News! News! News!

TODAY’S BAD NEWS…

 

  • Scramble to recall 700k poison eggs
  • Food expert asks: Can we be sure baked goods are safe?
  • Record high of 4m wait for NHS ops
  • Be very, very nervous… Trump ramps up tension
  • Slavery and trafficking is ‘in every city and big town’

 

TODAY’S GOOD NEWS…

 

My God is alive!

My God is an unchanging God!

My God reigns supreme in heaven and earth!

My God’s thoughts towards me are more numerous than the grains of sand!

My God is able to cause all things to work together for my good!

My God loves me with an everlasting, extravagant and unconditional love.

My God is an awesome God!

 

 

 

Today, fill your heart with the good news of the gospel. Have a blessed weekend!

 

CREDIT: CC0 image courtesy of Gerd Altmann at Pixabay.com

Whether Broken Hearts or Celestial Spheres…

 

PRAISE PRAYER & WORSHIP WEDNESDAY

During my quiet time this morning, I was reflecting on a facet of God’s amazing greatness.

You see the evening before, I’d been feeling tired and demotivated. And even though I felt I should get up from my settee and do something constructive towards my goals, after a long day at work, I just didn’t feel like doing anything. I had neither the energy nor the inclination. And so I gave in to my feelings.

As I prepared to spend time in God’s presence the following morning, I thought about how God never gets tired and his interest in us never wanes. It caused me to be thankful that he is who he is and that I can depend upon him to always be the same.

Today I want to give my Father God thanks and praise because no matter how I feel, no matter what I have done (or not done), no matter whether I feel too tired, or too discouraged to spend time with him, He will never change!

He will always love me. He will always welcome me into his presence.

Our God will never be too busy to hear our prayers (or our complaints). He will never be too cross or offended, to care about our needs.

Psalm 147:3-4 tells us that:

  1. He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds
  2. He counts the number of stars and calls them all by name.

 

Now that set me thinking. I wondered, what is the connection between wounded hearts and stars?

The answer that came to my heart was this:

Whether a matter is great or small, nothing escapes God’s notice. It may be as hidden and seemingly insignificant as a broken heart, or as conspicuous and majestic as the stars, God notices. And whilst we may look up and just see a mass of stars, God looks and sees individual celestial bodies. He knows how many there are and he even names them.

Beloved reader, he sees you. He cares about you more than you can ever comprehend.

What a wonderful, wonderful God we serve. Is he not worthy of our heartfelt praise?

 

Praise:

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;

And His greatness is unsearchable.

(Psalm 145:3)

 

Prayer:

Dear Father God,

How wonderful you are. You are beyond comprehension. It’s just mind-boggling to know that one so great, so perfect, so holy would deign to love a fickle, imperfect and sinful people. Thank you for reaching down and offering us a new life on a higher plane.

Open our eyes Lord that we might see you in the beauty of your holiness, that we might appreciate your greatness and glory. Open our hearts Lord that we might love and worship you the way you truly deserve.

Amen.

 

Worship:

 

 

 Women of Warfare followers and visitors have a blessed week!

 

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Credits: CC0 Images used are courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

A Spiritual Gauntlet!

Sunday’s Supplications (4)

A command:

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men

(1 Timothy 2:1 NKJV)

 

An inquiry:

Who did you pray for today?

Who did you pray for last week?

Who do you pray for regularly?

Do you enjoy a dynamic, effective and ongoing prayer life?

 

An invitation:

Sunday 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.

 

A specific purpose:

The aim of this feature is to:

  • encourage you to pray regularly
  • increase your confidence in prayer and
  • develop a praying community.

 

In Matthew 6:5-6, Jesus did not say “…if you pray” but “when you pray…”. To my mind, this means he expected his followers to pray.

 

I’m aware that there are all sorts of misunderstandings and misconceptions about prayer. I’m hoping this feature will help to dispel any myths you may entertain regarding this spiritual exercise. I’m hoping to motivate people to pray regularly and demonstrate how natural the act of prayer is, and how vital it is to our relationship with God and to fulfilling our responsibility to fellow members of His family.

 

A call to commitment:

Now commitment phobes, please don’t run scared. I am challenging myself and other Christian believers to step-up the quality of their prayer lives. As the saying goes: “two is better than one”. So think how much more effective, how much more supportive a prayer network (particularly a global prayer network) will be.

I can understand any reluctance to commit, or concern about letting anyone down. So here’s the deal. If you do decide to engage with this initiative, if you do decide to upgrade your prayer life, your decision can be between you and God alone—unless of course you choose to go public and share with the WoW community! But dear believer, I am asking you to make that commitment – a commitment to honour Christ’s expectation of his followers, a commitment to obey Paul’s direction in Ephesians 6:18, a commitment to pray.

You may sometimes fail to follow through. You may often find that you lack discipline, or the inclination. Your Father-God understands. In fact, the Word of God records Jesus as saying: “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”. So whilst you are forming, or renewing, or increasing your prayer habit, commit to whatever you feel comfortable with— a week at a time, a month, 6 months, or a year. Renew your commitment as and when you like. It is entirely up to you. I will not be holding anyone to account.

 

A spiritual gauntlet

Are you new to praying regularly?

Does your prayer life lack consistency, or authority and fervour?

Then I’m throwing down a spiritual gauntlet. I’m challenging you to do something about it NOW!

Don’t feel intimidated or overwhelmed. Tackle this prayer undertaking one step at a time. You don’t even have to find your own words, if that worries you. Simply pray the prepared prayer provided. I only ask that you pray it daily or weekly—not out of a sense of duty, not as an empty exercise, but with fervent sincerity.

By doing so, I believe your prayer life will change. By doing so, I believe your confidence in God will increase. By doing so, I believe your spiritual life and authority will move up a notch or two because obedience to God brings rich rewards.

Potential prayer warriors and interns, welcome aboard. Let’s build a vibrant praying community together.

One last thing, don’t forget to put on your spiritual armour before entering the battlefield!

 

This Week’s Prayer Focus:

Can we forget our natural inclinations to care only about me, myself and mine?

Can we pay heed to Paul’s instruction to Timothy and begin to pray for all men? I’m sure I don’t have to remind you that this reference includes women and children also! The more people that participate, the wider the coverage and the greater the impact.

This week, let’s focus on the men, women and children of our neighbourhoods, of our church communities, of our nations.

May God motivate his people all over this world to offer heartfelt supplications on behalf of others around them, and may he use these petitions to effect miraculous changes within the hearts and lives of individuals, including ourselves.

 

Lord God Almighty,

Even though you are sovereign, even though you possess all power and might, even though you have revealed your will for all men to enjoy an abundant life, perpetual peace and spiritual well-being, you have given us a free-will.

Father God, we are sorry for the times we have exercised our will contrary to your ways. We are sorry that in doing so, we have made a mess of our lives and of our world. We are sorry and we admit that we cannot conduct our lives appropriately, or guide ourselves onto the paths of our pre-ordained destiny, without your help. We ask that you come and take control. We invite you to come and bring order to our homes, to our communities, to our nations. We ask that you heal this world.

Come and change the hearts of men, women and children that are ignorant of, or antagonistic towards your holy Word, your wholesome ways and your perfect will. Lord God, touch the lives of your people whom you have called into your kingdom. Enlighten the eyes of our understanding and empower us to serve you and one another with unfeigned love and devotion.

Father God, we commit this appeal into your capable hands. We believe that there is nothing too difficult for you to do. We believe you have heard our prayers and therefore thank you for granting our requests. Amen.

© Carol Hind

 

Women of Warfare followers and visitors, have a wonderful and peace-filled week.

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Now there’s absolutely no obligation to do so but if you are committing to upgrade your prayer life, if you have prayed the above prayer (or any of the Sunday Supplication prayers), please let me know in the comment box below. Thank you.

CREDIT: the above CC0 image comes courtesy of Marcia bispo Bença at 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!

 

Sunday’s Supplications (2)

 

Are you fretting over a problem that has your stomach tied in knots?

Do you feel anxious about a situation over which you have no control?

Have you lain awake worrying over what you should do, what path you should take, what decision you should make?

Dear reader, I’ve been there!

Listen to what the Word of God says:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

 (Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV)

 

It was the year of 2009.

My mother had just celebrated her 80th birthday.

A medical consultant had advised me that she needed a bypass operation. My mother, who hated hospitals and preferred to trust God for healing, rather than place her confidence in man, did not know what to do. She consulted her pastor. She consulted me, as her eldest child.

