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Reflections and Poetry

Living in the Eye of the Storm

When there are storms in life, as there most certainly will be, how do we live as a testament to our faith in a glorious and powerful GOD? Living in the eye of the storm, we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.

Only God

Our focus is on the issue, but instead, when we transfer it from the problem onto Jesus, the storm which rages around us has no effect. 

Practically speaking, praise music helps enormously, listening constantly to uplifting, Spirit-led music. For me, the LORD lays specific songs onto my heart, at certain times, to play again and again, until my mind becomes quiet. 

People in our lives will come forward too. And I use my spiritual discernment, honed for such a time as this, to consider who the LORD has appointed at this time to support me as I intercede or pray through the storm, until it passes. This has nothing to do with friendship, or offence. This has to do with calming the storm! Some people will be called, and will carry a burden or an anointing, others will not. To “get the job done” we must use the people the LORD has provided.

Trust God

Has GOD made you a promise or uttered a word into your ear? Stand on it! We do not know why specific storms arise, but we know all storms are opportunities to grow. Maybe the enemy has a foothold somehow, or maybe the enemy is being used to demonstrate your strength against him. Remember righteous Job and the pain he suffered, simply to show satan how faithful Job was to GOD. Ultimately he received his reward. We can trust GOD in any storm, as the master of the storm and as our righteousness.

Stand

No matter how stormy the sea, stand in it. No matter how rocky the boat, stand upon the waters, look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (who incidentally literally calmed the storm for his frightened disciples), and do not yield to fear or foe.

Be Nimble

Paradoxically, we also need to be nimble as we experience the situation. 

As the storm rages, it will take twists and turns. Allow GOD to lead you through it. Keep your balance in the waves, and trust the leading of the LORD to take you to the shore. He will. He always honours His promises.

No Storm is Impossible to calm

The storm may rage, it may seem unconquerable.

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who [loves] us.” (Romans 8:37)

Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, and the storm will subside.

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Healing GOD’s Way

Suggestions come thick and fast, earnest suggestions, encouragements, hopes, ambitions and spirit-filled replies. When someone is ill and prayer is called for, we ask for healing. It comes and I say, “Thank you,” and “Glory to GOD for that.” I’m also saying we need healing God’s way.

“Test all things; hold fast what is good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21

Others words and mine

I am so grateful to every person who has written, texted or posted to me with a word about or for my husband’s overcoming of Covid-19. Like me, many have sought the Lord to ask His will and His way.

My husband is now well on the way to recovery. The worst is passed. May the best be yet to come. All glory to GOD!

The heart of this post is not to draw a conclusion as to how the recovery will be fully manifested. At this stage, my husband is on a long road to recovery, the recovery the Lord promised me the day before Alan went to hospital. I’ve no doubt he will recover. I have no doubt I heard the LORD… And just in case I might have doubted, He confirmed it 3 more ways since His initial message, “Alan will recover.”

So what about “what if’s”?

Doctors want the best for their patients, and work hard to attain it. And yet they are trained to be very adept at drawing the worst scenarios for family members. 

When you’re given a what if that contradicts the word from the Lord, reject it — but graciously. It may irk the doctors as you don’t acknowledge their concern. But your loyalty is not to them but to the patient. Overriding the word of a doctor dismisses the enemy in a heartbeat.

And if you’re given a word from a relative or friend that pushes a particular agenda, even if you hope for that agenda, stand firm on what the LORD has said. 

There have been times when intercession led to supernatural requests but a backlash came to bite my husband immediately thereafter. I’ve since prayed that issue through so it doesn’t happen again.

The Sovereign LORD is in charge 

“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 3:4-5)

Our LORD is outside time. He can work any way He wants to work. I give Him carte blanche — unrestricted access to Alan, to me, to my family’s health and healing. 

The Lord may choose to do a quick thing. It could confound and astound medics in a Western hospital if a critical patient suddenly stood up fully restored. Or it may build and deepen faith where a patient is quietly restored to full health when he was on the brink of death. The LORD knows the best way.

I do know this (which was shared recently by a dear prayerful friend):

“The eternal God is your refuge, And underneath are the everlasting arms; He will thrust out the enemy from before you, And will say, ‘Destroy!’” 

