PROMOTION, FAITHFULNESS, GREATNESS AND BEING USED BY GOD

Regardless of whichever walk of life we’re on at the moment, we all want to be good at what we’re doing. In fact I dare say it, I think most of us want to be great at what we’re doing in our chosen field (be it in the professional field, homemaker or in the arts). We all want our contribution in life to matter and have value both to ourselves and others.

It is not uncommon whilst we’re on our ambtious quest for greatness that we romanticize and fantasize what the end picture will look like when we finally ‘make it’. Personally I see nothing wrong with holding and nurturing a vision, for even God said that ‘without a vision the people perish’. So it is clearly important in life to have a vision of where we want to be and a plan of how to get there.

However I think it is absolutely critical to ensure that the vision that we have for our lives is from the Lord. For except the Lord build the house (life) they that labour do so in vain. Psalm 127:1

How do we know if our plans and vision are acceptable to God? We will know by a few things:

– we have the peace of God about it

– we are using our gifts and talents in service to others

– our vision correctly aligns with the Word of God – even in the broadest of terms, our lifestyle honours God and His Word and is a witness that He is God and good.

– Our path is a natural progression and does not require us to compromise our relationship with God or His Word.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, and there are many more pointers that serve to show us whether we are on the right path or not. The more we read the Bible the more we become acquainted with God’s principles for living a life that honours Him, as there is a plethora of situations that illustrate these principles in the Bible.

 

THE JOURNEY TO GREATNESS

Unsurprisingly along our journey to greatness we can become discouraged about the length of time It is taking to ‘get there’, as we are only human and sometimes our humanity can causes us to want things in our own way, in our own time according to our own plan! We can even become frustrated at certain roadblocks that stand in our way that prevent us from excelling higher and faster. Quite sincerely (and absolutely empathically) I understand exactly how those low moments feel because I too have felt them. Many times over.

However I truly believe that God has deliberately  designed our life paths with certain trials and hardships as part of the journey, each of them designed to teach and equip us with all we need to function effectively, positively and fruitfully in the positions ofmasterpiece we greatness for which He has uniquely created us. Yes God loves us and in fact we are called His ‘masterpiece’. That means God has taken great thought and care to plan our lives with purpose, and knowing us from before we arrived on this earth (our personality, our decisions, our stubbornness, our decisions of obedience and disobedience).

I believe that God created our paths with certain trials and hardships that would bring us to a certain level of breaking point so that we change in a way that no other situation could make us change to align with the path that He created, and cause us to seek a relationship with Him in a way that no other situation could. The storms, mountains, valleys and trials all serve good purposes even though they don’t feel like it at the time. They are all positioned at exactly the right place and time to mould us into the person we need to become in order for God to be able to use us for His glory.

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BEING FAITHFUL WITH LITTLE IN SMALL BEGINNINGS

I have heard it once said that the only people that start at the top of their work are ‘grave diggers’. That means by and large we all have to begin at a humble start. Learning the basics and mastering each step along the way. The more we do this, particularly with aheart of king good attitude and disposition, the more likely we are to walk with favour from God and man.

As we work with excellence and a good attitude as unto the Lord, God will put it into the hearts of those in positions of influence to promote us – promotion the right way comes from God.

 

God is not in a hurry to promote us. He knows exactly what we need and when – He is a Waymaker  so He has already provided and prepared the way. We do not need to fear nor be stressed. The right way up is to learn how to serve, and properly. If we want to be great at being used by God then we cannot be masters for the sake of it. If we are going to be masters of our craft/vocation/profession then we have to do it with the right objective – to be of service to people and in doing so honour and be a witness that God is God and He exists. It is not about flying up the ranks at record speed and arrive with a proud ‘look at me’ smirk on our faces. There are also illegitimate ways of flying up the ranks but they do not honour God and in fact when you get to the top you haven’t learned anything about integrity, mastered the process and art of the work and therefore the fall is likely to be mighty. God has set good reason within process and we must be patient with it. When we can be faithful to be excellent in the humble little early on positions that we have to occupy and do so with a good attitude, at the right time, the Lord will turn the heart of those in strategic places to favour us and open doors that no man can shut.

 

CHECKING OUR MOTIVES FOR PROMOTION

So keep on keeping on. Your labour is not in vain if you labour as unto the Lord. Do not grow weary or discouraged for in due season you will reap a harvest if you do not give up. As hard, tedious and long as the process may seem try not to take the reins and do things ‘your way’ and compromise the Word of God to get to where you want to be. Often times that type of behaviour is indicative of an impure intention so it’s good to check our hearts regularly. Is pride at the root of our desires for promotion? Is it primarily to have a title? Titles without godly character are great catalysts for a fall – think King Saul. He became King but leaned to his own understanding and counsel rather than heeding the advice of the Prophet Samuel in 1 Samuel 13. Furthermore, if our rise is only to satisfy our own desires and purposes then we will be of absolutely no use to God, because being used by God often requires sacrifice. We have to put others’ needs before our own desires because that is what love does and God is love. It would be much better for God to delay our progress than to allow us a promotion that will lead to our eventual destruction.

 

SUBMITTING TO GOD

It is not God’s will that any man should perish, but when we are led away from His path by our own fleshly desires then that is the outcome. This it is why it is supremely important to submit to God and His Word in our daily lives. As we submit our minds, will and emotions in alignment and obedience to His Word then we are less at risk of selling our soul to the evil one who keenly awaits to offer counterfeit solutions and ungodly ways to satisfy our desires. Our heart’s desires must reflect the goodness and Word of God. Everything else is of evil and will lead to destruction. A quick scripture to check our motives is 1 John 2:16 – are we lusting with our eyes, do our desires originate from lust of the flesh or perhaps pride of life? If we don’t exercise self-control over these things and keep a check on our heart’s desires, they will eventually control our minds, will and emotions and cause us to submit our soul to the evil one.

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Trust God’s timing, wisdom and Word as you walk out your path in obedience to the Bible. When you submit to His Word and keep Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, the right doors will open to you as you go in the flow of the Holy Spirit – without you having to stress, compromise your integrity and disobey God’s Word.

 

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Keep being faithful, you have no idea what great destiny God has planned beyond what your eyes and mind can conceive!

Stay blessed.

 

 

 

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Fear Not

The countless times that God has told people in the Bible over and over again amidst dire circumstances and I encourage you reading this too – FEAR NOT for God is with you. Hehelp will never leave nor forsake, He has gone before you to prepare your way in all of your tomorrows – He has ordained certain mountains for you to climb and equipped you with every good thing to enable you to climb them successfully to strengthen your spiritual muscles and faith in Him. God has gone before you and lowered mountains that stand to obstruct in your path. He has broken down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. If you seek Him in His Word and in prayer and you obey the Word, please know this – every single footstep that you take in obedience to His Word is ordered by God. And as you obey Him also be assured that He does not suffer the righteous to be ashamed.

