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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

GOD’s Story: 1 Protector

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? We learn GOD’s Story. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He walked. 

Today is a new step in Blog Posting on Larus Press by delving into GOD’s Story: 1 Protector. Yehovah GOD is our Protector…

“For He shall give His angels charge over you,

To keep you in all your ways.” Psalm 91:11

If you look at the entirety of Psalm 91 you’ll see the beauty and majesty of the LORD in His words. But this phrase is what He is sharing with us today.

He keeps us in perfect peace, He keeps us protected, He guards our steps and watches our pathways for us. “In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6.

Do you see how the scriptures dovetail or overlap, complement and show us one aspect of Him at a time? From Psalm 91:11 He reveals that He watches over us and has given us angels to look after us. (Perhaps even if we’re wise, we allow them to reign us in from time to time, as necessary…. Angels certainly have protected me as I drive in my car!)

And If we acknowledge the LORD, we see in Proverbs 3:6 there is a promise: He directs the steps we take.

GOD’s story today then, is that He looks out for us. And if we allow Him His choices, He protects us.

Satan tried to fool Jesus, though he failed. In the wilderness, Satan referred to Psalm 91 saying in Matthew 4:6, 

“If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:

‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’

and,

‘In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ”

But Jesus wasn’t fooled and said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ” Matthew 4:7

The key to GOD’s Story is always to rest in Him, to know His word, and to understand the devil prowls like a lion seeing whom he may devour.

As we trust in the LORD and walk in His ways, we are guided, protected and free to live safely in the knowledge that we are loved. “No weapon formed against us shall prosper” (Isaiah 54:17) as we acknowledge His power and authority in the Creation and in our very own lives.

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Rising above Circumstances

Below is a little poem, a very little quip borne out a very big surprise. But first a comment as preparation:

When we least expect it, the things we may think will cause distress, can actually be breakthrough to freedom.

Most of us need, I certainly do, to learn to let things happen, allow them to unfold, rather than to fear the worst while praying, hoping for the best outcome. 

Let’s not look at the outcome. GOD’s got it! Let’s experience the journey of this life — this Dress Rehearsal — as He prepares us for the Grand Performance when we meet with Him one day, in person.

We must let the storms rage around us but learn to ignore them. I am speaking to myself as much as to anyone else. May we all be richer in shalom, warmer in love, grander in hope and resolute in confidence. He’s got us. Let’s live like we truly believe that. It’s time. I certainly need to walk in the truth of His Calling… Who will join me?

“Rejoice in all things. Again I say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)

The poem is about my recognising my son is moving forward into autonomy as an adult. And so am I, moving into autonomy, as a parent. As you contemplate your challenges, may I encourage you to consider them gifts. Opportunities for freedom. Blessings…

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

The Importance of the Truth for 2023

Is it time for a New Year’s resolution? I wouldn’t put it that way. Rather, I think the key is the importance of the truth for 2023.

Tell the Truth

Is that a Commandment, or is “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour” different in its specificity?

“What is Truth?” asked Pilot. Jesus had already taught us, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6) therefore, He could quite rightly have replied to Pilot, “I am Truth”. In fact he had already said to Pilot, 

“You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”

It seems the causes many fight for now — LGBTQ, Global Warming and related issues, are not of The Truth for if they were, the fruit would be love rather than condemnation for “there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1) and “you shall know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:16)

We need to discern who is telling the truth and who is lying. There are many voices; who is representing the voice of Jesus and who is not? This is crucial to our society and beneficial to those who seek to walk in the footsteps of Our Lord.

Why tell the truth? 

Because society hangs upon it, thrives on it, survives only with it. 

Look at the damage being caused by lies: we are now living in a society where, out of pity for confused people who wish they were a different sex, we endorse as reality their wishful thinking. As science can now tinker with biological sex through drugs and operations, gender fluidity is promoted as a norm. This untruth, this denial of reality, is harming the education of children and the relationship between parent and child due to government interference and mandate in some western nations.

As those who lie shout their protests and are full of fear (rather than love: “Perfect love casts out fear”), they may believe what they are fighting for, but that doesn’t make it Truth. Consider Extinction Rebellion, Just Stop Oil and other voices supporting the issue to protect us against Global Warming. What is their fruit producing? Do you note the rise of world wide starvation and deprivation for the sake of the limitless fight against Global Warming? Does the end justify the means?

As believers become entwined in arguments not of the Lord, we all become disrupted, even damaged, at our peril. Consider the vaccine issue and fighting Corona Virus? How good is the fruit coming out of fighting over this debate? Regardless of which side we choose to support, there have been family divisions, church divisions. Is that of GOD? I think not.

We need to know what is truth and what are lies. Then we need to walk in, speak out and thrive with the Truth. The consequence of not doing so is clear… our society is crumbling because the lies are being adhered to and the truth-tellers are being swept aside.

When lies overtake truth, society based upon Judeo-Christian values, crumbles. This is what we are experiencing now. It is not because of one pronouncement but of a slow and progressive erosion based upon distraction and lies.

Is it time to tell the truth?

Isn’t it always?

The truth will set us free and has set us free. We who know Jesus may walk in it, but what of others? How can we speak truth and be heard? It is never too late, for one may set a thousand to flight, even as the still small voice who speaks to us rises up from within us and sets the captives free. 

What is the truth?

I’ve already said it: Jesus is the truth — he is the way, the truth, and the life. No one gets to GOD through any other means. This may not be popular but as we believe it, so we need to speak it.

Historically, not speaking out produced a void and that void has now been filled with lies. Society is imploding as a result.

As we speak the truth of Jesus in love, let us see where it takes us. If we all do it, there is no telling what freedom may come, for assuredly, the truth will set us — and anyone — free.

The Truth

The truth is not religion. The truth is not a particular style or even a particular nuance to the theology. Examining our own theology will raise up questions within us and lead us to search our hearts and our bibles for deeper understanding. Not having all the answers is good ministry to those who have questions.

The basic truth is simple: 

  1. Only Jesus has the right to claim he is GOD. And he does claim it. Theologically, he has the right because he was born of a virgin without a human dad. he wasn’t born with the sin that Adam took on. Like Adam, Jesus was born immortal and reclaims immortality for all of us through his defeating death and reclaiming immortality for us through faith; he defied death and took the keys of mortality which Satan had taken from Adam. We who accept Jesus are born again of the Spirit and receive immortality; we will join him in heaven at the time of our physical death.
  2. Receiving Jesus is a simple act of humility and the recognition we are rubbish. We are not good enough for GOD — none of us is. Once we accept and recognise that, we can receive Jesus who sets us free from being rubbish and gives us our royal robes, not based upon who we are but based upon who he is, and our acceptance of him.
  3. We do not have to do anything to be right with GOD. It isn’t our good behaviour that gets us into heaven. But we do have to believe and repent of what went before our recognition that we are rubbish. That’s what being born again is. And we have a fresh start.
  4. Baptism, obedience, continued faith and fellowship are what Jesus modelled in his love for GOD. Through baptism, he received the endorsement of his father and the Holy Spirit came upon him. Believing and acting our faith without baptism doesn’t give us the public confession which Jesus modelled and perhaps doesn’t give us the fulness of all that the Holy Spirit offers. Jesus sweat blood (metaphorically at least) in Gethsemane when his arrest, crucifixion were close at hand; but he did obey. He models obedience (did you know he didn’t heal everyone but only those whom the Father told him to?). He did not doubt GOD but lived faithfulness throughout his life and ministry. Jesus had disciples and friends. Yes many followed him, but also in particular were the twelve, three of whom: Peter, James and John were particularly close. He did not walk alone and neither must we.
  5. In summary, the focus is not upon what we do or say as followers of Jesus, but upon what our motive is. If we follow Jesus in our own integrity, then we don’t do good deeds because we are supposed to, we don’t go to church because we’re supposed to. Rather, we follow Jesus because he is the truth and we are committed to that truth. We follow Jesus because we know the truth has set us free. We follow Jesus because he is the Way to the Father GOD in heaven. We follow Jesus because we love him and are thankful for our freedom. All our deeds, attitudes and behaviours will flow out of that, naturally and supernaturally. And we need the Holy Spirit to help us for Jesus said he had to go back to the Father in order for the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, to come to us. He doesn’t expect us to manage on our own, and neither need we.

So, let us walk in the truth

Let us live, love, laugh and celebrate our knowledge of the truth and in on our Way accept others to do the same. Let us hold fast to what is true, and not hide in fear of condemnation, but share in wisdom, and hope that others too, who need Jesus as much as we do, will spot his identity in us.

And let us live the truth that we know, and see how society can be transformed by the renewing of one mind at a time…

Shalom, Happy 2023, and may GOD continue to BLESS us all.

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

What really matters about Christmas?

I have strolled through days of loving Christmas, explored only to discover the dates we use to celebrate are all wrong; I have meandered through the Bible to explore the Hebrew roots and stumbled upon culture and Hanukkah; I have wondered whether to put up a tree or glitter or give gifts and more; I have concluded Christmas marks the birth of GOD’s son, secular festivities, and much much more…

But at the end of the day, I ask myself — and you if you’re willing to ponder: What really matters about Christmas and how can we mark it well? 

Why the Nativity?

With a look at the nativity I aim to share with others at this Season, the love, truth, grace, peace and joy that the LORD offers to those who will receive.

GOD is love and He brings love, in the form of His son Yeshua. But He also ensures we have the capacity and opportunity to share love; we have an inbuilt need for love and relationship. He offers Himself and even if we reject Him, He loves us so much He reaches out through others so that no one needs be isolated or alone.