I was perplexed about what I should advise her. If she did not go ahead there was a risk she could have a massive stroke. If she did go ahead there was a risk that this invasive operation could take her life. The fact that she was elderly, increased this risk. Would she survive?

I dearly loved my mother, did not want her to go and was not ready to let her go, especially in such circumstances. So what (I wondered), was the best thing to do?

If mum didn’t have the operation and had a stroke, I’d blame myself. If she did have the operation and died, I’d blame myself. I had visions of all the family turning against me.

In the end, after consulting family members, we agreed she should have the operation. However, I was not content to leave mum’s fate in the hands of the medical practitioners. I took every single element of the situation that I could think about to God and asked him to divinely protect her. I approached others and asked them to pray also.

Whilst the operation took place, one of my sisters and I, sat in the chapel downstairs, praying and interceding. I recall my sister and I sensing a breakthrough and feeling confident and exuberant. Yet, when the operation took longer than anticipated, I remember my heart thudding with fear and me beginning to think the worst had happened.

Whilst outwardly thanking God for hearing our prayers and granting our requests, there was a moment when I stood outside the theatre ward inwardly bracing myself for unwelcome news.

God be praised! The operation was successful and the theatre nurses expressed amazement about how young my mother looked, given her age and how fresh, given what she had just undergone. We were absolutely overjoyed.

Dear friends, we serve a mighty God!

To conclude, let me share the following footnote in my Bible, which relates to the above verse. It says:

Prayer and peace are closely connected. One who entrusts cares to Christ instead of fretting over them will experience the peace of God to guard him from nagging anxiety.

(Spirit Filled Life Bible NKJV)

 

This Week’s Prayer Focus:

Women of Warfare followers and visitors, let’s commit our cares and concerns into God’s capable hands. And let us not forget our brothers and sisters in Christ who are currently struggling with anxiety.

 

Father God,

Your Word says I should roll my cares upon you because you care and will continue to care for me. I thank you that you are not only aware of my problems but you are also able to resolve them.

Father God, I realise that allowing anxiety to consume me is not going to change the situation. I acknowledge that I am powerless to change the winds of ill-fortune that blow my way. Help me to look to you, to trust in you and to rest in the knowledge that you can cause all things to work together for my good.

Heavenly Father, I call upon you today on behalf of all those within the circle of my influence who are worrying about their problems. In particular, I cry out to you for those within the Body of Christ who are perplexed, who feel they don’t know where to turn, or what to do.

Minister your peace to them. Minister the peace that surpasses their understanding. Enable them to take their eyes off the greatness of their need and focus them upon the greatness of their God. Help them to fix their eyes upon Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith. Grant them wisdom to make the right decisions. And, in situations where your supernatural intervention is required, manifest your authority, might and power.

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

© Carol Hind

 

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

 

WoW followers and visitors, have a peace-filled week!

 

CREDIT: The above CC0 images are from Pixabay.com

 

Today I pray for you…

Hello dear visiting friends,

Nowadays, I believe that the most precious thing someone could offer me is their prayer. So today when I came across this beautiful, heartfelt prayer, I not only wanted to share it with you but pray it over you.

Whoever you are, wherever you may be, know that this is God’s heart for you and your loved ones.

Please take the time to thank Jacqueline, who penned these words.

———————–💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 ———————–

a cooking pot and twisted tales

Praying woman

Today I pray for you..
I wish that you will find peace and healing as you hurt in any way.

Today I pray for you..
I pray that you will find strength to hold on,
And abundant Grace to see you through.

Today I pray for you..
I pray for a consistent hedge of protection,
around you and yours, especially in these confusing times.

Today I pray for you..
I pray that you experience mercy, where it is needed

Today I pray for you..
I pray that you will find succor,
Even from the most unexpected channels.

Today I pray for you..
I pray that your heart and mind,
May be generous in your dealings with mankind.

Today I pray for you..
I pray that your faith and hope remains undiminished,
Even when all seems lost,
Just a sliver of faith and hope will suffice.

Today I pray for you..

View original post 43 more words

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)

 

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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.

 

Watch and Pray!

 

 

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.” Edmund Burke

 

My previous post, Don Your Armour, reminded us all of Paul’s words in Ephesians 6:10-18, where he encourages us to put on the whole armour of God.

God’s armour comprises not only the six elements of protective armoury and offensive weapons but also the requirement that we watch and persevere in prayer (see Ephesians 6:18).

Jesus himself, warned that we are to ‘watch and pray’ – Matthew 26:41.

So what should we be watchful about?

  1. Watch our hearts and attitudes. Proverbs 4:23 tells us we are to guard our hearts because it is from this central area (our inner being), that the current of our lives flow.
  2. Watch so that we do not enter into temptation—the temptation to be apathetic, complacent, slothful. The temptation to complain, or give up on our stance of faith. The temptation to walk in disobedience or pride. The temptation to belittle others, gossip or judge.
  3. Watch over the spiritual climate of your nation. Pray for your leaders, for those who occupy roles of significant responsibility. Pray for the liberty of Christians to live lives that are conducive to the moral absolutes of our faith.
  4. Watch over members of the body of Christ—those in your fellowship, those whom you interact with in your day-to-day life, those bearing the name of Jesus in your nation, not forgetting those who are suffering in far-off lands.
  5. Watch over the current affairs issue that tugs at your heart (e.g. brutality of dictators, persecuted Christians, the heinous crimes of sexual predators and religious extremists).
  6. Watch over our loved ones. Be diligent to ask for God’s protection over them as they go to school or work, as they travel to and fro, as they engage with individuals, who may or may not mean them harm.
  7. Watch over the happenings in Israel. Pray for that nation’s peace. Pray for the members of Christ’s body in that land. Pray for peaceful co-existence between believers in fellowships comprising both Jews and Arabs.

Why watch and pray?

Because, as Edmund Burke is attributed as saying (see above quote), the only thing we need to do for evil to prevail, is to simply do nothing!

Are you feeling helpless, even hopeless, about the injustices, mounting depravity and evils of this world?

Call on Jesus. Petition Jehovah. Summon the Holy Spirit.

We serve a God who is able to intervene, able to transform, able to thwart the spirits of wickedness that are at work in this earth.

Do you believe? If so, are you adding works to your faith? Are you praying?

Jesus asked: ‘. . . when the Son of Man comes, will he really find faith on the earth’ (Luke 18:8).

Well, what is your response?

More to the point, where will Jesus find you? Fighting in the field of faith, or despairing in the dungeons of doubt?

Children of the Living God, spirit-filled believers, Women of Warfare, come – let us do our part. Let us watch and pray!

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PICTURE CREDIT: the above CC0 Image comes courtesy of Jay Clarke at Pixabay.com

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.

 

Prayer Gem 10

 

Prayer is our spirit making live contact with God’s Spirit

 

Have you sent Jesus your kneemail today?

 

Behind some of the greatest spiritual awakenings in history was an unseen, unsung force known as ‘intercessors’. Many of the victories we celebrate in the open are first won by such people in the secret place of prayer.

(From: UCB Word For Today – 11 December 2016 – written by Bob & Debby Gass)

 

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

For the email version please sign up at: http://www.ucb.co.uk/word-for-today.html

 

 

Warriors and prayer-interns, be sure to put on God’s protective armour before going into battle! Here’s a prayer you can use.

 

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

 

 

 

Turn Your “Should” Burdens Into Blessings


 

Hello dear Women of Warfare! readers.

As you know this blog focuses on encouraging myself and others to walk as victorious overcomers. Its aim is to see women released from the shackles of any circumstances in their lives that seeks to keep them imprisoned as victims.

If you are anything like me, you can feel overwhelmed by the things we believe, or have been told that we should do or be. We should be the perfect wife, mother, lover, cook, whatever! We should be able to juggle impossible schedules. We should be this… We should do that… And the endless list continues.

Women of Warfare, if you’ve allowed yourself to become a victim of false guilt, other people’s demands, your own lofty goals, or frantic schedules, I hope the following post will encourage you.

Please read, reflect and respond.

 

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!

 

 

The Caged Bird’s Song

 

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.

Dear readers before I continue, I have to make a confession. Although this post began life as a 5min exercise, it has since been amended and refined!

 

 *****       *****       *****

 

 

CC0 Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Five Minute Friday Prompt: SING

 I don’t know why but Maya Angelou’s book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, came to mind, as soon as I saw this week’s prompt.

In the context of this blog’s purpose (which is to encourage women and to motivate us to walk as victorious overcomers), I see Christian woman who are habitually defeated or depressed, as akin to caged birds.

Most birds have the potential to sing joyously with abandon, to soar, to explore and enjoy their freedom but caged birds, in effect, have had their wings clipped.

