A Glorified Weakling!

Do you like being weak? Feeling weak?

Do you relish it when other people have the upper hand over you?

Are you quite happy to let those who feel so inclined walk over you, or play their petty mind games and pull down, even crush your carefully erected but fragile self-esteem?

Now, if you are anything like me, or like the average human being, I’m sure you’ve nodded your head vigorously, indicating NO! No way! Absolutely not!

Dear reader, I admit there have been a number of unpleasant occurrences in my past, which left me feeling weak and helpless. It left me feeling a victim. And, as far as I was concerned, God did not seem to care one hoot, because if he did where was he? Why didn’t he exercise his power and deal with those infernal thorns in my flesh? Prompto!

Ever felt the same way?

Well I don’t know about you but when I thought along these lines, I knew full well in my heart of hearts that God did care. He always does and always will! I knew it. But because he was not intervening in the way I wanted, and because he was not intervening within my time-frame, I became angry and accepted the lies of the Enemy, who was quick to suggest that God did not care. After all, if he did, surely he would… blah, blah, blah!

Now when you are hurt and angry, all you care about is your pain and all you want is for that pain to be eradicated, or at the very least, alleviated. And you want it to happen yesterday!

And so, let’s recap. I’ve been mistreated. I’ve been deeply hurt. I’m been left feeling a victim. I’m licking my wounds.

Furthermore, I’m angry with God and I’m sulking because he hasn’t come flying to my defence. I’m so out of sorts that I hardly even noticed that the devil has gate-crashed my pity-party!

Perhaps you too have been there, done that, and got the proverbial tee-shirt!

During my Bible reading recently, I was reminded of the following:

…My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

(2 Corinthians 12:9 KJV)

It set me thinking.

I’ve been praying and believing God for a manifestation of his power in my life. And it has been a heart-felt desire and prayer throughout my Christian walk.

Without realising it, I’ve received prime opportunities for this desire and prayer to be answered. And also without realising it, I have failed to avail myself of these God-given opportunities.

How is that? (I hear you ask).

Read the above scripture quote again.

Did you notice? Have you clicked yet?

Paul is quite clearly saying that God’s power rests upon us when we gladly suffer those occasions which leave us feeling weak, powerless and afflicted. In fact, he is also saying we should glory (take pleasure in, boast about, or Big-up), our infirmities (our inability to obtain or sustain desired results).

The thing is, we don’t like feeling weak. We want to be Superman or Wonder Woman. We want to be seen as “having it all together”. We want to feel in control.

However, God wants to be God in us, for us and through us, and he wants us to acknowledge that he is indeed God, no matter whether circumstances or Satan, tells us otherwise.

Dear friends, if you are praying about a situation that does not seem to be changing, consider this, perhaps God is using the situation to change you!

Women of Warfare readers and followers, if the message of this post applies to you, may I counsel you today? Don’t just go through it – grow through it!

Prayer Focus:

Let’s pray for those in the Body of Christ, who feel broken by their circumstances, forgotten by God and forsaken. And please don’t forget to put on your spiritual armour before entering the battlefield of prayer!

PRAYER:

Father God,

You are the Ever-living God, who endures for ever. We bless and praise your holy and most awesome name.

Heavenly Father, you are a God of compassion and your mercies are new every morning. They are extended toward us every single day.

I commit into your tender care, all those within Christ’s Body, who feel alone and afflicted by their circumstances. I ask that you send your Holy Spirit to come alongside each one, to comfort and strengthen them. Minister your peace to their hearts, the peace that surpasses natural understanding. Minister hope for their future and cause that hope to act as an anchor for their soul. Anchor them to an unwavering belief that you are with them and will never leave or forsake them. Anchor them to the revelation truth within your Word that is able to set them free from every taunt, lie, and false accusation of the Enemy.

Afflicted child of God, I speak to your heart, to your spirit being, in the name of Jesus. Whoever you are, and wherever you may be, I command you to arise now in the strength and grace of God. I command you to arise and anoint yourself with the oil of joy. I declare that you will choose to cast aside your spirit of heaviness and you will arise in faith and put on your garments of praise.

Lord Jesus, I thank you for all that you suffered on our behalf, so that we may be redeemed from the hand of the Enemy and from the curse of the Law. I thank you that you ever live to make intercession for us. I thank you that you are a Good Shepherd and the overseer of our souls. Help us, both as individual members and corporately as your body, to keep our eyes and hearts fully focused upon you, the author and finisher of our faith. Help us to walk victoriously in life.

Holy Spirit, we call upon you as the one sent to come alongside us and help. Teach us to know who we are in Christ. Empower us to exercise our authority over the Enemy. Motivate us to die to every inclination and desire of our carnal lower selves, so that we may grow into the full measure of the stature of Christ.

Father God, we ask this petition in faith, and in the mighty, matchless name of your Son, Jesus. Amen.

© Carol Hind

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Sunday’s Supplications

Sunday’s Supplications invites you to not only read the posts but also participate in the 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.

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

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

The Family Connection

 

Family, Children, Father, Mother, Beach, Sun, Sunset

 

One of my favourite comedy programmes is Everybody Loves Raymond.

There is an episode where an Italian aunt comes to stay and she makes a big difference to the dynamics of the family.

They become united, even loving, have singalongs and joyful meal times. Everyone agrees that she is the best thing to happen to them.

But then they discover that she is not their aunt after all and their Italian heritage may not even be genuine! And so, without the aunt’s good influence, they slip back into their old dysfunctional ways.

I wonder, do you recall how you felt when you first gave your life to the Lord… when you invited Jesus to come into your heart… and the difference he made with regard to the way you previously felt about, and lived your life?

A divided heart

Compare those days to your relationship with God now. As time has passed, have you lost that “loving feeling”?

In the book of Revelation, Jesus sent several messages to various churches in different regions.

In particular, I’d like to draw your attention to his message to the Laodicean church. He said:

 

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!

So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth…

…Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

(Revelation 3:15-16, 20 NIV)

 

 

Again, in another passage of the Bible, God takes issue with his covenant family, the Children of Israel, because they’d abandoned him as their God and started adopting the practices of the heathen nations around them.

In no uncertain words, He tells them:

Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.

(Isaiah 55:6 NIV)

 

Friends and followers, may I ask you where you are at in your relationship with God?

Since around March this year, what we once perceived as normality in our individual lives, in our nations, indeed in the entire world, changed overnight. And we are still endeavouring to negotiate the new paths of uncertainty and change.

Who knew at the beginning of 2020, when we celebrated the New Year and the ushering in of a new decade that, just a few months down the line, our everyday lives would be changed beyond recognition?

Virus, Coronavirus, Sars-Cov-2, Flash, Corona-Virus

Who knew that our liberties would be curtailed? Who knew that our health would be threatened, indeed many lives lost, as a result of an unknown and deadly virus, which hit us out of the blue? Who knew?

Jesus! That’s who!

Our Father God in Heaven. That’s who!

Now I believe that this pandemic is an opportunity for those of us who know the Lord, who confess to be his followers, to examine our lives and our hearts and see whether we are truly abiding in a position of faith and integrity.

It is an opportunity, to draw closer to the three members of the Godhead because they (along with the Word of God), are the only stable and unchanging aspects within a changing and troublesome world. And, if we’ve allowed our relationship with Christ to grow lukewarm, it’s also an opportunity to rectify this, before it is too late!

Now, whilst the Enemy would like to fill our hearts with fear, despair, and perhaps even resentment over lost liberties and livelihoods, as children of God, we can hold onto hope for our future and that hope (the God-type of hope), acts as an anchor for our soul (our mind, will and emotions).

 

Anchor, Chain, Nautical, Ocean, Sea, Water, Marine

 

Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.

God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged.

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure…

(Hebrews 6:17-19 NIV)

 

The Laodicean church is an example of God’s people who may believe they are in the right place with God but they have somehow lost their way. The Laodicean church is often considered to be a picture of the Body of Christ during the “Last Days”, i.e. the days before Jesus is expected to return.

If this is the case, are we paying heed to Jesus’ warning? If we examine our hearts and our lives and compare them to how we used to be at the beginning of our salvation, have our hearts grown lukewarm?

Has our commitment waned? Have we allowed compromise or other priorities to creep into our lives? Have we, like the Children of Israel, adopted secular practices, entertained worldly desires and worshipped at the shrine of self-gratification?

If the Lord were to weigh us in his scales and balances today, would we come up short?

Unlike the family in Everyone Loves Raymond, if you are born-again (i.e. you’ve committed your life to Christ), there should be no question mark in your heart on whether you are a true member of God’s family.

And unlike the aunt, who turned out not to be a true relative, Jesus our brother, and God our heavenly Father, will never turn out to be of questionable origin. We can be absolutely sure that any confidence we have, based on our relationship with them, will never, ever, turn out to be unfounded.

So let me ask you, even if you were to wake up tomorrow to find the world you know has turned completely upside down, is your relationship with God such that you share the confidence of Habukkuk?

Listen to his uncompromising confession:

Though the fig-tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will be joyful in God my Saviour.

(Habakkuk 3:17-18 NIV)

 

Now whilst I am not happy that the pandemic has altered the way I live my life, such that I don’t feel at liberty to enjoy normal pursuits such as shopping, entertaining family and friends, and taking trips abroad, I recognise that there is a bigger picture here.

My future is in God’s hands. He’s not only in control of my life, he’s in control of my nation, he’s in control of the entire world, regardless of whether events seem to indicate otherwise.

And there’s an even bigger picture beyond the concerns of this present world. There’s the issue of eternity and where I, and others spend it, once our days on earth are ended.

And there’s also my responsibility to tell others about Jesus, to let them know that he alone is able to offer them peace and safety in this present unstable world, plus a glorious future in the world to come.

And it’s my responsibility through prayer, to invite God into the affairs of my nation and this world, and to pray for his will and purpose to be done.

Now, if you are a member of God’s family, then it is your responsibility too!

With love,

Carol (aka Lady Cee)

A Student in His Secret Place (Psalm 91:1)

 

Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?

Are you familiar with the good news of God’s Gospel?

If you answered “No” to both questions, but would like to know more, please click here 

 

Do you need a resource that will help and encourage you to develop a consistent and confident prayer life? If so, don’t hesitate to check out the links below.

  

 

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A Heart Full of Praise & Thanksgiving

 

 

Oh, that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

Psalm 107:8 (KJV)

 

I am giving God’s thanks today.

Nothing unusual in that because I am always grateful to my Father God for his loving kindness and tender mercies. But today I am giving him special thanks because it is one year since I achieved my long, long, long-standing dream and published my book.

Whoo hoo!

And I am taking this opportunity to also thank God for something else.

You see, I like to read the entire Bible once a year, and each year I try out a different version. I have so far read the entire Bible in the New Kings James, The Amplified Bible, The Living Bible and The Message. This year I am reading from the New Schofield Reference Edition of the King James’ or Authorised version.

Many of us are mega-blessed to have access to so many different versions of the Bible, and we are especially spoiled, to be able to have so many Christian resources at our fingertips, which aid us in our understanding of God’s Word.

I can remember years ago, hearing about church communities in foreign lands that only had one Bible between them to share with an entire congregation of members.

Can you imagine having to cope with that?

And what about those persecuted Christians who are shut away in a dank dark cell with only portions of the Word of God (which they’ve hopefully memorised), to keep them company?

Recently, during my quiet time I was reading Psalm 107 and was struck by the writer’s lament about the forgetfulness of his people and their ingratitude towards God for his goodness.

It has prompted me to write a thanksgiving post today, so below, I share an extract from my book, Petitions From My Heart, expressing thanks to God for the availability of his Word.

I hope it provides you with food for thought and also inspires thankfulness in your own heart.

—–oooooo000oooooo—–

 

THE HOLY BIBLE

Heavenly Father, I want to thank you for the freedom enjoyed in this nation that allows me to serve and worship you without fear of punitive measures. Thank you for the unrestricted access I have to the Scriptures and other biblical resources.

Lord God I want to thank you for preserving your Word throughout the ages. Thank you for those such as John Wycliffe who translated the Bible into English and William Tyndale, who lost his life making your Word accessible to ordinary people.

Thank you for the many writers, editors and publishers who have used their knowledge, time and effort to compose the various versions available and I also thank you for those who use their language skills to translate your Word.

Finally Lord God, I thank you for the Bible’s ability to cleanse, comfort and encourage me . . . for its ability to instruct and strengthen. May your Word continue to minister grace, healing, hope and peace to your redeemed people and to a broken world.

In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

©Carol Hind

—–oooooo000oooooo—–

Have a wonderful weekend!

With love,

Carol (aka Lady Cee)

A Student in His Secret Place (Psalm 91:1)

Need a resource to develop a confident prayer life? Check out my book at:

 

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EAT. PRAY. LOVE.

 

The above CC0 image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com

No.

I am not writing a review on Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir of the same title. I enjoyed reading it however, it also left me feeling quite sad.

Sad that this woman appeared to have had an amazing encounter with our Father-God but then went off on a tangent and chose to seek out and explore a relationship with other gods. Sad because she came so close to experiencing the real thing, then ended up so far away.

I realise there are others who would not agree with me. Julia Roberts for one, since she apparently raved about this book, but how I wish the author had realised that the God who’d met with her on her bathroom floor when her life fell to pieces, is the only true and living God!

As I was saying, I am not writing a review about this book. I am simply borrowing the title to speak to you dear friends, about the importance of pursuing an ongoing, authentic relationship with God.

EAT

The Scribes and Pharisees knew all about God, or so they thought. Their knowledge was head knowledge. Religious. Theologically based.

Jesus scorned their type of so-called relationship with his Father-God. They dissected the scriptures instead of dining on and delighting in them. Rather than consuming the Word to feed their souls, to provide nutritional value to their spiritual life, they searched the scriptures to feed their ego, to fatten their self-esteem.

Jesus warned us not to be like them. He declared that he is the Bread of life. Are you feeding on God’s Word and allowing Him to satisfy your needs? Whether your need is to be loved, to feel secure, or have significance, that need can only be truly satisfied when you turn your life over to Christ and allow God’s Word to direct your path.

PRAY

Unfortunately we see examples in the Word of God where the religious folk of Jesus’ day fell down in this area as well. They used prayer as a means of comparing themselves to others, whom they felt were beneath them. They saw prayer not so much as humbling themselves in the presence of an Almighty God but as a way of exalting themselves in their own estimation and showing contempt for those they felt didn’t measure up to their standards.

How do you see prayer?

  • As a wish list to bring to your Heavenly Father Christmas?
  • As a chore?
  • As something done only by those specially called?

Prayer is to the spiritual life what oxygen is to the natural life. So if regular prayer is not a feature of your Christian lifestyle, guess what? You are putting yourself in the same category as those prison inmates who walk towards their execution – spiritually speaking, you are akin to a “dead man walking!”