And now, the story of the Nativity is recounted in Luke 2:8-20 as follows,

“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marvelled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.”

What the Nativity shows us

We see fulfilled prophecy in that Isaiah and various other prophets foretold the coming of the Messiah in just the manner in which it is recorded here… Bethlehem will be the Messiah’s place of birth, a virgin will give birth, He will be a son of David — one born of King David’s line. There are hundreds of prophecies fulfilled in this one night (the substance of which is for another post).

We see the mercy of GOD in his love, respect and confidence for the lowly shepherds who were the blessed ones who would be the first to see this Messiah.

We see the wisdom of GOD in His choice of mother, who held the marvellous events in her heart, rather than boast or discuss or proclaim them.

We see the love of GOD for us in giving to us His son, who will be the Saviour of the entire world. Jesus would grow to teach us how to live, so that society moves from barbarism to life, from paganism to profound worship.

We see the truth of GOD in that He is not a respecter of persons, choosing a lowly stable, a modest couple to parent His son, and that babe who would grow to teach us love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, patience and self control.

We see the commitment of GOD as He fulfilled His promise to send a Messiah, to stand for the Jewish people and land, to be GOD to those who would call Him GOD.

We see the power of GOD and the presence of GOD in the angels and in the babe Himself.

We see GOD Years later, Jesus would say to us, “He who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9)

So, what really matters about Christmas?

Simply, the birth of Yeshua — Jesus — Emmanuel, GOD with us.

And How can we mark it well?

Stay focused on the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The trappings of turkey or gifts, tree and tinsel, these are not Christmas. The carols and cards, the family and friends, these are not Christmas. The spirit of Christmas is not necessarily of GOD, if it removes our gaze from the One and Only who gave up His heavenly authority to be of no account. The spirit of Christmas can be ignored when we look at the Son of GOD — the Son of Man, and linger on his infant beginning. And we mark Christmas well when we allow ourselves to ponder, to embrace and to engage with Him who came for us, and love one another as He has loved us, and as He has commanded us to do,

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.” (Luke 10:27). 

On this hinges everything.

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

What to do when doubt comes knocking?

Do you wrestle with doubt in these challenging times? Let’s be honest and transparent: as darkness seems to increase in our society, does it sometimes seem that GOD is far away? Do we wonder, “Are you really there?”

What to do when doubt comes knocking? 

Recognise it. Acknowledge it. Work through it!

In Matthew 24:13 Jesus says, “But he who endures to the end shall be saved” and verse 22 says, “And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.”

Yeshua knows the plan of the Father, maybe not in every detail (for he also says no one knows the timing of his return except the Father). Jesus assures us that GOD will ensure His children are not lost…

So, how do we hold onto our Faith when we feel doubtful or have questions?

What do we do when doubt comes knocking?

Be honest: with ourselves, with Him.

I have  been asking GOD to answer prayers because as it gets darker and darker spiritually, I want to see the hand of GOD move for a few different reasons:

  1. That some will be saved
  2. That some will be delivered

but also

3.   For reassurance that He is in fact, listening, sovereign and powerful.

I wait for His response and am not disappointed (but sometimes I do have to look very deeply to see His response).

We can ask to have wealth, we can ask for victory… But when we don’t receive as we expect or ask, what happens then? Is our faith knocked? What do we hang onto, to ensure our faith holds strong? 

We hold onto the Truth. And the Truth is in Jesus’ identity — the Truth is Jesus’ identity.

Did Jesus live? Did he die on the cross? Was he resurrected? Was he born of a virgin?

When you ask these questions it puts all the temporal, temporary issues to the side. What do you really believe? Who do you really believe? That Truth will carry you through.

Trying times

Times are really trying right now. We have several threats to our peace of mind: energy shortages and steep costs; food shortages and the threat of them; war crouching at the door: culture wars, internal conflict and rebellion in many nations, and international war. Some fear a pandemic. Some fear the burning of the earth…

How do we hold on to our faith? Why do we hold on to our faith?

We choose. We choose to believe because Jesus is true. But we continue in our belief because the alternative is madness. We have life; the alternative is despair. He have hope; the alternative death.

As it gets darker… the light gets brighter

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12a). 

Why do you suppose he used analogies of light and darkness? 

The darkness has never been so obvious as it is right now, globally. The holocaust provided a glimpse, but taking nothing away from the horror of genocide and the attempted annihilation of GOD’s chosen people, only in a portion of Europe was darkened at that attempt. Now, in a less physically violent way, the serpent is devouring the Judeo-Christian ideology and all of its Western societies through the departure from the core principles of life. Wrong has become right, and right wrong. Reality has been distorted and history changed to suit a new ideology. And so, we experience the darkness encroaching at an ever-faster rate, over an ever-widening scope.

But GOD. 

The light shines bright in the darkness and is not overtaken. Indeed, the Psalms say that the darkness and the light are the same — as soon as there is light in the darkness, the light overcomes the darkness.

What do we do when doubt comes knocking?

We choose the light. We hang on, asking, seeking, persisting. We allow GOD’s light to come, to shine through us His children. We allow GOD’s voice to speak to us through His Word. We allow His love to manifest through fellowship with His peopel. We allow GOD’s Holy Spirit to manifest in presence and power as He wills. 

And the darkness of doubt is overcome.

“He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:12b)

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Challenged like never before?

If you are feeling challenged like never before, I don’t need to explain — given the politics and societal rapid decline, or witnessing physical and mental health issues like never before — I don’t need to explain or give detail, do I?

If you have been watching and connect the dots, you’ll see the conspiracy theory walking into reality. The World Economic Forum and IMF (International Monetary Fund)  are dictating national financial policy; the G20 is being led by the unelected; the UN and all its associated bodies are telling us how to live: redefining good and evil. You’ll observe the overall national decline in the UK for example, and recognise it is the consequence of society finally catching up with our lack of reference to GOD. There has been just enough delay after turning our backs on the Yehovah GOD and His Son Yeshua/Jesus, to question whether there is a connection between the decline of democracy and economic success and its lack of reverence for the Creator. We worship the planet and seek to save the planet, rather than to worship the Creator and save the people on it. Hmm… do you think there is a connection?

The LORD allows sight to those who desire to see, and blindness to those who do not. (Matthew 11:25)

So, I write today to say we can hold on… The future in our nation of UK, and pretty much any Western nation, looks bleak. Poverty and powerlessness have come at last to the bastions of freedom. Western democracy is all but gone, as politicians put infighting and satisfying lobbyists and media over running the country.

And so we ask, “Where are you LORD?” Well, the Word has already told us —  

“Trust in the LORD and lean not on your own understanding… In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

“And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” (Matthew 24:4-8)

These wars and evils only mark the beginning of sorrows. There is much more in store, all of which is triggered by man’s choice to control and the exclaimed priority being climate control. It is the religion of the 21st Century. Zealots are everywhere, their voices heard and followed by those full of fear or seeking something to worship. The void has been filled at last. 

It is Satan who is behind this and whether he is unshackled or merely shaking the chains (Jude 1:6), on the time line of eternity, decline of common sense and common decency is rapid now, pervasive, and it would seem unstoppable.

So, we need to decide: do we still believe Jesus or do we give up?

As we move forward in this day, these times, we know that GOD is for us. “If GOD be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)

We forge on, knowing our Saviour and Lord is interceding and the Creator GOD, Yehovah, Father of us all, is waiting for His kingdom to come upon the earth as it is in heaven. And we pray! Holy Spirit fill us, help us to walk in Your anointing, help us to surrender our everything to You and enable us to walk in Your strength, joy, comfort, love, that we will comfort others with the comfort You give to us.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Worship like your Life depends on it… It does!

I’m going to say something potentially controversial — especially when you consider, Ephesians 2:8-9, which reads,

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” 

We need to worship like our life depends upon it, because it does.

Our spiritual lives are our true lives. The flesh gets us around and needs feeding: physically, emotionally, intellectually. Relationships, interaction with others, brings joy! 

BUT real life, lasting life, springs from GOD through the Spirit and so, our spiritual lives thrive in connection with the Holy Spirit. 

The key way we can connect our spirit to the Holy Spirit is through worship. It isn’t the only way, because prayer and time in the Word of GOD are key too. But in society today times are tough and getting tougher. To bring us life out of the darkness, worship is key.

Worship is Joyful

When we worship GOD, whether in song which is the most common traditionally, or through dance, art, our daily work, our hobbies of sport or arts, we are sharing ourselves with Him. We are thanking Him. We are releasing ourselves to Him. We are trusting Him. And in all this is fullness of joy!

Worship is Hopeful

When we focus our attention on Yehovah GOD through our worship, we are declaring our faith in Him, in His existence. We worship Him, thanking Him, seeking His face, and trusting He will receive from us. This is a demonstration of Hope, for faith is the substance behind our worship, and faith is the substance of all that we hope for. Hope lifts us out of fear, doubt, and takes us into the love of GOD, into His very presence. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)

Worship is an expression of ourselves

When we worship freely, we are releasing our voices, bodies, minds to express ourselves. This is an aim. Just as David danced with all his might (2 Samuel 6:14), we can give ourselves permission to let go and express our love and thanksgiving to GOD, our fears and doubts, our hopes and joys, our regret and repentance. We can trust GOD to accept our sacrifice of worship (Psalm 27:6 & Hebrews 13:15)

Worship is combat

There is another crucial element to worship which is not wholly known and practised and that is worship as warfare,


“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,” (2 Corinthians 10:4)

I cannot stress enough the value and importance of recognising the value of corporate worship in the spiritual battles against the enemy. The more we feel like resisting expression, the more we are oppressed verses the more we release expression, the stronger our weaponry against the enemy.

