To Every Destination There Is A Journey

To Every Destination There Is A Journey

To every destination there is a journey! In my last blog we talked about the starting point and today we’re going to look at the journey.

Regardless of where you are in life you are on your way somewhere. In all areas of life we are walking a journey towards a certain destination. It may be a journey to a healthy lifestyle, a career position, a financial goal, or your spiritual walk with the Lord. But in all areas of our lives we are moving towards some future destination.

As I reflect on my spiritual walk with the Lord I have seen that anytime I desired to draw closer to the Lord I have prayed and sought His direction through His word, others that have gone before me, books that would give me insight on the subject and personal revelation through the Holy Spirit. It is that subject that I would like to share about with you today.

Many times people will tell you what they think you should do in a certain situation but often they do not offer the steps to take to arrive at that destination. I want to share with you some steps that I have taken to deepen my relationship with the Lord.

God’s word says in James 4:8 “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”….

In about 1987 my church offered a course called “Master Life”. Taking that course helped me to establish a daily quiet time during which I learned to set aside a certain place to meet with the Lord for a period of time to develop my relationship with Him. The first principle that was taught in the course was to get up an hour early every morning to spend with the Lord in prayer and Bible Study. To this day I still do that. It is during that time with Him that I gain His insight, direction and receive His unconditional love that enables me to walk closely with Him through all kinds of life’s challenges. Spending time with the Lord is the foundation upon which a person needs to build and continue to develop their walk of faith. As a result that one hour has turned into longer periods as well as turning aside at other times of the day as I’ve heard His voice beckon and call to me for extended times of prayer and devotion.

Proverbs 4:20-22 NKJV My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings, Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh.

God’s word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path (Psalm 119:108). Without spending time in God’s word I would not know the right way to take when faced with a fork in the road of life. My heart’s desire is to walk through life fully pleasing the Lord and successfully traversing the challenges that appear in the roadway. I haven’t always made the right choices nor have I lived a life of perfection, no one has, but my desire is to walk according to His ways. Without spending time in the Word I would not know what His principles are nor would I know how to overcome the temptations that are presented to me through life, the world and the devil, who is our adversary! Jesus said in Matthew 7:24-27 that when we build our house on the rock of His word that it will be strong enough to overcome the storms of life. And in Matthew 4:4 Jesus said that “man shall not live by break alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God”. The Word of God should be the standard by which we base our lives; the rod of instruction that gauges our growth and the sword that the Spirit speaks to our hearts to use as a weapon to defeat the enemy. God’s word is a firm foundation!

Proverbs 27:17 NKJV As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

Through the years I have had people come along side to help me grow in my knowledge of the Lord. Friends, speaking into your life, are invaluable assets and tools that God places in your life to encourage and help you reach your destination! They may not always say what you want to hear but the Word says in Proverbs 27:6 that the “wounds” of a friend are faithful. I have had mentors in my life that didn’t always say what I wanted to hear, but I knew they were interested in seeing me succeed and without proper instruction I would not have seen the way that I was to take at that time in my life. Draw close to those around you who have successfully arrived at their goals in life. If you desire to have a deep relationship with the Lord follow someone in whom you see that picture. If you want to succeed in having a healthy lifestyle then follow someone who has already walked that path and is maintaining their success.  Look for the person who is walking in success and follow them. Do what they do and say, not what you think or feel. In your relationship with the Lord, pray and ask Him to show you the mentors that He has placed in your life to help you; then ask that person or persons if they would share with you how they have grown in their walk with the Lord and help you to attain that goal as well.

Colossians 3:1-3 NKJV If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Center your life around the Lord. Think about Him, focus on His word, talk about the good things that Jesus died to give you, make God-things your focus. As believers in Christ Jesus we are citizens of heaven; this earthly existence is just a temporary life. Paul referred to our earthly house, or body, as a tent in 2 Corinthians 5:1:

NKJV For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

We have an eternal destination, a home in heaven awaiting us when we place our faith and trust in Jesus to save us from our sins. That is the destination that awaits us. So focus on the life that Jesus died to give you, that abundant life in Him and live your earthly life out of His Spirit within you. Jesus said in John 17:3 that “eternal life” is knowing God and Jesus Christ. The word for “know” in John 17:3 is the Greek word, ginosko, and means “knowledge obtained not by mere intellectual activity, but by operation of the Holy Spirit upon acceptance of Christ.” This knowledge is not mere intellect but a knowledge that comes through experience. It is a knowing that is an intimacy born out of spending time with the person of Jesus through the Holy Spirit. Make knowing Him your daily focus and cultivate that relationship through such spiritual disciplines as prayer coupled with fasting, listening to praise and worship music in place of worldly music, memorizing scripture and declaring it over your life, associating with people of like precious faith, watching Christian television programs, and volunteering your time to share your faith through church outreaches. All these spiritual disciplines will cause you to draw near to God so He can draw near to you.

2 Peter 3:17, 18 NKJV You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

Never stop growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Press in to know Him more. Pray, read the Word, take Bible courses, do whatever is necessary to walk closely with Him. The journey is worth it and the destination is “out of this world”!

Blessings to you and yours!