If this is you, perhaps you need to change your perspective regarding this spiritual discipline and begin practising it with diligence. See prayer as an indispensable, life-enhancing habit. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes to the quality of your life.

LOVE

The Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducees did not seem to love very well. However, to be fair, when you look at the attitudes and behaviour of some contemporary Christians, perhaps they were no different to some modern-day church members.

What a stark difference between the uncharitable ways of the Sadducees, Scribes and Pharisees, as they interacted with synagogue-goers, and the caring, generous-hearted members of the house churches in Acts!

Our Heavenly Father’s standard of love (agape love), as elaborated in 1 Corinthians 13, is a high standard indeed. Yet this is the standard that God demands of us as followers of Christ.

When you consider that God so LOVED the world that he gave his only Son to die for it and redeem it, when you consider that Christ laid down his life willingly as an act of love, when you consider what we have escaped as a result of that love, the standard God demands seems reasonable.

And yet we can struggle to accept God’s unconditional love, and we often balk at, even sometimes outright refuse to exemplify that love to others, particularly if we feel they don’t deserve it.

EAT. PRAY. LOVE.

Spiritual food for thought indeed!

Have a blessed weekend.

With love,

Carol (aka Lady Cee)

 

Are you looking for a resource that will help and encourage you to develop a consistent and confident prayer life? If so, don’t hesitate to check out the links below.

 

AMAZON UK https://amzn.to/3ciUt1q

AMAZON US https://amzn.to/3bj6gM1

 

Did you enjoy reading this post? Please share your thoughts in a comment box below. Do you know someone who would benefit from its message? Then please don’t hesitate to share it. Thank you.

 

 

 

How to Move from Victim to Victor (Part 2)

 The above CC0 image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Hello dear readers,

Yesterday, I shared a somewhat different style of post and hope you found it useful, even inspirational.

For anyone who missed Part 1, you can access it here.

Now, if you’ve read my About page, you will be aware that my heart’s desire is to reach out to hurting individuals, especially wounded women. Women wounded by abuse, malicious gossip, rejection, or any other kind of mistreatment. Women who because of their negative life experiences (which have led to negative emotional responses), find themselves within a vicious cycle of perpetual victimhood.

Having been one such woman, I want to see other females who’ve been emotionally wounded (particularly Christian women), freed from Satan’s lies and deception. I want to see such women rise up in God’s strength and power and take back the ground they have lost.

And I want to see these women, having turned around their lives, having ditched their victim mentality, look towards inspiring others… motivating others… and supporting their wounded sisters in Christ. I want to see them helping broken or despondent women become victorious overcomers, enabling them to reign over their circumstances, enforce Christ’s victory in their lives and in the lives of their loved ones.

Yesterday, we looked at a strategy for transforming negative mind-sets, through regular confession of God’s Word.

Today, I’d like to help you with looking at a few God-empowering scriptures, in order to kick-start your new way of thinking and being.

May I encourage you to write out at least one or two of the following scriptures on postcards and carry them around with you? Memorise them, even personalise them. And every chance you get, review them.

Choose one or two of the following, which resonates with you and start to read them aloud to yourself every day, even 2-3 times per day if possible. Of course you may have your own favourite scriptures, which you can use instead.

  • Ephesians 2:10
  • Psalm 139:14
  • Philippians 1:6
  • 2 Timothy 1:7
  • Isaiah 41:10

In order to show you how to personalise your chosen scriptures, here’s an example of what I did when I undertook this process, using Isaiah 41:10.

I thank you Father God for your Word which says I should not fear because you are with me. I need not be dismayed because you are my God. I thank you for your promise to strengthen me and help me. And I thank you for upholding me with your righteous right hand.

 Or you can personalise this verse another way:

Carol, [substitute with your name] God’s Word says you should not fear because He is with you. He says you need not be dismayed because He is your God. In fact, Carol, God has promised to strengthen and help you and to uphold you with His righteous right hand.

Well, that’s it! So simple, yet highly effective.

Before I close, allow me to bless you with the following prayer:

For whomever this applies 

I commit you and any circumstance you may be currently battling with, into our Father God’s loving hands.

I ask that He enlighten the eyes of your understanding so that you see yourself as He sees you, so that you might know that He has equipped and enabled you with every required resource, to be able to walk as a victorious over-comer.

May God’s good and perfect will be done both within and through your life. May He manifest His miraculous power within your circumstances. May He strengthen you daily, in your inner being. And may He astound and delight you by doing exceedingly abundantly above anything you could possibly ask for, or dream about.

I ask this in faith and in the mighty, matchless name of Jesus. Amen.

 

—–oooooo000oooooo—–

 

Women of Warfare followers and visitors, have a wonderfully blessed and victorious week!

 With love,

Carol (aka Lady Cee)

 

Are you looking for a resource that will help and encourage you to develop a consistent and confident prayer life?

Petitions From My Heart is just such a resource. You may purchase a copy by right-clicking one of the links below.

 

 

 

AMAZON UK – Print: click here; E-book: click here

AMAZON US – Print: click here; E-book: click here

 

I hope you found this post useful. Please share your response in a comment box below.

Do you know someone who would benefit from its message? Then please be so kind as to share it. Thank you.

 

How to Move from Victim to Victor (Part 1)

 

The above CC0 image comes courtesy of Gerd Altmann at Pixabay.com

 

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.

Harvey Fierstein

 

Dear friend and follower,

Did you know that regular confession of God’s Word yields desired results – abundant blessings, favour, guidance, protection, success, VICTORY?

This is why Jesus died – to destroy the works of the devil, so we may enjoy a God-glorifying and victorious life. (Luke 1:78-79)

Now, you need to be warned that regular negative confession will also work in reverse. If (for example), you keep saying: I’m such a loser! My life is such a mess! – guess what? You will have exactly what you consistently say. What you confess is what you’ll possess!

So what makes the difference?

Personal choice! You can choose to confess God’s Word, or choose to confess your negative experiences and feelings.

Do your circumstances make you feel like a victim?

Believe me, I know from personal experience that nobody wants to feel that they are a victim and not many would wish to even admit that they are one.

Perhaps we should look at what exactly defines a victim.

Dictionary.com gives the following definitions:

a person who suffers from a destructive or injurious action or agency:

(as in a victim of an automobile accident)

OR

a person who is deceived or cheated, as by his or her own emotions or ignorance, by the dishonesty of others, or by some impersonal agency:

(e.g. a victim of misplaced confidence; the victim of a swindler; a victim of an optical illusion).

 There are 2 further definitions but for the purposes of this post, I’m interested only in the two given above.

So, now we’ve established what defines a victim, where do you stand?

Are you a victim?

Are you tired of being, or feeling like a victim?

Are you wondering how you can change the status quo?

Did you answer: Yes! Yes! And yes!?

Well dear friend(s) God wants the same thing for you.

If you are earnestly seeking to change your status from perpetual victim to triumphant victor, to victorious over-comer, then I’ve good news for you. There’s a fool-proof strategy. Here’s how!

 

It’s Not a Magic Formula!

Now, I’m happy to share some keys with you but please don’t expect a magic formula!

Don’t expect your position to change overnight. You will have to be determined and you will have to work at it.

Okay I’m in – what do I need to do?

First off, you need to start with the Word of God.

You need to read it, believe it and speak it! And it is the constant speaking, the regular act of confessing God’s Word in faith, which will change your life, change your behaviour and change your perspective, thus changing your status from victim to victor, from underdog to over-comer.

Remember, as the saying goes: “those who say they can’t and those who say they can, are both right!” Or to put it another way: “what you confess is what you’ll possess!”

Not keen on quotes? Or do you prefer to have a scripture to support this claim?

No problem! I do have a supporting scripture for you:

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach):

 That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

(Romans 10:8-10 NKJV)

 

You may well be accustomed to hearing this portion of scripture used in the context of soul-winning and therefore directed at unbelievers. If so, perhaps you are now feeling confused.

 Don’t be!

Yes, this is a scripture shared with unbelievers, in order to bring them to Christ but remember dear friend that God’s Word is multi-faceted. To relegate these verses as useful for soul-winning purposes only, is to make a grave mistake.

So how else should I see it?

As a living, active and powerful seed capable of changing the lives of those towards whom it has been directed, whether Christian or non-Christian.

I believe this passage of scripture represents the secret to walking as a victorious overcomer and enjoying the benefits of salvation as God’s rightful heir. I believe that if you do as it says, eventually your undesirable circumstances will change.

Let me explain.

 

Change Your Default Setting!

Firstly, you will note that you are being asked to confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus. If we are taking this passage out of the soul-winning context, what does this mean?

It means you are to confess or speak the Word of God regularly.

In John 1:1 it talks about the Word. From this verse’s context we know that the Word being spoken about here is a person. As you read on to verse 11, we learn that this Word became flesh. We realise that the Word being spoken of here is none other than Jesus. To confess the Lord Jesus therefore, is to confess (speak in agreement with) God’s Word.

Want an example of how this works? Okay then!

Say something happens which leaves you feeling a victim. You begin to meditate on what happened and how you feel. Perhaps you have a catalogue of other occurrences which you now dredge up. You start speaking about what has happened to upset you. To others. To yourself.

And the more you dwell on it, or talk about it, the more upset you get and the worse you feel.

STOP!

Change your strategy. Have a scripture verse or various verses that you can recall and reflect upon and speak to yourself (preferably out loud).

For instance, instead of thinking, believing and saying that you are a victim, a nonentity or whatever description, you, others, or the devil decides to tag you with, say what God says about you or your situation, regardless of how you may currently feel.

Every single time that negative thought or memory comes to mind or heart, slap it down with the Word of God.

As you continue to do this, God’s Word then becomes the truth that you confess (speak) and believe in your heart. The more you do this, the more the old negative thought and belief is displaced, until suddenly, the new confession, the new belief system has taken root, and next time a similar situation presents itself to you, your new positive response becomes automatic, rather than laboured or contrived.

Let’s look again at the scripture passage above. See the words I’ve underlined?

Verse 8: mouth then heart (i.e. confess/believe).

Verse 9: mouth then heart (i.e. confess/believe).

Verse 10: heart then mouth (i.e. believe/confess).

This implies (and I know it’s true because I’ve proven it in my own life), that if you speak the Word of God often enough—to yourself and over your circumstances—you will move from merely parroting the scriptures and desperately wanting to believe, to a position of confidently and consistently confessing biblical truth.

You will now be confessing (speaking) something that bears witness with your spirit, something that you truly believe and (as we see from verse 10), because our hearts and confession have now changed (but not necessarily our circumstances), our confession of God’s Word becomes instinctive and authentic.

Try it!

God’s Word is the most powerful weapon you have and it is right there within reach. Put it in your mind and heart.

Read it. Believe it. Speak it—regularly!

In my next post Part (2), I will share some supporting scriptures which anyone with a victim mentality may use as a starting point.

With love,

Carol (aka Lady Cee)

 

Are you looking for a resource that will help and encourage you to develop a consistent and confident prayer life? If so, don’t hesitate to check out the links below.

 

AMAZON UK – Print: click here; E-book: click here

AMAZON US – Print: click here;  E-book: click here

 

 

Did you enjoy this post? Please share your thoughts in a comment box below. Do you know someone who would benefit from its message? Then please don’t hesitate to share it. Thank you.

 

Are You Sleeping?

 

The above CC0 image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and He said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.”

And He took Peter, James, and John with Him and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed.

Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.”

He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him.

And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me, nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”

Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour?”

“Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Again He went away and prayed, and spoke the same words.

And when He returned, He found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him.

Then He came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough! The hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.

(Mark 14:32-41 NKJV)

The above scripture passage reveals that Christ’s disciples had been asked to watch and pray, in support of Jesus, while he battled with fear, the prospect of God’s utter abandonment and other conflicting thoughts, in the Garden of Gethsemane. Instead they fell asleep.

On reading this account, my mind turned to the present world crisis with the Corona-virus. I wondered how many of God’s people recognise the season in which we are living and are taking advantage of the enforced period of self-isolation, or lock-down and are using some of that precious time to seek God, as never before, and to pray.

Because my dear friends, there has never been a richer opportunity for us as children of God, to spend quality time in fellowship with our Heavenly Father and in prayer. Unexpected yes! But opportune nonetheless!

Those measures where people are being forced to isolate, forced to take time off work, or work from home, represent unprecedented opportunities for each of us who are alive and well, to appeal to God for his merciful intervention.

My dear friend, if you have not grasped this, then you are asleep spiritually. So my question to you is this:

Why are you sleeping?

Is it because of, slothfulness, selfishness or sorrow?

Your nation needs you! So wake up from your spiritual slumber party and pray! [tweet this]

Sorrow

Perhaps you are sorrowing over the way your life has suddenly changed with the event of the coronavirus pandemic. Perhaps you are disappointed that your plans have gone kaput – just like that!

The disciples had just been told that their world was to be turned upside down. They’d been told that their beloved master and friend was about to be killed. Worse still, that one of them, was going to betray him. The disciples were sleeping for sorrow because their plans, their hopes, their dreams were about to be upturned… because they didn’t know what to do, or what to say.

Are you sleeping for sorrow?

Selfishness

But perhaps you are sleeping spiritually because you are too self-absorbed to recognise the time, the season we are living in, or worse still, you do actually recognise this, but feel too depressed, or disappointed with, or defeated by life to do anything constructive about it. Perhaps you are thinking let others get on with it!

Then again, perhaps you could care less!

Dear reader, if you are a child of God, then responsibility for your life, your family, your nation, belongs to you. Jesus has equipped us with the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit knows God’s will, so ask him to help you, ask him to guide your prayers.

“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”

John F. Kennedy

The unprecedented lockdowns provide opportunities for those who are alive and well to appeal to God for his merciful intervention. [tweet this]

Slothfulness

And then again, if the truth were known, perhaps you are just plain lazy (sorry to be so blunt!).

You are used to taking the path of least resistance. You expect other people to step up to the plate and keep your world ticking over nicely, thank you!

To get out of your bed of slumber, or rise from your comfy sofa of self-indulgence, is just too much trouble. Your laissez-faire policy in life has always worked for you before now, so why behave any differently?

Why?

Because these are unprecedented times and unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures. As in the natural world, so in the spiritual world.

To all those who are asleep spiritually, God is saying to you today: Arise! Watch and pray!

 

…praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—

(Ephesians 6:18 NKJV)

 

Beloved friend or follower, if you are sleeping spiritually during this global crisis, wake up from your spiritual slumber party and pray! Your nation needs you!

With love,

Carol (aka Lady Cee)

Author of: Petitions From My Heart

 

Are you looking for a resource that will help and encourage you to develop a consistent and confident prayer life? If so, don’t hesitate to check out the links below.

