Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Prayer and Fasting (Part 2—Biblical Fasts)

Fasting is a powerful weapon in your spiritual arsenal. It takes understanding, planning, preparation, and determination. Commitment and dedication bring results.

May’s Awakening, Day 31

            Your fast should always have a methodology—limited physical activity with a focus on heightened spiritual awareness, a definite set of objectives and plan with proper preparation both mentally and physically, keeping a journal record, and the gradual process and means of breaking the fast and a return to normal eating and activities. Obviously, the longer the fast the more important and detailed your methodology must be. Additionally, the longer the fast the more physical changes that your body will undergo. In extended fasts, the first three days are usually the most difficult as your body adjusts, with many disagreeable symptoms along with hunger, but then the body cycles into a more comfortable zone for a time and then cycles back into a zone of hunger and difficulty again. The more you know and are prepared with proper expectations, the more beneficial the fast will be. It is essential to consult proper and pertinent information on extended fasting before attempting to do so. Elmer Towns’ book, Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough, is a great resource.


From that same book, here are the nine biblical fasts described in the Bible:


The Biblical Fasting Model is found in Isaiah 58:3–9a NKJV

‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’ “In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, And exploit all your laborers. Indeed you fast for strife and debate, And to strike with the fist of wickedness. You will not fast as you do this day, To make your voice heard on high. Is it a fast that I have chosen, A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, And to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Would you call this a fast, And an acceptable day to the Lord? “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh? Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’


1. The Disciple’s Fast: “To loose the bonds of wickedness.”—Fasting for freedom from addiction or a besetting sin.

So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” Matthew 17:20–21 NKJV 


2. The Ezra Fast: “To undo the heavy burdens.”—Fasting to solve debilitating problems.

Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions. For I was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying, “The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him.” So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer. Ezra 8:21–23 NKJV


3. The Samuel Fast: “To let the oppressed go free.”—Fasting for revival and soul-winning for Christ.

So it was that the ark remained in Kirjath Jearim a long time; it was there twenty years. And all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord. Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, “If you return to the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths from among you, and prepare your hearts for the Lord, and serve Him only; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.” And Samuel said, “Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord for you.” So they gathered together at Mizpah, drew water, and poured it out before the Lord. And they fasted that day, and said there, “We have sinned against the Lord.” And Samuel judged the children of Israel at Mizpah. 1 Samuel 7:2–3, 5–6 NKJV

               Tomorrow we will finish our discussion of the nine biblical fasts. Maybe God is suggesting one for you—one day might make an enormous difference in the direction of your life.

Author Web Page Link

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Staples Are Prayer and Fasting (Part 1—Basics)

Prayer should be done regularly. Fasting, in concert with prayer (and meditation and study), should be done to accentuate your spiritual efforts and reap physical benefits as well.   

May’s Awakening, Day 30

Prayer is reaching out after the unseen; fasting is letting go of all that is seen and temporal. Fasting helps express, deepen, confirm the resolution that we are ready to sacrifice anything, even ourselves to attain what we seek for the kingdom of God.

 —Andrew Murray


Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust. Acts 14:23 NIV


“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:16–18 NIV 


            As worship is the pinnacle of our spiritual disciplines, prayer and fasting are our staples. We will address prayer here briefly, as we have already discussed it in our devotions for the last week of March and the first couple weeks of April, along with spiritual warfare the last week of April.  

            Prayer. Remember, prayer should be done consistently and daily, with the mindset of continually, and it should include praise, thanksgiving, petition, confession, and intercession. Prayer should always be your first choice, not an afterthought, with a focus to gaze on God and glance on your requests. Pray from conviction not from crisis, and always pause to listen.

            Fasting. Fasting is often done in concert with prayer, but it could be used with any of the spiritual disciplines to accentuate and focus your efforts on specific areas of concern. Fasting is often practiced to tear down strongholds, release the full healing power of God into your life, for spiritual breakthroughs, and for cleansing the soul and spirit as the fast cleanses the body as well. Fasting is an act of humility and submission to God, allowing for new revelation about your own spiritual condition, and to more clearly hear and perceive His guidance and direction. A primary reason for fasting is often for restoration with a renewed holy brokenness and submission to God with a revived determination to follow Him more closely.

