Great Promise of Completion

Philippians 1:6 says, “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”  It is essential to remember that we are a work in progress.  Our trials in life are training tools as God works His purposes in us.

Hebrews 12:11 Amplified says, “For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it (a harvest of fruit which consists in righteousness–in conformity to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with God).”

Hebrews 13:21 says, “Make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and every.  Amen”

His ‘working’ is His resurrection power enabling us to do His will.  Ephesians 1:19 says, “And what is the exceeding greatness of His power towards us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power.”  It is speaking of the same power that God used to raise Jesus from the dead is working in us as well.

Ephesians 3:20 again speaks of His power at work.  “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”

Here is the process.  Isaiah 32:17 says, “The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.”  The Lord continually works His righteousness into our lives.  I liken it to a potter crafting a vessel on a wheel.  First the potter takes the hard dry clay.  Then begins to work water into it to soften it.  Once is it malleable, it is placed on the wheel.  Through consistent steady pressure it is centered.  Until it is centered it cannot be formed into a vessel.

Our trials ‘center’ us on the Lord.  They bring everything into sharp focus on Him.  Trials help us realize afresh how we are absolutely dependent on Him.  The squeezing, the pressure, and the pain are all part of His work to conform our thoughts, purpose, and actions to His will.

We are complete in Him.  That is our eternal standing that was established at the cross.  He died to set us free eternally.  Romans 5:2 says, “Through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

Here is another verse on standing.  Ephesians 1:13 says, “In whom you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.”  Sealed for eternity.  Nothing, and no one can break that seal.

Our state is our walk with the Lord.  It fluxes, ebbs, and flows according to how receptive we are in His righteous work of centering.  We walk in the flesh, or we walk in the Spirit.  The Holy Spirit encourages us to be steadfast, immoveable, and always abounding in the work of the Lord in 1 Corinthians 15:58.

As we stand in the promises of His word, we are strengthened to resist the temptations to veer off His chosen path into our own pursuits.  I encourage you to stand and to keep standing in the wake of the enemy’s volley of fiery dart temptations.  God’s promises are backed by His character, His attributes, and His power.

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Overcoming Fear

This morning I was praying for someone that is really struggling with fears.  The Lord put these words into my mouth: help them to turn their fears into proclamations of faith.  I thought about that and He reminded me of Psalm 56:3.

Psalm 56 was written when the Philistines captured him in Gath.  Verse 3 says, “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.”  The words, I will turned David’s fearful situation to a proclamation of faith.

There are many Psalms that use the words I will to express desire or determination.  Psalm 146:2 says, “While I live I will praise the Lord; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.”

Psalm 145:5 says, “I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works.”

Psalm 63:7 says, “Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.”

Here is a chorus from Psalm 63:7-8:  My soul follows hard after Thee.  Early in the morning will I rise up and seek Thee.  And because Thou hast been my help
under the shadow of Thy wing I will rejoice

In the face of our obstacles, whether past, present, or future, we proclaim the Lord.  David said in Psalm 23:4, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”

Active faith is to be fully convinced in the now of our lives.  Abraham is a great example for us.  Though his body was as good as dead, and Sarah was past child bearing years, he still proclaimed the Lord’s faithfulness.

Romans 4:20-21 says, “He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.”

Today, I encourage you to face your perceived or real obstacles with proclamations of faith straight from His word.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are You A Seeker?

David wrote Psalm 27:8.  It says, “When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”  The word (seek) in the Strong’s means: to diligently look for, to search earnestly until the object of the search is located.

When I read Song of Solomon 2:14, I think of the Lord.  I read it like this.  “O my Dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the cliff, let me see Your face, let me hear Your voice; for Your voice is sweet, and Your face is lovely.”

David was a seeker.  Psalm 63:1 says, “O God, Your are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.”

Years ago I read “Pursuit of God” by A. W. Tozer and it radically changed my quiet time.  I would use his prayer-words at the end of his chapters.  Such as, “I long to long for You; I thirst to be thirsty more; I desire to desire You.”

Psalm 42:1 says, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God.”  Making A. W. Tozer’s prayer-words my own, began to develop in me a desire to know the Lord through an intimate communion that could not be rivaled by anything in this world.

Here is a new song the Lord gave me years ago.

Song of the Altar

In the midst of adversity when trouble surrounds me.  I come into Your presence and I build an altar.  I remember how You met me time and time again and I bow in worship.

Nothing can overtake me when I hide in You.  Nothing can overwhelm me when I look to You.  I set my eyes on You and I gaze into Your face.  I bask in the love of Your eyes full of grace. 

No one can comfort me like You O Lord.  I will make Your presence my abiding place as I hide in You from the tempest of this storm.  Yes I’ll hide in You as I bow and worship at Your feet.

May this post encourage your to set your eyes on Him, to spend time in His Presence, and to enter into deep communion with the Lover of your soul.

Fear Attacks Faith

Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”  His word, “I am with you” means that He is always present.  Every moment of our life He is attentive, aware, constant, and faithful to orchestrate all that pertains to us.

Fear attacks the mind.  When fear attacks we must not give it any credence, or even another thought.  Truth stands now and forever.  When we transfer our fear-thought to one of truth we will stand unshaken.

What the enemy of our soul wants to do is to shake and destroy our faith.  Philippians 4:6 says to be anxious for nothing.  Fear has torment.  Fear torments our minds through the enemy lies that we believed.  Once we believe them they become imbedded in our hearts.

