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Consideration of Biblical Scripture Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Be Free

It’s important to remember, amidst the desire to do God’s will, that Jesus died to set us free… not only from sin and death that we would join him in Heaven after our physical death, but also to walk freely now, knowing we are saved by grace and Father God will not let our footsteps err (Psalm 121)

I have a pastor friend who encourages us all, at every service, to be free… free to contribute, free to worship as Yehova leads, free to express and to share. It is not chaotic in the service, it is fresh and Spirit-led, and wonderful.

In our lives too, we must — I must — practice my freedom. When we love God absolutely, embrace our neighbour totally, we are free.

Decision-making can be done in freedom too. For me, that’s sometimes tough. My emotions like to be heard and can get in the way. Oh, Jesus invites our emotions: joy, love; but unrighteous anger, frustration and bitterness are not the things of God. No, some emotions are to be celebrated while others are destructive. Navigating these very human, natural parts of ourselves isn’t easy.

The better we know the Word of God and the more we sense the presence of the Holy Spirit, the easier it is to live free: free to be and to do as He leads, without second-guessing, without self-condemnation.

And of course as I’ve mentioned previously, we are seeking to walk in the New Man, not the Old Man. Our flesh loves to control and dictate our thoughts, actions, emotions. But surrendered to God, we have the equipment to walk in the New Man. That is our aim.

Freedom is knowing and loving our Creator, walking in His will, and living to fulfil our purposes. As we strive to “get it right” we will certainly fail (Romans 7:15-20), but as we trust in Him, confident and full of faith in His perfect will, we will succeed in living a life free from distress.

Be Free: Free to live, free to love, free to walk in holiness as children of God, and people after His own heart.

“This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

“But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:17-24)

And, when you’re a pinch, remember,

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

God bless you in your walk this day and every day to eternity!

Categories
Consideration of Biblical Scripture Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Total Surrender

“Not my will but yours…” (Matthew 26:39)

Do you know you are called by God, Creator of the Universe, to make a difference in this world?

Has He told you a specific Call?

In my case, I know my role but not my Calling. I am a Watchman. Like Nehemiah, I am to stand on the wall, look out for any danger, and pray.

I don’t know when, how, or even if an attack will come, but I am to “be ready”: to look and to pray.

Sometimes the most difficult thing to do is to wait for action. You may be waiting for some specific thing to do. That specific Call may come, but the most important step toward it is simply to surrender.

Surrender to the Call unconditionally. Surrender even to the possibility that a specific Call may not come.

In this “Me” climate of society, we are programmed to receive attention, to be important; we may feel overlooked or unimportant without a specific, huge responsibility being given to us. But huge responsibility is born out of real pain, character development and isolation. There is nothing romantic in being called to serve. It is a long, tough, sometimes lonely road that only some have the strength of character and endurance to face.

When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, on that night, before he was arrested he prayed first, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me”. Later, he released, surrendered and said, “nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” to his Father.

We do not know exactly when Jesus knew the Call to crucifixion. We know he asked for that cup to pass. But in the end, he surrendered his will to the Father’s. And all humanity was given the opportunity, through that surrender, to be saved.

You may be called to something specific. Or you may have to hunt for your purpose as I did, and it may be general. But how will you ever know a specific Call, unless you seek your role – the identity and purpose of your personality + God’s gifting in you – and grow in that first?

You may be like Samuel, whose mother bore him to give him back to God for full service. You may be like Anna, who waited a lifetime until Jesus was born, and she was given to prophecy. Or you may be like countless of us across the generations who are called to live our lives as role models to a dying world.

The Call may be huge, or it may seem tiny. But in surrendering to God’s Call, seeking out your identity and purpose suitable to who He has created you to be, you will be ready to serve.

That’s a Calling in itself, and a first step to receiving a specific job or role in His kingdom.

Are you ready to be who God created you to be?

Sometimes, in myself, “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41b) and my role is simply to allow Him to perfect my unconditional surrender.

Go with God this week; bless Him, bless others and receive His blessing.

This particular post is crying out for dialogue. Through the website, post your questions or comments so that we who share can learn from one another, how to seek out the role that is perfect for who God has designed us to be. It took me three years of searching simply to discover my identity in Christ as a Watchman. I’ll answer your queries about how I did that and look forward to hearing from you.

God bless.

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ Reflections and Poetry

Facing Opposition: Preparing for God’s Call

“Without opposition we never become strong.”

This quote – which is actually my own – hangs beneath a magnet on the fridge and is referred to by members of my family periodically. As we continue to wrestle, and to fight the good fight, we need to remember the reality of opposition.

