Try to wrap your brain around this visual: Right now, God is sitting on the throne of heaven and His feet are propped up on the earth! (Is. 66:1) He has fullness that spans heaven and earth, yet He lives within Christian human bodies. There is a God who is literally love, literally peace, literally hope, and literally power, and He scrunches Himself down to live within you. Yet, when you make room for Him, His fullness swells inside of you, pushing Himself from cell wall to cell wall, from skin layer to skin layer, from finger to finger, and from the top of your head all the way down to your toes.
Once you experience this living Divine satisfying your soul’s needs…putting prayers in your thoughts…renewing desires in your heart…curbing appetites in your eyes, stomach, and hormones…controlling words coming out of your mouth…showing your hands what to touch…and moving your feet down His path, you will feel the best kind of stuffed you’ve ever known.
Keeping Room Tips:
*It’s crazy that an invisible Being could be so sufficient, fulfilling, and satisfying; but your soul was made to be completed by Him. Go ahead and loosen your grip on the things you believe are making you happy or productive. Absence of idols makes room for Him to come in and take over with supernatural power, and you will be able to do things and feel emotions that make no sense based on your humanness. (Ps. 107:9, Phil. 4:19; Mal. 3:10)
*It’s trendy in the church today to admit sin while almost daring yourself or anyone else not to accept that it’s just how you are. Instead, let His Word really deal with you. Call your sins what they are, confess them, and don’t stop there. Repent. When you change your behavior, you will be experiencing the transformation that the power of Jesus freely gives you, making you feel larger than life. (Is. 66:2b; Mt. 3:8)
*It’s miraculous that you have the Spirit of the Living God inside of you, and He doesn’t want you to hide the signs of His great works. Yet, this isn’t about a fancy miracle worth turning into a book or movie. Rather, press into what He can do in the tiny corners of your life, and before you know it, He will show off through your life in large and glorious ways. (Heb. 2:4).
The incidences are high of married couples whose marriages become strained or even end when they endure something tragic, such as the loss of a child. It really is not surprising that men and women grieve, process, and experience emotion very differently from one another, and hardship is certainly a time the differences are revealed. In addition, different personality types react to certain challenges in very distinctive ways. If you are walking through a hard season of life – joined by your spouse, family members, or close friends – and their gender or personality prevents them from responding in the same way you are, it is time to create an atmosphere for varied paces.
Keeping Room Tips:
“God is the God of ALL comfort…” Paul says “ALL comfort” to mean that God’s comfort covers every trouble possible and every style of responding possible. Go to Him. He is the perfect answer to the person in denial as much as to the person who feels despair. Whatever you are feeling during your time of trouble, He has the comfort to match it.
“(He) comforts us in all our troubles…” Things can go wrong when family members expect one another to provide the “right” comfort that they need. Each time your loved one frustrates you because they aren’t sensitive to how you are responding or they aren’t responding the same way you are, it is a sign for you to go to the Comforter so that you don’t put unrealistic expectations on others to do for you what is meant to be done by your Father.
“…We can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” You will begin to behave in very powerful ways when you have been comforted by God. You will no longer have a desperate need for others to meet all of your needs. You will no longer feel it necessary to fight for your style of enduring troubles, since your style will have been validated by God. You will even find yourself able to put aside your own emotions for a time so that you can comfort others with the comfort you’ve been given by God. If you and your spouse or loved ones are receiving comfort first from God – then when you come together – rather than draining one another, you will have the reserves needed to build one another up and grow closer to one another through the time of trouble.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (2 Cor. 1:3-4)
Dr. Kent Brantly suffered from the Ebola virus and came closer to death than many have ever come. Yet, he’s not all over the news shouting “YOLO!” (you only live once), he’s not writing a book describing his near-death experience in distasteful detail, and he’s not obnoxiously touting a newly made bucket list.
Dr. Brantly is simply a Christian escort for the stunning presence of Jesus as he encourages and practices medical missions for those in need. His entire being and manhood is filled with a strong and attractive gentleness. When this leader enters a room, you can’t help but be moved by his body’s holy gentleness. When he speaks, you are stilled by the gentleness of his words, tones, and mannerisms. And when you are in his presence, you know that the gentle Jesus is close by.
Compare that to the sassy, negative, entitled, angry, quarrelsome, and crass spirit and tone of society today.
You don’t want to miss out on this kind of Kingdom gentleness.
Keeping Room Tips:
Get to know the gentle movements of the living Son of God.
- It was prophesied that your King would come to you as gentle (Zech. 9:9).
- He has told you that He is gentle (Mt. 11:29).
- He displayed his gentleness by riding on a donkey as his royal entry (Mt. 21:5).
Be in tune with the gentle speech of your Father.
- He is not in the wind, earthquake, or fire; He whispers gently (1 Kg. 19:11-12)
Ask God to increase your motivation to have the trait of gentleness in you.
- Gentleness will be a sign of the Presence of God’s Spirit in you (Gal. 5:22-23, Phil. 4:5).
- Gentleness is a component of your calling and purpose (Eph. 4:2).
- Gentleness makes you great (Ps. 18:35).
- Gentleness is the outflow of knowing how much you are loved by God (Col. 3:12).
- Gentleness is a sign of being a Godly leader (1 Tim. 3:1-3).
- Gentleness can turn away anger and break down resistance (Prov. 15:1; 25:15).
- Gentleness can help you restore someone entrapped by sin (Gal. 6:1).
Let gentleness make you beautiful.
- The kind of beauty that never fades is beauty that comes from gentleness (1 Pet. 3:4).
Let gentleness make you strong and effective.
