Will power will never succeed in dealing with the deeply ingrained habits of sin. As long as we think we can save ourselves by our own will power, we will make the evil in us stronger than ever.
Everybody thinks of changing humanity and nobody thinks of changing himself. Leo Tolstoy
Our adversary majors in 3 things: noise, hurry and crowds.
What happens in meditation is that we create the emotional and spiritual space which allows Christ to construct an inner sanctuary in the heart.
Prayer is the central avenue God uses to transform us. In prayer, real prayer, we begin to think God’s thoughts after him.
Perhaps the most astonishing characteristic of Jesus’ praying is that when he prayed for others he never concluded by saying “if it be thy will”. Nor did the apostles or prophets when praying for others.
Watch how much of our speech is aimed at justifying our actions. We find it almost impossible to act and allow the act to speak for itself. No, we must explain it, justify it, demonstrate the righteousness of it. Why do we feel this compulsion to set the record straight? Because of pride and fear, because our reputations our at stake.
One of the principal objects of our study should be ourselves. We should learn the things that control us.
It is time we awaken to the fact that conformity to a sick society is to be sick.
A frantic stream of words flow from us because we are in a constant process of adjusting our public image. We fear so deeply what we think other people see in us that we talk in order to straighten out their understanding.
Our tendency is to overestimate what we can accomplish in one year and underestimate what we can accomplish in ten years.
We are to be ministers of life not death.
Nothing disciplines the inordinate desires of the flesh like service, and nothing transforms the desires of the flesh like service in hiddeness. The flesh whines against service but screams against hidden service.
For a good confession 3 things are necessary: an examination of conscience, sorrow and a determination to avoid sin.
Singing, praying, praising may all lead to worship, but worship is more than any of them. Our spirit must be lighted by the divine fire. We have not worshipped the Lord until spirit touches spirit.
A striking feature of worship in the Bible is that people gathered in what we would call “holy expectancy”. They believed they would actually hear the voice of God. It was not surprising to them that the building in which they met shook with the power of God.
If Jesus is our leader, miracles should be expected to occur in worship. Healings both inward and outward, will be the rule, not the exception. The book of Acts will be not just something we read about but something we experience.
Worship begins in holy expectancy, it ends in holy obedience. If worship does not propel us into greater obedience, it has not been worship. To stand before the Holy one of eternity is to change.
In the spiritual life only 1 thing will produce genuine joy and that is obedience.
The decision to set the mind on the higher things of life is an act of the will. That is why celebration is a discipline. It is not something that just falls on our heads. It is the result of a consciously chosen way of living.