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.”
There are four primary evidences of being filled by the Spirit that are listed by Paul in the Bible: praise, worship, thanksgiving, and submissiveness. These signs of the inward presence of the Spirit of God are increasing in our lives. They substantiate the reality of Christ’s indwelling because they manifest the most when the opposite can be seen in the natural.
All four are ordinary things, not extraordinary deeds. We may look for astonishing happenings to determine the presence of the Spirit of God, but it’s in these simple endeavors that they are frequently witnessed. We praise the Lord as we speak to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. This praise that the Spirit of God breaks forth from within–-is supernatural. It doesn’t happen because everything is going right, but for things to be overcome by the presence of God. Singing and making melody in our hearts springs forth from our worship. Worship frees us from oppression and difficult situations. Thanksgiving in all things and submission to God in situations only He can change, brings about grace and divine empowerment.
The more we do these by the Spirit, the more we are filled with the Spirit. It’s when our flesh does not feel like it that we let the Spirit flow freely by faith. Being filled helps us empty ourselves of hindrances. We walk in the Spirit, full of His life to overflow, from glory to glory!
Ephesians 5:18-21 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.
In Luke we read the story of ten lepers who received cleansing as they obeyed the Lord’s instruction to go and show themselves to the priests. All ten of them had prayed for the Lord to heal them, but only one returned to praise the Lord.
The Lord saw the one who came back to give glory to God, and the nine who did not; and today He still sees if we are like the one, or the nine. To be thankful for what God does increases our faith to receive more from Him, from glory to glory. The enemy’s way is to make people focus on the prayers that we think have not been answered, instead of being grateful for the prayers we know have been answered. It’s not our lack that we look at, but on the God who is more than enough.
There is not enough room to list all that God has done for us! Even after years of being saved, our thankfulness should be just as heartfelt as it was at the beginning of our walk with Him. We are to have an attitude of gratitude. We should not complain about any lack that we may have, but praise God for every blessing He has bestowed on us. Our prayers are turned into praises, from glory to glory!
Luke 17:17-19 “So Jesus answered and said, ‘Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?’ And He said to him, ‘Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.’ ”
The anointing increases the anointing. When the living waters of the Holy Spirit are stirred up, more and more anointing is released. Iron sharpens iron. We are to stir up the gift of God that is in us, especially when the enemy is stirring up his evil ways. When we stir up the gift the enemy’s ways are disturbed because he recognizes the anointing.
We stir up the gift by praising the Lord for who He is, by acknowledging the reality of His presence in and upon us… and by yielding to His leading. We rekindle what we have received: Christ is in us, the hope of glory. In difficult times when we feel “dry,” we are stirred up by hanging around anointed people. The Holy Spirit will use others to keep us encouraged and edified, that’s why the enemy tries to separate us from others.
The Lord teaches us to be diligent and faithful in remembering to stir up the gift. He uses all of our experiences to teach us to go and grow with the flow; to allow the flow of the living waters to be poured out through us. With the Lord we never run on empty, but are filled to be spilled, from glory to glory!
2 Timothy 1:6-7 “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Everything we do for the Lord has to be done out of love, and in love. It’s because we love Him that we obey Him. It’s not to earn His love, but in response to His love that we love Him with our whole heart. We love Him because He first loved us.
We do the things not because we have to, but because we get to. We get to worship the Lord; we get to praise Him; we get to give unto Him and we get to serve Him; not out of obligation but because of adoration. We don’t have to do this or that for the Lord in fear that He will not love us anymore. We get to because of the faith we have in His eternal love. The way we have experienced human love can hinder our experiencing the love of God in a deep, intimate way. Intentions may be good and come out of love, but sometimes the way things are done may not be done in love because of hurts of the past. As the Lord heals those past hurts, what we do out of love, we also do in love.
As we do things out of love, we find that the love of God in our hearts enables us to do all things in love. We do not do things to receive love in return, but because we return to Him the love He gives to us, unconditionally, from glory to glory.
1 John 4:19 “We love Him because He first loved us.”