Pursuing Genuine Godliness

 

The above CC0 image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

What springs to your mind when you think of the word “godliness”?

Do you think of religious people who have a “holier than thou” attitude?

Do you think of weird biblical characters, such as John the Baptist, who lived out in the wilderness and dined on locusts and wild honey?

Or do you think of modern-day saints, such as the late Mother Teresa?

Have you ever considered yourself as “godly” and if not, why not?

Having checked my dictionary, I note that the word “godly” is defined as follows:

religious,

pious

(Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)

 

To me, those two words have negative connotations.

The late Bob Gass, writer of the UCB Word For Today* devotional, said this:

Godliness is an inside job. And the longer you think about it, the more convinced you become that a truly godly person is one whose heart is sensitive to God, who takes God and his Word seriously, and who desires more of Him.

 

And so dear friends, godliness is not an outside job!

Contrary to how others may have defined it, godliness is not determined by whether or not you wear hats, make-up, jewellery, or dresses that cover you from throat to toes. It is not embracing a poverty mind-set and maintaining a frugal or permanently penurious existence.

Godliness is a matter of the heart, a matter of your will.

Now God’s Word tells us that his eyes move throughout the earth, seeking those whose hearts are perfect towards him.

For the eyes of the Lord search back and forth across the whole earth, looking for people whose hearts are perfect toward him, so that he can show his great power in helping them.

2 Corinthians 16:9 – The Living Bible

 

Now that word “perfect” does not mean faultless, never making any mistakes in our relationship with him or with others. It points to a fundamental mindset, desire and drive, to love God with all our hearts, live aligned to his Word and purpose and make him the “be all and end all” of our lives.

On the basis of these two definitions, how do you measure up?

And, if you were to consider a biblical character that lived up to these ideals, who springs to your mind?

I don’t know about you, but the person who immediately impresses me as someone who loved God unreservedly and served him wholeheartedly, is David.

The following extracts from the Bible, grants us insight into David’s relationship with God:

As a deer pants for the water brooks,

So pants my soul for You, O God.

(Psalm 41:1)

 

Do not cast me away from Your presence,

And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

(Psalm 51:11)

 

Because your lovingkindness is better than life,

My lips shall praise You.

(Psalm 63:3)

 

Search me, O God, and know my heart;

Try me and know my anxieties;

And see if there is any wicked way in me,

And lead me in the way everlasting.

(Psalm 139:23-24)

 

The Psalms is littered with many more expressions similar to the above extracts and just reading these reveal David’s utter commitment and devotion towards God. They form a picture of his godliness and portrays what a godly heart and mindset entails.

We see that it incorporates, a love and hunger for God, a passionate and perpetual desire to please and honour Him, entwined with a holy reverence for Him.

If you would like to explore the subject of godliness further, I recommend this excellent article. Please click here.

I conclude today’s post with an extract from the above recommended article, written by the author, Jerry Bridges:

This is the heartbeat of the godly person. As he contemplates God in the awesomeness of his infinite majesty, power, and holiness, and then as he dwells upon the riches of God’s mercy and grace poured out at Calvary, his heart is captivated by this One who could love him so. He is satisfied with God alone, but he is never satisfied with his present experience of God. He always yearns for more.

 

If you enjoyed the article, or would like to read the book from which this extract has been drawn, you can purchase Bridge’s book, The Practice of Godliness, from Amazon – here.

 Now let us pray.

 

Prayer Focus:

Let’s ask God to stir up within our hearts and within the hearts of our brothers and sisters in Christ, a fervent, genuine and increasing desire for godliness.

PS: Now don’t forget to put on your spiritual armour before entering the battlefield of prayer!

 

PRAYER:

Father God,

Again and again, throughout your Word, I see your heart’s desire is to enjoy an ongoing fellowship with your people.

I see it as you walked in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. I see it in your relationship with Enoch, where you both enjoyed such a rich and rewarding fellowship with each other, you decided to bring him home with you to heaven!

I see it in your forming a nation for yourself from the enslaved children of Israel and I see it in your abounding love and amazing generosity of heart, in purchasing my redemption and setting aside a group of people similarly redeemed, which make up the Body of Christ.

Father God, I don’t want to be like those whom Paul decried as having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.

I want to experience every facet of godliness and I desire genuine godliness to be the hallmark of my relationship with you. I pray that my brothers and sisters in Christ will have a similar burning desire.

Holy Spirit, I’m aware that this is not going to happen through my own might or willpower. And so I’m inviting you to come alongside me and help me.

I’m asking that you create an ongoing and increasing hunger and thirst for the knowledge and presence of God, both in myself and in my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Father God, I’m asking that you stir up within me and within your set-apart saints, a heart that reverences you, honours you and ever seeks to please you. May we, as members of the Body of Christ, pursue you and the things pertaining to your kingdom, far more than our own selfish desires and personal aspirations.

Lord God, deliver us from the Evil One. Thwart Satan’s blatant or subtle attempts to discourage, distract, or derail us from a godly mindset and lifestyle.

Enable us to adopt David’s strategy and cry out to you in openness and honesty, seeking your help and daily motivation, regarding our commitment and devotion to you.

In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

© Carol Hind

 

FOR REFLECTION & SCRUTINY :

Has today’s post changed your concept of “godliness”?

What action will you take this week to become one whose heart is “perfect towards God”?

 

*****   *****   *****

 Sunday’s Supplications

Sunday’s Supplications invites you to not only read the posts but also participate in the prayers. Why not become a part of the WoW! community by participating in these prayers?

