“For not from the east, nor from the west, nor from the desert comes exaltation; but God is the judge; He puts down one and exalts another (Psalm 75:6 & 7).”
In the natural realm promotion often comes from popularity, power, and people. If you are popular enough you can win a position. If you possess enough power you can demand a promotion. If you know enough people you can steal a position. However, in the spiritual realm only God exalts.
The psalmist praised God for His wondrous works in Psalm 75. As he does so, he prophetically declares that God stands against the proud. God spoke through the psalmist to remind the people that exaltation does not come from man. He warned the people against operating in pride. Then the psalmist declared “…But God is the judge; He puts down one and exalts another.” This lets us know that only God exalts. Man has no power to promote in the spiritual realm. In fact man has no real power to promote in the natural realm. It is God who exalts. It is only God who exalts!
Today as you rekindle your spiritual fervor, leave room for God to exalt you. Remain faithful to serving Him where you have been planted. Recognize that God sees you where you are. Remember that only God exalts. Rest in knowing He will exalt you in due season. Resist the urge to strive for promotion and self exaltation. Realize that when God exalts there is nothing man can do to prevent it.
It is useless to strive for that which only God can give you. Exaltation comes from God. Let us remember this and focus on being faithful where we are.
“Do you see how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days, but I will bring the evil upon his house in his son’s days (1 Kings 21:29).”
Perhaps you are like me and have been told God never changes His mind. For years I heard that, believed that, and even taught it. I agree that God is unlike man in that He does not repent (have a change of heart due to sin), but I have discovered the Bible contains more than one instance of God changing His mind about a thing. The question then becomes, what moves God to change His mind? As we live reignited today, let’s examine the word to discover what moves God to change His mind.
Ahab was a wicked king. He married a woman who was perhaps more wicked even than him. Together they terrorized Israel and led the people to sin against God. When God finally had enough, He sent Elijah to tell Ahab that He was going to destroy him. When Ahab heard this message he responded in a way that caused God to change His mind. What did Ahab do? When Ahab heard the message of the prophet he “…tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and fasted, and he lay in sackcloth and went about despondently (1Kings 21:27).” Ahab humbled himself before God when he received the message of his destruction. As a result, God changed His mind about destroying Ahab immediately. When God changes His mind it is called mercy. He doesn’t release what our sins deserve. It’s good to know that humility causes God to change His mind.
Today, as you rekindle your spiritual fervor remember that true humility is the only thing that can cause God to change His mind. Humility is placing one’s self under God. It is recognizing one’s own brokenness and need for God. Humility moves God to change His mind and show mercy to us. He is gracious toward those who humble themselves in His presence.
Live reignited today and remember humility moves God to change His mind!
“Then the fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the portions of fat on the altar; and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces (Leviticus 9:24).”
Fire is amazing to watch. The flames are beautiful in all their hues. The warmth it produces is especially nice on a cold winter day. However fire is also dangerous and deadly. In a matter of minutes it can completely destroy a building and a life. Therefore fire can be appreciated, but must be respected.
When God chose how He would manifest His presence in response to the offering of sacrifice by Aaron and his sons, He chose fire. God chose to show His acceptance of their sacrifice by sending forth His presence as fire to consume it. Today as we rekindle our spiritual fervor let us declare Lord consume the sacrifice.
Aaron and his sons were freshly consecrated and ordained for priestly service. The process was elaborate and put on full display God’s attention to detail and precise execution. Now it was time for Aaron and his sons to offer to God their first sacrificial offering in their role as priests. God was specific in what they were to offer and how they were to offer it. If they executed their duties appropriately God would accept their offering. If they did not execute their duties appropriately God would reject their offering and destroy them. In Leviticus 9:24 we learn that their offering was found acceptable unto the Lord. How do we know it was acceptable? “Then fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the portions of the fat on the altar…” God’s acceptance of their offering was demonstrated by consuming it with fire.
Today God still consumes our sacrifices when they are acceptable to Him. In 2 Corinthians 2:15 “For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing…” This verse contains sacramental language. It tells us that we are the sacrificial offering of Christ in the nostrils of God. When God smells our sacrificial offering He releases the fire of His Spirit to consume it. It is His way of showing His acceptance of our offering. Our offering to God is our worship of Him (Romans 12:1). It is our act of service unto Him through how we live. As you and I worship God we declare, “Lord consume the sacrifice.
Live reignited today as the Lord consumes our sacrifice.
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6).”
I have been known to start projects and not finish them. I have started a number of projects through the years that sit unfinished. I sometimes look at them and say “I should finish this project”, only to allow a few hours, days, weeks, and months to pass by without taking action. I’m sure many of you call relate to this pattern of not finishing things. Today I’m glad to know that we serve a God who is a finisher. He never leaves things unfinished. As you rekindle your spiritual fervor today, rejoice in knowing that He will finish the work He started in you.
As the Apostle Paul wrote the Philippian saints he made this statement “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” What an awesome truth; God will finish His work in each of us. God is a finisher. Whatever is currently incomplete in you, rest in knowing He will finish it. Paul was confident that God would finish the work. We should be also. God never leaves His work unfinished. He always finishes what He starts. Hallelujah!
