Posts by Miriam

Garments Of Grace (from 31 Days of Encouragement – Laura)

1) THEN HE SHOWED ME JOSHUA THE HIGH PRIEST STANDING BEFORE THE ANGEL OF THE LORD, AND SATAN STANDING AT HIS RIGHT HAND TO ACCUSE HIM. 2) AND THE LORD SAID TO SATAN, “THE LORD REBUKE YOU, SATAN! INDEED, THE LORD WHO HAS CHOSEN JERUSALEM REBUKE YOU! IS THIS NOT A BRAND PLUCKED FROM THE FIRE?” 3) NOW JOSHUA WAS CLOTHED WITH FILTHY GARMENTS AND STANDING BEFORE THE ANGEL. 4) AND HE SPOKE AND SAID TO THOSE WHO WERE STANDING BEFORE HIM SAYING, “REMOVE THE FILTHY GARMENTS FROM HIM.” AGAIN HE SAID TO HIM, “SEE, I HAVE TAKEN YOUR INIQUITY AWAY FROM YOU AND WILL CLOTHE YOU WITH FESTAL ROBES.” 5) THEN I SAID, “LET THEM PUT A CLEAN TURBAN ON HIS HEAD.” SO THEY PUT A CLEAN TURBAN ON HIS HEAD AND CLOTHED HIM WITH GARMENTS, WHILE THE ANGEL OF THE LORD WAS STANDING BY. Zechariah 3:1-5

A life-changing vision. An enemy rebuked. A Priest transformed. The result? A liberating change of garments portrayed by the prophet Zechariah in the third chapter of his book. Joshua the High Priest (who represents Jerusalem – God’s chosen people) is standing before the angel of the LORD with Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. This position belongs to a prosecutor in a courtroom. Satan is always ready to devour and condemn. But God says, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). The Lord rebukes Satan, reminding him that Jerusalem is the “chosen” of God. Grieved by her sin and having punished her people with 70 years of captivity, Jehovah God has delivered His people out of this fiery trial as His very own possession; Satan has no power over God’s chosen. Those of us who belong to Christ are like a “brand plucked out of the fire” (verse 2) by God’s miracle of grace – “the free gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). Satan finds himself powerless over those who are in Christ both then and now.

“Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and standing before the angel” (verse 3). These garments are a symbol of sin and are “polluted by the flesh” (Jude 23). Notice that Joshua is standing before the angel of the LORD even in his filthy garments of sin. We can embrace the wonderful truth that God looks on us with eyes of grace even in our mixture of sin and wrong motives. He hates our sin but does not destroy us because of His grace. At the angel’s request, the filthy garments are removed from Joshua (the chosen) and he says to him, “See, I have taken your iniquity away from you and will clothe you with festal robes” (verse 4).

What an incredible trade! Filthy garments of sin and fleshly rags of self-righteousness for festal robes of the High Priest. These new robes are expensive, beautiful and made of clean, white fine linen fit for a bride. Pure garments represent the blood of Christ poured out at Calvary for the chosen, His bride. God did not abandon Joshua in his nakedness after He stripped him of his garments but cleansed and clothed him in garments of salvation – garments of grace. “He has clothed me with garments of salvation; He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness…” (Isaiah 61:10).

Can you say with Isaiah that God has clothed you with garments of salvation? Have you put your faith in the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ resulting in salvation? You are one for whom Christ died! Are you surrendering daily to His choice of clothing for you? Have your garments been changed? Come as you are. Let the Holy Spirit of truth speak to your heart, show you your nakedness apart from Him and wrap you in His garments of grace.

“For the robe is of God that will clothe your nakedness. And the robe is His Grace; it’s all you need, come as you are.” Wes King

Leaving Imprints (from 31 Days of Encouragement – Miriam)

“A WORTHY WIFE IS HER HUSBAND’S JOY AND CROWN…” Proverbs 12:4

“SHE CAREFULLY WATCHES ALL THAT GOES ON IN HER HOUSEHOLD…” Proverbs 31:27

“…OLDER WOMEN MUST TRAIN THE YOUNGER WOMEN TO LOVE THEIR HUSBANDS AND THEIR CHILDREN…” Titus 2:4

There are many ways to leave an imprint on someone’s life. I believe the way in which I will leave imprints is to passionately pursue becoming a crown to my husband, a haven to my children and a compass to younger women.