Ephesians 6:10-13 reads,

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

When we literally stand to worship, and speak out scripture in song, or when we make commitment to GOD through the words we say, we are declaring GOD in our lives. When we do that, we are sending the enemy packing.

When we are together in corporate worship, we are as an army against the powers of darkness, whether we feel good, or do not feel like worshipping. When we declare, express, lift up our hands, dance, sing, play instruments and/or express devotion in some way or another, not only does it have the power to cheer us and delight us, but it cheers and delights our Father in heaven.… And the demons flee!

So let us worship in Spirit and in Truth

And so, let us all worship (celebrate GOD) in Spirit (by the leadership of the Spirit of GOD who lives in us) and in Truth (using truths and scriptures that are from GOD’s Word), and let us push back the enemy (satan, destroyer, and his principality and powers) and draw near to GOD (our Creator Father in heaven)… so that He will draw near to us. (James 4:8)

Amen

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Powerless or Full of His Power?

“In You, O LORD, I put my trust; Let me never be put to shame.” (Psalm 71:1)

Do you feel powerless or full of His power?

Goodness of God song link

Power of Intimacy

I sit in the dark at 5am and wonder, where are we headed in this nation?

We have a new prime minister in the United Kingdom who has not been elected (except by his constituents as a local member of parliament). 

We had a new prime minister for 45 days. Then she was booted out by her own party for daring to believe Britain could grow the economy and prosper now.

We had a Conservative prime minister who was voted in by a huge majority including by usually Labour voters amongst the enthusiastic throng, for a cause that was stuck in government because the party in power hated the idea that the nation voted to separate from the European Union. 

I could list the demise of democratic Britain but that would be negative. 

What we have is a somewhat quiet coup of elite parliamentarians against their own party, an opposition who is lacking in acuity, and behind the scenes the wealthy and powerful who are lining their pockets with the mad ideas from the fearful who believe the end is nigh because of climate change.

The end may be nigh, but we don’t know the season nor the time, and it certainly has nothing to do with the natural fluctuations in climate.

The whole scenario — and I’ve only touched on some of the factors — reads like a sci fi novel. We live in a liberal democracy but are ruled by an appointed leader, who doesn’t even have the freedom to lead but is pulled around like a ringed bull, doing what he’s told about the climate change agenda, the economy, and who knows what else!

If the Prime Minister hasn’t any power, then is it any wonder if we, the people, feel powerless. 

I voted Conservative, I voted for Brexit. I won. And I feel powerless. Pity those who voted the other way… It doesn’t really matter now does it? We voted but we got it wrong so powers that be are doing their level best to counter the vote: first regarding Brexit, now about policy and even the Leader.

I sit and I stare and I wonder. Do others say to our Creator,  “Father, we don’t have any more prayers right now. We just want to talk to you… and we aren’t even sure what to say.”

He’s listening. He knows. He cares. And He values our prayers. Our voice matters to Him. “Thank you LORD!” Because certainly, our voice doesn’t seem to matter to many politicians.

Who holds the Power?

We don’t know man’s time table, we don’t know the unoriginal Satan’s time table (New Ten Commandments). But we can see the signs of the enemy and it seems a New Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai are about to be proclaimed. It infuriates me. What can I do? Rejoice in the LORD! We who keep our eyes on Jesus, not the storm, will overcome…. Because GOD is in charge.

“And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—“ (Revelations 2:26)

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

The Need for GOD’s Anointing of the Holy Spirit

Is Christian Revival around the corner? I sure hope so… But if it is, we’ll need plenty of help to manage it.

Revival and the Holy Spirit

Are we in need for GOD’s Anointing of the Holy Spirit? Why wouldn’t we be?!

Jesus said, ‘I go that the helper may come’ (John 14:26). How does the Helper help? By anointing us for service, giving us power through His presence: to move hearts toward GOD and to pull down strongholds.

If we want revival — and most of us who follow Jesus do, in some measure at least — we must allow the Holy Spirit to fill us and follow His lead.

There are those in the church who say that the supernatural gifts of GOD are passed. Some suggest, ‘We have the Word now, so we don’t need the supernatural.’ I say rather bluntly, this is a cop out. I think it is borne of the fact that the speakers don’t personally see the manifestation of miracles and therefore they reckon they don’t exist. They might quote, “… pass away but my Word shall not pass away…” (Matthew 24:35) But that scripture is taken out of context. Jesus, as the Word of GOD, was resurrection life that will never pass away. But He left the earth so that He could send His Spirit to fill each of us. It is by the Spirit that I have been transformed: through GOD-given faith and His conviction. I experience transformation and demonstrate it because of His supernatural attendance to me and His infilling within me.

Others who accept the Holy Spirit presence but resist the power, say undignified behaviour is manifested and therefore such cannot be a move of GOD. I say Jesus accepted the undignified, preferring their behaviour to the pride and superficial dignity of His contemporary pharisees. I was once accused of being a pharisee. Me? But I love the LORD! was my immediate response. And yet, over time I realised the religious spirit of the pharisees had affected me. My recognition and rejection of it was instrumental in my maturity and freedom.

Holy Spirit – active today

What I testify is this: The Holy Spirit is the LORD within us who enables us to surrender our lives; He gives us leadership showing us how to engage with Him and with others about Him. He is the evangelist, the pastor, the teacher, the prophet and the apostle within (Ephesians 4:11) And He enables the fruits of love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, patience and self control (Galatians 5:22-23) to grow and supersede our own will and natural inclination to rebel. And it is through Him that miracles are manifested (1 Corinthians 12:8-9). He is the power and the presence of GOD, without whom we have neither His power nor His presence. He has not changed any more than has the Father or Jesus. GOD does not change.

Vocabulary that promotes the undignified

“Hallal” means praise! We are called to join in a manifestation of high praise, ‘flashing forth light like!’ Cymbals crash! King David danced with joy to his LORD, practically naked. GOD is to be revered but He does not control us. He brings liberty. Dignified or noisy, this is the celebration of GOD.

Jesus’ word about the Helper

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (John 14:26)

For centuries, the power of GOD was squashed with religion. Protestants have blamed the Catholic faith, and it may largely be true that the manifestations of the Spirit were full-on during the early church but were largely wiped out by organised religion. But the chains have fallen off! And so should there be room again for the Spirit, so that we can “live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)

We need the anointing

Recently, I was in a worship service and tears began to flow as we ministered to the LORD, not only in song but in spiritual warfare, praying for the nation. This began with the steadfast commitment of the worship leader to sing to the LORD but also to pursue Him. In so doing, the anointing came and remained. A call from the congregation for prayer came and then the engagement: spiritual warfare through a unified force amongst the brethren of believers, to bring GOD’s kingdom onto earth “as it is in heaven”. I don’t believe this could have been done without the anointing. But with the anointing, there was faith and a unified voice in worship and prayer. All the glory goes to Him through our passionate pleas to Him.

Abandon

GOD is full of grace and love. We are to revere Him. But we do not have to be religious. Rather we are called to be “like little children” (Matthew 19); children are not self-conscious.

Decorum matters between one another, as does common sense and respect. But sometimes, as the LORD’s presence manifests, so too does the demonic. This is not to be shunned nor embraced, but to be recognised, deliverance* to be undertaken, and freedom to be received (*to protect all involved, deliverance should only be undertaken under specific conditions and by those trained and experienced).

Sometimes there is joy and dancing: David danced; it pleased the LORD! (and led to the barrenness of David’s wife because she mocked him)

The Spirit is unpredictable. The Spirit is free. He does not give us licence to be irreverent but irreverence is not the same as lacking dignity. Sometimes, we need to be met with unpredictable abandon to be set free.

I pray that those who are reading this have either met with the Holy Spirit and have been baptised and anointed by Him, or will pursue Him with their whole heart until they are. The Spirit is no less GOD than is the Father or the Son. There is power from the Creator. There is power in the Word. And there is also power through the Spirit. Embracing Him is what Jesus calls us to do. And we ignore this at our peril.

Implosion of the World

While science is fast becoming debunked by those who preach “whatever we feel is real” and religion in Western society has all but passed away, common sense, fact and reality are becoming as rarely inspected as history. This is the time for Faith to arise. Let us not copy what has gone before: a narrow religiosity that has the imitation of Truth but not the power of it. Let us endorse and whole-heartedly embrace the full Gospel: that we are saved by Faith in Jesus, both for our eternal future but also for our present. Jesus saves, delivers, restores. He is found both in Word and in Deed. And we ignore either at society’s peril.

GOD bless you. In Jesus’ name. May you receive the power and presence of the Lord Jesus, Yeshua, our Messiah, by His Holy Spirit. Amen.

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Praying GOD’s will be done

What is the significance of praying ‘GOD’s will be done’?

What is Prayer

I have been asking Yehovah GOD about prayer. And I’ve been praying GOD’s will be done. Less and less I’ve felt churned internally and more and more I’ve simply surrendered to His wisdom and His will.

There are some who say prayer is making declarations; being specific is important. Others say it is making requests and supplications, pleading for the LORD to intervene in our situations. Some others think there is a limit to how much we should ask for; I don’t. 

I wonder: Does this question about prayer have an available answer? Or is it a question that is unanswerable on earth?

