Thursday, July 26, 2018

Rest In Faith

"There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.
For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His."
Hebrews 4:9-10 (NKJV)

When you are traveling to a place the time will come when you that know you have arrived, the journey would be over because you had reached your destination.  If you were looking for something you would come to the point when you know that you have what you were looking for, you are no longer seeking that thing but you have found it.  It would be very strange to not know that you had reached your destination or that you really had what you were seeking.  In both situations, there is something you have and know that indicates that your journey or search has ended. 

The Bible shows us that faith is what we need to receive what God has provided.  Romans 10:17 says that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.  This shows us that we get faith from the Word of God.  We also know that according to 2 Corinthians 5:7 that we walk by faith and not sight, so faith is not based on physical evidence.  But, there is a way to know if we have really put our faith in God and placed our trust and confidence in His Word rather than in something else.  The thing that shows us whether or not we are really in faith is rest.

One of the key elements of the Christian life is peace.  This is also a good way for us to see whether or not we are really in faith.  If someone is at rest then they are at peace, if there is no peace then there is no rest.  If we are really trusting in what God has told us and we in faith for what the Bible has said then we are at rest, we are at peace about the situation.  When we are at rest it means our confidence is in God and we are not trusting in our own works, we have put our trust in the work of Jesus.  We rest in faith expecting to receive what God's Word has said; if we are in faith then we are at rest.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Adapt, Improvise, Overcome

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

There are several documentaries I have seen that show how people in the special forces of the military are trained.  These people go through specialized training that is designed to equip them to be able to fulfill the duties required of them.  During their training, the special forces recruits are put into situations that are designed to take them out of their comfort zone and the things that they are used to doing.  The point is that through the training the instructors are trying to teach the recruits how to successfully adapt, improvise, and overcome in any situation.

It is easy for us to get used to doing things a certain way and to get into a routine.  Getting too settled and comfortable in our usual way of doing things and our normal routine can hinder us from doing things that we are not familiar with.  This can also mean that we then withdraw ourselves from anything out of the ordinary and we limit ourselves in what we are willing to do.  However, if we really commit ourselves to following God's plan for our life we will undoubtedly find ourselves confronted with situations that are not a part of our ordinary routine.

God has a wonderful plan and purpose for each and every believer.  But some Christians have difficulties when they face a situation that is new to them or that forces them to step outside of their usual routine and go beyond what they have done and experienced in the past.  This is why we need to learn to rely on the empowerment and leading of the Holy Spirit and realize that because we are in Christ we can do whatever God directs us to do.  With God's help we can adapt to any situation, improvise with the help of the Holy Spirit, and overcome in every circumstance of life.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Watching Over Your Prayers

"Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;"
Colossians 4:2 (NKJV)

Have you ever been cooking something, operating a machine, or working on a project that required some repeated attention?  It may have been that you were preparing some food, and once you started the process you needed to continue stirring or turning something over to make sure the food was prepared properly.  You might be working with some machinery that needs repeated attention once you start its operation to be sure everything is working correctly, or if you just started a project you may need to recheck what you did to be able to have things turn our right.

Prayer is simply talking to God and the Bible has a lot to say about prayer.  We can talk to God about what He has shown us in the Bible that has been provided for us through Jesus.  This kind of prayer can be called the prayer of faith.  We see what God's Word says, we ask in faith according to what God has said, and we expect results.  But, this prayer of faith does not always bring instant results and that is where we need to be watchful, or vigilant, with our prayers.  The word "vigilant" used here in Colossians 4 can also be translated as watchful, watching, and keeping watch.

After we have talked to God about something according to His Word, we keep watch over what we have prayed, we are vigilant about our prayers, through giving thanks.  Once we have prayed and asked we do not need to keep on asking, but we should continue to give thanks to God for the answer.  This helps us to keep our faith active as we thank God for His answering our prayer rather than complain and wonder when we will see the results we desire.  The next time you pray in faith for something God has promised in His Word, keep a watch over your prayers by giving thanks that God is faithful and the results are forthcoming.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

No New Direction Is Direction

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye."
Psalm 32:8 (NKJV)

Traveling by car is easier today than in the past because of the of navigation help that is available.  In the past, if you wanted to know what route to take you had to rely on a map, which can be difficult to use while driving.  Today some cars have navigation systems built into them, some people have separate devices for navigation, and there are even apps for phones that will help to give you directions.  But, no matter what type of navigation you use, you must rely on the information given to you and not continually stop to question if you are really on the correct route.   

God has promised to lead us and give us the direction we need for our lives.  As Christians, we have the Holy Spirit in us to lead us (Romans 8:14) and we have the Word of God to give us direction as well (Psalm 119:105).  One problem that believers have in following God's direction is as we follow the direction we have from God we sometimes wonder if there might be something else we should do.  We sometimes think that maybe we missed something that God has said, because it seems like we have not had any updates to our course for some time. 

But, just like a navigation system would tell you to drive on a certain road, without constantly reassuring you that you are on the right road, once God gives us some direction for our life we can keep moving that direction until He tells us something different.  God is a lot smarter than we are and if we are pursuing His plan and will for our lives with our whole heart then He will find a way to let us know if we need a course correction or additional route information.  One thing that we need to realize with God's direction in our life is that if He has not given us any new direction then we need to just continue doing what He has already told us to do.