MAKING THE BEST OF “NOW”

July 15, 2009 by  
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Wherever you are  in life it is important to take some time and enjoy the moment.  Regardless of what is happening or not happening you are still here. What is most valuable in life is life itself! Whether you believe it or not, Life is a precious gift from God!   Time belongs to Him.  It is through His Son Jesus Christ everything was Spoken into Existence!  Please if you have any?  Listen with your spiritual ears for a moment.  Let this register in your mind  a moment, please read it again if necessary.  This is powerful!  Listen to what Colossians tells us about JESUS!   “HE is the image of the invisible GOD, the firstborn over ALL CREATION, For by HIM ALL things, were CREATED; things in HEAVEN and on EARTH, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or powers or  rulers or authorities aALL things were CREATED  by HIM and for HIM…” 

Did you know no matter how much you want  to,  you cannot turn back the hands of time?   You can look back, wish things would or could have been different but in reality you can’t go back and undo what has been done.   Letting go does not mean forgetting. You can thumb through photo albums, year books or diaries, spend an afternoon watching personal videos reminiscing on what was, but you cannot go back.  Begin to “Make the Best of NOW!

If  there are a  lot of  past unresolved issues that continue to crop up,  guess what? Looking back momentarily to disengage from the fermenting  stored  up pain or resentment can be healthy.  You cannot change anything that has happened.  But you can change how it continues to hinder  you from moving forward and becoming all that you were meant to be.   Begin letting it go!  Remember the child in you is always present.  It is the part of you that wants its way; now.   The part of  you that says, Hey! I want, I hurt,  I need I, I, I …  But the adult in you has to take responsibility for your  actions and your  well being.  The adult in you has to readily evaluate and say hmmm let me think before I react.   We must learn to patiently respond  rather than just impulsively  react.  Remember you cannot change what has happened but you can change what you do NOW! 

Self control is a virtue. It is also a part of God’s Fruit.  We as God’s children need Him daily to help us implement His principles within our lives.  He has given us His Holy Spirit as The Comforter to help us! Rest assured,  He is everywhere we are.  We just have to invite Him in on whatever is happening.  It is easy to just go it on your own and live haphazardly, or let the chips fall where they may?  Nor does it take any discipline.   But is this how it should be?   Sin is anything that separates us from God!  It takes self control to access  His presence.  A simple unuttered prayer will do!  There is POWER in the name of JESUS!

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 As a child of God we never get to the point that we don’t need Him as Father and Lord!   We are ageless children to Him. Yes things  do happen  sometimes that are beyond our control.  But, we must learn to become responsible self controlled adults living in this world where any and everything goes.  His principles where meant to be our barometer for what is right and wrong.    He wants us to humble ourselves and walk in humility.  He wants us to be a people of  Power who walk in meekness not in our weaknesses.  This is why He says; “ I tell you  the TRUTH, unless we change and  become like little   children, you  we will never enter the Kingdom  of  Heaven.”     John said, “REPENT! For the Kingdom of   Heaven is at hand (near)”   John was not talking about later on, he meant right then and yes, NOW.  The kingdom of God is near and accessible.   HIS WORD tells us, “So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit…”

Do you want to  experience  His Kingdom where there is  Joy and  His Peace which is not contingent on our circumstance?  Kingdom in this sense is not talking about a realm or physical place.  It is talking about letting God rule and reign  in your life NOW!  It’s  about living in His presence NOW.  Remember,  Jesus taught His disciples to pray “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and lead us…”    We need the Fruit of His Spirit daily.  What is that?  “But the FRUIT of  the SPIRIT is , Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control…”

 

Today really  is a new day.  But His principles have not changed!  It is not like “Ground Hog Day”,  which is this amusing, humorous little movie that I have watched many times.  In this comedy the day happens over  and over for Bill Murray until it gets absolutely ridiculous.  He is the only one that is aware that the day is happening over and over.  The day’s events  become  so very predictable  after he has lived it over and over so many times that he knows what is going to happen before it happens.  The point is in going back it still did not change what had happened.  Therefore we must move forward consciously making a sincere attempt to live life with purpose.      “This is the Day that the LORD has made let us REJOICE and be GLAD in it…”  I then always say  Who but GOD can make a day?   

