Will You Please Come Home?

An Open Letter to all lost lambs and sheep who have wandered away from my flock

The above CC0 image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Where are you my beloved?

I wonder if you know how much I hurt since the day you wandered away from the safety of my care. Yes, I realise you have done so because you feel hurt… because you’ve been offended… because (and my heart pains me to know this), you’ve been emotionally abused, or blatantly ignored, or marginalised, or cruelly rejected. You’ve had enough.

You have wandered away from the safety of my flock because certain shepherds, or certain church members have disappointed you, failed to live up to your new found expectations of an accepting, loving and united family of God.

And so you withdrew. You’ve withdrawn your heart, your trust and your allegiance to “the church”. You say: I want nothing more to do with those bunch of hypocrites! And believe me, I understand how you feel.

Yes, you still want to be a child of God, a disciple of Christ, but you’ve decided to do so your own way. You’ve decided to do so on your own terms. So you stay away from the religious circus and you erect your walls and barriers.

And even though outwardly there is bravado (I don’t need them), inwardly there is a gnawing resentment, and a deep untended wound because something, or someone you’d placed your trust in, let you down.

You were excited at first. After all, what could be more perfect than joining a loving community of people with good morals and virtuous spirituality? What could be more desirable than mixing with a group of friends who’d always have your back? What a breath of fresh air to be able to be yourself… to be able to confide your concerns or doubts or struggles. What a pleasure it was going to be, to mix with others who are on the same spiritual wavelength and committed to the same standards of Christ’s love. What could be more perfect?

But then the glitz rubbed off to reveal people who appear to be no better than your unsaved next door neighbours, or the ungodly colleagues at your workplace, or the unbelieving members of your family.

You had not expected to be the subject of gossip-mongers or to be propositioned by a church leader. You did not approve of “super-star” shepherds who seek celebrity status, rather than model servant-leadership. You certainly hadn’t expected there to be cliques within God’s kingdom, or worse still, to find yourself excluded. You thought you’d left that kind of thing behind when you separated yourself from the world.

You hungered to experience the supernatural power and presence of God but the most you received were invites to a happy-clappy spiritual bubble, which often burst once you left the vicinity of the church premises and left you feeling unequipped to face life’s challenges.

I understand your disillusionment.

But dear sweet child of God, I want you to know there will always be tares amongst the wheat. There will always be the imposter –v- the genuine. And there will always be the fully sold-out and on-fire believer –v- the lukewarm bench-warmer, with those who sit comfortably in between.

My dear disillusioned one, there will always be a mixture of wolves, goats, lambs and sheep amongst the members of my church. There will be those amongst my flock who get it wrong, yet are bona fide believers. They make mistakes. They are ever learning and growing. And as they learn and grow they are being transformed into my true image – not the synthetic portrait to which you were introduced when you first made my acquaintance.

My precious child, as they learn and grow, they will become that loving, holy community you so desire to be a part of and for which you had originally signed up. But my dear precious one, it takes time. It takes time to mature, just like cheese. Just like wine. And it will take every child of God (including you) to assume their rightful place in the body of Christ. It will require every child of God (including you) to submit to the process of being rubbed against one another… to be chafed and challenged… to do and die.

So I need you to come back, dear one. I want you back in the safety of my fold. I want you joined to a community of admittedly imperfect people, so that I may mature and perfect you and perfect others alongside you.

Because making that choice to come away, to segregate yourself from my family, is making a choice to place your opinions, your disgust and disappointments, your hurts and anger above my will, above my plan and purpose for your life. And whilst you stay away, that serpent (my arch-enemy), feels he has carte blanche to sift and sully you, to poison your thoughts against my people and even at times against me, to alienate and entrench you within your disappointment, hurts and resentment. Whilst you stay away dear precious one, you play into my enemy’s hands and you render yourself an orphan, you make yourself so vulnerable.

Beloved child, will you please come home? Will you return to my sheepfold? Will you let me restore and settle you into my family? Will you allow me to love you, comfort you, hold and heal you?

I do hope you will.

