Standing in the gap – when a friend is dying

Intercessory prayer is it for you?

Jan 28, 2016 – I was extremely moved by today’s devotional by Blackaby called, “God is Looking for Intercessors.” It was like any other devotional, or so I thought, but then again I’ve been waking up in the wee hours of the morning for the past week, not able to go back to bed. Its 4:41 am right now, I’ve been up for over two hours. I’ve been thinking it’s because I’ve had lots on my mind: work, family, friends. So much to do so little time.

And then I think it’s most likely my subconscious thinking of a distant friend who has been living with an inoperable brain tumor for the past year. I’ve been awakened with thoughts of her life and possibly of what’s left of it, her children, her marriage. I tear and cry easily. I think of things that frustrate me about people and nit picking over minuscule little things and think to myself, “can’t we all just move on” and why do we make such a issues of trivial things – in regards to the daily things in life, these are my thoughts over minors things, that it shouldn’t matter when people are dying.

Then I read today’s devotional:

S – Scripture

Ezekiel 22:30 “I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one.”

O – Observation

God was speaking to Ezekiel to deliver a message to the people of Israel, but they wouldn’t listen AND the Lord could not find ‘someone’ to stand in the gap on behalf of the sins of Israel’s leaders. If you read chapter 22 verses 23 to 31 you’ll understand.

In today’s devotional Blackaby talks about how we can apply this verse to our lives today. Here’s Henry Blackaby’s comments:

God looks for those whose hearts are prepared to be intercessors before Him. Intercessors have hearts in tune with God’s heart. They are so acutely aware of what is at stake, for their land, that they will stay before God as long as necessary in order to obtain God’s answer. That is why you do not volunteer to be an intercessor. God enlists you.

Why do we not intercede as we should? Perhaps we are afraid to put God to the test. We worry that God might not answer our prayers. Yet God promises that if we ask, we will receive (Matt. 7:7). We may fail to intercede because we believe the busyness of our everyday lives is more effective than prayer. Jesus warned that apart from Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5). Without being intimately acquainted with God and His will, all of our labors are futile. Perhaps we fail to intercede because we misunderstand the heart of God. Jesus wept over the_city of Jerusalem as He interceded for it (Matt. 23:37). If we truly have God’s love within us, we will feel compelled to plead with God on behalf of those who face His imminent judgment.

Intercession is a lonely business. There may be many days or even years when there appear to be few results for your labor. Yet intercessors can be the only ones standing between a family and God’s judgment, or between an individual or nation and God’s wrath.

A – Application

How do I apply this to my life? Well, after waking up daily and not being able to go back to bed I’m reminded of something my Aunt Charlotte told me many years ago when I first became a Christian. I told her that sometimes I would get up early and can’t go back to bed and she said that I should begin praying as the Lord may be stirring my spirit to get on my knees and pray. When I asked her, what do I pray about, she said, just have a conversation with the Lord, ask Him to show me who and or what to pray for and He would. Honestly I’ve learned that when I can’t go back to sleep I just say, Lord help me sleep, not who should I pray for.

It’s been a while since I’ve been, “stirred in my spirit”, a restlessness in my sleep, so for that I am sorry I did not instantly go to a place of prayer. Oh I did pray the first time it happened, but then thought it might be something else as it’s been everyday for about five days and I’ve been getting up earlier and earlier.

The lesson is I wasn’t as diligent as the Lord wanted me to be. I wasn’t listening to Him. Yesterday I took some time in the afternoon, about 20 or 30 minutes to “hear from the Lord.” But got stuck in the busyness of work and quiet time. I believe the Lord kept waking me up again and again, earlier and earlier, to tell me to stand in the gap for my friend, her family and the things He places on my mind to pray for.

P – PrayerJesus Praying

Father, I ask that you would forgive me for not taking the time to earnest seek you when you call upon me. I ask that you would give me the strength to intercede for that which my friend is wanting to pray for herself and at times is too weak in body but not in desire to seek you for the salvation of her family members that do not know you. I ask that you would heal my friend and if that not be in your greater plan as we know that our lives are temporary here on earth, I ask that you would help her and her husband and children to find your comfort and peace as she prepares for the time she has. If you need to wake me again, I pray that I would immediately go to my knees and seek you, so that I can intercede for those who need it.