If you look  and study closely  you will see that the disciples went through some things.  It was not always a bed of ease!  But yet,  they depended on Him and yes, they  persevered!   They  continued to move toward God and grow in the Grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ!   It is important to nurture   the child in you.  You cannot give what you do not have.   We therefore ask daily for the continual infilling presence of His precious Holy Spirit!  He is more than able!    God IS  realistically able to fill every void that  we have.  He is the GREAT “I AM”!  

You can actually take control by going back to let go of what was or what could have been.  You do not want to live in denial.  It can be somewhat  therapeutic  by looking  back momentarily and reenacting certain scenarios?   This is because you are now deciding to take control and begin  letting go of things and situations that you  could not  or cannot change.  You are  in a sense REPENTING!  You  NOW begin to  move toward  by letting go and letting God’s way take the wheel of your life!   

God really is AWESOME!  Don’t limit His ability to be All that He is in your life!  He is so much more  than what our little finite minds can ever conceive.  Remember  from the very Beginning everything was spoken into existence by His Son Jesus Christ!  He truly is Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent!  Whatever has happened is happening or will happen God already knows.   This is why it is so important to begin living your life to Please Him.  You will never be able to please any or everybody all the time.  But you can begin walking , talking and living in His Presence.  You can begin “Making the BEST  of  NOW!” 


Spiritual Strength & Conditioning

Alpine ClimbingSpiritual Strength & Conditioning

Did you know that many universities and colleges employ a strength and conditioning coach to train their athletes? Their responsibilities include program design, teaching exercises, performance testing, teaching proper weight lifting techniques among various other duties. They rigorously train and strive to abet an environment that is conducive to helping them reach their optimum functioning capacity. There is much thought time and preparation exerted in order to prepare their athletes. They support and recognize the need for effective training. A proper nutritious diet is encouraged as well. When properly grasped the acquired skills are useful to strengthen and enhance one’s day to day life when implemented, as well as their overall playing ability.

Did you know that the Bible refers to life as a race? But this race is not about speed, it is about endurance! Conditioning is an integral aspect of training for a professional athlete. Stretching and toning exercises are employed to strengthen the body in addition to physical exercises and weight lifting. Flexibility, strength and endurance are all apparent components when one subscribes to a disciplined exercise program. In addition a partner is used for resistance in order to further enhance one’s ability to become agile.

 

The importance of implementing a daily proper nutrition program is essential. Balance is the key. Knowing when, how much, how little and where to apply the acquired skills are crucial. But the main concept and principles should never be abandoned in order to reach your desired goal.

One must always keep in mind that the main purpose is first and foremost. The purpose is to develop a healthy strong body constitution. This will ultimately factor greatly in one’s overall success and endurance ability. The long term goal is that it all eventually in due course becomes a natural process incorporated into one’s daily life. In this respect their goal is not at all different from what God wants for us. Developing a strong body constitution is just what He wants. Perhaps if we kept uppermost in mind who the Body really belongs to we would handle things quite differently? Perhaps the long term goal would be embraced rather than the temporary “quick fix” method? We must remember that endurance and embracing Truth is the key!

 

The Bible is adamant on its position that the “Church” is the “Body of Christ”. It is crystal clear telling us how important it is to be mindful of the things we say or do. How we live day to day, regardless of where we work, live, play or attend worship service. Daily personal Bible study and its application are important for spiritual conditioning. When Bible study at church is used to further strengthen one’s spiritual life it is most effective. However, all too often it is used to condition one to think the way of the one teaching. The Holy Spirit is our ultimate Teacher. The Word of God vociferously tells us the importance of embracing and implementing God’s principles to our daily life. Life is a race to be lived that has already been won by Jesus Christ! Did you know it actually tells us to do whatever it is that we do as we “do it unto the Lord?”

 

The wonderful thing about God is that He is Omnipotent; meaning He only is all power! It is through Jesus Christ who is the Word of God that He spoke every thing into existence. There is no power, authority nor principalities on earth or in heaven that are greater. Now that is heavy! Yet, God still gives us the freedom to choose. He has given us countless examples and statistics of possible choices inclusive of results and consequences. The Bible is concise and the Holy Spirit illuminates brilliantly the pitfalls and possible detours when one chooses to operate in their own strength. Proper spiritual conditioning is key for endurance.

 

How you choose to embrace, daily adopt or overlook God’s principles will determine your overall spiritual strength and endurance. The employments of the Fruit of His Spirit are the nutrients necessary to digest the “Spiritual Food” that is necessary for this life journey. Discipline is key! Proverbs 25:18 tell us that “like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.” If you want a conditioning coach that is readily available 24/7 I highly recommend Jesus!