With my utmost, unconditional love,

 

 

 

Sent on behalf of Jesus (The Good Shepherd and Overseer of your Soul)

 

What’s your response to this post? Are you one of Christ’s lost lambs or sheep? Please share your thoughts in a comment box below. And if you know anyone to whom this message applies, then please don’t hesitate to share it. Thank you.

 

 

 

 

Effective Prayer Requires Sacrifice

 

Every morning you’ll hear me at it again.

Every morning I lay out the pieces of my life on your altar

and watch for fire to descend.

(Psalm 5:3 The Message)

 

Even though my mother (God rest her soul) inducted me into a lifestyle of prayer, it was not always easy to maintain a prayerful lifestyle. I admit it was probably not as hard for me as it is for some others within the body of Christ, who did not have that particular example and influence around them, but I nevertheless sometimes struggled.

Usually, it was because of difficult circumstances which the Enemy used to demean and distract me.

Just as King David did, I discovered that there are times when you have to speak to your soul and encourage yourself in the Lord.

The following is an extract from my writing journal, where I sought to both speak to and motivate myself, so I could continue to pray for myself and for others, regardless of how I felt; so I could deal with those issues which often tripped me up and prevented me from praying, or else undermined the effectiveness of my prayers.

I share this journal extract in the hopes that it will speak to the hearts of those who truly love God and want to please him, yet struggle in their walk with the Lord because of disappointments, or discouraging circumstances which the Enemy uses, to try and break their focus (often successfully).

I share in the hopes that those who struggle to maintain a consistent prayer life, will be encouraged to push through with determination.

—–oooooo000oooooo—–

 

PRAYER.

The power to change things. Change me, change others, change my community, change my world.

Prayer.

It is the positive power of the tongue. When you pray, you are able to join forces with God, imitate him, when he spoke in the beginning and said: “Let there be…”. There was darkness, there was void, there was no life. However, he spoke and it changed the earth’s atmosphere and environment.

Carol, are you not happy with your life, your relationships, your social and economic environment? Then change it! Take the Word of God and apply it by speaking to your circumstances with authority and in faith.

To speak with authority there must be belief in what you are saying. There must be confidence that you have the right to ask, or declare that thing. There must be confidence that what you say will come to pass.

What undermines that confidence, that assurance?

It is sin. It is the sneaking suspicion at the back of your mind that you are not quite there spiritually, that you have blotted your copy book so to speak with your rebellion and stubbornness.

You know what the Word of God says about forgiveness but nevertheless, you feel that your case is an exception, or you feel that to obey God’s word in that regard is too costly.

Yes, it is costly. Costly to your flesh. To your pride, to your self-esteem. You feel to forgive is to render you a doormat. Render you weak and impotent and pathetic whilst your offender is empowered over you.

You think to hold on to your unforgiving attitude is to hold onto the last vestiges of self-respect. That person doesn’t respect you. Onlookers who see and know what has been done also do not respect you.

Who respects the weak? Who respects the put-upon, the one who is put down not just once or twice or even three times but again and again and again and again until it becomes a cycle, until it becomes a way of life, until your thoughts and your heart and your entire life is wrapped around tightly with the scorn, ridicule and contempt, of others like a silk worm in its cocoon. Wrapped so tightly, until that person’s hatred, or jealousy, or malice, or reproach, seeps into your soul, poisoning your entire spiritual immune system.

You have the Word of God in your heart. You have the blood of Jesus that declares you righteous and justified but somehow you have allowed the poison of other people’s opinion and antics to break down your spiritual immune system. You have treated the Word of God, the name of Jesus, the blood of the Lamb, the anointing that breaks the yoke, as insignificant, in comparison to your woes, your wounds.

What is significant (to you), is that this person or those people should not get away with making you feel a non-entity, a no person, a bottom of the heap hobo. And yet… in the Kingdom of God, when it comes to our relationship with others— particularly those that mistreat or persecute us—that is sometimes how God wants us to view ourselves.

If you hold onto your life (your reputation, your self-esteem, your pride blah blah) then you will lose it! But, Jesus says if you will lose (i.e. deliberately let go of) these things for my sake, then you will find it (a higher, God-blessed life).

What a paradox!