Proverbs 12:4 goes on to say, “…a shameful wife saps his strength.” I believe God has called me to leave an imprint on my husband’s life by building him up, not sapping his strength. I can build him up by speaking words of encouragement to him, by loving him unconditionally, and by praying for him. Over the years Jim and I have been married, there have been many times when I did not make the wise choice to speak kind, encouraging words. However, when I choose to respond in the right way, Jim’s response to me is the same. When I pray for Jim and let him know that I am doing that, he knows he is not alone in his daily struggles and battles.

Over the years as our three children have grown up, I tried to make our home a haven – a place where they felt safe and loved and where they wanted to bring their friends. However, more than anything I personally want to be a haven to them. I desire to live in such a way around my children that I will be one of the first people they come to no matter what is going on in their lives, leaving an imprint of stability and godly character. I can remember specific times in each of our children’s lives when things were difficult. Thankfully, they chose to come to me for guidance, love, protection. I was able to point them to the Lord and His Word for each of their circumstances. Proverbs 31:28 says, “Her children stand and bless her….” I pray that my children will one day be able to do the same.

Finally, I want to leave a lasting imprint as an older woman in the lives of the young women God brings across my path. They may be younger physically or just spiritually. Titus 2:5 goes on to say that older women are to train the younger women to “live wisely and be pure; to take care of their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.” There are so many “younger” women who simply need encouragement to live the life to which God has called them. I am thankful for the older women who helped me and the younger women the Lord has brought my way for me to mentor or disciple.

How will you leave imprints? Will it be on your husband or children or a friend along life’s way?

While It Is Still Dark (from 31 Days of Encouragement – Beth)

“AND EARLY IN THE MORNING, WHILE IT WAS STILL DARK, HE AROSE AND WENT OUT AND DEPARTED TO A LONELY PLACE AND WAS PRAYING THERE.” Mark 1:35

It is dark outside when the alarm clock sounds at 5:00 AM. As you silence the annoying sound, do your thoughts race through the “to do” list of the day, or do you begin a conversation with the Lord? In those first quiet moments of your day, do you, as Jesus did, find a quiet place to meet with the Lord and get your “to do” list from your heavenly Father who knows all things? Let’s look at a day in the life of Jesus.

Mark 1:21-26 tells us that while Jesus was teaching in the synagogue one morning, “a man with an unclean spirit” interrupted Him. Has this ever happened to you … an interruption at the beginning of an already full day? Instead of irritation, Jesus saw this as an opportunity to demonstrate the marvelous power and love of God. He rebuked the unclean spirit and the evil spirit left the man.

When He left the synagogue that day, Jesus visited the house of Simon and Andrew. I think that like all of us, Jesus enjoyed times of fellowship with His friends. Mark 1: 29-31 describes the events of this visit. When they arrived at the house, Simon’s mother-in-law was sick with fever. To some people this may have seemed like another interruption. However, Jesus saw this as another opportunity to work. He “came to her and raised her up, taking her by the hand, and the fever left her.”

Maybe now Jesus can sit down and rest! Remember that when Jesus walked on the earth He was God manifested in the flesh. He was human and got tired (John 4:6). Yet, just as it is with you and me, rest does not always come when we think we need it. Surely now Jesus can stop for a few minutes! Do you ever feel this way? You began your day with the “to do” list, but with all of the “interruptions,” few things on the list are accomplished. You may be tired and just want to sit down; then there is a knock on the door.

Mark 1:32-34 tells us that after sunset that day, “they began bringing to Him all who were ill and those who were demon possessed. And the whole city had gathered at the door. And He healed many who were ill with various diseases, and cast out demons.” The word immediately is used four times in the account of this day in Jesus’ life. Can you identify with Him? Does it seem like everyone needs you – immediately? With Jesus’ attention in seemingly constant demand, how did He handle so many urgent needs with His characteristic patience and love?

The answer lies in Mark 1:35. Jesus met with His Father alone while it was still dark before the crowds pressed in. Jesus prayed there and was prepared for the demands of the day.

