VIDEO The Price of the Vision – What Is God’s Vision For You?

Our soul’s personal history with God is often an account of the death of our heroes. Over and over again God has to remove our friends to put Himself in their place, and that is when we falter, fail, and become discouraged. Let me think about this personally— when the person died who represented for me all that God was, did I give up on everything in life? Did I become ill or disheartened? Or did I do as Isaiah did and see the Lord?

My vision of God is dependent upon the condition of my character. My character determines whether or not truth can even be revealed to me. Before I can say, “I saw the Lord,” there must be something in my character that conforms to the likeness of God. Until I am born again and really begin to see the kingdom of God, I only see from the perspective of my own biases. What I need is God’s surgical procedure— His use of external circumstances to bring about internal purification.

Your priorities must be God first, God second, and God third, until your life is continually face to face with God and no one else is taken into account whatsoever. Your prayer will then be, “In all the world there is no one but You, dear God; there is no one but You.”

Keep paying the price. Let God see that you are willing to live up to the vision.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

We must keep ourselves in touch, not with theories, but with people, and never get out of touch with human beings, if we are going to use the word of God skilfully amongst them.  Workmen of God, 1341 L


What Is God’s Vision For You?


 

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Intimate Details

You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. Psalm 139:2

The universe is astonishingly grand. Right now the moon is spinning around us at nearly 2,300 miles an hour. Our Earth is spinning around the sun at 66,000 miles an hour. Our sun is one of 200 billion other stars and trillions more planets in our galaxy, and that galaxy is just one of 100 billion others hurtling through space. Astounding!

In comparison to this vast cosmos, our little Earth is no bigger than a pebble, and our individual lives no greater than a grain of sand. Yet according to Scripture, the God of the galaxies attends to each microscopic one of us in intimate detail. He saw us before we existed (Ps. 139:13–16); He watches us as we go about our days and listens for our every thought (vv. 1–6).

You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. Psalm 139:2

It can be hard to believe this sometimes. This tiny “pebble” has big problems like war and famine, and we can question God’s care in times of personal suffering. But when King David wrote Psalm 139 he was in the midst of crisis himself (vv. 19–20). And when Jesus said God counts each hair on our heads (Matt. 10:30), He was living in an age of crucifixion. Biblical talk of God’s caring attention isn’t a naïve wish. It is real-world truth.

The One who keeps the galaxies spinning knows us intimately. That can help us get through the worst of times.

Father God, Your eye is on me as much as it is on the stars in the sky. Thank You for Your love, Your care, Your attention.

The God of the cosmos cares for us intimately.

By Sheridan Voysey 

The Symptoms of Discouragement

James 1:2-4

One of Satan’s most effective weapons is discouragement. The enemy knows that if he can destroy our courage, we’ll be ineffective in our attempts to accomplish anything for Christ. Let’s explore the downward spiral created by this destructive force.

One mark of discouragement is a divided mind. This underlying distraction affects every area and decision. No matter what you’re doing, it feels as if a dark cloud covers your entire thought life.

Discouragement also leads to the “blame game,” where it’s common to feel the need to point a finger at someone else. You may want to find fault with God because He has allowed painful circumstances in your life, or you may accuse others because of the way they treat you. Perhaps you yourself feel guilty for poor choices or past mistakes. My friend, blame is an empty activity. No healing or restoration ever came from trying to pin responsibility on someone else for the hardships in your life.

Anger is another common indication that a person is discouraged. When this occurs, bitterness may develop and finally become a spirit of vengeance. If you let anger grow and fester without resolution, it can easily turn into depression. Then resentment can act like a cancer that slowly spreads and invades every aspect of your life.

The traits described above aren’t what one would expect of a Christian, are they? However, they are all too evident in the church. Ask the Lord to search your heart for any trace of discouragement—and to eliminate its destructive power from your life.

Strong Philadelphia

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; . . . I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.” (Revelation 3:7-8)

Philadelphia and Smryna are the only churches that did not receive warnings from the Lord in the seven letters recorded in Revelation. Philadelphia had “a little strength” because they had built their church on the two foundations of the Word of God and the name of the Lord Jesus.

The foundation of Jesus Christ Himself (1 Corinthians 3:11) and the foundation of the writings of the “apostles and prophets” (Ephesians 2:20) that are inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16) make the church “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). Philadelphia had faithfully held these eternal principles and was therefore given an “open door.”

The Lord’s introduction to Philadelphia cites the “Key of David,” suggesting a reference to the treasure house of the king (1 Kings 7:51) and to Christ’s authority as the heir to the kingdom (Isaiah 22:22). The treasure of the eternal Kingdom is not physical riches but the gold, silver, and precious stones of God-ordained work for the Kingdom (1 Corinthians 3:12-13).

