He wants to guide your life and not just have you float aimlessly through life. The following are three ways God can guide in our lives. What does Paul tell us we should learn from the life experiences of Bible characters? A regular time of prayerful study in Scripture is the best way to get our priorities straight. God also guides us by divinely-directed circumstances. Psalm 23 pictures Him as the Good Shepherd.
A shepherd leads his sheep through lush valleys as well as through rocky ravines. He is capable of helping his charges benefit from and learn from every experience.
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We have a Shepherd who sticks close by our side. God also guides us by speaking to our conscience. The more consistently we practice communicating with God, the more He is able to guide us. Prayer God, help me to grow thirsty for your presence. Forgive me for letting anything else bring me the satisfaction that only you can truly provide. Scripture Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Observation When you study the Word of God, you come to a place where you stop reading the Bible, and it starts reading you.
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This is the life change that people talk about! The Old Testament and New Testament contain layers and layers of God speaking to our humanity and unfolding the plan that he has for us. The more mature you become, the deeper you fall into Scripture. Application God designed four things for our daily Bible meditation and prayer. Spiritual Exercise. Devotions are like exercise for our souls. Spiritual Shaping. Our bodies take the shape of how we exercise. Our souls will conform to how we exercise them. Remember that changing your exercise routine can be helpful, so read through the Bible one year, memorize a book another year or meditate on and pray through texts related to a special concern on another year.
Marines undergo rigorous training so that they instinctively know how to handle chaos. Similarly, daily handling and using the Word of God trains us to handle emotional and spiritual chaos. Delight Cultivation. A married couple must delight in one another. It is the consistent and intentional pursuit of each other that cultivates a capacity for delight.
Devotions in the Word of God are how we cultivate delight in God. Some days may seem mundane, but we will be surprised at the cumulative power that they have to deepen our love for and awareness of him. Prayer God, give me a sense of excitement about your Word. Give me the discipline to be in the Bible every single day.
Help me to get so much out of reading about you. May I stop reading the Bible and let the Bible read me. Scripture I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. Observation John 17 tells us that the night before Jesus died, he prayed for his friends—his disciples. He prefaced those words with the disclaimer that he was not praying for the world; he was praying for those close to him.
Guidance and the Voice of God
Jesus said that God had given all of them to him. Jesus had spent three intense years developing relationships with and sharing life with a dozen men. He loved them, and now he was leaving them. He was asking his father to be a father to them and hold them together in relationship. He was facing terrible, horrible, unimaginable circumstances ahead, and his first priority in prayer was for those he loved to be united in their faith with no divisions between them.
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He did not pray that circumstances would change or that they would be kept from the fear, pain and confusion to come; he prayed for unity in faith. Application Jesus modeled the importance of praying for those close to us. Do our prayers focus on circumstances or development of strong faith and unity? When we encounter difficult situations in relationships, can we first do our part toward reconciliation by praying for unity and healing?
As we grow in our relationship with God, we will want to have stronger relationships with others. Prayer Father, I pray for those you have given to me. I call out their names and needs before you today, knowing that the greatest need is to be one with you and in unity with others. I ask that my own heart be steadfast in the truth of your presence.
May the Kingdom be the passion and priority of my life. Scripture Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. One time, when I was out with my grandpa, I checked a machine for coins. Suddenly, the slot closed down on my finger. Some adults noticed and picked me up to pull my arm free, but it just hurt more! By doing this, the slot opened and released my finger. You see, people around me were looking to fix the problem without considering how the pinball machine was designed in order to find the solution.
My grandpa was willing to look at things from a different perspective. In Matthew 5, Jesus takes us to a mountain to teach a new way to look at our position—a new perspective. Jesus gives us a radical, upside-down view of what it means to be someone who will inherit the Kingdom of heaven. Jesus was coming from the perspective of the designer of the universe and was teaching us how to live and how to love others. Are there areas in your life in which you need to change your perspective and find an upside-down solution to make things right?
How can your perspective make an impact on the world around you? Prayer Help me to see things through your eyes from your perspective. Teach me how I can do things your way. Scripture … But Elijah climbed to the top of Mount Carmel … and prayed with his face between his knees.
A heavy wind brought a terrific rainstorm, and Ahab left quickly for Jezreel. Elijah used the best weapon against this enemy: prayer. This can happen in our lives, too. But Elijah persisted! He did not give up when the result felt delayed. Breakthrough was coming. What seemed impossible became reality as rain poured from the sky.
We cannot retreat!
