But now, O Lord you are our Father, we are the clay, and you our Potter; And all of us are the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8
Timothy constantly sought Paul’s advice and instruction. He exercised consideration and calm thought, inquiring at every step, Is this the way of the Lord? The Holy Spirit found in him one who could be molded and fashioned as a temple for the indwelling of the divine Presence. TT 109.1
The question is, Are we surrendering to the power of the Holy Spirit and allowing Jesus Christ to transform our character? God is not intrusive. He does not force us to change into His image. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and dine with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20
Prayer: God, we desire to be molded in the Character of Christ. We pray for forgiveness of our sins. We ask to be molded in your hands. As we prepare for your soon coming, we pray for guidance in every aspect of our lives. In the powerful name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
Imagine that you received an even-trade offer to receive a new vehicle for turning in your current vehicle. The only condition is that you would not see the new vehicle prior to the trade. Some would hesitate and need time to think about it, while others would give a definite answer of no. Still, there is the enthusiastic group that would be elated, readily agreeing to participate in the blind trade.
When we accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Savior we agreed to surrender and to become His disciples. Changing us from our inherited tendencies, eliminating our self-reliance, taking away the desire for worldly habits, and giving us a character makeover is a lifetime spiritual process known as Sanctification. The Apostle Paul tells us in 2nd Corinthians 5:17, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ have become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun.” NLT. Yes, Sanctification is to become holy as Jesus is holy.
Where do you stand as far as trading off the old you in exchange for the new person in Christ Jesus? Which group of individuals represent your decision to become like Christ?
They say what the world needs is love, sweet love. Although I wholeheartedly agree, I would like to add another character trait that is in short supply and that is patience. Most of us are victims to the “hurry up with it, I have other things to do” mindset. Even so, I came across some profound advice, “Unless it is an emergency, think about it for at least 24 hours and the possible consequences that may follow from you making that decision.”
For the believer in God, every decision that we make is either for God or against God. Within that 24 hours, we must go to God in prayer and ask for His will. There are few absolutes in life. We can know this for sure that we can never hurry God. And there is one more absolute truth, every mistake that we have made in our lives is because we did not ask God or we did not wait for God’s answer.
And for those like myself who lack the virtue of patience, God has no problem letting us make the mistake. He knows that when we are drowning in the Sea of Consequences, we will pray the SMS–Save My Soul prayer. Thankfully, He forgives us with loving grace and mercies. Still, we may suffer the full impact from our disobedience.
Last night during worship, it was the Holy Spirit who taught me this profound fact of life. Every decision that you make is either for God or against God. The imagery was the train crossing with the flashing red lights with the barrier coming down warning of the pending train traveling at an unknown speed. I am thankful that our Heavenly Father’s love is overprotective.
And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourself this day whom you will serve. Joshua 24:15
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity. Jeremiah 29:11-14a.
Today’s Devotional–Experiencing GOD Day-by-Day–by Henry T. and Richard Blackaby
Blinded by the God of This Age
Whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 2 Corinthians 4:4
When you are blinded, you cannot see things as they really are, even though others around you see them clearly. You cannot experience the full reality of all that is around you. You may feel you are experiencing all that there is to life, yet you may be unaware that you are missing what God desires for you. You may even be in danger because of your blindness and not know it.
Paul warned that the “god of this age” can blind you to the reality of Jesus Christ. Christ’s presence can make a significant difference in your life. However, if Satan convinces you to doubt that Christ can do what He promised, he will have blinded you to the reality of what your life is really like and to what it could become. Others may see what your unbelief causes you to miss, but you will be unaware of it. Your life may be steadily moving toward disaster, but you will be oblivious to it.
Christ comes to you as light (John 1:4, 5, 9). He illuminates your sin so that you see its ugliness and destructiveness. He reveals Himself so that you can appreciate the glory of His person and the marvelous riches He brings. His presence lights your path so that you can see impending danger. Don’t let the god of this age distort your spiritual vision. Don’t be fooled into thinking that everything is as it should be when, in fact, you are missing out on so much that God wants to do in your life. Ask Christ to illuminate your life and let you clearly see your spiritual condition.
Prayer: God, we ask forgiveness for thinking, acting, and living as if you are not the Creator of all humanity. We have put many things above you. Thank you for the gifts of grace and mercy. Give us the strength we need to always praise you and have a spirit of gratitude. We ask this prayer in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen. 2021 Copyright Sonya Johnson
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
Have you ever considered the growth and development of a human being from conception to baby to adulthood? With the proper mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual nutrients there are no limits to the development of the mind. Although hereditary factors influence our outward appearance, with a positive mindset we can train our minds and bodies to excel beyond our imaginations.
So why do we limit God on fulfilling His plans for us? Certainly, we cannot think that our plans would exceed God’s plans. This is the perplexing thought that I am wrestling with right now. Is it pride, lack of knowledge, or a combination of both? Or even worse, is it FEAR? For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7.
Faith over Fear! We are familiar with this quote. Even so, God tells us that we are going no where fast without having an abundance of faith in Him.
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6
Truthfully, I know that I cannot provide a better life for myself. I confess that my prayer life is not where it should be. If I communicated with God [Pray without ceasing. Thessalonians 5:17] diligently seeking Him for answers, then I would know the plans that He has for me. I would also be fully aware that He gives the strength to fulfill His personalized plans for me. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
God’s love, grace, and mercies are always extended to the weak, wavering ones with fragile hearts. Yes, He is aware that His creation would consistently need reminders that He is “I AM.” “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?” Jeremiah 32:27
Our Heavenly Father never tires of us. Biblical stories make us aware that the question, “God, are those really your plans for me?” did not begin with us. Jeremiah was the prophet who required constant reassurance from God.
God’s Plans for Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
Jeremiah’s response: Then said I: “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.”
God’s response: But the Lord said to me: “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ For you shall go to all to whom I send you, And whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces, For I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord. Jeremiah 1:6-8
There is no record of Jeremiah ever asking God, “What will you have me to do?” Just because we do not ask, does not mean that God will never reveal His plans to us. If your life is at a standstill and nothing is working out, then it is time to pray, “God, your will be done in my life.” Despite our failures, faithlessness, and fears, God is with us. He never leaves or forsakes us. Make the commitment that you will ask, listen, and respond with obedience when God reveals His plans for making you become the best you can be.