Category Archives: Spiritual Maturity

Practicing God’s Presence In the Routine

If you were to ask people to list the things they feared, you would probably find on that list, “boredom”, especially boredom in the routine activities of life. This is a common dread for anyone who desires to fill their existence with excitement and vibrancy. There are many differing opinions about boredom. Here are a few.

• Boredom: The desire for desires. – Leo Tolstoy

• I am convinced that boredom is one of the greatest tortures.  If I were to imagine Hell, it would be the place where you were continually bored. – Erich Fromm, The Dogma of Christ

• When people are bored, it is primarily with their own selves that they are bored. – Eric Hoffer

• Perhaps the world’s second worst crime is boredom. The first is being a bore. – Jean Baudrillard

I believe Christians who instinctively practice the presence of the Lord, will have little or no room for boredom in their life. Boredom by its very definition is impossible for the believer who is intentionally and continually connecting with God—sharing their time and experiences with the Creator of heaven and earth (Is. 40:28).

The shepherd boy David found great tranquility and contentment as he tended his sheep. Read the 23rd Psalm. Bored? I don’t think so. David practiced the presence of God under the canopy of His Creation—the moon, the stars, and the heavens. It was during the performance of his boring responsibilities that David experienced both God’s goodness and greatness. He practiced the presence of God in the routine.

This weekend I had an opportunity to share in David’s experience in practicing God’s presence in the routine as I approached the task of preparing Sunday dinner. I rose early in the morning, 5:00 a.m. to be exact, to begin the monotonous task of “cleaning collard greens”—separating the bunched collard leaves from their stem and then washing the leaves thoroughly.

This morning, however, God had a special gift for me. As the morning light came through my kitchen window, God joined me as I performed my mundane task. We spent a glorious hour reflecting on His Word, which I had read earlier during my morning devotions. He lovingly disciplined me for unconfessed sin and in general, listened to my concerns for the day. God assured me that, regardless of the task I faced that day, boring or not, He would continue to be with me. Wow! I felt like Father Lawrence (Read his story below). I practiced the presence of God in the routine.

God is so awesome. He always has us on His mind and we are never out of His view (Ps. 139:7). It is our choice to expect and pursue His presence throughout our day—in the commonplace and in the complex. He is always available (Ps. 121). Want to eliminate boredom from your life? Invite God into your presence and never be “bored again.”

Things I Learned in 2014

“Let us search out and examine our ways, And turn back to the LORD.” Lamentations 3:40 (NKJ)

I’ve had several conversations this holiday season with my grandnephew as he shared his impressions and experiences about his first semester in college. Oh my, the memories that came to my mind. The lessons he had learned and the lessons yet to be learned. As we spoke, this adage came to mind, “If you keep doing what you do, you’ll keep getting what you got.” While this saying isn’t biblical, it offers strong wisdom to people wanting to change their life and even, their circumstances.

For me, this adage begged the challenge as to what are they things I have learned through my experiences in 2014. I share my insights with you (not in priority order).

#1. Forgiveness is a process. It seems like when you think you have moved past feelings of anger and resentment, a memory or encounter causes those feelings to rise again. I have found that replacing “blessings for curses” (Matt. 5:44) does work. The negative feeling quickly leaves. You can never forgive enough.

#2. “Makes you words soft and sweet, you may have to eat them one day.” These were the words my mother-in-law told me and she was right. James was correct when he described our tongues as “a fire set by hell” (James 3:6). Watch your mouth!

#3. God will do exceedingly above all that we ask and think! (Ep. 3:20) I’m not saying that this year has been perfect, but He has proven Himself faithful and trustworthy. God did what He said He would do—even when I didn’t initially understand what was going on. My part was to only “trust and obey.”

#4. It’s OK to be vulnerable. God has provided the Church and other believers to support and help us in times of need (James 5:14-16). My Christian friends and family have been part of God’s gift to me this year as I sought prayer, guidance, and resources to do the things God gave me to do. Thank you Lord for teaching me how to receive their gifts.

#5. God speaks continuously. It’s up to me to listen. I have concentrated this year on practicing the presence of the Holy Spirit. It is life changing to realize that Deity, the Glory of the Lord, dwells within me to guide, chastise, and empower me. The Holy Spirit is truly a gift from the Lord (Luke 11:13).