            Whereas the other inward spiritual disciplines should always be practiced regularly—prayer, study, meditation—fasting is often practiced for those special occasions, purposes, or as led to do so by the Holy Spirit, although some may practice it regularly as well. You must realize that fasting certainly is not starvation, and if you are healthy and fast properly, there are both physical and spiritual benefits by this cleansing. However, you should always check with your doctor if you have any medical condition such as anemia, diabetes, heart or breathing disorders, or kidney or liver disorders, especially if you are planning to undertake a fast for a couple days or more. Education is critical, and at the end of this devotion I will provide an excellent resource for more information.

            There are four major types of fast—the normal fast, the absolute fast, the partial fast, and the rotational fast. The normal fast is going without food for a defined period of time during which only water or juices are ingested. The typical durations are one meal, one day, three days, one week, one month, or yes, even the biblical forty days. The absolute fast is no food and no water or fluids, and typically is of short duration for health safety reasons. However, biblically we see the supernatural absolute fast of forty days for Moses, Elijah, and Christ, where without supernatural intervention, death would be likely in this type of extreme extended fast. The partial fast is one that omits certain foods or is on a schedule that includes limited eating. An example might be eliminating one meal a day or eating only fresh vegetables. Finally, the rotational fast is eating or omitting certain families of food for designated time periods on a rotational basis. An example might be eating lean meat only once a week, or certain grains only every few days.

            As you can see, fasting is quite a complex science and art and takes much planning and preparation. Over the next few devotions we will briefly discuss a few more important aspects of fasting, but for great information here is the most excellent of resources:


Towns, Elmer L. Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough: A Guide to Nine Biblical Fasts. Bloomington,               Minnesota: Bethany House Publishers, 1996. [A new edition of this book will be released       in November 2017.]

Author Web Page Link

Monday, May 29, 2017

The Pinnacle Is Worship

Worship is the pinnacle of the spiritual disciplines and everything points to Him.

May’s Awakening, Day 29

Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ” Matthew 4:10 NIV        


Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ Mark 12:30 NIV


            The spiritual disciplines can be broadly categorized as inward, outward, and corporate. The inward disciplines are the ones we are most familiar with and the ones we are most likely to undertake. They are those we use privately to renew our mind and spirit by being quietly in His presence with His Word. They include worship, prayer, fasting, study, meditation and reflection, and a well-ordered heart. Worship is the true pinnacle of the spiritual disciplines and as such is really an inward attitude of the heart, an outward expression of our awe of God, and a corporate experience among a group of believers. We have already looked at worship in this devotional during the second week of January, but there are some additional points we will make here.

            Worship. There is no higher priority as a believer than worship. Our worship must permeate every aspect of our being and there are avenues that will help us achieve that. First, we must cleanse our hearts and our minds, quiet our activities (both physical and mental), and have a holy expectancy of meeting God—this is the mental avenue into worship. Second, we express our awe and admiration to our God, the only One worthy, through praise, thanksgiving, prayer, singing, music, and even exuberant shouting—this is the vocal avenue into worship. Third, we may, as the Spirit leads us, stand, kneel, bow, lift our hands, lay prostrate, clap, lift our heads upward, and even dance before the Lord in a joyous celebration—this is the physical avenue into worship. The final avenue into worship is tapping into the fullness of your emotional energy—bringing the right attitude, humility, rejoicing, sincere sorrow, repentance, and submission of self to His leading.

            Worship is learned best by worshiping. Let go of your agenda, tune out all the distractions and everything around you, and tune in to God—it’s all about you alone, meeting Him. Worship brings you closer to God like nothing else can.

Author Web Page Link

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Becoming Spiritually Fit—The Spiritual Disciplines

You are what you are, but you are not yet what you will be.

May’s Awakening, Day 28

[Here in these next sections, like the sections on spiritual gifts, there are but a few quotations that are pertinent, so many of the days ahead will be remiss in that area. This topic is, however, crucial to your spiritual growth and maturity, so we will be addressing it now.] 

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:24–27 NIV

For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is. Colossians 2:5 NIV

            To become physically fit we must exercise, train, and eat right. To become mentally fit we must read, study, and continually push the boundaries of our minds. To become spiritually fit we must steadfastly embrace and undertake those activities that will assist us in gaining effectiveness to live a life as Jesus taught and modeled. A spiritually fit and disciplined individual is one who will say and do the right thing, at the right time, in the right way, and with the right attitude, intent, and spirit. A spiritually mature individual knows when laughter, gentleness, silence, healing words, or even righteous indignation is called for, and it is delivered appropriately, effectively, and lovingly.

