Tag Archive | obedience

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 58 – Full Obedience


Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 58

Full Obedience

Father God, the word ‘obey’ is perceived so negatively in society, and is so contrary to the ways of the world. Sometimes we fear what you will ask of us. How do You see obedience?

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

My child, do not tremble at the word ‘obey’. I will always enable you and empower you to do whatever I ask of you. I know what is best for you, and I would not ask you to do anything outside of My will. I am the sovereign ruler of the universe (Psalm 103:19). I have the power to do what I promise (Romans 4:21). You can trust in Me to do what is in your best interest. Submit yourself to My authority and My instructions. Trust in Me with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Me, and I will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Do not let your fear keep you from listening to My voice and obeying. As I commanded Joshua, so I encourage you, “Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). Your obedience may cause you to face some challenges in unknown places, but I am with you always, leading you on your way. I will fight for you and die for you. You have seen My promises fulfilled.

I am the omniscient Father. In all things, I know the perfect timing. There is a time for everything under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Do not rush ahead on your own, in your own timing, but wait on Me. I act on behalf of the one who waits for Me (Isaiah 64:4). Tune in to My Spirit within and be sensitive to His voice. He will show you when to move and when to stay.

Seek Me in the morning, and I will show you My will for your day. Put your trust in Me. I will lead you each step of the way in the plans I have for you. I may not show you more than the next step ahead. You may not have full understanding of the course I lead you on, but I will guide you down the path I have marked out for you. You may experience conflicts or objections from others as you seek to obey My will. You must obey Me rather than men (Acts 5:29). I am Lord of all. I see and know the future. I do what is best for your future. Trust Me with all your steps, even when you know not one of them. Be sensitive to My Spirit within. He will guide you in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:24).

On the other hand, disobedience brings consequence (Genesis 2:17). Continual disobedience is rebellion. This is not a good path to walk down. When you fall short of My will, be quick to confess and repent. Partial obedience is also rebellion. Full obedience is to do what I ask, how I ask you to do it, when I say to do it. Anything less than this is not obedience. I am not pleased with partial obedience. I love you and I want you to receive the blessings that follow your full obedience to Me.

Take the same attitude as Jesus did when He said, “Yet not My will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42) Where would you be if Jesus had not obeyed My will and gone to the cross? There would be no escape from the payment of your sin—the death penalty. There would be no reconciliation with Me. You would remain in your sin and reap the just punishment, eternal separation from Me. I do not ask you to do anything I have not done Myself. Be obedient to My will and see it through to the end.

I hear your prayers and petitions because of your reverent submission; you will learn obedience from your suffering (Hebrews 5:7-8), even as Christ Himself learned obedience from what He suffered. You know Me if you keep My commands. If anyone obeys My Word, love for Me is truly made complete in them. Whoever claims to live in Me must live as Jesus did (1 John 2:3-6). When you love Me, you will obey Me. When you obey Me, I will love you and make My home in you (John 14:23).

Meditate on My Word day and night and be careful to do everything written in it (Joshua 1:8). Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says (James 1:22). Let your food, the nourishment of your soul, satisfy you in doing what pleases Me (John 4:34). I reward those who earnestly seek Me (Hebrews 11:6). Find My joy in your obedience; I always bless you when you follow My instructions. Show Me your love by the act of obedience to all I command you. I want only the best for you in all you do.  

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, not My will, but Yours be done. I know You have my best in mind, and what You have planned is best. Lord, I submit my will to Yours, and ask that You will help me and empower me to carry out whatever You ask of me. Lord, please speak to me more personally right now, and allow me to see the next step in the path You have marked out for me. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Sovereign God, You see the big picture; You know the future. What is Your will for me? What is the next step required of me to be obedient to it? (Record everything you hear Him say.)

 

  • Jesus, You are the ultimate model of submission and obedience to the Father’s will. Please share with me how to have the same attitude that You achieved in the most difficult circumstances. (Write down all the words and thoughts He brings to your mind.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, empower me to do the will of the Father. Teach me to hear and know Your voice, so that I might be able to understand what is asked of me and rely on Your power to accomplish it. What do You want me to hear right now? (Journal all ideas and impressions the Holy Spirit gives to you.)

Review God’s thoughts and impressions you’ve sensed and written above. What Scripture comes to mind as you review your notes? Use the concordance of your Bible to look up an impression from God’s Word. Record the verse or passage here. Write all insights and encouragement the Holy Spirit illumines for you as you read God’s Word right now.

Prayer:

Father God, Your ways are higher than my ways, and Your thoughts are higher than mine (Isaiah 55:8-9). I trust Your will and plans for me are perfect, no matter the cost or difficulty. I submit myself to Your will. I ask you to prepare me, equip me, empower me to be obedient and accomplish all that You created me for. I want to bring glory to Your holy name. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Genesis 2:16-17, 16And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

Deuteronomy 4:2, Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.

Deuteronomy 5:27, “Go near and listen to all that the Lord our God says. Then tell us whatever the Lord our God tells you. We will listen and obey.”

Deuteronomy 5:32-33, 32So be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. 33Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.

Deuteronomy 6:3-9, 3Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you. 4Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lied own and when you get up. 8Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9Write them on your doorframes of your house and on your gates.

Deuteronomy 30:2-3, 2and when you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey Him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, 3then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where He scattered you.

Deuteronomy 30:19-20, 19This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him. For the Lord is your life, and He will give you many years in the land He swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob .

Joshua 1:7-9, 7“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law My servant Moses gave you; do not urn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Psalm 27:14, Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

Psalm 103:17-19, 17But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear Him, and His righteousness with their children’s children—18with those who keep His covenant and remember to obey His precepts. 19The Lord has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all.

Psalm 119:57, You are my portion, Lord; I have promised to obey Your words.

Psalm 139:23-24, 23Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Proverbs 3:5-6, 5Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Ecclesiastes 3:1, There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.

Isaiah 55:8-9, 8“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. 9“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 64:4, Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides You, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.

Jeremiah 7:23, “But I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be My people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you.”

Matthew 28:19-20, 19“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Luke 11:28, He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

Luke 22;42, “Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”

John 4:34, “My food,” sad Jesus, “is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work.”

John 8:51, “I am not seeking glory for Myself; but there is One who seeks it, and He is the judge. Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys My Word will never see death.”

John 10:2-4, 2“The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3The gatekeeper opens the gate for Him, and the sheep listen to His voice. He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When He has brought out all His own, He goes on ahead of them, and His sheep follow Him because they know His voice.”

John 10:11, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

John 10:14-15, 14“I am the good shepherd; I know My sheep and My sheep know Me—15just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father—and I lay down My life for the sheep.”

