May He…

Another year draws to a close and another year begins. In some ways, as Christians, this is not an epic event as for us every day is a new beginning.

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.  “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” (Lamentations 3: 22-24 NKJV)

Every day our hope is renewed because His mercies are new!!

Nevertheless, many of us look to January 1 as a symbolic way to close the door on the old and  open the door for the new. With that in mind I have some verses to give you encouragement for the start of 2019. They are my prayer for you and over you. I hope you will declare these verses over yourselves.

Most of the verses are from Psalm 20, which without apology I will quote in full.

“The Assurance of God’s Saving Work

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

 May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble;
May the name of the God of Jacob defend you;
May He send you help from the sanctuary,
And strengthen you out of Zion;
May He remember all your offerings,
And accept your burnt sacrifice. Selah

May He grant you according to your heart’s desire,
And fulfil all your purpose.
We will rejoice in your salvation,
And in the name of our God we will set up our banners!
May the Lord fulfil all your petitions.

Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed;
He will answer him from His holy heaven
With the saving strength of His right hand.

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses;
But we will remember the name of the Lord our God.
They have bowed down and fallen;
But we have risen and stand upright.

Save, Lord!
May the King answer us when we call.” (NKJV)

This is an amazing psalm and very appropriate for the start of something new. King David, who wrote it, continually brings us back to the one who we need to keep looking to for help…. “May the Lord….”, “May the name of the Lord…..”, “May He….”, “May He….”, “May He….”, “May the Lord….”, “May the King….”!!!!!

My favourite verse is verse 4…..

May He grant you according to your heart’s desire, And fulfil all your purpose.

Wow!!! What else do you need for your new start along with His mercies renewed every day? I pray this for you and have no doubt that God will fulfil this for you. Your heart’s desire may not even be that clear to you, but God knows. He sees your heart. Let me make this clear, your heart’s desires are not necessarily the things you want or feel you need. Your heart’s desire is that deep longing in your spirit that only God can see. He will answer that longing as He is the only one who can fulfil it. It is the second half of the verse, however, that speaks volumes to me and I hope resonates with you.

May He fulfil all your purpose. !!

May the great I Am complete everything He has planned for your life. I love this. God will fulfil everything He has purposed for me. Declare this. You see, that deep longing in your heart, that deep desire, is a desire to obtain the purpose He has for us. He wants nothing more than to achieve that because that is His best for us. That is what I pray for you as you read this post, that you will receive all that He has for you.

I don’t want to labour the point, so let’s look at the other prayer points in Psalm 20.

May the Lord answer you when you are in trouble! May the great ‘I Am’ defend you. May He send you help and strengthen you! May He remember the sacrifices of praise and worship. May God give you answers to your prayers. May He give you the strength of His right hand. Even the strength of His little finger nail would be amazing, never mind His whole hand!!!!! Of course we must remember who sits at God’s right hand.

Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. (Romans 8: 34 NKJV)

This verse brings us very nicely to the final verse of Psalm 20…..

Save, Lord!
May the King answer us when we call.” (NKJV)

Our King is Jesus and He is at God’s right hand interceding for us. Yes our King stands continually in our place right next to the father. He is our go between, our intermediary. He is always involved in our lives.

So… let’s remember that God wants to bless you. He wants to strengthen you and be part of your life. Let these next two verses be so much part of your life and mine each new day.

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”(Romans 15:13 NKJV)

“The Lord bless you and keep you;  The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” ’ (Numbers 6: 24-26 NKJV)

 

 

IMPORTANT

If you have that longing to be part of God’s family, declare openly that Jesus is Lord of your life and believe that God raised Him from the dead and you will have a glorious future with Him.

Romans-10.9

The Christmas Box

I know it has been months since I have written anything, and for that I apologise. It has not been because I had nothing to say but basically because I felt I needed to stay quiet and wait. Today I woke up at 2.30 am, and knew today was the day. This is a combination of lots of the ideas I had wanted to post in the last few months. It won’t be a long one so don’t be put off.

We are coming to an amazing time of the year. CHRISTMAS!! It is a time of paradoxes for me personally. I both love it and loathe it at the same time. It is both Hallelujah and Bah Humbug. I loathe it because the world celebrates the birth of the most amazing person ever to walk on the earth without actually acknowledging Him. I love it because it gives me the opportunity, as an entertainer, to sing to people about God’s lovely gift to us in sending Jesus without them closing their minds and thinking I am evangelising when all they came to do was listen to some nice music!!

Anyway, that is not what I want to write about. At Christmas we often give our loved ones presents. How many of you,  when buying the present, choose the box for the present to go in first? Do you go out and look for the box and then choose the present to fit the box? Do you say, “They would love that but it won’t fit in the box, so I will have to keep looking” Of course we don’t. We buy the present we know they would love, regardless.

