Category Archives: Holy Spirit

Satan’s Masterpiece

Satan’s masterpiece is not the crack addict. Satan’s masterpiece is not the prostitute. Satan’s masterpiece is the person who is satisfied with this world. Satan’s masterpiece is the person who is untroubled by all that is in his Larry Crabb Captureor her interior world that’s opposed to God. He’s content with all the resources that he has to make his life work, and he’s enjoying respect and recognition and affection, and he’s never broken before God to the point where he lives for no one but God. That’s Satan’s masterpiece.

The Spirit’s masterpiece is someone who doesn’t look very mature sometimes. The Spirit’s masterpiece can be someone who is deeply troubled, someone who struggles a lot, someone who is aware of his or her own interior world and doesn’t like what’s there, someone who’s troubled by the world in which they live, someone who therefore cries out to God, “Reveal Yourself to me. You’re all that I want. There’s nothing in my perception that can satisfy me except You. I know it’s You.” That’s not foolishness. That’s wisdom, and the person who’s crying out to God for satisfaction may look very unstable, may not have a good job, may not have very much money. They may not be chipper and happy all the time, but if that person is in fact the Spirit’s masterpiece, all that may be going on… there’s still going to be a pattern of kindness, a pattern of movement toward other people, and a pattern of abiding trust in God through struggles along the way.
~ Dr. Larry Crabb in SoulCare 201, Lesson 7

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2014. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Brokenness, Christianity, Holy Spirit, intimacy with the Lord, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality, Satan, Trusting God

What if God doesn’t want us to do life for Him?

Back on Mother’s Day my daughter Mykaela and I were discussing different aspects of a relationship with God when she made a familiar statement.

“I want to do life for God in a way that pleases Him.”

Life with GodI’ve made that same statement countless times and was delighted to hear her express such a God-honoring sentiment. But this time it triggered a peculiar thought.

Doing life for someone typically happens when that person is absent or bed-ridden with illness or even dead. You know, like “Win one for the Gipper.” But since God isn’t absent or sick or dead, maybe there’s an even better option.

Maybe God would prefer that we do life with  Him rather than for Him.

Just before His departure and return to the Father Jesus said, “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) Jesus was speaking of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which He describes in John 14:15-23. And Paul said, “For in him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)

I used Mother’s Day as an example and explained that instead of planning the meals and special activities for Susan, I planned them with Susan. I got her input on what she would most enjoy.

It’s not a bad thing to take 10 minutes at the start of a day to talk with God and commit to living for Him. But how might our days go differently if we went into them with the awareness of God’s presence; of doing life with Him?

Even our most God-honoring plans for any given day will have twists and turns thrown into the mix. If I’m doing life for God with a set agenda then these twists and turns will likely aggravate me as unwanted intrusions. (Quite often they do!)

But if I approach each day with God then perhaps He’ll give me grace for the unexpected or even use them to redirect me toward a divine encounter I hadn’t planned on.

Prayer keeps us connected to God so that we can do life with Him at any given moment. And He delights in doing life with His children!

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2014. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Children of God, Divine presence, God the Father, God's Will, Holy Spirit, intimacy with the Lord, Prayer, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality

Awe and Wonder

“And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’” ~ Isaiah 6:3 (NIV)

stand in awe of GodWorship is humbling, but it is also delightful, invoking a sense of admiring awe and astonished wonder. Astonishment and wonder are always found in the presence of the Holy Spirit. The difficulty with this today is that everybody is sure of everything. The proud man cannot worship God any more than the proud devil can worship God.

Without mystery, there can be no worship. If I can understand God, then I cannot worship God. I will never get on my knees and say, “holy, holy, holy” to that which I can figure out. But the more I know of God, the less I understand about Him.

It is in the presence of the Holy Spirit that I begin to recognize what a sinful man I really am. The apostle Paul said, “Woe is me.” Isaiah the prophet cried, “Woe is me!” when he came into the presence of God. They were experiencing the mysterious wonder of that One who is incomprehensible.

~ From My Daily Pursuit by A.W. Tozer

Father God, fill us with a fresh sense of awe and wonder that we might worship you anew, amen!

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Filed under A W Tozer, Christianity, God, Holy Spirit, Humility, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality, Wonder, Worship

Adopted…

Dug Down DeepWhile justification borrows the language of the courtroom to help us understand God’s work of salvation, adoption uses the language of family to help us see that behind all of God’s saving work is a deeply relational and personal motive of love. God tells us that when we trust in Jesus, God adopts us as his sons and daughters (Ephesians 1:5). More than anything else this should convince us of God’s love. “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are” (1 John 3:1). Justification gives us a new legal status. Adoption gives us a new family and a new father. This is another expression of our union with Christ.

