// Lynette Hagin
"The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."
—Isaiah 58:11 (NIV)
Last month I began writing about the days we are living in. I believe that we are in the last days. Jesus could return at any moment. Paul admonished Timothy concerning the last days, "You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred"
(2 Tim. 3:1–2 NLT). Certainly all of us have experienced difficult times in this day.
Life for many seems to be "all about me." People ask, "What can satisfy me? How is this going to benefit me?" Jesus commanded His disciples concerning the last day, "You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected" (Matt. 24:44 NLT). In the last issue I said that the first step we need to take to be ready for the Lord's return is to present ourselves entirely to him.
The second step we need to take is to walk in the Spirit each day. Galatians 5:16–17 (NLT) commands us, "So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions."
You may be thinking, "How can I walk in the Spirit continuously?" To accomplish that, we must do several things. Of course, each day we should read our Bible and pray. However, I have found that we must surround ourselves with a good spiritual atmosphere. It is important to recognize that the presence of God can be with us at all times. Psalm 140:13 (NLT) says, "Surely righteous people are praising your name; the godly will live in your presence." I surround myself continuously with praise and worship music. Godly music helps me live in God's presence. We have worship music playing continuously in our home. I sleep by it. I get dressed in the morning by it. And whenever I am at home, I am listening to that music. Worship music keeps my focus on the Lord. Often as I listen, I talk to God.
For instance, one of my favorite songs is "Because He Lives" by Bill Gaither. The chorus begins, "Because He lives, I can face tomorrow." As I listen to those words, suddenly I begin thanking the Heavenly Father that because His presence goes with me, I truly can face each day and each situation.
You can be on your job and still keep your thoughts on God. I constantly talk to Him as I accomplish each day's tasks. Often I say, "God, I need wisdom to make a decision." Or I may say, "Lord, give me strength to perform every task that is necessary today." As I talk to God, He in turn talks to me. The more you communicate with Him each day, the more His thoughts become your thoughts. And suddenly you will develop walking in the Spirit.
A third step we need to take to be ready for the Lord's return is to practice the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22–23 (NKJV) says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." I admit that practicing the fruit of the Spirit is not always easy. When someone wrongs you, the last thing your flesh wants to do is love them. When you are experiencing turbulent times in your life, it can be difficult to practice having peace in your heart and mind.
However, I have found that the Father provides scriptures to help us practice the fruit of the Spirit. Matthew 5:44 (NKJV) says, "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you." John 16:33 (NKJV) says, "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." I encourage you to begin practicing these three steps. We will continue with this subject next month.