Category Archives: Spiritual Fruit

the spiritually normal response

Meditation Journey Day 50       

Hi Friend,

What is the spiritually normal response to truth?

We are now in the Valley of Victory of Psalm 139:19-22. These verses are a pattern and process of how we gain Victory over evil and sin in our own life. They come after we have seen the beauty of the LORD in the preceding verses 1-18. David is displaying what our hearts will do when we have seen the Lord’s loving-kindness and gracious mercy.

This is the process of repentance and it is the spiritually normal response.

Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! Men of blood, depart from me!

What David is saying is, LORD I see your truth and hold your thoughts precious in my change-1heart. Now I know the wickedness around me and in me and I do not like it! Turning towards God, David asks, “God, can you please change my circumstances?” Then David turns towards the evil and says, Men of blood, depart from me!” David is sick of the sin his eyes see and his heart is burdened by the evil associations he has accepted. His expectations are that God will remove them and change the circumstance. David then turns to the men of blood and hopes that by simply telling them to leave the problem will be solved. It won’t.

The wicked and the men of blood, while they may have been real people to David, are metaphors of the lies and half-truths we believe.

The wicked and the men of blood, while they may have been real people to David, are metaphors of the lies and half-truths we believe. The wicked thoughts that we believe have been leading us to rebellion and darkness. They are the seeds of bitterness and rejection that tell us God does not love us. The evil thoughts are lusts of all kinds that sell us pleasure as a sanctuary of false peace. The men of blood are demon’s lies that murder our hope and slaughter our purpose. Friend, they will not go away simply because we ask.

The Holy Spirit is powerful enough to destroy them all independently of us, but He does not always choose to exercise His power.

repent-turnaround1Why, because He wants us to gain the victory from the inside out. He wants us to “stand strong in the Lord and the power of His might” with an internal confidence in God. How we stand in the Lord’s power will come clearer as we proceed on this journey. Just remember what you have learned to this point. The Holy Spirit has given us God’s precious thoughts in Psalm 139 and now He wants us to receive it, believe it and obey it. This is the only path the world, sin, and Satan will be defeated in our lives.

Observation: David sees the wickedness around him and he responds in the spiritually normal way of wanting freedom and change. His first two responses to the realization he needs change are typical and non-productive. David was expecting God to change his circumstances or he hoped they would just go away on their own accord.

Interpretation: The road to spiritual victory starts with the Holy Spirit revealing to us God’s loving kindness. He leads us to the foot of the cross to see the grace poured out on us. That is what we have been receiving through Psalm 139:1-18. Jesus Christ’ sacrifice on the cross obtained all the blessings we have received from God. As we become alive in Christ, the wickedness of this world becomes more uncomfortable. Our response typically is to expect God to change our circumstances. He could but He does not because He wants an internal and everlasting transformation of our hearts.

Application Prayer: Father God, Thank you for your gracious mercy revealed in Jesus Christ dying for me. I know all your grace freely flows to me through His death, burial and resurrection. As I receive your precious thoughts and obey them the sin in my life becomes more obvious. It challenges your word and resists your truth. Help me to take the responsibility to internally allow you to change me. … in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

Are you seeking the knowledge of God?

Meditation Journey Day 21            

…and find the knowledge of God.

Hi Friend,

Proverbs 2:5 also promises us that we will find the knowledge of God. The knowledge of God Prov 2is more than data, facts and information about God. The knowledge of God is a Biblical term loaded with spiritual life. Paul cries out in Romans 11, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!”  He prays that the Church “may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that (they) may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God Col.1 In Peter’s second letter he greets the churches with this salutation: “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord…” Paul also teaches us our new man “is renewed in knowledge (of God) according to the image of Him who created Him. Col.3

In summary these verses tell us the knowledge of God is deep and that we are expected to increase in our knowledge of Him. It says grace and peace will grow in our knowledge of Him. In Colossians 3 we begin to understand why the knowledge of God is so important to us personally. We learn through it the Holy Spirit renews us and transforms us into the image of His Dear Son. Romans 8:29

To have this impact the knowledge of God has to be more than just theological points Surrenderknowing about God that changes anything. We must know Him in the spiritual equivalent to Adam knowing Eve. We grow in the knowledge of God as we yield our minds and hearts to Him. It is only when we surrender our whole being as a living sacrifice (Romans 12) that we truly begin to know Him.

This reward, of actually knowing Him, is the final gift of seeking God as instructed in Proverbs 2:1-4. It does not come quickly or easily. That is why we must be diligent in daily seeking God through His word. Yet the reward is great. The more we know Him the more we are able to experience the heights on His love and have grace as we transverse through the valleys of life.