Before anyone quickly jumps to answer, hold fire and read on…

When my husband was ill, he said the LORD was downloading a lot of information to him about prayer, something Alan (a modest but confident teacher of the word of GOD for several decades) humbly admitted he never “really understood”. Well, before he died, I think Alan learned a lot. Unfortunately, he never had the strength to share more than to say, prayer “isn’t at all what we think it is.”

I thought about what Alan said during his illness and I still think about it. I wonder, “What is it that we are missing, that the LORD revealed to Alan as he lay desperately ill?”

One thing I’ve learned is we cannot put our demands upon the LORD. We can ask, we can intercede; in fact we are called to do so and we must! And yet, that doesn’t mean the LORD will do our bidding.

“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” I think these are most profound words and yet, they are loaded with far more than we can possibly understand.

What does GOD want?

We know from GOD’s word that He wants none to perish (2 Peter 3:9). We know we are asked to intercede (James 5:16). Jesus in Gethsemane surrendered His will to the Father’s. 

There are different occasions for prayer, different types of prayer. Prayer is sharing to the One True GOD our heart and our needs, our fears and our concerns, and for many, it is simply petitioning GOD to hear the prayers and needs of others. Who here has never been part of a prayer chain or prayer group? I think most of us will have been at one time or another. And in fact, there is never more need for prayer than right now, as our society hangs in the balance, sits on the brink of poverty, disease, despair and war… Surely we are in the End Times.

And yet, there isn’t a magic button or a key word to pray that will give us what we ask. No, some receive their requests just as they’re made; others do not. Why is that?

Faith

Some over simplify and insult one another by saying, “You didn’t have enough faith.” That’s just plain ignorant, playing judge and making GOD out to be ungenerous, given that faith comes from GOD — one of his gifts, one of the fruits of the Spirit.

Personal relationship

Of course too, there is the intimate relationship we have the the LORD. He speaks to us and if we will listen, we learn much from Him. In my journey, there have been times when He’s asked me to refrain from certain foods or to wear a prayer shawl. I think this is individual and timely… in other words, I think He may ask certain things of us that He doesn’t expect all of His children to do. And so, I continue to hone my listening skills and to follow. He prefers obedience over sacrifice, remember.

Prayer School

I attended a wonderful prayer school over a period of years. Julie Anderson is a friend, a god parent to my son, and the leader of a prayer school in Central London. She taught me so much about prayer. And yet, still I know so little.

But isn’t that what our journey with Jesus is all about? We start off knowing a little, perhaps little more than simply that He is our wonderful Saviour. We end up learning, discovering, growing, and yet, His will is still what we yield to.

Flesh v Spirit

I have come to the conclusion at this point in my journey, to believe that prayer — for me — is a process of simply sitting with the LORD and waiting, of being still before Him. As I wait, I allow my will to give way to the life within me, the Spirit of GOD. I watch, I wait, I listen, I read the Word of GOD, I pray in tongues, but throughout I am surrendering, asking, seeking: LORD, what do you want to show me? LORD, what do you want me to discover? LORD, what do you want me to pray?

And as I let go of my flesh, as I stop fussing or pushing, fearing or even hoping, as I surrender my will to His, I begin to hear from Him. Sometimes it’s a word. Sometimes it’s a subject, a person, a concern, a situation in the world. But always I receive direction and I pray into it. I have no opinion and I have no personal desire. I just pray.

Then I believe, I am praying His prayer, on earth, as He would pray in heaven. That, I believe, is prayer…. asking for His will to be done on earth, as He would have such matters resolved in heaven.

Final thought for these Last Days

Moses encountered GOD and stood in the gap for the Hebrews, so GOD did not destroy them (Deuteronomy 9). But holding back GOD’s will and His wrath delayed an inevitable consequence: the passing of a generation and the ultimate separation of GOD’s people from their homeland (Deuteronomy 11:26). All this was the result of unrighteousness. Prayer changed GOD’s mind but destruction came inevitably.


If we pray for Righteousness to pour down today, perhaps mankind can change and we can hold back Satan and the Rapture for a time; then more will be saved. But holding back also gives room for more evil, only delaying the inevitable fall of Satan and those he takes with him. 

So we pray GOD’s will…. we must! He sees, He knows, Jesus intercedes, and all is right with GOD.

Moses prayed GOD would hold back His wrath. He did, although more evil came. If holding back wrath delays inevitable consequences, and makes room for more evil to come, then how shall we pray?

Can we pray Maranatha: Come Lord Jesus!? Come quickly!

Shall we pray for rescue, heal, defend, protect?

Shall we pray GOD’s will and Maranatha…. and leave the results in GOD’s hands….

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

How do I ask for GOD’s help?

How do I ask for GOD’s help?

Ps 119:77 reads, 

“Let Your tender mercies come to me, that I may live;

For Your law is my delight.”

When you need companionship, spiritual support or emotional help, here’s a prayer that makes a lot of sense. One simple phrase and GOD puts it all together for us. Using GOD’s Word to pray is so simple, so profound, so effective:

I ask you to allow your mercy to come to my mind and my heart, because that is what will bring life to me. Your law is all I need — your law of love, your law of the universe, your law of relationship to You and to others.

If all I dwell upon is You: Your forgiveness, Your grace, Your mercy which I do not deserve, I will be revived regardless of the mental or physical state that I am in. I absolutely love, get, accept, benefit from and am blessed by Your Law! It isn’t law of rules but law of love, packaged in grace, mercy and truth; it is simply the way GOD has made things to work in the universe.

That’s my paraphrase. Funny how my restate is far more wordy than the original. But I just want to be sure I cover all the bases with you… That you catch what I’m throwing: GOD’s word in this verse of this Psalm tells me that my life springs from His mercy, His truth, His love, His grace and through His Law — His way of making the universe work both for animate and inanimate objects — is delightful, life-giving and just generally all round wonderful.

Meditate on His word. If you don’t catch it, try refocusing on my explanation. I pray you catch what I caught when I read this verse this week.

Every blessing to you:)

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

What is Strength

Strength is the sense of being carried, I so understand. It is like GOD’s peace surpasses grief in the natural and so we appear to others strong and able to cope, when really we know it is GOD’s strength and the faith and wisdom He has put into us over the years and over these days, that allows us to walk above the circumstances and the grief.

Strength in the LORD is not never feeling pain, despair, or disappointment but rather, strength is rising above the circumstances. 

Recently, I experienced disillusionment, which set me through a dark valley. By GOD’s grace I am through it. But how did it arise in the first place? I overcame my husband’s death and yet this relatively trivial situation, by comparison, set me into a deep sadness and some oppression that was difficult to extricate myself from. 

Yes, I reminded myself to keep my eyes upon Jesus, “the author and finisher of our faith” (text) but it was hard work to do so. Why?

Self pity is the number 1 enemy of the individual. It is insidious, so so subtle. I’m not sure if I was feeling sorry for myself, but I was feeling justified. The key is “I”.

I was very focused on me. And that was the open door to great pain. I was holding on to the LORD but how is it that He seemed so distant?

I think He allowed the distance, to see how I’d handle myself. I didn’t do any harm to anyone and I didn’t do any harm to myself. I shared pain with a couple of chosen people and I spent time in prayer and thought — working out how I felt, why I felt it, and what I could do about the situation. I cried out to the LORD. He heard me! Then He lifted me out of the pit, as lightly and swiftly as He’d put me in it.

It is strange how the LORD works sometimes. But the key is, He is always at work in us. When we are broken, we must remember we’ve asked for it! We said we surrender all, and so we need to remember there will be moments, seasons, times, when He will ask us to remember our commitment and BOOM! We might suffer some of our flesh being stripped from us. Emotion is a blessing from the LORD but it is also a part of our mind; sometimes we need a renewing, and so we get a revelation! Other times the renewing is through a dark valley. But holding on, always brings us through to the light on the other side.

Praise the LORD.

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Not enough prayer: Beware erosion of faith

Reader Beware

Whenever there is not enough prayer, beware erosion of our faith!

It has been a busy summer of eclectic activity, blessing, distraction and relationship-building with other believers.

I have learned I must never take the deep relationship I have found with the LORD for granted. This summer, in trying to stay of a healthy mind-set, I found news channels that were more akin to my way of thinking (not MSM per se), and grew in my relationship with my son and others in our church. But I would sometimes get down.

I didn’t worship or read the Bible as much as usual, and suddenly, in a moment, I  experienced quite a backlash of confused thought and fear I’d not experienced for quite some time — years even. I’d say I was prone to semi-neurotic thinking years ago, before Jesus came into my life. Recently, I experienced some of this which I’d not for years. Wow! It was horrible. 

I reached out to Jesus, spoke through prayerfully with a trusted sister-in-the-Lord, and worshipped…. and now that fear is gone.

Do not underestimate 

So, I say, do not underestimate the power of your lifestyle of prayer and praise.

And if you let it slip, don’t be surprised if suddenly you experience misery!

I’m glad GOD allowed the enemy into my head. I was able to see him for who he is, recognise his strategies, and reject him.

“Therefore submit to GOD. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:10)

The enemy must be faced and resisted, for he does try to infiltrate in any way he can.

Surrender

Let go concerns, surrender to GOD, resist the devil and he will flee.

This is a pattern of life that keeps us “in life”!

Blessings abound

“The love of many will grow cold.” (Matthew 24:12)

We are in the Last Days of the Church Age. Gentiles, hold onto your commitment to prayer and praise, lest ye lose your crown(s). Jews are coming to the LORD thick and fast, praise Yehovah! Time is short. We must be ready.

I do not wish to gain salvation through works! That isn’t GOD’s way. But, we must be vigilant and the devil is wandering around like a roaring lion to seek whom he may devour (1Peter 5:8) and like a wise virgin (Matthew 25:1) we must be ready for “our salvation draws near”. 