Continuing with the above analogy, the cage (representing limiting beliefs, negative behaviour and Satan’s lies), both confines and defines.

Now of course the caged bird can sing but is its song true? Does it sing with the same harmony and sweetness as its counterparts that enjoy liberty?

Women of God, it is our choice whether any negative circumstance in which we may find ourselves, serves to imprison us. It is our responsibility to ensure that our Bible-based confession, or our testimony of faith becomes the spiritual song God hears, thus enabling him to liberate us.

Let us follow the example of the following writers, who confidently declared:

 

Behold God is my salvation,

I will trust and not be afraid;

For YAH, the Lord, is my

Strength and song;

He also has become my salvation.

(Isaiah 12:2 NKJV)

 

You are my hiding place;

You shall preserve me from trouble;

You shall surround me with

Songs of deliverance.

(Psalm 32:7 NKJV)

 

So, let me ask you dear Women of Warfare, how do you sing? As a caged bird, or as a potential bird of paradise… a beautiful bird of liberty?

 

 

“A Thousand Worries”

Dear friends, followers and visitors I hope you all had a good Easter break.

I know from my own experiences of life, from my conversations with loved ones and from reports of world events that peace is a sorely-needed requirement in our lives.

Yet the peace we need is not the ‘peace’ of this world but the heart-and-soul peace that comes only from God. It is a peace that surpasses our natural understanding. It is a peace that protects us from being overwhelmed by anxieties, fears and worries.

However, we need to abide in that place of peace in order for it to remain effective. Failure to do so is like making travel or home insurance payments then worrying about the consequences of events that may or may not happen, acting as if you have no confidence in the provisions of the policy, or worse, acting as if there is no policy in place.

The following re-blogged post depicts what often happens when we pray for peace but fail to leave the matter in God’s capable hands. May I encourage us all this morning to share our concerns and anxieties with our Father-God, to thank him for HIS answers and resolutions and whilst waiting, to rest in his peace.

 

TBD {To be determined}

For every drop of trust, I hold a thousand worries
I have a thousand wants, a thousand needs
I bring to You
while making my own plans to get them done.
Thinking the peace comes from the thing received, achieved,
rather than You,
my flimsy patience begs me hasten,
encouraging my DIY plans to control my own fate.
But fate proves a heavy load
for my fragile hands, which now,
I see, hold a thousand worries once more.

So I come again, Lord,
making known my request.
You’re not just my backup plan;
You’re my peace.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

– Philippians 4:6-7

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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

 

 

Prayer Gem 8

 

 

Prayer creates a personal change in your life. Nothing you can do will benefit you more than prayer. Through prayer, you create an account balance in your favour in God’s spiritual bank. Through prayer, you will benefit spiritually, mentally and physically.

Paul Y. Cho

 

The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,

To all who call upon Him in truth.

Psalm 145:18

 

 

Have you sent God your knee-mail today?

 

 

 

 

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.

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?

 

 

Your Country Needs You!

CC0 Image - Pixabay.com
CC0 Image – Pixabay.com

 

Lot chose to live in Sodom and Gomorrah but the inhabitants’ ungodly behaviour vexed his righteous soul. However, if it were not for Abraham’s appeal to God, Lot may well have been destroyed alongside those degenerate souls (see Genesis 18:16-33).

Fast forward to today’s world and I think many of you readers will agree that it has reached a similar state of lawlessness and depravity.

The Bible declares that “…the whole world lieth in darkness” or “under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19). Certainly, as Christians and prayer warriors, the reprehensible acts of so-called Church leaders who abuse their power and position, the various international crises, the troubling escalation of social ills, can seem utterly overwhelming and unresolvable.

But hallelujah! We serve a God who is able (and willing) to heal our lands and deliver the ungodly from the grip of the Enemy (2 Chronicles 7:14). He is merely looking for someone to step into the breach, to seek his assistance, to plead for his mercy, to make a demand upon his miraculous might.

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 I found no one. Ezekiel 22:30 (NKJV).

Will you be that person? Will you allow God to transform your concerns into compassion? Will you don your spiritual armour today and pray?

Dear WoW! follower and visitor, your country needs you! Not as a critic. Not as a self-appointed judge. But as a committed soldier in Christ’s army, as a stalwart warrior. Please don’t hesitate to enrol and take your place on the battlefield. Your prayers can make a difference!

Wishing you all a blessed and victorious week!

Promises, Prayer, Preparation

prayerreenablack-pixabay-1308663_960_720

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

Philippians 4:6 (NKJV)

 

 The following devotional is taken from UCB Word for today (May-July 2016), written by Bob and Debbie Gass.

***     ***     ***

 

The famous evangelist R. A. Torrey said two of the greatest secrets to effective prayer lay in:

  1. Studying the Word of God and finding His will as revealed in the promises.
  2. Taking these promises and spreading them out before God in prayer, with the unwavering expectation that He will do what He said.

Don’t tolerate prayerlessness in your life. Don’t allow the stress of so-called progress to dictate how much time you will sit at the feet of your Saviour. Crave those times. Schedule those times.

Grace L. Naessens puts it like this in her poem, The Difference.

I woke early one morning

And rushed right into the day

I had so much to accomplish

That I didn’t have time to pray.

 

Problems just tumbled about me

And heavier came each task

“Why doesn’t God help me?” I wondered

He answered, “You didn’t ask.”

 

I wanted to see joy and beauty

But the day toiled on, gray and bleak.

I wondered why God didn’t show me

He said, “But you didn’t seek.”

 

I tried to come into God’s presence

I used all my keys at the lock.

God gently and lovingly chided

“My child, you didn’t knock.”

 

I woke up early this morning

And paused before entering the day.

I had so much to accomplish

That I had to take time to pray.

 

If you are wise, you will stay ‘prayed up’ and prepared for the inevitable crises of life. It’s foolish to wait until trouble shows up at your doorstep to begin this essential spiritual discipline.

 

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*Free postal copies of The UCB Word For Today (UK and Republic of Ireland only) are available from:

FREEPOST RLTX-ABUL-GRAR, United Christian Broadcasters, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4JF

For the email version please sign up at: http://www.ucb.co.uk/word-for-today.html

 

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

 

PS: It’s my birthday today and I’ve just discovered that I shared a birthday with R. A. Torrey!

Our Magnificent Father

PRAISE PRAYER & WORSHIP WEDNESDAY

(4th Wednesday of each month)

 

crossgeralt-574746_960_720

 CC0 Image courtesy of Gerd Aldmann – Pixabay.com

I recently read an excellent book on prayer, Destined For The Throne, by Paul E. Billheimer. In it he discusses the place and importance of praise. In a nutshell he says that praise develops our character, is good for our mental health, decentralises self and contributes to inner peace.

Billheimer also points out that both heaven and earth are engaged in one grand, uninterrupted chorus of praise to our creator.

If our life on earth is a dress rehearsal for the life to come in heaven, we’d better get with the programme. Praise and worship is not just for Sundays or mid-week meetings. Praise, prayer and worship needs to become an integral part of our daily lives.

 

Praise

20 . . . Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for he alone has all wisdom and power. 21World events are under his control. He removes kings and sets others on their thrones. He gives wise men their wisdom, and scholars their intelligence. 22 He reveals profound mysteries beyond man’s understanding. He knows all hidden things, for he is light, and darkness is no obstacle to him. 23 I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers . . .

(Daniel 2:20-23 – The Living Bible)

 

Prayer

Father God, we want to thank you for the privilege of being able to enter into your holy presence and fellowship with you. We come with boldness into your throne-room, to enjoy your presence, to present our needs and petitions.

Lord Jesus, you said a time would come when men’s hearts will fail them for fear. As we listen to and read the media reports, there are world events that could perhaps instil fear in our hearts. Thank you for your peace that surpasses natural understanding. Holy Spirit, minister that peace to our hearts and minds today and in the coming weeks.

Father God, in obedience to your word, we pray for our leaders and particularly for those who hold key international roles. We commit their lives into your hands. We ask that you direct their decisions. We pray that you will grant them wisdom, knowledge and understanding and that you will help them to rule with integrity and in justice.

Summon your power O God. Show us your awesome and miraculous might. Let your will be done on earth, as is being done in heaven. Our eyes are upon you, as we wait for the revelation of your grace and glory.

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

 

Worship

 

 

 WoW! followers and visitors, have a blessed and victorious week.

 

 

Prayer Gem 4

Morning by morning, O Lord

You hear my voice;

Morning by morning,

I lay my requests before you

And wait in expectation.