#6. Pride can be the biggest hindrance to the Lord working in my life. I pray each day that the Lord will reveal any manifestations of pride in my life—my words, my actions, my thoughts (1 Peter 5:6). A must read, “Humility—The Beauty of Holiness” by Andrew Murray.

I invite you to develop your own list of “wisdom nuggets” you learned in 2014 and share a few of them with the ITWM Community.  You can input your responses at the end of the page.

Spiritual Fruitfulness

“(That you may) walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him,

being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”  Colossians 1:10 (NKJ)

The symbols of Thanksgiving are inescapable as we prepare for yet another holiday with friends and family.  We long for the traditional turkey, baked to a golden brown with its legs trussed in white.  The children make paper turkeys with the outline of their hand; the thumb is positioned perfectly as the turkey’s head, complete with a red wattle hanging beneath its neck. My favorite representation of Thanksgiving, however, is the plenteous cornucopia, bursting forth with ripened fruit from its wide and ample opening.  It is this image of Thanksgiving that has caused me to evaluate my own personal fruitfulness.  Since I have been “rooted and built up in Him” (Col. 2:7), am I bringing forth fruit pleasing to Him?  More importantly, what does spiritual fruitfulness look like?

Fruit (the product of fruitfulness) is used metaphorically of work or deeds (Eph. 2:10; Phil. 1:11; 2 Pet. 1:8).  While works are evidence of Christian activity, it does not always tell the whole story.  Jesus’ teachings often encouraged listeners to look beyond what they could see with their physical eyes and to examine the motives and intentions behind the deeds (Matthew 7:16-20).

“You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?  Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”

This view of fruit bearing was very intimidating to the religious establishment of Jesus’ day and still is to believers who gauge the quality of their “spiritual” fruit by calendars filled with church activities and hours dedicated to devotional activities.  Fruitfulness is not “busyness for the Lord” but “transformed living” resulting in the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5).  Fruitfulness reflects the heart and mind of our beloved Lord and Savior, in whose image we are to be daily conformed (2 Cor. 3:18).

How do we become fruitful?  Fruitfulness begins and ends with the Chief Source of all life, God the Father through the presence of the Holy Spirit.  Fruitfulness is the visible expression of the Holy Spirit’s power working inwardly and visibly in the life of the believer.  The fruit of Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) is not the result of impotent human efforts but is the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit being reflected in our lives as we divest control of our mind, will, and emotions to Him.

Our role in developing spiritual fruit is to abide in Christ.  To abide means to “tarry and remain”. As we abide, we listen for His voice, we obey His instruction, and we serve at His pleasure.  Jesus is the True Vine.  Believers are His branches and therefore dependent on Him for spiritual nutrients which can only be provided by the Giver and Sustainer of life.  Without Him we, the branch, can bear no fruit (John 15:4-5).  If we successfully abide in Him, we produce “much fruit”.  As we produce much fruit, the Father is glorified (John 5:8).

We are Christ’s disciples and have been appointed to bear fruit (John 15:16).  This Thanksgiving is a great time to evaluate the fruit you are producing.  How does your garden grow?

 Good to the Last Byte…

Abiding requires believers to not only dedicate time alone with the Father but also practice the art of being in His presence continually.  Since Christ is with us continuously (in the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit) practicing His presence must become an intentional act of abiding.

Exalted Lord

 “Be exalted, O LORD, in Your own strength! We will sing and praise Your power.”   Psalm 21:13

November 4th was Election Day across the nation.  For months we have listened to the political rhetoric of men and women attempting to capture our vote.  Candidates lifted their record and reputation as proof of their suitability over their opponents in hopes of influencing our final choice.  While I am not negating the importance of voting and the value of the electoral process, I think it is essential to revere the only One whose record and reputation deserves all our trust.  That One is the Lord.

