Isn’t it amazing how everything we see on this earth or in the sky began with a Word? God used something that is invisible to the human eye to create everything that is visible. Everything that has been made by man has come from the earth. When you look down at the ground can you envision a house or a bridge? When God began to speak in Genesis 1, He already had a vision of a world filled with people who would love Him and praise Him for all His goodness.
In order to do the will of God in the earth today, Christians must understand how God operates. He doesn’t want us to look at a certain situation and only see the situation; speaking the problem to the problem won’t eliminate the problem. Jesus tells us in Matthew 17, to speak with faith unto the mountain and the mountain will be removed and cast into the sea. In the beginning, God didn’t look at the darkness and say, “It sure is dark!” He didn’t desire to see darkness, so He spoke what He wanted to see, which was light. As Christians, who also happen to be humans, we must do what God did, the way He did it, so that we might get the same results. We must address this life, along with its difficulties, by faith in what we want to see, instead of looking at life with only the view that is offered by our eyes.
Every time that God spoke something from heaven, it appeared exactly that way on earth. Therefore, when God saw on earth what He had declared from heaven, He would call it good. It was good, because He had created it, but also because His will was being fulfilled on earth just as it already was in heaven. Here’s where faith comes into the story of your new life in Christ. If we indeed walk by faith, then we will reflect back to God what He has already planned for our lives. If we don’t walk by faith, but only by sight, then we won’t reflect His will for us and He will know why. For us to have faith simply means that we walk in agreement with His will and not with our will.
No matter how long you may live, you’ll never stop learning. Every minute of every day brings new opportunities to learn something we’ve never known before. As long as we’re open to receive, God will continue to teach us every day.
I’m still learning, and I know I always will be. What God teaches me every day about love continues to change my life. I’ve come to the place where I can honestly say, “Lord, eliminate everything in my life that’s holding me back. Please take away anything that’s keeping me from walking in love and finding true fulfillment in my life.” In other words, “Lord, reduce me to love—bring me to a state or condition of walking in love completely!”
One of the most important facets I’ve learned about love is unselfishness, which is characterized in the Bible as a willingness to sacrifice one’s own wishes for those of others. I’ve learned that true love will always adapt and adjust to the needs and desires of other people.
It’s impossible for people who’ve truly been reduced to love to be selfish. God has taught them how to be totally adaptable and adjustable to others. Selfish people, on the other hand, have hard hearts. It’s very difficult for them to learn anything—especially if it involves self-sacrifice. They expect everyone else to adjust to them and their needs. They simply don’t know how to adjust to others without becoming angry or upset.
Learning to adapt and adjust to the needs and desires of others was very difficult for me. To be honest, I wanted my way, and I got upset when I didn’t get it. I was selfish! I wanted what I wanted, when I wanted it! I couldn’t stand having to wait on someone else or bending my own wishes to accommodate someone else’s timetable.
But God began to soften my heart, and gradually I learned to see the needs of others. Then God gave me compassion—the heartfelt desire to meet the needs of others first before my own.
Slowly, I became committed to walking in love. I learned to adapt my own needs and desires in order to help meet the needs of others. I learned how to show love in different ways to different people. Not all people need the same thing from us. One of our children, for example, may need more of our personal time than the others. One of our friends may need more encouragement on a regular basis than another.
For example, all of my family members need me, my employer needs me, my friends need me—and they all need me in different ways. Do I ever feel too needed? Of course! We all feel overwhelmed from time to time. But I remind myself that God gives me grace for whatever He places in my life, and I’m fortunate to be loved and needed by so many.
If I ever get weary of always trying to be available to meet the needs of others, I remind myself of all the years I lived in selfishness and how unhappy I was. Now I’m just making up for lost time! When I think on this, it doesn’t take long for me to adjust my attitude. After all, just telling people “I’ll pray for you” and “I love you” is not enough. We need to go beyond the words and actually do something to help meet their needs.
Do you sometimes believe that you can accomplish more on your own, without any help from God? Do you often start your day without even acknowledging His presence? If so, I want to challenge you to begin seeking Him—not just in the morning—but throughout your day. Personally, I take advantage of every opportunity I can to find a quiet place where I can be alone to talk with God, just as I would a close friend. When we cultivate a personal relationship with God, we learn that His way is always better than our own.
Often it seems as if the methods of the world are quicker and easier than God’s method; however, I know from experience that His way is always best. Following the world leads to a dead end. However, following God’s way leads to a successful, happy life.
Many times, we rush through our days, proceed with our own plans, and place our time with God on the back burner. As a result, we often travel down those dead-end roads. Only when everything else has failed do we call out to him in desperation. Although God doesn’t mind showing us mercy during those times, He would rather we seek Him first. Just as a close friend would not want to be chosen as a last resort, God doesn’t want to be our last resort either.
