Ephesians 3:20-21 (New International Version)

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Week 5 Day 1 His Purpose

We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which He prepared beforehand so that we might walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

Isn't it funny, this verse in Ephesians doesn't mention God blessing MY plan but it speaks of me walking in HIS plan. Who's in charge here, anyway? haha Sometimes, I get the attitude that it's me.

Better yet, sometimes I ask God to bless MY plans...yet He has plans already for me.
  • I am His workmanship.
  • I have been created for His good works.
  • He has prepared a path beforehand for me.
  • I can walk in His will.
Thus He created me fully equipped to do His will ... it just keeps gettin better, doesn't it!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Week 3 Day 1 Persistence!

Isn't it wonderful to know that God is persistent; He calls our attention so we might hear Him and act according to His will.
In this lesson, 1 Samuel 3:1-21 we read the story of young Samuel ... God is calling his name... "Samuel". The young lad hears God's voice but does not recognize Him. Instead, he runs to Eli because he thinks Eli has called out for him. Through Eli's discernment, Samuel answers God. Hmmmm, this leaves us with thoughts to ponder. For example,
  1. Have we ever missed God's voice?
  2. Do we have an "Eli" to consult with?
  3. God is persistent, He doesn't give up on us easily! (Yeah!)
Then we have to story of the woman at the well in John 4:7-26. Numerous times, Jesus points out His Deity, yet she misses the point. I counted the number of times Jesus spoke to her...I get eight on my first count. (I will double check that count, later.) The woman at the well heard Him speak, of course, but was she listening?
Thankfully, He doesn't give up on us as easily as we might give up on Him. He continues to work on us...making our paths straight.
Trust in the LORD with all of your heart, lean not in your own understanding. In all of your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
Can you recall a time you almost missed what He had to say?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Week 2 Day 5; Led By The Spirit

I know the Lord is speaking to me when He impresses something on my Spirit internally and confirms it through a person or circumstance expernally. ~ Tonly Evans

This is the new covenant I will make with the people...I will put my laws in their minds so they will understand them, and I will write them on their hearts so they will obey them. Hebrews 8:10 NLT

Desiring and doing His will is not my responsibility to discover; it's His responsibility to reveal!
Do you ever find yourself frantically searching for God's will, as if you might not see it? Do you feel like it's in an "I Spy" picture? Maybe it seems like a guessing game and you simply need to guess the right answer.

Do you ever stop to think that He wants you to know His will? He wants to give His children what is best for them...why wouldn't He want you to know where His will is to lead you?

Cease striving and know that I am God. ~ Psalm 46:10 ...

It is my belief that once the Holy Spirit takes up residence in our heart, He will change our desires to suit what pleases Him. I can relax in Him; He will order my steps.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13

Where is He taking you today?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Week 2 Day 4 Transformed

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Rom 12:2 Your spirit permits relationship with the spiritual realm

Your soul permits access to your emotions and mind

Your body reacts with the physical realm through your senses

* As I yield to and obey the Holy Spirit's leading in my life, He conforms my soul to the image of Christ and uses my body as the instrument to carry out His purposes.

This lesson was simply to relate to; dealing with our fleshly struggles (to take a bite of the chocolate that may be sitting in front of me) or to walk away as the indwelling of the Holy Spirit may be telling me. Many times, I pop it in my mouth before I even think about it...which may be why I speak before I think....hmmmm.

I believe the Spirit resides in me and there's a constant renovation going on in my soul; it being renewed to the parameters of His will. The question remains, will I listen to His Spirit and allow the transformation to begin and become what His will is in me or will I succumb to the flesh?

James 1:21 tell us "Putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. (NASB)

To hear God's voice distinctly, I need to immerse myself in the word of God. I can hear Him speak through His Word thus allowing renovation to take place. My soul will be renewed when I cooperate with the Holy Spirit!

What is He asking me to do, today? Listen...simply listen.

Day 3; Guidance of the Holy Spirit

What hinders me from hearing is that I am taken up with other things. It is not that I will not hear God, but I am not devoted in the right place. I am devoted to things, to service, to convictions, and God may say what He likes, but I do not hear Him The child attitude is always, "Speak Lord, for Thy servant heareth." ~ Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest

All who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. Romans 8:14

* The primary way God speaks to and leads me is by the Holy Spirit who indwells me.

