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Reflections and Poetry

Finding our place in God’s Kingdom on Earth

We have skills, we have talents,  and we have gifts that God has given us. We want the opportunity to use them. But it isn’t always easy to fit ourselves into ministry.

How do we find our place in God’s Kingdom building?

To surrender our identity, our time, activity and desires to God, is the first step to receiving the place God has reserved for us in ministry. Surrendering our gifts and abilities – whatever we have in our hands – is the starting point, and through this surrender, we’ll find and fulfill our purpose in life.

I can do nothing (of significance or meaning) in my own strength; nothing of real value to God’s Kingdom is done without the supernatural. Our gifts and talents are God-given, and we work hard to develop them. As Thomas Edison said, “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety nine percent perspiration.” And yet, after the hard work, what comes next is to wait.

As we wait upon the LORD, He renews our strength and prepares us for the vision He has for us.

God will take the unique package which is us and use us in a meaningful way. We must prepare – that’s the perspiration; then we must surrender.

Surrender is an act of worship. It is an act of faith. I’ve discovered it requires as much – or more – discipline to surrender as it does to develop our talent. But without it, we wrestle in our own strength.

Whether or not we are significant on the World’s Stage is in God’s hands. Whether we seek significance or insignificance, God will step in and draw us to the people and places where our calling will become a reality, when we live a surrendered life, allowing His will to be done ‘on earth as in heaven’.

Learning to yield to God’s Spirit is both a process and a destination. I live the journey daily. As Paul said, “I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.” (1 Corinthians 15:31)

What do you hope to accomplish in this life? What gifts has God given you to develop? How will these two aspects come together?

Prepare and watch God move!

Ready: What gifts has God given you to offer back to the LORD?

Set: Develop your gifts to the best that your time and effort will allow.

Go: Trust in the LORD, wait upon Him and allow Him to direct your paths toward the fulfillment He has in mind for you.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

 

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Reflections and Poetry

Deep Prayer: How to get closer to Jesus

“And the word became flesh…” (John 1:14)

My heart is aching, LORD. My heart aches for you, Lord. Hearts Cluster

Does this expression resonate with you? Have you ever wondered, “How do I pray when I’m hurting?” Do you find relief and intimacy with God, or do you often get stuck at times of pain, depression or challenge?

How to go deeper in prayer is the subject, because it is in going deep into prayer that we get closer to Jesus.

I am residing in Spain. It is a recent shift from Canada. My husband’s work and our desire to be in full time Christian service has led us here. (To learn more about my personal journey, you can check out my blog: A Life Examined.)

After my husband and two of his colleagues were doing a Bible study on 1 John recently, we discussed it.

I said, “John (including John’s Gospel, the three letters, and Revelations) is so different from any other Biblical writing. All the writers are different from each other. But John is different in that LOVE is so clear: Jesus’ love, and John’s love for his audience as well. The gentleness and commitment is pervasive.”

Alan replied, “John just says in every way, “Just get to know Jesus. Just get to know him and everything will make sense. Just get to know Jesus.”

In prayer, just get to know Jesus and everything else –  even the pain, frustration, and hurt – will all begin to make sense.

In prayer, I feel empty, and tell Him of the ache I feel. In this instance, it leads me to confession. (Another time it may lead to request or forgiveness or the release of sorrow from another’s hurt.)

My example of a dialogue with Jesus:

“I’m sorry, Lord, for losing my temper. I’m sorry. You feel far away.” I pause.

I wait.

Then comes a feeling of release and peace, of residing in his presence.

“I’m ready, Lord, for this next chapter.”

I’ve met with him and he with me.

Ready: Deep prayer requires honesty. Deep prayer requires time, patience, and faith. It includes a sense of responsibility. The conversation could go in any direction, once you’ve laid down your burden. Be open and prepared to follow whichever way he leads you, and you will be restored.

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:1-3)

Deep prayer starts with where you are now and takes you to where God wants you to be.

Deep prayer releases, frees, answers, comforts, and moves you forward.

Set: Settle yourself with Jesus. “The word became flesh” and that has made all the difference. He understands.

Go: Wherever you now, start here. Hide nothing, and take your time with Jesus. He’ll move you, from where you are to where you need to be… for him, for yourself, for your family, witness and calling.

