Categories
God's Story

GOD’S STORY: Part 2 Nature of the Hebrews

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.

This is GOD’s Story: Part 2, looking at the nature of the Hebrews, God’s chosen people. He chose them because He had chosen Abraham and the Hebrews are Abraham’s descendants. Abraham had others descendants but the ones who are special to Him, according to Biblical scripture: the Chosen Ones are the Hebrews, descended from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Hebrews become Faithful

Exodus 14 is where we’ll start. The Hebrews have left Egypt with gold and silver from their Egyptian neighbours, who had watched the onslaught of plagues inflicted upon the Pharaoh — and his people — because of his own stubborn heart. But after their escape, when they see the Egyptian army following, “Then the Hebrews say to Moses, “Because there were not graves in Egypt, you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt so with us…?” (verse 11)

The miracles of GOD did not leave an impression on them, building them as a people of faith. Not yet. 

Next Moses obeyed GOD and the sea was parted miraculously. The Hebrews escaped across dry ground and then the sea closed over the Egyptians who were following them. “Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.” (verse 30) Very grim indeed. Such was the consequence of the power of GOD, and “so the people feared the LORD and believed the LORD and His servant Moses.” (verse 31)

They who were faithless became full of fear and full of faith.

Hebrews complain

Next, let’s turn to Exodus 16 and 17. The Hebrews have arrived in the wilderness. And they are getting grumpy, as people are inclined to do. 

They’ve celebrated their deliverance from attack and the miraculous parting of the Red Sea. GOD has promised He will take care of them. He has promised they will escape disease if they heed His voice and do what is right in His sight. He has offered them a one-to-one relationship with them. But they don’t like the wilderness and they start to complain.

Moses says, “for the LORD has heard your complaints which you make against Him…” (verse 8) and “He has heard your complaints.” (Exodus 16:9)

The LORD presents Manna — bread from Heaven for them to eat. He brings quail and promises bread will come by day and meat at evening.

But they break His rule which asks them to respect His Sabbath. 

Then “the people contended with Moses” (Exodus 17: 2) because they were thirsty. 

They had received water from a rock. Pillars of fire and cloud had guided and protected them, food and water was given. Why did they still complain?

A new enemy approaches and they fear the enemy; yet GOD gives them military victory. 

So many good gifts and mighty miracles have come from GOD. And yet, gratitude and obedience are missing, even after the fulfilment of all His promises and His miracles. Why?

Talking to Moses

“Then the whole congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.” (Exodus 16:2) 

“And the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses, and said “Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” (Exodus 17:3)

What is missing? GOD has provided and protected at every turn. And yet the complaints and hostility continue to be the knee-jerk reaction of the Hebrews in their situation. One problem is that the Hebrews are communicating with the leader but not with Their Leader. They talk to Moses, they complain to him and Aaron. But they do not communicate with GOD. What if they had?

Celebration

The Hebrews are not without some gratitude. They are expressive, not only of fear and complaints but also of joy. Exodus 15 is all about the celebration of freedom.

Miriam, Moses’ sister, leads the dance and song as women rejoice at their escape from the enemy.

“The LORD is my strength and son, And He has become my salvation;” they sing. (Exodus 15:2)

There is an echo of this later in Judges 5, when the Hebrews rejoice after another military victory, “Thus let all Your enemies perish, O LORD! But let those who love Him be like the sun when it comes out in full strength.” (verse 31)


The Hebrews, who will become the Jewish people, know their GOD is powerful. But do they know He’s on their side. Do they know who it is they are celebrating?

Fear of the LORD GOD… without trust

When staring at the dead Egyptians on the seashore, after the waters of the Red Sea had come crashing down, the Hebrews must have shuddered. They must have paused and thought, “That could have been us!” 

The scripture says, “Thus Israel saw the great work which the LORD had done in Egypt; so the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD and His servant Moses.” (Exodus 14:31)

Reminiscent of this is Peter, walking on water…

In Matthew, this Jewish man, upon seeing Jesus walking on water said, “LORD, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” (Matthew 14:28) And Jesus does.


“But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” (verse 30)

What was missing in Peter? We might scoff at Peter and yet, at least he got out of the boat; at least he tried. 

What was missing with the Hebrews? We might think ‘how ungrateful they are’. And yet, they were homeless. 

They have fear. They have faith. So what is missing in the Hebrews and in Peter?

Missing Key

GOD provided to the Hebrews according to the requests. GOD was consistent. Jesus did do as Peter asked. And yet there was so much doubt. 

They all saw the power of GOD. But did they know His love?

Do you know what I believe was missing? They feared Him without trusting Him. 

Why was trust missing? They were not aware of the perfect love of GOD.

And even Peter, who had relationship with Jesus as one of his best friends, still lacked faith because he was unable to realise just how much GOD loved him.

Who is GOD?

This is GOD’s story. He made Himself available to the Hebrews. He made Himself available to Peter. He makes Himself available to us. What do we do with that opportunity? Do we talk to Him? To what degree do we trust Him? To that degree will be the our level of faith, the extent of our submission, and the limit of our peace.

GOD’s story will tell us at every turn, He loves us! He will never leave us nor forsake us. If we turn around and He isn’t there, why is that? Surely it is because we’ve moved away.

Every blessing as the LORD allows His story to unfold in our own hearts:)

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Deep thinking v Shallow Thinking: a reflection

What do I mean by deep thinking v shallow thinking?

Shallow is quick, superficial and efficient.

Deep is time consuming, meaningful and profitable.

Shallow is like skating, whereas deep is like scuba diving;

one scrapes the surface and stands out, while the other is silent, invisible, investigative.

One flits across the senses. The other penetrates the soul.

Shallow thinking is like a dance in quick time, elegant yet soon over leaving something ethereal: a memory, emotion or longing.

Deep thinking takes time. The body and mind rest while the heart contemplates life.

GOD is in the deep places. He’s in the speck of cloud far away, He’s in the hurricane and the eye of the storm. And He’s at the bottom of the sea where no-one goes, no one sees, unless we become like Him.

GOD is everywhere, so He’s in the shallow as well as the deep. But in the deep we have limitless time. 

And time makes all the difference.

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

GOD’s Story: 1 Protector

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 walked. 

Today is a new step in Blog Posting on Larus Press by delving into GOD’s Story: 1 Protector. Yehovah GOD is our Protector…

“For He shall give His angels charge over you,

To keep you in all your ways.” Psalm 91:11

If you look at the entirety of Psalm 91 you’ll see the beauty and majesty of the LORD in His words. But this phrase is what He is sharing with us today.

He keeps us in perfect peace, He keeps us protected, He guards our steps and watches our pathways for us. “In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6.

Do you see how the scriptures dovetail or overlap, complement and show us one aspect of Him at a time? From Psalm 91:11 He reveals that He watches over us and has given us angels to look after us. (Perhaps even if we’re wise, we allow them to reign us in from time to time, as necessary…. Angels certainly have protected me as I drive in my car!)

And If we acknowledge the LORD, we see in Proverbs 3:6 there is a promise: He directs the steps we take.

GOD’s story today then, is that He looks out for us. And if we allow Him His choices, He protects us.

Satan tried to fool Jesus, though he failed. In the wilderness, Satan referred to Psalm 91 saying in Matthew 4:6, 

“If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:

‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’

and,

‘In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ”

But Jesus wasn’t fooled and said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ” Matthew 4:7

The key to GOD’s Story is always to rest in Him, to know His word, and to understand the devil prowls like a lion seeing whom he may devour.

As we trust in the LORD and walk in His ways, we are guided, protected and free to live safely in the knowledge that we are loved. “No weapon formed against us shall prosper” (Isaiah 54:17) as we acknowledge His power and authority in the Creation and in our very own lives.

Categories
Politics and Society today

The Effects of Social Media on my Attention

This is an opinion piece about the affects of social media on my attention. Borne out of my experience, it is an expression of my opinion and concern, rather than being based on statistical facts, but based upon what I’ve observed in myself. I wonder if it might be relevant to others who have got distracted, as I have, by social media. If it is, I think it is important to talk about it.

What is Social Media? 

Social Media is a collection of the various internet platforms that seek to offer advice, opinion, news and views. It is designed to grab and keep our attention. It is a proven effective, powerful tool for communication, but separately, it is also powerful in and of itself, regardless of what the subject matter might be.

My experience has been that it distracts me. Although it educates and informs me, it somehow pushes past my thinking to engage my audio visual senses… to the exclusion of the Spiritual. And so… it distances me from my relationship with GOD. 

The Soc Med Experience

I might start off watching in bits and bites, thinking I’ll only look up something specific. Then I might stick with it, thinking I’ll find information that is useful for prayer. It’s good to know what’s going on in the world right? … But it can drag me into the world, not by content necessarily but by its own pull power to keep me engaged… and thus I drift away from prayer. An hour or more later, I’ve not opened my Bible yet nor turned to prayer.