Let’s not be fearful and yet let us be aware we are vulnerable.

In all things

In all matters: experiences, circumstances, relationships, hardships, blessings, etc, we give glory to GOD for He is sovereign in our lives and in the earth and heavens.

Do not forsake time and attention with Him for He will never leave us nor forsake us (1Kings 8:57), but we surely can be distracted.

Remember

“…all things work together for good to those who love GOD, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Let everything that has breath praise the LORD — and that includes you and me!

Hallelujah. Maranatha. Come LORD Jesus, Come.

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Huge Key to Effective Prayer

During an intercessory session of prayer with some others, on more than one occasion, I have had an insight into prayer… Well for me it was insight. Perhaps for you it’s familiar. Let me share, because this is a HUGE KEY to effective PRAYER

Intercessory Prayer

We pray to bring GOD’s will to pass. He gave us authority over the earth and we must exercise it as part of GOD’s chosen will for us. But not only does He give us the freedom and the mandate to pray, but if we really tap into Him, He will also reveal His heart under His anointing.

If we tell Him what we want, He listens. But if we seek Him and He discloses what He wants, we have the authority and the responsibility to pray that into being.

So, yes, prayer can be asking. And prayer can be making declarations.

But most of all, what prayer really is, is awaiting His revelation of what He wants, and for us to use the authority that He has given us from the Garden (Genesis 2:15, 19), to pray His will be done on earth as His will is in heaven.

Praying with the authority He’s given to human beings, and praying His will to come to pass, is perfect prayer. Knowing His will first, and taking that on board and then praying, well: WOW! That’s revelation and the key to powerful prayer! 

And yes, we can pray, “Your will be done.” But sometimes He will reveal His specific will, and we are to pray that into being.

Hallelujah. Prayer is a lot more than just asking for stuff!

Hallelujah and Amen.

Prayer is not

Prayer is not making demands or claiming our rights and our wants. Prayer is not declaring in our own strength and our own will. That’s praying in the flesh. It might yield something but it won’t yield GOD’s will. I only want GOD’s will for my life and for those around me. “Not as I will but as You will…” (Matthew 26:39)

Prayer is

Prayer is surrendering our will to His, asking what His will is, waiting on Him and then praying His revelation from heaven onto the earth. 

Prayer is being earnest with Him and sharing our hearts and asking Him to rescue us, our loved ones, the earth and those within it. 

Prayer is our earnest seeking of the LORD, pouring out our heart to Him. 

We need to pray

Yes, we need to pray. We can ask Him anything and we can ask for anything from Him. “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16) 

True Intercession

BUT to pray His prayers, His kingdom to come onto this earth as in heaven aka His will on earth as it is in Heaven — that is the mandate of intercessory prayer. And the key I’ve recognised at a deeper level than ever before, the key He’s been giving me is that He will give us specifics, He will give us anointing, He will mandate us with perfect clarity what He wants and we have the authority He needs us to use for His will to come to pass.

Summary

Prayer can be an argument with Him. Prayer can be a testimony to Him. Prayer can be a pleading our cause with Him. Prayer is simply, communication with Him. 

But effective, intercessory prayer is a mandate we are called to fulfil if we want His will to come onto this earth. Waiting on Him is how we learn what He wants us to pray. This is the way for His will to come to earth, this is His will for us to do: to take the authority He gave us on earth and to pray His will be done. He will give us specifics if we want them, if we wait for them, and He will give us the anointing to pray them into being. If we exercise the power He’s given us, there is the way for His conquering will to overcome the evil that has taken this planet. 

Let’s be faithful.

Let’s be still.


Let’s be prayerful. And He will overcome this world.

Hallelujah!

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

No fear, imagine

Imagine your life if you had no fear

No fear, imagine. None! No inhibitions, no condemnation, no hesitation, no embarrassment, no boundaries. 

No imagine love. Perfect, total, absolute love for you. And you for others, specific and general. 

Now you have perfect love which casts out all fear, as John wrote in his first letter, chapter 4.

Imagine what you could achieve

Without fear what would you say? Do? Offer? Decline?

How would you represent the LORD Jesus, if you had no fear? Remember, perfect love is there, His grace, His mercy, flowing through His Spirit to you and outward to others. 

Where would you go? Which job would you take? What would you do with your time, talents, life?

Imagine your life if you had no fear, and go! Live it out. Fear is only in the mind. Allow your mind to be renewed (Romans 12:2) and walk out your faith in perfect love and grace.

We are running out of time to live the life free as Jesus offers, as Jesus intends, as Jesus promises. 

Imagine your life free from fear. Free. Imagine and then go and live it! By GOD’s grace, through His Holy Spirit, with Jesus. Amen.

Categories
Politics and Society today Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Youth today without a shepherd

Jesus, the Good Shepherd

I was in church not too long ago and the pastor was looking at John 10, all about Jesus the good shepherd.  There re so many youth today without a shepherd. Then a thought struck me…

“Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.” (John 10:7-18)

No shepherd!

I suddenly had an insight — a key to the struggles of our youth today: youth today without a shepherd when they leave home. They become lost: following some phoney uni professor, some on-line celebrity or guru, or losing themselves with no one at all except their peers who are equally confused or utterly lost.

What is to be done to protect our youth?

A key to helping them before they leave home: ensure they have the Shepherd — their own relationship with Jesus.


This is not an easy thing to do. I don’t have all the answers, in fact perhaps I have none. I am a parent and I am downloading all I can into my child before he goes off on his own, so that he can make informed choices. And yet, ultimately, I have to let him go…

But I have given him keys

I have not taken for granted that he is saved, though I do think he is; he’s certainly prayed the prayer. I have not forced him to make godly choices but have taught him how to read scripture, and have told him from a young age that we are a product of our choices… He’s had a lot of exposure to Proverbs! I have loved him… this is the most important thing… unconditionally and have told him GOD does too. And I have helped him to understand the Bible — not only Bible stories from childhood, but actual theology, what is actually in the book so he can refute attack. I have helped him to know the Father GOD, creator of the universe. I have introduced him to Jesus GOD’s son. And I have explained how the Holy Spirit operates as GOD too.

And perhaps the most important key of all is that I have tried to leave him alone to relate to GOD his own way. This is the hardest piece as a parent, but absolutely essential, I think, as a shepherd. Jesus came to folk and he allowed them to come to him. But he didn’t always ask them literally to follow… sometimes they had to go to their village, or to their leaders instead. Sometimes he trusted them to “go and sin no more”.

Hireling v Shepherd

Our young people are innocent, but they don’t know it. They are fodder for fools and we the shepherds must enable them to be in the world but not of the fodder. And most of all, we must pray that they will develop their own relationship so that they will be carried by Him when they need him most.

Prayer

Oh Father, help us to entrust our children to You and to Jesus the good shepherd, and to develop an ear for your Holy Spirit voice: the comforter and the convictor, when they venture out into the world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Jesus is our future but also our present

When the whole world suffers anxiety, fear and distress, why isn’t the Gospel of Jesus Christ recognised as the balm for the afflicted? It is life. Why don’t we seem to recognise this?

Jesus is our future but also our present. 

Jesus is the road to heaven but also offers our path to peace while we walk the earth: inner peace, peace with one another, peace over war between nations. If only the world could see. 

Has Evangelism gone wrong? 

If we have been called to draw the world to The Saviour Jesus, why is the world population not entirely saved?

Why does the world not see the reality of Jesus’ power to heal and the powerful effect that a commitment to Jesus has on our minds and hearts? … Perhaps it is a simple answer: Because so many who love Jesus and have committed their lives to him, do not realise this truth, and do not walk in it themselves, so cannot share it with their unbelieving sphere.

I am not saying this to blame us for the message getting lost. There is an enemy, there is an array of other cultures and religions pitted against the message of Jesus. But perhaps we who follow him haven’t necessarily contemplated the Word as well as we might. To dwell even on one passage, Romans 12:1-2, would bring us to the realisation that walking with Jesus necessarily leads us to a renewed, healthier perspective as we walk out our faith.

“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.”

Jesus saves eternally, but also his teaching offers life-giving common sense, taking us out of ourselves. 

Self-centred in our innocence

I just went through boxes of old letters recently. What innocence, what innocent self-centredness, as I — and fellow correspondents — were trying to discover who we are, how we relate to one another, how to overcome disappointment, defeat, and how we can try to be decent people.

Walking with Jesus enables us to hurdle all of that introspective searching. To truly digest his message means we can overcome that self absorption instantaneously, as we grasp his wisdom and live out his message.

Truth v a Religious life

Sadly, throughout the ages, human beings have captured Jesus’ reality without grasping his message of life and freedom through love. Instead, generations of Christians have lived a religion rather than grasping the abundant life that following Jesus offers.

And from the fronts of churches and in the home, we have told one another we must behave according to religio-social rules.

To us all I say, “Come out of religion and take Jesus at his word! Be free, be responsible for your freedom, and in so doing, ignore the religiosity and legalism that causes us to fear one another and fear making a mistake. Instead, seek to love, to do right toward one another and all, and discover the abundant life that Jesus has promised.” We need to look up, look out and not focus too much on the looking in.

One hope today

There is always hope! Today, our hope is that those who do not know Jesus will become so desperate in their affliction arising from the desperate circumstances of today: poverty, disease, natural disasters, decaying society, that people will look for hope beyond governments and society. Or even better, in their desperation, may they see the love we have for one another…. that the world will know us by our love and turn to Jesus themselves.