I recommend that you really get to know Him through His Word and begin implementing the principles therein. Galatians tell us that the Fruit of the Spirit are; “Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control.” It goes on to say if you belong to Jesus Christ you have “crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” If you read further it tells us not to give up! You have as much time as you need to do the things that God has prepared for you to do. It really is not about how things appear. Endurance is the key! Knowing God intimately is the key! Knowing that there is freedom in Christ is key. Jesus died to set us free. Sin brings bondage. He does not want you burdened by a yoke of slavery. “His yoke is easy and His burdens are light.” Not obeying the Truth will side track your ability to run gracefully? It will impede your progress.

 

God has given gifts to the Body of Christ to facilitate and augment its growth. It is His desire for us to grow and mature. Spiritual conditioning is key! He does not want you “tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.” Scheme they will. Just know that this in no way impresses God. Know that in His time He will right every wrong. So I say, “Hallelujah anyhow!”

 

You can rest in knowing that God knows what is really going on, and also knows the Truth! Nothing gets by Him! “So, we can say with confidence, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be afraid!” Hebrews 13: 6. Know the Word of God for yourself! God is a God of Light! When you speak the Truth in love there is power! But first you must really know what Love is? Are you patient? Are you kind? Do you not envy? Do you not boast? Are you proud? Are you rude? Do you want your own way? Of course you do not get angry easily? Nor do you keep records of wrongs? Did you know that love rejoices in Truth? 

 

 “Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control.”  It goes on to say if you belong to Jesus Christ you have “crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” If you read further it tells us not to give up! You have as much time as you need to do the things that God has prepared for you to do. It really is not about how things appear. Endurance is the key! Knowing God intimately is the key! Knowing that there is freedom in Christ is key. Jesus died to set us free. Sin brings bondage. He does not want you burdened by a yoke of slavery. “His yoke is easy and His burdens are light.” Not obeying the Truth will side track your ability to run gracefully? It will impede your progress.

 

God has given gifts to the Body of Christ to facilitate and augment its growth. It is His desire for us to grow and mature. Spiritual conditioning is key!

 

Think hard and long before you say or use the word LOVE so loosely? God knows because He is TRUTH and He is LOVE! It is what He knows and thinks that is most important. It should be a daily prayer that God fill you with ” The knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way; bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, be strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of Light.. For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

 

Remember that conditioning I talked about earlier? God’s Word is so powerful! Remember God’s Word says that “everything was spoken into existence through Jesus Christ”! God has a predestined plan for each of His children. The race is given to who? Do you really know what LOVE means? Do you know the difference between tolerance and patience? Be honest with yourself! Or just ask someone who really knows you, not someone you are trying to impress or you just see at the Church meeting? Or how about asking that partner that helps to test your resistance? Do you “Yield not to Temptation?” Did you know that God is the ultimate burden bearer?

 

Did you know that it is through Christ’s birth,  SINLESS Life, death and resurrection we can be reconciled and presented Holy in His sight? It cancelled the code that was against us. God is awesome! Jesus really does have a better way. The Body of Christ really does belong to Him. The Church is His Bride! Colossians says “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the LORD CHRIST you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism.”

 

“We walk by faith not by sight” To successfully run this spiritual race you must keep the faith! When your hope and trust are in the Lord you are on solid ground. He will level your path and make sure you are on the right path. He will prune away all that is necessary to make your path straight! Watch out for the wide road! Remember, “Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it!” Matthew 7:14.

 

When your spiritual diet consists of the fruit of His Spirit and you daily digest His Word you are on your way. It will keep you balanced. Learn to be patient. When you allow Jesus to be your strength and conditioning coach you can definitely endure! You won’t sweat the small stuff! The Holy Spirit will illuminate your path. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles us, and let us run with perseverance the race marked before us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

 

God is GOOD! Daily mediate upon His Word! James says “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest in righteousness.” Consider it pure joy brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance……………… Is Jesus your strength and conditioning coach? Then you can definitely endure! In this spiritual race our prize is guaranteed . To God be the Glory!

Learning The Art Of “Being Still” Part 1

dreamstimefree_1144122[1]Whenever you are amidst spiritual warfare or when a crisis arises, it is important that  you  seek and learn to “BE STILL.” Being still does not mean that you are unconcerned or oblivious to what is happening. You  are not  simply just doing nothing.  Nor is it a delusional state of  unconsciousness  rendering being in denial.  You are not having   erroneous illusions of  grandeur. You are not being self-centered.  Quite the contrary.  You are God centered!  Your spiritual awareness is  actually  heightened.  It is a non combative state.

