Praising in the Pit…

“Focus on remaining so gracious that when the time comes for your testimony, people’s recollection of how you maintained your faith and good character despite going through such a difficult season, will encourage them even more about what it is to truly trust in God.”

Smiling when things are falling apart around you, is possibly one of the most difficult things to do.
It’s hard to laugh, have fun, or even see the good in anything, because your circumstance is saying otherwise.

Today I want to encourage you to  P R A I S E  in the Pit.
And if you cannot think of any reason why it may be worth it, simply consider the fact that you have life, God still loves you perfectly, and His word says He will always be with you – that is more than enough to give Him praise for. (Romans 8:38-39, Deuteronomy 31:6)

In addition to that praise, here are three other key things to do:

1. Continue to do and be G O O D

Don’t allow your situation to make you bitter.
Natural emotions that we may experience when things are tough include;

  • Sadness
  • Frustration
  • Anger
  • Feeling fed up
  • Being irritable
  • Self-pity
  • Loneliness

and many others.

When we feel like this, it’s often difficult to be our usual selves, and in fact it is quite easy to fall into the trap of allowing our emotions to dictate and change who we are, negatively.
One of the most important things I want to tell us is that we must not allow our emotions to rule us. Yes, things aren’t great, but that is no excuse to compromise your character and forget who God has called you to be – which is someone who exudes L O V E at all times. (1 Corinthians 13).
Focus on remaining so gracious that when the time comes for your testimony, people’s recollection of how you maintained your faith and good character despite going through such a difficult season, will encourage them even more about what it is to truly trust in God.

When you find yourself getting into ‘a way’, remember that God’s word tells us a lot about His plans for us. (Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:28).
Therefore, knowing God has a greater purpose, plan and will for you, means you cannot allow your energy to match your present situation. Instead, you have to ensure your energy is in line with the greater place God is taking you to! For that reason you need to draw out the praise that is on the inside of you and show God that you are dedicated to praising Him in spite of what is going on in your life. Show Him that your love for Him goes beyond your circumstance and that you truly love Him for who He is, not what He does.

 

2. Don’t obsess over ‘why’

Common perspectives many of us may have adopted throughout life, is that there is a reason for everything and that there is always a lesson to learn from every season you find yourself in. While I agree with both these concepts, we must be careful not to distract ourselves with trying too hard to make them fit into our lives in the most practical or perfect way.

Here’s what I mean by this…
Sometimes God does share ‘why’ He’s taking us through things, other times, He doesn’t.
The point is, if we get so utterly consumed with finding out ‘W H Y’ something is happening to us, or we get fixated on gaining an idealistic lesson out of it, we run the risk of losing focus on how God has truly called us to serve in that season, as well as engaging with God’s actual purpose or lesson for us.
For some of us, our focus on finding out ‘why’ could actually wrongly dissuade us from praising. This is because we subconsciously tell ourselves that we need a reason and purpose for the pain before we can praise in that pit, when actually the word of God encourages us to praise and give thanks in ALL things – good or bad. (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Focusing on getting a so-called reason or lesson that we deem tangible enough to us, also falsely implies that depending on the answer we get, God could possibly be unworthy of our praise – and this is so far from the truth.
The bible tells us that He is worthy of all praise, honour and glory forever. (1 Timothy 1:17).

 

3. Surrender it all to God

This is the most important bit.
Stop trying to create the ideal outcomes in your mind, and stop trying to help God sort things out your way – just give it to Him and rest in Him.

The bible not only teaches us that we are made for God’s pleasure and to bring glory to His Name (Isaiah 43:7, Isaiah 43:21), but it also very clearly enlightens us that God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). Therefore some things may not make sense to us. Some things won’t add up according to how our human minds may try to work them out, and so chasing a reason, or trying to create an artificial lesson that we assume God is trying to teach us, will only leave us exhausted and disappointed.
What we should do instead in these situations, is truly and wholeheartedly seek God and ask Him to enable us to live out His very purpose for us in that situation.
We must learn the art of absolutely surrendering our will and way to God, realising that He is Sovereign and thus actively deciding to allow Him to have His way. This may not be easy – but it’s always worth it.

Worth it;
– because the earlier we surrender, the sooner we have peace.
– because walking with God is so much better than working against Him.
– and because ultimately, we should always desire for God’s perfect will to manifest, as opposed to anything else, as He really does know best!

