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Archive for the tag “Holy Spirit”

The Bible Is Your Coconut

Reminders Of God :Encouragement

“Do not say, “I will recompense evil”; wait for the Lord, and He will save you.” Proverbs 20:22 (NKJV)

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

Imagine you are on a desert island with no way to open the coconuts that lay at your feet. Now imagine that God sends an angel with a hammer to assist you. Instead of thanking God for His provision and help, you decide it would be better to starve and die before accepting His help. Oh, how foolish and prideful we are!

The Bible is our instruction manual. It is full of helpful and comforting advice and tips. We are fools if we don’t learn and apply the counsel and guidance it provides. In regard to the analogy in the first paragraph, the Bible is the coconut and the Holy Spirit is the hammer that breaks through any confusion we may have over Scripture. Our understanding is what then feeds and nourishes our spirit.

Isaiah 40:31 promises that the Lord will renew our strength. We may be weary from a trial or exhausted from fighting a spiritual battle, but the promises of God are always faithful and true.

If you have suffered a wrong or injustice, it is a common response to want immediate justice, even if it means you take matters into your own hands. However, God is our appointed judge and it is never your place to usurp His authority. He is just and all knowing, loving and compassionate. His mercy and grace is given to all men, even to the sinner who wounded you.

Our feelings will often get in the way after we have been wronged, or someone we love has been pained. We loose our perspective. A judge is impartial and fair. Therefore, we must let our God settle matters of injustice. He is our help and our shield. We must wait for Him to act and work things out…. In His time.

That’s right. I said IN HIS TIME. His timing is perfect!! God may set aside the immediate justice you seek because He knows that waiting to act will bring your abuser to true repentance, thus saving another soul from eternal damnation.

It could take years of God working on his/her heart before the justice you hunger for is fulfilled. This is where the promise in Isaiah 40 will sustain you. He will renew your strength and enable you to carry on with life.

Don’t let the enemy deceive you by saying God has overlooked the injustice of your situation. Waiting on the Lord takes faith, patience and self-control. Testings develop perseverance and deepen our trust in God’s faithfulness and love us. You may not understand the delay God asks of you, but with your heart simply trust in the true character of God and remember His love for you. Never doubt that He is just and fair.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall directyour paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)

“Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.” Psalm 33:20 (NKJV)

So, Why Do Christians Get Confused?

*Satan Whisper In Ear

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” John 10:27

He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”  John 8:47 (NKJV)

But He said, ‘More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!’” Luke 11:28 (NKJV)

There have been many times in my life when confusion has caused me to stop dead in my tracks. With a muddled mind, I have been known to throw  my hands up in the air out of frustration.  This confusion almost always involves a decision that needs to be made.  Facts and details come flying in from all directions. One minute I think I have reached a decision, but then another detail rushes in and changes my mind.

Sorting through details, facts, possible outcomes, circumstances, and feasible consequences and blessings will always require diligence, patience, and prayer. A lack of patience and a desire to act immediately, instead of waiting for God to clarify things, is a mistake many of us make.

Instead of rushing ahead of God, we need to let Him lead and guide us. His timing is perfect and He knows hidden dangers that lie in wait.   This calls for a keen ear and quiet time in prayer.  The quiet still voice of the Holy Spirit will say, “Move, wait, this direction,” and we don’t want to miss out on His leading.

It is the soul who has tossed all decisions to God, knowing He will sort them out in His time and in His way, who will find a peace that transcends all understanding. Confusion robs us of peace and fuels our anxiety.  By handing God the things that concern us, we can be certain the best (not necessarily the easiest) outcome will occur.

So, when facts and details come flying past you, don’t allow them to become a hurricane that knocks you down. Cry out to God in prayer. Notify Him that…

To read the rest of this post please go to http://facingtrials.com

Prayer: A Steering Wheel Or Flat Tire?

Is Prayer Your Steering Wheel?

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye.”  Psalm 32:8 (NKJV)

“For this is God,
Our God forever and ever;
He will be our guide
Even to death.”  Psalm 48:14 (NKJV)

 So what did Corrie ten Boom mean when she wrote these words?