I once wpuppy-christmas-presentas given a puppy for Christmas. Can you imagine my parents saying, “We can’t give him that because we can’t wrap it up”? Yet, we do this with God all the time. Let me elaborate.

 

Often when we meet together as Christians we say to God, “Okay! Here is our gift box come and fill it but I am sorry you can’t go over the limits we have set”. Of course He comes and is with us but He doesn’t move past the box walls we have erected. If this resonates at all with you, I want you to stop reading for a moment and ask God what He wants you to do about it………but don’t go yet keep reading for  a moment!! If you are the leader of the church there is no problem here but if you are a beautiful cog in the wheel, like me, you cannot go above your leadership. If you have the urge to tell your leaders that God has told me you should do this, I can assure you it is not God speaking to you. We have to honour our leadership! He will give you the way forward and for each of us it will be different. We are all unique and God will use our uniqueness for His advantage. Alright, you can go and pray now but come back and  make sure you write down what He tells you!

If this is not resonating with you, that’s okay, perhaps you might like to keep reading anyway just to see what I am getting at. I take a bit of getting used to I know. Welcome back to those who have prayed!!

The point I am trying to make is this (at last I hear you say!!) …….. we serve a very, very, very, very, very, very BIG GOD! Somehow to understand this very, very, very, very, very, very BIG GOD we have put constraints on Him mainly so we can understand Him. Let me tell you something…….. we will never understand the workings of our God because He is a very, very, very, very, very, very BIG GOD!!!!

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9 NKJV)

Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite. (Psalm 147:5 NKJV)

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord,
The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. (Isaiah 40:28 NKJV)

“In fact this next verse tells us not to rely on what we understand,Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;  In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3: 5-6 NKJV)

Recently I was reading Psalm 23. This is my go to scripture. I love it so much. I think it is the Psalm that most people know. There are hundreds of versions all over the world in every form you can think of. Does any one remember the fantastic British comedy, ‘The Vicar of Dibley’? Psalm 23 is the theme song for that! As a child it was one of my favourite hymns. You may think it is a strange thing that a child would love a hymn but I was brought up in Wales, a country in the United Kingdom. It is called the Land of Song. Still today, hymns can be heard at sporting events!! I digress………. I know the Psalm very well

The Lord is my shepherd;499dc05169199b8992338b1407a1aa7a
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever. “ (Psalm 23 NKJV)

It is the the only Psalm I know off by heart but this particular day I only got as far as

The Lord is” 

I couldn’t go any further. It just hit me like a train. That’s all we need to know.

The Lord is” 

Say it to yourself….. The Lord is”  The Lord isThe Lord is” 

This needs to be the foundation of everything. HE IS!!

So often there is this little voice that says but what if He isn’t? We need to know that HE IS!! We need to declare My God Is! Nothing else matters, He is. This is not  head knowledge but a deep knowing in your soul. My God is. He exists in all His entirety, power, might, omnipresence and omnipotence. If God is, then what are we worried about? We don’t need to know much more. God is therefore let’s rest in Him.

Can you see how simple this is? We make everything so complicated. We start at this point. When we have our times of quiet, start with acknowledging He is. When we meet together, start with acknowledging He is . Praise, Worship, Prayer starts with acknowledging He is.

Can you let that sink in. It is not for your head but for your heart and soul. What does it mean for you ? We always have to start at that point.  I know this is basic but I honestly believe we forget the fact that God is.

When Moses encountered God at the Burning Bush God introduced Himself as ‘I Am’.74b0cdad7d0c007773770fa1a1faac0d

And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ” ” (Exodus 3:14)

The starting point for Moses was ‘I Am’. He was to tell the Israelites that “I AM has sent me to you.” This would resonate with them! It is our starting point, “I Am”. He Is!!

Let’s get back to our Christmas Box. (You’d forgotten all about that hadn’t you???) Just to jog your memories….we don’t first by the gift box and then find the present to fit the box.   When it comes to God we often start with the box. Let’s have a look at our Sunday services as an example. How often do we start with a format and then ask God to fit around it. “Here you are God we can only do 60 minutes today or it may be 90 minutes because we have to get home and we can’t forget the poor people looking after our children, God, we have to relieve them of the burden”!! I understand that in the society we live in there are time restraints but are we sure that these restraints are not restraining Him. Seek first the kingdom of God.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6:33 NKJV)

We may put the box first in the way that we think of God. We may say God is ,,,,,,,, my shepherd, my healer, my provider, my lover, my all in all etc etc All these are fantastic but, you see, God is all these and an infinite amount more. Google ‘My God is, bible verses” if you want just to see. He is everything! My God is too big for a box. Way too big. We cannot understand Him. Remember me telling you about the puppy I had one Christmas. Could you imagine trying to wrap him up!! Even if you put him in a box he couldn’t stay there for long. We, I do feel, have put God in a box for far too long. Myself included. Let us stop putting the dots after God is. It is not God is……….. There are no blanks to fill. God is!!! I AM!!

