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Existing – continued survival

Living – the pursuit of a lifestyle of the specified type.

There is a difference between just existing and truly living.

We need daily food to exist, to continue on this earth. But the pursuit of just continuing on this earth isn’t truly living.

One begins living when one shifts the focus from living how I want to living how God would have me. When our motives and desires are no longer self-based but God-based we can have life.

Life from above is a joy filled.

We need to be full, filled with the word of God to truly live. To have a life of purpose that is worth living. It gives life a hope, an expected end of good. A live not lived in vain.

alone with God

It has been my desire and prayer for a while to draw closer to God. You ask, “Isn’t that every Christian’s desire?” It should be. But do we really act on that desire? Or do we just say it?

Yesterday one of the Bro’s at church testified to the same desire. He spoke how God told him, (and I paraphrase) “If that is what you want, do your part. Take more time to be with me. If you can spend hours online, you have time to spend with me. You want to draw closer, you read more, you pray more. I am here, you make the time to know me better.”

I too have heard God tell me this…take more time to spend with me. He said it again yesterday through testimony. I made a determination to put this into practice. Not to just say I want to draw closer, I need to read the Bible more, I need to pray more…but to do it. If I have to, I will make an appointment to spend the time with God. What I have done in the past is no longer enough for me. I desire a deeper relationship with God. To truly be one with Him and Him in me.

prayWhen I have prayed about the different things that I struggle with, the thought has come, if more time was spent in the Word and in Prayer, these “things” wouldn’t be such a trial. You would have more strength and a greater back bone to handle the temptations and situations presented by the enemy of souls. A benefit of drawing closer to God, is gaining the complete victory that has previously alluded me because of decisions I have made to please the flesh.

As I am structure or schedule oriented, I have made a plan. It will at least help get this started. While it may seem funny and one may think that it isn’t right to be so “organized” about it, but let the spirit move. Yes we need to be guided by the Holy Spirit, but God gave us a mind and free will. If this is how I am going to get my flesh under control and set time aside for God, then so be it. This is what I will do.

I am going to stBible-and-handsart a study in Romans. Read a little each day, pull out a nugget and meditate on it. I will also use one of the Streams in the Desert books as a supplemental reading. I want to specifically take time to pray for those at work and the day ahead before I walk in the door. This in addition to a morning prayer. I want to specifically pray and give thanks for my food. Yes I am faithful to be thankful. But sometimes I find myself just saying “Thanks for the food”. Again, there is nothing wrong with this. And I am not saying that there has to be a 10 min prayer at every meal, but I want to take more time and talk to God, not just at him. Not just out of form or repetition or habit, but to make a connection with him.

Since writing helps me process what I read and think, I shall share my journey. Starting with Romans 1.

Romans was written to Saints. To us. To those that are saved and living with out sin. Not to sinners. (Although there is good for them too)  Romans 1:7 reads “To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints…” The beautiful thing about the Bible is that it is current and applicable for us as saints just as it was to the Romans that Paul wrote to.

Paul starts his letter to the Romans with his commendations (vs 1-5), he testimony of where he came from. He follows this with a greeting and a desire to visit the saints (vs7-13). In this he mentions that he is looking forward to working with the saints to bring in a harvest. Ready to preach the gospel and not being ashamed of God’s work.

 

Paul is an exampannouncerle to us. Always ready to enter the work of God where needed. Always ready to speak of God. Not shrinking from duty or other opinions that might oppose God’s truth. Romans 1:16-17 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God to salvation to every one that believeth: to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” Paul recognizes the power that is in the gospel and how it can change a soul and give life. This is what he wants to bring to those in and around Rome.

We too need to take this example, to not be ashamed, but to recognize the great power in God and the gospel, the good news about Christ and spread that to those around us. Whom have we spoken to about Christ recently? Have you shared what God has done form you? Have you said a word about Christ? Are you ashamed or are you willing to be lead by the spirit and speak of the gospel?

 

In Revelations 1:8 God states that he is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending…it hit me this morning…and maybe I am a little slow sometimes, but this just doesn’t apply to us spiritually or metaphorically, but very personally. For each relationship, situation, new start, He needs to be the beginning and ending of it. Our choices and decisions need to begin with him and end with him. If we are careful to keep God at the start and throughout each decision, we can be sure that our steps will be led by him.

Last week in the Bible discussion group on Wednesday we spoke about silver and how it is used in the Bible.

1. In the days of Christ, 30 pieces of silver was the price of a slave. That was the value that was put on Jesus. He was worth no more than a slave to Judas and the Pharisees that bought him. However it was that “worthless human”, Jesus Christ that paid for our sins. He alone was the acceptable sacrifice. 1 Peter 1:18 and 19 reads “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:” We were bought by the priceless sacrifice of Jesus whom the world deemed worthless.

2. Silver a costly and precious metal is used as a representation for the value of wisdom and understanding through out the Old Testament. We read this in: Proverbs 2:3-5 “Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.” 3:13-14 “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.” 8:10-11 “Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.“ 16:16 “How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!” Let us value those things that need to be valued. Wisdom and understanding are not just for those that are older and have followed God for years, it is something that all saints need to strive to increase.

I have been thinking a lot about life, the plans we make, and the paths we take. Who directs those? What is our motivation? What gives us direction? Here are the scriptures and thoughts I came up with.

In Bible study this last week our lesson was on this topic and this scripture stood out to me. Proverbs 16:9 KJV “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” In my personal study I read the previous verses in both the King James Version and the Amplified. The Amplified reads as follows starting in verse 1:

The plans of the mind and orderly thinking belong to man, but from the Lord comes the [wise] answer of the tongue. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits – the thoughts and intents of the heart. Roll your works upon the Lord – commit and trust them wholly to Him; [He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed. (I stopped at this thought of God causing our thoughts become agreeable to his will. This is highly important for our plans to succeed. If our motivation and desire is to do God’s will, he will turn our thoughts so they accept and follow his perfect plan.) … When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. Better is a little with righteousness – uprightness in every area and human relation and right standing with God – than great revenues with injustice. A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure.

There was a reference over to Psalms 37:23-24:

The steps of a [good] man are directed and established of the Lord, when He delights in his way [and He busies Himself with his every step]. Though he fall, he shall nor be utterly cast down, for the Lord grasps his hand in support and upholds him. Amplified

I was so encouraged by this, that if our motivation and desire is to seek and follow God’s will for our life, he will direct and guide us. But not only that, when we step ahead of him and fall, he doesn’t leave us on the ground saying it is our fault, he helps us to get back on our feet, dusts us off, and gets us going on the path that we needed to be on.

Seek God for direction in your life and be determined to follow his lead where ever it may take you.

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