WeepingintoDancing

Overcoming Difficult Trials

Archive for the tag “Prayer”

God’s Unfolding Plan For Our Life

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God’s plan for our life is one that continuously unfolds. Minute-by-minute, day-by-day, and step-by-step He guides, all the while unfolding His glorious intentions. His wonderful blueprint for our lives was designed before we were even born. Every detail was considered when He assigned our mission, duty, responsibility, and occupation (s). He created and set circumstances into place that would refine our gifts and engage our specific attributes. Always, ALWAYS is our service for His glory and the blessing of His people. Moses is a wonderful example of this fact.

“Then the Lord said to Moses,  “Tell the Israelites to turn back and encamp near Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. They are to encamp by the sea, directly opposite Baal Zephon.  Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.’  And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for Myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.” So the Israelites did this.” Exodus 14:1-4 (NKJV)

Pharaoh and his army pursued the Israelites, and overtook them as they camped by the sea.As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord.” Exodus 14:10 (NKJV)

The Israelites later turned on Moses and questioned why they ever followed him into the desert. They were prepared to return to Egypt and once again become slaves. Their faith in God’s power was weak and they saw no way out of their trap. The Red Sea was an apparent roadblock, but God would use that roadblock for His glory. Nothing is impossible for God! On that day the Israelites witnessed another incredible miracle of God’s provision and faithfulness as they walked on dry land, through the Red Sea, to safety.

Do you see how God’s plan unfolded? God gave Moses directions, telling him to encamp by the sea. God also told Moses that Pharaoh would pursue the Israelites. Furthermore, God revealed that He would gain glory for Himself through Pharaoh’s assault. But God did not tell Moses the Israelites would panic and turn on him. God often unfolds His plan measure-by-measure. He tells us enough to get us moving in the right direction but then, there are tests of obedience and faith that He intertwines in our journey.

Moses obediently camped by the sea and was not surprised by the appearance of the Egyptian army. Trusting God would faithfully deliver His people, Moses did not allow the Red Sea to become an obstacle. He remembered God said, “But I will gain glory for Myself through Pharaoh and all his army,” and so the parting of the Red Sea fulfilled this prophesy.

God wants us to depend on Him daily. Moses did not have directions for the next week or month. He took one day at a time. He had to train his ear to LISTEN for God’s voice.

Now consider the apostles. Their lives were a continuous unfolding. After Jesus rose from the dead, He told His friends to go back to the city and wait for the Holy Spirit.

I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:49 (NIV)

Jesus did not tell them what the promise would look like. He gave them only the directions they needed, go back to the city and wait. Obediently, they waited in the city for the promise to be clothed with heavenly power. Once the Holy Spirit arrived, they learned to discern His leading. They healed many in the name of Jesus, spread the gospel, established churches, and wrote words of encouragement that are now known as the LIVING Word of God.

Jesus told Peter to “Feed my sheep.” He did not give Peter detailed instructions on how to accomplish this request, but He did equip him. Every apostle went out and shared the good news. Apostles were persecuted for their faith, unfolded as part of their Christian race. God taught them to be content in times of plenty and times of want. They gave Him continuous praise as they knew He was ever present and in control.

Other examples of walking with God and trusting Him to unfold His plan include Abraham: Leave you homeland

Now the Lord had said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you.  I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ ” Genesis 12:1-3 (NKJV)

Joshua: March around Jericho

Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in. Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.” Joshua 6:1-5

God has a purpose and service for each one of us. Maybe it is in the prayer closet. We might not see the fruit of our labor, but the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Prayers are ALWAYS answered in God’s time and for His glory. God unfolds how to pray and who to pray for by using the Holy Spirit to direct us while on our knees.

We are all called to share the Good News. We must look for the opportunity and trust God to give us the wisdom and knowledge to share His love. Maybe we will help a stranger and God will unfold the best way to witness. A neighbor might need of a ride somewhere and you hear God say, “Drive!” After you obey this unusual request, God might unfold His real purpose for your service. Every day unfolds new mysteries of God’s love for us.

