HAVE YOU EVER BEEN ALONE WITH GOD? (January 12)
“When they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples” Mark 4:34
Our solitude with Him. Jesus doesn’t takes us aside and explain things to us all the time. He explain things to us as we are able to understand them. The lives of others are examples for us, but God requires us to examine our own souls. It is slow work – so slow that it takes God all of the time and eternity to make a man or woman conform to His purpose. We can only be used by God after we allow Him to show us the deep, hidden areas of our own character. It is astounding how ignorant we are about ourselves! We don’t even recognize the envy, laziness, or pride within us when we see it. But Jesus will reveal to us everything we have held within ourselves before His grace begins to work. How many of us have learned to look inwardly with courage!
We have to get rid of the idea that we understand ourselves. That is always the last bit of pride to go. The only One who understands us is God. The greatest curse in our spiritual life is pride. If we ever had a glimpse of what we are like in the sight of God, we will never say, “Oh I am so unworthy.” We will understand that this goes without saying. But as long as there is any doubt that we are unworthy, God will continue to close us until He gets us alone. Whenever there is an element of pride or conceit remaining, Jesus can’t teach us anything. He will allow us to experience heartbreak or the disappointment we feel when our intellectual price is wounded. He will reveal numerous misplaced affections or desires –things over which we never thought He would have to get us alone. Many things are shown to us, often without effect. But when God gets us alone over them, they will be clear.
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN ALONE WITH GOD? (January 13)
“When He was alone…the twelve asked Him about the parable” Mark 4:10
His solitude with us. When God gets us alone through suffering, heartbreak, temptations, disappointment, sickness, or by thwarted desires, a broken friendship, or a new friendship – when He gets us absolutely alone, and we are totally speechless, unable to ask even one question, then He begins to teach us. Notice Jesus Christ’s training of the Twelve. It was the disciples, not the crowd outside, who were confused. His disciples constantly asked Him questions, and He constantly explained things to them, but they didn’t understand until after they received the Holy Spirit. John 14: 26, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”
As you journey with God, the only thing He intends to be clear is the way He deals with your soul. The sorrows and difficulties in the lives of others will be absolutely confusing to you. We think we understand another person’s struggle until God reveals the same shortcomings in our lives. There are vast areas of stubbornness and ignorance the Holy Spirit has to reveal in each of us, but it can only be done when Jesus gets us alone. Are we alone with Him now? Or are we more concerned with our own ideas, friendships, and cares for our bodies? Jesus cannot teach us anything until we quit all our intellectual questions and get alone with Him.
THE HABIT OF HAVING NO HABITS (May 12)
“If these are yours and abound, you will be neither barren or unfruitful…” 2 Peter 1:8
When we first begin to form a habit, we are fully aware of it. There are times when we are aware of becoming virtuous and godly, but this awareness should only be a stage we quickly pass through as we grow spiritually. If we stop at this stage, we will develop a sense of spiritual pride. The right thing to do with godly habits is to immerse them in the life of the Lord until they become such a spontaneous expression of our lives that we are no longer aware of them. Our spiritual life continually causes us to focus our attention inwardly for the determined purpose of self-examination, because each of us has some qualities we have not yet added to our lives.
Your god may be your little Christian habit the habit of prayer or Bible reading at certain times of your day. Watch how your Father will upset your schedule if you begin to worship your habit instead of what the habit symbolizes. We say, “I can’t do that right now; this is my time alone with God.” No, this is your time alone with your habit. There is a quality that is still lacking in you. Identify your shortcoming and then look for opportunities to work into your life that missing quality.
Love means that there are no visible habits – That your habits are so immerse in the Lord that you practice them without realizing it. If you are consciously aware of your own holiness, you place limitations on yourself from doing certain things – things that God is not restricting you from at all. This means there is a missing quality that needs to be added to your life. The only supernatural life is the life the Lord Jesus lived, and He was at home with God anywhere. Is there some place where you are not at home with God? Then allow God to work through whatever that particular circumstance may be until you increase in Him, adding His qualities. Your life will then become the simple life of a child.