When our lives are not aligned with the teaching of Scripture and the transforming work of God’s Spirit—when we’re resisting His wise, loving instruction concerning our lifestyle and attitudes—our prayer closets start to feel like soundproof rooms. Our spiritual armor becomes little more than the plastic, painted stuff they sell as a kit in the toy section of the Christian bookstore. The energy we expect our prayers to access and generate is momentarily choked off and shorted out. We’ve compromised the system. We’ve created a bottleneck. We’re leaking oil, leaking power.
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When's the last time you ran in the direction of your challenge? We tend to retreat; we tend to duck; we tend to hide. We may escape for a moment, but as soon as we emerge from our hiding, there's our Goliath, still waiting on us. Why don't you try another tact? Saturate your mind with God, and then—in faith—run at our giant. Emboldened by an un-squashable resolve, load your sling with the rock of faith and take a swing at your giant.
The mind is the leader or forerunner of all actions. Romans 8:5 makes it clear. Our actions are a direct result of our thoughts. If we have a negative mind, we will have a negative life. If, on the other hand, we renew our mind according to God’s Word, we will, as Romans 12:2 promises, prove out in our experience “the good and acceptable and perfect will of God” for our lives.
Suggestions for Fasting and Feasting: Fast from discontent; feast on thankfulness. Fast from worry; feast on trust. Fast from anger; feast on patience. Fast from self-concern; feast on compassion for others. Fast from unrelenting pressures; feast on unceasing prayers. Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness. Fast from discouragement, feast on hope. Fast from media hype, feast on the honesty of the Bible. Fast from idle gossip; feast on purposeful silence. Fast from problems that overwhelm; feast on prayer that undergirds.
Thankfulness is not an emotion, it's a lifestyle.
He has great tranquillity of heart who cares neither for the praises nor the fault-finding of men. He will easily be content and pacified, whose conscience is pure. You are not holier if you are praised, nor the more worthless if you are found fault with. What you are, that you are; neither by word can you be made greater than what you are in the sight of God.
Today, even amongst Christians, there can be found much of that spirit that wants to give as little as possible to the Lord, and yet to get as much as possible from Him. The prevailing thought today is of being used, as though that were the one thing that mattered. That my little rubber band should be stretched to the very limit seems all important. But this is not the Lord's mind. The Lord wants us to be used, yes; but what He is after is that we pour all we have, ourselves, to Him, and if that be all, that is enough.