Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

What angers GOD and how does He measure anger?

GOD’s anger is for a moment but His favour is for a lifetime. (Psalm 30:5)

What angers GOD?

Israel and the Hebrews disobeyed. At the heart of it all, this is what dismayed GOD and caused Him to be angry with them.

Likewise for us, we must walk with Him, surrendered to the degree of our understanding, willing to grow in His likeness. This is our call as disciples of Jesus. This means we are called to obey Him. He seeks a “contrite spirit” and to be followed on His terms, not our own.

Psalm 51:17 says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise.”

In this GOD takes delight.

How does GOD measure our obedience?

GOD looks to the heart of mankind, and of an individual, to see How close (or far) from Him is their walk.

“I am exceedingly angry with the nations at ease;

For I was a little angry [at the Israelites], 

And they [other nations] helped —

but with evil intent.” (Zechariah 1:15)

Let’s look at GOD’s behaviour towards Israel

When we look at Zechariah 1, we see that the LORD allowed nations to overcome Israel as a consequence of her disobedience. And yet, when entreated upon by Zechariah, GOD says that although He allowed “four horns” — four nations — to rise against and conquer Israel, their motive was impure. Part of their motive was for evil. And so, He was even more angry with these Gentile nations.

GOD recognised the evil in the nations who conquered Israel and they would not have their reward.

So we today must discern our motive

Today, why are we following Jesus? Is it out of fear? Yet perfect love casts out fear. Fear is unnecessary.

Why are we following Jesus? Out of duty? 

Why are we following Jesus? Because He’s True?

We need not be afraid

When we look through scripture, we see how devoted GOD is to Israel, in spite of her sin.

Inevitably, the people of Israel are brought back to the land Israel, as promised in Zechariah 1,

“I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy;
My house shall be built in it,” says the Lord of hosts,
“And a surveyor’s line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem.” (Zechariah 1:16)

So, that temple later is rebuilt…. and in 1948, that nation is reborn. GOD keeps His promises.

And we who are In Christ

We who have Jesus and abide through the Holy Spirit, have no excuse or reason to disobey, to frustrate the plans and purposes for our individual lives nor as the Church. Just as we see GOD keep His promises to the nation of Israel even though they are disobedient, we also can trust He provides for us and protects us. We need not fear… nor disobey, but must allow ourselves to surrender fully to Him so His work can be achieved in and through us as is His intention and desire.

Let our Light Shine

Matthew 5:16 say, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Let us not grow weary nor disobey His voice when He speaks to us. Let us not take lightly the following of His will and His timing. Let us not frustrate the will of GOD but let us shine brightly, so that others can see the path and follow it.

Categories
GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: Part 12 Decision-making GOD’s Way

Here at Preparing the Bride, I’m telling GOD’S STORY. Presumptuous?! Not when simply looking at scripture, because scripture is the unfolding of God’s story to us who read it.

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 has walked. 

GOD’S STORY Part 12 Decision-making

“Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men…” (Matthew 4:19)

As followers of Jesus, how is it possible for us to execute our own decision-making? 

Following is not easy, is it? But we must discipline ourselves, or make the choice, or  surrender…  even when making our own decisions. However we might choose to manage it, following Jesus is great but it is not always easy.

Often we can implement the LORD’s will. We hear from Him; then we use our talents, our time, our resources, to implement what the LORD has positioned us to do. But what about when He stretches us, asks us to go beyond our comfort zone to do something which will make a difference in this world but which pushes our envelope beyond our experience? The LORD led me in this way recently, and here’s where I went wrong…

From Follow to Muddle

Over the past week or two the LORD has been leading me in a new direction. And when it came to taking His lead, I got in quite a muddle. 

I want to share GOD’s Story — GOD’s perspective as near as I have worked it out so far, on decision-making. He prompted me to take some risks, to go out of my comfort zone, and I was willing. That was my choice. I did research and considered the information. I prayed and sought His direction. All of a sudden: BOOM!

I was eager to follow… but then…

Here’s the pattern I followed with the very best of intention

Step 1: I followed …. I received a prompt and whole-heartedly aimed to follow

Step 2: I anticipated next steps

Step 3: I reasoned —

Step 4: I recognised I was in a muddle. 

How did that happen? I anticipated rather than taking GOD’s lead to reason, to plan, to strategise and to implement.

What to do to prevent a repeat?

In the stillness, I must wait, rest, trust, wait some more… until I hear clearly the direction — advice — to take.

“He who waits upon the LORD shall renew his strength…” (Isaiah 40:31)

Following the LORD’s lead does not mean we don’t think, use our intellect and common sense. Rather, it means we allow GOD to influence our thinking, intellect and common sense. We allow the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to lead as we wait for Him to direct our steps.

Regret …. but lessons learned

I wish I’d not got ahead of GOD. But in recognising it I realise I’ve learned to be on the alert for my own anticipation. Enthusiasm is a wonderful characteristic, but we do need to curb our flesh, and surrender ourselves to Holy Spirit’s prompting if we are going to follow, from beginning to end, the fullness of GOD’s plan.