When we seek God’s Call and choose to walk in His ways, our flesh tends to resist surrender. Or sometimes people throw doubt our way; our faith can be shaky and vulnerable to opposition. And then there’s the enemy himself, throwing problems and complications at us, trying to force us to give up.

But God is sovereign. He knows our Call and everything we face is preparation to enable us to fulfill it.

Thankfully, it isn’t in our own strength that we are called to fight. Instead God gives us what we need to face the opposition: He gives us grace, the fruits of the Spirit and the gifts as well.

“It’s not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord of Hosts” (Zech 4:6)

Quite simply, in order to be prepared for God’s Call, we need to face and overcome opposition. It is through opposition that our character is built. It is through opposition that we learn to rely on God. It is through opposition that we discover the authority and power of God that is within us.

This is my perspective on the Christian Journey. My ambition is to enable all of you to move forward on that journey.

Today I want to start with a rallying cry. We may face hurdles but none we can’t overcome. Where there is opposition, there is triumph. Where there is pain, there is breakthrough. And where there is the LORD’s will, there is abundant joy.

The Call of God is to be discovered, embraced, and lived. Therein is fulfillment – both for God’s purposes and to our reward. I hope and pray that each reader will receive what s/he needs in order to continue on the path to perfection: fully human, fully alive, fully satisfied that s/he is living the life God has created.

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This newsletter marks the re-launch of “Soaring Post”. It has been dormant for many months, as I focused on fiction and on making guest contributions to other sites (see below for links).

Many new people have joined. Welcome to each and every subscriber, old and new. I hope this new phase of our adventure with Jesus will bear much fruit for God’s Kingdom.

In Christ we are all on the same page 🙂 but I’d like to take a moment to introduce the newsletter and LARUS PRESS, so that we are all in the same paragraph.

“Soaring Post” at LARUS PRESS exists to prepare you for God’s Call.

If like me you believe time is short, there is no time like the present to give God our All. We rely on the Bible, the inerrant Word of God. We depend on the inspiration of the Holy Spirit who dwells within every believer. We are called to “be strong” and to persevere against inconveniences, obstacles and opposition, so that we can grow in love and overcome fear.

Isn’t the goal for every believer to become all loving and completely fearless?

My passion is to be prepared to be all God has called me to be. I want that for you as well, so that you can achieve your purpose, as you grow more and more like Jesus.

There is no greater satisfaction than to fulfill God’s Call in our lives. There is no greater peace than in knowing we are in His perfect will. There is no greater joy than to experience fully the life we’ve been given to lead.

God’s Call on my life is to discern, watch and pray. My call to action is to write my discoveries in order to encourage, prepare, illuminate and motivate all of us, so that we can bring God glory and we can experience the satisfaction, peace and joy God has for us.

“Sarah Tun @ Larus Press: Building the Kingdom one Reader at a Time” means recognizing the challenge to become the persons God has created us to be, so that we do all God has given us to do.

Let us allow the LORD to unveil His plan and timing for each of us. Please embrace with me: the beginning… God bless.

And if you have 3 friends for whom you’d like the same, please forward this on, that they too might board this new train.

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

Ephesians 6:10-11

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ Reflections and Poetry

Seeking Breakthrough: A Practical Faith

ADVICE ON BLOGGING: SEEKING BREAKTHROUGH

Seeking Breakthrough in our work: Each of us has some form of work – industry that consumes our time and hopefully allows us to express and blossom in our gifts. I am a writer, so I’ll talk about blogging, but this could be applied to any artist, or any career for that matter, where you find you are not experiencing the fullness of what you have hoped and aspired to achieve.

How do you find the breakthrough you’ve been praying for?

“On blogging, getting discovered and God’s grace”

Blogging takes time. First, it takes time to develop a personal style, theme and voice; and then it takes more time to establish your audience. For the Christian, we can lay aside all our ideas, pray, and ask God to lead us by His Spirit, to show us the prophetic words, images and timing that we can develop in order to reach the audience He has for us.

But, like everybody else, then we practice. We practice the craft of writing because that is who we are. As fiction author Ana Menendez writes, “But writing, like reading, is an intensely personal act. If I could no longer create a world, then all possible worlds suddenly <would be> lost to me.” (Searching for the Real and the True, “Poets and Writers” Magazine, ‘The Inspiration Issue’, Jan/Feb 2011, pg 26).

In addition to the joy of self-expression, we need an income for our exertion. Or, if we are financially self-sufficient, we at least want the results of our creative efforts to be seen by others; success may not be measured in money, but usually we create and desire to share our creations. The overarching reason we blog is to be read – to be seen, to develop a profile – so our work is marketed. It isn’t easy to ‘be discovered’.

