Nov 222017
 

“And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” 2 Kings 6:15-17.

If someone asks if you’re aware of God, what will you say?

Maybe you’d reply, “I go to church, read my Bible, and pray all the time. I’m definitely aware of God.”

But the real question is this:
Are you aware of God’s presence and activity in your daily life?

This second question makes it a bit more personal, doesn’t it?
It refers to God being in our daily lives all the time.

We’d like to have that constant awareness of God’s presence, but it’s difficult.

When hardships and trials come from nowhere, we sometimes feel confused.
We may feel like God has left us so alone.

During difficult times, we might pray even harder and longer.
We plead for help, but see little result.

The problem is that our prayers usually revolve around our desires.
Even when communicating with God, we may be aware only of ourselves, leaving the Lord out of the matter entirely.

At that point, we may find we’re not really talking to the Father at all; we’re talking to ourselves.

Perhaps we’re focusing on the problem and actually wishing for the ability to handle it on our own.
We can, in effect, become completely blind to how God may be working.

Second Kings 6:15-17 gives us a clear picture of what happens when we remove our self-centered blinders and truly see God’s hand at work. 

Open your eyes!
You may be shocked to discover the help God has already sent your way.

(PA)

I Hope You Answered No!

 Faith, Uncategorized  Comments Off on I Hope You Answered No!
Nov 162017
 

“Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God” (2 Corinthians 3:4).

The three-headed monster of-

– inferiority,
– insecurity and
– inadequacy

-can paralyze a Christian into inactivity.

God’s desire is to destroy the monster with the truth and render him impotent in our lives.

Satan’s desire is to feed him with lies until he’s big and strong.

Who are we going to believe?

Believing who we are in Christ destroys feelings of inferiority.

Believing where we are in Christ destroys feelings of insecurity.

Believing what we have in Christ destroys feelings of inadequacy.

What a transformation when a Christian believes the truth.

I do not want you to think I am always victorious and never struggle with the three-headed monster.

He still rears his ugly head every now and then.

When Satan tells me, “Who do you think you are?”

Let me tell you what I would say:

“I am light in the world. I am salt in the earth. I am a child of God. I am the bride of Christ. I am a joint-heir with Christ. I have the power of the Holy Spirit. I have been delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of Christ. I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved.

I know that without Him I am nothing but an empty vessel.

However, because of Him, I am filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and have been blessed with every spiritual blessing!

I can be confident because of who I am as a child of the King.

I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me!”

Now it’s your turn!

When is the last time you had a case of the “I can’ts?

Where do you think those feelings of insecurity come from?

Do you believe that the power of God lives in you?

Do you think there is any incident in which God would say “I can’t?”

I hope you answered no!

Look up these two verses and write them down.

Post them in a visible place and look at them every time your confidence begins to wane this week.

Genesis 18:14; Luke 1:37.

(PA)

But I’m going to trust that!

 Faith, Fear, Future  Comments Off on But I’m going to trust that!
Nov 152017
 

“But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles; they will run and not be weary, they will walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

We have all considered-
– whether we would be willing to suffer for, even die for, Jesus.

For me-
– though, being willing was not the tough question.

My fearful question is:
Would I actually be able to?

I always find hope in the fact that God promised that He would always be with us.

When we come to Christ-
He fills us with His Spirit, and the Spirit of the Lord will be sufficient in the day of the crisis.

He does not give us strength for tomorrow’s crisis today.
He gives us strength for the crisis when the crisis time comes.

It’s understandable that each of us would gulp and say, “I hope I am willing.”
And then wonder deep inside if we really would be.

Well, I want you to know, as cowardly, weak, and selfish as I am-
I know I could not do that on my own strength.

But I’m going to trust that-
– the power of the Holy Spirit will give me strength in that moment of crisis
– strength that I just can’t imagine having today.

(PA)

God-confidence

 Faith, Trials  Comments Off on God-confidence
Nov 122017
 

“They bruised his feet with shackles, his neck was put in irons, till what he foretold came to pass, till the word of the Lord proved him true” (Psalms 105:18-19).

God spoke to Joseph as a young boy through a dream and vision regarding his future.

He could not understand its complete meaning at the time, but he knew it had great significance.

Joseph knew God had a destiny for his life.

However, the proving out of that word from God was filled with 13 years of waiting, rejection, pain, sorrow, and no doubt, questioning God’s faithfulness.

His life was all but a life of influence and impact as a prisoner and slave.

No doubt he wondered whether that dream was simply some vain imagination.

David must have felt the same when he was anointed king over Israel as a young man only to spend years of fleeing from King Saul.

God’s preparation for greatness in His Kingdom is often filled with difficulty.

God is more concerned about developing the inner life of his servant.

That inner life can only be prepared by removing all self-confidence, and replacing it with God-confidence.

God-confidence is only developed in the furnace of life.

Is the Lord proving His word in your life?

Perhaps He is using circumstances and events to move you into a place of patient waiting as He puts you in the place He desires for you.

This is the place where the foundations of your soul mature.

Let Him prove your faith!

(PA)

Nov 012017
 
“All things are possible to him that believes.” Mark 9:23.
The “all things” do not always come simply for the asking-
– for the reason that God is ever seeking to teach us the way of faith,
– and in our training in the faith life there must be room for the trial of faith, the discipline of faith, the patience of faith, the courage of faith, and often many stages are passed before we really realize what is the end of faith, namely, the victory of faith.
Real moral fibre is developed through discipline of faith.
You have made your request of God. But the answer did not come yet. What are you to do? Keep on believing God’s Word. Never be moved away from it by what you see or feel, and thus as you stand steady, enlarged power and experience is being developed.
The fact of looking at the apparent contradiction as to God’s Word and being unmoved from your position of faith make you stronger on every other line.
Often God delays purposely. And the delay is just as much an answer to your prayer as is the fulfillment when it comes. In the lives of all the great Bible characters-
God worked thus. Abraham, Moses and Elijah were not great in the beginning-
– but were made great through the discipline of their faith, – and only thus were they fitted for the positions to which God had called them.
For example, in the case of Joseph whom the Lord was training for the throne of Egypt, we read in the Psalms: “The word of the Lord tried him.” ​Psalm 105:19.​
It was not the prison life with its hard beds or poor food that tried him. But it was the Word God had spoken into his heart in the early years concerning elevation and honour which were greater than his brethren were to receive.
​I​t was this which was ever before him, when every step in his career made it seem more and more impossible of fulfillment, until he was there imprisoned, and all in innocenc​e​, while others who were perhaps justly incarcerated, were released, and he was left to languish alone.
These were hours that tried his soul. But hours of spiritual growth and development, that, “when his word came” (the word of release), found him fitted for the delicate task of dealing with his wayward brethren, with a love and patience only surpassed by God Himself.
No amount of persecution tries like such experiences as these. When God has spoken of His purpose to do-
– and yet the days go on and He does not do it,
– that is truly hard;
– but it is a discipline of faith that will bring us into a knowledge of God which would otherwise be impossible.
(PA)