ADORATION

THE ROLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 2.36.30 PM…FATHER, as a Christian my life is an impossible life to live without drawing on Your SPIRIT for “The Spirit of God shatters every power in the world, the flesh and the devil, every power of sin and the domination of Satan” Oswald Chambers (ref#157, June 15th).

“The Spirit…is Christ without the limitations of the flesh and the material world. He can reveal what Christ could not speak. He has resources of power greater than those Christ could use, and he makes possible greater works than his” Samuel Chadwick (ref#161, p18).

“He is the Spirit of God, the Spirit of truth, the Spirit of witness, the Spirit of conviction, the Spirit of power, the Spirit of holiness, the Spirit of light, the Spirit of adoption, the Spirit of help, the Spirit of liberty, the Spirit of wisdom, the Spirit of revelation, the Spirit of promise, the Spirit of love, the Spirit of meekness, the Spirit of sound mind, the Spirit of grace, the Spirit of glory, and the Spirit of prophecy” Samuel Chadwick (ref#161, p18,19).

FATHER, all Christians have the SPIRIT resident in them but I desire to be “full” of Him—desiring He control me to the point that I am “distinct and observable in some way” to others (ref#161, p109). When I feel my heart warmed with joy, and I’m supported in peace, and established in obedience, let me give Him the praise due Him (ref#35, p422).

Advertisements

VALLEYS TO MOUNTAINTOPS

MY DEEPEST LONGING

9/30/13

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 2.26.48 PMSomething written in day 31 of a devotional attached itself to my heart making me want to put my feelings into words. Writing the feelings will allow me to come back to them in the future.

As I read, my feelings morphed into a desire. I wanted something more than I had.

I’m not good at give-and-take relationships. An island describes me. But, the following statement made me not want to be an island: “The deepest longing of the human heart is to be known completely and accepted unconditionally” James P Gills (ref#149, p385).

I can recall situations where my “island” label is put away.   When I compare picture-taking alone to picture-taking with my husband going along, my choice is fellowship over being alone. My heart wants a similar fellowship with GOD.

“’Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters…And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him’ (Gen 5:22,24). Someone commented that one day as Enoch walked with God, they ended the day closer to heaven than to Enoch’s home. And God just said, ‘Come on, Enoch, and go home with Me’” James P. Gills (ref#149, p387).

Oh, to talk to GOD when I think, not to talk to myself when I think. I want to work enough each day to meet my needs and not be sidetracked by worldly activities. I want to be “engulfed in His presence” James P. Gills (ref#149, p388). “The Hebrew word translated intimate means ‘to share secrets, deep, inward counsel, in audience with a person’” James P. Gills (ref#149, p385).

So, FATHER, my deepest secret presently is to confess all my known sins to You and watch You not flinch one bit. My deepest desire is to let go of my hold on my life when You press me to Your bosom. It truly will be my greatest joy to lose myself and choose some great attribute of Yours to dwell on.

I’ve identified my longing in this writing. Now I strive to walk hand in hand as Enoch. And is not discovering a new attribute of GOD better than reviewing the ones I know? To discover I must be with Him.

SABBATH

THE SABBATH – A WAY OF WITNESS AND BLESSING

“The purifying, uplifting effect of the Christian Sabbath is indispensable if the Christian witness is to be maintained” C. E. Hunter (ref#171).

“By a strict observance of the Sabbath, the face of religion is kept up in the world. If it were not for the Sabbath, there would be but little public and visible appearance of serving, worshipping, and reverencing the supreme and invisible Being” Jonathan Edwards (ref#186).

GOD is honored by our keeping the Sabbath (Isa 58:13). Therefore we should, above all things glorify our GOD and King in this way.

Since GOD has ordained we keep His Sabbath it makes sense that He pays particular attention to those who obey Him:

“He stands ready then especially to hear prayers, to accept of religious services, to meet His people, to manifest Himself to them, to give His Holy Spirit and blessing to those who diligently and conscientiously sanctify it” Jonathan Edwards (ref#186).

SUPPLICATION

NON CHRISTIAN – Pursuers

[We all have friends and family that sit in our churches but only act like they are Christians.  It is up to us to pray for their salvation.  Here’s an opportunity to pray for them.  Fill his/her name in the blanks.]

JESUS’ DEALING WITH FLESH

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 2.10.18 PM…FATHER, “…everything a man naturally inherits from his parents belongs to the flesh” Watchman Nee (ref#33, p71). Therefore we are naturally hostile to You, for we do not submit to Your laws, indeed, we cannot (Rom 8:3,7). That which is born of the flesh is flesh (John 3:6).

“God…does not try to alter man’s flesh; He instead gives man a new life in order to help put it to death. The flesh must die. This is salvation” Watchman Nee (ref#33, p73).   “…By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Rom 8:3-4 ESV).

But, man “does not understand God’s Word and so he tries continually to refine and reform his flesh” Watchman Nee (ref#33, p73). Because I see no consistent spiritual fruit in ____, I pray, FATHER, that You provide (him/her) with a deeper understanding of You. I observe ____ is not willing to make (himself/herself) uncomfortable doing good works which makes me believe (his/her) actions are the actions of (his/her) selfish, not-regenerated-yet, flesh.