When we cultivate a relationship with God, we must understand that He not only wants to be an intricate part of our lives, but He also wants us to delight in the time we spend with Him. When we begin to enjoy spending time with Him, He allows us to know Him on a more intimate level. He reveals mysteries to us when we quiet ourselves and listen more intently for His voice. He will give us answers that only He can give, which will empower us to reach our fullest potential in life.
As we receive His words, we experience a peace that passes all understanding. We begin to have what I call a knowing, deep inside, that He is always there, ready to give us the revelation knowledge we need to operate in power.
In order to reach this secret place, we must keep in mind certain truths that are vital in establishing a relationship with Him. First, we must acknowledge His son, Jesus, who sacrificed His precious blood. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of acknowledging the shed blood of Jesus. It is a necessity in the life of a Believer. It is only because of Jesus’ sacrifice that we have an opportunity to cultivate a close relationship with the Father.
Also, we must love others unconditionally, because God is love. When we begin to increase our understanding of the love of God and operate in it, we will begin to experience more of Him.
Last but not least, we must learn how to cast our cares on Him, setting aside time each day to clear our minds of clutter. God is always speaking to us, but when our minds are filled with worries and concerns we cannot hear Him.
This message is about being steadfast and I pray it helps you like it has me. Probably the one word that describes the successful, victorious Christian life is the word steadfast. It means not moving. Not letting the winds of day to day life blow you off course. Consistency. As I have said many times, this Christian journey we are on is a marathon, not a sprint. It is a daily walk, where each day builds upon the previous day. That is why the daily time with the Lord is so critical. That is why living what you say you believe each and every day is critical. After a while, you begin to know deep down inside that the Lord is so real. That His Word is true. That His promises really are for you. After a while you begin to have total 100% confidence that everything you have put your faith in is very real, and that your faith is not in vain. You see the destroyed lives, the pain, the heartache, the emptiness in so many people around you each and every day that have rebelled and tried to live life their way. You start to understand that doing it God’s way really does work. As the days turn into weeks, and the weeks into months, and the months into years, you start to become steadfast in your relationship with Christ and in your faith.
The element of being steadfast is an element missing in the Christian walk of most new believers. They are still treading water trying to understand it all, and have yet to develop the confidence and total faith in the Lord. For those who have been walking with the Lord for many years, and have learned over time how to be steadfast, I want to challenge you to reach out and help a young believer learn this important element of our life with the Lord. It is difficult for us to bear fruit in our life for the Lord when we do not have that consistency day in and day out. It is difficult for the Lord to use us to touch others when we aren’t steadfast in our walk. Let the Lord use you to teach a young believer how to live that consistent life the Bible calls us to live. It is the responsibility of those who know the Lord, and are mature in their relationship with the Lord, to help the new believers develop that same maturity.
Becoming mature in our Christian experience is extremely important so that we can be the best servant to our God as possible. Being steadfast in our daily life is critical to getting to that place in our life with the Lord. I will be praying today that you will find the strength and courage to be steadfast and not wavering to the right or left as you serve the Lord. God has a great plan for your life, and being able to count on you each day is important to see that plan unfold and know the fullness of His blessings. Make this a priority in your prayer life to work daily to get to that point where you are steadfast, unmovable in your life and commitment to Christ.
May His richest blessings be with you today as you work towards being a steadfast, unmovable servant of the living God!
We can let fear dominate our life or we can choose to be strong and courageous. I say we can “choose” but have you noticed in today’s verse it is a command? Why would God do that? Why would He command us to be strong and courageous? Because we NEED it and He is WORTHY of it! However, we do have options. We can let fear grip our heart and influence our decisions. We can rationalize why we can’t be strong or courageous. We can justify why we should be discouraged and drown in self-pity and yet what does God command? “Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Today, decide to obey the Lord. Be strong and courageous in all you face today.
“This is my command–be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Joshua was about to lead a vast number of wilderness wanderers into the Land of Promise. The parents of these wanderers had once noted how intimidating the land’s inhabitants were, but Joshua had defended God’s promise Now he would see God’s promise fulfilled. But he would have to be strong and courageous. And he would have to remember that God would never leave him or forsake him. We have to remember that too. We know in our heads that God will never leave us or forsake us, but when a crisis hits, we often feel like He already has.
In moments of confusion or pain, we can get really disoriented The God who seemed like He was on our side yesterday suddenly seems like He doesn’t even know our names. In those times of confusion, we need to insist to ourselves what we know to be true: that He hasn’t left and He isn’t going to. He is still on our side.
Like Joshua, we face big moments of decision, times when we have to put our faith on the line and be strong and courageous. We may fear the outcome, but we don’t have to. Even if the outcome isn’t what we expected, God will be with us in the surprise or disappointment. But He will also be with us in many victories. Whatever we have to walk through, He is there. Stake everything on that, no matter how present or absent He seems to be. Trust Him even when you can’t sense Him. He made a binding promise to be with you. And He never breaks a promise.
Father, thank You for being with us. No matter what happens, we know you place victory – in one way or another in our path. You will lead us into many lands of promise. And on the way there, Your being with us means everything.