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HIS ACCEPTED, ADOPTED CHILD


by Neil Anderson

August 1

1 John 3:2 
Beloved, now we are children of God
 
Having a right relationship with God begins with settling once and for all the issue that God is your loving Father and you are His accepted, adopted child. That’s the foundational truth of your spiritual heritage. You are a child of God, you are created in His image, you have been declared righteous by Him because you trust that what Christ accomplished in His death and resurrection is applicable to you. As long as you believe that and walk accordingly, your daily experience of practical Christianity will result in growth. But when you forget who you are, and try to produce in your daily experience the acceptance God has already extended to you, you’ll struggle. We don’t serve God to gain His acceptance; we are accepted so we serve God. We don’t follow Him in order to be loved; we are loved so we follow Him.
 
That’s why you are called to live by faith (Romans 1:16, 17). The essence of the victorious Christian life is believing what is already true about you. Do you have a choice? Of course! Satan will try to convince you that you are an unworthy, unacceptable, sin-sick person who will never amount to anything in God’s eyes. Is that who you are? No, you are not! You are a saint whom God has declared righteous. Believing Satan’s lie will lock you into a defeated, fruitless life. But believing God’s truth about your identity will set you free.
 
Your perception of your identity makes such a big difference in your success at dealing with the challenges and conflicts of your life. It is imperative to your growth and maturity that you believe God’s truth about who you are.
 
The Bible says, “See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we shoJesusuld be called children of God; and such we are” (1 John 3:1). Tragically, many believers are desperately trying to become something they already are, while others are living like something they aren’t. It’s true: “Beloved, now we are children of God” (1 John 3:2).
 
Prayer: Lord God, I affirm anew that I am Your blood-bought child. The evil one cannot touch me as long as I live according to my position in Christ.


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Thoughts With God

Jesus into all the world

I woke with thoughts wild in my head
Wished that I was dead instead.

 
Thought of all I had to do
Screamed “Lord! I wish you only knew–
I cannot cope all alone!
Stop adding to my burdens please!
There is NO more left for You to squeeze!”

 
He added yet another stone.
I bent, and buckled, and began to groan.
“Oh my child” he whispered “I wish you knew, HOW MUCH FAITH I HAVE IN YOU!”

 
With that he pointed to the way
He wanted me to walk today.

 
“On bended knees and with tears of Grace I will guide YOU through this trying race.
When things seem far too big for You,
REMEMBER ALL THE FAITH I WISH YOU KNEW! “

 
So, today, as I struggle all alone,
I will not sulk!
I will not moan!

 
For, my LORD has a plan for ME
        Even if I can-NOT see!


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LIVING WATER


by Neil Anderson

 

July 31
 
John 7:37, 38 
If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, “From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water”
 
The story is told of a prospector in the last century who had to make a four-day journey across a burning desert. He couldn’t carry enough water to make the journey without dying of thirst, but he was assured there was a well halfway across the desert. So he set out and sure enough there was a well right where the map indicated. But when he pumped the handle, the well only burped up sand. Then he saw this sign: “Buried two feet over and two feet down is a jug of water. Dig it up and use the water to prime the pump. Drink all the water you want, but when you are done, fill the jug again for the next person.”
 
Sure enough, two feet over and two feet down was enough water for the prospector to prime the pump or to finish his journey. Should he pour the water down the well or should he drink it?
 
To tell you the truth, I’d drink the water that was buried! I don’t know who wrote the sign on that rusty old pump. It could be a cruel joke. I’d pour that water down a worthless well only to watch my life drain away for lack of water.
 
Faith always has an element of risk, but there is one factor in the above story that doesn’t exist when it comes to God. I know who wrote the sign. When I pour myself into a life of faith, I know that out of my inner being shall flow rivers of living water. God said so, history verifies it, and I, for one, can testify that it is true. In the final analysis, God is not only true, He’s right.
 
There is more than enough water in God’s well for everyone, but the pump is only activated by faith. Remember: “Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
 
Prayer: Heavenly Father, You have proven Yourself trustworthy. Your river of living water never dries up or becomes polluted.


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CREATING OUR OWN LIGHT


by Neil Anderson

 

July 30

Isaiah 50:11 

Behold, all you who kindle a fire, who encircle yourselves with firebrands, walk in the light of your fire and among the brands you have set ablaze. This you will have from My hand; and you will lie down in torment
 
When your way suddenly gets dark, don’t light your own fire. Our natural tendency when we don’t see life God’s way is to do it our way. Resist the urge to create your own light.
 