 

During spiritual warfare or a crisis, usually there is much stress.  People often respond in ways that are counterproductive.  One will tend to make hasty decisions and  become easily angered.  Over indulgence in drugs, alcohol, or  some other substance  or unfavorable activity is not advised.  You may even become passive since there is a  lack of  coping skills.  Instead it really is very important  to be responsible.  Instead strive  to  be  more attentive. Be alert  to your surroundings as well as  those about you.  Learn to become flexible and resilient,   so you will not get towed along.  Being still is a state of mind that helps you remain focused. Staying in a cognizant preferred  chosen calm state of  tranquility.  Not walking  in  weakness,  but  making a sincere attempt to submit to a disciplined practice of walking  in “meekness.”   Here your faith and trust is rooted and grounded in the Lord.

 

You seek to be led by the Spirit!

 

 

It helps sometimes to also keep a  sense  of  humor about it all.  Just know, a bit of  appropriate  laughter is a good antidote for the soul.  Laughter helps to keep things within a healthy responsive balance.  Readily enlist earnestly the opportunity to “pray unceasingly.”  To be aware that the often orchestrated  situation at hand, really wants you to “act out”  or respond in an unseemly, improper or inappropriate  carnal manner.  Which  really only  wants to cast you in an unfavorable light to simply mar your testimony.

 

Take a few moments of  personal Worship and Praise!

 

 

Having the Lord within your life truly does make all the difference in the world!   It is  quite splendid! As we grow in His grace we learn to respond or not respond by embracing the Fruit of His Spirit! You care more,  but react less impulsively. Your desire is to please Him as well as your commitment to Him increases as well. You learn to incorporate “Praying without ceasing” into all areas of your life.  This conscious state of being  keeps you connected to the Lord. You choose to focus on the Lord rather than get pulled away from your center.

 

Know that there is always  spiritual warfare all about us even in the midst of corporate worship!

 

One must learn to depend and call upon the Lord wherever we may be. This is often in an inaudible way, momentarily and meekly  inwardly bowing, knowing that your heart becomes an immediate altar.  Since we cannot avoid crisis learn to invite God into the messiness about you. It is possible as the Word says; to be angry and sin not.”  Trusting and knowing that God knows your heart and  always hears your cries. Remember Psalm 27; “The Lord is my Light  and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid…”  In His time He can and will deliver you from any and all evil!  Ephesians clearly tells us to  “Finally be strong in  the Lord and in His mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore put on your spiritual armor of God so when the evil day comes, you may be able to stand your ground…….” Ephesians 6

 

The Greek word for crisis is krinein, which means “to decide.”   Crisis and spiritual warfare can come at unexpected moments. Usually the decisions that you have to make are life changing.  decide  to  take some time and “BE STILL.”  Know that God is always near.   See this as an opportunity to put in  practice what it means to exercise “patience.”   His  Blessed Assurance can truly be experienced, once born of  His Spirit! Always  keeping  in mind that God knows and has everything  under His complete control  really helps.

 

Once you become a child of God   it is important to get to know Him. Draw close to Him.   Your ongoing  up close,  personal and intimate relationship with the Lord is more important than anything or anyone!  Absolutely nothing  can take God’s place in your life     He has embedded deep within  each of us a place that only He can fill. One must  avidly  commence to daily   seek to grow in the grace and  knowledge  of  our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!  Without Him we are merely  walking breathing shaped dust.

 

God has a plan and purpose for each of our lives. We are  to read, ponder, digest,  and dwell upon His Word and implement the principles therein.  Our  desire  should be to respond in a way that pleases Him. To know the difference between the  “works of the flesh”  and the “Fruit of His Spirit” that is discussed in Galatians 5.   We need not make excuses for sin but readily repent.  Sin separates us from the Lord. His Word truly is meant to be our Life  Manual!  It is essentially, imperative to keep in mind that the people, situations and scenarios presented really did happen.  He has given us fabulous examples.  There is a plethora of wisdom in the Scriptures.  So much so to a degree, that it can boggle your mind.  This is why it is important that we ask for His promised Comforter  to fill us, to illuminate our understanding while journeying through its tasty, appetizing, palatable pages.

 

See Part 2

 

 

 

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