The 21st Psalms carries the title of “Thanksgiving for Victory.”   It is written in acknowledgment of God’s role in the success of David, the king of Israel.  Unlike the world that assigns confidence to its own ability and control, the Psalmist recognizes that God’s faithfulness and favor is the true source of David’s achievement.  This thought is captured in the following verses:

How the king rejoices in Your strength, O LORD! He shouts with joy because of Your victory.  For You have given him his heart’s desire; You have held back nothing that he requested. You welcomed him back with success and prosperity. You placed a crown of finest gold on his head.  He asked You to preserve his life, and you have granted his request. The days of his life stretch on forever. Your victory brings him great honor, and You have clothed him with splendor and majesty.  You have endowed him with eternal blessings. You have given him the joy of being in your presence.  For the king trusts in the LORD. The unfailing love of the Most High will keep him from stumbling.”   Psalm 21:1-7 (NLT)

Note the number of times the Psalmist uses the pronoun “You and Your”.  The Psalmist boldly esteems God, not David, for all of Israel’s victories.  It is God alone who is worthy of all the praise and all the glory.  We, in our humanity, often assign blame to God for our trials and tribulations.  Do we boldly praise Him for our successes?  Will we not also exalt the Lord?

In this exaltation, the Psalmist not only celebrates through thanksgiving past victories but also anticipates future success.  This anticipation is based on trust—trust in the character and nature of God.  God, through His past acts of goodness and mercy, can be relied upon for future protection and provision.  As we look back on God’s work in our lives, is He not worthy also of our future confidence?  Will we not also exalt the Lord?

   The Psalmist ends his song with the only appropriate response to the overwhelming goodness of the LORD.

 “We praise you, LORD, for all your glorious power. With music and singing we celebrate your mighty acts.”

 And what should be our response to the Lord for all He has done for us?  If we were to reflect on the events of just this past week, I’m sure we would find that God’s love, strength and favor has been upon lives.  Let us thank God for all He has done, is doing and will do in our lives.  Let us, like the Psalmist exalt the Lord and celebrate His mighty acts.

Spiritual Identity Essentials

In this final teaching on spiritual identity, I’d like to focus on three (3) essentials that will assist us in our journey toward spiritual maturity and wholeness.  These principles will help believers to remain true to their identity in Christ when confronted by the negative influences of the world, Satan, and our flesh (Gal. 2:20).  Jesus’ ministry and personal relationship with His Father provides us solid principles that will help us guard our true identity in Christ and keep the “main thing the main thing”.  These essentials include knowing:  (1) where you came from, (2) why you are here, and (3) where you will ultimately return.   Jesus knew the essentials.

Jesus knew where He came from.  At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, people continually inquired as to His origin.  Questions came from the scribes, the Pharisees, and the priests—any and all who questioned His works (Matt. 13:54) and His authority (Mark 11:28).  There was even a moment of doubt by John the Baptist (Luke 7:20).  However, Jesus was never hesitant to proclaim His origin.  He came from God, His Father.   “And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” (John 17:5)

Jesus knew why He was there.  Jesus was never dissuaded or confused as to His purpose.  Early in his life, the boy Jesus reminded his earthly parents of the need to be “about His Father’s work” (Luke 2:49).  Even when Jesus was burdened by His imminent death and separation from His Father, He quickly refocused His attention to God’s purpose for His life—salvation for mankind through the Cross.  “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say?  ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.” (John 12:27)

Jesus knew where He was ultimately returning to.   Jesus’ return to heaven would not mark the end of His life but the fulfillment of His destiny. In heaven, as a result of His obedience, He would be exalted and glorified as Lord of Lord and King of Kings.  “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,   and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  (Philippians 2:9-11)

So how do these three principles affect our spiritual identity?  The knowledge of our origin (in Christ) gives the believer confidence knowing that Jesus is the Source and Sustainer of our life.  We have divine access to God who is all powerful, all knowing, and ever present (Ps. 145:13).  Our purpose becomes the channel through which God’s purpose is fulfilled.  Our life has eternal value and consequence.  We no longer live for ourselves, but for Him who died for us (2 Cor. 5:15).  Our destiny is inexplicably connected to heaven where Christ now resides (Ep. 1:10).  Knowing our true destiny redirects our efforts “to store up treasures in heaven” (Matt. 6:20) while teaching us to wisely “number our days” here on earth (Ps. 90:12).