“By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (1 John 3:16)

Jesus is not just for today but for every tomorrow until eternity. Jesus is not only for heaven but for our earthly life as well. Grasp these truths that the truth will set you free: there is no fear but only love, when we walk in the truth of Jesus’ redeeming love and salvation. Trust, accept you are accepted, follow and know that you have overcome all if only you comprehend and walk in the fullness of your salvation.

Shalom, friends. Shalom. And the peace which passes all understanding guard your heart and mind… In Jesus, Amen.

Just as it is too small a thing for Jesus to die only for the Jews but for the Gentiles also (Isaiah 49:6), so it is too small a thing for Jesus to die for eternal life after death only. Our acceptance of Him allows us to be free in the acceptance He has given to us; and His power, love and truth reside within every one who believes (Acts 13:39).

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Salvation time just got shorter…

I have been writing Preparing the Bride for some time, being called as a watchman (Ezekiel 33), to prepare us for Jesus’ return. Whether it will come in 2 days, 2 years, or 2 centuries, He asks us to be ready (Matthew 25). Well, salvation time just got shorter according to a message from Radiant Israel that really resonates with me….

Here is what was posted today by Messianic believer Gilad Rosinger:

https://www.radiantisrael.com/so/88OAxfrGO?languageTag=en#/main

I follow a few people on Telegram, people who are followers of Jesus, people who’s voice resonates with my heart for Jesus, for His followers, and these testing times we are in worldwide.

The message is clear: Salvation time just got shorter… time is up! Get into the boat with the LORD or beware the consequences of a lost world…

May you and yours know the fullness of surrender and be strong in the LORD now.

Shalom, shalom. He will give you rest (Hebrews 4).

As you comfort yourself, and allow the Holy Spirit, The Comforter to comfort you, settle into these words from John 15,

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”

I pray as you prepare, that you “trust in the LORD with all your heart.” (Proverbs 3:5) and you will find rest for your soul.

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Wisdom, family and friendship

Choices: do not fear

‘How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.” (Proverbs 16:16)

When it comes to wisdom, friendship and family, do we share ours with them or do we keep it to ourselves?

I think — without knowing it — I have always sought wisdom. Certainly I’ve never sought “gold”, though I’ve been blessed to have had a relatively prosperous level of existence. One might say to me, “It’s easy not to have gone after money, you’ve never been hungry.” And there may be truth in that, but even when I tried to live a bohemian lifestyle after university, I still ended up earning and prospering. But I digress… Because this post is not about money or an exchange of money (or other priorities) for wisdom. This is simply about wisdom and its value not to be taken for granted when we have it. Sometimes we need to share it…. that little truth can bring unto us a burden.

Wisdom, friendship and family

What do we do when we see others lacking in wisdom? Do we speak or remain silent?

I’ve recognised that I have been gifted with a lot of wisdom. Sadly, I’ve shared relatively little of it because I haven’t realised — until now — that most people don’t want to hear from me, probably because they know I’ll speak on a plain they don’t wish to join. Perhaps they are in denial or perhaps they simply disagree. Or perhaps it’s a combination, a sort of — ‘we don’t want to ask Sarah because she’ll tell us what we don’t want to hear.’ 

Sadly, I think people don’t want to hear the truth, even when they know it IS the truth. They don’t want the truth, but want their ears tickled. What does scripture say?

“…. because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools….” (Romans 1:18-19)

Many would prefer to live as they choose rather than to live according to what is true.

Making a personal leap

Well, as I’ve recognised why most don’t want to hear from me, it gives me more courage. Oddly, knowing what I say is more likely to be rejected than accepted, I don’t have to hesitate for fear of rejection but rather can speak as I am led, knowing it is likely not to be received. This kind of takes away the risk factor, making rejection much more sure and therefore less frightening. 

Of course if I’ve wisdom to share, how may I apply this in the sharing of what I have?

But Grace

There is a major principle that supersedes wisdom, and that is grace. 

Wisdom without grace is like good advice without love: both are too rough, too harsh, too stark.

So, I aim — I will aim to speak truth full of GOD’s grace. He is love, He is truth, He is grace. And He is wisdom. Packed altogether, maybe I can move some barriers and bring some love, grace, and truth into the lives of family and friends who are a bit daunted by a relatively forthright person, who is confident in a LORD they may or may not trust themselves.

I think I might have just talked myself into being more sensitive and more proactive in other peoples’ lives, those of friends and family of course, where I have a bit of licence — by long time intimacy or by blood — to do so. Wisdom recognises that with many, we have no right to speak. Without an invitation or a relationship, it is not for us to advise others, but to pray. And in fact, in all things, it is wise and prudent to pray first. The LORD can give us the words and the anointing, the timing and the opportunity.

Always seeking the will of the LORD, for you and for me,

Sarah

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

What is a Watchman?

What is a Watchman

Nehemia was a watchman on the walls of Jerusalem while the city was being rebuilt.

Ezekiel was also a watchman for the nation. Ezekiel chapters 3 and 33 perhaps best describe the role and responsibilities of a watchman.

What is a watchman and how do I know?

I am a watchman. I am not a man but I am a watchman. How do I know?

About 20 years ago I spent a concerted 18 months searching, praying, asking, seeking the LORD: Who am I in You? What is my calling, LORD?

My history

I studied scripture. I was married to a teacher of the Word but I knew that I was not a prophet or a pastor, a teacher or an evangelist. But I was “something”. What?

I happened upon a speaker once, as I attended my regular weekly prayer school meeting. I walked in (a bit late) and the guest speaker was talking about herself as a watchman. “What’s that?” I wondered. As she began to share about how she discerned, often felt led to speak out, had early in her ministry been sidelined and ignored for speaking truth I thought, “I can relate to that.”

I bought her book. As I combed through it (twice) over the coming days and weeks, I realised, “I’m a watchman!”

I never felt so relieved in my life. Suddenly, all the pain, angst, side-lining for being outspoken, the prophetic vision, discernment and words I’d offered and had confirmed by individuals but often ignored by leaders made sense.

I am the grit!

Once at a church leaders’ meeting, one I’d been invited to as part of the worship team, the guest prophet pointed to me (and another woman) and said, “You are the grit.”

He said to the church leadership, “You find what these people have to say uncomfortable, challenging, but you must listen to them. Like a pearl that needs refining in order to develop, they are the grit for your church. Listen to them.”

Hallelujah! I was so pleased to be picked out and perfectly described. 

Unfortunately, the leadership didn’t pick up on what the prophet said and I continued to be “an embarrassment” to them.

Twenty years on, I am still the grit. But I’m learning to walk in the shoes the LORD has given me, and become detached (usually) from my message and the reaction the words might get. And thankfully, along the journey the LORD has taught me much about grace and how to walk in grace toward others. Isn’t it amazing how, as He teaches us, we experience grace from others as we show His grace?!

What is a Watchman

A watchman is a prophetic voice. A watchman has gifts of discernment, wisdom, and a knack for seeing what and how to prevent problems. A watchman proverbially stands upon the wall and sounds the trumpet of warning to the congregation, population or leaders thereof.

A watchman has the personality of a misfit, is often isolated from the crowd, but nevertheless, has a propensity to speak out (truths) even when uninvited to do so. A watchman can be an irritant, but is like a dog with a bone: often relentless and unable not let go of his point even when all the world does not want to listen. S/he can often be misunderstood, being seen as judgmental, when the aim is simply to guard and protect others from mishap and mistake.

The Job at Hand

The watchman has a tough job because s/he may be called to challenge the status quo or provoke others to be accountable for their words or responsibilities. This does not make one popular.

But as in Ezekiel, if we do not warn as we’re called to warn, the “blood” of the other is on our own heads. That’s a powerful motivation, even to bypass our own fear of man to get the job done.

We must share in love and gentleness, kindness and patience. But we must stand in the shoes the LORD has given us, and do the job we’ve been assigned.

If we do not honour the call GOD has given us, churches can flounder, individuals can fall, nations can end up outside of GOD’s will.

I am delighted, I am daunted, I am hopeful

I am delighted as ever to have found how my personality dovetails perfectly with my calling. I am daunted by the task at hand, sometimes terrified of speaking on behalf of GOD but erroneously, and terrified of the rejection I might receive from man. But I am hopeful that, even though throughout the Bible the prophets were despised, there were occasions when conviction and restoration came, such as when Nathan spoke to David about the adultery and murder the king had committed.

I am hopeful that some might prefer to change to GOD’s will rather than to cling onto old ways of thinking. 

I pray that we will all embrace our new wineskins and grow into the people of GOD He has created us and predestined us to be.

Oh LORD, bless you and keep me in Your perfect will, and make me to be righteous in Your eyes. Bless those whom I encounter, and help them to hear Your voice through me when I am on track and on call. Oh LORD, bless the brothers and sisters you bring to my path, and may we be united in one cause: To lift Your name and to honour Your ways and truths.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Categories
Character Development Politics and Society today Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ Reflections and Poetry

Equality Issue between men and women in the Church

“Neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female.”

Why then is the equality issue between men and women still an issue in the church, even today?

Historically and Scripturally

Eve was deceived by Adam and so women are more easily deceived than are men. Therefore, women should not teach in the church in case they are deceived and lead others astray.  So goes one argument for holding women from leading or preaching.

Although I don’t fully acknowledge the logic, it’s the most valid I think and warrants that women have a covering and particularly when they are leaders; but so must men be accountable, for all are vulnerable to stumbling.