John 10:27, “My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

John 14:23-24, 23Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves Me will obey My teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24Anyone who does not love me will not obey My teaching. These words you hear are not My own; they belong to the Father who sent Me.”

Acts 5:29-32, 29Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings! 30The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging Him on a cross. 31God exalted Him to His own right hand as Prince and Savior that He might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. 32We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

Romans 4:20-22, 20Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised. 22This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”

2 Corinthians 10:5, We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24, 23May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24The one who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.

Hebrews 5:7-9, 7During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the One who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission. 8Son though He was, He learned obedience from what He suffered 9and, once made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him.

Hebrews 11:6, And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.

James 1:22, Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

1 John 2:3-6, 3We know that we have come to know Him if we keep His commands. 4Whoever says, “I know Him, but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5But if anyone obeys His word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in Him: 6Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 51 – No More Grumbling or Complaining

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 51

No More Grumbling or Complaining

Lord, I admit and confess that I grumble and complain too much. I am not as grateful as I should be for all the blessings You have bestowed on me and all the comforts of home that You allow me to enjoy. When something does not go right, or as I had planned, I confess, I am quick to grumble or complain. Please help me understand Your heart with regard to my grumbling.

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

My beloved one, when you read the story of the Israelites wandering in the desert in Exodus 15 through 17, you see how much they grumbled. I abhor grumbling and complaining. I had rescued My people from 400 years of slavery under Pharaoh; I separated the waters of the Red Sea, so they could walk through it; I caused the sea to close up again, killing the Egyptians that pursued the Israelites, saving them again; I had Moses leading them through the desert toward the promise land—a land flowing with milk and honey. And yet, they went a few days without good water to drink, and they began grumbling and complaining. A few more days with little food, and they grumbled again, so I provided them daily with manna and quail. They quickly forgot the drudgery they had come from, and thought a life of bondage to Pharaoh was better than a life of freedom in Me. I was so frustrated with these ungrateful people, that I caused this generation to die in the wilderness after 40 years of wandering. They never made it out of the desert to see the wonderful land I promised them.

You would do well to learn from the mistakes of the Israelite people. Do not practice grumbling and complaining when I have given you so much. Like I freed the Israelites from slavery, I freed you from the bondage and slavery of sin. I gave the life of My one and only Son, Jesus, so that you could live a life of freedom. Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear (Luke 12:22-32). Seek Me first, and all these things will be given to you. I will provide. I always have; I always will. Trust Me to meet all your needs, and quit the grumbling.

In your suffering, you will learn obedience (Hebrews 5:8). Instead of complaining, focus on Me and what I have done for you. Every good and perfect gift is from above (James 1:17). Raise your prayers and petitions to Me. I hear your cries, and I know your need better than you do (Matthew 6:8). Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to Me. And My peace, which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and mind (Philippians 4:6-7).  

It is My will that you appreciate all I have given you. Overflow with thankfulness (Colossians 2:7). Rejoice always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Trade in your grumbling for thanksgiving. Be thankful and focus on all I have done and continue to do for you. You are My child. I will always love you and take care of you. I am your Faithful Father. Be thankful; and no more grumbling!

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, I do appreciate all that You have done for me. I enter Your gates with thanksgiving and Your courts with praise; I give thanks to You and praise Your name. You are good and Your love endures forever; Your faithfulness continues through all generations (Psalm 100:4-5). Lord, I trade in my grumbling for thanksgiving. I am thankful that I can meet with You, one-on-one, and You will communicate Your heart to me. Please open my ears to hear Your voice now. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Father God, I confess my ungratefulness in these areas: _____________ (fill in the blank). Help me to see the error of my ways and express my thankfulness to You more regularly. Please show me Your heart for me about this. (Write down everything the Lord says to you now.)

 

  • Jesus, thank You everything You have done for me, especially laying down Your life on my behalf. I also appreciate these things about You: ________________ (fill in the blank). How might I best show my appreciation to you? (Record every word and thought you have.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, I ask that You convict me when I begin to grumble, and help me convert that to thanksgiving immediately. Show me how to live a life of thankfulness. What must I do? (Journal all thoughts and ideas He gives you.)

 

Review God’s thoughts and impressions you’ve sensed and written above. What Scripture comes to mind as you review your notes? Use the concordance of your Bible to look up an impression from God’s Word. Record the verse or passage here. Write all insights and encouragement the Holy Spirit illumines for you as you read God’s Word right now.

Prayer:

Lord, please forgive me, when I do not appreciate all You have done for me. I should be bouncing off the walls with joy because You have saved me from my sin and call me Your child. You gave the life of Your Son, so that I could be reconciled to You. I have a roof over my head, food on my table, clothes on my back, and I enjoy good health too. I lack nothing, nor do I need anything. Lord, next time I want to grumble or complain that something didn’t go right, please place a check in my spirit, and help me to find the good in every situation and be thankful for it. In Jesus’ precious name, I pray. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Exodus 15:22-27, 22Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea and they went into the Desert of Shur. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water. 23When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah.) 24So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What are we to drink?” 25Then Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became fit to drink. There the Lord issued a ruling and instruction for them and put them to the test. 26He said, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in His eyes, if you pay attention to His commands and keep all His decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.” 27Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water.

Numbers 14:26-32, 26The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: 27“How long will this wicked community grumble against Me?  I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. 28So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say: 29In this wilderness your bodies will fall—every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against Me. 30Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. 31As for your children that you said would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected. 32But as for you, your bodies will fall in this wilderness.’”

Psalm 100:1-2, 1Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. 2Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. 3Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. 4Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. 5For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.

Matthew 6:8, “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”

Luke 12:22-32, 22Then Jesus said to His disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have not storeroom or barn; yet God fees them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? 26Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? 27Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will He clothe you—you of little faith! 29And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31But seek His kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. 32Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.”

John 6:35-44, 35Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in Me will never be thirsty.” 36But as I told you, you have seen Me and still you do not believe. 37All those the Father gives Me will come to Me, and whoever comes to Me I will never drive away. 38For I have come down from heaven not to do My will but to do the will of Him who sent Me. 39And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that I shall lose none of all those He has given Me, but raise them up at the last day. 40For My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” 41At this the Jews there began to grumble about Him because He said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42They said, “Is this not Jesus the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven?’ 43“Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered.44“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent Me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

1 Corinthians 10:10-11, 10And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel. 11These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come.

Philippians 2:12-18, 12Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose. 14Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not urn or labor in vain. 17But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.

Philippians 4:6-7, 6Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).

Colossians 2:6-7, 6So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, 7rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Colossians 3:23-25, 23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, 16Rejoice always, 17pray continually, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Hebrews 5:7-10, 7During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the One who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission. 8Son though He was, He learned obedience from what He suffered 9and, once made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him 10and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.