 

Now get to know God’s Promises

It’s all well and good me encouraging you to trust God and rest in His promises etc., but you need to know His word for yourself, because that is what you have to hold on to.

So here’s a start for verses to use to remind yourself of how well God will carry you through it all, and that there surely is a greater glory awaiting you at the end:

Something crucial to remember in the midst of your pain and unrest, is that regardless of how sour things may seem, God has not, and will not EVER remove His covering over you. This means no scheme of the enemy could ever prevail over you, nor lead you to destruction, rather, just like He did with Joseph, God will turn it all around and use it for His glory and your victory. (Genesis 37:18-28, Genesis 39:21).

The story of Joseph (found in Genesis 37 onward) provides a good example of someone who praised and served his purpose diligently whilst in his pit. In fact his very service to others whilst in jail, is what then delivered him in time to come – but that’s a word for another day.

Admirable examples of other Praisers in their Pits and people who remained faithful to God in the face of adversity are;

Daniel – with friends in the fiery furnace – Daniel 3, in the lion’s den Daniel 6

Paul and SilasActs 16:16-40

JobJob 1, Job 1:20-22, Job 2:10, Job 42:10-17

In each story, as each character served their season of pain/trials with diligence and grace, we see the final outcome was completely worth the strife, especially when it caused others to give their lives to God.
So today I encourage you to keep Praising and keep your heart Faithful to God.
Praise your way into the sweeter season, because you serve a God that would never leave your current situation as your final destination.

Set it in your heart that NOTHING will steal the praise from your lips and the worship of your heart,
Because at the end of the day
God will still be God –
The Sovereign God, who knows best,
So why not Praise Him anyway?!

 

Keep the Faith, Don’t Stop Believing

Song suggestion: Praise Him in advance by Marvin Sapp

*Practical tip: (suggested by a friend and I think is a great idea) Create a playlist of Ten upbeat praise songs! Get into your praise zone with these daily and be reminded of God’s goodness.

Get Personal

Just you. And Your Father, God.
Make it personal – intensify your relationship with Him and really, really get to know Him, all for yourself.

Over time, many of us have taken power away from ourselves and have falsely filled our minds with a belief that we are powerless without our spiritual leaders.
We’ve developed a huge dependence on them, and what they can do, and what they say – that actually many of us cannot even say that we truly know God or His word for ourselves. We only know God through the pastor’s eyes. We only know that scripture how the reverend taught it. But what happens when they aren’t available?

Today I’m encouraging you to seek to truly know God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit for yourself – not through a third party, not based on what any other man or woman has said, but for  Y O U R S E L F.

Now don’t get me wrong, this is not to despise the power and wisdom of God that flows through His true, anointed shepherds on this earth, however the point of this message is to emphasise that you must desire your own relationship with your Maker, so you too can be in tune with the very power that lies in you through Christ Jesus!

Think about it;
(And there are many examples possible, but here are the first ones that come to mind).

Daniel knew God for himself.
This was a man so confident of God that when others were defiling themselves, he stood firm to wait on his God to provide. (Daniel 1). When faced with adversity and even at the point of possible death in the fire, he and his friends knew their Father in heaven as the One who saves, and had faith that He would intervene right on time! (Daniel 3).

Job – a man we speak about so often.
He knew God for himself . He was a man who refused to drop God, even when his circumstances really and truly looked like God had dropped him. Job had a resting place, and it was in the power, peace and knowledge of God. This caused him to keep the faith even when his world was crumbling. (Please do study the book of Job in your own time).

Now tell me, what have you got stored up within you, that you rely on when trials come? Do you trust in your ability to speak and for God to hear you and answer? Or have you belittled He that lives within you?
Do you actually know the vast amount of promises planted purposefully in the word of God, ready for your use in every single situation you will ever face? Or do you only know the few random verses that other people have paraphrased to you?

