Category Archives: Charles Stanley

August 17 The Peace of God

Scripture reading: Psalm 4

Key verse: Psalm 4:8

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep;

For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Trying circumstances often are the biggest inhibitors of experiencing a life of liberty in Christ. It is easy to get distracted from God’s promises of love and hope through His unfailing grace when under the same roof you live with a troubled teen or an unbelieving spouse. Or perhaps you quietly battle depression, poor health, or even oppression at work.

If you are facing a seemingly overwhelming difficulty, rely on what you know to be true. It was through unconditional love for us that God sacrificed His only Son while we were yet sinners. We never warranted His mere glimpse, much less the death of Jesus. Such love and forgiveness, immeasurable the moment you accepted Christ, remain every bit as vast now.

The love of God does not depend on your circumstances, your health, or your ability to feel His love. Try heightening your trust in God instead of heightening your anxiety, and “by faith” stand in God’s grace. Accentuate God’s many blessings and constantly remember Him.

You can enjoy the peace of God when you walk in His Spirit, obey Him, absorb His Word, and trust His grace. You, too, can reach the point at which you exult in your tribulations to bring perseverance, to bring proven character, to bring hope eternal.

Thank You, Father, for Your love and kindness toward me today. I praise You.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 240). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

August 17 The Waters of Peace

Scripture Reading: Romans 5:1–5

Key Verse: Romans 5:5

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

A favorite American gospel hymn contains the powerful but unusual lyric, “I’ve got peace like a river in my soul.” When you think of peace, do you imagine a river?

In the book of Romans, we are told that “the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit” (5:5). Again in John 4:14, the analogy of water is used when Jesus told the woman at the well, “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

Just as a clear mountain stream refreshes and nourishes the wildlife in its midst, the peace of God fills our hearts with comfort through the Holy Spirit. There is no greater peace than that which is available through Jesus Christ.

Try to imagine His peace washing over you like a cool stream of water—soothing your heartache, washing away doubt, and cleansing the wounds of sin and pain. Is the river of peace becoming clear to you now?

The peace that comes from God is not a static, stagnant emotion. Rather, it is a fluid, energetic wave of confidence in the One who holds the universe in His hands. Open your heart. Receive the satisfying waters of peace into your soul and give praises to God for His mercy and love.

Lord, when I am distraught, help me to immerse myself in the running waters of Your peace, so that I may be refreshed.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 240). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

August 17 Molded by the Master

Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 18:1–6

Key Verse: Jeremiah 18:4

The vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.

Young Christians often complain that the Christian growth process is slow and tedious. They become discouraged and stop growing because they want instant knowledge without exerting any effort. Seasoned Christians have some of the same difficulties only in a different way. They perceive themselves as having all the knowledge necessary to live the Christian life, so they stop growing and risk becoming hardened to the intimate love of God.

The Lord has a solution for both of these spiritual abnormalities. It is called being molded into the likeness of Christ, and it’s much more than a one- or two-year process. It is a process through which we grow abundantly as children of God. There is no time for boredom or pride because we are too much in love with Christ.

Elisabeth Elliot wrote: “God will never disappoint us. He loves us and has only one purpose for us: holiness, which in His kingdom equals joy.” Holiness is a priority with God. When we seek to be like Christ, we seek holiness.

But to become holy, we must submit ourselves to the shaping and molding of God’s loving hands. Clay cries out to be molded into something of beauty. The Potter longs to mold and shape your life. Allow Him to take whatever time He needs to create in you joy and devotion of immeasurable worth.

Heavenly Father, mold me into the likeness of Your Son. The clay of my spiritual being cries out to be made into something of beauty.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 240). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

August 17 A Casual View of Sin

Scripture reading: Romans 6:1–7

Key verse: Romans 6:12

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.

How do you describe sin? Separation from God? Yielding to temptation? The bottom line to sin is rebellion against God where we make a conscious decision to step away from what we know is God’s best for us.