I need to bring this to a close. Let me wrap this up!!! (Did you see what I did there??) I believe that God is pouring out New Wine. There is definitely a new outpouring. Please don’t try and put that new wine in an old wine skin. Let’s get rid of the boxes and say to God come and be I AM! Let us be the ones who are prepared to shout on the roof tops. “Get rid of your boxes, He is!!”

 
God is

Dad’s Army

Do you remember ‘Dad’s Army’, the classic British comedy series which ran from 1968 – 1977. It was set in Great Britain, during World War II. It was about a group of men who were part of the Home Guard, protecting Great Britain from Hitler who had taken over the rest of Europe. The Home Guard consisted of men who were ineligible to join the Armed Forces perhaps because they were too old or too young, perhaps they couldn’t pass the medical or had jobs that were thought of as important to the war effort. Even though they were counted as no use to the fighting forces they made themselves invaluable on home soil to the point that the government of the time had to recognise them and furnish them with uniforms and weapons!

Recently I watched a few episodes of ‘Dad’s Army’ and what struck me, through the humour and hilarious escapades, is that, as we get older we often, as Christians, feel as if we are no longer pa6d2ef773-09e7-42e7-abe3-93c80a02378c-620x372rt of the main fighting force in God’s Kingdom. We may even feel that we have still not reached our destiny and have missed it somehow. Let me encourage you, that is not the case. Your experience, maturity, wisdom and knowledge of the Father are vital to the Kingdom’s work. Never count yourself out. We have to be prepared and ready. Just like the older men in ‘Dad’s Army’, it is never too late to be useful to God.

Let’s look at a few examples in the Bible. Both Abraham and Sarah counted themselves too old for God to fulfil His promise to them. In fact they both laughed at the prospect!

“Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”” (Genesis 17: 17 NKJV)

+Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?”” (Genesis 18: 12 NKJV)

They couldn’t take the promise of God seriously. They had become cynical in their old age. Cynicism can be a real issue as we become older. “Yes sure, God!!”, can be said with sarcasm and not declaration. Are you in your 50″s, 60’s, 70’s. 80’s or older and  had prophetic words spoken over you which you have not seen fulfilled yet? Don’t laugh at them and become cynical but declare them as fact. You are what God says you are!! In the end Abraham and Sarah chose to believe God and let Him prove His faithfulness. Can we do the same?

Let’s turn our attention to another Jewish Patriarch and his brother. I am going to let this next verse speak for itself!!

“And Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three years old when they spoke to Pharaoh”. (Exodus 7:& NKJV)

Read it again and let it sink in……. eighty and eighty three!! This is when they spoke to Pharaoh the first time. Even counting for the fact that the Jewish calendar year is slightly smaller than our Gregorian calendar, it is still old!!! They then had the arduous task of leading the Israelites through the wilderness. No wonder Moses needed a staff!!! It is never too late to step into God’s destiny for you. Declare that statement!!

“It is never too late to step into the destiny God has for me.”

Let’s have a look at a couple of people in the New Testament. In the Gospel of Luke, chapter 2, we have the story of the young baby Jesus being taken to the temple by Mary and Joseph for the ritual dedication. There, they come across two amazing people, Simeon and Anna. Let us look at Anna first. Anna was over eighty years of age, a prophet and had given her life to serving in the temple.

“She never left the temple but worshipped night and day, fasting and praying.” (Luke 2:37b NKJV)

She spent herold age time fasting and praying. How many of us of the older generation are intercessors? Never count that out as a ministry for the Lord! The reason why Anna is such a good example for us is that she was in the correct place at the correct time. It was no accident. God places us where we need to be and all we need to do is be ready, as Anna was. There she was doing what she always did and then suddenly God gives her the opportunity to speak over the life of the Saviour of the world!! BE READY!!

 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.(Luke 2:38 NKJV)

Simeon personifies all I am trying to say here. It is not stated how old Simeon was but it is implied in the text that he was elderly.

“Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised.” (Luke 2:29 NLT)

As with many of us, God had given Him a word that had not come to fruition. Even though he was older, he knew that God had more for him.

It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. (Luke 2:26 NKJV)

Not only was Simeon about to  see the fulfilment of the promise given to him by the Holy Spirit but the Holy Spirit positioned him for it to happen.

“For this reason the Holy Spirit had moved him to be in the temple court at the very moment Jesus’ parents entered to fulfil the requirement of the sacrifice.” (Luke 2:27 Passion Translation)

Let us rest in the fact that it is God’s work that we have been called to and He will bring it to pass. I love how the Passion Translation puts the rest of Simeon’s story.

