Solidarity: Fellowship to Strengthen – Part 2

God is gathering His saints (Christ-followers). 

His powerhouse (Ac 3:7, 16; 16:5, 2 Cor 1:21).

John 11:52 TPT tells us “…Jesus’ death would not be for the Jewish people only, but to gather together God’s children scattered around the world and unite them as one.”

God’s order is coming into place beautifully, being established through His mature bride for His return, by His Spirit. 

Seated (Eph 2:6).

Immovable (1 Pe 5:9).

Undivided and in agreement with Him.

The opposite of the anti-Christ’s one world religion (He 13:9, 2 Pe 3:17).

But to operate in true solidarity—by grace, a strong fellowship of faithful Christ followers who bring Heaven to earth and strengthen others—we must first be faithful in solitude.

Solitude is made of up of the Latin word “soli,” which, according to Webster’s, is plural for “solo” and can mean “accommodating one person.” (For the purpose of this devotion, that One person would be Jesus and in essence, means many serving The Lord and others for His Kingdom.) “Tude” in “solitude” is derived from the Latin word tudo, which means state or condition.

As Christians, we regard ourselves as being set apart from the world unto The Lord. We refer to solitude as our “secret place” with God. Sometimes, we call it our “alone time.” 

It’s where we commune deeply with God and are strengthened by His Presence, often in an attitude of prayer, worship, Bible reading or just being quiet before Him. 

Matthew 6:6 TPT says, “But whenever you pray, go into your innermost chamber and be alone with Father God, praying to him in secret. And your Father, who sees all you do, will reward you openly.”

One of the definitions of solitude that Webster’s uses is “A lonely place (as a desert).” 

This brings to mind Jesus being driven into the desert by Holy Spirit to be tested for forty days, while angels ministered to Him during and after (Mk 1:12-13, Matt 4:11).

Solitude is an arena for desperation. But the irony here is that it’s “also where God richly grants His presence and provision for those seeking Him.” It’s where “the limitless Lord shows Himself strong in the ‘limiting’ (difficult) scenes of life” (HELPS Word-studies).

Solitude is a place of preparation, where God breaks open the way for us to see and receive His higher through revelation and His glorious Presence.

Jesus especially experienced this soon before He was about to be crucified for our redemption. 

Matthew 26:42 TPT tells us, “…he left them for a second time to pray in solitude. He said to God, ‘My Father, if there is not a way that you can deliver me from this suffering, then your will must be done.’”

In-between the desert testing and His crucifixion, Jesus made solitude a practice: 

Luke 6:12 TPT says, “…Jesus went up into the high hills to spend the whole night in prayer to God.

Mark 1:35 TPT reveals, “The next morning, Jesus got up long before daylight, left the house while it was dark, and made his way to a secluded place to give himself to prayer.” 

Jesus also practiced solitude with His team of disciples: 

Mark 6:31 TPT says, “There was such a swirl of activity around Jesus, with so many people coming and going, that they were unable to even eat a meal. So, Jesus said to his disciples, “Come, let’s take a break and find a secluded place where you can rest a while.”

We all need solitude with God to grow and develop in our relationship with Him and get recharged from Kingdom work.

Abiding with Him day and night is the only way we can remain steadfast, wherever He sends us. 

Solitude is a place where our heart is strengthened (Ja 5:8): 

It’s where hope gets renewed, our passion is reignited, mysteries are revealed, healing happens and peace prevails. 

It’s where we exchange our low life for His high life: Our lust for His love. Our carnal appetites for His desires (Ga 6:8). 

It’s where crooked places are made straight in us (1 Th 3:13, 2 Th 2:17).

It’s where we become settled amid sifting (1 Pe 5:10). 

It’s where we are reminded to remain enthroned above the entombment of our past (Ep 2:6, Lk 23:53).

And it’s the only way we can bear good fruit in every season (Ps 1:3).

Psalm 1:3 AMPC says, “And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity]. [Jer. 17:7, 8.]”

1 Corinthians 15:58 TPT encourages us to, “… stand firm, stable, and enduring. Live your lives with an unshakable confidence. We know that we prosper and excel in every season by serving the Lord, because we are assured that our union with the Lord makes our labor productive with fruit that endures.”

Our strong union with God blossoms outwardly and exponentially in union with other believers to extend His love without falter. His Spirit enables us to minister in overflow.

In Colossians 1:23 TPT, Paul encourages us to “…continue to advance in faith, assured of a firm foundation to grow upon. Never be shaken from the hope of the gospel you have believed in…this is the glorious news I preach all over the world.”

So, friends, will you dare to be made more solid (whole) with God for His glory?

He desires a house that will stand (Ma 12:25).

This is my prayer for us…

Dear Lord, 

“Could there be any other god like you? You are the only God to be worshiped, for there is not a more secure foundation to build” our lives “upon than you” (Ps 18:31 TPT). “You’ve set” us “free from captivity and now” we’re “standing complete, ready to fight some more” (Ps 18:36 TPT)! Thank You for comforting and encouraging our “hearts and” strengthening “them” [making “them steadfast and” keeping “them unswerving] in every good work and word” (2 Th 2:17 AMPC). “Through you” we “ascend to the highest peaks of your glory to stand in the heavenly places, strong and secure in you” (Ps 18:33 TPT). Thank You for unseating Your enemies and shoring up breaches, by Your Spirit, and through Your people. Help us to remain in You and honor You—Your Presence and grace of glory-power. Your peace. Thank You for the safety and power in numbers, that “wherever two or three are gathered…in” Your “name, there” You are “in the midst of them” (Ma 18:20 AMPC). Thank You for prospering us everywhere You send us, by Your grace, enabling us to leave “the church stronger and more encouraged than before” (Acts 15:41 TPT).

