Seek, Knock, and Find

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If you look for the Father through Jesus Christ you will find Him. Seeking God is His commandment to let us know He is all around us. He hears our prayers and is waiting for us and challenging us to interact with Him in conversation. He is calling us to enter into a relationship with Him. His grace and mercy are in abundance for the giving.

I view knocking at the door as a metaphor requesting entrance into His home. Knocking also takes the form of praying. We seek Him through our Heart. The Holy Spirit invites us into His dwelling.

Under the Holy Spirits guidance and influence, we are taken out of captivity and are no longer wanderers. In our wandering, the evil one led us astray and away from our Father. The greatness of our Lord invites us home just as we are. All He asks is that we establish genuine intimacy with Him through integrity, honesty, sincerity, and faith.

The idea of seeking God is expressed throughout the Bible. Adam and Eve may be the only people who did not have to seek Him. He was present in the Garden of Eden. God loves us, so He does not leave us alone seeking Him. In Jeremiah 24:7 He said, “ I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole hearts”, much like the Prodigal Son returned home after his wanderings.

Throughout the Bible we are urged to seek Him, to let Him know we are searching for Him and want an ongoing relationship with Him. We have been invited to seek God through Jesus who left the Holy Spirit to live in us during His absence. As believers, we are vessels of the Holy Spirit, and our access is through our heart and love for God.

The scriptures below are taken from the NASB Bible.

Jeremiah 29:12-14
“Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will bring you back from  exile.’”

Psalm 24:1-5
“The earth is the LORD’S, and all it contains The world, and those who dwell in it. For He has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? And who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood and has not sworn deceitfully. He shall receive a blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation.”

Psalm 27:8
“When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, O LORD, I shall seek.””

Psalm 63:1
“O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water. Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips will praise You.”

Isaiah 45:15
“Truly, You are a God who hides Himself, O God of Israel, Savior!”
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Matthew 11:25
“At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”

Seek, knock, and you will find our Lord.

Related Post: Ask. Seek. Find. Receive. https://wp.me/p98Coa-rd.
September 19, 2018

Opening Our Hearts, Ending Lipservice

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Hearts, not lips. How many of us are Christians but feel forced to hold daily communication with our Lord. You know what I mean, praying becomes mechanical and routine. You don’t open up to Him, you hold back in shame, and choose to put on your professional Christian attitude when praying, much like we do among people. We have a public face and a private face. We have a heartfelt spirit we share with our Lord, and we have a mechanical spirit when we simply recite prayers in a mono fashion. We do not operate from our heart. We do not allow our inner spirit to live in victory. Our communication with the Lord suffers, as does our outward man who operates in fear of being judged.

Our Lord cries, why do my people say they honor me with their lips, but their practices are not heart driven? Why do they treat me with anguish? Why is our relationship so impersonal? The fact is, we are God’s children (wayward or not), or we are not God’s children. We either have a strong relationship with Him, or we do not. The way we treat God, the way we treat others, the way that we exhibit His love determines who we are in Christ. If we fail to show our love in practice and live a heartfelt life, then we are giving lip service to all that we do, including communion with our Lord and Savior.

Our life begins with our relationship with our Lord. It encompasses all that we are and all that we do. Is this an easy process, not necessarily. Often, we, I, stay in communication only to become comfortable and then complacent. My daily time becomes a coffee break, rushed through and checked off.  Does this sound familiar?

God never fails. He sees our tears, our anguish, our anxiety. He also sees our compassion, love, empathy, kindness, trustworthiness,  patience, and self-control whether we display it to Him or the outside world. He is our witness to all that we do. He is the recipient of all that we hold in or share with Him. He is our Father. He created us and delivered a divine plan nestled deep in our heart. He is our promise keeper.

It is time to free ourselves, from our banality, our public selves, and go deeper. It is time to risk opening our hearts. It is time to strip off the façade and welcome our God-self into the world, and most importantly in our cherished moments with our Lord and Savior in prayer. Our God-self is the Holy Spirit who projects light through our being into the world. Our relationship rests in part on our prayers being aligned with our lips. Our heart and our lips must project the same things, they cannot work effectively (if at all)  if they are not in sync with the Word, and our relationship with the Lord.

No parent should cry, why do my children’s hearts and lips seem disjointed, disconnected, and artificial? Why do they fail to honor our relationship, why are they so far from me?

Jesus wants us to come home. He wants our hearts to be full. He wants us to commit or re-commit our relationship to Him with honest heartfelt prayer, praise, and worship.

December is the month that focuses on Christ’s birth. Our gift to Him is our heart and our love. Speak to God through our hearts, express it with our lips. It is time to open our hearts and not just our lips.

Other Related Posts:

psalm51-12

Images – Google Images

Thank you for visiting my Young Christian Warriors site and dailyinspiration-lisasthoughts.com.

 

Do Everything In Love

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When we do everything in love, we are reflecting God‘s love for us. Our motivation in life should be doing for others before doing for self. God’s sacrifice should be our sole motivation to live a Christian life.

We are seeing stories of kindness and goodness in the world despite the darkness surrounding us. We are the light that causes change. Love outshines everything else.

Love others today through acts of love and kindness. God‘s mercy and grace give us the air we breathe. Share love-purpose-kindness without thinking how it will affect you first.

Loving ensures we are becoming Christian Warriors ready to deflect darkness.

Do everything in love!

The Equation: Love+Faith, Moves Mountains

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We are commanded to love. I believe this is true of all faiths. If we fail to love, all else fails. Love is powerful. But, as Christians, we are commanded to love our neighbors, love our enemies, love the sick, the poor, and downtrodden. We are to love others as we love ourselves. We are commanded to love because God first loved us.  All things are possible when we love. We can move mountains through faith if first, we love.

