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The Upper Room Devotion for Friday, July 28, 2023, was written by Lairam LIan Thang of Yangon, Myanmar.



7 “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? 10 Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

Matthew 7:7-11 NRSV



Growing up in a Christian family, I attended church regularly; I knew about the Bible, salvation, and Christian teachings. Still, I felt that I didn't know God; I just understood the faith like anything else I learned in school. If someone asked me if I was "born again," I would say yes, but I really could not explain how. Once when I was depressed and longing for God, I heard a testimony from a pastor. He said that he found God when he began searching for God's Holy Spirit. At that time, I prayed to God; I wanted to know God and to have a relationship with God. Each day I prayed for God's Holy Spirit to fill me, and I talked to God in my heart constantly. After three days, I began to feel a sense of peace.

Now when I read the Bible, it is not the same as before. The Holy Spirit helps me understand its meaning. I enjoy being in God's presence. I used to be a shy person, but God has helped me become braver and speak out about God's greatness. I want to encourage others who are not sure about their faith to keep praying for God's Holy Spirit to fill them. When we search with all our heart, we will find God.




When my daughter Ayanna was younger, we would play hide and seek. While there were plenty of places for me to hide where she may not have found me, I usually chose a place where I could be easily found. The point was not to avoid detection, but to share a fun activity with Ayanna. Similarly, God desire relationship with us and has provided us with multiple avenues to cultivate a relationship. God is not trying to evade our longing hearts and hungering spirits, rather God is in plain sight, waiting for us to put forth the effort to seek relationship. God will not manipulate nor force us into relationship, we must voluntarily choose to develop a relationship with God.

Far too many choose to have an association with God versus an authentic relationship. Having an association with God allows us to engage God for the things we want, while disengage when expectations get too high. Having an association with God convinces me that being present in Holy Spaces is the same as being transformed by the Holy One. God desires an authentic, transformational relationship with us, that influences and impacts our outlook and conduct. I invite you to ask yourself a tough question: Do I have an association with God or an authentic transformational relationship?

-Pastor Anthony



Dear God, give us a heart that hungers for you. Fill us with your Holy Spirit. Amen.

-Lairam Lian Thang


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