Seeking God in Solitude

Learning to seek the face of God is the foundation for experiencing the amazing life Jesus died to give us. We have available to us through Christ all the wonders, excellencies, and satisfaction we can fathom. God has granted us grace upon grace, mercy upon mercy, affection upon affection, and love upon love. When we pursue him through all the avenues available to us, a door is opened in which we discover all our heavenly Father longs to give us. May you grow in your pursuit of God this week as we study various ways we’ve been given to seek his face.

“And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.”- Matthew 14:23

The Devotional

Our world is filled with hustle and bustle. We reward busyness as if always working, striving, and achieving were the true marks of a life well-lived. We elevate those who have given everything to gain success. To be tired is to be weak. To be in need is to fail. To rest instead of work is to be lazy or selfish. As believers, we’re living in a society whose values do not match that of our heavenly Father’s. We need an adjustment of perspective.

We are created for time spent alone with our heavenly Father, away from the cares and ways of the world. We are created to seek God in solitude. Jesus modeled this important principle throughout his ministry. Luke 5:15-16 says, “But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.” Mark 1:35 says, “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” And Matthew 14:23 says, “And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.” If Jesus needed time alone with the Father, you and I most certainly do.

Solitude is vital in our pursuit of deeper relationship with our heavenly Father. What would a marriage be if the couple only ever saw each other in large groups? What would a friendship be if you never spent time as just the two of you? Yet countless believers, Sunday after Sunday, file through church doors to meet with a God they are not encountering in the secret place. Our heavenly Father loves corporate worship to be sure, but community is intended to be an extension of the love and transformation we are receiving in solitude with God. Matthew 6:6 says, “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” It’s in the secret place that we learn what our Father is really like. It’s in the secret place that we discern what his voice sounds like, find his heartbeat, and become like him.

Without solitude our faith will not stretch into the inner places of our hearts that so desperately need to be flooded with the light of glorious relationship with our heavenly Father. If you long to be loved, it’s in the secret place you’ll discover the wellspring of affections found in the heart of God. If you need someone to listen, it’s in solitude you’ll discover the always listening ear of your heavenly Father. And if you need a friend, it’s in time spent alone fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit that you will find a friend who will never leave you, forsake you, hurt you, or mislead you.

May you discover what you’ve been longing for in the secret place with God. May you pursue deeper connection with your heavenly Father through the wonderful discipline of solitude.

The Prayer

1. Meditate on God’s desire to meet with you in the secret place.

“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:6

2. Reflect on your need for solitude. If Jesus needed time with the Father, receive the truth that you need it as well.

“And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” Mark 1:35

“But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.” Luke 5:15-16

“And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.” Matthew 14:23

3. Spend time alone pursuing God in solitude. Allow the silence to draw you into a deeper place of reflection. What has been hurting you? Where do you need your heavenly Father’s affections?

“But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.” Galatians 1:15-17

 

The Humble King

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”  

Philippians 2:5-7

There has never been a greater depth of humility than what we find in Jesus. He was a man marked by astonishing sacrifice. He lived in utter devotion to God the Father and us, his undeserving people. Philippians 2:5-7 says, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”

Jesus became a servant so we could be made sons and daughters. He took on flesh that our flesh might find true redemption. He emptied himself of that which he was rightfully owed that we might receive grace upon grace, which we’ve done nothing to deserve.

The coming of Christ we celebrate at Christmas is entirely descriptive of the heart of God. Just as Jesus came to make a way for us, he comes still. Just as Jesus came that fateful day millennia ago, he comes to meet with us still. And just as the world received its greatest gift in Jesus, we still find in the presence of God our greatest gift on a daily basis.

We can find hope and joy in the fact that we serve a humble King. Our King does nothing from selfish ambition. Unlike us, he does nothing to better himself or cover for his own inadequacies. Rather, because he is already entirely full and complete, he gives of himself freely that we might live in the light of his grace and love. He doesn’t use his deity to demand anything from us, but instead to give us life, breath, and meaning.

Take time today to rest in the humility of Jesus. Find hope for your past, present, and future in the simple truth that Jesus has and will continue to be everything you need. And open your heart to receive the life-giving presence of your humble King.

