The Importance of Time Alone with God

the-door-to-the-aloneYou can transact life-shaping business with God when you’re alone with Him.  Look at the record:

Jacob was alone when he crossed the Jabbok and spent the night wrestling with the Angel of the Lord.

Moses was alone when the Lord revealed Himself through the burning bush, giving an old man a fresh vision for life and a great work to accomplish.

Joshua was alone when he met a warrior angel prior to the attack on Jericho.

Manoah’s wife was alone in the field when the angel of the Lord appeared to her and gave her news about the baby she was to bear – a boy named Samson.

Isaiah was alone when he received his commission from the Lord, saw the Lord high and lifted up, and tasted the burning coals of holiness on his tongue.

Elisha was alone when the mantle of the prophet fell across his shoulders.

Paul was alone when the mantle of the prophet fell across his shoulders.

Paul was alone in the Arabian desert when the Lord gave him personal instructions about preaching the Word.

Mary was alone when the angel brought her the message that she would give birth to the Savior.

John was alone – exiled – on the island of Patmos when he received his matchless revelation of things to come.

If you need a word from the Lord – direction, help, – set aside time to be alone with Him.  Expect Him to speak to you.  Guidance and real fellowship only come in those times of solitude, in an hour when you say to the Lord, “I need You.”

Source:  A Lifetime of Wisdom, Embracing the Way God Heals You by Joni Eareckson Tada

10 Things to Pray for Your Wife via Jonathan Parnell – Desiring God

Praying Man

[Download a new print-version (PDF) of “10 Things to Pray for Your Wife.” You can also get lock-screen versions for your iPhone4 or iPhone5.]

Our hunger for God will not be confined to our closets. As we know him and delight in all that he is for us in Jesus, our joy in him reaches beyond personal experience on a quest to be reproduced in others. One of the simplest ways we realize this is by taking serious how we pray — by wanting and asking for others the same things we want and ask for ourselves.

Continue reading “10 Things to Pray for Your Wife via Jonathan Parnell – Desiring God”

Wisdom for Living – Pay Attention Ya’ll!

“Put in the big rocks first!” Now, there you have it! I thought I should just give it to you considering that many of you will not take the time to read the rest of what I have to say – which is really a sorry testament of our times. Although we have access to so much information, we just don’t seem to have the time or the mental capacity to assimilate and process that information. It’s like we have all become a bunch of shrunken heads. No offence intended. Perhaps, I am just describing my own problem. I don’t know! You be the judge.   Continue reading “Wisdom for Living – Pay Attention Ya’ll!”

Common Pitfalls in Seeking God’s Guidance – J. I. Packer

J. I. Packer has a very helpful section in his book, Knowing God on common pitfalls when it comes to seeking God’s guidance in one’s life.  If you have never read this book, I highly commend it to you.  It is truly a classic – good for the soul.  It will enlarge both your head and your heart for God in ways that most books written by mortals can’t and won’t (especially the likes of books being written in our day and age).  So, get a copy of Knowing God at your earliest convenience and be blessed as you read it with your head and heart. Continue reading “Common Pitfalls in Seeking God’s Guidance – J. I. Packer”

According to Plan – Three Things the LORD Has Used to Shape Me Outside the Bible!

“LORD, You are my God; I will exalt You and praise Your Name, for in perfect faithfulness You have done wonderful things, things planned long ago” (Isaiah 25:1).

It is quite amazing and yet comforting and refreshing to think of how the LORD in His sovereign power, wisdom and grace, uses life experiences among other things to shape us as His children and thereby accomplish certain (specific) things in our lives for His own glory.  Everything according to plan.  There is no plan B with God!  It’s all and always, plan A! Continue reading “According to Plan – Three Things the LORD Has Used to Shape Me Outside the Bible!”

Approval

A number of years ago, I came across this entry below from a devotional based on Proverbs 8:35-36.  The story below has stuck with me all these years.  I find its lesson greatly invaluable.  This story illustrates that wisdom of always seeking God’s approval and not man’s.  As Christians, we must always choose to obey God rather than man (Acts 5:29).  Here it is:

The story is told of a young pianist who was making his professional debut in a famous concert hall in one of the capitals of Europe. The fashionable audience were most responsive to his playing, and at the end of the concert they gave him a resounding, standing ovation and called for an encore. Backstage, the young man refused to return to the platform despite the pleas of the stage manager and the concert sponsors. “But they love you!” they expostulated. “They’re on their feet.” The young man replied, “I know they are, but there’s one man sitting in his seat. He isn’t standing.” “What’s one man in a concert hall full of people?” they replied. Quietly he responded, “He’s the master—my teacher!” The approval that really mattered to the young pianist was missing.

In the human heart there is a thirst for approval, a longing for belonging, a hunger for acceptance. Children seek to please their parents and are insecure if they sense disapproval. Teenagers move from seeking to please parents to seeking peer approval. They must be with the “in” crowd, dress as they dress, listen to what they listen to, and conform to their patterns of behavior—all in order that they might have their peers’ approval.

Men do not easily grow out of this longing for others’ approval.  No one likes to be thought weird, to be socially outcast, to be ignored or discounted. The tragedy is that sometimes the applause of the crowd drowns out the approval of the Master.

Wisdom says, “Happy are those who listen to me, watching for me daily at my gates, waiting for me outside my home! For whoever finds me finds life and wins approval from the Lord” (8:35). Approval from the Lord is what matters. No matter how many peers stand and applaud or how many bosses issue good reports, if the Master is not pleased, all is in vain. The whole world can stand, but if the Lord stays seated, all is lost.

How do we gain the Lord’s approval? By listening attentively to what he is telling us, absorbing the truth he proclaims, and making practical application. Problems arise when what he says does not agree with the audience that we wish to impress. Teenagers vacillate between doing what is right and behaving in a way that is “cool.” Businessmen wrestle with doing what is right and doing “what it takes” to close a deal, knowing full well that the Lord does not approve of the methods used.

It comes down to this: Whom do we wish to please? Whose approval do we crave?

“For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts” (1 Thessalonians 2:3-4).