Is anyone immune to temptation? No. Even Jesus was tempted to trust His own strength above the provision of God. However, the Son of God was not swayed by Satan’s lies. He refused to listen to the enemy’s words as viable options. Instead, He used Scripture as proof that God was and is sufficient for every need we have.

Sin begins when we fail to see God as our Provider. The enemy whispers lies, stating that we need something more than what we have. He appeals to our five senses (touching, hearing, smelling, tasting, and seeing) and sets emotional traps for us along the way, knowing that we will see his mile markers and be weakened in our desires to have and hold more than what God has provided.

Sin answers the call of misguided desires. Satan stands ready to aid in your wandering, but don’t look to him to help or encourage you when your world falls apart. He will only condemn and ridicule you for your blundering.

Only God is loving enough to rescue one of His wandering flock. Have you strayed? If so, turn back to Jesus, and you will find Him waiting for you.

I reject the lies of the enemy. You are my Provider, God. I thank You that all I need is in You.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 240). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

August 17 Tenets of a Spiritual Walk

scripture reading: Colossians 3:5–10
key verse: Colossians 1:10

That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.

Walking in the Spirit certainly is not as simple as one, two, three; but a pyramid of biblical truth can help you keep step with His cadence.

When you walk in the Spirit, you are doing what God tells you to do. That entails a consistent reading and hearing of God’s Word and obedience to His commands. You progressively discover what the Spirit of truth reveals through the Scriptures.

When you walk in the Spirit, you are doing what God says to do and how He says to do it. Learning God’s methods comes only through systematic, persistent study of God’s Word. It is not enough to read His truth. You must investigate, explore, and examine His principles.

Finally you walk in the Spirit when you do what God says, how He says to achieve it, and why He says to accomplish it. You apply the why through deliberate meditation on God’s Word. You read and study, but then you delight in, revel in, and ponder the awesome truths designed to glorify Christ that it reveals.

Keep these cornerstone tenets in focus each day, and walking in the Spirit will become natural for you.

Heavenly Father, through Your Spirit, reveal to me today the what, how, and why of each situation. Help me apply the principles I learn in solitude to the hectic arena of my everyday life.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1998). Enter His gates: a daily devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

August 16 Living in God’s Grace

Scripture reading: Psalm 84

Key verse: Psalm 84:11

The Lord God is a sun and shield;

The Lord will give grace and glory;

No good thing will He withhold

From those who walk uprightly.

Many Christians have no trouble confessing their salvation through faith in God’s grace, but many Christians at the same time do not understand that they are to live in God’s grace.

Romans 5:1–2 (nasb) states: “Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.”

Notice that believers “stand” in God’s grace, meaning it remains with us in our daily walk. It was a gift in the beginning, when you accepted Christ, and it is a lasting gift to you every day. You can add nothing to His grace. Since it is a gift, you owe God nothing. Besides, you could never repay Him for the death of His Son or for loving you enough to justify you into His fellowship. Grace is God’s kindness and graciousness toward humanity regardless of our worthiness and the fact that no one deserves it.

Trying to repay God by doing good works or by drawing an imaginary line, however noble the intention, is an ill-conceived idea. Accept God’s grace as evidence of His love for you because that is exactly what it is: unconditional, undeserved love. All He wants is your love in return. Works and obedience naturally follow as sweet by-products.

Oh, God, thank You for the grace You extended to me, even though I didn’t deserve it. I love You![1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 239). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

August 16 Guilty Feelings

Scripture Reading: Psalm 103:6–12

Key Verse: Psalm 103:12

As far as the east is from the west,

So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Just when we think we are free of some past sin, the enemy discreetly reminds us from where we came. He places sin around our necks like an albatross. Is it possible to shed those feelings of guilt forever and find spiritual peace?

The motive of the devil is to lie to us so that we become confused and wander away from the narrow path that leads to our heavenly Father. That’s why we must ask the Lord for discernment from the enemy’s lies so that we can put them aside and move forward.

When we ask God to forgive us of any sin we have committed—whether it be in the distant past or just today—He gladly obliges us. Suddenly, the sin that was a barrier in our relationship with God is removed. God never reminds us of our past sins.