While you are in prayer, do you take time to listen for instructions?  One of the ingredients to prayer is listening to the voice of God. By listening during your prayer time, you will find guidance given by the Holy Spirit.   Directions will be sent your way so that you can navigate and steer your spiritual wheel in the way God wants you to go.

 Now if prayer is your spare tire, it probably means you pray ONLY when you get a flat and need God’s assistance. Making petitions of God is never a bad idea.  He will always listen to sincere prayers of repentance and requests for help. Lovingly, He will direct you out of your trouble.

However, wouldn’t it be better to learn ways to avoid repeated pitfalls or flat tires?  This requires a listening heart and an agreement to not only hear His instructions, but to receive them with an intent carry them out.

Why not decide today to make prayer your steering wheel in life?

My Peace I Leave You

PEACE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmFd0MvU7zo

Perfect Peace: by Laura Story

“Peace is not the absence of affliction but the presence of God.”              Unknown

You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in You.”   Isaiah 26:3 (NIV) 

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  John 14:27 (NIV)

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”                         John 16:33 (NIV)

Dear One,                                                                                                                        The Word of God tells us that in this life we will have tribulations, but that we can find peace in Christ Jesus.  We should find encouragement in knowing He has overcome the world through His death and resurrection.  He offers His children peace in the midst of their trials and storms.  John 14:27 directs all believers to put aside fear and worry, and yet we continue to fall prey to fright and anxiety.  Why do we refuse, neglect, or forget the peace our God offers us so freely?

Isaiah 26:3 tells us that God will keep in perfect peace the one who has a STEADFAST MIND.  To be steadfast is to be resolute, firm, and unwavering in conviction.  This conviction and stance to rely on God lends itself to stability.  Stability and loyalty to God produces a peace that transcends all understanding.  This verse also states that the one who is steadfast TRUSTS in God.  Trust produces a steadfast spirit, which then produces a conviction of faith and reliance, which bears the fruit of peace and a sense of stability.

When we trust in God, the fruits of the Holy Spirit become more evident in our lives.  Romans 15:13 offers up a prayer asking the God of HOPE to fill those in need with joy and peace as they trust in His power.  By trusting God in all matters, He will fill us with joy, peace, and hope!  Indeed, He blesses His people with peace! (Ps. 29:11)

We find in Psalm 119:165 that those who love God’s law have great peace and that nothing can make them stumble.  With a solid knowledge of the scripture, the Holy Spirit can speak to your heart and mind, directing your steps so you don’t stumble in your spiritual walk. 

Peace is gained through a trust and faith in God.  It requires believers to consciously lay down their will and set aside their fears, casting them off with purpose.  Reading the Bible permits the Holy Spirit to direct our steps, thus reducing any anxiety pertaining to what we should do and where we should go.  Peace comes to those who trust a guide who is wise and able to do all things.

Finally, Philippians 4:6-7 describes a peace that transcends or surpasses all understanding.  In order to attain this peace, we must petition God with our requests and do so with a thankful heart.  The thanks comes in knowing that He hears and answers all of our prayers with His infinite wisdom and grace.  May the peace of our God be with you today, dear one.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”                                      Romans 15:13 (NIV)

“Great peace have those who love your law,
and nothing can make them stumble.”   Psalm 119:165 (NIV)

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”          Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

Affliction And Pain Is A Part Of The Race

runners

Hello Dear One,

Please go to http://facingtrials.com/ to read my newest article.

Blessings!!  Cheryl

The Eyes Of Your Heart

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I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people,”  Ephesians 1:18 (NIV)

“The eyes of your understanding”: (ophthalmos) + (kardia), “The eyes of your heart.”

Dear One,

It is well understood that the heart is an organ in our body.  It pumps blood through our circulatory system, feeding our cells and organs nutrients. When the Word speaks of the heart, it is referring to the THINKING INSTRUMENT of the SOUL.

Scripture tell us that the heart is the seat of emotions.  When Paul prays that the “eyes of the Christian heart” be enlightened, he is asking God to help us grasp the revelation of things revealed to the mind. He wants the revelations to move, motivate, and deepen our spiritual insight.  With knowledge, we can then use wisdom to apply the understanding to our lives. 