When Corinthians were being instructed by Paul in 1 Corinthians, a significant part of the church was being “told off” for carnal behaviour. This included the telling-off of the women for blabbing too much in services. ‘Talk to your husbands at home’ he said, for it is ‘shameful for women to speak in church.’ So goes the second argument… women must not teach or preach.

Ever since, we’ve had women suppressed in some congregations.

But Paul also wrote, there is no distinction in the Spirit between men and women. (Galatians 3:28) So logically, the two references cancel one another out. That would be logical wouldn’t it?

Women’s chatter

In matters of behaviour, women need to exercise self control. But in matters of the Spirit, we are equal to men and ought to be heard. The Holy Spirit is our teacher, comforter, protector, convict-or. Do we not all have access to the Holy Spirit in equal measure?

That’s my stand. In a nutshell, that’s my position. One of my callings is to convey this message, in grace, humility, boldness and steadfast faith.

Stocks of grain, a matt, and the Sabbath

When Jesus allowed his disciples to pick grain on the Sabbath (Matthew 12), the leaders asked him why? And when the man whom Jesus healed was carrying his matt on the Sabbath (John 5), the leaders were very cross. Was Jesus tempting others to break the Sabbath? According to Jesus, he was not. He said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the law of the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfil.” (Matthew 5:17)

Men and Women are not the same… but they are equal

There are two keys to my believing what the Father wants me to do: to warn as a watchman and to stand in faith for righteousness, sometimes with words. It is not that I seek it nor do I “want” to do it. Sometimes it terrifies me; sometimes it is combative. If I get it wrong, I could cause someone to stumble and that would be on my watch. This is not my will, but to speak what I discern is my character and is my calling — or rather to say it is His calling for me. 

Reason 1: My entire personality and experience confirms I am a watchman and as such, according to Ezekiel 3 and 33, if I do not warn as I’m called to do, if a person stumbles, their “blood” is on my head.

And Reason 2: The Holy Spirit is not confined to our understanding of law. By holding the view that women must not lead based upon Paul’s reference for women to keep silent in church (1 Corinthians 14:34), Jesus’ wander in the wheat fields on the Sabbath and allowing his disciples to eat grain, or his encouraging the cripple to collect up his matt on the Sabbath, Deborah the Judge and Priscilla at teacher to Apollos (Acts 18:26) and other examples are each a contradiction to this RULE.

Did GOD make a mistake?

I am not perfect. But GOD is perfecting me as He perfects each of us who seek to surrender to His will. “Be perfect as your heavenly father is perfect” said Jesus. 

Whilst I do not wish to cause anyone else to stumble, I don’t wish to remain silent on this issue. And for even raising it, I am blocked from ministry by those who disagree. This is sad.

Did I make a mistake?

And yet, those who fear GOD, respect and keep His word. Those who turn a deaf ear to the equality of women at least in their conscious mind, do so out of reverence for GOD. Although I may see they are wrong, they are doing it for the right reasons.

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

And so, I know that I am correct in believing GOD gave me a calling I did not ask for, and for which He created me just as He willed. He placed me in contact with those who would disagree and would block my message. He did not make a mistake. So long as I am doing what I know to be right in His eyes, in love for my bothers and sisters, the rest is His responsibility and not mine.

Side-bar

For two reasons at least, there is an undeniable imbalance of men in ministry over women, both in the Bible and in our world today. Why is this? For one reason, women have children and bear the greatest portion of raising them. That is both cultural and (I believe) biological. Therefore, they’ve less time and perhaps their anointing/ministry is first and foremost for their children. Another reason why there are fewer women leaders, including in the Bible, is cultural. The rule is that men lead, but Biblically and historically, there are exceptions. 

I don’t mind being an exception. I do mind, however, being blocked and ignored on the basis there are no exceptions.

Peace and Joy

But never mind. GOD is sovereign and in His sovereignty, I have gifts which some will not accept. But I accept the gifts, and I accept those who don’t accept me.

Hallelujah and Amen. The truth does set us free! How we respond to the truth brings a consequence that can only draw us closer to our Father, Jehovah GOD, if we choose to allow it to do so. I leave others’ journey with the LORD. 

Shalom and GOD bless.

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Remembering our First Love

Remembering our first love

Busy, I’ve been so busy lately….. I must remember my first love: He is here! He has been here all along. My first love is here, but I realise in my busyness, I moved away a little.

In Revelations 2, Jesus commends the work of the church at Ephesus. But he has one thing against them… They have lost their first love — ie forgotten they love Him and that’s why they are doing the works which they are doing.

“Abide…..”

We must abide in Him, just as He abides in the Father and the Father in Him (John 14). To abide is to hold onto, to hold closely, to hold dearly. Then we will not forget him, our first love.

God’s jobs for me

I am enriched by GOD’s challenges. As He is entrusting me with greater responsibility, I am celebrating how much He loves and gives to me, fulfils me and enriches me — and others with whom I engage as I share the wisdom He has given to me. I pour into their lives and it is such a rich blessing.

BUT today as I make space just for Jesus, I come back to him, my first love, without even realising I’d gone away.

I’ve never lost sight of my Lord, of walking in His grace, of keeping my eye on him and not the storm… And yet, as I drew close to him today (as I have been for decades and especially in recent months), as I drew close to him today, it was as if fresh water had been splashed gently upon me. To be with him was – is – so refreshing. I am reminded of Revelations 2: Jesus’ letter to the Ephesians — people who were dedicated and busy for him, but they had lost their first love, their love for him. And I  relate,

“I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have laboured for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lamp stand from its place—unless you repent.” (Revelations 2:2-6)

If we don’t abide, if we don’t take time, if we are fired up and motivated and moving for Jesus, but don’t seek him dearly, truly, and deeply every day, how easy it is to drift away.

Moving from him is subtle. Abiding enables us to stay close.

There is no condemnation here, only a tweak of guidance: it’s so easy to drift. Stay close. Keep drawing from him. Hold onto your first love. And finally we keep our eyes on him, and not on the storm.

Shalom and GOD bless,

Sarah

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Led by Grace rather than Expectation

What is Grace

We need to be led by grace rather than by expectation starting today!

It has been quoted over and over again when discussing the question, What is grace? that “grace is receiving from GOD what we don’t deserve.” This is correct. But for us human beings, there is a practical element which goes beyond this.

Grace is behaving toward others with an attitude of acceptance rather than expectation.

What is Expectation

Expectation is demanding, hoping for, or assuming something will happen in a particular way. Expectation influences our attitude and our behaviour toward others, as we “expect” another person to behave in a particular way. When someone does not behave as we expect, we can take it as a personal slight — and if we do, our behaviour turns to attack the other person or to withdraw; both are responses of offence. When we take offence, whether overtly expressed or internalised, we are demonstrating the opposite of grace. Although the root may be out of genuine pain, offence is ungodly, unhealthy, and unproductive. (Note: the offence may be triggered by past incidents or pain which has nothing to do with the present or with the person from whom you are offended. This signals a need for inner healing, something we all need from time to time, and can receive from the healer: the Holy Spirit and with prayer counselling.)

Opportunity for Grace

Consider your birthday and someone you thought would think of you did not call or send a card. Offence whispers, “you aren’t loved” or “they are selfish, unthoughtful” or “they should have remembered your birthday”. But grace shrugs it off, or acknowledges your disappointment but recognises the other person didn’t know or didn’t remember or that they have other matters of greater importance… and even, thinks, “I hope they’re okay:)”.

Consider the other drivers on the road… we except them to signal, we expect them to give way according to the rules. What happens when they do not? There is a lot of road rage, purely because others do not drive the way we expect them too. On the one hand, of course the expectations are reasonable because those are the rules of the road. BUT if we are personally offended, if we act with hostility, are judgemental or accusatory, this is not going to change the situation nor is it going to produce good fruit from us. Instead, we need to learn to be gracious, not to allow the mistake to affect us personally, emotionally. Lately, I’ve been saying aloud when bad driving is in front of me, “Maybe the other driver is running late; maybe she just needs to learn better driving; maybe he needs prayer…” These responses are gracious. 

Grief and Disappointment

Our lives are full of grief when we have high expectations from others who don’t measure up. This is the nub of what I’ll address in this post: 

We need to be led by grace rather than expectation if we are going to live in forgiveness, love and mutual respect.

When we are expectant toward a certain outcome or behaviour from others, it means we will easily be disappointed. People simply cannot measure up to our expectations. Some people who begin to follow Jesus end up walking away, because they perceive He hasn’t measured up… when it is actually the body of Christ: the church folk who haven’t measured up. How tragic.

And when we expect, we do not actually receive but take when someone does give of themselves to us. We take what we are owed, rather than receive what we are offered. If you reflect on this, I believe you’ll see there is a big difference.

It is vital that we, the body of believers in Christ, stop expecting from others, because it blocks love. It blocks ministry. It blocks the family from growing together.

Love one another

Read John 15 — the abide chapter. 

How can we abide in Him if we are cross with one another? 

How can we love one another if we take offence?

Why be led by Grace rather than Expectation

We all must be led by thoughts of grace toward one another to root out condemnation and criticism. We must be honest toward one another if we feel wounded, but not let that wound take root toward a heart of bitterness (which comes from pain turned outward). We need to walk in grace and forgiveness rather than protection and suspicion. This sows mutual love, acceptance and honours GOD.

How to be led by Grace rather than Expectations

If you have a tendency to put aside your own needs for others, then this word of grace does not apply to you. But if you tend to suppress your needs and walk in sorrow because others don’t pay attention to you, or if you tend to get angry at others who disappoint you and hold a grudge, then you need to start to choose grace. This will allow you to overcome your own expectations and disappointments. 