Wait on God to fulfill His promises. Wait for the Savior to unfold His plan for your life. He is equipping you now for what lies in the future. Patiently wait and remember that God looks for willing servants who say, “Lord, send me!”

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8 (NIV)

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“Today I know that such memories are the key not to the past, but to the future. I know that the experiences of our lives, when we let God use them, become the mysterious and perfect preparation for the work He will give us to do. ”                        ~ Corrie ten Boom

“Have you been asking God what He is going to do? He will never tell you. God does not tell you what He is going to do; He reveals to you who He is.”                                  ~Oswald Chambers

Morning Prayer: Memorizing & Praying Scripture

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Dear Reader,

Russell Kelfer has a wonderful teaching on how to memorize scripture. It motivated me to write this morning prayer. I hope it blesses you! Please check out the following site.  http://66.254.26.51/dtmlessons.blp?view&lesson=195

The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” Romans 13:12 (NIV)

”My soul waits for the Lordmore than those who watch for the morning— Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.” Psalm 130:6 (NKJV)

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”   Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)

“ ‘Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ ” Jeremiah 3:3 (NIV)

In the morning, Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait expectantly.” Psalm 5:3 (NIV)

“The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught/instructed.” Isaiah 50:4 (NIV) 

“Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I entrust my life. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord, for I hide myself in You. Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; May Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” Psalm 143:8-10 (NIV)

I will, “Trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding;” Proverbs 3:5 (NIV)

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

I will, “ Let my light shine before others, that they may see my good deeds and therefore glorify my Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (NIV)

I will, “Put on the full armor of God, so that I can take a stand against the devil’s schemes.” Ephesians 6:11 (NIV)

The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” Psalm 28:7 (NIV)

“This is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.”  Psalm 118:24 (NKJV)

~ Cheryl Zelenka

 

Grumble, Grumble, Complain

*24 Hours

The following question will challenge even the most mature and spiritually filled believer. “Do you grumble and complain?”

Complaints are included in acceptable social conversations. They are objections, even acts of protest. Voicing anger, fears, dissatisfaction, annoyance, and irritation will certainly get a conversation rolling. But will the topic or act of disapproval be edifying and pleasing to God?

Take a minute and consider why we complain. Are we looking for the empathy of others? Are we making excuses for our behavior? Is it due to some selfish motive, or is it an act of self-righteousness? Has self-pity consumed our thoughts and voicing our anger brings relief? Is it a passive-aggressive way to let God know we are mad at Him? By complaining, have we judged God by blaming Him for our discomfort?

Or, are we seeking justice for bona fide mistreatment and abuse? Should injustices be left unrecognized? Are we not called to carry each other’s burdens? Do we not have a responsibility to stand up for the weak and defend those in need?

Making a petition for help is different from grumbling and complaining. In the midst of a trial we should call upon God’s grace. However, circumstances are permitted, created, and ordained by a sovereign God who has orchestrated them for our welfare. To complain about our situation is to argue against God’s will and plan. Asking for strength to move through a trial is acceptable but complaining about our loss, pain, or struggle is not beneficial for us or honoring to God.

God can handle our honesty and He knows our feelings before we are completely aware of them our self. He lives to intercede on our behalf, and the refining processes that trials generate often require the supernatural strengthening of God. Asking for help is an act of humility and will draw us closer to God. Complaining does not draw us closer to God, nor will it build intimacy with Him. In fact, complaining kindles His anger.

“And the people complained in the hearing of the Lord about their misfortunes, and when the Lord heard it, His anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned among them and consumed some outlying parts of the camp. “ Numbers 11:1 (NKJV)

Philippians 2:14-15 commands us to DO ALL THINGS without complaining. In a world filled with wicked and perverse men, making a point to remain positive will get attention. We are called to shine as lights in this fallen world. Praising God and His provision at all times, especially while we are persevering though trials, will cause others to rethink their ways. This positive and thankful thinking will require self-control and discipline. Breaking the habit of grumbling will not be easy, especially if it has been long practiced. But with the grace of God it can be mastered.

“Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” Philippians 2:14-15 (NKJV)

We are called to do ALL THINGS without complaining. This includes our acts of labor and employment, the “Honey-Do List,” car pools, time with relatives, and even mundane and repetitious days filled with simple but necessary duties and tasks. For every day in our life has been planned out by God, days of sorrow, excitement, joy, adventure and seemingly uneventful days. Each and every day is a gift and should be filled with thanks and praise.

So, we are to DO all things without complaining, but what about daily conversations? Is it all right to complain about the food in a restaurant? How about the driver on the highway who just cut you off? Surely it is okay to complain about the snow in April or the lack of rain in August. Weather has long been considered a safe topic of discussion in every day “small talk.” Many of us will make note of a beautiful sunrise, the blue sky or lovely clouds. But we are also quick to complain about weather. Are we sinning when we voice complaints about something so common as weather?

Ask this question, “Does my complaint glorify God?” You have your answer! We are to edify others with words of encouragement and hope.

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.“ Ephesians 4:29 (NKJV)

Apparently mankind has never been satisfied. Just think about Adam and Eve! Even in paradise they were not content. Is it then fair to say that human nature is never content? Yes. The constant clash between fleshly desires and spiritual contentment is a battle fought every day.

The poor want to be rich, but wealth is not the answer. A rich man also seeks more and complains as much as any other man. The single woman wants to be married and the married woman wishes she were once again single. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. But if we watered our side of the grass… it would be just as green as the one on the other side.

Paul tells us how to battle our urge to grumble and complain. Seeking contentment in every circumstance is the secret. This requires God’s help and we must call upon His strength to find this peace and joy.

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13 (NKJV)

May we strive to consider our daily conversations, seeking to edify others and glorify God. Desiring contentment, we lean on the love of God and trust in His provisions. We ask the Holy Spirit to prick our spirit every time we are tempted to grumble and complain. We choose to praise God for EVERYTHING, including the circumstances we now face. We cast all of our cares upon Christ Jesus and thank Him for each thing in our life.

“It is no use to grumble and complain; It’s just as cheap and easy to rejoice; When God sorts out the weather and sends rain- Why rain’s my choice.” ~ James Whitcomb Riley

“If Christians spent as much time praying as they do grumbling, they would soon have nothing to grumble about.” – Anonymous

Go To The Bible For Instruction

Instruction Manual:Bible

Dear God,

Thank You for placing the Holy Spirit within us, He is our helper. Teach us to discern His voice and follow His lead. Thank You for providing us with the LIVING Word. Each  jot and tittle within the Bible has a purpose and use. Prompt us to seek guidance from the “instruction manual” You provided, BEFORE seeking counsel from man. Teach us to go to the FATHER when life is confusing or when we are overwhelmed with the cares of the world. Then, grant us the self-control to patiently wait and listen for an answer to our petition, or further instructions. Learning to depend on You requires faith. We believe… help us in our disbelief.

“For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:18-19 (NKJV)

“The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God.”    ~ A.W. Tozer

God Prunes-And Not Just In The Spring!

*Prune

“He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” 15:2

I view my past illness, a brain tumor that caused nearly a decade of clinical depression and near death, as an answered prayer. In days gone by, I often petitioned God to remove me from the public school system. But my prayers were never prayers of true faith. No, they were prayers of desperation and hopelessness. I never quit my job to pursue a different career because finances were always priority. I didn’t believe God would provide for my family in the same manner I was able to provide as a teacher. Relying on myself was easier than trusting God, especially when it came down to future finances. This is where my thinking fell short. Scripture says God will provide for our NEEDS…. Not for every want and desire, comfort or luxury.

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 (NIV)

Accustomed to a certain life style, I had no desire to pursue another profession that offered less pay. After 25 years of saving, I had finally purchased my dream home. The thought of selling it in order to pursue a different career was not part of my reality. I wanted out of teaching, but only on my terms. I was not willing to make adjustments or sacrifices. Money was an idol of false security.

My wrestling match with God was long and intense. It lasted more than a night and it didn’t leave me with a dislocated hip. Instead, I end up with a non-malignant brain tumor. When I refer to this tumor as a blessing sent from God I am sincere. For you see, this illness changed my life. It became the catalyst that reignited my spiritual walk.