“Simeon cradled the baby in his arms and praised God and prophesied, saying:
Lord and Master, I am your loving servant,old-age-can-be-a-great-blessing-1090x614
And now I can die content,
For your promise to me has been fulfilled.
With my own eyes I have seen your Manifestation,
The Saviour you sent into the world.
He will be glory for your people Israel,
And the Revelation Light
For all people everywhere!” (Luke 2:28-32, Passion Translation)

Just to conclude let’s go back to the Old Testament and look at one of my favourite characters, Caleb!!! He is such an encouragement to us as we grow older. Let’s briefly review his story. Caleb, you will remember, was one of the 12 spies that Moses sent into the Promised Land to see what it was like. When they returned Caleb along with Joshua were the only two who had anything positive to say. The other ten only saw the negative aspects of their new home. There is a whole blog post on that subject. People who always wear a black hat when seeing something new but I refuse to be side tracked!!

“Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” (Numbers 13:30 NKJV)

God saw Caleb’s faith and rewarded him for it.

“But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.” (Numbers 14:24 NKJV)

Such a great  reward for faithfulness. Chosen, along with Joshua. to be the only ones out of that whole group to enter the Promised Land. Not even Moses made it in!! There is an interesting twist to it though, Caleb had to wait forty five years to see it come to pass!!

Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the wilderness. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! (Joshua 14:10 NKJV)

God gave him the promise when he was forty, now he was eighty five. You have a different perspective about life at forty. Life begins at forty so they say. You certainly see life differently but I love Caleb’s attitude here. He is not complaining that he is too old for all this now at his age. This is what he says,

 I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.” Then Joshua blessed Caleb son of Jephunneh and gave him Hebron as his inheritance. So Hebron has belonged to Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite ever since, because he followed the Lord, the God of Israel, wholeheartedly.”  (Joshua 14:11-14 NKJV)

What an amazing man of God we have here and what an amazing God as well. God knew that Caleb would still be able to take full advantage of the fulfilment of the promise. I am declaring that at the age of 85 I still feel as I did at 40. I can tell you, on the surface it doesn’t seem possible but with my God anything is possible.

 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”” (Matt 19:26 NKJV)

Seriously though, I think the story of Caleb illustrates that no matter what age we are when God fulfils the promises He has given for our destinies, we will not be lacking in strength to fulfil them. He will equip us and provide for us. It may seem impossible but we know that God is faithful.

“I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfil His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]” (Phil 4:13 Amplified)

This promise is not for the now but it is for the now in the future. When God says go, we will be ready and equipped. Remember it is His work and not ours, All we need to do is be prepared and still be willing. We will finish the race and God will say well done good and faithful servant.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2Tim 4:7 NKJV)

“I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 3:14 NKJV)

Let’s not count ourselves ineligible or forgotten, let’s not become cynical but let us be like ‘Dad’d Army’ and be ready, and waiting to be used!!

god-images-photos-prayer-worship-old-man

Perception Part 2!!

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, (Eph 3:20)

I want you to declare this over you as you read it. “My God can do far more abundantly than I can ask or think because of His power that works in me.” Declare it again and again until Holy Spirit writes it on your heart. Synonyms for abundantly include – copiously, plentifully, amply, profusely, exuberantly, prolifically, luxuriantly, in profusion, in abundance, in great quantity, in large quantities, in plenty, aplenty, in huge numbers, freely, extensively, everywhere, all over the place, affluently, bounteously, plenteously, lavishly. This is who your God is. We need to raise our perception and expectation of who God is.  At this point, if you haven’t read the last post on Perception, please do.

Is there a limit on what you believe God can do for you? Ask Holy Spirit to show you. Be open and honest because God knows anyway. We put limitations on God all the time, it is nothing we should be condemned about, Holy Spirit wants to change our Spiritual Perceptions of God. It is something to be excited about and not scared. Ask Holy Spirit to invade your dreams with visions of the Greatness of God in your life.

big God

“My God can do far more abundantly than I can ask or think”! He is a Huge God. The Heavens cannot contain Him.

The Holy Spirit is changing mindsets at this time and we need to allow Him to do that. There are times when we become scared to allow Holy Spirit to change things in us because we are secure in what we think we know of God, but there is a new move of God and we need to see God’s fullness to partake in that new move.

I really feel we are at the cusp of something new! ( isn’t that a great word? Cusp! It means A point of transition between two different states! Say it again, CUSP!) Anyway, we are at one…… a cusp that is!! A transition that is so important that it is going to change the way the world sees God forever. It will never be the same again. It is the time of Reformation. If we continue to see life through our eyes we will miss it. We have to start looking through Spiritual eyes and see into the Spiritual Realm.

We were created in God’s image. We are three in one just as He is. Body, Soul and Spirit. Often we are very strong in our body and soul but our Spiritual side is weaker. We are Spiritual beings having an earthly experience and therefore we have to exercise our Spiritual Perception to see into the Spiritual Realm. How did Jesus see what the Father was doing except through His Spiritual Perception. Jesus came down and was totally man, He was like us in every way except that He saw the way that Father God saw. We can do the same because we have Holy Spirit living in us.