Can you begin to recognise that some people just won’t measure up to your hopes? It’s good to be aware of this… and then to let go. Let GOD meet your needs, allow the Holy Spirit to comfort you who mourn, look ahead and not behind, to see what life will unfold.

Meeting your expectations is not something others owe you. It may be a weakness in them or a mismatch between you; don’t take it personally. Perhaps you can help them to understand that you’re disappointed, or that they might benefit if they learned how to interact in a more responsible manner. But don’t shun them. Don’t allow your heart to be hardened. Allow grace to penetrate your attitude all the time. Choose to accept others as you hope to be accepted, as GOD has accepted you. And forgive.

It’s time we choose grace as GOD has chosen grace for us. It’s time. 

As Paul learned from Jesus, “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Corinthians 12:9a), so let us walk in grace toward others and accept theirs toward us.

Every blessing and with much prayer, Amen.

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Enough time to walk with Jesus

Priorities

If, after spending enough time to walk with Jesus in a day, you haven’t got time to do the “to dos” and your “work”, then the work and to dos are not important. As Jesus said, “take care of today for tomorrow will look after itself” (Matthew 6:34)

Thinking differently

“Be transformed by the renewing of your mind… what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of GOD” (Romans 12:2)

We need to rethink our priorities if we are serious about being full of the Spirit of GOD. We need to rethink our priorities if we are serious about being fully obedient, fully surrendered to GOD. We need to rethink if we believe — as Jesus says — we are “to be perfect as [our] heavenly father is perfect.” (Matter 5:48) Because being here in this world, we are way too focused on this world — I am, that’s for sure. 

Dedication as His Bride

I do believe I surrendered to GOD at my baptism. I do believe He took me at my word when I promised to follow Him. I do believe the Bible. Living it out is not as easy as believing. While I know I’m saved by His grace, I am still responsible for the choices I make, and the discipline to walk faithfully is becoming clearer and clearer to me.

He wants a spotless bride. Spotlessness only comes because Jesus suffered in our place; but following from that, we remain spotless through our choices. We can fail and He’ll pick us up. But we have to want to remain spotless, we have to will not to fail. That much we do have control over, and must control, if we are not to be found wanting when we meet Him face to face.

A choice

I realise I have a choice: Do I lack enough time to walk with Jesus? Or am I choosing not to have enough time to walk with Jesus?

And once I’m aware I have choices, I am in charge of my choices (and my time). What will I do about it?

What will you do with your time, to ensure you have enough time to walk with Jesus?

Choosing Jesus first

Yes this will change my life! It will greatly alter your life. But we can look at it this way: the life which comes after this one is longer (eternal) and more important. 

GOD wants to live and move within us. Are we going to allow Him to do that?

Mankind at Creation

At Creation, Yehovah GOD made man in His image: male and female. Ever since then, with the exception of Jesus, mankind has chosen to walk in his own image. 

Through Jesus we have a choice and most of those reading this post have chosen to follow Jesus. But are we saved? 

There are, if you like, two salvations or two levels of salvation*: 

  1. Recognising Jesus as our Saviour and Lord. This is the one we are most familiar with.
  2. Walking in the knowledge and consciousness that we must fully surrender. This is what Paul meant by “working out our own salvation with fear and trembling”. (Philippians 2:12)

At which level is each of us walking?

Getting to Heaven

If we are operating at level 1, we have professed our faith, repented (the order doesn’t matter), and asked Jesus to lead and to guide us. The Holy Spirit has revived our spirit within us and through baptism in water we can be more assured of the Holy Spirit operating within us.

But if we are operating at level 2, we are laying down the flesh daily, hourly, conscious that it is “not I who live but Christ who lives in me”. 

I haven’t contemplated or studied enough to know where a person is in terms of heaven if we operating only at level 1. I just don’t know. Perhaps we are only responsible for the level of revelation GOD has given us. But now I’ve ruined that for you readers…

I’ve definitely smashed through the theory of “once saved, always saved” because salvation is not as simple as praying a prayer of faith; we must walk in it. (James 2:20)

In sharing the concept of two levels of salvation (btw this is not doctrine so please don’t get too excited! I am merely extrapolating in language terms as best I can, why scripture says we are saved by grace and yet we also must work out our salvation), it surely brings into question for myself and others:

If I’m serious about Jesus, why wouldn’t I be walking in level 2: fully grateful, fully surrendered, fully committed?

It seems to me that this question is for serious thought and prayer.

* Maurie Daigneau “The Gospel You’ve Never Heard”

Categories
Character Development Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Who is the Accuser?

Who is the accuser? 

Satan is the accuser. How does he work? Through people. Which people? Predominantly the people of the church. Let’s be sure we are not his tool.

The church is in perilous times. The church is in challenging times. The Church as a body of believers has never had such opportunity for growth and never been so vulnerable to attack — because the two necessarily go hand-in-hand.

God is sifting

Are we going to grow in person and congregation, making way for new believers in Yeshua Jesus? OR are we going to implode from within? 

GOD is sifting the wheat from the chaff. Each of us is both: wheat and chaff as we are both flesh and spirit. Sanctification (1Corinthians 1:30) is the process of growth from being led by our own thoughts and intents to being led of the Spirit’s. Also, just as we are one body in Christ, so the congregation — local and international — is being separated or sifted: the wheat from the chaff. 

Individuals and Congregations

How is GOD separating the wheat from the chaff? He allows the accuser to operate; how we respond will expose our chaff or our wheat. Our individual and corporate response to the accuser’s meddling reveals what in us is either godly or not. Then we choose whom we will serve… We can recognise our corruption and repent or we can allow it to take over and accuse.

Self-righteousness v Righteousness

Who is the accuser? Satan. He is prowling around, seeking whom he may devour. (1Peter 5:8) How does he devour? Through accusation. If you are accusing, are you not his handmade?

I have discovered, through my own journey of failed good intentions, that there is a very fine line between what is righteous in GOD’s eyes and what is purely righteous in my own; the latter is self-righteousness. Self-righteousness wreaks havoc in its self-imposed exercise of judgement and condemnation. It sees evil in everyone but itself, and looks to spiritualise actions and motives of others. It is key in Jesus’ proverbial: ‘seeing the log in the other’s eye rather than spotting the plank in his/her own.’

I’m being blunt because I’m seeing the accuser operate. I’m seeing him infiltrate churches and individuals. I’m seeing him devouring congregates and congregations by putting thoughts into peoples’ hearts and minds — good people, sincere believers — who are feeling justified to attack others (usually covertly rather than directly because the devil is, after all, a coward). When accusations are behind backs and behind doors, you can be sure the enemy is at hand.

What is to be done to combat the accuser

First, please note I am grossly over-simplifying matters for the purpose of this short post. The devil devours in many ways and accusation is just one of them. But accusation is the epitome of condemnation and remember, 

“There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8) Therefore, if one is condemning, one is not operating in the spirit of love or Christ.

Remember, you shall be known for your fruits:) The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, patience, faithfulness and self control. (Galatians 5:22)

Open discourse doesn’t allow the enemy to get into congregations. Face-to-face confrontation, however difficult, is the (messy) way to avoid gossip and back-biting. But most of all, love, trust and mutual respect are keys to ensuring godly relationship persists and the enemy does not get a foothold.

Jezebel spirit

Jezebel was Ahab’s self-serving wife (read 1 Kings 16 – 21 for the full story), the sort of person from whom the character of Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth might have been derived. 

Today we have teaching about the Jezebel spirit of control that operates through other people. I’ve had that spirit and I’ve seen it in operation through others. Jezebel, in the spiritual sense, is a sense of manipulation and control that seeks to “get its own way at any cost”. BUT it is all-too-easily given as a label to anyone who doesn’t agree with the accuser (which tells me it’s likely operating more in the accuser than in the ‘accusee’). 

We need to remember Christ died and saved the believer. If one is truly demonised by any spirit (and theologically, I recognise there are many who will weigh in on the debate as to whether a believer can or cannot be possessed by anything ungodly) he or she needs love, sound teaching, deliverance and more love. Condemnation, accusation, and gossip are not on that list of “how to help a person oppressed by demons”.

Does anyone really believe a sister or brother in Christ deserves to be hurled onto the street and devoured by dogs as Jezebel was as GOD’s response to her evil intent? Does anyone really believe someone who declares love for Jesus is motivated to destroy anyone or anything that gets in his or her way? Because that is was the accusation implies.

Beware a spirit of accusation

Rather, I think we need to be wary of any accusation that we may carry. We are responsible for our hearts and out of our heart speaks truth or lies. Accusing someone else of lying, deceit, or evil intent is a very dangerous thing to do. Sadly I’ve seen it done all-too-quickly and all-too-easily. Yes, many do so out of fear of the power of that evil spirit, and in that sense, exposure of it is intended for good. But fear is also a tool of the enemy, the remedy for which is GOD’s “perfect love [which] casts out fear. (1John 4:18)

I am not condemning

I am not condemning anyone through the writing of this post. I am warning. If your heart is convicted through the reading of this post, we both can praise GOD. For through conviction comes repentance. And after repentance, comes the reparation: the apology to the falsely accused and their forgiveness in return.

Through conviction, apology, and forgiveness, the enemy is thwarted and the real accuser, the real Jezebel, the real evil is thwarted.

Please GOD

The enemy must not be given a foothold in our hearts, even if our hearts are well-intended. Please GOD expose this accuser of falsehoods in our own hearts and teach us to love one another well, by your gracious spirit.

Amen.