Let’s pray for ourselves and for each other. Let’s obey God’s command to watch and pray for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18)

Please note, you do not have to be a blogger to join this praying community.

 

 *****   *****   *****

Women of Warfare followers and visitors I wish you a blessed and victorious week!

 

*Free postal copies of UCB Word For Today are available from: FREEPOST RLTX-ABUL-GRAR, United Christian Broadcasters, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4JF (UK and Republic of Ireland only).

For the online version visit: http://www.ucb.co.uk/word-for-today.html

 

Advertisements

Prayer – A Precious Privilege!

 

 

When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love. Marcus Aurelius

 

 

Prayer is a privilege and the soul’s sincere desire. We can move beyond routine and ‘checklist’ prayers and engage in meaningful prayer as we appropriately ask in faith and act, as we patiently persevere through the trial of our faith, and as we humbly acknowledge and accept ‘not my will, but Thine, be done.’ David A. Bednar

 

 

This morning, I’d like to discuss the privilege we’ve been given as children of God. You see there was a time when you could not dare to go into God’s holy presence uninvited, or unqualified. If you were not a Levite priest you were not invited and if you didn’t fulfil strict conditions, then you weren’t qualified.

No wonder whenever the High priests entered into God’s presence they went with a sense of trepidation. Would they make it out alive? No doubt, once their offering was accepted and they left the Holy of Holies (the place of God’s presence) alive, they felt relieved.

I thank God that this is no longer the protocol for coming into his presence. Because of Jesus, because his death enabled anyone to have direct access to God, you and I can now enter into the Holy of Holies, into God’s very presence without fear, guilt, or any sense of inferiority.

Prayer is communication with our Father God. And we are privileged to be able to take our cares and place upon his shoulders. We are privileged to be able to share our joys with him. We are privileged to be able to seek his intervention in the affairs of our lives, those of our loved ones, indeed of this world.

Would you not count it a privilege if a famous member of the rich and powerful clique were to take a special interest in you? Would you not feel privileged if a celebrity invited you into their home and made you feel at ease, decided they wanted to bless you with their worldly goods, use their authority and influence to help you?

Yet, sadly, it seems the one who is above all, indeed the one who created all, is not looked upon in the same way… not sought after in the same way.

Dear friends, the God of gods, King of kings and Lord of lords, is the “Celebrity” of all celebrities.

He has graciously invited you and me to share the benefits and blessings of his kingdom. He has graciously invited us to come into the Holy of Holies and visit him without restricted access. He has promised he will never leave or forsake us. He has declared his unconditional and everlasting love for us.

And yet, some of us do not avail ourselves of the tremendous privilege that he offers. Some of us fail to pray, to communicate with Father God on a regular basis. And there are some who may do so, but do it out of a sense of duty or desperation, not from a sense of gratitude, or reverence, or awe.

Friends and followers, where are you when it comes to communicating with your Father God? Are you availing yourself of this wonderful privilege? Have you thanked God for waking you up today? Have you invited him to influence your thoughts, attitudes and actions? Have you sought the riches of his wisdom?

 

Prayer Focus:

Let us pray for ourselves and for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ that God will stir up within our hearts an increasing desire to fellowship with him through prayer.

PS: Don’t forget to don your spiritual armour before entering the battlefield of prayer!

 

PRAYER:

Father God,

We want to thank you for waking us up this morning to greet another day. We are aware that there are people all over this world who were not so privileged. Thank you for your breath of life which flows throughout our beings. We want to thank you that we are not only alive but we are privileged to be able to fellowship with you. We are privileged to be able to come directly into your presence, to worship, declare our love for you and make our requests known to you. Hallelujah!

Father God, we ask that you draw us with your gentle cords of love into a closer, deeper, more meaningful relationship with you. We ask that you open the eyes of our understanding so that we can clearly see the wonders of your person and the riches of your magnanimous nature. Draw us into that place of joyful communion and utter dependence upon you. Grant us clear insight into your thoughts and feelings towards us and reveal your plans, your purpose and your destiny for our lives.

Father God, whenever we allow disappointments or problems to draw our attention away from you, change our perspective. Enable us to draw upon the measure of faith you have deposited within us. Enable us to trust you, to call upon you for help during times of confusion, fear or weakness. Grant us the boldness and courage to take our place on the battlefield of prayer knowing you have provided adequate protection and that your Word declares that we are more than conquerors!

We thank you in anticipation of victory. We thank you for hearing our prayers and granting our requests.

In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

© Carol Hind

 

Would you be interested in a resource that could help you to pray regularly? If so, please check out my book Petitions From My Heart at Amazon.

*****   *****   *****

 

Sunday’s Supplications

Sunday’s Supplications invites you to not only read the posts but also participate in the prayers. Why not become a part of the WoW! community? Let’s pray for ourselves and for each other. Let’s obey God’s command to watch and pray for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18)

Please note, you do not have to be a blogger to join this praying community.

*****   *****   *****

Women of Warfare followers and visitors have a wonderful and victorious week!

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy God – Enjoy Life!

 

—————————————————————————————————————

THEME: ENJOY

  • To find pleasure in something
  • To have, experience or have the benefit of something good

 (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)

 ———————————————————————————————————————- 

 

Have you heard of Joyce Meyer?

She is a woman of God, who has a highly successful ministry, attracting both men and women. But my main reason for flagging her up to you today, is the marketing strapline for her daily broadcasts—Enjoying Every-Day Life

One of my goals this year—which I’d like to be an ongoing goal for as long as I live—is to glorify God. Well since last month, I’ve expanded that goal to both glorifying and enjoying God.

