Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Devotional 090609

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. Pray that God will grant you alertness and strength to face the challenge He has put before you today. The Bible tells us that the way to find strength is by focusing on God: “Those who wait for (or focus on) the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary” (Isaiah 40:31). Indeed, nothing can give us more inner strength than to focus on the source of ALL power – our Creator God. Once our inner being is strengthened, our whole being will be energized to handle whatever comes our way.

"For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened" (Luke 11:10). There is nothing more difficult than to ask. We will long and desire and crave and suffer, but not until we are at the extreme limit will we ask. A sense of unreality makes us ask. Have you ever asked out of the depths of moral poverty? “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5). But be sure that you do lack wisdom; that means you cannot bring yourself up against the Reality in accordance to what you like. The next best thing to do if you are NOT spiritually real, is to ask God for the Holy Spirit according to the word of Jesus Christ, “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him” (Luke 11:13). The Holy Spirit is the One Who makes real in you all that Jesus did for you.

"For everyone who asks receives." This does not mean you will not get if you do not ask because God causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matt. 5:45), but until you get to the point of asking you won't receive from God. To receive means you have come into the relationship of a child of God, and now you perceive with intelligent and moral appreciation and spiritual understanding that these things come from God.

"If any of you lack wisdom . . ." If you realize you are lacking, it is because you have come in contact with spiritual reality; do not put your reasonable blinkers on again. People say - Preach us the simple gospel: don't tell us we have to be holy, because that produces a sense of hopeless poverty, and it is not nice to feel hopelessly poor. "Ask" means beg. Some people are poor enough to simply dwell in their poverty, and some of us are like that spiritually. We will never receive if we ask with a certain desire in mind; if we ask not out of our poverty but out of our lust, we will not receive. A beggar does not ask from any other reason than the hopeless condition of his poverty, he is not ashamed to beg. - Blessed are the poor (beggar) in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matt 5:3).

Brother Chambers gave me some new insight on the attitude of spiritual pursuit. A hopeless “beggar” will not ask for a piece of steak or a banquet at 5 stars hotel; he is happy to receive some kind of food to satisfy his hunger. Unless we go to God with this kind of spiritual desperation, we will not experience the sovereignty of God and His special provision to meet our deepest needs. A lot of time our motive is mixed with different kinds of desires; we want all the best and beautiful things in life for our enjoyment. We want to become center of attention. We want the whole world (including God) to serve us. This kind of self-centeredness or narcissistic mentality is part of our sinful nature – something God wants to uproot from our lives in order to make us holy. Therefore, God will allow or arrange difficult situations to come upon us, in order to shape us to be more holy or Christ-like. Ask God to give you that genuine desire to be real and desperate for His wisdom and fulfillment. He is always waiting to answer our prayers to make us whole or holy again. Don't stop asking, and don't stop listening to your God.

Love you in His holiness,


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