What You Need To Do What He Wants

Is your prayer life more about getting God to do your will or you to do His?   I’ll be the first to admit that it’s much easier for me to pray about my preferences, priorities and plans than it is to say to my Heavenly Father, “nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done.”   Yet, there is nothing so freeing and fulfilling than to be right where God means for me to be doing right what God means for me to do.   Prayer involves many things, but the most important thing is to request what we need to live for His Kingdom, not to secure what we need to build our own. Today, ask God to give what you need, to do what He wants.

To Seek His Honor Is To Seek Our Happiness

The ultimate goal of our lives is for God to be honored in us and us to be happy in Him.  There isn’t anything higher to aspire to than the duality of God’s honor and our happiness.  When we thank Him, trust Him, and treasure Him, these two things are achieved.  Thanking Him means our hearts are glad because of something He gets glory for doing.  Trusting Him means we delight to do what God has decided because we believe that He is good.  Treasuring Him means we find enjoyment in His companionship because He is infinitely worth knowing.  To seek His honor is to seek our happiness.

Whatever It Takes To Be Happier In Jesus

Every single day you and I should do whatever it takes to be happier in Jesus.  That’s how we win against temptation, frustration and dissatisfaction in this life.  The attempts we make to improve ourselves, improve our circumstances, and improve our lives should not simply be about trying to take away things we dislike and add in things we do like.  Instead, our goal should be to know and enjoy Jesus more and more and more.  We grow in our inner peace, rest, security, confidence, hope and joy not because over and over we figure out a way to make things better, but because over and over we find our way to Jesus.

It’s Always An Upgrade

God delights to give His children the good things they ask from Him.  Why then are there times when we don’t get what we want in life?  One reason is simply that we aren’t asking Him for good things.  That could mean that we aren’t praying at all, and we don’t get what we ask for because we aren’t asking.  That could mean that we are praying, but what we are asking for isn’t good for us to get.  Whether it’s the wrong thing, the wrong track, or the wrong time, God loves us too much to say “yes” to all of our requests that we would regret in the end.  When He acts differently than we asked, it’s always an upgrade.

We’re Too Busy Not To Spend Time With Him

Admit it, some days are a blur.  We wake up and it’s a nonstop rush throughout the day to not fall behind.  You know what the cure is for being overwhelmed, worried and frustrated about the many things on our schedules?  Making the right choice to spend unhurried, undistracted time with Jesus today so He can refresh us, reorient us and ready us for what He knows is coming next. It’s the most important part of our day, and it should have the most intentional part of our schedule, because it’s the most influential part of our lives.  We’re not too busy to spend time with Him; we’re too busy not to spend time with Him.

It Is Where Life Is Found

How much authority does the Bible have in your life?  How is it shaping the way you see the world, the way you see polarizing issues, and the way you see yourself?  How fully and frequently do you rely on it as the final say in how you live?  The Bible isn’t an out-of-date, out-of-order, out-of-touch book with no real relevance for us today.  It is God’s Word that still speaks today telling us what is good and bad, right and wrong, true and false, beautiful and ugly, necessary and frivolous, wise and foolish.  God intends for us to seek it out and live it out as the ultimate authority for the Christian life.  Indeed, it is where life is found.

Our First Line Of Defense

Crawling comes before walking.  Planting comes before harvesting.  Starting comes before completing.  There is an order to things, and for followers of Jesus… Praying comes before doing.  You and I often handle things backwards from how we should handle them by acting and then seeking God when we should seek God and then act. The best thing we can do to handle what we face in life is to seek our Heavenly Father before we do a thing more.  We ask. He answers. We act. He assists. This is the only way to live happy, holy lives. Turning to Him shouldn’t be our last resort; it should be our first line of defense.

Reading And Responding Leads To Joy

For genuine, growing Christians, our relationship with Jesus increasingly influences how we live.  As we turn to the Bible and turn its pages, we learn of His good plans for us, His gracious promises to us, and His guiding presence with us.  Only when we regularly read and respond to the Bible can we be who we were made to be and do what we were made to do.  That’s why it is essential that we… Read it.  Pray it.  Live it.  Share it.  If your ultimate aim in life is to be as happy as you can and bring as much honor to God as you can, there is no substitute for the nourishing, encouraging, strengthening, transforming Scriptures.

The Prayer That Never Fails

There are many things that are true about prayer.  One of them is this:  prayer involves seeking what we need to do what God wants.  We don’t talk to God in order to secure what we need to build our own kingdoms; we talk to God to request what we need to live for His kingdom.  Prayer is not a hotline to heaven we use to override His will so He will give us what we think will make us happy; it is a lifeline to heaven we use to ask Him to show us His will and make us happy with what He gives us.  If we want to pray for what is best for us, this is the prayer that never fails:  Your will be done in my life as it is in heaven.

Walking With Jesus

Followers of Jesus take steps of faith in our day-by-day “walk” with Him.  Wherever He leads, we follow in the same direction, one step at a time.   In loving obedience.  With humble dependance. For a blessed experience.  While there are many places we will go and things we will do, there are four basic steps that every Christian never stop taking until they follow Jesus all the way home:  Pray.  Read the Bible.  Respond to what tells you.  Help others do the same.  This is how God is honored in us and we are happy in Him. Certainly we will take mis-steps along the way; but Jesus will never let us permanently lose our way.