James 1:17, Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

James 5:7-9, 7Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. 8You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. 9Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!

1 Peter 4:7-10, 7The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 8Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 50 – The Will of God

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 50

The Will of God

Dear Lord, I want to live the best possible life You have for me. How do I know Your will? What are your plans for me? When do I need to check with You to make a decision? What direction should I take for this situation? Lord, please let me in on Your will for me.

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

My child, do not live as unwise but as wise; do not be foolish, but understand what My will is for you (Ephesians 5:15-17). Approach My throne of grace with confidence, so that you may receive My mercy and find My grace to help you in your time of need (Hebrews 4:16). I want you to seek My will in all decisions, in every aspect of your life. I desire your obedience, and in order to obey, you must know My will. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what My will is—My good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:2).

Renew your mind in My Word. One place you can discover My desired will for you is in the Bible. Read it, believe it, and follow it. Also, when you pray, the Holy Spirit will lead you to Scripture which will instruct you to follow the path I have marked out for you. The Spirit will guide you to the next step in the plans I have pre-determined for you, plans to prosper you, give you hope, and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). Seek Me any time, day or night, and I will let you in on My plans for you. You know My voice, listen and follow (John 10:27).

As long as you remain yielded to Me, and in communication with Me, I will guide you in My will and provide everything you need to accomplish it. Even Jesus, the Son of God, depended on Me and submit Himself to My will, even unto death on the cross. He did not face that alone. He prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but yours be done.” My will for you is not always the easiest path, but I work all things together for the good of those who love Me and are called according to My purpose (Romans 8:28). Nothing is impossible for Me, and that means, nothing is impossible for you when you have faith in Me (Matthew 17:20).

I ask you to trust Me. I am in control. I established My throne in the heavens, and My sovereignty rules over all (Psalm 103:19). If you think you are in control of your own life, you are deceived. I am in control of all things. However, I do give you the free will to choose. But I know ahead of time, what your decision will be, and I work behind the scenes to use it for good. I will continue to work in your life through your circumstances, but it may not be My best for you, unless you seek Me first and walk in My will.

That doesn’t mean you won’t suffer the consequences of your poor decision gone wrong. A person reaps what he or she sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life (Galatians 6:7-8). Live by the Spirit, not the flesh. Walk in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5:25). He guides you along the right paths (Psalm 23:3).

I know the future, and it is most beneficial for you to seek Me for your next step in all situations. I give you guidance for every step of life. My plans for you are best. Submit yourself to My will, and you will prosper. When you make decisions of your own free will, without consulting Me, you may suffer the pain of your own making. Do not run ahead of Me. I act on behalf of those who wait on Me (Isaiah 64:4). Hope in Me; you will not be disappointed (Isaiah 49:23).

I know all things, while you have limited knowledge. Making decisions based on your emotions and earthly desires, may cause you to step out of My perfect will for you. Your life is but a mist, here for a little while and then gone; you do not know if you will see tomorrow (James 4:14). Walk in the favor of My will and lead the best possible life I have for you. I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10).

Prayer:

Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; may Your good Spirit lead me on level ground (Psalm 143:10). Guide Me along the right paths (Psalm 23:3). Help me remember to seek You first, before I make my decisions. Lord, I delight in You; please give me the desires of my heart. Help me run with perseverance the race you have marked out for me, fixing my eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith (Hebrews 12:1-3). Lord, share the inner workings of Your heart and Your will with me now. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God:

  •  Lord, is anything in my life blocking my ears from hearing Your voice? Please show me way I have offended You, so that I may remove this roadblock. (Write all words and thoughts He gives you.)

 

  • Jesus, Your Word is a light to my path (Psalm 119:105). Please light the next step for me now. (Record whatever you hear from Him.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, please guide me in the way You would have me go. I commit my way to the Lord; I put my trust in Him. Show me how to live in step with You. (Journal all the thoughts He gives you.)

 

Review God’s thoughts and impressions you’ve sensed and written above. What Scripture comes to mind as you review your notes? Use the concordance of your Bible to look up an impression from God’s Word. Record the verse or passage here. Write all insights and encouragement the Holy Spirit illumines for you as you read God’s Word right now.

Prayer:

Father God Almighty, I will take delight in You. I commit my way to You; I put my trust in you. Please make my righteous reward shine like the dawn (Psalm 37:3-7). I will be still and wait patiently for You. You know what is best for me. Lord, please show me Your plans, one step at a time. I desire to do Your will God (Psalm 40:8). Give me the forbearance to wait on You and trust in You to give me the full life You intended for me. I want to walk in step with Your Spirit. Guide me along the right paths (Psalm 23:3). In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Psalm 23:3, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake.

Psalm 37:3-7, 3Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. 4Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. 5Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this: 6He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. 7Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.

Psalm 40:8, “I desire to do Your will, my God; Your law is within my heart.”

Psalm 103:19, The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all.

Psalm 143:7-10, 7Answer me quickly, Lord; my spirit fails. Do not hide Your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit. 8Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I entrust my life. 9Rescue me from my enemies, Lord, for I hide myself in you. 10Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; may Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.

Isaiah 49:23, “Those who hope in Me will not be disappointed.”

Isaiah 64:4, Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides You, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.

Jeremiah 29:11-14, 11“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. 14I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.”

Jeremiah 32:17, “Ah Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You.”

Matthew 7:7-8, 7“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. ”

Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.”

Matthew 12:50, “For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.”

Matthew 17:19-20, Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there.’ And it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Luke 22:39-42, 39Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and His disciples followed Him. 40On reaching the place, He said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed. 42“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but yours be done.”

John 6:37-40, 37“All those the Father give Me will come to Me, and whoever comes to Me I will never drive away. 38For I have come down from heaven not to do My will but to do the will of Him who sent Me. 39And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that I shall lose none of all those He has given Me, but raise them up at the last day. 40For My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

John 10:10, “The thief comes only to seal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

John 10:27, “My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

Romans 8:28, And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

Romans 12:2, Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.

Galatians 5:24-25, 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

Galatians 6:7-10, 7Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Ephesians 5:15-20, 15Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19speaking to one another with psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Philippians 2:13, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose.

Colossians 3:23-25, 23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-8, 3It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that his holy and honorable, 5not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; 6and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. 7For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you His Holy Spirit.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, 16Rejoice always, 17pray continually, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Hebrews 4:16, Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Hebrews 12:1-3, 1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

James 4:13-17, 13Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and to this or that.” 16As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 17If anyone, then knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

1 Peter 3:17, For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

1 John 1:9, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 5:14-15, 14This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 46 – God’s Guidance

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 46

God’s Guidance

Lord, so many times, I run ahead of You and make my decisions without Your wisdom and guidance. Help Me to remember that You are always with me, watching over me, protecting me, and You have my best interests in mind. When I seek You, I will find You, and Your Spirit will make Your heart known to me. I submit myself to You, and ask You to direct my paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). Strengthen me to run with perseverance the race You have marked out for me (Hebrews 12:1). Please guide me down that path.