What is unfinished in your life?
God will finish it, don’t worry. He will not stop until everything He has started in you is complete. Is your maturity incomplete? God will finish it. Is your faith incomplete? He will finish it also. Is your purity unfinished? God will complete it. He will perfect everything He has started in you. If it is of God and from God, He will finish the work. That gives you and me great cause to rejoice and go forth in confidence. He will finish the work!
Live reignited today and rejoice in knowing He will finish the work!
“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted (Luke 14:11).”
One of the negative effects that social networking has had on our society is that it has turned many into self marketing specialists. Every time I open Facebook and other social media outlets my feed is filled with people promoting themselves. We are a society consumed with ourselves. So much so that someone has now made millions of dollars by inventing a selfie-stick so that people can take better pictures of themselves with a cell phone. There seems to be a great deal of pride floating around these days. Today as we rekindle our spiritual fervor I want to remind us of the power of humility. As saints of God we cannot afford to become caught up in the prideful practices of those in the world. Today let’s reacquaint ourselves with the power of humility.
Jesus was perhaps the most humble man who ever walked the earth. If anyone could teach us about humility it is Him. Once while at a Pharisee’s house Jesus, after noticing the guest picking the seats of honor at the dinner, told a parable and then made this statement “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Jesus in saying this declared that humility has power. He told the people that the way up is down and the way down is up. Jesus revealed the power of humility—humble yourself and God will exalt you. Unfortunately the opposite is true as well—exalt yourself and God will humble you.
The power of humility is that it positions you for divine exaltation. To use a term from the employment community, humility leads to promotion. James said it like this “…God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6).” God’s favor is released on the humble. Humility has power. If ever there were a time when we needed to be reminded of this truth it is in this season of great self promotion. Let us remember the power of humility and leave room for God to exalt us.
Live reignited today and remember the power of humility.
“And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my ordinances and do them. Then they will be my people, and I shall be their God (Ezekiel 11:19 & 20).”
Almost three years ago my father-in-law was the recipient of a heart transplant. His heart was broken and sick; it could not be repaired. The only hope he had for life was a new heart. I remember vividly the excitement we felt when the heart became available. I also remember the joy we experienced when the transplant worked and the new heart began functioning. Now nearly three years later, he is living with a new heart. God is so awesome! Just as a person with a physically sick heart experiences a new life when they receive a new heart, we spiritually experience a new life when God gives us a new heart. Today if your heart is broken beyond repair, rejoice in knowing He will give you a new heart.
There comes a point when our heart is so broken beyond repair by sin. In fact the only hope of salvation is a spiritual heart transplant. Israel learned this truth first hand after they had moved so far away from God because of their sin that they were carried away into captivity. God sent Ezekiel with a message of hope to the exiles. He promised them that He would take their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. God promised that He would give them a new heart. God is so loving that even after Israel had sinned against Him over and over again He still promised to give them a new heart.
Today as you rekindle your spiritual fervor perhaps it is time for a spiritual heart transplant. Perhaps it is time to ask God, as David did, to create in you a clean heart. It may be time to ask God to take your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. If that is the case you can rejoice in knowing He will give you a new heart. When we ask God to change our heart He loves us enough to do it. The process is painful, but the outcome is life giving.
Live reignited today and rejoice in knowing He will give you a new heart!
“Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call understanding your intimate friend (Proverbs 7:4).”
We live in a world that often fails to operate in wisdom and understanding. Our society is largely reactionary. We tend to react to things instead of being thought out and planful. Today as you rekindle your spiritual fervor, I encourage you to resist the tendency to live a reactionary life. Let us become intimate with wisdom and understanding so that we live Spirit led proactive lives.
As King Solomon continues to instruct his sons about life, he warns them to avoid the adulteress woman. He is clear that they must do whatever is necessary to stay away from her because their life depended on it. As he is warning them he gives them a strategy for doing so “Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call understanding, your intimate friend.” I am convinced that Solomon was doing more than suggesting his sons verbally call wisdom their sister and understanding their intimate friend. He was instructing his sons to become intimate with wisdom and understanding. Solomon knew firsthand the value of wisdom and understanding and wanted his sons to know it also. Intimacy with spiritual wisdom and understanding would keep them from the adulteress woman. Such intimacy would allow them to be proactive instead of reactive. He wanted them to become intimate with wisdom and understanding.
Today, as you live reignited, I encourage you to become intimate with wisdom and understanding. Spend the necessary time allowing the Holy Spirit to teach you wisdom and understanding so that you live a proactive life. Intimacy is developed over time and with intentionality. It requires effort on the part of those who would have it. In order to become intimate with wisdom and understanding one must put in the time to learn the heart and voice of God. It is through knowing God’s heart and voice that we become intimate with wisdom and understanding. He is the source of all spiritual wisdom and understanding. If we spend the necessary time with God, we will become intimate with wisdom and understanding and live proactive lives.
Live reignited today as you become intimate with wisdom and understanding.