Monday, July 14, 2008

Eat up!

"Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord's kindness."
1 Peter 2:2-3

This verse today reminded me of what I wrote here in my last post about the Israelites. They had to taste the new food in the Promised Land before the manna ceased. They had to eat it for themselves, a personal tasting. Second-hand savoring wasn't good enough.

God's Word provides all the nourishment we need and the more we feed on His truths the more our spiritual appetite will increase. One way to mature in Christ is by feasting on His Word. Nibbling and sampling doesn't suffice. As my Pastor shared with us a few weeks back, God's banqueting table is full. Every imaginable delicacy is available. Are you coming hungry in need of His filling? There is no need to ever walk away empty. He is our constant supply.

Life for today requires the provision of God today. Yesterday's manna will not satisfy. Apetite is developed through consistancy. Daily intake prevents spiritual starvation. Sadly, we too often eat out of habit, and not out of hunger. Ask the Lord to increase your desire for Him, so that you will have a constant craving. With desire comes the delight of knowing that God is more than enough.

"Every one who thirsts, come to the waters;...Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance." Isaiah 54:1-2

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bridging the Gap

"He brought us bring us in."
Deuteronomy 6:23

The Lord opened up so much teaching to me through this verse this morning. I want to share with you a little of what Kelly Minter writes in her Bible Study, "No Other Gods".

"If it takes faith to say goodbye, it takes faith to say hello. The real travesty is going through all the pain of a goodbye but never enjoying the fulfillment of a new hello." "...every follower of Christ will have to walk through the desert at times in life - it is the bridge between the old and the new. But the idea is to go through the desert, not to attach there, and that takes faith." (bold print mine)

"He brought us bring us in." "We make room for God to fill it. We say goodbye to say hello." " we release our idols from the clutches of our hearts, I believe the Lord cheers, saying, 'Now I can do amazing things. I'm ready to take you to the other side.' The question often is, do we want to go?"

As Kelly explains in her study, even the Promised Land required a fight. It didn't just drop into the laps of the Israelites. Sometimes I find I stay in my 'desert' because it is familiar. I don't necessarily enjoy being there, but it takes work to get up and travel through dry land. We may even know what our "Promised Land" is and where God is leading us, but we can't surrender the change required to make the trek. Beth Moore writes, "If your prayers have gone unanswered, perhaps what you need is within your reach. Pray instead for wisdom to see it and the energy and motivation to do it."

Just a couple of days ago, my friend Susan wrote a post about 'discipline'. Often God has shown us what He desires, but we need to take the initiative. Like the Priests who had to set foot in the Jordan River before it opened to allow the Israelites to pass through, and like the children of Israel themselves who had to taste and eat of the food in the Promised Land before the manna ceased, we must act in obedience. We need to "taste and see that the Lord is good" in the new land.

Kelly writes, "The Lord will not allow us to be in the desert forever. Manna is only for a season. If you are going through a lean time of wafers on your tongue and burning sand beneath your feet, this too shall pass."

"Take hold of the blessings God has put in front of you."

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Guaranteed Hope

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life."
Proverbs 13:12

I've always said a loud "Amen" to the idea of a hope deferred making the heart sick. So true. When I'm holding out for something I want to happen, eagerly anticipating an event, outcome or possibility, and the result disappoints or is not what I had expected, my heart truly is 'sick'. Sadness surrounds me. I feel defeated. The world seems unjust and unfair. However, as I read this verse yesterday morning, the Lord began opening my eyes to a new interpretation of it's meaning.

Where was I placing my hope? In my agenda, my ideas, my plans. I was looking to my own abilities to give me hope. I have placed my faith and hope in so many other things beside the Lord, and they have all let me down. When hope is deferred and placed in anything or anyone other than Christ, our hearts will be sick...homesick for Christ. My life belongs to the God of all hope (Romans 15:13). It is only when I let go of my dreams and desires and place them in His loving hands, can I experience the joy of fulfillment.

Today I want to sing with surrender, "My hope is based on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness, I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' Name."

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Monday, July 7, 2008

We Have the Power

"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds."
2 Corinthians 10:4

This morning I've been thinking about the strongholds that hold me captive. Fear so often has me encircled and bound, yet according to Scripture I don't need to remain living as a prisoner. God's Word says that I have access to weapons that are "out of this world". Not only are they incredibly unique, but they are intentionally useful, having the power to completely destroy strongholds.

What is keeping you from experiencing freedom in Christ today? If you have received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you have also received all you will ever need to combat bondage. Are you accessing the power available to you today? Can you say with the Psalmist, "You are God my stronghold", Psalm 43:2.

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