At a time where we don’t have as much physical access to our beloved leaders in church, it is really important for us to wake up our souls and realise for ourselves who God truly is, and what the words He has spoken over us, are.
Get acquainted with the wonderful promises He has so intentionally written in His word, just for you.
Understand the power of Christ that lives within you and know that you can speak and activate that power over situations that require a turn around. (1 John 4:4).
Really take charge of your relationship with Jesus, and cultivate your Spirit man! (Romans 8:12-17, Galatians 5:25)

After all, these religious leaders that we have come to depend on, are still human just as we are.
Yes, they have a special calling over their lives, but the truth is we all do! But it all comes down to choice and decisions, as to what we make of it.
The bible tells us that to each one of us a gift has been given (1 Peter 4:10-11, 1 Corinthians 12:7), thus, you must make the decision to cultivate and maximise your gift in order to empower yourself and also serve those around you. Dedicate quality time to maturing your spirit, meditating on the word of God, and developing in His wisdom. God honestly loves us to draw near to Him, so make the decision today to press in and go deeper – He’ll never reject you. (John 6:35-37).

When it’s all said and done – the grace of your pastor, or the anointing of your bishop or even your parents or spouse will not help you reach the kingdom of God. Your salvation is completely individual and the bible instructs us to work it out with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12-13). So what better time to study God and His word, than now?

Father Lord,
Today there isn’t too much to say.
But to know You more, that’s all we ask for.
To know You deeply, intentionally and intimately, to a point where we understand that we can call out, and You will hear and answer, just like You did for Elijah (1 Kings 17:22) – that’s what we ask for.
Help us to dedicate the time and heart to get to that place in our relationship with You, where our spirit is just so in tune with Yours and Your will,
in Jesus’ Mighty Name.
Amen.

Keep the Faith, Don’t Stop Believing

“And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;”
Philippians 3:9-10

 

Idols?

What or who are they in your life?

A lot of us within the body of Christ have the false belief that because we don’t look up to graven images and we don’t physically bow down to shrines or symbolic statues or figures, that we aren’t idolators…

But we’re so wrong.

Take a look at the list below and let’s rank these things – and I want you to be very very honest with yourself.

In your life, where is God’s true position amongst the following things/people?
(And please let this be a genuine assessment of where He really comes in the mix of things and not where you’d like Him to be in an ideal world…)

  • Job/Career
  • Business
  • Spouse
  • Partner (boyfriend or girlfriend)
  • Child/children
  • Education
  • Home care and chores
  • Socialising
  • Food
  • Bills
  • Fitness
  • Any other activities and people we fill our days with

Where is He?
Lower than you expected?

You see, every single thing/person that you allow to take a greater weight, value or importance in your life than your pursuit of God and His will and His word –
is an I D O L.

And please bear in mind that this is not always done consciously…
You mean no harm or insult to God when you do it, but to name a few:

  • You look at your phone and check that social media news feed ten times more than you even think of meditating and conversing with Your Maker.
  • Your tithe and offering is often short because you had other things to pay for.
  • You just want to quickly do the washing up first, then you’ll pray.
  • You just need to cook for the family first, then you’ll read the Word.

Very easily, He’s fallen a couple or even a good number of places in the ranking…
But we didn’t mean for it to be so.

Now don’t get me wrong, a very select number of things in our lives are actually ‘that important’ and in fact God does not undermine their importance either. However the problem of idolatry arises when we prioritise these things above God, and often it becomes a repeated habit.

What many of us have done is just about ‘fit God in’ and made Him work around everything else that we have going on, rather than the other way round. This is not only in terms of spending time with God, but it is also applicable in terms of what we do with our finances and other resources in which He has given us clear instructions about how to use them to serve Him.
We have put things so far above God and made Him last on our list. We rush and are eager and take so much more pleasure in engaging ourselves with all the things of the world; but we forget that we ought to be working out our salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12-13).

Sound like idol worshipping yet?

One of our favourite luxuries being children of God, I’m sure is G R A C E.
But that very gift that God has given us freely, is what many of us are abusing and it’s the reason why we’ve become so lax in our service and worship to the Creator of Heaven and Earth.

We seem to have forgotten that God comes first!
(Matthew 6:33, Matthew 22:37-40).

How about we flip it, and start to do it right.

-Prayer and worship should be intentionally scheduled into your daily routine, not just as and when you remember.

-Your tithes should be the first thing intentionally set aside from your 100% on payday, not just scraped together after you’ve dealt with everything else.
I understand this can be sensitive for some who are struggling, but I really encourage you to activate your faith in doing this, and then watch for the fruits of your obedience – the Lord Himself says ‘Test Me…’ – God will never fail you! (Please see related scripture here: Proverbs 3:9-10, Leviticus 27:30-34, Malachi 3:8-12).

