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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

Categories
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)

 

 

Categories
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.

Categories
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.

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Reflections and Poetry

What is God’s Will for your life?

Are you in the habit of hearing from God His plan for your day? In the hustle and bustle of our lives we are full of ideas and tasks, and short on time. Prayer might be a deep part of our lives, but are we praying as effectively as we could be? Are we seeing God moving in our lives? Is His will being done on earth?

Ready: I’d like to suggest that in God’s wisdom and power, He knows better than we do how best to use our time and energy. So, this week, let’s pray God’s Word and His Will into our lives.

Set: The LORD’s prayer is so familiar, and so full of guidance and wisdom. For example, we pray, “Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.” But why do we do that? Beyond the advice of Jesus, we pray this because God is sovereign; He knows what is to happen before it happens, because He is outside of time. There is nothing on this earth that escapes His notice, and everything that occurs gives us an opportunity to grow. It’s common sense then, to invite His will to come to pass in our lives. When we pray, let’s pray ‘not my will but Yours’, because His will is full of insight and goodness.

maintenance-background-1920-10801. Be still and ask God what He wants to say to you.

2. Wait. Listen. Look. Where is God directing your attention?

3. Pray as you feel led to pray – even if, and especially if, it’s something you hadn’t been thinking about.

4. Ask God to do His will and invite Him to use you as a means to executing it on earth.

5. Take courage in the fact that you may have a surprise today. Be on the alert and surrender your time and attention to the possibility.

Go: Rather than asking for our ‘to do’ list to be accomplished or for our needs to be met, or even for His direction in our lives, let’s ask ‘What is Your will?’, be ready to follow His lead and pray, ‘Your will be done’. Then, let’s watch what comes to pass in our lives!

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Discovering What God Wants

Praying for what God wants – Interceding for God’s Will on Earth: What does God want… and how do we know? As we walk with God, we learn His word and His thoughts as He has expressed them in the Bible – and to us personally. We deepen our relationship with Him and our understanding of who He is. Then, we learn to hear His voice and to pray how He wants us to pray. Ready: Let’s deepen our relationship with God and our knowledge and understanding of His Word.

Set: There is a time for war and a time for peace (Ecclesiastes 3) and we as intercessors must learn the difference. Whether we Wisdom of Solomonare a very new Believer or have prayed for family members for as long as we can remember, each of us has a call to pray. What does God’s will “on earth as it is in heaven” actually signify? There is so much to say about intercessory prayer. It is different from personal prayer in that it is tapping into God’s will for the moment, isn’t it, and praying His desires for the earth. We might be called to pray for our nation, for another country, or for circumstances beyond our full comprehension or experience. But whatever the issue, we are called to prayer. In Heaven, there is no pain, no suffering, no conflict. In Heaven, the victor is enthroned and angels bow before Him in worship and adoration. I for one would like the same to be on the earth. It will come one day (Revelation 21:4) and in the meantime we can pray that God’s will is done so as to hasten the time when the earth will be full of the glory of the LORD. In order to intercede we can do the following in the long term: 1. Become abundantly confident with scripture. Memorize verses that you enjoy as you read. Study the Word so that you know the law, history, poetry, prophets of the Old Testament/Old Covenant. 2. Learn the stories Jesus told, the miracles he performed and the difference between the Two. Learn how the Holy Spirit moved after Jesus ascended into heaven. Discover how Paul communicated to the various churches so that they would learn God’s will for His church. 3. Find the similarities and differences between Paul and the others’ who wrote letters in the New Testament/New Covenant. 4. Pray with fervor, enthusiasm, commitment on issues that you care passionately about, asking God to lead you in understanding His will in the situation.

Go: Study the Bible, pray as you feel led and don’t be concerned about ‘getting it right’. God wants us all to grow. Growing means trying and being willing to learn as we go. If everyone waited until (s)he was ready to pray, there’d be precious little praying going on.