Observation: The knowledge of God is the reward at the end of diligently seeking God through His word. There are many great benefits in knowing God. As we know Him more His grace and peace grow in us and we are transformed into the image of Christ.

Interpretation: Gaining the knowledge of God is more than knowing about God, it is personally and intimately yielding your whole being to Him.

Application Prayer: Father God, I so desire to know you. Thank you for revealing yourself through your Word and in the person of Jesus Christ. Help me, Lord, to be diligent in seeking your face to reach your heart.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

I hope you will pray for me and all the others that are on this journey. You may also want to send me comments, suggestions or questions. I promise I will respond to each inquiry.

Got Faith?

Got Faith?

FaithFaith is an elusive attribute in our lives. We wish we had more faith, yet it seems obscure as to how we receive and increase our faith. Jesus said if you have faith the size of a small seed you can move mountains!  Therefore, understanding how to grow our faith becomes a very worthy task.

First, we must distinguish between natural faith and spiritual faith. Natural faith is the confidence we have when we sit down in a chair. We expect and know the chair will hold us because we have sat down many times before or watched others sit and believe that a chair will hold our weight. Natural faith is a learned trust that comes from believing others or experiencing a consistent behavior of a circumstance (like the sun rising each day). I trust all of us have “faith” to believe the sun will rise in the eastern sky every morning!

Spiritual faith is different. It is a gift from God. Ephesians 2:8-9 makes this very clear.  “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”

As opposed to natural faith, spiritual faith is a gift from God. You cannot give it to someone, nor can you muster it up in your own heart. You can, like the father whose son was dying, look into the face of Jesus and cry “Lord, please help my unbelief!”Sun rise

If we have unbelief towards God and His promises, then we need to appeal to Him for direct spiritual intervention. We need to “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

After we appeal to God, then we must trust His promises. The Bible says that “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17) Faith comes as we receive, accept and apply the word or message of Christ. It also says in 2 Corinthians 2 that, “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through Him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.”  “Amen,” or agreeing it is true, is the first step in receiving, accepting and applying God’s word to our lives.

Spiritual faith is a force of good in our lives. It is the bridge through which God’s Spirit is released into and through our lives. Therefore it always produces something! First it releases grace for us to believe the Gospel and to enter into eternal life, but it also stimulates us to do good works. James says, “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” This means, if we are not producing acts of grace toward others, then our faith is without the life giving power of God.

So here is the bottom-line on our faith issues. If we want supernatural faith to believe the unseen, then we go directly to God in humble trust and ask for help. After asking, with indifference to your feelings, act on your faith by reading God’s word, and seek His face to allow the Holy Spirit to grow faith in your heart toward His promises. Then as we obey the truth revealed to us, faith will increase. As you continue to say “Amen” to God and His word, you will be amazed by God’s wondrous grace given to you through Jesus Christ!

Got Anxiety?

flat-tire-700x466Ever felt trapped? There is so much to make a grown person cry these days. Worries come from a variety of sources: personal problems, family issues, health concerns, and money problems. Add to this the constant stream of negative national and world news and the anxiety can eat away at your confidence and steal your joy.  Yet our worry changes nothing but our present attitude; it destroys our peace and produces fear.

Does the Bible have a solution?

Very much so! Anxiety and worry are addressed in many passages of scripture.

In Psalm 121 of the Old Testament, the Psalmist cries out, “I lift up my eyes to the hills– where does my help come from?  My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.”

This reminds us that the mountains (meaning our troubles and obstacles) may be huge and seem insurmountable, but OUR HELPER is the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

In the 6th chapter of Matthew, Jesus teaches us how not to worry. “Therefore I tell you, do not Anxiety 1worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 

 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Your Heavenly Father Knows

Jesus tells us to change our focus from us to our Father in Heaven, from our problems to His solutions. It is this change of focus that reveals our trust in Him. God is in control of everything, every circumstance and every person. He is the Sovereign LORD of all creation. Focus on this and worry will leave.

When worry comes knocking at our mind’s door, it steals away our peace.  We must turn to Jesus and trust His promise that He is in control. Isaiah 26:3 gives us the secret in applying this positive truth to all our negative worry: “You (Lord God) keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in You.” When we focus on what God has said, light shines and darkness flees.

Finally, Christian friend, remember Romans 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. These words are assuring because they cover all the circumstances we face. We need to rest in the confidence that God, in His wisdom and Sovereign Grace is working all our circumstances together for His glory and our good.

Do you love God? Have you trusted Jesus Christ’s death on the cross to open the door to God’s grace for you? If so, look toward God not your problems. He is and always has been working out your circumstances. Humble your heart to trust His care and power, and anxiety will be replaced by peace.