In Jesus’ Mighty Name,

Amen

This video-devo was graciously re-posted by the Salem Web Network, which includes iBelieve.com.

Confidence In God: Your Bold Assurance

Hebrews 11:1 TPT says, “Now faith brings our hopes into reality and becomes the foundation needed to acquire the things we long for. It is all the evidence required to prove what is still unseen.”

Friends, faith pleases God.

Faith is a persuasive power that works on our behalf.

God is faith-full. He is full of faith. God actually deposits His faith in His redeemed people as part of the fruit of His Spirit, living on the inside of us. In this way, God’s “substance of things hoped for” is made available to be received in our soul, as we trust Him.

God uses faith’s persuasive power to convince us of His will.

One Bible commentary (HELPS Word-Studies) says, “The Lord persuades the yielded believer to be confident in His preferred-will (Gal 5:10; 2 Tim 1:12).” It involves our “obedience, but it is properly the result of God’s persuasion.”

Philippians 2:13 AMP affirms this by saying, “For it is [not your strength, but it is] God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure.”

Friends, as we grow in faith, we walk in God’s higher ways. He gives us everything we need to be successful.

Paul says in Philippians 1:6 TPT “I pray with great faith for you, because I’m fully convinced that the One who began this glorious work in you will faithfully continue the process of maturing you and will put his finishing touches to it until the unveiling of our Lord Jesus Christ!”

So, friends, because of God’s unwavering faithfulness, we can choose to be fully confident in His will, His ways, and His Word.

The question is, “Do we choose obedience to His faithfulness?”

Do we even believe this?

Do we trust God?

Do we hearken to His instructions?

Do we believe He is good and that He desires His best for us?

Or do we shrink back in distrust and fear, and turn to other things for help?

Do we want our way above God’s way?

Confidence in God requires that we first be persuaded by faith that He is trustworthy.

Isaiah 30 illustrates the conflict in value between trusting and distrusting God:

Isaiah 30:7 reveals that the help the Israelites sought from Egypt, which represents wicked bondage in the Bible, is worthless. Consider this compared to the help from The Lord, who is worthy.

The outcome of choosing God’s way is guaranteed victory, whereas by-passing God for sinful bondage will lead to an outcome of disaster that shames and disgraces us, causing us to feel worthless and wanting to give up (Is 3, 5).

Friends, we are worth more than that (1 Jn 4:4).

God calls us His treasure and give us the advantage of holding our head up.

We can be confident and courageous in our decision to follow The Lord. But any action that is not founded on faith is sin and will lead to loss.

This includes fear-based decisions, where we lean toward what’s familiar to us—our own understanding—above God’s instructions.

It all resorts back to what we put our faith in.

When we put our faith in faithful God—the giver and Source of faith—above ourselves, we can rest in knowing that we can trust Him and that He will protect us as we obey Him.

We can have full confidence in our limitless, eternal God to keep us safe all the way to manifest victory.

Hebrews 3:6 TPT assures us by saying, “But Christ is more than a Servant, he was faithful as the Son in charge of God’s house. And now we are part of his house if we continue courageously to hold firmly to our bold confidence and our victorious hope.”

According to Strong’s concordance, Bold confidence, in this verse, makes reference to fearless confidence, cheerful courage, and freedom of speech. Victorious hope in this verse refers to expectation and trust.

To anticipate or welcome what is sure, what is certain (HELPS Word-studies).

Friends, this assurance of victory is our confident hope in Christ.

So, what are you trusting God for?

Is your confidence in Him above your circumstances?

It will be if your faith is in Him.

Pray with me, if you will…

Dear Heavenly Father,

You are my Treasure. Thank You for valuing me as treasure, so much so that You desire Your best for me in life. Lord, I repent of trusting my ways above Yours. I repent of leaning on my understanding, of self-reliance and self-justification. I trade in my self-reliance for Your bold assurance. I repent of all other forms of sinful bondage, and I renounce all agreement with falsehood that has come against my faith and confidence in You. Bring me deeper into Your truth, Lord. I invite You to flood my heart with Your confidence and strength (Pr 14:26). “For you are the confidence of all the earth” (Ps 65:5). Please help me to remain in You so that I “may have a joyful confidence and not be ashamed” (1 Jn 2:28). Thank You, Lord, for Your “confidence in times of crisis” and for keeping my “heart at rest in every situation” (Pr 3:26). Thank You that as I continue to believe, trust, and rely on You, and put my “hope and confident expectation” in You, I will be “blessed with spiritual security” (Jer 17:7).

In Jesus’ Mighty Name.

Amen.

Friends, I pray that God will persuade you that He is faithful and trustworthy in everything He calls you to. I pray “…that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith” (2 Th 1:11). I pray that as you continue to run to God, you will experience His “wrap-around presence every moment” and that your “confidence will never be shaken” (Ps 16:8). I pray that others will observe your confidence in The Lord and will be amazed (Acts 4:13). I pray for recompense for every time the enemy of your soul attacked your faith, confidence, trust, and courage in The Lord. I pray that your confident expectations will always be full of truth, faith in our Lord, and manifest victory.

In Jesus’ Mighty Name.

To God be the glory!

This video-devo was graciously re-posted by Salem Web Network, which includes iBelieve.com.