            It may be to your surprise, but there are many spiritual disciplines, of which we’ve already discussed a few—worship and prayer—but there are almost fifteen in all and they are quite diverse. We will look at these over the next few days. It is equally important to know and avoid the spiritual pitfalls—becoming spiritually inauthentic like the Pharisees, being judgmental or prideful, becoming less approachable rather than more, believing that you’ve “spiritually arrived,” and being spiritually superficial without a true deep bond with Christ. Pray that God will show you the right tools you need to become like Christ and mirror His life.

Author Web Page Link

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Pencils in His Hand

Did you know that you are a love letter, sent by God into this tumultuous world, to be read and to make His love known by everyone you meet?

May’s Awakening, Day 27

Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.

 —Mother Teresa 

We are all pencils in the hand of a writing God, who is sending love letters to the world.

 —Mother Teresa 

I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. Revelation 2:19 NIV

            Love, faith, service, and perseverance—doing His work, being the chosen instrument, to bring the light and love of Jesus Christ to this disparaging world. You are the pencil, and God is writing to reach the lost, the hungry, the poor, the downtrodden, the hurting, the sick, the outcast—the same ones Jesus came for—just like you and me, just as we all are without Christ—wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. And some of us didn’t even know our loathsome situation until we met Him. That’s why we’re here—to be connected firmly to Him and connect with others and bring them to a better place—meeting their needs physically, emotionally, and spiritually such that nothing is lacking. Be not ashamed to do His humble work. Be His pencil, be His love letter to someone who’s never known true love.

Author Web Page Link

Friday, May 26, 2017

Dressed Ready for Service

Is your lamp always burning and are you always dressed ready for service? God may call you for a task on a moment’s notice.

May’s Awakening, Day 26

Always keep your eyes open for the little task, because it is the little task that is important to Jesus Christ. The future of the kingdom of God does not depend on the enthusiasm of this or that powerful person; those great ones are necessary too, but it is equally necessary to have a great number of little people who will do a little thing in the service of Christ.

 —Albert Schweitzer 

Christ has no body now on earth but yours;

yours are the only hands with which he can do his work,

yours are the only feet with which he can go about the world,

yours are the only eyes through which his compassion

can shine forth upon a troubled world.

Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

 —Teresa of Avila


“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, Luke 12:35 NIV 


And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.” Matthew 10:42 NIV 


“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:37–40 NIV   


            Significant service unto God can be simple. Many little things, done repeatedly, soon become great things. Do not just ascribe value to what the world sees as significant. Grandiose service is always wonderful, but equally important are all the little things done that make a positive difference in the daily lives of others. A thank you and kind word can go a long way in making a brighter day for those we come into contact with. Be available and be always ready to do whatever you can and whatever the Lord asks of you in any given situation—that’s dressed ready for service!

Author Web Page Link

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Sowers, Waterers, and Harvesters

Every worker of the field is important for a bountiful harvest. Make sure you do your part.
May’s Awakening, Day 25

We must not hope to be mowers,

And to gather the ripe old ears,

Unless we have first been sowers

And watered the furrows with tears.

It is not just as we take it,

This mystical world of ours,

Life’s field will yield as we make it

A harvest of thorns or of flowers.

 —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The most eloquent prayer is the prayer through hands that heal and bless. The highest form of worship is the worship of unselfish Christian service. The greatest form of praise is the sound of consecrated feet seeking out the lost and helpless.

 —Billy Graham

I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. 1 Corinthians 3:6–9 NIV 

            The greatest service is the sacrificial giving of one’s self, just as Christ displayed on the Cross. In God’s kingdom, we are all workers, working together for the common good, but each doing our assigned services which vary from season to season and vary according to those we influence. Sometimes we plant the seeds of the message of salvation, sometimes we water what’s already been planted, sometimes we are weeders and pruners, and sometimes we reap the harvest of mature believers in joy. We cannot always be everything to everyone, so we must pay attention along the way to the service we are called to do and the field we are called to work in. To be successful, we must each do our part and each part is essential, and our reward is in His hand waiting. We are all a part of the great harvest of believers and we are all working for the good of each other—so do your part and do it well.