As Christians, I sometimes feel we can take ourselves too seriously, or we can be negative and ungrateful. Even, I’m sorry to say, we can be a most miserable set of people.

I don’t say that to upset anyone, to criticise or condemn. I say it because that is what I’ve observed, what I have at times experienced through interaction with other Christians, and have sometimes seen in my own life, and so I point the finger at myself as well.

We are not all of us enjoying life. We are waiting for better times. Waiting for breakthroughs. Waiting for something-or-the-other!

Unfortunately, that wait can extend into years, decades and possibly for ever!

Why does this happen?

I believe it’s because we have unrealistic expectations! Because we have deluded ourselves or been deceived by the Enemy, into thinking that a good life, an enjoyable life is one devoid of problems; a life free from trials and tribulations, an idealistic life that is always self-gratifying.

We think this because we have a God for whom nothing is impossible. We think this because we believe and know he is a miracle-working God. We think this because we are aware that God loves us unconditionally and has declared that we are blessed.

So, if this is the case, why should we encounter defeat or difficulties? Why should we tolerate a situation where it seems God has allowed LIFE to kick away our carefully laid plans and cherished dreams? Why shouldn’t we expect the Godhead and the heavenly hosts of angels to come to our rescue the moment we cry out?

Why?

And whilst we wonder and take umbrage, or secretly sulk because our lives didn’t turn out to be the pretty, problem-free packages we’d ordered, or our prayers weren’t answered according to our schedule, or our undesirable circumstances magically and permanently resolved, we choose to forget that Jesus warned: “…in me you will have peace. In the world you will have tribulation” (John 16:33).

We choose to forget that Peter said: “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you” (1 Peter 4:12).

We choose to forget that Paul described his experience as a servant of God in the following terms: “…being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; being defamed, we entreat. We are made as the filth of the world, the off-scouring of all things until now” (1 Corinthians 12-13).

Perhaps being brought up on a diet of “happy ever after” fairy tales, or vicariously engaging with the ideal life of Hollywood movies, or emotionally subscribing to romantic scenarios in novels, became a contributing factor to our unrealistic expectations.

We conveniently forget that even in such stories, there are conflicts, or an adversary that needs to be overcome first—before the happy ending is revealed!

And as Christians, of course we’ve read about the destiny of God’s people. We’ve read about God’s promise of a bright, blissful future. We’ve even perhaps responded to an altar-call which promised: when you come to Jesus, everything will be all right!

Then, two months, two years, two decades down the line, we are still waiting for everything to be all right, for all our problems to magically disappear for ever, for life to become absolutely amazing, to be one unadulterated high of blessing and favour and success—but until that happens, we feel we can’t actually enjoy life as it is now, with all its fretful, stressful queries, concerns and frustrations.

We enjoy life’s ups but not its downs. We enjoy the highs of our relationship with God but not the lows. We respond to personal circumstances according to the dictates of our thoughts and emotions, rather than the directions of God’s Word. And so, in the final analysis, no—we are not enjoying every-day life!

Dear reader, please understand me. I am not advocating that we go around as a “happy-clappy” bunch of people pretending all is well, if clearly that’s not the case.

I am however, wanting to draw your attention to the fact that when you examine Jesus’ words to the seven churches in Revelation, he clearly indicates that the promise of a future destiny in the new heaven and the new earth, the promise of a pain-free, problem free life, will be the reward of those who overcome.

Now that word (overcome), tells us right there that we are bound to face circumstances where not everything-in-the-garden-will-be-green-and-rosy. And, if that were not the case, how will we learn to overcome? What challenge will there be to overcome?

Dear reader, even God’s dream of a wonderful, harmonious world in which he enjoys a rich relationship with set-apart individuals, who’d commit to him and lovingly obey him, was (and continues to be) thwarted again and again. Not just for a few years. Not just for several decades. But for centuries!

We see evidence of this thwarted dream again and again throughout the entire Bible. We see it with Adam and Eve. We see it with Sodom and Gomorrah and the antediluvian world.

We see it with God’s own chosen people, the Children of Israel. We see it with the Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducees, who were meant to be waiting for the promised Messiah. And sadly, we see it at times in our own lives.

It is only when we come to the book of Revelation and read about the end of this present world, as we currently know it, that we’re given a prophetic picture of an era when God finally achieves his dream of a devoted, holy and worshipping community within the context of a happy, harmonious world, free from Satan’s diabolical influence.

Meanwhile, dear ones, God has chosen to enjoy us NOW as his children, as his heirs, as his precious Son’s disciples, even though we often fail to measure up to his ideal.

Now if God can do that for us, can we not do the same for him? Can we not use his precious spiritual resources, the benefits of our salvation package and the promise of a brighter future, of an eternal destiny in his glorious presence (where we’ll enjoy the beauty and perfection of his re-created world)—can we not use these factors to enjoy him NOW, enjoy the position to which we’ve been elevated, even enjoy our every-day lives regardless of the battles we face, knowing our victory is guaranteed, knowing our eternal destiny with Him is assured?

Should we not practice and consolidate an attitude of joy now, so we are in good stead for that time which is to come when Jesus himself will welcome us and usher us into his presence, where he will bid us to “…enter into the joy of your Lord”? (Matthew 25:21, 23).

Dear Women of Warfare followers and visitors, I’m convinced that this is God’s heart for you and for me and therefore this is my heart’s desire for you and for myself.

Let’s make a decision today that throughout this year and beyond, we will ENJOY our relationship with our Father-God and ENJOY life. Yes, let’s determine in our hearts to enjoy our redeemed status and enjoy the life for which Christ paid so very high a price.

