One of the greatest dangers in a Christians’ life is stagnation (ceasing to run or flow). Christians should fear backsliding, and stagnating in their walk with God.
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Philippians 2:12-13 (NIV)
Jesus knows your heart and where you stand in your relationship with Him. He will not loosen His grip on you.
I will cover three topics: 1) Flowing with the Holy Spirit: 2) Praise, Worship, and Reverence; and 3) Peace.
As you begin to read, keep this in mind that Jesus does not want you to focus on who you are now, He wants you to focus on what He wants you to become.
Flowing with the holy spirit
This is exactly how the flow of the Holy Spirit operates in our life. You need to put yourself in the shoes of the person wading the river and look at the life giving waters as the Holy Spirit.
Initially you are ankle deep in the water. This itself is a wonderful feeling as your dry and tired feet receive great comfort when they come in contact with the water. As you progress you get deeper into the water, you still are in full control and for the water to flow it has to go around you. Soon you reach a point where you no longer need to wade and the current lifts you and you begin to flow along with the river itself. At this point you no longer have control but you know you are in safe hands with the Spirit of God.
This river itself originated from God’s house and flows into barren lands and deserts which signify people and places that are broken, wounded, dead and desperately need help. Observe as the river flows through these places it brings life. It brings the healing power of God into the lives of those who are touched by it. This river literally blesses anything that comes in contact with it.
It says the very seas get their life and purity from this river but the marshes and swamps will not benefit. In these places water does not flow, it stagnates and over time becomes unfruitful. This means that those who are not willing to grow, change and become better over time cannot benefit from the Holy Spirit. He can work in your life only if you are willing to step outside your boundaries and are willing to let go of your innate desire to control situations and your natural tendency to resist change.
Praise, Worship, and Reverence
What is your way of thinking towards God in your lowest valleys? Do you Praise, Worship and Revere God, or do you lose your peace and find yourself in a state of great disturbance, confusion, or uncertainty?
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart? I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV)
Jesus wants you to do the following when you’re on the Mountain Top and when you are in your lowest Valley: Praise Him – which means to express one’s respect and gratitude; Worship Him – which is the feeling or expression of exaltation, glorification, devotion, and adoration; Reverence Him – which is to “Honor with profound respect.
The hymn, “Day By Day” was written by Lina Sandell in 1865. Lina and her dad were on their way to Gothenburg and her father fell overboard the ship and drowned. Lina was eyewitness to the tragic death of her father. Lina composed a few hymns out of the depths of her broken heart, and “Day by Day” is one of them.
In this hymn, she takes to her Heavenly Father who is sufficient to meet all her needs and care for her. This hymn depicts the cruel realities of this temporal life and the pains and agonies that come along with it. Yet, it points to the promising help of a divine Father amidst these trials and learn to trust and rest in His promises.
Every day the Lord Himself is near me
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me.
He whose name is Counselor and power.
If you’re stagnated in your walk with God, you will have no peace.
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 (NIV)
As the scripture says, God’s peace is meant to make us content with who we are and what we have. When we aren’t filled with the peace God gives, we end up trying to deal with adversity and worry that God’s peace is meant to relieve. We find ourselves struggling through the adversity and worry in a way that lacks no discipline or restraint. You end up discouraged and your faith falters…meaning that you see-saw, think twice, get cold feet, and waver. You’re basically left sitting on the fence.
When we are filled with God’s peace we are freed up to love God and others.
What distractions, habits, or thought processes in your life are holding you back from being all God wants you to be and also, steeling your peace?
Maybe you get upset over small things, or you’re just too busy. Maybe you become easily bitter in relationships, or you trust yourself more than you trust God. Do you find that you have a lack of compassion? Maybe you are holding on to something that is detrimental to you.
To be all God wants you to be, you must surrender, and allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life. The scripture below sums it all up:
“…make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.” 2 Peter 1:5–7 (NIV)
Lord I want to Return to You
Sometimes our own recklessness, traumatic experiences, or distracting life circumstances take us away from the Church and distance us from God. No matter what, God never despairs over us and always lovingly expects us to return to His shelter.
This prayer is for all who sincerely seek the way back home.
Jesus, I used to enjoy Your trust, and You were close to me. Then I left Your shelter and Your community. You know why.
I want to go back to You, but I don’t know if I can step through the door to You again.
Lord, I remember the beauty of Your church services, the singing, and the comfort I felt as I prayed with others at Your altar. Lord, thank You for bringing back to me this memory and awakening in me a longing for it.
Thank You for all that you have given me throughout my life.
Lord, I long for Your nearness. I desire Your grace, which gives meaning to my life.
I long for Your gentle mercy, and even for Your admonitions, which have kept me from even greater mistakes.
I miss Your patience, which helped me grow in faith and let me know that I am important to You.
Lord, I call on You to break the arrogance and pride that hinder me from coming back to You.
Lord, I’m afraid of looking weak if I begin to search for You. Please free me from the fear of the judgment of others.
Lord, send me the Holy Spirit, so I can cast off my burdens, which grow heavier by the day. Grant me, Your Grace, so that I will no longer hide anything from You. Let the wall that has grown between us be torn down. Amen
“There is no safer place than in the palm of God’s hand; with peace as our shelter, we rest in His plan. Though trials may try us we’ve learned what is true – with wisdom and grace He will carry us through.” – Author Unknown
In † Christian Love, Susan Osten
Sources: The Holy Spirit By Blue Flames; Day By Day – Top 10 Hymns from ibelieve.com; Lord I Want to Return to You By Operando.