That’s what has happened to me on several occasions. 

Have you ever looked up something on YouTube and got stuck into Shorts from some of your favourite channels? I have. Has it moved us toward or away from GOD?

GOD’s Way

GOD says, “Be still.” 

But YouTube videos, news channel broadcasts, and video clips make if very difficult to stay still in my mind. I pray in tongues sometimes for 20 minutes, just to get back to stillness. That’s okay, but what have I missed in the Spirit for those minutes I’ve been exploring — or being led by —  social media, and in those minutes it has taken to back to the Spirit?

If time is short, in these Last Days — and personally, I think it is — isn’t it important to use our time wisely. He redeems the time! (Ephesians 5:15-16)

1 Corinthians 2:

Let’s look at 1 Corinthians 2, when Paul wrote to the Greeks, to see how Paul related to the “media” in his time… The battle of the spirit over the mind is not a new one. Paul was speaking at the Philosophical epicentre and yet he didn’t want to compete.

Please note: The capitalised words in brackets are my notes, attempting to draw attention to what Paul wasn’t saying and yet was comparing.

And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. (UNLIKE GREEK PHILOSOPHERS) For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. (SIMPLICITY) I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, (SPIRIT Vs INTELLECT) that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” (POWER SOURCE IS GOD NOT THE HUMAN MIND)….

Then continuing from verse 10, 

10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? (YOUR OWN CONSCIENCE WILL SPEAK TO YOU ABOUT IF/HOW THIS APPLIES TO YOU) Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” (Q: GET OUR INFO FROM GOD? A: HE IS THE PRIMARY SOURCE)

13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; (LETS NOT THROW AWAY WHAT GOD HAS PROVIDED) nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” (OUR INSTRUCTION COMES FROM GOD, WHEN WE ALLOW IT.)

What do I conclude from this?

That I/we do not have to be drawn into matters of news, views, politics etc in order to engage on a spiritual level. GOD will reveal what we need to know in our spirit in order to pray. 

We can view, engage on social media. But let me not kid myself it is for the Kingdom for prayer. Rather, it is because I’m interested, attracted to, motivated by my own interest. That in itself isn’t wrong. However, I admit to myself — and perhaps this applies to someone else also — I need to gauge when my social media searches are to feed my earthly curiosity aka flesh and when it is for the Kingdom.

Categories
Politics and Society today

Reparations: Jewish history and unrealistic expectations today

Recently in the UK, the Archbishop of the Church of England, Right Honourable Justin Welby, declared a commitment to give £100 million pounds of Church of England money in an attempt to repair the damage to those who suffered as a result of the slave trade some 200+ years ago. This piece is not to discuss the matter specifically; there are plenty of commentaries both written and in video, if you search for them. However, this does raise the subject in general of reparations – a financial return for historic wrong-doing as perceived by some.

George Osborne, a former UK Chancellor and now a British Museum official, has offered a long-term loan of marbles that were once in the Parthenon in Greece but historically purchased by British Lord Elgin, to the Greeks once again.

This piece is about pondering: how far back does one go for reparations and is forgiveness enough?

Rather than post an opinion piece, I will draw attention to two scriptures which will raise the issue, if one is inclined to think about it.

In Genesis 47, the Egyptians during the great seven year famine, sold their land to the Pharaoh (v20) in order to receive food which he had stored. Thanks to the Hebrew Joseph, who understood Pharaoh’s dream warning of the famine, this right hand man to the Pharaoh saved and stored grain during the previous seven years of plenty so that it would be available in the famine. Fast forward to Exodus 1, and we see the descendants of Joseph, becoming enslaved by the then current Pharaoh (v13-14).

The pyramids were built by slave labour. Should reparations be made by the Egyptians now to the Jews?

Why do people seek reparation? And why do leaders or nations offer it? How much does revenge, greed or guilt play a part in these situations? We cannot undo history. How is the best way to move forward?

What is the better way? “Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on…” (Philippians 3:12)

Taking responsibility for our wrongs is the right thing to do. Forgiveness is equally crucial to relationship and peace. Opening up history to change what cannot be changed is a human choice but is it fruitful? It seems rather to divide. Vicars and parishioners are cross with the archbishop as so many parishes have dilapidated churches and shrinking congregants, desperate for an injection of finance. The British public are divided over the issue of the Elgin marbles. It seems ‘cans of worms’ have been opened without the the authority figures recognising the consequences of their choices. Those being offered the reparations may or may not appreciate the gesture, rather instead becoming embittered all-the-more.

Whether descendants of slaves are offered reparations, or works of art are restored to their origins, such is the nature of man to try to “do the right thing” yet open historical wounds and debates which divide rather than repair relationship. We need to tread carefully when dealing with history, and consider our motive.

Motive is at the heart of every deed, be it right or wrong. Apology and forgiveness are the wisdom of GOD. I pray for more of that in society today.

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Rising above Circumstances

Below is a little poem, a very little quip borne out a very big surprise. But first a comment as preparation:

When we least expect it, the things we may think will cause distress, can actually be breakthrough to freedom.

Most of us need, I certainly do, to learn to let things happen, allow them to unfold, rather than to fear the worst while praying, hoping for the best outcome. 

Let’s not look at the outcome. GOD’s got it! Let’s experience the journey of this life — this Dress Rehearsal — as He prepares us for the Grand Performance when we meet with Him one day, in person.

We must let the storms rage around us but learn to ignore them. I am speaking to myself as much as to anyone else. May we all be richer in shalom, warmer in love, grander in hope and resolute in confidence. He’s got us. Let’s live like we truly believe that. It’s time. I certainly need to walk in the truth of His Calling… Who will join me?

“Rejoice in all things. Again I say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)

The poem is about my recognising my son is moving forward into autonomy as an adult. And so am I, moving into autonomy, as a parent. As you contemplate your challenges, may I encourage you to consider them gifts. Opportunities for freedom. Blessings…

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

A New Thing: little ditty on a not-so-little matter

I am in a new place

Perfectly peaceful and assured;

Traveling in my child’s independence

I too, reap the reward.

Autonomy works two ways

Up and down a street;

He goes alone to venture forth

And I too am released.

Do not sweat the little things

Nor the milestones either;

Life is a journey of surprises

Whether passenger or driver.

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

The Importance of the Truth for 2023

Is it time for a New Year’s resolution? I wouldn’t put it that way. Rather, I think the key is the importance of the truth for 2023.

Tell the Truth

Is that a Commandment, or is “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour” different in its specificity?

“What is Truth?” asked Pilot. Jesus had already taught us, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6) therefore, He could quite rightly have replied to Pilot, “I am Truth”. In fact he had already said to Pilot, 

“You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”

It seems the causes many fight for now — LGBTQ, Global Warming and related issues, are not of The Truth for if they were, the fruit would be love rather than condemnation for “there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1) and “you shall know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:16)

We need to discern who is telling the truth and who is lying. There are many voices; who is representing the voice of Jesus and who is not? This is crucial to our society and beneficial to those who seek to walk in the footsteps of Our Lord.

Why tell the truth? 

Because society hangs upon it, thrives on it, survives only with it. 

Look at the damage being caused by lies: we are now living in a society where, out of pity for confused people who wish they were a different sex, we endorse as reality their wishful thinking. As science can now tinker with biological sex through drugs and operations, gender fluidity is promoted as a norm. This untruth, this denial of reality, is harming the education of children and the relationship between parent and child due to government interference and mandate in some western nations.

As those who lie shout their protests and are full of fear (rather than love: “Perfect love casts out fear”), they may believe what they are fighting for, but that doesn’t make it Truth. Consider Extinction Rebellion, Just Stop Oil and other voices supporting the issue to protect us against Global Warming. What is their fruit producing? Do you note the rise of world wide starvation and deprivation for the sake of the limitless fight against Global Warming? Does the end justify the means?

As believers become entwined in arguments not of the Lord, we all become disrupted, even damaged, at our peril. Consider the vaccine issue and fighting Corona Virus? How good is the fruit coming out of fighting over this debate? Regardless of which side we choose to support, there have been family divisions, church divisions. Is that of GOD? I think not.

We need to know what is truth and what are lies. Then we need to walk in, speak out and thrive with the Truth. The consequence of not doing so is clear… our society is crumbling because the lies are being adhered to and the truth-tellers are being swept aside.

When lies overtake truth, society based upon Judeo-Christian values, crumbles. This is what we are experiencing now. It is not because of one pronouncement but of a slow and progressive erosion based upon distraction and lies.

Is it time to tell the truth?

Isn’t it always?

The truth will set us free and has set us free. We who know Jesus may walk in it, but what of others? How can we speak truth and be heard? It is never too late, for one may set a thousand to flight, even as the still small voice who speaks to us rises up from within us and sets the captives free. 