And if you are looking for ideas on how to enjoy life more, check out the link.

With love and best wishes,

Carol

(aka Lady Cee)

 

This Week’s Prayer Focus:

Let’s focus our thoughts on what God has done for us – not on those issues where we feel let down, or disappointed, or even sceptical towards God because he hasn’t come through with what we wanted, or has not chosen to act within our expected time-frame.

Let’s pray for one another that we will embrace a new attitude of gratitude… that we will reflect upon, remember and rejoice over the fact that Jesus willingly sacrificed his life for us, so we may enjoy an abundant and liberated life.

And, my dear friends, before entering the battlefield of prayer, please don’t forget to put on your spiritual armour.

 

PRAYER:

Father God,

As King David so accurately observed:

What is man that You are mindful of him

Or the son of man that You take care of him?

 And I would add: Who am I that you should choose to adopt me, care for me and cherish a relationship with me? I am both humbled and grateful.

Father-God, my heart’s desire is to glorify you and to enjoy you in my every-day life.

I thank you for setting me apart for your service. I thank you for all that you’ve freely bestowed upon my life, so that I might enjoy the benefits and liberty of your kingdom.

Father-God, help me to focus on what you have done for me—not on what you haven’t! Help me to enjoy life as you meant me to enjoy it. And help me to honour you with the things I habitually say, think and do.

Lord God, may all those who examine me, see a good, great and gracious God who provides for, protects and promotes me. May I in turn, showcase a godly confidence and strength of character, as a result of me walking in the ‘Fear of the Lord’.

Cause me to maintain my confession of faith and to exhibit an uncompromising commitment to pursuing my destiny in Christ. By the enabling power of your Holy Spirit, touch me afresh, so I may experience an increasing fervour for the things pertaining to your kingdom.

Father God, send forth your precious Holy Spirit to embrace and comfort those amongst my visiting readers and also those within our individual spheres of influence, who are depressed or discouraged, who mourn for whatever reason, who are disillusioned with life.

Heal the hearts and hurts of those who’ve become embittered. Strengthen those who are emotionally or spiritually weak. Cause the joy of the Lord to become their source of strength. May inexplicable peace saturate their souls and may godly hope revive their dreams and expectations and act as a spiritual anchor for their souls.

I ask this in Jesus’ precious name. Amen.

© Carol Hind

 

Women of Warfare followers and visitors be blessed and enjoy this coming week!

 

*****   *****   *****

 

Sunday’s Supplications

Sunday’s Supplications invites you to not only read the posts but also participate in the prayers. Each fortnight, I hope to introduce a new theme and prayer focus. Why not become a part of the WoW! community by participating in these prayers? Let’s pray for ourselves and for each other. Let’s obey God’s command to watch and pray for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18)

Please note, you do not have to be a blogger to join this praying community.

 

*****   *****   *****

CREDIT: The above CC0 Image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com

The Age-old Secret to Success in Life

Don’t gain the world and lose your soul; wisdom is better than silver or gold.

Bob Marley

 

A Desirable Attribute

Have you ever been faced with a situation where you need to make a crucial decision and didn’t know what to do?

Or perhaps you’ve had to make a choice between two favourable opportunities and were not sure how to decide.

Or perhaps someone has confided a personal problem and is looking to you for counsel. How should you advise?

Or maybe a feud with a next-door neighbour, or a family member, or a work colleague, has escalated out of control and you are wondering what to do.

In all of the above examples and in numerous other life scenarios, the instinctive ability to know what to do or say, is desirable, even perhaps, essential.

Making the right decision can mean peace and harmony in your life, emotional well-being and self-assurance.

In a nutshell, we need wisdom!

 

Tap the Source of Spiritual Wisdom

So let me ask you dear reader, when faced with a crossroads, how often have you been bewildered, found yourself stressed beyond measure, been afraid of making the wrong decision, resorted to dubious means or desperate measures, in order to arrive at a solution?

As children of God, as disciples of Christ, we have access to an impeccable brand of wisdom—the wisdom of God!

Now because the wisdom of this world often stands at odds to the wisdom of God, it behoves us to habitually seek this godly wisdom, with diligence.

Why?

Because the God who created you, who knows you so well, who is aware of your thoughts and intentions and even what you are about to say, is the best person to advise, counsel and direct you.

Because Father God knows both the beginning and the end of a matter, and knows how it will affect your future.

Because God, who knows the plans he has already set in place for your future, who sees all things and knows all things, is in complete control. So who better to ask? Who better to guide?

Fortunately, this brand of supernatural wisdom is not inaccessible. Lady Wisdom herself calls out to us.

Perplexity or Prudence?

Yet, do we always recognise wisdom when she speaks? And on such occasions when we’ve clearly heard her voice, do we embrace her counsel and pay heed to her directions, or do we ignore that voice because it runs counter to what we really want to do and then suffer the consequences of making a wrong choice?

 

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.

Confucius

 

The book of Proverbs portrays Lady Wisdom as someone who stands at the intersections of life, at the crossroads of choice, calling and beckoning to all who will listen (see Proverbs 1:20-21).

Furthermore,  God generously invites us to simply ask for wisdom and  promises to provide.

Now King Solomon, a man known for his amazing gift of wisdom, had the good sense to ask. You may recall me highlighting this in a previous post regarding: How to know God’s Will.

Perhaps Solomon felt intimidated by the prospect of taking over the throne after his father—a beloved man, a fearless warrior, someone who raised and inspired champions and a successful ruler.

So when God, who has the power to grant him whatever he desires, asks: What can I do for you?—what does Solomon want? What does he ask for?

Wisdom!

