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Posts Tagged ‘power of God’

Stress and Stillness

July 15th, 2014

“Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God.” Job 37:14 NKJV.

The pace of schedules and noise of surroundings generate stress.

My thoughts and comments today are about “stress and stillness.”

Stress is your body’s reaction to challenges, the impulse of “fight or flight.” Hurry, worry and weariness will leave you vulnerable to stress. Its negative and debilitating effects are cumulative, diminishing your joy and optimism and even damaging health. Stress can result from concerns about health, relationships, pressures, finances, past mistakes, or future fears.

In daily life, stress is heightened by the frantic pace of our schedules and the deafening noise of our surroundings. Prolonged, those are wearying to body, soul, and spirit. The effects manifest interpersonally in relationships, marriages, or families, as well as intrapersonally, affecting yourself mentally, emotionally, physically, and most importantly, spiritually. Your spiritual life and personal relationship with God is diminished and less satisfying.

Isaiah discovered, “Those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength . . they will run and not get tired; they will walk and not became weary.” Read Isaiah 40:28-31 NAS. There is so much that you miss when you fail to take the necessary time to be quiet before God. Job, in the midst of the whirlwind of experiences and the confusion he felt, received wise counsel, “Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God.” Job 37:14 NKJV. Life makes better sense when you place God at the center of it all.

There are two concerns that I have. First, the pace of your schedule compromises the priority of God’s voice. See Exodus 3:1-10 NKJV. You will not hear the voice of God in your heart without quieting your spirit to wait and listen. Secondly, the noise of your surroundings competes with the clarity of God’s voice. See 1 Samuel 3:1-11 NKJV. Any time but especially when life is unclear and uncertain, spend time with God’s Word, quietly in His presence.

The Psalmist David was deliberate, I have stilled and quieted myself, just as a small child is quiet with its mother. Yes, like a small child is my soul within me.” Psalm 131:2 NLT. At all times, you need to learn this truth, “Be still and know that I am God.” Read Psalm 46. Be intentional; it is important.

Some years ago, a book, Restoring Your Spiritual Passion (Gordon MacDonald, author) influenced my spiritual disciplines. MacDonald named three things essential to recovering passion when experiencing lost purpose, clouded vision, or confused direction: an address book with the names of “special friends who encourage you to obey God,” a map indicating the location of “safe places where you rediscover who God is,” and a calendar marking “still times when you hear what God says.” Respectively, each corresponds to three vital, Biblical principles of Fellowship, Sanctuary, and Sabbath.

For your personal study, I suggest consideration of events in the lives of Elijah, Jehoshaphat, and Moses. (1) “Be still when you need to hear a word from God.” Read 1 Kings 19:7-16 KJV. (2) “Be still when you need to know the plans of God.” Read 2 Chronicles 20:10-22 NKJV. (3) “Be still when you need to see the power of God.” Exodus 14:10-16/30-31 NKJV.

Today, my prayer for you is to truly know God in a deep and personal way.

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Prayer and God’s Supremacy

March 12th, 2014

“Our Father . . Yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever.” Matthew 6:13 NKJV.

If God were not sovereign, prayer would be mere words thrown into an empty heaven.

My thoughts and comments today are about “prayer and God’s supremacy.”

In life, it is important to know who is in charge. Most of us like to think that we are, but that would be inaccurate. There is One who is supreme and rules and reigns in the affairs of men. Until you recognize His rightful place, life will not work out well for you. In the Lord’s Prayer, we have considered the “Pattern for Prayer, God’s sovereignty, God’s kingdom, God’s providence, God’s forgiveness, and God’s reinforcement.” Let’s look at prayer’s majestic conclusion.

Prayer is noblest when acclaiming who God is. When you know who God is, you learn who you are in Him. Jesus taught His disciples, “[When you pray, say], ‘Our Father . . Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’” Matthew 6:13 NKJV. If God were not sovereign and supreme, prayer would be mere words thrown into an empty heaven. If He were not Lord and King, why would anyone bother to pray? Prayer humbles one’s self before an omnipotent, all wise God. Purposely, the Lord’s Prayer begins and ends with recognition of the Kingdom of God and His will, as ought every prayer to rest on those enduring truths. Only between such encompassing truths can your own needs be properly addressed.

