Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

I don’t want to operate on my own anymore

I don’t want to operate on my own anymore.

By that I mean I want to walk in step with Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit and I

One morning recently, as I finished a prayer time, I said, “I could pray for hours… I don’t want to operate on my own anymore, LORD.”

I decided to write about this because it’s vital to life!

Vital to Life

When we are in step with Holy Spirit, He leads and guides us to walk peacefully, full of grace, His Truth, and calmly.

I love it! When walking in step with Holy Spirit I have greater love and grace toward others, I have more gentleness and patience — two of the spiritual fruits in which I am otherwise quite deficient.

Fruits of the Spirit

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

It is so refreshing to walk in the Spirit. I have an inner peace that defies anxiety and stress and any sense of condemnation, because I have His grace toward others and therefore inner acceptance. For me, this is life-giving and guards me against the sort of condemnation the enemy likes to try to pour over me from time to time.

The term longsuffering

The word longsuffering — in our time and culture — is what we usually call patience. Patience and gentleness are fruits I don’t have much of naturally. In the natural: in my flesh, my natural personality, I’m more a bull-in-a-China-shop sort of person, compelled to get things done. That in itself isn’t wrong. But when the Spirit is leading me, I still manage to “get things done” but in a more relaxed manner. Then, I tend to say things more gently. I like that and I’m sure others around me would prefer that too.

Natural and Supernatural

Within our personalities, all of us will have, by our nature, some of the fruits of the Spirit. But when we are walking in Him, those fruits are magnified and all the fruits flow from us in a supernatural way, and what we have been given in the natural is amplified

Be filled with the Holy Spirit

Every day, every moment, we can ask to “be filled with the Holy Spirit”. Isn’t it time we surrender and expect our inner being and our outer behaviour to match, emulating our walk with Jesus? It is like being wedded, not as two humans become one flesh, but rather as we each become interlinked with Holy Spirit, our source of intimacy with Jesus grows and the Spiritual fruit — and our character — become more and more like His. Let’s be wedded to Holy Spirit.

As it says in Acts 17:28, “for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’”

Be encouraged. Jesus is with us. And by His Spirit, inner peace and outer love can and will shine through as we surrender more and more to Him.

Every blessing:)

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.

Categories
Examining Biblical Scripture

How Do I Become More Powerful?

Recently, a friend of mine who loves the LORD was searching for an answer…

“With all the power of GOD within me, how do I become more powerful?”

She was searching because, like most of us, she is aware that the power of Almighty God, creator of the universe is within her and yet she is also aware of the weakness within herself. Some weakness springs from a lack of confidence, some from inexperience. Most I think, is pinned to fear. I’ll come back to that in a moment…

What an excellent question it is! My friend’s question raises the point that, although we believe in Jesus and the resurrection power that resides in us through the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8), we often feel weaker than we ought. Why is that and how can we overcome, so that we an be and do all that the LORD GOD has for us?

I think we are held back by fear: a fear of man. I’ve experienced this and I believe most of us have. I’ve even written a book about overcoming fear called FREE TO BE. I overcame fear a long time ago, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t occasionally creep back into my life, trying to wreak havoc, delaying me from taking hold of the promises of GOD.

If overcoming the fear of man is the battle, what gives us the strength to fight it? Do we simply launch in? Is it the fighting that makes us braver and stronger?

No. While the experience will strengthen our faith and our authority, what makes us more powerful is not to defeat fear, which is the enemy, but to surrender to GOD.

“For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10)

I am convinced that how we become stronger is not by more strain, but by our surrender.

It is, “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit.” (Zechariah 4:6)

It’s simple, profound and not always easy to do. Perhaps it is one of our greatest challenges, because we live in a busy world with many demands on our time and attention. But when we are determined, we can surrender.

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Brief Testimony:

Over the last few months, I have been yielding. To Surrender to God’s timing and purposes has given me rest in His scriptures and a deeper faith. He will – and He has – come through with the answers and opportunities that I need in order to fulfil His will and my destiny. I have become stronger and more confident as I have become more patient, more relaxed, less busy and less intense. And I have been abundantly blessed. Nothing that has needed to be done has gone undone, and everything that is important has been attended to. But with one difference: I am the better person, as the Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) have been growing stronger in me. I have witnessed God’s blessing and opportunity.

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In 1 Chronicles God tells David he will not build His temple, but his son Solomon will.

1 Chronicles 22:9 David tells his son that he will be a man of rest from war. The word “rest” is key.

In verse 19 he says, “Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God. Therefore arise and build the sanctuary of the Lord God, to bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord and the holy articles of God into the house that is to be built for the name of the Lord.”

It is not by training or fighting that Solomon would be prepared. He would grow in strength by seeking the LORD.

As for us, we build within us a sanctuary of prayer and praise through resting in Him. The result: we grow stronger. He may lead us to encounters and experiences that will indeed train us through experience, exercise and practice. But I suggest that, essentially, the building of the sanctuary within us comes from our surrender of our will, our heart, and our might to God, spending time with Him in prayer and resting in his scriptures. Let us discover the power of God that is already within us through surrender.

“For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15)

Categories
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)