What is the truth?

I’ve already said it: Jesus is the truth — he is the way, the truth, and the life. No one gets to GOD through any other means. This may not be popular but as we believe it, so we need to speak it.

Historically, not speaking out produced a void and that void has now been filled with lies. Society is imploding as a result.

As we speak the truth of Jesus in love, let us see where it takes us. If we all do it, there is no telling what freedom may come, for assuredly, the truth will set us — and anyone — free.

The Truth

The truth is not religion. The truth is not a particular style or even a particular nuance to the theology. Examining our own theology will raise up questions within us and lead us to search our hearts and our bibles for deeper understanding. Not having all the answers is good ministry to those who have questions.

The basic truth is simple: 

  1. Only Jesus has the right to claim he is GOD. And he does claim it. Theologically, he has the right because he was born of a virgin without a human dad. he wasn’t born with the sin that Adam took on. Like Adam, Jesus was born immortal and reclaims immortality for all of us through his defeating death and reclaiming immortality for us through faith; he defied death and took the keys of mortality which Satan had taken from Adam. We who accept Jesus are born again of the Spirit and receive immortality; we will join him in heaven at the time of our physical death.
  2. Receiving Jesus is a simple act of humility and the recognition we are rubbish. We are not good enough for GOD — none of us is. Once we accept and recognise that, we can receive Jesus who sets us free from being rubbish and gives us our royal robes, not based upon who we are but based upon who he is, and our acceptance of him.
  3. We do not have to do anything to be right with GOD. It isn’t our good behaviour that gets us into heaven. But we do have to believe and repent of what went before our recognition that we are rubbish. That’s what being born again is. And we have a fresh start.
  4. Baptism, obedience, continued faith and fellowship are what Jesus modelled in his love for GOD. Through baptism, he received the endorsement of his father and the Holy Spirit came upon him. Believing and acting our faith without baptism doesn’t give us the public confession which Jesus modelled and perhaps doesn’t give us the fulness of all that the Holy Spirit offers. Jesus sweat blood (metaphorically at least) in Gethsemane when his arrest, crucifixion were close at hand; but he did obey. He models obedience (did you know he didn’t heal everyone but only those whom the Father told him to?). He did not doubt GOD but lived faithfulness throughout his life and ministry. Jesus had disciples and friends. Yes many followed him, but also in particular were the twelve, three of whom: Peter, James and John were particularly close. He did not walk alone and neither must we.
  5. In summary, the focus is not upon what we do or say as followers of Jesus, but upon what our motive is. If we follow Jesus in our own integrity, then we don’t do good deeds because we are supposed to, we don’t go to church because we’re supposed to. Rather, we follow Jesus because he is the truth and we are committed to that truth. We follow Jesus because we know the truth has set us free. We follow Jesus because he is the Way to the Father GOD in heaven. We follow Jesus because we love him and are thankful for our freedom. All our deeds, attitudes and behaviours will flow out of that, naturally and supernaturally. And we need the Holy Spirit to help us for Jesus said he had to go back to the Father in order for the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, to come to us. He doesn’t expect us to manage on our own, and neither need we.

So, let us walk in the truth

Let us live, love, laugh and celebrate our knowledge of the truth and in on our Way accept others to do the same. Let us hold fast to what is true, and not hide in fear of condemnation, but share in wisdom, and hope that others too, who need Jesus as much as we do, will spot his identity in us.

And let us live the truth that we know, and see how society can be transformed by the renewing of one mind at a time…

Shalom, Happy 2023, and may GOD continue to BLESS us all.

Categories
Politics and Society today

Winding down 2022

As this year draws to a close, what do I think of the worldwide events over the past twelves months and where we seem to be going next? I don’t really know. I’m winding down 2022. How about you?

I was hoping Jesus would have returned. 

Someone asked me today, “Do you think there is going to be World War III?” Now, soon, ever?

I replied, “I don’t know — but it looks like we will burn up ourselves, somehow, sometime.”


I forgot to ask the other person’s thoughts. Why? I suppose because it really doesn’t matter what we think. I long ago learned: to offer an opinion is fruitless and even pointless. I attempt to put that into practice as a lifestyle (albeit with some lapses). What is better than opinion? The Truth that sets us free: Jesus!

As we close the curtains on 2022, we are on the brink of nuclear war and worldwide famine. Violence is on the streets across this nation and most others it seems, people are poorer than a year ago or ten, and disease (real or manufactured) is a constant threat. How can we live “as normal”?

I focus on Jesus, not the storm

There are facts and there are conspiracy theories. I recall hearing a flip comment about psychosis many years ago that went something like this: “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you!”

Conspiracy theories do seem to surround us. But just because there is a claim of conspiracy doesn’t mean there isn’t an actual threat, does it? I ask because there are two sides to every story, and this seems to include whether or not to lock down, whether or not to wear a mask, and whether to or not to take the vaccine. 

Whether the topic is the pandemic, global warming, war, or cancel culture, the war in the West is not so much between the Ukraine and Russia as it is between conservative values and wokism. Our culture, values, freedom of speech seems to be debated or simply cancelled based largely (in the UK at least) on the basis of a document called The Equalities Act, 2010 which deliberately or inadvertently has fostered a despising of anything white, male and/or middle class: past, present and future. Everyone is equal except those who are in the majority.

When will Jesus return?

Romans chapter 1 focuses upon the erosion of society when GOD is forgotten. Certainly in the West, we are now reaping what we have been sowing for a long time: A world without GOD.

Jesus says in Matthew 24 that he will return before total calamity, which is also destined to take place.  Our children are being targeted in various ways, to be brainwashed into thinking against Judea-Christian values through indoctrination of extremes of one kind or another; our humanity is being tempted toward a uniting with Artificial Intelligence… I for one hope things don’t deteriorate much more. 

But eventually, things will deteriorate even more. The Restrainer: the Holy Spirit, will be lifted, will be removed from the earth one day. And at that time, I hope I am no longer here. Jesus left after his resurrection to allow the Comforter — Holy Spirit — to come (John 14). So, I seems as the Holy Spirit leaves, Jesus will return. In between, we hope — we even expect that Jesus will come for His bride and we will be extracted to Heaven. Meanwhile, as we experience our society implode through its own self-centred expression, as people’s thinking becomes confused and nonsensical, I pray for revelation and release from the Enemy — now.

In Jesus’ name, 

Amen.

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

What really matters about Christmas?

I have strolled through days of loving Christmas, explored only to discover the dates we use to celebrate are all wrong; I have meandered through the Bible to explore the Hebrew roots and stumbled upon culture and Hanukkah; I have wondered whether to put up a tree or glitter or give gifts and more; I have concluded Christmas marks the birth of GOD’s son, secular festivities, and much much more…

But at the end of the day, I ask myself — and you if you’re willing to ponder: What really matters about Christmas and how can we mark it well? 

Why the Nativity?

With a look at the nativity I aim to share with others at this Season, the love, truth, grace, peace and joy that the LORD offers to those who will receive.

GOD is love and He brings love, in the form of His son Yeshua. But He also ensures we have the capacity and opportunity to share love; we have an inbuilt need for love and relationship. He offers Himself and even if we reject Him, He loves us so much He reaches out through others so that no one needs be isolated or alone.

And now, the story of the Nativity is recounted in Luke 2:8-20 as follows,

“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marvelled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.”

What the Nativity shows us

We see fulfilled prophecy in that Isaiah and various other prophets foretold the coming of the Messiah in just the manner in which it is recorded here… Bethlehem will be the Messiah’s place of birth, a virgin will give birth, He will be a son of David — one born of King David’s line. There are hundreds of prophecies fulfilled in this one night (the substance of which is for another post).

We see the mercy of GOD in his love, respect and confidence for the lowly shepherds who were the blessed ones who would be the first to see this Messiah.

We see the wisdom of GOD in His choice of mother, who held the marvellous events in her heart, rather than boast or discuss or proclaim them.

We see the love of GOD for us in giving to us His son, who will be the Saviour of the entire world. Jesus would grow to teach us how to live, so that society moves from barbarism to life, from paganism to profound worship.

We see the truth of GOD in that He is not a respecter of persons, choosing a lowly stable, a modest couple to parent His son, and that babe who would grow to teach us love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, patience and self control.

We see the commitment of GOD as He fulfilled His promise to send a Messiah, to stand for the Jewish people and land, to be GOD to those who would call Him GOD.

We see the power of GOD and the presence of GOD in the angels and in the babe Himself.

We see GOD Years later, Jesus would say to us, “He who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9)

So, what really matters about Christmas?

Simply, the birth of Yeshua — Jesus — Emmanuel, GOD with us.

And How can we mark it well?