Our spiritual identity is found in Christ.  This union with Christ connects our origin, our purpose, and our destiny with Him.  What Jesus has, we have!  We who were once dead in our sins are now “hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3).  This “sameness” guarantees us a common spiritual life with the Father and Son (1 Cor. 6:17), eternal security from all spiritual enemies (Heb. 7:25), and access to all God’s blessings (1 Pet. 1:4).  Such knowledge of our true spiritual identity is too wonderful for words yet let us boldly proclaim our identity in Christ!

Spiritual Identity Theft

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:26 (KJV)

The recent security breaches at Target, Home Depot, and other million dollar merchants, have left many of us extremely nervous concerning identity theft.   It has become a lucrative business as personal information is illegally accessed and sold to the highest bidder whose intent is to defraud and swindle.  It is an event we pray never happen to us. Similarly, theft of our spiritual identity can be a costly event.  Why is protection of our spiritual identity important?

First, our spiritual identity connects us to our source of life, God the Father. In Christ Jesus” we are reconciled to God. Now we are “children of God” and His “son” (John 1:12; Rom. 8:14). Understanding our spiritual identity, we can access those rights and privileges that are rightfully our “birthright”. Our identity, which was loss in the garden, was restored at the Cross.

Secondarily, our spiritual identity replaces the distorted view we have of ourselves communicated by Satan and the world, and through unhealthy attachments and relationships. It is here that we develop “false identities” of who we are. These false identities leave us brokenhearted and emotionally damaged. God’s truth, our identity in Christ Jesus, is needed to replace the lies we believe (John 8:32; 10:13).

The key perpetrator of spiritual identity thief is Satan. Our true identity was established in the Garden of Eden. There man was created in the image of God and shared unbroken fellowship with the Father. He was given authority over all creation and total access to limitless resources (Gen. 1:28). That was God’s identity for man–beloved creature and ruler–until his identity was “stolen” through deceit and deception. Satan took man’s glorious identity, given by God the Creator, and robbed him of his “good name”, leaving him “spiritual bankrupt.”

God, in His mercy and love, sent Jesus to retrieve and strengthen our true identity that was stolen in the Garden. “In Christ Jesus” we have been given a new name and new blessings to be enjoyed now through eternity. Our true identity is now safe and secure, “theft resistant” because of that which Christ accomplished on the Cross.

Identification with Christ

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20  (KJV)

While “identity” denotes that set of characteristics that constitute our essential self or personal uniqueness, it also describes our sameness with groups.  We identify with groups based on their characteristics, values, and/or belief system.  For example, we may identify with a particular area (Midwesterner, New Yorker), a certain demographic (Baby Boomers, Gen-X, Millennials), or even a certain cause (MADD—Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, Save the Whales).    Our identity with certain groups may be intentional in hopes of elevating our status or gaining influence.  Identification with Christ is, however, what really matters both now and for eternity.

“Identification”, for purposes of our teaching today, denotes association in name, feeling, interest, or action.  When identification is used in this manner, it is usually followed by the preposition with, such as, “He preferred not to identify himself with that group.”  How do we identify with Christ and what does it look like in our lives?  Mark Hankins, in his book, The Power of Identification in Christ, gives us great insight as to where identification with Christ begins:

“Your identification with Christ or who you are in Christ begins with the grace of God.  God puts you in a place where you can see His glory, get in His presence, know and experience Him.”

This grace of God was demonstrated to us through the gift of His Son Jesus Christ.

 “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior.” Titus 3:4-6

So how do we begin this journey of identifying with Christ?  We begin identification with Christ by identify with…

His deathBefore Christ came into our lives we were dead in our trespasses (Col. 2:13).  We were bound by our human tendencies to follow the impulses and temptations generated by the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life (1 John 2:16).   Now with Christ, our old nature has been put to death ((Ep. 4:22; Mark 8:35).  This dying to sin and self is possible as a result of the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

His burial.   What do you do with dead things? You bury them!  Sin is no longer “operative” (effective) in the believer’s life.  We do not have to respond to sin’s demands (Col. 2:12) and we are released from Satan’s control over our lives (Romans 6:11-12).    To return to a lifestyle of sin is as unthinkable for a Christian as for one to dig up a dead corpse!

