Tag Archives: God’s Heart for Us

Boot Camp Your Soul

When your mind is running off track into the recesses of worry and fret, tell it to sit down, be quiet and trust your Father God who is over all. Speak to your soul, tell it the truth of God! Boot camp your soul and bring it into subjection to the truth and will of God through worship in the Secret Place, making melody in your heart, praying in the Spirit and declaring the Word of God!

His Son holds all things together (Col. 1:13-23), including you and your life. He WILL accomplish everything that concerns you (Ps. 138:8). He IS using all things–ALL THINGS!–for the GOOD of those who love God, to transform us from glory to glory into the image of His Son (Roman 8:28-30).

You ARE His beloved.
You ARE free.
You are the righteousness of God in Christ.

Father sees you through the eyes of love, the blood of His Son, not your sin, not your struggle, not your past mistakes nor all those heart aches.

He sees you, He knows you, He made you and He formed you, every intricate detail of you, before you were anyone else’s first thought. He knows you INTIMATELY (Psalm 139:13-16), so He knows how to bring freedom to every area of your heart and how to orchestrate every area of your life.

Cease from striving to perfect yourself, stop trying get everything right, and be still. Let Him take all the night’s darkness, make the wrong things right and make you whole, no matter your plight (Psalm 139:11-12).

Be still and know that He is God:  If He will be exalted over all THE NATIONS (Psalm 46:10-11), shall He not also be exalted in EVERY area of YOUR life, and bring you into the beautiful image of His Son?

He who sent His Son to take our sin and its penalty, shall He not freely give you all things? Shall He not turn the wrong things right? No never (Romans 8:31-32)! On the contrary! He shall surely rain down His love and righteousness upon all your life!

Oh, He can and He will, He is faithful and He is Love! It is the enemy of your soul who tells you otherwise, telling all his ugly lies, trying to keep you down and kill your soul’s belief, hope and trust.

Believe and trust, don’t look on the outward appearance of things, but look unto Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of your faith, Who for the JOY that was YOU set before Him, endured the cross (Hebrews 12:1-3) and set you free to be who He made you to be in Him:

HIS BELOVED, free from sin and death’s dark sting!
Hallelujah, and amen!

How’s your soul? Do you speak to your soul and declare life over yourself? What declarations do you make each day from the Word of God?

How Do You Perceive God the Father?

“Jesus replied, ‘Have I been with all of you for so long a time, and do you not recognize and know Me yet, Philip? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father…'” John 15:9 (AMP)

Personalize this verse for a moment, as Jesus speaking it to you. That is how this verse was impressed upon me this morning. How often we seem to forget the truth of who God is, or do not yet know Jesus and the Father as They truly are because we still need to pursue knowing God intimately (John 17:3).

At times we think we know Him very well, but often our knowing comes second-hand, such as through what we have heard from the Church, TV, books, and others who don’t always get it right themselves. We even get our perceptions of God through our own experiences with our earthly parents, which may or may not line up with truth.

Jesus said whoever has seen Him has seen the Father (see above), but have we really opened our eyes to God’s true personality, emotions and ways, seeing Him as He really is? How often is God portrayed misleadingly, as some entity up above who is looking at our every fault, sin and flaw, an uncaring Person who is not like a Father at all?

Yet this God is full of mercy and loving kindness. Think of Moses, to whom God declared, “I will make all My goodness pass before you” (Exodus 33:19, 34:5-7, emphasis mine).

Our faithful, all-knowing Father hates sin, but loves each one of us. When He disciplines us it is as our loving Father who LONGS for us to be free from all that causes us pain and heartache, including our own sin (Heb. 12:5).

He is not mad at us, but exceedingly and joyfully in love with us. He sings and dances around us with His love (Zeph. 3:17). After all, Who else would sacrifice His only Son in such sufferings unto death, or even have His Son deal with even the tiniest struggle of an earthly life though He is God, all to set us free? Surely He would not have if He did not love and enjoy each and every one of us whom He fashioned in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13).

Who would rightly pour out so much if they did not love us in a way that no other could–with a perfect love that surpasses all human thoughts of what love truly is (John 3:16-17; Phil. 2:5-11)

This is how He loves us: Perfectly and desiring to show mercy and not sacrifice. Jesus sacrificed Himself so that we could receive mercy and be set free from all darkness and evil, from every sin and sickness, from all pain and heartache, to transfer us into His Kingdom of light (Col. 1:12-14).

This is our God: Father of all fathers, perfect and giving good gifts to His beloved children, our God who never changes (James 1:17).