Because Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, as we trust in him, we receive his status as a child of God. John 1:12 says that to all who receive Jesus, to all who believe in his name, “he gave the right to become children of God.” In Christ, we are not forgiven servants. We are given all the rights and privileges of natural-born children. We are adopted and welcomed into the warmth of relationship with God as our loving Father. Romans 8:15–16 describes the Holy Spirit as “the Spirit of adoption” who enables us to cry to God as our Abba—an intimate Hebrew term akin to dad. It combines intimacy and respect. The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit “that we are children of God.”

~ Excerpted from Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Children of God, Christ, Christianity, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Love of God, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality

God’s amazing judo move

This Beautiful Mess“The kingdom of God is the kingdom of life, health, beauty, salvation, and freedom (to name just a few of its qualities). The enemy of the kingdom, whom the Bible refers to as Satan, is always attacking that life, that health, that beauty. He attacks spiritual freedom. He wants us to be paralyzed. His relentless attacks are why things are not the way they are supposed to be—yet. But in the midst of all the tensions of life, the kingdom of God comes crashing in. It usually crashes in quietly, though.

…God has this amazing judo move that He uses to attack the kingdom of darkness. He causes all things to work for good to those who love Him, the Bible says. God takes what is meant for evil and turns it for good, if we trust Him at those times and embrace His sovereign goodness even in the midst of our pain and loss. The good He works for us will be a foretaste of the ultimate restoration that will occur when His kingdom comes in all its fullness. It doesn’t make the cost of death less real. But it shows a way through.”

~ Excerpted from This Beautiful Mess by Rick McKinley

The older I get the more I come to realize that every season of life is a new shade of learning to trust God’s “amazing judo move.”

What are you needing to trust Him with today?

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Adversity, Christianity, Faith, God, Healing, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Kingdom of God, Religion and Spirituality, Satan, Trusting God

Like a Treasure Buried

This Beautiful Mess“Jesus’ kingdom invites us to immerse ourselves in the whole gospel He came to preach. We get to listen and consider and think through the staggering possibilities of kingdom living as Jesus taught it. The practical promise of our faith journey together is this: as we live in fidelity to Christ the King, His in-breaking reign will have a transformational effect on us, our communities, and our world. Anything less is not what Jesus came to earth to tell.

In a mysterious yet absolutely real way, the kingdom of Jesus is here now and in power. Like gravity or high-frequency radio waves, this kingdom doesn’t require our attention or consent in order to exist. It just is. Still, I think you’ll find that we have to learn—and deeply want—to see and imagine in new ways. Otherwise we’ll miss it. So many have. Because it is like a treasure buried.”

~ Excerpted from This Beautiful Mess by Rick McKinley

“Lord, may Your Spirit make me sensitive to your activities today so that I can be a part of furthering Your kingdom here on earth.”

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

 

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Filed under Christianity, Discipleship, Divine presence, God, Holy Spirit, influence with the world, Jesus, Kingdom of God, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality, Spiritual formation

Can every day be an adventure?

Wild Goose ChaseWhen we don’t pace ourselves, we tend to miss divine appointments right and left. In fact, they seem like human interruptions. We get so consumed with trying to get where we think God wants us to go that we put on spiritual blinders and miss the Goose trails He wants to take us down. The key is slowing down your pace, taking off your sandals, and experiencing God right here, right now.

…Spiritual maturity has less to do with long-range visions than it does with moment-by-moment sensitivity to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. And it is our moment-by-moment sensitivity to the Holy Spirit that turns life into an everyday adventure.
~ Excerpted from Wild Goose Chase   by Mark Batterson

I know!

I get it!

Most of the stuff that fills our days seems like anything BUT an adventure.

  • The same job…
  • The same spouse and kids…
  • The same co-workers…
  • The same neighbors…
  • The same house chores…
  • The same ol’ same ol’…

But what if these ordinary, everyday circumstances are not the main ingredient to life being an adventure?

If God is “with us always” as Jesus promised then He is with us even in the midst of these seemingly mundane moments. And how can any moment where God’s presence is available be anything but an adventure?

Perhaps we are too focused on our circumstances and not focused enough on learning to live in the awareness of God’s presence?

May today be a brand new adventure with God!

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Adventure, Christianity, Discipleship, Divine presence, God, Holy Spirit, intimacy with the Lord, Jesus, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality