Category: blessings

The Art of Relinquishment

Living a life of relinquishment, is not necessarily, a popular subject. None the less, it is a biblical principle.

Over the next couple of blogs I will elaborate on the art of living a relinquished lifestyle. It seems appropriate to start this short mini-series off with a quote from: My Utmost for His Highest (a collection of writings taken from messages preached in the 1800’s, by Oswald Chambers.) Enjoy!

The Relinquished Life by Oswald Chambers

“I am crucified with Christ.” Galatians 2:20

“No one is ever united with Jesus Christ until he is willing to relinquish not sin only, but his whole way of looking at things. To be born from above of the Spirit of God means that we must let go before we lay hold, and in the first stages it is the relinquishing of all pretence. What Our Lord wants us to present to Him is not goodness, nor honesty, nor endeavour, but real solid sin; that is all He can take from us. And what does He give in exchange for our sin? Real solid righteousness. But we must relinquish all pretence of being any thing, all claim of being worthy of God’s consideration.

Then the Spirit of God will show us what further there is to relinquish. There will have to be the relinquishing of my claim to my right to myself in every phase. Am I willing to relinquish my hold on all I possess, my hold on my affections, and on everything, and to be identified with the death of Jesus Christ?

There is always a sharp painful disillusionment to go through before we do relinquish. When a man really sees himself as the Lord sees him, it is not the abominable sins of the flesh that shock him, but the awful nature of the pride of his own heart against Jesus Christ. When he sees himself in the light of the Lord, the shame and the horror and the desperate conviction come home.

If you are up against the question of relinquishing, go through the crisis, relinquish all, and God will make you fit for all that He requires of you.”

Please be encouraged to ponder and search out the concept of relinquishment. In the next post of this mini-series we will explore the “Power of Relinquishment.” You don’t want to miss it—it will change your life!

My Utmost for His Highest is in devotional form and can be downloaded on the following site. (Cut and paste.)

http://pdfsearchonline.com/search.html?wm=153&sub=2&choose=checkout_directlink&search=free my utmost for his highest

You can read the devotional by clicking on this link:  http://myutmostdevo.tumblr.com/tagged/My-Utmost-For-His-Highest

You can buy it on line or at bookstores.

Skillful Living 101—9 Wisdom’s Invitation

You are cordially invited

Wisdom has skillfully constructed her home and set an elaborate table. Serving a delightful well calculated cuisine—delicious, nourishing and satisfying; most importantly this menu is abundantly available to all who will listen.

Following is your personal invitation from Proverbs 9:4-8:

“Are you confused about life, don’t know what’s going on? Come with me, oh come, have dinner with me! I’ve prepared a wonderful spread—fresh-baked bread, roast lamb, carefully selected wines. Leave your impoverished confusion and live! Walk up the street to a life with meaning.” (The Message)

Once again Proverbs summons us to take a hold of wisdom. Sometimes it’s easy to tune the invitation out, thinking “I’m okay, I have an ample amount of wisdom” But 1 Corinthians 1:25 says, “The foolishness of God is wiser than men” Take the very wisest of all human beings and compare them to God. If God were foolish, His foolishness would be even wiser than the wisest of all men.

We will never be above accepting wisdom’s invitation; it will do us well to embrace all the wisdom God has to offer.

For example—we need wisdom to digest Proverbs 9:7-9.  In our human intelligent, if we consider ourselves wise, than we may feel as if we can’t be taught. Proverbs 9:7-9 says, an unwise person will not accept instruction, but instruct a wise person and they will be wiser still. Teach or rebuke a righteous person and they will increase in learning. Verse 8 goes as far as to say “Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you”

Amongst the array of delicacies at wisdom’s banqueting table, we find the capacity to live a humble lifestyle. A humble person welcomes instruction, is teachable and accepts rebuke and correction—no matter their age or position in life.

In Proverbs 9:10-12, the invitation is extended once again to fear the Lord. Why? Because…

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding”

Wisdom’s invitation to fear the lord will keep us from folly. In verse 13-18 of Proverbs 9, the voice of folly sends out an invitation as well. Wooing the unassuming, impersonating the voice of wisdom—saying, “’Whoever is simple, let him turn in here.’ And as for him who lacks understanding, she says to him, ‘Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.’ But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of hell”

God in His kindness has extended His invitation to embrace wisdom. Be encouraged to accept.

Skillful Living Tools:

  • Tune your heart to hear and embrace wisdom’s invitation
  • Be wise and accept instruction, teaching and rebuke
  • Live humbly
  • Fear the Lord
  • Resist folly

Check out the Skillful Living Tool Box (updated weekly) at the top of this page!

Skillful Living 101—8 Wisdom’s Excellence

The Excellence of Wisdom

Wisdom, insight and understanding sound their request. Let all who have a heart to hear—pay attention to the excellence of wisdom.

What is the excellence of wisdom? Nothing less than Christ.

As we read Proverbs 8, it’s as Christ Himself is calling to the very core of our being, saying listen—my words are plain, give ear to understanding, use good judgment, do not be foolish, but embrace Me—behold wisdom and live.

Wisdom’s value is priceless, of more worth than gold, silver and precious jewels.

What do you desire most? Proverbs 8:11 shamelessly states, nothing we desire can compare with wisdom. That’s a huge declaration, one to ponder.

Take that which is of greatest desire to you, feel its worth—and know that the scripture says wisdom is of greater value.

Be stirred to make an exchange with God—that which you desire, for that which God desires for you—Christ the excellence of wisdom and the fruit of His righteousness.

Proverbs 8:17-18 coincides with Matthew 6:33, they pronounce;

“I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me. Riches and honor are with me, enduring riches and righteousness.”

“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

It really is simple, but most difficult for our flesh; seek Him first and He adds all things, according to His will, to you. Our human mind wants to reason how can this simple daily choice of seeking God first help me?

Listen…wisdom is calling…instructing us to choose to seek Him first.
Hear with faith…tune your spiritual ears.

Proverbs 8:19 articulates that the profit of choosing Him first is superior over any other choice.

“My fruit is better than gold, yes, than fine gold, and my revenue than choice silver.”

Verse 34 offers a nugget of truth on seeking Him—that will change your life.  It says, watch daily at His gates and wait at His door post.

Watch for the Lord—wait for Him, He will come. Jesus is the wisdom of God, He fills every need—every day!

If you want blessings, favor and life from the Lord, simply keep His ways, hear His instruction and make your heart His home.

Proverbs 8:33-36 “Now therefore, listen to me, my children, for blessed are those who keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and do not disdain it. Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoever finds me finds life, and obtains favor from the Lord; but he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; all those who hate me love death.”

Be encouraged to read Proverbs 8 with the perspective of wisdom being Christ—it will bless you!

Check out the skillful Living Tool Box (updated weekly) at the top of this page.

Skillful Living Tools:

  • Ask for the revelation of Christ as the wisdom of God
  • Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness
  • Keep His ways
  • Listen to instruction and be wise
  • Watch and wait for the Lord

God is—the Promise Land

I’ve been pondering the Children of Israel and their wilderness experience. What’s remarkable about stories from the Bible is how timeless they are—continuously relevant words, inspired by the Holy Spirit—never dreary.

The truth that I’ve been reflecting upon, is how God was with the Children of Israel. Yes, they were in the wilderness, but He was very near. God was a pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day.

God’s manifest presence was constantly close.

The truth is; abundance is not always found at the end of a crisis. The promise land was available to the Children of Israel right where they were, right in the middle of the wilderness. Their desire to have their needs met blinded them from seeing Him.

God is the Promise Land.  Jesus—Emanuel—God with us—is the Promise. He is the abundance. Everything else is extra.

This concept makes life good. No matter our circumstance—if we live in the promise land—continually in God’s presence—aware of His great love. Then we will know—there is nothing that can stand against us, nothing too big or too hard to detour our life.

It all depends on which presence we choose to live in. God is omnipresent, meaning He is everywhere.  The presence of God that dwells in an intimate relationship, is the presence I’m referring to. To live in this presence, we have to bypass a casual relationship with God and seek to know Him, not just know about Him.

In Psalm 46:10 we are told “Be still, and know that I am God.” Basically cease striving and struggling to get somewhere in life and know Him. Stop trying to get what you need from God, and just get God!

Surely the [uncompromisingly] righteous shall give thanks to Your name; the upright shall dwell in Your presence (before Your very face). Psalm 140:13

What if the Children of Israel shifted their point of view, and truly perceived that the cloud and the fire was God. What if they had the revelation that He was with them—right there with them, and that He was the Promise Land—He was all they needed. What if they caught a glimpse of how much He loved them?

What if we shift our thoughts about God and realize He is the Promise Land. What if we stop looking for the promises and just look into the eyes of the One who makes the promises? How would that change our life?

Please be encouraged—whether you’re in a wilderness or not, the Promise Land is available to you now. It’s not something to arrive at—the Promise Land is in the journey—always with you—never forsaking you—desiring relationship—always loving you.

