Good day People of GOD
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him (James 1: 12 ESV)
Today, we will be looking at James 1: 12 which counsels us to remain steadfast under trial so that we may receive the Crown of Life. The broad theme is still Distractions – so this is the third part in the series dealing with distractions.
Spiritual growth is a journey, a process and a privilege. You have to work hard at it to get better at it. You cannot afford to be complacent. Paul was called by CHRIST (Acts 9: 5), but he had to work on his spiritual life to get to the point where he could challenge Peter, and at the end of his life he could say, ‘I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith (2 Timothy 4: 7 NIV).’ Powerful.
GOD has been Awesome in my life and HE brought me to where I am today, but, I have realized that my spiritual growth depends on consistency in spending time with GOD praying, studying the Bible, fasting and (making the effort to) live a righteous life. Anytime I slacked in doing any of these things, I felt like I had strayed from GOD and I had no peace. One Scripture that encouraged me to keep pressing towards the Goal is Philippians 3: 12-14 where Paul says:
12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3: 12-14 NKJV).
When you have a loved one, you would want to spend time with them, do the activities they like, and talk to them as regularly as possible, right? That is the way your relationship with GOD should be! GOD is not a scary person, or a Bad Guy or a wicked person or an unkind person. After all, HE sent HIS Only Begotten Son to die for us on the cross of Calvary, so we can have everlasting life (John 3: 16)! You might want to rethink your idea or image of GOD. The Psalmist says:
The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy (Psalm 145: 8).
Getting back to the topic, how do you develop an intimate relationship with GOD, focus on HIM and avoid distractions? Sometimes, you have to leave everything else and go to a quiet place and spend some quality quiet time with GOD. You cannot hear GOD amidst noise and too much activity. When the HOLY SPIRIT speaks, HIS Voice is very gentle – when the HOLY SPIRIT spoke to Elijah after an earthquake, HIS Voice came like a gentle whisper (1 Kings 19: 12). GOD speaks to you through your spirit, so you have to be quiet in order to hear HIM. Moreover, JESUS’s Actions depict why we need a quiet place sometimes to hear from GOD:
Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest (Mark 6: 31 NIV).
Here are some pointers on developing an intimate relationship with GOD:
- Set a time apart for daily prayer: 20 minutes out of your twenty-four hours is not too much to spend in prayer with GOD. Morning hours are the best time to pray and communicate with GOD. See Mark 1: 35: ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he [JESUS] went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed’ (NIV).
- Set time apart for study of the Word and daily reflection: it is not enough to just read through one chapter of a couple of verses just so you can tick the box. Setting apart at least 30 minutes when you can truly meditate on the Word daily goes a long way towards building your relationship with GOD. Prioritizing you daily time goes a long way towards ensuring you fulfill your destiny on earth. You have to make time for the most important things in your daily life, else, you will be giving excuses in the future. And excuses does not get anything done, and it does not achieve dreams or goals. See Ephesians 5: 15-16: 15: ‘Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 [b]making the most of your time, because the days are evil’ (NASB).
Finally, you have the responsibility to work out your salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2: 12). Moreover, it is a privilege to know GOD and to be Christian. So, endeavor to spend more time with GOD, get to know HIM better, improve your relationship with HIM, and see yourself fulfill your great destiny on earth. So,
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12: 1-2 NIV).
P.S. We pray that GOD will be with the people of Haiti and others hit by the Hurricane Matthew, and that HE will restore what the enemy has stolen from them in seven fold (Proverbs 6: 31), and that HE will heal and comfort all the families affected.
GOD bless you all and Peace <3.
May the LORD bless the study of HIS Awesome Word in JESUS’ Name!
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GOD bless you all ♥♥♥
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