“He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.” (Psalm 23:3 NLT)
Today God wants to refresh and restore you, but you have to draw closer to him through fellowship. When we fellowship with the Lord on a daily basis then it is much like recharging a cellular phone battery that is drained from constant use. Our daily lives can be quite exhausting whether you are a factory worker, a homemaker or a well dressed executive. We all need that quality time with God that makes the difference. There was a saying some years back, “Seven days without prayer makes one weak.” I wouldn’t try going even one day without spending time with the Lord even if it’s only 5 free minutes, make those the most positively life changing 5 minutes of your day.
Another benefit that comes from spending time with God is divine guidance. There is someone reading this right now who needs direction for their lives because they know that their next step is a critical one and there is no room for an error. However, God wants to you to fellowship with him for a while so that he can speak to you directly and help you to see clearly. Resist the urge to worry and try your own way because you’ve already tried your way and the situation only got worse. Now it’s God’s turn to lead and guide you along “right paths.” Just trust him completely and watch how he works everything out for you. There is even favor awaiting you, but you have to follow God’s directions. Remember, “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track (Proverbs 3:5-6, Message)."
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”-Philippians 4:6-7, ESV
What do you do when faced with situations that appear beyond your control? Do you cry? Scream? Pull your hair out by the roots? Pull someone else’s hair out by the roots? Do use that moment as an opportunity to talk to God?
In our day I believe that we have gone from not talking to others about our problems to talking to too many of the wrong people about our problems. Especially when they are powerless to fix the situation or even bring us any true comfort in the midst of the situation. However, God stands ready to handle the burdens that we carry and to bring us peace in the midst of the storms that we face in this life, but you have to be willing to take him into your confidence, first.
Prayer involves you recognizing that you need God. Then once that need is acknowledged you understand that in him every need has already been supplied. In Philippians 4:19 Paul tells us that,
“God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
Right now declare to yourself: “As a child of God, I have every need met in Christ Jesus.”
Prayer is not you begging God for what you need, but faith filled prayer involves you declaring and receiving every promise of God that has been supplied with your name on it in Christ Jesus. It’s the confidence of knowing that your needs are already met in Christ Jesus that causes you to have peace in the midst of crisis. Today make God your first responder and let him handle your situation.
What situations are you facing that only God can handle?
Declaration: “I refuse to give stress any place in my life from this point forward. My peace is found in trusting God completely. Therefore, I will take my hands off of this situation and turn it over to God who has promised to meet my every need because I am in Christ Jesus.”
"I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whoever does not receive and welcome the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all."
-Mark 10:15, Amplified
In order to receive the living reality of God's kingdom we have to become like children. What does that mean? It doesn't mean that we have to be bratty and immature Christians that throw temper tantrums whenever we don't get our way. It is an attitude of the heart that allows to us to have a sense of wonder and expectation when it comes to our Father God. Also like children we have to be willing to believe that our Father God only wants what's best for us.
I really feel like many people become stale and bored in their walk with God when they begin to feel like they know all there is to know about the Lord. The truth is you will never know all there is to know about God. Each day is a new adventure in our walk with God. Just when we think we've figured him out he surprises us with a new dimension of his goodness. Expectation is the key. If you will learn to expect to see the goodness of God in the land of the living (see Psalm 27:13) then God will far exceed those expectations (see Ephesians 3:20-21). Expectation is a partner to hope and hope is a partner to faith (see Hebrews 11:1).
God wants you to welcome his kingdom manifestation into your life daily. In the kingdom there is "righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (see Romans 14:17). Welcome these wonderful manifestations of the kingdom to transform and shift the atmospheres that may be negatively impacting your day. Watch as your Father God changes the outcome of circumstances that were designed to overwhelm and defeat you. In Romans 8:28 Paul declares,
"And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose."
"If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
Galatians 5:25 NKJV
As children of God we have to develop such a relationship with the Holy Spirit that we actually are led by Him. Too many believers are led more by their head(i.e. soul-mind, will and emotions) instead of the Spirit of God. Paul tells us in Romans 8:14, "For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God." Notice that it does not say pulled, kicking and screaming, but it does say led indicating that your spirit is voluntarily in cooperation with the Holy Spirit as He guides you daily.
The problem with being led by your soul is that you become subject to the doubts, fears and negative impulses which have caused many a shipwreck in the lives of believers. Being led by your soul also causes you to "fleece" God instead of obediently acting on His word. Fleeces actually make your obedience conditional based on external circumstances. For example, You prayed that God would use you for His glory and immediately sense God leading you to pray for the person on crutches at the mall or pay for someone's groceries. Instead of immediately following God's leading you might say "I feel like you want me to do this, but if I'm really supposed to do this let them speak to me first because I don't want to look foolish by just going up to them and doing this." Some people have even gotten more extreme fleecing prayers and say something "If I'm to do this let it snow in August." Fleecing appeals to the soul and the five physical senses. Instead of walking by faith and not by sight(Read 2 Corinthians 5:7), seeing is believing.
In Matthew 14:22-33, we see Peter walking on water, but his five senses wouldn't let him enjoy the moment and eventually weighed him down. Starting at verse 27 it reads, "But straight away Jesus said to them, Take heart; it is I, have no fear. And Peter, answering, said to him, Lord, if it is you, give me the order to come to you on the water. And he said, Come. And Peter got out of the boat, and walking on the water, went to Jesus. But when he saw the wind he was in fear and, starting to go down, he gave a cry, saying, Help, Lord." Peter's soul couldn't handle what was happening. I could imagine him thinking, "I can't believe I'm out here. I sure hope I don't drown."
Fleecing only appeals to the soul and the five the physical senses. Living this way will not help you grow in your faith, but it will definitely hinder your faith and prevent you from experience. Faith is a spiritual reality that is capable of impacting the natural world. Don't allow a fear of failure or fear of missing God prevent you from embarking on the wonderful journey that God wants to take you on. Remember Proverbs 3:5-6, "Put all your hope in God, not looking to your reason for support. In all your ways give ear to him, and he will make straight your footsteps(BBE).
Confession for today: I commit to being led by Father God daily. I will not let my head deceive me, but I will rely on God's wisdom, knowledge and His understanding. I make the voluntary decision to walk and live in the spirit.
Steve Tolbert is an emerging revivalist who is passionate about drawing people closer to God.