Not After Sundown!

 

 

 

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ANGER:

The Chambers 21st Century Dictionary gives the following definition:

a feeling of great displeasure or annoyance, usually brought on by some real or perceived injustice, injury etc.

And VINE’S Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words describes anger as: “the strongest of all passions”.

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I recently shared a post about Iago (a character in the Shakespearean play Othello), who became so angered when his superior did not choose him for promotion that he set about destroying this man’s marriage.

The Bible tells us that anger rests in the bosom of a fool.  Well. I certainly don’t wish to be a fool, nor do I want to be considered a fool in God’s eyes.

In fact, I don’t want anger to rest within me, to make its home in me. I don’t like the idea of me making anger comfortable in my life, allowing it free bed and board, so to speak.

I am referring to the type of anger that is corrosive. The kind that destroys either yourself as you harbour it within your heart, or motivates you to hurt others.

The Bible shares various stories which reveal how unrestrained anger can eventually escalate out of control and manifest itself into something evil. Cain killed his own brother (Genesis 4:3-8) and Haman plotted to annihilate all Jews (Esther 3:1-6).

I recognise and admit that I’ve struggled in the past to reign in my anger, so that it does not harm me, so that I do not stew in resentment or bitterness because of what people have done, or said, which has hurt me.

When I look back over my life, I can see that I failed to obey the Bible’s command to let go before sundown, any issue which arouses my anger. And, if I’m honest, I still struggle with this sundown deadline.

 

However, as I seek to be changed into Christ’s image, and as I consider more and more all that Jesus willingly suffered on my behalf, in order that I might become a member of God’s family and be conformed to the image of his Son, the greater has been my desire to deal with those areas of my life which are contrary to God’s will, contrary to his Word, contrary to my standing as a disciple, and decision to take up my cross and follow Christ.

To me, unrighteous anger is like an illegal immigrant. It needs to be discovered and deported! In fact, unchecked anger has to go, since it opens the door for the Enemy to come in and take up residence within our lives! I am sure you are familiar with that old adage about giving someone an inch and them taking a mile. We can be sure that the devil is no different.

Dear reader, are you seeking to walk in life as a victorious overcomer? Then let me encourage you today to examine your hearts. And if anger, has been a long-term bed-fellow in your heart, recognise it has the capacity to cause significant internal damage.

Jesus went to a lot of trouble and suffered immense pain, so we can be made whole, so we can lead victorious lives. Now, we can acknowledge the huge cost Jesus paid on our behalf, and avail ourselves of the abundant life he desires us to have, or we can pander to the carnal dictates of our flesh and continue to live our lives, as victims. The choice is ours!

Victim, or victor? Which will you choose?

With love,

 Carol (aka Lady Cee)

Choosing to walk as a victorious overcomer

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

 

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

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

 

 

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7 Keys for a Successful Year in 2018

Unlock Your Success!

 

1)   Look back

Do you journal? Have some record of what’s been going on in your life other than your memory? I hope you do. I keep several journals (writing, devotional and, more recently, personal development).

Looking back enables you to see patterns. From reading entries of previous years, I can see not only my successes but issues I’ve struggled with again and again. They show me which areas of my life, I have yet to achieve self-mastery.

Without the ability to look back, to see the evidence of my short-comings, these habitual failings could easily be overlooked, or remain unchallenged. Noticing meant I had a choice—do something about it, or make excuses and remain in a place of stagnancy.

 

 

2)   Look forward

Where do you want to go in terms of your spiritual life, your relationship with God and others, your health, or career? When you decide to look ahead, you are creating a focus for your life. By deciding what results you would like to achieve this year and setting realistic goals, you are effectively creating a positive vision for your life.

So ask yourself some searching questions – what would you like to see? Who would you like to be? What do you want to do? Where are you falling short when it comes to God’s Word?

When I looked back through my journals and realised that I was spending year after year lamenting the fact that I wanted to be a writer yet not actively doing anything to make this a reality, I decided to use my constant failure in this area, to set out a vision that I could look forward to and use as a form of motivation.

In a nutshell, one of my visions is to become a skilful writer, to write with such beauty of thought and intensity of passion that my words will be like apples of gold, in settings of silver. I created a vision in my heart to become a writer of  intrinsic quality and dynamic influence, so that my readers will be highly encouraged and perhaps even motivated afresh to take hold of God’s Word and allow themselves to become supernaturally transformed.

 

3)   Plan

Now that you have your vision, decide what steps you need to take in order to move towards that vision. Decide how you are going to get there.

Having realised my dream of becoming a prolific and published writer was not going to happen by mere wishful thinking, I came up with a strategy for making this goal a reality.

I created two blogs, which forced me to write regularly. This enabled me to see myself as an authentic writer (since a writer writes!), plus fulfil a long-held desire for God to use my writing to teach and encourage others. Result!

 

4)   Pray

Creflo Dollar  says that every failure is a prayer failure! I’m inclined to agree with him.