In her Vinedresser series, Theresa Croft uses this phrase,

“You have a song that only you can sing”

This is so powerful! Unless we sing the song that God has written for us, the people around us, friends, families, our community, our towns and cities will miss out. No one else can sing your song! Therefore we need to have our eyes opened. To have our perception changed. We need to experience life through our Spiritual Senses.

Prayer Starter

Dear Holy Spirit, show me the areas in my life where I limit you, where I limit Father and Jesus. Expand my experience of you! Change my perception. Let me experience life through Spiritual Senses. Allow me to sing the song that only I can sing.

Perception

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55: 8-9 NKJV)

I was praying one day and I saw God standing in front of me. He was my size and He looked at me. He then started to move away but as He did, He got bigger and bigger and bigger. I couldn’t comprehend how big He was. This is the opposite of what our senses have been told. We know that a twenty foot tree looks taller the closer it is and conversely, the same tree seems smaller the further away it is. What God was showing me was that my perception of things, is not God’s. He doesn’t look at things the same way as I do. My perception needs to change to Spritual Perception. His thoughts are not the same as my thoughts.

God does not think as we do! Let me say it again – God does not think as we do. Last time – God does not think as we do. Has it sunk in? We bring God down to our way of perceiving things. It is easy for us to picture the God who walked with Adam in the cool of the evening. That God is relatable to. We can see God as a Father especially if our Father’s were a good role model but what about the God who made this……?

Star-Forming-Atomic-Hydrogen-Detected-in-Galaxies-3-Billion-Light-Years-Away-466498-6

There are a 100 trillion of these in the universe.

many-solar-systems-universe_5397e5ccac015d71

Each one of these bright stars is larger than our Sun. God made all this. That God lives in you, in the form of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was there when all this was made and He lives in you!

“Great is our Lord, and mighty in power;
His understanding is infinite.” (Psalm 147:5 NKJV)

God’s understanding is infinite and yet so often we make His ways finite. King Solomon grasped it when He was building the temple.

“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built!” (1 Kings 8:27 NKJV. Also 2 Chronicles 6:18)

All those 100 trillion solar systems are too small for Him. Heaven and all the heavens are too small for our Father.

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth,Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.  He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength.  Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall,  But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40: 28-31)

How do you see God at the moment? Ask God to show you who He is at the moment to you. If He is small, ask God to forgive you for not seeing who He really is and ask Him to show you how big He actually is.

Remember, God does not think as we do!! So we need to allow the Holy Spirit to show us how He perceives the circumstances we are in. I can tell you now they will be different perceptions.

Just to summarise….. It is wonderful to see God as a God who wants to walk with us. It is amazing to recognise that He is our Heavenly Dad and His touch is so Gentle. It is even more awesome to see that this God who relates to us so intimately is too big for 100 trillion Solar Systems. We need to start to use Spiritual Perception and not our natural perception. To do this we need the help of the Holy Spirit to see the way He sees.

537f8c3d2a4c1
Things are not always as they seem!!

Prayer Starter

Precious Holy Spirit, thank you that you live in me and can’t wait to show me how wonderfully gigantic Heavenly Father is. Let me see Him as you see Him. Let my perceotions become Spiritual ones. Holy Spirit ones. Let my Spiritual senses grow.

we_have_a_big_god-t3

OH! Shame

I broke a plate – “OH! shame”54525.png

I have a headache – “OH! shame”

We lost the game – “OH! shame””

I lost my job – “OH! shame”

I failed my exam – “OH! shame”

We’re not together any more – “OH! shame”

There are so many times in our lives when we have the word shame spoken over us. Here areHall-of-Shame-Futuremarks-3DMark-de-lists-HTC-and-Samsung-for-cheating some common shame idioms:

“For shame! Hide one’s face in shame, put someone to shame, shame of it, shame on you, it’s a shame, it’s a crying shame, don’t you feel any shame? I am ashamed of you, you shame me, what a shame, such a shame, bow your head in shame, go to the shame corner, you bring me shame.” 

The list goes on. We seem to have been brought up to feel shame. People have spoken shame into us so much and so often that for some people it has become the norm. I was brought up feeling ashamed to be me. One of my Mum’s favourite sayings was, “Why can’t you be more like Paul Taylor?” Paul was my best friend! We lived in he same street. Went to the same school but he was cleverer than me and was in a higher class.  I tell you I spent my life trying to be someone else because I knew that I wasn’t enough for my Mum. I needed to be like Paul Taylor. All it spoke to me was “Shame you are you!”

Firstly I tell this story to warn you about the words that come out of your mouth. All words are powerful. Be careful what you say to your children.

The tongue can bring death or life;  those who love to talk will reap the consequences. (Proverbs 18:21 NLT)

Secondly I tell the story about Paul Taylor because it taught me that shame only comes from one place and that is the enemy. My Mum started the Paul Taylor story but the enemy took it to a whole new level, He brought me into shame. I wasn’t the only one he did this to. Adam and Eve started us on the journey. Remember the Story in Genesis chapter 3. Adam and Eve are tempted by the devil and succumb to eating the fruit. What is the first thing they feel? That’s right…. SHAME!!