(Deuteronomy 33:27)

We aren’t to lag behind; yet let’s not rush ahead of the LORD either. 

I don’t know whether the healing process will be extraordinarily quick, or slow, or in line with the natural course of physical healing. I’m open and it would be great for my husband not to have to fight his way back in the physical to full health and strength. He has rescued Alan from sickness and will deliver him to health. But, I do know, and have learned, that healing will be done GOD’s way. And there is no better way.

Hallelujah!

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Reflections and Poetry Watchman on Alert BLOG

Facing a Storm: self importance must go

I don’t matter

One of the first things I learned when in a knock down, drag out fight for the health and safety of someone I love was that I don’t matter. This battle is not about me. When facing a storm, self importance must go!

Others may say, “Take care of yourself” and that is a sensible safeguard to suggest. But I would be the first to say, if in serious air turbulence on a plane, the adult puts his own mask on before his child. Why? Because if you put it on the child and then you pass out, who is going to take care of the child?

So, yes, when we are engaged in a struggle, we must take care of our nutrition, welfare and safety. When Elijah confronted the other prophets, GOD reigned down. But then Elijah was confronted by Jezebel, he ran away, terrified. Why? In some measure because he was tired and hungry. So we must take care of our practical, physical needs when we are caring for others. 


But whether a battle for another soul is physical, spiritual or emotional, our needs are not important. Not really. And we must not look to pamper ourselves. This is not the time.

When I don’t matter, I don’t fear

Fear of man is one of the few things that can really stop a spirit-filled mature Believer from fulfilling his or her calling in Jesus. When the thoughts, opinions or feelings of others do not distract us from our battle, we can focus and persevere. We cannot take care of others outside the storm, when we are called to be inside it. Commit them to the LORD and trust them to Him.

LOVE is key, always. But fear is counter to love. It’s important we understand our motives, put our own concerns to the side, and do that which the LORD has called us to do.

Love is never rude

When we face a storm and others are a distraction, we must focus on the battle at hand. But love is never rude, or dismissive, or disrespectful of others.  Addressing the interruptions of others is important: we need discernment, wisdom and grace. We do not have to alter our course, but rather weigh up and balance the priority with the desires of others. The storm comes first. If there is room beyond that, what needs attention? 

Love does not have to cater to others, be it their needs or their expectations. So often we misperceive expectations anyway; we may think they are asking something of us when really they simply have our best at heart. Either way, it is alright to ignore that which is not priority, so long as we ignore it graciously, lovingly, respectfully. How do we do that? We don’t fret or negate our task. In our hearts, we care for others, though that cannot perhaps be expressed at this particular time.

Above all, trust our own motives

When we battle a storm, we are in crisis. We can trust the LORD and put everything into His hands, and yet, He is calling us to persevere. There is no need to second-guess ourselves when we are committed to doing the task the LORD has assigned us to.

When in a storm, we cannot live life as we normally live. The storm must be addressed. We trust Jesus in the storm and focus all of our attention on him. In doing so, we have not time or space to think about ourselves or in fact, think about others outside the storm. Instead, we carry on our responsibility and entrust others beyond our care to the LORD. Hopefully, they will accept our calling. Loving them will help. But fearing their disappointment does not honour them and is a distraction from the storm and from Jesus. When we have already relinquished our self importance we can trust our motives are pure: simply to overcome the storm, trusting Jesus throughout.

What really matters in a storm

What really matters in any storm is Jesus, because he overcomes the storm for us. Our focus on him diminishes the storm’s power. And if our storm concerns the welfare and safety of another who is defenceless, then we put all of our trust in the Lord for his or her rescue.

Storms do not come to harm us but to grow us. Knowing this get us through and enables us to be the hands and feet of Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith, the prince of peace, and the light of the world. If we really trust him and believe he is the Son of GOD, then we will know, regardless of the storm, what really matters will overcome, to the glory of GOD the Father.

“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10) 

Abundant life comes through trusting the Lord through all storm and strife, not looking to the situation nor to ourselves. Jesus will overcome any storm, when we trust him and allow him to do that which he is able.