Thankfully, God knew the best way to answer my prayer. I believe He led me into teaching and I believe it was also God who placed a desire in my heart to leave teaching. He didn’t let my attachment to worldly possessions interfere with His plan for my life. He designed me with a purpose and there was a “next step” for me in this life. It could only happen by stepping out of the classroom.

And although sin was ruling my heart with fear and covetousness, He graciously pruned away those dead branches for they were hindering my spiritual growth. By cutting out the dead wood, I was able to recognize these sin areas that required further refinement. Every year God must prune these sin areas in my life for they are aggressive in their attempt to grow back, yet never do they bear any fruit.

So, who can understand the mind of God? His ways are so much higher than our own ways. His thoughts are just not our thoughts! Bu sending a serious illness my way, or merely allowing the tumor to grow for ten miserable years, God answered my prayer to move past elementary teaching. It was a part of His sovereign plan for my life, before He knit me together in my mother’s womb.

God was not surprised by my illness but I surely was, for It brought about a lot of change I didn’t expect or desire. Not only did I loose my dream home, but I also left a community I felt comfortable with and never wanted to leave. God was pruning and stretching my faith throughout my journey. He provided the means for a new beginning and moved me to the place He wanted me to grow.

God’s sovereign will is always fulfilled. How He answers our prayers can truly be very surprising and unexpected. And when He decides to prune His children with challenging storms of adversity, we will do well to remember that the pruning of the Lord is an act of love. For God will instruct/discipline those He loves.

Because the Lord disciplines those he loves, a father the son he delights in.”    Proverbs 3:12 (NIV)

James 1:2-4 reminds us that we are to count trials as pure joy, not that the circumstances are the joy, but the outcome they produce is the source of our rejoicing.

God teaches us not only through His Word. He also teaches us through trials that refine us into the image of His son. These times of trouble mature the fruit of the spirit within us so that goodness, kindness, gentleness, peace, love, joy, patience, faithfulness and self-control are more evident in our life. The pruning of the Lord is painful but the fruit it bears is profitable to God, others, and us.

Suffering is a part of the process by which the children of God are made holy. They are chastened to wean them from the world, and make them partakers of God’s holiness. The Captain of their salvation was made “perfect through suffering,” and so are they (Hebrews 2:1012:10). There never was a great saint who had not experienced either great hardships, or great persecutions.

 Let us try to settle this in our hearts also. The children of God all have a cross to bear. A suffering Savior generally has suffering disciples. The Bridegroom was a man of sorrows. Therefore, the Bride must not be a woman of pleasures and unacquainted with grief. Blessed are they that mourn! Let us not murmur at the cross. This also is a sign of sonship.”    ~ J.C. Ryle

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_Dec 2014

Speak Lord, I’m Listening!

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Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”

And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears.” 1 Samuel 3:10 (NKJV

If we want to deepen our intimacy with God, we should consider our time of fellowship with Him. God speaks to His children throughout the day, not just during morning devotions! But because we are so easily caught up with routines and “To Do Lists,” we forget to practice a continual upward focus. As a result, we miss many opportunities to converse with God. A constant awareness of God’s presence is the act of abiding in Christ.

A soldier makes a concerted effort to recognize His commander’s voice, especially during chaotic times of battle. He waits for instruction and direction since his life depends upon it. Training our ears to recognize God’s voice in every moment and circumstance requires a deliberate and conscious effort. An attitude of, “Speak Lord, I am listening” should be our aim as believers and yes, it will take practice and discipline. God called out to Samuel three times before he finally acknowledged His presence. Our Lord is constantly calling out to us too, hopefully His call for fellowship will not fall on deaf ears.

Setting aside personal agendas and putting God first is not always easy. Trusting Him with the cares of our day requires a submissive attitude of faith. God’s desire to walk with us throughout our day is humbling and yet marvelous. Enjoy listening for His voice today and trust that what needs to get done… will get done…. In HIS time.

