If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Luke 11:13 NIV
Our Father in Heaven has created us with purpose and with destiny. We are not saved by accident or coincidence. The Lord chose us before the foundations of the earth. He has gifted us and He has anointed us. He desires to pour out all that He has planned for our lives. But it all comes as we seek Him in the place of prayer.
God has created the earth in a way that He chooses to operate through the prayers of His people. We will never fully understand how prayer works until we stand before the Lord in His kingdom. But we know that time and time again we are called by the Lord to pray. He not only calls us to pray but tells us that He hears us when we pray and He responds.
There is much that takes place in the spiritual realm that we cannot see nor fully understand. But we are called to pray and to do so by faith. The Lord has called us to ask, seek, and knock. He has even told us that if men who are evil know how to give good gifts to their children when they ask, how much more will our Father in Heaven respond at the prayers of His children.
The enemy will always try to discourage us from the place of prayer. But we need to recognize that it is simply a lie and deception. God has called us to pray in His word. He has called us to pray without ceasing. He has called us to pray according to His will and in the name of Jesus. This is not complicated, we need to simply open our mouths and press into the place of prayer. May we flood the throne of Heaven with prayers and may our prayers never be limited by our fears or our human understanding. May we simply pray as the Holy Spirit leads and simply be obedient. May we simply be a people and a house of prayer.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. – Psalm 19:1-2 NIV
God has revealed His glory in His creation. When we stop and simply observe all that God has created it is incredible. He has spoken all things into existence. The Lord will continually teach us about His kingdom through His creation.
There are some who would look at the beauty of creation and reject the existence of God. But people are without excuse. His beauty and glory surrounds us on a daily basis. The more we draw near and seek Him, the more we simply become consumed by Him. May our whole hearts be given to the Lord. May we desire to simply glorify and honor His name.
12 So, as God’s own chosen people, who are holy [set apart, sanctified for His purpose] and well-beloved [by God Himself], put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience [which has the power to endure whatever injustice or unpleasantness comes, with good temper]; 13 bearing graciously with one another, and willingly forgiving each other if one has a cause for complaint against another; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so should you forgive. Colossians 3:12-13 AMP
We are God’s chosen people. We are called to be holy because He is holy. As we live our lives for Him each day our lives become a vessel of his glory. Our lives have been set apart for His purposes. As we walk with Christ we are sanctified on a daily basis.
We are called to put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Simply put we are told to put on the character and nature of Christ. As we seek the Lord and abide in Him our hearts are transformed. Our hearts become one with His and we begin to see the world around us as Jesus sees it.
We are called to bear graciously with one another. We live in a world of broken people and even in the body of Christ we are a people in process. We have people who are at all different growth and maturity levels and because of this we must bear with one another. God because of His grace and His mercy has poured out His love upon us and therefore we must pour out our love on one another.
We must be willing to forgive one another. One of the greatest weapons of the enemy is offense. He has used offense to create divisions in families, marriages, and churches. But if we are to truly have the heart of Christ it is a heart of forgiveness. It was Jesus who cried upon the cross “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” as He hung upon the cross. Let us love one another and be the sons and daughters God has called us to be.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:2
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. God’s word is full of promises. He is always faithful to His word. He is our Good Shepherd and no matter where we find ourselves in life the Lord is always leading us.
As we draw near to Him each day we come to know His voice. As we draw near to the Lord we grow in intimacy and maturity with Him. It is vital in this day and age that we are able to discern and distinguish the voice of the Lord. There are many voice out there trying to garner our attention. But the one voice we must listen to is that of the Lord.
When you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. Sometimes the challenges we face in life can seem like a mighty river that is simply trying to drown us. We can feel overwhelmed and feel as if God has almost abandoned us. But it is in these moments when the Lord is doing His deepest work. It is when He is leading us through the river that we learn to stand upon His word and not rely upon our feelings.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. As I meditate upon this it reminds me of the account of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. In the face of opposition and under the threat that they would be thrown into the fiery furnace, they stood their ground and held fast to the faith they had in Jehovah. They trusted the Lord and knew that the Lord would surround and protect them. Even though the furnace was turned up seven times hotter they were not touched by the fire nor did their clothes have the smell of smoke. But the soldiers who brought them to the furnace died as they themselves encounter the heat on the outside of the furnace.
It is vital that we study God’s word daily. It is based upon His promises to us to sustain and lead us. He will always meet our needs and He will always bring to pass His plans and purposes in our lives by His love, grace, and mercy. In our most difficult moments we must simply fix our eyes upon Him and His promises for our lives.
Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. – 1 Chronicles 29:11 NASB
God is the only one who deserves to be worshiped. So many times people in this world spend their lives worshiping celebrities, people in power, and even those in ministry. But when we examine God’s word and take time to meditate upon the greatness of God we see that He alone deserves our worship.
Satan’s greatest mistakes was in his pride he believed he deserved to be worship. He allowed pride to fill his heart and his eyes to become focused on himself. Today he still tries to steal the worship only God deserves. It is when our worship is given to God alone that we truly experience all that God has for us. And worship is not merely the songs we sing it is the way we live our lives. The more we come to know the Lord and grow in Him, the more He simply becomes our obsessions and our pursuit.
