A Trickling Stream

A Trickling Stream

By Brian C. Collins

“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”  John 7:38

“A river reaches places which its source never knows.” (Oswald Chambers)

Jesus told us how we can be rivers of living water to those around us and beyond, not knowing how far the river will travel.  I know this is true.  I wonder how much living water has flowed from me?  How often have we witnessed to others for Christ?  Do we always live our lives as if we believe what Jesus said?   How much have we really tried to live in obedience to God’s Word?

Yes, I have witnessed. I know, praise the Lord, that He has used me to touch lives.  I’m not calling into question anyone’s efforts to spread the Gospel. What I am questioning, is how many more could we have touched in the past if we had opened up more to Christ and His Word?  

Am I wide open to receive the message of God’s Word, in a dedicated daily diet of study. So that from me rivers of living water can flow to those in need?  Or am I reluctant and distracted, just peaking into the Bible briefly; creating a mere crack for a tiny trickling stream to leak out and touch a minuscule amount of people.

Oh, Father let me be a river of Living water for You, not a week trickling stream.

Testing, Testing — Is This Mic On?

Testing, Testing – Is This Mic On?

by Brian C. Collins

Matthew 6:5-18

“God does not hear us because we are in earnest, but only on the ground of Redemption.” (Oswald Chambers)

Prayer – I do pray each time before my devotions in hopes of preparing for a message from the Lord; the quote above struck me and caught my attention.  I can’t tell you how many times kneeling before God that in the back of my mind when something in my prayer is ranked high on my list as very important; I feel like I need to focus all my energy, emotion, and intensity into this section of my prayer.

If we think about prayer in the context of faith not works, the above quote makes sense.  How is physically exerting effort going to intensify the effectiveness of our prayer?

Are there things we can do to help draw God’s attention more than normal?  Yes, and although these things do require effort they are not a flag we can use to wave at God and say, pick me!   These tools are more of a way to help us strip away distractions so there is no noise muffling our voices in prayer. These tools are really there to prepare us to hear God’s still small voice more then they are for Him to hear us.

Fasting – Fasting is a popular form of getting real with God.  Matthew 6:17,18 it teaches us that if we fast we do it in a manner that no one knows.  Fasting is a whole other topic and involves much more than skipping meals. I would suggest one study Biblical fasting before they try it, there are spiritual guidelines and there are impotent physical and health-related rules to follow. 

Obedience –  You will see me write about this often.  I Samuel 15: 22 says To obey is better than sacrifice.  Remember Jesus said “if you love me, keep my commandments.” one of the ways to get real with God is to obey.

That’s it?  Well, as we all know, although the answer is short and simple the act of obedience is just the opposite.  It is very hard to do all were suppose to do according to the Bible.  It is imposable for us to do it without God’s help.

In the process of giving our all to living in obedience to God’s Word; He will help us and we will grow stronger and understand more, and in our prayer time, after we take time to confess our sins of the day removing any blockage of sight or sound to God’s eye’s and ears.  We will be turning on the lights, and turning up the volume controls of our microphone for God to hear our prayer. 

Don’t Stop! Don’t Yield! Keep Going!

Don’t Stop!  Don’t Yield!  Keep Going!

by Brian C. Collins

1 Cor 10:13, Romans 6:13

“Many of us suffer from needless temptations because we refused to let God lift us to a higher plane to face other kinds of temptations.” (Oswald Chambers, paraphrased).

I read through my devotional today, and I realized I don’t remember if I ever looked at temptation this way. It is a trial we must go through relying on Christ and His Word to come out on the other end without yielding to or committing the sin. A trial that passes strengthens us so that we can go through another trial of a different tempting. It is a process that is used to mature us and open our eyes to how much we really depend on the Lord and scripture along with the possibilities that lie before us through Christ.

When studying temptation and looking at it as a trial we go through, it really makes Philippians 4:13 come to life and show us again how the Bible is so true and applicable in our Christian life. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,” Philippians 4:13.

Through Christ, I am able to pass through these trials, and once past the first two miles, I gain a second wind and press towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus and gain more strength for the next mile. I can see how my past victories over temptation and sin give me encouragement to keep fighting the good fight and help me to keep running this race of the Christian life with more determination and hope of accomplishing much more for Christ than what little I have so far.

Keep running! Don’t stop! Don’t yield! Keep going!

Reaching a Spiritual Plateau 

by Brian C. Collins

 Job 42:10

“If you sense you’re not getting inspiration from God’s word, do what Job did, pray for your friends.  When he did, that was when God turned things around for the better for Job.” (Oswald Chambers)

I got pretty excited yesterday, I really felt the Lord had opened my eyes a little more to His Word and His presence.   This morning I admit there is not as much inspiration as the day before; my devotions today ended up covering inspiration. 

I’m not looking for new revelations, all we need to know is in God’s Word. I am however looking for new inspiration.  I have gone to great measures to remove as much influence of the world out of my home as possible to solely focus on my relationship with Christ.

And while I can admit to a tremendous improvement in my spiritual life; I can also see that it doesn’t take much for my sinful nature to rear it’s ugly head up, and throw a wrench in the spiritual workings of my life.

I also have had to face the fact that even when you devote all your free time with the Lord, that you will still fall short of getting where you need to be.  Being a monk will not improve anyone’s spiritual life.  Separation from the world in lifestyle will help but seclusion will only go so far.  Special time with God is a must in our Christian life but we can only grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ if we use what we learn amongst our fellow man.

Tell others about the Christ we seek so earnestly.  Learn first hand how to get through difficulty.  Getting close to God requires us to understand His Word, and our understanding or wisdom comes only through applying the Word of God to our daily lives and human interaction.  

Inspiration will slam into you like a freight train at full speed when you least expect it.  When one has combined dedication, application, and separation in the right balance.  All we can do is Humble ourselves before God, seek His Face and do our most to apply His Word to our lives.

Only He can bring us closer to His embrace, only He can send inspiration, and only our Lord Jesus Christ can make all things new.    

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