He gave, and desires with such yearning that all would accept the sacrifice Jesus made and be saved, delivered, and set free. He is the only Way (John 14:6). If you don’t yet know Him or have not been spending that intimate time with Him: Do you want to be a part of that love-filled, adventurous life of knowing more this One who gave all for you? It’s worth it, so give it a try! YOU WON’T REGRET IT, NO NEVER.

So where are you in your journey to know the Father as Jesus knows Him? What is the Lord currently teaching you about Himself that is imparting His love even more greatly into your life?

Prayer Is Conversation: Growing in Intimacy with God

Prayer is a simple concept, but we tend toward making it complicated when we walk it out. We may even wonder if we are doing it right! In this post, I want to bring us back to the simplicity of prayer, and introduce prayer as a primary way to grow in intimacy with God.

Prayer, simply put, is communion with God. Prayer is often expressed as having conversation with Jesus and loving on Him. It is a time of focused attention on Him, talking to Him and pausing to listen as He speaks to us.

It is most beneficial to set aside daily appointments of uninterrupted time with God to grow in intimacy with Him. This forms a foundation for connecting with God throughout our day and in all we do. As we introduce conversation with God into our devotional time with Him, we will more easily begin to talk with Him throughout our day as well.

The practical ideas below can be used to grow your prayer life during both daily appointments with God and by talking with Him throughout your day.

Short, Simple Phrases

Just saying “I love You” to the Lord is a valid form of prayer. Spending a few seconds several times a day, we can connect with God more simply by telling Him how we feel about Him.

I recommend this: Whether in your quiet time, during a worship service, or even throughout your daily activities, pause to speak to God in short phrases of 5-10 second prayers; then pause to allow Him to respond back to you. You want a two-way conversation, not a speech from you to Jesus.

Conversation with God builds our connection with Him, helping us learn to connect with Him no matter where we are or what we’re doing.

Example: As you spend alone time with Jesus, tell Him, “I love You, Lord. Thank You for Your love for me. I am so grateful for You in giving Your life for me.” Pause for a moment. Then go deeper, asking Him to show you His love even more, allowing You to feel what He feels or to know His thoughts toward you. Again leave room for Him to respond to you. Ask His Spirit to show you how He loves you.

Some simple phrases you could also start with:

“Show me how You feel about me/a friend/this situation”
“Give me Your eyes to see”
“Make me more aware of Your presence”
“I choose to trust You”
“You are beautiful”
“Teach me Your ways”
“Remove all that hinders me from knowing Your love and showing it to others”

T.R.U.S.T.

A great acronym that’s easy to memorize and use is T-R-U-S-T: Thank You, Release revelation, Use me, Strengthen me, Teach me. You can find this acronym and more here: Prayers to Strengthen Your Inner Man by Mike Bickle (free PDF download).

Devotional prayer is one way we abide in Christ (see John 15). You can also read or hear more about this in the teaching series Growing in Prayer by Mike Bickle.

I pray this instruction helps you grow even closer in your relationship with God. Feel free to share comments or ask questions.

Call to Love

Tulip by songsinthenightWhat would it be like if all of Christ’s people sought to live out love and the Sermon on the Mount… if we sought His face about all else?

I got to thinking about this the other morning. Not that I’m perfectly living out love, (I’m learning and I fail in doing so just as much as anyone else who is truly seeking after God’s heart). But after seeing some fellow believers “jump ship” in certain areas, I really got to thinking about the response that Jesus would long for us to have. The below is an exhortation, a call to love like Jesus loves, and could also be used as a devotional. But remember this: We who belong to Christ are in this together.

We’re called to love one another. Whether we agree or disagree, no matter what the issue, we cannot stop loving one another. We are not to withhold love or respond in ways unlike Christ. We can’t just throw up our hands and say, “I’m done, I quit.” There is no quitting if we want to win the race. We press on to knowing Christ and growing in love.

We must speak the truth in love, leaving behind fleshly ways that want to shut the other out. We must keep pursuing love no matter how we feel and no matter what we think in our minds. No matter how hurt or wronged we feel, we’re not exempt from choosing love over self. (Ouch! That hurts! Change me, Lord!) We’re called to love, turning the other cheek by loving even when we disagree and think they’ve got something completely wrong.

And above all things, have a fervent love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8)

It is love that will win someone to the truth. Trying to make them get it by constantly bombarding them with words will only drive them away. Is our aim to love them first, or to convince them first? We must make sure our aim is to share God’s truth in love, that we are not just trying to convince someone of what is actually our own opinion. We needn’t convince people of our opinions, but it is God’s truth we are to share lovingly as His Spirit leads. Jesus’ way is faith working through love (Gal. 5:6), through humility and meekness. We share His truth & do not stand for sin, but we do so in His way and His timing–in the love of Christ.

