Friday, March 27, 2009

Devotional 270309

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. It is Friday again! I can’t wait to meet many of you tonight at fellowship to update you on my missions. And it is a privilege to serve Him on Sunday as guest speaker at Christ church of the Bay Area again. This week is my turn to lead staff prayer meeting. Our devotional reading came to the eleven chapter of Luke, where Jesus taught His disciples on prayer. I focused not on the Lord’s Prayer but on a comment that our Lord made in the middle of the chapter, “Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you" (Luke 11:34-36). To me, your eyes mean your vision or focus; what you desire and focus in life. My insight is: What you focus defines who you are. The Lord’s Prayer wants to sharpen my focus on God’s kingdom and His presence as the highest priority in life. When I sincerely seek God’s kingdom and His will, the power of the Holy Spirit will transform and strengthen my character. The more I pray according to the focus of His prayer, the more I become like Christ, in terms of His attitude and values. If we don’t pray on such focus, our prayer will become an extension of our self-centeredness. We keep on telling God what we want and hope for in prayer, and these things could be totally irrelevant to God and His Kingdom. When we focus on the light as He is the Light within us, we will be ‘completely lighted up.’ Therefore, by seeking His Kingdom and His will each day, we will truly become the Light of the world.

Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this” (Revelation 4:1b). An elevated mood can only come out of an elevated habit of personal character. If in the externals of your life you live up to the highest you know, God will continually say - "Friend, go up higher." The golden rule in temptation is - Go higher. When you get higher up, you face other temptations and characteristics. Satan uses the strategy of elevation in temptation, and God does the same, but the effect is different. When the devil puts you into an elevated place like the way he put Jesus on top of the temple, he makes you twist your idea of holiness beyond what flesh and blood could ever hear, it is a spiritual acrobatic performance, you are just on the edge and dare not move; but when God elevates you by His grace into the heavenly places, instead of finding a pinnacle to cling to, you find a great table-land where it is easy to move.

Compare this week in your spiritual history with the same week last year and see how God has called you up higher. We have all been brought to see from a higher standpoint. Never let God give you one point of truth, which you do not instantly live up to. Always work it out, keep in the light of it.

Growth in grace is measured not by the fact that you have not gone back, but that you have an insight into where you are spiritually; you have heard God say "Come up higher," not to you personally, but to the insight of your character. In another word, God wants to grow our character each day.

"Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do?" God has to hide from us what He does until by personal character we get to the place where He can reveal it to you. Are you ready for God to show you the things that He has hidden from you before?

You will encounter Satan’s temptation as you grow to His likeness. “Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. ‘All this I will give you,’ he said, ‘if you will bow down and worship me’” (Matt 4:8-9). You need to be careful when people start looking up to you or respect you. It is another testing time of your character in Christ. Not that you should avoid being example of the flock or being light of the world because it is what Christ expects us to do. But Satan will target his attack on our ‘inner motive or drive.’ Do you do good to earn respect and admiration of the world, or you do it simply out of obedience to do His will? The way Jesus dealt with Satan’s ultimate temptation was to re-focus His worthiness NOT on how much he could accomplish or own, but on God alone, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only’” (Matt 4:10). Hope you can find time to meditate on His words and evaluate your own life over this weekend.

Love you because He first loves us,

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