His resurrection.  We have been “quickened” (made alive) by the Spirit (Ep. 2:1,5 ; 1 Pet. 3:18) and are raised by the power of God into “newness of life” (Rom. 6:4).  This power (dynamis) is the same power that God used when He raised Jesus from the grave (Ep. 1:19-20).   It is now the believer’s privilege and responsibility to “appropriate” that power in our Christian walk. 

His glorification.  Since we died and were raised with Christ, we will also be glorified with Him (Ep. 2:6).  The believer’s greatest hope is to partake in the future glory with Christ (Rom. 8:17).  This hope outweighs any trials we may experience now and becomes the goal of our high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:14).  Through identification with Christ’s glorification we see the culmination of God’s plan of salvation (Rom. 8:30).

Why is identification with Christ important?  By identifying in Christ’s death, burial, resurrection, and glorification, we begin to shed ourselves of the earthly entrapments that compete for God’s love and affection.  Christ becomes the standard as to what true love and obedience looks like—love for our Father and love for one another.  During this process of identification, transformation begins.  Our spirit man no longer must be coaxed to do what is right but finds joy in fulfilling God’s purpose, as willing bondservants to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Rom. 1:1; James 1:1; 2 Pet.1:1).

Our identification with Christ is our personal witness and commitment to the values and beliefs that are associated with Him.  Our life is now hidden in Christ and our attention is focused on a heavenly agendas and kingdom building (Col. 3: 1-3).   In the identification process, we become conformed to the image of Christ, which has always been the desire of the Father (Rom. 8:29).  It is through our identification with our Savior that we achieve our true identity of “Christ-likeness”.

The Power of Proclamation

“As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.”  Colossians 2:6-7 (NKJ)

“And they overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.” Rev. 12:11a (NKJ)

As I was finishing my evening devotions, I asked the Lord why we, as believers, have such a difficult time receiving the power He has given us to live out His purpose.  As I finished my reading, this thought came to mind, “You cannot claim what you do not proclaim!”  In other words, there is an apparent disconnect between what we mentally believe and how we personally walk out that truth in our lives.   We fail to make a personal proclamation.

Our failure to boldly proclaim and claim God’s power in our life may be as a result of choosing to operate independently, outside of God’s direction.  We may opt to follow the path of “diys”—do it yourself.  This may be a good approach in doing home projects but not in the advancement of one’s spiritual maturity.  Failed efforts are reflective of our failure to accept our own human imperfection.  In reality, what seemed to be the “best way” results  in failure to proclaim God’s sufficiency and failure to claim His desired outcome for our lives.  “For we are God’s masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago”       (Ep. 2:10, NLT).

Lack of success in our personal proclamation often stems from a lack of understanding and acceptance of our identity in Christ.  “In Christ, in Him, of Him” was used most often by Paul in his letters to the Early Church.  It describes our special union with Christ and the benefits we can “proclaim and claim” as a result of that union.  We are one with Christ, therefore what Christ has we also possess.  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ep. 1:3).

Satan desires that we remain “spiritually ambivalent.”  If he can silence our proclamation of the freedom and goodness to be found in Christ, he can continue his campaign of deception, disbelief, and disobedience in the believer’s life.  It is the proclamation of believers in Christ that will ultimately lead to Satan’s defeat (Rev. 12:11a).   In Christ, we have “redemption, righteousness and access”, just to name a few.  Once we better know who we are in Christ, we can boldly proclaim and claim His power and presence in our lives.

 Good to the Last Byte…

Using your Bible concordance, find scriptures that include “in Christ”.  Begin to see all the things we have and are becoming as a result of our special union with Christ.

Redeeming the Time


See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  Ephesians 5:15-16 (NKJ)

“Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.”  Colossians 4:5 (NKJ)

As a child, I remember going with my parents to shop for groceries.  Upon paying the bill, my mother would be given “redemption stamps” (equal to the grocery receipt) that could be later exchanged for household items, i.e., dishes, flatware, or cookware.  After saving enough stamps, we’d go to a local redemption center and trade in our stamps for our special selection.  My mother felt this was a great way to get the “most bang for her bucks”—groceries AND household items.  While stamp redemption worked well for my mother’s budget, there’s a different kind of redemption believers should pursue as they endeavor to accomplish God’s purpose for their life.  It’s redeeming the time.