 A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

I am never too busy to listen to you. I am available to you all hours of the day and night. I never slumber nor sleep (Psalm 121:4). I constantly work all things together for your good (Romans 8:28). If you lack wisdom, ask Me. I give generously to all without finding fault. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt (James 1:5-6). Ask and it will be given to you (Matthew 7:7).

Whatever situation you face, I have the answer. I will teach you from My Word. My Word is a lamp for your feet, a light on your path (Psalm 119:105). Meditate on it day and night and it will become clearer to you. My Spirit helps you understand My Word. I will instruct you with the truth and in My perfect timing. I will lead you on the path I have prepared for you and marked out for you. I will keep you in My sight at all times. My lovingkindness will surround you; I will protect you on every side. You will experience My peace and joy, even in your biggest trials.

I have plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Call on Me and I will listen to you. Seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:11-14). When you ask for anything according to My will, have faith and believe I will give you what you asked for (Mark 11:22-24).  

I know the future and I know what’s best for you. My Spirit will guide you into all truth and tell you what is yet come (John 16:13). He will help you discern between truth and falsehoods. He will equip you for the plans I have made for you. He will empower you to carry out the purpose for which I created you. He will warn you of dangers that lie ahead. He will encourage you to live in a manner that will bring glory to Me. Pay attention to My Spirit within and your ears will hear My voice saying, “This is the way, walk in it” (Isaiah 30:21).

I reveal things to you by My Spirit; He knows the deep things of My heart and freely gives them to you (1 Corinthians 2:10-14). Blessed are you when you wait on Me! (Isaiah 30:18). Even when you do not know what to ask for, the Holy Spirit intercedes for you according to My will (Romans 8:26-27).   

Come to Me and listen to Me. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My loving eye on you (Psalm 32:8). Trust in Me alone. When you do not follow My instructions, there will be consequences. Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but My unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in Me (Psalm 32:10). Do not be too hasty to make your own decisions and walk in your own way.  In the end, your pride will reap you a harvest of destruction (Proverbs 16:18). Every decision you make is an important one, big or small. Involve Me in each one

Trust in Me with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Me and I will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6). Do not run ahead and try to fix things on your own. You’ll most assuredly be disappointed in the end. Exercise forbearance and wait on Me. I will act on your behalf (Isaiah 64:4). When you walk down the path I place you on, your obedience will lead to blessings. Your best blessings are the result of listening to My voice and following My instructions. You are never alone. I am with you always. Why try to do things on your own? Listen to My voice and follow Me (John 10:27).

Prayer:

Lord, I am so blessed by Your Spirit within me who teaches me all things, even the deep things of Your heart. I am so looking forward to hearing more of Your heart for me today. Lord, please speak to me as I seek You wholeheartedly today. I want to do Your will. I desire to know Your plans for me. Lord, please let me in on the next step in the race. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Father God, I know You want the best for me. Lord, please show me what that means for me personally in my current challenge of _______________ (fill in the blank). (Write down all thoughts and impressions you have in this moment.)

 

  • Jesus, You are the way maker. Please show me the way to Your heart. What must I do to get on the path to a deeper relationship with You? (Record everything you hear.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, You are my Helper and my Counselor. Please counsel me with the wisdom of God and help me know which way I should turn in my current dilemma or decision to make: ______________ (fill in the blank). (Listen to His voice in your thoughts and journal whatever pops into your mind.

 

Review God’s thoughts and impressions you’ve sensed and written above. What Scripture comes to mind as you review your notes? Use the concordance of your Bible to look up an impression from God’s Word. Record the verse or passage here. Write all insights and encouragement the Holy Spirit illumines for you as you read God’s Word right now.

Prayer:

Most Holy One, I stand in awe that I can approach Your throne of grace anytime of the day or night. Thank You for being available to me 24/7/365. I desire to know Your wisdom and Your will in all circumstances. Lord, Your eyes are forever on me; you know my coming and my going. Holy Spirit, I submit my spirit to Your leading. Please direct my paths and help me discern God’s will and His ways. I will meditate on Your Word and receive my instruction from You. Holy Spirit, bring understanding as I read it. Point me to the Scripture You want me to know and cherish in my heart for today. In the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Psalm 121:1-4, 4I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? 2My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. 3He will not let your foot slip—He who watches over you will not slumber; 4indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

Psalm 32:8-11, 8I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My loving eye on you. 9Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. 10Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in Him. 11Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!

Psalm 119:105, Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

Proverbs 3:5-6, 5Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; 6in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 16:18, Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.

Isaiah 30:18, Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore He will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!

Isaiah 30:21, Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

Jeremiah 29:11-14, 11“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. 14I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.”

Matthew 7:7-8, 7“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Mark 11:22-24, 22“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23“Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea.’ And does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

John 10:27, “My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

John 16:13, But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; he will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet come.

Romans 8:26-27, 26In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but he Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

Romans 8:28, And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

1 Corinthians 2:10-14, 10These are the things God has revealed to us by His Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way, no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

Hebrews 12:1-3, 1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

James 1:5-8, 5If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 43 – A Stay-In Order: Stay in Me

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 43

A Stay-In Order: Stay in Me

Lord, with this COVID-19 pandemic, our state has issued a stay-in, stay-safe order. It keeps getting extended due to a daily increase in reported cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Lord, I will give You thanks in the middle of this difficulty, because it has given me more time to spend with You. What a huge gift it has been to rekindle the romance of an intimate relationship with You, my Bridegroom. Lord, what is on Your heart for me to learn and accomplish during this gift of extra time that You have given me?

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

My darling, My bride, My heart for you is to do exactly as you have been doing since this stay-in order was established: Stay in Me. What does that mean? Return to Me. Seek Me. Come near to Me. Remain in Me. Hope in Me. Trust in Me. Pray to Me. Believe in Me. Have faith in Me. Talk to Me. Ask Me. Tell Me. Listen to Me. Know all of Me. Love Me. Obey Me. Acknowledge Me. Acclaim Me. Witness for Me. Share Me.

Remain faithful to Me, for I am your husband. I have betrothed you to Me (Hosea 2:19-20). Stay in relationship with Me. Do not lust after other lovers. Do not put your trust in other gods. Do not turn to other pleasures instead of Me. Do not wander from the sheepfold. Do not get lost in obscurity. Do not become independent of Me; but be even more dependent on Me. Stay in Me. I am the Lord, and I love you more than you will ever comprehend. I pray that you will be able to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ for you, that you may know this love that surpasses knowledge and be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:18-19).