FATHER, this flesh is so predominate that even Your regenerated easily revert back to utilizing their sinful flesh to deal with daily situations (Gal 3:3). So I pray also for my fellow Christians as well, that they continue depending on Your SPIRIT as they did at first.

“Though He cannot alter our flesh God gives us His life. Man’s flesh remains as corrupt in those who are born anew as in those who are not. The flesh in a saint is the same as that in a sinner. In regeneration the flesh is not transformed. New birth exerts no good influence on the flesh. It remains as is. God does not impart His life to us to educate and train the flesh. Rather, it is given to overcome the flesh” Watchman Nee (ref#33, p76).

FATHER, unsettle ____ until (he/she) longs to walk by Your SPIRIT so (he/she) will not gratify the desires of (his/her) flesh (Gal 5:16). May (he/she) “experience less failure battling with sin and more success battling with self” Watchman Nee (ref#33, p79).

THANKSGIVING

BENEVOLENT

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 2.03.41 PM…FATHER, You open Your hand (Ps 145:16).

You are kindly and charitable—

benevolent (ref#110, p129).

You are merciful and compassionate (ref#110, p584).

 

You satisfy the desire of every living thing (Ps 145:16).

You are indispensable—

necessary and essential.

You alone are absolutely vital (ref#110, p1493).

 

You are righteous in all Your ways;

You are kind in all Your works (Ps 145:17).

You give assistance and help (ref#110, p1337).

You are large hearted and generous (ref#110, p761).

 

To You, LORD, belong mercy and forgiveness (Dan 9:9).

You are “tender and loving”—

affectionate (ref#110, p22).

You show kindness and are gracious (ref#110, p584).

CONFESSION

INFORMATION NOT ENOUGH

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 1.55.46 PM…FATHER, when Moses went back to Egypt to lead the Israelites to the promised land, he knew exactly how the situation would play out for You told Him specifically ahead of time:

“And the Lord said to Moses, ‘When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go” (Ex 4:21 ESV).

Yet when this happened Moses became downcast as if he had never heard You say Pharaoh would not let Your people go:

“Then Moses turned to the Lord and said, ‘…Why did you ever send me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name,…you have not delivered your people at all’” (Ex 5:22-23 ESV).

Moses didn’t even have to have faith. He could have relied on what You had told Him, but he was unable to even do that. I am that feeble, too. I am just like Moses. I “know”; Scripture tells me, yet I do not do it (James 4:17). I don’t apply Your words when the circumstance presents itself.

Moses proved that he couldn’t retain spiritual knowledge but had to call upon You in the “now” to get himself back on track with You. FATHER, impress upon me my frailty. Even when You clue me in beforehand Your past Word does not have the ability to guide me in the present. Teach me to tune my ear for Your continual voice behind me (Isa 30:21). I cannot live on any knowledge obtained in the past but must live moment by moment completely depending on Your SPIRIT for direction.

ADORATION

GOD’S POWER

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 1.44.24 PM“O the depth of the wealth and wisdom and knowledge of God. How unsearchable are His judgments, and how untraceable the paths He takes…” Kenneth S. Wuest (ref#37, p372,373, [Rom 11:33]).

FATHER, the book of Nahum declares that You are slow to anger yet great in power (Nahum 1:3). How is it that You see Your enemies yet do not rouse Yourself to wrath but hold Your anger?

Remind me, that Your power is not a power that has to prove itself over and over. It is so great that no challenge comes close to overcoming You. It is Your greatness that brings me grace and goodness (ref#34, Feb 22nd PM).

 “When Moses said, ‘I beseech thee, show me thy glory,’ God replied, ‘I will make all my goodness pass before thee’ (Exod 33:18-19). Not, ‘I will make all My power, My majesty, My holiness pass before thee’ but ’I will make all My goodness to the weak, the sinful, and the undeserving pass before thee’… His glory is His grace (Eph 1:6)” Roy and Revel Hession (ref#100, p32).

FATHER, I naturally desire You show Your power—how often have I prayed, “LORD, show everyone how great You are by miraculously healing so and so.” I always want You to exalt Yourself. But isn’t that so “I” can be proud of You? “You are ‘my’ GOD who has great power.” Thus “I” boast and in so doing “I” give myself glory.

“Glory in a man’s eyes is always that which exalts him…God’s glory consists in the very reverse—not so much in His ability to exalt Himself and humble man, but in His willingness to humble Himself for the sake of man; not so much in a mighty display of power that would break in pieces those that oppose Him, but rather in the hiding of that power and the showing of grace to the undeserving when they turn to Him in repentance” Roy and Revel Hession (ref#100, p31,32).

“For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite” (Isa 57:15 ESV).

GREAT GOD, You are unsearchable in Your judgments and Your paths are untraceable. Yet You make Yourself approachable!

