How to overcome gloom is a question best answered when the gloom has lifted, and best digested before a next episode arises.
Gloom is that dark, oppressive sense we have when something hits us emotionally or spiritually. It’s like our car being sideswiped while we’re in it: unexpected, without warning, hard!
Triggers are small but explosive: a tiny difference of opinion with someone dear (or even one not-so-dear) to us; a bit of foreboding news, whether in the paper or on tv (there’s so much news at the moment that is negative) or more family-oriented; realising we’ve made a wrong choice which we cannot change. As you’re reading, I expect you’re thinking of something right now and wondering, “Could that be a trigger?” Yes, probably.
Gloom is temporary: that’s the first and most important thing to realise when you’re in it. The dark sense of hopelessness will not remain; and that knowledge is the first step to getting through it.
Gloom is separate from us: it is external or biochemical but it is not a part of you. It may be demonic, in which case you pray it off, bind it or cast it out (getting others to help can be useful). It may be biochemical, in which case eat healthy, drink fluids, exercise (endorphins lift us naturally). It may be based on a thought, so to trace the gloom to a particular mindset or discovery which has brought you down can constructively help you through it.
Gloom is down so look up!: Jesus and worship music lift us from the heaviness of worry, desperation, listlessness and gloom. It may take some effort to get to a point of celebration, but putting on positive, life-giving worship music is sound advice (pardon the pun!) Singing is even more powerful. Dancing is a great option. The point is to look up to our GOD, lift up our voice (even if it’s to cry out rather than to sing), and move out of our misery physically. Writing it out, using creative expression of any kind, helps to move the gloom out and away from us.
Gloom is oppressive: it’s not GOD. Is is flesh and we have overcome the flesh, the devil and the world through Jesus. It is not to be condemned when we feel gloom, but rather to know we’ve been rescued from it and He can overcome it for us.
Gloom may be prophetic: What we experience may be only a piece of what others are experiencing. Elijah experienced serious fear and futility when confronted with Jezebel. And yet, GOD said he was not the only one for GOD’s word but there were 7000 others (see 1 Kings 19:1-18). We are not alone in our gloom and in fact, we may experience it for the sake of prayer for others. You are not alone, we are not alone; and we stand for others so they may not fall.
We best play our part by asking GOD to take the gloom and to help us through it. Knowing it is temporary, separate from us, oppressive, and knowing that looking up and away is not denial but sound strategy helps us through. Whether external forces and circumstances or internal dismay has brought about the gloom, facing it, working through it, trusting GOD is in even this, will help us until it passes.
Know this: we can rejoice in all circumstances, and when circumstances take away our joy, we can allow GOD to carry us. Surrender in everything makes anything possible.
God does not change. His Word does not change. But God moves. Are we following?
In the desert 4000 years ago, God gave the Hebrews a sign to follow. Today, like the pillar of light at night, and the pillar of smoke by day, we need to follow God, undeterred by fear, distraction, assumption or the fulfilment of our worldly interests.
When Moses led the Hebrews out of Egypt and across the Red Sea, they told him to go to the mountain and talk to God. They didn’t want to speak to Him directly.
When Samuel was prophet to the Hebrews, they told him they wanted a King. They didn’t want to follow God’s priests and prophets, but wanted to be like other nations.
Just as the Hebrews needed fresh manna every day while they were in the desert, in order to survive, so we need fresh manna daily to survive spiritually. Are you receiving your manna every day, or are you living on the stale bread that was yesterday’s revelation?
We are a chosen priesthood. We are salt and light. But salt that has lost its savour is not good for anything.
This is not a message for Unbelievers, although anyone seeking to discover who the Creator is — whom we call our heavenly father — and how Jesus, His son, made intimacy with the Father possible and forgiveness attainable, is welcome to read and is invited to receive God’s Spirit through faith in Jesus. But this message primarily is for those of us who proclaim Jesus as Lord and Saviour. I’m asking: are you truly following him daily, surrendered to the Father’s will, allowing the Son to point to the Father and lead you in Truth, Rightness with God, and total surrender to His Spirit?
When Moses led the people to the Promised Land, they did not go in. For forty years they were held back because of lack of faith. I don’t want to be held back. I don’t want to miss God’s blessing because I think I know best what His Word means and what His ways are. I don’t want to assume my understanding of His Word, the Bible, is as infinite as is my God. I don’t want to be afraid of the New Wine Skin and stick to the old, safe understanding of my faith. What about you?