Psalm 91 for the storm

May angels guard and keep. May we stand in the gap for those who cannot speak. May the LORD Almighty give us long life.

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.

He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.

You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,

Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.

Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.

Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,

10 

No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;

11 

For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.

12 

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

13 

You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.

14 

“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.

15 

He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honour him.

16 

With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”

Every blessing, 

Sarah 

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Reflections and Poetry Watchman on Alert BLOG

GOD is (a poem)

GOD is

We are a whiff, a puff of smoke

A breath

That only exists because of who

GOD is

GOD is mighty, harsh, intransigent and yet

GOD is merciful, gentle, kind

We are ants, a seed ungerminated

A thought

That only exists because of who

GOD is

GOD is creative, expressive, complete and yet

GOD is gently bending to earth

We are unstable, needy, greedy

A whim

That only exists because of who

GOD is

GOD is gracious, timely, wise and yet

GOD gives grace to the humble

We are that which GOD has created

So that we might become like Him

We only exist because of who

GOD is.

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Reflections and Poetry

The Power of Music upon the Soul

The power of music upon the soul of man is profound

We must never underestimate how music can lift us in difficult times.

I am in a storm. I am learning to focus on Jesus and not the storm. I am learning to dwell in the secret place of the Most High GOD. I am learning that there are times when there are no words, and there is no one to abide with us except GOD. 

Music has helped me through.

Alone with Jesus

When all the prayer is finished, and there is only quiet, we can lean on GOD. Sometimes the only person to talk to is GOD. There is no one else who can fathom what we are trying to communicate.

And in that quiet time, it is (oddly perhaps) the best time to celebrate! 

Choose to listen to music 

It is a difficult time, when we are completely empty and there is nothing left to do. But we can — and must praise. Not must as a rule, but must as a healthy way to overcome the darker moments in life. Must in the sense that it is the way GOD has given us to overcome. Perhaps you cannot sing, but you can listen to singers. You can dance, even if it is little steps. The godly music lifts us.

We can choose our music wisely. The LORD will bring songs to our remembrance. Or at a particular moment in time, someone will send a piece of music. We use our discernment as to whether it is the right piece for this right time… But if the LORD is the LORD of your life, and your friends are wisely chosen, it probably will be:)

The music will carry you through. Listen over and over as needed. Yes, the same song for hours if necessary. The music can and will carry you through, not only to healing but all the way to breakthrough.

Making room for GOD

Making room in the difficult times is a choice. I urge you: choose GOD.

When you make room for the Father, He will come to you. Though He will cut you, He heals you, and makes you a better person. “But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.” Job 23:10

Character not personality

Remember: GOD is a God of refiner’s fire. He is a God of love and mercy, but he also chastens us, tests us, perfects us. When we struggle, many are quick to say, “I’m sorry you are going through this…” but they stop there. Better to finish by saying, “… but God knows, God sees, God is perfecting you for a good purpose.”

Breathe

Here is a song to inspire, uplift, encourage you. Breathe in the air and fill  your lungs with the breath of life that God has given you. Hallelujah! Even in the difficult times, we have a perfect Saviour who lifts us out of the darkness and into his marvellous light, for he is “the light of the world.” (John 8:12)

A list of titles: uplifting songs I have used in the storm

Breathe

Because He Lives

Blessed Assurance

Battle Belongs to the Lord

I will run to You

Doxology Hymn

This is the Air I Breathe

Who is there like You

No Other Name

Jesus, We Celebrate Your Victory

LORD, Have Mercy

In Your Presence

Thank you LORD

These are the Days of Elijah

Whose Report do you Believe

Praise to the LORD

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Politics and Society today Reflections and Poetry

Hold On

Hold On

We must hold on: not to what we want but to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Hold on, not to what others have prophesied but to Jesus, the light of the world. Believers, there is mayhem. There is strife in this world. There is war and rumours of wars and — it seems to me — Matthew 24 is unfolding before our very eyes. But we must hold on to the promises of God, both those He has provided in His Word to all who follow, and those He has impressed upon us individually. We must walk on water.