I am thankful that your son Jesus came to this earth to die for our sins so that we don’t have to pay the eternal penalty of our sins. I’m thankful that we don’t have to carry our burdens on our own – Psalms 55:22. We can share each other’s burdens, Galatians 6:2; and we can go to you Lord and you will give us rest – Matthew 11:28. I thank you for all these things and more. In Jesus name, Amen.

UPDATE – Feb 23, 2016

My friend went home to be with the Lord last week. On Saturday we had her Celebration of Life service. She was only 45, but had done what God asked of her with all of her being and more. Praying for her husband and two children, that they would be strong in Him and that the Lord would carry them when they need it. – Thank you for continuing to pray for them.###

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How is Truth a person?

The Lord has many names, but if we think about it, if we changed Jesus Christ’s name to Truth it would most likely lose the meaning of truth or the definition of what we believe truth to mean.  In today’s devotional, Henry Blackaby gives us an eye-opener on Truth the Person.

Who is Truth?

Truth Is a Person

And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. But He said to them, “Where is your faith?” (Luke 8:24-25)

~Truth is a Person, not a concept. Jesus said He was the Truth (John 14:6). That means that you can never know the truth of your circumstances unless you have first heard from Jesus. The disciples thought they were perishing in the storm. They were fishermen who knew the sea and knew what their condition was. They had allowed their circumstances to convince them that the “truth” was their imminent death. But they were wrong. Truth was asleep in the back of their boat! ~ Henry Blackaby’s Experiencing God devo

Observation

While reading this devotion I had to tune out all distractions and go back to the scripture to get a better understanding of what Blackaby was trying to explain. Blackaby went on to say something that we all do in our day to day lives:

~Since some of the disciples were fishermen, they trusted in their own expertise and wisdom rather than recognizing that only Jesus knew the truth of their situation. At times, our human knowledge in certain areas of life can blind us to our desperate need to hear a word from Truth.~Blackaby

This is so key to what Blackaby’s devotion is trying to tell us – we need to stop being dependent on ourselves and trust the Truth, which is Christ!

Blackaby goes on to say, “When Jesus spoke, the disciples saw the real truth of their situation. There was absolute calm. The disciples had seen Jesus perform other miracles, but they had not yet witnessed His power over nature in such a dimension. Often we are like the disciples. God may have recently demonstrated His power to us in a mighty way; we may have experienced many spiritual victories in the past. Yet, when a new and frightening situation comes upon us_we, too, panic and say, “Lord save me. I’m perishing!” God will remind us of His provision, saying, “I can handle this situation, too, and you will know more of Me because of it.”

Application

How can we apply this devotional and scripture into our lives?

More notably I would say that I personally would need to remind myself that Christ is Truth and that I must do as Matt 6:33 says to “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness first” – in all things that I do. When I do this, I am able to remind myself that if I am dependent only on my personal life experiences and not God’s Word than I will get stressed and panic like the disciples. It’s common, I don’t know of anyone who wouldn’t do the same, they go through life making choices on a day-to-day basis based on what they know, not always ‘who’ they know.

My reminder is to begin each day in prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to guide me in all things. The scripture that tells us to pray without ceasing is just telling us to constantly be in connection with our Lord. To do, to speak, to act, in all we do. Not just for the major decisions in our lives but to seek the truth in the day to day interactions we have with others. How we respond to conversations, to tasks, and especially before we get ourselves in situations where we panic and lose hope. There is no greater hope than in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Prayer

Father we thank you for all that you did for us by dying on the cross. We ask that you would help us as we seek you first from the time we wake up in the morning until we go to sleep and rest in you. Lord we are thankful for all the experiences that you give us as they help mold us into the character of the person you can use to further your kingdom. We ask that you would not only allow us to use the experiences and wisdom that you gave us but that we would not forget to remember to seek you, the Truth, by faith. Let us trust in you not in ourselves, as we know you can do all things. Amen

Should Christians Celebrate Valentine’s Day?