I am your Bridegroom. Your greatest joy comes from knowing Me personally and intimately. Know who I am. Know My ways. Know My promises. Know My Word. Stay in relationship with Me. Fear Me in awe and reverence, walk in obedience to Me, love Me, and serve Me with all your heart and all your soul (Deuteronomy 10:12). Put Me ahead of everything else in your life. I want to be first; I am a jealous God (Deuteronomy 4:24). I am protective of our time together and our relationship.

I desire to stay in daily communication with you. Meet Me in the secret place and pursue Me with all your heart. Speak to Me and listen to Me. Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know (Jeremiah 33:3). I want what is best for you. No human mind has conceived what I have prepared for those who love Me (1 Corinthians 2:9). My plans are to prosper you and give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). I will do immeasurably more than all you ask or imagine, according to My power that is at work within you (Ephesians 3:20). I have given you My gift of the Holy Spirit who stays in you; please honor that gift by staying in Me; stay in and stay safe. I care about you, My friend.

Prayer:

My faithful Bridegroom, I love You with all my heart. I will seek You in the morning and wait expectantly to hear Your voice (Psalm 5:3). I, too, desire to communicate with You in a more intimate way. I cherish the time we spend together each morning, and I will be more diligent to remember to speak with You throughout the day. You are my life coach, my daily bread, my living water, my champion, and my friend. I will depend on You to meet all my needs. Lord, please speak to me now in a more personal way, so that I know deeper places of Your heart. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Father God, I will stay in Please show me the best way to accomplish that in my life and current situation. (Record every thought that enters your mind.)

 

  • Jesus Christ, please reveal Your heart for my relationship with You. What do You desire, and what does it look like for me? (Write down all words and ideas He gives you.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, thank You for staying in me; help me to stay in How do I walk in step with You and remain in constant communication with You? You know me the best. How is this best accomplished in my life? (Journal every impression, every thought, every idea the Holy Spirit prompts you with right now.)

 

Review God’s thoughts and impressions you’ve sensed and written above. What Scripture comes to mind as you review your notes? Use the concordance of your Bible to look up an impression from God’s Word. Record the verse or passage here. Write all insights and encouragement the Holy Spirit illumines for you as you read God’s Word right now.

Prayer:

Merciful Father, thank You for Your desire for a greater intimacy with me. It is difficult to comprehend the depth of Your love for me, Your child. I am in awe of Your character and Your ways. I am so blessed by You, and I pray I may be that kind of blessing to others on Your behalf. Lord, thank You for Your great love and grace. Please stay in me and let me experience all the fullness of Your heart. Thank You for the abundant life in Your Spirit. In the name of Jesus, my Lord, I pray.Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Deuteronomy 4:23-24, 23Be careful not to forget the covenant of the Lord your God that He made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the Lord your God has forbidden. 24For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

Deuteronomy 10:12, And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to Him, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

Psalm 5:3, In the morning, Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait expectantly.

Jeremiah 29:11-14, 11“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. 14I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.”

Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

Hosea 2:16, 19-20, “In that day,” declares the Lord, “you will call Me, ‘my husband’; you will no longer call Me ‘my master.’ …I will betroth you to Me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord.”

1 Corinthians 2:9, However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”—the things God has prepared for those who love Him.

Ephesians 3:16-21, 16I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you wit power through His Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp  how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, 21to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 36 – Self-Control

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 36

Self-Control

Father, at times my life feels so out of control. You know that one of my biggest challenges is surrendering to You, so that Your Spirit can produce in me the fruit of self-control. I confess that I am very weak and immature in this spiritual discipline in my life. I need to recognize that I can do none of this in my own power, but truly, it is a fruit produced by the power of the Holy Spirit when I acknowledge Him and submit to His power within me. It’s not what I, myself, can or cannot do. It’s what Your Holy Spirit can do through me. Help me to tap in to this power within me, at all times, especially when I feel weak and indulgent. Give me the willpower to yield to Your voice inside me that steers me away from temptation and sin.

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

Jesus liberated you from your sin. He has set you free from the yoke of slavery to sin (Galatians 5:1). Do not give in to the desires of the flesh and do whatever you want (Galatians 5:16-17). Live in step with the Spirit of God, and do not be in conflict with Him. Surrender your sinful nature to God, and instead, He will produce the fruit of righteousness and self-control in your spirit.

Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun (Psalm 37:4-6). Delight in Me, and though you may stumble, you will not fall. I will uphold you with My hand (Psalm 37:23-24).

When temptation and sin come knocking at your door, do not open it. Deny yourself and stay safely behind the gate of self-control. Do not allow the thief access to your life. He comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come to give you life to the full (John 10:10). Remain strong in your convictions. Have faith that I can remove all evil strongholds in your life. I will set you free from sin and bondage. I give release to the prisoners and restore sight to the spiritually blind (Isaiah 61:1-3). I bind up the broken places in your heart that cause you to crave that which will not bring you true joy and satisfaction.

Pay attention to My voice within. Claim your victory in the name of Jesus Christ, by His shed blood on the cross. He has already conquered sin on your behalf. You are a new creation. The old has gone, the new is here. Live anew and enjoy your new life of freedom. Walk in the victory of Christ by living in step with His Holy Spirit within you. Maintain your relationship with the Spirit by remaining in continual communication with Him. Do not pretend to be deaf to His voice. Listen and obey; you will receive your reward, and it will be worth so much more than the momentary indulgence and pleasure of disobedience.

Prayer:

Lord, help me be more dependent on you to produce in me the fruit of self-control. I can do none of this in my own strength and power. I have none. My spirit is willing, but my flesh is weak. Strengthen me and empower me to live according to Your good, pleasing, and perfect will. I confess my sin and repent of it as I walk away from the desires of the flesh that try to hold me captive. I claim freedom in the blood of Christ and His death on the cross. He already won the victory and holds the keys to sin, death, and the grave. I am crucified in Christ. I no longer live, but Christ lives in me (Galatians 2:20). He is risen, and I am seated with Him in the heavenly realms. I am a new creation in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Lord, show me the person You see when You look at me. Share your heart with me now as we meet and talk. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Righteous Father, please help me understand the importance of submitting myself to the control and empowerment of the Holy Spirit. (Record all His words and thoughts given to you.)

 

  • Jesus, my Friend, teach me how to remain in step with the Spirit and renounce temptation and sin. Then, give me the strong conviction and desire to do this (Write the ideas and impressions He gives you.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, give me the ability to pay attention to Your voice, and then, obey. Open my ears to hear You, and give me the desire to be obedient. Impress on me the reason I need to submit myself to Your leading and direction. (Journal every word and thought you receive.)