As you reflect on this account of a day in the life of Jesus, let me challenge you to purpose in your heart to arise early tomorrow morning, go to a quiet place, and spend time with your Father in prayer. Determine not to lie in your bed and let your mind wander. Decide before you go to bed tonight that you will do as Jesus did and get up tomorrow morning to spend time alone with God before the interruptions begin.

He Is My Song (from 31 Days of Encouragement – Laura)

THEN YOU WILL SAY ON THAT DAY, “I WILL GIVE THANKS TO THEE, O LORD; FOR ALTHOUGH THOU WAST ANGRY WITH ME, THINE ANGER IS TURNED AWAY, AND THOU DOST COMFORT ME. BEHOLD, GOD IS MY SALVATION, I WILL TRUST AND NOT BE AFRAID; FOR THE LORD GOD IS MY STRENGTH AND SONG, AND HE HAS BECOME MY SALVATION.” Isaiah 12:1-2

Here, Isaiah pens a song of celebration from a grateful heart to God for deliverance from captivity. The Israelites had seen the miraculous hand of God numerous times and expressed their praise to the LORD through songs. The Psalmist writes, “When the LORD brought back the captives to Zion…our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy” (Psalm 126:1-2). The Old Testament resounds with the songs of Moses, Miriam, David, Solomon and others. Songs were an important part of the Jewish culture just as they are in ours. They create an outlet for expressing our deepest thoughts, emotions and beliefs. Are there specific lyrics that enable your heart to communicate with your Heavenly Father? Tune your heart to the lyrics Isaiah writes and allow the Spirit of God to sing to you through His Word.

We hear in the first verse an astounding truth that brings a song to any heart. “For although Thou wast angry with me, Thine anger is turned away and Thou dost comfort me.” Paul tells us in Romans 5:8-11 that while we were still sinners, enemies of God, Christ died for us. God was angry with us because of our sin but Christ chose to die for us on the cross, turning God’s anger away, offering forgiveness and extending comfort to us as His children. In II Corinthians chapter 1, we read that God is “the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles.” We were enemies with God but now receive comfort from Him. “Amazing love how can it be?” Can you hear the beautiful melody of grace? It is His plan of salvation!

“Behold, God is my salvation.” Salvation belongs to God. Max Lucado writes, “God has not only read your story, He wrote it.” He is the author, the composer of your salvation. Delight in the fact that God is your salvation. It’s all about Him. This brings great joy, peace and a spirit of contentment to my heart as I choose to rest in the power of God to save. “I will trust and not be afraid.” The choice to trust and not be afraid is the only choice for me as a dependent child. Fear casts me into a place of dark “what ifs” where there is no song. Hope escapes my heart and there is no joy. In this place of doubt, I am reminded that as one who has received comfort and reconciliation, I cannot stay there. How absurd to doubt God’s ability to be the Blessed Controller of all things that concern my loved ones and me. God is my strength when I am weak, and He is my salvation for I cannot save myself. When I choose to trust and not be afraid, He becomes my song. I can then relax and surrender to the music of His Sovereignty, enjoying Him and His voice as I listen to His lyrics of love and comfort.

Have you been delivered from sin’s captivity and received comfort from the Father of mercies? Are you enjoying Him as you choose to trust and not be afraid or is fear deafening your ears to the powerful life-changing songs the Lord wants you to hear? Open your heart to the Composer of your life, your strength and salvation and let Him be your song.

My Heart’s Desire (from 31 Days of Encouragement – Miriam)

“FOR YOU HAVE GIVEN HIM HIS HEART’S DESIRE; YOU HAVE HELD BACK NOTHING THAT HE REQUESTED.” Psalm 21:2

In Psalm 21 David is thanking the Lord for all he has and letting everyone know that it is a gift from the Lord. The psalm is a result of God giving David victory in battle. David had learned the importance of giving the Lord thanks whenever God helped him.

When I look back over my life I see God’s hand on every part of it, and I am so thankful! Not only that, I know that God has given me my heart’s desire. I have a husband who loves the Lord and is the spiritual leader of our home. I have three children who bless my life in so many ways and who have chosen to follow the Lord’s will for their lives. I have extended family and friends who bless my life. God has allowed me to be a part of a ministry where His word is being spread world-wide, and He’s given me a ministry with women and students where I can sing and teach from His word.