Walking on water in times of trouble

When people in crisis approached Jesus, he didn’t react. He waited. On different occasions when health crises arose, Jesus didn’t run to the aid of a dying child or a dangerously sick friend. No. He took the time to be with those in his immediate presence, and he waited for each “right moment” for God’s timing to act. “ For in him, we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)

That’s walking on water, friends. That’s having faith in Father God to watch over the crises, knowing that when the right time to respond arises, God will be with us to ensure His purposes are met. 

This also means of course that we must not fear. We know “that perfect love casts out fear” (1John 4:18). So, in trusting God and trusting Him with and in our lives, we are secure; when we love others as we love ourselves and as God loves us, therein lies His peace, His shalom; when we allow perfect love to invade and pervade, there is no fear.

Calamity or Christ

We have a choice. Where we focus our eyes is up to us. When onslaught of trials come upon us, we may shake for a time. But ultimately, we choose where our hope lies: will it be in our own intervention or in God?

Hope in God

“Why are you cast down, O my soul? and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.” (Psalm 42:5)

Where we can go astray

There is no shame in becoming overwhelmed in calamity. When Peter tried to walk on water, he did so at first, but then started to sink (Matthew 14:29). It’s okay to start to sink, because Jesus will reach out and help us.

When we take our eyes off God, and put our trust in man or in ourselves, we start to slip. When we want a particular outcome, we can get intense and dependent on what we see as matters unfold. But when we begin to doubt God’s promised outcome, we need to stop and allow Him to bring us back to Him. This is holding on.

In the world today

There is calamity and strife in the world. But I believe it’s time to let go of our predicted outcomes. Let go of what you expect God to do, and give Him carte blanche in your life, your ambitions, your relationships and your time.

In John 16:32-33 Jesus says, “… in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Do you believe him? If you do, then I’m saying it’s really time to trust him now. That is what holding on is.

Here is an invisible link (hover and you’ll find it) to a very encouraging, uplifting music video of song “Hold On”

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Reflections and Poetry

God’s Word, yes, but also His Presence

We need to be in God’s Word, yes, but also we need to be in His Presence.

Word and Holy Spirit together

2 Timothy 2:15 urges us to”Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

And Jesus before his accession to heaven told the disciples, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if depart, I will send him to you.” (John 16:7)

How safe is the prophetic

It is easy to reject all prophecy and the prophetic because of some people who are in error or who seem to seek attention through a building of their ministry. BUT GOD. He sent His Holy Spirit, not just to intervene in the salvation process, activating our Spirit, but also to walk, live, breathe, share, comfort, convict and guide us daily. 

We must no longer live as empty vessels, occasionally to be filled with inspiration from God’s Word BUT ALSO we must allow the Holy Spirit to infill us and dwell with us, the aim being that we are filled constantly with God’s presence through His Spirit in us. We need the Word but that is not enough. We need the baptism of the Holy Spirit so that the understanding of His Word is complete.

Perfect Love, not Fear

We are not to fear the things of God, but to discern. Yes there are false prophets, most of whom may well not know they are false. But not all prophets are false. And we need the Holy Spirit’s discernment to distinguish the false from the true. Most of all, we must follow Yeshua, our Lord Jesus to the Father. Following him is perfected only through time spent with him directly, not seeking the prophetic from others, but seeking the Lord for ourselves. Then, as we dwell intimately with Yehovah, God’s Word, and Yehovah God’s Spirit, we may well receive His prophetic word. All this is what Jesus left us for… and sent to us.

Expect the Holy Spirit

I am not writing a theological argument. Many may well argue over the matter of the Spirit within us. The Word and the Spirit go together. Jesus said he must leave in order for us all to have the Helper. I believe he meant it.

I believe and have experienced (“you shall know them by their fruits” Matthew 7:16)) that as I surrender to God, as I am still before Him, as I rest and wait for Him, He comes. He comes in Spirit and in truth. His presence is for all, today, and He expects us to receive. Is it all-or-nothing: full surrender or not? We each choose. Time is short, so I ask you directly: which will you choose?

How to find His Spirit

“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

So we shall wait… be still and wait… Ask and receive the fullness of the Spirit in your walk with the Lord, and expect Him to fill you with His presence (there is much more in scripture about this, and there is a discussion about baptism to be had also, but these are digressions from my point today… Depending on Jesus’ timing, there is fuel for Future blog posts).