 

Review God’s thoughts and impressions you’ve sensed and written above. What Scripture comes to mind as you review your notes? Use the concordance of your Bible to look up an impression from God’s Word. Record the verse or passage here. Write all insights and encouragement the Holy Spirit illumines for you as you read God’s Word right now.

Prayer:

God, thank You for sharing Your heart with me now. Father, help me to not focus on myself and my power, but fully rely on You and Your power to provide me an escape when I am tempted to exercise a lack of self-control. Produce in me the fruit of self-control, so that I may display the righteousness of a life surrendered to You. Lord, I yield my heart and will to You now. I ask you to remove all ungodly pleasures and strongholds in my life. Forgive me when I am weak; when I stumble, do not let me fall. Thank You for your grace and mercy toward me. As the Holy Spirit sanctifies me, teach me to be more grace-filled and merciful toward others. I ask this in the name of Jesus, my Lord. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Psalm 37:4-6, 4Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. 5Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him and He will do this: 6He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.

Isaiah 61:1-3, 1“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2to proclaim the year of the Lords’ favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.

Psalm 37:23-24, The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His hand.

John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

2 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Galatians 2:20, I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Galatians 5:1, It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Galatians 5:16-17, 16So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17The flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.

Galatians 5:22-23, 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 28 – Remain in Me

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 28

Remain in Me

Lord, please show me what it means to remain in You. How do I accomplish this? What practices do I need to put in place to reach this goal?

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

My child, My top priority for you is that you stay in relationship with Me. How is this best accomplished? First and foremost, maintain a regular, daily practice of meeting with Me alone in the secret place. The secret place is merely an area in your heart that you reserve for Me exclusively. It may also involve a physical location that you deem our special meeting spot away from noise and distractions, but more accurately, it’s a place in your heart reserved for Me alone—entirely devoted to Me and no one else—a private place. What’s done in secret will be rewarded (Matthew 6:18).

Secondly, remain in My Word. When you linger in My Word, reading it and meditating on it, you will almost always experience Me. My Spirit within you will guide you to Scripture and make it come alive with meaning for you personally, both for your life in general, and for specific circumstances you are going through at any given time. If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you (John 15:7). Hanging out in My Word, saturating your mind with it, is very pleasing to Me. It is a sweet aroma that reaches deep into the middle of My heart. Your efforts will be rewarded as you make your requests known to Me.

Remain in Me and bear much fruit. I am the vine; you are the branch. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing (John 15:5). The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). You are known by your fruit. I, also, am known by your fruit. When you remain in Me and bear My fruit, others are drawn to Me through you. Fruit ripened on the vine has the choicest appearance and the sweetest flavor. Remain in the vine.

Remain in communication with Me through listening prayer. When you pray, go into your inner room where you will be alone with Me (Matthew 6:5-6). I will hear your requests and answer them. Be sure to listen as much as you speak. Leave room in the conversation for Me. I have so many things to tell you. Things you do not yet know, great and unsearchable things (Jeremiah 33:3). You belong to Me, you can hear what I say (John 8:47). You are My sheep, listen to My voice and follow me (John 10:27). Pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). Listen continually. This is My will for you.

Remain in step with the Spirit by laying down your own passions and desires, and living out Mine (Galatians 5:24-25). Walk by My Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). Be led by the Spirit and remain blameless. Be obedient to My commands, allowing the Spirit’s power to enable you to do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13).

Remain in obedience to Me. Remain in My love by keeping My commands. My greatest commands are these: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Love your neighbor you love yourself (Matthew 22:37-39). Love each other as I have loved you, by laying down your life for your friends (John 15:12-13). When you keep My commands, I know you love Me, and I will show Myself to you and make My home in you (John 14:20-23). I love you, My child. You are My dwelling place. Keep your heart engaged with Mine.

Prayer:

Thank You, Lord, for Your generous Spirit. You have shown me today how to be more engaged with You. I know You are with me always, but I do not always remember that fact. Please forgive me when I forget You. I know You never forget me. Help me to remain in You more completely by practicing all the steps You communicated to me above. And now I long to hear more messages from Your heart as I enter my inner room, the secret place, to connect with You in a more personal way. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Abba Father, help me see you and feel your presence during this time of conversation. Lord, speak Your heart to me right now and tell me the great, unsearchable things, I do not yet know. (Write down every word or thought that enters your mind.)

 

  • Jesus, my Friend, please allow me to know and feel Your presence daily in my heart. Let me know how You would like to best engage with me. What shall I do to be more obedient and responsive to Your voice? (Record every thought making it obedient to Christ.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, come and have Your way in me right now. Lead me, guide me, comfort me. Whatever I need to hear from You, Lord, please share it with me now. (Journal all your thoughts to Him and from Him.)

 

Review the Holy Spirit’s thoughts and impressions you’ve sensed and written above. What Scripture comes to mind as you review your notes? Use the concordance of your Bible to look up an impression from God’s Word. Record the verse or passage here. Write all insights and encouragement the Holy Spirit illumines for you as you read God’s Word right now.

Prayer:

Dear Father in Heaven, thank You for creating me. Thank You for loving me so much that You sent Your Son, Jesus, to die for me and give me new life through His resurrection. Thank You for Your gift of the Holy Spirit who makes His home in Me and walks me through life, making me more obedient to You. I worship You, Lord, and I lift my voice. O my soul—Rejoice. I honor You and give You all the glory You deserve. I give myself wholly to You, Lord. Receive my feeble attempts to be obedient to Your commands, and teach me how to love You as deeply as You love me. In Jesus’ precious name, I pray Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Deuteronomy 30:19-20, “…Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. And that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him. For the Lord is your life, and He will give you many years in the land He swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

Jeremiah 33:2-3, “This is what the Lord says, He who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is His name: ‘Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’”

Matthew 6:5-6, “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

Matthew 22:37-40, 37Jesus replied, “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Mark 9:7, Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the could: “This is My Son, whom I love. Listen to Him!”

Luke 10:39, She had a sister called Mary, who sat the Lord’s feet listening to what He said.

John 8:47, “Whoever belongs to God hears what God says…”

John 10:27, “My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.”

John 14:20-23, 20“On that day you will realize that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you. 21Whoever has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me. The one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them… 23Anyone who loves Me will obey My teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”

John 15:4-17, 4“Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. 5I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing. 6If you do not remain in Me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. 9As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Now remain in My love. 10If you keep my commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commands and remain in His love. 11I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be compete. 12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from My Father I have made known to you. 16You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might to and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in My name the Father will give you. 17This is My command: Love each other.”

