Philippians 1:9-11 (NLT)
I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.
One would think that as our life returns to “normal” that things would slow down for our family. Our son’s health is good. He is back in school living as a college student albeit with some challenges but he is overall fairing quite well. God is good. The wedding of the year has come and gone. Our daughter has left the nest and we have adjusted to our new life with just two young people at home. We are back to a somewhat normal routine that does not include mom in and out of town or a completely disrupted schedule dictated by life changing events. So when I recently became overwhelmed with the circumstances at work, I was quite perplexed. Lord, we have been through so much. Can we not find some joy and peace in each day? I was quickly becoming overwrought. Anxiousness was setting in. My heart told me this was ridiculousness, but my head is a powerful persuader. My emotions became affected. Now what? Lord, help me to find love, joy and peace in each day. I know that it is Your Will for my life.
What is the fruit of my salvation? The Word of God tells us that the Fruit of the Spirit is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” I understand that this is the Will of God for my life. To live in His Love, Joy and Peace every day. To have patience. To experience kindness and goodness. To be faithful and gentle as I learn self-control when it comes to my flesh. This is not something that I can do for myself but rather what the Lord is doing in me. How do I get it out of me into each day that I live? How do I have all these things as the harvest of my life? Righteous character produced in my life by Jesus will bring praise and glory to God. I want that life. Teach me Lord to rise above my circumstances and have good days… every day… in spite of me… because of YOU!
Psalm 23:4-6 (NLT)
Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.
God’s Goodness and Unfailing Love pursue me. So why are they not catching up to me more often? I must first ask myself a question. Am I walking God’s Way? It is not always roses and sunshine. There will be “dark valleys” along the way. We will encounter enemies along the way. Do we abandon our route or continue to walk His Way? The Blessings of God are a wellspring for my life and always present in my life. A harvest of His Spirit is inevitable for those who continue to remain faithful. Where do we find it? When will it come? How does one produce such a harvest? I have a secret. I have been reminded of it this week as I pursued the Lord in prayer and praise searching for a release from these oppressive thoughts that want to steal my hope and rob me of joy.
John 15:9-11 (NLT)
“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!”
We have the potential to live in never-ending joy and peace. We do not cultivate it but it is a Gift of God to His Children. Remain in His Love and such potential is always available to those who walk by faith in Jesus and not by what they see in this world. (2 Corinthians 5:7) Jesus already told us that He was leaving us with peace of mind and heart. It is in us. Now we just have to let it out. Where the Spirit of the Lord is – there is freedom. (2 Corinthians 3:16-18) We just have to believe it to receive it. Ooohhh… perhaps this is the problem. We do not believe that God is doing anything in us. Or maybe we do not want His Spirit to change us just our circumstances. You must want the Will of God and pursue the Way of God to have the Gifts of God. Santa Clause does not live in us but comes once a year. He does not change our heart and mind to have a better life but rather offers happiness for the moment. Jesus Christ lives in us. He breathes new life to our dying soul so we can experience a far greater existence than the one that led us to Him. But sometimes we look at the Lord and confuse Him with a man in a red suit that makes one day a little better rather than anticipating a changed heart, renewed mind and satisfied life. The Lord is not in making one day better but instead He wants every moment to produce satisfaction and contentment in our life. He is cultivating a harvest that you cannot hold on to but will overflow in our life. God plans to produce an overflowing abundance in our life – we must only decide if we want it.
Colossians 2:6-7 (NLT)
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
We have the potential to change the course of today before we ever get dressed and leave the house. It is possible before the first cup of coffee or shot of caffeine. We have accepted a life of pure potential and possibility by simply calling on the Name of Jesus Christ. Each day we decide if we will dig our roots deeper in His Love and strengthen the foundation of our life by placing our faith in Him alone or trying to make the best of our day alone. We choose to fill the atmosphere with His Life Changing word or begin grumbling and complaining the moment that we get out of bed. There is always something to be thankful for. Those who tap into His Love and allow His Spirit to begin to cultivate more and more fruit of His Spirit will never be satisfied with anything less. God will make our day what He promised it would be if we will only let Him be God by faith! Faith is strengthened by the Truth so why not reacquaint ourselves with what the Lord is saying about our life in His Word and prayer rather than falling prey to the lie of the enemy that we are not going to make it or that we are not getting anywhere or the worst of all – things will never change. The enemy was to capture us, entangle us and bind us in his lies so we cannot pursue the truth. (Colossians 2:8-9) It is up to me to change my mind and let the Lord make my day as He designed it. My commitment to this promise is by faith and it will lead to hope that is never a disappointment of any kind.
Colossians 4:2 (NLT) Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.
Is it time for a conversation with the One who loves us most? Perhaps if we would think of what He has planned for our life – we can get over what doesn’t make sense to move on to complete understanding? Devote yourselves to prayer. Simple conversations with God. Don’t know what to say. Say anything – just make the connection. Trust me, He can handle the truth…God already knows our heart. As we pour life out to God and begin to make room for His Word to refill us and revive our heart – we will begin to overflow with thanksgiving born of faith not dictated by our circumstances as we discover a little secret. His Love. It is in us. Every moment of every day – the Lord is with us pursuing us with His Goodness and Unfailing Love. When we choose to tap into it by faith believing that He is with us, in us and part of our everyday life – the potential changes our perspective. We are empowered to keep going when every ounce of our flesh wants to give up. We can smile when others think we should cry. The Fruit of His Spirit flow out of us. The promise and potential of change are already in us. We must learn to express them by faith in hope according to our belief that the Lord has already made our day. Paul wrote these words of vast encouragement in chains. (V.3) We have no excuse. We have been set free by the Spirit of the Lord living in us. Claim your freedom today. Do not let circumstances or a bad situation stifle your praise. Talk to the Lord – He is listening. Angels are poised ready to be sent forth on our behalf. Thanksgiving is just on the other side of griping and complaining about what is not and spoken in what can be. Live by faith and not by sight – the potential is far greater. This is the secret to making each day one filled with overflowing joy and peace as His Unfailing Love and Goodness meet you!
I Corinthians 2:11-12 (NLT)
No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.