Our Daily Bread – Devotion

April 11, 2008
After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. —Acts 16:7

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On Friday, my day of rest as a pastor, the Holy Spirit prompted me to call a young single mother in our faith community to see if her car had been repaired. I had some reservations about making the call, but I obeyed.

Little did I know that my obedience would help save her life. She said later: “Friday at work I was planning on taking my life; but in a time of need, I believe God was there for me. He had Pastor Williams call me, and just by listening to his voice, I knew that God loved me.”

The apostle Paul must have had reservations when the Holy Spirit prompted him and his team not to go into the provinces of Asia and Bithynia. Instead, they felt the Spirit’s call to go into Macedonia to preach the good news. In each situation, they obeyed the Spirit’s promptings. As a result, Paul and his team were instrumental in giving birth to a new faith community in Philippi (Acts 16:11-15).

As believers in Christ who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:22), our desire should be to please Him. May we not grieve the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30) by ignoring His gentle promptings. When we obey Him, we might be used by God to lead someone to Christ, to disciple new believers—or even to help save somebody’s life. — Marvin Williams

Holy Spirit, we would hear
Your inner promptings, soft and clear;
And help us know Your still, small voice
So we may make God’s will our choice. —D. De Haan

Make the right choice: Obey the Spirit’s voice.

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Wounds

I have recently had a very real epiphany about emotional wounds. I’m a really introspective person, by nature, and in my journey to understand myself and correct some sinful behaviors I have discovered that emotional wounds…  do not heal on their own. Unlike their physical counterparts, who, in large part heal themselves, these wounds of the heart and mind remain painful and destructive for as long as we let them lie. I am currently dealing with wounds that are over 30 years old!! 30 years! These things should heal after 30 years, I have told myself time and time again. But no, shockingly, these things are constantly at work at the subconscious level modifying how I react to things, how I feel from day to day, and absolutely inflaming an already touchy temper that I have.

Here is what I’m learning: 1. You can’t deal with irrational feelings of emotional pain, rationally. You can’t just tell yourself, “Ok, I’m not going to feel this anymore”, or “I’m finished with this! I will not react this way again!”. It will never work that way. 2. You have to identify and revisit the wound, thus cleaning the wound. You have to feel the pain and learn that you will be alright in doing so. It’s very important so that you can actually heal from it. 3. You must bandage the wound with forgiveness. Forgiveness is pivotal to your healing. You must forgive whoever hurt you, including yourself, in order for healing to begin to take place.

I believe in my heart of hearts that God will heal my wounds. And I know that His will is that everyone find that healing.

I will share more as I learn. God bless you.

Counting My Blessings

Today, a local family lost their 9-year-old son. He was playing with a school mate in front of his house when a man pulled up in a car, got out and shot the boy, then abducted him and drove off. This evening, they found his body in a nearby field. And authorities have not yet caught the perpetrator. I’m choking up as I write this, and I have prayed for this unfortunate family as they walk through, what must be, the most difficult and darkest time in their lives. I can not even imagine losing one of my children, and I pray against that happening every morning.

I’m not sure what caused me to write about this tonight, except that I sit here counting my blessings with a heavy heart. If you are a Christian please remember this family in your prayers tonight. And everyone take notice of how absolutely short our time in this life really is.

Blessings to you all…

Deep~

Deja Vu

Have you ever had Deja Vu? What a strange and mysterious phenomenon that is! It recently happened to me and it was amazing! Have you ever wondered what it is? Is it just a random electric pulse that floods our cerebral pathways with “almost identical” memories of events from the past? Or is it something much deeper and much, much more important? This latest occurrence caused me to dive deeper. This time it felt like a very real confirmation of a vision God had given me years ago. How cool is that?! Dreams, visions, Deja Vu… all windows into our subconscious minds, and quite possibly into our very souls. Science tells us that we only use a tiny fraction of the capacity of our brains. What is the rest for? Well, I submit to you that the Lord Almighty speaks to me in my dreams. I believe that visions are also of Him. And I believe that Deja Vu is yet another form of confirmation or communication from God. So if you have experienced this and ever wondered what it was or why it was happening, even what it meant… my suggestion is that you pray and ask God what He is trying to say to you. Ask Him, and then be quiet and listen. And, oh, one more thing… prepare to be amazed!

The Spirit of a Child

My youngest daughter has infused me with new life. She is two years old now. God has totally used this baby to show me some things about myself. I turned inward before she arrived in our lives. I didn’t realize it then, but I was living for myself. I love my wife and my other children, but I had taken a very selfish posture in life. My walk with the Lord became stale. My sinful nature was the culprit at the center of my inward turning.

Now, with the help of a loving, and forgiving God, and a precious, little two-year old girl… I have re-discovered love, “the verb,” and turned back toward God.

But what is it about this baby that has been so spiritually life-changing to me?

I really thought about it.

And after really seeking the Lord, I believe He wanted to show me this…

Whenever our precious Gracie is awake and doing what toddlers do, there are four active behaviors that define her daily life:

1. She loves. Her survival is based on this. She goes from me to mommy, from brother to sister, from Mamaw to Papaw, and at each stop she makes eye contact, gives hugs and kisses, and interacts with each person with affection. It is the spirit of my little girl… she loves.

2. She laughs. She goes out of her way to smile and laugh. She is so joyful. Sometimes, she laughs at things that aren’t very funny. And it seems she laughs at those things even louder and more pronounced than at other things. It’s because she makes a very real effort to seek out and find a laugh. And it is almost as contagious as her love.

3. She obeys. She wants to do anything she can to make mommy and daddy proud of her. She is very well-behaved, and for a two-year old that is unique! But she listens and does what is asked of her, in search of that beloved praise and affirmation from her parents.

4. She trusts. She blindly trusts us. She will be four or five steps above me on the stairway, and she’ll just jump down toward me without warning. She does this because she knows in her heart that her daddy will catch her without fail. And you can see both the thrill and the security in her face every time she does this. This trust has produced faith. And having faith is a huge part of a baby’s life… it’s a huge part of a Christian’s life.

Four profound characteristics…

Love, Laugh, Obey, and Trust.

“So now faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”  1 Corinthians 13:13

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

“Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” John 14:23

“Trust the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5, 6

Lord Jesus, thank You for making my adorable, little girl an example and an avenue for me to find my way back to You again. Amen.

 

“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3, 4

 

Sleep

Sleep is veiled with mystery. I often find myself thinking about it. The effects it has on my body. The effects it has on my mind. And the price that I pay with my body and mind when I don’t get enough of it. Then there are the spiritual questions regarding sleep. Do I receive supernatural contact when I am asleep? Do angels minister to me then? Does God, the Almighty Creator of everything speak to me there?

I need sleep right now. Is it a meeting with deity? Is it an oil change for my cerebral cortex? :yawn:

Goodnight.