Today we are going to look at the word continually. There are things that we see that are continuously going on in the world today, things the Bible says we are to do continually, and things that God does. Let’s examine each of these a little closer.
I was reading Psalm 74 in my devotions yesterday. It is a plea for relief from all oppressors. The writer is giving an account of things that are happening to God’s people and asking God to do something about it. In the last verse, the writer cries out to God for help.
Do not forget the voice of Your enemies; the tumult of those who rise up against You increases continually. Psalm 74:23 (NKJV)
The righteous cry out for justice with the psalmist who says, how long will the wicked triumph? In the end, they will not prosper and succeed, but He will judge and punish them (Psalm 94). Because of the death of Jesus on the cross and His resurrection, we have a covenant with God. We need to be in covenantal alignment to stay on the destiny planned for ourselves and our nation. God allows things to happen so we can come back to the purposes of God in the earth.
“I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you should be afraid of a man who will die, and of the son of a man who will be made like grass? And you forget the LORD your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth; you have feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor when he has prepared to destroy. And where is the fury of the oppressor?” Isaiah 51:12-13 (NKJV)
“Now, therefore, what have I here,” says the LORD, “That My people are taken away for nothing? Those who rule over them make them wail,” says the LORD, “And My name is blasphemed continually every day. Therefore My people shall know My name; therefore they shall know in that day that I am He who speaks; ‘Behold, it is I.’” Isaiah 52:5-6 (NKJV)
Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. Psalm 126:5 – 6 (NKJV)
We see in Psalm 73, the tragedy of the wicked and the blessedness of those who trust in God. The psalmist declares that no matter what circumstances are going on around him and affecting him, he says, nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand. You will guide me with Your counsel, and afterward, receive me to glory. He declares the continued faithfulness of God that He shows towards us. We, therefore, have reason to praise Him continually.
By You, I have been upheld from birth; You are He who took me out of my mother’s womb. My praise shall be continually of You. Psalm 71:6 (NKJV)
Therefore by Him, let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. Hebrews 13:15 (NKJV)
But I will hope continually and will praise You yet more and more. Psalm 71:14 (NKJV)
I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. Psalm 34:1 (NKJV)
Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in you; let such as love Your salvation say continually,” the LORD be magnified!” Psalm 40:16 (NKJV)
There are other things that we must continually do so that we can walk in the victory Christ won for us, and because of who God is and what He has done and is doing in our lives. We are to abide or continue in His Word (John 8:31). It is believing and standing on His Word that strengthens and fortifies us. We declare it and see it manifest in our circumstances, lives, families, cities, and nations. We are to be filled with the Holy Spirit, His power, and joy continuously (Luke 24:49; Acts 13:52; Ephesians 5:18-21). We are always to pursue what is good for ourselves and all (1 Thessalonians 5:15).
God desires that we live the abundant life Jesus came to give us; therefore, we are to rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:16 – 18). These three exhortations provide us with direction and encouragement for our daily walk. Each one is a call to action and is God’s will for us.
We are to rejoice always. We can rejoice because of who God is and everything He has done for us. Christ is the One who gives us His joy, which goes beyond external circumstances. . We keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, God’s goodness and grace, and the eternal (Hebrews 12:2-3; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18). This supernatural joy comes from the Holy Spirit who lives inside of us. Our joy comes from Him. We have fullness of joy in His presence, and His joy is our strength (Psalm 16:11; Nehemiah 8:10). The key to rejoicing always is to pray continually.
Praying without ceasing doesn’t mean that we stop what we are doing, close our eyes, and pray to God. We should set aside times for prayer when we do that, but we can’t do that continually, so what does it mean? It means to be constantly aware of God’s presence in our lives and everyday moments where we turn our thoughts towards Him, to be in continual communion with Him. We are to lean on and be dependent on Him. We are to come repeatedly and often to Him for help. We can have a conversation with Him throughout the day because we are aware of His presence with us and in us. Prayer isn’t always about asking Him for something. But we are told to pray when we are in trouble too (James 5:13).
See my prayer series “Ask, Seek, Knock!” for how to receive answers to our prayers” https://alexiscarucci.com/2020/02/05/ask-seek-knock-ask/; https://alexiscarucci.com/2020/02/12/ask-seek-knock-seek/; https://alexiscarucci.com/2020/02/19/ask-seek-knock-knock/;https://alexiscarucci.com/2020/02/26/open-doors/
We can begin praying by giving thanks, praise, and worship (Psalm 100:4). Prayer gives us access to the Father because Jesus made way for us (Hebrews 4:14-16), and thanksgiving is the key that opens the door. If we have surrendered our lives to the Lord, then everything we do can be an act of worship, even our daily chores and work (Acts 17:28; Romans 12:1). We can pray and talk to Him even while we are waiting in line! He loves to listen to us tell Him what He already knows (just like when we listen to our children).
We can pray His Word and put Him in remembrance of His Word (Isaiah 43:26; 55:10-11). Make sure to stop talking and take the time to listen to Him and hear what He has to say (Matthew 6:7; John 10:27). We are not to give up but be steadfast in our praying. Remember, He has the answers we are seeking!
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6 – 7 (NKJV)
We are to give thanks in everything, good and bad. That doesn’t mean giving thanks for the bad but even amid adversity because God is at work, and He is faithful to work all things together for our good (Romans 8:28).
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who called you is faithful, who also will do it. 1 Thessalonians 5: 23 – 24 (NKJV)