Author Web Page Link

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Opportunities for Service

What is true value? Possessions you’ve left behind or people you’ve positively impacted?

May’s Awakening, Day 24

The value of life lies not in the length of days, but in the use we make of them; a man may live long yet live very little.


I won’t have any money to leave behind. I won’t have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind.

 —Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Every successful business in the world is in existence because its founder recognized in a problem or need an opportunity to be of service to others. Every problem or need in your life is in reality an opportunity to call forth inner resources of wisdom, love, strength, and ability.

 —J. Sig Paulson 

Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. Romans 15:17 NIV 

We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God himself has assigned to us, a sphere that also includes you. 2 Corinthians 10:13 NIV

            It’s a matter of perspective. Is every problem an insurmountable obstacle, or is it an opportunity to grow and be of service to others? Life can be of the half-empty pessimistic persuasion or it can be the half-full optimistic opportunity for overflowing. There are opportunities everywhere to grow, serve, and make a positive difference in your life and in others. Turn the problems into possibilities. Turn the disappointments into new designs and directions. Turn the obstacles into new objectives. Turn the failures into new firsts. Turn the heartbreaks into heart bursts of newfound joy. Turn the shattered dreams into visions of the divine. Turn selfishness into servanthood, and turn sacrifice into success. What do you want to leave behind? Mere possessions, or a legacy of liberated lives?

Author Web Page Link

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Service with a Sincere Smile

Joyful service is a servant’s heart. A cantankerous demeanor is not.

May’s Awakening, Day 23

To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.

 —Donald A. Adams

We may think God wants actions of a certain kind, but God wants people of a certain kind.

 —C. S. Lewis

So long as you can sweeten another’s pain, life is not in vain.

 —Helen Keller 

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. 1 Timothy 1:12 NIV    

            Providing a valuable service for the well-being of others is a wonderful thing, but even better is doing it all with a sincere servant’s heart. We can easily make ourselves go to work each morning, but doing it without grumbling and complaining is a whole different story. True service unto God and others is as much about the attitude and intent as it is about the actions themselves. God certainly desires our service, but equally important is having a servant’s heart that exudes joy that all can experience as well, including ourselves. If our service is not joyful for us and others to see, then we are probably not providing the right service. Ebbs and flows there will always be, but in the grand scheme of things, joy should always prevail. If your service has lost its joy, then much prayer and guidance are needed. It may be time to move on, but equally viable is that something may just need to be changed or added to bring back that joy. Sometimes, we just need to remember why we started in the first place.

Author Web Page Link

Monday, May 22, 2017

Who Are You Living For?

How do you measure greatness and priority? Serving or selfish?

May’s Awakening, Day 22

Life begets life. Energy begets energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich.

 —Sarah Bernhardt  

He who wishes to secure the good of others has already secured his own.


Only a life lived for others is worth living.

 —Albert Einstein 

We are here to add what we can to life, not to get what we can from it.

 —William Osler 

This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lordʼs people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 2 Corinthians 9:12 NIV   

            Are you working to gain, or are you working to give? Is your primary focus on what you want, or on what others truly need? Do you spend much of your time to please yourself or for the good pleasure of others? Do your daily words and activities reflect a caring heart or a selfish heart? Is helping others to succeed a part of your personal goals or are they only for yourself to get ahead and get there first?

            Remember love? The best of love is love given freely away. In God’s economy, the more you freely give away, the more likely you are to freely get back in return. Service to all humanity is no different than love given away. The absolute greatest in God’s kingdom is the one who considers himself least, but does the most for others. The first in God’s kingdom is the one who is willing to wait and be last, making sure everyone else gets there too.

            Your life is now at a crossroad and you must decide and make difficult choices. Do you want to be great here or great in the kingdom of heaven? Do you want to be first here or first in the kingdom of heaven? Serving self, you may ultimately discover, will get you neither great nor first—anywhere. Serving God and others, however, you may just discover, brings you greatness and priority both in heaven and here on earth. It’s up to you—self or service.

Author Web Page Link

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Equipped Ability

Have you ignored it? Have you put it off? That’s God’s voice calling you to do His good work.

May’s Awakening, Day 21

The Lord doesn’t ask about your ability, only your availability; and, if you prove your dependability, the Lord will increase your capability.

 —Author Unknown

God doesn’t call the equipped, he equips the called.

 —Author Unknown

No man was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.