David wrote that God removes our sins as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). We know that, yet we still struggle with past sins. In overcoming those feelings of guilt, we must be in constant remembrance that it is God’s grace that brings freedom.

Whenever the enemy brings our past to mind, we can defeat him by recalling our source of forgiveness and reminding ourselves of what God’s Word says: our sins are gone as far as the east is from the west.

Lord, when I am reminded of past sins, I know it is not You who is dangling them under my nose. I renounce the works of the enemy in trying to discourage me.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 239). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

August 16 The Great All

Scripture Reading: John 14:21–23

Key Verse: Hebrews 11:6

Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

  1. A Tozer underscored the vital necessity of reckoning with the unseen reality of God and His power:

The spiritual is real … We must shift our interest from the seen to the unseen. For the great unseen reality is God. “He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). This is basic in the life of faith.

Every man must choose his world … As we begin to focus on God, the things of the Spirit will take shape before our inner eyes.

Obedience to the Word of Christ will bring an inward revelation of the Godhead (John 14:21–23).

A new God-consciousness will seize upon us, and we shall begin to taste and hear and inwardly feel the God Who is our life and our all.

More and more, as our faculties grow sharper and more sure, God will become to us the great All and His Presence the glory and wonder of our lives.

Tozer concluded with this prayer. Lift it as your own today:

Dear Lord, open my eyes that I may see; give me acute spiritual perception; enable me to taste Thee and know that Thou art good. Make heaven more real to me than any earthly thing has ever been.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 239). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

August 16 Shattering Strongholds

Scripture reading: Matthew 4:1–11

Key verse: Psalm 56:2

My enemies would hound me all day,

For there are many who fight against me, O Most High.

To tear down the enemy’s strongholds so you can enjoy the freedom in Christ that belongs to you, you must first restrict his work and influence.

You remember from 2 Corinthians 10:3–5 that you cannot fight him by ordinary means. Bringing every thought captive to Christ is a job for Jesus Christ. Jesus does it for you when you use scriptural principles for warfare.

First, get rid of any objects and materials that belong to Satan. The Bible is clear that astrology and occult practices are Satan’s domain (Deut. 18:10–14; Gal. 5:20). If you have any occult paraphernalia, destroy it at once. It would be a good idea to have a pastor or Christian friend with you as a witness.

Second, pray in Jesus’ name for the stronghold to be shattered. Before you pray, find some Bible verses that pertain to your situation, and use them in your prayer. There is real power in the name and blood of Christ, and Satan cannot stand in the presence of the Son of God.

Always bear in mind that you are not the one doing the binding or crushing of Satan’s influence. Pride or a desire for personal power has no place in battling the evil one. Your liberation lies only in humble faith in the power of Christ. Jesus came to set you free; claim that freedom today.

In the name of Jesus, every stronghold in my life is shattered by the power of the blood! Jesus came to set me free, and I claim that freedom today![1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 239). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

August 16 Walking in the Spirit

scripture reading: Galatians 6:7–9
key verse: Galatians 6:8

He who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.

You are driving on a long trip to visit your folks for Thanksgiving. In the backseat, friction is rising between your ten–year–old and twelve–year–old. You have a decision. Will you lose your temper and discipline the children, or will you firmly correct them with your emotions under the Spirit’s control?

Such are the constant choices each individual makes to “walk in the Spirit.” It is not a mystical experience but practical submission to God’s will in everyday circumstances. Walking in the Spirit is thus a cultivated lifestyle, learning to act and react under His direction and influence rather than being controlled by temperament or personality.

Each day brings increasing cooperation with the Spirit’s will and power. You can walk in the Spirit one trusting step at a time. Begin with the next decision you must make.

One step at a time—and let me take it under the control of Your Spirit, O God. Teach me to act and react under Your direction. Make me Spirit led instead of temperament controlled.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1998). Enter His gates: a daily devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

August 15 Forgiveness Is Not Cheap

Scripture reading: John 8:1–11

Key verse: John 8:11

She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

No one knows what Jesus wrote in the sand the morning the woman caught in adultery was brought to Him. Some say He wrote the Ten Commandments. Others think He wrote the word forgiven. Regardless of the written message, the principle was clear: Grace would abound.