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Instead of giving up, we press on with consistent prayer. We might have to go back seven times to spot the answer, but our faith tells us the rain is coming! Application Even when we face difficult or the same situations, our faith must remain strong. Today, each time this situation comes up, stop and pray! Just like Elijah, go back to what you know: prayer works. What circumstance seems to be nagging you at every corner?
How can you tackle this situation with persistent faith? What do you believe God can do in this situation? Prayer Father, thank you for making a way when there seems to be no way. I believe that you can turn this situation around.
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Lord, I trust you and believe, in faith, that you are sending a cloud that will be the answer. When children are asked to form a line to do something fun, a mad scramble begins as they all vie for the coveted first spot. Many classroom teachers assign a weekly line leader to avoid the unnecessary conflict surrounding this seemingly innate desire to be first. Throughout our lives, we receive mixed messages on what is the best way to live. Our God tells us differently.
Humility is a concept that we find talked about throughout all of scripture. Jesus gives a warning: those who exalt themselves—who celebrate themselves above others—will be humbled. He goes on to say that those who humble themselves will be exalted. God sees humility, and he blesses it with guidance and direction.
Humility in our lives today can look like many different things. Application Why is being humble so hard? When we pause and practice humility, we are growing closer to God and walking in his will for our lives. Jesus was born humbly, lived humbly, died humbly and rose again humbly. We have the perfect example of selflessness and love in Jesus Christ, and we should look to him as we seek to live humbly. How can you practice humility today? Prayer Lord, please give me the grace to live humbly today. Help me to practice humility so that I may receive your guidance and walk in your will for my life.
Thank you for sending Jesus to live a humble life and to die humbly for me. You are so good! God has been and is your strength. There is cause for celebration. Rejoice, and again I say rejoice!
Jesus similarly returned in the power of the Spirit. After he had finished forty days of fasting, he was not weak; he was filled with power! The Holy Spirit had done a work in his life. In these 21 days, have you allowed the Holy Spirit to do a work in your life? You are here where the Lord has placed you, and a new chapter and new year are starting with power! The things that were once part of your life are no longer! Bad habits, spiritual laziness, lack of discipline are all gone by the power of Christ because the Spirit is upon us.
Jesus returned as a different man to his work-a-day world. From that day on, his life took on a new purpose, and it was evidenced by what he did. Expect a new power to be at work in you to accomplish what God has for you in I am glad, not mad. I rejoice in Christ, my choice! Then purpose that the remainder of will be a year unlike any other. You have decided to move forward in power—not simply a new resolution but in the power of the Spirit. God has anointed you! The new year awaits you with challenges, but the Holy Spirit is upon you, and everything God is calling you to do will be done with a new spiritual power.
It is yours! Prayer Lord Jesus, thank you for the power you give me to conquer the challenges of the world. You lift me up and help me to love others. Renew in me a new spirit for this new year and give me a heavenly covering from your Spirit. Show me the way and give me the power to do your will and make your name known among all the nations. I praise you, and I praise your holy and powerful name! Seasons of fasting and prayer are essential to the life of a believer. These 21 days have been so powerful and life changing. The question is: How do we sustain such powerful moments through our everyday lives without being in a constant state of fasting?
In our lives, whenever things start piling up, they can begin to divert our attention away from God. Our perspective drifts, and then worry, doubt, fear and anxiety creep in. The antidote that eliminates worry from our lives is putting first things first. Sure, the Lord wants to bless us. He wants to open heaven and rain down spiritual and natural gifts. He wants to fulfill the desires of our hearts.
However, sometimes we forget that it requires humble obedience and faith to bring him on the scene. When we truly put him first, we can be sure that God will take care of the things in our lives. Application Seeking is an action word. We cannot sit by and hope that things change. The difference will come when we change our habits and priorities.
How can you prioritize your relationship with Jesus? What in your life could be a distraction? Prayer Dear God, let me be led by your Holy Spirit to live a life that puts first things first. I want to seek your kingdom and your righteousness. The same could be said for their book on prayer. This one is cast from the same die. What it offers is not new techniques but a convincing biblical presentation of what prayer is and why we should do it.
The book consists of ten Chapters spread over pages. The chapters are short enough to be read on a tube trip up to town or accompanying a mocha latte! Given that God the able, willing, personal, holy and merciful God is also our Father we should have massive confidence to approach Him and ask Him for things. Jensen and Payne suggest that the reasons can be traced to a faulty view of God, a wrong understanding of our relationship with God and the presence of a real spiritual enemy.
They speak about the essence of prayer. They say rightly that prayer is not a matter of technique but of relationship. But this is the place to begin.
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