Archive for June, 2013

“Work Out” What God “Works in” You

June 6th, 2013

. . . work out your own salvation . . . for it is God who works in you . . . —Philippians 2:12-13


Your will agrees with God, but in your flesh there is a nature that renders you powerless to do what you know you ought to do. When the Lord initially comes in contact with our conscience, the first thing our conscience does is awaken our will, and our will always agrees with God. Yet you say, “But I don’t know if my will is in agreement with God.” Look to Jesus and you will find that your will and your conscience are in agreement with Him every time. What causes you to say “I will not obey” is something less deep and penetrating than your will. It is perversity or stubbornness, and they are never in agreement with God. The most profound thing in a person is his will, not sin.

The will is the essential element in God’s creation of human beings— sin is a perverse nature which entered into people. In someone who has been born again, the source of the will is Almighty God. “. . . for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” With focused attention and great care, you have to “work out” what God “works in” you— not work to accomplish or earn “your own salvation,” but work it out so you will exhibit the evidence of a life based with determined, unshakable faith on the complete and perfect redemption of the Lord. As you do this, you do not bring an opposing will up against God’s will— God’s will is your will. Your natural choices will be in accordance with God’s will, and living this life will be as natural as breathing. Stubbornness is an unintelligent barrier, refusing enlightenment and blocking its flow. The only thing to do with this barrier of stubbornness is to blow it up with “dynamite,” and the “dynamite” is obedience to the Holy Spirit.

Do I believe that Almighty God is the Source of my will? God not only expects me to do His will, but He is in me to do it.


June 6, 2013

The devotional and your scripture says I am to work out my own salvation, but could it be that the actual “working out” is for me to simply surrender to You? Can it be that I cannot “work out” anything except my own inability to be the man I want to be?

And God says…”Come to me and I will give you rest. How can a transformation that began as a wonderful gift of love, mercy and grace, require work?  The “working out” I am speaking of here, is the actual day to day living, being connected to Me. The every morning devotionals you do, your daily prayers, and the other tools you use to stay connected. You cannot add anything, but you can figure out how to stay connected to Me. You can work out how to stay surrendered.”

God’s Assurance

June 5th, 2013

He Himself has said . . . . So we may boldly say . . . —Hebrews 13:5-6

My assurance is to be built upon God’s assurance to me. God says, “I will never leave you,” so that then I “may boldly say, ’The Lord is my helper; I will not fear’ ” (Hebrews 13:5-6). In other words, I will not be obsessed with apprehension. This does not mean that I will not be tempted to fear, but I will remember God’s words of assurance. I will be full of courage, like a child who strives to reach the standard his father has set for him. The faith of many people begins to falter when apprehensions enter their thinking, and they forget the meaning of God’s assurance— they forget to take a deep spiritual breath. The only way to remove the fear from our lives is to listen to God’s assurance to us.

What are you fearing? Whatever it may be, you are not a coward about it— you are determined to face it, yet you still have a feeling of fear. When it seems that there is nothing and no one to help you, say to yourself, “But ’The Lord is my helper’ this very moment, even in my present circumstance.” Are you learning to listen to God before you speak, or are you saying things and then trying to make God’s Word fit what you have said? Take hold of the Father’s assurance, and then say with strong courage, “I will not fear.” It does not matter what evil or wrong may be in our way, because “He Himself has said, ’I will never leave you . . . .’ ”

Human frailty is another thing that gets between God’s words of assurance and our own words and thoughts. When we realize how feeble we are in facing difficulties, the difficulties become like giants, we become like grasshoppers, and God seems to be nonexistent. But remember God’s assurance to us— “I will never. . . forsake you.” Have we learned to sing after hearing God’s keynote? Are we continually filled with enough courage to say, “The Lord is my helper,” or are we yielding to fear?

Journal DJR

Good Morning Lord,
Not that Spiritual Life is a game, or just a game … but there are some similarities between my life with you and a close basketball game. First one team is ahead, then the other. There are times of momentum when one team seems uncatchable, then they seem to run out of gas and the other team catches them. Sometimes there are surprises, and cliff-hangers as the ball bounces back and forth across the rim … will it go in, will it go out? My life is kind of like all of that. Sometimes I seem invincible. I’m walking with you and it’s all good. The good guys are winning. Then the momentum changes (it’s probably that invincible feeling… dangerous to humans on a mission) and doubts creep in and I start stressing out. Sometimes the other team get’s way ahead and I really run amuck. But after a time-out and your pep talk, the good team (you and me) comes from behind to re-gain the lead.
Well, since my experience is like a game anyway, why dont I look for more parallels from sports and use them to get competitive and see if I can start winning more. Kicking in the competitive nature that you created me with.
I have no problem with that. I did make you that way. Remember what Paul said comparing life to an athletic competition. Also a military battle. Remember Jonathan who was feeling competitive …

