud that you have been walking in darkness and that Jesus came to die for you as a sacrifice for your sin, you enter into a right and perfect relationship with God. You can call on him in truth. He loves you and will always hear you, and when your body wears out and dies, he takes you to heaven to always be with him.

Jesus says, “I AM the way, the truth and the life . . . . no one comes to the Father by through Me.”

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Emotional Lions In Your Den

There is a story in the Bible of Daniel, prophet of Israel in the courts of King Nebuchudnezzar in Babylon. Daniel has the king’s favor, and has a high position of authority despite being a slave. Daniel’s enemies trick the king into making a law to exclude Daniel. When a decree goes out that the king must be worhsiped, Daniel, who worships God alone, cannot do this, so he is thrown into a den of lions to be killed.  God causes the lions’ mouths to be shut and they do nothing to Daniel. After spending the night with the lions, Daniel is removed and the king causes his enemies and their families to be thrown into the den instead.

We know that Daniel trusted God completely, no matter what the outcome. He would still have been trusting God if the lions had attacked and eaten his body. Daniel knew God, and knew that he had God’s favor, so even if he died, he would still be with God.

Think for a moment about what Daniel might have felt about his situation. It isn’t likely he just calmly, without emotion, walked calmly through these circumstances. What would you feel? Some suggestions of emotional reactions are terror, panic, anger, confusion, even sickness.  The thing to remember is that no matter what he was feeling, Daniel still trusted God. You can review his life prior to that event, and see that trusting God was a habit and practice of Daniel’s. He chose to follow God and did not allow anyone or anything to alter his choice. It is very clear that God greatly honored Daniel throughout his life for his steadfastness.

God is supremely faithful. When we choose Him, He will move heaven and earth to keep us in the center of His will.  God is all-wise, all-knowing, and all-powerful. He knows we cannot do anything His way, which is perfect, without His help, so He sent Jesus Christ to pay for the sin in us that prevents us from doing things His way. Then when we accept the sacrifice of Jesus as our payment for sin, God places His own Spirit in us so that we have His power and desire to do right.

Being overcome by emotion, such as fear or anger, is not a sin. God made us in His image, and He is very emotional. When we hold on to the emotion instead of holding on to God, then that emotion has taken His place in our circumstances, and then we are sinning, because the emotion is replacing God in us.

We can trust God to save us from our emotions so that we can see His will clearly and remain on track. Daniel surrendered himself to God, and God shut the lions mouths so that Daniel was not killed. Also consider that when Daniel appealed to God and the lions mouths were shut, Daniel no longer had any reason to be afraid of what he was experiencing.

When you are confronted by some circumstance, such as trouble at work, false witnesses, sickness, etc., submit to God and He will lift you up. You may spend a night in the lions’ den, but you will always, always be rescued when you trust God. The rescue will bring to bear the mind of Christ is you, and if the circumstance must continue, you will be able to endure it.

Reject letting emotions be in control; choose to trust God.

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In the Heavenlies

The power of God raised Jesus Christ from death back to life and now Jesus is with His Father in heaven. Ephesians 2 says very specifically that believers, followers of Jesus Christ, children of God, are also seated with Christ in the heavenlies. This is the new life that no one has apart from Christ.

New life is not the pay for what your’ve done,

It comes to you through faith in God the Son.

The grace of Him who caused you to believe

Has made new life a gift that you receive.

Today,  be still for a time and comtemplate the power of God. He can accomplish in you more than you would ever dare to ask or hope for. When you experience the love of Christ, and you will experience it if you take the time to be still and wait on Him, then God can fill you to the uttermost with His love and power. This is fullness of life in God.

How can you know when God has filled you? Some people experience emotion or physical sensation or neither of those. The one thing you can absolutely know is God’s filling is an impact of desire to give His love away to other people. It’s that simple. Your heart turned to God turns to His desires, and His desire is that everyone should receive and know His love.

God bless you today as you seek God’s fullness.

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Performance-Based Christianity?

Jesus said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” He also told us that because he was going to the Father, we would do even greater works than he did.

Are you trying to work without seeing Jesus? Without the blessing and grace of the Father?

Good things we do, like starting food banks and wrestling to get money from the government to stock them may have an impact on needs in society. How much greater would this help to people be if we relied on God alone to plan and stock the food bank, and to give the increase because we do it in his Name?

What keeps us from waiting upon God and doing things his way? The “risk” involved from bringing the seen out of the unseen? What if we fail? Pride opens up a can of ifs, ands, and buts, and what could be a beautiful project never comes to life. However, we feel if we can micro-manage a project enough, it will succeed and there is no risk.

We say, well, we are going to fix the worship time at church so it isn’t so boring. Get some new tunes and jazz up the old ones. Bless the socks off those people whether they get it or not. We are such good musicians, God will accept this music as worship and be proud of us.We will practice and practice until our arrangements are perfect and then offer it up as a sacrifice of worship and praise.

But God says a broken and contrite heart is what he wants offered to him. He wants us to be still and know that he is God. When we know who he is and know what we are in relationship with him, then the music is not a performance. It flows from the heart of God in unity with his children. Each gives to the other in perfect harmony.

All that we do in love for the Father, Son and Holy Spirit does not fail because God never fails. May he bless you today with creative thoughts and the wisdom to seek him first to know how to act on those righteous thoughts. In Jesus’ Name.

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