It’s all about connecting with Jesus.

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Why do we Pray?

The deeper I want my relationship with God to be, the more often and the longer my prayers will be.

I don’t pray to get what I want. I used to and it was effective, because God gives us the desires of our hearts. But by God’s grace, I’ve grown, and now I pray to be more intimate with God.

Why do I pray?

If I want to be more like Jesus, I pray.

If I want more of the Holy Spirit’s fruits or gifts, I pray.

If I want more of God’s glory to fall on earth, as it is in heaven, I pray.

Prayer is for comfort. Prayer is for communion. Prayer is for inspiration.

If every step I take is bathed in prayer, I am a greater blessing to others.

That’s why I pray.

When my spirit soars, I am renewed, refreshed, rebuilt, and I am more loving, more faithful, more free.

poss for website 2

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Reflections and Poetry

How to be more patient?

I would like to be patient and I want it NOW!

How do I grow in patience?

Everything around me rushes past and it’s hard not to be swept along.

Do you long to stay calm under stress? To take your time when there seems little of it?

To trust God’s timing, yet find yourself worrying?

You ask yourself: How do I become a more patient person?

I have discovered that almost everything I struggle with boils down to my own impatience. And so, I am determined to grow in patience, no matter how long it takes!

The key:

To have a goal but not to be concerned with when it will be achieved is a key to patience.

I have observed my son, and have discovered that almost every time he gets upset it is because he is impatient with himself… or he’s felt my impatience with him.

The single thing that causes difficulty in my life is my own impatience.

How do I become more patient?

Ready: I see the goal and I ask to achieve it.

Set: I consider the consequences of my own impatience, remembering key situations in the past, and choosing to surrender this weakness to God.

Go: I remember the joy I feel when the family is in harmony, versus the discomfort, distress and disappointment when we are not.

  • I recognize most problems are rooted in impatience and
  • I determine to be patient instead of being impatient with others.
  • I pray, surrendering to God, asking for the fruit of patience.
  • I recognize it is a gift and not something I can ‘work up’ on my own.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”(Galatians 5:22-23)

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Reflections and Poetry

What is my calling in Christ?

Do you know that you have been called for such a time as this?

We all have a calling to love God and to love one another, to love our enemies…. our first calling is to love.

But, “how do I discover my calling in Christ?”is a question we yearn to have answered.

Beyond love, do you know what God has put inside you that makes you shine?

Ready: God has given you a purpose, a calling, and spiritual gifts to enable you to fulfill it. You can discover the destiny God has for you.

Set: Whatever makes you feel passionate is a key to what your calling is in Christ. You have been put on this earth at this time to fulfill a purpose.

1. What is a desire you long to see fulfilled?

2. What is a sensitivity you have that you realize others don’t share?

3. What is a scripture that sticks out for you personally, that seems to wrap itself around you or helps to define who you are?

4. If you could change one thing in your culture or surroundings what would it be?

5. Through prayer and meditation, search for the connection between 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Go: Explore through prayer, fellowship and creativity, what God may be saying to you about who you are. Ask Him to show you how He sees you in light of this purpose for your life.

And for an even deeper challenge, look at Finding my Life’s Purpose in Christ.

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Reflections and Poetry

How can I find my identity in Christ?

The World is full of people yearning to fulfill their destiny. Those of us who are in Christ know where we are going when we die. But do we know how to find our life’s purpose while we are on earth?

All of us are fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creator of the Universe. He knows us intimately (Psalm 139) and has a purpose and calling for each of us. But how do I discover what that calling is? We begin by asking, “How do I find my life’s purpose in Christ?”

Wisdom of SolomonReady: Wise Solomon advises us in Proverbs 3:6, to seek the LORD for his plans and purposes: “In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” (NKJV)

Set: A number of years ago I decided I was going to find out who God had made me to be. It took me two years in discipleship training (for a Diploma in Theology) to discover I was uniquely made for a particular purpose, and a further two years of personal study, prayer & fasting, with deliberate tuning and analysis, to find out what that purpose was. I write this post as a springboard for others to seek and discern their personal calling more easily.