In Isaiah 50:11, God is not talking about the fire of judgment; He’s talking about fire that creates light. When we try to find our way out of the darkness by our own devices instead of waiting for God’s light, God will allow it, but misery will follow.
 
Let me illustrate. God called Abraham out of Ur into the Promised Land. In Genesis 12, a covenant was made in which God promised Abraham that his descendants would be more numerous than the sands of the sea or the stars in the sky. Abraham lived his life in the light of that promise, then God turned out the light.
 
So many years passed that his wife Sarah could no longer bear a child by natural means. God’s guidance had been so clear before, but now it looked like Abraham would have to assist God in its fulfillment. Who could blame Abraham for creating his own light? Sarah supplied the match by offering her handmaiden to Abraham. Out of that union came the Arab nation which has been in conflict with the Jewish nation ever since. Abraham created his own light, God allowed it, and misery followed.
 
We may not have to wait as long as Abraham did, but our darkness may last for weeks, months, and possibly for some exceptional people, even years. But God is in control and He knows exactly how big a knothole He can pull us through. When your faith is stretched to its limit and you are about to break, He will pull you through to the other side and you will never go back to the shape you were in before.
 
Prayer: The dark times are difficult, Lord, but I thank You for how I have grown and matured as I have trusted You through them.


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KEEP ON WALKING


by Neil Anderson

July 29

Isaiah 50:10  
Who is among you that fears the LORD, that obeys the voice of His servant, that walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God
 
The life led by the Spirit of God is marvelous. Sensing His presence, living victoriously, and knowing the truth are characteristics of a free person. But what if you couldn’t sense His presence? What if God, for some reason, suspended His blessings? What would you do if you were faithfully following God and suddenly all external circumstances turned sour?
 
My family and I have been through two extremely dark periods in our life. There were days I wasn’t sure if we were going to make it. If it wasn’t for the message of Isaiah 50:10, I’m not sure we would have survived spiritually. Isaiah is asking if there is a believer, somebody who fears the Lord, walking in darkness. He is not referring to the darkness of sin or even the darkness of this world. He is talking about the darkness of uncertainty–that blanket of heaviness that settles in as though a black cloud has drifted over our very being. God has suspended His conscious blessings.
 
What is a person to do during these times? Isaiah tells us that no matter how dark it gets, we are to keep on walking. In the light we can see the next step. The path ahead is clear. We know a friend from an enemy and we can see where the obstacles are. But when darkness settles in, every natural instinct says to drop out, sit down, stop! We become fearful of the next step.
 
Isaiah says don’t stop; keep on walking. Keep walking in the light of previous revelation. If it was true six months ago, it is still true. I try never to make a major decision when I am down. Rather, I wait until the cloud lifts and everything is clear and in focus again.
 
If God’s ministry of darkness should envelop you, understand that God has not left you; He has only suspended His conscious presence so that your faith will not rest on feelings or be established by unique experiences or blessings. Listen to Isaiah’s advice: Keep on walking. Never doubt in the darkness what God has clearly shown you in the light.
 
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for guiding me through the darkness of my trials with the light of Your truth.


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What I’ve Learned Along My Journey

Red Rose 2

1 I am stronger than I ever thought I was.

2. Even at my weakest moments I am stronger than those who try to bring me down -because I keep getting up!

3. Strength comes from love, never from anger, pain, or revenge.

4. Its ok to feel weak and vulnerable -just don’t stay there.

5. The only person you can rely on is yourself.

6. Value your friendships and those you love.

7. Make the time to show how much you care. Always show your love. Often the words are not enough.

8. Be kind to everyone –we all have our own crosses to carry.

9. Do it now! Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Now is all you have.

10. Set realistic goals but dream big. Achieve one step at a time, and soon your dreams will become a reality.

11. Be an adventurer —if you want something, get it. Its only impossible if you believe it is.

12. If you can’t get to the mountain, get the mountain to you -there’s no obstacles you can’t tackle with the right approach.

13. Smile -it has the haters wondering why you so happy and it opens you to new friendships and opportunities.

14. Start each day in gratitude, acknowledging the blessings in your life.

15. Never take a positive attitude for granted. Positively is the energy your soul requires to sing.

16. Take every opportunity that presents itself to you -if it changes your life, it was meant to.

17. Never loose faith ……it is your inner sanctuary.

18. Be the reason for others smiles, help those you can, loose yourself in the service of others -you will gain more than you ever gave.

