Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ephesians 1:17-18...we are called to hope!!!

"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which you have been called..."Ephesians 1:17-18

I'm aware that when I come to an understanding about why I did some behavior (usually something unhealthy) I find it much easier to change that behavior. It's like the Holy Spirit opens my eyes to something that was probably obvious to others, and I get it. Then it's much easier to change that particular behavior or belief.

I suspect that was Paul's intention and desire when he was praying for the Ephesians. It may be that when our inner eyes are opened by the Holy Spirit, we see differently and thus respond to a particular action or behavior differently from that point forward. Maybe once we see what the Holy Spirit wants to change and reveals where He wants to take us, the process becomes Holy Spirit empowered.

My prayer for you over the following encouragements is the same one Paul prayed for the Ephesians: That the Holy Spirit would open your eyes to areas you might be resisting and you would come to a different understanding of His desired work in your life. Then I pray you find the freedom to follow that leadership into a new lifestyle and deeper work in your life.

Eli Machen

This is so true in my life and I love these verses....sometimes I just need the Spirit to remind me of the hope I've been called to. And there are times that I do things, big or small, that I don't even realize I am doing. A friend of mine made a point to me last night about something I do in relationships that is demanding and controlling. I was clueless to the fact that I do that, but once it was pointed out to me, I began to explore why I do that and how I can change it. My desire is to become more like Him in everything I do, and every relationship I have. God is pulling me to Him to learn more about His Spirit and listening.....listening to the things that need to be changed, refined, added, and taken away from my life. So thankful that He has not given up on me!!! What a miracle, what grace, what mercy, what love!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


"To keep me from being conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

2 Corinthians 12:7-9

Conceit can take many forms depending on where we are in life. It could be our thinking that our particular behavior isn't as bad as someone else's, or saying to yourself, "I'm not the one who needs help" or even "I can do recovery on my own!"

Whatever your life situation is, when you take the attitude that you are strong enough and don't need help, you are in trouble. Most individuals I have had the privilege to work with have struggled with feeling weak and have fought the concept of admitting weakness.

Yet, here is Paul, one of the greatest influences used by God in His Church, not only admitting weakness but delighting in the fact that he sees himself as weak. It is through this portal of humility he enters into God's design and receivership of God's strength and power.

With all that Paul accomplished in his ministry, humility was his corner stone. This is a valuable lesson his thorn taught him.

Rather than asking God to fix, change, sober up, or remove the "thorn," ask Him what the thorn in your life is supposed to teach you.

Eli Machen

This was a great email I received the other day and it fits perfectly with what I am going through right now. I am so consumed with my struggles, my weaknesses, and my imperfections that it has turned into self-pity and insecurity, which is a form of pride. Taking the example of Paul, I must look at what God is trying to teach me through these thorns, and how can I draw nearer to Him during this time? I pray all the time that I will be a better person, a stronger believer....and God is answering that prayer, just now how I wanted Him to. My challenge is to receive these weaknesses and let God move in me and change me. Take away my pride, oh Lord, and use me for Your fame alone.