When the eyes of the heart are open and enlightened, we FEEL the power and wonder of the truths written in the Word.  With emotions that are in sync with the spiritual revelations of the mind, a believer can be a highly effective and an honorable vessel or tool of God.  A passionate Christian is highly motivated and ready to serve. They want to understand all things of Christ. 

When you face a trial, struggle, or unfathomable circumstance, pray that God opens the eyes of your heart.  The Holy Spirit revelations to your mind will then ignite emotions resting in your heart that validate the truths of the gospel.  We need to feel the truth in our emotions, yes in the heart-not just in our intellect.

It is ok to FEEL the truth with our emotions, but it is not ok to be led by the emotions of the heart alone.  Jeremiah 17:9 warns that the heart is impossible to understand and is deceitful.  No wonder the heart needs eyes to see what the mind is learning from God! 

JOY is an emotion our spirits experience when chewing on the promises and truths of God’s Word.  The eyes of our heart will often rejoice with joy, as our minds comprehend the treasures found in the Bible.  However, we must be careful when other feelings convince us to go or do things that would not please God.  “It FEELS so good so it must be right” is not always the case.  The heart and mind must find confirmation with the leading of the Holy Spirit and the truth spelling out in the Word.

Everything you do flows from the heart and therefore we are instructed to guard it well.  It is the wellspring of our life.  The heart guide and directs us, and every word that comes out of our mouths starts in the heart.  All of our actions and decisions are driven by the desires found in our hearts.  That is why it is so important to ask God to make His desires our desires.

May the wellspring of your life (found in your heart) overflow with joy, as the “eyes of your heart” see and understand how deep His love is for you.  Delight yourself in the Lord, and then He will give you the desires of your heart.  When your will is HIS WILL, how can He deny your request? 

Above all else, guard your heart, 
for everything you do flows from it.”                 Proverbs 4:23 (NIV) 

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”  Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV)

Take delight in the Lord,
and He will give you the desires of your heart.”                 Psalm 37:4 (NIV)

Lessons In Love And God’s Best For Us

Really Do Love You 

“Instead of allowing yourself to be unhappy, just let your love grow as God wants it to grow. Seek goodness in others. Love more persons more… love them more impersonally, more unselfishly, without thought of return. The return, never fear, will take care of itself. “    -Henry Drummond

Isaiah 41:13 (NIV)     “For I am the Lord your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
 I will help you.”

God is our Father.  He holds our hand when we are struggling or afraid.  He cheers us on like a baby taking his first steps.  God loves us with an unconditional love and wants the very best for us.

So what is the “very best” for God’s adopted children?  Is it the same thing that God deemed best for His own Son?   Yes, at least to a certain measure.  Jesus died an unfathomably painful death on the cross.  There are some among us who also will suffer painful deaths like Jesus, just think of the Christians in China. 

However, most of us in America will not experience such a horrific experience.  And yet, we will ALL suffer some time in our lives.  If we endure in the name of Jesus, we will share in His glory.  If we maintain a Christian perspective and attitude in the midst of our personal grief and suffering, we could even win some souls to Christ.  By living our everyday life and living through personal storms with a Christian peace and hope, God will use our pain to touch others.  Our sufferings will be in His name. 

The very best for Jesus and God’s adopted children is found in lessons of unconditional love.  These love lessons are usually the most painful of lessons, but they also serve as the most meaningful.  We grow in the fruits of the spirit every time we walk through fire holding onto an attitude of Christian love and faith.

GOODNESS and KINDNESS live in the hearts of those who have suffered greatly, as the wounded tend to learn compassion through their misery.  GENTLENESS is born out of the adversity that has challenged a believer, but who has then released all hopes for vindication to the power of God.

PEACE is a fruit that grows from seeds of trust.  LOVE matures as we learn to give up pieces of ourselves for the benefit of others, knowing full well that every piece we loose is replaced by an even more wondrous portion of Christ.  JOY comes from knowing God and becomes our strength during trials. PATIENCE is learned through experiences of long-suffering and allows the saint to move forward while longing for his real home in heaven.  FAITHFULNESS means commitment. It is a sold-out attitude and stance that resonates a belief in God’s unquestionable ability to do the impossible.  Finally, the believer who suffers in the name of Christ for love’s sake, grows in SELF-CONTROL.  With this final fruit, the temptations of the devil lesson and loose their power.  We gain strength by gaining self-control.