1. Meditate on the humility of Jesus. Allow Scripture to paint a clear picture of the heart of God.

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” Philippians 2:5-7

2. Choose to trust in the humble leadership of God. Give him every part of your life knowing that he doesn’t lead you out of selfish motive, but leads you entirely for your good.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1

3. Take time to rest in the presence of Jesus. Receive the gift of his nearness. Find joy in the depth of his love.

“My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14

 

God the Giver of Comfort

“As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you.”-Isaiah 66:13

Our heavenly Father is the giver of every good gift. His mercies are vast, powerful, and real. His love has the ability to completely overwhelm and satisfy every one of our needs. Everything he gives us satisfies, transforms, and leads us to abundant life. As we spend this week stirring up our affections toward God, allow your heart to become soft and open. Allow his loving character to draw you close and provide life to every dry and weary place in your soul.

The Devotional:

Isaiah 66:13 says, “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you.” Your heavenly Father is the God of comfort. When the world takes its toll on you, he longs to wrap you in his loving embrace and bring you comfort to cover all your pain. In the face of trials and tribulations, he desires to provide you comfort in the fact that he works all things for your good. And when everything seems bent against you, he longs to sing comfort over you as he fills you with the joy and foundation of his presence.

Jeremiah 31:13-14 says, “‘Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. I will feast the soul of the priests with abundance, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness,’ declares the Lord.” God is in the business of turning what your enemies meant for evil into the very source of your joy. He loves to transform what was once your greatest sorrow into a reason for gladness. He longs to lead you to a life of abundance and satisfaction when the world around you seems to be dry, weary, and depleted.

God is calling out to you, “Come to me . . . and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). He is beckoning you to open your heart to him and receive the comfort only he can provide. Sometimes opening our hearts to him can be difficult. To have our wounds be truly comforted and healed requires allowing him to come and speak to the vulnerable and sore places of our hearts. We all have wounds deep down that we have worked tirelessly to keep hidden from others and even ourselves. We all have areas of our lives that seem to hurt too greatly to bring up again, even if the very act of bringing them to the surface will be our source of healing.

When God beckons you to open up the hurt places in your life to him, know that he will only ever speak love, mercy, and forgiveness. And know that after he gets done comforting you, the area that used to be a harmful wound will be a continual source of joy, gladness, and abundant life.

Open your heart to your heavenly Father today as you pray. Allow the Spirit to guide you to wounds that need to be comforted and healed. Allow him to wrap you up in his loving presence and guide you into the abundant life he intends for you.

The Prayer

1. Meditate on God’s desire and ability to comfort your every hurt. Reflect on his promise to provide you rest where you are weary.

“I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will lead him and restore comfort to him and his mourners, creating the fruit of the lips. Peace, peace, to the far and to the near,’ says the Lord, ‘and I will heal him.’” Isaiah 57:18-19

“Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. I will feast the soul of the priests with abundance, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 31:13-14

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

2. Ask the Spirit to guide you to areas of your heart that need to be comforted and healed. What past or present afflictions have wounded you? What’s at the source of your mourning, sorrow, or pain? What does God long to heal today?

3. Ask God to show you how he feels about the person, situation, or belief that wounded you. Ask him to show you where he was through it all. Remain in his presence, allowing him to speak and provide comfort and healing. Spend as long as it takes for your hurt to be comforted.

Making Prayer a Priority

ECCLESIASTES3:1-8

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.

Is God Calling You?

 

If you have not yet made a commitment to God; if you have not yet repented of your sins and turned to God through Jesus Christ, asking for forgiveness for all your past sins; if you have not yet been baptized by immersion and received the laying-on-of-hands, as God’s Word commands, then it’s high time that you seriously consider the contents of this blog.

But is God calling you at this time? How can you know for sure?

The answer is simple: It is a mistake to assume that God is not calling you! Rather than think that God may not be calling you, be thankful that you are being invited to receive the salvation He wants to give you-and make sure you don’t fail to respond to the invitation!

You can be a member of the elect body. You can fulfill your destiny, which is the proper destiny of all humankind: eternal life in the Kingdom of God!