We can’t earn God’s grace. It is a gift He gives to all who come to Him seeking His forgiveness. Scantily clothed and lying at the Savior’s feet, this woman probably thought her fate was sealed. The punishment for adultery was death by stoning, a stark reminder that sin is neither kind nor respectful of those it takes captive.

Yet suddenly and unpredictably Jesus offered this woman a second chance. Warren Wiersbe commented, “For Jesus to forgive this woman meant that He had to one day die for her sins. Forgiveness is free but it is not cheap.”

Jesus was not soft on sin. “Nor is Christ’s gracious forgiveness an excuse to sin,” continued Wiersbe. “ ‘Go and sin no more!’ was our Lord’s counsel … Certainly the experience of gracious forgiveness would motivate the penitent sinner to live a holy and obedient life to the glory of God.”

We need God’s grace because we have fallen short of His plan. Forgiven and blessed by His matchless grace are those who call Him Savior and Lord.

Savior, thank You for forgiving me and blessing me by Your matchless grace. You are the Lord of my life.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 238). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

August 15 Peaceful Solitude

Scripture Reading: Psalm 9:1–5

Key Verse: Psalm 9:1

I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart;

I will tell of all Your marvelous works.

Clearly, we live in a loud society. This is not simply a problem in some parts of the world; rather, industrialized society and fast-paced living have filled the world’s airwaves with what can only be described as “noise.” Some of the noise is useful; for example, a late-breaking news report on all channels that warns of an approaching storm. However, many things that fill our ears are practically pointless. Why is the noise there, and why do we need it?

In Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster speculates, “One reason we can hardly bear to remain silent is that it makes us feel so helpless.… If we are silent, who will take control?” Very often, words are not only our means of communication, they are our means of control. We use words to manipulate our environment, to indelibly set our fingerprints on any given situation. If we don’t speak up, someone else will swoop in and take charge.

Sometimes, this is exactly what needs to happen. Foster continues, “If we are silent, who will take control? God will take control.” Our prayer lives are too often marked by an overabundance of talking, petitioning, and posturing. It is of extreme value to spend time daily talking with the Lord. However, it is also necessary to spend time in utter solitude before Him, allowing Him to speak to you uninterrupted. Take a moment to filter out the noise, and listen for God’s voice.

Lord, am I guilty of using my voice to control situations? Give me the will to silence my voice so that Yours can be heard and You can have control.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 238). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

August 15 Checking Your Progress

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 4:17–24

Key Verse: Psalm 37:37

Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright; for the future of that man is peace.

Like physical growth, spiritual growth is not necessarily something you feel yourself doing. You detect growth by seeing where you are now and looking back at where you’ve been. You can check your progress along the way as well if you know what to look for.

Increasing awareness of sin. You will develop a keener sense of sin in your life, a sharper awareness of your private motivations. As you expose your innermost thoughts to the truth of God’s Word, reality comes into clear focus, and it is much more difficult to justify wrongdoing.

Increase in spiritual battles. The heat is turned up when you begin to wrestle with issues of obedience in everyday life. Attacks may come from all sides, even from those you thought supported you. You will learn to rejoice as you “get dressed” in spiritual armor (Eph. 6).

Increased desire to serve. When you possess love overflowing, you want to give it away. That’s the nature of God’s grace—it’s a gift to be shared. Whether it’s a deed people can see or a commitment to praying for someone, you will develop a heart for others.

Decreased desire to be critical. The more you are aware of God’s grace for you, the less inclined you are to be harsh with others. Mercy breeds mercy, and you become a bearer of love.

