In this narrative, we find Zacharias and Elizabeth faithfully following the Lord and His ways. An area of lack remained in their lives despite this. Almost surprisingly, we discover that this lack was God-ordained! God had chosen this couple to bring forth John the Baptist–forerunner of Jesus–at just the right moment of time. Continue reading
Father God has given us each a free will. He has given us a beautiful choice to show love and honor to Him and others. Most often, we think we do this pretty well. Nonetheless, our hearts still contain impurities revealing self-focus and unhealed wounds.
Learned behaviors we thought were normal affect our daily lives. Ingrained habits plague us. We raise our voices at our children or siblings. We avoid those who rub us wrong. Or perhaps we find ourselves doing things to fulfill the need to be useful, or we assert ourselves wrongly to feel in control. Maybe we busy ourselves to avoid painful emotions.
Even in the many struggles we have, Father God is working to refine us into vessels of His love as we yield to Him.
We want to be ones who seek the heart of God, showing selfless love to all who we come near. Jesus confirmed this call. When asked about the most weighty of the Commandments, He said that loving God with all and loving others are the two from which all others stem (Matthew 22:36-40).
We realize our attempts to love remain tainted with self-serving. Showing love and honor is not automatic. Because of our tendencies toward selfishness and sin, we must seek to be intentional. We must be mindful of those around us.
If we ask, Father God will reveal ingrained behaviors and help us replace them with the fruits of the Holy Spirit. We must seek to be a blessing in every situation. It will take allowing Him to show us the depths of our souls.
The journey of renewing our minds is a process. It doesn’t occur in a moment or two. It takes consistent, season-after-season moments with Jesus. Nonetheless, it is one of the most beautiful parts of our journey with Him.
Spending time renewing our minds in God’s Word helps us grow in faith, hope and love. As we grow closer to God through His Word, we will experience transformation. And we all need and desire that in areas of our lives which need what only Father God can provide: True identity, perfect love and freedom from fear.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
– Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV)
Our Father wants to repair every wrong mindset and remove every lie. He wants to transform our perspective toward ourselves, others and the world. He even wants to help us not be led by our emotions. This comes through time spent with Him in worship, prayer, and meditating on His Word.
What is meditation on the Word? This type of meditation is not like the kind of meditating the world and other spiritualities call it. Campbell McAlpine says,
“Meditation is the devotional practice of pondering the words of a verse . . . of Scripture, with a receptive heart, allowing the Holy Spirit to take the written Word and apply it as the living Word to the inner being.”
– Campbell McAlpine
Would you like to have a mind more renewed in God’s Word? Do you need peace in your life, freedom from fear and anxiety, an attitude adjustment, or other things? I know I do! And thankfully, Christ has all this and more waiting for us.
“You sift and search out my path and my lying down, and You are acquainted with all my ways.” – Psalm 139:3 (AMPC)
Each day You know our path. You even search out every detail of it. You sift our path and our ways concerning each day. In this, You set aside those things which need not be a part of the day’s doings. You show us what is best according to Your perfect plans.
You are acquainted with all of us and all of our ways. You know best what each day should hold even when we try to take on too much or when we attempt to tackle things that need to wait.
Some days things do not go as planned. But in this, You desire for us to respond as Christ would, in patience and kindness. You desire for us to seek You in these moments for what You have in store.
“…in Your book all the days [of my life] were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them.” – Psalm 139:16 (AMPC)
Perhaps You have something else to pinpoint, to bring us to do. Perhaps You simply are trying to get our attention, or call us to simply rest. Maybe we aren’t abiding in Christ as we should, and we need to be aware of Your ever-present Holy Spirit within us.
It is not always easy, but You are working in us to fashion us into a reflection of Jesus, Your Son. As in a mirror, You desire us to reflect the beauty of His character and heart.
“And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.” – 2 Corinthians 3:18 (AMPC)
Beholding is becoming.
What we focus on, what we spend time thinking about, is what we become most like. The people we hang out with most, we tend to be like over time. So may we want to be like Jesus, and spend much time beholding His loving heart, His kind tenderness, His perfect ways.
Help us yield to You even when You orchestrate our day differently than we originally had planned. Help us let go and follow Your lead. Help us to trust in You, our Good Shepherd. Help us to be still and know that You alone are God.
If you are experiencing difficulties or challenges, know God sees you. Know His heart is for you. He answers when you cry out to Him. Don’t be afraid to call upon Him in your time of need.
The Lord is able to lead us by His Spirit far better than any human being. He is patient with us. He loves when we look to Him. He delights when we seek His way for our lives and in all situations.
“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
(Hebrews 4:15-16 NKJV)
Pour out your heart to Him. He can handle it. He wants to hold you close, releasing comfort and wisdom to you. He longs to speak to you from His Word. It is here where you will find His words of Spirit and life (John 6:63).