Believe!

Believe! @ saintintraining.net

“They then said, What are we to do, that we may [habitually] be working the works of God? [What are we to do to carry out what God requires?]

Jesus replied, This is the work (service) that God asks of you: that you believe in the One Whom He has sent [that you cleave to, trust, rely on, and have faith in His Messenger].” John 6:28 – 29 AMP

Car dealers and department stores offer deals, discounts and sales in an attempt to entice us to buy – Right Now!! No sale lasts indefinitely, all deals and discounts end. We’re programmed to believe that nothing good lasts forever. But there is One I know who never changes. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forevermore!

There is not a word that God utters that does not carry out the thing it is set to accomplish. His word once given cannot fall to the ground unless it’s been fulfilled. God told Jeremiah, “I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.” Jeremiah 1:12 NIV
People with the mentality of ‘get it while the getting is good’ and ‘seeing, is believing’ cannot easily receive the things of God.

The people asked, “What are we to do?” As if human ability is enough to carry out the works of God. Christ responded in a way that, if viewed through human faculties, seemed to make no sense. He told them to simply believe in the Messenger God had sent.

The people rejected such a simplified, unadorned answer. Surely He could perform some great feat? Perhaps cause bread to from Heaven as in the days of Moses? They asked for something that, if compared to the miracle they were experiencing, was trivial.

You see, they stood in the very presence of God himself. Jesus Christ was God in the flesh. The God of all creation had draped himself in human flesh to walk among the people He intended for salvation but they were too blind, too carnal to see or to believe.

“It is the Spirit Who gives life [He is the Life-giver]; the flesh conveys no benefit whatever [there is no profit in it]. The words (truths) that I have been speaking to you are spirit and life.

But [still] some of you fail to believe and trust and have faith.” John 6:63 – 64a AMP

And today we are not very different. God is no longer manifested before us in a physical shell, no, He’s much closer. God lives inside each Believer.

“Jesus replied, I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to Me will never be hungry, and he who believes in and cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me will never thirst any more (at any time).” John 6:35 AMP

Christ is to the soul what bread is to the body. He nourishes and sustains us; providing us all the essentials of what is needed for us to live naturally, spiritually, right on into Eternity. To believe in God, to believe God (what he says/promises) is to receive the life-sustaining bread. Jesus told the woman at the well that if she were to believe on him she would have water that would never run dry.

Beloved, there is no expiration date in Jesus Christ. His power doesn’t spoil nor does His love go rancid. He was, and is and is to come. He never changes. Even canned food will eventually sour. Salt will eventually lose its flavor but God will go on being God forever and His word will never fail!

“…for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]
“So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5b – 6 AMP

The promises of God are “Yes and Amen” (so be it) in Christ Jesus. Jesus is God’s Yes Man. 2 Corinthians 1:20

Believe God my brothers and sisters. If you struggle with doubt and unbelief don’t talk down to yourself, rather be transparent with the Father. We are to go boldly before the Seat of Mercy and make our petitions known. Be like the father of the demoniac son, be truthful and just like Jesus had mercy on him and healed his son, He will have mercy on you. Remember, He’s our strength when we’re weak, even when we’re faithless, He is still faithful.

Believe in the Messenger God has sent and watch your life be renewed!

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Hidden in God – Alive in Christ

Hidden in God; Alive in Christ @ saintintraining.net

“Think only about the things in Heaven not the things on earth.” Colossians 3:2 NCV

How many of us have come away from the Laundry with one sock missing? We place our dirty laundry into the machine, bleach them, soap them, rinse and dry them and in the midst of our sorting we find one lone sock when we know we had two!

Did the sock disappear in an invisible black hole? Did the sock gremlins come to carry it away to Sock Land? Unfortunately we’ll never know.

Like that lone sock that goes missing into the great unknown, our old nature goes missing into the black void of our old lives. We go before God with a dirty life, a dirty mind and a sin-riddled heart looking to be made clean. He soaps us in His love, bleaches us in His blood, sorts us out with the Holy Spirit and we’re made new in Christ Jesus!

Colossians 3:3 (paraphrased) says our old life is gone and we are kept in (hidden in) God with Christ. (1) What an encouragement! God does not lead us to repentance and baptism to then leave us to find our own way. No! He takes us in with Christ and hides us/keeps us within Himself. Is there any better hiding place, any better shelter than in God?

