3 “For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay. 4 “Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith.“ Habakkuk 2:3-4 NASB
Father, thank you for Your promises, Your deliverance and Your Word. Thank you for Your love, Your power and Your might that You wield on my behalf. Thank you for going before me and coming behind me. Thank you for Your favor.
Father, please search my heart to make it right and suitable for You. Take my heart and purge it of any prideful or soulish desires. I yearn to be in full communion with You, believing Your promises and waiting patiently and hopefully for Your timing.
“Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Matthew 26:38 NIV
I have the sense that prayer creates forward motion…on many planes: physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. Active prayer engages with hope and anticipation. It means we lean INTO it. We lean FORWARD in prayer. I liken it to a suspenseful movie or conversation that makes you lean so far forward that you are on the edge of your seat. It feels like if you move one millimeter closer, you are going to fall right out of your chair. Plop! Right onto the floor.
I believe that it is that supernatural tension that keeps us suspended in mid-air. It keeps us from falling out of our spiritual chair, so to speak.
I have never prayed so hard that I sweat drops of blood like Jesus. However as I have prayed during particularly hard times, I have felt the sensation that God was carrying me. That I was staying afloat by supernatural means. I believe the only way that occurred is through a prayer full of surrender and total reliance on God. I still struggle. I still mess up. I start picking up old patterns of self-reliance. Ugh. I know it will get better! I am so thankful that God never gives up on me. Sometimes I have to walk through painful reminders to get back to that place of full surrender all over again.
I remain thankful. I know God never leaves me or forsakes me. Even when my hard head gets in the way!
Father, thank you for Your love and Your grace and Your mercy. Teach me to pray. Teach me to pray like Jesus. Teach me to rely on You. Teach me Your ways.
“Giving grows out of the heart—otherwise, you’ve reluctantly grumbled “yes” because you felt you had to or because you couldn’t say “no,” but this isn’t the way God wants it. For we know that “God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7 The Voice
It all starts at the heart. Everything grows and springs forth out of our heart. Our words. Our motives. Our plans. Our intentions.
How can we learn to be content with what we have?
- View material goods as given by God to be used wisely
- Work hard to earn and save money
- Give to the Lord’s work and those in need
- Remember to be thankful and to enjoy what God gives
Lord, tend to my heart. Teach me how to be a good steward with every blessing that You give. Help me to use all things with a kingdom mindset.
”Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 1 Peter 2:1NIV
Malice: settled overgrown anger, retained until it inflames a man to design mischief; to do mischief or delight in any mischief that befalls another.
Deceit: flattery, falsehood and delusion which is a craftiness imposing upon another’s ignorance or weakness to his damage.
Hypocrisy: counterfeit piety; counterfeit friendship – those who give high complements that they do not believe, make promises which they never intend to perform or pretend friendship when mischief lies in their hearts.
Envy: grieving at the good and welfare of another, at their abilities, prosperity, fame, or successful labors.
Slander: detraction; speaking against another or defaming him.
2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 1 Peter 2:2NIV
Salvation: the word of God, rightly used, does not leave a man as it finds him, but improves and makes him better.
3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” 1 Peter 2:3 NIV
Taste the Lord: grace is discovered by an experimental taste; there must be an immediate consumption of it. We cannot taste at a distance.
In order to taste grace we have to be united in Christ by faith. Through faith we taste God’s goodness in all our provision, our circumstances, our spiritual concerns, our fears and temptations. We do this by being in His Word and worshiping Him daily. When we “feed” on God’s Word we taste and experience His grace to the fullest.
Lord, help me to feed upon Your Word daily and put aside foolish things – malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander. Help me to grow up in Your salvation.
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” Matthew 25:13 NIV
As I read some of the commentaries on this parable of the ten virgins, I learned that all the virgins — both the foolish and wise — knew that delays were common. All of them rested and slept while they waited. All of them had the same information but only half had taken steps to be prepared for the bridegroom to arrive.
The virgins had a job to do. They were supposed to escort the bride to the bridegroom; they were supposed to light her path. Those that were not prepared were an insult to the bride.
It occurred to me that the church is the bride of Christ. By not being prepared and diligent – we let the church down. We are an insult to the body of Christ, the church. I do not want to be a foolish virgin. I want my oil containers to be full. I want my torch prepared to be lit as long as is required in order to meet the bridegroom.
Father, thank you for every preparation that You have in store for me. I welcome Your preparation, Your discipline and correction. Teach me Your ways. I surrender to Your teaching so that I can honor You and Your church.
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8 NIV
Our God is all about relationship. He wants to walk with us. He’s always there for us but sometimes we prefer to walk by ourselves. Have you ever taken a walk with someone and they always try to walk ahead or lag way behind? It’s really hard to communicate if they are not walking WITH you. In order to walk with God, He asks that out of love for Him we respect His ways. His ways are good ways and they certainly save us a lot of heartache. But most of all, if our heart is turned toward God, we will have intimacy with Him.
The deeper that intimacy grows, the more the desire to please Him grows. The desires of His heart become the desires of our heart.
Father, I pray that my heart will be so surrendered to You so that Your ways become mine.