 

AMAZON UK – Print: click here; E-book: click here

AMAZON US – Print: click here;  E-book: click here

 

What’s your response to my post? Please share your thoughts in a comment box below.

Do you know someone who would benefit from its message? Then please don’t hesitate to share it. Thank you.

 

 

F.A.Q.s

 

The above CC0 image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Unless you have just escaped from the dark ages, I suspect you will know what is meant by FAQs. If not, please click here for an explanation.

Now, for some reason, in the early hours of the morning one day this week, the acronym floated into my mind and I began to wonder, if God had a certain set of questions that He frequently ponders and would love to ask us, as his children, as Christ’s followers, what would they be?

I came up with the following and hope they give you pause for thought.

  1. Where are you?

This is the question God asked Adam and Eve after they sinned and hid from his presence.

Now, I am not accusing anyone of sinning, so please don’t get uptight and click away!

What I am wanting to know is, does God have occasion to ask you the above question – Where are you?

Is he often waiting for you to come visit and fellowship with him, yet ends up being disappointed?

To be invited to come into the Holy of Holies, into God’s very throne-room, is a wonderful privilege and an honour. Are you regularly snubbing the one who has secured a free entrance ticket for you, at a very high price (the unimaginable suffering and death of his Son)?

Could you improve on your visitation periods?

  1. Where are my Elijahs?

Are you concerned about the moral and spiritual decline of this world? Yes?

Then what are you doing about it?

“Me?” you ask. “What do you expect me to do about it?”

It’s not what I expect you to do dear reader, it’s about what God expects you to do.

In 2 Chronicles 7:14 he says this:

If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Again, in the book of James, we read that the “effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” Elijah is given as an example of someone with an effective prayer life (see James 5:16b-17).

Will you be an Elijah?

  1. Can I count of you?

So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but found no one.

(Ezekiel 22:30 NKJV)

Remember Abraham? He had such a great relationship with God that the Lord felt he could not destroy Sodom & Gomorrah without telling him first. It may have been because He knew Abraham’s nephew Lot, was living there. Once Abraham became aware of God’s plan, he sought to dissuade God by asking him to preserve the nation if there were at least 10 righteous people within it.

I believe if Abraham had continued negotiating and asked God to spare this wicked nation for just one righteous individual (Lot), God would have done so.

Abraham was not only deemed to be a friend of God but he is also considered to be our forefather of faith. As his offspring, are you prepared to emulate him and stand in the gap for others, who are in need of God’s grace and mercy?

  1. Are you prepared to trust me in the long haul?

The above question refers to a parable Jesus told, encouraging his followers that they should always pray and not give up. The parable is about a widow who seeks the intervention of an unjust judge. This man had no regard for God, nor did he care about the woman’s plight. However, because of her persistence, he eventually gave in and granted her the justice she sought. If you are not familiar with this story, you may read about it in Luke 18:1-8.

I wonder, when Jesus shared this parable, was he concerned that people gave up too easily? Is there a prayer request you have abandoned because God has not answered it within your required deadline?

Do you have confidence in God’s Word, or are you lacking in persistent faith?

  1. Do you believe that I love you and have your best interests as a primary concern upon my heart?

I am sure you have experienced disappointments in life. In fact, I’m positive there are things which have happened to you that do not reflect the abundant or victorious lifestyle you’d expected to enjoy, as a born-again Christian.

How do you feel about these instances? Do you harbour fears that God has abandoned you, or does not care?

Listen to what he has to say to you from his Word:

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, who are the called according to his purpose.

(Roman 8:28 NKJV)

Joseph found himself in prison on a charge of rape, even though he was innocent. He would never have landed up there in the first place, if it were not for the malice of his own brothers, who sold him into slavery. And all this happened, despite God revealing to Joseph that his destiny was to be a prominent leader.

We know that all ended well, not just for Joseph but for his entire family and for his host country, Egypt, when a severe famine hit the land. This, and other similar stories in the Bible should encourage us that God is able to cause all things to work together for our good.

Do you feel forgotten? If so, ignore your feelings and trust God’s Word.

Commit your concerns into our heavenly Father’s hands. Trust Him to work out his purpose for your benefit and for the blessing of others around you.

Commit (in other words pray).

Trust.

And then rest!

With love,

Carol (aka Lady Cee)

Author of: Petitions From My Heart

AMAZON UK – Print: click here; E-book: click here

AMAZON US – Print: click here;  E-book: click here

 

 

Did you enjoy reading this post? If so, please share your thoughts in a comment box below. Do you know someone who would benefit from its message? Then please don’t hesitate to share it. Thank you.

 

 

You Are Priceless!

 

Do you know that you are God’s masterpiece?

What do you think this means for you as an individual?

Oscar Wilde, gives an appropriate response in the following quote ascribed to him:

Be yourself – everyone else is already taken!

This world is filled with people who do not appreciate their uniqueness. They do not believe they have anything worth offering to others. And there are those who are so besotted with the image of another that they seek to replicate him/her.

I am sure you’ve seen on stage or TV (if not in real life), those who earn money from being look- a-likes, or who pattern themselves on well-known celebrities, such as Marilyn Munro, Michael Jackson or Elvis Presley.

There are even people who will buy the same product used or worn by a celebrity they admire, because they somehow wish to emulate the lifestyle of whomever they deem to be cool, or successful, or hard, or whatever.

Women of Warfare followers, whom are you emulating?

A self-help book I’d read a while ago, mentioned a certain young man who’d started a new job and then began dressing and acting like his new work colleagues, even though the way they dressed and the cars they drove etc., was not a fit for his personality. In the end, he did not recognise himself!

And what about the marketing gurus, who sell idealised beauty, holidays, homes and lifestyles? Now there’s absolutely nothing wrong with following the lead of somebody you admire, or seeking to improve yourself, but to do so to the extent that you become a fake copy of someone else, rather than enjoy and express your own authenticity, is too, too sad.

It’s sad for your poor self-esteem, which has been squeezed into the mould of that person you’d much prefer to be. It’s sad for the people around you, who do not get to benefit from the unique gift you are to the world around you. And it’s mega sad for our wonderful Father-God, who took great care in designing and creating you.

Are you guilty of thinking, or feeling, or even saying that you are not good enough?

What has motivated those thoughts or feelings?

Is it peer pressure, or insecurity?

Can I tell you that the worth of anything is determined by the price someone is willing to pay for it? Well, based on that premise, guess what? You are invaluable!

Jesus gave his life for you. Jesus shed his precious, incorruptible blood for you.

…you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold… but with the precious blood of Christ… (1 Peter 1:18-19)

 

You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men (1 Corinthians 7:23)

 

So, don’t allow people (your peers, the media, even your enemies!), to dictate whom you should be, how you should behave, what you should buy etc., particularly if doing so cuts across the grain of your own authenticity.

Your uniqueness is God’s gift to you and how you express that uniqueness is your gift to those around you. [click to tweet]

Isn’t it about time you unwrapped yourself?

With love,

Carol (aka Lady Cee)

Author of: Petitions From My Heart

AMAZON UK – Print: click here; E-book: click here

AMAZON US – Print: click here;  E-book: click here

 

 

Did you enjoy reading this post? If so, please share your thoughts in a comment box below. Do you know someone who would benefit from its message? Then please don’t hesitate to share it. Thank you.

 

 

What’s your “P” Philosophy?

 

The above CC0 image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Whenever you are feeling discouraged, disappointed or disillusioned with life, what do you do?

When life fails to go your way, or when people mistreat you, how do you habitually behave?

In that hour when emotions are high, when feelings of anger, frustration or failure reign, what will be your default position?

How we choose to behave during such times, demonstrates the level of our spiritual growth and maturity. Make no mistake, as a child of God, both Satan and the Holy Spirit will be standing by, seeking to influence your behaviour.

The voice we choose to listen to, will determine whether we emerge as perpetual victims or perceptive victors. [click to tweet]

In 1 Samuel 25:10-13, we read an account of how David was ill-treated and insulted by Nabal. David took offence and fully intended to wreak vengeance. If it were not for the quick thinking of this churlish man’s wife, David would have been guilty of killing not only Nabal but his entire unsuspecting household—including people who were innocent, who had done nothing wrong!

Anger and a desire for revenge, had clouded David’s judgment.

In comparison, Job demonstrated an admirable standard of emotional maturity. After losing all of his ten children, his considerable wealth and even his health, Job’s wife counselled him to: “Curse God and die!”

Job however, chose to adopt a mature philosophical outlook. He said:

“…Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?”

(Job 2:10 NKJV)

Unlike David, Job chose not to listen to the Enemy’s suggestion, or pander to any sense of outrage, or to feelings of self-pity. He ignored his wife’s blasphemous suggestion, chose not to sin with his lips, nor to charge God with wrong, but to worship the Lord (see Job 2:20-22).

Dear reader, of the two examples mentioned above, which are you more likely to do?

Women of Warfare follower, you can choose your spiritual development philosophy this day, this hour, this season. Will you pity-party or pray?

With love,

 

Carol (aka Lady Cee)

Author of: Petitions From My Heart

AMAZON UK – Print: click here; E-book: click here

AMAZON US – Print: click here;  E-book: click here

 

 

 

Covid-19: A Prayer for Protection

 

The above CC0 image comes courtesy of Gerd Altmann at Pixabay.com

 

The following personalised prayer and declaration is based on Psalm 91 and Luke 10:19. Please feel free to use it to pray for yourselves and your loved ones. If you do not currently have a relationship with God, or if you have been neglecting your relationship with Him, He is merciful and compassionate. All you need to do is ask his forgiveness and commit (or re-commit) your life into the safe custody of his Son, Jesus Christ.

*****       *****       *****

 

 I dwell habitually in the secret place of the Most High God. I therefore abide under the shadow of the Almighty. He is my refuge, my fortress, my God and in Him I trust.

Surely he will deliver me from unsuspected snares, plagues and pestilence (e.g. Covid-19). He will cover me with his feathers of protection and shield me with his wings of healing and deliverance. The truth of his Word will act as an impenetrable shield and sturdy buckler, deflecting any harm that comes my way.

I shall not be afraid for the terrors of the night or for arrows of affliction aimed during the day, nor for the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor for any form of destruction that might lay waste at noonday.

Even though a thousand falls at my side, or ten thousand expires at my right hand, I shall not be affected because I have made the Lord my refuge and the Most High God, my perpetual place of habitation. Therefore no evil shall befall me, no plague (e.g. the Corona-virus) shall come near my dwelling place.

My Father-God has instructed his angels to keep watch over me and protect me in my comings and goings. If danger is near, they will bear me up in their hands and deliver me from life-threatening situations.

I have authority to tread upon the lion and adder and to trample underfoot the young lion and serpent. In accordance with Christ’s decree, I have been given authority over all the power of the Enemy and nothing shall by any means hurt or destroy me.

Because I have chosen to set and seal my heart with love and devotion towards God, he will deliver me. And because I have known his name (i.e. Jehovah-Nissi – the Lord God my banner of protection), He will set me on high, out of harm’s reach.

Whenever I call upon my Father-God in times of trouble, he will answer me. He will be with me, deliver me and honour me. And He will satisfy me with a long life, a God-quality brand of life and he will shower me with the benefits and blessings of his salvation. Amen!

Wishing God’s prevailing peace and protection for you and your loved ones.

With love,

Carol (aka Lady Cee)

Author of: Petitions From My Heart

AMAZON UK – Print: click here; E-book: click here

AMAZON US – Print: click here;  E-book: click here

 

 

 

A God Who Sees You

 

 

I was listening to a man of God some time ago, when I heard him say:

Children will be what they see!

Now, as a child of God, as a Woman of Warfare follower, let me ask you, what do you see?

If you didn’t have good role models for parents you now have a heavenly father, so are you looking at him?

Are you seeing him?

Where are your eyes focussed?

Do you see a God who loves you so much that He sent his Son to die for you, in order to prove the depth of his love, in order to demonstrate his commitment to you?

 

Some folks see an angry God, or an unfair God, who plays favourites, or a God who’s written them off for past sins and failings, or a God who perhaps does not even notice them, let alone answer their prayers.

If you see such a God, then I can imagine it would be very hard to try and approach him, to ask his help, or even just hang out with him simply because you love and respect him. It would be hard because you do not really know Him, do not appreciate who He really is.

Hagar, was just such a woman. In Genesis 16:4-13, we read how after she began to act above her station, openly despising her barren mistress Sarai, upon reaping retribution as a result, she ran away.

Did Hagar bring this situation upon herself? Yes!

Did she deserve the punishment she received for acting so hoity-toity? Perhaps!

She was pregnant. Her master and mistress were Hagar’s only means of support and yet she ran away to a place where she had no idea how she’d survive.

Did God ignore her for being prideful and foolish? No!

In fact we read that he sought her out, spoke kindly to her, gave her a comforting and prophetic word with regard to the child she carried in her womb, then sent her back to the home from which she had just fled.

During the course of his conversation with Hagar we read: …the Lord has heard your affliction (Genesis 16:11 NKJ). I believe this was a response to Hagar’s cries of desperation and despair.

The story ends on a positive note because whether or not Hagar had a relationship with the God of her former owners before this incident, she recognised who was now addressing her personally—she saw a God who spoke directly into her situation and who was concerned about her welfare. She came away from this encounter saying in effect: “You are the God who sees” and “I have seen Him who sees me!” (verse 13)

Isn’t that a wonderful illustration of how God sees us, cares about us and desires to relate to us?

Friend and follower, let me ask you again – in terms of your relationship with God, what do you see?

If you shun God’s company because you think he is angry with you, or because you feel you have blotted your copy book, or if you are reluctant to approach a God who seems distant, harsh and uncaring, let me encourage you to think again. Those lies, those false accusations come from the Enemy. Don’t continue to listen.

If God seems distant, then let me encourage you to draw closer to him today. He promises that if you draw near to him, then he will draw closer to you.

And if you don’t know how to draw closer to him, then ask him to show you. Ask Him to draw you nearer to himself with his gentle cords of love (Hosea 11:4). I guarantee you that he will!

With love,

Carol (aka Lady Cee)

Author of: Petitions From My Heart

AMAZON UK – Print: click here; E-book: click here

AMAZON US – Print: click here;  E-book: click here

 

 

How do you see God? As a distant, mystical being who’s out of touch with the real world? As a spiritual Father Christmas to whom you send a list of your needs? As an unreasonable task master? Please share your thoughts in a comment box below. I’d love to hear from you.

Love Yourself – Because You Are Worth It!

 

Did you know that Jesus once said that it is important we love ourselves?

No?

Then let me show you from the Bible.  Hear what he has to say on the subject below:

…“Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” (emphasis mine)

Jesus replied, “The one that says, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only God. And you must love him with all your heart and soul and mind and strength.’