Experiencing More Of His Grace

There are certain rhythms of grace that will help us better experience the forgiveness, freedom and favor of God.  These habits, disciplines and practices help us remember and rely on God’s generosity toward us in Christ.  While there are many of them, there are four basic steps that give birth to the rest of them:  Pray. Read the Bible.  Respond to what God tells you.  Help others do the same. This is how we better experience all that God means for us to have in Christ:  we live in step with Him as we live out His plans for us. The best way to dive into the fountainhead of grace is to walk daily with the Giver of grace.

Before We Ask, Because We Ask

Sometimes God gives to us before we ask and sometimes because we ask.  While God does countless gracious things for us without us requesting them or even realizing them, there are some things He does only as a response to us humbly asking Him.  To be sure, we don’t pray to get what we want to build our own kingdoms; we pray to get what we need to live for His. Still, God loves to be seen as generous, loves for us to appeal to His generosity, and loves to give generously to us because He loves us.  So, ask Him. Pray often, celebrating the grace already given to you and requesting the grace that is yet to come.

Asking For More Grace

You are not bothering God when you ask Him for more grace.  He isn’t too busy or too disinterested.  He doesn’t need to put something more important on hold to help you.  Listen… There is no sin so big that God won’t forgive it and no sin so small that God will ignore it.  There is no stronghold so powerful that God can’t break it and no stronghold so flimsy that God wants you to get free on your own.  There is no problem so significant that God won’t handle it and no problem so petty that God doesn’t care about it.  He does trillions of things in running the universe.  One of His favorites is hearing from and helping you.

Grace To Begin Again

There are three questions we should regularly ask in an honest-as-we-can-be evaluation of our spiritual journey with Jesus. First, how am I relating to God through my daily prayer and Bible time? Second, how regular and authentic is my corporate worship with others? Third, how am I stewarding my time and resources for the kingdom of God?  These are essential parts of us knowing Jesus and making Him known so that God is honored in us and we are happy in Him.  When we have been less-than-faithful in these areas, let us ask God for grace to begin again, rejoicing that He will never stop being fully faithful to us.

The Prayer That Works

Many people feel like their prayer isn’t “working” so they barely or rarely pray at all. Prayer, as with all of life, should be about God being honored in us and us being happy in Him. This is why we are to pray for… The hallowing of His Name.  The coming of His kingdom.  The doing of His will.  This results in His glory and our good! Know this… Prayer isn’t about filling up our kingdoms with what we think will make us happy; it is about being filled up by all He offers in His kingdom so we can actually be happy.  You can be sure of this:  the prayer that “works” is the prayer that “wants” all that God has for us in Jesus.

God Will Never Lie To Us

An effective lie of the enemy works like this:  It is rejected.  It is tolerated.  It is approved.  It is encouraged.   It starts out so absurd that only someone considered a fool would believe it.  It ends up so accepted that only someone considered a fool would not believe it.  If something is said loud enough and long enough, people will think it is true. As Christians, we must look to God over politicians, journalists, bloggers, podcasters, peers and other people for what to believe.  We must turn to Scripture over culture for truth and wisdom for how to live.  Let us believe this… God is not our enemy, and God will never lie to us.

Be Sure To Think About God

Let’s be honest:  In an ever-churning sea of distraction, we are vulnerable to forgetfulness.  We forget Who God is and what God does and what God says about what we are to do and who we are in Christ.  We forget His plans.  We forget His promises.  We forget His provision.  We forget His power.  We forget His presence. We forget His preciousness. It is essential that we fill our lives with things that redirect our attention to Him and rekindle our affection for Him. We need reminders that He is for us and He is with us.   Today, you will think a lot about tasks, troubles, and things. As you do, be sure to think about God.

Turn On The Light Today

The Bible is a light that illuminates dark places.  When you read it or hear it, it lights up the darkness of… Your heart.  Your path.  Your witness.  Your life.  It exposes the sinfulness of your heart so you can go to Jesus for forgiveness.  It shows you the pitfalls of the path you are on so you can follow Jesus safely to where you are meant to go.  It brightens your witness before other people as you go so you can point them through your good works to the hope and happiness you have in Jesus.  It shines encouragement into your life so that you can keep going because of the promises of Jesus. So… turn on the light today.

They Aren’t Too Heavy For Him

The weights we carry around inside of us come in many shapes and sizes.  We face an ongoing onslaught of worry, uncertainty, fear, overwhelm, discontentment, indifference, pressure, grief, unrest, outrage and discouragement.  Within these categories are countless daily instances which can let us down, get us down, put us down, shut us down, hold us down and run us down.  But… There is a Burden-Bearer we can turn to for help for the stresses and messes of life.  Nothing is too intense, too great, or too difficult for Him to replace with peace, hope and rest.  Today, cast your cares on Jesus.  They aren’t too heavy for Him.

Slow Down And Suit Up

God does not send us ill-equipped into battle against the enemy of our soul.  Instead, He dresses us in His own armor.  In order for us to fight the good fight of faith, we must put on that armor of God … ahead of time, in advance of the skirmish.  We put ourselves and others at extreme risk if we wait until the battle begins to ready ourselves for war against sin and evil.  The enemy does not allow us to call timeout or grant us a recess to gather our ammunition and put up our shield.    This is why we should arm ourselves with a daily dose of God’s instructions, truths, and promises found in God’s Word.  Slow down and suit up.