(Psalm 5:3 NIV)

 

 

woman-praying-waldryano-pixabay1935186_960_720

 

 

Praying is communicating with God. Through prayer we come to know the all-powerful and loving God, and who He is. Through prayer we allow God to direct our lives. I believe that how we pray (or how we do not pray) changes our lives far more than you can ever imagine.

Prayer shapes our lives.

Canon J. John (www.canonjjohn.com)

 

God awaits you in his throne room!

 

PICTURE CREDIT: the above CC0 image is by Waldryano at Pixabay.com

WHAT IS YOUR EXPECTATION AND HOPE?

 

But as for me, I trust in You O Lord,

I say, “You are my God.”

My times are in Your hand

(Psalm 31:14-15a New King James Version)

 

New Year Expectations

Perhaps like me, each New Year you have an expectation that this year will be different. You look back at the past 12 months with disappointment because goals you set at the start have not been accomplished, hopes you had were not met and dreams you cherished were dashed. When this happens year after year, it is tempting to become cynical, or pessimistic, defeatist or even indifferent. Que sera, sera, you say to yourself (whatever will be, will be!) yet secretly you feel disappointed.

If the above scenario speaks to you where you are at, don’t become like Alexander Pope, who said:

“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”

And please don’t give up on your goals, or on making plans for the future. That is precisely what the Enemy wants! Someone has said that “a failure to plan is a plan for failure!” Goals are not just for the highly ambitious, or for the career-minded. If you want to enjoy success, as depicted in Psalm 1:3, if you want to walk as a victorious overcomer, then you need to plan to make these things happen. If God has thoughts and plans for your future, then why not you?

 

Set Some Goals – Devise a Plan

A failure to plan, is a plan for failure!
A failure to plan, is a plan for failure!

May I encourage you to hold onto God’s Word this year? May I encourage you to focus your plans around His promises?

Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that our Father God has good, positive thoughts about us and pre-ordained plans. Depending on which version you read, He has plans to give us a future and hope (NKJ), or plans to give us an expected end (KJ). So what are your expectations for this year?

Do you expect more defeat, more disappointment, more reasons for discouragement and more experiences of failure?

If so, then you are listening to the wrong voice and you are entertaining the wrong thoughts. Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy. Make no mistake about it – he hates you! His aim in your life is to steal your peace, kill your hopes and dreams, destroy your expectations of God’s blessing and supernatural manifestations in your life. He wants to steal, kill and destroy your faith, knowing full well that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).

 

Be Aware of Satan’s Tactics

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The serpent deceived me… (Genesis 3:13)

And sometimes, because we are beaten down by life’s battles, because we have abandoned hope, because continuing to nurture our expectations in the midst of struggles, trials and temptations or because overcoming opposition feels too hard, we allow ourselves to become a prey of Satan’s manipulations.

We pay heed to his accusations:

against our Father (Has God said? Did He promise?)

against ourselves (You’ll never make it! What makes you think it will be different this time?)

and against others (They’ll let you down! Nobody cares about you! He/she can’t be trusted!).

And if we keep accepting his poisonous lies, if we keep focussing on the negative scenarios which he paints in our mind’s eye, then before we know it, instead of being dressed in the protective armour of God and standing our ground, we find ourselves clothed in the garments of depression and oppression. We begin to flounder in the marshy fields of fear, frustration and failure. We succumb to despair, or unbelief and become his victims.

Don’t let last year’s disappointments, or past hurts dictate this year’s outcome for your life.

 

Take a Leaf From God’s Book

God says we are to imitate him like dear children, so I’d like to encourage you this New Year to follow his example of faith, optimism and persistence. In Genesis, we read about God’s hopes and dreams at the very beginning. He plans to build a community of people who will dwell in a secure place of abundant provision and divine protection, who will live forever, loving and obeying him, enjoying close fellowship with him.

We read how God creates a beautiful paradise and places Adam and Eve within it. However, along came the Enemy in the shape of a serpent. We learn how Satan sowed contrary thoughts in the minds of God’s people and upset his plans. From all appearances, it seemed as if Satan had successfully sabotaged God’s dream.

 

hopebannergerdaltmannpixabay-940636_960_720

 

But fast forward to the book of Revelation and we see that God’s original dream for his beloved creation, finally comes to fruition. In between these two books, we read of his disappointment with people, his hurt, his anger. We see again and again, the undermining of his plans for His chosen nation, Israel. However, he never loses hope. His expectation for the future, for the ultimate realisation of his plans, remains intact.

 

Hope Stabilises Your Emotions

According to the Chambers 21st Century Dictionary, hope is defined as follows:

1a desire for something, with some confidence or expectation of success.

2A person, thing or event that gives one good reason for hope.

3A reason for justifying the belief that the thing desired will still occur.

4Something desired or hoped for.

 

anchor-pixabay
Let HOPE be your anchor

The Bible tells us that hope is an anchor for our soul (i.e. our mind, will and emotions). When the storms of life assail you, let down your anchor of hope. Anchor yourself to the truth, to the promises of God’s Word.

If God (who is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent), experienced disappointment and delay to his plans, should we as lesser mortals expect any different?

Let your hope be in God and in His Word. God and his Word are one, inseparable. Do you believe this? If so, understand that God and his Word are unchangeable, unshakeable. So let expectations of His goodness, mercy and power abound in your hearts. Let godly expectations and hope reign over disillusionment.

 

God Has Pre-planned Your Future

Why not entrust your future into our Father God’s hands? Entrust this year as part of that bright future, into his safe keeping. Ask God to reveal to you his thoughts and plans for your life. Keep a record of your hopes and expectations. Review them regularly. Pray about and make preparation for them. Ask God for wisdom and ask the Holy Spirit to show you what to do, how to do it and also to help you accomplish it.

When plans go awry, when things appear to be the very opposite of your hopes, dreams and expectations, remember God’s dream, as revealed in Genesis. Remember the Bible’s end from its beginning and encourage yourself in the Lord.

Don’t adopt Alexander Pope’s philosophy and mind-set. Instead:

“Hold fast to dreams

For if dreams die

Life is a broken-winged bird

That cannot fly.”

Langston Hughes

Instead, determine in your heart to walk each day, each week, each month as a victorious overcomer.

Women of Warfare followers and visitors, may your year be crowned with the Lord’s abundance. May 2017 be a glorious year of achievement, victory and success.

 

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PHOTO CREDITS:  the above graphics used are all CC0 images by courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

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 2 of 4)

 xmaspaul-mawson-pixabay-1092469_960_720

 REMEMBER THE CHRIST OF CHRISTMAS!

 

My previous post (Part 1) concluded with the following question:

Is your prayer life barren—i.e. not producing results?

The Bible tells us that it was Elizabeth who was barren, implying that the biological reason for the couple’s childlessness may have been her fault.

Let’s stop for a moment and apply both Mary’s and Elizabeth’s situation to ourselves.

We have been espoused to Christ. In 1 Corinthians 11:2 Pauls says:

…For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

 

barrengroundpixabay-1690330_960_720 

Dear reader, if your prayer life is barren, i.e. dry, fruitless, ineffective—please know that the fault is not with Christ, your spiritual husband. Please know and accept that the fault lies with you alone.

We’ll move on now to take a look at the other woman in Luke’s nativity account.

 

Mary – an espoused virgin

Mary is a virgin, engaged to a man called Joseph, a descendant of the house of David. She is God’s chosen vessel to bring Jesus, the Messiah, into the world. Even though Mary is told about God’s plan for her life, she still has to accept what God proposes and submit to his Word in order for the miracle of Christ’s birth to happen.

Luke 1:38 tells us that she agrees. She says:

Behold the maid-servant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.

 

christmasmarydavidmark-pixabay-95559_960_720Now we’ve already learned that Mary is engaged. Her agreement to God’s will could potentially cost her relationship with her fiancé along with her plans for marriage. In fact, submission to God’s will was most likely going to cost Mary her reputation.

Again, let’s pause here, as I temporarily remove the spotlight from Mary, back to you dear reader. What price are you willing to pay for God’s plan and purpose to be fulfilled, for God’s will to be implemented in and through your life?

Are you willing to let go of personal dreams, to forgo your plans, to lose your reputation?

 

(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

 

prayergems2

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!

 

 

 

Prayer Gem – 1

wowgem-pinkroses-142876_640

My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord;

In the morning I will direct it to You,

And I will look up.

(Psalm 5:3 NKJ)

 

 

Let my prayer be set before You as incense,

The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

(Psalm 141:2 NKJ)

 

Have you prayed today?