18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope for His loving kindness,
19 To deliver their soul from death
And to keep them alive in famine. Psalm 33:18-19
To fear the Lord means to reverently worship and live for Him each day. It doesn’t mean that we live in terror of the Lord because those who fear Him are those who truly have come to know His love and His grace.
Everything God does in our lives is because He loves us and wants what is best for us. There are times when He closes doors and allows difficult circumstances because He knows and understands what He is accomplishing is our lives.
He protects and watches over those who serve Him with their whole heart. It is impossible to experience all that the Lord has for us if we fail to walk in obedience to the Lord and seek Him. Those who simply treat God like some genie that they only cry out to when they want something fail to understand Him and fail to truly know Him.
The Lord has promised to meet our every need. Even in the midst of a famine the Lord would still provide our every need. He is our good Father and Shepherd. He holds all things in His hands and nothing is too difficult for Him. May we seek and cry out to Him daily. May we commit our whole heart unto Him. He is returning soon and is calling us to remove anything from our lives that would hinder our relationship with Him.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 NKJV
There is great blessing in simply trusting in the Lord. In this life we will face trials and tribulations. We will faces many storms on our journey with Jesus. But through everything we face God will sustain us. He will sustain us by His grace and power. As we grow in Christ we learn to trust the Lord more and more in all situations.
Growing in Christ is a very uncomfortable thing. Because what God is continually doing is He is challenging us. He is pruning us and cutting away the aspects of our sinful selfish nature and He is replacing it with the character and nature of Christ. He has given us His word each day to feed off of because the enemy is continually trying to bombard our minds with lies and deceptions.
God is faithful in every situation. The dreams and desires He has placed within us, He will be faithful to complete and fulfill. Many times the enemy will fill our hearts and minds with doubts and fears that some how God has forgotten us or somehow we have missed it. But as we abide in Him each day and walk closely with Him we will be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river. Hold fast my friends, God is always faithful. He is leading and guiding us each day and preparing us for His glory.
3 He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Isaiah 53:3
These verse described prophetically what Jesus would go through at Calvary. He was despised and rejected because of us. He knew the price that had to be paid at Calvary and He knew the pain and suffering He would face. But it was His love for us that drove Him to choose to come to the earth and lay down His life.
Many in the world today despise the name of Jesus. They reject the existence of God and want nothing to do with Him. They want to simply live their lives to fulfill the selfish desires that exist within their hearts. But God in His grace and mercy continues day after day to knock on human heart. The Lord continues to advance the gospel throughout the earth.
When we understand the grace and mercy of God we will surrender our hearts and lives to Jesus Christ. To follow Christ means to simply give Jesus all that we are. His will becomes the driving force in our lives. We simply live our lives to bring glory and honor to His name.
The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake. Psalm 23:1-3
The Lord is our Shepherd. He leads and guides us each day one step at a time. He provides for everything that we need. As we abide in Him and we seek Him each day He fills us with His peace and His presence. He prepares every step.
In Him we have nothing to fear. There are so many in the world today who simply live in fear and uncertainty. They spend their lives pursuing the lust of the flesh and in the end their lives are left with darkness and emptiness.
David was a man after God’s own heart. He was a man of worship who spent his life drawing near to the Lord. He was not perfect, but through everything his heart was committed to the Lord. If we desire to walk in obedience and holiness it only happens as we abide in the Lord each day and seek Him with our whole heart.
27 Why do you complain, Jacob?
Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
my cause is disregarded by my God”?
28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:27-31
There are times in our walk with God when it may feel that the Lord has forgotten us or that He doesn’t see the trial or challenge we are currently facing. But God has designed our lives and it is not by accident that we are following Christ. He has so designed our lives to cause us to continue to grow in maturity and intimacy with Him.
The Lord has not forgotten us. His strength and His understanding has no end. As we wait upon the Lord it is the Lord who strengthens us and enables us to overcome. Even the young at some point grow tired and weary, but those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength.
One of the most difficult thing to do is to wait upon the Lord. We can’t see beyond today and all we have is God’s word and His promises for us. He has given us His word and in His word we have example of time and time again of God being faithful in the lives of those who follow after Him and serve them.
There is a very deep work that takes place in our hearts as we wait upon the Lord. The Lord is continually stretching and growing our faith. He is teaching us to walk according to His word and the leading of the Holy Spirit. Throughout the history of God’s people God has brought His servants through seasons of waiting and it is in those seasons that God has done His greatest work.
We live in a microwave culture in which we want everything and we want it right now. But it doesn’t work the same with the Lord and His kingdom. When He calls someone He takes His time shaping and molding their life like a piece of clay. Often when we are waiting on the Lord it is like a bottle in a wine cellar that ages over time and becomes better with time. Waiting is not easy. But waiting is essential for us experiencing and walking in every promise and plan God has for us.