I give GOD thanks that he is my friend when at time I do not behave myself. I always think that GOD call Abraham a friend even though he was a idol worshiper into a covenant relationship
| 2008/5/31 11:24||Profile|
Way to go brother! I believe our Papa longingly awaits our step of faith to meet Him and is able to keep what steps you have taken (this reminds me, I think you'd be helped much by Andrew Murray).
As Michael Card sings, he is the God of new beginnings and each day is a vibrant, new beginning.
A word of caution also: O. Chambers reminds us that to be concerned about our own spiritual progress is a trap of our enemy. I have repeatedly fallen into this trap. It is so subtle and disguised in our effort for spiritual victory. It turns us inward and gives stength to the old man. Be careful...as you may know, we are in a war and you are hunted by one who would devour you. (He is greater that is in you than he that is in the world)
| 2008/5/31 11:53||Profile|
Phoenix, Arizona USA
It is good to see your heart stirred with a deepened hunger for intimacy with God. You are in our prayers.
Here is some advice from George Muller that I have found to be very helpful, I hope it will be of help to you also...
May 7.(1) It has recently pleased the Lord to teach me a truth, irrespective of human instrumentality, as far as I know, the benefit of which I have not lost, though now, while preparing the fifth edition for the press, more than fourteen years have since passed away. The point is this: I saw more clearly than ever that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my soul happy in the Lord.
The first thing to be concerned about was not how much I might serve the Lord, how I might glorify the Lord; but how I might get my soul into a happy state, and how my inner man might be nourished.
For I might seek to set the truth before the unconverted, I might seek to benefit believers, I might seek to relieve the distressed, I might in other ways seek to behave myself as it becomes a child of God in this world; and yet, not being happy in the Lord, and not being nourished and strengthened in my inner man day by day, all this might not be attended to in a right spirit.
Before this time my practice had been, at least for ten years previously, as an habitual thing to give myself to prayer, after having dressed myself in the morning. Now, I saw that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the word of God, and to meditation on it, that thus my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, instructed; and that thus, by means of the word of God, whilst meditating on it, my heart might be brought into experimental communion with the Lord.
I began therefore to meditate on the New Testament from the beginning, early in the morning.
The first thing I did, after having asked in a few words the Lord blessing upon his precious word, was, to begin to meditate on the word of God, searching as it were into every verse, to get blessing out of it; not for the sake of the public ministry of the word, not for the sake of preaching on what I had meditated upon, but for the sake of obtaining food for my own soul.
The result I have found to be almost invariably this, that after a very few minutes my soul has been led to confession, or to thanksgiving, or to intercession, or to supplication; so that, though I did not, as it were, give myself to prayer, but to meditation it turned almost immediately more or less into prayer. When thus I have been for a while making confession, or intercession, or supplication, or have given thanks, I go on to the next words or verse, turning all, as I go on, into prayer for myself or others, as the word may lead to it, but still continually keeping before me that food for my own soul is the object of my meditation.
The result of this is, that there is always a good deal of confession, thanksgiving, supplication, or intercession mingled with my meditation, and that my inner man almost invariably is even sensibly nourished and strengthened, and that by breakfast time, with rare exceptions, I am in a peaceful if not happy state of heart. Thus also the Lord is pleased to communicate unto me that which, either very soon after or at a later time, I have found to become food for other believers, though it was not for the sake of the public ministry of the word that I gave myself to meditation, but for the profit of my own inner man.
-excerpted from the autobiography of George Muller
| 2008/5/31 12:32||Profile|
Thus also the Lord is pleased to communicate unto me that which, either very soon after or at a later time, I have found to become food for other believers, though it was not for the sake of the public ministry of the word that I gave myself to meditation, but for the profit of my own inner man.
He is ever multiplying that which is given unto Him.
| 2008/5/31 16:13||Profile|
Washington DC area
Quote: This is a wonderful place to start. Jesus steps in unless we've come to our wits' end. There's a lot of scriptures I could give you but I would recommend that you read aloud the Psalms in your prayer closet and ask the Holy Spirit to quicken the word as you read it...
I'm not struggling with a particular lust but I fear I'm neither hot or nor cold - a terrible place to be in... Whats more I have felt like this for over 6 months and just feel uncapable of change. I know in theaory God can do it but I need God to actually do it.
Your quote above led me to Revelations 3 and I've prayed this prayer when I feeling particularly dry.
Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Rev 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Rev 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
The promises to the seven churches are to the overcomers. I pray that you'll choose to be an overcomer by the precious blood of Jesus...
Peace be with you and I pray that Jesus meets you as you cry out to him...
| 2008/5/31 16:47||Profile|
Over the course of our lives we can expect to have seasons, just like nature. In the summer staying warm is quite easy, but in the winter staying warm requires chopping some wood...or at least paying some higher bills.
For that reason I appreciate the wisdom that the people are offering here as a way to live in the less enthusiastic seasons we find ourselves in.
Get on a plan...its discipline that God requires...