How do we get breakthrough? I’ve settled on three particular patterns for success. One may be for you…

Pattern I: The shortcut to your discovery on the world stage may be through the serendipitous moment. First, you receive inspiration, which provokes you to ‘write now!’ Then, knowing when your ‘defining moment’ has come and acting upon it is fundamental to success. Many who have achieved notoriety in any range of fields have expressed an experience that led to success which can be condensed to the following*:

  1. Listening for the ‘call’
  2. Believing in what they ‘heard’
  3. Taking Action
  4. Serendipity – the divine ingredient that took them ‘over the top of the hill’

These people were alert to their own talents and asserted themselves at the key moments when their efforts and the ebb and flow of humanity would collide, pointing the way to their discovery.

Pattern II: An alternative ‘key’ to unlocking your visibility may be in writing to a large audience with a specific need. You title the message perfectly in order for Google to pick it up through their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and your post or blog or book or video promo goes VIRAL!

Pattern III: Discovery may come through the ‘surrendering of all your effort’ and by yielding your time and work to God. Then you wait for His call… wait until He issues it. This supernatural approach will probably involve more work than it may seem, with fasting, prayer, intercession and acts of service being ingredients.

As for me, I’ve chosen the surrendered approach, yielding to the LORD as completely as I can. I’m discovering that, as I increase my time in fellowship with him, as I fast sometimes, pray always, and wait, I begin to hear Him and His direction for my work.

Most recently, I discovered in this process that, while I thought I’d surrendered my work to Him, most of the creative work that I was doing was based on my will. I thought I was supposed to do “X” because it’s part of the general procedure I follow as a writer – which God has clearly called me to do – and as an entrepreneur of my work. But most of this, in my case, was of my own making and has so far born relatively little fruit. Now I realize: Ah! No wonder it’s been too much for me to manage! It’s been my workload, my burden, not His. I know, “His yoke is easy and His burden is light.” Now I’m realigning my theology with my practice. Time will reveal the impact this will have on my outreach.

For me, this third pattern is the most fundamental. It is all-important. Allow me to take you back to the place in prayer that I was when I made the discovery that has changed my work day competely. Here, I believe, is an all-important kernel for transformation toward Christ.

I was in the third day of a three day fast. I was alone in my study, a place of calm and focus. I reached out to the LORD toward the end of a long, busy and rewarding Sunday. It was about 7 pm.

I told God I wanted to yield everything to Him (including my personal and work life), and to surrender completely. Immediately impressed upon me was the fiction writing project I’m working on currently, a project which was initiated by the LORD many years and several projects ago. Then as I continued in prayer, my long list of writing projects came to my mind, and along with them, a glimpse of various responsibilities surrounding them. Only then did I hear in my heart,

‘The fiction project is a project which comes from my heart. The other work comes from my mind – from my will, not His.’

My world has changed with this revelation. All the activities and responsibilities I had put upon myself to be busy, to tick the boxes, to stretch toward my goal of having my work read were my burdens, not those of the LORD. In this, I have discovered the edge of the knife that divides the supernatural agenda from the natural. It’s as the scripture in Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (NKJV)

I am recognizing the division between my ideas and God’s, my inspirations and His.

Next I wondered, did Jesus feel tempted by Satan after the 40 day fast? Or was that perhaps a less difficult battle than the temptations he faced daily in his ministry. Did his heart go out to someone, his thoughts to another, but His Father pointed him in a third direction and say ‘go there’, and Jesus went?

My journey began with a prayer, asking God to help me to surrender completely. It was not the first time I’d prayed this prayer and it probably won’t be the last. But this time, when my attention again merged into the present world, I realized I knew Jesus better than I had before I started. As well, I’d discovered I’d been sidetracked from the main purpose of my work. Though I’ve worked diligently at my projects, I was living my agenda instead of His.

I hope that I am now changed permanently. I hope this transformation of my mind will ensure my ordered steps are His, and that the labour of my hands and my mind draw closer to the work (and timing) God has ordained for me.

Will my new direction stick? And will it gain me exposure, ultimately? I hope it will stick, not so I gain exposure, but because my relationship with my Father is deepening. If He wants my work to be seen, then I have to believe He’ll guide me to the people, the projects, and the strategies that will work to get the job done, and make the exposure happen.

And, I hope the sharing of my experience will inspire others who are still looking for breakthrough. Let’s take courage, ‘let go’, and to do the work God has implanted in us to do. It isn’t easier to walk the supernatural path than the natural one, but it is the one I choose because I know God is faithful.