No matter what you may be going through, God has worked it all out for His glory. Stand firm and stand strong with the Lord as your strength and stronghold – He is your always present help in the time of trouble.

 

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There is no trial that can come to you, no storm that can come near you that hasn’t had permission from God and if He allows it to come to you, He will surely get you through it.

You may not see why circumstances are the way that they present themselves today, but trust in God and do not lean to your own understanding. God has a great plan to grow you closer to Him and bring you into the destiny that He has prepared for you. Trust God and submit to Him and as you do this, He will give you the peace that surpasses all understanding to guard your heart and mind.submit

Remember – God is from the realm of eternity, the realm of the unseen. He has worked everything out in the unseen realm perfectly. Do not become downcast by walking and determining your emotions from what your physical eyes see and your physical ears hear (unless you are hearing the Word of God). WE WALK by FAITH AND NOT BY SIGHT.

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Faith sees the impossible – the thing that seems impossible in the physical realm, faith sees and believes it is possible with God based on His Word. Stand strong. Stand firm. Stand on God’s Word because His Word never ever fails.

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Be very careful to whom you lend your ear as faith comes by hearing. The enemy would love you to begin entertaining his lies, and ruminating them over in your head. Protect your mind. Think good thoughts and mediate on the Word and bring every single thought captive to the obedience of Christ, the Word of God.

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Be encouraged. Much love.

 

Walking Through Trials

Yes it’s correct nobody said this life would be easy but my goodness sometimes these trials are downright difficult. It’s one thing understanding that crystal clear in your mind, and even accepting it, however when you actually have to walk that walk – I mean really WALK because there’s nothing you can do to speed it up and get it over and done with, it’s quite hard. Scrap that, it’s very hard. Phenomenally hard.

 

Being Tested

Our faith being tested is a necessary part of our walk and growth in our relationship with God. It helps us to know Him more clearly, develop our faith in Him more deeply, and when we purpose and fix our minds to be more like Christ, the trials are often purposed to refine our character. You know the type of test to determine whether we will show the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), be self controlled and exhibit the love and character of Christ amidst our trials and with that one person that in another lifetime we would have knocked upside the head in our imagination….  or are we somewhere on that sliding scale where God is still dealing with us as we haven’t mastered those wonderful virtues and it shows. Either way, trials are crucial to our growth in God. But there’s just something intrinsically difficult about knowing it and then living it.

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No Two Are The Same

One thing I do know is that no two trials are identical. If we fail a trial (because we get all in the flesh and feelings thinking everything is all about us) and haven’t mastered the all-important WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) then I truly do believe that God will send that trial around again in another form to teach us whatever lesson we need to learn. And we will keep getting that thing fall into our laps again and again until we learn to pay attention, strengthen our faith, crucify our flesh and be a good Ambassador of Christ in our lives.

Nothing so clearly shows us that God isn’t about the shortcut life like the journey of the Children of Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land. A journey that should have taken them 11-days took them 40-years! Going round that mountain again and again because they were not learning the lesson and submitting to God. That in itself is a lesson. SUBMIT. Unless you want to learn the hard way by doing your own thing and being stiff-necked and rebellious, SUBMIT! For the children of Israel that lesson cost them a lot. A whole generation didn’t even get to enter the promised land because of their disobedience. We have to ask ourselves this question ‘is doing things my way more important to me than forgoing my blessing, no matter how hard it gets?’ Well obviously that’s a rhetorical question because of course nobody in their right mind who is serious about their walk with God would answer that question in the affirmative. Nobody wants to see somebody else enjoying their blessing because they were too impatient to ride out the storm.

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The Journey of Trials & Tests 

So what makes the difference between an 11-day journey and a 40-year journey? Something obviously caused a journey that was suppose to be a relatively straight-forward one to become extremely protracted.

When reading the Word it becomes very clear that the issue was not one of logistics i.e. the need of a good map or SatNav equipment. No. The issue was with the Children of Israel’s submission to God’s authority along the journey. It’s easy for us to sit here all comfortably and remark that if they had just submitted to being obedient to the Word of God through Moses, God’s appointed Leader, then surely they’d have got to the Promised Land, and got there in good time. However we must ask turn that question inwardly and ask ourselves what God is trying to teach us in our own seasons of wilderness. Nothing is without purpose. Everything is designed to teach us something.

 

Submission In The Trial

It’s all in the word ‘submission’ really, so what does it mean to be submitted This word has been of particular angst to me, and certainly so in my early walk with God. For a ‘control-freak’ to consider submission is like spilling black tea on the white carpeted home of someone with OCD… just not good. It helps to have some clarity on what submission in the trial is suppose to encapsulate so that we can weigh our own thoughts and behaviours accordingly.

To submit is to place oneself under the authority of another – quite literally yielding one’s own will to the authority of another. God’s will is His Word, so submitting to God’s will is to submit to His Word, and whatever that means for your situation and circumstance in life. To help even further (because some of us relate better in picture or examples) we have Jesus who is God’s Living Word who has given us a clear illustration of what it means to live the Word of God – and yes you will recall He was tested in all points as we are and yet was without sin (Hebrews 4:15). Therefore we have a variety of examples to glean what standard of faith, love and character God is trying to extract from within us during these tests and trials of life.

Principally (for me) the lesson is this – Whatever God says, just get your thoughts aligned to it (your feelings will follow) and obey without delay. Whether this means actively doing something to obey, or actively refraining from doing something, or quite simply waiting – our favourite pastime – NOT.

The Children of Israel picked up some bad habits in their former lives in Egypt, copying the customs of the Egyptians and incorporating it into their own lifestyles. God is not into that type of mixing. He wants His children to be holy like He is holy. This means coming out from among them in the world doing worldly things driven by lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life, and instead being holy. Thinking, behaving and living differently to the world in a holy lifestyle submitted to God.

I think for many of us, the transition time from receiving the Word of Promise to actually inhabiting the reality of promise is a period of immense waiting amidst trial and test for a reason. Just like the children of Israel, we have to be prepared for the Promise. We can’t take old mindsets, old behaviours and old coping mechanisms into a new and improved reality lest we destroy the promise. So God being the Potter has to refine us by breaking down the old mould of who we used to be and chipping away the things that are not good, and reshaping us through life lessons into who we need to be.mind By the time that the trial is over, we should mirror Him. Our character should be refined, we should naturally live life in the flow of the Fruit of The Spirit as our usual standard of living… not something that we have to remind ourselves of when we hit a tough spot. When we have been refined and reshaped like this, we will be the good vessel that God can now use for His promised purpose.