Dear reader, take a leaf out of Solomon’s book – ask!   

Are you feeling inadequate? Is there someone, or something that intimidates you? Are you trying to tackle a task yet have no idea how to accomplish it, or facing an issue with no clue how to resolve it?

Then ask God.

Enlist the help of the Holy Spirit, who has been sent alongside you for exactly that reason—to help you!

Now I trust you are aiming to make 2018 a year of unprecedented achievement, success and spiritual growth. I trust by now you are on board with the ethos of this blog and my personal desire for your life—to reign over your circumstances, to enjoy a successful and God-glorifying life, to walk as a victorious overcomer.

And so, by way of motivation to continue on your path, let me conclude with the following quote:

God has already done everything He’s going to do. The ball is now in your court. If you want success, if you want wisdom, if you want to be prosperous and healthy, you’re going to have to do more than meditate and believe; you must boldly declare words of faith and victory over yourself and your family.

Joel Osteen

 

This Week’s Prayer Focus:

Let’s pray for ourselves that we will seek after and employ godly wisdom in our lives. Let’s also pray for our brother and sisters in Christ, who may be perplexed by their circumstances. Let’s ask our Father-God to guide their decision-making process and grant them peace of mind.

And you know what I’m going to say next don’t you? That’s right! Put on your spiritual armour before entering the battlefield of prayer.

 

PRAYER:

Father God,

We want to thank you today that there is no situation in our lives which will flummox you.

We want to thank you that despite all appearances to the contrary, you are in complete control. You know the end from the beginning and you have said that you will cause all things to work together for our good, because we love you and have been called out of darkness into your kingdom of light, according to your divine plan and purpose.

Father God, we choose to operate in the wisdom that comes from above, which is pure, peaceable, full of mercy and bears good fruit. Cause our spiritual ears to be attuned to the voice of wisdom. Train our hearts, so we become automatically yielded to and perpetually guided by godly wisdom. Whenever we find ourselves at the concourse of indecision, help us to make prudent choices. Motivate us to increase our knowledge and understanding of you and your ways, so we can conduct our lives circumspectly.

Father-God we lift up to you all those within the circle of our influence, particularly those who are our brothers and sisters in Christ. We bring before you those who are perplexed, those who are faced with overwhelming difficulties and don’t know what to do, those who have messed up through making wrong decisions and are suffering the consequences of their actions.

Father God, there is nothing too difficult for you, nothing impossible to you. We ask that you strengthen these individuals with might by your Holy Spirit. Strengthen them mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We ask that you comfort their hearts and cause them to have hope for their future. Grant them boldness and assurance in their relationship with you, so that they may trust you, so that they might lean on you and not on their own understanding. Enable them to rise above their circumstances and see their situation from a new perspective, with the eyes of faith. And, as they do so, equip them with an instinctive ability to make life-enhancing decisions which align with your skilful and godly wisdom.

In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

© Carol Hind

*****   *****   *****

 

Sunday’s Supplications

Sunday’s Supplications invites you to not only read the posts but also participate in the prayers. Each fortnight, I hope to introduce a new theme and prayer focus. Why not become a part of the WoW! community by participating in these prayers? Let’s pray for ourselves and for each other. Let’s obey God’s command to watch and pray for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18)

Please note, you do not have to be a blogger to join this praying community.

 

*****   *****   *****

 

Women of Warfare followers and visitors I wish you a blessed and victorious week!

 

CREDIT: The above CCO images come courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

Live the God-Quality Brand of Life!

  

Today we celebrate the most wonderful event that has ever occurred in history – the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Hallelujah!

 

Because he lives
I can face tomorrow
Because he lives
All fear is gone
Because I know he holds the future
And life is worth the living
Just because he lives.

(Taken from the gospel song: Because He Lives, by Bill and Gloria Gaither)

 

In today’s world, people are falling over themselves to live a life they covet—the life of the rich and famous—whether it is a celebrity life-style, the life of a footballer or footballer’s wife, or the life of a lottery winner.

However, if we were to examine the lives of those who live what many ordinary folk crave for themselves, we’d see that some of these individuals are  deeply unhappy, or lacking in integrity and moral fibre, or completely godless.

As children of God, as disciples of Christ, we should not be drawn into the ways of the world, we should not subscribe to its way of thinking.

 

SELF SCRUTINY:

Do I earnestly desire and seek to enjoy the God-quality brand of life?

 

This Week’s Prayer Focus:

Over the next two weeks, let’s ask the Lord to give us a new appreciation and gratitude for the brand of life (eternal life), with which he has blessed us.

Let’s pray for one another that we will remain grounded and settled in our faith, in our individual walk with the Lord. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to help us so we can avail ourselves of, and enjoy in abundance the benefits of our salvation, for which Christ has died.  Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to help us so we may freely partake and thrive, not just survive!

And from this point onwards, let’s constantly celebrate, and do our utmost to grasp and enjoy the God-quality brand of life.

PS: Don’t forget to put on your spiritual armour before entering the battlefield of prayer!

 

—–oooooo000oooooo—–

PRAYER:

O Lord God Almighty, how awesome is your miraculous power!

Father-God, we acknowledge and celebrate your mercy, goodness and grace. Today we remember and rejoice over the resurrection of your Son, Jesus Christ.

We thank you for your amazing and extravagant love for us, in allowing Jesus to lay down his life—so we may be redeemed from the hand of the Enemy, so we may be redeemed from the power of sin and death, so we may be reconciled to you.

Father God, we cannot ever repay you. We cannot ever thank you enough for rescuing us from the fate of eternal damnation. We thank you that because Christ lives in us, we have resurrection life, Zoe life, a God-quality brand of life, flowing in and through our beings.

