Following God requires living by faith. That means: trusting the Holy Spirit to guide us when we don´t see how all the pieces fit together (John 16:13); believing that God always works for our good and His glory (Rom. 8:28); and desiring to please our Father. Will you be ready when He calls?
Faith can be lulled to sleep when we are focused on our own comfort rather than God’s plan. Abraham did not fall into this trap. He traded the familiar for the unknown and received many blessings.
Living by faith is the right answer when God calls you to move forward. His call can come to us at any age and in any situation. Abraham was 75 when he began his journey. David was a shepherd boy when he was anointed to be king (1 Samuel 16:11-13).
Paul encountered the Lord on his way to arrest Jewish believers in Damascus; after his conversion, he became the Lord´s representative to the Gentiles (Acts 9:1-6; Acts 22:21).
Our call may not be so dramatic, but it will always involve moving forward by faith. Following God will also include times of testing. Abraham, like all of us, had some successes and some failures. The initial call to leave his country was met with strong belief and immediate action.
As a result, the Lord promised a great blessing for him and his descendants. But encountering a famine brought a different response from Abraham—a sojourn to Egypt, deception about his relationship with Sarah, and chastisement from Pharaoh. Our response to God´s commands really matters. Through our actions, we can bring blessing or heartache.
Obeying the Lord can be uncomfortable. Those close to us may question our motives or disagree with our decisions. And we may not want to do what God asks.
But faith will keep us moving forward in obedience. It helps us stay the course and experience the blessings found in a relationship with Christ.
Do you ever feel stuck in discouragement? If so, you are not alone. At some point, everyone experiences dashed hopes. Disappointment—an emotional response to a failed expectation—is the normal initial reaction. But allowed to linger, it can turn into discouragement, which hovers like a dense cloud. When that’s the case, there is no sense of joy or contentment, regardless of what you do.
The circumstances that trigger these emotions may be unavoidable, but how we respond is a choice. Either we can let sadness overwhelm our soul or we can face the situation with courage and bring it before the One who can help.
Living in discouragement will divide the mind, making it hard to focus on anything besides our pain. Then as anger becomes habitual, we’ll look for someone to blame—whether God, people around us, or ourselves.
Frustration that isn’t handled well may develop into despair, which in turn can estrange us from others—people do not enjoy the company of someone who’s bitter and defeated. This isolation leads to low self-esteem.
Finally, in a fog of discouragement, we can make poor decisions based on crushed emotions instead of truth. Obviously, choosing this self-destructive path is not God’s best for us.
Though we all face disappointment from time to time, believers are not to wallow in it. Instead, God wants us to trust Him with everything—even unmet expectations and deep sadnesses.
Remember, there is divine purpose for everything He allows to touch His children’s lives (Rom. 8:28).
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Everybody experiences temptation. No matter how spiritual you are or how long you’ve followed Christ, you have been tempted. Sometimes this experience seems like a faint whisper, and other times it’s an unbearable shout in your mind.
Regardless of how it sounds, you know just what temptation feels like. But if someone asked, could you define the term?
Temptation is simply an enticement to take a God-given desire beyond God-given boundaries. Many people reject this idea, refusing to believe that guilt-instilling allurements could be even remotely related to the Lord.
But think about it: In what ways are you most often tempted? In the area of material possessions? Intimacy? Companionship? Food? These are all things that God not only created but also uses to bless His people. The problem comes when we—who still carry around the old ‘programming’ of our flesh nature—take those drives beyond the healthy limits that God has set for our lives.
For example, He created sex for enjoyment within a marriage relationship. However, when this divinely approved desire is corrupted by physical intimacy outside of marriage, then what the Creator designed for His purposes becomes a source of guilt and shame. That is not what God intended.
One of the enemy’s top strategies is to distort a God-given drive for his own vile purposes.
You can short-circuit such an attack: Remind yourself where this urge came from in the first place, and then ask God for the strength to use such drives for His glory, as He intended.
1 Timothy 1:18-19
The Lord gives every person a conscience, which is like a radar system meant to send warnings when a behavior or decision might be harmful. This makes it possible for people to distinguish between what is morally right and morally wrong, especially as it applies to their own life. We ignore the conscience at our own peril.
In a believer, the conscience is a tool of the Holy Spirit; He programs it with principles from God’s Word and sharpens it to respond quickly. Even so, our radar’s sole purpose is to send a signal. What happens next is up to us. Either we ignore the warning, or we stop to hear what the Spirit has to say about the situation.
The Holy Spirit reveals God’s will or reminds us of His principles so we can make a wise decision about the warning bell ringing in our conscience. Paul’s letter to Timothy mentions people who’d rejected God’s leadership and guidance in their lives—they had paid no attention to the alarm of their conscience (1 Tim. 1:19), and the result was shipwrecked faith.
When something appears on the radar that speaks of disobedience to God, we have to reject that action. Otherwise, the detection device becomes impaired and won’t work right. If we keep ignoring the alarm, it will eventually go silent.
We all know people who have ‘run aground’ in life. A shipwrecked faith is inevitable when believers ignore their conscience and rationalize or defend disobedience. It’s far better to turn yourself over to the great captain of your soul, Jesus Christ. His Holy Spirit will guide you correctly.
Having been saved by faith in Christ, we express our love and gratitude through devotion to Him. Regular Bible study and prayer should be an integral part of our daily routine. In addition, our commitment to the Lord will be revealed through a passion to obey, a spirit of humility, and a heart for service.
Obedience. David sought to obey God all his life. As a shepherd boy, he faithfully tended the animals in his father’s fields. While king, he set aside his desire to build the temple and let Solomon lead the effort, as God had commanded. Although David lived imperfectly, his desire was to do what the Lord asked. We see from Jesus’ words in John 14:15 that obedience should be our high priority as well: He said, ‘If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.’
Humility. After David killed Goliath, the crowds shouted praise about the young man. However, he did not become prideful. Instead, he remained in King Saul’s service and waited for God to make him the ruler of Israel. Even as king, he remained humble. He knew that what had been accomplished was because of the Lord’s actions and not his own (2 Sam. 7:18).
Service. Whether David was a lowly shepherd or a mighty king, his goal was to obey God and serve Him.
This man after God’s own heart was fully devoted to his Lord. He sought to know Him and longed to carry out His will. David’s actions reflected His humble attitude of servanthood and a longing to please his heavenly Father.
Take steps each day to be sure your life expresses commitment to Jesus.
కీర్తనలు 18: 28
నా దీపము వెలిగించువాడవు నీవే నా దేవుడైన యెహోవా చీకటిని నాకు వెలుగుగా చేయును
Psalm 18: 28
For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.
Mankind has a debt problem. In the physical world, our desire for a higher standard of living and more stuff has led to burdensome credit card balances and unwieldy mortgage payments.
The weight of what we owe can cause restless nights and the feeling that we’re trapped. We long for someone to rescue us from the mess we have made.
When we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior, His atoning work is credited to our account. We become children of God and co-heirs with Christ as we’re changed from debtors to inheritors. (See 1 Peter 1:3-4.)
Let the knowledge of His sacrifice on the cross permeate every aspect of your life—your thinking, attitude, and choices.