 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalms 16:11

Skillful Living 101—7 The Heart

The issues of life spring forth from the very heart of a person. In Proverbs 7, we are instructed to engrave God’s commands on the tablet of our heart, cherishing every Word; keeping them close so we might not sin against our God.

A comparable bit of history is the Ten Commandments. They were written by the finger of God on stone tablets, so the people might not sin against Him.

How privileged we are to live in such a day in age where God the Son, can have His being in us and personally inscribe His loving commands—His living words, on the tablet of our heart.

Proverbs 7 illustrates four positionsof the heart.

Verse 3 describes a prepared heart; our heart is prepared as God’s presence etches His commands on it. In verses 6-9, we read about a simple-minded person who neglected wisdom; whose heart was unprepared to meet the charms of Satan. Therefore became devoid of understanding. He followed a loud, rebellious, married, imprudent woman—to her home—to her bed—to his death.

Proverbs 7:10, says she was a woman with a crafty heart. She devised evil and pursued the unwise fool who would join her.

Next, Proverbs 7:14-19 speaks of a religious heart, one that makes offerings and vows to God, giving Him lip service from an empty heart that never intends to live righteously or obey His commands.

Proverbs 7 ends with a warned heart, verse 25 warns the young man; “Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, do not stray onto her paths.”

In this Proverb we are given a treasury of skillful living tools regarding our heart.

In diligence, let’s engrave God’s Word on our heart. Let us invite Him to carve His commands on hearts of stone, causing them to soften as we draw near—drawing so near—our heartbeat becomes one with His. His very presence—is His finger writing living words on our heart. This is the essence of a heart prepared for God.

In the drawn near position we are able to guard our heart from being crafty. Likewise, discernment will dwell in us and we will be vigilant to recognize the snares of those with a crafty heart.

As we are situated in God’s presence, religiousness has a very difficult time taking root in our heart and life.

Lastly, the heart that is filled with God listens intently, pays attention to warnings, heeds correction and is filled with wisdom.

Please be encouraged to read Proverbs 7 and to apply the skillful living tools to your life!

Skillful Living Tools: 

  • Prepare your heart for God’s presence
  • Prepare your heart to meet the charms of Satan
  • Write God’s commands on the tablet of your heart
  • Invite God to engrave His Word on your heart
  • Be vigilant against a crafty heart
  • Guard your heart from religion
  • Offer God heart service, not lip service
  • Pay attention to warnings, heed correction, be filled with wisdom

The  Skillful Living Tool Box at the top of this page, is updated weekly—check it out!

Thanks for reading and share with those you care about!

Favor Ain’t Fair

I’ve been pondering a statement one of my sons made; He said “Favor aint fair.” What’s fascinating about favor is that it gives us an advantage. I like to think of God’s favor as—a doorman at an exquisite hotel—we walk up and the doorman, no questions asked—flings the door wide open.

Last weekend we were at a high school hockey tournament, where our son Parker and his team were battling it out for the Idaho State Championship title. Before each game as we traveled from our hotel to the ice rink, we prayed for Parker and the team.

On the first day as we were praying for agility, foresight and favor for Parker, I had this knowing that we had found favor with God. He was going to meet Parker and empower him to play the best hockey he ever has. I couldn’t stop smiling. Just then my other son says “Favor ain’t fair.” I had the same sentiment, those who call on God have an advantage—I almost felt sorry for the other teams!

Finding favor is translated as: special benefits or blessings.

Excitement and this sense of overwhelming love and favor filled my heart. I knew God was with my son and that He would favor him and help him.

Sure enough, Parker played the best five hockey games of his life! Actually his whole team played amazing—and earned the Idaho State Championship title.

I know it’s just a high school game, and I pray for favor quite often. But through this experience I grasped the favor concept as never before, seeing God’s favor as an advantage. Not in a smug way, rather in a manner that causes my heart to swell with warmth and gratitude for God’s remarkable love.

God’s favor isn’t the kind of thing we brag about, as if we are better than others—no, we brag about how awesome our God is! We are not favored because we are so great, and God owes us a favor, but because our God is so great, kind and loving.

Proverbs 16:15, “When the King smiles, there is life; his favor refreshes like a spring rain.”

The benefits of God’s favor are endless. My heart is so full of admiration for God, not because I’m highly favored but because His favor shows me yet again how much He loves me.

Please be encouraged to marvel at God’s favor as you bathe in His love.

Psalm 31:16,  “Let your favor shine on your servant. In your unfailing love, rescue me.”,