I ask that you open the eyes of our understanding so that we may live our lives in that higher realm—free from fear, able to govern our thoughts and feelings, so that they align with your Word and your will; able to walk in obedience to your will and enjoy the liberty which your Son’s death has purchased for us.

Lord Jesus, we thank you for sending your Holy Spirit to come alongside us, to remind us of your words, to reveal your truth, to empower us to be effective witnesses of the gospel.

Holy Spirit, come and fill us afresh today. Minister the peace of God which surpasses natural understanding. Minister the joy of the Lord—joy similar to that which the disciples of Christ experienced when they realised he was alive. Cause that joy to infuse us with supernatural strength. Grant us revelation knowledge and a supreme confidence in whom we are as children of God, as disciples of Christ and enable us to exercise the authority and power He has granted to us, in our day-to-day lives.

Yours O Lord is the glory, power, wisdom and strength. Hallelujah!

We bless your Holy Name and we thank you Father-God for not only hearing our prayer today but also granting our request, which we ask in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.

© Carol Hind

*****   *****   *****

 

Sunday’s Supplications

Sunday’s Supplications invites you to not only read the posts but also participate in the prayers. Each fortnight, I hope to introduce a new theme and prayer focus. Why not become a part of the WoW! community by participating in these prayers? Let’s pray for ourselves and for each other. Let’s obey God’s command to watch and pray for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18)

You are welcome to print off and use each prayer provided, either verbatim or adapted for your particular circumstance. Even better, why not construct your own prayer and share with others by linking to this post.

Please note, you do not have to be a blogger to join this praying community.

 

*****   *****   *****

 

Women of Warfare followers and visitors – Rejoice! Our Saviour is alive! Have a Christ-centred and victorious week!

Psst! Can I Tell You a Secret?

 

Those of us who live in countries where we are free to worship and serve God without fear of persecution, are blessed indeed. Not only can we openly attend church meetings or home fellowship groups, we also have access to a plethora of resources, which help us understand the Bible, develop as believers and draw closer to God.

But dear reader, even if you are not fortunate enough to live somewhere where you are able to worship God openly, and have unlimited access to biblical resources, please don’t feel you are at a disadvantage.

Consider the apostles and members of the early church. They did not have a Bible as we know it today. They had only the Old Testament.

Yet if we examine their lives and their achievements, we see they had an enviable relationship with God, were highly committed advocates of Christ’s teachings and were vessels through which God worked mightily, demonstrating his authority and miraculous power.

What was their secret?

The gift of the Holy Spirit!

Now in Acts 19:1-6, we learn that the apostle Paul came across some believers who caused him to ask whether they’d received the Holy Spirit. Apparently, something about their spirituality seemed lacking.

Once these same disciples became baptised in the name of Jesus and once Paul laid hands on them to receive the Holy Spirit, they experienced a higher spiritual level.

WoW followers and visitors, if you are a Child of God, if you are pursuing a God-glorifying and victorious life, if you earnestly desire to fulfil your purpose and follow your God-ordained destiny, I feel bound to ask you the same question today.

Have you received the gift of the Holy Spirit? Are you manifesting the evidence of this (i.e. speaking in tongues)?

In case you do not know what “speaking in tongues” mean, it is the ability (by the influence of the Holy Spirit), to speak to God in a foreign language, which you have not learned.

Going back to the above-mentioned text in Acts 19, we see that following the appropriate baptism and “laying on of hands” (which is the impartation of God’s power through faith and prayer), these disciples of John were elevated to Disciples of Christ.

Perhaps you are wondering why the gift of the Holy Spirit with the accompanying manifestations even matters.

Let me tell you.

You may recall, a series of posts I wrote a little while ago about knowing, understanding and doing the will of God. If you are a new follower, or would like to refresh your memory, please click on the following links:

Do You Know God’s Will? (Part 1) https://womenofwarfare.wordpress.com/2017/08/27/know-gods-will-part-1/

Do You Know God’s Will? (Part 2) https://womenofwarfare.wordpress.com/2017/09/03/know-gods-will-2/

Do You Know God’s Will? (Part 3) https://womenofwarfare.wordpress.com/2017/09/10/gods-will-part-3/

 

Now, you may recall these posts flagged up God’s command to us in Ephesians 5:18 to be filled with the Spirit.

Becoming filled with God’s Spirit is not a one-time act.  Just as a motor vehicle constantly needs to be filled up with fuel, in order for it to keep running efficiently and take us wherever we want or need to go, so our spiritual tanks need to be refilled, so that the power of God is readily available, both for our own needs and for the needs of others.

Now this supernatural empowerment may be accessed for use in our every-day lives, so we experience an abiding peace and the wisdom of God. It may also be manifested on such occasions where a miraculous intervention is required, showcasing the loving-kindness, mercy and power of God. However, as we take regular deposits from this resource, our storage capacity decreases.

So how do we top up? How do we refuel our spiritual tanks? How do we keep ourselves filled with the Spirit, as commanded?

An effective way of doing this, is by praying in the language of the Holy Spirit (i.e. speaking in tongues).

The disciple, Jude, encourages us to edify ourselves—that is build and maintain ourselves in the things pertaining to God and his kingdom. Let’s have a look at Jude’s direction:

But you, beloved, build yourselves up [founded] on your most holy faith [make progress, rise like an edifice higher and higher], praying in the Holy Spirit;

Guard and keep yourselves in the love of God…

(Jude 1:20-21 Amplified Bible)

Again, in 1 Corinthians 14:4, the apostle Paul tells us that: He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself.