 

 

 

Every Trial Has Its Purpose

”And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.” Mark 2:22

In the same way God is not going to give His absolute best to you without first preparing you to BE THE BEST to handle the promise, otherwise both your character and the promise will be destroyed. It is not God’s will that any blessing cause your destruction so He has to prepare you. God is not going to pour a fresh anointing on an old and unsuitable vessel. A new you is required for whatever plan God has promised to take you into. There are no shortcuts. Trust God in the process of preparation.

 

Time & Waiting

God is not confined by time, for He is a God from the realm of eternity. If God is not constrained by time for our lives then we shouldn’t allow time to restrict our faith in what God is trying to establish in our lives. Therefore it is in our own interests to forget about the timing and focus on the purpose. What is God trying to teach us in THIS SEASON? Let’s not overly focus on what is to come otherwise we won’t see clearly the lesson that is right in front of us that is quite literally the stepping stone into the next level of our destiny.

It sounds very cool to say ‘live in the present’ but really do have to do that. We have to focus on what God is trying to teach us in the present with an eternity mindset. This is not something that we learn from the world. What we have learned from the world is what causes the battlefield in the mind in the first place when we try to submit our will to God’s in our everyday living.

This is why we have to be different. Because we have to renew our minds to be aligned with God’s Word so that we can be transformed into the vessel He has predestined us to be and fulfill the purpose for which He created us, which means finally inhabiting the Promised Land. We cannot inhabit the promised land with old mindsets – the Children of Israel proved that. Similarly we cannot please God with a worldly mindset. Let the world do things their way, we have to submit to God’s Word and do it that way. The world is not about your God, so don’t be about their lives and comparing it to yours. God knows what He has prepared along the path of your life and knows exactly what will manifest and when. Trust Him.

 

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Be Patient with God and Be Patient With Yourself In The Process

Be encouraged. We all go through it. Sometimes we succeed epically in a trial. Sometimes we fall. In the words of Donnie McClurkin, a saint is just a sinner who fell down down, and got up. Don’t beat yourself up about falling short, we all fall short but God has given us His grace to endure the trials. It is this grace we must remember to enable us to get back up again and ride out the storm. God got this and He definitely has got you. Believe it. ALL His plans for you are good.

 

I will just finish on this thought – Remember Job? He was a blessed and faithful man of God with whom was well and truly pleased. When Job suddenly lost everything it was nothing to do with his failure but everything to do with proving his faith. God used Job as evidence that there is a truly faithful man on the Earth. You have no idea what greatness is inside of you that God wants you to walk out on this earth. Keep your faith because you have greatness within that God wants to display and use in this world for His glory and Kingdom that many may know Him and saved. Be patient with God and with yourself. All things are made beautiful in His time.

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Stay blessed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRYING SITUATIONS, ENEMIES & HARDSHIPS? YOU GOTTA LOVE THEM ALL!

 

What a command it is that we are to love our enemies. The people that put us down, ridicule us, sabotage our hopes, dreams and plans to accelerate in life – love ‘those’ people? That sounds like a very tall order in the first instance, yet it is exactly what Jesus told us to do

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Why Though?

If there’s one thing we know, that Jesus never said anything without very good reason and for our own good. And when I say our own good, I don’t mean in a happy-go-lucky way, I mean good in the terms of what God calls good – our own effectiveness, growth and productivity in the purposes for which He created us. Remember, God created us with intention, planning and purpose and for us to grow into fulfilment of all those things, we often need ‘catalysts‘ to help stimulate that growth.

Consider your enemies (those people that are diametrically opposed to you growing into that productive, effective and purposeful person that you were created by God to be) as the said catalysts that God places in our life path to grow us into the image that He predestined for us. You see if we are very honest, most of us want an easy life and through life we can become slightly apathetic in engaging in anything that causes us challenges, particularly very personal growth because let’s face it, life is challenging enough on an everyday basis without finding milestones within to overcome.

However that is exactly the roadmap to our lives. For us to attain, achieve and be productive in the very plans and purposes that God created and called us to fulfill, it means travelling the course of our everyday lives and dealing with the character, mindset and lifestyle shortcomings that we have, in order to prepare and propel us to our next level in God. And nothing quite so refines us and gets us into shape as our enemies if we approach the situation correctly.

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Why Are Enemies Good For Us?

Nothing so greatly reveals your inner potential than your enemies, and God strategically places our enemies in our path to teach us and grow us into what we are destined to become. God clearly revealed this in the Bible time and time again. Let’s consider the account of David’s face off with Goliath.

David -v- Goliath – The Face Off – So David had been walking in  a good and close relationship with God from his youth. One day seemingly out of the blue, the Prophet Samuel comes to Jesse’s house (David’s father) with news that he has come to anoint the next King of Israel.  Well that must have been exciting because in those days it was no small feat to be King of Israel. Whether you were reverent of God or living as a heathen, everyone knew that the King of Israel was an elect position of the One True Living God.

 

The Process

Now the usual family dynamics were in full play in Jesse’s household upon Samuel’s arrival. David was regarded amongst in family (especially his siblings) as the least in the family. David was not the one that the family regarded as the most physically attractive (for that was Eliab) the first one who was considered by Samuel. Yet God quickly offered Samuel valuable insight regarding the decision-making process – that whilst mankind looks/values/esteems people’s appearance, God looks at the condition (cleanliness/holiness/sanctity) of a person’s heart (1 Samuel 16:7). And so it continued with Jesse making all the ‘most likely’ candidates come before Samuel, but the Lord had chosen none of them. It got to the point where Samuel had to ask “Are these all your sons?” and then of course that prompted Jesse to declare the one whom nobody in the family thought would be ‘the one’, cue David. They fetched for David who was doing the hard manual labour reserved for the very least of the clan out in the fields. And upon his presentation to Samuel… yes you guess it, the Lord said “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!” . I can only imagine the ghastly look of bewilderment in everyone else’s eyes as the least was promoted to the greatest by the Lord’s divine will and providence.

So back to the enemy bit – firstly in the eyes of David’s siblings, David was by far the least liked and a good read around the book of 1 Samuel illustrates this. However David needed them for his growth and building up his resilience in life for what God had planned for him later on down the road of his destiny. All their belittling of David taught him to lean upon and trust in the Lord as his strength, stronghold and champion. He grew resilient and therefore dealing with his big brothers’ difficulties had inadvertently set him up for building up his relationship with God even stronger. And just to put it into context – anyone with older siblings knows that even the thought of confronting or going against an older sibling is frightening, let alone living with the constant cognisance that they think so little of you. So David’s family set-up and crafted him to have a mindset that depended upon God as his strength and peace and thus he developed a strong and intimate relationship with God.