Spend your time and energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness. Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next. I Timothy 4:7-8

Those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. Romans 8:5

Hmmmm, to be strong in the Spirit, is to be built and trained in the Spirit. This requires work, practice, and time. In other words, it doesn't just come easy. It is much like the body of an athlete, it didn't just happen overnight (unfortunately, lol).

In the back of my Bible, I record things I have heard the pastor say that really speak to my heart. One of the quotes, "If Satan can't make you bad, he'll make you busy." How often I have found that statement to be true. Life can get so busy, we don't have time to spend in His word, to spend time in prayer, or to be still and know that He is God. I believe that in those moments, it is important to realize that God created time; the hours of daylight, the hours in our day. I need to realize that He is the creator of all things and I can devote time (a resource He gave me) to Him and He will reward me for it. In other words, taking time out of my day to spend with Him will not hinder my life but rather enhance my life.

Yet, at the same time, I don't think being rigid is the answer. There are times my morning prayer time turns into my evening prayer time...if someone is sick, I can't say, "Hold on, I haven't had my quiet time, yet!" haha Yet, a consistent practice of time in the word is as essential to growth as exercise and proper eating habits!

How do you keep yourself in shape?

Week 2 Day 2 Our Conscience and the Holy Spirit

The Spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD. Proverbs 20:27
In today's lesson we were asked so share a time that we followed our conscience rather than the Holy Spirit when making a big decision. For me...there is no way to record an answer. It came to me that most of my life I would pray about something and rather than wait for an answer I would follow my conscience. How foolish...how rude...
Has someone ever come to you asking for advice? Yet, before you can even answer that person, you know they have already made a decision. I think that has been me when I've talked to God. I ask with my own intentions rather than ask the Almighty, All-knowing, All-seeing God with an attitude of wanting to hear what He has to say.
Then there are other times where I want to hear Him...yet I don't. Rather than patiently wait...(guess I'm not good at that...hope I don't have to practice this now that I've mentioned it) I just start off in a direction that I hope He wants me to go. Along the way, I hope He stops me if it isn't where He wants me to go. I really like how Priscilla put it
.."God desires for you to know His will. He's not hiding it from you."
If He hasn't spoke to me yet, He may not be ready for me to move or to know...but He is going to answer.
By the way, I loved the "Five M's of Correctly Hearing God".
What did today's lesson say to you?

Week 2 Day 1 The Miracle of the Holy Spirit

* "The primary method God uses to speak has changed, but His goal has not!" I believe God wants us to hear what He has to say. Why wouldn't our Heavenly Father want to lead, guide, and direct us? He gave us the "miracle of the Holy Spirit" as a helper (John 16:7).
I like how Priscilla points out the we "must leave room for God to be God". Letting Him speak to us in the manner that HE chooses rather than what we expect is key.
The Lord our God has shown us His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice...we have seen today that God speaks with man. Deuteronomy 5:24
At two in the morning, I called a friend of mine, shortly after the death of our daughter. To be honest, I was very angry at God. Why didn't He save her? Why did He let this happen? My anger felt like a dam ready to burst. I was ready to let it all out with a friend that I was certain would hear me. At two in the morning, she answered the phone,saying, "I've been waiting on you to call."

At that point, I felt the dam break; all I could do was weep. I couldn't say a word as she began to speak and say, "You know this wasn't His plan...death was never part of His original plan." As that point began to speak to my innermost being, I knew that death wasn't what God wanted...yet, sin entered the world (not part of His plan) and everything changed.

She also pointed out that God knew how I felt; He witnessed His Son die, too. He knew my pain and He wept with me. How did she know what to say...how did she know what I needed to hear? This dear friend is no Bible Scholar...she doesn't regularly attend church...she doesn't usually share her feelings of faith openly...yet, I know that God used her to speak to me. I know that God spoke to me that morning in ways I can't really explain. He comforted me...He loved me...He spoke to me.

I'd love to hear of a time God spoke to you? Won't you share it with us?