The nature of sanctification is soul transformation.
We all resist change. Truth be known—we like things as they are. Oh, I know, we say we want renewal, we vote differently, we shop for new, we relocate, we trade this routine for that—but even the habit of trying the latest can come from a heart afraid of change.
Blogging for me began in 2009, and what a blessing it’s been connecting with new and old friends through words on a page! Truly, God has used blogging to change the way I view the world, others, myself, His majesty. I can’t see myself ever quitting, but I have seen my heart transforming.
My love, desire, excitement for the words of God have only increased since starting Morning Manna. This practice of reading and writing has opened me up to hear more from the God I love—becausemeditating on truth that stops us in our tracks changes us from the inside out.
All that to say, Morning Manna is moving. I’m not changing the name, only the address. To keep receiving Morning Manna in your mailbox, head over to JoAnnAlo.blog and Subscribe. It’s as easy as that. If you already subscribe to JoAnnAlo.blog, you needn’t do a thing—we’re all set to connect. It’s a sort of meshing of the two together, but more weekly (sometimes daily) meditations and less blogging.
When we seek Jesus firstour soul is never in danger of staying the same.
When God speaks, our most dangerous predators—even demons obey. Camp there with me for just a second. The unseen world is no match for the Designer of it. Wait, God has ALL the power? Sorry, it’s just that sometimes scripture illuminates a heavenly place I hadn’t considered in a while.
I often get stuck in what I’m only able to see. My little home, my tiny road, my short time. But there is a whole universe beyond my ant-sized imagination. The Voice that spoke stars and galaxies into existence, knit little me together. Just as the sun was created to shine, so was I. Like deep waters, so is the mind God has fashioned within me for His pleasure. We are sculpted with the same blueprints as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it.”
Be still with me. Let’s remember how valuable, precious we are to God. How, of all His creations—we are His favorite. We are privy to His wisdom. He desires to live within us. He is preparing a place for us…not because we’re “all that”—simply because His heart is bent towards us. God is for us.
I’ve always thought Job a book of suffering, but today the Holy Spirit reveals something different. Something terrifying. The deceitfulness of pride. The devil is always gunning for it because he knows our deep affection for it.
I’m going way out on my theological limb this morning and say that—Jesus allowed my stubborn pride to nail His holy, all-powerful, omniscience to the cross. As scary as this image is in my fuzzy little head—I’ll need it to keep my heart in check.
There will be a thousand different ways today my pride will fight for position. I’ll hear someone speak and want to correct them. Someone will butt in front of me and I’ll judge them rude and selfish. I’ll be asked a question and think I have all the answers. My heart will argue to be lifted up, but my spirit will fight for my lowly state.
“The demon of pride was born with us; and it will not die one hour before us.” –Charles Spurgeon
“The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.”Proverbs 8:13
Have you grown up believing God was to busy for you? You need to read what He says about you, too you. God exhales His words through the pen of mere men, just as you and I were brought forth from our mother’s womb on account of His will.
What are you afraid of? Why do you resist Him? Whatever your reason—you’re not alone. Everyone who has ever picked up the Bible with fearful hands has faced their own unbelief.
Job is bitter. His hands are heavy, he’s groaning. He is swollen with complaining, rubbed with arguments, and who could blame him in his crushed condition? But where do we see Job going? Who is the One giving thoughtful, careful attention to Job?Certainly not his friends, not family.
There be but One who understands every detail of what you are going through, and He is here to hear your cries and speak truth and grace over you. The same One who allowed suffering in—made a better way out. You’re suffering isn’t for nothing! “For our light affliction, which is but for a MOMENT, IS WORKING FOR US a FAR MORE EXCEEDING and ETERNAL WEIGHT OF GLORY!” (Emphasis mine.)
Satan loves when we keep the words of God at arms length. Patting us on our aching back he says things like, “You’re doing great. You already know what God thinks. Let’s stay on task with more important things.” And we walk away self-confident, self-assured…running on “E”.
If the Spirit of the living God lives in you—you are granted everything you could ever need to get out of bed and brush your teeth. The living God breathes His living word, and we endure all things—every life-altering and piddly thing.
“Groanings which cannot be uttered are often prayers which cannot be refused.”–Charles H. Spurgeon
The voices around Job, in his darkest days, set themselves above him. “How long will you torment me and break me in pieces with words?”
How easy it is to look on others in their trials, their hardships, their misery—and find reasons why they likely deserve it. Forty-two chapters of Job clearly warns us of our propensity toward avoiding suffering and judging others.
We don’t get to, nor should we aim to, choose in what ways God will use to sanctify us. The beloved of God must prepare their heart for the days of suffering, loss, and anguish. If it’s not already visiting you, it’s at the door.
No follower of Christ makes it through this life without burying themself daily.
Reading through Job makes me shudder. I cry out to God, How will I survive when Your righteous hand slays me? What will I do when my enemies gather to tell me how I’m nothing but a disappointment to You? God is punishing you.
Remember this truth when the walls cave in. When it feels like you’ve lost everything. Remember these words of God when the wicked prosper all around you. Speak the truth to your soul when enemies accuse you, say all kinds of evil against you for Christ’s sake. And gift them to your sisters and brothers when darkness overshadows them too.
“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God.”