16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16. ESV.)
Charles Spurgeon reminds me,
What poor starvelings some saints are who live without the diligent use of the Word of God and secret prayer! If our piety can live without God it is not of divine creating; it is but a dream; for if God had begotten it, it would wait upon Him as the flowers wait upon the dew.
Without constant restoration we are not ready for the perpetual assaults of hell, or the stern afflictions of heaven, or even for the strifes within. When the whirlwind shall be loosed, woe to the tree that hath not sucked up fresh sap, and grasped the rock with many intertwisted roots. When tempests arise, woe to the mariners that have not strengthened their mast, nor cast their anchor, nor sought the haven. If we suffer the good to grow weaker, the evil will surely gather strength and struggle desperately for the mastery over us; and so, mayhap, a painful desolation, and a lamentable disgrace may follow. Let us draw near to the footstool of divine mercy in humble entreaty, and we shall realize the fulfillment of the promise, "They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength."
Discerning Through Trials
2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2. ESV.)
Grudem instructs in his book SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY that God has a revealed will and a concealed will. One we know because of His word. The other might never be understood this side of heaven. When it comes to "discerning what is the will of God" I am touched by Romans 12:2 which opens my eyes to what all is brought to light during tribulation. It not only has to do with me directly but I feel it also involves those who are aware of the situation... "what is good and acceptable and perfect". For example, I listen very carefully to what is said to me and actions that are made... what advice is given? How do individuals interact with me? Does it line up with God's word? What if it is an effort to thwart God's work? In reading scriptures everyday, I am able to tell what is "good", "acceptable", and "perfect" even if I do not realize it on the surface. Praise God.
The Fruit of the Spirit
I was reminded a week or so ago that a great way to read people is by their "fruit" (or lack thereof).
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5:22-26.ESV.)