At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves. (Gen3:7 NLT)

One minute they were okay and the next they knew shame. All I can say is thanks for nothing. When I get to heaven I am going to seek out the man and woman without belly buttons and give them a piece of my mind!! Just kidding!!! I digress… psychologists today call it the ‘shame Spiral’ This is exactly what it is, a spiral. It started with the fruit and then, as with Adam and Eve, it just spirals out of control. The outcome was the same for them as it is for all of us. Separation from a loving Father. One minute they are walking in the garden with their Father the next they are hiding from Him, naked and full of shame. When we live ashamed we cut ourselves of from God’s total love.

One of the saddest verses in scripture is in Genesis Chapter 3,

“But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” “ (Gen 3:9 NLT)

You can feel the Father’s heart. You can hear His heart break. “Where are you?”

His children were hiding from Him! When we feel shame it causes us to hide from God and those around us. It often causes us to be isolated. Shame can be a killer. Suicide is often a result of people not being able to bear the shame or not wanting others to see their shame.

I believe there is only one true answer to stop the shame spiral and that is dwelling in the love of God and knowing what He says about us. Let me share with you how God broke the spiral in me. To do this I have to go back to Paul Taylor!! May God bless him wherever he is now!! I grew up believing I wasn’t good enough. If only I could be like someone else then I could find love. This became a major reason for my mental illness. I had to find the person that I needed to be, to be loved. I was never enough. My relationships proved it. My life echoed it. I sought out people to love me and to do that I took on their identity. I liked what they liked. I wanted what they wanted.

I think one of the saddest things was that actually I was a good kid. All through my teens I went to church three times a Sunday. I loved God. I never really rebelled. When I left home to train to be a teacher my first thought was to find other Christians and a good church. I still wasn’t enough though. My mistakes in life, my sin, was amplified. It just showed that I needed to be a different person. Shame for being you! Is all I heard. Shame for being you! Even church told me that I needed to be ashamed of who I was. In fact for a long period of time I stopped going to church because I felt no point. I could never be enough! I knew God loved me, that Jesus died for me and wanted me but somehow I couldn’t get out of the spiral. The Spiral got so out of control that in August 2015  I ended up again in a mental Institution after a failed suicide attempt. I have already mentioned this in previous posts and I do it again not for anyone to feel sorry for me but to see that if God can do something miraculous with someone in a Mental Hospital He can do it for you in your situation.

God began to show me who I was. He showed me I was unique. The key for me was that I started to believe what God said about me in His word. I started declaring what God said about me in His word over my life. Declaring what God says about you is an important part of seeing who you are. There are so many people around who are willing to declare other things over you  that you need to start to counter that by listening to what your Heavenly Father says and begin speaking it over your own life. Start by declaring these verse from Psalm 139 and when you do ask the Holy Spirit to come and make them real for you.

“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvellous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skilfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.” (Psalm 139: 13-18 NKJV)
Make the declarations personal:
My Heavenly Father formed my inward parts.

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My Heavenly Father covered me in my mother’s womb.
I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Marvellous are Your works, and so I must be Marvellous.
I was not hidden from You when I was made in secret.
Your eyes saw who I was even before I was formed.
Every day you have for me was already written down even before I was born.
You think about me all the time. 
You think I am precious.
You will never leave me.
There is no shame mentioned is there? God is not ashamed of you, so why should you feel shame. God knows more about you than you do, so start believing what He says about you. You see, when Jesus died on the cross He took our shame and bore it himself:

 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 NKJV)

Every thing about the cross was shameful.

He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. (Isaiah 93:3 NKJV)

As it is written:“Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offence,
And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”” (Romans 9:33 NKJV)

If Jesus was willing enough to carry our shame, surely we need to let ours go. If we are still going to carry the shame around it is as if we are saying “Thank you Jesus but I can actually manage fine without you”!!

So Let’s stop living like this:

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And start living in this:

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God’s Glory for us. Start declaring. Have a look at the posts on this blog about declarations and also search the Web. There are some great sites out there. We have no excuse for living a second rate life. Jesus lives in us:

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Gal 2:20 NLT)

We also live in Him in Heavenly places. There is no shame in Heaven so don’t let the enemy put you on the shame spiral any more.

“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,” (Eph 2:6 NLT)

Here are some more verses you can make into declarations about yourself.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Cor 5:17 NKJV)

I am in Christ therefore I am a new Creation.
The Old has gone therefore my shame has gone.

I am completely new.

 “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light; (1 Peter 2:9 NKJV)

I am chosen.
I belong to a royal priesthood.
I belong to a holy nation therefore God sees me as holy,
I am called out of darkness.

