God Connect: Daily Renewing Your Mind, Body, and Spirit

Yielding to Righteousness

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”  Romans 3:23

Because of Adam and Eve’s choice in the garden of Eden, sin was introduced into the world.  Sin destroys families, causes physical and emotional pain, and separates us from God.  As Christians, we may be faced with temptation to sin each day, but we must look to God for a way of escape.  Romans 6:13 instructs us on the subject of sin, “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”

When we find ourselves in a place where we are yielding ourselves to God, we’ll find that we’re seeking righteousness instead of considering sin. Yielding yourself to God and righteousness can occur in many different ways.  A great place to start is by yielding to His Word, the Bible.  We can also consciously seek to hear God’s voice and obey it.  Going to church and being in fellowship with other believers strengthens us and prepares us to flee from sin.  Worship and prayer cause us to yield our hearts and minds to God.  Are you yielding to God today?  By yielding to righteousness you will find freedom from sin.

“But now being made free from sin, and become servants of God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.”  Romans 6:22

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He Directs Our Steps

“The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.”  Proverbs 16:1

I find it very interesting that God works in ways you least expect.  He answers our prayer, but sometimes in ways we never thought possible.  We may even think that we should be able to see the logic in the way God works, but sometimes we may never know or understand His reasoning.

Proverbs 16:9 tells us, “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.”  This verse is filled with so much truth.  We all have plans for ourselves and things we’d like to see accomplished in our lives. However, the closer we become to God, the more we realize how unimportant our plans really are.

When we’re truly in sync with God, we’ll be desiring for Him to direct our steps.  Our logic and our ways won’t matter anymore, we’ll be waiting for God to work in us.  As we’re waiting on Him, we’ll become more likely to be open to follow His plan, even when it seems like the most unlikely thing to happen.  The beauty of God’s plans for us is that sometimes He can take what seems impossible or illogical and use it for His ultimate glory.  Are you trusting God to direct your steps today?

“Man’s goings are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way.”  Proverbs 20:24

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I Cannot Attain It

“O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.  Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.  Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.  For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.  Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.”  Psalm 139:1-6

It’s such a blessing to think of the omniscience of God.  There are billions of people in the world, yet He still knows my thoughts.  He has the hairs on my head numbered.  He knows my every action and has a perfect plan for me.  When I think of God and His infinite knowledge, His ways are so high I, like the Psalmist, cannot attain them.

God has the power to know all these things about us, but He doesn’t have to.  He chooses to know us and commune with us.  He chooses to love us and lead us.  He chose to create us and He has a plan for us.

What choice are you making today?  Are you in awe of the beauty of God’s love?  Do you stand amazed at the infinite knowledge of God?  Are you choosing to draw closer to Him and let Him reveal His plan for your life?  He has already done his part.  The choice is now yours.

“How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.  Psalm 139:17-18

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The Valley of the Shadow of Death

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”  Psalm 23:4

Sometimes our circumstances in this life make us feel like we’re literally walking in the valley of the shadow of death.  The paths we’re on seem uncertain and it seems unlikely that we’ll ever find our way out of the valley.  Although we may be tempted to be afraid, it’s in our best interest to look to God instead.  When we’re walking in the valley we’re not alone, He is with us.  Not only is He walking with us, He is leading us.

Just as the shepherd leads, guides, and protects His sheep by using his rod and staff, God is our shepherd and with his rod and staff He comforts us.  The Lord is our Shepherd and the Lord is our strength.  Psalm 18:2 says, “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and horn of my salvation, and my high tower.”  Even in the valley of the shadow of death when you can’t see the way out, God is there, and He knows the way out.  How sweet it is to know that you’re walking with Him, the deliver!

Today I challenge you to delight in God, the horn of your salvation.  Rely on Him to lead you out of whatever grim situation you may be facing.  In turn, you will find the strength, comfort, and leadership of the Shepherd.

“Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.”  Psalm 57:1

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He Will Not Fail Thee

“Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”  Deuteronomy 31:6

This verse in Deuteronomy was recorded as Moses commissioned Joshua to lead the children of Israel into the promised land.  There were things Joshua would face that wouldn’t be easy.  There would probably be times when what God asked him to do didn’t make sense.  These words, however, could serve as an encouragement to him during those times.

God wanted Joshua to know that He wouldn’t fail him or forsake him, and he wants us to know the same thing today.  We will undoubtedly face circumstances that are beyond our control and will be tempted to let fear into our lives.  God doesn’t want us to let fear in, though.  He reminds us to be not afraid.