“The second is: ‘You must love others as much as yourself.’ No other commandments are greater than these.”

(Mark 12:29-31 The Living Bible)

 

 

Well, dear reader, do you love yourself?

Do you respect yourself?

Do you approve of yourself?

If you were to examine your thoughts and actions and attitudes of the past week, month, year, could you really answer these questions in the affirmative most of the time?

Beloved Child of God, don’t depend on others to love you – love yourself!

Don’t look to others to respect you – respect yourself!

Don’t expect others to give your life meaning – give it yourself!

And don’t crave the approval of others. Accept God’s approval (He has made you righteous), so approve of yourself!

If you suffer from approval addiction, I recommend reading this blog post.

Have a wonderful, blessed and self-affirming weekend.

With heartfelt love and commitment,

Carol (aka Lady Cee)

Author of:   Petitions From My Heart

(If you live in the UK click here)

♥♥♥     ♥♥♥     ♥♥♥

Did you enjoy reading this post? If so, please share your thoughts in a comment box below. Do you know someone who would benefit from its message? Then please don’t hesitate to share it. Thank you.

 

 

 

A Living Letter Read by Others!

 

 

Simply No Excuse!

I’m sure I’m not the only one.

In fact, I’m positive I’m not the only child of God who has said something, or done something that undermines the integrity of the Christian stance we’ve taken and the godly pathway upon which we’ve chosen to walk.

But doing so, provides my enemies with ammunition, which they have no hesitation in using. And so, with perfect glee (whether behind my back or at point-blank range), they shoot and scoff: Call yourself a Christian do you? What a hypocrite! Now the fact that other people have fallen in this regard does not excuse me. As a child of God, I’m not called to measure myself against others but against God’s Word, His Will, His standards.

 

 

Stock-Check Your Spiritual Life

The Bible clearly tells us to examine ourselves (our thoughts, our attitudes, our conduct):

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. (2 Corinthians 13:5 NKJV)

Another version puts it this way:

Check up on yourselves. Are you really Christians? Do you pass the test? Do you feel Christ’s presence and power more and more within you? Or are you just pretending to be Christians when actually you aren’t at all? (2 Corinthians 13:5-6 The Living Bible).

 

So how often do we stop and do this?

It is only as we take an inventory of our beliefs and our behaviour that we can comply with this request.

Unfortunately, we are more likely to focus our telescope or magnifying glass upon the deeds of others, than upon ourselves. No wonder Jesus issues a reprimand about seeking to remove a small spec from the eyes of those around us, whilst a log obscures our own vision and discernment!

 

Are You Play-acting Through Life?

Nobody wants to be a hypocrite.

I certainly don’t and I’m 100% sure that you don’t want to be one either.

Now don’t get me wrong. I get that we are not perfect beings and that we’ll never reach that stage of absolute perfection until Jesus returns. However, we do have a responsibility to live as true to our confession of faith and commitment to Christ, as far as we possibly can.

We do not want to be like the Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducees of Jesus’ day, whom he denounced as “white-washed sepulchres”.

And we don’t want to be guilty of using our righteousness and liberty as a cloak to hide, or perpetuate a sinful lifestyle (1 Peter 2:15-16).

So how can we be sure that we are doing our utmost to live up to God’s standard of holiness?

As already suggested above, we can regularly examine our hearts and our lives.

And, as David did, we can ask God to search our hearts and reveal any hidden ways of rebellion and dishonesty.

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23 KJV).

 

Before I go on, let me make something perfectly clear. Righteousness is not the same as holiness.

 

Righteousness –v- Self-righteous Rituals or Religious observance

Righteousness is our legal standing of approval and acceptance in God’s eyes.

Righteousness is a state of being which God has imputed to us because of our faith in Jesus Christ, because of that precious blood which He had shed for us, thereby justifying us in God’s sight.

Righteousness is a quality that cannot be increased or decreased. Just as daytime does not become night simply because rain clouds accumulate and dark skies occur, so the condition of righteousness we’ve been given, cannot be undone or contaminated by good or not so good deeds.

 

Holiness on the other hand is a godly standard of living. It can be maintained. It can be increased or it can be undermined.

Religious observance is not holiness. And rituals or legalistic rules do not constitute holiness.

From my understanding of the scriptures, I believe that holiness is a decision to separate oneself from the corrupting influences of the world. I believe it is a loving and submissive obedience to God, which results in reverence for and towards him, plus respect for and towards others.

When we indulge in behaviour that displeases our Father God and stands at odds to what we know we ought to do, then (provided our hearts have not become callous), the Holy Spirit convicts us. He does this as we read God’s Word, as we receive the counsel and teaching ministry of those placed in authority over us, or through His direct promptings within our hearts.

 

A Heart He Smites, Is a Heart that will do right!

Even King David revealed that his heart “smote” (i.e. convicted) him when he’d sinned.

And David’s heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O Lord, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.” (2 Samuel 24:10 KJV)

The other day, I read a post from one of my blogger friends, where the Holy Spirit “smote” her heart about a less than Christ-like behaviour. You can read about it here.

I laughed as I imagined the scenario and could identify with that temptation to become impatient and engage in behaviour which condemns us later down the road.

And indeed, there have been those occasions where my own heart “smote” me for un Christ-like behaviour, such as indulging in gossip and backbiting.

Dear reader, perhaps you can relate.

There are periods in our lives when we feel “enough is enough” and, taking umbrage because of other times in the past when we were pushed around or made to feel like a doormat, we charge full steam ahead, pushing our way past those who dare to stand in the way of our self-esteem.

Friends, as we go about our day-to-day lives, let us not forget that we are actually living, breathing, letters being read by others. It may be strangers. It may be work colleagues. It may be family or friends. But you can jolly well bet that amongst those onlookers, there will be a few enemies. So let us diligently strive to walk on God’s Highway of Holiness, so that our lives make at least good, if not riveting reading!

 

This Week’s Prayer Focus: (Don’t forget to put on your spiritual armour before entering the battlefield of prayer!)

Let’s pray for ourselves and for one another in the body of Christ that we will pay heed to James’ admonition to be “doers of the word, and not hearers only…” (James 1:21-24)

 

PRAYER:

Father God,

We come before you in meekness and with humility. Forgive us for those days when we fall far short of your standard of holiness. Forgive us when we indulge in less than Christ-like behaviour, in order to assert our rights or upholster our self-esteem.

Help us to remember Christ’s example in the face of challenging or humiliating circumstances. Help us to remember that he chose the path of obedience and humility and, as we recall his example, may we choose to emulate him.

O Lord God, help us to also remember the behaviour of Christ’s religious contemporaries, which stood at odds to His gospel. Let us take warning from this and examine our own ways.

Lord Jesus, we thank you for your precious, efficacious blood that even now speaks on our behalf from the mercy seat in heaven. We thank you that your blood speaks of nobler things than the blood of Abel, which had cried out for vengeance. We are so grateful to you that your blood cries out “mercy”, “forgive them for they know not what they do”. And we thank you dear Lord Jesus that whilst you are seated beside our Heavenly Father, you continue to make intercession for us.

Holy Spirit, what a precious gift you are to us. During the coming days, weeks, months and perhaps even years, help us to walk worthy of our calling. Help us to walk uprightly upon that Highway of Holiness. Whenever we stumble or fall, or deliberately desert that path, motivate us to repent, arise and move forward, confident that we are righteous in God’s sight. Finally, we ask that you make us zealous in our commitment to please and obey our Father God, in all of our ways.

We ask this in Jesus’ precious name. Amen.

© Carol Hind

Author of: Petitions From My Heart 

(If you live in the UK click here)

 

 

 

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

Did you enjoy reading this post? If so, please share your thoughts in a comment box below. Do you know someone whom would benefit from its message? Then please don’t hesitate to share it. Thank you.

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 Sunday’s Supplications

Sunday’s Supplications invites you to not only read the posts but also participate in the 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.

 

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

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”?

 

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 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.

 

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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

 

A 21-day Thanks-Fest (Day 17)

Dear Father God,

Today I wish to remember and give thanks for individuals such as John Wycliffe and William Tyndale who made it possible for me to have direct access to your Word.

Thank you for those who were so committed to ensuring that ordinary people could read the Bible for themselves, they became martyrs. I thank you for their courage.

I thank you that I’m blessed to own several versions of the Bible. I’m aware that this is not always the case for Christians in other countries.  

Given that your Word is a valuable resource which imparts supernatural life, given that it’s my guide to everyday living and, given that it’s a lamp to my feet and a light to my path, I cannot even begin to imagine living without direct access to the Bible when needed. And so I thank you for my privileged position.

My sincere thanks dear Father God.

Love,

 Carol

If you would like to learn more about the Bible Society’s global mission work, please click here.

 

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

 

 

Father God’s Invitation

This is God’s Message,

The God who made earth,

Made it livable and lasting,

Known everywhere as GOD:

‘Call to me and I will answer you.

I’ll tell you marvellous and wondrous things

That you could never figure out on your own.’

(Jeremiah 33:3 The Message)

 

Beloved, the answer you need is just a call away. So don’t delay – send Father God your knee-mail today.

—–oooooo000oooooo—–

 

You are not a victim!

Today I saw a youtube video that called to mind Peter’s stark warning to all Christians. He said:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour

(1 Peter 5:8 KJV)

But praise God! We need not fear.

This is the video which inspired today’s post.

 

Granted our personal situation may not be as dramatic and heart-stopping as the baby bear’s but we would do well to take heed of Peter’s warning in the quote above.

Thank God that should we fail to be vigilant, should we feel our circumstances have us hopelessly cornered, when we have the presence of mind to cry out for help, or we seek to stand our ground against the Enemy, our Heavenly Father is quick to respond.

So remember dear Women of Warfare followers and readers, whether you are the target of relentless opposition, or whatever difficulties you may be facing – you are not a victim!

 

 

Do You Know God’s Will? (Part 3)

 

 Hello lovely readers,

As I begin to type this post, I have no idea where my thoughts, or where the Holy Spirit will lead me. When I first planned and made notes for this theme, it looked very different and I had not intended for it to be a series, so bear with me, as together we see how the Lord will lead.

If you have not read parts 1 and 2 and you would like to, please click on the following links:

Do You Know God’s Will? (Part 1)

Do You Know God’s Will? (Part 2)

 

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Last week I ended my post with the following statement:

“When we do not know, or fail to understand, or refuse to submit to God’s will, the end result is unfulfilled potential.”

I had just spoken about the parable of the talents and how the man who received one talent had:

  1. Buried his God-given resource, undermining his future potential and
  2. Had a wrong perception of the Lord.

Perhaps the difference between this man who buried his talent and the other two who maximised their potential, was relationship.

The two who went out and increased what they were given, showed that they understood their master’s requirements. All three men were given the means and the same amount of time in which to develop and increase what they’d been given. Yet one failed. Why? What made the difference?

I believe it was a failure to discern the master’s will. And this failure revealed an ignorance about the master.

Why the failure? Why the ignorance?

I put it down to neglect and complacency. Neglecting to fellowship with God, neglecting to understand how the Kingdom of God operated and complacency regarding his role as a steward.

Now when a job applicant applies for a position and is fortunate enough to secure an interview, if that applicant is wise, he or she will research the company which they are hoping to join. It demonstrates interest to the potential employer but also reveals to the applicant the company’s ethos, history, aims and objectives. The person specification and job description reveals the employer’s will.

It is the same with the Kingdom of God. The Bible reveals God’s ethos. It reveals the person specification for members of the Body of Christ. It reveals God’s will. However, only the wise, only the diligent, will have the ability to discern and fulfil it.

When Jesus shared this parable, he mentioned that the story he told was a picture of the Kingdom of heaven. I think this parable accurately reflects how many members of the Body of Christ behave today. Whilst some will diligently seek to fulfil Father-God’s will, others will accept the costly gifts of salvation yet fail to use their God-given resources and opportunities to glorify him.

When we look at this parable we can see that the onus is upon us to use the resources we’ve been given and, as we are diligent, our capacity to know more about God, about who we are in Christ, about the kingdom of heaven of which we have become citizens and in which we are co-labourers, increases.

When we submit to the will of God, our capacity to please him, to be transformed from glory to glory into the image of Christ and to work the works of God increases. As Daniel says:

…the people who know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits.

(Daniel 11:32b NKJV)

Dear reader, relationship is a vital key to knowing God and knowing his will. And that relationship has to be genuine, ongoing and meaningful.

In Matthew 25:16 we learn that the servant with the 5 talents traded with them. A relationship with God requires the trading of your time (the most valuable commodity you can offer), in order to enjoy his presence. And whenever you spend time in God’s Word, you are trading that time for exposure to the mind-set of God. You are placing yourself in a position to receive his revelations, his directions, or his correction. You are trading that time to increase your knowledge of God. Whether engaged in prayer, in worship, in meditation, in silence, it is time well spent and the Bible tells us that God rewards those who diligently seek him.

Do you value what you’ve been given?

Do you appreciate the fact that we’ve been given complete access to God’s holy presence and unlimited resources?

The servant with the one talent did not appreciate what he’d been given. He buried it in the ground. Can you imagine that? No doubt it was tucked away in the earth out of sight whilst he went about his day-to-day life and it was only retrieved when he was called to give an account.

When you consider this parable, there is information here that gives another insight into God’s will. He wants us as his servants to be wise stewards of all that he entrusts into our hands. If this man had only deposited what he’d been given, so that it earned interest, he would not have been so severely punished.

The Word of God is replete with clues as to God’s will. From Genesis to Revelation we see a consistent pattern unfolding.

God wants to fellowship with his people. God wants to bless them. He wants to enter into a covenant relationship with them. But he also wants his people to love him, serve him, honour him, glorify him.

Just as he did with the Children of Israel, He wants to show us off to the world around us. He wants them to be able to look at us and examine our lives and witness how he provides and protects and promotes us. He wants them to recognise that we are children of the Living God.

Dear reader, God’s will is to love you, to shower you with the benefits of salvation, with the blessings of his kingdom. His will is for you to appreciate his goodness, to thank him for his mercies.

These are just the basics. There is so much more. Will you be a diligent servant or a complacent member of Christ’s body?

The choice is yours!

 

This Week’s Prayer Focus:

As I wrote this post I felt a burden for the Body of Christ to wake up, to recognise we’ve been given a privileged position and not take it for granted, so let’s pray for ourselves and for our church communities.

And as usual, before going into battle please protect yourselves by putting on your spiritual armour.

 

Almighty God,

I come boldly into your throne room and thank you for the privilege of being able to spend time in your presence. I want to thank you for granting me all things that pertain to life and godliness. I want to thank you for your unconditional, everlasting and extravagant love and I want to thank you for your good, acceptable and perfect will for my life.