In comparison to this world and how it thinks and operates, the Kingdom of God is a topsy-turvy way of operating. The world says: celebrate yourself, pamper yourself, live for yourself! But the Word of God says: crucify your flesh, die to self, deny yourself.

Carol, where are you in God’s equation?

Choose you this day whom you will serve—will it be your Father God, or yourself (i.e. the demands of your unruly flesh)?

[end of journal extract]

***     ***     ***

Dear friends and followers, I am choosing to be a victor. I am choosing to be a victorious overcomer.

How about you?

With much love,

Carol (aka Lady Cee)

Author of: Petitions From My Heart

 

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

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

 

Related Reading: Underdog or Overcomer

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

 

A Living Dog Trumps a Dead Lion!

The above CC0 image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

But for him who is joined to all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion. (Ecclesiastes 9:4)

 

During my devotional time with God recently the phrase “an unpretty path” kept coming to mind. I knew I’d written a post with this title a while ago and felt that perhaps God wanted to bring this to the attention of someone.

Perhaps you are a reader who feels you are at the end of your tether. You are doing your very best to walk in faith and victory but somehow everything always seems to go pear-shaped. You are wondering whether you will ever experience the sweet taste of victory. You are wondering whether God really cares… whether he is listening to, or has even heard your prayers… and if so, why doesn’t he change your circumstances now?

If so, this post has been written especially for you.

 

—–oooooo000oooooo—–

 

…when the baggage of past negative experiences meet with the pressure of current difficulties, and when the vision of your future seems cloudy, burdensome or overwhelming, you might (as Jesus did) be tempted to ask God to relieve you, to take your cup of troubles away from you. We all want that idyllic path but more often than not, success requires us to travel via a thorny crossroad.

It is at this point of pressure that we face a choice. Do we back away from the path we have chosen, or do we trust God to empower us, to enable us to carry on?

Are we truly committed to our Father-God so that honouring him, obeying his will, takes priority over our own pain, fears, disappointments and discomfort? Are we focused on the bigger picture, knowing that once we achieve success, it equips us with the means to bless others?

 

—–oooooo000oooooo—–

 The above is an extract from a post titled It’s An Un-Pretty Path! If you would like to read the entire post please click here

Dear reader, I know what it’s like to become trapped within a cycle of negativity. To suffer debilitating hurts and wounds from nasty individuals within your life, whether they be colleagues, church members, family or “friends”. To experience perpetual punches from the Enemy, as he pushes your thoughts around from pillar to post and pulverizes your self-esteem.

I know what it’s like to feel bullied… to believe that the ill-treatment you’ve received in life means you are both unloved and unlovable… to give up hope on ever receiving the welcoming smile and warm handshake of favour. I know.

But. Dear reader. I have come through to the other side.

I came. I saw. I conquered! In that I FINALLY came round to God’s way of thinking about myself and about my circumstances. And as I saw myself in the light of God’s Word (rather than through the warped lens of my persecutors), I began to walk in victory, I began to see myself as a conqueror – not the conquered!

Perhaps you feel you cannot go on. Perhaps you are afraid to, or have no idea how to assert yourself, and so you’ve decided to just roll with the punches others mete out, to accept defeat and live a second-hand “poor me” existence.

Dear. Reader. No!

That is NOT God’s best for you. That is NOT God’s plan for your life. That is NOT your destiny!

So, whether you see yourself as an underdog… whether you feel you don’t have the willpower, or the energy to fight anymore… whether you see perpetual clouds on your emotional horizon, God’s liberating word for you today is: Don’t give up! Don’t accept the lies of the Enemy.

  • Let the weak say: I am STRONG!
  • Let the victimized say: I am MORE THAN A CONQUEROR!
  • Let the hopeless say: God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above ALL that I can ask or think!

So trust God. And hold on. Your change WILL come!

With love,

Carol (aka Ladycee)

Author of: Petitions From My Heart

(If you live in the UK click here)

 

I do hope the message in this post has benefitted you in some way. If so, please share your response in a comment box below.

Do you know someone to whom this message applies? Then please don’t hesitate to share it. Thank you.