I live in His marvellous light.

Make some declarations from the following verses:

For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”  (Col 3:3 NKJV)

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: (John 1:12 NKJV)

and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. (Rom 8:17 NKJV)

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. (2 Cor 2:14)

Always remember who you are!!

iknowwhoiam2

 

A Glass Half Empty

Arevenuehalfempty-full_0re you a glass half full or half empty person? Do you see things as if they are positive or negative,  are you optimistic or pessimistic? How do you look at your life? Is your life a half full life or is it a life half empty?

I want to challenge you to see the glass completely differently. Have a look at the picture at the top of the page. What do you see? I want to challenge you to see the glass as full. Not half of any thing but full. The glass is full. Bottom half is liquid and the top half is air. It is full. Now stay with me, don’t go away! I will explain.

When we look at the glass we look with our knowledge, what we think we know. Turn it around to our lives. If your life has always seemed to throw up complications and pitfalls, your mind will tell you that this is the norm and so you tend to look at situations pessimistically. Even when your life is going swimmingly you are waiting for the problem to arise! You may have the opposite mindset and know that you have always some how got through, you may be a ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’ type of person. Both ways of looking at life are intrinsically wrong. Why? Because we need to start looking at life as God does and not as man does.

If you are an optimist or a pessimist both arguments are wrong because it makes you think that life is all about you. Situations always workout well for me and so I look positively at life, or conversely nothing works out for me and so what can I hope for. SPOILER ALERT!!!!! Life is not about you but about God. We are created for God, not ourselves. We are here for the sole purpose of bringing Glory to Him. We need to start allowing God to change our perspective. How many of you pessimists out there have tried in vain to change your outlook on life. You have tried valiantly to learn ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’, and for a time you succeed but it doesn’t last. The reason is that you think that life is about you but it’s not. Life is about God. Your life is all about God and we need to learn how to Glorify Him in it. Paul in his letter to the Romans explains it better than I can:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12: 1-2 NKJV)

Our life is about God. We give ourselves to God as a “Living Sacrifice” and through this our mind will be renewed. When Paul wrote this letter he didn’t write with chapters and verses so it is important to see what he wrote before this. At the end of chapter 11 we have:

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgements and His ways past finding out! “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counsellor?” “Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him?”  For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:33-36 NKJV)

Read them both together………. Do you see the picture? God is all Glorious and so we give our lives to Him as a living sacrifice. If we don’t conform to this world, i.e., don’t think like the world thinks but have a change in the way we think. This is the renewing of the mind. Life is not about optimism or pessimism, life is about God. God is in charge. He is our shepherd. When Paul in his letter to the Phillipians tells us to Rejoice always, he is not telling us to think positively. He wants us to know that God is in charge. How is it possible to be anxious about nothing. We are born being anxious but if we can see that we are here for God and that He is our Shepherd,  then we can have peace that is beyond what you can understand.

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!  Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.  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 4:4-7 NKJV)

Paul  also says:

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1Thes 5:16-18 NKJV)
This is God:
“For since the beginning of the world
Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear,
Nor has the eye seen any God besides You,
Who acts for the one who waits for Him.” (Isaiah 64;4 NKJV)
No matter how hard we try to understand God’s ways we can’t. His ways are not our ways. He never seems to do the same thing twice. Every miracle that Jesus did is done differently than the one before. One blind man is healed differently than the next. Jesus shows us how big God is and yet we still put Him in a box. He is too big for that. He will show us how amazing He is if we let Him. He wants to glorify Himself through us! David puts it so well in my favourite Psalm:
“He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3 NKJV)
Why does He lead us? For His name’s sake!! Not for our sake but for His Glory!
I know I might be stretching the analogy but look at the glass at the top of the page again. It is a glass just waiting, resting, standing……. expectant. The glass has a purpose, it is useful no matter how much is in it. Let us all see that we are all useful to God no matter how we think our lives look. He has chosen you before the beginning of time to bring Him the Glory.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” (Jer 1:5 ESV)
“just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,  having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,  to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.” (Eph 1:4-6 NKJV)
 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jer 29:11 NKJV)
We need to see this is God’s truth. When Paul talks about the armour of God, he tells us to put on the Belt of Truth. The ‘Truth’ here is God’s Truth, what God says. The only way we can find out what God says is by getting in His word. You will be so surprised about what God says about you. I can tell you that you have ideas about yourself that are certainly not God’s.
“Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth” (Eph 6:14 NKJV)
If you look at the first couple of  Posts on this Blog you will see they are on declarations, declaring God’s word over your life. It is so important to see yourself as God sees you. Put on the belt of all that God thinks about you. You need the best information to make the best decisions! Who has the best information about you? God does! Where do you find that information? In His word! In the Psalms we find this verse:
I rise before the dawning of the morning, And cry for help; I hope in Your word. (Psalm 119:147 NKJV)
Most Bible historians attribute Psalm 119 as a psalm of David although the Bible doesn’t tell us. So by the looks of this verse David was a glass half full kind of guy, an optimist. The key is the word ‘hope”! His hope is in God’s word. At least optimists have hope. They feel there is going to be something better. Hope is vital to life, but…..and yes there is a but!! There is something bigger and stronger than hope and that is FAITH!
 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Heb 11:1 NKJV)
Faith is real, it has substance. It is not some airy fairy thing. Faith is reality. Let me give you an example… You are promised a house by an elderly relative, it is a great home but until you get the deeds of the house in your hand, you can only hope that the house is yours. When you do get the house and you can move into it, then it becomes reality. That is Faith. The reality of a hope. When we look at our lives we are often still in hope that things will turn out right whereas the reality is that if you are in God then of course it will. No doubt.
Let’s get back to our glass:
Half empty – Pessimistic, very little hope if any. If something can go wrong then it will.
Half full – Optimistic, there is always hope that things will turn out good.
Full – Faith, seeing that God is in charge so life will be abundant no matter what.
Without Faith you can’t please God:
“But 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.” (Heb 11:6 NKJV)
The bottom line is, God either is who He says He is or not. There is no half way. He is either God or not. Therefore let us come to Him as God, believe what He says about us, trust that our lives are in His hands and have Faith that He loves us unconditionally. Start declaring what God says about you. There are over 7000 promises in the Bible!
Our glass is full. It is always full and not only that but our glass is full to overflowing. He pours out of us. We can’t contain Him. Rivers of living water flow out of us when we have Faith in Him.
My cup runs over. (Psalm 23:5)
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Full to Overflowing