“Does St. Valentine’s Day Have Pagan Origins?”

Excerpts from various studies on the history of Valentine’s Day:

Christian Valentine?

From: biblestudy.org

Did you know that centuries before Christ, the pagan Romans celebrated February 15 and the evening of February 14 as an idolatrous and sensuous festival in honor of Lupercus, the “hunter of wolves”?    But how did this pagan festival acquire the name of St. Valentine’s Day? And why is the little naked Cupid of pagan Rome so often associated today with February 14? And why do little children and young people still cut out hearts and send them on a day in honor of Lupercus, the hunter of wolves? Why have we supposed these pagan customs in honor of a false god are Christian? (Read more here.)

From: thercg.org

As innocent and harmless as St. Valentine’s Day may appear, its traditions and customs originate from two of the most sexually perverted pagan festivals of ancient history: Lupercalia and the feast day of Juno Februata.

Celebrated on February 15, Lupercalia (known as the “festival of sexual license”) was held by the ancient Romans in honor of Lupercus, god of fertility and husbandry, protector of herds and crops, and a mighty hunter—especially of wolves. The Romans believed that Lupercus would protect Rome from roving bands of wolves, which devoured livestock and people.

St. Valentine’s Day originates from the ancient paganism of this Satan-influenced world. It is designed to deceive mankind by appealing to fleshly, carnal desires—or, as the Bible calls them, the works of the flesh. “Now the works of the flesh are manifest [made obvious], which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry…drunkenness, revellings, and such like” (Gal. 5:19-21). Do any of these sound like Lupercalia to you?

Read what God commands His people concerning pagan customs and traditions: “Learn not the way of the heathen…For the customs of the people are vain” (Jer. 10:2-3). Also notice Christ’s words in Matthew 15:9: “…in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”Throughout the Bible, God describes “heathens” as those who worship things that He had created (animals, the sun, the moon, stars, trees, etc.), or man-made idols, or anything but the one true God. He calls such people and their practices pagan. True Christians understand that God hates any customs, practices and traditions that are rooted in paganism. (Read the rest of the article by clicking here.)

From: lasttrumpetministries.org

The sad fact is that most people never question the origin of the customs that they involve themselves with. Most people do not ask questions but do what everybody else does, never stopping to consider how the Almighty God of Heaven feels about their activities.  When we consider that Valentine’s Day is a day  of preoccupation with the heart, it is essential that we listen to the following words spoken by the Almighty, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his wages, and according to the fruit of his doings.” Jeremiah 17:9-10

It should be without saying that the Christians should avoid Valentine’s Day like a plague.  In God’s eyes, it is still “Lupercalia”, the “Day Of The Wolf.” Men become wolves, as they carry on the Satanic rituals of fornication, which means sexual intercourse without marriage. We have heard of the “wolf whistle”, and we all know that wolves do not whistle. It is lustful men and women, who carry on Satan’s blasphemy  to this very day.

In conclusion, we must ask ourselves, “Should a true Christian be associated in any way with this celebration of evil roots? Should we be doing what the heathen have done for so many years  and try to justify it as love?” Romans 12:2 answers this very well, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed  by the renewing of your mind…”   (Read the rest of the article by clicking here.)

From: “Valentine’s Day as a Pagan Holiday”:

(even the atheist believe it has pagan origins)
Isn’t Valentine’s Day a Christian day, named after a Christian saint? When we consider the matter more closely, we don’t find a strong relationship between Christian saints and romance. There is a lot of debate and disagreement among scholars about the origins of Valentine’s Day. We’ll never be able to disentangle all of the cultural and religious threads in order to reconstruct a complete and coherent story, but the pagan connections to the date are much stronger than the Christian ones. (Read the rest of the article by clicking here.)

From: GotQuestions.org “What is the origin of Valentine’s Day and should Christians celebrate it?”

This is an excerpt from one writer at GotQuestions.org

There is no biblical reason why Christians should not celebrate Valentine’s Day by giving their loved ones flowers, candy and/or cards. As with celebrating any holiday, the decision should be between the individual and God. Some people feel very strongly that observing any secular holiday is wrong, while others see it as harmless. The important thing to remember is that celebrating or not celebrating holidays should not be a cause for pride or division among Christians.

Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/Valentines-Day.html#ixzz2zuhaKjt9

You decide – in everything give God the glory! ###

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2.4 God Speaks to His People

If you’ve been attending church and in fellowship regularly, mainly an evangelical Christian church, you’ll hear people say things like they felt led by the Lord, or God told me…”

Often times Christians who have not been in God’s Word regularly and don’t take the time to study the Word, or non-believers just plainly don’t know what it is to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ think, “how does God talk to these people?”  How do you know it’s really God speaking. Or, “Does God just come to you in some spiritual form and sit at your dining room table and say, “We should talk?”

In the scriptures below you’ll find that many ears will hear, but many will not understand.  Today’s devotion touches on how God speaks to His people, in the past and now in the present.  If you desire to learn more about how to hear from the Lord, start writing a daily devotional journal.  (Click here or see the link on the right).  You’ll be glad you did.

S – Scripture:

Hebrews 1:1 “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son.”

John 14:26 “The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

John 8:47 “He who belongs to God hears what God says.  The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”

O – Obeservation:

In today Experiencing God workbook – Blackaby reminds us that in the Old Testament God spoke in a variety of ways.  During Jesus’ time, God spoke through Jesus.  Now God speaks through the Holy Spirit. “The Holy Spirit will teach you all things, will call to your memory the things Jesus said, will guide you into the truth, will speak what He hears from the Father, will tell you what is yet to come, and glorify Christ as He reveals Christ to you.”

The key words to look at here and in the Bible is that through the Holy Spirit, God will speak by:

-teaching

-recalling to your memory

-guidance in truth (His Word)

-speak, tell, glorify.

A – Application:

The main thing people say is, “How Do I Know When God Speaks?”

The four ways that God speaks is through:

The Bible, Prayer, Circumstance, Church

Writing a Devotional Journal is key in my hearing from the Lord.  I can pray, read my Bible, attend church, observe circumstances – all of which need to be done and we need to participate in, however it’s when I journal (to learn more about journaling with your devotions, click on the link about Journaling) I hear most clearly from the Lord.  Through the Word of God I learn, and when I write the SOAP method of what I learn, along with prayer – confirmation of God’s teaching is from circumstances and the Word and fellowship through the church.

Personally I notice that if I lack direction, or I feel that I haven’t heard from the Lord – it’s usually because I’ve been robbing my time with the Lord to listen to Him during devotions and I haven’t made the time to stop and wait for guidance.  When we do everything we can in “our power” – based on our education, our finances, our work, our families – sure we are being resourceful – but why do we wait until we can’t fathom anymore and we surrender to the Lord saying, “I give up, Lord help me!”  Why did we not go to Him from the very beginning?

P – Prayer:

Life would be so much easier if we remember to go to our Lord from the beginning and say, “Father, I can’t do this on my own, please help me, guide me and allow me to know your will.”

Make Time for God

Make time for God. Not enough time in the day? What's your relationship like when you run out of time. -Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Make time for God. Not enough time in the day? What's your relationship like when you run out of time. -Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Walking with God. Quiet time with God. In the busy-ness of life we need to make time, because we can. We make time to get up, go to work, spend time with our friends/family, go to the gym, go on vacation – yet so many of us say, “there’s just not enough time in the day to have ‘quiet time’ with God.”

S – Scripture:

Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. ~2 Corinthians 5:14 NLT

Read from: Experiencing God – Unit 2 – Day 3

O – Observation:

Paul wrote in Corinthians that the love of Christ controls us, in the NKJV it says that the ‘love of Christ compels us,’ and in the Amplified Bible it says that, ‘the love of Christ controls, and urges and impels us.’  The love of Christ strongly moves us to love.

A – Application:

In Day 3, Blackaby reminds of the story of Adam and Eve – whom God created for a love relationship with God. When they sinned, they hid from the Lord, when he asked where they were (as if he didn’t already know), God knew that there was something wrong with their relationship.

