Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. ~ Galatians 5:25 NLT
Have you ever read a verse in the Bible many times, and then, suddenly, it grabbed you and wouldn’t let go? Recently, that happened to me with Galatians 5:25. First, I felt conviction. I had to confess that I did not let the Holy Spirit lead in every area of my life. Not that I refused to let him lead in all of them, but rather that I had ignored certain areas. I hadn’t surrendered them yet.
I was convinced that Romans 8:6 was true. “So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.” The battle is for our minds. Refusing to allow the Spirit to align us with God’s plan and purpose for us results in our not changing. In nature, anything that is not growing is dying. We need to consciously choose to let the Holy Spirit dominate our thinking so we can be filled with the Spirit, his love, joy and peace, and have his power to grow and overcome the obstacles facing us.
Then, I was overwhelmed with the thought, “Okay, I want to grow according to God’s plan, but how do I follow the Holy Spirit in every area?”
I wrestled with that question for days, until the thought came. “I want to obey God and he wants me to grow, so I must be making it too hard.” One of the first verses I memorized was Romans 12:2 “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
There was that word again, “let”. Let God transform you. Just LET the Holy Spirit fill your mind with God’s truth and LET him lead you. God is going to do all the work in every area. I just need to seek his truth and surrender to him. So, I began to pray, “Holy Spirit, please lead me in every part of my life. Show me what you want me to surrender.” I felt peace flowing over me.
I pray for you, that as you choose to let the Holy Spirit lead, and surrender all to Jesus, you will feel more alive in God’s love, peace and pleasure. We don’t need to work harder, but submit more. The victorious life in Christ is possible as we learn to trust the Holy Spirit to continue to do his work in us.
Dear friends, be blessed to plug into the power and excitement of allowing the Spirit to lead you! Be blessed as you grow in trusting that God will continue to do his work in and through you. May you experience more of the joys of being in partnership with Jesus. May his Kingdom come in every area of your life, so Jesus can use you to transform your environment and bring his Kingdom to surround and follow you wherever you choose to go. Amen.
Mary Sumner ~ June 28, 2022
But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. ~ Hebrews 11:16 NLT
My husband and I have recently come home from an extended trip through Scotland and Wales. We learned a great deal about those beautiful, welcoming, resilient people, their history, trials and triumphs and loved the lush green countryside. We met new people and discovered what we shared in common and, sometimes, were challenged by our differences. We are so thankful to have had the opportunity, especially after the isolation of Covid.
But, we also are very happy to be home again. There is no place like home. Home is where we are known, accepted and loved for who we are. Though at times they may seem boring, our daily routines can comfort us and give our lives a certain significance. There is something about home that fills one with peace. Home is where our roots can grow deep and anchor us, even in the most challenging times.
During our travels, we met folks who were searching for home, though they may not have known it. Have you met people like that? There is something restless, sad, sometimes even hopeless about them. No matter their age, they still have not discovered why they were created and given life. Those we met who did know that God created them for a purpose were exhilarating to be around. We noticed that they were willing to make sacrifices in order to pursue their dreams of making the world a better place. They knew who they were and who they belonged to. Their lives had purpose. In a real sense, they had found their home.
Home is a place we can rest from all the striving and be content with who we are and what God has given us. Trusting in God, in what he says and who he says we are, provides the environment of home, of true rest. Remember what Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:28? “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Only in coming home to Jesus will we find true rest for our souls.
Have you found that rest? I pray you have found your home, a home in the welcoming, compassionate, yet powerful arms of Jesus.
Dear friends, may all the restlessness and fear vanish as you trust in Jesus as your true home. No matter where you may roam, Jesus, his Spirit, will be with you. May the roots of your heart grow deep into God’s love, filling you with his peace, so that you will able to rest in who he created you to be and in his plans for you. Amen.
Mary Sumner ~ June 14, 2022
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
~ Ephesians 3:20 NLT
For those of you familiar with the Bible, the verse above, Ephesians 3:20, may be one of your favorites. It’s one that God reminds me of from time to time when I become anxious about something. How about you?
Right now, I am praying for a young man who is going to retake a test that he needs in order to be certified for his dream job. A dear friend is starting her own business. We know how hard that is! Another friend is awaiting cancer surgery. A friend is worried about a child with depression - unfortunately, so common nowadays.
Why does this verse speak to all of us who may be anxious about something? First, it reminds us that it is not us, but God, who is able to work in the situation causing anxiety. It’s not our strength, our wisdom, our power of prayer, our influence, our ability in any way that will cause the outcome we desire. God, who is all-powerful, all-wise, ever present and knows all, can and will work on our behalf. We cannot know what lies ahead in the future, nor what is best. But God, who created time and is not bound by it, can see ahead and is able to guide us accordingly.
And I love that my God can accomplish infinitely more than I might ask or even imagine. My God is bigger, greater, more compassionate and merciful than I could ever believe.
Okay, now I have to confess what is causing me personally to be anxious right now. It is packing my suitcase for an extended trip. Just one small suitcase. Silly, really! But today God brought me back to this verse. He reminded me that he knows what I will need, if I will rely on him to tell me. So maybe that is you, too, today? Can you trust the big things to God, but have never believed he really cares about the small ones?
Our loving Father, gave us his Spirit who lives in us every minute so we can rely completely on him all the time. If we care about it, he cares, too. So, if you are in a situation, even a small one, that is making you anxious, just stop and pray Ephesians 3:20. Let the reality and power of what it promises sink into your heart. Breathe! Release the anxiety and thank God that he knows and is able to do more than you can ask or imagine in that situation.
Dear friends, be blessed as you claim that nothing in your life is too big, or too small, for God to care about. Be blessed with growing faith as you choose to trust in his all-consuming love for you. Be blessed as you cry out like the father in Mark 9:24, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” Then, leave your anxiety behind. Amen.
Mary Sumner ~ June 7, 2022