Throughout church history, when a Godly man made a discovery in the Word, he preached his new revelation and was lamb-basted for it. Once it was accepted as truly divine revelation, a denomination was formed. People clung onto the new leader and felt assured they had The Truth. But a new wall surrounded this new clan, who — like others before them — listened to their leader and allowed the leader to fellowship with God on their behalf. But God wants us each to fellowship with Him. It’s great and important to seek new revelation; it’s important to mentor and to be mentored by a spiritual head. But actually, any revelation of A Truth from the LORD comes to express one aspect or another that He wishes people to know at a given time. He does not reveal the whole truth. In fact, even Jesus did not know when his time would be to return. Even Jesus did not know all of the Father’s heart and will.
As it was with John Knox in Scotland, as it was with the Baptists late in the 1800’s, so it is even now amongst Evangelicals and Charismatics: God keeps revealing, keeps doing a new thing, but only a remnant follow. And the remnant are mistrusted by the rest. Each time God carries only a remnant into new understanding of the Truth and they battle against the reviling of the larger body of Believers. I pray no Believer will miss out on Jesus’ return, but am seriously concerned many will, because of this attitude that what is New is not to be trusted.
What an arrogant title I’ve chosen for this message. Who am I to question who is following Jesus? But this message is important to anyone who subscribes to the idea that, to be a Christian, we are to follow the Lord Jesus: follow his example, take his word seriously, and love the LORD our God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and (then*) love our neighbour as ourself. (Matthew 22:37)
What I’m concerned about is that not only has humanity fallen down since the beginning of time, in its following of the Creator of the universe, but it is still falling down, taking for granted the cross, but most of us who are steadfastly walking are walking our own walk. Father God sent his son, a loving person of great wisdom and sacrifice, so that we could best see the Father through the eyes of the Son, and discover for ourselves who God is. Yet even those who are dedicated, committed, born again, fall. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1) but what does that verse go on to say, “for those who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
Is the Holy Spirit active in your life? He is totally accessible, completely available, and wholly dedicated to enabling you to live a life of surrender. Are you willing to live that life? He is refreshing and will quench your thirst for God. Are you thirsty for God? I am.
Faith without works is dead (James 2:17). And works is not only feeding the poor, preaching the gospel, taking care of prisoners. Works includes our walk with the Lord. We are called and committed followers.
We all fall. But when we fall are we repentant? The core of our faith is at stake as we consider this question. Do we take for granted our walk with God, our salvation, our place in His presence in Heaven? Or to we value Him and our relationship with Him above everything else? Do we walk a surrendered life or is our life, after our surrender, our own?
This is the question for today: Are we living a truly surrendered life?
As time is short, and I believe Jesus is returning very soon, I am urging every reader to:
get into his Bible, use a search engine such s Bible Gateway to look up scriptures, find what the Word says about the Holy Spirit, and learn
study under a pastoral leader by all means, but don’t take for granted his understanding of the Word, but dig into it yourself, allowing the Holy Spirit to lead you into God’s truth for today
pray for God’s divine revelation to come to you, and for His Holy Spirit to fill you
ask for protection against false teaching, wrong understanding, and for discernment of Truth
trust God hears and answers your prayers
We who have become born again have made a commitment to follow Jesus. He has made a way for us to draw close, through intimacy with the Holy Spirit who hovered over the earth at creation and is the power and presence of God who dwells within us now. He convicts us of Truth… and we need to be listening.
This word is a bit tougher than what I usually write. But the imperative is clear: we need to be surrendered, not taking for granted our relationship and salvation, but striving to draw closer to Father God every step of our way. Jesus points us in the right direction. Let’s continue to run our race to completion. Jesus is coming soon… we do not know the day or the hour… but like the virgins with their lamps, we need to have ours full of the oil of the Holy Spirit, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the bridegroom who is Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2)
In coming weeks, I’ll be downloading some revelation I’ve had over the last several months. I hope you’ll test it rather than dismiss it. I hope you’ll share your discoveries with others. I hope it will make you draw closer to God as He draws closer to you.
*brackets are my own for I have inserted “then” because I believe to love our neighbour first is not of the Lord, but is Humanism and human effort rather than an act of surrender to God.
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!
I don’t write regularly because while I do enjoy it, I am attempting to write only what the LORD leads me to write, when He leads me.
I send out Soaring Post sparingly because, as there is so much that all of our email in-boxes are bombarded with, I aim to be read when I post, and not overlooked.
Today I’m posting and sending about the upcoming federal election in the United States of America. The presidency is at stake. Some say the leader of America is the leader of the free world. Certainly, the country is extremely influential globally in many spheres, namely: morally, financially, culturally. When America has preached righteousness, it has touched the world. When it has preached carnality, likewise it has influenced the world.
The current series I am writing for Larus Press is Preparing You for GOD’s Call.