Father, I pray that all who read this will have a hunger and a thirst for You that will cause them to open their hearts to receive all that You have for them. I pray that You will draw them into a deeper relationship with You. Give them a desire to know You that is unquenchable. I pray that they will press forward into a deeper, more satisfying walk with You and that You will satisfy the deepest longings of their heart in knowing You. Thank You, Father, for drawing them by Your Spirit and for opening their eyes to see, their ears to hear Your voice and their hearts to receive You love. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

The Starting Point

Point of beginning

For every destination there is a starting place; every marriage has a wedding or a time when the man and woman declare their vows for marital faithfulness to each other, for every life there is the moment of conception and for every career there is the first day on the job. So, it is for our spiritual journey as well. There is a starting point, a time when we give God permission to enter into our lives to walk with us through our earthly existence and to fill us with His Spirit, His presence; His love, peace and joy.

Beginning a spiritual journey with God starts with us inviting Him to come into our hearts to enter our lives and to give us a new heart. Man’s heart before God comes to live in it is hardened to Him and desires to live life only for itself. God recorded in His word through the Prophet Ezekiel that He would give man a “new heart” and a “new spirit”. He said He would take the heart of stone out of the flesh of man and give him a new heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26, 27) Jesus told Nicodemus that he had to be “born again” of the Spirit. He said that there is an earthly birth, that of water, and then there is a spiritual birth, that of the Spirit, and that a man can’t enter the kingdom of God without both the physical and spiritual births. That shows us that the beginning point for man’s spiritual journey is while he is here on this earth. The decision to be born again spiritually has to happen during our earthly existence.

John 3:3-7 NKJV Jesus answered an said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’”

So, how do we become “born again”? How do we enter into the spiritual birth that Jesus was referring to? Well, it’s really simple. The Bible tells us in John 1:12 that as many as received Jesus He gave the right to become children of God.

John 1:12, 13 NKJV But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

To become “born again” you must receive Jesus. He is the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”. (John 1:29) There is only one sinless man and He is Jesus. The rest of us were born as sinners and that’s why we need a spiritual birth, to be cleansed of that sin and made righteous before God. That happens as we realize that we are sinners, acknowledge that Jesus died for us that we might be saved and then ask Him to forgive us and come to live in our hearts to make us His own.

Romans 3:23 NKJV for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 6:23 NKJV For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 5:8 NKJV But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 10:13 NKJV For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Romans 10:9, 10 NKJV that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

John 3:14-17 NKJV “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, “that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

If you have not begun your spiritual journey, God’s desire for you is that you begin at the point of your own personal need, and that is the need of a new heart. You can become born again simply by praying and confessing your sin, that you need Jesus to save you, and asking Him to forgive you and come into your heart and life to be your own personal Lord and Savior. If you would like to do that, please pray this prayer with me, be sincere in your heart and committed to follow through with a life devoted to Him.

Father, I come before You now to confess my sin and to acknowledge that I was born a sinner and that my choice to live my life for myself and not for you is sin. I ask You to forgive me and save me. I confess that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died to save me and that He was raised from the dead and lives today! I invite You to come and live within my heart and life to walk with me through every day of my life. I vow to live my life for you, Lord Jesus, and I thank You for saving me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer for the first time and really meant it, you now are “born again”. You have a home waiting for you in heaven after this earthly life is over. You have the Holy Spirit living within you to lead you and guide you through each day. He will never leave you nor forsake you. (Hebrews 13:6) You are now a part of the family of God! Welcome to the family!

Lord God, I thank You for those that have been ushered into Your family through their prayer today. I pray that You will draw them near to Your heart, fill them with a hunger and thirst for You and Your word and pour out Your presence upon them. Reveal Yourself to them in ways that they will know that it is You and that You love them and have a great plan for their lives. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

Welcome to the family of God

The River Of Life

Psalm 63:1 AMP O GOD, You are my God, earnestly will I seek You, my inner self thirsts for You, my flesh longs and is faint for You, in a dry and weary land where no water is.

Are you thirsty?  Does your “inner self” thirst for something that you just can’t seem to put your finger on?

I can think of so many things that we search for trying to find that satisfaction that comes from God alone. Jesus addressed that problem in the woman at the well in John 4. He told her that if she would receive the “living water” that comes from Him she would not need to search for intimacy any longer through the worldly relationships that she had sought throughout her life. As I meditated on this the Lord took me back to Ezekiel 47 where He talks about the river that flows from the temple. Wherever that river goes there is life and healing according to Ezekiel 47:1-12. And the deeper we go into the river of God the more healing and revelation we receive. Jesus said it this way in John 7:37-39:AMP

Now on the final and most important day of the Feast, Jesus stood, and He cried in a loud voice, If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink! He who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trust in and relies on Me] as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water. But He was speaking here of the Spirit, Whom those who believed (trusted, had faith) in Him were afterward to receive. For the [Holy] Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (raised to honor).

Rivers of living water

Jesus declared that if we would come to Him and drink the Holy Spirit within us would well up in us like a river that constantly springs forth living water. In that river of God there is fullness of life and healing not only for us but also for those to whom we minister. The more we drink, the fuller we become and the more we have to give out.

Do you long for satisfaction and contentment in your innermost being?  Come to Jesus and drink of His living water!   You will find that as you draw near to Him, He will draw near to you and will fill you up in those areas of discontent and longing.

Father, I pray for those who are thirsty and never satisfied this morning.  I ask You to open their spiritual eyes to see that You alone can fill the empty places in their hearts.  And for those who don’t know you, Lord, I pray that today will be their day of salvation; that they will see You as Savior and embrace the salvation that You died to give them.  Bring the lost to Jesus and fill the hungry hearts with Your love, mercy and grace today.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

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