Stay focused on the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The trappings of turkey or gifts, tree and tinsel, these are not Christmas. The carols and cards, the family and friends, these are not Christmas. The spirit of Christmas is not necessarily of GOD, if it removes our gaze from the One and Only who gave up His heavenly authority to be of no account. The spirit of Christmas can be ignored when we look at the Son of GOD — the Son of Man, and linger on his infant beginning. And we mark Christmas well when we allow ourselves to ponder, to embrace and to engage with Him who came for us, and love one another as He has loved us, and as He has commanded us to do,

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.” (Luke 10:27). 

On this hinges everything.

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

What to do when doubt comes knocking?

Do you wrestle with doubt in these challenging times? Let’s be honest and transparent: as darkness seems to increase in our society, does it sometimes seem that GOD is far away? Do we wonder, “Are you really there?”

What to do when doubt comes knocking? 

Recognise it. Acknowledge it. Work through it!

In Matthew 24:13 Jesus says, “But he who endures to the end shall be saved” and verse 22 says, “And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.”

Yeshua knows the plan of the Father, maybe not in every detail (for he also says no one knows the timing of his return except the Father). Jesus assures us that GOD will ensure His children are not lost…

So, how do we hold onto our Faith when we feel doubtful or have questions?

What do we do when doubt comes knocking?

Be honest: with ourselves, with Him.

I have  been asking GOD to answer prayers because as it gets darker and darker spiritually, I want to see the hand of GOD move for a few different reasons:

  1. That some will be saved
  2. That some will be delivered

but also

3.   For reassurance that He is in fact, listening, sovereign and powerful.

I wait for His response and am not disappointed (but sometimes I do have to look very deeply to see His response).

We can ask to have wealth, we can ask for victory… But when we don’t receive as we expect or ask, what happens then? Is our faith knocked? What do we hang onto, to ensure our faith holds strong? 

We hold onto the Truth. And the Truth is in Jesus’ identity — the Truth is Jesus’ identity.

Did Jesus live? Did he die on the cross? Was he resurrected? Was he born of a virgin?

When you ask these questions it puts all the temporal, temporary issues to the side. What do you really believe? Who do you really believe? That Truth will carry you through.

Trying times

Times are really trying right now. We have several threats to our peace of mind: energy shortages and steep costs; food shortages and the threat of them; war crouching at the door: culture wars, internal conflict and rebellion in many nations, and international war. Some fear a pandemic. Some fear the burning of the earth…

How do we hold on to our faith? Why do we hold on to our faith?

We choose. We choose to believe because Jesus is true. But we continue in our belief because the alternative is madness. We have life; the alternative is despair. He have hope; the alternative death.

As it gets darker… the light gets brighter

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12a). 

Why do you suppose he used analogies of light and darkness? 

The darkness has never been so obvious as it is right now, globally. The holocaust provided a glimpse, but taking nothing away from the horror of genocide and the attempted annihilation of GOD’s chosen people, only in a portion of Europe was darkened at that attempt. Now, in a less physically violent way, the serpent is devouring the Judeo-Christian ideology and all of its Western societies through the departure from the core principles of life. Wrong has become right, and right wrong. Reality has been distorted and history changed to suit a new ideology. And so, we experience the darkness encroaching at an ever-faster rate, over an ever-widening scope.

But GOD. 

The light shines bright in the darkness and is not overtaken. Indeed, the Psalms say that the darkness and the light are the same — as soon as there is light in the darkness, the light overcomes the darkness.

What do we do when doubt comes knocking?

We choose the light. We hang on, asking, seeking, persisting. We allow GOD’s light to come, to shine through us His children. We allow GOD’s voice to speak to us through His Word. We allow His love to manifest through fellowship with His peopel. We allow GOD’s Holy Spirit to manifest in presence and power as He wills. 

And the darkness of doubt is overcome.

“He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:12b)

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Finding an old note in Scripture: a reflection

Finding an old note reveals my growth

Recently, in finding an old note in a pocket Bible, I discovered my spiritual growth in the last twenty-five years.

I had written inside a booklet of Solomon’s Proverbs something of my state of mind which was quite revealing: it showed the state of my own complicated-but-honest heart dated 1997…. I was not yet fully broken but willing to share with GOD on the journey of surrender. I will share it with you momentarily, because what it reveals personally how far I’ve journeyed since writing it — growth is so encouraging — and also how John’s first letter is so captivating and helpful in our growth toward holiness.

1 John 2:12-14 says,

“I write to you, little children,

Because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.

I write to you, fathers,

Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.

I write to you, young men,

Because you have overcome the wicked one.

I write to you, little children,

Because you have known the Father. 

I have written to you, fathers,

Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.

I have written to you, young men,

Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you,

And you have overcome the wicked one.”

When I wrote the note which I’ll share below, I was on the cusp of becoming one of whom John refers to as “young men”.

A witness opportunity leads me to the old note

This past week I had the privilege of discussing Our Lord with a workman who was in my house. It isn’t the first time he’s been doing some updating of plumbing. But on this day, I had the opportunity to offer something of GOD’s word to him to take away, and he was gracious and interested. Hallelujah! Isn’t it such a privilege to share about Jesus?

Well, in prayerful consideration of what to give him, I had a fresh copy of the Gospel of Mark. But I also felt to give him Proverbs (this gentleman has a lot of wisdom, common sense and is a deep thinker so it seemed appropriate) but I only had a copy of the booklet of Proverbs from the Message version by Eugene Peterson which was my own, and marked up by pencil.

As I poured through paraphrased Proverbs before the man was due to arrive, rubbing out pencil marks, I found a note I’d written in the back of the booklet dated 1997. I share it with some hesitation as it is quite personal, but I risk sharing with the desire to reveal how we all have dark corners where GOD needs to shed His light. It may even jog some of your own personal memories. We all are growing towards complete freedom from our flesh. Flashing back to “where we were then” can be so encouraging as we recognise “where we are now”, We all are on the road, travelling through the stages of maturity from children, to young men, to fathers in the faith. 

Here’s what I wrote

“Proverbs 12 (page 42): ‘I sow war’ — How to sow peace? I love pain? I hate pleasure? When chips are down, I excel. I fight much better than I can love. 

“To sow peace one must want to sow peace. I want to so war because I like victory. I like to spread my wings and talons and prove my righteousness. I like my own way, I like to demonstrate my one-up-man-ship. I get satisfaction, stimulation, from expressing my anger. It’s kind of a lust to fantasise conflict with people. License to squash.”

Now this is not a nice note. But it was years ago and a reference point of fleshly honesty between me and the LORD. So, what does it tell me?

Twenty-five years ago I was already saved and had a warrior spirit but clearly, was not fully surrendered to the LORD. I was aware of my shortcoming, and recognised the dark corner of my heart with its tendency toward conflict. Psalm 51 comes to mind, David’s psalm and one of repentance: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)

The question marks suggest I was considering my preferences, exploring my mind and wondering what was really going on inside it. Where there are questions, I’m inconclusive. But I’m certain I’m competitive, temperamental and hostile.… (My own memory serves to confirm this.) Yes, I used to hold conversations in my head where I told someone off; isn’t that quite common? But as I reflect on past and present, I realise I no longer do that. I have peace instead.

In fact, I came from a background where there was a lot of conflict and so eventually, after 1997, I would become aware it was not so much that I wanted conflict, but rather conflict was what I was used to. I was deeply devoted to truthfulness, but also greatly accustomed to feeling the need to defend myself. Face to face, I might lose a battle of words but privately I could win, and so I had fantasy conflict to prepare myself for real conflict with people. A sad state really, and one the LORD has since freed me from. It is a very negative way to live. 

I wonder if this is perhaps a more common habit, a way of existing for others as well as it was for me? Well, Jesus healed me through a renewing of my mind (Romans 12:2). I pray for the same for others.

How to relate to 1 John

John identifies his audience as comprising children, young men and fathers. I don’t believe this is age-related but maturity-related. 

A child is a child of the LORD because he or she is saved (sins are forgiven) and knows who GOD the Father is.

A young person in the LORD is one who has overcome Satan, has strength of faith and knows the Word of GOD.

A father is a person who knows GOD intimately as Creator of the Universe from the Beginning (even before Time).

Where are you on this path?

We who are in Christ know we are growing into maturity and holiness, becoming more like Him. But I suggest it is also useful to know where we are currently on this path. Spiritual and character maturity is not about chronological age but is all about our intimacy and surrender in Christ.

Let’s aim to become Fathers — but not by skipping a stage — so we can support others more and more in their journey, and draw nearer and nearer to GOD in ours, for His glory and His pleasure.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Categories
Politics and Society today

To Ponder the Atheist Mindset

What is the atheist mindset?