Are we hiding from God? What would happen if you didn’t talk to your kids, your spouse, your coworkers, for a whole day, let alone, week and months?  Some of you might think, ‘hey I wish I could, but they keep talking to me and no one’s listening.’

Maybe we need to relook at how we spend time with God. Are we going to Him, only when we want or need something? Is it a one-way conversation?  What is “quiet time?”

Daily we need to spend time, reading his word so that we can hear from the Lord, receive guidance, instruction, inspiration, words of wisdom.  When we pray we should start with adoration, how much we love and appreciate the Lord for all that he has done for us. We can then ask for our needs or desires, even though he knows our heart, he still wants to hear from you.  Then, we need to sit in quiet. In the still of time, I can hear the Lord most clearly.

I have found that when I have traveled to foreign countries I hear God best. It’s most likely because I don’t speak the language, although I travel with other English speakers, there’s more time to just watch, observe, and listen. God wants to speak to us – please take that time to hear him, take quiet time daily, you’ll receive the peace he speaks about and promises in scripture.

P – Prayer:

Father, I thank you for your love, your grace, your mercy. You are the true and living God. Forgive me when I rush through my devotions and don’t always take the ‘quiet’ part of my devotional time to hear you. Help me to know and do your will with a joyful heart.

You are my all and all. You are my rock and my salvation for which I shall not fear. Thank you for your blessings, for provision, for health. In Jesus name, amen.

Date: 28 April 2010

© @mLehua – 2010 – All Rights Reserved

2.2 Not by my will, nor strength, but in God’s strength

Excerpt: The Lord God spoke about the people of Israel, doing their own thing, worshipping other gods, not following God’s commandments; they didn’t want to have anything to do with the only true and living God. – Experiencing God – Unit 2, Day 2 S – Scripture: Psalm 81:13-14 “Oh, that My people would listen to Me, That Israel would walk in My ways! I would soon subdue their enemies, And turn My hand against their adversaries.” O–Observation: In Psalm 81, The Lord God spoke about the people of Israel, doing their own thing, worshipping other gods, not following God’s commandments; they didn’t want to do have anything to do with the only true and living God.  Because of this rebellion and their refusal to repent of their evil ways, God allowed the people of Israel to suffer the consequences of their actions. God would not protect them from their enemies and blessed them; however, God allowed them to continue to NOT receive his best.

A – Application: Experiencing God workbook – pg 30 – Blackaby encourages us as Christ followers to be aware of what God is doing around us, to be obedient to His Word, to know that we cannot do the things that the Lord may be showing us to do on our own. However, we can allow God to use us and through His power and will, we can accomplish His work. By following the desire of God, we are pleasing to him. We can be assured that He will guide us and protect us and that nothing will be done that is not His will. If we choose to follow a route that is not God’s will, or try to do things on our own, the Lord will try to guide us back on track, but we have free will.

P – Prayer: Lord I pray that my will is always your will. I know that I cannot do many things; however, in you I can do all things as the scripture says. I ask that you forgive me for my sins, help me to be aware of your work around me and create opportunities for me to be involved in your work. In Jesus name, amen.

1.5 Accepting Gods Invitation

O – Observation: The first three realities of the “Seven Realities of God – are about what God is doing around us; God pursuing us; and inviting us to become involved with him and his work.  The other four realties are what are we going to do – how do we react or respond to God’s invitation?

 Reality number four: God speaking and revealing his purpose and his ways, this is the invitation to join him in his work.

 Reality number five: a ‘crisis of belief’ in the example of God inviting Moses to get involved. Moses’ first reaction was to say, “Who am I” and can’t you send someone else to do your work? – Ex. 3:11, 13, 4:1, 10, 13) – this seems to be the common response from a large group of Christians who are not doing as Matthew 6:33, Seeking God First.

Reality number six: We need to make major adjustments to our life to join God in what he is doing.  All too often we find ourselves very comfortable in our daily routine, even if that routine has nothing to do with God’s work. It’s a safe life to stay within the boundaries that we feel no one will reject us nor judge us.  However, the Lord may have other plans and he may be calling you out of your comfort zone to get involved in his work. Will you obey?