Father God, I want to honour you. I want to love you with my whole heart. I ask that you make my thoughts and inclinations agreeable with your will. I choose not to conform to the ways of this world but to be transformed by the renewing of my mind. May your perfect will be accomplished within and through my life.

Lord God, I bring to your remembrance those of my brothers and sisters in Christ, who are represented amongst my blog followers and readers, and those who are members of the Body of Christ in the various church communities or fellowships that we attend. I ask that just as an eagle stirs up her young in their nest, so you will stir us up out of our nests of complacency. Help us to pay heed to your warning to watch and pray lest we enter into temptation. Father God, I ask that you deliver us from the temptation to be preoccupied with our problems and not discern, or even care about those around us who are lost, who are grieving, who are without hope in this world.

Touch our hearts afresh. Motivate us to seek your face like never before. Enlighten the eyes of our understanding, so that we can discern your will. Empower us as individuals and corporately as a people, so that we walk in conformity with your will, so that we can effectively implement it.

I ask this in the name of your precious son Jesus. Amen.

© Carol Hind

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Sunday’s Supplications

Sunday’s Supplications invites you to not only read the posts but also participate in the prayers. Each week, I hope to introduce a new theme and prayer focus. You are welcome to print off and use each prayer provided, either verbatim or adapted for your particular circumstance. Even better, you can 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.

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Women of Warfare followers and visitors have a blessed week!

 

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

Do You Know God’s Will? (Part 2)

 

Hello friends, followers and visitors – how have you been doing this week? I hope you are growing and flourishing in the will of God.

Last week, we looked at understanding the will of God. A big subject when you consider we serve a BIG God. But you know something? God does not hide his will, his plan and purpose from us. He does not make it impossible for us to discover.

Nor does he require us to have a phenomenal brain, or super-human intellect, or something which is available only to the rich or supremely successful person, in order to access this information.

If you are a child of God (i.e. if you have been spiritually “born-again”) then you have Christ living within you, you have God’s Holy Spirit alongside you, and you have the Word of God, to help you know, understand and fulfil God’s good, acceptable and perfect will.

Last week we looked at the definition of understanding according to Chambers 21st Century Dictionary. Two of these definitions were:

  • The act of understanding or the ability to understand
  • Someone’s perception or interpretation of information received

We also considered God’s command to us through Paul:

Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Ephesians 5:17 (NKJV)

 

We can see then that understanding the will of God must be something accessible to us as children of God, since our Father-God is fair and just and would not ask of us something that’s impossible.

So, if there is an issue regarding our understanding of what God wants, it would seem to be a problem with our knowledge, or our perception, even our interpretation of the information that we have at our disposal.

 

First things First!

Going back to God’s command to us in Ephesians, note that it begins with asking us not to be unwise. This suggests to me that in order to know the will of God, we need wisdom. Further, I believe that this wisdom has to be the supernatural wisdom of God, not the secular wisdom of this world.

We cannot operate the things of God with the tools of the world. Anything concerning the realm of God requires the resources of God.

So how do we get this wisdom?

We ask!

From James 1:5 we learn that if we lack supernatural wisdom, we can do something about it. We can ask God, who will not only supply us with the required wisdom but also grant us a liberal portion.

We see evidence of this truth in King Solomon’s life, who was dubbed the wisest man that ever lived.

In 1 Kings 3:3-15, we learn that Solomon felt inadequate for his role as king. And so, when God appears to him in a dream and invites him to ask for whatever he desires, Solomon asks for wisdom and understanding, in order to effectively fulfil God’s will and call on his life—to rule the nation of Israel.

Guess what? Solomon received his request in an abundant measure!

Then God said to him: “Because you have asked this thing… behold I have done according to your words; see I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you…”

1 Kings 3:11-12 (NKJV)

Dear reader, if you do not know, or are unsure of what God’s will is, have you asked him? Have you asked for his wisdom?

 

What next?

Having established that in order to know the will of God, we require the wisdom of God, what comes next?

I believe having a basic understanding of God’s nature and modus operandi, correctly interpreting the information we have regarding the principles of his kingdom and his intention toward us, is key.

Someone can “know” 2 and 2 makes 4, because they’ve learned it by rote but, if you do not know the basic rules of maths, you will not understand why 2 and 2 makes 4, and will therefore not be able to apply this mathematical rule outside of what you have learned by rote. To someone who does not know this basic rule they could easily interpret the information (2 + 2) as 22.

In the same way, we can “know” (i.e. make a cerebral calculation) about God but, if we don’t have a revelation, a spiritual understanding of who He is, then we can come up with a wrong interpretation.

Take for instance the parable of the talents. The two men who’d been given 2 or 5 talents, understood that their Lord’s will was for them to increase the potential of what they’d been given. However, the one who was given one talent did not. He had a completely wrong perception of his master, did not discern his will correctly, or else did not care to recognise and honour it. He therefore buried what he had been given.

When we do not know, when we fail to understand, or refuse to submit to God’s will, the end result is unfulfilled potential.

(To be continued…)

 

This Week’s Prayer Focus:

This week, let’s consider those areas of our lives where we would benefit from the supernatural wisdom of God. Perhaps it is so we can do our jobs better, bringing creative solutions to problems. Perhaps it is so we can enjoy better relationships with our loved ones. Perhaps it is simply knowing the best thing to do, or the right path to take in a given situation.

Dear believers, in order to walk as victorious overcomers, we need to be in tune with God’s will.  Let’s be bold. Let’s ask for wisdom and understanding in faith and be assured in our hearts that we are capable of discerning God’s will for our lives.

And you know what I’m about to say now, right?

Yep! Don’t forget to put on your spiritual armour!

 

Father God,

Your Word tells me that the wisdom of this world is foolishness to you. It also tells me that this world’s wisdom is earthly, sensual and devilish. I therefore do not wish to operate in this world’s wisdom. I want to operate in the wisdom that comes from above, which is pure, peaceable, without partiality and hypocrisy.

Father, your Word also counsels me not to be unwise but to understand what your will is. Lord, grant me godly wisdom, so that I may know, understand and fulfil your perfect will for my life.

Merciful Father, I bring before you all members of the Body of Christ who are represented amongst my readership. I pray for them in accordance with Ephesians 6:18. I ask first of all that you divinely protect them and their loved ones as they go about their lives. Deliver them from evil. Protect them from danger. Remove them from the paths of harm.

I now ask Father God that you kindle within each one of your children, an increasing desire to know and fully understand your will. Continue to work within our hearts, so that we might both desire to know and obediently submit to your will. Not just now and again, or when the mood suits, or when a crisis dictates but consistently, faithfully.

Lord God, let not the will of the Enemy, or the will of unscrupulous men, or even our own selfish wills prevail in our lives. But let your good, your acceptable and your perfect will be fulfilled, both within and through our lives.

I ask in faith and in the matchless name of your Son, Jesus. Amen.

© Carol Hind

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Sunday’s Supplications

Sunday’s Supplications invites you to not only read the posts but also participate in the prayers. Each week, I hope to introduce a new theme and prayer focus. You are welcome to print off and use each prayer provided, either verbatim or adapted for your particular circumstance. Even better, you can 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.

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

 

CREDIT: the above CC0 image comes courtesy of Nähe Bonne at Pixabay.com

Choosing a Journey of Joy

 

There was a song I used to sing in Sunday school that went something like this:

I’ve got joy, joy, joy, joy

Down in my heart,

Down in my heart,

Down in my heart,

Yes – I’ve got joy, joy, joy, joy

Down in my heart,

Down in my heart today.

 

As mentioned above, I used to sing it in Sunday school, yet if the truth be known, I really didn’t know what joy was. I suppose I thought it was just another word for happiness. I now know better.

I’ve since learned that joy is an ingredient of the fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22). I therefore now understand that JOY in the biblical sense can only be experienced by those who are born-again (i.e. who have committed their lives into God’s hands and accepted Jesus as their saviour and invited him to be their Lord).

Even so, I still didn’t have a full grasp of what JOY is, or what it looked like, other than I believed it was a higher, deeper expression of happiness.

Well, I recently came across a wonderful and insightful definition of this quality.

Bob and Debbie Gass, writers of UCB Word for Today  shares the following:

  • Happiness is external
  • Joy is internal
  • Happiness depends on outward circumstances
  • Joy depends on inward character
  • Happiness depends on what happens to us
  • Joy depends on who lives within us
  • Happiness is based on chance
  • Joy is based on choice.

Now it is obvious to me that happiness is an unstable emotion because it fluctuates. The pursuit of joy is therefore a wiser move. Why? Because Jesus says that the joy he gives, is a joy that remains:

These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.

(John 15:11 NKJV)

 

As a woman of God, desirous of reigning in life through the power of Christ and aiming to walk each day as a victorious overcomer, I’m making a conscious decision to choose joy.

What do you choose?

 

CREDIT: CC0 image from Pixabay.com 

Your Spiritual Confidante

 

Sunday’s Supplications (3)

Embed from Getty Images

 

6I am weary with my groaning;

All night I make my bed swim;

I drench my couch with my tears.

 

9…the Lord has heard the voice

of my weeping.

The Lord has heard my

supplication;

The Lord will receive my prayer.

(Psalm 6:6, 9 NKJV)

 

In the above quote, we read of David’s distress about his circumstances. What I love about this man is his total honesty. He does not say that he shed a few tears. He uses language that reveals his utter desolation and sense of hopelessness. His relationship with God is such that he feels able to be totally transparent and vulnerable.

Despite David’s despair, at some point during his communication with God, he receives an assurance that the Lord has heard his tears, heard his supplication and received his prayer.

Dear reader, let me ask you a question – do you have such a relationship with God that when you pray, you are confident he has heard you?

It is obvious from the Psalms that David’s relationship with God was of utmost importance to him. No wonder God declared: ‘…I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart…’ (Acts 13:22 NKJV)

Fast forward through the pages of scripture and we meet another man, who is often referred to as the one whom Jesus loved (see John 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, 20). This same disciple wrote:

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

(1 John 5:14-15 NKJV)

 

What is the thing that these two men of God from completely different eras share? It is their supreme confidence that God hears their prayers. And that confidence comes from maintaining a close relationship with the Lord.

And so let me ask another question:

How confident are you that God hears your prayers?

Women of Warfare readers, let me assure you today that we serve a God who hears and answers prayers.

 

This Week’s Prayer Focus:

Let us pray for ourselves and for one another that we will have a strong relationship with God, which leads to a heartfelt assurance that he hears our prayers.

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

 

Father God,

I want to thank you for making me worthy to come into your holy presence. I want to thank you for granting me the privilege of entering into your throne room. I want to thank you for the precious blood of your Son, Jesus, which enables me to fellowship with you without fear or condemnation.

Lord God, you began this relationship when you bestowed your unconditional love upon me, when you accepted me into your family. I want to love you with all of my heart, soul and mind – the way you deserve and the way you command. I ask that you stir up within me an ever increasing desire to know you, to fellowship with you, to please and obey you.

Father God, I commit into your hands my brothers and sisters in Christ represented among the followers of, and visitors to this blog. I ask that during the days, weeks and months ahead you draw them into a closer relationship with you. And, as they draw near to you, I thank you for your promise that you will draw even nearer to them. I ask that this closeness will grant them complete confidence that you hear their prayers, that you are concerned about their welfare, that you are able to cause all things that occur in their lives to work together for their good, their benefit and their blessing.

Thank you for hearing my prayer and granting this request, which I ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.

© Carol Hind

 

Dear reader, God awaits you in his throne-room – will you keep that appointment, or will you be a “no show”?

Have a blessed week!

 

Prayer Gem 11

Are you rooted and grounded in God’s Word?

 

The only currency God trades in is faith and ‘faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God’ (Romans 10:17 KJV).

As you immerse yourself in Scripture, faith takes root and begins to grow. And faith is what makes your prayers effective.

(Bob & Debby Gass – UCB Word for Today)

 

***     ***     ***

 

Self-Scrutiny:

Are you spending quality time in God’s Word?

Are you allowing the word of Christ to dwell in you richly? (Colossians 3:16)

 

Prayer warriors and interns, be sure to put on God’s protective armour each day!

 

Women of Warfare readers – may God’s hand of divine protection rest upon you and your loved ones throughout this week.

 

Make That Call!

 

 

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

(Hebrews 4:16 KJV)

 

Are you familiar with the TV programme: Who wants to be a millionaire?

In order to reach the 1 million prize-money target, contestants have three life-lines they are able to use at any time – ask the audience, 50/50 (where 2 of the incorrect answers are removed), or phone a friend.

The friend has been pre-selected by the contestant and is usually chosen for their knowledge, for their capacity to help the individuals when they are stuck for an answer.

The friend, who is contacted live during the show, now has the burden of expectation on his or her shoulders—the expectation of the contestant who called; the expectation of the presenter who wants the drama of the situation to bring value-added appeal to the show; who naturally wants the friend to succeed, so contestants can proceed to the higher paying questions. Added to all this, is the expectation of the audience rooting for the contestant.

Sometimes that friend may come up trumps but at other times, the person selected turns out to be the wrong choice, for they are completely unable to assist!

Do you need help?

Are you in need of:

  • Courage, to face your day?
  • Deliverance from a sticky situation?
  • Enablement to obey God’s Word?
  • Guidance to know what to do?
  • Wisdom in order to make a decision?

Well, God is your friend – call on him!

Call him today. He will not let you down. The Bible is full of scriptures supporting this fact but here’s one for starters:

When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stout-hearted. (Psalm 138:3 NIV)

 

In the day when I called, You answered me; and You strengthened me with strength (might and inflexibility to temptation) in my inner self. (Psalm 138:3 AB)

 

Now listen to what your Father-God has promised:

It shall come to pass

That before they call, I will

answer;

And while they are still speaking,

I will hear.

(Isaiah 65:24 NKJ)

 

Beloved child of God, victorious overcomer, dear women of warfare, may I counsel you today?

Make that call!

 

SELF SCRUTINY:

Who is your first port of call when you are in trouble or need advice?

 

Don Your Armour!

 

If you know your Bible and are familiar with teaching on prayer and intercession, then I’m sure you will have come across Paul’s direction to the body of Christ in Ephesians 6:10-18.

You will know that as members of the body of Christ, we are encouraged to put on the whole armour of God.

How do we do this?

Pretty much like everything else we have to do when it comes to the supernatural things of God’s kingdom. We do so by faith and through confession (speaking God’s Word).

How did you get saved? You spoke (confession), when you invited Christ into your life and asked him to become your Lord and Saviour.

You believed (faith) that he would hear you and respond.

Whether immediately, or eventually, you experienced the reality. You received an inward witness. You knew that you were saved. You knew that you were changed. You knew that by some marvellous and mystical act, the Spirit of Christ had taken up residence within you.

