• Topic > Spiritual Growth > Discipleship > Obedience >

    An Ordinary Man

    William Carey was a sickly boy, born to a humble family nearby Northampton, England. His future did not look too bright. But God had plans for him. Against all odds, he moved to India, where he brought incredible social reforms and translated the Bible in several Indian languages. He loved God and people, and accomplished many things for God.

    David, son of Jesse, was an ordinary young man, the youngest in his family. He was seemingly an insignificant shepherd on the hills of Bethlehem (1 Samuel 16:11–12). Yet God saw David’s heart and had a plan for him. King Saul had…

    Continuous Conversion

    These words of our Lord refer to our initial conversion, but we should continue to turn to God as children, being continuously converted every day of our lives. If we trust in our own abilities, instead of God’s, we produce consequences for which God will hold us responsible. When God through His sovereignty brings us into new situations, we should immediately make sure that our natural life submits to the spiritual, obeying the orders of the Spirit of God.

    The Drawing of the Father

    When God begins to draw me to Himself, the problem of my will comes in immediately. Will I react positively to the truth that God has revealed? Will I come to Him? To discuss or deliberate over spiritual matters when God calls is inappropriate and disrespectful to Him. When God speaks, never discuss it with anyone as if to decide what your response may be (see Galatians 1:15-16). Belief is not the result of an intellectual act, but the result of an act of my will whereby I deliberately commit myself.

    Following the Leader

    In the sky over our house, three fighter jets scream through the sky—flying in formation so close together they appear to be one. “Wow,” I say to my husband Dan. “Impressive,” he agrees. We live not far from an Air Force Base and it’s not unusual to see such sights.

    Every time these jets fly over, however, I have the same question: how can they fly so close together and not lose control? One obvious reason, I learned, is humility. Trusting that the lead pilot is traveling at precisely the correct speed and trajectory, the wing pilots surrender any desire to switch…

    The Great Life

    Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled . . . —John 14:27

    Whenever we experience something difficult in our personal life, we are tempted to blame God. But we are the ones in the wrong, not God. …

    “The Temple of the Holy Spirit”

    . . . only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you —Genesis 41:40

    I am accountable to God for the way I control my body under His authority. Paul said he did not “set aside the grace of …

    Christian Perfection

    It is a trap to presume that God wants to make us perfect specimens of what He can do— God’s purpose is to make us one with Himself. The emphasis of holiness movements tends to be that God is producing specimens of holiness to put in His museum. If you accept this concept of personal holiness, your life’s determined purpose will not be for God, but for what you call the evidence of God in your life. How can we say, “It could never be God’s will for me to be sick”? If it was God’s will to bruise His own Son (Isaiah 53:10), why shouldn’t He bruise you? What shines forth and reveals God in your life is not your relative consistency to an idea of what a saint should be, but your genuine, living relationship with Jesus Christ, and your unrestrained devotion to Him whether you are well or sick.

    Winning into Freedom

    If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed —John 8:36

    If there is even a trace of individual self-satisfaction left in us, it always says, “I can’t surrender,” or “I can’t be free.” But the …

    The Eternal Goal

    By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing . . . I will bless you . . . —Genesis 22:16-17

    Abraham, at this point, has reached where he is in touch with the very nature of God. He now understands the reality of God.

    My goal…

    Still Human!

    . . . whatever you do, do all to the glory of God —1 Corinthians 10:31

    In the Scriptures, the great miracle of the incarnation slips into the ordinary life of a child; the great miracle of the transfiguration fades into …

    “What Is That to You?”

    Peter . . . said to Jesus, ’But Lord, what about this man?’ Jesus said to him, ’. . . what is that to you? You follow Me’ —John 21:21-22

    One of the hardest lessons to learn comes from our stubborn refusal to refrain from interfering in other people’s lives. It takes a long time …

    Discovering Divine Design

    As for me, being on the way, the Lord led me… —Genesis 24:27

    We should be so one with God that we don’t need to ask continually for guidance. Sanctification means that we are made the children of God. A child’s life is normally obedient, until he chooses disobedience. But as soon as he chooses to disobey, an inherent inner conflict is produced.…

    Who’s Driving?

    My neighbor Tim has a figurine on his dashboard of a “wild thing” from Maurice Sendak’s beloved children’s book Where the Wild Things Are.

    Not long ago Tim was following me through traffic and made some abrupt moves to keep up. When we arrived, I asked, “Was that the ‘wild thing’ driving?”

    The following Sunday I forgot my sermon notes at home. I “flew” out of the church to retrieve them, passing Tim along the way. When we met later, he joked, “Was that the wild thing driving?” We laughed, but his point hit home—I should have paid attention to the speed…

    Partakers of His Suffering

    …but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings… —1 Peter 4:13

    If you are going to be used by God, He will take you through a number of experiences that are not meant for you personally at all. They are designed to make you useful in His hands, and to enable you to understand what takes place in the lives of…

    A Bondservant of Jesus

    I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me… —Galatians 2:20

    These words mean the breaking and collapse of my independence brought about by my own hands, and the surrendering of my life to the supremacy of the Lord Jesus. No one can do this for me, I must do it myself. God may bring me up to this point three…

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