“Our Father, Yours is the kingdom . .” Prayer extends the righteous rulership of God and His Son. Prayer claims borders and boundaries for the Kingdom of God and pushes back the intrusions of darkness, “pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God . .” Read 2 Corinthians 10-3-5 NKJV.

“Our Father, Yours is the power . .” Prayer asserts the incomparable power of God. Using the example of Elijah, the Bible says, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.” James 5:16-18 NLT. Prayer aligns your heart and faith with the purposes of God and releases the power of God into even the most desperate, long-standing circumstances.

“Our Father, Yours is the glory forever . .” Prayer concerns itself with achieving the glory of God. David avowed God’s supremacy, “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is Yours. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; You are exalted as head over all.“ 1 Chronicles 29:10-13 NIV.

“Our Father . . Amen!” Prayer aligns your desires with God’s will. “Amen” is so much more than a religious formality to conclude your prayer. The word triumphantly agrees with God and affirms your conviction, “Make it so!”

Again, let me share from a collection of prayers by the Puritans, “Let me know that the work of prayer is to bring my will to Thine, and that without this it is folly to pray. I can only succeed when I pray according to Thy precept and promise, and to be done as it pleases Thee, according to Thy sovereign will. When Thou commandest me to pray, it is because Thou wilt give me the thing promised, for Thy glory, as well as for my good.” (The Valley of Vision).

My prayer for you today is that your prayers overflow with acclamation and adoration.

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The Christmas Mystery and Miracle

December 23rd, 2013

“Great is the mystery . . God was manifest in the flesh.” 1 Timothy 3:16 NKJV.

No word from God is incredible, if no work of God is impossible.

My thoughts and comments today are about “the Christmas mystery and miracle.”

Christmas is a wonderful time of year, mysterious and miraculous in every aspect. The living, eternal God came into our world – at the most unexpected time, after four hundred silent years; to the most unlikely place, a stable in Bethlehem; in the most unlikely form, a baby. You don’t have to explain the mystery; God invites you to simply embrace the miracle. Paul described this incredible but true Christmas miracle this way, “Without controversy great is the mystery . . God was manifest in the flesh.” 1 Timothy 3:16 NKJV.

The heart and reason for Christmas is best expressed in the most familiar of Scriptures, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16-17 NIV. Bethlehem’s cradle foreshadowed Calvary’s cross. Isaiah prophesied, “Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given.” Isaiah 9:6-7 NKJV. Christmas is when the Father gave us His Son; the Cross is where Jesus gave us Himself as our Savior. See 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 NIV.

John described this history-changing moment with these words: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life and that life was the light of men . . He was in the world, and though the world was made by Him, the world did not recognize Him . . The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.” Read John 1:1-17 NIV. The “Word” that John describes so eloquently is none other than Jesus, God’s Son. The mystery is that Jesus “became flesh;” the miracle is that He “made His dwelling among us.” Accept the mystery; believe the miracle. Jesus is, “Emmanuel . . God with us!” Matthew 1:23 NIV.

Let me remind you of the already familiar story of how this came about. Read Luke 1:26-38 NLT. An angel appeared with a startling announcement to Mary, a young, devout, not yet married, Jewish girl. Understandably, she is described as, “confused and disturbed,” by the angel’s words. Those would be normative emotions. She had questions because the miracle was wrapped in a mystery.

The angel’s cryptic answer was simple, “For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment.” Luke 1:36-37 AMP. Read again the verse above; the Amplified Bible accurately translates the Greek words used by ancient translators. Simply stated, the Angel assured Mary – and you and me – no word from God should be thought incredible to you, when no work of God is impossible to Him. Incredible, but true! See Isaiah 55:11 NIV.

Jesus is the embodiment of the Word of God and the Word of God is the faithful expression of Jesus.“Search the Scriptures . . which testify of Me.” John 5:39 NKJV. The power of God flows from the word of God, then and now. While Jesus lived among us, He spoke to nature and the wind and waves obeyed; He spoke to disease and sickness departed; He spoke to sin and forgiveness flowed; He spoke to spiritual oppression and demons fled; He spoke to death and life returned. No word from God shall be without power nor impossible of fulfillment – spoken to Mary or to you!

My prayer for you today is that you never fail to see the miracle because of a mystery.

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