And in a similar way, that’s how you put on your spiritual armour.

Put it on daily. Put it on before you go out into the fray of daily living. Put it on before you enter the battlefield of prayer. Put it on through confession. Put it on in faith.

If you’d like help in doing this, here’s a prayer you may use.

Victorious overcomers, prayer warriors and prayer interns – have a blessed weekend!

 

Do you agree with this post? Let me know your response in the comment box below.

 

Heartfelt Praise

PRAYER PRAISE & WORSHIP WEDNESDAY

 

Praise

PRAISE the Lord!

Praise the Lord, O my soul!

While I live I will praise the Lord;

I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

(Psalm 146:1-2 NKJ)

 

Whoever offers praise glorifies Me;

And to him who orders his conduct aright

I will show the salvation of God.

(Psalm 50:23 NKJ)

 

Prayer

Father God,

Right now we come into your awesome presence to honour you – not just with our lips but with our hearts and souls, with our entire being.

We come to offer you the praise and worship that you deserve because you are so worthy. We love you Father God. We want to love you more. We want to know you more. We want to understand your ways better because we want to glorify you, both in and through our lives.

Lord Jesus, thank you for your example of honouring our Father whilst you walked on this earth. As your disciples we want to do likewise, so we thank you for your ongoing prayers and intercession on our behalf. We realise this will not happen by our own efforts or willpower but by your Holy Spirit.

Holy Spirit, we call upon you as our Helper. Thank you for your anointing within us that teaches us. Teach us how to honour Father God, not only with our lips but also with our lifestyle.

Thank you Father God for hearing our prayer and granting our request. Amen.

 

(References: Matthew 15:8; Revelation 4:11; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:24; Zechariah 4:6; John 14:16, 26; 1 John 5:14)

 

 Worship

 

Women of Warfare followers and visitors, I pray that the Lord will draw you into a deeper experience of Him.  I pray your hearts will overflow with inexpressible joy as you spend time in his presence and take time to express your love for him. Share those secret desires of your heart in prayer, knowing he listens and knowing he loves you and desires to fellowship with you.

Have a victorious week!

PS: If you are reading this and you do not have a relationship with God but would like to, may I invite you to accept Jesus as your Saviour? To do so, you simply have to repeat the following prayer and God will do the rest (please don’t hesitate – your eternal destiny depends on whether or not you take this next step!).

 

A Prayer for Salvation and a Relationship with God

Father God,

I want to have a relationship with you. I come to you today in the name of your Son, Jesus. Thank you for making it possible for me to be reconciled with you. I realise I am in need of rescuing from the penalty of sin. I believe Jesus died for me and I accept He is the only way through which I can escape eternal punishment. I therefore repent of my sins and ask your forgiveness.  Jesus, I invite you into my life as my Saviour and my Lord. Amen.

 

Dear reader, if you prayed the above prayer, congratulations and welcome to the Family of God!

The following links will help you take your next steps in your new life and provide the guidance you need. I’d also suggest that you talk to a Christian friend and find a church to attend and receive support. You may also find the following post at my other blog site enlightening (Paradise Lost or Paradise Regained?), as this explains why the step you have just taken is vital for safeguarding your eternal destiny.

If you accepted this invitation to commit your life into God’s care and prayed the above prayer, please share the good news in the comment box below (don’t be shy!) 🙂

WoW! followers and visitors – no need to feel left out! If you’ve been encouraged, inspired or uplifted by this post, don’t hesitate to share your comments below. I look forward to hearing from you.

 


 

 

Not on our terms!

FIVE MINUTE FRIDAY

Q: What is Five Minute Friday?

A: It is a 5min free write blog event hosted by Kate Motaung. Every Thursday Kate announces a one-word prompt on her blog at 10pm EST. The link-up is open for a full week, until the following Thursday evening. For further details on how to participate visit her blog at: Heading Home.

 

 

 

Five Minute Friday Prompt: SHOULD

John the Baptist languishes in prison.

He sends some of his followers to Jesus with a question. Are you the coming one, or do we look for another?

Why did John the Baptist ask this question? After all he had baptised Jesus. He had witnessed the Holy Spirit in the shape of a dove hovering over his cousin. He had heard the voice of God saying: this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. He had even testified that this same Jesus would baptise with fire and that he (John) was unworthy of even loosening the latch on Christ’s shoes.

So what happened?

Adversity happened. Disappointment and disillusionment happened.

John was of the impression that this Jesus, the one whom he’d faithfully served, testified about and prepared the way of his coming, the one whom he’d confirmed was the Son of God, should have been doing something about his situation. He felt Jesus should have been making moves to rescue him from prison.

[End of 5mins]

After all Jesus must have heard about what had happened to him. After all, this is why Jesus had come to the earth wasn’t it? To deliver the captives. To set them free. So why hasn’t he? Why didn’t he muster his power and spirit him away, out of jail? Or why didn’t he come before Herod, overwhelm him with shame and conviction regarding his sin, use his powers of persuasion and demand his release? Why? Did he not love him? Did he not care?

And so as he sits in the darkness of his dungeon, John begins to entertain doubts. John listens to the taunts and lies of the Enemy. John begins to hold a pity-party. And as a result, he sends his followers off to ask a question, which barely veils an accusation.

Should we look for another Messiah? Should we look for another Saviour? Should we look for another Deliverer?

The question implies that Jesus had been weighed in the balance of John’s expectations and found wanting. The question implies that if Jesus is who he says he is, if Jesus is who John had believed him to be, then here was an opportunity to demonstrate his authority and power, here was an opportunity to show his compassion and mercy. So why hadn’t he?

And isn’t that how we are, as children of God, as followers of Christ? Full of faith, solid in conviction—until adversity strikes! Then come the doubts, the questions, the crisis of faith. We sit within the prison of our circumstances, within the confinement of our fears and wonder why God doesn’t rescue us, why Jesus doesn’t zap the situation with his power and make the injustice, the intolerable pain, the ugliness go away.

How did Jesus answer?

“Go and tell John the things which you hear and see:

The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them…” (Matthew 11:4-5)

 

John’s direct question was answered. Jesus provides incontrovertible evidence that he is the one, the expected Messiah. However, Jesus also answered John’s indirect query or accusation. His response delivers a sting in the tail. And blessed is he who is not offended because of me! (exclamation mine).

What can you and I learn from this?

  1. Don’t doubt in the darkness of trial, what you once believed in the light of revelation truth and experience
  2. Our relationship with God does not preclude us from injustice or tribulation and Christ does not answer to our every beck and call.
  3. We should not allow offence to develop in our heart when our expectations of God are disappointed.

In the face of bewilderment, discouragement or fear, how should we behave? With confidence that God is with us, despite what the devil implies, or our circumstances suggest!

We are told:

Fear not, for I am with you;

Be not dismayed, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you,

Yes, I will help you,

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

 

And so we have a choice – trust and believe, or question and accuse.

 

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Prayer Gem 9

 

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

1 Peter 5:8-9

 

In my Bible (Spirit Filled Life Bible – NKJV), the above passage has the following explanatory footnote below:

Resist: The active imperative indicates an assertive stance against the Adversary’s operations. Because of the Devil’s aggressive hostility, Christians must be spiritually alert, not only to withstand his attacks (employing the armor described in Eph. 6:10-18), but in prayer and spiritual warfare opposing him.

 

***     ***     ***

Question:

  • Are you asserting the authority Christ has given you?
  • Are you opposing the advances of the Enemy against you and your loved ones?

Spiritual warriors and prayer-interns, be sure to put on God’s protective armour before doing so!

 

 

Pick Up Your Cross!

 

What is your cross?

It is any situation that calls for you to die to the dictates, desires and demands of your flesh… that requires you to take the route of suffering knowing that death to your flesh will enable you to minister God’s life-giving spirit to someone else.

The “flesh” represents not just your body but also your appetites, inclinations, impulses, negative and contrary responses.

Now the cross we are expected to carry, the path we are expected to tread will be unique to each one of us.

In my case, crucifying my flesh requires me to remain silent in the face of lies, false accusations, scorn and ridicule. It demands that I walk humbly through the gates of self-denial and submit to the punishing nails of humiliation as my name, reputation and self-esteem are nailed mercilessly to my cross. It also demands that I bear this cross of perpetual shame with the right attitude, knowing that my Father God knows my thoughts and sees my heart.

A bitter pill to swallow?

Yes. Absolutely!

Now whilst studying the Bible, or listening to stirring sermons, God’s Word may at that time rejoice my heart. However, when later required to walk that word out, when faced with the reality of practicing God’s kingdom principles in the context of hatred, rejection or sabotage, the sweet experience of hearing that word or receiving that revelation, can become bitter.

Bitter because I’m now required to chew, swallow and digest an unpalatable portion. Bitter because God’s word is no longer a neat theoretical discourse filed away in my mind but a distressing practical experience to be suffered, to be endured.

I wonder how many of us choose instead to spit out the offending morsel. Love your enemies? Nope! Don’t fancy that! Rejoice during persecution? Sorry – no way! Turn the other cheek? You’re kidding me – right?

I wish I was but I’m not. I wish carrying my cross was as simple as fastening a piece of jewellery around my neck. But it’s not. Carrying one’s cross is not easy.

Yet carry it I must, since this is what Jesus did for me (and for you) from the time he was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane to the time he was cruelly impaled upon that cross at Golgotha.

Whether you believe it or not, whether you care or not, the truth is Jesus willingly suffered so that we can be reconciled to God, so that we can be free from the clutches and influence of Satan and, so we can be delivered from spiritual death – the devastating penalty of SIN.

 

For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully.

For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.

For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps (1 Peter 2:19-21 NKJV).

 

So are you prepared to follow Jesus’ example? Are you willing to obey Christ’s command?

…If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me (Matthew 16:24 NKJV)

And he who does not take his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me (Matthew 10:38)

 

The choice is yours whether you eat God’s manna of obedience, or consume the meat of self-indulgence.

As his disciples, Christ expects us to take up our cross daily and follow him. Have you picked up your cross, or are you avoiding and disobeying his command?

Without the cross there can be no crucifying of your flesh (please note I am speaking metaphorically here). Without crucifying of self, there can be no experience of Christ’s resurrection life and power, and therefore no partaking of his glory.

 

…we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified together. (Romans 8:16-17 NKJV)

 

Dear readers, be aware that between the stages of grace and glory lies a road of personal pain and self-sacrifice. Those who choose to skip this route will not be seen as overcomers in God’s eyes. Those who refuse to walk this narrow pathway will not earn the victor’s crown.

Spiritual warriors, prayer interns, brothers and sisters in Christ, your cross will be specific to the path and purpose God has ordained for you. Have you decided to emulate Jesus? Then pick up your cross!

 

Wishing all followers and visitors a happy Easter!

 

PHOTO CREDIT: CC0 image courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

Love’s Sacrificial Mindset

 

 

Image from Sophie Janotta (Pixabay.com)

Hello Folks,

I’m engaging in a bit of self-promotion here.

Having written my first guest post, I’d really love it if you’d be so kind as to lend me your support.

If you have the time and inclination, details are as follows:

Venue: StylishlyInspired

 

Hope you’ll enjoy reading and if you do, please don’t hesitate to let me know your thoughts.

Thanks in anticipation!

Carol

“…If you love what you are doing, you will be successful” – Albert Schweitzer

—————————————————————————-

 

My God is Able!

CC0 Image – courtesy of John Hain (Pixabay.com)

 

Fear not, for I am with you;

Be not dismayed, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you,

Yes, I will help you,

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

(Isaiah 41:10 NKJV)

 

It was 4.00am on a work day morning.

I lay wide awake in bed. Fretting.

My concern related to a new occurrence of an age-old problem, which looked as if it would never, ever be resolved. I could see no way out. No way around, or over this problem.

And God didn’t seem to be doing anything about it! Despite my repeated requests. Despite my firm stand of faith.

Fear began to voice its opinion.

What’s the point of carrying on with this project? – they’ll only undermine you anyway! No one’s really interested in what you have to say, so why bother?

Then self-pity put in her 10 cents worth.

Opposition is too strong, too much. Face it – they’re winning! And you know they are determined you won’t succeed. Is it worth putting yourself through the agro (aggravation)?

Then unexpectedly, up came bubbling within my spirit a chorus I used to sing years ago. It went like this:

God is able, more than able

To accomplish what concerns me today

God is able, more than able

To handle anything that comes my way.

God is able, more than able

To do much more than I could ever dream

God is able, more than able

To make me what he wants me to be.

The Holy Spirit had stepped in with his calm, cool, soothing voice of comfort. Isn’t it beautiful when that happens?

Immediately, I felt encouraged. God is with me, so who can successfully stand (and permanently maintain that stance of opposition), against me? After all, as is so clearly shown in the Bible, to stand against the people of God, is to stand against the God of his people and since I am his child then a stand against me is a stand against Him. Anyone foolish enough to try and oppose God is bound to come a cropper—eventually!

And since God is confirming that he is with me, I can cast ALL my concerns on him. I can leave him to sort everything out. Deal with what needs to be dealt with. Thwart those who need to be thwarted. I just need to be patient and wait on his timing.

My times (my past, present and future days) are in God’s hands, under his control. He has not shut me up into a ‘no way out’ zone with the Enemy, or with those whom Satan uses to do his dirty work (Psalm 31:8).

Thank you Father God!

WoW followers and visitors, don’t be, or don’t remain a victim of negative circumstances. Don’t entertain those thoughts that are contrary to God’s Word and will for your life.

When the Enemy sows those thoughts of defeat and discouragement (and believe me he will), you have a choice:

  • agree with him   OR
  • resist him!

To successfully resist Satan and his tactics within and against your life, engage the help of your Comforter and Helper. Ask the Holy Spirit to lift up a standard against the flood of contrary thoughts sent to swamp your mind (Isaiah 59:19b). Ask him to help you gird your mind with the truth of God’s Word (and ask Him to give you some scriptures to memorise and stand upon during times of attack). Then when Satan throws those thought bombs, you’ll be prepared and you will not become a casualty.

 

(PS: I was not able to find out who wrote the above chorus)

 

Dear followers and visitors, have a blessed and victorious week.

For God’s Sake, Let’s Grow Up!

 

Do you remember as a child how anxious you were to grow up?

Perhaps one of your parents, or a school teacher, used to measure your height against a wall at regular intervals and you took delight in the fact that you had grown taller since last month or last year.

Perhaps you watched one of your parents perform a task and you wanted to help because it made you feel “grown up”. Or perhaps when family and friends asked you your age, you added a half-year, or a three-quarters-of-a-year to your actual age because it made you sound older (I’m 6 and ¾ years old).

May I ask whether that same eagerness to grow, to mature, has transferred over to your spiritual life?