VALLEYS TO MOUNTAINTOPS

THE MEASURE OF MY LOVE TO GOD

1/31/2016

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 12.56.23 PMI sighed to my husband on the way home from church, “If I could just go through the day like I feel right now.” The adrenalin-filled morning was over but the adrenalin had not completely dissipated. I wasn’t tired, I didn’t hurt and I felt like I could accomplish what I wanted to without struggling. But the reality is that I’m here at the computer just three hours later feeling physically miserable and mentally and spiritually empty.

I fell asleep reading, I developed a headache napping, forced myself out of bed but then fell back asleep in the chair trying to pray. Some Sabbath. Suddenly my Sunday private time with GOD loomed more difficult than speaking spiritually to my brothers and sisters at morning church.

There doesn’t seem to be anymore to record in this journal entry. I sit here wondering what I can do with myself in the nine more hours of this Sunday?

***

Well, the bit of reading I did accomplish, “I sensed God was saying to me through a thought planted in my mind” (ref#192, p134), from Jerry Bridges that: “…the extent to which we realize and acknowledge our own sinfulness, and the extent to which we realize the total forgiveness and cleansing from those sins, will determine the measure of our love to God” (ref#192, p126).

It seems prudent as I sit here flat-lining as a result of the morning adrenalin rush to compile two lists, (1) of besetting sins I struggle with and (2) ways GOD works to forgive my sins.

As I begin this list I am thoroughly convinced that I sin lots and lots and, through CHIRST, GOD deems me forgiven for them. This is simply a fact in my head. However it seems quite possible that if I don’t review how I came to believe that statement I will eventually wonder how I ever believed it. Yes, indeed, if not reviewed that truth will fade over time. So, let me contemplate and make my two lists:

After spending a half hour or so making the lists, I am no longer tired. I listed 14 sins. I would call them folders of sins because each word represents an explosion of specific sins in specific circumstances.

I listed 34 facts about JESUS the CHRIST—facts that remind me of His character on earth and now in heaven. The list makes me realize how intent He was to His FATHER’s calling on Him—how perfectly He accomplished it—and how much now He lives for me, one of His very own. I see how easily and freely and with so much compassion He forgives my sins. The audacity of me to entertain the thought of carrying any guilt because of my sins. He so convincingly has made an end of them. I have complete freedom to love Him and love Him more than ever because I have spent a pleasurable time in my mind and in Scripture reviewing His attributes.

SABBATH

WE CAN BE HOLY AND ALSO HAPPY

“…remembering the Sabbath by keeping it holy is integral to…life as the people who are sanctified or ‘made holy’) by the Lord…” ESV Study Bible, (ref#125, p 196, [Ex 31:12-17]).

“…He [GOD] cannot compromise His holiness the least bit. His goal is to conform us to the likeness of His Son, and Jesus was completely without sin…(Heb 4:15)…we cannot…keep these commitments perfectly, but keeping them perfectly should at least be our aim” Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p160).

“…men will never worship God with a sincere heart, or be roused to fear and obey Him with sufficient zeal until they properly understand how much they are indebted to His mercy…” John Calvin (ref#192, p161).

“…it is the continual reminding of ourselves of His grace and mercy that provides the only enduring motivation to sustain such a commitment and keep it from becoming oppressive. That is why we must preach the gospel to ourselves everyday” Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p162).

“Many contemporary Christians seem to think that if they don’t study their Bibles, if they don’t familiarize themselves with the standards and principles God has given in the Bible, they will not be responsible for their sins committed in ignorance. Not so!…we had better become careful students of the revealed Word of God, for it is disobedience to His word that constitutes sin” Bob Deffinbaugh (ref#196).

Again, we can be roused to fear and obedience by recounting His grace and mercy as we conclude He keeps us because we cannot keep ourselves. Therefore a great Sabbath exercise is to list present sins then list the ways CHRIST pours out grace and mercy.

“We are being influenced by the forces of sinful society or we are being influenced by the word of GOD. There is no third option” Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p168).

SUPPLICATION

SICKNESS – LIFE THREATENING

[The majority of our prayers concern physical health.  We all know someone who is dealing with a life-ending disease.  Here is an opportunity to pray for them.  Fill their name in the blanks.]

LOSING FAITH (Lamentations 3)

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 4.19.53 PM…FATHER, the worst affliction does not only come from “the power and malice of the enemy,” but from You also (ref#112, p654, [Lam 3:1]). When Your hand is turned against ____, surely (he/she) can think that Your heart is turned against (him/her) also (ref#18, [Lam 3:3]).

____’s suffering has extended so long she may have forgotten that in You there is everlasting strength, and You are (his/her) never-failing hope (ref#18, [Lam 3:18]).

Teach (him/her) to cultivate thankfulness; soften (him/her) with such activity so (his/her) heart is prepared for the truth the SPIRIT expresses. Is this tribulation, in at least some part, a consequence—a result triggered by a hard heart?

“It becomes us to have humble hearts under humbling providences, and to renew our penitent humiliations for sin upon every remembrance of our afflictions and miseries” (ref#18, Lam 3:19]).

May ____ come soon to realize You never change—that Your steadfast love never ceases and Your mercies never come to an end (Lam 3:22). Only You can cause (his/her) thoughts to move off (his/her) acute suffering and onto confidence in Your character and past mercies (ref#56, p1138, [Lam 3:22-24]).