-Church services – to fellowship with others, and render a service before God, take precedence over work and social events etc.

Again, that’s only to name a few – we all know the things we need to adjust in our lives, so let’s not neglect what needs to be changed.

I must say though – I get it… A lot of the time when we’ve put God on the back burner, our main justification is because it’s in order to do stuff ‘we HAVE to do’ – it’s when we’re tending our flock – so God understands, right?
I’ll put my hands up and say I’ve done it too – mainly with my education – surely God doesn’t want me to fail, right?

But let us remember the word in Ecclesiastes 3:1 that says there is a time for everything, thus we must create order, structure and discipline in our lives and ensure that drawing nearer to God is at the top of our plans.
Retrain your mind to know and understand that God who gave you all these things will surely help you take great care of it all, but not at the expense of your worship and relationship with Him.

Father,
Today we call our hearts back to You in Jesus’ Name. We ask for Your perfect forgiveness to cleanse us and renew us for every single way we’ve made things and people in our lives god above You.
We ask that You enable us to consecrate our lives back unto You and revere and honour You as we ought to.
We don’t want Your wrath O God, we want Your smile and we want to make You happy, therefore help us get our worship and service right in order to please You. And help our hearts to truly chase and long after You in Jesus’ Mighty Name

Restore us unto You Father, let us be close to You,
in Jesus’ Mighty Name we pray.
Amen.

Keep the Faith, Don’t Stop Believing.

 

By Their Fruit…

…You will recognise them.

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Before I say a word to you, let’s read these verses;
“By their fruit you will recognize them.
Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.
Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven,
but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

My question to you is, what will you birth this year?

And I’m not necessarily talking about new creations or ideas or businesses, but actually when the 31st December 2019 comes around, what will the summary of your character be for this year?
In the last post, we discussed how special this year will be.
We embraced the great news of 2019 being a year in which many things will unravel in our lives and bring forth purpose and meaning to our very existence.
We’re now in the second month of the year, (by God’s mercy and grace), and hopefully many of us are still working on the various plans and goals that we set for ourselves for this year.
I want you to think of those plans/ideas/resolutions, and ask yourself – how much of what I have planned involves God?
Reflect on your desires for this year and just check – is God at the forefront of all this, or have I left Him on the back burner?
Did I focus my plans around me, my pleasures and my will, or have I put God centre stage, for all eyes to be on Him, and for His glory to shine through?

 

When God planted Matthew 7:16 into my heart, He gave me a message for you and I, saying that in this year (and always) we ought to ensure that God shows through in absolutely everything that concerns us!

The King wants us to be intentional about showing Him forth.

So here are a few specific things this means:

(But this list isn’t exhaustive)

1. Our decisions must minister Christ.
That is, the things we actively choose to do by ourselves.
E.g. Abstain from sexual immorality, pay the correct public transport fare, obey laws of the land that others may commonly seek a loophole for, attend church more often, engage in more kingdom-directed activities (fellowships/bible studies/evangelism) (Galatians 5:13-26, Romans 13 particularly verse 6). The list goes on.
We need to take our spiritual walk seriously, align our will with the instructions we find in the word of God, and really cultivate habits and behaviours that will affirm our love for Christ, rather than do the opposite.
Going back to our plans for this year – I’m asking that we go to God and find out what He wants, find out how we can be used by Him for His name to be praised, find out what His agenda is for us in this year, and then ask how we fit into all that, rather than the other way round.
In being intentional about showing God forth in our lives, we need to actively set out to do, or equally, refrain from doing, certain things. These intentional and purposeful decisions will set us apart within our environments, and thus minister to the world that there is something different about us, and indeed it is Jesus!
Let us be mindful of our decisions; making sure that we’re choosing the options that will more and more display that we truly do have a heart for God, ultimately causing people to draw onto us to get to know this God!
2. Take up a voluntary task/charitable deed to benefit the less fortunate.
Matthew 25:31-40 – read it.
We’re 41 whole days into 2019 – how many of those days have been spent selflessly?
Often times, particularly at the beginning of the year, and especially if it wasn’t one of our ‘resolutions’, many of us get so stuck and fixed and focused on achieving these sparkly new goals, that we neglect the needs of the community around us.
We’re head strong, we’ve got the eye of the tiger and we really want to achieve all the ME goals that we’ve set, that we forget that we have a world of people around us that God has both directly and indirectly put under our care. This includes those we know personally and those we don’t.
Where do the homeless, poor, needy, and underpriviledged come in our plans for this year?
I’m asking that we go back to those plans and ask God where they fit in. Tell God that we WANT them in our plans, and that He should give us a mission to HELP those who are in need. Let it become a regular activity in our lives, by God’s grace.
This also includes those friends or family members that require our emotional, financial or just any kind of support too! Let us factor them in, take some time out to really be there for them and see how we can be a blessing in their lives, in accordance with God’s will.
3. Manage ill situations graciously.
Yep! I’m talking about our  R E A C T I O N S  here.