However, as I read this verse again recently, it made me think. Do I give the Lord His heart’s desire? If I understand God’s word correctly, His heart’s desire is that I worship Him – wholeheartedly and without holding back anything. Yet, I know that so often I spend more time asking Him for things and expecting so much from Him, but I hold back parts of myself. I hold back areas of my life that I think I can control better than He can. How unbelievable is that? God holds back nothing from me, yet I constantly am holding back parts of my life from Him.

When I worry about my family I am holding back complete trust in the Lord. If I trust Him with my eternal life, how can I not trust Him with my family on a day to day basis? When I am unfaithful in the time I spend in His word and with Him, I am holding back a part of myself from Him, yet He longs for me to come to Him and He is still faithful to me. In II Timothy 2:13 God’s word says, “If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful….” Even when I hit the snooze button on my alarm clock instead of getting up to spend time with Him, He is still faithful, but I have missed out on precious moments with Him. In Psalm 119:2 we read, “Happy are those who…search for him with all their hearts.” If that is true, and I believe it is, then I give the Lord His heart’s desire and I make myself happy when I spend time in His word and with Him. I know from personal experience that no matter what a day brings, if I start it by spending time with the Lord, I can handle whatever comes my way.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my relationship with the Lord to be one-sided. I don’t want Him to give me my heart’s desire and I not give Him His. This is the One who gave His only Son for me so I could have eternal life. How about you? Do you hold back anything from the Lord or do you give Him His heart’s desire?

The Waters are Stirring (from 31 Days of Encouragement – Beth)

“THE SICK MAN ANSWERED HIM, ‘SIR, I HAVE NO MAN TO PUT ME INTO THE POOL WHEN THE WATER IS STIRRED UP…’” John 5:7a

It was the spring of 2007. I made my way to Lake Logan Retreat Center in the mountains of North Carolina. I felt in my spirit that the Lord had something special in store for the weekend conference. Many were praying for me and for all the women who would attend.

After the first session on Friday night, I went to bed with great anticipation of what the Lord was going to do the next day. I woke up early, my usual time with the Lord, and made my way out to the sitting area of my cabin, which overlooked a beautiful lake. I was sharing a cabin with the main speaker and several others on the leadership team.

Cynthia, the speaker and my good friend, was already seated, worshipping the Lord in her quiet time with Him. I silently made my way to the other side of the room. After a while she said to me, “Beth, look at the water out there. The waters are stirring!” As I looked, I saw the waters moving rapidly! Cynthia said excitedly, “God is going to show up today. Women are going to be healed!” She then reminded me of the passage found in John 5:7-9:

“When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, ‘Do you wish to get well?’ The sick man answered Him, ‘Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirring up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Arise, take up your pallet, and walk.’ And immediately the man became well, and took up his pallet and began to walk.”

Later that day, the leaders with whom I shared lodging, invited other women to come to our cabin if they would like for us to pray with them. We had no idea the impact this would have on all our lives. As we knelt to pray with those that came, I felt a tap on my shoulder. A young woman, with tears streaming down her face, motioned for me to come with her. As we walked outside, she told me her friend was in her car and needed someone to pray with her.

We made our way to the water’s edge. It was stirring! This precious woman sat on a bench close to the water, and her friend and I knelt down beside her and began praying out loud for God to move and bring healing to this woman’s life. As I lifted my hands to the Lord, the picture of the man wanting to be healed but not able to make it to the water came to my mind.

The wind began to pick up. It was like “a mighty rushing wind.” The presence of the Lord Jesus was very real at that moment and this woman was healed.

I have recently heard from Jennie. She continues to walk in newness of life. She has been healed because Jesus showed up that day with healing in His hands. She is healed because friends helped her get to where the waters were stirring.

Do you have a friend or friends who need Jesus? If you have experienced forgiveness, healing, and wholeness, are you doing your part to help others come to the water’s edge to experience the power of Jesus in their lives? God is always at work, my friend. He was obviously at work this particular weekend. Lives were changed, including my own.

Daily Manna (from 31 Days of Encouragement – Laura)

“HOW SWEET ARE THY WORDS TO MY TASTE! YES, SWEETER THAN HONEY TO MY MOUTH!” Psalm 119:103

God fed the children of Israel manna in the wilderness. The manna …“was like coriander seed, white; and its taste was like wafers with honey” (Exodus 16:31). Sending bread from heaven to sustain His children was an act of grace accomplishing the purpose of godliness in His people. “And He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD” (Deuteronomy 8:3). This bread can be compared to everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD – the Word of God.

