Making a decision to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior is the most important thing that you can do in life. This is the first step in your ongoing process of spiritual growth and development. One must commence to study and embrace the Truth of God’s Word. This is a crucial path in order to foster an internal environment within oneself where the fruit of His Spirit can flourish. There is much security in Salvation. Salvation is not based on works. But it is important to know that whenever you decide to really live your life for the Lord you also become an open target for spiritual warfare. This will come not only from the world and or non believers but from those who say they believe as well. If you closely study the life of Jesus you will see that a majority of His struggles was with the established religious leaders as well as the local and civil authorities. They totally misconstrued His earnest intentions. They rejected Him because they felt that He was a threat to their positions and way of life. Little did they know that He came to enrich their lives. Jesus came that we might have “life and have it more abundantly.” Not just in a superficial material way. He wanted them as well as us to really know that “He was the way the Truth and the life”. That when you truly have Him you have everything you need or will need! If you are serious about enhancing your walk with the Lord I strongly recommend the Book of Romans. It thoroughly explains the major doctrines of the Christian faith and the benefits of having an intimate relationship with the Lord.
God will never direct you to do anything that goes against His principles. But how would you really know this if you do not study His Word? Someone else could have told you this; but it’s not the same. It is vital to know the Lord and His Word firsthand. When I say study I do not mean in a mechanical rote fashion. You can read and or expound upon the Word of God all the time and its contents will remain simply as mere lifeless words. You must be sincerely motivated by your desire to know Him! God’s Word is alive! It encompasses a plethora of spiritual nutrients that are absolutely necessary to sustain us. This opportunity is not only designated expressly for a select few. But it is necessary to posture yourself in a position where you are willing to relinquish whatever hinders your spiritual connection to Him. You must take the necessary time to invoke His presence. When you approach God’s Word you must approach it like no other. God knows right where you are. He knows every single one of your wants, needs and desires. His Holy Spirit is the necessary credible teacher. His Holy Spirit will open your understanding and illuminate your path as you journey together through His marvelous Word. In His written Word you will find the true essence of life! You can stand firmly on all the promises of the Lord.
Once you claim to be a believer you must really become rooted and grounded in His Word. If you are not, life will just tow you right along. You will also have a tendency to adapt and conform to the world and embrace its liberality as far as immorality or anything goes mentality. God tells us just the opposite. God is love. So if God is love how can you really love without him? To really know what love is you need to know how God defines love. Love goes far beyond “intoxicating affections”. God tells us to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind.” It is by the Word of God your mind in renewed. You can become enlightened to what life is really all about. It is not just about your problems or what is going on with you. It is about our relationship to Him as Creator. The Lord is constant. Remember it is in His Word you will find life. There is nothing that is new under the sun. There is nothing that God is not aware of past, present or future. That in itself should give you all the motivation you need to live your life for Him. Life can and will present many challenges. But when you know that your life is in the hands of the Lord you can rise to the occasion. Knowing that we have been created in the Lord’s image to worship Him gives life meaning. Each day becomes a quest. Good, bad or indifferent each experience is an opportunity to grow and spiritually mature. It is easy to become sidetracked by whatever is going on about you. But you must always keep in mind that nothing happens in life that gets by God!
The Old Testament is rich and saturated with a wealth of rich History. There are numerous invaluable accounts of situations and scenarios that took place. It tells you of what happened; when they obeyed or disobeyed and the results. It even tells you how when they even walked uprightly spiritual warfare abounded. Yet God was there for them. They knew as we can know now that you can stand firmly on all the promises of God. This is why it is so important when anything is going on to know that “God always has everything under His control.” His Word says “He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” It did not say that evil would not try to disrupt, divide, discredit, or entrap you. It does say that you do not have to fear because you know that God will comfort you and see you through! As a matter of fact the Word says to “overcome evil with good.” You can have peace knowing that Truth is on your side. God is a Spirit of Truth! God is so awesome! God always has a remnant of His people that truly desire to live His way. When spiritual warfare is about you it is important to readily allow the Lord to take the reigns in your life. It is really better to not wait until you are presented with a challenge to put your trust in Him. God wants you to seek Him daily. “If you trust in Him with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding He will direct your path.” God knows any seen and unforeseen danger. The Lord does not want you tossed to and fro. He has a plan for your life. Always keep in mind that time belongs to God. In His time He will bring to pass whatever He has created us for and whatever He wants us to do. Always remember the victory is in the praise.