So, how is the US federal election tied to readers, most of whom are probably not American and therefore, not eligible to vote in an American federal election? There is a vital connection, so I ask you to please bear with me as I explain my thinking…
Sometimes we are called to learn and to grow, while at other times we are called to application. Today, and over the next few days, we as a Nation of Believers in Jesus are called to pray; the days are short. In preparing you for God’s Call today, I am encouraging you to grow in your prayer life, and in particular, your intercessory prayer life. To pray for American and the voters there is the Call.
UNESCO – the world organisation that “encourages international peace and universal respect for human rights by promoting collaboration among nations” (see: UNESCO) has just voted that The Temple Mount in Jerusalem is only an historic site for Muslims, not for Jews, nor for Christians. Perhaps their thinking is that if they grant Arab supremacy, the Muslims will be appeased.
But what does this UNESCO vote signify in the Spirit?
Time is short. Zechariah 12 speaks about the attempt that will come to sever Jerusalem from the Jews; it prophecies the rage and battles that will ensue as a result. We are called to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122). The war over Jerusalem is inevitable. I say time is short, because the signs that this war is coming sooner rather than later, are increasing.
How is the election in America hinged on the events in Jerusalem? They may or may not be directly connected… What is significant in this US election is that, because the days are short, the state of the nation now, perhaps more than ever before, is critical for its fate. Like the vote over Brexit* – which has touched the hearts of many of my readers as a significant number are British – I think this particular election in America is pivotal to the way GOD sees it: Will America, in these Last Days, be seen by GOD as a sheep nation or a goat nation? (Does this mean that Jesus will only look at the immediate and not at the history of a nation? I do not know. Witness the virgins and their lamps… Matthew 25)
As recorded in Matthew 25, in the Last Days, upon Jesus’ return to earth (to Jerusalem), he will judge the nations and separate those of his (sheep nations) from those who will go eternal punishment (goat nations). I believe the American election is significant to the judgment it will incur as a nation in GOD’s eyes.
So, it is important that we pray for those who must vote. And for those with the right to vote, I say it is important to vote, to vote the way the LORD leads you.
Now this election is very unusual, because both candidates are so appallingly unpopular. Neither is particularly moral, trustworthy or righteous; they do not seem to me even to be “nice people”.
Imagine standing in the polling booth and gazing at your ballot, marking the person you dislike the least. With the bizarre way the candidacies have developed, this is the situation many in the United States face on Tuesday 8th November.
To say the situation surrounding the main candidates in the upcoming US election is bizarre is an understatement. There are several candidates, although only the two main party candidates get national and international press and television coverage. Of the two candidates, one is bombastic, rude to the degree of almost lewd, a creator of a casino empire with multiple sins, yet who defends the rights of the unborn and stands for Christianity in a bold, unapologetic manner. The other is deceptive, sly, cunning – like a fox or snake, she is untrustworthy and is currently under FBI investigation – yet, she is an experienced politician, is cool under pressure, and extremely intelligent. Neither Hilary Clinton nor Donald Trump are particularly moral, though their weaknesses are different. It is almost unfathomable to think these are the choices out of 300 million people. And yet, doesn’t a nation get the government it deserves (French lawyer Joseph de Maistre, 1789, who opposed the bloody French Revolution)? Perhaps it is the American people, more that these two candidates, who are to be scrutinised for how the nation got to this point of amorality.
Now, while American voters must choose the path of their least resistance, the rest of the world awaits.
Perhaps it will be as a Believing American I spoke to recently said… that after the election, the winner will drop dead, or will step aside and a capable Vice President will step in. Nothing is impossible with GOD, and in these times in America, with this particular election, anything could happen!
The Brexit result came as a shock; even those who wanted to leave thought they’d lost before the ballot boxes closed. The election predictions for the US also are “too close to call” at this stage. We don’t know if there will be an acceleration of the liberalisation that Hilary Clinton heralds. Or, if Donald Trump wins, perhaps there will be a turn back to old standards, including both good and bad.
I believe, whichever the result, the LORD knows and has the result in the palm of His hand. But just as He wants that none should perish (2 Peter 3:9), He wants us all to stand in the gap and call for His will to be done upon this once GOD-fearing nation, itself born to give liberty and freedom to all who come to its shores or are born into it.
We don’t know whom the LORD would choose to win this election. One might think to have a leader who wished to abolish abortion would be GOD’s choice (Trump). But perhaps this is not the mind of GOD. Perhaps he wishes Christianity to be persecuted, so that more would come to Christ. What I do believe is that a vote toward morality and truth, a vote that stands for the truth of Jesus, a vote away from selfish ambition and personal gain, could herald this nation as a “sheep nation” and so be saved at the coming of Jesus.