 

Whether you have or you haven’t may I encourage you to read the following poem written by yours truly, about the benefits of daily prayer?

God awaits you in His throne room!

 

All Types of Prayer – Part 2

prayingangelmanfredantraniaszimmerpixabay-297916_960_720
CC0 Image courtesy of Manfred Antranias Zimmer (Pixabay.com)

 

 

Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

Ephesians 6:13-18 The Message

The following is taken from the UCB Word For Today* devotional, written by Bob and Debbie Gass.

***     ***     ***

DIFFERENT TYPES OF PRAYER (2) – Extract from: 20 November 2015

Here are three more types of prayer:

1) The prayer of petition

You must learn to be confident in asking God to meet your needs. Jesus promised, ‘What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them’ (Mark 11:24 KJV).

If we’d stop trying to impress God, we’d be a lot better off. Length, loudness, or eloquence isn’t the issue; it’s the sincerity of our heart, the faith that’s in our heart, and the assurance that we’re praying according to God’s will that gets results.

 

2) The prayer of agreement

Jesus said, ‘If two of you … agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father’ Matthew 18:19 NIV 2011 Edition). When you’re up against something too big to handle alone, find a prayer partner and get into agreement with them. This isn’t for people who constantly live in strife, then decide to agree because they’re desperate. God honours the prayers of those who pay the price to live together in harmony (see Psalm 133:1).

 

3) The prayer of thanksgiving

When your prayers outnumber your praises, it says something about your character. Self-centred people ask, but rarely appreciate. God won’t release us into the fullness of all He has planned for us until we become thankful for what we’ve already received.

Petition avails much; praise avails much more! ‘In every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God’ (Philippians 4:6 NIV 2011 Edition). Powerful living comes through thanksgiving. We can literally ‘pray without ceasing’ (1 Thessalonians 5:17 KJV) by being thankful all day long, praising God for His favour, mercy, loving kindness, grace, longsuffering, and goodness.

 

*Free postal copies of The UCB Word For Today (UK and Republic of Ireland only) are available from:

FREEPOST RLTX-ABUL-GRAR, United Christian Broadcasters, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4JF

For the email version please sign up at: UCB

 

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

All Types of Prayer – Part 1

Hello WoW! followers and visitors, I’d like to spend some time focusing on prayer for the next few posts. After all, as prayer warriors and victorious overcomers, prayer should be an important feature in our lives.

prayingangelmanfredantraniaszimmerpixabay-297916_960_720

CC0 Image courtesy of Manfred Antranias Zimmer (Pixabay.com)

Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

Ephesians 6:13-18 The Message

The following is taken from the UCB Word For Today* devotional, written by Bob and Debbie Gass.

***     ***     ***

DIFFERENT TYPES OF PRAYER (1) – Extract from: 19 November 2015

In scripture there are many different kinds of prayer. Let’s look at some of them and see what we can learn:

1) The prayer of surrender 

When Paul met Christ on the Damascus Road he prayed, ‘Lord, what wilt though have me do?’ (Acts 9:6 KJV). That’s like signing your name to a blank cheque and saying, ‘Here I am, Lord, do with me as you please. I hope I like what you choose, but even if I don’t I’ll do it anyway; Your will be done, not mine.’

You’re deciding to voluntarily follow God rather than trying to get Him to follow you. As a result He will do the work that needs to be done in you, so that He can do the work that He desires to do through you.

2) The prayer of commitment

The Bible says, ‘Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him’ (1 Peter 5:7 AMP). As long as you keep trying to control everything, your stress levels will keep mounting. But once you learn to hand things over to God, you’ll wonder why you spent even a single day worrying.

3) The prayer of intercession

The prophet Ezekiel writes, ‘I looked for someone… who would… stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land’ (Ezekiel 22:30 NIV 2011 Edition). ‘The gap’ is the distance between what is – and what can be. And when there’s a ‘gap’ in someone’s relationship with God due to a particular sin, as a believer you have the privilege (and responsibility) of placing yourself in that gap and praying for them.

(to be continued)

*Free postal copies of The UCB Word For Today (UK and Republic of Ireland only) are available from:

FREEPOST RLTX-ABUL-GRAR, United Christian Broadcasters, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4JF

For the email version please sign up at: UCB

And the award goes to…


awardpixabay-166945_960_720
Lady Cee’s trophy of appreciation for blogger support

 

 

Hello dear readers,

This is the final leg of my 6-day “thanks-fest”. I do apologise for the delay in producing my final post. And whilst I am on the subject, can I say how much I appreciate and admire those of my blogging peers who produce a regular diet of uplifting and positive posts, almost daily and some even several times a day?!

I would also like to thank the following bloggers who have demonstrated their kind support by reading, liking or commenting on my posts relating to this theme on gratitude:

@humanity777 (x 3)

@ellisnelson

@Mack (x 5)

@Robert Lambert Jones III (x 3)

@Jonathan Camac (x 5)

@arm5

@Chris Nicholas

@mitchteemley

@Scarletpiper

@beautybeyondbones (x 4)

@thepearlsisters (x 2)

@The Bellezza Corner (x 2)

@thisisyouth

@Julius

@Dustin Meyer

@cedricramey (x 2)

@havau22

@beholdinghimministries

@LenelnJapan

@begintobelieve

@Bonsai

@Frank Solanki

@Sailing a 34’ Catamaran Named Chiron

@conversationcat

thank-you-pixabay1434501_960_720My sincere thanks to all of you for not only giving me your ear but also taking the time to respond with your precious likes and comments. Thank you!

And because I truly appreciate you and think you deserve a post to yourselves, instead of combining this ‘thank you’ with my final post (as originally intended), I am keeping the two separate. My final post in this series, is therefore yet to come.

Have a blessed day!

 

Minted or Bankrupt?

thanksheart-gerdaltmann-pixabay1577791_960_720
CC0 Image – Gerd Altmann (Pixabay.com)

 

Hello dear reader,

Thank you for joining me on day 5 of my “thanks-fest”.

 

And now just as you trusted Christ to save you, trust him too for each day’s problems; live in vital union with him.

Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him. See that you go on growing in the Lord, and become strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with joy and thanksgiving for all he has done.

Colossians 2:6-7 (The Living Bible)

 

goldpixabay-744468_960_720None is more impoverished than the one who has no gratitude. Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy.

Fred De Witt Van Amburgh

 

SELF-SCRUTINY:

Are you minted or bankrupt?

 

Best wishes,

Carol

 

 

Reasons to be thankful (Part 3)

CC0 Image – Pixabay.com

 

Do you know how blessed you are?

You have made it this far in the year – others planned to yet they have not!

If you are celebrating Thanksgiving today with family and friends, I wish you a joyous and memorable occasion. I pray for peace, unity and journeying mercies for you and your loved ones.

 

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Welcome to day 4 of my “thanks-fest”. Thank you so much for joining me here.

In my posts (Reasons to be thankful Part 1  and Part 2) we saw that when it comes to our relationship with God, it is vital we develop and maintain an attitude of gratitude. We discovered that when we habitually express our appreciation to the Lord, we are able to make a sober assessment of ourselves and our achievements.

We learned that the practice of thanksgiving magnifies our Heavenly Father’s ability, attributes and authority above our personal circumstances, enabling us to transfer our focus from pressing needs, overwhelming fears and personal limitations, to the one who is the ultimate solution to our dilemmas, distress and disappointments.

Today, I’d like to get on with the business of thanksgiving.

Dear Father God,

I want to thank you for the following:

  • For watching over me throughout last night and keeping me safe from harm, danger and evil

  • For waking me up this morning to greet another new day

  • For your unconditional, everlasting and extravagant love

  • For accepting me as I am, despite my failures, faults and shortcomings

  • For rescuing me from the realm of darkness and translating me into your kingdom of light

  • For your promises to supply all my needs

  • For miraculous answers to my prayers

  • For divine protection in accordance with Psalm 91

  • For sending your Son to die for me, redeeming me from Satan’s clutches and from the curse of the Law

  • Because you have given me power (authority) over the Enemy and you’ve promised that when I exercise this authority, absolutely nothing shall hurt me

  • Because you have promised that no weapon forged against me will prosper (i.e. be successful in its intent to destroy me)

  • Because you are a covenant-keeping God

  • Because you are the only true and living God and yet you deign to visit me, help me and pursue a relationship with me

  • Because you are my God!