The New International Version (NIV) of the Bible translates redeeming the time to mean “making the most of every opportunity.”  The meaning is further illuminated by Bible interpreters to mean “to make wise and sacred use of every opportunity for doing good, so that zeal and well-doing are as if it were the “purchase money” by which we make the time our own.”   (Thayer Lexicon)

In our Ephesians text, Paul reminded believers that they were no longer agents of darkness but were to redeem the time by being “light in the Lord” (Ep. 5:8).  Their new identity was to be evidenced by their fruit—goodness, righteousness and truth.  They were to walk “circumspectly, not as fools” (verse 15).  There is urgency in Paul’s message to the church at Ephesus because the “days were evil” meaning there was a general disregard for what was right while embracing that which was profoundly immoral, wicked, and depraved.  The days continued to be evil into the 21st century.

To the church at Colosse, Paul saw an opportunity for the Christian family to redeem the time.  Believers were advised to “walk in wisdom” (sophia).  This wisdom was very special in that it described a “skill and discretion in imparting Christian truth”.  It required “devout and prudence communication with men who were not disciples of Christ.”  The NIV rending of Colossians 4:5 states it more clearly, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.”  In other words, Paul was speaking about “life witnessing” where the believer became the “living testimony” as to the life changing power available to individuals who enter into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ (Titus 3:4-6).

Today Paul’s use of “redeeming the time” draws attention to believer’s solemn responsibility to proclaim and practice Christ-centered principles in their home and in their community.  While society exchanges moral absolutes for what seems “right in their own eyes” (Judges 17:6), believers must be “committed to God’s truth in every element of our lives as the separation between light and dark become apparent in the world and in our society.”  We are to redeem the time by renouncing world system standards and boldly proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ.  By redeeming the time, believers will become viable change agents” for Christ until He returns (2 Peter 3:11-12).

Confusing Maturity for Complacence

Is He continually calling you out of sin (elementary) or is He empowering you to remain pure and lead others ill to holiness (maturity)? Is He continually telling you to increase your faith (elementary) – or are you using the faith you have to step out in the area of miracles, signs and wonders (maturity)? Is He continually reminding you of the infilling of the Spirit of Jesus you received at your baptism (elementary) – or is the Spirit in you collaborating with Him to change the world (maturity)? Is He continually reminding you of His resurrection power (elementary) – or are you living in it every day (maturity)? Is He continually reminding you that there is a judgment that will be eternal (elementary) – or are you living your life open before the throne of God (maturity)?

We all have become content with far less than what God has for us. It is no wonder that so many people approach Christianity as an obligation or even as boredom. We have lost the excitement of exploration with God in His Kingdom. When did spiritual maturity begin to mean that you don’t dance and leap for joy in His presence? Or that you must not show any physical signs of surrender and delight in worship? Or that you must only whisper in church? Who made these rules? Surely not God! Instead, He encourages His people to praise with abandon, with extravagant worship, with shouts, singing, dancing, demonstrations of love and adoration.

When Michal, David’s wife, saw him worshiping God exuberantly, she scornfully criticized him, embarrassed by his lack of dignity. The last word the Bible says about Michal is that she was barren the rest of her life. Besides the fact that she bore no children, there is a spiritual principle here. Our scorn of exuberant worship causes something to die within ourselves. Each time we criticize, we put to death our child-like capacity to be fully present with the Lord, without self-consciousness and without fear of man.

Question Him in your quiet time today. Ask Him what more He has for you. Ask Him to show you open doors. Ask Him to give you that child-like heart to live in awe and wonder at what He is and what He does. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4) Ask Him for the desires of your heart!

What did the Lord say to you today?

  1. Is God speaking to your heart?
  2. Are you inviting Him to change your life and make you whole?
  3. What new potential blessing has He been prompting you to taste spiritually?
  4. What opportunities to be in His presence have you neglected?

Taste and see that the Lord is good. (Psalm 34:8)

Signa Bodishbaugh from Divine ConversationsThe Art Of Meaningful Dialogue with God