Realty number seven: We as children of God come to know God by experience as we obey God and see how God can accomplish his work through our obedience.  This of course is where the life lessons are learned and imprinted into our hearts and minds. These are the experiences that increase our faith and our walk with the Lord becomes stronger.

 Read from: Experiencing God – Unit 1 – Day 5: God Works Through His Servants, Part 2

S – Scripture: Exodus 3:2-8 and Numbers 12:6-8

 A – Application:

Don’t allow fear, laziness, or the unknown – hinder my ability to step out in faith when I feel that God is calling me to get involved with the work that he is doing around me. It is my responsibility to see what God is doing and get take action and accept the invitation. I cannot wait for God to use me; his work is already being done, waiting for me to accept the call.

P – Prayer:

Father forgive me for the times that I have not paid attention to your voice, your direction. Help me to see and hear where you are working and receive the invitation to be used for your glory. Help me to move quickly through the “crisis of belief” and to know that I can do nothing alone, only through Christ – all things are possible. In Jesus name, amen.

Date: 24 March 2010

©   @mLehua – 2010 – All Rights Reserved

The Seven Realities of Experiencing God

1.4.1   God Works Through His Servants

O – Observation:

Blackaby created the foundation of the Experiencing God teaching on what he called the “Seven Realities of Experiencing God,” they are:

  1. God is always at work around you.
  2. God pursues a continuing love relationship with you that is real and personal.
  3. God invites you to become involved with Him in His work.
  4. God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church.
  5. God’s invitation for you to work with Him always leads you to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action.
  6. You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in what He is doing.
  7. You come to know God by experience as you obey Him and He accomplishes His work through you.

 

Throughout the Experiencing God teaching – the author reveals each part of the Seven Realities to help us understand how to truly “experience” our relationship with Christ. Blackaby refers often to the Seven Realities, so it’s important to know them and understand the meaning. When I studied this I was especially moved by number 4 – God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church. Because of Reality #4, I was able to know when and how God was speaking to me. Especially as I journal and read the bible, journaling helps me to look back at what I learn and in the present, journaling helps me to take a piece of a larger part of the scripture reading and apply it to my life.

 

It’s important to see that S.O.A.P. works well with the Seven Realities – because we can read and have “head knowledge”; however nothing the dictionary definitions of the bible mean nothing unless we apply biblical teachings to our lives.  In Reality #6 – you may find the most challenging – because this is where we apply, “make major adjustments” in our lives and “join God in what He is doing,” not just what we want to be doing.

 

Read from: Experiencing God – Unit 1 – Day 4: God Works Through His Servants Part 1

S – Scripture:

“Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7

 

A – Application:

I can apply this reading and scripture to my life by remembering the Seven Realities of God – mainly by knowing when and how the Lord is speaking to me and making both major and minor adjustments in my life to join God in His work; by doing these things, I am pleasing to the Lord. My desire is work towards the goal, of the Lord saying, “well done, my good and faithful servant.”

 

P – Prayer:

Father, I thank you for your love and grace. I ask that you forgive me for my sins, my actions and words that were not uplifting to others and did not bring you glory. I ask that you help me to remove the pride and ‘chip off my shoulder’, to know and do your will with a grateful heart. In Jesus name, amen.

Date: 23 March 2010

©   @mLehua – 2010 – All Rights Reserved

Jesus Is Your Role Model

1.2 – Jesus: A Role Model –

 S – Scripture: “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too, am working. I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these.” – John 5:17, 19-20        Reading: Experiencing God Unit 1 – Day 2 Jesus Is Your Model

O – Observation:

In today lesson, Blackaby describes the “Bible as Your Guide” and “What is God’s Will for My Life.” It’s true that we often hear people say, “Why should I follow the laws of the bible, that’s so old fashion.” Or, “What does the bible have to do with what’s going on in my life today?”

As Christ followers God called us to be one of His followers before we even knew his name. When God calls people to follow him, he most likely won’t give you all the details of what your future will be. I know for myself if he did, I probably wouldn’t like what I’m hearing, or I may think, “How can I do any of what he needs me to do?” That’s where faith comes and the Lord knows that we lack faith and understanding when we first come to him that comes with time and studying his Word.