As Christians, our very existence is linked to ‘love’. Romans 12:9-10, NLT reads, Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 

The Bible is replete with scriptures about God’s love for us and how we are commanded to love others in the same way He loved us first.

Romans 5:8, NIV reads, But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

1 John 5:1-5, NLT reports, Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too. We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey his commandments. Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

Matthew 5:43-46 NLT, You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ ]and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that?

Romans 12:9-21, NLT,  goes on to  read,

11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! 17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. 

Friends, the maxim is  – love conquers all. Love fires up our faith to move mountains, but as 1 Corinthians 2:13 reads, if we fail to love, moving mountains is nothing, because our  lives are not based on God’s love for us, and moving mountains becomes a phrase and not an action, God gifted to us, His children.

What Does God Want You To Do?

God is all truth and truth cannot initiate negative actions. God does not create confusion, chaos, or distraction in our lives. However, he does use them to move us forward seeking our destiny. All challenges and victories are accompanied with lessons. Everything in life is a learning opportunity. Do you believe and surrender all of who you are to God, or are you the architect of your own destiny?

Psalm 16_2A chosen life – lived so differently from the rest of the world-will forever hold the truth that apart from God, we have ‘no good thing’ (Psalm 16:2)

A chosen life is a surrendered life, a life that exalts Jesus Christ and follows Him in obedience.

I’ve heard this message in some form for three days now. Yes, it’s apparently personal, but we can all learn from this message.

My Take Away

The Lord told us we would experience good times and bad. Jesus suffered. Job suffered. David suffered. Countless men and women suffered in the Bible. What makes us any different? In each instance, the sufferer literally and figuratively fell to their knees and first asked God why are you doing this to me, or why are you allowing this to happen to me? We are projecting blame. After wallowing in our discomfort, we should reach the point where we change the conversation and ask God, what do you want me to learn from this? God will answer, but not until we fully surrender to Him and reiterate Jesus statement of God,

“Not my will, but your will be done.”
Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42 NIV

Faith

I read on FaceBook of all places – ‘Walking with God and not seeing where He is taking you is faith. Walking with God and demanding that he tell you where He is taking you is sight.’

“For we walk by faith and not by sight.”
2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV

We cannot ask, what do you want me to learn if we cannot surrender to God first. If we still blame others, think we are always right,  remain stuck in our own stuff, there is no way we can hear God. There is too much white noise. White noise is noise containing too many frequencies with equal intensities.

The white noise is the selfish, fleshly you, the faithless you. The whiner crying why me! The person with the attitude confronting God. This may be an ‘ah-ha’ moment for some. When we are in this place, our faith is not authentic. It is solid when things are going well, and we are happy with God, but when things go wrong, we tend to blame God, our faith wanes. Our self-righteous selves question the creator of the universe, our God who created us, knew us before we knew ourselves, has a plan for us, loves us, is devoted to us, cares for us, and protects us.

Jesus said to the disciples, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?  Matthew 8:26 KJV

Surrender

Surrendering requires faith. When we surrender, we hand our lives over to God. We say, we will walk with you into the unknown, and will faint not. I read on FaceBook of all places – ‘Walking with God and not seeing where He is taking us is faith. Walking with God and demanding that he tell us where He is taking us is sight.’

Surrendering and living faith-filled life sounds easy, but if your fleshly self is a controller, is always right, strong-willed, and is comfortable mapping paths for themselves and others, it is not easy to hand the steering wheel over to God or anyone else. Surrendering is choosing dependence in, and obedience to, God and God alone. Our flesh fights dependence and obedience. They come in tandem, both are necessary factors required when we fully surrender to God our Father.

Back to the initial question – What is God telling you to do?

*He is telling you/us to surrender to Him, not to ask questions or reinterpret what He said to us – we must surrender all.
*He is telling you/us to follow Him, respond, yes God and Amen.
*He is telling you/us to be dependent and know He is God and created our life plan.
*He is telling you/us to remain obedient, even in the darkest hours. He will never leave us or forsake us.
*He is telling you/us to be quiet, know He is God and listen to His quiet voice directing our paths.
*He is telling you/us to love Him and trust Him with our lives.

When we surrender –
*We will be free,
*We will have real faith,
*We will be delivered, and God will lead us to our salvation.

 

We Owe God

From Adam Clark, Studylight.com

Image – Roger Cole, Bible.com. YouVersion

God sacrificed His son for us. We owe Him. “As the Christian is thus purchased, ransomed, redeemed, he is bound to devote himself to God only, and to keep his commands, and to flee from a licentious life.”

“That this valuable consideration was the blood of Jesus, as an atoning sacrifice, an offering, a ransom, which “would accomplish the same great ends in maintaining the truth and honor of God, and the majesty of his law, as the eternal condemnation of the sinner would have done;” and which, therefore, may be called, figuratively, the price which was paid. For if the same ends of justice could be accomplished by his atonement which would have been by the death of the sinner himself, then it was consistent for God to pardon him.

Nothing else could or would have done this. There was no price which the sinner could pay, no atonement which he could make; and consequently, if Christ had not died, the sinner would have been the slave of sin, and the servant of the devil forever.

Called To Stand Out

bible.com/111/act.20.24.niv

Our lives reflect an open book. The book is the Bible. The scriptures are our lessons about living a Christ-like life, and how we invest in sharing the Word through our actions and deeds. Works will not pay entrance into heaven, there are no works that great, but works are expected of all followers.

How can we spread the Word if we do not demonstrate what it is saying to nonbelievers and believers alike?

Image by Caleb Warren. Bible.com, YouVersion