I’m talking about us never REacting, but rather always maintaining our Christ-like character irrespective of what is being thrown at us.

What fruit are we producing when we respond to unpleasant situations?

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When we find ourselves in that complex, conflicting issue at work, home or school – who are we in that moment when our emotions are flying REALLY really high?

It could also be in terms of personal trials, hardships, let downs.
We all face disappointing and displeasing scenarios in life – but my question here is in these moments – what and who do we look like?

As a representation of Christ, who is God, who is Love, and so therefore we are Love, I believe one of the key elements in our walk is maintaining our cool when things get shaken and stirred up. We have to remember to LOVE first.
God is calling for a consistency in us, which means that we keep our peace at all times!
It doesn’t make you foolish, weak or a loser to walk away from a situation if it means maintaining your attitude and not acting out.
In situations that test our emotions, be it heat of the moment type scenarios, or even longer-term difficult ones, we must remember that we are STILL children of the Most High God. We are still children of grace, who ought to speak with words seasoned with salt always (Colossians 4:5-6), build others up with our words always (Ephesians 4:29), and bring light into situations rather than darkness.

 

Now let’s round this up and makes sense of it all.
You may notice that in the verses we read at the beginning of this word, I put Matthew 7:21 on its own, even though it’s the immediate continuation of the preceding verses.
Well that’s because this verse is special.
It helps to put everything into context.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven,
but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

Often times, we speak of Jesus, but we aren’t really living out Jesus.
And essentially that’s what this word is all about – at the end of the day, will God be able to search your heart and find that you were intentional and proactive about really promoting the gospel and the things of God with your life? (Jeremiah 17:10 NLT)
When Jesus said ‘by their fruit, you will recognise them’, He was talking about distinguising the false prophets from the true believers of the gospel.
In the same light when God gave me this word and pointed me to this verse, He was asking; Are we really for Him wholeheartedly, ready to align our hearts with His will, and press in deeper, into His Spirit to get to know Him better? 
Or are we dipping our toes in and out of the water every now and then, and in fact masking mediocrity with colourful words and empty actions that sort of look Christ-like, but actually we lack a firm foundation and are easily moved by winds of the world?

Matthew 7:21 says ‘only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven’ will enter the kingdom of heaven – therefore we need to go to God, and:

  • Seek out what His will for us is, in EVERY area of our lives?
  • Ask that He enables us to live a life that truly and genuinely shows forth all of His glory and goodness, where the focus is on Him and not us!
  • And ask that He works on our hearts and perfects our hearts, so that all in all, everything concerning us will birth fruit that show we are children of God, and the light of the world.

 

I pray that your fruit will show forth great things about you, and will display your true desire to walk and work in the perfect will of God, in Jesus’ name. Amen

 

Keep the Faith, Don’t Stop Believing
God bless you.

 

#ByTheirFruit
#HisTruthWithLove

Christmas 2018; A Gift

Christmas Day!!

It’s that amazing time of the year again, when we get to think about God’s perfect love for us. A love so deep that He decided to give us Himself in human form, for a greater purpose of redemption (John 3:16-17).
It’s fair to say that Jesus Christ was, and always will be the most perfect gift ever given to all of mankind.

This Christmas, God also wants me to let you know that YOU, as you have been fearfully, wonderfully and perfectly crafted (Psalm 139:14), you too are a great gift to the world around you!

God is calling us to identify with He that is within us, recognise the many talents, qualities and abilities that we possess, and birth forth our gifts, to edify, nourish and brighten the world around us.

So as I wish you a Sweet and Merry Christmas, I pray this for you also…

That you will allow Jesus’ birth to shine perfect light into your life and bring transformation in the areas that require His touch.