Since God’s Word reveals that praying in the Holy Spirit (speaking in tongues) is how we build ourselves up in our faith… how we progress in our walk with the Lord… how we guard and keep ourselves within the protection and security of God’s love, why would we not use this mystical facility more often in our personal lives?

I can only think that the reason for this would be ignorance or misunderstanding.

Again, when we look at Romans 8:26, we discover that the Holy Spirit:

  • helps us in our areas of weaknesses

and

  • helps us to pray effectively for those issues where we have no idea how, or what to pray.

So, how do we avail ourselves of this help from the Holy Spirit?

We simply ask for his assistance and then we allow him to pray through us in his own language direct to God.

Dear reader, I can vouch for the added boost of power and effectiveness that praying regularly in the language of the Holy Spirit brings.

If you are expecting 2018 to be a year of unprecedented achievement, if you want to reign over your circumstances and triumph over the ploys of the Enemy, if you want to establish emotional and spiritual resilience in your life—indeed, if you want to experience victory in the areas of your life which have normally defeated or disheartened you, then begin to add regular (or increased) periods of praying in tongues to your success strategies.

You will be amazed at the difference this simple act makes.

 

This Week’s Prayer Focus:

Let us invite the Holy Spirit to help us in all our endeavors this year, whether they relate to business, career plans, our dreams and goals, ministry, parenting, relationships, school/university studies, or work.

PS: make sure you put on your spiritual armour before entering the battlefield of prayer.

 

PRAYER:

Father God,

We want to thank you for your foresight in sending your Holy Spirit to come alongside us—to be our helper, comforter, counsellor, intercessor, source of strength and our stand-by.

We want to thank you for blessing us with this precious spiritual resource, to which we have access day and night.

We want to acknowledge and thank you that the effectiveness of your power never wanes. It is our ignorance, or our disobedience, or our failure to persevere in the face of difficulties, disappointment, or disillusionment, which prevents us from experiencing your enabling power.

Father God, you know each one of us by name. You know our besetting sins, our failings and weaknesses.  Create in us a clean heart. Renew a persevering and steadfast spirit within us. Thank you for your amazing grace, mercy and unconditional love, which means you will never dismiss us from your presence, or take your Holy Spirit away from us.

Father, I ask that you grant us a spirit of tenacity, so that when it comes to prayer, when it comes to our faith, when it comes to walking out the Word of God in our lives, we will be like Jacob who refused to let you go until he prevailed.

Father God, we want 2018 to be a year of unprecedented growth and personal development—emotionally, mentally and spiritually. We realise that we cannot achieve this in our own might, or by our own willpower. We therefore invite the assistance of your Holy Spirit.

Holy Spirit, you are welcome. Come and take your place within our personal lives. Come and fill us afresh with your presence. Minister to each one of us the peace of God and the joy of the Lord. Help us to know and fully understand God’s perfect will in our individual circumstances. Motivate us to regularly edify ourselves, so we may build and firmly establish ourselves in our faith, and so we may keep ourselves within the protective parameters of God’s unconditional love.

Father, you said we should ask and it will be given, and you also said you will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask you. We have asked and we ask in faith, confident that you have heard us and will grant our request. Furthermore, as your Word directs, we ask in the precious name of your Son, Jesus.

Amen.

© Carol Hind

*****   *****   *****

 

Sunday’s Supplications

Sunday’s Supplications invites you to not only read the posts but also participate in the prayers. Each fortnight, I hope to introduce a new theme and prayer focus. Why not become a part of the WoW! community by participating in these prayers? Let’s pray for ourselves and for each other. Let’s obey God’s command to watch and pray for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18)

You are welcome to print off and use each prayer provided, either verbatim or adapted for your particular circumstance. Even better, why not construct your own prayer and share with others by linking to this post.

Please note, you do not have to be a blogger to participate.

 

*****   *****   *****

 

Women of Warfare followers and readers, I wish you a Spirit-filled and victorious week!

 

CREDITS: The above CC0 images come courtesy of Pixabay.com

Women of Warfare – Arise!

 

  

Out of the huts of history’s shame

I rise

Up from a past that’s rooted in pain

I rise

(from: Still I Rise – Maya Angelou)

—–oooooo000oooooo—–

 

Hello Women of Warfare friends and followers,

I recently came across an old journal entry and thought I’d share an edited version of it with you all. Hopefully, it will be of encouragement to someone.

****     *****     ****

 

Yesterday I decided to put the phrase “victor or victim” into google and see what came up.  I was surprised. There were a few blog posts on this, some of which I read then subsequently felt provoked to deal with my negativity once and for all.

It is hard to swallow the fact that I’m responsible for my own misery… that I have consistently made the choice to live in a perpetual cycle of anger, blame, resentment and unhappiness because of the mistreatment of others.

But I have to accept this.

I have to accept that although I cannot control what happens to me, what people do or say to me, what people think about me, I can control how I respond to the things that have happened.

It is a bitter pill indeed to swallow, to realise that me, myself and I have been responsible for years of wrong thinking, wrong attitudes and, wrong reactions. I have allowed other people to control my interior world (my thought life and internal responses) and I have allowed that interior world, to colour my views about myself, my life, my prospects, my future.

Yes – it is a bitter realisation indeed.

Now one of the posts I read gave a scenario about 2 single mothers who found themselves abandoned by their child’s father. The posts described how they chose to go through life thereafter. One emerged a victor and one became a victim. It was a matter of choice—pure and simple.

And so I decided yesterday evening that I was going to make that choice once and for all. I choose to be a victor!

