As I begin my day this morning, I was pondering just how close God is; certainly not a far-off God! Feeling He is as close as my next heartbeat, prayer or thought and relishing that thought I am reminded of Romans 8:38-39 which states “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
When I keep this foremost in my mind, I can be alert to any irritation, fear or worry that attempts to sneak in and cast it out immediately. Either my thoughts are harmonious or not for they certainly cannot hold Love and hatred at the same time. It is my choice what to nurture and I choose peace.
While studying this morning, I began thinking about this season. It is often said that “Love is in the air”. This is so much more than a personal Love, but a heart-felt love for everyone and everything. New growth is everywhere as well as evidenced by nature. It is a mental state and certainly does not have to be limited by the month of April but can be felt everyday when we awake to how important our thoughts are.
Psalm 16:11 reads “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” This does not say that this time of year is necessary to feel this joy!
This morning as I study and pray, the thought came to me that my Church family may know me better than my own family. There are times when I feel less judged by my Church family and I feel my siblings may still view me in the past. Then, I asked myself, “Is this my thinking?” Philippians 3:13-14 states “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Recently, I had the opportunity to spend time with family individually as they were here during a recent challenge I experienced. The only thing that was expressed was Love, no pretense nor judgment at all. As I think back my heart is filled with gratitude and humility for that time with each of them. My daily prayer is for more grace and the ability to drop off any concern on what anyone else thinks. It really is none of my business. Spiritual growth is all that really is going on.
In the recorded allegory of Adam and Eve, the story is about Eve being tempted to believe in a power other than God. Rather than being grateful for everything in the garden, her focus was on the one tree, she could not have. Don’t we even have to face that temptation today? When our blessings are so great, we want to think about lack of some kind.
Philippians 4:8 states “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Isn’t that clear? We always have a choice on whether we choose light or darkness.
John 21:6 reads “And He said to them ‘Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat and you will find a catch.’ So they cast, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish.” This is asking us where is our confidence? Fear is faith in evil while courage is faith in God, Good. Are we planning on failing or are we knowing that our confidence comes from God and we can be expectant of Good.
When we pray, are we allowing God to work it out for us or we trying to outline humanly what we think is best? No matter what the scene, God is in charge and always knows what is best for us and what lessons we need to learn. Knowing this confidently, we can pray asking to see what God sees and courageously, take the steps that are revealed to us.
Many times one may try to rate a disease or error. Is it the worse or maybe, not so bad? This labeling can be a deterrent in the healing process. When reading of Jesus’ healings and demonstrations, one will never read where He thought turning the water into wine was less than restoring the withered hand. All challenges should be met by the understanding there is nothing impossible to God and that is where our prayers should begin.
The false beliefs of “am I good enough” or “do I know enough” are dispelled with the knowing of God’s omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence leaving no space for error. Philippians 4:19 states “And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” This doesn’t say “some of your needs” or a “few of your needs” but “all your needs”.
This morning as I was thinking about supply, I thought how easy it is for us to believe that it comes from our employment, or spouse or some other entity other than God. The Truth is that gratitude is riches and that becomes apparent as we become more prosperous when we become more grateful for the good we already have.
The very last verse of II Kings reads “And his allowance, a continual one, was given him by the king, every day a portion, for the rest of his life.” So often, I replace “his” and “him” with “me” and “my”. This can also replace the fear of a belief of lack in our thinking.