I pray that the gift of Christ, will have purpose and meaning in your life, and will activate every great thing that has been lying dormant in your life!

I pray that in the next few days, before we get into the New Year, you will seek God earnestly, to know and understand what greatness He has placed in you, so you can bring it forth for His glory and thus fulfil every assignment He has set ahead of you in 2019.

I pray that you will live to Be A Great Gift to the world!

May all the light, love and laughter of Jesus’ birth fill your heart and your home during this festive season, and beyond.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

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Keep the Faith, Don’t Stop Believing
God bless you

Love always

The Morning…

“But I will sing of your strength,
    in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress,
    my refuge in times of trouble.

 You are my strength, I sing praise to you;
    you, God, are my fortress,
    my God on whom I can rely.”
[Psalm 59:16-17]

 

The beautiful thing about the  M O R N I N G  is that it signifies a new beginning.
It symbolises another chance, and most importantly, it indicates victory.

That victory lies in the fact that yesterday’s struggles did not consume you.
You didn’t give up, you made it to a new day, and God, in His mercy, has kept you for a greater good to come.

Let’s pray with that this Wednesday morning…
Some of us have had a great week so far, and we’re so happy for the positives to continue.
Others may have had what we would deem as a terrible start to the week, and we can’t wait until it’s over.
But let’s remember that our making it to today, is by the grace of God and so we ought to express that gratitude, as well as ask Him to reveal His plan and purpose for this week, to us.

P R A Y E R:

Father,
We thank You for the grace You placed upon us to win yesterday’s battles, and triumph into today!
We ask that from today onwards, we will always realise and be grateful for the huge blessing that lies in seeing another morning.

You know what each of our weeks have looked like thus far, and we ask that You will allow Your perfect will to manifest in each of our lives in Jesus’ name.
We ask that You reveal Your purpose for this week to us. Show us how we can cause Your name to be glorified, and show us how we can walk in Your light and love, being a blessing and inspiration onto others.

For those of us who feel defeated by what Monday and Tuesday threw at us, give us peace and a strong assurance that greater is coming, and help us to be reminded that things always do work out well (Romans 8:28).

Once again we thank You for the privilege to see this new day, we thank You for always being a Reliable and Dependable God, and we ask that You will equip us to go forth and fulfil Your will in the rest of this week, month, year and beyond,
In Jesus’ Name.
A M E N.

 

Friend, take joy in the new hope that lies in every new morning, and be positive enough to mold your day into what you want it to be!

Keep the Faith, Don’t Stop Believing
God Bless you

All-Round God…

I have something short and sweet, but super important for you to feed on today!

Have a look at this lovely quote I extracted from the ‘Woman Thou Art Loosed’ study bible, by T. D. Jakes;

It says;

“Your Father is higher than the stars,

yet closer than your breath.”

This statement depicts so perfectly the Might yet Intimacy of God in our lives! And so I hope this post reminds us of the fact that God has many different amazing attributes, each applicable to the various experiences we encounter throughout life.

You see, we often forget the many qualities of God, particularly the ones that are similar to those found in a mere human, because we’ve become so accustomed to making God out as BIG and Mighty, but the truth is the bible tells us that it is we who were created in His image (Genesis 1:27). What this means therefore is that there is no characteristic found in man, that didn’t come from God first! So I’m talking about the ‘littler’ things like being a good listener, being trustworthy enough to tell your secrets, being reliable and dependable to chat with at anytime. Often these are things that we would have seen in the people we call our friends, however can I remind you that God is all this and more…
So why not tap into the original source? (I’m not saying ditch your friends by the way, but I’m just saying remember to seek God first for these things).

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One of the reasons why the statement quoted above stuck out to me so much, is because it nicely puts two key aspects of God in one sentence. It describes the God that we popularly know as a Huge guy, up in the Heavens, who has dominion and authority over EVERYTHING, but it also portrays another key fact about Him, which is that He is not far away
It’s a statement of reassurance that God is both; more than Capable, Powerful and Supreme to take absolute control of every situation in your life, but at the same time He is Attentive, acknowledges every fine detail concerning you, and is extremely near that you can feel Him closely.

This statement reaffirms to us that God’s magnitude of Greatness does not for one second reduce His availability to us. He doesn’t have to compromise one quality for another.
HE IS all things at once, Perfectly.
Therefore, friend, I want you to be confident in the fact that God can be your Strong Tower (Proverbs 18:10) as well as your Best Friend! (John 15:15)
He can be your place of safety as well as your confidant.
Simply put, He is, and always will be All-Sufficient for you, you just need to open up and allow Him to be that God in your life!