There are 9 spiritual gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12, where you can begin to connect with God and His word to find where your spiritual strengths lie. Also, listed in Romans 12 are God’s 7 gifts of grace. The five fold ministry gifts of Jesus are listed in Ephesians

“The most successful Christians are those who come to know their calling, understand their special gifting, and faithfully stay with that calling until they fulfill their membership ministry.” (Dr Bill Hamon, The Day of the Saints, Destiny Image Publishers Inc (c) 2002, p211)

Study:

1. Read the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, God’s gifts of grace, Jesus’ gifts to the church, to learn what gifts God has offered us.

2. Pray and “earnestly seek” God’s gifts. (Hebrews 11:6)

3. Consider your own passions for the LORD. What gifts have you got? What talents and abilities? What gifts do you yearn for. Ask.

4. Deepen your lifestyle of prayer, fasting and eagerly seeking His will to be fulfilled in your life.

bush road with 2 men5. Connect with others. Pray with them. Together, seek the LORD for His gifts, calling
and purpose in your lives.

Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” (2 Timothy 1:6 NKJV)

6. Be diligent and be patient. God is faithful!

Go: Study, pray, seek, knock: God has plans for you, and a purpose, and in due time He will make them known to you.

 

 

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

How do I surrender to God’s will?

Ready: When I want God’s will in my life, how to I overcome the urge to have my own way? How do I surrender to God’s will? How do I find God’s will and yield my day-to-day life to Him?

Set: I know God’s will is superior to mine, in power, in goodness, in wisdom. But sometimes I just want to do it my way. Sound familiar? Even Paul wrestled with his will, “For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.” (Romans 7:19) How can I surrender to God, when my will seeks its own way? Our flesh is strong – not just the physical part of us but our soul as well. Our soul or mind is made up of our will, emotions and intellect. But we also have a spirit, which is that which separates us from all other living beings, and is revived through our faith in Jesus. Though the will may seek its own way, our spirit hungers for God. Our spirit is superior in wisdom to our soul, and just as we can be led by our will, so too can we learn to live by the spirit.

1. Daily, hourly, moment-by-moment, seek for God’s will to be done in your life.

2. Surrender your soul (will, emotions, intellect) to your spirit

3. Surrender your spirit to the Holy Spirit

4. Discover the power of your living spirit over your willfulness. Therein is life!

Go: Be refreshed now, and be willing to allow your living spirit to lead you closer to the LORD God and to life as He wills and purposes for you.      DSCF4160

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Reflections and Poetry

Why make Jesus your Lord as well as saviour

What is the difference between Jesus as Lord and as saviour?

Life is a journey of decisions and experiences, achievements and mistakes, victories and defeats. When we choose to live a life surrendered to the creator of the universe, we have peace with God, man and ourselves. We have the assurance that every outcome is within His purposes and for our ultimate good. There is a difference between Jesus as Lord and as saviour.

Ready:  If you have become born again, you are saved by God’s grace,  and you have received eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 2:8) Jesus is your saviour. But have you surrendered your life to his Lordship?

Set: When we allow Jesus to be our Lord it means we follow him, we surrender our lives to his will and direction. Jesus as Saviour means our spirit is reborn; Jesus as Lord means we allow him to lead us, even into the valley of the shadow of death; yet will fear no ill.

To receive all God has for us, surrender is the key. While salvation leads us in to eternal life in Heaven, surrender ensures life on earth is within the Father’s will. When we know we are within the sovereign will of God we have peace – peace that passes all understanding.

If you have hard decisions, are stressed or confused, suffer persecution or prejudice, you can rest assured that the LORD God, in His sovereignty, is aware of it. He has allowed you to be in your current situation for your ultimate benefit. He does not will that any perish. When you surrender to Him, you can be certain that the creator of the universe, with ultimate authority and power, has things in hand. There is nothing that passes His gaze or awareness.

1. Choose to place your life into His hands, surrendering your will to His.

2. Trust God. He loves you; he knows you intimately, and has placed the deepest desires and passions within you and wants them to be fulfilled.

3. Search even the nooks and crannies of your will and yield them to the Father. In this you will find peace.

Go: Surrender! God has the best plans and purposes for us. His protection is complete. He even watches our backs! So, we surrender, knowing ‘not your will but mine Lord’ is the safest place we can be.

“Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.” (Isaiah 58:8 NKJV)

 

 

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Reflections and Poetry

Love: Let’s Not Take Love Lightly

How much does God Love? Let us live by the Law of Love. Let us learn and live in the width and length and depth and height of the Love of Jesus and Father God.

Lillies

Ready: Can we contemplate the extent of God’s love? And can we measure how that enables us to live in love too? Can we receive the Father’s love and allow it to build us, shape us, heal us and save us?

Set: God lavishes His love upon us. What does lavish mean? It means: to expend or bestow with profusion; to expend without necessity or use; to waste; to squander… profuse; liberal to a fault, wasteful… superabundant; superfluous. (The New Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary of The English Language, Consolidated Book Publishers, Chicago, C (c) 1971)

Wasteful? I’ve never thought of the LORD GOD as wasteful, but there it is in black and white. He loves us so much that He wastes to excess His love toward us.

Knowing this, why do we suffer?

We suffer in order to grow. We suffer in order to learn. Sometimes we suffer chemical imbalances in our brains. We all suffer, from time to time.

Wholeness is not refraining from the experience of suffering. But wholeness is the absence of doubt, knowing His love and His truth abound in the universe and in my life, in your life.

Wholeness is knowing there is purpose in each moment of every day, and a purpose to our being here, and a purpose even in our suffering.

Wholeness is rejoicing even in our suffering. Wholeness is trusting God unconditionally. Wholeness may not be attainable this side of Heaven, but I’ll continue to reach for it, knowing God is the author and finisher of my faith and of my life.

3 Steps to living in the Father’s love:

1. Thank Him, even when you don’t feel thankful. The mind is fallible, the heart is not.

2. Praise Him. Praise Him some more. How you praise, where you praise is up to you. I encourage you to be authentic and free, sharing with Jesus your praise.

3. Receive blessing. Whatever follows from your thanksgiving and praise is from the LORD. Believe He loves and honours you. He only sees the beautiful person He has created. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)

earthGo: With every breath, know He loves you and is the all-powerful. There is nothing He does not know and cannot do. There is nothing He has created that is not perfect. The Christian Life is a journey between self-discovery and the realization that we are made perfect in His Love.

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Reflections and Poetry

A Time for Spiritual Maturity

A Revelation about Spiritual Maturity, Physical Reality and Miracles: Spiritual maturity means facing challenges without contest. It means fighting the good fight and finishing the race. Today, I believe it also means God enabling us to see into Revelationthe future and into Heaven at a deeper and broader level than ever before. We are in a new age. Old things have passed. New things have begun. Let’s begin to allow God to use us to shift them.

Ready: God is doing a new thing in His people and we need to be prepared to be ‘blown away’ by His power and presence at work in us. We need to prepare ourselves for a paradigm shift.

Set: We live in a material world. Reality is tangible. But I believe our awareness of reality needs to expand – at least for the spirit-filled believer in Jesus Christ, hungry to mature and see God’s purpose fulfilled in his life. This is a time for a paradigm shift.

What is a paradigm? A paradigm is a way of thinking, a way of perceiving our reality based today on our previous experience and the assumptions we’ve developed from those previous experiences.

For example: We base our thinking on certain assumptions, which in turn leads us to make certain decisions. For example, the thought “I’ll eat lunch at noon today because I’ll be hungry at noon today” is based on our previous experiences which established our eating habits . We usually feel hungry at noon and so we assume we will feel hungry today. Because of a pattern in our previous experience, we anticipate or expect we’ll be hungry at noon today.

A paradigm shift is a shift in our thinking, our expectations and assumptions. The example above is trivial. But it leads us somewhere… As we walk out our faith and grow in maturity, God will use us when are prepared. Studying the Word of God, learning to give and receive love and forgiveness, surrendering every moment of our day to the Holy Spirit – all of these are signs of our growing spiritual maturity. Our character is being built. But there is more to this faith-walk. What about the miracles?

For what are we being prepared, if not for more of God’s glory on earth as it is in Heaven? 

Friends, I want God to move mountains for the Glory of God and as a witness to the world! Jesus said with faith we could.  How about you?