I’d like to try to ponder the mindset of the atheist — how do they think what they think? Of course I’m generalising for the sake of the simplicity of a short post. But my interest is sparked by some You Tube videos I have watched and posts I have read recently, which made me keen to discover what is at the heart of his or her motivation. What makes an atheist “tick”? I don’t have a definitive answer (I’m sure there is a unique answer for each atheist) but here is what I’ve considered so far…

Why does an atheist deny GOD? 

Is it hatred, anger, disappointment, or disbelief? I wonder, how can one say, “I don’t believe in GOD and I’m angry with Him”?

Denying the existence of GOD is a bit like unforgiveness. With unforgiveness, the injured party believes that by refusing to forgive he protects himself and rejects the one who hurt him; but in actual fact, the one holding onto his pain is living in the past and is therefore causing himself far more suffering than any degree of pain that his resentment or rejection of the other could cause the other party.

Of the atheist I wonder, has he/she attempted to communicate with GOD or not? Is the experience of loss blamed on GOD when in actual fact, he/she didn’t pray or seek GOD’s help on the matter? Is it not GOD but rather the enemy Satan who has caused the loss?

The unforgiving person is forever trapped in the past, holding onto resentment, fury or pain. The target may suffer from a lack of relationship… or he may simply move on. But certainty it is the one holding the unforgiveness who is stuck. And if angry at GOD and refusing His existence, the atheist is blocking comfort, consolation and hope, punishing himself as he punishes GOD.

Being stuck in a mindset blocks blessing

“For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” (Romans 11:29) Whether we follow GOD or not, the LORD gifts each of us in unique ways. Denying him puts limits on our access to the gifts He’s given to us. If we do not embrace the LORD, but rather ignore Him in our lives, it stands to reason that we therefore cannot hear from Him nor receive fully the benefits that He offers.

Those of us who follow GOD not only have eternal life after the life on this earth is finished; we also have access to total freedom in this present life. Those who deny GOD miss these blessings both today and at the end of life on earth.

Freedom modelled by Jesus

The mindset of the atheist can be much better explained by the likes of Jordan Peterson than by me, not because he is an atheist (in fact he personally testifies he is no longer an atheist) but because he is an excellent speaker and clinical psychologist, who has analysed the mindset of — well, just about every group! I invite you to contemplate, research the atheist.

What I wish to convey is that the atheist is stuck in a perspective that does not allow personal growth. Ironically, even some religious people are similar to the atheist: trapped, stuck in a box. Above both religion and atheism, is the path which follows Jesus, who sets believers free from assumptions and conditions that restrict and limit our own thinking and experience, both of our lives and of GOD.

To the inexperienced or unread atheist

Some atheists may not have deliberately rejected GOD but have neither learned, experienced, nor heard the message of Jesus. Well, the Bible says in Romans chapter 1 that we are all born knowing GOD. So, to those who have never contemplated GOD I suggest: choose now to have a look at the Bible personally (beginning with Matthew or John) to begin to discover Jesus — Yeshua (his Hebrew name, for Jesus the man, was Jewish). Even the staunchest rejector of Christianity who has done some historical research will agree that Jesus was a wonderful man and one to be emulated….

There is a moral code of conduct that Jesus endorses. But this is not a moral of rules but rather of love. This love, His love, is self-sacrificing rather than self-seeking or self-indulgent. And the moral code sows peace into the follower first, and then into the relationships the follower develops through the mindset of Christ.

When we model ourselves upon Jesus’ teaching, we are better human beings (if you believe qualities such as love, joy, peace goodness, kindness, gentleness, patience, faith and self control are good character qualities). The more we walk in the grace of GOD, the more love and personal peace we experience and can transfer to others. Goodness produces a freedom that neither the religious nor the atheist can recreate. This is the core of true social justice, with the powerful backing of the Spirit of the man who died and rose again for the sake of others’ freedom and everlasting life.

Why not just copy Jesus’ mindset then?

We can’t truly copy Jesus’ behaviour and expect “results” without actually accepting Jesus as our Lord and Saviour and becoming born again. The difference between the atheist and the follower of Jesus Christ is the indwelling of his Holy Spirit — the power and presence of Jesus within the believer. When we accept Jesus, His Spirit awakens our Spirit and we are revived! Whereas the believer has the company of the Holy Sprit to encourage, comfort, convict, teach and help from within, the atheist is on his own, his mindset fixed against the existence of GOD.

Inconclusive

I haven’t consolidated a true understanding of the mindset of the atheist. But I do pray for him/her. The human mind — which humanity tends to relish and revere — is limited. The atheist reveres the mind but can go no further. The person who looks beyond himself, to the One who created the mind, discovers that his own mind can be realised fully only when he recognises the Creator who designed it.

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Challenged like never before?

If you are feeling challenged like never before, I don’t need to explain — given the politics and societal rapid decline, or witnessing physical and mental health issues like never before — I don’t need to explain or give detail, do I?

If you have been watching and connect the dots, you’ll see the conspiracy theory walking into reality. The World Economic Forum and IMF (International Monetary Fund)  are dictating national financial policy; the G20 is being led by the unelected; the UN and all its associated bodies are telling us how to live: redefining good and evil. You’ll observe the overall national decline in the UK for example, and recognise it is the consequence of society finally catching up with our lack of reference to GOD. There has been just enough delay after turning our backs on the Yehovah GOD and His Son Yeshua/Jesus, to question whether there is a connection between the decline of democracy and economic success and its lack of reverence for the Creator. We worship the planet and seek to save the planet, rather than to worship the Creator and save the people on it. Hmm… do you think there is a connection?

The LORD allows sight to those who desire to see, and blindness to those who do not. (Matthew 11:25)

So, I write today to say we can hold on… The future in our nation of UK, and pretty much any Western nation, looks bleak. Poverty and powerlessness have come at last to the bastions of freedom. Western democracy is all but gone, as politicians put infighting and satisfying lobbyists and media over running the country.

And so we ask, “Where are you LORD?” Well, the Word has already told us —  

“Trust in the LORD and lean not on your own understanding… In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

“And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” (Matthew 24:4-8)

These wars and evils only mark the beginning of sorrows. There is much more in store, all of which is triggered by man’s choice to control and the exclaimed priority being climate control. It is the religion of the 21st Century. Zealots are everywhere, their voices heard and followed by those full of fear or seeking something to worship. The void has been filled at last. 

It is Satan who is behind this and whether he is unshackled or merely shaking the chains (Jude 1:6), on the time line of eternity, decline of common sense and common decency is rapid now, pervasive, and it would seem unstoppable.

So, we need to decide: do we still believe Jesus or do we give up?

As we move forward in this day, these times, we know that GOD is for us. “If GOD be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)

We forge on, knowing our Saviour and Lord is interceding and the Creator GOD, Yehovah, Father of us all, is waiting for His kingdom to come upon the earth as it is in heaven. And we pray! Holy Spirit fill us, help us to walk in Your anointing, help us to surrender our everything to You and enable us to walk in Your strength, joy, comfort, love, that we will comfort others with the comfort You give to us.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Worship like your Life depends on it… It does!

I’m going to say something potentially controversial — especially when you consider, Ephesians 2:8-9, which reads,

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” 

We need to worship like our life depends upon it, because it does.

Our spiritual lives are our true lives. The flesh gets us around and needs feeding: physically, emotionally, intellectually. Relationships, interaction with others, brings joy! 

BUT real life, lasting life, springs from GOD through the Spirit and so, our spiritual lives thrive in connection with the Holy Spirit. 

The key way we can connect our spirit to the Holy Spirit is through worship. It isn’t the only way, because prayer and time in the Word of GOD are key too. But in society today times are tough and getting tougher. To bring us life out of the darkness, worship is key.

Worship is Joyful

When we worship GOD, whether in song which is the most common traditionally, or through dance, art, our daily work, our hobbies of sport or arts, we are sharing ourselves with Him. We are thanking Him. We are releasing ourselves to Him. We are trusting Him. And in all this is fullness of joy!

Worship is Hopeful

When we focus our attention on Yehovah GOD through our worship, we are declaring our faith in Him, in His existence. We worship Him, thanking Him, seeking His face, and trusting He will receive from us. This is a demonstration of Hope, for faith is the substance behind our worship, and faith is the substance of all that we hope for. Hope lifts us out of fear, doubt, and takes us into the love of GOD, into His very presence. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)

Worship is an expression of ourselves

When we worship freely, we are releasing our voices, bodies, minds to express ourselves. This is an aim. Just as David danced with all his might (2 Samuel 6:14), we can give ourselves permission to let go and express our love and thanksgiving to GOD, our fears and doubts, our hopes and joys, our regret and repentance. We can trust GOD to accept our sacrifice of worship (Psalm 27:6 & Hebrews 13:15)

Worship is combat

There is another crucial element to worship which is not wholly known and practised and that is worship as warfare,


“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,” (2 Corinthians 10:4)

I cannot stress enough the value and importance of recognising the value of corporate worship in the spiritual battles against the enemy. The more we feel like resisting expression, the more we are oppressed verses the more we release expression, the stronger our weaponry against the enemy.