#PressIn

Have a great week and enjoy every great grace that comes with having a God who is Enormous, as well as a perfectly Reliable Friend who sticks closely.

Check out the many names and traits of God in a site linked here, use a few different ones this week to stir up a new worship to your King!

Keep the Faith, Don’t Stop Believing
God Bless you.

New Habits!

So on Wednesday it was nice to release it all and be honest with you.
And immediately I got responses from people who have been experiencing the same thing (see image below).

UW Journey back comment

Of course all Glory to God for being so perfect and for always knowing exactly what His kids need, at the right time.

But here we are with the issues on the table, now it’s time to ACT, in order to turn those flaws around.
If we acknowledge them alone and just keep on in our own ways, we’ll be failing even more. Instead we have a responsibility to ‘live a new life’ (Romans 6:1-4), and thus be practical and intentional about pressing in with the King.

We’ve discussed it here before about Scheduling God in, and being intentional about allocating adequate time to fellowship with Him. Have a read of that post (linked above) again to refresh your memory of the tips shared.

Here are more suggestions for us to choose from, in order to become even more intentional about growing our relationship with God:

1. Create a Daily Log

The purpose of this is to see the stats of your engagement on a daily basis. It seems quite a technical and formal approach, but I believe it will permit a clear visualisation of how much time we’re spending in prayer/reading scripture/worship/conversation or just anything kingdom-related.
Whether you want it in a physical diary, or just in the notes on your phone, all you have to do is make a note of every time you intentionally spend time doing ‘God-stuff’.
Go the extra mile: by logging the duration too.

2. Get accountable

The purpose of accountability is to encourage us to truly to stick to what we say we’re going to do!
You can easily use your log with this suggestion too, as you can show your partner/group the stats. Aside from that, with an accountability partner/group, you can set goals amongst one another to do certain things within a day/week/month, and of course feedback to one another how that’s all gone by the deadline.

3. Join a Fellowship/Bible Study Group

Personal interpretation is a very important aspect of learning the word of God, however also gaining numerous perspectives of the same word, can further deepen your understanding of just one scripture! Fellowship groups or bible study groups are a good way to do this, and often there’s a leader who is well-versed in the word of God, who can be of great help if anything ever becomes unclear/up for healthy dispute.

4. Make it Fun

Games and competitions always add that extra element of fun AND drive to any activity, so how about creating a few challenges for a group of friends in order to motivate you even further.
Ideas for this could be:

  • Memorising and Reciting scriptures
  • Creating a bible quiz
  • Spelling tests (some of those names in the bible have such peculiar spellings!)
  • Plus many others…  (haha, tell me your ideas too)

5. Netflix and Chill

Haha! Shocking that this is here, but if you have a Netflix account, swap your comedy or drama or thriller, for the word that gives Life! Check out The Bible Series on Netflix, it’s a visual depiction of the word of God, and it’s really interesting to see the word acted out. It covers many of the major stories of the bible.
Word of advice: Read the story for yourself before watching, as some details may be missed out some times.

6. Create a Gospel/Christian Music Playlist

Worship can happen anywhere, at any time! Having and listening to a playlist of Christian music should help you to worship God (with song) more times in the day. This genre of music also has a good rep for giving hope, and uplifting spirits, so definitely a good place to start if you’re ever feeling a bit stuck with prayer or overwhelmed with concerns.
If you don’t know where to start, here are some artists’ names to search for:

  • Tasha Cobbs Leonard
  • Travis Greene
  • Nathaniel Bassey
  • Hillsong Worship

These are just suggestions of course, and I hope at least one or two will be helpful. I pray that God will also minister great ideas to you of how to get closer to Him and enjoy His presence daily.

 

Keep the Faith, Don’t Stop Believing
God Bless you.

#WorkingOnIt
#NewHabits

Christmas Joy

christmas-party

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” 
[Isaiah 9:6]

It’s our first Christmas on the blog, and it’s super exciting!

All here at Untainted Word are saying thank you so much for reading and supporting all year through, and we are wishing you and your family a Wonderfully Merry, Jolly and Peaceful Christmas, filled with Love, Joy and Smiles all round.