I know from experience that if I’ve gone into an endeavour without seeking God’s wisdom, guidance and enabling power, either my efforts will fail, or else the full potential of what I’m trying to accomplish will not be realised.

When we look to God for supernatural assistance, we will obtain supernatural results.

 

Commit your way to the Lord,

Trust also in Him,

And He shall bring it to pass.

Psalm 37:5 (NKJV)

 

5)   Take Action

So you have your goal(s). You’ve devised a plan and you’ve committed your dream or desire into God’s hands. Now what?

Well, dear reader, don’t kid yourself that God’s going to go Kerpow! and suddenly you will have lost that weight, landed that new job, or levitated yourself from a position of obscurity to “overnight success”. Whatever you wish to achieve, you are going to have to work, work, work at it. You are going to have to apply yourself diligently.

When I decided I’d had enough of being a victim of the Enemy and of the people whom he used to undermine my self-esteem, I took action by renewing my mind through biblical meditation, studying God’s Word, writing out several affirmations and speaking these to and over myself regularly. I read relevant books, watched motivational videos and sought to apply whatever truths I learned, which aligned with my Christian principles.

Work out what you need to do in order to accomplish your dream and then, as the Nike advert demands, just do it!

 

6)   Embrace Discipline

What is discipline?

It is training yourself to behave in a diligent and controlled way, in order to achieve a particular result.

Now, if you are like most people (myself included), discipline is where you fall down. The New Year arrives with its promise of new opportunities. You get excited. You set goals. You plan. You even start to take action. But then for some reason, you lose your enthusiasm and you lose momentum, or else, something happens to knock you off track.

There’s a saying that wisely observes: “to be forewarned is to be forearmed”. So let me forewarn you today—something or someone, somewhere down the road will cause you to lose hope, lose focus and perhaps ultimately lose your dream. Is there something you can do in advance to prepare yourself against this eventuality?

How about making a pre-commitment to not let weeks and weeks go by before you decide to get back on track with your goals or personal development plan? How about making a solid decision that come what may, you are not letting go of that dream?

How about making spiritual preparation in advance, by way of specific and persistent prayer and/or fasting, so that you have the inner strength and resolve required to soldier on regardless?

 

7)   Seek help from the Holy Spirit

How successful could you be in life if you had your own personal-achievement coach, spiritual cheerleader and perpetual mentor?

If you are a born-again Christian, if you have declared Jesus as Lord of your life, then my dear reader, you have! The Bible refers to the Holy Spirit as our Helper. So don’t ignore this valuable and highly effective resource – ask for his help!

Ask him to help you set your goals in line with God’s will for your life. Ask him to remind you of your vows and commitments. Ask him to help you maintain discipline in your life. Ask him to empower you and show you how to achieve your heart’s desire.

Dear reader, dear aspiring woman of God, make 2018 a year in which you achieve, succeed and excel in the plans and purpose of God for your life.

May 2018 be a year where your spiritual growth and development enables you to experience the miraculous power of God at work in your life, to the extent that He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that you ask, think, desire and dream.

With best wishes,

Carol

 

 CREDIT: the above CC0 images are from Pixabay.com

Go Drink From God’s Well of Hope

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

 

Hello dear reader,

Happy New Year!

May we chat?

What are your dreams for this year? Or have the disappointment and failures of past years, perhaps even decades, meant that your expectations are zilch?

Have troubles that never seem to be resolved robbed you of hope?

Are you tired of fighting, losing, hurting, believing yet not receiving?

Are you content to live a mediocre life, rather than appropriate the abundant life for which Christ suffered and died, in order for us to enjoy? And if you feel that life’s great and all’s well in your bubble, are you concerned, moved with compassion for those around you who are not so fortunate? Are you concerned enough to pray?

I have read blog posts and comments and had conversations where people seem to have lost hope, stopped trying, don’t care (or at least say they don’t). This makes me sad.

It makes me sad because you and I have such incredible potential. It makes me sad because God went to a lot of trouble to ensure no matter what life throws at us, we can win. It makes me sad because I see and hear about people in the secular world, who are tapping into biblical principles and winning in life, whilst many of us Christians are floundering in our faith, drowning in disappointment, wallowing in the mire of messed-up lives and missed opportunities. What’s wrong with this picture?

Dear reader, if you are a born-again child of God, if you are a new creation in Christ, if you still have the breath of God filling your lungs, please don’t give up hope. Don’t throw in the towel with regards to succeeding in life on a deeply-satisfying, supernatural and purpose-driven level.

Believe God’s Word – it says we are more than conquerors! So conquer that apathy. Conquer that doubt. Conquer that discouragement. Be the man or woman that God has called you to be… that deep down in your heart you desire to be.

This is another year. Today is another day. So LIVE! Be a victor!

With love,

Carol

 

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

 

 

For God’s Sake, Let’s Grow Up!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The above CC0 images are from Pixabay.com