What is love?

This is not love as the world defines it, but this kind of love is a choice, a self-sacrificial love, putting God and others above ourselves. It’s a love that takes you on a journey of learning how to walk it out more and more. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 reveals this to us in a very helpful way:

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails (NASB)

We must not take offense, but guard our hearts above all else so that the springs of life coming forth from us are filled with selfless love (Prov. 4:23). We keep our eyes fixed on Christ who is our joy and our exceeding great reward (Heb. 12:2; Gen. 15:1), trusting Him to resolve any situation as He sees fit. We must simply keep trusting Him, praying His will, and loving Him and one another.

We seek to love like He loves, the One who forgave us, this One who does not shut us out of His life when we wrong Him (He never rejects us, nor does He leave us, see Heb. 13:5). When we were sinners, He welcomed us into His family upon our repentance when we gave our lives over to Him. How much more are we called to love and forgive as He has forgiven us! How much more are we called to be patient with those who wrong us, to pray for them and pour out His love on them as His vessel?

Love never fails. It bears all things, hopes all things. It endures to the end.

If we are to be the Body of Christ in full unity, we must love as He loves. A body can’t rip off one of its thumbs and still function properly; it can’t remove a leg and still be able to walk. When one part of the body is injured, the rest of the body helps to heal it so that the entire body can be whole again. We are in this together. (See Rom. 12:9-21.)

This is His commandment: that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. (1 John 3:23)

We are called to love one another and live out Christlikeness in all areas of our lives, while standing firm, speaking His truth in love.

…let us not love [merely] in theory or in speech but in deed and in truth… (1 John 3:18)

Beloved, if God so loved us…we also ought to love one another. (1 John 4:11)

God, show us Your heart, that we may love as You love. Teach us and anoint us with Your grace to love You and to love one another. I want to live out love in my life to Your glory! Root us in Your love that we love as You love. In Jesus’ name.

Living for God: The Right Motivation

I want to live as a lover of God in the midst of this world. I want to live the fasted lifestyle* with my focus firmly set on Him in passionate pursuit of knowing Him and His heart.

But I don’t want to be religious or legalistic in my pursuit. I don’t want to do this for the approval of others, whether it is man’s, my own, or even in striving as if I must earn through perfection what God has already purchased for me through His Son. God’s Holy Spirit will help all who desire for the purifying of our hearts and the renewal of our minds in this. I don’t want to live out of the wrong motives. Not at all.

I want my supreme motivation to be LOVE–God Himself, for He truly is Love Himself.

I want to be a lover, not a worker; a daughter who serves knowing she is beloved, not a slave who serves out of fear of punishment.

I want to live as a friend of the Bridegroom, as His Bride who is being made ready and who He says is His beautiful delight and cherished by Him.

He has not left us as orphans who must live striving to earn our place in His eyes as ones accepted as good enough; we do not have to perform for our Father or for people. We are already loved, already accepted, and we always have been loved by God, for we were knit together in love by Him.

He longs to pour out more and more of His affection and revelation into us. Help us, Lord, to open our hearts even if we feel unable to do so, and let Your love heal us of all fear, legalism and rejection.

Deliver me and set me free, heal me of all that needs to be so I can live with the right motivation. My sole purpose is to know Jesus, for this is eternal life. Nothing else will matter in the end. It’s love, relationship… with Him.

Let me live, Lord, for You–for Love Himself–and by Love and His ways, and out of the overflow of Your heart of love. Deposit Your love in me more and more each day so I can love You more and love like You love.

We are created to be loved and to love; we are His beloved, that we may receive love.
God is Love, our Life alive, our sole Reason, our holy All ready to fulfill every need and heal every hurt.

He will fulfill my every longing, for He alone can satisfy.
He will fill every empty place, for He only has the key to my heart.

Listening:
Forerunners with Holy Violent Love by Mike Bickle (teaching series)

Reading:
What Is the Point by Misty Edwards (excellent book fit for anyone!)


*Fasted lifestyle — Voluntarily choosing a lifestyle of simplicity which limits various things in life: food, money or accumulating things, status, recognition, etc. While the rewards are primarily internal and spiritual, they are eternal (Isaiah 58; Matthew 6:18, 9:14–17; John 3:39; 1 Corinthians 2:10) –via Chicago House of Prayer