Ephesians 6:10-13 reads,

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

When we literally stand to worship, and speak out scripture in song, or when we make commitment to GOD through the words we say, we are declaring GOD in our lives. When we do that, we are sending the enemy packing.

When we are together in corporate worship, we are as an army against the powers of darkness, whether we feel good, or do not feel like worshipping. When we declare, express, lift up our hands, dance, sing, play instruments and/or express devotion in some way or another, not only does it have the power to cheer us and delight us, but it cheers and delights our Father in heaven.… And the demons flee!

So let us worship in Spirit and in Truth

And so, let us all worship (celebrate GOD) in Spirit (by the leadership of the Spirit of GOD who lives in us) and in Truth (using truths and scriptures that are from GOD’s Word), and let us push back the enemy (satan, destroyer, and his principality and powers) and draw near to GOD (our Creator Father in heaven)… so that He will draw near to us. (James 4:8)

Amen

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Powerless or Full of His Power?

“In You, O LORD, I put my trust; Let me never be put to shame.” (Psalm 71:1)

Do you feel powerless or full of His power?

Goodness of God song link

Power of Intimacy

I sit in the dark at 5am and wonder, where are we headed in this nation?

We have a new prime minister in the United Kingdom who has not been elected (except by his constituents as a local member of parliament). 

We had a new prime minister for 45 days. Then she was booted out by her own party for daring to believe Britain could grow the economy and prosper now.

We had a Conservative prime minister who was voted in by a huge majority including by usually Labour voters amongst the enthusiastic throng, for a cause that was stuck in government because the party in power hated the idea that the nation voted to separate from the European Union. 

I could list the demise of democratic Britain but that would be negative. 

What we have is a somewhat quiet coup of elite parliamentarians against their own party, an opposition who is lacking in acuity, and behind the scenes the wealthy and powerful who are lining their pockets with the mad ideas from the fearful who believe the end is nigh because of climate change.

The end may be nigh, but we don’t know the season nor the time, and it certainly has nothing to do with the natural fluctuations in climate.

The whole scenario — and I’ve only touched on some of the factors — reads like a sci fi novel. We live in a liberal democracy but are ruled by an appointed leader, who doesn’t even have the freedom to lead but is pulled around like a ringed bull, doing what he’s told about the climate change agenda, the economy, and who knows what else!

If the Prime Minister hasn’t any power, then is it any wonder if we, the people, feel powerless. 

I voted Conservative, I voted for Brexit. I won. And I feel powerless. Pity those who voted the other way… It doesn’t really matter now does it? We voted but we got it wrong so powers that be are doing their level best to counter the vote: first regarding Brexit, now about policy and even the Leader.

I sit and I stare and I wonder. Do others say to our Creator,  “Father, we don’t have any more prayers right now. We just want to talk to you… and we aren’t even sure what to say.”

He’s listening. He knows. He cares. And He values our prayers. Our voice matters to Him. “Thank you LORD!” Because certainly, our voice doesn’t seem to matter to many politicians.

Who holds the Power?

We don’t know man’s time table, we don’t know the unoriginal Satan’s time table (New Ten Commandments). But we can see the signs of the enemy and it seems a New Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai are about to be proclaimed. It infuriates me. What can I do? Rejoice in the LORD! We who keep our eyes on Jesus, not the storm, will overcome…. Because GOD is in charge.

“And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—“ (Revelations 2:26)

Categories
Politics and Society today

Destabilised Nation

I have this overwhelming sense that things are only going to get worse, not better. 

How then can I keep going forward in what seems like a destabilised nation? Here is the solution: a call to prayer!

Politics today in the UK

A nation destabilised is not a healthy nation at all… Unity is needed to bring stability to the UK. Back-biting, infighting, squabbling, self righteous indignation: these are the stumbling blocks of the only party with the experience and expertise to navigate this time in the nation when we are being overrun with lies, disputes, and hatred. The enemy looks to be winning. What shall we the people do?

Intercession

We pray. We humble ourselves. We seek GOD’s face, because man is failing, failing badly. What have we done but bring this upon ourselves by ignoring the ways of our heritage, the truth in all its light and love: the Gospel of Jesus. We need You Lord, oh how we need You!

Barbarism: Around the world, led by California, New Zealand and soon Canada, babies can be aborted up to the day of their birth.

Hedonism: Self has become GOD as what we feel trumps reason, biology and moral decency.

Gluttony: We waste more in unfinished take aways than some nations have to eat.

Fear: Rules our decisions, opinions and choices, led by the politicians and — especially — the media.

Despair, Decay, Decadence….. Dig in!

Yes the world around us seems to be imploding upon itself. But we have a choice: we can give in the the hopelessness, or we can dig in and pray.

While “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Proverbs 13:12)

we also know that “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

The Need for GOD’s Anointing of the Holy Spirit

Is Christian Revival around the corner? I sure hope so… But if it is, we’ll need plenty of help to manage it.

Revival and the Holy Spirit

Are we in need for GOD’s Anointing of the Holy Spirit? Why wouldn’t we be?!

Jesus said, ‘I go that the helper may come’ (John 14:26). How does the Helper help? By anointing us for service, giving us power through His presence: to move hearts toward GOD and to pull down strongholds.

If we want revival — and most of us who follow Jesus do, in some measure at least — we must allow the Holy Spirit to fill us and follow His lead.

There are those in the church who say that the supernatural gifts of GOD are passed. Some suggest, ‘We have the Word now, so we don’t need the supernatural.’ I say rather bluntly, this is a cop out. I think it is borne of the fact that the speakers don’t personally see the manifestation of miracles and therefore they reckon they don’t exist. They might quote, “… pass away but my Word shall not pass away…” (Matthew 24:35) But that scripture is taken out of context. Jesus, as the Word of GOD, was resurrection life that will never pass away. But He left the earth so that He could send His Spirit to fill each of us. It is by the Spirit that I have been transformed: through GOD-given faith and His conviction. I experience transformation and demonstrate it because of His supernatural attendance to me and His infilling within me.

Others who accept the Holy Spirit presence but resist the power, say undignified behaviour is manifested and therefore such cannot be a move of GOD. I say Jesus accepted the undignified, preferring their behaviour to the pride and superficial dignity of His contemporary pharisees. I was once accused of being a pharisee. Me? But I love the LORD! was my immediate response. And yet, over time I realised the religious spirit of the pharisees had affected me. My recognition and rejection of it was instrumental in my maturity and freedom.

Holy Spirit – active today

What I testify is this: The Holy Spirit is the LORD within us who enables us to surrender our lives; He gives us leadership showing us how to engage with Him and with others about Him. He is the evangelist, the pastor, the teacher, the prophet and the apostle within (Ephesians 4:11) And He enables the fruits of love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, patience and self control (Galatians 5:22-23) to grow and supersede our own will and natural inclination to rebel. And it is through Him that miracles are manifested (1 Corinthians 12:8-9). He is the power and the presence of GOD, without whom we have neither His power nor His presence. He has not changed any more than has the Father or Jesus. GOD does not change.

Vocabulary that promotes the undignified

“Hallal” means praise! We are called to join in a manifestation of high praise, ‘flashing forth light like!’ Cymbals crash! King David danced with joy to his LORD, practically naked. GOD is to be revered but He does not control us. He brings liberty. Dignified or noisy, this is the celebration of GOD.

Jesus’ word about the Helper

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (John 14:26)

For centuries, the power of GOD was squashed with religion. Protestants have blamed the Catholic faith, and it may largely be true that the manifestations of the Spirit were full-on during the early church but were largely wiped out by organised religion. But the chains have fallen off! And so should there be room again for the Spirit, so that we can “live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)

We need the anointing

Recently, I was in a worship service and tears began to flow as we ministered to the LORD, not only in song but in spiritual warfare, praying for the nation. This began with the steadfast commitment of the worship leader to sing to the LORD but also to pursue Him. In so doing, the anointing came and remained. A call from the congregation for prayer came and then the engagement: spiritual warfare through a unified force amongst the brethren of believers, to bring GOD’s kingdom onto earth “as it is in heaven”. I don’t believe this could have been done without the anointing. But with the anointing, there was faith and a unified voice in worship and prayer. All the glory goes to Him through our passionate pleas to Him.

Abandon

GOD is full of grace and love. We are to revere Him. But we do not have to be religious. Rather we are called to be “like little children” (Matthew 19); children are not self-conscious.