The manna was a supernatural gift from God, as are the scriptures.
“Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘HE GAVE THEM BREAD OUT OF HEAVEN TO EAT’” (John 6:31). They had never seen anything like this truly miraculous manna. In the same way, the Bible is not a human production. It is God’s book! Until we realize and accept the fact that it is a divinely supernatural book, we’ll never understand and appreciate this precious gift. Your view of the Bible will determine its value in your life.

The manna had to be gathered daily, as do the scriptures.
The children of Israel did nothing to earn this miraculous food, but they did have the important task of rising daily to gather it. One Bible teacher said, “It fell from heaven, but it didn’t fall into their mouths.” Moses had instructed them to bring the manna into their tents where they ground it and boiled it in a pot to make cakes. Benefiting from our spiritual food requires some action. God’s Word cannot be consumed or eaten while lying on the bedside table or bookshelf. You must act to gather new manna every morning and devour that precious spiritual food.

The manna that was gathered daily had to be consumed daily, as do the scriptures.
Had the people of Israel merely gotten up, gathered the manna and not ingested it, they would have starved in the wilderness. The amount they ate was sufficient for the day and any leftovers would spoil just as God had said. As long as they were wilderness wanderers, they had manna to nourish their bodies. Do you feed on God’s Word or do you merely read God’s Word? Have you ever been in such a hurry to finish a meal that you felt very dissatisfied afterwards? Enjoying the food as you eat and taking your time brings satisfaction. Reading God’s Word just to finish will leave you dissatisfied, while taking your time will reap great benefits. Jeremiah said, “When your words came I ate them, they were my joy and my heart’s delight” (Jeremiah 15:16). As you sit with the Lord and His Word, let the Holy Spirit take time to speak to your heart. Savor the truths He reveals and enjoy the satisfaction of the spiritual meal. God is faithful and His Word will nourish you spiritually as long as you are a pilgrim in this world.

Will you start a spiritual diet of the rich, sweet, satisfying Word of God? Will you embrace it as a supernatural gift and gather His manna daily? Bon Appetite!

“The Bible is not given to increase our knowledge but to change our lives.” D. L. Moody

Resting in the Lord (from 31 Days of Encouragement – Miriam)

“THOSE WHO LIVE IN THE SHELTER OF THE MOST HIGH WILL FIND REST IN THE SHADOW OF THE ALMIGHTY.” Psalm 91:1

Our family took a vacation to Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, one summer for a much needed time of rest and fellowship with family and friends. Just as we need rest from the day-to-day pull of life’s busyness, we also need spiritual rest. When we rest our bodies, our strength is renewed for life’s physical challenges. When we rest in the Lord, we are renewed for our spiritual battles.

Our fellowship was sweet that week. Why? Because we spent time enjoying the presence of people we love. Remember our key verse says, “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” When we “live in the shelter” or spend time with the Lord and rest in His presence, the trials that come our way are much easier to handle.

Just before we left on this particular vacation, we had a few “trials” come up in the form of unexpected repairs to our home. In the past I would have been anxious, relying on my own strength to get me through. However, because I had been truly seeking to rest and fellowship with my Heavenly Father more, I was not anxious during this time. Even though I did not expect this trial, my Heavenly Father knew it was coming. He allowed me to rest in the knowledge that He is in control. In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus spoke these words:

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.”

Jesus wants us to come to Him with our concerns and problems. He is offering to take them on Himself. He wants to lift the burdens that I keep trying to hold and “manage.” I don’t know about you, but I would rather rest in the Lord, fellowship in His presence, and allow His peace to control my life:

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, Whose thoughts are fixed on you!” Isaiah 26:3

Not only can we rest in Him, but we can count on Him to be there and be strong. Isaiah 26:4 says, “Trust in the Lord always for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.” He’s our Rock! He’s immovable and unshakable. The knowledge that God is trustworthy and immovable allows me to rest in Him without a doubt.

How about you? Are you able to rest in the Lord when trials come your way or do you try to take control? Do you keep your eyes and thoughts fixed on the Lord, or do you get distracted and pulled away by your trials?