Can you imagine though what it must have felt like for David after the Prophet Samuel left? His brothers’ attitudes was probably not any more affirming toward him than before he was anointed, and to top it all off there was no strategy or plan given to him about when this whole kingship thing would get off the ground. For David it was back to the fields and minding the sheep. What faith and assured knowing of God it must have taken for him to go back and work in the field after being anointed in the midst of those heightened family dynamics. But David was faithful and continued on about his father’s business until the Lord called him about His business.

 

Revelation

By the time that the whole Goliath situation presented himself, David’s relationship with God was so on-point that he recognised that as a divine assignment especially for him. He promptly stepped forward (not cockily mind you but in the name and to the glory of God) and dealt Goliath one almighty blow that took him down with a single stone. And that precipitated the circumstances that brought David into perfect alignment into God’s plan for his kingship. He stayed and served King Saul whom God knew would disobey Him, and would be the catalyst to replacing David as King instead of Saul.

 

Perception Is Everything

This is a short summary of very big and significant accounts of events in David’s life to illustrate that how what we perceive people and events in chapters of our lives which we label as ‘horrible’, ‘worst’, ‘enemy’ are actually divinely placed there by God to help us grow into the great destiny that He has prepared for us. I can guarantee you that nobody in Jesse’s house thought that David would be the one anointed as King.

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Change The Way You See (Perceive) Things

The next time you have a challenging person in your life, or presented with a challenging situation just be assured that this has been divinely allowed by God to draw you closer tofuture Him and take you to the next level in Him. Don’t fight the situation. Be resilient and draw on godly character and God’s strength to see you through to finish well and get the crown of your destiny. God’s plans for you are good. Trust Him.

 

Stay blessed.

 

 

FTGFF (Fighting The Good Fight of Faith)

In this day of acronyms (where there’s literally one for everything) I decided to embark on this one for the title feature. So as you’ve guessed it, the theme is about faith and fighting. It sounds like a very nice encouraging ‘good-Christian’ type of thing to say to someone who confides that they are going through a tough time and a trial, that they should ‘fight the good fight of faith’.

 

Break It Down To Me….

But what does that really mean in real life situations to ‘fight the good fight of faith’? I mean seriously when all hell is breaking loose around you, you want to have power that you can use to restore peace to your heart and mind, particularly when you can’t even control the situation you’re dealing with. At times like this what we need is not just pleasant sounding scriptures to regurgitate in the hope that something will change. No. What we need is to have a full revelation of what those scriptures mean for our lives. So that when the enemy comes in like a flood trying to plague us with thoughts of fear and anxiety, what we need is the Word within us to rise up by the unction of the Holy Spirit and crush those taunting thoughts to restore peace, love and a sound mind.

What i’m really saying is that for the Word to have power within us and for us to use it effectively in trying situations, we need a revelation of the scriptures.

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Promises, People, Purpose

Promises – We see repeatedly through the scriptures that God promised to fulfil His Word to His people. Yet just as us today, we have to remember that the people living in biblical times were humanity just like us living in a world amongst people who lived in ignorance oblivion and irreverence to God. Therefore in order for God to manifest His power and fulfil His Word and promises, God had to find a certain type of person to work with as a vessel through whom He could do these things.

People – That is the certain type of person whom we strive to be if we really want to see the power of God in our lives. It is a person that believes the promises of God, and the faithfulness of God to fulfil His Word regardless of whatever we see around us. It means that whatever the world is doing, we can stand confidently on the Word that God has given us and trusting that He will fulfil it in His time.

This type of commitment is not for the faint hearted. No not at all, because the battle is in mind. When you see the world doing things their way and getting on by doing big things, and you’re still seemingly plodding on making minor moves in your faithfulness to God, can you continue? When you’re living in a world of ‘Go-Getters’ who are getting ‘it all’ and your faithfulness to God means that you have to exercise self-control and submission, can you continue to be faithful? At the risk of looking extremely different to the point of a fool in the world’s eyes, can you still be faithful? That is the type of person that God is looking for. Someone who will be loyal to Him regardless of what the world is doing.

Purpose – Despite what whatever dogma the world is permeating, I can categorically tell you that the Word of God is clear that we are not here on this earth to gather up wealth, satisfy all our fleshly cravings and then die. God made each of us for a purpose.

God wants to establish His Kingdom here on earth as it is in Heaven through us the church – the people and Body of Christ. But just like the Children of Israel, each of us being the Church and the Body of Christ has to be different to the world and set apart for God’s purposes and holiness. Just as Jesus Christ was the embodiment of the Word and the Holy Spirit power of God, so too do we have to separate ourselves into submission to God’s Word so that the Word can manifest through our lives and display the full power of God for His Glory.eyes

When the pressure to conform to the world is mounting, and the desire to fit in and do as the world is doing is becoming insurmountable, remember this: The Kingdom of God is eternal, and the world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. We are Kingdom People and we are here for Kingdom Business.

 

 

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The Price of Kingdom Business…

Being about Kingdom Business means so many things. It means:

  • Being different – not conforming to building your life according to the patterns of the world, but changing your mindset to live life according to God’s Word, will and purpose.
  • Looking foolish – Noah looked foolish when building the arc, but he lived and the world passed away. David looked foolish going into battle with stones against a giant whom nobody dared face, yet David went in the name and power of God and defeated Goliath.
  • Waiting – yes, this is the absolute killer. If we can conquer this we have pretty much nailed it. The wait is super hard. Sarah (Abraham’s wife) couldn’t wait and gave her Maidservant  Hagar to Abraham to have a son (and what thorn in her side that decision was). Waiting means submitting to God’s wisdom and not trying to do it our own way. Most times when God gives a prophetic word it will seem like utter nonsense and we can quite easily tear down with our mouths what God is trying to establish in our lives. Remember Zachariah? He wanted proof that God would do what He said He would do, and his unbelief was at risk of damaging the path for John The Baptist to prepare the way for Jesus Christ. Zachariah couldn’t fathom in his own wisdom how the Word of God could be fulfilled in his dire and near impossible situation in the natural. God muted him.

 Your wait is tied into the great destiny that lies ahead of you. Even Jesus Christ was tempted in the wait. In Matthew 4 Jesus was led by the Spirit of God into the wilderness to be tempted of the enemy. Jesus was fasting for 40-days and 40-nights in order to prepared and full of power for His Galilean Ministry and perform all the great wonders and miracles we read about in the Bible today. Yet of course the enemy didn’t want Jesus Christ to fulfill His destiny. So what did the enemy do? Tempted Jesus with a counterfeit situation promising Him all the kingdoms of the world if Jesus would worship him. Yet Jesus knew the Word and defeated the enemy with the Word. destiny

In our own wilderness seasons that we have been led into by the Spirit of God, we will face many challenges to our faithfulness to God, a few of which I have outlined above. Be careful not to make decisions out of desperation, out of your own wisdom or settling for a counterfeit at the cost of your soul or destiny (or both). Remember God is trying to establish His church, His will and His purpose through each of our lives. Don’t derail your destiny by submitting to the cravings of your humanity and trying to fit into the world’s way of doing life. Be bold, be different and be faithful to God through it all.