What is best for the children of God?  I say that God’s very best for us involves lessons of love where suffering is involved.  Such lessons deepen our dependence on God and develop our perseverance and a maturity in Christ.  God helps us every step of the way and never abandons us.  The act of love means to think of others first, and for humans that is always painful.

John 13:34-35 (NIV)    “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.”

 

The Unique Ways and Thoughts Of God

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Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)      “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,”
declares the Lord.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

“By regeneration and sanctification, by faith and prayer, by suffering and discipline, by the Word and the Spirit, the work goes on till the dream of God has been realized in the Christian heart.”      A. W. Toszer

Dear Reader,                                                                                                            The ways of God can often seem illogical to man.  But then, His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts.  We dare not presume to understand His plan of action in our lives.  We can rest in knowing that He loves us and has plans to prosper and not to harm us.

Forget about dictating to God your ideas on how to get things done.  He has a plan for your life and has orchestrated a way to get it accomplished.  He does not need your help planning the journey or navigating the course.   He is sovereign, and He has His own way of working all things together for good.  However, what He does ask for is your obedience and trust. 

Your Father has the ability to take people’s evil intent and work it out for good, and for His glory.  God’s plans for you cannot be cast aside or dismantled.  Even in the face of overwhelming circumstances, His will and His plans cannot be thwarted.  His purposes will always be accomplished in His perfect timing.

The things that happen to you in this lifetime are all a part of His attempt to transform you into the image of His Son.  Nothing that happens to you is by chance, because God’s purpose is never man’s purpose.  His ways are higher than our ways.

Sometimes, God will take events and intervene to accomplish His purpose.  When God initiates circumstances, it is often to encourage the believer to build a deeper dependence upon Him.  God’s desire for His children is to be dependent upon Him.  Therefore, He wants to care for you.  He wants to put you in situations where you can witness Him do mighty works.  He desires your praise and will provide many opportunities in your life to acknowledge His power and strength.

Genesis 50:20 (NIV)       “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

What Is God’s Will In My Life?

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“I do not get to know God, then do His will; I get to know Him more deeply by doing His will.”       – Philip Yancey

Dear Reader,

How do you know what the will of God is for your life?  Take heart, He has given you the Holy Spirit as a Guide to help you figure this out.  It may seem a mystery to you now, but if you diligently seek His face and ask how He wants to use you, the answer will come.

Your ability to listen to God’s voice, while in prayer is key.  Patience is also required when you are waiting for God to reveal His desires and the direction He wants you to take. However, His silent moments are not a free pass to do nothing.  Your daily life can be a living testimony and there are always opportunities to serve in your church home.  If you are ill, you can still be a witness for Him by making phone calls and writing letters.  There are many who would appreciate a word of encouragement.

God wants to use the spiritual gifts He has given you to edify His people. There are several tests available that you can take for a minimal fee.  I have posted one link at the bottom of this article.  Before taking the test, ask your Pastor, family, and close friends what they think your gift (s) may be so that the Internet test serves as a confirmation for you.

Next, read the following passages in the Bible.  They list the gifts of the Spirit.                1 Corinthians 12:7-11, Romans 12:6-8, and Ephesians 4:11.

Now meditate on this quote from John Thomas.

“Think of your life as a football game. The first 20 years could be thought of as your warm-ups — you’re getting ready for the game. The second 20 years is the first half of play. During your 40’s you make a few halftime adjustments, so that your second half — 50 and beyond — is strong and powerful.  In each stage of the game, you’ve been given unique responsibilities, and you wrestle with unique challenges.” 

Why should you go to the bother of finding out His will for you?  Isn’t it enough for you to go to church and believe that Jesus is your Savior.  Well no, because that would be a lukewarm attitude. Revelations 3:15-16 tells us that God does not like a lukewarm Christian and will spit them each out of His mouth on judgment day.  We are saved by grace but again, a faith without works is dead. 

