I Thessalonians 5:16-19 (NIV) Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit.
“Life is good.” The first words scribbled in my journal this cold January morning. Who am I telling? Me, I guess. Sometimes in the chaos and craziness of life – it is important to remind ourselves that no matter who challenging it may be life is good. Reunited by God through His Son, Jesus Christ, each moment is filled with endless possibilities if only I believe. Today I believe life is good. It’s getting better on the way to God’s Best. However, I must celebrate this time that is given to me minute by minute and breath by breath to squeeze out the full potential of God carefully planned and fully executed for me before I was born.
I must acknowledge with thankfulness God’s Goodness for today including all his blessings and benefits in order to successfully walk into the promises of tomorrow. This is the next God Idea that popped into my head. My level of commitment and dedication to knowing the Lord and chasing after Him will determine the outcome. God already has given me every possible spiritual blessing. I must secure it by believing and release it by faith. Not weak words and lip serving, but living in a daily faith experience with Jesus Christ.
Before diving into the scriptures to scoop up a handful of encouragement, let me be real. Life is hard. There are struggles every day. Trials and temptations for all believers is just a way of life. Christ is the overcomer. We must fight our flesh every day to allow Him to fight for us and be our victory. Life is not fair. Life is brutal sometimes. However, I stand firmly on the declaration today that with the Lord – life is always good.
Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV) Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Rejoice in the Lord always. Rejoice in the Lord. Rejoice in Jesus Christ. Fear, stress and anxiety are tools of the enemy to whittle away at your faith in the Lord. He uses these tactics to make room for doubt that God is for us or going to do just as He promised. We must learn to rejoice in the Lord. To place our expectation in Him by focusing our attention not on the primary problems of today but the victory promised to those who believe. We must learn to keep praise on our lips and silence complaining. The Name of Jesus is power to us. As we rejoice in His Name, darkness truly does tremble and fear is silenced. It is in that moment that His Presence rushes in to fill us that the door to our heart and mind slams shut in the face of satan leaving him powerless. Jesus is worthy of our praise. He gives us new life. We are new creations. There will be growing pains. Those who push through those discomforts or devastating events continuing to rejoice in the Lord and praise His Name will be more than conquerors.
Pray without ceasing.
Matthew 21:21-22 (NIV) Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
Prayer is absolutely essential to the change or breakthrough you desire. You must pray. There must be an ongoing conversation with the Father or you will lose touch. Jesus told his disciples, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41) We must pray. Prayer is a weapon as it is the strategy room of God. It is vitally important to the productivity of our faith. “You will receive WHATEVER you ask for in prayer.” This is my personal commitment for 2019. To take my prayer life to a whole new level. To come boldly and confidently into the corridors of His Presence and remain there until we work this thing out.
Give thanks in all circumstances.
Psalm 100:4 (NIV) Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
Ephesians 5:20 (NIV) Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 12:28 (NIV) Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe…
There is always something to be thankful for. Our eyes naturally gravitate to the things that are missing rather than what is right before us. It is human nature to want more and not be thankful for what we have. Our eyes fixed on what others have or do missing what the Lord is doing in our midst. Gratitude will change your attitude. Every good thing in our life is from the Father. Every good and perfect gift is from above. (James 1:17) The Word of God clearly states to give thanks always based on who He is alone. Grumbling and complaining gain nothing. Though it feels like its justified, it actually is a declaration of heavenly neglect deeming God a liar and impotent. The Lord has already promised to take every detail of our life and work it for our good and His Glory. We must learn to live thankful lives expressing our gratitude every day no matter what conditions or circumstances surround us. Paul and Silas made the choice to rejoice, pray and praise God in prison and the doors opened wide. Freedom is waiting. “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” (Colossians 2:6)
Do not quench the Spirit.
2 Timothy 1:14 (NIV) Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
We need the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:26-27) Jesus gave us His Spirit on purpose. He is ever present within us ready to help us. He is our helper. He is our guide. The Holy Spirit is our comforter. We must acknowledge His Spirit and live in communion with Him. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. (I Corinthians 6:19) The Holy Spirit is God’s seal of ownership placed within us securing every “yes” and “amen” to the requests of our prayers. He is the one who identifies us as God’s Children. We need the Holy Spirit active in our life.
How does one quench the Holy Spirit? I believe the secret lies in the verses preceding this one. We must live a life of rejoicing in the Lord. We must pray without ceasing. We must always be thankful. If not, there is a risk of quenching the fire deposited deep in our soul. According to the Spirit-Filled Life Bible, to quench the Spirit carries the idea of dampening a flame of the Holy Spirit which is given to us to purify, enlighten, warm and consume. Quenching may be an inadequate response or an exaggerated disruptive response. My upbringing in church did not recognize or acknowledge God’s Spirit as more than a silent partner. I struggled to find my way to Jesus during that time. I read the Bible but it was just words. I studied and even began teaching and nothing. Once I realized who the Holy Spirit was and began to tap into His Power suddenly everything made sense. I cannot explain it but suffice it to say that the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential to live in the Presence of God and receive His Promises in full.
John 10:10 (NKJV) The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
I remember being told as a child that “more better” was incorrect grammar. Jesus came to give us life more abundantly. Abundance is incomprehensible yet Jesus came to give it superabundance. Go Jesus! The Goodness of God is for us in the land of the living. Here. Now. Today. We cannot access the Kingdom without taking intentional step to secure our faith today. It begins by the simple statement – life is good. This is not based on anything of my feelings physical or emotional. It is good because God is good. His Spirit lives in me leading me to better until I make it to His Best. That’s enough for me to rejoice, pray and give thanksgiving while His Spirit leads me. How about you? Make this declaration over your life. Make your praise the prophetic voice of victory today.