So, as I write to prepare you for GOD’s call, I encourage you to be as one who stands in the gap for the nations and the world. Let us pray for this nation of the United States, with its rich history of defending Christianity and God’s truth. Let us pray that the nation does not get “the government that it may deserve”, but a Godly government that will lead people back to Him. As the world stands on the brink of change, let us draw near to GOD, that He might rescue the nation of the United States from itself, and lead it – and all the nations – back to Himself.
In Jesus’ name, I pray. And everyone says…. Amen.
*Brexit is the nickname given by the British media and its citizens regarding the referendum held last June to determine whether the UK leaves or remains as a part of the European Union. The vote was in favour of leaving; therefore, steps have begun in the process for Britain the leave the EU. Personally, I believe the result of the vote also speaks spiritually, declaring that Britain is a sovereign nation. To make a long discussion short, for me, the result of the vote signifies (knowingly or unknowingly by the voters) a rejection of the worldly principles encapsulated in the EU, and that Britain now stands as a Godly nation – a “sheep” nation – before GOD.
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV)
Our faith is strong, our commitment true, so why read, study, pray and praise daily?
We need our lay our dependence totally upon him. As we journey, and go deeper into the purposes God has for us, the way is uphill… not only invigorating, challenging, awesome, but also debilitating, full of the unexpected, and – at times – painful.
We read the Word to discover Jesus and our way to walk; we’ve become committed and know Jesus is our Lord and Saviour, so what is the need for daily refreshing?
We study the Word to show ourselves approved; so once we know the Bible, why do we continue to review it?
We know and trust God’s sovereignty; so why refresh His mind with our prayers? Why are we called to pray without ceasing? (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
Because sometimes the Way is stormy and hard, to be full of the Spirit and the Word of God is not only the best way forward, but even the only way forward.
God is all-knowing; he knows we are thankful. So, is it really necessary to praise Him and thank Him frequently?
The answer is a clear and resounding “Yes!” because of the battle between the flesh and the spirit. When I pause from the habit of reading, studying, praying and praising, my flesh rises up and all-so-quickly, my frame of mind shifts from hope, faith and love to worry, despair and fear.
In the battle between flesh and spirit, the weapons of the Word and prayer guard my heart and mind. To walk in His Spirit is freedom, and to do so requires repeated and continual surrender. Yes, I have been saved and am born again (John 3:7), but the process of sanctification – of becoming purer and more holy and loving – will continue for the rest of my life.
As a follower of Jesus, my life’s work is to grow deeper in love with him and to share that love. The flesh cannot do this. So, to pray and praise, to read and study enables His Spirit to fill me. More of you, Lord, and less of me is the heart’s desire of Believers.
So we to study and live, surrendering our flesh; we draw closer and closer to the person God has created us to be: in His image. That’s why taking nothing for granted, we read, study, pray and praise.
Come Holy Spirit, fill us to be more like you. Prepare us for all you have for us, so that we may overcome every obstacle and rejoice in all circumstances.
We can be pretty hard on ourselves. Failure is inevitable and we must persevere through our mistakes in order to reach the goal: Fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives.
One of the last things we need do, when we are aiming to live in the fullness of God, is to put ourselves down, condemning ourselves for our short-comings.
Often self-condemnation is seen as a form of pride. That may be. And pride comes before a fall. So, better to be aware of our pride. But pride isn’t always the reason behind our being overly-self critical. Some of us may have heard criticism from a tender age and so we automatically hear it in our heads as adults.
Recently, I received a letter from someone who doesn’t think well of me. In reading the opening sentence of the letter, I realized I was about to receive a series of criticism. There would be grains of truth in some of the accusations, because I’m not perfect.
Then I realized, while my imperfections do not excuse my past mistakes, neither is the accuser perfect. I had a EUREKA moment. I realized that I don’t have to feel shame for being imperfect and nor do I have to defend myself, but rather I can accept the imperfections both of myself and of the other person. That’s a move of God’s grace within me.
Please don’t confuse my meaning. I’m not saying we ignore our failings or excuse them. Being aware of our faults and wanting to become better people is healthy; it’s part of the process of maturity. But that is not the same as living in condemnation from ourselves or from others, because we are not perfect.
As an aside, I’d also say, the accuser (the devil) loves to make us think about our shortcomings, and he’ll use others to do it. But let’s remember that the other person doing the accusing is also flawed. Part of their flawed nature may well include the skewed vision they have of you.
“There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1) If you are experiencing condemnation from within or from another, it is not of the Lord. We are responsible to take on board our faults and repent, learn and grow. But condemnation is a sign of criticism that is, at least, exaggerated and purposed to oppress.
Overcoming condemnation will teach you to know the difference between valid complaint and invalid accusation. And it will enable you to move from darkness to light, in the pursuit of fulfilling God’s Call on your life.
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.
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.”