Are you as keen to imitate your heavenly father and Jesus, your older brother?

Do you take stock of your habitual actions and attitudes in light of God’s Word, to see whether they reflect those of a mature man or woman of God?

And if you do, are you satisfied with your conclusion?

There are several instances in the Bible where we are encouraged to grow and mature in our walk with the Lord.

Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby (1 Peter 2:1-2 NKJV).

 

 …till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect [i.e. mature] man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13).

So, as a child of God have you considered asking the Holy Spirit what area of your personality, or walk with the Lord you need to focus on this year, in order to mature as a believer, in order to walk as a victorious overcomer?

Do you have an accountability partner whom you can trust and with whom you can pray?

As a prayer warrior, or a prayer intern, have you set goals?

It could be as small as praying 5mins each day for a lost soul (whether family member, or friend), or as involved as engaging in diligent intercession for a nation notorious for persecuting Christians.

If having considered the above questions you feel there is a distinct lack in your life with regards to spiritual growth and maturity, between the time you were first born-again into God’s kingdom and where you are now, are you willing to do something about it?

tape-measurelynn-greyling-pixabay-348965_960_720Let me challenge you dear child of God to make 2017 a year of tangible personal growth, a year of perceptible spiritual maturity.

All God requires is a willing heart and obedience. So make him a proud parent! After all, given his amazingly generous sacrifice of love and, after all he has done for me and for you, he surely deserves to be – don’t you think?

Now remember, God doesn’t expect us to achieve all this through our own efforts.

‘Not by might nor by power, [i.e. personal ability] but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts. (Zechariah 4:6b NKJV)

So don’t hesitate to invite the Holy Spirit’s assistance—that’s why Jesus sent him to come alongside us in the first place!

And don’t forget to keep a record of your progress (perhaps through journaling), so you have some means of checking how much you’ve grown and so you have the evidence for which to give glory, thanks and praise to God.

Blogger friends and visitors, I wish you an abundantly blessed and victorious week and, I pray you will experience a discernible measure of growth in your spiritual life this year!

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What’s your response to this post? Please leave a comment in the box below and if you enjoyed reading, or felt challenged, don’t hesitate to show your appreciation by leaving a ‘like’. Thank you.

The above CC0 images are from Pixabay.com

Prayer Gem 6

ReadingBible (Unsplash)-945422_960_720

 

The only currency God trades in is faith, and ‘faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God’ (Romans 10:17 KJV). As you immerse yourself in Scripture, faith takes root and begins to grow. And faith is what makes your prayers effective.

(Bob and Debbie Gass – 2016-17 UCB Word For Today).

 

 

Have you sent God your knee-mail today?

 

 

WHY THE ANGEL GABRIEL TOOK EXCEPTION (Part 4 of 4)

christmasbells-pixabay1150015_960_720DON’T FORGET THE CHRIST OF CHRISTMAS!

 

Yesterday, we looked at the matter of unbelief and how our limited understanding and experiences of life can get in the way of us exercising faith (which pleases God). I concluded Part 3 with the following question:

Do you believe that our Heavenly Father is a God who honours His Word? Do you believe in your heart (not your head) that He specialises in the impossible?

As we have seen in the case of Zachariah and in the case of Jesus’ proclaimed birth, although it may take years, decades, even centuries—that which God has spoken through his prophets, or declared in his Word, will surely come to pass.

Our Father God loves to upset the status quo. He does not conform to human expectations, or confine himself to the boundaries of natural laws. If your God-given purpose necessitates a miracle, then hey presto—your God will oblige!

 

Ditch Goliath-sized doubts – cultivate mustard seed faith!

Have you been praying and believing God for the impossible? Have you been waiting a long, long, time for God to honour a promise made to you years ago? If you have given up, or are assailed by constant doubts, I can relate. Why not try re-reading and meditating upon the truths of these two women’s stories. I trust they will not only encourage you but revitalise your flagging faith.

mustardseedsgokalp-iscan-pixabay-231302_960_720Women of Warfare, we need to watch that we don’t become complacent in our faith walk, plodding along with the God of miracles in our day-to-day life, yet not expecting the miraculous. Remember, we are not required to have Goliath-sized faith.

Jesus assures us that faith the size of a mustard seed will be sufficient. Unlike the seed of a mango or an avocado pear, the mustard seed is quite tiny. Now isn’t that encouraging?

Notwithstanding the above, if you do have problems with exercising your faith, with believing, take heart! God says he does all things according to the counsel of his own will. We have seen that even in the face of scepticism, God graciously answered Zachariah’s prayers and granted he and his wife a supernatural miracle.

Women of Warfare, please learn a lesson from Gabriel’s response to this priest’s unbelief. Don’t become sceptical and dismissive when it comes to God manifesting his power in your life. Like Mary, don’t hesitate to share your questions, concerns and misgivings with your Father God in prayer but then commit to allowing His Word, His will, his plan and his purpose for your life, to be fulfilled—within his timing!

Do you long to be a vehicle of God’s miraculous power? Do you want to be a victorious overcomer? Then be an incubator of God’s Word!

Both Elizabeth and Mary were ordinary women, in whom the power of God was released in a marvellous way. Our God is no respecter of persons. Are you prepared to be a vessel for his glory? Are you prepared to pray, to ask for your miracle then wait for and accept his timing? 

pfmh1-bible-1850905_960_720As you celebrate Christmas this year, remember and rejoice because God found someone who believed His Word and submitted to His will. Remember, the birth of Jesus took place because of one young girl’s acceptance of God’s inconvenient timing.

 

Have an exceedingly blessed and happy Christmas everyone!

 

 

CREDITS: All the above graphics are CC0 Images courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

WHY THE ANGEL GABRIEL TOOK EXCEPTION (Part 3 of 4)

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And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

“Glory to God in the highest,

And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

(Luke 2:13-14 NKJ)

 

In part two of this series, we saw that as believers betrothed to Christ, if our prayer lives are barren, the responsibility for this is entirely ours.

Moving on with Luke’s account of the nativity story, let’s now consider Elizabeth’s husband, Zachariah.

 

Solid Belief, or Spiritual Scepticism?

Gabriel appears to Elizabeth’s husband, whilst he is carrying out his priestly duties. We understand through Gabriel’s words that Zachariah had prayed to God about his wife’s barrenness. He is now being told “your prayer is heard”.

Do you think Zachariah’s request had somehow been misdirected… had been bouncing around the heavenly sphere and only reached God’s throne around the time of Gabriel’s visit?

Of course not! Zachariah’s words were heard from the very first time he uttered his prayer. Perhaps it was years, even decades after his prayer, before Gabriel’s appearance. It would seem Zachariah had completely given up on receiving his prayer request, had even perhaps forgotten his petition. Clearly though, God had not!

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We can understand, maybe even relate to Zachariah’s response, as Gabriel tells him God is now intending to grant his request and that his wife will bear him a son. Zachariah is sceptical. Zachariah’s unbelief, based upon his sense-knowledge and experience of life, rules out the supernatural ability and intervention of God.

Compare Zachariah’s attitude with the Virgin Mary’s response when she learns that she’s about to conceive the long-awaited Messiah. Mary’s questioning of the angelic messenger sprang (understandably), from honest bewilderment and confusion. She is a virgin. She knows she hasn’t been intimate with a man. She’s aware that procreation requires sexual intimacy.

However, once Gabriel explained how the miracle would occur, her immediate response was humble submission. On the other hand, Zachariah’s questioning of Gabriel stemmed from unbelief. The priest’s response was not only an affront to the heavenly messenger but also tantamount to calling God a liar.

baby-tawnyvanbreda-pixabay784608_960_720Perhaps you are wondering, why Zachariah’s questioning should be seen less favourably than Mary’s. What was the difference between the two questions asked regarding two equally impossible situations?

I believe the difference lies in the fact that Zachariah, aware his wife was barren, was in effect asking God for a miracle. Gabriel confirms that his prayer had not only been heard but is about to be granted. The difference between the two individuals is that Mary believed what she had been told. You will recall from our discussion in Part 1 of this series, that without faith, we cannot please God.

Now, either Zachariah thought Gabriel had lied, or else he felt the miracle he’d sought was now beyond even God’s supreme power. Since passage of time had placed Elizabeth outside the cycle of fertility (according to human perception), he felt a miracle was now out of the question. He believed God’s intervention had to occur within the natural realms of possibility. Zachariah expected God to answer his request within a certain time-frame.

I believe we can make this supposition because of Gabriel’s response to Zachariah’s challenge. He says:

…you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time (Luke 1:20 NKJ – emphasis mine).

 Of Mary however, it is said:

Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfilment of those things which were told her from the Lord (Luke 1:45 NKJ)

Luke 1:37 further assures us that there is nothing impossible for the Lord. In other words, no word of God is incapable of fulfilment.

Do you believe that our Heavenly Father is a God who honours His Word? Do you believe in your heart (not your head) that He specialises in the impossible?

 

(To be continued/…)

 

CREDITS: All graphics within this post are CC0 Images courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHY THE ANGEL GABRIEL TOOK EXCEPTION (Part 1 of 4)

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Remember the Christ of Christmas!

  

Jaded, or jubilant?

How are you feeling about this upcoming season? Excited? Expectant?

Or are you stressed out from all the running about here and there, anxious over the amount of money being spent, or sickened by the stench of commercialism which wafts from TV screens and shopping malls?

In all the hectic rush of making preparations, have we as believers become prey to the secular hype of the season, leaving us with little, or even no time to focus on the Christ of CHRISTmas?

 I trust we are not so familiar with the nativity story that the wonder of God’s marvellous gift to humankind no longer enthrals us.

 christmasnativitypixabay-1812692_960_720

 

Stop! Step back, See

Sometimes it helps to stop, take a step back and examine the familiar from another perspective.

So let’s just do that now shall we? Let’s for a moment forget about the baby in the crib, the shepherds and wise men.

Let’s look instead at how two ordinary women’s lives were impacted by an extraordinary God. Let’s stop, step back and see what the Christmas narrative has to say to us personally about the miraculous experience of these two women.

Luke’s meticulous account of the Christmas story, brings Elizabeth and Mary centre stage. He showcases God’s awesome power in producing not just one, but two impossible pregnancies—one involving a virgin and the other, a woman who is described as “well advanced in years”, in other words well past the age of child-bearing!

 

Elizabeth – a blameless wife

Elizabeth is described as a “daughter of Aaron”. Now, as a woman directly connected with the Aaronic priesthood, Elizabeth would have been familiar with and subject to, the exacting demands of holiness required of the Levitical community. Indeed, Luke tells us that both she and her husband, Zachariah, were righteous and blameless (Luke 1:5-6). However, the couple are childless, a condition which in Jewish culture is seen as a curse, a condition about which Zachariah had apparently sought God.

Now, let me change your focus for a moment and shift it from Elizabeth to yourself. If you are a born-again believer, did you know that as far as God is concerned you are righteous, i.e. blameless?

Romans 5:1 tells us that we have been JUSTIFIED, which is a legal term declaring us as righteous, or signifying our acquittal. Derek Prince brings further enlightenment, when he explains that the terms means: just as if I had never sinned!

christmasglobepixabay-1883341_960_720Are you aware dear woman of God that you are a member of God’s holy priesthood?

And now you have become living building-stones for God’s use in building his house. What’s more you are his holy priests; so come to him—[you who are acceptable to him because of Jesus Christ]—and offer to God those things that please him (1 Peter 2:5 The Living Bible).

What is it that pleases God? We can find the answer in Hebrews 11:6—FAITH! We are told that without faith, it is impossible to please our Father God.

So, now we know (if we didn’t already) that we are priests, and as priests unto God, we are blameless. And as priests we are to offer prayers that please him, prayers that are inspired by faith.

Now, let me ask you another question – is your prayer life barren—i.e. not producing results?

 

 

(To be continued…)

 

PHOTO CREDITS:

All graphics within this post are CC0 Images courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

 

 

 

Prayer Gem – 2

 

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That’s why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you’ll get God’s everything.

And when you assume the posture of prayer, remember that it’s not all asking. If you have anything against someone, forgive—only then will your heavenly Father be inclined to also wipe your slate clean of sins.

(Mark 11:24-26 The Message)

 

God awaits you in His throne-room!

 

 

 

Boost your psychological well-being

Hello dear followers and visitors,

A new day brings a new opportunity to express our gratitude for God’s goodness. I read somewhere that expressing praise to God is beneficial to our psychological well-being.  So get stuck in!

Whether today finds you feeling on top of the world, or down in the spiritual dumps, our Father God is still worthy of our praise.

PraiseTheLord(picmonkey)

 

Shout Hallelujah, you God-worshippers;

Give glory, you sons of Jacob;

Adore him, you daughters of Israel.

He has never let you down,

Never looked the other way

When you were being kicked around.

He has never wandered off to do his own thing;

He has been right there, listening.

(Psalm 22:23-24 – The Message)

 

Will you take time out of your day to bless the Lord? Will you set aside your schedule to offer sacrifices of praise to our Father God?

WoW! visitors and friends – have a blessed and victorious week.

 

Did You Pray Today?

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Image from Pixabay.com

  

Whilst on this earth, Jesus said: “…men always ought to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1 NKJ)

And so I would ask you to examine yourself today and answer the following questions honestly:

  • Do you have a consistent prayer life?
  • Do you feel your prayers are effective?
  • Do you believe a diligent prayer life is important to your relationship with God?
  • How happy are you with your prayer life?

In Matthew 6:5-7 Jesus uses the words: “…when you pray…” 3 times. He does not say “if you pray”.

Jesus therefore expected his followers to pray and, as we have read above, he requires that we always pray.

PrayerQuote(commentskart.com)

Prayer is not a last resort. Nor is it merely a spiritual means of God getting me out of a fix, or granting my desires.

Prayer is often associated with intercession, petition, supplication and spiritual warfare. However, it is not just these things. It is also communion or fellowship with our Father God. It is spending quality time in his presence, simply for the pleasure of being with him and wanting to know him better.

Prayer is a privilege. Are you availing yourself of this glorious opportunity to draw closer to God?

Now, if having answered the questions above, you feel that your prayer life is lacking, make amends without delay. Take a leaf from the disciples’ book, who asked Jesus to teach them to pray (Luke 11:1) and whilst you’re at it, ask the Holy Spirit to help you pray consistently.

Prayer-BibleQuote(quotesgram.com)

 

Make no mistake, as women of warfare who aim to walk victoriously in life, an active and diligent prayer life is indispensable.

WoW! followers and visitors have a blessed week!

 

 

 

 

Help My Unbelief!

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Hello dear ones,

I came across this video today during my cyber travels and felt I just had to share it with you all. Please don’t let the title put you off! This is not just a message for unsaved people.

