Thursday, May 31, 2012

Embraced by the Spirit: The Untold Blessings of Intimacy with God

Embraced by the Spirit: The Untold Blessings of Intimacy with GodEmbraced by the Spirit: The Untold Blessings of Intimacy with God by Charles R. Swindoll
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Chuck Swindoll is my favorite Bible teacher. His writing is such a joy to read. This book is a very encouraging book to read. It is helpful to know that "He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world. I highly recommend this book. The following quotes are from the book:

The life that He lived qualified Him for the death that He died. And the death that He died qualifies us for the life that He lived.   ~Ian Thomas  p. 13
He enables you to face today’s trials. He empowers you to meet tomorrow’s demands. He gets you past the divorce. He guides you to your mate. He goes with you to the funeral home. Thursday, Friday, Sunday, Monday, He is with you. Wherever you are—hospital room, dorm room, at home alone, in a difficult work environment, with a sick child, standing by a fresh grave—you have an inner Helper. He has “come alongside” to assist you. The Spirit of God has been provided to comfort as nobody else can. He loves you. He’ll never leave you. He supports and strengthens you. And because of His indwelling presence, you have an amazing life open before you. p. 34
We need to be a collective body of individuals whose lives are unexplainable apart from the supernatural work of the Spirit—growing us, transforming us, loving us to good works, as we increasingly look like Christ. pp. 86-87
People aren’t looking for the amazing; they’re looking for the authentic. p. 87
At critical moments in my own life, I have sought the counsel of seasoned individuals—and they’ve seldom been wrong. But you must choose your counselors very carefully. Wise and trustworthy counselors are persons who want for you only what God wants. Such persons will stay objective, listen carefully, think deeply, and answer slowly. p. 100
The kind of assignments God gives in the Bible are always God sized. They are always beyond what people can do because He wants to demonstrate His nature, His strength, His provision, His kindness to His people and to a watching world. That is the only way the world will come to know Him.  ~Henry Blackaby p. 102
Following Christ means that we must believe God is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will do. p. 103
God does not want us to substitute the good for the very best. p. 104
Anytime you force a door, thinking you’ll find satisfaction by getting your way, ultimately you will regret it. Leave it closed. Back away. Accept it. In acceptance lies peace. pp. 106-107
Four Guidelines That Will Help
If you’re struggling with a closed door, I have four guidelines to share with you that have helped me in my own process.
1. Since God is sovereign, He is in full control.
Read Revelation 3:7: “[I am the One] who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens.”
2. Being in full control, God takes full responsibility for the results.
Don’t try to carry that burden. It’s not up to you to make the divine plan work; it’s up to God. Your job is to walk in His will, regardless; it’s God’s job to make everything come together.
3. The closing of a good opportunity occurs in order to lead you to a better one.
Often in the winds of change we find a new direction. God took over and turned a jolt into joy.
4. Not until we walk through the open door will we realize the necessity of the previously closed one.
As a result of obeying God, accepting the closed doors, and walking through the open ones, God will honor you with a perspective you would never otherwise have. Henri Nouwen wrote, “The years that lie behind you, with all their struggles and pains, will in time be remembered only as the way that led to your new life.” pp. 114 – 115
Ask Him to soften the soil of your heart that has been hardened by bitterness or sadness or resentment or blame because of previously closed doors. Ask God to create in you a spirit of willingness and availability. p. 119
You must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don’t give it the time of day. Don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time—remember, you’ve been raised from the dead!—into God’s way of doing things. Sin can’t tell you how to live. After all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer. You’re living in the freedom of God. – The Message, (vv. 12-14) p. 137
How to Live Free
First, only God can bring relief to a soul this wretched.
Second, learn to recognize that a life lived in the energy of the flesh centers on self.
Third, a life lived with the Spirit in control leads us into grace. pp. 140 – 141
The original creation of man and woman is in God’s likeness, but when Adam and Even had a son, he was in Adam and Eve’s likeness. Something significant had changed about that image. Sin damaged the created ideal, but that damage must not have been complete. For this reason, one may say that the image of God has been defaced but not erased. It has been tarnished but not destroyed. p. 148
God allows our suffering. Don’t doubt for a moment that circumstances of suffering are used by God to shape you and conform you into the “image of His Son.” Nothing enters your life accidentally—remember that. There is no such thing as “luck” or “coincidence” or “fate” to the child of God. Behind our every experience is our loving, sovereign Lord. He is continually working things out according to His infinite plan and purpose. And that includes our suffering. When God wants to do an impossible task, he takes an impossible individual . . . and crushes him. Being crushed means being reshaped—to be a vital, compassionate, useful instrument in His hands. pp. 190 – 191

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