Friday, January 23, 2009

Devotional 230109

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. I pray that you will have a pleasant communion with the Lord this day. While I was driving to office this morning, the tugging of the Holy Spirit in my meditation was to spend more time with Him. I have been very busy and always pre-occupied by ministry planning and follow up work. I found that the more busy I was the more inadequate I became. So the calling of my inadequacy is to draw close to the Lord. Then, in our staff prayer meeting this morning, we came to Matthew 14 (we read one chapter a day), where it talked about how Jesus deliberately retreated to quiet place for solitude time after his public ministry. Repeatedly, the Holy Spirit reminded me the importance of spending time with Him for inner strength, so that I can handle His work like the way Jesus did. He knows how inadequate we are to fulfill His purpose for us. Therefore, abiding in Him is the key. And Jesus set us an example in this discipline.

Look at how Paul described his own spiritual formation, "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit" (2 Corinthians 3:18). The outstanding characteristic of a Christian is this unveiled frankness before God so that the life becomes a mirror for other lives. By being filled with the Spirit we are transformed, and by beholding we become mirrors. You always know when a man has been beholding the glory of the Lord, you feel in your inner spirit that he is the mirror of the Lord's own character. Beware of anything which would smear that mirror in you; it is nearly always a good thing in life that distracts our time with the Lord, but ‘the good’ is not ‘the best.’ Let’s encourage and remind each other not to let earthly concerns to replace our communion with God, which is the primary and most important priority each day.

The golden rule for your life and mine is this concentrated keeping of the life open towards God. Let everything else - work, clothes, food, everything on earth - go by the board, saving that one thing. The rush of other things always tends to obscure this concentration on God. We have to maintain ourselves in the place of beholding, keeping the life absolutely spiritual all through. Let other things come and go as they may, let other people criticize as they will, but never allow anything to obscure the life that is hid with Christ in God. Never be hurried out of the relationship of abiding in Him. It is the one thing that always tends to fluctuate but it ought not to. The severest discipline of a Christian's life is to learn how to keep " beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord."

Whenever you think you have no time to spend with the Lord, you basically accept the idea that spending time with God is not the top priority or most important element of your life. I don’t think our Holy Spirit will get upset with you like your significant other may… But you will gradually fall into Satan’s snare and entangled by worldly concerns. Eventually you will loss touch with your inner freedom, peace and joy that Jesus came to give you – the abundant life from above. Make sure you don't give Satan this foothold!

Love you because of His New Commandment,

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