But just as the talents and the pounds granted to the servants in the parables (Matthew 25; Luke 19), the open door is an opportunity to use the resources of the King for His benefit—not a guarantee of success. The Lord grants the resources, but the work and the use of those resources are our responsibility. We will be held accountable.

If we use those resources well, even those of the “synagogue of Satan” will “come and worship” (Revelation 3:9) and “every tongue [will] confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:11). HMM III

“Let not thine heart be hasty.”

Judges 11:29-40

Judges 11:29

Brave man as he was, he needed a divine preparation for his work, and God graciously vouchsafed it to him. When the Spirit of the Lord comes upon a man, it makes him far other than he was before; it elevates, guides, inspires, and strengthens. He who has the Spirit will find his arms upheld, and his strength rendered sufficient for accomplishing the most arduous enterprises. May this same Spirit, in a more gracious manner, rest upon us.

Judges 11:31

This was, doubtless, the warm outburst of an earnest heart, but there was a great want of caution in it. If we vow at all, we should think long and well of what we are about to do, and then express our resolve in the plainest terms. It is most unwise for a Christian man to bring himself into bondage by rash pledges and incautious declarations. Jephthah’s case should be a warning to us.

Judges 11:32, 33

Joyfully did the hero return to his home, but alas, how marred was his triumph. His rash vow had become a pit for him.

Judges 11:35

Yet it had been far belter to break a wrong vow than to keep it. His mistake lay in uttering a vow which might possibly bring about such terrible consequences. He swore that he would offer up for a burnt offering whatsoever came forth of his doors to meet him. Half-instructed as he was, he may have thought that so bold a promise would be acceptable to Jehovah, and now in semi-heathenish fear, he feels he must stand to his word.

Judges 11:36

It was bravely spoken. Grandly did the hero’s daughter yield herself to die, or to remain unmarried, content so long as her country was free.

Judges 11:39, 40

Let us hope that her father did not actually sacrifice her: if he did, it was an act most abhorrent in the sight of God. Her submission to her doom was touchingly beautiful; let us hope that the vow was capable of a softer construction, and that she lived a celibate life, consecrated to the Lord. Many expressions in the chapter encourage that hope; at the same time it is sufficiently doubtful, to lead us to repeat our warning against every rash vow. Pause, hot spirit! Consider! Reckon all the consequences, and ere thou open thy mouth unto the Lord, make sure that what thou art covenanting to do is really for his glory, and within the lawful compass of thy power.

 

How Would You Like To ‘Take a Stroll’ In the Spirit Today?

Galatians 5:16

How would you like to “walk in the Spirit” every day of your life? Does this proposal sound like an impossibility, or do you think that constantly walking in the Spirit is a possibility you should try to achieve? To answer the question of whether or not it is possible to consistently walk in the Spirit, let’s look at Paul’s words in Galatians 5:16. This verse says, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”

The word “walk” is the Greek word peripateo. It appears in the New Testament ninety-five times and has a very clear meaning. The word peripateo is a compound of the words peri and pateo. The word peri means around and suggests the idea of something that is encircling. In many cases it means concerning, but in this case it expresses the idea of encircling. The word pateo means to walk. It denotes the movement of the feet, and it can be translated to walk, to step, to stride, to tread, or even to trample. When these two words are compounded into one as they are in Galatians 5:16, it means to habitually walk around in one general vicinity. Thus, this word peripateo was often translated as the word “live.”

This means that instead of being translated “walk in the Spirit,” the phrase in Galatians 5:16 could be translated “live in the Spirit.” This is a good rendering of the word peripateo, for indeed it suggests a person who has walked in one region for so long that it has now become his environment, his place of daily activity, the sphere that encircles his existence. One expositor notes that the word peripateo could be best explained by thinking of a person who has walked one path so habitually that he would be able to walk that path blindfolded because it is his path, his sphere, the place where he has habitually lived and functioned.

My wife and I recently invited a precious elderly couple whom we dearly love to come visit our family. The wife responded, “You see, Rick, I’ve lost most of my eyesight, so it’s best if I stay home. At least at home I know where all the furniture is, so even though I can’t see too well, I can still walk around.”

I was saddened to hear about this dear woman’s failing eyesight, but her words caused me to think of the Greek word peripateo in Galatians 5:16, which pictures a person who has frequented one area so repeatedly that it has become second nature to him. He needs no help to walk there, because he knows that path. It is his path, his walk, his realm of life, and he feels very safe and comfortable there.

In the secular literature of New Testament times, the word peripateo often meant to stroll. In fact, many Greek scholars suggest that the best way to translate Galatians 5:16 is “stroll in the Spirit.” To stroll is to leisurely walk. A person who strolls is not an anxious, frustrated person who is fighting to do something or to get somewhere; rather, he is restful, relaxed, unhurried, peaceful, and calm. This wonderfully describes what it is like to walk in the Spirit. You see, when a person walks in the Spirit, the stress and anxieties of life are removed, and he moves over into a realm where he can stroll along in continual rest, peace, and calmness.

