Get in the Closet!
Whatever happened to the prayer closet? If you’ve never heard of one, it’s simply a private place to spend time with the Lord. It can literally be a closet, a private room, or even a chair in the corner of your bedroom. Mine is a stuffed chair in my home office. It’s a place to get alone with the Lord in prayer.
Scripture records the Lord Jesus getting away for solitary prayer:
“Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.” Mark 1:35 (NLT)
This is so important that Jesus tells us,
“But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” Matthew 6:6 (KJV)
Then three verses later He teaches us how to pray in our prayer closet:
“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.” Matthew 6:9-13 (KJV)
We call this the Lord’s Prayer, which describes a daily intimate personal relationship with our Father. As you enter your prayer closet, seek the Lord and allow Him to speak to your heart. This will become a habit that you’ll love, and your relationship with God will become personal and powerful. This will quickly become the best part of your day.
Now don’t just go into your prayer closet and ask for this and that. Many of us have made our prayer closet a supply closet. We only go in there for things. We don’t go in there for a relationship with God. Instead of seeking Him, we seek things! We have built shelves in our prayer closets, making it difficult to get inside. So we simply reach in and get what we want. It’s time that we believers take the shelving out of our supply closets and make them our prayer closets again.
We should make it a place where we go in, put our body down and fellowship in the Spirit with the Lord. In the prayer closet, we should give ourselves to Him and learn to enjoy the presence of the Lord. This is what He wants. This pleases our Father.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33 (KJV)
When we seek His presence, He sees our need and gives us His presents.
Our Father knows what we need before we even ask, even if we don’t ask. But what does He need? Us! Don’t miss out on the best part of spiritual life, which is being with the Lord. So make a little time, move those shelves, and get in the closet!
Contentment – Streams in the Desert – January 7
I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content (Philippians 4:11).
Paul, denied of every comfort, wrote the above words in his dungeon.
A story is told of a king who went into his garden one morning, and found everything withered and dying. He asked the oak that stood near the gate what the trouble was. He found it was sick of life and determined to die because it was not tall and beautiful like the pine. The pine was all out of heart because it could not bear grapes, like the vine. The vine was going to throw its life away because it could not stand erect and have as fine fruit as the peach tree. The geranium was fretting because it was not tall and fragrant like the lilac.
And so on all through the garden. Coming to a heart’s-ease, he found its bright face lifted as cheery as ever. “Well, heart’s-ease, I’m glad, amidst all this discouragement, to find one brave little flower. You do not seem to be the least disheartened.” “No, I am not of much account, but I thought that if you wanted an oak, or a pine, or a peach tree, or a lilac, you would have planted one; but as I knew you wanted a heart’s-ease, I am determined to be the best little heart’s-ease that I can.”
Others may do a greater work,
But you have your part to do;
And no one in all God’s heritage
Can do it so well as you.
They who are God’s without reserve, are in every state content; for they will only what He wills, and desire to do for Him whatever He desires them to do; they strip themselves of everything, and in this nakedness find all things restored an hundredfold.
The Landmine of Fear
By: Charles Stanley
Though some apprehension is healthy, fear shouldn’t be a way of life for the Christian.
Since our world has many dangers, we have legitimate reasons to be afraid. But Christians shouldn’t live in trepidation as a way of life, because God’s awesome promises allow us to be at peace in every circumstance.
For our protection, God has instilled some natural apprehensions in us, like a fear of snakes or deep water. He also gave us a warning system so that we could react quickly to danger. For instance, if a car speeds toward us, an instantaneous reaction of alarm could save our life.
But a constant, all-consuming dread is unhealthy. Most of our fears relate to dangers that might occur, threatening the welfare of loved ones, financial stability, or future security. Our attention is then centered on these concerns rather than on the One who promises to hold us in His hand (Isa. 41:10). As anxiety grows, trust in the Lord weakens, and we become consumed with worry.
Instead of going down this route, ground yourself in Scripture, and don’t allow apprehension to blind you to God’s promises. Believe what He has said in 2 Thessalonians 3:16, and ask “the Lord of peace” to “continually grant you peace in every circumstance.”
Bible in One Year: Genesis 24-25
The immutability of God
By: Charles Spurgeon
(The Immutability of God is an attribute that “God is unchanging in his character, will, and covenant promises.)
“I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed” Malachi 3:6
Suggested Further Reading: Romans 11:33-12:2
It has been said by some that “the proper study of mankind is man.” I will not oppose the idea, but I believe it is equally true that the proper study of God’s elect is God; the proper study of a Christian is the Godhead. The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy, which can ever engage the attention of a child of God, is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings and the existence of the great God whom he calls his Father. There is something exceedingly improving to the mind in a contemplation of the Divinity. It is a subject so vast, that all our thoughts are lost in its immensity; so deep that our pride is drowned in its infinity. Other subjects we can compass and grapple with; in them we feel a kind of self-content, and go our way with the thought, “Behold I am wise.” But when we come to this master-science, finding that our plumb-line cannot sound its depth, and that our eagle eye cannot see its height, we turn away with the thought, that vain man would be wise, but he is like a wild ass’s colt; and with the solemn exclamation, “I am but of yesterday, and know nothing.” No subject of contemplation will tend more to humble the mind, than thoughts of God. We shall be obliged to feel:
“Great God, how infinite art thou,
What worthless worms are we!”
But while the subject humbles the mind it also expands it. He who often thinks of God, will have a larger mind than the man who simply plods around this narrow globe.
For meditation: “In the beginning God” (Genesis 1:1) could well describe these opening sentences of Spurgeon’s “New Park Street Pulpit”. But who or what comes first in our thoughts and lives?