I believe there is something new on the horizon for the disciples of God who wish to fulfill their purpose in Christ. What it is and how it effects our walk with God has to do with our concept of physical reality. There is more to be learned about our physical world and it’s boundaries. In order to move in God’s miracles we need faith. To move beyond our assumptions and limitations and into an understanding of different dimensions, we will be enabled to move in God’s miracles.

Today, humankind’s suspicions about other dimensions and ways of perceiving our world is growing. But we must stay God-centered. Isn’t it time to fully explore the supernatural and otherworldly nature of His universe? How do we move mountains? How do we do greater things than we saw Jesus do?

I believe it has to do with our understanding of reality. Perhaps it is through a Godly-supernatural transcendence of reality that the limitations of our physical world are overcome, and the sort of miracles that Jesus accessed we also will be able to do. Individuals in our secular world today assume what we touch is real. In fact, some people believe “if we don’t see it or can’t touch it, it’s not real.” I’d like to propose a paradigm shift.

What is most real, Believer, is that which we cannot see. Until we live and breathe this truth, we are limited in our faith and action.

Consider scriptures such as the following: “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for the pulling down strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 10:4) Anointing of Christ Clearly the literal/physical meaning of weapons is being replaced by the concept of spiritual weapons. I suggest that this transcendence into the spiritual realm can be discovered elsewhere in scripture to help us deepen our understanding of, commitment to, and maturity in Christ.

But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”(Luke 9:52)

When we read scripture from the 1st Century church, do we filter everything based on our current understanding? Let’s consider Jesus’ words carefully, and put it in the in light of a paradigm shift. Let’s go back to what Jesus and the hearers knew.

First, we need to be fit for the kingdom of God. How do we know if we’re fit? For one thing, we look forward (not backward). For another, we relinquish the plow (and the provision by self-effort that it symbolizes).

I have nothing but an inner sense of revelation; I believe the plow also represents the confines of physical reality.

Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.” (Acts 4:32) Jesus encourages us to let our possessions – or family members or significant persons or things – go. As we become unfettered in our mind and will, God may move us into a different dimension where the tangible cannot hold or limit us. But in order for that to happen, perhaps, first we have to let go.

John transcended our reality when he saw the Revelations. Philip was translated in order to meet the Ethiopian Eunuch. Jesus walked on water; he moved through walls when doors were locked, he was translated to be with Moses and Elijah on a mountain. Might it be that, through faith he overcame physical reality so that he was able to accomplish these miracles?

Understanding how his faith worked does not change the fact that Jesus worked miracles. But perhaps in order for us to do ‘greater things’ for the Kingdom, we need to alter our perception of reality so that we can overcome physical – and mental – limitations, and allow God to increase our faith.

Jesus promised ‘greater things would we do.’ The Church seeks to operate in the healing miracles and the food multiplications and to ‘move mountains, but relatively few of us are doing these things. I’m wondering if a key to this is a paradigm shift to our understanding of reality. Can we begin to operate more effectively in the realm of God’s supernatural power when we have an improved understanding of God’s different dimension(s)? Is it through this revelation that we can defy the natural world and it’s natural laws – which are subject to God’s laws? Are we being called to overcome the physical world in a Godly way?

The 1st Century believers may well have done this; perhaps we need to do this in order to bring the fullness to earth as it is in Heaven, the fulfillment of what Jesus promised for his Church, and bring it all of the glory to God.

Steps to enabling a paradigm shift from a tangible focus to the supernatural: 1. In God’s timing, willingly surrender your worldly goods in principle (I’m suggesting you don’t literally give away everything, but through Holy Spirit’s conviction upon you – if it should come to you – surrender all of your worldly goods to God). This way you break free of any hold they may have over you. 2. Pray and ask God to bring us all into a deeper experience of His love and glory. 3. Seek the will of God: Does He want you to move in the supernatural? Ask Him to take you there in the Spirit. 4. Go (physically, literally) to a place local to you where a miracle is needed. Ask God to show you Truth and how to bring it closer to whomever you are with: in hospital, in the street, or in your home or workplace. Be open to whether the miracle will be measurable in the physical realm or internal. 5. Pray for a miracle.

Go: We can’t manufacture miracles. We can’t even manufacture faith. But we can ask God for both, and we can grow in our understanding of how He can make these as accessible to us in a greater way, as He did for the 1st Century Church.