I don’t imagine it will be easy. After all, I have ingrained, deeply entrenched negative habits. But, I am not fighting in my own strength and in fact, whilst I think about it, the battle has already been won. I just have to get on my battle gear and stand against the wiles of the Enemy, who just loves to goad me with his mind games.

 Day after day he has told me (and will no doubt continue to tell me) that I am a loser, that I am rejected, disrespected, fighting a losing battle.  But he is a liar. I am not a loser. I am going to win.

 I need to win. Because there are other women out there who need my help, need me to share my insights and encouragement and wisdom and need me to motivate them, inspire them and support them.

 And so Father God, I thank you for opening my eyes. I thank you for giving me your assignment to minister to wounded, hurting victims. Thank you for your promise to help me.  Holy Spirit I thank you in advance and in anticipation of your help, counsel, direction and enabling power. Teach me. Anoint me. Help me. Give me new perspectives, new aspirations, new insights—a new victorious life!

 I am excited! Excited to see how this turns out. Excited to see my life turn around miraculously and irrevocably. Excited to see lives that the Enemy has held in captivity turn around and be fully recovered from victimhood.

 Things are going to change within me, within my life, within the lives of people around me to whom I have been assigned. This is a mega responsibility but it is also an honour and nothing will delight me more than to see women who have been held down, crushed and incapacitated by the Enemy coming out of captivity, being liberated, arising in strength.

 

****     *****     ****

Dear reader,

After writing the above entry, Maya Angelou’s poem Still I Rise came to mind. You can listen to, or read the poem here.

Serena Williams recited it before her Wimbledon finals match in July 2016. She not only won but achieved sporting history by matching Steffie Graff’s record of winning 22 grand slams.

Dear reader, if the above words from my journal entry speaks to you where you are at, if the message of my posts and the ethos of this blog (Women of Warfare!) resonates with you, may I take this opportunity to encourage you?

Like Serena Williams, you too can win. And you too can arise.

Now if you are a Wimbledon fan, or any kind of sports fan, you will appreciate that it takes more than talent or ability to win. It takes mental strength and determination.

Beloved Child of God, if you are going to win against the lies of the Enemy, if you are going to rise above your negative circumstances, if you are going to walk confidently in life as a victorious overcomer, then as the Word of God counsels, you need to be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2). You need to choose to focus your thoughts upon those things which are in line with God’s Word and his will for your life.

Dear reader, you can change your psychological history. It is a matter of choice.

Precious woman of God, you were created to be a victor. So choose to be the woman of God that He has called you to be – strong, merciful, loving, productive, wise and victorious!

No matter what you have suffered in the past, no matter what you may be experiencing now, choose to believe God’s Word over what the Enemy says or shows you, over what abusers, liars, mockers and scorners say and do to you, over whatever your negative life experiences have been.

Choose to arise. Choose to be a victorious overcomer.

Why?

Because as the L’Oréal advert says: “You are worth it!”

 

Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ – Galatians 6:2 (NKJV)

This Week’s Prayer Focus:

Let us turn our thoughts and prayers this week towards those who are emotionally unstable—whether for yourself, or for someone you know, or anyone in the Body of Christ who feels victimised by others, who feels oppressed by the Enemy, who feels downtrodden by and despairing of their life’s circumstances.

 

PRAYER:

Father God,

You have said in your Word that those who are strong ought to bear the burdens of those who are weak.

I want to thank you for the examples in your Word, which show us how to overcome in the battles of life. I particularly want to bring to your remembrance the account of Aaron and Hur, who held up the weary arms of Moses, so Joshua and the Children of Israel could prevail in battle (Exodus 17:8-12).

Thank you for this picture of intercessory warfare. Thank you for this beautiful example of saints in Christ coming alongside those who are weary, discouraged or defeated, in order to bear them up with our prayers, in order to support them with our love.

Father God, thank you for your Word, which is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword. Thank you that when we speak your Word in faith, when we meditate upon it daily, it does not return to you empty and unfulfilled but accomplishes your purpose in and through our lives.

I ask that you help all those who may be struggling right now, to stand with confidence upon your Word. I ask that you help all those who are mentally or emotionally defeated to awake to the truth and miraculous power of your Word, to resist Satan’s deceptive lies and to break free from the captivity of the Enemy.

Holy Spirit, I ask that you come alongside those who are weak, weary and defeated. I ask that you minister spiritual strength, comfort and peace throughout the coming weeks and months.

Lord Jesus, I thank you that you are the captain of our Salvation. I thank you that you have already disarmed the principalities and powers that have set themselves against us. I thank you that you ever live to make intercession for us. Enable us through your prayers and through the help of your Holy Spirit to stand strong in battle, to walk through life as victorious overcomers.

Father God, I ask this in the name of our all-conquering King. I ask in the mighty, matchless name of your Son, Jesus. Amen.

© Carol Hind

*****   *****   *****

Sunday’s Supplications

Sunday’s Supplications invites you to not only read the posts but also participate in the prayers. Each fortnight, I hope to introduce a new theme and prayer focus. Why not become a part of the WoW! community by participating in these prayers? Let’s pray for ourselves and for each other. Let’s obey God’s command to watch and pray for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18).

You are welcome to print off and use each prayer provided, either verbatim or adapted for your particular circumstance. Even better, why not construct your own prayer and share with others by linking to this post.

Please note, you do not have to be a blogger to participate.

*****   *****   *****

 

Women of Warfare followers and readers have a wonderful and victorious week!

 

CREDITS: The above  CC0 images come courtesy of Pixabay.com

Sunrise image – by Jean Louis Tosque