Okay (I hear you ask), just where does the issue of evil come in? Well, before I explain, let me first introduce the following text:

So watch your step, friends. Make sure there’s no evil unbelief lying around that will trip you up and throw you off course, diverting you from the living God.

Hebrews 3:12 (The Message)

 

As you can see from the above quote, God tells us in no uncertain terms that unbelief is evil.

Now please understand that I am not accusing anyone of being evil.  However, because the Bible clearly tells us unbelief is evil, we have to accept that any belief system or predominant thought pattern contrary to God’s Word, is therefore evil.

Now, I’d be very surprised if there are any amongst us who will deny that they’ve had their struggles with unbelief. In fact, let me be the first to put my hand up and admit that I’ve struggled with this in the past and it has become even more an issue for me since witnessing the declining health of my dear mother.

Again and again, I’ve had to cry out to my Father God with the same desperate prayer uttered in Mark 9:24: “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”.

Dear precious reader, if you are struggling with believing God’s promises because of a delay to your prayers, or if you feel confused and discouraged about perplexing world events or any other negative circumstance, don’t shrug your shoulders and remain passive in whatever situation seems to be at odds with God’s Word and don’t entertain the lies of the Enemy.

Carry your burdens and troublesome issues to God in prayer. Ask Him to work within your heart and bring you to the place where you can trust Him with all of your heart and not lean upon your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).

And dear reader, if you are someone who has not yet made a commitment to Christ, I pray your heart will be open to the Spirit of God, as he woos you with his Word and soothes you with this beautiful music.

If this post, or the video speaks to you please let me know in the comment box below – even if it is to reiterate that prayer from Mark 9:24. Thank you.

WoW! followers and visitors have an exceedingly blessed weekend.

 

 

Celebrating the Father-heart of God

PRAISE PRAYER & WORSHIP WEDNESDAY

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Praise

Every good and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning (James 1:17 NKJ)

Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. (James 1:17 TM)

 

Prayer

Father God,

I don’t want to merely read about, or sing of your goodness. I want to be wholly convinced of it. I ask you to settle this truth deep down in my heart. Help me to stand firm in that assurance, even when things do not go according to my plans or meet with my expectations.

Father God, draw me closer to you with your gentle cords of love. Continue to work within my heart so I may fulfil your perfect will according to your satisfaction and your delight.

In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

Worship

Chris Tomlin and Pat Barrett – You are a good good father

(Please don’t skip this – take a moment to sit before God and allow him to minister to your heart)

 

WoW! followers and visitors, may I encourage you to draw closer to your Heavenly Father this week and rest in His unchanging goodness, peace and security? Have a blessed and victorious week.

Five Minute Friday: EASY

NoProblem(GerdAltmann)-98376_960_720Image by Gerd Altmann (Pixabay.com)

 

Q: What is Five Minute Friday?

A: It is a 5min free write blog event hosted by Kate Motaung. Every Thursday Kate announces a one-word prompt on her blog at 10pm EST. The link-up is open for a full week, until the following Thursday evening. For further details on how to participate visit her blog at: Heading Home.

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Five Minute Friday Prompt: EASY

When my father was alive one of his frequent sayings as he shook his head was: “Life – it no’ easy!

As a child I did not know what he meant. How could I? I was being fed, clothed and had a roof over my head. All I had to do was wake up, eat what was provided, play. And the hardest thing I had to deal with was boring household chores, when I’d much rather be reading!

Then I grew up.

Then I became a Christian.

Now when I first made a true commitment to Christ at the age of 24 years, I thought my life was going to be one beautiful mosaic of light and happiness—come to Jesus and everything will be ok—so I thought!

But living this Christian life is not easy. Dying to self is not easy. Swallowing pride and trying to walk in the footsteps of Christ, is not easy.

[End of 5mins]

Sure my life would resemble the rosy glow of “happy ever after”, as depicted in story books, if there were no challenges to face, no insecurities to overcome, no fears to battle, no inconveniences to put up with, no ‘difficult’ people to cross swords with, no ugliness within my own soul to address. But the fact is, difficulties, disappointments, frustration and hardship are an unavoidable fact of life!

And why on earth did I think it would be any different? Why did I think that pursuing dreams, making decisions, relating to family and friends, fighting both seen and unseen foes would be easy? My own father, speaking from years of bitter experience, declared that it was not so.

But young ears and juvenile hearts do not understand that they have heard the voice of “I’ve seen-it, endured it, and that’s just the way life is” wisdom. Young ears and juvenile hearts do not recognise or pay heed to that voice of wisdom, the voice of accrued knowledge, the voice of proven experience. Young ears and juvenile hearts pay heed to the fascinating voice of story-weavers, the wisdom of glossy magazines with their glossier adverts selling unrealistic dreams and pie-in-the-sky solutions.

And why did I believe that dedicating my life to the one who loved and died for me, would somehow shield me from the harsh realities of a life lived in a fallen world… a world that lies in darkness… a world steeped in sin?

Why on earth, given the incontrovertible evidence of stories about biblical characters, would I be so foolish, so ignorant to believe a Christian life would be a stress-free, problem-free life?

Did Joseph, falsely accused of rape and thrown into prison have it easy? Did David (even though anointed as King of Israel), in perpetual fear for his life whilst being pursued and hunted by his jealous rival King Saul, have it easy? More to the point, did Jesus my Lord and Saviour—the only sinless man who ever lived, yet was betrayed and crucified—have it easy?

I have grown up since the days my deceased father uttered his familiar proverb.

I have slowly grown and matured as a believer, since I made my commitment to Christ.

I have come to the realisation that life indeed, is not easy.

But…

I also realise that without difficulties and disappointments, without tests and trials, without ups and downs, I would not know my Father God, I would merely know about him.

Without obstacles and opposition, I would have no first-hand knowledge of his ability to help and deliver me. Without reasons to pray and seek his face, I would not encounter the One who hears and answers prayers, the One who sees and cares, who loves and provides, who comforts, encourages and strengthens.

And so, now I can speak from the place of a new and higher wisdom. Now I can joyfully quip: who needs easy? What I need  is Jesus!

Yes. Now I can truthfully say, if I were given a choice between a problem-free, stress free existence without God and a sanctified but perplexed-ridden Life with him (note the capital L), I’d choose the latter without any hesitation.

  

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A Warrior’s Cry

specialbottle(SvetlanaKlaise)-1131237_960_720Image by Svetlana Klaise (Pixabay.com)

 

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

Warrior:

  • a skilled fighting man, especially one belonging to earlier times
  • any distinguished soldier or veteran
  • someone notable for strength of spirit or indomitability

Chambers 21st Century Dictionary

—————————————————————————————————————————

I wonder what image came to mind when you read the title of this post.

Was it the bloodcurdling scream of a fearless combatant charging into battle, brandishing a sword or club?

Well, that is not the warrior’s cry I am speaking of here. I am not referring to the war cry of a superhero. No! I am speaking about the whimper of a wounded one. I am describing the desolate tears of an injured soldier on the battlefield of life.

Dear wounded warrior, be assured. God sees your tears and recognises your fears.

Did you know that he preserves your tears in a bottle? Fancy that! We preserve vegetables or fruit but God preserves our tears. How loving and precious is that?

Don’t believe me? Listen!

You have seen me tossing and turning through the night. You have collected all my tears and preserved them in your bottle! You have recorded every one [tear] in your book. (Psalms 56:8 Living Bible)

In fact, the Bible gives clear evidence of the lengths to which our Father God has gone, in order to show us how much he cares. Isaiah 49:16 tells us that we are inscribed upon the palms of his hands.

Have you ever felt as if your life has been ruined? Do you ever feel despondent about your future? If so, what is your response?

In 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 we read about a woman whose distressing experience of childbirth prompted her to name her son Jabez. The literal interpretation of this name is: He will cause pain.

Can you imagine being saddled with a name like that? Particularly as in bible times, your name was a reflection of your person, a prophetic foretelling of your future. Every time someone called you, spoke to you or about you, they were affirming and confirming the meaning of your given name. They were re-affirming your destiny: “He will cause pain!

Fortunately, Jabez decided he was not going to accept the cards that life had dealt him. He was not going to allow his life, his future to be determined by his mother’s response to a painful experience. He decided that his mother would not have the last word. This unlikely warrior decided to take charge of his fate and change the course of his destiny.

So Jabez enlisted the help of the only person who possessed the power and resources to alter the course of his life. He turned to God in prayer. He appealed to his Father in Heaven and made a specific request regarding how he wanted his life to be—and God granted him his desire.

Jabez could have chosen to wallow in self-pity and remain a victim of his circumstances. He could have lived a life of misery and defeat and felt justified about blaming his misfortune upon his mother.

Instead, he chose to turn his predicament into a prayer project. He chose to refocus his eyes and thoughts and fix them upon God. He chose to cry out in faith and believe God for a future filled with blessing, increase, favour and protection. He decided to superimpose his words and his desired future over his mother’s negative declaration.

And note, Jabez was not only concerned about his future, his own well-being. He cared about the well-being of those around him and asked God to preserve him from evil and keep him from causing pain to others.

Wounded warrior, God loves you. He has seen your trials. He has noted your tears. He is willing to act on your behalf. Will you rise up in faith? Will you refocus your thoughts? Will you refuse to accept the words the Enemy whispers into your heart? Will you take those hurtful words that were flung at you by family, friend or foe and instead of absorbing, or mulling over them, allow them to provoke you into calling upon your Father God and believe Him for the wonderful destiny he’s ordained for your life?

Dear warrior, I know you have the strength to rise up and win. I know God has empowered you with his Word and with his weapons of warfare.

So will you take a leaf from out of Jabez’s book? Will you direct your petition to God—not just for yourself but also on behalf of others?

I know you can—I pray you will!

Five Minute Friday: Whole

Q: What is Five Minute Friday?

A: It is a 5min free write blog event hosted by Kate Motaung. Every Thursday Kate announces a one-word prompt on her blog at 10pm EST. The link-up is open for a full week, until the following Thursday evening. For further details on how to participate visit her blog at: Heading Home.


FIVE MINUTE FRIDAY

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Image from Thomas Kelley – Unsplash

 

Five Minute Friday Prompt: WHOLE

To be made whole. That is my heart’s desire. To be whole, to be complete – emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. And what will that take? Faith!

Whilst reading several accounts in the Word of God about people who sought Jesus for healing, the overriding factor common to all of these people was their faith. It was faith (belief in Christ that he could do what he desired them to do), that enabled them to reach out and touch the hem of his garment, or plead for him to have mercy upon them and heal their blind eyes, cleanse their leprous bodies, even raise their dead. Faith. The substance of things hoped for… the evidence of things not seen.

Do you want to be whole? Then reach out to the Father and ask. Reach out to the Father in trust and faith. Reach out and believe that he is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that you ask, all that you can possibly imagine. Ask confident that he loves you, and has your welfare as a primary concern upon his heart. Ask!

 

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Paradise Lost or Paradise Regained?

Image from: M. Maggs - Pixabay.com
Image from: M. Maggs – Pixabay.com

 

This post is an invitation to paradise – a place where there are no troubles, trials or tears. The invitation is open to everyone and yet it is often ignored. If you’ve already accepted – congratulations! If you have not – what will you do? Be wise. Choose life. Choose paradise!

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Want to read more? Please follow the link to my Purpose-driven achiever site (Paradise Lost/Regained)

 Are you minded to comment, like, or rate this post? I will be very grateful if you could also kindly copy and paste your response at the Purpose-driven achiever blog site. Thank you.

Are You Reading The “Good Book”?

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An unread book

The other day I came across a book I’d bought. It was the Bloomsbury Good Reading Guide – What To Read And What To Read Next. I’d bought it way back in 2003 because I had a desire to become more widely read. Now over a decade later, I’ve neither read it, consulted it, or used it in any way, shape or form.

Do you have books on your shelf that are unread, or only partially read? What about the greatest Book of all books – your Bible, the Word of God? How often do you read it?

 

A much-loved and much-read book

Once upon a time, when I first made a serious commitment to the Lord, I had a brown leather-bound King James’ Bible which was so well-used, its pages became dog-eared and fragile. To make matters worse, the binding began to disintegrate and quite a few pages subsequently become loose. I resorted to using sellotape to repair torn pages, causing some leaves to cleave obstinately together from the sticky residue of the sellotape applied.

I loved that Bible and whilst I may not have known the actual reference for a particular scripture verse when quoted, I knew whereabouts in my bible I could find it (i.e. whether Old or New Testament, which book and the general location on page). This old bible was annotated, arrowed, circled, cross-referenced, highlighted, underlined and every blank space (front and back) filled with notes— choruses, definitions, prayer reminders, any valuable nugget I could record. That old bible meant just as much to me as an old favourite toy or teddy bear can mean to a young child and it was a tug for me to finally let it go and move on to a new one.

 

A neglected book?

Now recently I’ve read various posts challenging and provoking Christians to read their Bibles regularly. As prayer warriors, the spoken Word of God is an essential part of our armour—it is the sword of the Spirit. However, we cannot declare, proclaim, or pray God’s Word with confidence, if we do not know what it says.

If we are going to be effective as prayer warriors, if we are going to reign victoriously over our circumstances, if we are wanting to appropriate this abundant life that Jesus Christ paid such a dear price for us to have and enjoy, then we need to be familiar with, and understand God’s Word. The onus is therefore upon us to read, meditate upon and study the Bible.

 

Benefits untapped

Going back to the Bloomsbury guide referred to at the beginning of this post, I’m sure there are dozens of books this guide could point me to, which would enrich my reading repertoire and thus assist my aims and ambitions as a writer. Whilst it remains on my bookshelf unread however, I cannot avail myself of its commentaries, editorial suggestions and literary expertise.

Likewise, as Christian believers, as prayer warriors, our ability to become intimately acquainted with God, our ability to know His will, plan and purpose for our lives, our ability to withstand the lies and wiles of the Enemy, to pray and intercede effectively, is dependent upon how much of God’s Word we know, understand, put into practice and stand upon in faith.

And so fellow believers, if you are guilty of habitually neglecting God’s Word, please be aware that you are walking around with a blunt sword. Please be aware that a vital element of your armour has become useless. Please be aware that without the complete armour (as described in Ephesians 6:11-17), you will not have the spiritual strength to resist Satan’s schemes and strategies unleashed against your life and against the lives of your loved ones.

 

The last word

Women of Warfare followers and visitors, if Jesus has the words of eternal life (John 6:68), if God’s Word is to be effective as a lamp to your feet and a light to your path (Psalm 119:105), then I would encourage you to take stock of your personal engagement with God’s Word and if deep down in your heart, you know it to be lacking, then make amends. Don’t delay, don’t ignore, don’t make excuses. It could be a matter of life and death—the health and vigour of your spiritual life and the putting to death of carnality!