Our heart is our belief center.  Romans 10:10 says that with our heart we believe.  Hebrews 13:9 says, “…For it is good that the heart be established by grace…”  Faith and grace were needed for salvation, and remain essentials in our daily walk with the Lord.  Fear is a spirit that attacks our mind to get to our believing heart.  The enemy’s goal is to shake our faith.

Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”  Vacillating between fear and faith causes us to be double-minded and unstable in all our ways (James 1:6-8).

Perfect peace is maintained through trust.  If we acknowledge fear when it attacks our mind, our brain will alert our body that there is danger.  Our body reacts in fight or flight, even though there is no danger.  Constant fight or flight robs our adrenals, and throws us into fatigue.  It also stops our digestion.  Digestion is not needed when we are fleeing from a real danger.

Here are the words from an old hymn. Like a river glorious is God’s perfect peace,
Over all victorious, in its bright increase; Perfect, yet it floweth fuller every day,
Perfect, yet it groweth deeper all the way.  Hidden in the hollow of His blessed hand, Never foe can follow, never traitor stand; Not a surge of worry, not a shade of care,
Not a blast of hurry touch the spirit there. Every joy or trial falleth from above,
Traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love; We may trust Him fully, all for us to do;
They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true. Refrain: Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.

Relational Breaches

I’m reading the gospel of John.  As I read yesterday, the Lord showed me something I had not considered before.  Jesus had just miraculously fed the 5,000.  Then He went by Himself to the mountain to get away from the crowd.  His disciples got in a boat and headed across the sea for Capernaum.  A great wind came up.  Then they saw Jesus walking towards them on the water.

They were afraid.  John 6:20-21 says, “But He said to them, ‘It is I; do not be afraid.’  Then they willingly received Him into the boat…”  Note their openness to Him once they let go of their fear.

Fear creates barriers that inhibit open relationships.  Paul spoke this to the Corinthians.  2 Corinthians 6:11-13. Verse 12 Amplified says, “There is no lack of room for you in (our hearts), but you lack room in your own affection (for us).”

1 John 4:18 says that fear has torment.  Skip over to Matthew 18:34. It is the fruit reaped of the unforgiving servant.  His unforgivness turned him over to the tormentors.  Verse 35 says, “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”  Relational fear is a tormentor.

Fear of rejection or of being hurt again causes the heart to withdraw.  It’s a false barrier of self-protection.  We cannot know what another is thinking unless they tell us.

Our thoughts control our brain and our brain controls our body.  If a person is thinking negatively about you, it will be evident in their body language.  It will not be open and receptive.  Consider 1 Timothy 6:11 as your course of action.  It says, “But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.”

God gives grace to the humble.  When we humble ourselves He will give us the grace to walk through the situation without taking up an offense.  Romans 12:18 says, “If it is possible as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.”

I have this verse written on a card taped on my cabinet.  Titus 3:2 says, “To speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.”

Being Still

Stillness is an non-action verb.  We live in a society of mobility.  Here are the words from David describing the Good Shepherd.  Psalm 23:2-3 says, “He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters.  He restores my soul…”

I am practicing stillness.  It’s not easy.  My mind flits to things I need to remember. Thoughts interrupt my quiet.  I asked the Lord for wisdom.  He helped me understand that it is first in my mind.  When my mind is quieted, then my thoughts and body will quiet.

I wanted to envision sitting beside His still waters in a verdant meadow.  I have no still waters near me.  The Sacramento River runs behind our mobile park property.  It is never still.  Years ago, when I lived near Washoe Lake, I would sometimes drive around the lake on a still day.  The reflection of the mountains and the poplar trees was stunning.  I had to stop just to take it all in.

When I want to be still, I remember the lake and the reflections.  I am able to see in my mind what that looked like.  I then take my mind, through my thoughts, envisioning myself being there in person.  How does it make me feel?  Calm inside.  I am at rest.  I’m able to focus on the Lord without other things flitting in to disturb the tranquility.  In this quietness, He restores my soul.

I downloaded this scene from the internet.  May you envision yourself right there, drinking in the tranquility, the beauty, and the life of serene peace.  When we come to Him, He will give us rest.

Still Waters Pano

Indwelling Fullness

John 1:16 says, “And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.”  At the moment of our salvation, we received His fullness.  All of Who He is: His power, His attributes, His glory dwells within.

Proverbs 3:6 says, “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”  The Hebrew word acknowledge is yada.  Spiritual application means direct intimate communion with the Lord.  In that intimacy He reveals Himself.

John 14:21 says, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me, and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

Remember the verses about the Mt of Transfiguration?  Matthew 17:8 says, “When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.”  A question for you: do you see Jesus only when you are resting in Him?

Resting is being.  It is the absence of doing.  Not an art in our culture.  Psalm 23:2-3a says, “He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.  He restores my soul…”

In our resting time we are hidden in His Presence.  We drink in His goodness with all His power and attributes.  It is our time of refreshing.  We get refueled, restored, renewed.  We become aware that very cell and tissue in our body is encircled and enveloped in His resurrection power.

Here is one of my favorite verses in the Amplified.  Ephesians 3:19. (That you may really come) to know (practically, through experience for yourselves) the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge (without experience); that you may be filled (through all your being) unto all the fullness of God (may have the richest measure of the divine Presence and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself)!

I want to encourage you to take time to rest during your day.  I’ve just started again.  I’m in a new season.  I’m making it a priority in my day.  Resting in Him is like an essential oil.  It is the essence that clings to us that is a sweet savor to the Lord.