To help us draw nigh unto God we can visualize reaching for His hand. It helps us to take-hold of His reality. Like a child whose hand is stretched forth to a parent seeking leading, guidance and comfort–we seek His hand at all times.
We seek Him the most when we know we can’t take a step without Him. Through humility and total surrender we reach into our hearts, and reach out to His grace and mercy. Many things can hinder our efforts. What we hold in our hands may need to be released. Perhaps we need to stop trying to grab hold of something or someone else. It may also be our fears and insecurities that prevent us from reaching forth boldly and wholly.
As we walk with the Lord we realize we need His guidance with every step—great or small. Trial or no trial, we desire to hold His hand. Holding His hand brings comfort when in sorrow and peace when at war. It brings safety and rest in every moment. We seek after Him because we love Him so and find He looks for us to reach out to Him from glory to glory!
Psalms 77:2 “In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; My hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing; My soul refused to be comforted.”
When we seek first the kingdom of God, everything else falls into place. In our past, we spent nights worrying about things that the Lord faithfully handled in unexpected ways. Now, we are taking no thought for tomorrow. This doesn’t relate to everyday thinking, but to thoughts of worry filled with anxiety.
To worry about tomorrow brings fear in our today. The Lord is with us yesterday, today and forever. It helps to remember the times in our yesterday when we had concerns about a situation, and recall what the Lord did in and through the challenges we faced. We understand our lives looking backwards. Looking forward, we understand our lives are in God’s hands. Someone once said, “Worrying is like being in a rocking chair going back and forth, but going nowhere.” One minute we trust things are going to be ok, the next minute we fret and question our destiny. When we shift our focus to today by looking unto the Lord and praising Him, we remove the worry and cares for our tomorrow.
Instead of wondering how things are going to turn out, we trust God is going to work all things together for our good. God has provided, and He will continue to provide us with better than expected! He is concerned about everything that concerns us. He loves us and watches over every little thing. He is so faithful! We rest in His hands, from glory to glory!
Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
When we recall how faithful God is, our faith is increased. As we look back on how great the Lord has already moved in our lives, we rest assured He is the same today and will move in our lives in the same great and amazing manner.
At times, we might easily forget what God has done in our yesterdays. Remembering who He is at all times encourages and empowers us to count on His intervention in our lives.
The obstacles we face today can be overwhelming. When the disciples realized they had only one loaf of bread in their boat they started being fearful, forgetting the miracle of the multiplication of bread they had recently witnessed.
They were looking at the lack of provision instead of looking at the provider who was with them: Jesus. We too should keep our focus on the Lord’s presence in our lives. The moment we look to ourselves, or others, fear tries to quench our faith.
Our trust is in God moving through people, not in the people themselves. We never expect disappointment when we depend on God’s faithfulness. We can depend on Him: His salvation, His healing, His provision, His deliverance, Him!
Sarah received power to conceive because she counted God faithful in what He had promised her. We too are receiving the anointing to birth the promises of God as we recall His faithfulness, from glory to glory!
Hebrews 11:11 “By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.”
It was their works of faith, labors of love, and patience of hope in the Lord that exhorted worshipers in the Thessalonian Church. They really believed and served God. It is through these same characteristics that our maturity in Christ is known to others.
Faith without works is dead, but works of faith are alive and obvious; we know this because of the opposition we encounter. True faith is obvious because of the amazing ability it brings to press through trials. Faith sees, says and seizes the promises of God. Our labor of love is not in vain in the Lord. The love of God in our hearts becomes increasingly real as we grow in the knowledge of who God is, and as He reveals its magnitude. We love one another, heart to heart, in all circumstances. It’s a labor of love because it takes the work of faith to walk in such love. Our patience of hope also makes known the reality of the Lord in our lives. How else could we stand believing in life in the midst of death?
When pressures come, what we really believe can be heard and seen. Faith now is where fear used to come forth. Love is given where offenses tried to establish their lying ways. Forgiveness is granted where resentment used to hold back the blessings. Patience has replaced anger. The works of the Spirit are seen instead of the works of the flesh, really, from glory to glory!
1 Thessalonians 1:2-4 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father, knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God.
We acknowledge the Lord with every step we take; we are aware of His presence. We look to Him; we look for Him; we trust Him. He is looking after us. We acknowledge Him because He matters to us. We do not ignore Him; we welcome all that His presence in our lives represents.
We welcome His input and His instructions as we do whatever He has asked us to do, in obedience and with joy. We acknowledge that He is with us at all times: in the midst of our conversations; at our dinner table; in our times of recreation and in all that we do. We know what it feels like to be in the midst of others we know and be ignored when our presence is not acknowledged. When we are not acknowledged, we do not feel welcomed. When we acknowledge the presence of the Lord, He knows He is welcome, and His will and His way become visible.
When we acknowledge the Lord, we place Him above others and ourselves. Everything that can be lifted up over Him is brought low, under His authority. The more we are aware of Him, the more we humble ourselves and His grace increases in our lives. The more we are aware of ourselves, the more pride increases to hinder our path. He delights to direct our paths. We ask and trust the answer that comes when our attention is focused on Him, from glory to glory!
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”
God is with us in our daily activities and as we are aware of His presence–we welcome Him in everything we do. We fellowship with Him moment by moment and don’t meet with others without Him. There are also times when we purposely focus on spending time alone with Him. It’s in these times of intimacy that we are transformed by His glory.
Hanging out with Jesus enables us to become like Him. The same is true with other relationships. We become like those we hang out with and without realizing it pick up habits or expressions from those companions. We must guard against anything that conflicts with the Christ-like character we are developing day-by-day. We are able to discern and break free from wrong associations as we increase our time with the Lord. Our holy boldness, surety in our steps, and ability to withstand opposition increases as we grab hold of who we are in Christ.
It is not our training or our education that makes us effective for the Kingdom. We are effective because we receive His knowledge and wisdom as the Holy Spirit coaches us in the things of the Kingdom. The boldness birthed from the confidence we have in Him is visible and tangible. As we fellowship with Jesus and have communion with Him, His characteristics become ours from glory to glory.
Acts 4:13 “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.”