So you have the Holy Spirit to guide you, prayers laying at the feet of God, Jesus interceding on your behalf, the Bible naming spiritual gifts, tests you can take to give you an idea of your gifts, and family and friends to confirm things for you.

This is a start.  Take some encouragement in knowing that God will grant the desires of your heart.  In James we are told to ask for wisdom and He will grant it in abundance.  If you really desire to know how to serve God, this is a desire aligned with His will.  How could He not answer your question?  His answer will come in His time, but His answer will come.

The plans God has for you span your entire lifetime.  He prepares you for each and every work laid before you.  Consider each new opportunity to serve, each ministry, every trial and storm, all spiritual lesson learned as a step up your personal ladder to heaven.  May His will be your will and may your relationship with Christ deepen as you do that which He asks of you.

http://www.churchgrowth.org/cgi-cg/gifts.cgi?intro=1

http://www.spiritualgiftstest.com/

Revelations 3:15-16 (NIV)     “I know your deeds that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”

Mark 3:35 (NIV)    “Whoever does God’s will is My brother and sister and mother.” 

Philippians 2:13 (NIV)     “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.” 

Fear Cripples And Trips The Believer

Do Not B Afraid

2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV)       For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Dear Reader,

We are told that God did not give us a spirit of timidity.  Rather, we have been given a spirit of POWER.  This power comes from God and is full of His wisdom and strength. 

The key ingredient of His Godly power in us is LOVE.  Love is a mighty weapon.  In 1 Corinthians 13:13, it is called the “greatest gift of all.”  Why then is love even greater than faith and hope? 

When you love your enemies with the love of God, you startle them into a state of reflection.  Confusion will arise as they ponder their hateful actions and the contradicting response of your love and kindness. They will be stumped.

Confusion is of course a tool of the devil, so you will need to pray that God reveals the truth to the “enemy” your are trying to love.  Ultimately, we are on earth to win souls for Christ. 

If you do not see a change in their behavior, this does not mean you haven’t planted a seed.  God has the watering can and will water that which you have planted in His name.  He is always faithful to complete the work that has begun in you.  Continue to pray that the scales on your “enemy’s” eyes fall away.   Ask God to open the eyes of their heart so that they may receive the truth.  Pray for a hedge of protection over them, so that the fiery darts of the evil one are powerless.  As Christ intercedes on your behalf, you need to intercede for them. 

The strength and power you have received also contains self-discipline.  This means you have the power to turn an offense into an act of love.  It takes self-control to withhold vengeance and retribution.  If you respond to an unmerciful act as the world would, you loose an opportunity to shine the love of God on a situation.  It is at such moments that you must call on the POWER of the Spirit.

God commanded Joshua to be strong and courageous.  He also told him to not be terrified or discouraged.  This is hard for humans, especially when we face foes the size of giants.  God told Joshua, “The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”  This applies to us as well.  We do not need to be terrified when enemies approach us, as God is standing right beside us.  When you return an unkind act with one of love, do not be discouraged if you do not see a change.  The change may be happening on the inside where only God can observe and care for it.

Fear is a snare the enemy uses to hinder the work of God.  Proverbs 29:25 warns us about fearing man.  By trusting in God, we will always be kept safe.  If we are led to speak or minister to a person in power, we should not let their position stop us from doing what the Lord is asking of us.  By trusting in His power, we will be kept safe.  He is not a respecter of man or of position since He is the one who gave us the position in the first place. 

To review, let us remember that the enemy uses fear to hinder that which God asks of us.  We have been COMMANDED by God to be courageous and to not get discouraged.  Love is greater than faith and hope, and is a tool all believers should be using to win their “enemies” to Christ.  It is the enemy who trembles at the mere mention of the name of Jesus.  With God’s power, we are equipped with self-control, which enables us to respond to hateful acts with love.

Let this be my encouragement to you today dear friends; love your neighbors as yourself.  Extend the love of Christ to all around you and pray for your enemies.  Do not let hardship, grief, or pain hinder God’s command to love with His supernatural love, which is implanted inside of you.

Proverbs 29:25 (NIV)      Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.

Matthew 5:44-45  (NIV)       But here is what I tell you. Love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you. Then you will be sons of your Father who is in heaven.

Joshua 1:9 (NIV)      Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)    And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

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