When Do You Feel God’s Pleasure?

“I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, intelligence and skill in all kinds of crafts. . .”—Exodus 31:3-5

When you are doing the most in what you do the best, you pop the pride buttons on the vest of God.  In the movie Chariots of Fire Eric Liddell defended his devotion to running by telling his sister, “God made me fast, and when I run I feel his pleasure.”

When do you feel God’s pleasure?  When do you look up into the heavens and say, “I was made to do this?”  When it comes to being you, you were made for the part.  So speak your lines with confidence!

When A Crisis Brings Doubt

Incline Your ear, O LORD, and answer me; For I am afflicted and needy.—Psalm 86:1

When life is moving along smoothly, it’s easy to say, “God answers prayer.” But a crisis can bring doubt, especially if the Lord is not responding as quickly as we might like. That’s when we may be tempted to bargain with God as if He could be manipulated into acting on our behalf. However, the goal of prayer is not to get God to do what we want but to bring our concerns to Him, trusting that He will answer in His own way and time.

Waiting on the Lord is fairly easy when we’re not facing anything urgent. But difficulties and suffering tend to make us impatient. We may even begin to find fault with God, thinking that if He truly loved us, He would intervene and bring relief.

As we seek the Lord for help, David’s prayers in the Psalms provide wonderful patterns for us to follow. He faced many dire situations and continued to turn to God. He recounts God’s character—gracious, good, ready to forgive, and abundant in lovingkindness to all who call on Him. These characteristics are the basis for trust.

Knowing who God is enables us to trust Him through the crises of life. Because He is faithful, we know that He will keep His promises. His holiness causes us to examine our life and repent of any sins that are hindering our prayers. And His mercy, grace, and love give us the comfort we need to endure hardship.

Do You Struggle With the Flesh and Its Sinful Desires?

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us walk in step with the Spirit.—Galatians 5:24-25

One of the most misunderstood concepts in the Christian life is that of “the flesh.” So, what is it? In today’s passage, flesh refers not simply to the physical body but also to the inner being, which is still subject to sin even though believers have a new nature given to them by God’s Spirit. Therefore, flesh refers to our entrenched habits of sinful thoughts, desires, and attitudes—which often lead to ungodly behaviors.

Paul presents, in a painfully honest way, the results of living according to the flesh: deeds including immorality, impurity, idolatry, anger, strife, dissensions, and other destructive attitudes and actions. In contrast, a life led by the Holy Spirit produces the rich spiritual fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23).

Why do so many people who desire a godly, self-controlled life repeatedly fall to fleshly sin? Paul says the determining factor is whether or not they are being led by the Spirit. If Christians try to overcome sin on their own without submitting to the Spirit’s reproof and guidance, they will fail.

The flesh cannot be disciplined, rehabilitated, or improved. Instead, it must be put to death (Rom. 6:11). Then, through the power of the Spirit, we do not have to yield to sinful impulses but can instead present ourselves to God for obedience to His desires (Rom. 6:12-14).

Walking by the Spirit means submitting to the Lord when you feel tempted to follow your flesh. With His help, you can see your desires give way to obedience that pleases your heavenly Father.

Practical Steps to Having Peace and Contentment

“…6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on these things.…”—Philippians 4:6-8

We all live in a fallen world that seems to have taken a turn for the worse. Mega disasters, floods, global warming, wars and more. If you follow the news about these events it can cause you to lose sleep or worse your peace and contentment.

What steps can you as a born again Christian take in order to prevent or minimize the loss of your peace? To begin, let’s look at what we’re dealing with in this arena of agony. As noted we live in this fallen world which is dominated by Satan and his minions. The bible describes him as a roaring lion roaming about, seeking who he can devour and destroy. Essentially, Satan is our enemy and must be dealt with as such.

Our battle with Satan occurs in the spiritual realm which requires us to fight with similar tactics and weapons. The weapons we use can be found in Ephesians 6:10-13 which says,  “10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”

The specific pieces of armor mentioned in verse 13 above are described in the follow-on verses 14-17. The most effective weapon we have in our defense arsenal is the sword of the spirit better known as the Bible, God’s word.

If you spend as little as 15 minutes a day reading and studying God’s word then you will have a defensive shield about you that Satan can’t break through. God’s word is the truth and Satan hates that. When you know God’s word, what it says about things and situations, you can look clearly at them and know whether you are being deceived or seeing the truth. The ability to separate fact from fiction will give you the peace and contentment you desire.

The next time you are feeling uneasy about something or losing sleep over it, go to God in prayer and read His word about your situation. By doing that you can rest easy knowing God is in control.

Are You Envious of The Wicked?

Do not fret because of evildoers,
Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.
For they shall soon be cut down like the grass,
And wither as the green herb.
— Psalm 37:1 NKJV


People can become upset when they see the prosperity and success of others. They see what others have in comparison to what they have and it can upset them if they think that others have it better than them. If the others are also evil in nature, then the upset is all the greater. Why should the evil prosper and succeed? Why do they have it better than me? Instead of focusing on their own lives, they obsess over the lives of others.

We should not fret ourselves because of the prosperity and success of evildoers and we should not be envious of them. After all, we should not be envious of anyone. Envy is a sin (Romans 1:29). Covetousness is to desire the advantages that belong to someone else; jealousy is to resent a person for the advantages they have; but envy is the desire to be like the person who has the advantages. All three sins, closely related and often found in combination, result from an inordinate comparison between oneself and someone else.

Whatever advantages the wicked may have are transient and fleeting. The wicked have traded in eternal life and peace for temporary and limited advantage. If they don’t wither and fade in this life, they will in the next.

The news media frequently report stories of how the wicked have fallen. These stories are object lessons that confirm the truth of Psalm 37. Stop comparing yourself unfavorably with other people, and especially with the wicked.

Where Do You Turn In Times of Trouble?

When you are faced with troubles of monumental proportions or even tiny ones for that fact, whom do you seek for help? If you are like most, your immediate thought is to ask a friend or family member for advice. Although their advice may be comforting, it still can be filled with inadequate information or wrong directions. It feels good but is it the right choice?

There is one best source for answers and guidance to all our troubles. Jesus Christ. When you need the absolute best answer to your situation turn to the one true God who created you, loves you and is always there for you. He never leaves you out in the cold. Jesus personally extends an invitation to you to let Him help you. In Joshua 1:5, God says, No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

In Matthew 11:28 He says, Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” What Jesus is saying here is that no matter what your problems are come to Him and He will help you. His help is so perfect that you will find complete peace and rest in His answer.

The key then to receiving Jesus’ help is to ask for it and then prayerfully wait for His answer. Waiting for His answer can be hard at times, especially if you need an answer right now. But, if you are walking in step with Him through a daily personal relationship, you will get your perfect answer at just the right time.

God is never late. He is always on time. When you are having troubles ask Him for His help and then, “Wait For It!” He won’t let you down. I promise.

Where Will You Do Battle Today?

Stumbling in sin will occur because we live amidst two kingdoms that are in constant conflict. On the one hand, there’s the pull of the world, and on the other, the pull of God. In other words, Satan throws temptations our way, but from our Father comes the appeal of holiness, peace, and joy in Christ.

Jesus taught us to, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt. 6:33). The way to do this is by spending time with our Father in prayer and in His Word

The battle is ongoing. And it rages not just in the realms of education, science, politics, and finances but also within every human heart. Yours and mine. To be successful in God’s eyes, it’s critical that we keep His priorities as our own and make continual course corrections to stay on track.