- ACT in the NAME of Jesus. To act in the name of Jesus does not mean to represent Jesus or to be His spokesperson (In my last post, I admitted I fail miserably in the role of God’s sales rep). It means to live out our lives from a posture of intimate, daily communion with Him. To act only after our hearts have deeply connected with Him, and we are united with Jesus in love. Jesus’ name has power. What if we asked ourselves throughout our days, “Where am I living from right NOW?” And moved forward only if we are, at that moment, dwelling IN the name of Jesus. Then Jesus would be acting in and through us — we would be “in His will.” If we pause a moment to ask ourselves, He’ll let us know if we’re living from someplace else. If the answer is anywhere except “IN Jesus,” then we should slip our hand back in His. Sometimes we might even slip away to spend more time alone with Him.
One of my most read posts was about God’s will and planned neglect. The idea was basically not to do anything unless God explicitly tells you to. That way we won’t find ourselves so busy doing other really good things that we don’t have time for God’s plans. I loved the idea but struggled to live it out. The truth is, I’m not always sure what He’s saying for me to do.
“Acting in the Name of Jesus” is a simpler version of that planed neglect — a welcomed adaptation for me. Make time for communion with Jesus every day (reading the Bible and just talking to Him). Then touch base internally throughout my day to see if I’m still living from that surrendered, dependent place in the Spirit.
Early quiet times work best for me, but I can slip into “take control and make it happen” mode before I say “Amen.” I like the idea of mini-checks all day to acknowledge where I’m dwelling. This puts practical legs on the idea of planned neglect. I think I can do this.
- Biblical Thanksgiving is not about circumstances; it’s about the character of God. I’ve heard “focus on the Giver not the gifts” all my life — but inherent for me in this phrase is a picture of the Giver’s hands holding out… my gifts. Where’s my mind, really? Shifting to a focus on the character of God — that’s a bit different. My wants, needs, circumstances, they’re not even involved. All that stuff changes with the wind, but Biblical Thanksgiving is rooted in God’s character and His promises that remain the same — always. When we start our prayers in Biblical Thanksgiving — telling God, You are my portion. You are all I need. When we acknowledge all the attributes of God that come to mind — we’ll find we land in His presence. If you don’t feel it, He’s still there! From Matthew 28:20 we know His promise, “I am with you always.” Trust what you know more than what you feel. When you thank Him for who He is and all His promises, you’ll also experience His peace. It’s another promise. Through thanksgiving we’re ushered into intimate communion.
From that point, prayers become childlike — in the best of ways. The stage is set: Who God is and who I am in relationship to Him. Then, it’s great to talk to Abba about all the personal details. The gifts He’s offered and the ones He’s withheld for my good. Burdens, desires, dreams, and mistakes. I can be thankful in everything, because “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
We forget to live in gratitude so often (15 minutes after writing this), that we declared a holiday of thankfulness. But, the greatest people I know live in daily, humble thanks to God. Thanksgiving is the trademark of following Jesus — it honors God, bringing glory to His name, and peace and blessings beyond measure to His people. Thanksgiving is central to a right relationship with God. And living in prayerful attention to that relationship, we can act in the name of Jesus.
Have a joyful, peaceful Thanksgiving! If you would like to receive future posts by email, please note below in comments. You can unsubscribe anytime.