Life brings about many lessons. When things get off track God has a remedy. But most of the time pride prohibits one from admitting that something is wrong or they were wrong or something needs to be different. The Bible is full of wisdom. Solomon was one of the wisest men to ever live. When He built the temple after much prayer he earnestly and sincerely prayed to the Lord. David his father who was a man after God’s own heart wanted to build the Temple for the Lord. He was very intelligent and insightful. David even composed many of the Psalms. But since he was a man of war the Lord had him only just provide many of the provisions to build the Temple. He told David that it would be his son Solomon that would actually build the temple. Although David was undefeated in war and the affairs of the land he had much chaos at home. This is another example why it is so important to instill godly principles in your children. The greatest gift you can give them is to have reverence for the Lord. Solomon humbled himself before the Lord and asked the Lord to give him wisdom and a discerning heart. He had a stalwart desire to distinguish between right and wrong. God wants us too to be discerning. Discernment is a fruit of His Spirit. Spending time with God will truly enhance your spiritual discernment. The Bible tells us that there will never be another like Solomon. (read I Kings). God does not want us to be like any one else. But He does want us to continue to grow and walk in His ways.
Prayer is essential in order to communicate with God. Prayer can be uttered orally, or unspoken. God’s Word tells us to pray unceasingly. This form of prayer is a state of being that God has said is possible. While you are going about your accustomed duties you continue to commune with the Lord; yet you remain focused on what is at hand. Although difficult to achieve; to the degree you implement this principle it increasingly becomes feasible. No, this is not some incoherent state. In actuality you are learning to be mindful of your thoughts. You practice intentionally shifting your focus to Him. Whenever you are inspired to pray one should approach God with a respectful, gracious reverence. Although we can go boldly before His presence God is not to be commanded of anything. Prayer is also a time to commune and give thanks to Him. A repentant and contrite heart is of great significance in the eyes of the Lord. Prayer is a special time to earnestly pour out our heart and supplications for ourselves as well as others. A time to ask and seek His direction for your path forward. It is not so much in the tone or cadence which we speak; but the posture of our heart. God cannot be manipulated. It is always most beneficial to keep in mind that God is all wise and all knowing. He knows before we approach Him who we are, what are our requests and desires as well as our motives. We can now pray graciously and thankfully knowing because of Jesus and His love for us that we now have direct access to our Father. Therefore one should ask daily for His abiding infilling presence.
We must be willing to relinquish anything that hinders our communication with the Lord. God really does know what is best for us. He wants us to discipline ourselves by walking in the Light of His Word. This is why it is important to know His Word for your self. It is never too late to start and develop your very own personal study and prayer time. Remember you don’t even have to utter a word. God instilled within Solomon much wisdom. It was after over four hundred years the children of Israel came out of Egypt that Solomon actually begun to build the Temple. Please just take some time and read about the discipline, all the work and dedication that took place in building the Temple and its furnishings. The Lord kept and still does keep His promises. We have so much to learn from God’s Word about life and living. When Solomon dedicated the Temple there was so much sincerity in His prayer that the priests could not enter to minister. The glory of the Lord filled the temple in a cloud. They worshipped and praised the Lord saying; He is good; His love endures forever.” The love of God does last forever! God wants us to walk in His ways so much that He allowed His Son to come in a body of flesh. To live a sinless life and overcome sin in the flesh for us. To even be crucified on that shameful cross. But we must remember He rose with all power! We now have the privilege of having His Holy Spirit reside within us.
We need to organize our lives with the Lord at the center. In the midst of a standardless society having Jesus as Lord and Savior will give you joy and peace. By faith we know that God has promised to “never leave or forsake us”. When the Lord appeared to Solomon long ago he told him what we need to do when things are not going right. The world today in many ways has begun to entangle its principles and ways with the people of God. Look around and see the signs of time, all the phenomenon and various types of storms, earthquakes, pestilence, varied diseases, famines and………….. The Lord really is going to return someday. Solomon knew the benefits of discernment. The Lord told Solomon; "I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices. When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.” Our sacrifice today is supposed to be our sincere praise! God is the same yesterday, today and forever more. God does not live in a temple made by hands. His Word tells us now our body is the temple where His Holy Spirit resides. God is awesome! When we come together in the Sanctuary that is dedicated to Him should it not be the most important reason to worship and give Him praise? No, it’s to take an offering or raise money.….. Do we not trust Him to supply all of our needs? Making the decision to accept Jesus as your personal Savior is one of the most important things that you can do. It is at this point you invite Him into your heart. Whatever comes your way in life He will be there for you! Begin to genuinely, diligently study, embrace and implement the Lord’s Word in your life. When you really learn to “Trust in the Lord and lean not to your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him.” He will surely direct your path! To God Be the Glory!
About the Author:
DeBorrah K. Ogans is a licensed Pastoral Counselor and ordained minister. She is certified through the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling in Creation Therapy and holds a Master’s Degree in Biblical Clinical Counseling. DeBorrah is a Co-Founder along with her husband Randall of "Alpha 7 Ministries". She is the author of a pre-marital guide “How Do I Love Thee: Things You Need To Know Before You Say I Do”, and just released her second book "Holy Matrimony: Now That You're Married".
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