If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink." (John 7:37b)
Feeling a bit parched? Searching to quench that thirst with an iced tea or Diet Coke? Dive into the Word for real refreshment!I try to be diligent in my Bible reading and am often rewarded by God's speaking to my heart through particular scriptures. I pause and sometimes even write them down. The reflection usually ends there, however. This year, I would like to pursue the verses that God lays on my heart by pondering how He wants me to apply these verses in my life.
Here is what spoke to me this week:
Be joyful always; pray contniually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not put out the Spirit's fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil. May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it.
(1 Thessaloninas 5:16-24)
I've been feeling discouraged lately in my spiritual growth. It seems as if every time I've had the opportunity to do something that would make a difference to others and myself spiritually, I've failed. Rather than holding back words of anger to my children, I've let them out. I've been sarcastic to my husband rather than guarding my tongue. When two different friends shared moments of frustration and disappointment with me, I've been at a loss to provide comforting words for them. When gossip confronted me in a car ride, rather than gracefully changing the subject, I joined in. I know that it is the Holy Spirit gently convicting me of my sins to help me grow stronger in my faith, but I feel sure that it is the enemy who is making me feel discouraged.
God's Word has once again come to my rescue with these verses from 1 Thessalonians. At first the admonition to always be joyful seems insurmountable, but it becomes doable with the advice to be thankful in any situation because it is a part of God's larger plan. Praying continually and being joyful creates in me the right heart to live victoriously.
I also realize from these verses that when I refuse to test my choices and make sure that I am holding on to only the good, I am in danger of quenching the Spirit. The weaker the Spirit becomes within me because of my refusal to listen to His voice, the easier it is for the enemy to attack me with feelings of condemnation. By choosing the good and avoiding evil, I strengthen my relationship with God.
The most important point from these verses is that it is not I that can sanctify myself; it is God, and He can do so through and through. He has called me, and it is His desire to see me mature spiritually. My faith is made stronger each time I admit to myself that God is the one who will refine me.
So, what verses have spoken to you this week? Post those verses on your own blog, along with how you see that God wants you to apply them in your life. Then, provide your link below so that we can drink from one another's wells of scripture.