Decorum matters between one another, as does common sense and respect. But sometimes, as the LORD’s presence manifests, so too does the demonic. This is not to be shunned nor embraced, but to be recognised, deliverance* to be undertaken, and freedom to be received (*to protect all involved, deliverance should only be undertaken under specific conditions and by those trained and experienced).

Sometimes there is joy and dancing: David danced; it pleased the LORD! (and led to the barrenness of David’s wife because she mocked him)

The Spirit is unpredictable. The Spirit is free. He does not give us licence to be irreverent but irreverence is not the same as lacking dignity. Sometimes, we need to be met with unpredictable abandon to be set free.

I pray that those who are reading this have either met with the Holy Spirit and have been baptised and anointed by Him, or will pursue Him with their whole heart until they are. The Spirit is no less GOD than is the Father or the Son. There is power from the Creator. There is power in the Word. And there is also power through the Spirit. Embracing Him is what Jesus calls us to do. And we ignore this at our peril.

Implosion of the World

While science is fast becoming debunked by those who preach “whatever we feel is real” and religion in Western society has all but passed away, common sense, fact and reality are becoming as rarely inspected as history. This is the time for Faith to arise. Let us not copy what has gone before: a narrow religiosity that has the imitation of Truth but not the power of it. Let us endorse and whole-heartedly embrace the full Gospel: that we are saved by Faith in Jesus, both for our eternal future but also for our present. Jesus saves, delivers, restores. He is found both in Word and in Deed. And we ignore either at society’s peril.

GOD bless you. In Jesus’ name. May you receive the power and presence of the Lord Jesus, Yeshua, our Messiah, by His Holy Spirit. Amen.

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Yet I will trust in You: a poem

Tho the earth stirs

trembles and shakes

Yet I will trust in You

The world tumbles

falls into disrepair

Yet You uphold me

with truth and love

GOD IS our refuge

He truly is our strength

tho men destroy

Yet GOD restores

Hope in Him

He is the light 

tho hope deferred makes the heart sick;

so turn your eyes to Jesus

and know you are saved.

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

The Mathematics of GOD: a reflection

The Mathematics of GOD

GOD: The Mathematician. Where does it say that in scripture? Well, I could stretch a point and refer to the talents: 5 talents brought 5 more, 2 brought 2 more, 1 didn’t multiply by anything to bring more. 

LORD GOD is the god of addition and multiplication. He likes to grow us, to add to our character and multiply our blessings. That is the mathematics of GOD.

GOD’s sovereign perspective

But seriously, I’m talking about how GOD adds up the costs and benefits to our life, looks at the long term, and makes sovereign decisions about nations and individuals. 

We in Western society are in a crisis. Economies are in a global mess; most countries are in huge debt, and certainly in the UK there seems to be low growth and rising interest rates. Human beings are trying to fix the problem but the problem only seems to deepen (witness UK politics and the current state of its government). GOD is adding up the costs and benefits to bailing us out of our own poor choices and hypocrisies, and seems to be saying, “Nope, it’s better if you fail — better to your life — so that you end the hypocrisy, stop the greed, and learn to live reliant upon Me. If only the leaders would recognise the message and act accordingly!

Shocking reality: Death brings Life

Recently I have experienced just how personally GOD’s mathematics has added up in my life. I am actively praying with positive effect as part of more than one intercessory prayer group; I can see GOD is moving in the society and in my sphere of influence. Praise Yehovah!!

As I experience the joy of fellowship in ministry and the praise that is within me for answered prayer, I realise my growth and my industry would not have surfaced without tragedy in my life. 

My husband died eighteen months ago. But in that departure to heaven, I was led to move forward in ways I would not have as a married woman, not because my husband would have resisted it but because I would not had to find the courage to express “my” prayers. I have been pushed to be self-reliant — directly reliant upon GOD’s leading and prompting.

My husband’s passing is a human loss, but it is a heavenly gain and an earthly release. As a member of the Cloud of Witnesses (Hebrews 12:1) my husband is doing as he is called to do in heaven. I am doing the work the LORD has specifically designed for me to do on the earth at this moment in time.

The LORD was pleased with Alan. And Alan was satisfied in this life. He did his assignment on earth. With his passing, now I am released to focus upon the work the LORD has for me to do and I have the courage to do it.

Philippians 3:12-14 is one of my favourite scriptures

“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

We must not look back as Lot’s wife did, mourning our losses and regretting the past. Rather, after a period of grief and reflection, we must choose to trust in the sovereignty of GOD and in His perfect mathematics, if we are to complete His plans and purposes, living our lives as He intends for us. In other words, as tough as it may seem to be, loss is also release to live new chapters of our lives, so that we can move forward in ways we most certainly would not otherwise be able to do. GOD gives and He takes away, but mostly he releases us so that our gifts, our purposes, our lives will bring forth multiplication: some thirty, some sixty, some one hundred fold. (Matthew 13:8)

GOD’s leadership

GOD wants His kingdom to be on earth as it is in heaven. He has crafted us to be a part of that kingdom. We must look ahead in our lives, trust GOD’s craft and creation is perfect, and allow Him to perfect us. 

I am a single person again, not by my choice but by the LORD’s hand. This is not because GOD didn’t have the authority, power or will to keep my husband on earth, but so that we would both continue to work for GOD’s kingdom in GOD’s way. 

One day all of us will be with the LORD as we trust and believe in His son, Yeshua Jesus. But in the meantime, when our surrender, our promise to follow Him is sincere, we take what is given to us, trust Him and run with it. Alan didn’t die by accident; GOD didn’t take His eye of the ball and lose the man to his mortality. No. GOD looked at us, did His sums, and decided in His mathematics: Alan in heaven and Sarah on earth would yield the most and best fruit. 

When we look at any loss or tragedy in this light, His light shines into our lives and brings joy, peace and perfect sums.

Hallelujah, GOD reigns!

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Grief’s Healing: a song

Grief’s Healing: a song

When I think of you, I feel like you’re with me

When I mention you, you are here

Someone mentions your name and I smile;

I know just the thought of you heals me.

When I laugh, you’re in the laughter

When I dream, sometimes you’re there

Sharing a memory of you

Brings you home to me, and I sigh.

Just for a moment

You are with me

Just for a moment

I’m not on my own

Just for a moment

We remember

And laugh and smile

At the thought of you.

When I sing, I think you listen

When I dance, do you dance too?

When someone says your name

I know my heart jumps and you’re home.

Just for a moment

You are with me

Just for a moment

I’m not on my own

Just for a moment

We remember

And laugh and smile

At the thought of you.

Just for a moment

You are with me

Just for a moment

I’m not on my own.

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Praying GOD’s will be done

What is the significance of praying ‘GOD’s will be done’?

What is Prayer

I have been asking Yehovah GOD about prayer. And I’ve been praying GOD’s will be done. Less and less I’ve felt churned internally and more and more I’ve simply surrendered to His wisdom and His will.

There are some who say prayer is making declarations; being specific is important. Others say it is making requests and supplications, pleading for the LORD to intervene in our situations. Some others think there is a limit to how much we should ask for; I don’t. 

I wonder: Does this question about prayer have an available answer? Or is it a question that is unanswerable on earth?

Before anyone quickly jumps to answer, hold fire and read on…

When my husband was ill, he said the LORD was downloading a lot of information to him about prayer, something Alan (a modest but confident teacher of the word of GOD for several decades) humbly admitted he never “really understood”. Well, before he died, I think Alan learned a lot. Unfortunately, he never had the strength to share more than to say, prayer “isn’t at all what we think it is.”

I thought about what Alan said during his illness and I still think about it. I wonder, “What is it that we are missing, that the LORD revealed to Alan as he lay desperately ill?”

One thing I’ve learned is we cannot put our demands upon the LORD. We can ask, we can intercede; in fact we are called to do so and we must! And yet, that doesn’t mean the LORD will do our bidding.

“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” I think these are most profound words and yet, they are loaded with far more than we can possibly understand.

What does GOD want?

We know from GOD’s word that He wants none to perish (2 Peter 3:9). We know we are asked to intercede (James 5:16). Jesus in Gethsemane surrendered His will to the Father’s. 

There are different occasions for prayer, different types of prayer. Prayer is sharing to the One True GOD our heart and our needs, our fears and our concerns, and for many, it is simply petitioning GOD to hear the prayers and needs of others. Who here has never been part of a prayer chain or prayer group? I think most of us will have been at one time or another. And in fact, there is never more need for prayer than right now, as our society hangs in the balance, sits on the brink of poverty, disease, despair and war… Surely we are in the End Times.

And yet, there isn’t a magic button or a key word to pray that will give us what we ask. No, some receive their requests just as they’re made; others do not. Why is that?

Faith

Some over simplify and insult one another by saying, “You didn’t have enough faith.” That’s just plain ignorant, playing judge and making GOD out to be ungenerous, given that faith comes from GOD — one of his gifts, one of the fruits of the Spirit.