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Stay blessed and encouraged.

 

A ‘Beautiful’ Place

I was recently reading Acts 3 and was struck by how much peace we could gain in our lives if we purposed our minds to find the principles in scripture to help us with our own life situations. The account in particular that I was reading was when Peter healed a man who had been lame from birth.

 

Same Old Same Old

This man had a condition that impaired his quality of life from the beginning, and it was this condition that prevented him from being like everyone else. Whilst people all around him were going about their everyday lives, enjoying the highs and the lows of independent living (which they probably took for granted), the lame man was daily reminded of his imperfections as he was put at the temple gate to beg in order to sustain a living. Yet his sustenance was dependent upon other people’s empathy with him, because he couldn’t fend for himself.

Can you imagine how many hours, days, months, years this man sat in a place called Beautiful and lamented and probably fantasised about something beautiful happening to him. In that mindset, what do you suppose is the best that he could have hoped for? That one day he might find favour in someone’s eyes and be given a windfall, or perhaps a great opportunity that would alleviate him of the humiliation of sitting and begging in a so-called ‘Beautiful’ place.

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And Then Suddenly….

Then one apparently ordinary day, he is sitting in his customary spot at the temple gate waiting as usual for someone to relinquish some change to him. However, this particular day it is Peter that walks on by, and this happens:

Peter says: “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”  Taking him by the right hand, he helped the lame man up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.  He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.  When all the people saw him walking and praising God,  they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

 

What About Me?

Sometimes in life we find ourselves in situations where we think that compared to everyone around us we are crippled by circumstance. Maybe all our friends have high-flying jobs and despite our best efforts we haven’t established a career yet. Perhaps the great majority of our friends and family have now married and settled down with kids and we still haven’t even met the one! Or it could quite simply be that we think everyone else has an amazing and fantastic life, and we look at our own with great despair. Whatever it is, we can find ourselves in circles of greatness that look like a Beautiful Place but actually whist we’re there we feel lame and out of place.

This is not particularly difficult to imagine in this day and age where social media platforms make it very easy for people to manipulate an image of a lifestyle which doesn’t accord with reality. There are these amazing looking women with beautiful faces, figures and seemingly a lifestyle that most could only dream of. Yet the images uploaded have been photoshopped, filtered, cropped and God knows where the materials things came from (were they earned through good and noble graft, or is a Sugar Daddy responsible for that, or some soul selling?).

If we are not careful, we can quite easily fall into the trap of believing that our lives have fallen short because everyone else around us seems to be ‘living the life’ when in fact every single person has challenges in life. We even see in the Bible that the great New Testament Paul who was extremely passionate about God had his own thorn in his side that he begged God to remove, but He didn’t. The point is this; be very careful about being amongst and around Beautiful Places and comparing yourself and your journey with what you see. And definitely don’t define yourself by your circumstances. No season lasts forever.

 

Every Situation Has A Purpose

Our God is an intentional God, I mean even Travis Greene sang about it! God took great care and intention when creating the universe and heavens with great thought and specification. Even down to our own bodies having a plethora of organs, cells and chromosomes that are ordered to work together in a particular way for a purpose. Therefore be very assured that nothing that comes or happens to you in life is by accident. The Bible is literally filled with situations where God shows up with absoluteintentinal divine timing in the most amazing situations that ONLY GOD could do. The benefit for us is that with a flick of a few pages and discerning study we can understand the divine purpose and perspective why certain situations happened, even though at the time the biblical characters were going through what they would call a real crisis! (Think 2 Chronicles 20:1-30). Just as in the Bible, God allows and orders certain situations in our lives to teach us things about life, draw us into closer relationship with Him and even sharpen our character. Therefore it is a deceptive thought that would cause us to believe that our lives are different or an exception to God’s intentional rule. God is the same yesterday, today and forevermore and changes not. (Hebrews 13:8, Malachi 3:6)

 

The Lame Man – I think we can all empathise very easily with the lame man sitting daily in a place watching the world go by with all its independence and splendor, whilst he sat probably on a dirt road by the gate begging. Over the years he might have sat there with all the time in the world to think some long hard thoughts. To observe people’s behaviour. To learn lessons vicariously. But most importantly no matter how far his thoughts travelled, he had a cognisance of God because every day he sat at the Temple Gate and watched people going backward and forward taking their goods and firstfruits to honour God in the temple. This must have resonated with him. God was active in their lives, and their honouring Him was proof. When would be his turn? When would he get blessed with abundance?84acb5ec8fdeea673c7872d9c3a9329c--have-faith-faith-in-god

Our Story – Just like the lame man, we can often look around and see people getting blessed and going back and forth with blessings, yet our lives are seemingly stagnant. Every period of seeming stagnation has a purpose. For us to learn lasting lessons of God’s principles and to grow closer to Him, so that by the time that the windows of heaven open over us, we do not be consumed with having the blessing, but are consumed with love, gratitude and honour to God for His faithfulness. It also teaches us another principle – what we think we want may not necessarily be what we need, and God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think. The lame man might have wanted to live in and amongst abundant blessings so that he would not have to beg again, but God’s plan was to give him a fully functioning body.

In our wilderness seasons and those seasons of feeling a bit lame, might we do better by reflecting what God would have us focus on and learn the lessons that God is trying to teach us in the season, rather than focussing on what we don’t have. If we focus on what other’s have, all we do is magnify what appears to be our shortcomings. However if we focus on God, we will learn the purpose for the seasons that we are in, and position ourNothing-happens-in-life-by-accident hearts, minds and thoughts to be reverentially ready for the abundant and miracle working power of God in our lives. No eye has seen, no ear has heard neither has it entered the heart of man what God has in store for those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Just like Paul’s thorn, the lameness in our lives are there to strengthen us in our  dependence on God and draw us into closer relationship with Him. As we do this, we can perceive by His Spirit the abundance of what He wants to do in and through our lives for His Glory, as a witness to the world that He is God. And when we dance and praise God with thanksgiving, people will be amazed and in awe of how God turned our situations around, just like they did when they watched the lame man walking, jumping and praising God.

So as hard as it may be, learn to be content in your situation whatever the lameness it. Our God is a Mighty God and His arm is not too short to save you from whatever trial, adversity or situation you are in (Isaiah 59:1).