We study his Word, the scriptures, the Holy Bible, so that we can know God’s will and receive His guidance. God actually tells us everything that we need to know through the lives of those who came before us. The bible is a guide, our instruction book to life here on earth and all that we are to do.

If you look at the workbook, Blackaby mentions several scriptures which describe God’s call to men to follow Him, without being given the “full story” of what his expectations were of them. Here are the scriptures and the people mentioned:

  1. Matthew 4:18:20 – Simon Peter and Andrew
  2. Matthew 4:21-22 – James and John
  3. Matthew 9:9 – Matthew
  4. Acts 9:1-20 – Saul and Ananias

One of the most profound statements that I received the first time I studied Experiencing God – was the that we should not be asking ourselves, “What is God’s Will for My Life?” But we should ask ourselves, “What is God’s Will (period).” That’s all, because this is not about us; it’s about what is God’s will and for me to adjust my life to Him.

Through the entire study and throughout the years it the one most quoted section that I remember. I even wrote, “eye opener” in my workbook, back in 2001 when I first read it.

A – Application:

I will apply this to my life by remembering that it is not, “how can I be used for God?” but where is He at work and getting involved in His will.

P – Prayer:

Father I thank you for your love, kindness, and mercy. Show me your will and your ways so that I may adjust my life to you. In Jesus name, amen.

Today’s Date: March 15, 2010

© elehua808 – 2010- All Rights Reserved

Gods Will and Your Life

1.1. Let’s Begin!

O – Observation:

The introduction of this study explains that this is NOT a “program” nor a “method” but a “love relationship with God. Through this relationship God reveals His will and invites you to join Him where He is already at work.

John 15:5 is the example of Jesus is “I” and you and I are the “you” – when you think about a vine and its branches – you’ll understand that if the grape branches are not connected to the vine which provides its water and nutrients – the branch will die. This is a simple analogy of Jesus saying, he’s the vine and we are the branches of the vine, if we are not connected to Him, then like a vine branch, we will die. We are nothing without the life-blood, the nutrients that feed our souls.

Here’s a link to blueletterbible.com – check out Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, CA Pastor Chuck Smith’s audio message on John 15.

The important parts of this study are on page 8 which clearly states some of the expectations, hopes and desires, that people have about going through the Experiencing God series – “Looking for More in Your Experience of God:”

  • Hear when God is speaking to you
  • Clearly identify the activity of God in your life
  • Believe Him to be and do everything He promises
  • Adjust your beliefs, character, and behavior to Him and His ways
  • See a direction that He is taking in your life and what He wants to do through your life
  • Clearly know what you need to do in response to His activity in your life and
  • Experience God doing through you what only God can do!

Reading from Unit 1 – Day 1, Jesus is Your Way

S – Scripture: John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

A – Application:

There are so many great scriptures in each daily study of each Unit in Experiencing God. I can only choose one. It’s great to be excited about each scripture opening up to me as I pray to ask God to reveal His ways to me. Applying today’s study is a reminder that we need to have a personal relationship with Christ before we can even begin to understand what His Word is teaching us. And if we separate ourselves from God, we will wither and die, for we are no longer feed and given our life source, our nutrients to survive in this world.

John 14:26 (in the side bars of the workbook) it says, “Your Teacher” – who is your teacher? The Holy Spirit. “The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things.” We can be thankful that all of the things we hope to get out of our daily devotions and studying the word of God, studying Experiencing God, does not and cannot come from “head knowledge” but from having a personal relationship with Christ and the Holy Spirit will be our teacher and reveal 1st Corinthians 2:14 to us.

P – Prayer:

I ask that the Lord forgive me for my sins. I seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and ask that spiritually I be aware of the things that God would like to reveal to me, through his word.  I am thankful that I live in a country that is allows me to learn and study the Holy Bible freely. I pray that I can share the things that I learn and it would help others to seek the Lord for themselves. In Jesus name, amen.

© elehua808 – 2010- All Rights Reserved

07March2010