  • Because you have promised you will never leave or forsake me

  • Because you have promised that when I am fearful, you will be with me to strengthen and uphold me

  • Because you have promised to keep me in perfect peace, if I keep my eyes on you

  • Because you know the plans that you have for my life and those plans give me hope for my final outcome

  • Because you are able to do super-abundantly above all that I would even dare to ask or think. You are able to do infinitely beyond my highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes or dreams

  • Because you are able to cause ALL things to work together for my good (i.e. for my benefit, progress and welfare), no matter how bleak or impossible to resolve those situations may seem!

thank-youoberholstervenita-971644_960_720Finally, I thank you Father God for the everyday blessings of shelter, food and clean water. Thank you for my husband, our house and our jobs, which enable us to maintain our home and bless the work of your kingdom.

Thank you for your gifts and abilities invested within my life. Thank you for the opportunities (both current and future), to use these abilities and gifts for your glory and in service of your kingdom.

I am grateful that I live in a country where I am free to worship you without fear of persecution and that I have access to the Bible and other resources, which aids my growth and development as a follower of Christ.

Lord God, for all the above I thank you.

 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

 

Best wishes,

Carol

https://apurposedrivenachiever.wordpress.com

https://plus.google.com/collection/Qw96cB

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

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I do hope you are enjoying these posts. Why not share your response with me in the comment box below? I look forward to hearing from you.

Reasons to be thankful (Part 2)

 

Hello precious readers!

It’s day 3 of my ‘thanks-fest’ and we are half-way through this 6-day event. Thank you so much for popping over to my corner of cyberspace. I invite you to join with me in celebrating the goodness of our Heavenly Father.

Yesterday, we looked at how expressing our gratitude to God on a regular basis, stops us from taking his goodness and undeserved mercies for granted. It stops us falling into pride, walking through life with blind arrogance, believing that our status and good fortune has been acquired solely by our own efforts or greatness.

Today, I’d like to focus on another aspect of gratitude.

When we take steps to reflect on God’s provision and protection, this allows us to magnify the Lord in our hearts and minds. We also stir up our faith and expectations regarding fulfilment of outstanding prayer requests and regarding those promises upon which we may be standing.

Now don’t get me wrong here—when I say God is magnified, I do not mean that our praise and thanksgiving makes Him any bigger. He is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. You can’t get much bigger than that!

No. When I say we magnify God, I mean that in our own hearts and minds, we have an increased perception and awareness of his greatness, goodness and glory. I mean we have deliberately chosen to enlarge and elevate our perception and experience of God, above our egos, petty whims, disappointments and undesirable circumstances.

When we think of a magnifying glass, it is designed to make something you cannot see clearly with the natural eye, appear magnified. But has that item you are observing been made physically bigger? No! It is the instrument used that increases our capacity to see the item better. In the same way, our praise and thanksgiving to God, our expressed gratitude does not make him bigger. Our praise and thanksgiving increases our capacity to see him better! Our praise and thanksgiving shifts our focus from the stuff we own (which can lead to pride of life), or the stuff we want (which promotes discontent).

When dealing with the Children of Israel, God orchestrated special times of remembrance, so that his chosen nation would not forget who He is and what He had done for them. Perhaps we should do likewise and set up our own mechanisms for memorialising personal milestones.

If you are familiar with the Bible, you’ll be aware of its many accounts regarding the nation of Israel and how they’d forgotten what the Lord had done for them. As human beings, we tend to have short memories! There have been times when I’ve looked back through my devotional diaries to see accounts of breakthroughs and answered prayers, which I’d completely forgotten about. Some of them have been so meaningful and momentous to me, I would never have believed that I could have forgotten them. And yet I did. The evidence testifying that I had done so, was recorded in black and white.

Now, if they hadn’t been documented, those wonderful acts of God, those precious answers to prayers could not have been recalled, and would not have been remembered. But because they were recorded, I was able to give my amazing Father God, jubilant thanks for past triumphs and miraculous answers to prayer. And that same evidence, enables me to give thanks in anticipation of His miraculous intervention, or wonderful provision in the future.

Before I close, I’d like to worship the Lord with the following song, which goes some way to expressing my gratitude to the Lord, for his unconditional love, abundant mercies and faithfulness. Won’t you join me?

 

 

Dear reader, do you have a way of memorialising significant milestones in your walk with the Lord? If not, may I challenge you to consider setting something up? It could be a journal, or a “forget-Him-not” jar, or whatever you wish.

Please share your response to this post in the comment box below. I look forward to hearing from you.

With heartfelt best wishes,

Carol

https://apurposedrivenachiever.wordpress.com

https://plus.google.com/collection/Qw96cB

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

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Reasons to be thankful (Part 1)

 

 

thankyouheartpda

 

 Welcome to day two of my personal ‘thanks-fest’. I appreciate you joining me.

Without further ado, let’s jump right into those reasons why we should be thankful to God.

The following pointers provide us with a biblical perspective for maintaining a heart of gratitude.

 

Reason 1:

The failure to be thankful darkens our hearts and causes us to entertain confusing and futile thoughts.

…because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. (Romans 1:21)

Chambers 21st Century Dictionary defines futile as follows: unproductive, unavailing, foolish, vain, or pointless.

Actions, are in effect, enacted thoughts, so if your efforts are consistently unproductive, or unsuccessful, perhaps the underlying cause is an unthankful attitude.

 

Reason 2:

A habitual failure to be thankful encourages a murmuring spirit, which God hates (see Numbers 21:5-7). God sees grumbling and complaining as ungodly traits (Jude 1:15-16).

 

Reason 3:

A thankful heart keeps us humble. We recognise that it is because of the goodness of God that we are able to enjoy whatever benefits and blessings we have. We acknowledge that if it were not for his breath within us, keeping us alive, we would not be in a position to work, or possess the capacity to make our efforts fruitful and productive.

Again and again, the Bible clearly shows that pride will deceive us into thinking that our achievements and accrued blessings are the sole result of our own efforts. We should take warning from the stories of Nebuchadnezzar and his son, Belshazzar.

Although both were influential Persian kings with great wealth, they were each humbled by God because of their boastful failure to acknowledge and glorify Him as the one who had exalted them (see Daniel chapters 4-5).

In direct contrast, we see that Daniel was accustomed to praying and giving God thanks, so God prospered him. (Daniel 6:10, 28).

God instructs us to:

…remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth… (Deuteronomy 8:18).

How do we remember him? By expressing our thanks and appreciation. By maintaining an attitude of gratitude.

 

Reason 4:

A thankful heart moves us towards wholeness and opens the door to experiencing the miraculous. Remember the 10 lepers? I love reading this account in the old King James’ authorised version. It reveals that whilst the 9 ungrateful lepers were cleansed from leprosy, the one who returned to express his thanks, was made whole.

To me that means those who were cleansed no longer suffered from the cause and accompanying symptoms that marked them out as lepers (i.e. rashes, sores and infection). However, I believe the one who was made whole, probably experienced a supernatural miracle – the re-growth of lost fingers and toes! And all because he expressed his appreciation to the Lord. What a wonderful fringe benefit!

 

Reason 5:

Finally, thankfulness when combined with praise or prayer requests, produces a dynamic and effective spiritual life and promotes confidence in the presence of God (Psalm 100:4; Philippians 4:6).

The Bible is replete with exhortations to thank God. In Psalm 107, the following words are repeated four times:

Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!

 

In light of the above, I would encourage anyone who does not currently maintain an attitude of gratitude to the Lord, to repent and make immediate amends.

Meanwhile Women of Warfare! followers and visitors, may the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; may the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. Amen.

Best wishes,

Carol

 

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

https://apurposedrivenachiever.wordpress.com

https://plus.google.com/collection/Qw96cB

 

My 6-day Thanks-Fest

Dear Father God, I thank you!

 

CCO Image - Gerd Altmann (Pixabay.com)
CCO Image – Gerd Altmann (Pixabay.com)

 

Hello dear readers,

I’m pretty sure that many of you are engaged with preparations for your Thanksgiving meal. Since we in the UK do not celebrate this holiday, I (thankfully) am not occupied with such preparations!

However, I’ve decided that I will join you all with my own brand of thanksgiving celebrations and to that end, I intend to post daily for the next 6 days on the theme of gratitude. I do hope you will find time to check in with me and that you will enjoy the thanksgiving fare I plan to dish up for your consumption.

But before I leave you with today’s offering, may I confide in you?

I hope by now that people who are familiar with my posts will agree that I’m generally a thankful person. For those of you who are new followers, let me hasten to say that I’m truly grateful to God for his goodness and I do appreciate the kindness and thoughtful deeds of others toward me and my loved ones. I express that thankfulness to God, daily.

However, on reading past entries in my writing journal, I discovered that most of these entries reflected on the negative aspects of my life. I noted that my attitude of gratitude (a good thing), was being undermined by a habitual mindset, which leans heavily towards negative thinking (a not so good thing).

