One morning I disagreed with someone. Although I wanted to state my disagreement, I could sense my words would not be spoken in love, so I fled to my Refuge by silently praying, "You're my Refuge, Lord. I hide in You. I won't say a word You don't provide."
When I began leading home Bible studies, I found one thing was essential if I were to depend upon the Spirit. I needed to pray until I was confident that the Lord would help. Then I taught with assurance that the Spirit was directing my thoughts. When I failed to prepare myself through believing, I discovered I was looking for signs that those in the class had profited. If there were none, it was easy to become discouraged. However, when I trusted God to help, I could leave the results with Him. The secret was to keep my focus on the Lord and not on the people.
To live a holy life may seem as impossible as the idea pictured on a poster of a small sleepy cat nestling inside a box. On the outside is the picture of a tiger. The caption reads, "When you dream, dream big." There is no way that the little kitten will become a tiger-cat without some drastic mutation. God's command, though, to be holy is not an impossible command.
Samuel Logan Brengle, a favorite preacher in the early days of the Salvation Army, formed a habit of choosing a text for his day. As a traveler stuffs snacks in his pockets, Brengle daily stuffed the pockets of his mind with tasty treats from the Word. These snacks were short, simple statements of promise, reassurance, or comfort he would turn to for support and power along the way.
Rees Howells, Intercessor is the story of a man whose prayers literally directed world events. One of the first things the Spirit taught him was that effective praying must be guided praying, and that, rather than praying for all kinds of things at his own whim or fancy, he was to expect the Holy Spirit to guide his asking. The Spirit gave him these key words, "Of all that I give you see that you lose nothing." He was to pray and receive everything for which the Spirit impressed him to pray.
When Patty first came to our home Bible study and began praying as a new Christian, she received remarkable answers to prayer. Small things she asked for appeared in such unusual ways that she could not mistake those happenings as coincidences.
I was attending a seminar in St. Louis and had begun the first day with a sweet awareness of Jesus' presence. By that evening I was praying, "Lord, why did I lose that sense of Your presence as the day progressed?" I dreaded going back the second day without an inner confidence that I was abiding in Him.
Our guest arose from the kitchen table and stretching out his hands he began to quote Isa 65: "Ready was I to answer men who never asked me, ready to be found by men who never sought me. I cried out, 'Here am I' to folk who never called to me. I have stretched my hands all day to unruly rebels, who lead a corrupt life pleasing themselves, a people who provoke me to my face continually" (vss. 1,2 Moffat).