- The way to successfully share your faith is with gentleness (1 Pet. 3:15).
- Pursuing gentleness marks a true man of God (1 Tim. 6:11).
Dr. Brantly is a common man, but he is remarkable because of the gentleness of the Lord. And you can be too.
Where is there unrest in your life? Is it in a relationship? In a dilemma? Perhaps you’ve been trying to figure out what you can do in order to feel settled. The solution is to believe the promise that His Presence will go with you into your place of unrest, and He will give you rest there. (Ex. 33:14)
Where is there fear in your life? Is it in an unknown? In a new situation? Of course you’ve been fretting and worrying. The solution is to step into it (one step at a time) so you can play the role of foreman as the Lord’s Presence constructs shelter for you. (Ps. 31:20)
Where is there darkness in your life? Is it in your circumstances? Inside of you? Understandably you’ve been feeling trapped and hopeless. The solution is to first seek the right light – the brightness of His Presence that will blaze forth the path for your total care. (2 Sam. 22:13)
Where is there drudgery in your life? Is it at work, home, or school? No doubt, you’ve been trying to escape. The solution is accepting where you need to remain and discovering even there the joy you can have in His Presence. (Ps. 21:6, Acts 2:28)
Where do you feel stuck in your life? Is it in your career? Your marriage? Your stage of life? You may be tempted to slack off and become lazy. The solution is to move right where you are – to walk in the light of His Presence. (Ps. 89:15)
Where is there shame and secrecy in your life? Is it behind closed doors? In the past? In your thoughts? Like anyone would, you’ve been trying to justify it. The solution is to let it be exposed. Once exposed in His Presence (Ps. 90:8) it loses its power over you.
Keeping Room Tips:
1.Make yourself more aware of His general Presence, so you can embrace it and enjoy it.
2.Be the catalyst who invites and pleads for His active Presence to be in a place or situation, so you can be changed by His Presence and participate in His great Works.
My Dear Friend, Chosen One, Near-to-Me, Royalty, Known-by-Me, Rescued-from-the-dominion-of-darkness-by-Me, Masterpiece, Secure-in-Me, Not-abandoned-by-Me, Not-Rejected-by-Me, Healed, Holy, Renewed, Indwelled-by-Me, Revived-and-Strengthened by Me, Equipped-and-Enabled by Me, Beloved,
What I’ve called you and the way I address you is who you are, and I can’t stop loving you.
My Names are Who I Am.
God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Love, Your Retreat & Resting Place, Life-Giver, Perfect Peace, Your Daddy in Heaven, Crown-Giver, Voice of Heaven, Your Purity, Freedom, Perfectly Trustworthy King, Your Confidence, Eternal Beauty, Your Fearless Leader, The Only Truth, Unifier, Your Schedule Keeper, Your Prayer Partner, Living Word, Remover of Guilt, Giver of Every Good Gift & of Every Incredible Adventure, and Wise Answer to Everything.
Keeping Room Tips:
This Advent Season when you hear about this “Newborn King” consider how much more He is than what the modern world reduces Him to…and consider how much more you are than who (or what) the secular world reduces you to…
Read this letter again…and ponder why knowing who He says you are…and who He says He is…changes everything.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come, the Almighty.” (Rev. 1:8)
There’s nothing more important for you to keep separate than to keep separate your character, abilities, and successes from God’s love of you. God’s choice to love and accept you is completely unrelated to who you are and what you can do. God’s decision to love and accept you is completely related to who He is and what He can and already did do. Why is this so important? If you operate as if you can earn His love, then when you fail in some area, you will either be so insecure that you will naturally pull away from Him, or you will spend more time trying harder to earn His love, instead of enjoying His steady love and acceptance of you. So, how well are you keeping your personal qualities separate from His love and acceptance of you?
Keeping Room Tips:
As you go about your tasks of the day, which do you think about more:1) Your analysis and evaluation of your successes, OR 2) “From the time I was made, God set me apart for the work to which He has called me.” (Jer. 1:5, Acts 13:2; Rom. 1:1, Gal. 1:15)
When you consider what others think about you, which do you think about more:1) Your ideas for what might help you best fit in and become well-liked, OR 2) “The Lord has equipped me with every good thing for doing His will in order to join other will-followers and the angels around the throne to praise Him.” (Ps. 103:20-21; Rom. 12:2, Heb. 2:4, 13:21)
In your relationships, which do you think about more:1) Your perception of how well others are loving you and meeting your needs, OR 2) “The Lord of this relationship leads us to be like-minded, have the same love, and be one in spirit and purpose – ultimately making us to have more of His attitude.” (1 Sam. 20:42 Phil. 2:2; 5)
In your decision-making, which do you think about more:1) Is this choice going to help me feel good, comfortable, and relaxed, OR 2) “Obedience to God makes me more like Christ. Obedience leads me down a path of blessing, prosperity, grace and peace for my soul – and connects me to God in a special way for a full life forever.” (Deut. 6:24; 28:2; Is. 1:19; Ez. 20:19-20; Jn. 8:51; Phil. 2:8, 1 Pet. 1:2)
In your walk with God, which do you think about more:1) I try to be a good Christian, pray when I can, and get closer to Him, OR, 2) “The Father did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to die for sinners and then change them. And the results mean that I’m safe to come out into the light so the work in me can be seen for the God-work that it is.” (Mt. 9:13; Jn. 3:17, 21, Msg; Rom. 5:8)
Reader, you could not be any more loved by God if you tried. So, instead of trying to be more loveable to Him, spend that time getting to know what kind of God loves like this.
“God told them, ‘I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love!'” (Jer. 31:3, Msg.)