The title of this post came to me this afternoon. The Holy Spirit said to me: “I will not be forced”, so I am very happy to write this post with Him in mind.
Many years ago, I remember Chuck Swindoll saying: if its part of man’s will it’s forced, but if its part of God’s will it flows. This also reflects scripture for it is not by man’s will, nor by man’s power, but by God’s Spirit, says the LORD Almighty (Zechariah 4:6).
Back in the early 90’s I remember hearing talk of the Holy Spirit moving in our midst. There were even some Christians who referred to the Holy Spirit as an “it” as if He was some kind of force to be controlled by man. When I heard about this, I was deeply grieved to think that the third person of the Trinity could be controlled like some puppet on a string.
In the midst of our challenges, Satan can try to force God to respond, but God has the upper hand. He will not be moved, nor will His foundation – for the solid rock of Jesus Christ – cannot be moved.
So, remember what the Holy Spirit has come to do: to convict us of our sin, convince us of our need for Jesus, to remind us of the judgment to come, to lead us into all truth, and to bear His fruit in and through us. For even Jesus told us that the Holy Spirit will teach us all things and remind us of everything He has said to us (John 14:26).
Please forgive us for thinking that we could ever force you into submission. You are not some genie in a bottle that we can summon at our command. Rather, you are our advocate and our helper whom Jesus has sent to be with us. So, we surrender ourselves to you, and to your leadership. Please help us to fulfill the Father’s will of being conformed to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. We choose to honor you as the Spirit who empowers us to fulfill the great commission of making disciples and baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To God be the glory! Amen.
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13)
Today, we honor all of the members of the armed forces who have died in the line of duty. Their own personal sacrifices to defend our country, and to bring us freedom, will always be remembered. These brave soldiers left their own homes, saying goodbye to their families, and fought as one to bring down the strongholds of evil.
Your own Son, Jesus of Nazareth, also laid down His own life. You sent Him into the world as a sacrifice for our own sins. He humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. His sacrifice has brought us peace with God, freedom from condemnation, and a fully restored relationship with you, forever.
May everyone who has laid down their lives for the sake of family, friends, and country be highly honored and always remembered. Their dedication of service, and personal sacrifice, are wonderful reminders of true love. For such love gives for the benefit of another, at such a great cost, always having a profound impact upon the recipients who choose to receive it. Amen.
I pray for the mother’s who are struggling with the issue of abortion. May they seek your counsel and choose your desire for their lives. You have created and knitted together the baby in their womb. You see how both mother and baby intimately know each other, and how they are fearfully and wonderfully made. You also know that a mother can never forget the baby at her breast, for she has compassion on the child she has borne; in like manner, you will never forget them.
For those who have had an abortion, I pray for your comfort during their time of sorrow. May your presence help them in the midst of their pain and despair. Draw near to them, help them with their loss, and fill the void in their hearts with your immense love. As they move forward, speak your life back into the heart of every daughter, help them to experience the depth of your forgiveness, and the richness of your own compassion through your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Are you feeling pressure or tension in your life? Dealing with stress is not always easy. If you can’t anticipate the outcome, and you don’t know how to proceed, then things can become overwhelming. Fortunately, stress can be managed in healthier ways. You can learn from your past, and you can become more equipped to navigate through unknown obstacles that may lie ahead.
Here are some simple suggestions of how you can manage your stress:
- Pray: Quiet yourself before God and ask Him to help you. Let this be the first thing you do.
- Take a break: A momentary diversion can help you from being consumed by what bothers you.
- Nourish yourself: Your body depends on good food, and plenty to drink in order to function properly.
- Share your concerns: Reach out to your spouse, trusted friend, or the leadership in your church.
- Stay fit: Doing some exercises like stretching, or even working out, can help your body during those stressful times.
- Do your favorite thing: Listen to music, read a book, take a nap or whatever else would quiet your soul, and bring peace to your mind.
- You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. (Philippians 4:13)
- Your health may fail, and your spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of your heart; he is yours forever. (Psalm 73:26)
- Even when your anxiety is great within you, God’s consolation can bring you joy. (Psalm 94:12)
- Jesus offers His yoke for your rest. You can learn from Him. He is gentle and humble of heart, and with Him, you will find rest for your soul. (Matthew 11:28-30)
- Be encouraged to commit your ways to the Lord in whatever you do and He will establish your plans. (Proverbs 16:3)
I pray for each person who is trying to manage their own stress. May you bring your comfort, wisdom, and reassurance to them. Pour out your love, and give them your peace. Speak kindly to them, and let them hear your voice. As they follow your direction, may they be encouraged, strengthen, and renewed by your indwelling Holy Spirit, and the leading of your Son, Jesus of Nazareth. Amen.