“Let’s go across to the outpost of those pagans,” Jonathan said to his armor bearer. “Perhaps the LORD will help us, for nothing can hinder the LORD. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!” 1 Sam 14:6

And of course remember that We win in the end. That’s always the last line in my pep talks. And if you carry that in your heart and your head you will win more and more of the encounters brought by the circumstances of life. You can think of yourself as an athlete in a competition or a soldier in a war. Walk with me and remember my pep talks and win.

The Never-forsaking God

June 4th, 2013

He Himself has said, ’I will never leave you nor forsake you’ —Hebrews 13:5

What line of thinking do my thoughts take? Do I turn to what God says or to my own fears? Am I simply repeating what God says, or am I learning to truly hear Him and then to respond after I have heard what He says? “For He Himself has said, ’I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ’The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’ ” (Hebrews 13:5-6).

“I will never leave you . . .”— not for any reason; not my sin, selfishness, stubbornness, nor waywardness. Have I really let God say to me that He will never leave me? If I have not truly heard this assurance of God, then let me listen again.

“I will never . . . forsake you.” Sometimes it is not the difficulty of life but the drudgery of it that makes me think God will forsake me. When there is no major difficulty to overcome, no vision from God, nothing wonderful or beautiful— just the everyday activities of life— do I hear God’s assurance even in these?

We have the idea that God is going to do some exceptional thing— that He is preparing and equipping us for some extraordinary work in the future. But as we grow in His grace we find that God is glorifying Himself here and now, at this very moment. If we have God’s assurance behind us, the most amazing strength becomes ours, and we learn to sing, glorifying Him even in the ordinary days and ways of life.

Journal DJR
Good Morning Lord,
This is so good to hear, “I will never leave you . . .”— not for any reason; not my sin, selfishness, stubbornness, nor waywardness. ….If I have not truly heard this assurance of God, then let me listen again.” Not that we haven’t heard it before, but we need to hear it and hear it and hear it until we really get it down deep inside. And it becomes an integral part of who we are … unshakeable by the circumstances.
Lord, help us to stay close and hear these words today. As we hear these words over and over, we’ll be better able to hear your other words. Then help us obey quickly.

“The Secret of the Lord”

June 3rd, 2013

The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him . . . —Psalm 25:14

What is the sign of a friend? Is it that he tells you his secret sorrows? No, it is that he tells you his secret joys. Many people will confide their secret sorrows to you, but the final mark of intimacy is when they share their secret joys with you. Have we ever let God tell us any of His joys? Or are we continually telling God our secrets, leaving Him no time to talk to us? At the beginning of our Christian life we are full of requests to God. But then we find that God wants to get us into an intimate relationship with Himself— to get us in touch with His purposes. Are we so intimately united to Jesus Christ’s idea of prayer— “Your will be done” (Matthew 6:10)— that we catch the secrets of God? What makes God so dear to us is not so much His big blessings to us, but the tiny things, because they show His amazing intimacy with us— He knows every detail of each of our individual lives.

“Him shall He teach in the way He chooses” (Psalm 25:12). At first, we want the awareness of being guided by God. But then as we grow spiritually, we live so fully aware of God that we do not even need to ask what His will is, because the thought of choosing another way will never occur to us. If we are saved and sanctified, God guides us by our everyday choices. And if we are about to choose what He does not want, He will give us a sense of doubt or restraint, which we must heed. Whenever there is doubt, stop at once. Never try to reason it out, saying, “I wonder why I shouldn’t do this?” God instructs us in what we choose; that is, He actually guides our common sense. And when we yield to His teachings and guidance, we no longer hinder His Spirit by continually asking, “Now, Lord, what is Your will?”
June 3, 2013
Lord, You have been clearly speaking to me lately about what is your will. In the sermon, in the devotionals and songs I am hearing…namely that you want me to give myself to You daily…. and then be available to and for others.
And God says…”My will for your life is clearly laid out in the word that I have given you. You have this direction and guidance already and much of it is written in your heart.  I came to give you life and life more abundant, and this is how you find it: Seek first My Kingdom, which is Jesus; go and tell the world the gospel…. delight yourself in Me and receive the desires of your heart. You have been made wonderfully so that happiness and delight are the result of doing My will.”