Father God,                                                                                                                         As we abide in You, we ask that You abide in us. We willingly set aside our personal agendas and lay them at Your feet. Guide us throughout this (and every) day and speak to our hearts. We desire fellowship with the King of Kings! Refine our ability to recognize Your presence, even when Your voice is but a whisper. Grant us understanding when You speak and may our hearts obediently accept Your words of wisdom, encouragement, help and guidance. Remind us daily to have an upward focus. Amen.

“When indeed it is in God we live, and move, and have our being. We cannot draw a breath without his help.” ~Jonathan Edwards

The Peace Of Christ

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“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)

Saints who trust God with total abandon experience the reality of supernatural rest, a byproduct of the peace of Christ. It does not matter if their day is filled with routines or unexpected adversity. Said believers maintain a steadfast gaze on their Creator, circumstances are not their focus.

Thanks to a solidified trust, they understand situations happen for loving and beneficial reasons. They may not understand the WHYS, but they trust in the character of God. Almost in stride they look for the lesson God has provided within their day, always quick to thank Him for the equipping He so graciously provides.

This peace is free to all. Will you claim it now, along with the rest that comes with it? Trust God with your cares!

Father God,                                                                                                                     May the Holy Spirit fill this dear reader with an undeniable outpouring of strength and courage today. It takes courage to trust an unseen God with burdens of fear, grief, and an unknown future. Help them to lay each care aside and trust You with each one. Grant them a blessed rest and supernatural peace today and may it carry them through the night and into their slumber. Amen.

“God holds my today and my tomorrow in the palm of His hands. I know I am secure no matter what comes against me.”  ~ Unknown

Solitary Moments of Prayer

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“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:16 (NIV)                                                                                                                                                                 “One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.” Luke 6:12 (NIV)

We were created with an innate need for fellowship. God wants us to interact with others…. Building relationships with those who believe in Jesus and those who do not. We are not supposed to be islands.

But in addition to your fellowship with flesh and blood, be sure to set aside daily quiet time(s) to commune with God. This spiritual time of fellowship with your Creator will increase your intimacy with Christ. Your personal relationship with God will deepen as you ruminate and consider His character and reflect on scripture.

“May my meditation be sweet to Him;I will be glad in the Lord.: Psalm 104:34 (NKJV)

Seek out a place where there are no distractions, so you can give God your undivided attention. During prayer and meditation your focus should be entirely on God. Wait patiently on the Lord and still your emotions, calm your heart, and listen with your spirit.

Solitary moments of prayer (be they for but an hour or for an entire day) are one of the most important disciplines a saint can pursue. It requires focus, time, and an attitude of expectant communion. When we find our selves at the feet of Christ, with no one else to carry our burdens, leaning into God’s grace will be eye opening and poignant.

During such times of prayerful solitude, seeking God’s direction and help, don’t try to make something happen. Just bring your transparent self to the Lord and BE with Him. It may take some time before your mind is still enough to recognize His voice. Be patient. He may have only one word for you.

“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 (NKJV)

There are several scriptures that mention how Jesus went off to solitary places to pray. One of the most important and well-known examples is when He took His disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane. He asked His friends to pray for Him while He went to a solitary place, seeking His Father in prayer.

Jesus also went into the desert alone to fast and pray for forty days and forty nights. In this solitary place He was tempted by the enemy, but never lost His self-control or purpose/vision. His trial and time of testing prepared Him for the next leg of His journey.

“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be temptedby the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:1-4 (NIV)

Consider going on a “date” with Jesus. No double dates, just you and your Savior!! If you feel led, also consider a fast. The hunger you experience will remind you of the reason for your “date.” It will help in keeping your attention focused heavenwards and on the one above. It also makes a difference in the spiritual realm. Remember, you are not fighting or wrestling with mere flesh and blood during your prayer times.

The importance and benefits of group prayer are undeniable. Matthew 18:20 says, “For where two or three gather in My name, there am I with them.” However, there is also a place and purpose or the prayer closet. Intercessory prayer in only the sight of God, is powerful, effective, and a mighty weapon against the schemes of the enemy.

Solitude is not always comfortable but it is never a bad thing, if it’s purpose is to seek out God. At no time will you be completely alone for you are never out of God’s sight or reach. God built you for relationship, and that includes a PERSONAL relationship with Him. Seek and He will be found. This is a biblical promise and God does not lie.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7 (NKJV)

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed.” Mark 1:35 (NIV)

“Then Jesus went with His disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and He said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with Him, and He began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then He said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with Me.”

