Daily Discovering the Blessing

Archive for July, 2013

Times of Refreshing

Psalm 23:3 – He refreshes and restores my life (myself). He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him – not for my earning it, but] for His Name’s sake.

Our Father so very often in revealing to us the spiritual truths of His kingdom uses nature and our experiences in this physical world as demonstrators. That which we experience in the natural very effectively translates supernatural realities. Jesus calming the storm with a word (Mark 4:39) informs the Truth that God’s Word, spoken out in faith, will calm any storm that tries to rise up and challenge us. For any issue or event that sets itself up against God’s alive and active Word (Hebrews 4:12) we will demolish (2 Corinthians 10:5). The parable of the sower sowing seed (Mark 4:1-20), which Jesus characterizes as a foundational teaching (Mark 4:13), illustrates the conditions of the heart and the soul that either make the Word of God of little or no effect in a life, or that offer the conditions necessary for it to flourish. The withering of the fig tree at His word (Matthew 21:19), to the complete astonishment of His disciples, was the example in the physical realm of the power of faith. That faith in our Father and His Word is truly a mountain moving force.

Matthew 21:22 – And whatever you ask for in prayer, having faith and [really] believing, you will receive.”

We have, just recently, been treated to another such spiritual lesson from the physical realm. And it was a powerful example in contrasts. The recent stretch of enervating heat we experienced has been followed by several days of quite cool weather. In our home we spent days listlessly sitting in front of many fans or sequestering ourselves for hours at a time in air-conditioned bedrooms. No chores were accomplished and no energy expended. Then, quite abruptly, we were refreshed with cool weather, pleasing breezes, and rain – sweater weather! And the thought that bounced joyfully around in my spirit was, “Days of refreshing”! We lived through stark contrasts – days of debilitating heat compared to days of comfort and refreshing.

God promises just such “times of refreshing” as we look to Him and Him alone. In Christ, those times of refreshing can be a constant benefit. When fear and worry are replaced by peace, when confusion and stress give way to days of certainty abnd trust, when anything that Satan and the world try to throw our way is overcome by our

“leaning the entire human personality on Him in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness” (Colosians 2:5)

then we receive the times of refreshing He so longs for His kids to experience. The recent weather extremes so clearly demonstrated what “times of refreshing” offer us – for we have been translated from the uncomfortable effects of sin and rbellion, doubt and fear, stress and turmoil, into faith-filled days of peace in all areas.

Our gracious Abba says:

So repent (change your mind and purpose); turn around and return [to God], that your sins may be erased (blotted out wiped clean) that times of refreshing (of recovering from the effects of heat, of reviving with fresh air) may come from the Presence of the Lord.” (Acts 3:19)

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Life Turned Into Art

The world and its confusion and turmoil can be such a disruptive force. It is intended to be. Its “owner” is the “father of lies” (John 8:44), whose main purpose and method of operation is to “steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10).

But there is a standard that we are to hold up against him, and safe within that understanding God’s kids – His sons and daughters – are artists! I wonder how many of us recognize that truth or daily apply it and walk in it. Our art is the application of, the demonstration of, life in the Spirit. In partnership with the Holy Spirit we bring Heaven’s standards to earthly issues, the beauty of holiness to everyday life, and our Abba’s purposes, provisions, and peace to each moment.

With broad brush strokes we color our corner of the world – our specific heavenly assignment. The creative impulse is hardwired into our spiritual DNA for we are children of The Creator! Through Holy Spirit fruit (Galatians 5:22) and giftings (1 Corinthians 12) we address the ills and misconceptions and ugliness of a fallen world. In the face of fear we offer love, hope and peace; we demolish lies with God’s Truth; we purposefully forgive, graciously honor, and hospitably welcome those who enter into our sphere of influence.

With intricate detailing we fine tune and carefully apply godly principles to every aspect of our walk in the Spirit. Daily we purpose to grow in grace, and that grace, and the resulting graciousness, colors life with a beauty, a peace, and a heavenly purpose that profoundly affects every life we encounter. It must, for it is God through us “reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself” (2 Corinthians 5:18-20). Growing in grace through our daily study and increasing understanding of who we are in Christ we demonstrate a “power and ability and sufficiency” (2 Corinthians 3:5) that helps make God’s invisible kingdom visible to many.

A life “hidden with Christ in God”, a mind attentive to Heaven (Colossians 3:3), and a spirit submissive to and controlled by the Holy Spirit brings out the artist in you, and creates a beauty, in your home, in your character, in your corner of the world that truly reflects our Abba.

Purposeful, Resolute Joy

Vine life has some amazing repercussions in a life. The stipulation being that we must make ourselves aware – or be made aware- of all that is ours in Christ.

Recently a friend told me of her brother, a believer, facing a very serious, life-threatening diagnosis. I immediately suggested the book Christ the Healer by F.F. Bosworth as an effective tool, a life preserver really. My friend ordered the book that day and sent it to her brother. She later shared with me that upon hearing my suggestion she knew she had to act on this information – in her spirit she recognized this was not to be put off. She reported that he could not put the book down – that he was “flying high” with the wonderful Gospel message of God’s will for our health and healing found in Bosworth’s book. He was, in fact, joy-filled with what he was learning about this aspect of Vine life.

I often reflect on how frustrated our Father must be at half-lived kingdom lives! This man, my friend’s brother, had been a believer, a Christian, a Christ follower for many years, and yet the powerful Gospel message in Christ the Healer was completely new to him. It re-directed his spirit, overcame misconceptions, and led him out into joy; the joy about Jesus and all that He accomplished on our behalf that we are all meant to daily experience.

When we accommodate depression, illness, anger, resentment, poverty, any sort of brokenness, to the extent that we accommodate we compromise God’s Word and our connection to the Vine – our oneness with Jesus.

When she told me of her brother’s joyful reaction to the book I smiled in remembrance of my similar reaction in discovering Bosworth and the glorious message of Christ the Healer. I too had a negative diagnosis spoken over me long ago. I too was once filled with fear until God’s Word miraculously and forever changed my understanding regarding health and healing. I too could not put the book down! It was truly my life line at that point. It spoke truth to me that I had never known. It quenched my thirst and satisfied my hunger in a life-changing way. Darkness and fear is transformed into light and joy upon the entrance of God’s Word, His eternal promises, into any situation that life and the enemy of God can throw our way.

As His children we honor Him, glorify Him, and represent Him well when every day we:

“…exult and thrill with inexpressible and glorious (triumphant, heavenly) joy” (1 Peter 1:8)

The joy that we have in Christ is the language of praise. Purposefully and resolutely attend to your joy level! It is such a strong reflection of God in a life.