Now, since maintaining an attitude of gratitude is supposed to improve my general outlook on life, I don’t want this state of affairs to continue. Perhaps there’s someone out there who, having examined their life, feels similarly? If so, why not join me on my 6-day thanks-fest? I’d appreciate the company!

Without further ado, I have pleasure in serving you with our first course. Enjoy!

 

 

WoW! followers and readers – until tomorrow, au revoir!

The Secret of Effective Prayer

Prayer is our spirit making live contact with God's Spirit
Prayer is our spirit making live contact with God’s Spirit

 

The following is an excerpt from an excellent devotional magazine, Word for Today*, which is written by Bob and Debby Gass and produced by United Christian Broadcasters (UCB).

The extract below is from Reinhard Bonnke, founder of Christ for all Nations (CfaN).

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PRAYER

Prayer is not just words. It is our spirit making contact with God’s Spirit. Life flows constantly from God like light from the sun. In prayer we expose ourselves to its rays and sunbathe in the warmth of divine love. We absorb His goodness.

We speak to God in prayer and He speaks to us any time He wants. God reveals His will to all of us – we don’t need to pry it out of Him. The aim of prayer is to bring us into line with His will, and then He hurries to answer. We can’t twist God’s arm by fasting, or impressive numbers of intercessors (James 4:2). He looks upon our hearts. If we want to pray prayers that prevail with God, we must first let God prevail in our own lives. Until we yield to Him, we shall never move the hand that moves the world. God wills only His own will. When our will is brought into line with His will, then His will can be done through our prayers, which become mighty indeed. His Word is His will.

When we pray, we pray on the same basis and with the same rights as Paul, John, James and Peter. We rank equal with the greatest saints. The promises to them are the promises to us. They prayed the same Lord’s Prayer as we pray. We have the same privileges as they had. God has no favourites except we are ALL His favourites. They had the same key to the door that we have – the name of Jesus. We do not need angels or saints to usher us into God’s presence. We are children and heirs – we have complete freedom of access into our Father’s house. That is a very good reason indeed for praying.

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*Free postal copies of The UCB Word For Today (UK and Republic of Ireland only) are available from:

FREEPOST RLTX-ABUL-GRAR, United Christian Broadcasters, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4JF

Tel: 0845 60 40 401

For the email version please sign up at: UCB

 

Image: CCO – courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

We Salute You!

 

CC0 image - Anne Ekland (Pixabay.com)
CC0 image – Anne Ekland (Pixabay.com)

 

Many of you, I am sure, will be aware that today is Remembrance Day. A day to commemorate the lives of men and women who’ve lost their lives defending our freedom. These men and women, whether willingly or from a sense of duty, or forcibly conscripted, found themselves on the battlefield engaging with the enemy.

Remembrance Day is a time not only to remember the fallen dead but also celebrate our war veterans and heroes and consider the members of our armed forces, who are currently away from their home and their loved ones, fighting for the cause of justice.

We salute these courageous men and women (both dead and alive, young and old).

But let us not stop there.

Let us turn our attention to a group of unsung heroes.

Allow me to highlight the contribution of certain Christian women (mothers and grandmothers), who  throughout the history of the Church assumed positions on the spiritual frontline, to pray for their loved ones.

These mighty prayer warriors, these sanctified soldiers, voluntarily enrolled within the ‘Intercessors’ Infantry’ and fought for the spiritual lives and freedom of their families. Many of these warriors have long since passed from this earth into God’s presence. However, their legacy of fervent, effective prayer and intercession should never be taken for granted and certainly never forgotten.

I refer to women such as Hannah, the mother of Samuel. Her fervent prayer for a son, whom she then dedicated to the Lord, for life, meant that this young boy who ministered to the Lord under Eli’s supervision, was described as one who “…grew in stature, and in favour both with the Lord and men” (1 Samuel 2:26). Coincidentally, we read a similar statement in Luke 2:52, made about none other than God’s only begotten son, Jesus!

I believe that because of Hannah’s prayers, this young servant of the Lord (mentored in an environment where other priests—Eli’s own sons—were corrupt, disobedient and disrespectful to God’s commands), was able to enjoy a close relationship with the Lord, in a context where the word and revelation of God, had become rare. Samuel continued to grow and flourish in the service of God and became an influential figure in the history of the Children of Israel.

Next, let us consider Saint Monica, the mother of Saint Augustine of Hippo. In his autobiography, Confessions, Saint Augustine recalls how his mother wept and wept for him, distressed over his wayward and unrepentant heart. In fact, Augustine reveals, that his mother wept more tears for him over the prospect of his spiritual death, than other mothers had wept over the physical demise of their children. I wonder, would we have been able to benefit from the writings of this early theologian and philosopher, had Monica not persisted in prayer for her son?

Again, we cannot forget Susanna Wesley, mother to John and Charles Wesley, two of our church history’s most notable evangelists. The difficulties and busyness of Susanna’s life, meant that her only means of escape to the prayer closet was to throw her apron over her head, warning her large brood of children that whenever they observed her in this state, she was praying and therefore not to be disturbed. Given this wonderful example from a woman who bore 19 children, dare we say of ourselves, that we do not have enough time to pray?

Let me take this opportunity to issue a challenge. Speaking to those amongst us called to prayer and intercession (and that is everyone in the Body of Christ), let me suggest that if we are constantly making excuses about our prayerlessness, we need to be honest before God and with ourselves. Let us admit that it is not time we lack, but the inclination!

I now turn my attention to Eliza, mother of Charles Spurgeon. He confides:

I cannot tell how much I owe to the solemn words and prayers of my Christian mother. It was a custom while we were children to sit around the table and read the Scripture verse by verse while Mother explained it to us. After that was done, then came the time of pleading with God.

His account evokes memories of my own childhood, when my recently deceased mother gathered her children for weekly Bible study and prayer. I can also testify to my mother’s diligence in interceding for the salvation of her offspring, which resulted in five of her seven children, turning their lives over to Christ. Alas, not all five continued their walk with the Lord but, over a period of 40 plus years, my mother’s intercession for her children never flagged—until she became incapacitated with dementia.

And how can we forget Catherine Booth, a spiritual general and trailblazer of her era? Along with her husband, William Booth, this spiritual heroine co-founded the Salvation Army. Catherine’s diligent prayers meant that every one of her eight children became active in the Salvation Army, two of which became generals.

All these women, whose voluntary enrolment in the army of God, whose selfless engagement on the frontline of a spiritual battlefield, produced men and women of valour and distinction, through their fervent prayers and intercessory warfare. Their prayers secured a rich legacy of theological writings, sermons and hymns. Without these ladies and other praying women throughout the history of the Church, our Christian heritage would not be the calibre that it is today.

Women of God and women of prayer throughout the ages, we salute you!

I turn now to the matter of ourselves in this time of fear, uncertainty and perplexity. I turn now to the need for modern-day saints, for committed men and women to take their place on the battlefield of prayer. If ever there was a time where intercessory prayer and spiritual warfare is needed, it is right now.

So let me ask, did you, or do you have a praying mother or grandmother? Why not take some time out today to thank God for them… to remember and celebrate their lives?

And, let me further ask—are you a mother, or a grandmother? If so, are you regularly praying for those children within your sphere of influence? Make no mistake, their spiritual future and welfare, and the spiritual freedom and heritage of generations to come, might well depend on you!

 

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The Stain Of Ingratitude

PRAISE PRAYER & WORSHIP WEDNESDAY

  thankful4today-pixabay-1081614_960_720

CCO Image – courtesy of Pixabay.com

  

If there’s one thing I just can’t abide, it is blatant ingratitude!

Whether it is as minor as the rudeness of an untrained child (who ought to know better) that grabs a sweet from your hand without saying “thank you”, or as major as the malicious person who conveniently forgets your former kindness and stabs you in the back with the knife of pernicious gossip, or deliberately plunges the lethal blade of false accusation into your reputation, or turns a blind eye to your hour of desperate need.

Ingratitude stinks! But it can be all too easy to spot ingratitude in others, yet not be aware of the varying shades of an unthankful heart within one’s own life.

If you got up this morning, you owe the breath in your body to God. Did you thank him? Are you grateful that you are alive when there are so many others who’ve had their lives snuffed out prematurely by famine, murder, war, terminal illness or tragedy? Or are you obsessing about what you don’t have… about unmet desires… about disappointed dreams?