Galatians 5:16, So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

Galatians 5:22-26, 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, 16Rejoice always, 17pray continually, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 John 2:24-27, 24As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. 25And this is what He promised us—eternal life. 26I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. 27As for you, the anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in Him.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 24 – Listen and Obey

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 24

Listen and Obey

Lord, how do I recognize Your voice from the other voices I hear in my thoughts? Teach me to know Your voice and follow You. Lord, give me the desire to obey You knowing that You have only my best interests in mind and want to protect me from the consequences of disobedience. Lord, help me remember that partial obedience does not equal obedience. I fully submit myself to Your good and perfect will. Teach me Your ways, O Lord.

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

Get away from the crowds and noise. Meet Me in the secret place in the early hours of the morning. Pay attention to the whispers in your heart. Be sensitive to My Spirit. Spend time alone with Me to know Me better. When you know Me better, you will recognize the voice of My Spirit within you.

You will know My voice, because I will not contradict My character or My Word. Meditate on Scripture to know Me better. My will for You always aligns with what the Bible says. For the most part, you will experience peace when you hear from Me, unless it is a conviction or warning from the Holy Spirit.

I ask you to obey Me, because I do not want to watch you suffer the consequences of disobedience and sin. However, you know I will use all things for your good (Romans 8:28). Your obedience is pleasing to Me. Obedience is not always easy, but it is always the right way to operate. Obey Me and leave the rest to me.

I am the Shepherd and you are My sheep. My sheep know My voice and they follow Me (John 10:4). The Good Shepherd lays down His life for His sheep (John 10:11). I protect My sheep from dangers, snares and traps. When My sheep listen to My voice, I am able to steer them away from threats and lead them into safety. When you are obedient to My voice, My commands and instructions will keep you safe in My protection. I hide you in the shadow of My wings (Psalm 17:8).

Like a lamb in My arms, I will carry you through your trials and challenges. You may depend on Me for all your needs. I will feed you in pastures of green, and lead you beside still waters to drink. I will protect you from the wolf and the bear. I keep you safe from your enemies and those who would devour you. Find your solace, peace, and rest in My loving arms. I will quiet your fears and bring comfort to your troubled soul.

I have sent My Spirit into your heart to help you live an obedient life more pleasing to Me. He will convict you of sin and empower you to resist temptation and disobedience. He will sanctify you through and through (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24), making you holy and pleasing in My sight. Pay attention to the Spirit’s prompting and heed His guidance. His subtle warnings may save your soul and keep you safe from the ill effects that disobedience produces.

My child, I love you and I want what is best for you. When you love Me, listen to My voice, and hold fast to Me, you will enjoy many years, for I am your life (Deuteronomy 30:19-20). Choose life and experience all the blessings that I have for you. To all who have ears, let them hear what I say: Listen and obey. Experience My best for you.  

Prayer:

Father, thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit dwelling in my heart. I need His assistance to live a life more pleasing to You. Allow me to clearly hear Your voice within me—not only to hear, but also obey. Lord, thank You for the promise that when I love You and obey You, You make Your home in me (John 14:23). What an awesome promise! I pray that I will know Your voice right now as I meet with You alone to discern Your will for my life. Lord, speak to me in my heart and mind, as I listen intently, away from people and distractions. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Father God, speak to me now with Your words of wisdom and instruction. What do you want me to hear today? (Record all thoughts He gives you now.)

 

  • Jesus, my Lord, I love you and want to obey You. Please make Your home in Me and teach me Your perfect will and ways. Lord, teach me to recognize Your voice. What does it sound like? (Write all words, ideas, and impressions He gives you.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, it is Your voice I long to hear at all times, in all circumstances. Teach me to be obedient to Your voice in my thoughts. Help me discern Your voice from the others in my head. How do I separate them? (Jot down all instructions and insights.)

 

Review the Holy Spirit’s thoughts and impressions you’ve sensed and written above. What Scripture comes to mind as you review your notes? Use the concordance of your Bible to look up an impression from God’s Word. Record the verse or passage here. Write all insights and encouragement the Holy Spirit illumines for you as you read God’s Word right now.

Prayer:

 Lord, thank You for sharing Your heart as You speak to mine. Thank You for the relationship we have in the quiet places of my heart. Thank You that I may approach Your throne in confidence and experience intimacy with the King of kings and Lord of lords. How amazing is that? Thank You for being my friend, confidante, constant companion, counselor, and guide. I love you with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Help me to show my love through my obedience to You. In Jesus’ name, I ask this. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Deuteronomy 4:2, Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.

Deuteronomy 5:27, “Go near and listen to all that the Lord our God says. Then tell us whatever the Lord our God tells you. We will listen and obey.”

Deuteronomy 5:32-33, So be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.

Deuteronomy 6:3-9, 3Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you. 4Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lied own and when you get up. 8Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9Write them on your doorframes of your house and on your gates.

Deuteronomy 30:2-3, and when you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey Him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where He scattered you.

Deuteronomy 30:19-20, This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him. For the Lord is your life, and He will give you many years in the land He swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

1 Samuel 3:10, The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for Your servant is listening.”

Psalm 17:8, Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings.

Psalm 103:17-18, But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear Him, and His righteousness with their children’s children—with those who keep His covenant and remember to obey His precepts.

Psalm 119:57, You are my portion, Lord; I have promised to obey Your words.

Proverbs 1:5, Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.

Jeremiah 7:23, “But I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be My people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you.”

Matthew 28:19–20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Mark 9:7, Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is My Son, whom I love. Listen to Him!”

Luke 10:39, She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said.

Luke 11:28, He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

John 8:51, “I am not seeking glory for Myself; but there is One who seeks it, and He is the judge. Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys My Word will never see death.”

John 10:2-4, “The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for Him, and the sheep listen to His voice. He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. When He has brought out all His own, He goes on ahead of them, and His sheep follow Him because they know His voice.”

John 10:11, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

John 10:14-15, “I am the good shepherd; I know My sheep and My sheep know Me—just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father—and I lay down My life for the sheep.”

John 10:27, “My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

John 14:23-24, Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves Me will obey My teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey My teaching. These words you hear are not My own; they belong to the Father who sent Me.”

Acts 5:29-32, Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings! The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging Him on a cross. God exalted Him to His own right hand as Prince and Savior that He might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

2 Corinthians 10:5, We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24, May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.

James 1:22, Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

1 John 2:3-6, We know that we have come to know Him if we keep His commands. Whoever says, “I know Him, but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys His word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in Him: Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did.

 Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

 

Step 6 – Enjoy the Rewards – Reward #7

image of Stairs to open door. free concept 3d illustration

Reward #7 – Delight in the Peace

By the time I reached my mid-thirties, I had created a busy life for myself. I had everything I wanted: a husband, a home, a job, a girl, a boy, friends, a dog, God, a church, a ministry, and much more. Why did I feel so empty? I controlled my life—or did my life control me? My life resulted in exactly what I had made of it, not what God had planned. My life was good, but it was not God’s best for me. My life felt full, but I remained hollow. My whole life had left me with a hole in my heart. Our definition of a full life is different than God’s. The life I had created quickly spun out of control and into depression. I was in pieces and had no peace within.

God met me at the bottom of my pit of depression. He stretched out His hand to me. I took hold, and He pulled me up. He set me down on His firm foundation and began the rebuilding process in me. As I learned to trust God more every day, I turned over new areas of my life to Him. When I turned over complete control to God, He rearranged major things in my crazy, busy life to give me the peace He wanted me to enjoy.

After many months of meeting with God on a daily basis to listen to His voice—absorb His healing, find freedom in forgiving, enjoy His encouragement, follow His instruction, consider His conviction, and savor His wisdom—I could now delight in His peace. God had rebuilt my demolished soul through the work of His Holy Spirit inside me. He gave me a newfound confidence in Christ and in myself as a child of God. He gave me a renewed relationship with the Father. He gave me a stronger, more vibrant faith and a passion for serving my Savior. He gave me more spiritual knowledge and a better understanding of the Holy Spirit and His role of transforming me into a new creation.

Let me be clear. Life did not get a lot easier, but it did become more peaceful as I gave over control to God. That statement seems contradictory. Losing control should not produce peace in one’s spirit, but the things of God are not as they seem. He does not operate as the world does. When I gave up control and surrendered to the will and plans of God, He lifted a burden from me.

As I consulted with Him in all areas of my life, big and small, I turned from being a people-pleaser into being a God-pleaser. I didn’t care as much about what people thought anymore; I concerned myself with what God thought. I did not have to please everyone; I had to please the One. I tried not to spread myself thin going in too many different directions. I focused my attention in one direction—up.

It took many months for God to rearrange my life in order to give me the kind of peace He wanted me to experience by trusting fully in Him. I had obligations I needed to fulfill and positions I had to find replacements for. I had to change the way I operated in my home among my family. As God freed up my time by releasing me from a few responsibilities, I became more available for Him to use in His work.

Doing God’s work generated a much greater reward than anything I might take on myself. With obedience come peace and joy. As I faithfully met with God every morning, our relationship deepened immensely. He did a great deal of intense work with me on discovering, processing, and healing my emotional wounds. I shed many tears along the path to healing. The rough and rocky emotional journey had to be traveled to get to a better place—a place of freedom, peace, and rest.

One of the first observations my Christian mentor made about me all those years ago was that I did not have much peace in my life. It was a very smart—and true—observation. I experienced a full life, yet I did not know what peace-full felt like. Some people do not experience a full life according to worldly standards but have a life full of peace and contentment because they rely on intimate communication with God through the Holy Spirit, rather than depending on things and circumstances. The full life Jesus Christ came to give us equals a life full of His peace when we are in tune with the voice and Spirit of God, not based on material possessions, human relationships, or excellent conditions.

Jesus stood at my door and knocked. I answered and let Him in. I spent time with Him and listened to His voice. I pursued Him, drew near to Him, and remained in Him. The outcome has been a deeper, more intimate relationship with my Savior. The lasting effect is a life full of His peace. I now know the peace of God, even in the midst of life’s challenges.

Get close to God by being in touch with God’s Holy Spirit inside you. Tap into the power of the Prince of Peace, who lives in your heart. Listen to God’s voice and experience a life full of His perfect peace. Psalm 85:8 says, “I will listen to what God the Lord will say; He promises peace to His people, His saints—but let them not return to folly.”  Listening to God’s voice enables us to delight in His peace. The peace of God is more precious than diamonds, silver, or gold. Enjoying all the rewards of listening to God makes me want to share this excellent practice with the world.

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Book One in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book One in Hearing God’s Voice Series

Step 6 – Enjoy the Rewards – Reward #4

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Reward #4 – Follow the Instruction

God speaks to His people not only to encourage us, but also to instruct us in life. Psalm 32:8 says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” God shares His wisdom, His commands, and His teachings throughout the Bible. For example, read Proverbs 2 to catch a glimpse of the benefits of seeking God’s wisdom. Also, Jesus sums up the greatest commandment in Matthew 22:37-38 when He says, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” These are instructions to live by.

Seeking God’s wisdom by listening to His voice and then following through on His instructions leads to a life of intimacy, peace, and joy with the Lord. When we tune our ears to God’s voice, quite often we hear or feel the Holy Spirit prompting us to do something important. Just as a parent instructs a child and expects obedience, God expects us to obey when He speaks to us. When we do not obey His voice, we miss out on some great opportunities to experience the plans He made for our lives, including the benefits of lasting joy, indescribable peace, and abundant blessing—the kind of full life Christ came to give us.

Proverbs 8:10-11 says, “Choose My instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.” In this verse, God compares His instruction to precious metals and reveals a worth far greater than silver or gold. Nothing you desire or money can buy surpasses the rich wisdom imparted in God’s instructions.

In John 14:23, Jesus shared an insight on how to experience intimacy with God: “Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves me, he will obey My teaching. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.’” When we love Jesus, we will obey His teaching. When we obey His teaching, God loves us and makes His home with us. We learn and grow in intimacy with God. Jesus didn’t leave us guessing how to get close to God. This verse came in the context of Jesus promising to send the Holy Spirit to live with us. God dwells with those who love and obey Him. He doesn’t just visit us from time to time; He makes His home IN us forever. Jesus modeled His love for God by being obedient to His Father’s instructions, even unto death on the cross. It’s not enough to listen to God’s voice. We also must obey.

In Acts 1:1-2, Paul reminds Theophilus that before God took Jesus up to heaven, Christ gave instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles He had chosen. He sent the gift of the Holy Spirit to us so He could continue to teach us and give us instructions after He returned to the side of God the Father. When the Spirit of God instructs us, He does not allow us to forget about what He wants us to do. In my experience, the Spirit does not let me ignore His instructions. He persists until I obey.

When you are obedient to God’s instructions and the prompting of the Holy Spirit, you will experience incomparable joy just as Jesus’ disciples did in Acts 13:52: “And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.”

Don’t put off doing the will of God. When you hear God’s voice and instructions, don’t wait months to carry them out. Confirm what you hear, and then do it! When we’re obedient to the Holy Spirit’s promptings, we’ll experience a greater joy lasting longer than any happiness we might receive from the things of this world. In Luke 11:28, Jesus says, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

Listen to God’s instructions, “and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

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Book One in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book One in Hearing God’s Voice Series