A Lamp For My Feet

Well here we are already at the end of the second week of the New Year. We always say the same things don’t we? “Where has the time gone?” or “Doesn’t time fly?” The truth of course is that time does pass by and before you know it, it is tomorrow. That’s why I am writing this now and not tomorrow or the next day. I have put off starting a blog for so long. I even tried to talk friends into writing one. “If you want, I can give you some ideas”, I used to say. I gave myself excuses as to why I shouldn’t start one, for example, “Who would read anything you say?” Actually we will stop with examples there, as that was always the biggest excuse. So here we are still procrastinating. I had better start.

I think the most important area that has changed for me since the beginning of the year is that I have started to declare God’s word out loud at the start of the day. I don’t mean just reciting scriptures but actually declaring, saying out loud, what the bible says about me. I will give you some examples.

  1. God is my refuge and strength (Psalm 46 verse 1)
  2. God is a present help in trouble (Psalm 46 verse 1) See what I did there… two for the price of one! Not just a pretty face.
  3. I have the peace of God, which transcends all understanding (Philippians ch 4 v 7)

Now as you can see I have used different translations of the bible but it doesn’t matter which one. I always use the one that I feel most comfortable with. Some of the verses that I use are ones I learned when I was younger and so it comes from whatever translation I was using at the time. It doesn’t matter! The idea of declaring what the scripture says about us out loud helps us undo all the negative phrases that we say about ourselves every day. Things like:

  1. I could never do that.
  2. If only I was like him/her
  3. Just look at me
  4. I am too shy/ugly/stupid/fat/uninteresting/sinful/ashamed/
  5. God can’t love me or use me.

Sometimes the negative statements are made by others – Parents/teachers/siblings/friends/spouses/children/bosses/co-workers/strangers

  1. You will never amount to anything
  2. If only you were like Paul Taylor, such a nice boy.
  3. You are nothing but trouble.
  4. Why can’t you just do as you are told.
  5. You’re Fired!!

All the above statements have been said to me at one time or another, although I have to say that the your fired one was less harsh. It came in the guise of “We have been told to hire a person with special needs, so you will have to go!!” In the end these statements stay and have an effect on us.We actually begin to believe them.We listen intently to what our mind tells us. No matter whether people tell us how wonderful we are, we know better. You see those people don’t actually know us. Well that is what we tell ourselves isn’t it?

The bottom line is this- The only one who can change how we see ourselves is God. No matter how many positive statements we make, it will not change us. We have to see how the creator of the whole world sees us and allow the change to come from the inside. This is where declaring the word of God comes in. There is something about actually saying it aloud affects the heavenly realms and will change you.

Okay I need to finish today’s writing or it will actually be tomorrow!!!! Before I do, I have to say that the most important statement to declare is found in the verse that everyone seems to know, John 3 v 16 (the gospel of John which is in the New Testament chapter 3 verse 16)  ” For God so loved the world that he gave hie with yous one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” God loved you so much that He was willing to send His only son, Jesus, to die on the cross so that if you believed in Him you will have everlasting life. If there was only you on the earth, God would still have let Jesus die for you. All you do is believe. Tell Jesus you believe in Him, and that you are grateful that He died on the cross that you can have everlasting life.
Next time I blog I will write some more declarations. May you see God bless you!