"God didn't send me out to collect a following for myself, but to preach the Message of what He has done, collecting a following for Him" (1 Corinthians 1:17)

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Fueled and Aflame

renew refresh

MY PRAYER: I’m lost without You, Lord. Although I found my way back, and I’ve apologized for having left You all those years ago, I sometimes feel so far from You because of it. I miss that joy and freedom I felt so long ago; that carefree spirit that never seemed to doubt where I stood with You.

I want to serve You will all that I have. I often miss that exuberant joy of Your Holy Spirit that seemed to come so easily before, when I knew You were cheering me on or offering Your approval. How can I be so sure now that what I’m doing is helping Your Kingdom plans? 

It’s not always easy to stay focused without that powerful Spirit-knowing sensation. How can I make sure I won’t look back again, God?

REMINDER FROM GOD: Anyone who tries to live by his own efforts, independent of Me, is doomed to failure. I have soaked you in My laundry and scrubbed your life white as snow. I’ll set those once-broken bones back to dancing and give you a fresh new start. I’ll bring you back from gray exile, and put a fresh wind in your sails. You will teach rebels My ways so the lost can find their way home [to Me]. You learned God-worship when your pride was shattered, and now your heart-shattered life is ready for love, and it won’t for a moment escape My notice.

Wake up every morning to the sound of My loving voice, and go to sleep trusting Me. I will point out the road you must travel. I’m your only hope. I will teach you how to live. I will lead you by My blessed Spirit.

Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be a good friend who loves deeply; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourself fueled and aflame. Be an alert servant, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Bless your enemies and laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Discover beauty in everyone. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.

Resist going back to old rule-keeping and peer-pleasing, for when you do, you abandon everything personal and free in your relationship with Me.

I have set you free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom.

At the right time, you will harvest a good crop if you don’t give up or quit.

{Galatians 3:9; Psalm 51; Psalm 143:7-10; Romans 12:9-21; Galatians 2:21, 5:1, 13, 6:9}

NOTE TO SELF: Paul wrote in Galatians that he was far from perfect or virtuous, even as a follower of Christ. We all have our battles to fight, some of us just come out on top quicker, and for others it takes longer—sometimes years.

Following Christ is not an easy road to take.Eventually we need to walk again on our own two feet and no longer glide on the Holy Cloud God provides in the beginning. David’s Psalms so often explained a feeling of abandonment by God. He didn’t always feel the Holy Spirit, but he never doubted God was on his side.

God also referred to David as “man after His own heart” (Acts 13:22); this man who fell far from God at one point in his life, so far that he committed both adultery and murder! I wonder if David began to feel that distance from the Holy Spirit after all of that, too.

“I’m homesick—longing for your salvation; I’m waiting for Your word of hope…In Your great love, revive me so I can alertly obey your every word” (Psalm 119:81, 88).

{Renew. Restore. Refresh. Revive. Words to help us after looking so far back that we forgot to look ahead again.}

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