Father God, increase my awareness of sin. Give me new desire to serve. Keep me strong for the spiritual battles I encounter as I continue to grow in You. Make me a bearer of love.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 238). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

August 15 Strongholds for Satan

Scripture reading: 2 Corinthians 10:3–5

Key verse: 1 Timothy 6:12

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

Another word for fortresses is strongholds, which, in the context of warfare, means “fortified places.” In the spiritual realm, aspects of your behavior and thinking can become strongholds for Satan—hard-to-penetrate positions that furnish excellent ground for him to assault your inner being.

A stronghold may be found in any area of your life, from your speech to interpersonal relationships to eating habits. It may involve a weakness or a predisposition to a certain sin. In any case, a stronghold is something that you have never completely surrendered to the lordship or control of Jesus Christ.

Can you identify any strongholds in your life? It’s not a mysterious subject. When you ask God to reveal His truth to you, He will reveal strongholds through the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Lord wants you to understand spiritual warfare so that you can end Satan’s influence and move forward in your relationship with Him.

Dear heavenly Father, please reveal any spiritual strongholds in my life, and give me strength to deal with them.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 238). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

August 15 A Supernatural Tool

scripture reading: Ephesians 3:14–21
key verse: Ephesians 3:16

That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man.

As Great Britain faced the German might alone in the initial stages of World War II, Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill sent this urgent but concise message to President Franklin Roosevelt: “Give us the tools, and we will finish the job.”

The power of the Holy Spirit is the supernatural tool God has given to equip and enable each believer. The power of the Holy Spirit is to do the work God calls you to accomplish.

Serving others, loving even your enemies, building up one another in the faith, sharing Christ, and exercising your spiritual gifts are possible only through the Holy Spirit’s enabling ministry. Trying to do such tasks in your own wisdom and strength and by your own methodology will eventually lead to failure and burnout.

The power of the Holy Spirit is also available for you to become the person God wants you to be. How can you possibly be loving, kind, gentle, patient, joyous, self–controlled, or peaceful apart from the Spirit’s help?

Depend daily on Him, and the task of becoming Christlike and building His kingdom can be achieved.

I’ve tried it in my own strength and failed. Lord, I need Your enabling power to accomplish the task. I’m depending on You today.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1998). Enter His gates: a daily devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

August 14 A Second Chance

Scripture reading: Romans 5:1–6

Key verse: Romans 5:8

God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

One of the most encouraging things you can receive from God is the hope that comes from being given a second chance. This is especially important when you have yielded to temptation or feel that you have fallen short of His plan and purpose for your life. The truth is that God never limits the opportunity for forgiveness.

Second chances encourage us to go on and not to give up even when the whispers of the world around us seem to say the opposite. After his denial of Christ, Peter was in need of a second chance, and Jesus, through His grace, provided it (John 21:15–17).

How many of us have longed for God’s cleansing touch when we become trapped by our wrongful actions? The only cure for sin or failure of any kind is God’s grace applied to our lives. This changes the stumbling sinner into a person living victoriously for Jesus Christ.

Even before you knew Him, Jesus knew and loved you. His love saved you, and His love will keep you throughout eternity: “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8 nasb).

Are you struggling with the idea of grace and how it applies to your life? Realize that God loves you. He stands beside you and is pleased to call you His own. This grace is yours.

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for Your love that saved me and gave me a second chance.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 237). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

August 14 The Power of Solitude

Scripture Reading: Psalm 4:1–8

Key Verse: Psalm 4:7

You have put gladness in my heart,

More than in the season that their grain and wine increased.

The phrase “quiet time” has become widely used in Christian circles over the past several years. Preachers preach it, teachers teach it, and prayer warriors rely on it. However, when we say “quiet time,” what are we really thinking?

Most likely, as you read this very passage, you are in the midst of your own quiet time. Perhaps you have soft Christian music in the background, a Bible on the table, and a soothing cup of coffee at your side. Maybe you have a cat nestled at your feet, and a lovely green yard outside the window. What warm and comfortable images!

All of these things are conducive to a refreshing prayer experience, a lengthy discussion with the Lord, or a moment of individual worship. However, even this peaceful scene is full of distractions.

