Friday, December 25, 2015

Every Need

It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.
Psalm 118:8

God is the only One who can truly satisfy your heart's desire for wholeness. When you feel lonely or disconnected, what you're really sensing is your soul's longing to be one with Him. And He alone knows how to bring that profound intimacy about in your life.
   Once you recognize this and turn to the Lord to satisfy your loneliness, you are in a healthier position to receive the love and affection of the people God sends to you. Rather than become emotionally dependent on them, you are able to contribute to their lives and be involved in a wholesome, caring, mutual relationship with them.
   However, understand the Lord is a jealous God. He wants a relationship with you, and if he sees that you're relying on another person to do what only He can, He often finds a way to end that relationship as it once was.
   Only the Savior can provide everything you need to live a peaceful, joyful, fulfilling life. So look to Him first and foremost to satisfy the needs of your heart.

Father, please forgive me for looking to others to fill my needs.
Refocus my heart on Your wonderful presence and provision, amen.

In His presence . . . take refuge in His perfect provision.

Stanley, Charles F. "Every Need." Every Day in His Presence: 365 Devotions. Nashville: Thomas Nelson. 2014. page 320. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Take up the whole armor of God...praying always...

“Take up the whole armor of God…praying always…” (Ephesians 6:13, 18)

You must learn to wrestle against the things that hinder your communication with God, and wrestle in prayer for other people; but to wrestle with God in prayer is unscriptural. If you ever do wrestle with God, you will be crippled for the rest of your life. If you grab hold of God and wrestle with Him, as Jacob did, simply because He is working in a way that doesn’t meet with your approval, you force Him to put you out of joint (see Genesis 32:24-25). Don’t become a cripple by wrestling with the ways of God, but be someone who wrestles before God with the things of this world, because “we are more than conquerors through Him...” (Romans 8:37). Wrestling before God makes an impact in His kingdom. If you ask me to pray for you, and I am not complete in Christ, my prayer accomplishes nothing. But if I am complete in Christ, my prayer brings victory all the time. Prayer is effective only when there is completeness—“take up the whole armor of God…”
Always make a distinction between God’s perfect will and His permissive will, which He uses to accomplish His divine purpose for our lives. God’s perfect will is unchangeable. It is with His permissive will, or the various things that He allows into our lives, that we must wrestle before Him. It is our reaction to these things allowed by His permissive will that enables us to come to the point of seeing His perfect will for us. “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God…” (Romans 8:28)—to those who remain true to God’s perfect will—His calling in Christ Jesus. God’s permissive will is the testing He uses to reveal His true sons and daughters. We should not be spineless and automatically say, “Yes, it is the Lord’s will.” We don’t have to fight or wrestle with God, but we must wrestle before God with things. Beware of lazily giving up. Instead, put up a glorious fight and you will find yourself empowered with His strength.
“My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers December 16