19. Look at life through a child’s eyes -experience the wonder and joy in everything.

20. Remember to play -life is not always serious.

21. Happiness cannot be bought or acquired. It does not come gift- wrapped or on a gift card. True happiness comes from a healthy mind, body and spirit. It starts with inner acceptance.

22. Its ok to be sad. It’s ok to cry. It signifies you are real enough to show your emotions.

23. Pretenses and lies have a way of catching up to you -why be ashamed of your authentic amazing wonderful self?

24. Jealousy, anger, revenge , pain are inner expressions of what you feel about yourself. Love yourself enough to let it go.

26. Forgiveness is the selfish act of healing yourself. You deserve to be whole.

26. Be humble -we are made of the same dirt we will return to.

27. Respect and tolerance will take you much further than any networking you may do. Treat others as you want them to treat you or don’t moan when you have enemies.

28. Integrity is staying true to your inner moral compass.

29. Values are important. They define your path.

30. No matter how much you mess up or how low you feel you have sunk -it Can be fixed.

31. The grass is only green where you water it.

32. Don’t take people for granted ever. People have a way of forgetting everything except how you make them feel.

34. There is power in the words thank you, I’m sorry, I love you and a sincere are you ok?

35. Nothing is more beautiful than an honest compliment, a kind word, a true friend or a shoulder to cry on.

36. Don’t underestimate the power of nature to heal your soul.


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SATISFACTION IN LIFE


by Neil Anderson

July 28

2 Timothy 4:7 
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith
 
Satisfaction in life comes from living righteously and seeking to raise the level of quality in the relationships, services and products you are involved with. Matthew 5:6 says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Do you really believe that? If you did, what would you be doing? You would spend more time feeding your spirit than trying to satisfy your fleshly desires. Have you ever tried to satisfy the flesh? It can’t be done. The more you feed it, the more it wants.
 
What causes you to become dissatisfied? It’s usually because the quality of the relationship, service or product has diminished. I often ask people when they became dissatisfied. Inevitably they identify the time when the quality of a relationship, the service rendered, or the product produced diminished.
 
Satisfaction is a quality issue, not a quantity issue. You will achieve greater satisfaction from doing a few things well than from doing many things in a haphazard or hasty manner. The key to personal satisfaction is not in broadening your involvements, but in deepening them through a commitment to quality.
 
The same is true in relationships. If you are dissatisfied in your relationships, perhaps you have spread yourself too thin. Solomon wrote: “A man of many friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). It may be nice to know a lot of people on the surface, but you need a few good friends who are committed to a quality relationship with each other. We all need the satisfaction which quality relationships bring.
 
Paul accomplished what he was called to do. He left a lot undone, but he fought the good fight, finished his course, and kept the faith. Jesus also left a lot undone, but He did His Father’s will and was able to say, “It is finished.” You may not be able to do all you want to do for Christ in your lifetime, but you can live obediently and faithfully day by day.
 
Prayer: Lord, I desire the satisfaction that comes from righteousness and quality in my relationships and activities.


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GIVE YOUR CHILD TO GOD


by Neil Anderson

 

July 26
 
Psalm 37:5 
Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He will do it
 
You can and should uphold Christian values and standards in your own home. But when your child leaves your home, he leaves with his own values, beliefs and personal agenda. This is the first half of the prodigal son story (Luke 15:11-32). The prodigal son wanted to do his own thing, so his father let him. I don’t think the father would have let the boy rule in his home, but he did let him go. We don’t like to see our children fail or make mistakes like that. When they do, we are too quick to rescue them from the natural consequences of their actions.
 
The father in the story welcomed his son home after the boy came to his senses. His repentance was complete: “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son” (verse 21). The critical insight we need is offered by the father: “This son of mine was dead, and has come to life again” (verse 24). When your child is out of your sight, only God can bring him to his senses, bring him home, and give him life.
 
You can’t go everywhere your child goes, but God can. He is the child’s heavenly Father, and He is fully capable of protecting him.
 
I know of a dear lady who has buried two sons and witnessed the miracle healing of her husband from a near-fatal car accident. But her hardest trial was discovering that her beloved third son was struggling with homosexuality. Months of dark depression were lifted in one day when she realized that her son belonged to God, so she gave her boy to Him. For 11 years she didn’t hear from him. Then one day he called and said he had a Mother’s Day present for her. He had come back to the Lord!
 