We do not fear

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him.” (Matthew 7:11)

I urge us all, that we take nothing for granted, knowing His love and His presence. Let us then be ready… for anything.

God bless.

Sarah Tun

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Reflections and Poetry

Conviction vs Condemnation: part 2 Becoming Strong to Become Useful to GOD

Becoming Strong to become useful to GOD.

Conviction vs Condemnation: Becoming strong to be useful to GOD

We must face our personal weaknesses if we are going to be useful in these End Times.

Times ahead are only going to get more challenging (if you believe as I do that we are in the End Times as Jesus describes in Matthew 24).

Whether you realise it of yourself or not, all of us are frail. Knowing this on a personal level will allow GOD to move in each of our lives, and enable us to withstand trials that are sure to come.

We are like waves in an ocean

Waves ebb and flow naturally. So to do our emotional lives. However spiritually led we might be, our emotions do play a part, ebbing and flowing like the sea, sometimes making life richer, and sometimes causing us pain.

Time is short

Even some of the elect may lose their Way. 

We must be emotionally and spiritually strong to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil. Let us be wholly humble and exposed to GOD, made fully aware of ourselves (our own conscience), in order to overcome our individual human struggle.

Recently, I realised just how emotionally frail, weak, and vulnerable I am. My self concept was marred until circumstances and my reaction to them forced me to face the reality that I am not as strong as I thought I was. Only by facing reality of my weakness was I able to overcome the pain of it. Now I see more clearly how my own pride and fear got in the way of my character, my relationships, and the ultimate victory the LORD has for me.

I am fully aware that spiritual growth is the key to life, that dwelling in emotion is pure flesh. But that doesn’t prevent me from getting sucked in by fear when my emotions become overwhelmed. It happens to us all. It even happened to Elijah (1Kings 19).

The solution to overcoming painful emotion 

We must rely on GOD.

Abide in GOD (John 15).

We are not to ignore emotion, because that is part of humanity. But in the emotion we are to embrace GOD. When we abide in Him, our emotion is deeper, wider, more meaningful, and comes from a place of love rather than fear.

Remember, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear… he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” (1John 4).

Hallelujah! 

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Reflections and Poetry

Joining the Body of Christ Together

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Reflections and Poetry

Conviction vs Condemnation: part 1

Conviction vs Condemnation: Conviction good, Condemnation bad

When GOD trusts you to see your weaknesses He is encouraging you. Only through revelation and experience can we discover our failings and be changed.

Conviction is that which we receive from the Holy Spirit: His whisper, telling us of our weakness, frailty, humanity, error.

Our pride will fight the message.

Condemnation is that shout into our minds that we are abject failures, miserable and wanton in the futility of our flesh. It comes from the world, the flesh and the devil.

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…” (Romans 8:1)

Our pride relishes the message, even when it hurts. It loves the attention.

Pride prevents character growth

When we let go of pride, we can instead rely on GOD and His ability in us to overcome our situation. When we recognise our prideful heart and accept the need to change, GOD can work in us.

Trust in the voice of the LORD, “with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all ways acknowledge Him” and He will lift you up. (Prov 3)

Count it all joy when you fail and recognise it. (James 1) Do not linger there, but allow the LORD to lift you up to a new height. We cannot soar without the catalyst. Often the catalyst is failure and the recognition of it. The way to perfection (and yes, perfection is possible just as Jesus encourages) is through trials, testing and patience.

Pain raises us to the next level

Inevitably, we go through pain to get to the next level of strength in the LORD.  It isn’t always external but is often self-inflicted. Through yielding, in humility, we overcome. Know this: the tunnel always leads to righteousness, joy, peace in GOD.

Abide: spend time with GOD, so He can expose your weaknesses

Know this: you are imperfect. Perfection comes from exposing the flaws. To polish the edges of a diamond makes it more beautiful; without the grit against the edges to smooth the rough, it will not sparkle to its full potential.

So it is with us all. We are diamonds in the rough. But we aren’t meant to stay that way.

Trust, lean, hope and persevere. Making decisions to live this way will bring you through all suffering and mature you, strengthen you, and prepare you for what lies ahead.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.