If God had only sent his Son to die for you and me, in order to rescue us from eternal death and destruction, this would have been enough. But he has gone beyond that. He has ensured that we are not alone and defenceless in this troubled world and, he has equipped us with tools, to ensure we emerge victorious against the Enemy of our souls—should we choose to use them!

There are people blindly grasping at the straws of pseudo-spirituality through dubious avenues, whilst looking for an authentic connection with a higher being. Yet, those of us who know the Lord as our personal saviour, are privileged to have the most powerful being in the entire universe reveal himself to us, and furthermore, open the door to unfettered fellowship with him.

So, let’s not become like the Children of Israel, who became dissatisfied with their lot, took God for granted and failed to acknowledge his unfailing mercies, goodness and provision. Let’s take the time to offer him our sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving. Let’s celebrate our Father God.

 

Praise

I bless the holy name of God with all my heart.

Yes, I will bless the Lord and not forget the glorious things he does for me.

(Psalm 103:1-2 – The Living Bible)

Prayer

Father God,

This morning, I choose to enter with thanksgiving, into the gates of intimate fellowship with you. I choose to enter into your holy courts with praise. Today, I choose to forget about my anxieties, needs and problems and remember the wonderful benefits of my salvation.

Thank you for sending Jesus to die for me, indeed for the whole world. Thank you for your unconditional love and your unmerited mercies, which are available every single morning. Thank you for your peace that surpasses natural understanding and for your promise to keep me in a state of perfect peace, when I focus my mind upon you.

Almighty God (Elohim), I praise your awesome name. Lord God (Jehovah), who can compare with you? You are a covenant-keeping God… you are the true and living God… you are the sovereign ruler of Heaven and Earth—and besides you, there is no one else, there is no other supreme being!

 

Worship

 

 

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

   

The Politics of Hope

Hope (Psalm 43v5)

This morning my heart is heavy.

The hospital doctor has told me they are unable to help my mother as she is not responding to treatment. Therefore, once the current infection in her body has taken hold (the source of which they say they are unable to identify), it will take her life. It could be days. It could be weeks. I am numb with disbelief.

I have a choice—choose to be a victim and succumb to anger and resentment (and believe me I have struggled with these)—or choose to be a victor.

But how does one emerge a victor in such a scenario?

One refuses to listen to the lies of the Enemy who whispers: how can God love you when he has not answered your prayer for miraculous healing? How can God love your mother when he is allowing her to die from such a cruel disease and without dignity?

One let’s go of the desire to dictate to God what he should do… how he should “prove” himself to you by manifesting his might and miraculous power within your mother’s life—surely her healing would bring glory to him?

One let’s go of the desire to determine how He (who does all things after the counsel of his own will) should perform, and genuinely say: “not my will O Lord but your will be done”. One accepts that you may not understand… the situation may not seem glorious or victorious, but God IS nevertheless in control.

One continues to pray and to believe God’s Word—even though circumstances may scream the exact opposite of what you have prayed and believed… even though circumstances question the very integrity of God’s Holy Scriptures. After all, neither Satan, nor man has the last word.

Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness. Desmond Tutu

One humbles self. I am not omnipotent. I am not omniscient. I am not omnipresent. I am a servant of the most High God—He does not serve me!

One dies to self. Dies to the temptation to be immature… to try to bargain, to sulk, to throw your spiritual resources (faith, hope, trust in God) out of the window.

One refrains from asking: “why my mum?” After all she has done. After all her faithfulness to God, to the Body of Christ, to the Great Commission, to her church members.

One rejoices in the fact that God has honoured me to be the daughter of such a beautiful, godly mother. One celebrates her life, her example and, as Proverbs 31:28 decrees will happen, one rises up and calls her blessed.

One prays for her… that she will be comforted by the Holy Spirit… that the Lord will minister to her with that peace which surpasses natural understanding… that God will continue to strengthen her with might in her inner man and that He will be the health and brightness of her countenance.

One commits her into our Father God’s hands knowing that He loves her with an EVERLASTING love, knowing that his mercies are NEW every morning, knowing that he is able to cause ALL things to work together for her good, since she has been called according to his purpose.

One trusts in the Lord with all their heart and refuses to lean on their limited understanding.

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt

One forgives. And one lets go those who have not celebrated or appreciated her the way you believe they should. But if not quite able to do this, one shares their heart, their feelings openly with the Lord (who sees and knows all things) and one asks him to work within your heart and bring you to the place where you desire to do God’s perfect will and also obey it.

One submits to the washing from the water of God’s Word, to the Word’s sanctifying fire, so that the dross of self-serving demands and ungodly attitudes are purified from one’s life.

One prays with new understanding and listens to the wise counsel of the Holy Spirit and sees from a new perspective.

One says along with Job: “shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” (Job 2:10).

One hopes.

…hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

(Romans 8:24-25 NKJ)

 

QUESTION: How do you deal with disappointed hopes?

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.

 

An Olympic Godhead

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.

(Although I’ve missed the link-up for this prompt I’ve decided to post anyway).

 

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Five Minute Friday Prompt: TEAM

 

Team.

A word that conjures a picture of unity and togetherness. Everyone on the same side pulling together! That’s the ideal.

I’ve been part of a team – such as a netball team, such as an editorial team. These teams more or less lived up to that ideal. We all worked together for a common goal—whether that was to beat the opposing side, or to produce a great magazine issue.

I’ve also been part of a team that did not live up to this ideal. Where members back-stabbed and undermined and sought glory for themselves in order to shine, in order to get on and move up. Unpleasant!

What (I wonder), would it be like to work in a team such as the one the Holy Trinity are part of (Father, Son and Holy Ghost)? Each member celebrating the other, co-operating with each other, consulting and agreeing with one another on momentous decisions: “Let us make man in our own image”.

What would it be like to be equal in power, in ability and authority, and yet submit graciously to the other team members? What must it feel like to allow the separate members to shine… to do what they are tasked with—without getting in the way, without questioning, without plotting to grab the glory? Oh the unimaginable bliss of complete and utter unity!

Holy Godhead, how I envy you! How marvellous it must be to work in such an atmosphere of total unity and respect.

Father God, sweet Jesus, divine Holy Spirit – you are the true Olympians!

 

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Question:  Do you have any memorable team experiences you would like to share (good or bad)? 

 

     

 

 

Help My Unbelief!

ocean-864995_640

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.

 

 

Five Minute Friday: LIFT

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.

 lift(fmf)-768x768

Five Minute Friday Prompt: LIFT

 

I will lift up my eyes to the hills—

From whence comes my help?

My help comes from the Lord

Who made heaven and earth.

(Psalm 121: 1-2 NKJ)

 

The above declaration implies that the writer has made a decision to change his focus.

How many times have you felt despondent… felt bereft of hope because life stood up and slapped you in the face instead of gracing you with the smile and gifts of fortune and favour? And how many times have you dwelt on your circumstances and decided that life is hard and unfair?

I recently felt this way.

I’d taken a blogging break and had planned to use the time to work on a long-standing project. My mother’s health suddenly deteriorated to the extent that she was eventually hospitalised and, following discharge, needed full-time care. I decided to take a break from work in order to provide that care.

Daily hospital visits, stress, weariness and the further demands upon my time meant my project was once again consigned to the back burner. The little scrap of time left to me late in the evenings meant I only wanted to eat and relax before going to bed (here read watch TV, or check and despair over my dismal blog stats!).

Added to this, I felt completely overwhelmed by the extra responsibility and was also concerned that I might not be patient enough, mentally or physically strong enough to follow through with this commitment.

My eyes were on my circumstances, on the enormity of my problems and not upon the greatness of my God. It’s easy to do right? To preach it and write or blog about it, but when it comes to the crunch, forget God’s commands and promises and fail to walk in his peace and strength. And before you know it, all the prayers and meditation and bold confessions, all the effort you’ve put in to familiarise yourself with God’s Word and endeavour to submit to his perfect will, have retreated from your consciousness and disappeared from your vocabulary.

“Hath God said…” whispers Satan within your mind and before you can say: “Get behind me!” you have fallen victim to overwhelming doubts, fear and even unbelief.

Dear reader, if these words speak to you where you are at right now, please join with me by lifting your heart and the eyes of your understanding and refocus them upon Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith. Please join with me by discarding your constrictive cloak of heaviness and don your glorious garment of praise and thanksgiving.

Let’s wholeheartedly lift our eyes to our Father God in Heaven (who graciously loves, protects and provides for us) and let’s declare our trust, faith and confidence in Him without reservation.

WoW! followers and visitors may you experience the peace of God that transcends human understanding throughout the coming weeks and may you rest in his comfort and abide in his presence.

 

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