Decision-making begins at the very beginning of any move we make. When we give our hopes and aspirations, our goals and intents of our hearts to the LORD, when we trust He’s heard and rest in Him, He will direct our steps toward the destination. We hope, we trust, we hear, we share and then we follow…. allowing Him to unfold the direction of our steps to achieve our heart’s desire and that which He has for us. 

Every blessing for the week ahead…

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Walking in the Spirit: even in what seems trivial

Following the Spirit’s gentle leading

“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 is one of the first verses I taught my son when we was very young.

“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” I’ve always thought John 16:13 was for BIG ideas and revelations. But I am learning it is for small details too…

I have been asking the LORD for several years to lead me by His Spirit and have had the desire to live by His spirit 100% of the time. This is risky… what if I get a prompt wrong?

I must be growing because He is beginning to lead me more often, prompting me in ways that prove themselves to be His guidance, even in the little things.…

One might say it is witchcraft but I think it is GOD:

Recently, I had an appointment with a person D to show a flat I rent out. The LORD told me he’d be 15 minutes late so to leave an extra long gap before the next appointment to follow after…. 3 days later, the day of the appointments, D was exactly 15 minutes late.

Yesterday, I had another viewing. I felt so strongly in my spirit that the person would not come. 10 minutes before the scheduled appointment, the person cancelled.

Last night I had a dream which I remember very clearly… I often dream but rarely remember or “hold onto the content”. I believe as a family Covid is going to infect or try to infect a child, who will, in turn infect others. There is no fear in this for we are all healthy and/or vaccinated/and or have already had the virus. BUT isolation is not helpful to living life, so I believe the LORD has shown me, that in order to protect us from having to self isolate, we need to be vigilant. I will share this with others in the family, and will take the lateral flow tests more frequently this week, to guard against infection and infecting others.

I believe we can live more and more by GOD’s Spirit. These times are tough. Let’s allow our Father to lead and guide us.

If He can share with me, He can share with any brother or sister in the Lord. May I encourage you to ASK Him, and if you have asked Him, wait upon Him, trust and yield to Him, allowing Him to reveal His timing, His schedule, His blessing.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

LIFESTYLE: Learning to follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit

Opportunity

I have been invited to mentor new theology students and to act as a guest lecturer at a UK University. This is something I’d love to do. But I believe I must turn it down — at least delay it for the immediate future. Why? Because as much as I’d like to support the student endeavour, I have no sense from the Holy Spirit that this is the time for me to do it.

If I ignore the prompting, I am denying the university and the candidates GOD’s perfect choice.

Surrender

I am seeking to live totally surrendered to the Spirit of GOD.

In times past I would (unwittingly) contort the circumstance to fit my passion, heartfelt desire, ambition or hope. No more. My single desire is to be available to GOD and to follow only the prompting of the Holy Spirit, for only in this is there real fruit.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faith, patience and self control. (Galatians 5:22-23)

If I am to minister, it must be by the power and presence of GOD, not in my flesh. I have tried using my talents and gifting, and there has been some “success” for others as I have ministered. But it has taken me a long time to realise that the use of talent is not the same as making talent available to GOD. I’ve jumped the gun many times, for good intent. But now I shall wait upon GOD for His timing, rather than assume because I’m able that it is GOD’s choice.

I have offered and spent my talents; so many diverse skills have I picked up along life’s journey. But I’ve come to the conclusion that since everything is to GOD’s glory, making myself available to Him is what matters and I must exercise the discipline to do this.

Lifestyle of Service

I believe we are all called to a life of service, but it is not of service to man but service to GOD. Good deeds are wonderful, but as Believers, GOD deeds are the deeds we must focus upon. Sometimes there is overlap, but sometimes not. In all things, we make GOD our focal point, for His will to be done and to His glory.

The great commandments are these:

To love the LORD our GOD with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and to love our neighbour as ourself. (Luke 10:27) GOD comes first, and out of our love for Him, flows a ministry to others.

The World’s Perspective

In the World, there are many goodwill organisations who seek to help those in need. Much good is done by these world organisations. Recently however, cracks of corruption and abuse have been revealed in some of these organisations.  They are flawed.

We as Believers in Jesus are not meant to “do good deeds” in the World system but rather to obey the above commandments. We need to distinguish between these two strategies. Some of us are called to work within these systems and that is right, when we are called to it. But it is important we do not place reliance on World systems nor to assume we are to place our trust in them.

Love, Honour, Obey

When we follow the Holy Spirit, we are certain to be following the path that the LORD has chosen for us, the path which He needs us to follow for His ends. It is time we lay down our lives in deed as well as in word, and surrender to the will of GOD. When we love Him, when we seek Him, when we desire to honour and obey Him, and as we wait upon Him, He will reveal to us His will. The still small voice of His Holy Spirit will prompt us in directions that may surprise. Let us wait on Him for His surprises, and see where He will lead.

Do others say with me, “Amen”?