Uniquely Beautiful (from 31 Days of Encouragement – Beth)

“I WILL GIVE THANKS TO THEE FOR I AM FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE.” Psalm 139:14

One of the greatest joys in my life is working with men and women with special needs each year during Vacation Bible School. My spirit wells up within me when I see many of my students running into the meeting room. Some of them walk slowly, but enthusiastically, to the room. Other students are wheeled into the room, waving their arms in sheer delight. All of my students have huge smiles on their faces, anticipating the start of our time together. Each person in the room is uniquely beautiful and created in the image of God. They seem to be unaware of their differences. As I walk around the room welcoming my class, they greet me with hugs and kisses like I am their long lost friend.

I always begin our time together by asking all who are able to stand up and sing and dance for Jesus. Once again, my spirit wells up within me as I witness these uniquely beautiful people sing, shout and dance as if they could see Jesus Himself singing and dancing right there with them. They are so unashamed of their love for Jesus and they are totally unaware of their disabilities. I am surrounded by individuals living in the simplicity and purity of the love of Christ. I stop for a minute, overwhelmed by my own pride of self and I quietly thank the Lord that we are all created and made in God’s image, in the likeness of our heavenly Father. Psalm 139:15 says, “My frame was not hidden from Thee, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth.”

Just imagine God’s creativity when He made you. If you read the first chapter of Genesis, you will find that when God created all things he said, “It is good.” Then He made man. Max Lucado said it best: “As a finale to a brilliant performance, He made man. He began with a useless mound of dirt and ended up with an invaluable species called human.”

Have you stopped for a few minutes lately to thank the Lord for creating you? Have you thanked Him for knowing and loving and choosing you before the beginning of the world? Let me challenge you today to thank the Lord for displaying His likeness in and through you.

Inside Out (from 31 Days of Encouragement – Laura)

“AND DO NOT BE CONFORMED TO THIS WORLD, BUT BE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND, THAT YOU MAY PROVE WHAT THE WILL OF GOD IS, THAT WHICH IS GOOD AND ACCEPTABLE AND PERFECT.” Romans 12:2

The beauty of transformation is perfectly pictured in the metamorphosis of the butterfly. The third stage of the butterfly’s lifecycle is called the pupa stage where it is resting and undergoing a complete change from the inside out. It will become a gorgeous winged insect, beautiful in appearance, bringing glory to its Creator.

Similarly, God says we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. This renewing is an ongoing work of the Holy Spirit through His powerful Word, which is able to pierce and divide the soul and spirit of both joints and marrow and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). This inside transformation will result in an outward expression of beauty, bringing glory to our Creator.

As the butterfly is at rest in its pupa stage, there is a sense that we are at rest as we allow the Holy Spirit to work on our “inside,” our heart, soul and mind. This rest does not mean inactivity. We are growing, trusting, and developing our faith muscles, if you will, as God is at work in us to give us the desire to obey Him. This is such a mystery and is very hard to understand. Faith in Christ to make us like Himself is essential to our spiritual development. He is the power at work within us. Our striving to be better Christians by changing our behavior is a waste of time. He requires surrender to His ways, and He will change us on the inside, resulting in a life that honors and glorifies the Creator- a transformed life!

My lifestyle – the “outside” – reveals my belief system. I can say whatever I want to say, but the way I live shows what I believe. Most of my choices to sin stem from believing lies that the enemy of my soul has planted in my mind. In order to refuse these lies, I must know the truth of God’s Word and apply it to my life. I must change the way I think about sin. My sin grieves God. It saddens Him. Think about the Garden of Eden. Satan has always twisted God’s Word. Eve believed a lie from the serpent about what God had said. Truth is vital to a healthy spiritual life. God’s Spirit has the power to transform us through the truth of His Word. It helps me to think of repentance as changing the way I think about sin. When our belief system is in line with God’s Word and we are surrendered to the Holy Spirit, our lives will demonstrate the fruit of repentance.

Are you allowing the Spirit of Truth to transform you from the inside out? Take time to meditate on the condition of your heart, looking to your Creator and “rest” in His work of grace as He reveals His glory through your life.

“Cease striving and know that I am God….” Psalm 46:10