God is in control. When you pray you release Him to do what only He can do in your child’s life. And when you pray, He can mold your parenting style so you can do what He has called you to do in raising your child.
 
Prayer: Lord, I release my children to Your care and protection, and I relinquish my will for them in favor of Your will.


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Flesh vs. Spirit, part I

god stuff 4

“For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please (Galatians 5:17, NAS).”

 

There is an ongoing battle between the flesh and the Spirit. Satan wants to activate the flesh in all of its deadness because he strongly desires to make people act irrationally, unjustly, mercilessly, selfishly, foolishly – evil and against The Kingdom of God. Where God uses His Spirit to connect with our spirit internally, Satan uses the flesh to connect with us externally. The god of this world provokes us to evil through emotionalism.

Emotionalism stems from the flesh. Emotionalism, in whatever form it may present itself, causes us to act and react in an unholy manner and, when we do, we justify our poor conduct. Emotionalism causes us to rationalize bad behavior with “I’m tired, I’m stressed, I’m angry, I’m sad, I’m bored, I’m irritated, I’m right, I’m aroused, I’m hungry, I’m needy…I’m, I’m, I’m!” Notice the “I” which translates: I’m thinking only of myself (an idol set before God) and not of God who is my life. My fleshly thinking is more important that heavenly, spiritual thinking.

In this, our God-focus becomes buried under self-focus; and believe me when I say that I am not exempt! My child and I have simultaneously undergone much travail with our health the last two and a half years; stressful and exhausting does not begin to express this experience. We are both feeling much improved these days, but that is not the focal point.

The subject at hand is that situations such as this can gradually cause us to become weakened spiritually so as to awaken the fleshly nature – or rather, they cause us to recognize and face that which has not been fully consigned to Christ as we may have thought. I know for me at the worst of it, I caught myself saying things at the “slip of the tongue” (aka lack of self-discipline) that are not godly and have had to quickly consign myself back to Christ.

I have said for years that bad situations do not change people; they only bring about truth of who the person really is underneath the tidy veneer. It’s easy to walk with God when things are great, but turn up the heat and yikes – out comes all the junk! For me personally, I find that where patience would otherwise prevail, impatience and irritation with people and things tended to become more prevalent. When I stepped back and heard/saw myself, I was appalled, or rather; my spirit, Holy Spirit, was appalled at the flesh in which I reside. This is the battle spoken of in Galatians 5:17.

That which the flesh loves (self-desires), the Spirit hates and vice versa. As long as we live in this fleshly shell, there will be battle. There, of course, will be times where the battle seems less intense, but it’s there nonetheless and can do a sneak-attack if we are not on guard at all times. But we are not without hope, people of the Most High God!

Romans 7:14-25, NAS: For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.”

 

Stay tuned for next week’s part II! If you’re interested in reading more, please go to my website and check out my books or my ministry Facebook page.

Peace and blessings,

 

Alexys V. Wolf

 

www.thefierysword.com

 https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fiery-Sword-Global-Ministries/185299884822251

 http://thefierysword.wordpress.com/


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THREE LEVELS OF PRAYER


by Neil Anderson

 

July 25
 
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus
 
I have observed three approaches to prayer which progress from level to level. The first level is petition. We are encouraged to let our requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6). If it helps us to keep a list of daily prayer reminders, we should do so. However, most people weary of this, and their devotional life disappears over time. Often they don’t see immediate results from their prayers, so they conclude that more can be accomplished if they just get busy for the Lord.
 
We’ve progressed to the second level when prayer becomes personal. We have discovered a new dimension when we are comfortable in His presence and don’t feel obligated to talk. It’s much like a marriage relationship. A mature couple can ride together in the car for hours, enjoying each other’s company, without having to say a word. I can just be with God and I’m learning to listen.
 
Realizing that I need not feel obligated to keep the conversation going when I’m with God has changed my prayer life dramatically. This kind of prayer makes my relationship with God a 24-hour-a-day experience. Setting aside special times for prayer is still important. But when we leave our quiet time, the sense of God’s presence should remain with us throughout the day.
 
I call the third dimension of prayer true intercession. True intercessors hear from God. They know how to pray and what to pray for. In my observation, there are very few true intercessory prayer warriors. The ones I know of are usually older than 50 and most are women. They pray privately in their homes and often at night. Every church has at least one or two of them. Share your family needs with them. When these people pray, things happen because they don’t just talk to God, they listen to Him.
 
Prayer: Father, I want to grow in all dimensions of prayer to the point that I sense Your presence and hear Your voice.