Stay blessed.

 

 

 

 

 

Life Without God

 

 

Life Without God

What an absolute oxymoron. As a firm believer in God and in also in the Bible, it is my  solid belief that it is impossible for there to be life without God.

In this secular world we are constantly bombarded with secularist and humanist ideology which seeks to undermine the very essence, presence and truth that God is the Source of all life, and without Him nothing that exists now could exist. ‘THAT’ ideology would have you believe that we all morphed from a random Big Bang event and came to be humans over time. I’m definitely not embarking on a mission here to castigate anyone who has different beliefs to mine (as I believe that we have all been given the divine gift of choice). We can choose to accept God and His Word (Bible) or we can choose to reject it. The only thing we cannot choose, is to escape the consequences of our choices.

 

IS GOD LIFE?

Well the short answer from a biblical perspective is a resounding yes. God is indeed life and in fact, it is the very breath of God that gives us all life. Whether people agree with it or not (and by all means it is their choice to make) – it still does not change the fact that it is the breath of God that is the Source of all life. Contrary to what some would have you believe, God is not some narcissistic being that sits there waiting for us to make a mistake so that He can punish us. Quite the contrary. God is merciful and loving and passionately wants all humanity to live by the principles upon which He founded this Earth and universe – principles of love, peace, working in tandem with kindness, patience, forgiveness, humility and endearment toward each other.

 

New Thought & New Ideology: There Is No God

However over the period of time mankind has become increasingly self-righteous by trusting in the paucity of his own wisdom. This, combined with the deceptive proclivities of the heart has led to the heart of man being filled to the point of overflowing with iniquity. As a result, mankind has actually sought to re-write history according to his own evolved thought and wisdom and has been gradually seeking to erase the truth and permeate the world with his own ideals. These are ideals that promote fleshly, selfish and prejudicial perspectives of life driven by greed, power and wealth.

 

Subtle Tactics

Imagine if over time, all you kept seeing was one image of alleged ‘truth’ and one story being fed to you as the commonly and only acceptable belief of society. Eventually over time (particularly if you were not permitted to challenge that cultural belief) you would subconsciously begin to believe and buy into the dogma. This would certainly shape your perception of life and the world.

This is the subtle and sophisticated nature of what is known as the deception of the enemy and is the subtle tactics through which the cultural norms of society are manipulated so that eventually people really do believe that there is no God and that the Bible is just a collection of fictitious events.

 

Just imagine how utterly ridiculous it would be if in 500-600 years from now future generations read one of our modern day biographies and decided that it was all fictitious because they could not conceive of life in that way, and consequently decided to rewrite history. Yet this is the very thing that is happening in this day and age. And the more fashionable it becomes to be atheist, humanist and any other type of ‘ist‘ (especially when these ‘new thought ideals’ are pumped through every media platform available), soon being a Believer in God will be a small minority of the world’s population.

The first thing that the serpent in the Garden of Eden used to attack mankind’s relationship with God was false information/lies. The same technique has been used for centuries. A manipulation of the truth and outright lies have been fed to the world to make people believe that there is no God, and that people should only believe what they see and understand as real.

 

Evidence of God Everywhere

What I find incredibly surprising is that in life there is evidence of God absolutely everywhere, and we need not look any further than our own lives. Mankind literally lives and breathes by virtue of the breath of God. When breath is withdrawn, so is life. Every living thing requires the breath of God to live on this earth. When God takes His breath from our physical bodies, our physical bodies die but our spirit-man (which is eternal) continues to live on.  Whether it lives on in the presence of God or not is the real distinction between life and death.

Death is simply the state of being outside of the presence of God. In this earth we have a physical manifestation of life which is obvious because we have arms and legs which we can see. However there is a vast array of  spiritual life which co-exists with the physical world which pretty much remains invisible to our naked eye.

Yet even with our physical existence on earth, we still have the presence of God both within and around us because the breath of God is what gives us life. Once that breath of God is withdrawn because our number is up, our true essence, our spirit man is fully expressive and receptive to the Spirit of God because our physical flesh existence is no longer creating that barrier. However our spiritual future is predicated on the spiritual decisions that we make today. If we make spiritual decisions that are ignorant of God and repulsive of Him, then when we transition to the other side, that is exactly what will happen – it will be a spiritual existence outside of the holy presence of God and that is what is known as DEATH… and death is ugly. It is the exact opposite of God who is LOVE. Death is destructive and full of sorrow.

Life Without God??

So back to the original question: ‘Can there be life without God?’. In my view the answer is a clear ‘NO’ for all the reasons stated above. However, the more concise description of what people would tend to believe is this: that you can live without reverence of God, and in total ignorance of His presence.

In this physical realm many people do just that. They go about life without a single thought for God unless a grave emergency falls into their laps. Ultimately however, we all pass away and when our true essence (our souls and spirit) move into the spiritual realm, the place where we will end up will completely depend upon the choices we have made with our minds, hearts and souls in this physical realm. Those choices will determine our spiritual home.

If our choices in this physical plane have been to live outside of God’s reverence and ignorant and dismissive of His existence, then eternity will be spent outside of His presence and that is what is known as DEATH. Life is the presence of God. Death is the absence of the purposeful, productive and holy presence of God.

Let’s purpose to make good choices whilst we are here on earth that are reverentially obedient and submissive to God’s Word, because the worst words we could ever hear are ”depart from me, I never knew you”.

Stay blessed.

 

Choices & Decisions…

There are two things we are given in life: Time and Choice.

Generally speaking, by a certain age we get to choose the direction of our lives and how we choose to spend our moments. Admittedly, we are not always conscious and deliberate about the choices that we make on an every day basis, and sometimes we are completely unaware of the profound consequences of the choices we make.

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So What’s In A Choice?

A choice is a freewill decision that is rooted in a conviction (of something that we believe to be right), or something that we desire.  Therefore, our choices reflect the essence of the thoughts in our hearts. Whatever we willingly choose to do is a complete reflection of the condition of how we truly think in our hearts. This is why many people care less for the futile words spoken by others and instead watch more closely their actions, for ultimately a person will only act in accordance with what they think. Yes it’s true that people can plod along and acquiesce with certain actions to feign their true intentions, but this can only go on for so long. The passions of the heart cannot be suppressed forever and whatever someone is thinking in their heart will ultimately be expressed in their actions – and that action is an expression of their choice and how that person thinks and feels.