Paul goes on to say that if you walk in the Spirit, “… ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” The word “lust” is from the Greek word epithumia. The second part of the word is the Greek word thumos, which describes an urge, a longing, a craving a passion, or something that is excited. The word epi usually means over, but when combined with the word thumos, it means to get extremely excited for or over something. In fact, this excitement is so vigorous that it becomes a fervent passion, almost like an obsession, a mania, or a very strong desire.

In Ephesians 2:3, Paul states that before we came to Jesus Christ, we walked “… in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh….” The word “lusts” is this same word epithumia. The word “desires” is from the Greek word thelema, which denotes one’s will, intention, plan, or desire. In short, it means the flesh has a mind of its own. And if allowed to do so, the flesh will become obsessed with a fleshly temptation, fervently stirred up as it yearns to fulfill its deep, dark desires.

But Galatians 5:16 provides the answer to the flesh. It says if you “… walk in the Spirit, ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” The word “fulfil” is from the Greek work teleo, which means to fulfill, to complete, or to reach one’s goal. But because of the tense and the strong negative that are used in the Greek phrase, Paul is telling us that if we walk in the Spirit, we have basically pulled the plug on the flesh! As a result, we have nullified the yearnings of the flesh so that they will never be fulfilled.

 

Because of the various words used in this verse, Galatians 5:16 conveys this idea:

“Make the path of the Spirit the place where you habitually live and walk. Become so comfortable on this spiritual path that you learn to leisurely and peacefully stroll along in that realm. Living your life in this Spirit realm is the best way to guarantee that you will not allow the yearnings of your flesh to creep out and fulfill themselves.”

It is time for you to do everything you can to move up into a higher realm. Fixate on the goal of walking in the Spirit. Develop your own human spirit; do what you can to become more sensitive to the Spirit of God. When you become more spiritually sensitive, it will be easier for you to keep in step with the Holy Spirit. And as you follow Him and live to please the Lord, you will find that walking in the Spirit becomes a habit. You’ll deny your flesh for so long that its voice will eventually become weaker and weaker and weaker—until, finally, it will no longer have any authority in your life.

God is calling you higher! He wants you to leave the low life you’ve been living and to come up to the spiritual path He has destined for you to walk on in your life. In that higher realm, you will experience love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. These are the fruit that the Holy Spirit produces! What a contrast to the rotten, decaying garbage that the flesh produces! The Spirit always produces life!

So resolve in your heart today to make the path of the Holy Spirit the place where you live, work, and function. Don’t let it be a place you occasionally visit any longer. Make the realm of the Spirit the place where you habitually live your entire life!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, help me walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh. I realize that I must make a choice to move up into this higher realm, so today I am telling You that I want to leave the low life I’ve been living and come up higher. You are beckoning me to come there, and I accept Your invitation. As I start taking steps to this higher sphere of life, help me resist the yearnings of the flesh that keep trying to pull me back down! I want to become so sensitive to You that the desires of the flesh altogether cease to have any effect on my life!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that I am moving up into a higher realm! I fixate on the goal of walking in the Spirit. I am developing my own human spirit, and I am becoming more sensitive to the Spirit of God. Every day the voice of my flesh is getting weaker and weaker. I have accepted the call of God to leave the low life behind, and I am following the Spirit of God to a higher realm, where I will live in continual peace, joy, and victory!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. If Jesus were to analyze your life to determine what percentage of your time is lived in the Spirit or in the flesh, what do you think He would conclude about you?
  2. What steps do you need to take to start walking in the Spirit instead of being dominated by the flesh?
  3. What role does praying and reading your Bible have to do with walking in the Spirit and rendering the flesh inoperative? In the past week, how much time have you spent on developing your spiritual life? Have you approached your spiritual life as if it was a high priority?

God wants you to leave the low life you’ve been living and to come up to the spiritual path He has destined for you to walk on in your life. In that higher realm, you will experience love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.

 

What Is The Gospel… According To You?

You are writing a Gospel, a chapter every day,

 

By the things that you do and the words that you say.

 

Men read what you write – distorted or true,

 

What is the Gospel, according to you?” (Unknown)

 

It doesn’t take much to leave a negative mark upon those lost people in your life:

  • An unkind remark
  • A critical spirit
  • An off-color joke

Conversely,

  • An act of kindness
  • A gentle touch
  • A restrained tongue

Also leave an impression – Perhaps plant a seed and initiate a hunger that is the beginning of their quest for God.

 

Many of our friends who are outside of Christ will rarely, if ever, darken the door of a church.

 

But you can be sure they are reading the Gospel through your life… for good or for bad.

 

You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ… ” (2 Corinthians 3:2, 3a)

 

SO, WHAT IS THE GOSPEL, ACCORDING TO YOU?

 

 

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