Going a little farther, He fell with His face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.”

Then He returned to His disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with Me for one hour?” He asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may Your will be done.”

When He came back, He again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So He left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.

Then He returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes My betrayer!” Matthew 26:36-46 (NIV)

A Reverent Fear For God

*Respect for the Lord RL

There is a fear of God that admiration enfolds with arms of  adoration. It acknowledges the absolute power of the Creator and the inconsequence of man. This holy and reverent fear is the beginning of wisdom, for it is wise to know ones place in this world…. And in the next.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”Proverbs 9:10 (NKJV)

The Bible gives many examples of believers showing reverence for God. Abraham (Genesis 17:3), Moses and Aaron (Numbers 14:5), Daniel (Daniel 10:15) and Joshua (Joshua 5:13) all fall on their faces in humble adoration and respect. In the New Testament, Mary Magdalene demonstrates her devotion for Jesus by pouring expensive perfume on His feet and using her hair to wipe them clean.

Because of pride, man often thinks too highly of himself and claims credit for that which God has achieved. It is dangerous to be wise in your own eyes. Stealing from God is no small matter, be it His plunder and goods or acts of might. Consider what happened to Achan (Joshua 7:20-25) and the arrogance of David’s soldiers when they demanded spoils for an unmerited victory. God had gifted them the spoils and the battle victory, it was not won by mere flesh and blood (1 Samuel 30).

“Do not be wise in your own eyes;Fear the Lord and depart from evil.” Proverbs 3:7 (NKJV)

When we live a life of contentment and satisfaction we provide the enemy with fewer foot holes to tempt us with. A fulfilled life leaves the adversary little room for traps. Temptation is harder to achieve with a saint living in peacefully with what God has provided. Evil will readily slip past the door of a contented man and seek out easier and less satisfied prey to devour.

“The fear of the Lord leads to life, and he who has it will abide in satisfaction;He will not be visited with evil.” Proverbs 19:23 (NKJV)

Certainly a holy reverence is due our God yet, we have fallen away from positions of prostration during prayer. No longer is it a common practice to bend a knee during times of prayer or during solitary moments of thanksgiving and praise. Where has our reverence for God flown?

In mercy and grace the Savior freely gives atonement for sin. Yet, do flippant confessions and petitions show up in the throne room with an expectation of unquestionable forgiveness? This is my prediction. Is not a broken and contrite heart the sacrifice God expects when delivering His gifts of redemption?

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,a broken and a contrite heart~
These, O God, You will not despise.”Psalm 51:17 (NKJV)

Consider how you have been approaching God as of late. Are you entering into your prayer time with an awareness of His righteous sovereignty? Do you toss petitions at His feet without any thought for quiet meditation? Forgiveness is a precious gift and your prayers should be made with reverence and offered in awe.

“The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death.” Proverbs 14:27 (NKJV)

“In mercy and truth atonement is provided for iniquity; And by the fear of the Lord one departs from evil.” Proverbs 16:6 (NKJV)

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we mayserve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:28-29 (NKJV)

“Fear the Lord and the king, my son,and do not join with rebellious officials,” Proverbs 24:21 (NIV)

ISIS is Branding Christians

Nazarene

Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12 (NKJV)

I am praying for the Christians who are being persecuted. Please stand with me.

“This is the letter “N” in Arabic. It is being used to brand Christians in Iraq who are being persecuted and murdered by ISIS terrorists. The letter “N” stands for Nazarene. I am posting this, along with thousands of others around the World, in hopes of raising awareness of their plight and lifting them up in prayer. May the Lord move and the World take action. Please join the fight and share this!”

“All Your commandments are faithful;
They persecute me wrongfully;
Help me!” Psalm 119:86 (NKJV)

“Have mercy on me, O Lord! Consider my trouble from those who hate me, You who lift me up from the gates of death,” Psalm 9:13 (NKJV)

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” Romans 8:35 (NKJV)

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