 —Calvin Coolidge 

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20–21 NIV 

            From the foundation of time, God has prepared good works for you to do. Furthermore, God will thoroughly equip you with everything necessary to complete those good works in exemplary fashion. It is His pleasing will to do so and nothing will circumvent that—nothing, that is, except for you. You must make yourself available to do what God has prepared for you and called you to do. It is easy to make excuses and say, “No, I don’t have the time, I don’t have the ability, and I don’t have the resources to do that.” Well, God certainly has chosen you to do that and I don’t think His choice was in error. He will allow you to redeem the time, equip every ability needed, and provide every resource required. He just needs a “yes, Lord” from you. Don’t ignore the voice and call of God in your life to step out and do His good work.

Author Web Page Link

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Humble Allegiance

When your story is written, what will the words reveal about your life and your allegiances?

May’s Awakening, Day 20

If two angels were to receive at the same moment a communication from God, one to go down and rule earth’s grandest empire, the other to go and sweep the streets of its meanest village, it would be a matter of entire indifference to each which service fell to his lot, the post of ruler or the post of scavenger; for the joy of the angels lies only in obedience to God’s will, and with equal joy they would lift a Lazarus in his rags to Abraham’s bosom, or be a chariot of fire to carry an Elijah home.

 —John Newton

The tiniest fragment of obedience, and heaven opens up and the profoundest truths of God are yours straight away. God will never reveal more truth about himself till you obey what you know already.

 —Oswald Chambers

And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good? To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. Deuteronomy 10:12–14, 16–18, 21 NIV   

            I’m proud of my Czechoslovakian heritage, and I’m proud to be an American, but I’m most honored and proud to be a believer and obedient follower of Jesus Christ, my heavenly King. All my allegiances start with Him. And after the story is told, it all ends with Him. I want my life to be a living reflection, a living sacrifice for Him. Is your life like that of the angels? To feel blessed just to be in His presence and to serve Him with all that is in you? To love obedience regardless of what He asks of you and to follow, obey, and serve without question or envy or remorse? Obedience to God is humble allegiance—whatever it asks of you. To whom or what is your allegiance?

Author Web Page Link

Friday, May 19, 2017

Wear Obedience Well

The finest garment you can wear is obedience. It begins in your heart and permeates your mind.
May’s Awakening, Day 19

Every virtue is a form of obedience to God. Every evil word or act is a form of rebellion against him.

 —Stephen Neill 
Obedience is the only virtue that plants the other virtues in the heart and preserves them after they have been planted.

 —Gregory the Great 


I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. Romans 16:17–20a NIV 


            God places emphasis on obedience because obedience is protective of both your heart and mind in disallowing evil to penetrate and taint the virtues within you that He so desires for you to possess in fullness. Knowing the truth and wearing it in obedience and living each day in obedience is your mighty shield of armor and defense against the lies of the enemy and the bombarding lies of the world. Be wise about what is good. Be innocent about what is evil. Make each thought be obedient to the mind of Christ. Make each word be obedient to the mind of Christ. Make each action obedient to the mind of Christ. If you wear the obedience of Christ well, you won’t have to worry about the enemy, the world, or even yourself.

 Author Web Page Link

Thursday, May 18, 2017

True Love of God Is Obedience

True love is obedience. True obedience is an unconquerable force. True obedience is true power.

May’s Awakening, Day 18

Unless he obeys, a man cannot believe.

 —Dietrich Bonhoeffer 
Wicked men obey from fear; good men, from love.

Obedience to God is always for our good and his glory.

 —Author Unknown


And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. 2 John 1:6 NIV 


In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:5–11 NIV   



            The requirement for obedience to God is not out of fear, nor oppression, nor forced or coerced, but is out of the deepest love for Him, reciprocating the love shown us by Christ’s obedience to death on the Cross. Obedience to God is conquering and victorious, powerful and freeing, and peaceful assurance. Willful and humble submission of self to an omniscient, omnipotent, and all-loving God is not weakness, nor dangerous, but it is being made vigorously alive to the fullest. Christ, God in the flesh, always deferred to the Father, not shunning the cup of the atrocity of the Cross, but drinking fully of it in obedience. Obedience is Christ’s love holding Him on the Cross, trustfully knowing that even in His death there would be victory and life. The greatest love is an obedient love, and an obedient love is unconquerable.

Author Web Page Link