Amen. As Christians we can become overwhelmed by challenges within and without, and lethargy can be a natural response to all we face. There are times when enthusiasm fades, and our own spirits seem too heavy to be lifted.
That is when we can learn that even in spiritual matters there is the principle of mechanical advantage. If you try to lift a heavy object with just your back and arms you strain and become tired. If you design a system with just one pulley, the object grows lighter. If you add three pulleys, with minimal effort you find you can lift the same weight that exausted you before.
Disciplines are like pulleys. Add just a few smartly placed wheels into your daily and weekly patterns, and feel the relief of this mechanical advantage in no time at all. With habitual character, we can lift things that were too heavy for even our best enthusiasm. Systematic study habits, prayer times, and other productive 'chores' are outward disciplines that soon lead to inward displines like cultivating courtesy, encouragement, love, thankfulness, and many other aspects of the fruit of the Spirit.
On a side but important related note; I used to mistakenly think that because I have the Holy Spirit living in me, the fruit of the Spirit is going to be as effortlessly effusive from me as orange juice squeezed from an orange. Yet, I didn't know that an orange seed needed to go through at least 7 winters of juvenility before it is old enough to bear fruit. (We should show kind patience to the young in Christ.) Likewise the Holy Spirit comforts and strengthens through seasoned discipline, not through mood and sentiment. The search for that inward fire that never dies, some perfect empowering mood that always motivates, is especially peculiar to modern evangelicals; they rightfully claim their inheritance of being 'born-again' but wrongly assume that such a grand estate inheritance should keep yeilding fruit, crops, meat, ect. while requiring no disciplined groundskeeping and property maintenance. As a result, many sincere believers are surprised that when pressed with adversity and offense, they act worse then unbelievers.
The desciple has access to mechanical advantage that the mere believer does not have. This is the leverage of habitual godly character, and I believe it is part of what Jesus was talking about when he said "My yoke is easy, my burden is light." (I would say the heart of this yoke is love, but a real love that is cultivated through discipline, not through feelings.) Without discipline, all we have is passion, inspiration and enthusiam. Since these moods seem hard to come by, life can become very heavy to us indeed.
Now there seems to be this idea that when we finally achieve spiritual maturity we will at last obtain the perpetually enthusistic mood for service we are looking for, enabling us to live the Christian life tirelessly once and for all. This is why so many contemporary worship songs are about asking for more 'fire' and more 'passion from God. The problem I have with these type of contemporary prayers, is that in my experience the Lord is too interested in our characters becoming strong and upright, to allow us to become marshmallowy mood dependent creatures.
This is not to discourage us from seeking to be passionate though! Indeed, this is just to remember to be encouraged through the winter seasons. And when those warm passions return, your set of disciplines will be a gearset that will multiply that force exponentially! Untill then, while still in our colder drier times, I think we should remember that God is very patient and fond of children who are cultivating their godly characters with or without the assistance of enthusiasm. There is no need to beat ourselves up for not 'feeling' the fire every day. God is the creator of winters just as much as the fall, spring, and summer seasons!
For You have tried us, O God;
You have refined us as silver is refined. You brought us into the net;
You laid an oppressive burden upon our loins. You made men ride over our heads; We went through fire and through water...
Yet You brought us out into a place of abundance.
MC (...one who has a great, great deal to learn of Christ's yoke.)
| 2008/6/1 0:21||Profile|
I feel your struggle -for it is mine as well!
It would seem that the Lord is wooing His Bride. May He enable us to overcome.
I seem to remember that the 10 virgins all had lights and they all slept. May we be found with that extra oil so that our lights will not go out.
Sometimes in making a big change it is good to take small steps. Could you do that? Could you give Him 5 minutes each day? Could you give Him 5 minutes in His Word? Then could you give Him 5 minutes in response to that Word?
One thing that has helped me recently is reading The Shack. It was a very touching story and draws one closer to the Master.
May the Lord give you the grace and strength of an overcomer, for that is what He made us to be.
| 2008/6/1 11:06||Profile|
Thank you all for your prayers and encouaragement.
By Gods grace I have had time with him the past 7 days. I haven't done this for over a year now, so I am joyful that God has helped me.
Zionshield I had never considered that being concerned about my spiritual health but be a trap, but I can see how that could be the case.
Thank you for the words from Muller InTheLight.
This particular touched me:
"The first thing to be concerned about was not how much I might serve the Lord, how I might glorify the Lord; but how I might get my soul into a happy state, and how my inner man might be nourished."
"The first thing I did, after having asked in a few words the Lord blessing upon his precious word, was, to begin to meditate on the word of God, searching as it were into every verse, to get blessing out of it; not for the sake of the public ministry of the word, not for the sake of preaching on what I had meditated upon, but for the sake of obtaining food for my own soul."
I simpy wanted to come back here to say thank you. My intention is to continue seeking the Lord every morning, I know in Him it is possible...
| 2008/6/6 11:55||Profile|
That you sought to be encouraged is a great example. This is how it should be.
Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ... let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
| 2008/6/6 13:46||Profile|