Don’t put it off! It’s a Free Ticket! And Tickets Are Still Available

Predestination and election can be easily understood with the following illustration: Luvoyo Matiwane lives in Easter Cape, South africa. He has been invited to attend a banquet in Pretoria, South Africa. The host for the banquet sent Billy Sigudla a ticket for a seat on a bus scheduled to leave  idutywa at 9:00 pm. on a Wednesday and arrive in Tshwane on Wednesday at 12:00 noon the following day day-just in time for the party.

The destination of the bus has been predetermined. As soon as Luvoyo steps onto the bus, he becomes a participant in this predetermined trip. His ticket assures him of a seat on the bus. His destination is certain.

However, if Luvoyo throws away his ticket before departure, or if he gets off the bus between idutywa and Tshwane, he will not arrive at the destination originally intended for him.

The same is true of the predetermined journey God has set before us. If we use the free “ticket” He has given to us, get aboard the “bus” to the Kingdom, and stay on the bus until it arrives, we will arrive at our proper destination. But if we get off the “bus” before it reaches its destination, we will not enter the Kingdom. Or, if we throw away the “ticket” before boarding, we will forfeit our “seat” on the bus and lose the privilege of participating in the predetermined journey.

The host of the banquet invited many, offering them free tickets, but many of them declined the offer. The only ones finally chosen for participation in the festivities were those who made the trip and showed up for the banquet.

Divine election is no different. God chooses those who choose Him. Many are invited, but those finally chosen for participation in the Kingdom are those who accept God’s provisions for salvation. Jesus Christ is the Elect One chosen from the foundation of the world (Isaiah 42:1; 1 Peter 1:20). He is the Way into the Kingdom of God (John 14:6). When we accept Him, we are “in Christ,” and become participants in His death and resurrection (Romans 6:311; 2 Corinthians 4:14). Similarly, by joining ourselves to the Elect One, becoming members of His Body, we become participants in His election.

God Our Great Deliverer

Our heavenly Father is the giver of every good gift. His mercies are vast, powerful, and real. His love has the ability to completely overwhelm and satisfy every one of our needs. Everything he gives us satisfies, transforms, and leads us to abundant life. As we spend this week stirring up our affections toward God, allow your heart to become soft and open. Allow his loving character to draw you close and provide life to every dry and weary place in your soul.

kenny6

“You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance.”

Psalm 32:7

Our God, who delivered Daniel from the clutches of ferocious lions, David from countless pursuers, Israel from the entire nation of Egypt, and Lazarus from three days of death, promises to deliver us from whatever schemes the world has set against us. 2 Samuel 22:2-4 says, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.”

When we call upon the Lord our God, he works in mighty, mysterious, and perfect ways. God is perfectly able to do any and every work it takes to deliver us. Whether you need deliverance from sin, affliction, lies, or sickness, God has the power and desire to deliver you. He is both mighty and loving. He is both mysterious and real. He is both servant and King. And he sees your need and longs to meet you exactly where you are.

What enemy comes against you today? What stress, circumstance, sickness, or sin seems to have entangled you? The Lord says to you, “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation” (Psalm 91:14-16). Hold fast to the hand of your heavenly Father. Don’t just put your head down and muscle through whatever circumstance is before you. Instead, call on your Great Deliverer, place your hand in his, and allow him to guide you, equip you, and empower you for whatever stands in your way.

God loves to take the very circumstance that seemed insurmountable and use it to reveal to you the reality of his power and love. He loves to take the walls of Jericho that seem to stand between you and your dreams and cast down the enemy that you couldn’t defeat on your own.

Psalm 32:7 says, “You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance.” God is surrounding you with his shouts today. The question is, will you have the patience and faith to pause, open your ears, listen, and follow wherever he leads you?

Spend time in prayer allowing God to deliver you, protect you, comfort you, guide you, and give you peace.

Pastor Billy

 

17 March Billy Birthday

I thank God for allowing me to see my 32th Birthday celebration I call it #resurrectionBirthday

#Ezekiel16:
62 And I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD:
63 That thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord GOD.

Thank you Jesus my saviour

 

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