In Jeremiah 29:11 scripture says, For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV)

Joshua was encouraged before he entered the promised land. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (NKJV, Joshua 1:9)

Ready: Choose the method you plan to use in order to have your words, music, inventions, discoveries, work validated.

Set: Have a focused mind and a clear eye for the pathway before you. Love those around you as you step out to complete the work set before you. Be bold, be confident, and be sure – this is your time and your strategy and your moment. Give it all you’ve got!

Go: God’s grace, love, assurance and passion are within you. May you discover the blessings awaiting you.

*Kurt Kettner-Borough, Pastor of The Wave, Puerto Banus, Spain (c) 2015

OTHER OF MY BLOGGING CAN BE SPOTTED AT:

http://sarahtunexaminelife.blogspot.com Useful insights and related thoughts drawn from my personal day-to-day journey

and http://lifefromthelighthouse.wordpress.com Sharing what I learn from God when I manage to listen

 

Categories
Consideration of Biblical Scripture Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Worry Free Living

How can we avoid worrying? Isn’t it just a part of life? No, actually, with Christ it doesn’t have to be.

Ready:

In Christ, your identity is sure and your purpose is secure. Your living spirit has overcome worry. Whether you have a long ‘to do’ list, major surgery or a pile of unpaid bills, you can ignore those things concerning you and get on with life. Believe-it-or-not, Jesus didn’t worry. And so we don’t have to either.

Set:

Perhaps one of the most famous passages of Jesus’ teaching is his word about worry, from the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 6:25-34 reads: “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?…” (NKJV)2 Swan on a Cold Day

We who believe in the Father and the Son can trust the Holy Spirit’s power to enable us to overcome the habit of worry. It robs us of the joy and freedom that Jesus died to give us. Here are four steps to accomplish this:

1. Decide to dwell on life-fulfilling thoughts. As Paul wrote in Philippians 4, ‘Whatever things are true, whatever things noble….. just….. pure….. lovely….. meditate on these things.’

2. Praise God, listing some of the things you are thankful for and some of the promises He’s made.

3. Read a passage from the Bible. Read it again. It’s amazing how our spirit will rise up when we feed it the Word of God.

4. Allow fear and control to slip away from you. At the root of fear is the desire to control… to protect ourselves. But when we have the Creator of the Universe watching over us, what more protection do we need?

A little self-discipline and a lot of the Holy Spirit enables us to overcome.

Go:

poss for website 2When we recognize our worries, we can give them up. Trading them in for God’s promises is definitely an upgrade!

 

 

Categories
Politics and Society today Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

The Internet: The Void

Larus Walk is a group of blogs from Larus Press, inspiring, equipping and empowering you to fulfill your Identity and Purpose in Christ. Wholeness, Witness, Word and Worship&Warfare are the four strands that build us, enabling us to soar.

 

THE INTERNET: The Void – a musing

There are times when the internet is not my friend. Sometimes a void fills my mind and I am incapable of being creative. It happens when I’ve been on the internet for too long.

My greatest desire is to write words to captivate an audience of people desperate to think deeply about themselves, their circumstances and their world. People like you… and me.

But sometimes my mind has been so pacified, so washed by internet usage that the deepest I can get inside myself is face level – I am filtered from my imagination and mental clarity where I am enabled to swim in the wide sea of ideas, passions and questions.

When I can’t get passed the filter, can’t get underneath the blank existence of meaningless drift, I live in a fog of confusion, boredom and vapidity whose only feeling is that of dullness… manifested as a glimmer of frustration in interminable boredom.

Oh that the Void did not exist. Oh that my brain would not succumb to the numbness of internet superficiality. Oh.

The Void is our enemy. Its identity is busyness, superficiality, shallow habits of mere existence on the screen and beyond.

Humanity deserves more than living in the Void. She deserves philosophy, faith, desire, curiosity, hope. These exist underneath the Void, where there is a fullness the Void cannot comprehend. This is life.

Life and the Void do not co-exist. Life is pain and passion; the Void is dull formulation and nothingness. Life seeks to ignite; the Void lulls the human spirit into detachment and docility.

Here’s to the internet, bringing the world together, bringing revolution, praise and peace. But avoid the Void that is death: vague, colourless, thoughtless despair.

The human spirit is vital and so it is vital we keep it alive. You… and I are much more than the Void. The human spirit lives in creativity. Let us create! That’s how we’ve been designed to be: created by the Creator to create.

Ah purpose! Reflection has brought purpose into focus: the filter is lifted; the Void is overcome.

I breathe easier in this moment. As the fog is lifting, I experience again the open window into life!

Me at Work

Sarah Tun at Work