Making Good Choices

This is a life-long lesson. The older I get, the deeper the seat of humility I take because I recognise that I am but a student in this life long lesson. When I made a commitment toaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa5 live whole-heartedly an uncompromised life for Christ, it came at a cost. That cost was to forsake my own limited wisdom in favour of making every life decision in the context of what God’s Word says is the right thing to do, and submitting to that. If we believe that God’s Word is true and good, then making decisions in alignment with His Word should be our aim in life. This is definitely not always easy. It requires faith and courage to step away from what society regards as ‘normal’ in order to honour God’s Word. But it also requires wisdom to know how to translate our actions in a loving way to the world around us.

Our Choices Is The Sum Total of Our Lives

We have often heard the terms (especially on food and lifestyle TV programmes) that we are what we eat. What we choose to eat and put inside of our bodies is what we outwardly express in our health and appearance. The same applies to our lives. If we put God’s Word in our hearts and we live by it with conviction out of a genuine love for God (and not a rigid religious mindset) then our outward expression should be a set of decisions in alignment with God’s love and God’s Word. It sounds so simple, but reality can be far different.

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In this life, we have to contend the desires of our flesh. This means we have to contend feelings of lust, envy, jealousy, greed, laziness, anger and pride to name but a few. Trying to live righteously by the Word of God when we are battling such feelings can be a trial in itself.

Example:

Woman A loves God deeply and passionately but the events of her life have left her feeling somewhat insecure. As a result she constantly compares herself to those in her work/social circle, and these comparisons leave her with feelings of jealousy when she wants something that someone else has. If Woman A doesn’t deal her insecurities she will forever be battling feelings of jealousy and envy, which is the fastest way to kill relationships, because you cannot have a lasting, joyful and loving relationship with people whom you are secretly competing against. Such powerful emotions cannot be suppressed and will come out. Eventually Woman A will get to the point of wondering why she has been unable to sustain any meaningful long-term friendships and this ‘insecurity issue’ is likely to be one of the root causes.

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Our Choices Affect Our Lives and The Lives of Those Around Us

As we can see from the example above, Woman A’s choice not to deal with her insecurities has had a profound effect on her social (and probably other) relationships.aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa8 This issue in particular rarely only affects a person’s social life, but also can seriously affect a person’s mental wellbeing as persistent overwhelming feelings of loneliness can cause depression to set in. One choice by Woman A in deciding not to confront and deal with one issue of insecurity has led to a succession of other issues in her life that has ruined so many relationships.

On a day-to-day level it can seem no big deal to devise coping strategies to avert dealing with what we recognise to be ‘issues’ in our lives. Often times we devise these coping strategies so that we don’t have to come face-to-face with issues that make us have to face and deal with our vulnerabilities and shortcomings … AND God forbid that our mask slips so the world sees that we haven’t got it ‘all together’. Again.. it’s a choice.

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Friends, Family, Church: ACCOUNTABILITY

I am a firm believer that we cannot live without community. We all need community and no man is an island especially in this walk of faith. We need a circle and people whom we respect to be noble Believers so that we can have a line of accountability. It’s for our own good. None of us want to die with an unfulfilled destiny. We all want God to be pleased with us. Therefore part of this journey is about having people around us that can help encourage and empower us to be our BEST SELVES. People that we can be vulnerable with, who won’t judge us but will lovingly and sensitively help us deal with our issues and build us up into the people that God created us to be. That is what accountability is all about. It’s a part of travelling and navigating through this life with a support network that is for you to help you make good decisions with the two things you are given in this life – time and choice.

Stay blessed.

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The Big 3 Essentials: A DIY Spiritual Checklist…

I don’t know about you but I love a checklist! I think checklists are a great utensil to measure progress in a quick manner, especially in this fast-paced society. These days with a few clicks or ticks we can pretty much assess or access most things we need to know. So here I am with my very own ‘The Big 3 Essentials: A DIY Spiritual Checklist’

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SO WHAT’S THE CHECKLIST ALL ABOUT?

The checklist includes the essential characteristics that we must strive to have embedded in our being in order to be in good alignment with the Word and thus God’s Kingdom. There are certain qualities that we must possess (even if we haven’t perfected them, we should at least be striving for better) if we want to be in alignment with: God, His Kingdom and the great destiny that He has prepared for each of us. There is a whole host of qualities that we should possess, but I have identified what I consider to be the Essentials…. And to be honest I think this is more than enough to give us a good kick up the derriere for a quick Spiritual Health Check. I should warn you right here and now that this will leave you wanting to do better….

THE CHECKLIST

aaaaaaaaaaaaaa checkbox Living With A God-Perspective This one is supremely important as everything else basically emanates from this one. We are urged to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things (everything we need as we live in this physical realm) shall be given to us Matthew 6:33. This means that our focus and perspective through which we define and decide all of life’s issues is based on God’s Word – I hasten to add NOT the norms and customs of society (which are ever changing) but based on the Word of God.

After spending regular focussed time in the Word, it becomes extremely clear that God’s principles are completely opposite to the world’s way of doing things. This is the reason that we are urged to renew our mind and become transformed from what we have been conditioned to do by the world and be transformed into the Spiritual Being that God created us to be whilst living this human experience. Romans 12:2

The more time we spend reading and studying God’s Word, the more we understand the principles that He created for life. Usually, by the time we have made the decision to live full-on and completely for God, we have usually racked up a fair bit of worldliness in our character… we think how the world thinks, we strive and have ambition how the world does and we value what the world values. So to make the transformation and transition into the level of holiness that God requires takes consistent practice and a changed way of thinking. I truly believe that this is what Jesus meant when He said that unless you change and turn from your sins and become like little children (seeking guidance with a genuine intention to use it as a basis for living) then you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven Matthew 18:3

Essentially, if we genuinely want to live our lives as pleasing to God, then we need to consistently check that we are viewing life through His perspective (through the perspective of His Word). To live life with a lukewarm relationship and spirituality with God (where we only want to do obey certain bits of God’s Word because it suits us but not other parts) then just be reminded of what God says about lukewarm people:

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So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.  Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Revelation 3:16-19

aaaaaaaaaaaaaa checkboxHeart of Humility – Humility (being low-key and modest about the achievements in your life) is a very important quality in the sight of God. Humility acknowledges that you are what you are by the grace of God. The opposite of humility is pride (which I will not delve into as I did an entire post about pride last month (type ‘pride’ into the search area). Suffice to say that pride is deep satisfaction with oneself, one’s possessions, one’s close associates and basically anything that one can boast about as part of their life. It is the opposite of humility. Humility stands with a reverent consciousness of God through life and recognises that nothing gets through life without going through God first. Humility recognises that if Jesus Christ, the King of Kings came and served and made Himself of no reputation, then we must also do the same. Philippians 2:7.