As we get stuck into our gifts and delicious food, let us not forget the true beauty of what we are celebrating during this season.

We celebrate a love which is Unmatched, a love which is Pure and a love which is Unconditional.
We celebrate the birth of the Jesus Christ, the Son of God Himself, who came to suffer, serve and save us, so we could draw nearer to the Father.

So with that said, let us pray…

Father Lord,

First we thank You from the bottom of our hearts for the amazing privilege of seeing this day, Christmas Day 2017, in which we remember the grace and mercy You displayed, by sending Yourself to us in human form.
We ask this day that You fill our homes with great love, joy and peace, which is incomparable to any other.

At a time like this, we remember those who aren’t surrounded by family and friends, and we cry out to You that Your joy and hope will locate them, and Your love will fill every void in Jesus’ name.
We pray that You will grant us a selfless heart, to reach out to them and share Your precious love with them, and we pray that by this time next year, their lives will be transformed for the better!

As we continue on in this festive period, we ask that we will not lose focus on the One who matters most; Jesus, and what He represents; Love.
We ask that You protect and guide us at all times, grant us a holiday season which is conflict-free, and we declare with faith that we will walk graciously into the New Year.

Finally we ask that You will enable us to speak confidently of Jesus, and help us to be bold in order to make Him known to the world!

All this we pray, in Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

Wishing you all the best Christmas ever!
And thank you again for reading.

Keep the Faith, Don’t Stop Believing
God Bless you
Lots of Love xx

Prayer: Wrapped in Perfect Love

Despite being told to listen to the song many months ago, I only listened to it yesterday after being told that I’d be singing it as part of my church choir.

Listened to it… Absolutely Loved it…

And then I understood why the friend who initially recommended it to me said she always gets emotional when she hears it.

The song is called Reckless Love by Cory Asbury – Bethel Music
and I’d love for you to listen to it, just click the link above.
I’ve also put another link here, for the version by One Voice (at the beginning of a sermon video), which is the first one I listened to and loved!

I want to pray for us with the message of this song…

A lot of us have forgotten how  B I G  and how permanent God’s love is.
We’ve forgotten what God’s love means.
We’ve forgotten that we even have God’s love.

Today I’m reminding you that you are absolutely wrapped in the love of God, and you MUST remind yourself of this fact Every. Single. Day.

The part of the song that touched me most, is when it said;

‘It Leaves the ninety-nine…’

When Jesus tells this parable in Luke 15:3-7 (please read), He explains to us that heaven truly rejoices over a lost soul that comes home.
He is therefore telling you that He personally seeks you out, to bring you up and out of whatever issue you’re in, and bring you into the perfect will of God.

‘Leaves the 99’ tells me, that He’s so focussed on each and every one of us making it to the kingdom of God, that He won’t settle for one short… (Matthew 18:10-14)
He won’t leave you behind, or give up on you, despite the multitude that may already be doing their thing and pleasing Him – He steps out specifically for you, to come and find you, and draw you in to Him.

This is the Love of God.

A Love that doesn’t get fed up of loving us, will never stop being on our side and no matter how undeserving you feel of it, it will always be there, wrapped right around you (Romans 8:38-39) – it just takes you to open up your heart and let it in!

As you listen to the song, I ask that you pay close attention to each word, as it emphasises the energy with which God’s Perfect Love Pursues you.

For those of you who just can’t fathom WHY His perfect love would chase after you – remember what Jesus said in the parable mentioned above, and go into more scripture to see it yourself (1 John 4:9-10, Romans 5:8); that even in your imperfection, God loves you and God wants you…

And with that I pray,

Father,

Help each and every one of Your children to receive and embrace Your love this week, and always.
Help us to lay aside our carnal knowledge and opinions of the type of person that deserves to be loved by You, and let us accept wholeheartedly that Your Perfect Love is just for us, even in our imperfection.
Help us to truly believe in the power of Your Love, and become strengthened by it in every way possible.
Help us to no longer run away from Your Love, but rather let us rest in it, be lost in it, and be completely wrapped in it!
We thank You for Jesus Your son, We thank You for Your unconditional, unending Love, and we ask that never again will we forget that we have it.

In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

Keep the Faith, Don’t Stop Believing
God Bless you.

 

#PerfectLove
#RecklessLove
#RelentlessLove
#MoreThan100PeoplePraying