Sometimes our path seems dark and dreary and we don’t understand the way, but as long as we have God, we will be safe.  He promises us that He’ll never fail us nor forsake us.  Today I challenge you to be strong and of good courage.  Don’t let situations you don’t understand burden you down, rather have faith in God and trust that He’ll never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

“So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”  Hebrews 13:6

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Supplying My Needs

“But my God shall supply all Your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:19

At a first glance when reading this verse, I picture God supplying all of my physical needs.  The Bible is clear in saying that God will take care of our physical needs in Matthew 7:31 when Jesus says, “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or Wherewithal shall we be clothed?”  God provides for the fowls of the air and lilies of the field, so He will certainly provide for us as well.

When I take a deeper look a Philippians 4:19, I notice that God says He will supply ALL our need.  Our needs in this life go well beyond the physical.  We have an emotional need to love and be loved.  We have a mental need to see ourselves as cherished by God.  We also have a spiritual need to build a relationship with God and be in fellowship with other Christians.

Being at a state of peace physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually is not an easy task.  We can never accomplish it on our own.  However, by trusting in and relying upon God, we will find that He truly supplies all our needs.

“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound unto every good work.”  2 Corinthians 9:8

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The Power of His Word

“Order my steps in thy word:  and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.”  Psalm 119:133

As a Christian, God’s word is one of the most powerful and useful things we have.  Whether it’s His spoken word which He speaks to us, or His written Word (the Bible), we can safely say that its power is beyond our comprehension.  Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

We can see the truth in this verse through our own experiences with God’s Word.  We may read a passage of scripture one day and draw meaning from it.  Yet on another day, when we’re struggling with something different, we read the exact passage and it conveys a different meaning which is appropriate for that day.  Through God’s Word, we find scripture that teaches us and uplifts us.

God speaks to us through the Bible.  It’s a road map for our lives and for our walk with Him.  Without the Bible, there is an element missing in our lives.  Today I challenge you to find the treasures that lie deep within the Word of God.  Realize its power and attend to the fact that God is delivering to you exactly what you need for that day.  In turn, you will find wisdom and instruction that you otherwise wouldn’t have known.

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God’s Will

“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”  Philippians 2:13

It’s so comforting to know that God has a plan for our lives.  He is in control and if we follow Him and trust Him, He’ll work all things to our good.  As Christians, we should be striving each day to be in the center of God’s will.  “Striving” implies that it will take lots of work, and it will.

Being in submission to God rather than following after our own plans takes discipline.  He may ask you to go down roads you otherwise thought you’d never travel.  He may ask you to endure patiently through situations that you do not understand.  He will never leave you alone in the midst of your circumstances, though.  Traveling those roads is not all for naught.  He has a plan, purpose, and will in mind for you.  He created us for His good pleasure, and as His children He promises to take care of us.

My challenge for you today is to seek out the will of God in your life.  If you’re not in it, then find a way to get there.  You can do so by drawing closer to God and being attentive to His voice.  Although the way seems strange or mysterious at times, there’s nothing like the satisfaction you get from knowing you’re right where God wants you to be.

“Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to him be the glory forever and ever.  Amen.”  Hebrews 13:21

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Resting in the Lord

“Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.”  Psalm 37:7

Waiting is sometimes, or should I say many times, the hardest thing we have to do.  It may have to do with our fast-paced world and normally getting what we want instantly, or it may have to do with relinquishing control over the situation.  Whatever the reason, one thing we know for sure is that waiting is hard.

One of the most frustrating things to me when I’m waiting for something is to see the wicked prospering in his ways.  It can be discouraging to feel like you’re trusting in God and doing all the things you’re supposed to, yet seeing no results.  Yet in the meantime, you see others around you and wonder why it seems to be working out so easily for them and not for you.  Although you may not understand it at the time, God does have a purpose.

Psalm 37:7 instructs us to rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him.  Other than teaching us patience in waiting, maybe God is giving us more time to “rest” in Him.  He may be strengthening us, reviving us, or teaching us what we need in order to accept His plan when the time comes.  Today I challenge you to embrace the time God has given you to rest and wait for him.  Don’t let yourself get frustrated with the wicked prospering, but joy in the fact that God’s planning something wonderful for you.

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Think on These Things

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”  Philippians 4:8

It’s so easy for Satan to attack our thoughts.  Have you ever been having a good day then all of a sudden a thought crosses your mind that changes your whole mood and disposition?  Unfortunately, that’s probably happened to us all too often.

Satan knows our weaknesses and he thrives off of the opportunity to use them against us.  This is why Paul admonishes us in Philippians 4:8 to think on the good things.  When our minds are focused and centered on God and the good things He’s doing it’s hard for Satan to distract us and pull us away.  God desires for us to be strong Christians who are rooted and grounded in His love and in our faith in Him.  When we let the devil attack us with the little things, it weakens us from being what God really desires us to be.

Today I challenge you to take Philippians 4:8 to heart (and mind).  Focus on the good, virtuous, lovely, and pure things.  In turn, God will strengthen you and give you peace of mind.

“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”  1 Peter 1:13

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