At the heart of humility are a few core qualities: secure (because you know that you’re in alignment with God and all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28); servitude (because you do everything as unto God as King and Lord of your life, and you recognise that true promotion comes from the Lord – Colossians 3:23-24); contentment (because you know that God is a good and faithful God and He honours His Word, and you know that  in due season your diligent faithful reverence of Him will be rewarded with His blessing. Blessing is not your motivation for reverence, but it is God’s reward to you for your obedience and faithfulness to Him. Contentment comes because you trust God’s omniscience and His plans for your life – as long as you are honouring His Word consistently).

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aaaaaaaaaaaaaa checkbox Sensitivity To The Holy Spirit (Especially Conviction of Sin) The Holy Spirit is a special gift given to us by God and is our Guide to living on the path of righteousness in this life. A good indicator as to how spiritually fit we are is how sensitive we are to the Holy Spirit. If we are living our lives God-consciously and in reverence of Him, we should be experiencing those red flag moments when we are about to do something we ought not to be doing, say something we ought not to say or think something that is not a godly thought. As long as we are sensitive to the unction of the Holy Spirit we have our Spiritual GPS working, and we ought to be working in obedience to our Spiritual GPS. If however you get to the point where you are not feeling bad about living in contradiction to God’s Word, it’s a big sign that you may not be walking in alignment with God’s Word, not hearing from the Holy Spirit… and the absolute worst case scenario: your conscience has been seared. This is usually a massive red flag because you have to be walking in deliberate disobedience to God without remorse or repentance. No judgment, but this really is not a good place to be, and I would urge anyone at this stage to seek to repair their relationship with God ASAP as a matter of urgent priority. Nobody wants to be caught in this state.

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HOW DID YOU DO?

None of us are perfect so if you haven’t got big resounding ticks all the way through, it’s not a problem so long as you are striving in your heart to be better. The positive way of looking at it is thank God that we have a quick gauge to show us our areas for improvement.

This is not to judge anyone but to empower and encourage us to strive to be better and do better, so that the glory of God can shine through our lives, the Holy Spirit can move through our lives and be a great light in this terribly dark world to win some souls for God’s Kingdom.

Be encouraged, stay in the Word and may God bless you as you strive to consistently put Him first and honour His Word first in your life.

 

 

PRIDE….

Pride is something that no godly person will ever want to admit to having – EVER! But it’s very important to understand what pride is and regularly guard our heart against it  (and all the other wickedness too!). So what is pride?……

 

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Sounds pretty innocent right? I mean who wouldn’t feel good about something great happening to them or those connected to them? Well, pride is little more than a feel-good-emotion. Pride is deep pleasure…. from ‘one’s own achievements’.

So let’s break this Pride thing down a little bit. Pride has two focal points:

  1. It’s emotion in the extreme, e.g. ‘deep pleasure’
  2. It is a very self-obsessed emotion e.g. to do with me, connected to me.

 

WHAT DOES GOD SAY?

If we are trying to live righteously before God, then that’s the first thing we need to ask “What does God say” – His Word is our benchmark. So if we want to know if something is right or wrong we need to examine His Word to find out what God says about it. Well, let’s just cut right to the chase, pride is heinous – I mean really really bad. Why? In simple terms it makes ‘ME’ more important in my life than God. He is no longer Lord – I am Lord, my thoughts are Lord, my emotions are Lord and in charge of everything. Here are just a few small examples:

  • I want my way – How about “thy will be done?”
  • I made it happen – How about reverent respect for the grace and favour of God?
  • It’s all about me – How about the fact that God says that whomsoever wants to be great must be a servant, which means it’s all about someone else.

 

Pride is one of those things that makes an idol of self (mind, will and emotions). It’s more than just thinking about oneself in a balanced way “I would like this but what would God want, let me submit to what God wants”. The hallmark of pride is extreme emotion to do with the self – extreme self obsession – “I want this…. no buts”. There is no consideration for virtuous purpose, no serious empathy or consideration for anyone else and no genuine celebration for anyone else without comparative lamentation of self…  Me, me, me is numéro uno!

The Main Example of Pride in The Bible

There is one person in the Bible that is the father of pride and that is Satan himself. He wasn’t content to be the Worship Leader in Heaven. He was in a good position, but that wasn’t enough for him. Instead of enjoying the blessed position that he was bestowed with, he became preoccupied with what God had, and Satan began comparing himself to God and becoming covetous and wanting what God had. Satan said in his heart:

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Isaiah 14:13-14

You said in your heart,
    “I will ascend to the heavens;
I will raise my throne
    above the stars of God;
I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,
    on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon.
 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
    I will make myself like the Most High.”

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What Pride Does To A Person

  1. Distorts godly perspective. Godly perspective keeps God in prime position as Lord in our lives. However, when someone is suffering from pride God is no longer in prime position and they become preoccupied with thoughts about themselves, usually in comparison to someone else. One big telltale sign of becoming caught up in pride is continuous comparison. If pride is not dealt with it can even affect how a person is able to discern the will of God for their lives because they are overly concerned with competing against another person rather than succeeding in the life path which God has prepared for them.
  2. Destroys a person’s peace. A person with pride can no longer enjoy contentment with what and where God has blessed them, because their focus has turned from Him to themselves in comparison to another. What was once a blessing has now lost its appeal because someone else seemingly has better.
  3. No-one is perfect, and from time to time we all have the opportunity to feel a little down when our lives feel a little off-kilter. However pride goes one step further. Pride takes hold when a person’s thoughts become routinely out of alignment with godly perspective. When this happens covetousness is born. The inordinate desire to have, do or be the same as someone else. This stage is a warning sign because when the thoughts in a person’s heart are this deep it can lead to ungodly actions like adultery, theft, lies, greed and a whole host of ungodly behaviours.
  4. Destroys relationships. People with pride tend to have difficulty maintaining genuine and fruitful relationships with people whom they perceive to be better than them. There will undoubtedly be a spirit of competitiveness that rises up in the prideful person and sooner or later the unchecked pride will destroy that relationship. Nobody wants to be in relationship with someone who cannot be balanced enough to enjoy the good times, and when there becomes a running theme of selfish ambition in a relationship, it’s just a matter of time before the problem is confronted or the relationship is over.

 

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It Starts In The Heart

We know the scripture that says ”guard your heart with all diligence for out of it flows the issues of life” Proverbs 4:23. Pride is no different. One isolated thought can be excused through repentance. But when the thoughts in your heart are persistently out of godly alignment and focussed on the wrong things it’s time to pray what David prayed:

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None of us are perfect and we all need to check our hearts on a regular basis to ensure that we are correctly aligned with God in our hearts and minds so that we can continue to be used as vessels of honour for His service and glory (not our own). So in complete love and in all humility I say let us all check our hearts (myself included) and let’s pray that we remain in alignment with God’s will for our lives so that He can be glorified and win some for His Kingdom.

Stay blessed.