Personal relationship

Of course too, there is the intimate relationship we have the the LORD. He speaks to us and if we will listen, we learn much from Him. In my journey, there have been times when He’s asked me to refrain from certain foods or to wear a prayer shawl. I think this is individual and timely… in other words, I think He may ask certain things of us that He doesn’t expect all of His children to do. And so, I continue to hone my listening skills and to follow. He prefers obedience over sacrifice, remember.

Prayer School

I attended a wonderful prayer school over a period of years. Julie Anderson is a friend, a god parent to my son, and the leader of a prayer school in Central London. She taught me so much about prayer. And yet, still I know so little.

But isn’t that what our journey with Jesus is all about? We start off knowing a little, perhaps little more than simply that He is our wonderful Saviour. We end up learning, discovering, growing, and yet, His will is still what we yield to.

Flesh v Spirit

I have come to the conclusion at this point in my journey, to believe that prayer — for me — is a process of simply sitting with the LORD and waiting, of being still before Him. As I wait, I allow my will to give way to the life within me, the Spirit of GOD. I watch, I wait, I listen, I read the Word of GOD, I pray in tongues, but throughout I am surrendering, asking, seeking: LORD, what do you want to show me? LORD, what do you want me to discover? LORD, what do you want me to pray?

And as I let go of my flesh, as I stop fussing or pushing, fearing or even hoping, as I surrender my will to His, I begin to hear from Him. Sometimes it’s a word. Sometimes it’s a subject, a person, a concern, a situation in the world. But always I receive direction and I pray into it. I have no opinion and I have no personal desire. I just pray.

Then I believe, I am praying His prayer, on earth, as He would pray in heaven. That, I believe, is prayer…. asking for His will to be done on earth, as He would have such matters resolved in heaven.

Final thought for these Last Days

Moses encountered GOD and stood in the gap for the Hebrews, so GOD did not destroy them (Deuteronomy 9). But holding back GOD’s will and His wrath delayed an inevitable consequence: the passing of a generation and the ultimate separation of GOD’s people from their homeland (Deuteronomy 11:26). All this was the result of unrighteousness. Prayer changed GOD’s mind but destruction came inevitably.


If we pray for Righteousness to pour down today, perhaps mankind can change and we can hold back Satan and the Rapture for a time; then more will be saved. But holding back also gives room for more evil, only delaying the inevitable fall of Satan and those he takes with him. 

So we pray GOD’s will…. we must! He sees, He knows, Jesus intercedes, and all is right with GOD.

Moses prayed GOD would hold back His wrath. He did, although more evil came. If holding back wrath delays inevitable consequences, and makes room for more evil to come, then how shall we pray?

Can we pray Maranatha: Come Lord Jesus!? Come quickly!

Shall we pray for rescue, heal, defend, protect?

Shall we pray GOD’s will and Maranatha…. and leave the results in GOD’s hands….

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Combing through old journals: a reflection about Love

Combing through old journals, letters, and memorabilia, I came across a lot of accolade, a lot of turmoil, a lot of muck of a twenty-something year old… None of it spoke directly and yet all of it spoke of one thing: What I wanted most!

What I wanted most in life

As a twenty-something year old, what I wanted more that anything else was to be loved — married to a loving and godly man was the way I achieved it. I have been blessed. Life has been “a success”. 

I ended a teaching career — wonderful and challenging though it was.

I gave up an acting career — or the hope of one.

I gave up a singing career — I never really wanted one.

I swapped homelands. It wasn’t that important to me.

On the surface, I strove for excellence in everything I did. But underneath, deep within, I just wanted to be loved.

How I made this discovery

Recently I read a play, which triggered this flow of words — this blog post. The play had nothing to do with anything, except that it was a play and once-upon-a-time, plays were everything to me. Perhaps that was because plays ultimately are about LOVE — humanity’s need for love and acceptance. When I didn’t experience it sufficiently in my life I created it through involvement in theatre. When working on a play, the rest of my life was put on hold. Nothing came before the work of a play! Director, Actor, Stage Manager: The play was the thing!

And then I found personal love…. And then (eventually) the plays stopped. And I didn’t miss them one bit.

I loved theatre and plays once. Now they mean little to me. I found what I really wanted: LOVE in the real world. So, once I’d received LOVE, I no longer needed a substitute. “No substitutes please:)”

And yet reading through this play recently, it helped me to create this message — about LOVE.

Memories and Memorabilia

Memories triggered are lessons learned. Memorabilia isn’t about how wonderful life was or about our accomplishments, but about our journey; they take us back to where we were so we can realise where we are.

I’m a widow. I lost the love of my life, my best friend. But I found a life worth living through his love for me and my love for him. And above all, we both had the love of Jesus to teach us and to carry us through.

Plays, real life, hope… all of these things matter, but they all hinge on one thing: the greatest of these is LOVE.

Why does Love matter?

What does love matter? Why do I share my journey with you? Because I am no different from anyone else. What we want more than anything else, whether we aware of it or not, what we are created for, is to love and to be loved. The love of God, ultimately, is what we need most. But within every human relationship is the opportunity for love. Love truly is our single-most need because that is the way we are made. The narcissist, in his or her self-love, demonstrates our need for love. Lacking human affection — either in the giving or the receiving of it — the narcissist seeks to fill the void with self-centred, self-absorbed love.

We all need love, to give it and to receive it. And we who love Jesus and walk along His path, need to remember when we encounter others, the basic need we all have, is what he offers freely: the gift of love.

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

How do I ask for GOD’s help?

How do I ask for GOD’s help?

Ps 119:77 reads, 

“Let Your tender mercies come to me, that I may live;

For Your law is my delight.”

When you need companionship, spiritual support or emotional help, here’s a prayer that makes a lot of sense. One simple phrase and GOD puts it all together for us. Using GOD’s Word to pray is so simple, so profound, so effective:

I ask you to allow your mercy to come to my mind and my heart, because that is what will bring life to me. Your law is all I need — your law of love, your law of the universe, your law of relationship to You and to others.

If all I dwell upon is You: Your forgiveness, Your grace, Your mercy which I do not deserve, I will be revived regardless of the mental or physical state that I am in. I absolutely love, get, accept, benefit from and am blessed by Your Law! It isn’t law of rules but law of love, packaged in grace, mercy and truth; it is simply the way GOD has made things to work in the universe.

That’s my paraphrase. Funny how my restate is far more wordy than the original. But I just want to be sure I cover all the bases with you… That you catch what I’m throwing: GOD’s word in this verse of this Psalm tells me that my life springs from His mercy, His truth, His love, His grace and through His Law — His way of making the universe work both for animate and inanimate objects — is delightful, life-giving and just generally all round wonderful.

Meditate on His word. If you don’t catch it, try refocusing on my explanation. I pray you catch what I caught when I read this verse this week.

Every blessing to you:)

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

What is Strength

Strength is the sense of being carried, I so understand. It is like GOD’s peace surpasses grief in the natural and so we appear to others strong and able to cope, when really we know it is GOD’s strength and the faith and wisdom He has put into us over the years and over these days, that allows us to walk above the circumstances and the grief.

Strength in the LORD is not never feeling pain, despair, or disappointment but rather, strength is rising above the circumstances. 

Recently, I experienced disillusionment, which set me through a dark valley. By GOD’s grace I am through it. But how did it arise in the first place? I overcame my husband’s death and yet this relatively trivial situation, by comparison, set me into a deep sadness and some oppression that was difficult to extricate myself from. 

Yes, I reminded myself to keep my eyes upon Jesus, “the author and finisher of our faith” (text) but it was hard work to do so. Why?

Self pity is the number 1 enemy of the individual. It is insidious, so so subtle. I’m not sure if I was feeling sorry for myself, but I was feeling justified. The key is “I”.

I was very focused on me. And that was the open door to great pain. I was holding on to the LORD but how is it that He seemed so distant?

I think He allowed the distance, to see how I’d handle myself. I didn’t do any harm to anyone and I didn’t do any harm to myself. I shared pain with a couple of chosen people and I spent time in prayer and thought — working out how I felt, why I felt it, and what I could do about the situation. I cried out to the LORD. He heard me! Then He lifted me out of the pit, as lightly and swiftly as He’d put me in it.

It is strange how the LORD works sometimes. But the key is, He is always at work in us. When we are broken, we must remember we’ve asked for it! We said we surrender all, and so we need to remember there will be moments, seasons, times, when He will ask us to remember our commitment and BOOM! We might suffer some of our flesh being stripped from us. Emotion is a blessing from the LORD but it is also a part of our mind; sometimes we need a renewing, and so we get a revelation! Other times the renewing is through a dark valley. But holding on, always brings us through to the light on the other side.

Praise the LORD.