Right now, you are actively reading; in a moment, you will spend a minute or two in prayer. However, this is not true “quiet time.” Your mind is full of thoughts, words, and quiet conversation. Although this time is vital, it is not solitude.

Richard Foster writes, “Without silence, there is no solitude.” A true moment of silence does not involve formulating your next thought or action, but instead is a moment of complete silence. Calm your mind, and even stop praying for a moment. Sit back and listen for a while. You may be surprised by what you hear.

Lord, I am unaccustomed to solitude—the deep silence in which You dwell. Teach me how to quiet the noise around me to hear Your voice.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 237). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

August 14 The Growth Process

Scripture Reading: Philippians 3:7–16

Key Verses: Philippians 3:13–14

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Penelope Stokes acknowledges in Grace Under Pressure:

Just as physical growth takes many years and much struggle, spiritual maturity comes hard as well. It takes time to grow—time to learn and mature—and the process isn’t as simple in reality as it looks on paper.

When we strive against the time necessary for our development, we live in frustration. But when we can relax in God’s timetable for our growth, depending upon His grace for the work His Spirit wants to do in our lives, we can experience the joy and wonder of growth, change, and fruitfulness.

Do you remember as a child being anxious to grow up? It seemed forever until that certain birthday when you would be able to do more things and be treated like a grown-up. Of course, by the time you got there, that age did not seem so old.

Such longings are typical in the Christian life as well, especially when you look at the example of a mature believer whom you admire. It’s okay to look forward to where God is taking your life, as long as you understand that there are no shortcuts.

Paul expressed his balanced desire for maturity this way: “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal” (Phil. 3:13–14 nasb).

Lord Jesus, the growth process often seems long. Spiritual maturity isn’t simple. Help me forget the past and press toward the goal You have set for me.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 237). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

August 14 Satan’s Limitations

Scripture reading: 1 Peter 5:8–11

Key verse: 1 Peter 5:11

To Him [God] be the glory and the dominion forever and ever.


While God never wants you to become too focused on thinking about Satan and his role in the world, God does want you to be generally aware of how he operates. The worst position to take is “what I don’t know can’t hurt me.” When it comes to spiritual issues, the very opposite is true.

The Lord has not revealed many details about Satan’s specific abilities, but the Bible helps us understand his goals and his limitations. Satan is not omnipotent, omniscient, or omnipresent. These are characteristics of almighty God alone. Satan has a limited knowledge of the future, partly because he already dwells in the realm of the eternal. But ultimately, he can know only what God allows him to know.

Satan’s mission is to divide and attempt to destroy the kingdom of God. Of course, he will not be successful; God has already laid forth his judgment and final doom (Rev. 20:10). In the meantime, however, he and his spiritual assistants are trying to do all the damage they can.

Satan can harass and lay snares for believers. That is why Scripture cautions us to be aware and discerning. Satan can never make you do anything wrong, but permitting his influence places you in the pathway of sin and its ill effects.

I reject every influence of Satan over my life today, Lord. I turn from the pathway of sin to the way of righteousness.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 237). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

August 14 The Power of the Spirit

scripture reading: Acts 1:1–8
key verse: Acts 1:8

You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

Immediately before Jesus’ ascension, the disciples eagerly asked the resurrected Savior His intentions for Israel: “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6 nasb).

Jesus never answered their query, informing them instead of the imminent, personal ministry of the Holy Spirit: “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts 1:8).

We all have piercing questions we would like answered. But we are not to be overly occupied with them. Our real need is for power to enjoy and experience the abundant Christian life. Our most pressing demand is the divine enabling to know and follow Jesus Christ.

Jesus made it clear. What the apostles needed and what we need today is the power of the Holy Spirit.

Are you experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit on a consistent basis? Are you aware of His equipping and enabling in matters that are too difficult for you?

As God’s child, you are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. He will release His power through you to meet every demand, every problem, every emergency, every circumstance. Just call on His name.

Heavenly Father, release Your power through me today. I want to meet every demand, problem, emergency, and circumstance through the power of Your Holy Spirit.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1998). Enter His gates: a daily devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.