Living a full life is a varied, exciting and risky business. In many ways our experiences shape us and leave us with some set ideas, either positive or negative. CS Lewis calls experience the “most brutal of teachers”. Every person on the face of the earth is willingly or unwillingly “collecting” experience. What then distinguishes the child of God from the so-called “others”? May I gently remind you that to become a child of God you must be born again and that is a calm, rational decision to surrender your life to God and begin a journey in the invisible Kingdom.
Our distinction lies in this decision. It makes all the difference. Our experience-collection is under the covering of the Grace of a loving and good Father. Nothing surprises Him ever – He is all-knowing and outside the limitations of time. We are born into His kingdom and therefore His principles and law of love and grace apply. We can only rejoice in this and make it our core business to learn His ways. What a privilege to live under an almighty Hand that works and leads beyond the earthly limitations of economics, politics, rejection, bias and every other life-monster that devours our joy and peace. God has a plan for your life. Not a carved-out granite pathway, which rules out your brain function. You will always make decisions and choices under His guidance. His plan for your life is for the maturing of your character to live a victorious life in your unique circumstances. By surrendering your life to Him, you will learn to choose and react according to His word and that will change your life as a whole.
I am sure you have often heard that most well known phrase: God is love. Familiarity reduced its powerful meaning to the importance of a cliché written on a fridge magnet. God is the source of love and everything He does is born out of love. His pathway for you is carved in love, absolutely nothing else. It might not always feel that way in this life where we are living in the domain of His enemy, but faith convicts us of this truth.
Studying the Word of God will teach us His ways, so that we can recognize the Hand of God in our lives. Filling our minds with His statutes will renew our thinking to see truth and guidance, where it is hidden. Our problems and struggles impair our vision and only the Word of God touches the eyes of our mind to see clearly with insight and understanding. This is the wisdom promised by the Holy Spirit. Practical wisdom to conduct our lives according to the decisions made with the working of the Holy Spirit within us.
Why would He equip us for life and grant us this mighty wonder of the Holy Spirit? Isaiah 43:4
Because you are precious in My sight and honored, and because I love you, I will give men in return for you and peoples in exchange for your life.
Hear the Word of God and believe so that you can live by it. He looks at you through the robe of righteousness that you are covered with. This robe you have received when you were born again and accepted the work of Christ on the cross. His blood is your righteousness. It is not through you own goodness or deeds that you can pray and receive wisdom. God gives it to you by His grace. James 1:5,6:
If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God Who gives to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.
Only it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering, no hesitating, and no doubting. For the one who wavers, hesitates, doubts is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind.
God grants you wisdom and insight without blaming you for past sins. He is not in the blaming business. His response to a prayer for forgiveness of sin is always immediate with the promise of a clean slate. Isaiah 1:18:
Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be like wool.
Never ever compromise your spiritual confidence to the sharp accusations of the enemy to rob you of your freedom in prayer. Approach the throne of God in you quiet time with a humble confession of sin. You will have instant release. Only the Holy Spirit convicts of sin. He will always do it in perfect love so that you are healed and restored, not judged and wounded by the onslaught of guilt.
Throughout our journey together some scripture references will be quoted often. These passages in the Word are like the steady stones in a raging river. Memorize scripture that touches your heart. These will be reliable anchors to hold onto in stormy weather. One of the most favourites among these, you will find in the last book of the Old Testament, one of the 12 small prophets, Malachi, the third chapter. Malachi 3: 16,17:
Then those who feared the Lord talked often one to another; and the Lord listened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him of those who reverenced and worshipfully feared the Lord and who thought on His name.
And they shall be Mine, says the Lord of hosts, in that day when I publicly recognize and openly declare them to be My jewels (My special possession, My peculiar treasure). And I will spare them, as a man spares his own son who serves him.
This is a treasure! God is actively involved in people who set their minds on Him and get busy in His Word, who think on His Name. Their names are written in a book of remembrance before the Lord with the promise of being His special possession, His jewels – precious in His sight.
This scripture is written as if the day of deliverance and the announcement of God regarding His jewels is far away in the future somewhere. Joel 1:15 declares that the day of the Lord is at hand and so does Zephaniah 1:7. The future tense emphasizes the consequential order of the promise. When we fear the Lord and think on Him, then He will write our names in the book. The promises of Scripture as a whole have immediate application and effect. Raise the level of your expectation towards the Source of life itself.
This brings us to a point of decision – to read, study, meditate and learn. The promise is that He will draw near, when we draw near. [James 4:8]. The first step towards God is ours. He has paved the way on the cross and the Holy Spirit work in our hearts to convict of sin and righteousness, leading us to redemption in Christ. When we come, He will meet us and make His written Word, the spoken Word – rhema – alive in our hearts.
In John 6:63 Jesus says:
It is the Spirit Who gives life. The flesh conveys no benefit whatever [there is no profit in it]. The words that I have been speaking to you are spirit and life.
Life-words are life changing. Make time to be alone with your Bible and state your determination before God to really learn to know Him. Only then can you be resurrected from dead works and start a brand new life in Christ. How do we achieve this? By knowing God intimately.
Please pray with me Philippians 3:10,11 in the Amplified Bible:
For my determined purpose is that I may know Him, that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly, and that I may in that same way come to know the power out flowing from His resurrection, which it exerts over believers, and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed in spirit into His likeness even to His death, in the hope that if possible, I may attain to the spiritual and moral resurrection that lifts me out from among the dead even while in the body.
This wonderful statement is our goal. This is why we study. This is what we expect and the success of this intention is guaranteed.
Yes – I mean it. Your success is guaranteed! Here is the proof:
Now to Him Who is able to keep you without stumbling or slipping or falling, and to present you unblemished (blameless and faultless) before the presence of His glory in triumphant joy and exultation, with unspeakable, ecstatic delight. [Jude 24.]
God’s word will change you and your situation. He works for you. He will act for you. [Isaiah 52:10]
The Lord has made bare His holy arm before the eyes of all the nations [revealing Himself as the One by Whose direction the redemption of Israel from captivity is accomplished], and all the ends of the earth shall witness the salvation of our God.
This image of God rolling up His sleeves to get to work fills me with wonder and excitement. Who am I to be so loved that our Father would work on my behalf?
When you read the promise, lift up your hands and pray it: [Psalm 119:48]
My hands also will I lift up to Your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on Your statutes.
Until next time.