The world offers many temptations and many moments where one decision can lead us away from God but thank God for His grace and favor. God has chosen you and me and made us His holy people. He loves us! (Colossians 3:12) He will not leave us to walk alone.

Little by little He makes us over to resemble Him; little by little as we focus on those things above our old nature gives place to a new nature, one that looks like God. Don’t be discouraged because you make mistakes. We’re made holy each day but we will not be perfected until we reach Heaven. God does not expect perfection from us, what He does expect is for us to rely on His strength, trust His love and to obey His Word to the best of our ability. With the in-filling of the Holy Ghost our ability is astronomically increased beyond mere human abilities so even in that – He’s with us.

Jesus cautioned us to remain in Him. He said, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.” John 15:4 NLT. So you see, if we remain in Christ, we will remain Hidden in God.

Think about the things in heaven. Live for those things. Live to please God. If we do these things then we’ll remain.

Beloved, do not now or ever leave the Ark of Safety, the Cleft in the Rock, the Hiding Place. We dare not go back to the bin of past sins, looking for our old nature. It is no more. Let it stay that way!

Let us live, move and have our being in Christ Jesus; with Christ we live, with Christ we stay hidden in God. I don’t know about you but if I’m lost in Jesus, I don’t want to be found!

(1) ref. the ESV and NCV versions

There is Power in Waiting

There is Power in Waiting - @saintintraining.net

Standing ‘still’ before the Lord is faith in action.

“But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.” Isaiah 40:31 AMP

Standing still before the Lord is faith in action. When I was a child my natural father would often make promises but rarely kept them. As I grew I tuned him out, neither expecting nor hoping for him to fulfill his word.

God is not a man. He does not make promises rashly, half-heartedly or with no power to make them come to pass. The power and integrity of God insures us that He will come through. Why is this important? Because there will be times when we will have to wait on the Lord.

“And though the vision may tarry – wait!” Habakkuk 2:3 There is power in waiting; a change takes place in us as we wait. Our endurance is stretched, our strength is increased and our relationship with God is deepened.

Our ability to wait with patience and expectation indicates the level of our spiritual maturity or lack thereof. Waiting proves us. It reveals us to ourselves, not for condemnation but for examination and correction.

God wants us to grow. And one of the methods He uses to grow us is waiting for Him to act when we desperately want change.

I was in a situation for a long time that had quite frankly seemed to have defeated me. Or rather I was defeating myself because of my unwillingness to wait on God. Years passed the situation stayed the same and I grew bitter – it was my father’s oath-breaking all over again, or so I thought.

God began to do a work in me. He started at the root of my impatience and, little by little, began to prune off the dead pieces of my heart.

“I will not drive them out before you in a single year, that the land may not become desolate and the beasts of the field become too numerous for you.” I will drive them out before you little by little, until you become fruitful and take possession of the land.” Exodus 30:29-30 NIV

I began to study His word, to fast and pray for change in me rather than my circumstance and you know what? I began to change! Isn’t that what the scripture says? “But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change…” Isaiah 40:31 AMP

I drew close to God and He drew close to me. The situation did not change or resolve but I did. Glory to God! My old weather-beaten feathers, damaged by complaining and doubt, shed off and as I persisted in prayer and persisted in thanksgiving I grew new wings, strong wings, and soon I stretched them wide in preparation for flight.

God was changing me so completely that I was no longer consumed by the situation but I was enthralled with God. Oh how beautiful is the grace of Our Lord. I am closer to God now than I have ever been and He is calling me to come higher still. I believe that call is true for us all. “Come higher. Draw nearer and I will give you rest.”

Beloved there is power to be found in waiting, power and peace. Don’t let your condition or situation separate you from God, rather let it be the propelling force that causes you to draw closer to Him. Our Heavenly Father loves us. He longs to give good things to us (I am speaking of spiritual, not material blessings.) but we must position ourselves to receive those blessings.

I encourage you today to position yourself in prayer. Look for God in His word. Expect Him to fulfill His promise and set yourself to take off running. Wait on the Lord and you will finish the race.

Wait on the Lord!